Tuesday, March 28, 2006
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
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.
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?
mompoet - waiting for a verdict
Sunday, March 26, 2006
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:
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
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?
mompoet - prone to chuck
Friday, March 24, 2006
question: do you believe it?
mompoet - keeping faith in cultural institutions
Thursday, March 23, 2006
question: do you have any special plans for poetry month?
mompoet - trying to find poetry in every day life
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
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
question: did you have a tasty Tuesday?
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
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
mompoet - sad
Sunday, March 19, 2006
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)
(aforementioned) Brownie Earthquake
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
question: what else will tickle your lobes this weekend?
mompoet - baking cookies and squares for church tomorrow
Friday, March 17, 2006
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Saturday, March 11, 2006
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
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
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
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
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
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?
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
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
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
Thursday, March 02, 2006
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
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
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.
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
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