Wednesday, January 30, 2008

waiting for the bus

Wednesday morning 7:45am

reluctant dog

When you gotta go, you gotta go (first thing Wednesday morning)

very sweet vid

Yael Naim "new soul" (the song from the macbook air ad)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

special sky morning this friday

Venus and Jupiter will be aligned so they appear very close together at dawn on Friday. Here's the link for more info about how to find them.

Included in the article is an explanation of why this phenomenon is so compelling to the human brain.

Ever since I saw Saturn through a big telescope, or probably before that when my dad gave me the moon, then later when we looked at stars as close as our nose from high mountain meadows, I have liked to look at the sky and think about the things in it.

question: will you tell me if you see them?

mompoet - holding you (and you) in my fovea

Look Around You - Maths

Matthew Baldwin linked this instructive BBC piece on his blog, Defective Yeti.

pale blue but okay most of the time

I get this rating because of 4 mentions of the word "crack" and one of the word "crappy."

question: I wonder how far back it checks?

mompoet - I'm sure I've said worse than that!

Monday, January 28, 2008

just an average family conversation at our house

Mom (me): Oh my goodness! Did you see that ad for the new MacBook Air? It fits in an inter-office envelope!

Fi: It's really thin!

Mom: It sure is!

Fi: I'd be scared it would crack or something.

Mom: It wouldn't crack.

Dad: Someone would sit on it.

Mom: Nobody would sit on it.

Fi: You're the one that sat on the cat, Mom.

Dad: Yeah, you're the one who sat on the cat.

Fi: If anyone sat on a MacBook Air it would be you.

Dad: Yeah, it would be you.

Fi: You'd sit on it and it would crack.

Mom: Thanks a lot. Thank you for that.

Fi: I love you Mom.

Mom: I know.

Fi and Dad: (laughing their heads off)

Mom: Yeah, thanks, I love you guys too.

question: so what's so bad about accidentally sitting on a cat? That does not mean I will sit on a computer!

mompoet - careful where I sit these days

ps - the (so called) family says I should sign off: "Mac in my crack" hmmm

Sunday, January 27, 2008

slnow weekend

It threatened to snow on Saturday, began snowing late Saturday afternoon and started snowing in earnest Sunday morning. Due to the snow, we did much less running around than planned. That was good. Here are some photographs of our snowy day Sunday.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

overwhelmed (temporarily)

I have been at my new job for 2 weeks. I am sure that I like it, but I have so much to learn that I feel like I cam carrying around a fishnet full of everything I don't know about what it is I am supposed to be doing. My boss and co-workers and the person whose job I took over are all super nice and helpful. The clients are lovely. I have not received this many client hugs since I was operating a family daycare. I know I am fully able and generously supported and trusted. I will soon be able to come into work without thinking, "YIKES! What do I not know today?" But for now I am overwhelmed.

I guess, after 10 years of working at the same job, a new job can take you to a completely different place. That's what I wanted, and it's good but WOOOOOOH!

In the meantime, here are a few wonderful things about my new job:

-hugs (I know I already mentioned it, but it's really remarkable and lovely)
-a five-sided office (again). How could I land two of those in a row? and five is my favourite number.
-a staff locker in the change room - now I won't have to tote my clunky shampoo bottles to work and back every day
-my co-workers and boss - wonderful
-a staffroom with a comfy couch so when I'm not exercising on a break, I can read
-a library 5 paces from my office, in the same building
-a red telephone
-seniors having fun and being active - I have lots and lots of new friends and heroes
-walking distance from home
-my old job still belongs to me

So here I am, overwhelmed but sitting pretty, stretching my brain and meeting new friends.

question: are you overwhelmed?

mompoet - temporarily so

Language Gripes

Whenever my life is happy and gay, and I have not a care in the world, I search out a reason to groan and complain.

Well, not really. It's probably the opposite. When I am feeling centred and full of self-actualization I don't worry about icky picky things. When I am overwhelmed or pushed, I distract myself by being bugged by things that really don't matter.

My favourite is trendy language idiosyncrasies and nouveau cliches.

It seems like everyone in the world all at once begins saying the same thing the same (wrong) way and it just bugs me. I know I have griped about this before, and I will again. I know that I do not speak perfectly. My writing isn't perfect either. These are the blandwagon slanguage glitches currently making me squirm:

"I seen..." as in "I seen him coming down the street," or "I seen that movie last week."

"is is" as in "The thing is, is that the price of gas is too low to discourage people from driving." (I know I have complained about "is is" in previous posts, but it's not going away. The thing is, is that people keep saying this and it's it's driving me insane. Just thought I'd throw in two others that bug me - "it's it's and "driving me insane" when you really mean "making me feel irritated." Irritated and insane are not the same thing. One requires benadryl, the other hospitalization and treatment.)

Why use an adverb when an adjective is shorter? This is pretty recent. People drop the "ly" on the word at the end of the sentence as in, "This wine is delicious. Did you know that it is made local?" or "It's so unfair. He was fired from his job indiscriminate."

Using the word "concerning" when you really should use "disconcerting" as in "I find the current situation in Afghanistan extremely concerning."

So now that I have that off my chest I can go be nice again. I will go be nice very sincere. It's it's just the right thing to do. I seen what I look like when I'm not nice, and it's very concerning.

question: why do I let this bug me?

mompoet - petting my peeves

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Last night we attended a public hearing at City Hall regarding our church's application for rezoning to allow us to operate a temporary homeless shelter for one month each winter. Here's a link to the local paper, with a story about it.

The meeting went pretty well. About 20 people spoke. All were in favour of a shelter. Just a few were not in favour of having it at our church. It's understandable how people who live or have businesses just a few doors away may be concerned. We will do our best to show them that they had no need to worry.

The last speaker was against the shelter, warning that if we allow homeless people to come stay, it will become a "growth industry." Well, I guess I hope he's right. These people are here among us, and could be any one of us but for a twist of bad fortune. If recognizing and taking action to care for people who need help becomes a growth industry in Port Moody, that will be a good thing. Wouldn't it be wonderful to be known as the city where neighbours don't ignore their neighbours, where you will be helped when you need it, where you are.

Final reading will take place Feb 12. We are hoping to commence our turn operating as a shelter just a few days later.

question: what's a growth industry where you live?

mompoet - caring is usually not free, but it's almost always worth it

Sunday, January 20, 2008

sewing saturday

It's time to get the costumes ready for Peter Pan. I spend last Saturday cutting out fabric and this Saturday sewing. Wendy's dress is all white satin and lace with a chiffon overlay to the skirt - beautiful and heavy and slippery. Here's a peek.

I have two of these to sew (one for Fi and one for the the girl who plays Wendy for alternating performances). There's also an American First Nations costume for the girls to share for their chorus days.

sew sew sew

question: do you sew?

mompoet - stitch stitch stitch

Thursday, January 17, 2008

sad feeling haiku

sad people bumping
like potatoes with spots that
need to be cut off

happy news haiku

mom is coming home
dad is over the moon now
mom sweet home sweet mom

poemy feeling

Waiting to say

I’ve been wanting to say something
for the longest time
but when I open my mouth I blurt
business dealings
pop music mash-ups
practical requests
current events

Instead of saying what I mean, I go off
on a tangent about
Rhesus Macaques out of control in Delhi
following commuters onto subway cars
and invading hospitals to
suck glucose drips
while the back corner of my mind
grasps for the Hanuman courage
to follow the sun all the way around the earth
and ask it to be my teacher
But I find my stance is not broad enough
so I scamper away, thinking
next time ‘round

I’ve thought these words through
a thousand times
polished them like a pebble or a poem
but when I try to say them, all I find are
grocery lists
long-winded descriptions
Latin names

Instead of connecting, I go on about
this asteroid that’s predicted
to crash into the surface of Mars at 30 thousand miles per hour
on January 30th, 2008, leaving a crater ½ mile wide
or maybe not – the scientists can’t be sure
Some integrating feature of my brain
stretches to draw a parallel
doomed planet
blind asteroid
a lack of clarity about probability and effect
and our current situation
But I lose my focus, and spin back out to
yeah, well, we’ll see I guess

I’m sitting here waiting
every morning for my muse
Her name is Stella – which temps me to stand outside in my undershirt shouting her name
but calling her would be like calling a star
By the time my voice arrived
it would be 100 years later
She’d be Supernova already, or maybe my aim would be off
Even if she answered
I’d be long gone before the message got back

There’s something I’ve been waiting to say
but catching the right moment
is like capturing a moth
with chopsticks
then not knowing what to do
once I have it

So I think I’ll stop trying to deliver the long-poem version
(for now anyway)
and just tell you
about a man in a hat of crumpled glass
He’s gone, but the idea lives on
My intention in this is to find that feeling again

Like a tug on the line from
the words to song mostly forgotten
like a dollar in your pocket
like on old key
in the bottom of a bag
I’ll hold it and keep it
turn it
and tell you
Hey, it’s just me.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

and these are the candy jars

twelve of them - to be found mostly on Monday morning when I am not there.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

goodbye is never easy

Today was my second-to-last day at my office before going to work at another office for a year. I was at the other office all morning, in meetings, so when I showed up at 1:30, and there was substantial scurrying going on. I didn't think much of it. "It's Thursday. It must be scurrying time, " I thought. But then they came - all into my office, wearing Mary Anne from Gilligan's Island masks, singing a song they made up about me going on a one-year tour and how they'd miss me, and how I'll come back. And they gave me flowers and a card and they had my candy dish with them (that I had not even noticed that they stole since it was already packed in a box) and they had emptied out the yukky candies that nobody was eating that someone donated after they ate all of my caramels one night, and they had refilled the candy dish with lovely Mackintosh's Toffees and twisted pipecleaners for garnish and I thought,

I love these people.

Goodbye is never easy. We're still on the same team, but I won't see them every day. I won't have so many opportunities to line dance in the hallway outside the bathroom and push the button on the precious platitude angel in the back room and whoop whenever I want to and know that they will sit at their desks and smile and say, "That's just Sue whooping again. Maybe she'll come loiter around my doorway and tell me what's so funny."

Anyway, I will miss them.

Tomorrow is the last day. I'm bringing every one of them candy jars. I will sing and whoop. I hope I don't cry.

question: why is it so hard?

mompoet - just au revoir, okay?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

more good radio needs your support

Well, there's also Co-op radio, of course. Vancouver's CFRO 102.7 FM needs support for its application - especially from the artistic community. Here's a letter from my friend RC Weslowski, with the info:

Hi, everyone.
As you may know Steve Duncan, Diane Laloge and myself host a spoken word poetry program on Co Op Radio called Wax Poetic. Some of you have been guests on that show. What you may not know is that Co Op radio's license is up for renewal and the station is looking for public support so the CRTC can get a feel of the benefit of the station and our show. The station has received plenty of support in regards to their public affairs programming and now they are also looking for support from the arts community.
If you are so inclined to comment please read the info below. Thanks, Randy

If Co-op Radio and Wax Poetic have been of value to you as an artist, please let the CRTC know this. There are instructions on how to do so at the Coop Radio website or just go to this page and look for Vancouver Co-operative Radio. The deadline to submit your support is Jan. 23, 2008.

The CRTC is particularly interested in how our station helps the development of local talent (like you!). If you could tell them how Co-op Radio has been of benefit to your work as an artist, that would be very helpful to us. Thanks for your help and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about this.


Leela Chinniah
Program Co-ordinator
Vancouver Co-operative Radio
CFRO, 102.7 FM
110 - 360 Columbia St.
Vancouver, BC V6A 4J1
604-684-8494 ext. 226

question: what did you listen to on the radio today?

mompoet - ears full of ideas

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Nelson in love

Our friends Robin, Ralph and Emma brought their new friend Petunia to our house the other night. Nelson says it was love at first sight.

We are sure of this because Nelson told us so. Up until now we have communicated with Nelson only by observing his actions, engaging in mental telepathy, and through occasional (albeit lengthy) letters with accompanying photographs. The night that Nelson met Petunia he uttered his first real sound, a faint and breathy squeal. This occurred when Emma showed us that Petunia has a squeaker in her tummy. "Oh, but Nelson does not!" we insisted. Upon Emma's urging, we tried, and discovered that Nelson has a voice. Of course, it is not a squeaker in his tummy. It is a song of love.

question: what sound do you make when your tummy is squeezed?

mompoet - not squeezing too hard

more good radio - please offer your support

CBC Radio 1 wants to move from the AM to the FM band. Please support the CBC's application by writing a note of support to the CRTC.

Here's a copy and pasted email:

From: CBCRadioOneFM Vancouver [mailto:CBCRadioOneFM@CBC.CA]
>Sent: January 8, 2008 1:44 PM
>To: CBCRadioOneFM Vancouver
>Subject: Making the Move to FM: CBC Radio One
January 8, 2008

Dear Friend,

CBC Vancouver has the unique opportunity to move Radio One from the AM dial to the FM dial in the Greater Vancouver area, therefore vastly improving the sound quality and coverage of our Radio One service!

Our application to the CRTC has been approved for public hearings and we have just three weeks to show enormous support from listeners in the Lower Mainland in order to convince the CRTC to give us the FM signal.

Why move to FM? There are two main reasons.

1. AM reception is very poor in many parts of the Lower Mainland. CBC did a survey of Radio One listeners in Vancouver that told us that almost 40% of respondents experienced poor reception either at home, at work or in their cars. Making the move to FM is the only way to ensure that all of the people of Vancouver are able to receive Radio One's unique and distinctive service.

2. Tuning to the AM dial is in decline and has been for years. Four out of ten Vancouver radio listeners do not listen to the AM dial at all. Making the move to FM is an investment in CBC Radio One's future. It's about being relevant and staying connected to everyone living in Metro Vancouver.

>How can you help?

By sending your written support by email, fax or mail to the CRTC by January 23, 2008. The message doesn't have to be long, but it does have to be individually written. The CRTC dismisses the "cut and paste" copying of form letters. A few sentences explaining why you value Radio One's programming and how you would like it to be on the FM dial so you can hear it consistently wherever you are in Metro Vancouver is all that's required.

To email your support, go to and follow the instructions under "Here's How You Can Help". (CBC actually has three applications in for various improvements in BC, but these instructions specifically support the move of CBU to the FM dial.) Also, for easy reference we've attached a pdf document with the email, fax and mail instructions.

In order to be successful, we will require hundreds of letters of support, so please pass this information on to everyone you know who values public broadcasting in Greater Vancouver. Again, the deadline is only three weeks away - January 23, 2008.

We have been trying to get Radio One moved to FM in Vancouver for ten years, and now a dial position has become available. This is a very rare and unique opportunity long overdue so we welcome your support!

Happy New Year from all of us at CBC Vancouver!

Yours truly,
Johnny Michel

Question: have you got the CBC?

mompoet - dedicated listener

Monday, January 07, 2008

Wax Poetic - you can listen to the archives

My dad, aka info-sleuth, has looked up the archives for Co-op Radio. The Wax Poetic "Year in Poetry" radio show is archived there. You can listen to it. Go to this web page and click on:

t1199315246.mp3 02-Jan-2008 15:07 14M

question: could you get it?

mompoet - I hope so

poetry this morning

What a good morning for a poem. My dear friend and poetry mentor, Irene Livingston, has her poem "Naked in a Glass-Blue Lake," online as Monday's Poem at the Leaf press website. Read it here.

question: none today

mompoet - moving forward, always glad to pause for beauty

Sunday, January 06, 2008

kitten in a bathtub

Animal Intelligence is a great blog. The articles seem mostly to be on the "strange science" side, but this week's post is a very cool YouTube video of a kitten in a bathtub.

question: does your cat do that?

mompoet - meow for now

Friday, January 04, 2008

Wax Poetic

My friends Steve Duncan, RC Weslowski and Diane Laloge host a weekly show on Co-op Radio, FM 102.7 in Vancouver. This week I was invited to join some other poets who host poetry events and organizations, to talk on the show about 2007's highlights and plans for 2008. Steve took some photos during the show, and posted them on the Wax Poetic blog.

All of these people I know already. We have discussed experiences, challenges and aspirations as poetry organizer people. It was good to be part of a 30 minute wrap-up of all of these things. Reflecting together with two skilled and gracious hosts (Diane was away) was a good way to mark the turning of the year.

If you live in Vancouver, and haven't listened to Wax Poetic, please do. It's on Wednesdays at 2pm year-round. 102.7 FM or listen on the web. There's a link on the blog.

question: do you like the radio?

mompoet - I like

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2007 in posts

My friend Jill posted the first line of the first entry from each month from her livejournal postings for 2007. It was so cool, I decided to try it too. Here goes. By the way, instead of dividing it up by month, I'm putting it together as a paragraph, one sentence per month, January-December 2007. Here's my year in posts:

This morning I can not talk. Wednesday was a whirlwind day, with unexpected twists and a good ending. When the sun is shining and it rains at the same time, we call it a "monkey's wedding." We put six coats of red paint on the basement walls. A memory just came to me today, while I was at Shopper's Drug Mart. Mike McGee has a video posted at Fame Cast. Andy and I went down to Golden Spike Days Saturday night with our friends, Michele and Brent.

zamboni awakes

It's been happening so quickly I have to use bullets and I'm probably not remembering all of it. I dreamed last night that I was a lifeguard at a city swimming pool. That's Shane Koyczan, Mike McGee and Anis Mojgani - three of my all time favourite poets. We are all shuffling our feet getting ready to jump out of work and into the holidays.

question: what did your year look like, one line per month?

mompoet - that line in the middle is from a haiku