Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Keep it or chuck it - salty swans

These are salt cellars. They were given to us as a wedding gift by Andy's old boss and his wife. See the little sticks coming out of the swans' butts? Those are tiny little salt scoopers. The wings open to reveal the salt kept inside the swan. You scoop a bit of salt and sprinkle it on your eggs or whatever. They are very fancy. I think we have only used them as ornaments. They have lived on our basement wall unit on the shelf above the puzzles and board games since we bought our house about 14 years ago. Description: glass and silver-plate salt cellars; barely used; must provide your own salt. Value: I have no idea whatsoever. Never bought these, never even saw them in a store. Secret powers: amazing catnip containers or possible props for a home-made godzilla movie.

so please help me decide, do I

keep them? or chuck them?

mompoet - I forgot to starch and iron my doilies, gotta go!

Monday, March 27, 2006

New Bathroom Passes the Winery Test

The new bathroom is great for baths and showers and other bathroom activities. It is also a good winery. I make wine at home. This weekend I bottled 10 gallons of wine in my bathroom. I reckon it's the cleanest room in the house right after I've sanitized eveything. I have been making wine this way for at least 10 years. It's very good. When we did the renos we built a special little notch under the counter exactly the right size for my carboys, so I can store 2 5-gallon jugs of wine in my bathroom until they are ready to bottle. Yum.

question: what do you do in a room in your house that people wouldn't expect?

mompoet - I got a floor corker, yup I shore do.

Keep it or Chuck It - Mom's Scary Jean Jacket

This is my jean jacket that I bought in 1986. I remember I wore it all the time to Expo '86 in Vancouver. We had season's tickets. We had a lot of fun. I think I got the Mickey Mouse pin later. Micky reminds me of Marty McFly in the movie Back to the Future (I hate that movie). I have not worn the jacket in many years.
Description: oversize big shouldered distressed denim bomber jacket (women's); size 9 with room for a puppy or two; lots of zippers (I mean LOTS!!) even pockets in the sleeves
Value: purchased for about $50 which was a lot at the time, now probably worth $5 at a garage sale; someone said I might get something for it on ebay (ebay? are you kidding?)
Secret Power: When I want my 12 year old daughter to comply with my wishes, I threaten to wear this jacket in public. She will do almost anything to make me put it back in the closet.

So now for the question:

Keep it? or Chuck it?

you decide...

mompoet - waiting for a verdict

Sunday, March 26, 2006

yummy sweet recipe

I typed this recipe up this morning to take to church. I have promised it to a few people who enjoyed it at coffee time last Sunday. Maybe you'll like it too. It sounds complicated but it's not.

Cream Puff Almond Squares (makes 40 small squares)
Adapted from a recipe in Sunset Magazine (a long time ago)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Farenheit

1. Make the pastry bottom layer:
1 ½ cup flour
¾ cup butter or margarine
3 Tbs sugar

Combine these ingredients and press them into the bottom of a 9X13” cake pan.

2. Make the cream puff middle layer:

In a saucepan bring to a boil:
1 ½ cup water
¾ cup butter or margarine

When the water is boiling, keep the stove heat on and dump in:
1 ½ cup flour

Stir over heat in the pan until the mixture forms a soft dough that pulls away from the sides of the pan and clumps onto the mixing spoon. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in, one at a time:
6 whole eggs

As you stir in each egg, whisk it into the batter. As soon as it’s mixed in, whisk in the next egg. Be quick.

Spread the batter over the pastry bottom layer in the pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden and puffy.

3. Add the top layer:

Mix together:
1 ½ cup icing sugar
6 Tbs milk (adjust amount to make a thick glaze)
½ tsp vanilla or a couple of drops of almond extract

Drizzle the glaze over the pastry. Be generous. Top with:
2/3 cup slivered almonds

It will collapse a bit as it cools but that’s okay. It should be bumpy and sticky and crumbly and you will get almonds on your shirt and you will lick your fingers when you eat it. You can serve this warm as a brunch dish or serve cool. It has a best served fresh, and doesn’t freeze well so eat it up!

question: baked lately?

mompoet - thinking about an apple/plum/blueberry crisp for tonight

Saturday, March 25, 2006

new series in the works

I'm working on something for my next few blogs (remember soundjournal? remember "boring?" remember "Nelson's adventures?") Well, I have another idea.

Keep it? or Chuck it?

In honour of spring I'm going to post some things that I have found around my house and ask for your thoughts about whether to keep them or chuck them. It should be fun and will help me waste time and avoid doing really important things. (Isn't this why we blog?)

So no more radio poetry posts for while. Time for something new and silly...be ready to help decide if I

Keep it? or Chuck it?

question: kiorchui?

mompoet - prone to chuck

Friday, March 24, 2006

Radio (for real I sure hope)

Tune in Saturday morning, March 25 7:15-9am PST to CBC 690AM in Vancouver or on the net (click on site #23 for Vancouver). All five Vancouver CBC Poetry Face Off poets will be featured intermittently throughout the show. My poem is supposed to be on some time between 8:30 and 9am.

question: do you believe it?

mompoet - keeping faith in cultural institutions


Barb has posted a big juicy blog from Eritrea. I am uncharactaristically devoid of anything to say.

question: what's up?

mompoet - hussshhhed

Thursday, March 23, 2006

face off still on

The CBC Poetry Face Off website has been updated. Finalists' poems will be broadcast the week of April 3-7. After that, voting will open at the website. The winner will be announced April 17.

question: do you have any special plans for poetry month?

mompoet - trying to find poetry in every day life

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

tasty tuesday leftovers

Being too tired last night to create a Tasty Tuesday post, I went to bed and slept like a yule log. It was tasty, I tell you.

That is my first tasty thought today (I think the suggested number is 3). No matter what has happened during the day, I can always sleep and start up again in the morning. I am blessed with the gift of almost instant oblivion. I can sleep anytime, anywhere, and get there very quickly. Sleep is a big, dark, warm, welcoming cave that is always available for me as I run through my days of go-go-go-go-go-go-stop. I know a lot of people can't do this. I know how good it feels to be able so do it, so I appreciate it very much.

My second tasty thought is about how much I appreciate home base. Work, family activities, volunteering, and all of the things I/we do for fun take me out of the house most days and many nights each week. At the office I am out more than in, travelling to meetings, events and programs. On Tuesday I made breakfast for the kids, walked the dog, tidied a bit, then went to work and stayed at my office all day. I got tons of work done, and I was there when my clients and contacts phoned or emailed (no tag-playing) and I got to talk with my co-workers in a relaxed and friendly way. It felt great. At closing time I drove to karate, picked up my son, talked with the karate teacher then came home and helped fix supper then I stayed home. We were all together for supper, then sometimes spread around the house, sometimes occupying the same space. Everyone was home. It was nice. There was no sense of urgency, minimal decision-making required. We were home. My base is one of the tastiest things in my life. I love to do things but more than anything I love to be home.

Which makes me think of an extra tasty morsel: that look in my son Alex's eyes when I pick him up somewhere and he sees me. It's like he's seeing me for the first time. There's a ker-thump of joy that I feel when I see that look, and the feeling that he feels the same way.

My final tasty is my reflection on Monday night's poetry slam. It was a smorgasbord of tasty. I was nervous about hosting. I've done it before in a small restaurant in my own neighbourhood, but never at the Vancouver Poetry Slam. It was such a good night...11 great poets in the competition and 2 more at the open mic, all women and a superb feature poet, Melissa Noelle Green from Seattle. There was a richness in the range of voices and experiences, the topics and styles that was so tasty. The judges were strong and consistent and quick and the audience was hungry for poetry and happy with what was offered. I felt like I did a good job, and the show was successful. I especially savour the help of my friends at the slam and the Sista'hood festival, who made sure I felt supported and appreciated, and who keep these good events going. Being welcomed to participate and help is a treat beyond compare.

So that's 4 tasty things I guess. And it was easy.

Thanks, Lazy Daisy, for the inspiration.

question: what's tasty for you today?

mompoet - hmmmm honey nut cheerios?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


The most compellingly tasty thought to me right now is a soft pillow wrapped in a warm flannel pillowcase with a picture of snowmen on it. I am going to that tasty as soon as possible, and will reflect properly on the tastiness of my day on Wednesday morning.

question: did you have a tasty Tuesday?


Tasty Tuesday

Carol, in her blog called A Revision, steers us to celebrate different days of the week with blog activities invented by fellow bloggers. I'm going to try Lazy Daisy's "Tasty Tuesday." In Lazy Daisy's own words, here's what you're supposed to do in your blog on Tasty Tuesdays:

On Tasty Tuesday I would like to focus on something non- food related to savor or relish. Something to mull over, treasure, sip, or linger longer.

This sounds like a lot of fun to me, and also easy. I always say that life should be delicious. Sometimes it's about food. More often it's about great experiences and the people with whom I share them.

This morning I am zombie-tired from staying out late at the Poetry Slam last night, but I'm going to take note of the the tastiness of my day (in terms that are not directly food-related). Tonight I'll post my relections on my blog.

Thank you Carol, for your prompt and for keeping the friendlies in touch with each other in an ever-expanding circle. Thanks Daisy, for the yummy idea.

question: what looks good on your menu today?

mompoet - always hungry, easily satisfied (brewing coffee)

Monday, March 20, 2006

One handsome guy

This our son Alex who recently got his braces off. I think he looked great even while he still had them on. Now he has retainers to wear, which is okay, and toothbrushing no longer takes 15 minutes each time (do you know how they have to floss when they have braces???). He's happy, we're happy. What a smile!

question: did you have braces?

mompoet - happy

we will miss her

One of the kindest women I have every met died a week ago. The memorial for Dorothy Fleming was held at our church today. When the kids and I joined St. Andrew's four and a half years ago, Dorothy introduced herself and welcomed us to the church. Every Sunday, she'd make a point of greeting us before or after the service, and checking in with us at coffee time. She made sure that we felt at home at St. Andrew's. Later I found out that Dorothy did the same for every newcomer and everyone who might be lonely or isolated. With her own tender care she brought us all into the fold. Dorothy, your church home is missing you today.

mompoet - sad

Sunday, March 19, 2006

what they call things

I took Alex to Dairy Queen this afternoon for an end-of-spring-break treat. He had "Brownie Earthquake." I had a "Capuccino Skor Blizzard." I notice that a few of the foods at Dairy Queen are named after weapons or natural disasters:

"Cool Treats"
Blizzard (many varieties. Fi's favourite is "Brownie Bladder Blizzard," which I guess the teens who work at Dairy Queen are sick of hearing pre-teens order at the drive-thru)
Pecan Mudslide
(aforementioned) Brownie Earthquake

"Hot Eats"
Flamethrower Burger

Good thing they have emergency exits and give us plastic spoons.

question: do you ever think about what they call things?

mompoet - not eating any tsunamis tonight

Saturday, March 18, 2006

You didn't miss anything (again)

The Poetry Face Off broadcast has been postponed for one more week. I'll keep you posted. Maybe next weekend (March 25 or 26). No, this is not a lead-up to a lame April Fool joke (unless the joke's on me).

question: what else will tickle your lobes this weekend?

mompoet - baking cookies and squares for church tomorrow

Friday, March 17, 2006

dvd night

I watched Water last night. Oh my. It's a hard movie to watch and digest but beautiful. I recommend it. If you haven't seen it already, watch it when you are feeling strong.

It's the story of Chuyia, an 8 year old girl who is widowed, and sent to live in an ashram with other Hindu widows, during Mahatma Gandhi's rise to power. It is heartbreaking.

mompoet - I didn't know

Thursday, March 16, 2006


it's windy and it's rainy and it's dark and it's bright
the length of the day is the length of the night
and i don't like this season
i don't know why
we're stuck in the middle of something
there's no moving forward and no moving back
we're circling senseless just circling senseless
i don't like this season
i don't like
give me burning sun or a cold winter night
give me polar ice caps and four hours of daylight
let the heat of the earth creep up through my feet
and light me on fire
but take me away
i don't like this season i don't like this day

question: who said spring is the best?

mompoet - unnerved by equilibrium

just so you know I don't really eat paint

This is so good on a cold, damp, blustery day: Pesto risotto with green beans and cherry tomatoes. It's from the cookbook Moosewood Cooks at Home. Serve with parmesan cheese (or as we say at my house, paramecium cheese - mmmm).

question: who could imagine that 1 1/2 cups of arborio rice could take up 5 cups of broth?

mompoet - the cookbook falls open to this page, I love it so much

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I am a politi-goof

I was out Monday evening, so I taped Part 2 of the Tommy Douglas story on CBC TV. Watched most of it last night with Alex.

Here's the politi-goof part. I cried during the scene when Diefenbaker visits Regina to tell Douglas he wants universal medical care Canada-wide. What a dork. Oh well.

question: what tugs your heart?

mompoet - touched by the idea that everyone could be okay one day



Tuesday, March 14, 2006

drive time haiku on the day they melted the ice at the arena and also there was a rainbow

tic tacs from heaven
staccato car roof hip hop
tires crunch kosher salt

question: did you see the storm?

mompoet - counting on all of my fingers and most of my toes

Monday, March 13, 2006

a true friend

comes over in response to a voicemail, on a Sunday afternoon, when he could be doing other things and tells you that you don't have to go to the dump. He'll go to the dump with Andy and unload the construction crud (all 472kg of it) so you can go back inside and finish the last coat of paint and bake a pie and make a nice Sunday supper and feel relieved that you did not have to go to the dump.

Thanks Tom.

Other good friends tell you about a great tile store, let you have a shower at their house, lend you their truck, cluck over tile samples, let you come over and steal ideas from their bathrooms, give you a gift of shower gel when it's almost over, traipse upstairs to view the work in progress and say, "niiiiice," even when it looks like a war zone, reassure you that 5 weeks isn't long for a bathroom reno, approve of your paint colour swatches even when they're just splotches of dried paint on your shirt, refrain from laughing when they see you in your "painting outfit," view your blogs about the bathroom reno and say "niiiice," reassure you that it will be worth the time and expense, loan you a pool key, listen to the war stories and help keep the faith.

The renos are now complete. Andy is putting up towel racks as I blog. He's going to buy new towels, and I'll put stuff into the cupboards tomorrow, and it's a done deal. Before and after photos to come, then this project is done and done.

And it was worth it.

And we have many very good friends.

question: who helped you and how?

mompoet - rich beyond imagination

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Prairie Fire Tommy Douglas Biopic

Alex, my 15 year old, and I just watched part one of Prairie Fire on CBC TV. It was really good. We'll tune in for part 2 tomorrow night for sure. I was impressed as always with Alex's knowlege of federal politics (he pointed out to me in the House of Parliament scene where Stephen Harper sits today) and by his enthusiasm for the political ideals of Tommy Douglas and the CCF/NDP. He's a pretty funny kid too. During the scene where Tommy and Irma have a baby, Alex blurted out, "Hey that's Kiefer Sutherland's mom!" Seriously, the movie is good, balancing the political and personal details of the life of a man who changed Canada for the better. I'm a sucker for stuff like this, I know. But the campaign montage set against Tommy's famous Mouseland speech just got me good.

If you saw part 1, let me know what you thought. If not, be sure to catch part 2. For once, something good on tv. Thanks CBC.

question: what kind of cats have we got?

mompoet - mice are my heroes

good enough to eat

I know I relate everything to food and eating, but doesn't this paint look like butterscotch pudding? On the wall it looks like a graham cracker. It's official paint name is "applesauce cake."
question: what's in a name?

mompoet - don't eat the paint

Saturday, March 11, 2006

jim's face off

My friend Louise emailed to suggest a petition to CBC by disgruntled soccer moms, insisting on reliable radio scheduling.

My friend Jim sent me a wonderful photo that he created.

My friend Bonnie said she is hording all of her dead fish ( in response to me giving permission for everyone who is sick of my update emails to mail me a dead fish).

I am going to work this morning. Then I will continue to paint the bathroom. The aquamarine is all gone and the first coat of primer is up (I'll use two to be safe). Thank goodness, the new ceiling looks good with just one coat of oil paint. The job should be complete by Sunday evening. The carpenter and plumber charged less than we thought.

question: to what will you listen this morning?

mompoet - face still attached for as long as I need it

ps - In case you missed Friday's post, the Poetry Face Off broadcast is rescheduled to March 18 or 19. I'm not sure which day or what time yet (see picture above).

Friday, March 10, 2006

I sure hope the ceiling does not need a second coat

in the midst of rain showers and forsythia we are taken by surprise

by winter's last hurrah!

poetry broadcast delayed again

After a couple of rounds of previous rescheduling, the CBC Vancouver Poetry Face Off was supposed to be broadcast this Saturday morning. Five Vancouver poets (including me), each performing a poem about the theme, "irresistible."

It's now scheduled for sometime on March 18 or 19. I'll keep you posted. In a way, it's better later. It will air closer to the time that voting begins. At the same time, it's hard to wait...

question: what's irrestistible for you?

mompoet - today irrestible is a gleaming white bathroom ceiling and walls a shade called "applesauce cake."

Thursday, March 09, 2006

meeting with the mayor

This afternoon I went to City Hall with the president of our secondary school Parent Advisory Council, Sanda, and Mashael, a smart and articulate grade 11 student. We met with the mayor to talk about traffic around the school. Before and after school we have so many cars coming and going that traffic backs up onto the busy main routes nearby, causing a dangerous traffic snarl. Many of our students come from out of catchment for the International Baccalaureate program that's offered at our school, so we have even more cars than the average school. Lots of students take transit, but it adds to the problem when busloads are disgorged, and pedestrians add to the congestion at intersections and driveways.

None of this is the city's fault, but we want to ask the city to help, by cooperating with the school district and GVRD on some roadway and sidewalk improvements that will make the approaches to the school safer, and help take away a bit of the traffic pressure. The mayor and a traffic engineer listened to our concerns and suggestions and discussed them with us. The mayor is also chairperson for the Evergreen Line LRT project - slated to run past the school when it is built. He talked to us about the controversy surrounding plans for an LRT station near the school. He spoke in favour of allowing the station near the school as part of a long-term solution to increasing volume in the area. The school trustees are opposed to locating LRT stations near schools. He asked us to encourage the school community to be open-minded on the issue.

So now we have to find out more about the school district's position. We're thinking about an information evening for parents and students, but first we have to go back to the school to find out their point of view.

The good news is that the city is open to some of the other solutions that we have suggested in the meantime, and the school district, GVRD and city are all concerned about the situation and willing to talk. We're just trying to help things move along.

Our 15 minute meeting allocation turned into 40 minutes. When we left we were surprised to see the mayor of Port Coquitlam waiting outside. I think our mayor worked overtime today. I'm glad he listened, and optimistic that we can help get some attention to this situation.

Once again, I was reassured by a student that the world is going to be okay when I am a little old lady because there will be people like her taking care of it.

question: what's happening in your neighbourhood?

mompoet - too many cars, and lots of people tooting their horns at the problem

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

who should paint your portrait?

Who Should Paint You: Alfred Gockel

All American yet funky, you inspire an artist's imagination
And while not everyone will understand your portrait, you will!

nurse stump huckleberry bud

question: have you noticed it's light so much earlier?

mompoet - waiting for waking bears

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

slam night

Student film-makers Hilary and Lauren were at the Vancouver Poetry Slam last night, following up on some work they began at the CBC Face Off. They're making a film about slam poetry, and came back for some interviews and more performance footage. These young women are gracious and confident. They enjoy their work. It's been fun being part of what they're doing. I hope to take my 15 year old, Alex to see the finished work. He taking multi-media classes at secondary school, and planning to continue with this at BCIT after he graduates.

The slam was big and fun last night, with some of my favourite new poets performing. My friend Irene read at the open mic - a stunner of a poem called "Coffin on my Back." She was first up, usually a challenge to a performer, but everyone stopped their talking and dish-clanking and got caught up in her story. I'm glad she was there, sparkling with beauty and knocking us out with her work.

I competed. Tied for the last slot in the second round and lost in the haiku-off to Kyle, who deserved to win. Our haikus both stunk, but mine stunk worse. I have to get something ready for those situations. I'm often on the edge of in-or-out in the competition. If a haiku's going to make the difference I'll have to come with one in my pocket.

Patrick Swan, Vancouver's own representative at the recent individual World Championship Poetry Slame in Charlotte NC, featured. His heart, humour and mastery of sound and voice are astonishing. It was a good show, especially when he invited a friend to come on stage to read his second-to-last piece. You had to see it. It was one of the funniest moments I have ever seen at the poetry slam.

During the break, my friend and slam host Graham had to leave unexpectedly. So he asked me to host the second round. I did it. It was a bit nerve-wracking, at first, but I had help from my friend Sean who acted as time-keeper and double-checked the scores. Then we had two poets tied for second/third place so we had a slam-off with two additional poems. I felt so grateful for the audience (who stayed even when Monday turned into Tuesday before the show was over), the judges (who hung in there for the most part, and new ones volunteered when some had to leave) and to my friend, the Svelte Ms Spelt, who helped me be sure what to do about the tie, especially when we couldn't find one of the two poets at first.

Zaccheus Jackson won the slam. Emily and Sarah tied for second, with Sarah winning the tie-breaking slam-off.

The good thing is, no matter what happens, there's a big supportive community of people who will make sure that the slam happens. I counted four or five people in the room who would have readily jumped in to host if needed. That's why I love the slam - yes for the poems, but more for the people. I have hosted a small, occasional slam for the Port Moody Arts Festival a few times, and once for the Chocolate Festival, also in Port Moody. This was my first time on the stage as host at the Vancouver Slam. I had no hesitation. I knew I was in the midst of people who I love and upon whom I can rely.

I will consider Monday night a hosting warm-up. I've been asked to host the Sista'hood Slam later this month - part of Vancouver's Sista'hood Festival. This time I'll be ready. I might even have a haiku.

question: where do you find people who surprise and delight you?

mompoet - tired, happy, surprised

Sunday, March 05, 2006

waiting for a slow arts day

The Poetry Face Off broadcast has been postponed again. Please tune in on Saturday, March 11, 6-9amPST to CBC Radio1 690am in Vancouver, or on the internet.

I'm beginning to feel like a silly goose, repeatedly emailing a long list of friends and posting updates then nothing happens so off we go again. Maybe I'm just imagining the whole thing? Nope, I couldn't imagine a night like that, with such great poetry performances. You'll have to believe me. It did happen and it is worth the wait.

Cross your fingers it sticks this time. I'll keep you posted if it changes again.

In the meantime, just file me under bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla...

question: do you think you can go back to sleep now (if you got up early?)

mompoet - if a poem falls off the radio, does anybody hear it?

decommissioned toilets are useful

We are in the home stretch with the bathroom reno. When you don't have a sawhorse, you improvise.

Should be done by the end of next week. As it is, the plumber hooked up the shower so we resumed bathing at home on Saturday morning. We are very very happy! Nobody as gone up to their neck in the tub yet, but that's what Sunday evenings are for, I think.

question: can you think of a time that you improvised?

mompoet - rub-a-dub

Saturday, March 04, 2006

we'll have to get up extra early if we want to hear the face off sunday morning

I emailed Sheryl MacKay, host of North by Northwest. Just to give you an idea of how sweet she is, she was broadcasting from Sechelt today - a ferry ride away from Vancouver on the idyllic Sunshine Coast. Even so, she emailed me back by lunchtime. Here's what she said:

I'll have some of the poems on between 7 and 7:30 and the others
from about 7:50 to 8:00..at least that's the plan...live radio and all

congratulations by the way

So please, set your clock radio if you want to hear all 5 poets performing. Also scheduled for Sunday's show (from the website): The Shirleys will be in studio to sing and June Goldsmith will be back with her final installment on the life of Mozart. Sounds like a good show all around.

Thanks everyone for hanging in there, and for all of your good wishes.

question: what time do you usually get up on Sunday morning?

mompoet - happy as a kite that took a shower in its own bathroom this morning

face off invisible

I took my face off and now I can't see myself.

My Face Off poem was not broadcast Friday after all. It's worth a try to tune in on Sunday morning between 8 and 9am PST. Here's the link to web radio. Just click on #23 for Vancouver.

I'm sorry if you took the time out to listen on Friday and were disappointed. Let's cross our fingers for Sunday morning.

question: so what else did you do on Friday?

mompoet - forgot to set up the bread machine last night, so we have frozen toast this morning mmmmmmm...

Friday, March 03, 2006

My favourite winter tree

before it leafs up we don't see it anymore

question: do you see the end of winter's beauty?

mompoet - looking

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Thinking about The Aristocrats

That movie I watched last night has been on my mind all day. I have been wondering why 100 different comedians telling and talking about one unspeakably obscene joke is so fascinating. I have also been imagining my own version of the joke, which is even worse and definitely more creative.

What I've been trying to reckon is, what's the appeal of this? Anyone can get gross. It's pretty much the easiest thing to do. Why does this joke have such enduring power? Why do comedians stretch their imaginations and performing powers to tell it? And why would anyone watch and enjoy a movie about it?

The best I can figure right now is that it's about trust. By actually telling this joke, the teller makes him/herself vulnerable. Think about it. How comfortable would you be telling a really filthy joke to anyone but those who you know will still love you after you tell it? To tell a joke like this you have to be ready to open yourself up to others thinking what they may of you. You also have to admit that you have thoughts like this. You have to be willing to take a big risk.

Also, there's showmanship involved. Every comedian has his/her version of the middle part of the story. I felt the urge to top the awful and creative details of some of the joke versions. There's also creativity in the delivery, at what point and how the surprise elements are dropped, what the tone and pacing are. To make this joke funny and impressive you have to work. This is very different from conversational profanity where an identical curseword is used over and over like punctuation, or breathing. This joke is horrible, beautiful, gross art.

So there it is. Did I just try to justify why I like this movie? Just in case. I will also admit. I love excessively gross humour. I know a few dirty jokes. And I do tell them. To people I trust, or want to impress and entertain with my creativity. Now I know one more.

question: do you tell rude jokes?

mompoet - sex poo and death - every story is about at least one

Too busy to cry, but laughing is working so far

After the gym yesterday (which made my thighs scream but did not impress my trapezius). I popped into the video store and grabbed a couple of dvds for after work and later. Last night, before attending another meeting at the church, I watched a fascinating documentary about some comedians talking about an old joke about vaudeville act. I laughed my guts out and felt the tight kite begin to unrumple. Tonight I will cry, because I also rented Billy Elliot. I've seen it before, but some clips that a trainer showed us in a workshop earlier this week reminded me of what a sweet and beautiful movie this is. I cried 3 times in the dark during 3 minute clips at work, so the full-length movie at home with my family ought to be the total ticket.

Now I have to go eat breakfast and walk the dog before a 7:30 dentist appointment.

question: which movie makes you laugh? which makes you cry?

mompoet - clickety clack

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Son: Mom, When will we get rid of those toilets in the back yard? We look like hillbillies!

Mom: Pretty soon. We're waiting until all the work is done, then we'll make one trip to the dump with everything.

Son: But Mom, the grass is growing. It looks like hillbillies live here.

Mom: Well, actually I was thinking we could keep the toilets and move them to the front yard. One we can fill with water so when people are walking their dogs on hot days they can stop for a drink. The other, we'll plant flowers in it.

Son: Mommmmm...

Mom: Yup, and we'll get one of those garden gnomes. It will be a peeing gnome. And it will have to stand on a little stool in front of the toilet because it's a regular size toilet.

Son: Nooo Mommmmm!

Mom: Hey, it could be a toadstool. A gnome on a toadstool peeing into a toilet planter. Wouldn't that be nice?

Son: You're kidding, right?

Mom: What do you think?

question: why do kids ask their moms these questions?

mompoet - working on the laughing part

tight as a kite

There's this muscle of the upper back called "trapezius." It has a lot of functions around extension of the upper back and neck. It keeps the head up and moves the shoulders back and down. Without the trazpezius, we would slump forward. If we were built differently, we could use it for opening our wings to fly.

When I get tense this is where I feel it first. Today my trazpezius is talking to me. It's saying:

Hey, hey! Something's going on and you're ignoring it. I'm not going to let you.

Pain is creeping from the centre of my upper back to my shoulders. I can't find a comfortable position to stand or sit, no matter how many posture checks I do.

So I took some ubuprofen and adjusted my posture (good)
Then read the newspaper (bad)
Then I cuddled the cat and dog (good)
Now I'm sitting at the computer (bad)
But I'm blogging which makes be slow down and warm up (good)

Mostly I know I have to adjust whatever is on my mind, conscious or unconscious, and the trapezius will be a happy kite. If I don't, I'll have a stiff neck before lunchtime.

Some things that I know will help this trapezius clench:

laughing - I'm good at that!
crying - ditto
figuring out what the heck is bugging me - most important

Work is ultra-busy but that's business as usual. This bathroom thing is annoying, but not literally a pain in the neck I think. Andy is dandy and the kids are all right.

I think maybe it's the strata and the church, both going through changes due to age and finances. Both requiring strong leadership and good work by collective membership. That's never easy, especially when people have to do things like listening and consensus about problems that only they can address and only all together. As much of a people person as I am, large-group problem-solving gets me stressed. Today my mantra will be about trust and faith. After two big meetings (Sunday and Monday) I know my role, where I can act, and where I have to wait. I can pray for those so inclined and send cosmic good energy to those who are not. I can hug myself, go to the gym, gravitate to friends and family who nourish my soul, take stock of successes....

Trapezius, are you listening? I'm tuned-in. Okay?

Trapezius says: Okay, now go make sure the kids get up. I just heard an alarm clock upstairs.

question: an suggestions for a happy kite?

mompoet - trying to uncurl