Thursday, April 30, 2009

dog walk haiku

was it a bear or
boys with sticks who shredded the
old bug-eaten stump?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


from the ridiculous (yesterday) to the sublime (today)...just Ella

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

haiku (dvd) movie review - you don't mess with the zohan

I am embarrassed
to say I laughed my head off
at Zohan (sorry)

question: what is your guilty giggle?

mompoet - you can borrow the dvd, if you promise to forgive me

quadruple haiku movie review - disney's earth

since when did the earth
belong to disney? did I
miss the announcement?

cute and truncated
scenes of anthropomorphic
extinction babble

is it paradise?
or the three bears' dying days?
what's the intention?

the best parts ran through
the credits and showed humans
filming animals

question: what did you do for earth day?

mompoet - skip the movie and plant your own tree

triple haiku movie review - adventureland

growing up in the
eighties was embarrassing
for the best of us

some of us survived
and made good movies from it
this film is one such

hey! open your eyes
Kristen Stewart open your
eyes open your eyes!

question: did you survive the eighties?

mompoet - lavish with the syllabication (mmm, I like the sound of that)

Monday, April 27, 2009

unintelligible translink alert

Tonight, before I sleep, I check Translink Trip Planner (the website for how to go where you want to get by bus, skytrain etc). This way, I will know what time I need to leave the house, and thus what time I must rise.

I find that I must be at the bus stop at 7:26am, which is okay, but I also discover a Trip Alert!!! So I ask for details and discover the following:

Stop #51401 Canada Way at Sperling. From Monday April 20 to Friday May 1, this stop will be temporarily relocated to Sperling at Canada way due to construction

I wonder just how far Canada Way at Sperling is from Sperling at Canada Way. I think I must wear my walking shoes and change into my pumps after I reach my destination.

question: do you think this will show up on google satellite maps?

mompoet - plotting the distance between point A and point A

Sunday, April 26, 2009

door to door

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon going door to door with Shannon Watkins, our riding's NDP candidate for the May 12 provincial election. Shannon is 27 years old, and has been a Port Moody City Councilor for 3 years. I have seen her at council meetings and city election all-candidates meetings, and I know her father, who is a School Trustee, but I have not met Shannon until yesterday.

I am impressed with her knowledge and compassion. I watched her engage with voters at their doors, listen to their concerns, and discuss their lives and the lives of the people in our riding and province. She is smart and mature, and eager to bring new energy and a younger generation's perspective to the legislature. This is Shannon's website.

It took me more than a week to get down to the campaign office after I received my first call from the volunteer coordinator there. I guess I must be a bit tired of elections, after so many in the past 6 months. We have one more to go, with a by-election looming in our federal riding since Dawn Black resigned as Member of Parliament to run provincially. Also, we were bombarded with phone calls as soon as the election began officially. We received at least one call each day, for a week, at home at supper time. I remembered some of the responses of people who I connected with on the phone during Dawn's campaign - faithful supporters who were weary of the constant interruptions. I thought to myself there has to be something else I can do this time to help. So I chose the door-knocking job with the candidate, which is very nice, and something different from all of the fliers and the phone calls and the emails.

I will also do some flier-dropping, and sign-waving (watch for me Monday morning while you are driving to work), and of course I'll work election day - even the phones are okay for me that day. And I know I'll sign up to help with the federal by-election campaign when it begins. After that, I'm really looking forward to at least a year without election hoopla-buzz-buzz. Let our people get to work in the House and the Legislature and City Hall, and be done with electing and electing.

question: how are you finding this election, this time?

mompoet - Just a little more than two weeks to e-day

Saturday, April 18, 2009

vancouver poetry slam

This short film, made by students at Vancouver Film School, shows some of what the poetry slam is all about in Vancouver. These are my friends, my community, my art.

Monday night, we celebrate the slam season with Van Slam Finals. Eight of our finest poets will compete to form the team that will represent us at North American Nationals this summer, and our Canadian Festival in the fall. Monday's show is at 8pm at the Rio Theatre on Broadway just west of Commercial. Doors are at 7. Tickets are $15. Show up early. You don't want to miss it.

question: do you know the slam?

mompoet - mmm-hmmm

spring finally

Local garden guru, Brian Minter, said on CBC radio this week that we are "three weeks behind" in our growing season this year. I wore open-toed shoes on Tuesday before work to walk the dog, and nearly froze my toes off. It's looking brighter, and the days are longer, but it's still pretty chilly. Still, the flowers and insects are doing their best, and the robins are lurching around on the lawn, daring us to walk AWAY FROM THE NEST, YUP, THIS WAY PLEASE! (Robins are valiant protectors.)

Today I was met with this lovely mass of hyacinths as I walked into Kyle Centre to pick up Fi after rehearsal. A bee even drifted in, and posed for just a moment.

question: where is spring?

mompoet - longing for tulips and juleps

Friday, April 17, 2009

new glasses

I picked up my new glasses yesterday morning. I had waited more than a week, so I was very excited and also a bit anxious. This is my first pair of dual-vision glasses (formerly called bifocals), and I had heard that adjusting to using them can be weird. My excitement came from having a new pair of frames and also from the thought of no longer struggling to see things up close and far away without major contortions.

For over a year, I have been taking my glasses off to read or do close-up work. The dimmer the light, the worse my close-up vision is. But even in a well-lit room, it's glasses on/glasses off. The worst situations are meetings (where I take my glasses off to read my notes or write things down, and put them on to see the people with whom I am meeting) and cooking (where I take my glasses off to read the recipe, measure ingredients, chop and mix, and put them on to see where I am going in the kitchen). Sewing is awful, and simultaneously reading the newspaper and watching the news on TV is impossible. I think some days, my glasses have been on top of my head more than they are on my face.

At the glasses store, the lady fitted the new pair to my head, then showed me a magazine. I looked at it, and could read every word clearly, with the glasses on. I have a slight reading correction now, so I see better up close than I did when I was simply taking the glasses off to read. To look at things more than a foot or two from my face, I look through the top part of the glasses. They are "advanced progressives" so they're supposed to be easy to learn to use. Before I left, the lady warned me to "tilt your head down when you go up or down stairs, so you are sure of what you are seeing."

I did pretty well through my first day. The floor seemed to be rippling wildly under my feet, and I did tilt my head down for stairs. I managed to drive while wearing my new glasses, and resisted my habit of pushing the glasses off to look at things up close. I can see things very well up close now. The strangest revelation was eating lunch and supper. I had not realised that I have been eating without seeing my food very well. How lovely - a salad with eggplant, lettuce, tomatoes and feta cheese! I thought I was going to eat a green and red and white blur like yesterday!

By the end of the workday I was pretty tired, and I did experience a few moments of queasy tummy. I told myself that my brain is readjusting to the new visual input, so a bit of disorientation is normal. When I stopped by the produce store on the way home, the edges of the display case warped and swayed like two ends of a bent teeter-totter. That was kind of strange and also funny. I wonder if this is what it's like to hallucinate?

At home, nobody even noticed I had my new glasses until I left the new glasses case (with my old glasses inside) on the computer desk. I guess my new frames don't look much different from the old, and the lenses don't have bifocal lines so they look just the same. Even though I was tired, I had an easy time getting around the house. I think I do a lot of my daily routine without really looking at things, and I know where the stairs are in my house.

I think I am going to like these new glasses. I'll have to get over my old habit of switching on and off, now that it's no longer necessary. In the meantime, I can always wear the new glasses on my eyes and the old ones on top of my head - just for old times sake.

question: do you wear glasses?

mompoet - I asked the lady at the glasses store if the employees who have perfect vision wear fake glasses because they work there. She avoided answering me, even though I asked twice.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

the pajamas are in the mountains - with wendy

Check the pajama blog! Wendy just sent me a photo of herself, wearing the pajamas while skiing in the Rockies. Now she will send them on to someone else, who will enjoy their flannely goodness, take a photo for the blog, and send them on again.

question: did you every receive pajamas in the mail?

mompoet - liking unusual and delightful surprises by mail

Friday, April 10, 2009

condiments - like and not like

This is my list of condiments that I like and do not like:

mustard - like (all kinds) especially sweet/hot and horseradish, but even ordinary bright yellow hot dog mustard is fine. I like mustard with egg salad, and on grill cheese sandwiches. Mustard is good.

ketchup - don't like - not on hot dogs, but once in a while on mac and cheese or with french fries, but really, french fries deserve mustard/mayonnaise

wasabi - like like like the nicest shocking surprise. WOOOOOOO!

mayonnaise - like (when it is tinted with mustard) or in sushi, otherwise neutral, not on anything hot

salsa - like - hotter the better - also good with eggs (try mango salsa, mmmm)

chutney - like - don't get this often because I'm the only one in the house who eats it, but it is good

soy sauce - like - was surprised to find out that only European people put soy sauce on plain rice

teriyaki sauce - like, but not my first choice

mint sauce - don't like - poured over beef, it smells like socks

hollandaise sauce - don't like - too gooey and fussy to cook, use salsa instead

pesto - like like like like - on pretty much anything, well, maybe not on ice cream. Come to think of it, I have not tried pesto on ice cream, so I can't really say

salt and pepper - like - highly underrated as seasoning/condiments

sweet chili sauce - like much, on most food, looks like a lava lamp, tastes like a circus

balsamic vinegar - like with veg or bread, tangy and deep

olive oil - like very much, especially with balsamic vinegar, or plain, on pasta with salt and pepper

caesar salad dressing - like, but must be careful, does not like me

ranch dressing - don't like - reminds me of a boring person wearing a flashy hat for attention

cheeze whiz - don't like - tastes like it sounds (something not for eating)

relish - like - it is made with pickles so it is, by definition, good

That's all for now.

question: which condiments do you like and not like?

mompoet - complimenting most condiments because most condiments complement compliments


In a fragmented night of dream stories, I am pretty sure that I:

  • ate my friend's share of the cold noodles in the fridge at work, then felt guilty and tried to decide if I should 'fess up, or just let her miss the noodles.
  • explained to the audience at a poetry show that I was not able to conceive children any more, well maybe one or two, but time was running out.
  • looked for a cheap vacation place in Osoyoos, and discovered my favourite campground was transformed into a cross between a bed and breakfast and a skid row single room occupancy hotel.
  • ran to a concession stand at an outdoor music festival, to fetch drink refills and food for my friends, and returned with a small metal box full of goo, and realised I had mixed Worcestershire sauce into their drug stash.
Fortunately, after this, I woke up.

question: have you been dreaming?

mompoet - glad for the difference between the dreams and the real

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


crows fly carrying
sticks to build hard-knuckle nests
in bare grey branches

Monday, April 06, 2009

drug pipe

I was walking the dog this morning, when I saw this by the side of the fire road up behind our house. It's a closed-off bit of road available only for emergency vehicles, with bush on both sides. I have seen discarded condoms there before, but this is the first bit of drug paraphernalia that I have noticed there.

I looked it up on the web to be sure, and sure enough, there are instructions. This one appears to be made from:

-a light bulb
-the top part of a disposable water bottle
-a piece of clear plastic tubing
-duct tape

It reminded me of the bug catcher that my little neighbour showed me on the weekend, made from a glass jar with a tube and some cheesecloth, but this was definitely not a bug-catcher. I think it must be someone from the neighbourhood. People don't come into our neighbourhood from the mean streets to smoke drugs. And I bet they get it from around here too. The internet article that I read says it is a "vapourizer" that can be used to smoke cannibis or other stronger drugs. I hope it wasn't anyone I know. I hope it wasn't stronger drugs.

I picked it up with a piece of paper and put it in the trash. It made me feel sad all day.

question: did you ever see one?

mompoet - wanting to hug every kid and every parent in the whole neighbourhood and say, "You are worth the effort," and wondering who really needs the hug?

Sunday, April 05, 2009

grand march for housing

Yesterday I joined in the Grand March for Housing with my friends Cathy and Myrna. We assembled at Thornton Park - one of three starting points around the city, and marched to the Vancouver Art Gallery for a rally.

Our route took us up Main Street, through part of Chinatown, then along Hastings, through one of the saddest, most neglected neighbourhoods in Vancouver (in Canada, I'd guess), then on to downtown. We saw single room occupancy hotels that a fellow walker declared "should be burned down, they're so bad." She told us that her daughter had lived in one of those for a few days before deciding it was so foul and dangerous that she returned to living outside on the street. We passed vacant lots where other buildings had been torn down. We passed old buildings being re-built in a wave of gentrification and new buildings replacing old ones, squeezing out even the foul places where a person on welfare could afford to stay. We turned and marched up, into downtown Vancouver, with its stores, hotels and bank towers, and ended up at the Art Gallery. There we heard from a number of speakers, all advocating for an end to the problem of affordable housing. With us on the march and at the rally were homeless people, people from various organizations from labour unions to social services non-for-profits, and ordinary interested citizens, like us. We wore t-shirts that said YOIBY. This stands for "Yes, in our backyard," and is meant to counter NIMBY or "not in my backyard."

The experience of the march was humbling - there's so much that needs to be done, and such a shame that progress is so slow. It was also inspiring. There were people in wheelchairs, grandmas and grandpas, moms and dads with babies in slings, old-timers and Gen-Y young people - all united to take a stand for safe, affordable housing for everyone. I hope that we can keep up the energy, push public will and awareness and pressure our governments to make this a priority. The way it is now just isn't right. That's everyone's problem.

question: do you know someone who is homeless? have you ever been?

mompoet - learning from experiences and growing in compassion

more pics from the grand march for housing