Friday, May 29, 2009

the big snit

Thank you to Diane for recommending this NFB animated short.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

conversation overheard in the community centre lobby

Four men are waiting for their wives to come out of the gentle fitness class on Thursday morning. They are chatting in the lobby outside of my office door, talking about how they wait for their wives and drive their wives to fitness class and other places. They are all in their 70s.

Man #1: Oh well, it's worth it. I don't know where I'd be without my wife.

Man #2: I'd be in jail.

Man #3: I'd be in Palm Springs.

Man #4: I'd be golfing.

Man #1: I think I'd be dead.

question: where would you be without your significant other?

mompoet - Ah, sweet mystery of life

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

rainy may breakfast haiku

staccato bubbles
from the porridge pot echo
eaves trough overspill

question: what cooks for you this morning?

mompoet - awake

Sunday, May 24, 2009

bridal shower

My friend Kathy's daughter is getting married. Amber is 23. I have known her since she was a baby. When Amber was 4, she came to Alex's baby shower. When she was 13 and 14, she spent two summers as Alex and Fiona's all-day caregiver at our house, while Andy and I were at work. She was awesome, taking Alex on an all-day bike adventure one day, and concocting a puppet show, complete with tickets, music and refreshments, that stretched to a multi-week project with the kids, and culminated in a spectacular performance. Amber stayed at our place for two weeks during the summer that we took our California road trip. She took awesome care of our place and our pets that time.

Now she and Santo will be married. Our friend Michele hosted a bridal shower at her home. Amber has already had a traditional Italian shower (Santo's family being Italian) with a full luncheon banquet and many, many guests, speeches, etc. Kathy wanted her to also have the smaller shower with kitchen and household gifts, sandwiches and lots of chatting about the wedding, marriage, men etc...

Amber was totally surprised by the party. Santo told her that he was taking her to Michele's house for a surprise party - but he said it was a surprise birthday party for Kathy, who happens to have her birthday this week. We decorated the veranda with balloons and streamers, but I think it still took Amber a moment to figure it out. She even brought a card and gift for her mom.

We had a lovely time, and we mom-generation friends remembered our showers and weddings. Amber is determined to stay simple, elegant and up-to-date. She thinks a lot of her mom's ideas are "so 70s!" I think she had a great time at the little shower, and enjoyed the love and the gifts. Michele put on a lovely light supper buffet, and everyone enjoyed her gracious 1911 craftsman style home. I always feel like I'm in a special place when I go to Michele's. It was the perfect place for the party.

Andy and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary in August. I remember the shower that my bridesmaid sister and the rest of the girls threw for me. It was a little shower, at my Mom's house. I remember the guests of all generations, the generous gifts, and my talk of a simple, homey wedding that Andy and I had been planning. It can't be 25 years ago. Then again, it can't be 23 years since Amber was born. I guess it is though.

question: have you been to a bridal shower this spring?

mompoet - wishing Amber and Santo all the love and happiness in the world - and a happy 25th anniversary - it will arrive before they know it!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

grad dress inspiration

Here's a news story from CBC about a young woman in Burnaby who will wear a trash bag dress to grad this year. I think this is wonderful.

question: what did you wear to your grad/prom? what did your kids wear to theirs?

mompoet - I sewed myself a dress, but it was made of silk, not trash bags

Friday, May 22, 2009

arthur erickson

Architect Arthur Erickson died on Wednesday. My experience with his work is the 5 years that I spent at Simon Fraser University - which he designed. I didn't study architecture, but I definitely lived, worked, played, slept in his biggest project.

My least favourite part of the Erickson experience was the leaky places. Tarps and buckets were part of our everyday existence all during the rainy season. They weren't in every corner or every room, but they were always evident, every day, somewhere in the building. I was at the university in the 80s, when the building was 25 years old, but I heard that this had been a factor for many years.

I also wasn't crazy about the naming and numbering of the rooms within the connecting "complexes." Making a site map for new students must have been a daunting task for the university administrators, because the place was multi levels, counting up from the ground, wherever that part of the building was anchored. Because the building is on the curved top of a mountain, you could stand in one hallway and have a door to your left open to a level 4 room, while the one on your right opened to a level one. It took some learning and getting used to. Part of student life included helping visitors and new students find classrooms and offices, because getting around the place just didn't make easy sense.

The other thing that was kind of crazy was traversing the academic quadrangle, where many of the lectures and small group tutorials took place, and where many of the profs had their offices. The quadrangle is a rectangular doughnut shape, partly on stilts, with a vast green space and pond in the middle. To get to your room, you had to run around the doughnut. This required a good knowledge of which way to go - clockwise or counter-clockwise, to make it most efficiently to your destination. Cutting across the centre space was an option, but most of the time, weather conditions discouraged this. In the winter, it was cold and wet and your feet would get bogged in the muddy grass. In summer, you could get distracted and end up lying on said grass, and falling asleep with a book covering your face.

These grumbles aside, I think Simon Fraser University is a masterpiece. It is visually spectacular from the outside and also inside. Everywhere you look, you are conscious of being on a mountaintop. The whole thing is contoured to the slope of the mountain so when you go up or down inside or around the building, you are also following the terrain. There are glorious open spaces like convocation mall, and lots of delightful resting spots and lounges to cozy up the many concrete corridors and corners. I napped frequently between classes on the upholstered benches of a place I called "the kryptonite pond lounge." Everything was in one large building, made of of connecting complexes, so academic disciplines were not segregated into separate buildings or regions of the campus. Navigating was complicated, but also fun - like a treasure hunt or adventure some days to find a new part of the campus. Walking from class to class took me past places and things I wouldn't see if the design had made "better sense." I commuted to campus, so I never had the residence experience, but I was employed by the recreation department, and spent many hours in the gym working as a fitness instructor. The gym, pool and running track were excellent, and conveniently located less than five minutes' (covered) walk from the learning areas. Surrounding the university building there was a network of running/walking trails that ran up and down hills, through the woods and to a nearby park. The overall feeling I got from the building was that it was grand, modern, spectacular and also encouraging of community in its layout and quirkiness - part monolith, part rabbit warren. I was glad to be there.

question: have you lived, worked, played in an Arthur Erickson building?

mompoet - remembering

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

springtime car haiku

heater vents blow cool
wafts of petal confetti
on my summer skirt

question: how do they make it through?

mompoet - sopping up the silliness of spring

May long weekend haiku

first mosquito bites
itchy bright constellation
in dusky skin sky

question: did they get you yet?

mompoet - stargazing (and trying not to scratch)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

what I believe

I listened to a podcast of cbc radio's Definitely Not the Opera yesterday. It was about belief, and the things we believe in that we can't prove. People on the show discussed different kinds of belief: religious, political, economic, social, psychic... It got me to thinking about what I believe that I can't prove. I believe a lot of things, but here's one that I thought about when I was at my bible study group on Wednesday. I'm doing a faith formation course for 6 weeks with a small group at my church. We're looking at the Book of Acts and our changing church. We were discussing inclusion and openness, and what makes for a sense of welcome and belonging in community.

I believe that people are, by nature, generous. I have observed that the happiest people I know are the most generous. At first I thought that if a person could afford to be generous he or she would also be happy, but I've come to realise that the act of generosity itself (rather than the resources for generosity) is the source of happiness. There's not much better feeling than being able to help another person. This is a good and needed feeling regardless of one's situation.

At church, my friend Pete told a story of a homeless man in a nearby city who was murdered recently. At his funeral, people from the community came forward to tell stories of his generosity of spirit - how he shared whatever little he had, went out of his way to help whenever he could, and how he gave a feeling of warmth and friendliness to everyone who knew him.

At work, I met a woman named Tanya who had no home of her own, and was couch-surfing. She would come in every few days for a shower or to get out of the cold. More than once my co-worker or I would make her a cup of tea, or share part of our lunch with her when she was hungry. She was such a friendly, open person, whether she was sad or happy, she would also stop to say hello on her way in or out. One day she arrived at the rec centre in despair because she was without a place to stay. The staff on duty helped her with a phone number for the shelter hot line, and offered her the phone. After a couple of hours of calling, she found a place for the night. We didn't see Tanya for a few days, then she stopped by and came into my office. She told me she wanted to thank me for my kindness, and she gave me a bracelet. I accepted the gift, thanked her, and put it on right away. She left smiling.

When Alex was small, he was cared for by a family daycare mom, Shirley, while I was at work. Shirley's husband Glen operated a small shoe repair shop. Shirley cared for her aging mom, who lived with them, and helped out her young adult son and daughter who were starting their own families. Shirley was a kind and loving caregiver to Alex and the other children who came to her. Her generous spirit showed in the cards and gifts she had for the children (she never missed a birthday, Christmas, Easter or any other special day), and in the way she loved each child and saw his or her special strengths and qualities. As busy as she was, she took care of us in other ways. When Andy's Dad died suddenly, Shirley cared for Alex while we made arrangements and attended his memorial service. She also baked two huge trays of squares and cookies and gave them to me to take to Andy's Mom's place for the reception after the service. When Fiona was born, Shirley offered to take Alex for the time Andy and I were at the hospital. When Andy picked up Alex from Shirley's place, Alex had a gift for his sister. Shirley had taken him shopping and bought a whole outfit - dress, shoes, socks, bib, hairbow for Alex to give to Fiona. When Fiona 6 months old, Shirley encouraged me to quit my job and open my own daycare. Her optimism and generosity had a profound influence on me.

My own parents personify generosity. They have helped us financially as we bought a home and as we have raised the kids. They are also generous in spirit, encouraging us to follow our own inclinations and ideals, even when they differ somewhat from their own. They let us know all the time how much they appreciate and respect us, and they enjoy being with us and sharing in the life of our family. They are role models for us, showing us through their generosity that the world is full and abundant with opportunity and love.

Not everyone is as generous, or as happy, as the people in these examples. And here's the part I can't prove, but still believe: I believe that people who are not generous in their actions are still generous by nature. I believe that they are heart-sick from the lack of opportunity for generosity, and hobbled by whatever it is in their thinking that stops them from being generous. I don't know what it is - maybe they don't believe there's anything they can do that would help others? maybe they don't believe in themseleves or see themselves as good people? maybe they are afraid that if they give away what they have, there will not be enough left for them to survive.

All of this is to say that I do not think ungenerous people are bad, or greedy. I believe that they are sad, afraid, hurt, and stopped by something from being who they are really meant to be. I believe that one of the most generous things a generous person can do is to nurture the generosity of another person. Accept the gift - whether you need it or not. Recognize the intention, even if the act itself doesn't come out the way it might have. Fan any small spark of giving and help your friend - or the stranger who may become your friend - to find a way back to his or her true nature. Model generosity even when you know it will not be reciprocated. You never know what small act of your own kindness may break through to another person who is aching to change.

I have not way to prove this, but I believe it truly and deeply. I think I have always believed it. Happiness springs from generosity. Generosity is who we are.

question: can you think of an example of generosity and happiness in your life?

mompoet - believing

Friday, May 15, 2009

Betty and Edna's Cooking Show at the Van Slam Anarchy Slam

For more fun from the Anarchy Slam, Check out Warren's YouTube Channel.

question: Is there such thing as Bingo Pie?

mompoet - I baked it. I tasted it. It was good.


I use a pocket pc to keep track of appointments, contacts, to-do list etc. and to carry around photos and documents (it has word and excel). I don't use it for email or the web because email and the web prevails in enough of my life without also carrying it around in my purse.

Yesterday I took my pocket pc into a meeting. When I attempted to enter an appointment, I discovered that my stylus was missing. It turned out to have worked its way loose in the pocket of my backpack. I do believe things happen for a reason. When something a bit strange happens, I am meant to think hmmmm, what could that mean?

I suspect that I need to look at my appointments, and move some of them from "floating around in my head" to "saved in the pocket pc." That way I have a much better chance of actually remembering and showing up.

As I went through my head, and checked my facebook and the school's website, etc. to retrieve appointments, I realised that we are rolling into summer-style activities. There's a baseball game in there now, a barbeque, and 4 year-end concerts. Coming soon: camping trip! A bit after that: weekend on the Sunshine Coast. I like the way the regular grid of plans and commitments unravels a bit at the end of the school year. May/June is transition time. July/August are a hodge podge of stuff we do only in the summer, with a break from many of the usual things we do each week or month.

I like the look of my pocket pc appointments calendar now, and I think I remembered to enter the things that I need to remember. My stylus is safely stuck in its slot, and I will go forward into the great summer season.

question: how do you keep track?

mompoet - brain in my purse

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

two big days

On Monday, after a very full day of work, I participated in the "Almost Anything Goes Anarchy Slam" at the Vancouver Poetry Slam. I have a camera full of photos, and I'm looking forward to some YouTube posts by a videographer who captured a lot of the show. I think there were 16 performance pieces in all. Lisa's and my denture-friendly cooking school skit went over very well, and resulted in pie everywhere. All over the place. It was a late, long show, and I got home after midnight, then had to throw a bunch of stuff in the laundry. It was worth it. The show was great. We came in 3rd (using a totally random judging process).

I rose early on Tuesday so Alex and I could get out to the election poll to work for the day as scrutineers. We were at the poll from 8am to 8pm, then stayed for a an hour or so to witness the vote-counting after closing. Our candidate, Shannon Watkins, did an awesome job of getting votes, but did not defeat the incumbent. We got to the election night celebration in time to greet her arrival and give her big hugs of congratulations on a job well done. It's disappointing that she did not win. She would have been an awesome MLA. Look out for her. She has a bright future.

That's all I have to say about the last 2 days. More later. I am propping my eyes open and hoping I don't snooze off at my desk today at work.

question: why does everything happen in big intense clumps?

mompoet - full up, but happy for it

Sunday, May 10, 2009

my mother's day

My Mother's Day stretched out a bit, this weekend, and was happy and delicious for all that.

On Friday evening, I had a surprise babysitting gig at my neighbours' place. My neighbour had to run an errand for an hour after supper, but her little guy (3 years old) had crashed unexpectedly and she didn't want to move him. She came over to find out if Fi could babysit. Fi was doing a show, so I offered to help. I had so much fun! The five year old boy and I registered on the "Cheese String" website, then he played "Cheese String Ultimate Race." After about half an hour of his exciting crowing and cheering and my laughter, little brother woke up. He cried a little at first, then consented to be carried downstairs to sit on my lap at the computer and cheer his brother on in the game. I laughed even more, enjoying the both of them so excited. Spending an hour with them reminded me of how different mothering is at every age. I enjoy a little time with little ones, and appreciate my big, older children even more.

Saturday I dropped Fiona off at rehearsal, then grabbed a bus and skytrain into Vancouver to meet with my friend Lisa. We talked for a couple of hours over coffee, and cooked up a wonderful performance piece for the Vancouver Poetry Slam's "Almost Anything Goes Anarchy Slam" on Monday. It's the one time of the year when all of the rules are thrown out and we have goofy/weird/over-the-top fun at the slam. Come to think of it, some of that happens every week at the slam, but this is the one in which costumes, props, music and just about anything else are allowed. I can't tell what we have planned, but I'll fill you in after the event. On the way home I stopped at V. V. Boutique to get a new costume and a couple of props for the slam. That made me even more excited about it. I promise photographs later.

After Fi's rehearsal, she and Alex took me out for an early sushi supper for my Mother's Day treat. We had a lot of fun. At one point Alex announced, "If I had a glass eye, this is a time when I'd probably pop it out." Alex just says things like that sometimes. We love it. After they treated me to sushi, I treated them to gelato. A pairing made in heaven (or somewhere between Japan and Italy).

Later, Andy, Alex and I went to the school to see the final performance of this year's school musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie. Fi plays about 4 different parts in it, including a modern man, a stenographer who tap dances at her desk, and a young women who gets kidnapped and shipped off to China. We loved the show, and felt proud of the wonderful performance created by the students and their teachers.

Sunday morning (Mother's Day officially) I slept in. Breakfast was offered, but I've been craving my favourite, cooked my way, so I made my own eggs with onions and tomatoes and feta. Fi slept in too after a late cast party. Alex got up, and I taught him to make pancakes. I didn't know he couldn't make pancakes yet! Now he can. He had to leave for work soon after that.

Andy dropped me off at Rocky Point park where I had a rendezvous with Mom and Dad. I treated them to an outdoor lunch at Pajo's Fish and Chips. We sat by the shore and gazed across the mud flats, because it was low tide. It was still beautiful, and we enjoyed the parade of people enjoying the park along with us.

Mom and Dad drove home, and I walked a few blocks to the campaign office for my inside scrutineer training. I stayed after the training and helped a bit in the office, with preparations for election day. Shannon Watkins, our candidate, was there with her Mom. They had been out to Mother's Day brunch already, and were headed to meet with party leader, Carole James, and Carole's mom, for afternoon tea at the Boathouse restaurant in Rocky Point Park.

After helping at the office, I walked home. It was a lovely warm afternoon, perfect for a walk.

Now I'm home, and thinking about a casual supper on the deck - later though - those fish and chips stick with you! I have a few things to get ready for the poetry slam, and I'd like to spend a bit of time with Andy and Fiona before we all turn in. Alex will be home from work around 10:30, but I don't know if I'll last that long.

All in all, it has been a lovely Mother's Day weekend, spent doing things that are meaningful to me, with people for whom I care very much. I am blessed.

question: how was your Mother's Day?

mompoet - happy happy day

Thursday, May 07, 2009

happy odd day!

My friend Cathy posted this link to my facebook wall,

I thought of you today when I first heard this news...NOT because you're odd because (mompoet) is not odd, but because of your love of numbers!

I think this is very cool, and I appreciate how well Cathy knows me - knowing this would make me feel such gleeful delight. Thank you Cathy!

question: do you like odd numbers?

mompoet - and to think, I nearly missed it!

ps I think I am frequently odd.

Alex is 19

Yesterday, we celebrated Alex's 19th birthday. He'll have some friends time on the weekend, and an extended family dinner in a few days, but chose to celebrate the real day with just us. Andy and I took him out to the pub for supper. Now that he is legal age, he can go to the pub and he can drink. He has not tried any alcohol before this, and was not jumping up and down about drinking. He was cautiously curious and a bit apprehensive. We have talked to him about drinking and encouraged him to do what he feels is right. Turning 19 does not mean you have to drink.

The waitress ID'd him as soon as Andy told her it was his 19th birthday. We ordered supper, and Alex taste-tested Andy's beer and my Strongbow. Then he ordered an apple cider. The waitress served it with plenty of ice. Alex liked it, and drank almost all of it. Both he and I are thirsty eaters, so I showed him my trick of drinking water with food so you don't drink your drink too quickly. He seemed to like that.

After supper, Andy and Alex went to see Wolverine at the movie theatre, while I picked up Fiona and drove her to dance class. We all landed up at home around 9:30, where we sang happy birthday and ate cheesecake. I think it was a pretty quiet birthday celebration, but Alex seemed happy with it.

Yesterday, Alex walked around saying, "I'm 19. I can't believe I'm 19." I feel the same way. Birth to adulthood has been an amazingly quick journey for us too.

question: what rites of passage do you recall most clearly?

mompoet - life rife with rites

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

yes, that was me

standing by the side of the road, almost at the bottom of treacherous Snake Hill, with a dead car in the middle of the single downhill lane (no flashers even), with a police officer directing traffic around my car while I waited for a tow truck to move it out of the road.

Fortunately I am okay and nobody got hurt trying to get around my car in rush hour traffic on the steep hill at the blind curve. It's just an alternator, and my car will work fine tomorrow.

Thank you to a friend, for seeing me and coming to my assistance. Thank you to the kind police officer who took charge. Thank you to my husband for being ready at the mechanic's to drive me home and make supper.

To the people who made faces and gestures and shouted comments as they drove by, I'm very sorry if I delayed you. I did not mean for my car to break down. I hope I did not make you miss something important. I will be polite to you if you are ever in trouble and cause me delay.

question: where's the most awful place you have been stuck?

mompoet - I can still see that' old lady's face in the passenger window - snarling and baring cat claws at me - what was that all about?

Sunday, May 03, 2009

mompoet gets grumpy

"Maybe you're pregnant." Yes, my husband whispered that to me - just to further rile me up, I suspect, because today I am grumpy. I am inexplicably grumpy. It began when I woke up at 6:30 and couldn't get back to sleep for that last half hour, thinking about going early to church, to set up for communion. So I got up.

Good thing.

We had heard the dog thumping around frantically sometime around 4:30 or 5am. I found out why. There was poo on the landing down to the basement, and on the stairs, and in the basement hallway at the bottom of the stairs. A lot of poo. Enough for 2 or 3 dogs, all pooing prolifically for 4 or 5 days. I am not exaggerating. For a moment, I thought someone had let a lot of pooing dogs into my house, but it was just our one dog, and a lot of poo. So there I am in my pajamas. I cleaned up the mess, got out the carpet cleaning machine and carpet-shampooed at 6:45am. Yes. Good start.

The dog went outside while I did this, then came back inside for breakfast. I had already fed the cat but she started yelling at me MEOW MEOW MEOW. I was not in the mood for MEOW MEOW MEOW. I was in the mood for quiet, and coffee and porridge and newspaper. I did not like having damp pajama cuffs and slippery wet feet, and the odd feeling that they were not entirely clean damp, having walked around on the wet carpet during cleaning (did I mention that the dog also peed?)

So I had a shower and when I came out, the dog was moving furniture around in the dining room to get to the cat's dish on the dining room window sill, and the cat was sitting on the dining room table. I did my best impression of a grizzly bear. It did not make a dent in their obnoxiousness. The cat just slunk around under the table saying MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOW and the dog tried to act all adorable so I would give her a carrot. I let her out again and she wisely lay down in the garden and stayed out of my grumpy way for while.

It occurred to me as I dressed for church, that I might be receiving a message. I have been cursing a bit lately, specifically, saying "CRAP," when I am angry. Well, maybe I got what I was calling for, really and truly and in prodigious quantity. I resolved to say "darn it" from now on, instead of "crap." Maybe I'll get a hole in my sock from saying that, but hopefully that's all.

I slunk through the morning in a grumpy funk. At church I was unreasonably impatient when the communion servers discussed whether to wear sterile gloves to serve the bread and wine. Gosh, we are all concerned about this new H1N1 virus, but can't we just wash our hands and not sneeze on anyone? I wisely stepped aside. I was just the preparer of the elements, after all. The servers could decide what to do about germs. I was glad to see that they decided against the gloves.

After church, I had to stop at the bank machine. The "ding-dong" door chime in the bank machine vestibule annoyed me. Andy made a joke and I told him it was not even remotely funny. What a grumpy grump.

Now I am trying to cheer up. Looking my grumpiness in the eye is a start. I have also taken a few steps, physical, psychological and spiritual to overcome my grumpies.

  • I prayed (about grumpies, not curse-word subjects)
  • I drank coffee
  • I made a salad for lunch
  • I listened to Ella Fitzgerald (still am)
  • I hit a bag of frozen mozzarella cheese with a hammer
  • I lay down on my bed and looked at the ceiling
  • I talked to a friend on the phone
  • I told Andy I was grumpy (which was self evident, and although he did make the pregnancy crack, he did not point out how obvious my mood revelation was)
  • I petted the cat and dog and told them they were lovely even if they are sometimes annoying
  • I drank water
  • I blogged
So there we are. I am still moderately grumpy, but this too shall pass.

question: what do you do when you are grumpy?

mompoet - grumpus prunklefunkuss

Saturday, May 02, 2009


Fiona got an iPod Touch for Christmas. She offered me her iPod Nano. I said yes. The device is very tiny, and has earbuds. I knew that I could use it to download music and podcasts, and listen to them, using either the earbuds or a docking device with speakers.

The iPod sat for a while, unused. This was partly because one of our computers was broken, and took a few visits to the repair to be completely fixed. In the meantime, I tried not to monopolize the other working computer. This sounds funny, I know, because besides the one working computer, we also have Alex's MacBook and Fi's iPod touch, which get them on the wireless internet that we have in our house. Oh my, down to 3 functioning internet devices in a house of 4 people - what shall we do?

In the meantime, Fiona set up an iTunes account for me, asked me every once in a while if I wanted her to show me what to do, and waited patiently. Alex bought himself an iPod and filled it up with songs, using his MacBook.

A couple of weeks ago, I took the plunge and started to download. I discovered that there is an infinite world of music, tv and radio shows, videos, podcasts, etc out there. For the music, you can buy one song, or the whole album. I can't do much with the video stuff because my iPod doesn't have video, so I'm sticking to songs and podcasts.

I bought some iTunes cards (to avoid using my credit card to buy music) and redeemed the value onto my iTunes account. Now I have bought 3 albums and subscribed to a bunch of podcasts. I'm liking the iPod, and discovering how to best use it given my particular preferences.

I really don't like earbuds. They hurt my ears and they fall out. I shopped around and found some sport earbuds that aren't too poke-in-the-earish, and have little arms that go over the top of my ears so I don't worry about them popping out. The sound is quite good, and Fiona and Alex have assured me, at my chosen volume, my music/talk is not audible outside of my head. I am amazed at how some people on the bus listen to their tunes so loudly that I can sing along, even though they are wearing earphones. What must it sound like inside their heads? Do they know they are imposing their music on the people around them? Do they care? So I use my modified sport earbuds on the bus and on long walks. I especially like podcasts for this. I have subscribed to CBC's Definitely Not the Opera show, which I don't have time to listen to on Saturday afternoons. Now I have it on my iPod when I want it.

I shopped around for a dock/speaker system and found one on sale. It has a clock radio incorporated which is unnecessary really, but oh well. It sounds pretty good, and allows me to listen to the tunes from my iPod around the house. I found out I can also plug the iPod in directly to the stereo amplifier in the living room or to either set of computer speakers. But then again, I can listen to it at the computer directly from iTunes. Right now I am listening to an album I just bought - Immaculate Machine "High on Jackson Hill."

When I'm in the car, I like to listen to music. Andy bought a little device that transmits the iPod to the car radio receiver, but it doesn't work as well as I would like - periodic radio static interference and such. But Alex loves it and uses it whenever he drives anywhere. I discovered that I can burn my tunes to cds so I'm doing that and will use the cds to listen in my car. I also know that I can import my commercial cds into my iPod using iTunes. Haven't done that yet, but I will for sure, soon.

My last bit of iPod trivia is the iPod cover that I inherited from Fiona. She bought a pink leather cover on eBay when she first got the Nano. It's very cute, and does protect the iPod from bumps, bangs and light spills. I don't have a lot of pink in my wardrobe, but in keeping with the theme of "trying something new" I'll stick with it for now.

I still have not bought one song all by itself, nor have I listened to my tunes on "shuffle." I'm stubbornly hanging on to my paradigm of music albums being complete artistic statements to be appreciated as a whole experience. If I like a particular song, I'll just play it more frequently than I play the other songs on the album. If a particular song is annoying me, I'll skip over it (that is, once I learn better how to use the iPod controls). Some days I am sure my fingers are too big for all of this technology, and wonder if the dog might accidently swallow the device in one gulp, and eat my entire library, but all in all I'm liking it.

question: what is your favourite podcast?

mompoet - clumping and glumping into the 21st century

dress for success

On Thursday evening, Fiona attended a performance of Seussical the Musical, featuring some of her friends from school. I agreed to be outside the theatre at 10pm to pick her up. She asked if I would call her cell when I arrived, so she could come outside to meet me.

I got to the theatre and saw, through the glass front of the building, a large crowd of people, hugging, talking, giving flowers. I phoned Fiona's cell and got no answer. I texted her and waited. I phone a couple more times, still no answer. I thought, it must be noisy in there!

I waited. A few minutes later, Fiona came out, looked around and saw me in the car. As she walked over, she checked her phone and noticed the missed calls. She got into the car.

Fiona: I'm sorry I missed your calls. It was noisy in there!

Mom: That's okay, was the show good?

Fiona: Yes! How long did you wait for me?

Mom: Just a few minutes. I didn't mind, and I decided not to come in and look for you.

Fiona: Why not?

Mom: Take a look. I have been relaxing at home and doing a bit of housecleaning this evening. I am wearing a texas tuxedo*, gym socks and pink crocs.

Fiona: Thank you for waiting, Mom.

question: do your kids make you feel conscious of what you are wearing?

mompoet - making sure I look smart before I make an appearance

*a texas tuxedo is blue jeans with a blue jean jacket