Friday, December 31, 2010

what else could go wrong?

This is from youtube - video of a community theatre production of Peter Pan. Watch carefully after the curtain re-opens. Peter Pan appears at the window. The script calls for him to fly into the room, have a conversation with grown-up Wendy (to the right, in the rocking chair), then fly off with Jane, Wendy's daughter, who is in the bed on the left. Whoever was flying the actors must have pulled on the wrong wire. Watch as Peter stays grounded on the windowsill, and poor Jane is yanked, unexpectedly from bed.

question: who is flying?

mompoet - loving the unexpected, especially when nobody gets hurt

desserts of 2010

Yesterday was almost the last day of the year. Andrew, Fiona and I drove down to Bellingham to shop at Bellis Fair for a couple of hours. On the way home, we stopped at the wonderful Edaleen Dairy for milk, and decided to get ice cream cones too. Neither Fiona nor I could finish our "single scoop" cones. We decided that next time we must order the baby cone instead. Andrew, on the other hand, devoured the "super" size soft serve that he ordered.

Later, we went to the home of our friends, Robin, Ralph and Emma for supper. We were joined there by Louise, and also by my Mom and Dad. We enjoyed a delicious potluck supper and lots of laughter. Louise made the exquisite towering cake and ice cream creation that you see in the photograph. It was almost as tall as Andrew's ice cream cone.

question: what dessert do you choose for your last one of 2010?

mompoet - happy (hippy) new year!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

big apple greeters

I just submitted a request for a tour with a Big Apple Greeter. It looks like a great way to get to know a New York City neighbourhood a little bit better - something we'd never find on our own.

question: If you could show somebody your favourite neighbourhood, what would you show them?

mompoet - hoping we are chosen!

$99 for laser hair removal in brooklyn

Fiona and I will be in New York City in mid-January. It's part of a college audition trip she'll be taking (and I get to go along!) to some prospective universities. In between Dayton Ohio and Montclair New Jersey we get a 5 day stopover in New York City.

I have been researching good deals for while we are there. Fiona's on top of how to get rush tickets to Broadway musicals. I'm looking at the other stuff. I have been checking out Groupon deals for New York City. So far I can get a cheap dental exam, Bikram yoga sessions and laser hair removal, but that's not quite what we're looking for. I'll keep checking, though!

As well as New York, Montclair and Dayton, we'll be in Ann Arbor and Berea (near Cleveland). We'll fly the big legs, then drive around Michigan and Ohio. I am praying for favourable weather. This will be a challenging trip for me as the transportation and accommodation coordinator and loving support mom. It will be even more challenging for Fiona to perform at the auditions. We'll both get a chance to look at the schools that she is considering, and think about what it would be like to live and study there.

If you know any great things to do or see that don't cost a million dollars, please let me know. Our touristing will be confined to the New York part of the trip, because of the tight timeline to get in and out of the other cities.

question: How much would you pay for laser hair removal in Brooklyn?

mompoet - figuring it all out

Friday, December 24, 2010


In the middle of all of the eye-piercing ear-splitting spectacles and heart-jolting suspense thrillers and over-inflated romantic comedies, there are some gems. I just found one of them. Alex and I saw The King's Speech last night. It was understated and lovely. I recommend it. Like a crisp fresh pear among all of the plum puddings and turduckens.

question: seen any good movies lately?

mompoet - liking the ones that are mostly about people

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I remember

This is the song "I Remember," written by Stephen Sondheim for a TV musical drama special called Evening Primrose. It aired in 1966 on ABC Stage 67. It's newly available on DVD, and I ordered it for a birthday present for myself. Charmian Carr, the actor who played Liesl in The Sound of Music, plays Ella in the TV special. Anthony Perkins plays Charles, a young poet who decides to escape the harsh world outside and live secretly in a department store. He is surprised to find Ella and a community of other people already living there.

Watching a show made for TV in the 60s is a little bit strange. The production style and quality is somewhat distracting but the story is strange and compelling, and the characters simply drawn but authentic. Anthony Perkins can talk/sing his way through a song pretty well. Charmian Carr is lovely, lovely, lovely. Stephen Sondheim is simply splendid, as usual.

question: what do you remember?

mompoet - feeling the beat of my heart in the rhythm of a song


One of our friends from the Cold Wet Weather Mat Program died outside on Sunday. Here's a news story about his death. I feel sad to know that his hard life ended far too early. I wish that we would have done something to make a different outcome for Irv.

Please continue to support the establishment of a permanent shelter for homeless people in the tri-cities. These are our brothers and sisters.

question: what can we do?

mompoet - pondering

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

cleaning house - response to fernando's burrito

my vacuum cleaner
cleans floor
like a
cleans bedroom

45 minutes
of angry smelly
injured cursing
I just asked it to
hijack the mail truck
to the children's hospital
or tell an untruth
on its
twitter feed

it picks up nothing
kicks through
the stuff on the floor
picks up nothing
shouts about stuff
I must have taken
and hidden
(like I would have
any reason to
take and hide
its stuff)
it picks up nothing

finds one thing
it wants
takes it to another room
drops it there
it is too full
too hot
too tired
too busy
too teenager
to actually suck
at anything

I pick up that this is a time
to pick my battles
and retreat
for now
is this a stage
or a permanent disability?
is it my fault
that my vacuum cleaner
won't suck?

It's only the bedroom
we can close the door
I'm not resentful

but for now
I will not call it a vacuum
I will call it a vacum
because it doesn't pick up anything
it doesn't suck
and it doesn't deserve
to have the letter u
twice in its name

SHARE Food Bank - putting the Christmas season in perspective

I'm at home this morning, preparing to work an afternoon shift at the rec centre. I got up early anyway and made breakfast for Alex, who was heading out to the university to meet up about a documentary project on which he will be volunteering.

We were looking at the morning news, and saw a story about the Tri-Cities SHARE Food Bank being in desperate need of food and cash donations for the Christmas season. Alex agreed to pitch in some cash, and so did Fiona, so our family could make a donation today.

I drove Fiona up to school. On the way home, I stopped by the Food Bank main office on Spring Street in Port Moody. Wednesday is food bank day, so the place was buzzing with volunteers, delivery trucks and clients beginning to line up outside. It took about 5 minutes to make a donation, and I got to chat with my neighbour Barb, who volunteers there.

Here's a story in the Vancouver Sun about the SHARE Food Bank. Please consider giving them some food or money. There's a drop-off at Coquitlam Save On Foods tonight (Wednesday, December 15 4-7pm) or you can call in a credit card donation or visit the Food Bank office. Cash donations go a long way, providing approximately triple the value of what we could purchase at the grocery store.

It feels good to know there's still something we can do to help this close to Christmas. It's hard to imagine what it would be like to not be sure about having enough food for the family for the next week, or the one after.

I drove home and visited my secret chocolate stash. I ate 4 coconut M&Ms from a package that my friend Helen brought back to me from her trip to Hawaii. I though about how lucky I am that my biggest nutritional concern this time of year is NOT eating too much food. I thought about how good it is for a family to collaborate on giving, how it can allow all of us to share the good things that are abundant in our lives. I thought, "I'll tell my friends about this."

question: what's for supper at your house today?

mompoet - taking a look at the big picture

Monday, December 13, 2010

I need a vacation from my weekend

Oh la la. Things have been busy around here - all good, but busy.

Andy had to work afternoon shift all last week, to cover for a co-worker who took a vacation week. This kind of turned our world upside down. He and I didn't see each other except with our eyes closed at 3 in the morning for a couple of hours before I woke up. We kept in touch by phone and email but it's just not the same as being awake in the same room.

Fiona had tech week, preview and opening night for Annie at Gateway Theatre in Richmond. She spent a lot of time at the theatre, and also went to school and even taught her class on Saturday morning before going to the theatre to do two shows. Thank goodness for her energy, discipline and organization. When she can get through a week like this and hold it together, I feel so good. I admire her and I'm thankful for all that she can do. Thank goodness also for our car pool with another family in our area. It's good to share all of the driving, and the experience of having the girls in the show. Andy and I went to opening night on Friday. It's a very sweet and funny production. It runs through New Year's Eve. Tickets are here.

Also this weekend, Alex did some volunteer production assistant work on the Vancouver auditions of So You Think You Can Dance Canada. He worked 2 long days at this in Vancouver, starting so early Saturday that public transit wasn't ready to take him there. Saturday morning I drove him downtown for 6:30am. It's very quiet downtown at 6:30am. He said it was a good experience, he worked hard and saw a bit of the dancing. He says "YES!" he would do it again. I hope so!

Our neighbours Doris and Dave hosted a potluck and games night Saturday. It's great to go to a party just up the street - no driving! We had a yummy time, and met some new friends from our neighbourhood and from the neighbourhood where Doris and Dave lived before they moved here. Both Andy and I were so tired we left before the card-playing began. It's a very short walk home to crash and start catching up on our rest!

In between all of this, I ran a few errands, did some housework, cooked some yummy meals, and went to church Sunday. Even on the busiest of weekends, church gives me energy. I missed last Sunday to drive the girls to Richmond for rehearsal, and the one before that for my birthday sleep-in. When I go back it's like recharging my spirit. Somehow, taking the time for worship and community gives me more time that day and for the rest of the week.

Did I mention I was on-call for emergency social services this weekend? Thank you to Robin, who took the blackberry Friday afternoon and stayed up until 1am to give it back from me when I returned with Fiona from the opening night party. It was good to see the show and know I wouldn't be called away to help with an emergency.

On Sunday evening I got Fiona's knitting book out, along with some needles borrowed from my mom. Guess what? I still know how to knit. Now I have something to do in my spare time. HA!

question: how do you recharge after you have been running at maximum capacity?

mompoet - grateful for all of this good stuff that keeps us so busy

Thursday, December 09, 2010

such a nice thing for an almost-winter evening

I made this New York Times recipe last night for supper. Of course I altered it, using brussels sprouts instead of peas, because I like brussels sprouts so much better than peas, and also I am still craving the petit cabbages every day.

For the fresh herbs I chose Italian parsley and basil. That was a good choice. I didn't have an organic lemon (oh me oh my, my horribly deprived epicurean existence) but it was still yummy with the regular kind.

question: what do you substitute?

mompoet - bon appetit!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

shoe memorial

I was downtown Monday morning, so I walked over to the art gallery to look at the Shoe Memorial. It commemorates the Montreal Massacre of 1989, in which 14 female students were killed by a gunman raging against women. It also commemorates each one of the girls and women who died in acts of violence in the Vancouver area in the past 20 years.

When I saw the shoes I imagined a girl or woman standing in each pair. The old courthouse steps were crowded with smiling women, alive with vibrant energy. I thought of the lost potential of all of those lives.

A volunteer talked to me about the memorial and gave me some pamphlets. You can check out this website for information and suggestions.

question: why do people hurt people?

mompoet - perplexed

Monday, December 06, 2010

it's official - this is the longest birthday in the world

A week after my birthday, and my birthday is still going on. It began on November 12, with a beautiful supper prepared by my friends Kathy and Michele, and just keeps going!

On the 20th, Andy and I went out for our "in between our birthdays" supper. We chose Primo's Mexican Restaurant. It was great! They're celebrating 50 years of operating in Vancouver, which is kind of nice for our birthdays because 50 is in between Andy's age and my age. We will definitely go back soon.

I had my family celebration last Sunday. Niece Maya and I cooked up a beautiful Indian feast at my parents' place, and Maya made a yummy chocolate ganache cake with lots of whipped cream and strawberries.

The kids pooled their money and bought me Stephen Sondheim's Finishing the Hat. This promises to be a juicy holiday read.

At work on my birthday, everyone sang to me and gave me a tiara and a pirate sword to wear all day, and a card to "Mama Bear" with bear-themed greetings. So I am either a bear, a princess, or a pirate, or perhaps all three.

On Friday, Louise and I had our annual lunch out at Anton's Pasta. Our birthdays are just 5 days apart, and we have celebrated at this same restaurant every year for as long as I can remember. Louise gave me a birthday card that farts when you open it. COOL!

The final installment will take place on Jan 7, because that's when all of the Ladeez in the 'Hood can make it. Cathy will craft me my very own signature cocktail, and we'll have an evening at her place. I think I'm supposed to bring the tiara and the sword and the traveling pajamas, but probably not the farting birthday card.

The traveling pajamas will make an appearance some time this December, with a Port Moody photo session with some of the Ladeez and me. This is not a birthday celebration, although we could call it the pajamas' birthday and buy them a drink.

All through the past couple of weeks I have received so many birthday cards that we ran out of space to display them. On the day, facebook had to open a new url, just to handle the traffic for my birthday greeting posts.

I feel blessed to have so many friends who give me their love and attention. I love celebrating any time. I have been made to feel funny and special and loved.

question: do you like good things that go on for a good long time?

mompoet - thank you everyone!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

container village

what if we opened our church and nothing happened?

Beginning this Thursday evening, St. Andrew's United Church will offer a commuter sanctuary from 5-7pm. This will take place on 3 Thursdays in December: 2, 9 and 16. The doors will be open to weary travelers and anyone else who wants to come in, be still and prepare their hearts for Christmas. Here's the story in the Now newspaper.

Our minister and a few congregation members will be there each Thursday night to make a quiet, warm, welcome place for peace and rest. If you are passing by, I hope you'll stop and join us. You may find something that you are missing in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and the holiday season. Then again, nothing may happen, and that would be good too.

question: where do you find peace?

mompoet - embracing advent