Tuesday, July 31, 2007

they're here!

Barb, Kim, Maya, Lukas and Simon are home. We picked them up at the airport Sunday night. They're staying at my parents' place, and we're spending as much time together as we can. It's funny. In some ways it's like we were never apart. But there's so much to absorb and so many things to talk about and catch up on. We've had 3 big family suppers, including a gorgeous Eritrean chicken and egg chili meal prepared by Maya, who developed awesome cooking skills in Africa. Tomorrow we'll celebrate the twin cousins' birthday (our Fi and their Lukas were born on the same day). They'll stay through the weekend, which is wonderful. We are all so happy that they are here, safe and sound, still the same people we love, only with heads and hearts full of new experiences and two years of growing up.

That's all for now. I'm bagged - working all day then visiting all evening. I have Friday off and it's a long weekend. Hooray!

question: did you ever eat goat meat?

mompoet - I will try it if Maya cooks it

Sunday, July 29, 2007

funny feeling

The sensation of tearing apart comes back almost more strongly than the happy anticipation of rejoining, in the days leading up to rejoining. I think that's why we cry when we meet again. That last bit of leaving doesn't really leave us until we have you back again.

question: do you know this feeling?

mompoet - feeling it

Saturday, July 28, 2007

mighty tasty

I just got home from Taste of the City. It was yummy. I tried samples from a bunch of different restaurants: salmon gravlax and salad and a pecan brownie and also some lavender/raspberry Earl Grey iced tea from O'Doull's, medium spicy chicken from Nando's, goat cheese tortellini and also a yummy cheese dessert from Fig Mint restaurant, bouillabaisse from Cassis Bistro, an ahi tuna taco from Joey's Restaurant. Alex helped taste all of this and he also had some pulled pork on a bun from some place I can't remember, and something called "baby burgers" (3 tiny burgers) and also some sorbet. It was a yummy experience. Then, we were at the PNE already, so we took a couple of rides on the wooden coaster and rode the new big ferris wheel at Playland. That was fun.

Less than 24 hours as I post this, until the Eatburns return to Canada. YAAAAAYYY!

question: do you like tasting?

mompoet - life is tasty

Friday, July 27, 2007

oil spill haiku

blackened maple tree
one or twelve or one hundred
dinosaur shadows

quite a week

On Tuesday, near my office, the Trans-Mountain pipeline burst open, and sprayed crude oil over the road and houses and yards for about 30 minutes before it was turned off. Thousands of litres of oil escaped to damage homes, soil and the ocean. Somebody made a mistake. The crew digging up the road thought they were digging in a safe place, but they ruptured the pipe. The damage will take weeks or months to repair. Some of the environmental damage may be irreversible. Several families will be out of their homes for weeks at least. Some of the homes may have to be destroyed, their soil dug up and replaced and the homes re-built. The long term impact on the land, water, plants and animals is unknown at this point. The city and the oil company and the government are working hard right now to take care of all aspects of the situation. It's very awful.

Tuesday evening I met with some of my Poetry House friends for a strategy meeting. So many ideas bubbled around the table. We have done some remarkable work in our first four years since forming a not-for-profit society to promote poetry in our city - planned two festivals, launched and sustained a poets in the schools program, run community workshops and collaborated with the Vancouver Poetry Slam and Vancouver International Poetry Festival. It's time for us to look ahead and decide our shape and plan for the future. It could be any one of a number of things, or all of them. It will be an exciting experience helping it take shape. I love working with the PoHouse directors to get things done. We're artists who like to lead and organize, a funny cross-section of qualities, abilities and personal styles. The "getting there" is as important to me as whatever it is we do.

When I drove home around 9:30 Tuesday, I took the long road. My usual route along the Barnet Highway was closed. It was along that road that the pipe broke. Near the end of my alternate route I found the the road into my neighbourhood was also closed. We live on the other side of the mountain from the disaster, but along the same ocean inlet, and at the other end of the same highway. A worker allowed me past the barricade to get home. While I knew my problem was minuscule compared to those of the people directly involved, I was upset by the experience. It's strange and awful to have to ask permission to get to your house.

On Wednesday, Fiona turned 14. We celebrated on the weekend because she was super-busy on the day. The show that ends her month-long musical theatre intensive opened on her birthday. She was out of the house from 7:30 in the morning until 11pm. Now she's 14. I think she didn't mind spending her birthday this way. We're very proud of her.

On Thursday, We went to see Fiona's show. This is her second year in the program, and we were expecting to be impressed, but it was even better than we thought it would be. After 16 or 17 rehearsal days, these young actors presented a full-length musical review in which they sang and danced their heads off. There were 80 students in all, ranging from about 9 years old up to 18. They all auditioned to get in. They all worked hard through the rehearsal period, with excellent faculty teaching and directing. The show was a take-off on Fiddler on the Roof. Golde takes over the lead in the show when Tevye breaks his leg. There were cheesey moments and corny humour, but mostly clear, beautiful on-pitch singing (including multi-part harmonies), combined with spot-on dancing (which is not easy). The choreography and vocal arrangements were amazing. It was something that would have impressed us had adults done in. Several times throughout the show, all 80 performers sang and danced together on the stage, it it was not a mish-mash. It was like fireworks, only it was people. It was truly remarkable. As a Mom, you have to take my word for it. I'm not just saying this because my kid is in it. It was really something.

Today I will work for just a few hours. Fiona has a couple of birthday parties to attend this weekend, so there'll be a bit of driving for that. The neighbours will meet on the street tonight for a drink together. Tomorrow, we're going to Taste of the City at the PNE.

Sunday, Barb, Kim, Maya, Lukas and Simon come home. Then it will really be quite a week. Really.

question: how was your week?

mompoet - experiencing an extra bonus portion of everything this week

Thursday, July 26, 2007

dog walk haiku

dead crow in the road
torn feathers, bleached bones, like a
broken umbrella

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Happy Birthday Fiona

Happy fourteenth birthday Fiona!

question: how do the years go by so quickly?

mompoet - head spinning

another dream

I am traveling along a highway in my car (little Civic). Behind me is my friend Jay Shaw (used to live across the street from us). Jay is driving a big "rig," one of those trucks you ship cargo cross-country in. We begin to encounter bumpy spots on the road, then things that are like stairs in the highway. We can't drive up them so we have to get out and lift our vehicles. The Honda is easy for me to pick up and set on the next level then get in and drive a bit more. Jay needs some help with the rig. It's heavy and awkward.

We keep going along on this fashion, rapidly ascending to a high altitude about the city. We do no question our wisdom or purpose in hauling our vehicles up this challenging road. We just keep going up.

We come across a dark hole in the side of the mountain, an abandoned mine. Outside the opening to the tunnel and blocking the road are three or four rusty old metal ore cars. Jay shoves them off the side of the road. They tumble down the mountainside and towards the road below. We watch in horror as they crash all over the traffic on the road far below. Cars are smashing and burning. That's the whole dream.

dreamed Monday night

question: what do we say to ourselves when we dream?

mompoet - paying attention

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

slow potter

It's a fast story, and we're not slow readers, but finding time to read to a 17 year year old when you work full time and he's on teenager hours is more challenging than reading to an 11 year old when you are camping together.

We just finished chapter 7 last night before I had to go to sleep. Alex stays up until 2 in the morning and wakes sometime around mid-day. At a rate of 2-4 chapters a day, we should be finished by the time he's 18.

I think the cousins are going to beat us.

The cousins will be here Sunday.

We need to tell the cousins: shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

question: how do you squelch a spoiler?

mompoet - I like surprises

Sunday, July 22, 2007

wet weekends are fun part 3 - sunday

It was still raining when I awoke on Sunday. I had already decided to stay home from church, mostly because I'd sprung out of bed with somewhere I had to go already on my Friday off and on Saturday. I do miss church when I don't go, and I'll be back there next Sunday, but sometimes, pajamas trump all.

The house was quiet and still, but the bread machine was announcing a fresh loaf at 9:30, so that's when I got up. I had sneaked out an hour or so earlier to let the dog out for a moment, and feed both her and the cat, so both creatures were contented and drowsy. I was delighted to read my sister Barb's post on her blog, and to know that her family is reading the same book that Alex and I are reading. We'll both be done by the time we see them next weekend, so we can compare impressions and speculate on sequels and movie interpretations.

Andy spent most of the day assembling billy bookcases from IKEA. We got black ones with silver doors and a matching CD/DVD rack to help complete our basement reno. They turned out really nice.

Fi came home around noon, soon after her birthday cake came out of the oven. It was my turn to bake a chocolate cake. I don't think it turned out as well as when she bakes it, but it was good. Mostly it was a quiet day. I read some Potter with Alex, did a bit of cleanup, then took Fi out costume shopping for an hour or so before supper. Supper was a family birthday celebration at Andy's Mom's place. Fiona invited her Grandma and Grandpa (my parents), the Juergensen's (Auntie B, Uncle Ralph and Frousin Emma), and Cousins Adam and Steven. We had a nice feast with 3 pies and a cake for dessert, then came home full up. I enjoy stretch birthdays. In our family we seem to have ongoing celebrations for about 3 weeks surrounding the actual day. It's a kind of festival in itself.

Now I will do some ironing and altering to make our Value Village costume finds ready for Fi to take to rehearsal Monday morning. It's the last week of the month-long musical theatre intensive program, with performances happening Wednesday and Thursday. After my costuming work is done, there's time for a couple more chapters of Harry Potter, which is shaping up to be full of danger and intrigue, but that's all I'll say for now.

Tomorrow I'll return to work. It's supposed to rain one more day, then the sun will return. I'll look forward to a sunny weekend coming up, but I'm kind of glad that this one was rainy and fun the way it was.

question: how was your weekend?

mompoet - full up with pie, love and stuff to think about

Wet weekends are fun part 2 - Saturday

Saturday I got up early and assembled things for the Summer Dreams Literary Arts Festival. It's an annual event put on by Pandora's Collective, a very cool organization that does tons of good work with poets and poetry in Vancouver.

When I said good-bye to the day for Fi, I wished her a successful "friends" birthday party. She and her best bud Shannon were preparing a day of laser tag, bouncy castle and other fun at their combined birthday party at Shannon's house later in the day, followed by a sleepover. I knew I wouldn't see her until Sunday.

On the way to the festival, I picked up our copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at the mall. We got the "adult cover" edition, with a more sophisticated dust jacket, which I think is funny. It's so people can read it on the bus without having to let on right away that they're reading a kids' book. I just figured fewer people would have this version so that's the one I chose. I packed it up safely for later-on reading.

I arrived about 11am at Lumberman's Arch in Stanley park, and unloaded 200 water bottles and a couple of camping jugs for refilling water bottles. Last year it was so hot that someone had to make a run for more water. This year it was cool and rainy, so that water was not in such high demand. It was great to see that some people filled their own bottles or refilled their store-bought bottles when they were empty. The festival began at noon. I enjoyed sitting at the Poetry House table for part of the day, enjoying the poetry performances and panel discussion for part of the day, chatting with poetry friends and participating in Steve Duncan's chapbook workshop. Even with the rain, the audience tent was brimming with happy people. This year there was a kids' stage too, with musical performances, and a face-painting station and a mock protest against Harry Potter in favour of wonderful adventures in Canadian books. By 6pm I was full up with words and ideas and visiting, and ready to come home. It was wet all day but not cold. Still, I wanted to spend a bit of time with Andy and Alex before it got too late, so I came home for a late supper and movie.

Reflecting on this year' Summer Dreams, I think I appreciate it more each time I participate. Bonnie Nish and Sita Carboni, the organizers, have a way of bringing people together to celebrate their art and each other's company that is truly remarkable. I'm grateful for what they do. The new venue at Lumberman's Arch is lovely. I can't wait to enjoy it on a "sit on the ground with a picnic" sort of day. Reading series' and writing groups from around Vancouver were highlighted throughout the day. That's remarkable too - the number of groups and events and the number people who participate in writing and reading around our town. I'm glad that Pandora's Collective has a festival about it every year.

I made it home around 7. And yes, we did crack open the Harry Potter. I read the first 3 chapters to Alex just before bed. After a lovely damp outdoor day it was good to be warm and cozy indoors with my family. I think it was just about a perfect day.

question: did something ever turn out different from how you expected it, but still good?

mompoet - different is usually good by definition

Japanese TV

Rock and roll with puppets linked by Yes but No but Yes. It's worth viewing the whole thing or at least fast fwd to the finale. Nice.

question: do you like my hat?

mompoet - please don't say yes


Visits logged match posts posted, for the moment. ahhhh.

question: why are coincidences intriguing?

mompoet -easily amused

Wet weekends are still a lot of fun - part one, Friday

I took Friday off work to run around and do errands. I dropped the theatre camp carpool at the Jewish Community Centre just after 8am, then drove all the way home (almost) to make it to the cycle class at the Rec. It was the debut class of all new yellow bikes, so the die-hard luddite old bike lovers were a bit uncomfortable. I felt sorry for them. I got a good and welcome workout. My summer morning work and driving schedule has put me off regular attendance at the gym. I'm walking a lot more to make up for it, but it's not the same as sweating your head off and shouting and laughing with a bunch of other goofy people in the dark on a bike.

After the workout I popped by the office to pick up my new cell phone charger. I got a new cell phone from work on Thursday and I realised the short charge that the dealer gave it wouldn't take me through the weekend. My friends at work told me to "Go away. You have the day off." So I did.

Julie cut my hair and I caught up on her triathlon adventure last month. It was 38 degrees in Oliver, where the race was held. It was so awfully hot that nobody did their best. Julie has a great attitude, and decided that her goal was just to finish (she is a seasoned triathlete, but not competitive). She made it across the finish line, and was glad for it. I got to ask obscure triathlon questions I had always wondered about like "Who takes care of your bike while you are swimming and running?" (They are locked in a guarded cage) and "Do you stop to pee?" (Yes) That was an interesting conversation.

Then I drove downtown to pick up 100 bottles of water from Nester's Market at Seymour and Nelson in an absolute downpour. The store manager gave me perfect parking and pickup directions before I came, so it was not as nerve-wracking as I thought (try parking anywhere near anything downtown and you'll know what I mean). The manager on duty carted the water out and loaded my car for me. They are very generous and kind, and the store is wonderfully set up and stocked. Shop at Nester's if you need groceries downtown.

For some reason I decided to drive up Cambie Street back to the Oakridge area where I was scheduled to do theatre camp pickup. Cambie is completely trench-dug for the Canada Line rapid transit. There a slim lane on either side with a massive fenced trench in the middle. I'm not usually on the west side, so I hadn't seen it until Friday. All the way from downtown past 41st, it's an ugly mess. Nowhere to stop if you want to go to any of the local stores or restaurants along the way, an obvious nightmare for people living on sidestreets (noise, dirt, access). Once it's done it will be lovely, I'm sure, but UGGG! To boot, water was streaming down it like a river in the continuing downpour. I purposefully stopped at a restaurant on Cambie and parked in the lane while I ate lunch. Those guys need our business right now.

With still an hour to kill and all of my newspapers and magazines read, and one day until Harry Potter, I decided to go to Oakridge shopping mall to get a new umbrella. My old full-size umbrella finally busted so it was time for a new one. Oakridge is awful. I don't like a mall at the best of times, and this one is full of snooty weird women's clothing boutiques and jewelery shops. And there's really nowhere to sit. I got a coffee at one point and had to perch on a bench that I swear should have been a luggage rack. At least I should have enjoyed people-watching but I couldn't leave fast enough. I ended up at The Bay and found a nice one for a reasonable price, but only after I ran the gauntlet of high end stinky cosmetics counters, peopled by aliens in lab coats (Here, let me experiment on your face). Only the one at Oakridge is twice as big as the usual because I guess the people around there spend even more on that stuff. I just beeline through. No eye contact, I'm just looking for an umbrella.

Then I picked up Fi and her friend and got her home in time to rendezvous with other friends who were going early to the movie theatre to see opening night of Hairspray. Then I collapsed on the couch for an hour and caught up with Andy on how his day went (busy busy day at work). Then I fixed supper for Andy and Alex and me. I made sausage and perogies for them (good rainy weather food) and I ate the leftover pasta with chicken and veg from Thursday.

After that, the ladeez in the 'hood went down to Myrna's house. Her twin sister Marlene is in town from Toronto. We try to get together whenever she comes. Marlene's son Brandon is living at Myrna's so I got to meet him too, as he was at home for the evening to see his mom. We ladies drank several bottles of wine and sat around and laughed and talk and ate some of Marlene's yummy cooking (should not have bothered with supper at home). We came home around midnight. At that time I could have gone to the bookstore to pick up Potter, but I decided to wait. I had done enough already. Really.

question: how do you spend a rainy day?

mompoet - still wondering if that was really a day off

weird coincidence

1,271 visits recorded by statscounter since I set the counter a couple of months ago.
1,268 posts since I started this blog a few years ago.

Let's see if I can do a couple of short posts and catch it when it matches.

question: can I do it?

mompoet - loving a Sunday morning with nothing better to do
aka - played hookey from church to read Harry Potter out loud but Alex is sleeping in so I'm wasting time on the internet

the eatburns are in England

Just 7 days until Barb, Kim, Maya, Lukas and Simon are with us! We can hardly wait. Now that they are in the land of speedy reliable internet, Barb is posting her own blog again (I did it mostly while they were in Eritrea, from emails she sent to me or to Mom and Dad). You can find out about their transition adventures here.

When we see them we will be sure to:

  • eat at Capitol Hill Szeuchuan Restaurant (they have been missing it. we have been thinking of them everytime we go there - particularly my nephew Simon - we think of him!)
  • celebrate the birthday of the twin cousins - Fiona and Lukas both turn 14 on Wednesday, so the party will be a little late, but that's okay
  • celebrate Barb's birthday (August 4)
  • play balderdash with a dictionary and scraps of paper
  • hang out and breathe in and hug and cry and get used to each other all over again
We will be very very very happy to have them home.

question: why do we miss someone especially much when they are almost here?

mompoet - aching with missing

Thursday, July 19, 2007

colour-blind haiku

pimento-green eyes
quit peeling my durian
nothing to see here

Harry Potter and Me

I read the first two Harry Potter books to Alex and Fi some time after they were released. The series was just catching on at that point, but my good friend Louise had enjoyed them with her son Sam during a summer camping trip. We dove into them and finished them off before the fist month back to school had passed. Since then we have bought each book on publication day and joined the wave of readers who anticipate the next and the next and the next. I can remember most of the places where I read the new books - lots of times on summer camping trips. I have read every one out loud to Alex - some more than once. Harry Potter is good exercise for out-loud reading. Spell and wizard names and complicated sentence structure make it a challenge. I think I spit a fair bit when I read Harry Potter out loud, and I cry too. In fact, I cry a little bit just thinking about the last book. Reading the Harry Potters with and to my kids has been one of the joyful parts of our growing up together as a family. I wish it wasn't the end. But with Alex now 17 I think my reading out loud to him days are numbered.

I won't speculate on the ending of this story. I will cross my fingers for who will not die. In the meantime I am adrift between novels, not wanting to break off in the middle of one because our copy of Potter is available (Friday midnight special opening at Coles books at the mall). And I do so want to re-read The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman before it comes out as a movie later this summer. Oh well, that will be next.

question: do you read the Potter books?

mompoet - spitting out spells and wizard names one last time

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Elton John is everywhere

Here, his face is morphed with that of another well-known Brit.

question: why does the same thing show up over and over?

mompoet - aka "the queen"


Here's a morph video of my celebrity face match.

question - ?

mompoet !

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

my celebrity face match

Here it is.

question: who do you resemble?

mompoet - b-b-b-benny

Saturday, July 14, 2007

haiku movie review - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

teenage wizard angst
draconian politics
not enough Hagrid

question: have you seen it yet?

mompoet - I liked it ok

this is what a promise in July looks like

Friday, July 13, 2007

comment on orzo salad with feta cheese and balsamic vinegar

"What's that? It smells like a bowl of dog farts."

Thanks kid, that's my lunch.

question: why is something yummy to one person and yukky to another person?

mompoet - I like stinky cheese


It's cool this morning.
I just ironed my skirt.
I have 127 mosquito bites.
Two of them itch.
Pretty good, considering.

question: what is this moment of summer like to you?

mompoet - pausing to notice

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Twisted Poets is moving (and won't be on next week)

My feature performance at Twisted Poets has been postponed. I'll keep you posted when there's a new date. Pandora's Collective is organizing a new venue for this reading series. This month they're "between venues."

question: did you know that there's someplace to listen and read pretty much every night of the week in Vancouver?

mompoet - lucky

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

this is a recipe for Laurie

from the August Canadian Living Magazine (I improvised a bit - see brackets)

Lentil (Chickpea) Feta Salad

1/2 cup slivered almonds (pine nuts)

1 cup dried green lentils, cooked just until tender with 2 cloves garlic (can of chickpeas, drained & rinsed)
1 1/2 cup diced cucumber
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup diced sweet or red onion
(I added corn cut off the cob from last night's supper and yellow bell pepper, diced)

2 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbs red wine vinegar
1 Tbs chopped fresh oregano
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

Toast the almonds (pine nuts) in a small skillet over medium heat until golden (about five minutes). Set aside.
Cook the lentils with the garlic until just tender (about 20 minutes), drain and rinse, or open the can of chickpeas and rinse them - I think this would work well with most legumes.
Add the tomatoes, onions and cucumber (and whatever other vegetables).
Whisk together the dressing ingredients and toss them with the salad. Add the toasted nuts, feta and parsley. (Save a bit of feta to sprinkle on top for garnish.) Toss gently.

Makes 6 side salad servings. It made 4 main meal size servings when I made it, but I did stretch it with extra veggies.

If you are cooking the Canadian Living version, measure carefully. If you cook the mompoet version, just dump in what looks about the right amount. That's the magic of cooking.

Store any extra in the fridge.

question: do you like feta cheese? If not, what would you substitute?

mompoet - I like feta cheese

mp3 haiku

Jack White's ear guitar
switch buds, my back to the stage
surround sound skull song

question: do you download?

mompoet - now I do (legally)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

shiny green milestone

Alex took his road test Monday. After a year of practice driving and some excellent lessons, he may now drive my car by himself. As soon as I got home, he took his first solo drive, which felt "weird" and made him feel "nervous." He'll get used to it.

After 2 years of safe driving with the "N" he'll retest for a full license.

Congratulations Alex!

question: can you remember your first solo drive?

mompoet - admiring

Thursday, July 05, 2007

bits and splieces

What a week this has been. Camp opened with large masses of mosquitoes and happy children and great leaders. Now first week has come to a close and the summer has begun. I am grateful for the weekend. Here are a few bits of what's been happening and/or about to happen:

  • I won an MP3 player at the PCT Tour that Andy and I took on Saturday. A lady from the company called me yesterday and I picked it up today. I have never owned an MP3 player but I'm going to try it out and find out if I like it. If not, I can give it to someone.
  • Fi's summer theatre group will sing O Canada and be in the halftime show at the BC Lion's season opener Friday night, so I'm going to my first football game ever.
  • Just a little over 3 weeks until Barb and Kim and the kids come home. I can hardly wait!
  • Aunt Lucy may visit in a couple of weeks. She lives in Nairobi and is visiting her sister in the States. Last time she visited was about 6 or 7 years ago.
  • I have the day off work Friday! I can't wait to get back to the gym, which I miss bigtime. I have a great big energy blurt that needs out, bad!
  • After the gym I will go eat pasta with my friends from work, only I don't have to return to the office after.
  • I gave blood this afternoon. It was a very hot afternoon, so it took about 5 minutes from start to finish. I was a little wary leaving - will it start up again? But I have managed to contain myself (bad pun). When I got home I had a glass of wine with the ladies in the 'hood. Wine works amazingly well when you are down a unit. Two hours later and I'm still just fine.
  • I think that's all. For now.
  • Oh, one more thing. I got another spider bite. Am I delicious to arachnids? I don't know. It's not like I sleep in woodpiles or go dance in webs or anything. It looked like a little Mexican hat with a white crown and a purple brim and there were fang marks. Today an entomologist came to camp to teach the kids about bugs. I showed her the bite and she confirmed it. Nice to have an expert to verify your parasite encounters. A perk of the job, I guess. It's flattened out now and is yellow/green in the middle with a purple donut around it, and lovely fang marks. I still like spiders. They are cool.
  • I just checked. It was definitely an entomologist and not an etymologist. An etymologist would be good for checking any word-rash or the like.
  • One more thing. The bite is on my left arm, just below the elbow. I did not see it happen. I am not that weird. Not quite.
question: what's up for you this weekend?

mompoet - waiting for a blurt, then all will be truly well

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

good fun for simsonphiles

I took Alex out to the Kwik E Mart in Coquitlam this evening. There were about 100 people lined up waiting to get inside the packed store, and more kept arriving. It's a publicity stunt for The Simpsons' Movie, and a very clever one I think.

Alex bought a Squishy, a Homer silly straw and 2 packages of Kwik E Mart donuts. They were all out of Buzz Cola.

The most fun was the people. Mostly young men ages 15-35, but also quite a few families. People were taking photographs with their cell phones all over the place. My cell phone just makes phone calls, so words is all I got to show you. (or you could check out Lynn Valley Girl's blog for some great photos). In the lineup, people were giddy with the silliness of the whole thing. Inside, there was a lot of laughing and pointing (there were life size Simpson character figures in there) and lurching and grabbing as cases of Kwik E Mart junk food were wheeled in and opened.

It looked like a bit of Disneyland spit out onto a Coquitlam side street.

question: what's your favourite flavour of Squishy?

mompoet - thank you, come again!

good fun for word nerds

Courtesy of Matthew Baldwin at defective yeti

I knew the words in green; I did not know the words in red. In total, I knew 6 of 10.

question: would you like to try it?

mompoet - wordy but still learning

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

more news from Nelson

Last time I posted something about our intrepid, world-traveling, plastic rat, Nelson, it was to indicate that I was pretty sure he is gay. After an encouraging and supportive night at Auntie Myrna's, Nelson came home with fuchsia toenails, a pierced ear, a green satin bow and a note that says "There's something I've been meaning to tell you..." We all think it's great that Nelson is gay (if that is the case - we're deducing), and we've been telling our friends how he's a whole new rat these days.

Then on Sunday, Kirsi (who recently took Nelson with her to Ireland), came out of the house with something (someone?) she found in her suitcase. It looks as if Nelson has offspring. Now this doesn't rule out Nelson also being gay. Some of the best and most devoted parents I know are gay or lesbian. It also doesn't prove conclusively that Nelson is female. Nelson could be a single parent dad too (one who likes fuchsia and an ear stud). I tried checking out Nelson's private parts for a clue, but he does not appear to have any. Baby Nelson has a rectangular shaped cavity in his/her belly where any normal organs would reside, and also an imprint "made in China" which further confuses things. How did baby get from China to Ireland? Or, when was Nelson cavorting in China and we didn't know about it? Alternatively it could be an overseas adoption situation. Nelson just won't say.

So now we have a big rat and a little rat. They both like to travel, that I know for sure. I am concerned about little one's obviously hollow abdominal cavity. We may have to get him/her on the organ donor waitlist soon.

question: what's the story, morning glory?

mompoet - guessing the tale, nightingale

Sunday, July 01, 2007

our neighbour

Port Moody was once a mix of industry and residences. Now we're mostly houses and small businesses. We still have the CP Rail main line running along our waterfront, and we still have Pacific Coast Terminals, or "the sulphur pits" as most people call them.

Saturday PCT had an open house as part of Golden Spike Days. Andy and I went down for the tour. We walked around the site and saw sulphur (which is a bi-product of oil and gas refining) being loaded out of train cars onto a ship. We found out that most of the sulphur goes to China for fertilizer and manufacturing. PCT also loads liquid ethylene glycol, which is also shipped out for manufacturing.

They put on quite a party. It seemed that most of the 30 or so permanent employees were there to hand out cookies and coffee, conduct tours, drive people who needed it around in golf carts and explain how things work. There was musical entertainment, balloons, facepainting and a prize draw. We went out on a short harbour cruise and got up close to the sulphur pit, which seems not so monstrous now.

Our impression from the tour is that PCT is a good neighbour. A park or fancy houses would be prettier, but they're important to our local economy, and they're environmentally responsible and generous in supporting community arts and other good causes. I'm glad we went to meet them.

question: have you ever been to the sulphur pit?

mompoet - neighbour


Dooce linked this pink page.

question: what would you do if you came home to pink?

mompoet - thinking I would like to be fly on the wall

spike at night

Andy and I went down to Golden Spike Days Saturday night with our friends Michele and Brent. We took our lawn chairs and set up in the beer garden to enjoy a couple of drinks and listen to Tiller's Folly. It turned out to be a much more entertaining and educational evening than we had ever imagined. All in all, it was a smorgasbord of sights and sounds, and a slice of Port Moody that was a bit more than we'd expected.

We arrived about 7 to a finally sunny festival. The man at the Thai food stand told us that Friday night was dead (probably because of intermittent pouring rain and lowering skies). While he scooped us up delicious satay and curry, we chatted. Turns out he saw Sweeney Todd at his high school dance too (him: early 70s, Carson Graham Secondary in North Vancouver; us: mid to late 70s, Burnaby North Secondary). Sweeney Todd will be at Spike Days Sunday evening. At this point, the man's very tired looking teenage son perked up and reeled off his favourite classic rock groups and performers, beginning with Rod Steward (at that moment being creditably covered on the stage by a man in a tomato-red suit) and going on through Roy Orbison, Jimmy Hendrix and a couple others I can't remember. That was fun.

Inside the beer garden we noticed that we were some of the few not ID'd at the gate. The crowd was young, and loud and mostly drunk. The evening was cool, but that did not stop most of the women from erupting from various garment portals. More boobs and belly walking than I'd like to see in a week or too. Mixed in was the entire clientele of the Port Moody Legion. The beer lines were long, the porta pottie lines even longer. At one table, there was a beer can pyramid. Then the police came and escorted a red-faced and wild-eyed young man just outside the fence for a long talk and checking of pockets. About 15 minutes in, his equally robust and ruffled looking friend went out to try to talk sense into the police, while a table full of beer can stackers shouted "NOOO! don't gooooo!" When he returned un-arrested 10 minutes later they chanted his name. Meantime we were marveling at how visible thong underwear still lives (in Port Moody) and wondering how some people can wear jeans so tight that their only choices are to stand up (in spike heels, on the grass) or lie down. Meantime, the men folk were strutting about, in various fashion statements, including a rainbow of awful tropical shorts and shirts and one guy with his sunglasses hanging out of his ear canals for over an hour, even when it turned dark out. Speaking of dark, with Venus (and a full moon) rising, the "things that glow" vendor showed up with a shopping cart full of swag. Soon there were young dudes with neon swords/phalluses and women in predictable twinkle bunny ears and light-up devil horns cruising the joint. Although the crowd was seeming to thin, it was getting louder and louder in the beer garden. We had finished our drinks and fetched coffees from the fish and chip place. It was hard to see or hear much of the band, so we just sat in our chairs and watched the people around us. Then the MC from the entertainment stage came in and tried to convince some of us who had finished our drinks to move out of the beer garden and sit with the perilously scant audience nearer to the stage, so we did.

What a different world. Out there the sound was great. The band played like there were a thousand of us, even though fewer than a hundred were focussed on the show. Inside what now appeared to be a cage, the beer guzzlers rumbled and zorked. Luckily we could hear them only between songs. A few families sat in the audience, and we watched a dad and daughter arrange their chairs into a canoe and paddle/swim through a couple of the songs. Soon we were tapping and clapping and getting into the good music. By the time the encore came, everyone was into it, including a one-legged man, dancing with crutches.

After the obligatory 11pm ending (noise bylaw), the beer garden rocked and rumbled on, with only the music of bla bla Saturday night. We walked back to the car (lots of police on hand to ensure a peaceful dispersal) but were stopped by the sight of a young couple engaged in an argument. While it stayed verbal, some of the man's body language was alarmingly overbearing, and when the young woman gestured that she was through, the man wouldn't let her past him to leave. I made a quick call and the police came and talked to them. They settled down and walked off together. I thought, if he's like that on the street, what's it like when they're behind closed doors? I hope she is okay.

We came back to our place for coffee and a wee drop to warm up, and thanked our lucky stars for age, wisdom (most of the time) and vicarious adventures.

Tonight is the neighbourhood Canada Day block party. Sweeney Todd is on from 9:30-11. We'll decide later if we go, or if we've had enough already.

question: what did you do for fun on Saturday night

mompoet - through the looking glass