Thursday, May 31, 2007

two shows but first I will host at church (revised)

Devon Goodman, host of the Maple Ridge Slam, just asked me to be the feature there in June. It's June 15 at the Ridge Coffee Shop in the Maple Ridge Civic Complex (near the library and the ACT Theatre).

Then on Monday, July 16, (not June - I was ahead of myself there) I will feature at Twisted Poets at the Bump 'n' Grind Cafe on Commercial Drive in Vancouver. That's Bonnie and Sita of Pandora's Collective's wonderful monthly open mic poetry night.

But before I can look forward to all that, I get to host at church this Sunday. Tim, our minister, emailed me to ask if I could preside at the service while he is away on a study week. I said okay. I guess if I can host a poetry slam, I ought to be able to host a Sunday morning at church. Usually when Tim is away, one of our more experienced church members presides. The group of people at our church who serve on the worship ministry suggested that it would be great to have "new voices" on these days. I don't have to serve communion or deliver a sermon (we call it "reflection" in our service). The latter will be replaced by a dramatic presentation by Marcia and Chris, who often play music, but I don't think have ever done a drama for us before. So there will be lots new at church this Sunday. I'm a bit nervous, but no more than I usually am before I try something new. I'll try to do a good job for everyone and have fun with it.

I'll let you know how it went. And I promise, no score cards or rude shouting if the gospel reading goes over three minutes.

question: what do a church service and a poetry slam have in common?

mompoet - versatile and affordable

almost sleep time and I remember again

We were in this small airplane, a bunch of friends and me. Hard to tell who, we were all in matching flight suits with hoods and helmets. We were high high in the sky, riding in the cargo part of the airplane. In the middle of the airplane floor there is an opening. Now it is time for us to jump out of the airplane with our parachutes (for fun, I think, not escape). I say "I'll go first because I'll just be more afraid if I watch you all go." Then I squeeze out through some kind of valve or port and I remark to myself that it's sort of like being born out of the belly of the plane into the wide, cold, open air of the sky. Now I am falling and laughing and shouting and above me everyone's parachutes are blooming like flowers and we all float down slowly.

question: I wonder if skydiving is really like that?

mompoet - never tried it, except in my dream

Is it a blue moon today? or tomorrow?

I was driving home tonight and I saw the full moon. It's May 31 so it must be a blue moon. Cool! But before I blogged it I wanted to be sure so I checked a moon phase calculator on the internet and guess what? It said full moon on June1, which is still okay, because that means there will be a blue moon at the end of June, just one month later. But wait! That moon I saw was as round as round could be. If it got any rounder it would be more than full and the moon can't be that. I should know. I know round, I do.

Then I found this article. It seems that the calculation of the blue moon of 2007 depends on what time zone you live in. So it is a blue moon here, tonight. It is also a blue moon tonight in Hawaii and New York. However, in London, Tokyo and Aukland, it is not a blue moon. The first full moon of June will happen early Saturday morning, and the blue moon happens at the end of that month.

Interesting (at least I think so).

question: blue mooon?

mompoet - you saw me standing alone

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

you can get a banana guard too

They're on ebay.

question: why not?

mompoet - get a fuchsia one! I dare you!

vote now

I think I just found something to have a bad dream about tonight.

Check out these videos on yesbutnobutyes and vote for "which is tougher?" (a duck attacking a dog, or a turtle attacking a cat). Wait! before you look, guess which one would cause me to have a nightmare?

question: which is tougher?

mompoet - ayyyeeeiiii - big scary turtle-mouth!

it's been a while since I posted a recipe and this is a good one

a new salad I just learned from a friend who brought it to a potluck lunch at work last week:

fresh spinach (washed and torn into chunks)
sliced strawberries
diced red onion
sliced avocado
bocconcini cheese
raspberry vinaigrette dressing

Put them together in the proportions that appeal to you. mmmm

I was going to take a picture of the one I made tonight but I forgot, and ate it all up.

question: why does a salad always taste better when someone else makes it?

mompoet - this one is so good that it's even good when I make it for myself

ps blogger spell-checks bocconcini as "reconcilable."

Monday, May 28, 2007

baseball time haiku

girl one and girl two
drop gloves, link arms, cleats clacking
down the stairs laughing


This weekend someone stole $1,000 from my bank account. It was a debit card fraud. Someone stole the info from my debit card and my PIN number, and used these to withdraw cash from a bank machine.

I found out Sunday afternoon when I tried to buy some groceries on the way home from the hockey game. My card was declined, with a message to call my branch. When I phoned the bank's 800 number the operator told me that the card had been frozen in "deposit only" mode due to suspicion of illegal use of the card. (Thank goodness!) This happens automatically whenever uncharacteristic use occurs. Withdrawing a kilobuck on a Sunday afternoon is definitely not my typical banking pattern.

I went to the branch this morning and met with the Customer Service Manager who started things on the road to recovery. She took my ID, checked my accounts and verified that other recent transactions were really mine. Yup. I did spend $63 on dog food on Saturday afternoon. Now that's a typical mompoet purchase.

A fraud investigation will be initiated, including someone viewing the video from the bank machine where the criminals withdrew the cash (somewhere in downtown Vancouver). All going well, I'll have my thousand dollars back by the end of the week. I asked how the bank pays for replacing my money and was told "unfortunately, we pass the cost of crime on to our customers." So if you don't like your bank service charges, you know at least part of them are going to reimbursing innocent victims of crime.

I asked how and when my info was stolen. The manager couldn't say. She told me it could have happened as long as six months ago. She said that it's usually a bad employee, not a bad store. The employee brings a device to work and double-swipes customers' cards (once for the store, once for the crook). Stealing the PIN number is done with a video camera hidden somewhere near the PIN pad. I thought I was being careful, but obviously not careful enough.

So now I have a new bank card, and a new PIN number, and a new sense of vulnerability. It's one thing to know it could happen, another to have it happen in real life.

All the same, I'm very grateful that someone did not just follow me into the bank machine and ask me to give them $1,000. That would have been much worse.

question: have you ever been scammed?

mompoet - feeling a bit stupid

Sunday, May 27, 2007

another dream

I don't think much about my dreams during the day, but when it's time to sleep again, they return. Here's one I remember from last night (a variation on my recurring "I did not prepare for this. Oh NO!" dream).

I am in a Production of The Sound of Music, playing the Baroness Shraeder, to whom Captain Von Trapp is engaged before he meets Maria. It's a community theatre production that flips around between the James Cowan Theatre and Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park. In parts of the dream it's indoors, in parts outdoors. I think the changerooms and wings are only the James Cowan because I've never been backstage at Malkin Bowl so my dream brain used what it knew.

It's opening night. Everyone is happy and excited and ready except me. I realise that although I look the part, I have not learned my lines, songs or blocking (does Baroness Shraeder sing? I'm not sure). Someone loans me a script to "brush up fast" because the curtains will open any minute and I have to learn my part. The book says "The Sound of Music" on the cover. I am wanred not to mark or highlight it because the theatre company is going to send all of the scripts back to the publishing house for a refund now that the show is ready, and that can be done only if they appear to be unused.

I search for my lines but can't find them. It's not The Sound of Music inside the book. It's Hamlet. Everyone I ask for help thinks I'm crazy. "Look, it's the right script. There's my line. There's yours..." but when I take it back and look, it's Hamlet all right. I wake up before the curtain rises.

question: what do The Sound of Music and Hamlet have in common?

mompoet - Ophelia Von Trapp

observations on the memorial cup final

1. WE WON!!!

2. Junior hockey is a rougher game than NHL. Fairly obvious lags between puck-let-go and full on body checks anyway totally forgiven/ignored by refs. Also a head-punching session in the first period for which the refs stood close by and counted to twenty slowly before moving in.

3. Junior hockey has less pass-pass-shoot in front of the net, and more shooting from the middle of the ice into a thicket of players than NHL (if this game is typical).

4. The Pacific Coliseum is pretty cool when it's full to the rafters. Fans were pasted to the wall at the top of the blue seats (we were pretty near there ourselves). Sight lines are great up there but I had to breathe slowly at first to get over my fear of looking down-down-down-down-down.

5. Walking the concourse at the break is like walking through a sea of concentrated "Axe" body spray. Oh my.

6. The guys in the seats behind us are not ready to forgive that Medicine Hat player for biting people (or at least one other player).

7. Going to a Memorial Cup game and having your team win is pretty nice.

8. The curse of mompoet going to the hockey game has been broken. (Up until now I have never been to a game where our team won.)

9. I wish I had won the 50/50 ($33 thousand) but I'm pretty well off as it is. I hope the person who won it needed it, or gives at least some of it to someone who does.


question: did you catch the game?

mompoet - lucky to be in the right place at the right time

the bear is back, and we missed him/her

We were out of the house all day. When we came home there was a message from Myrna on the answering machine warning us not to walk the dog. Myrna said there was a black bear in the neighbourhood, and the police and animal control people were out with tranquilizer dart guns to catch it. She was less worried that the bear would meddle with the dog, and more worried that the dog might be mistaken for a bear. Some people think she looks like a bear. Do you think she looks like a bear?

She is rather bigger and blacker and shaggier than the dog in that picture, but I don't think she'd be mistaken by a bear. Still, it was awfully kind of Myrna to make sure our Soleil did not risk being stopped in her tracks with a tranquilizer dart.

The next door neighbours saw the bear in the little playground right outside our back yards. They couldn't confirm if the bear tried the tire swing (either for swinging or for eating).

I guess this means no early morning treks with the dog in the woodsy places that she loves so much. We'll keep alert and walk where other people and their dogs are sure to be until I know for sure that the bear has been re-located. No more prawn-scented hairgel for the time being either, I guess.

question: did you see the bear? did it look like our dog?

mompoet - aka ursula

very cool video short

Watch this. I bet you'll like it.

question: wouldn't you like to do that?

mompoet - real people are better than claymation

Saturday, May 26, 2007

this should explain everything

Answers to the pet quiz

Thanks first to my Dad, for pointing out to me that I have an unusual style of numeration. I think it's fine, and nobody else noticed, or if they did they didn't say.

1. Sasha - Is a dog - a shepherd cross with ears like Yoda
2. Pedro - Is a dog - a rotweiller/bulldog cross puppy built like a bullet and sweet as caramel pie
3. Hugo - is a famous traveling cat, black with white chest spot. He cruised the neighbourhood during the garage sale and hung out in a neighbour's tree
4. Asker - Is a dog. Her name cracks me up. "What's your dog's name?" "Asker." haha!
5. Sparky - Is a dog. A cute grey terrier who likes our dog Soleil, which is nice.
6. Rex - Is a dog. (would it be cool to name your cat Rex?) A baritone voiced black lab.
7. Casey and Griffin - Both dogs - terriers.
4. Mila - A dog (I think hers is an especially cool name) - Jack Russel
5. Classy - A dog - bichon who looks like a little white butterball, very cute
6. Chester - A dog - large puppy of unknown breed - looks like he's wearing doctor denton pajamas
7. Gandolph - A dog - a majestic and affectionate Great Dane who leans hard on your legs while you scratch his lantern jaw

So I guess I know more dogs than cats. I see a lot of cats, but they won't tell me their names. Dogs are easier in that regard, just run right over and tell you their name the first time you meet.

I did know a cat named Stevie who was skinny as a pin and had lots of kittens, but I don't think she lives here any more. She was pretty nice and I like her name (from Fleetwood Mac maybe?)

question: if you could name any pet any name, what would you choose?

mompoet - My friend has a standard poodle named Doris. I think that's a good name.

ps - did you know that blogger spell checks "rotweiller" to be correctly spelled "weedkiller?"

everyone laughs their head off when they see the banana guard

I brought the banana guard out at the block party. Can you believe it? My friends refused to pass it around. Were they afraid to hold it? or be seen holding it? I just sat there for a few minutes and did my banana guard demonstration/discussion and everyone was falling out of their chairs laughing. It is mighty alarming looking. Cathy says it looks bigger in real life than it does in the photographs or on the banana guard website.

My neighbour Chris suggested putting a flashlight inside it, but I have a better plan. I'm going to put a glowstick in it and use it as a banana light. I'll wait until I have the camera back to I can get a photo of that.

Nobody can believe that this thing is for real, or that I bought it at a school. Karen wants to borrow it to take it to work this week. I said, "sure!" I'm thinking of taking it to the produce store to ask for assistance with a banana fitting. Several parents speculated about sending their teenagers to school with a banana packed in the guard. Several asked what the heck we get done at my office when I told them we fool around with the banana guard and line dance in the hallway outside of the staff bathroom.

Opening the banana guard lengthwise to reveal the banana compartment seems to make people recoil then laugh. Gesturing expansively with the banana guard makes people shriek. Holding the banana guard in your lap when you sit in a lawn chair is also funny. I am getting more than my $5 worth out of my banana guard.

In other news, Anne of Green Gables was over-the-top wonderful last night. Fiona as bratty, self-absorbed Josie Pye was so funny. The whole cast had worked through their first night jitters and the show ran smoothly. We were all impressed to see actors ages 9-18 demonstrating such talent and dedication. They are really amazing and wonderful.

Supper before was yummy, and the service endearing. We went to a Greek restaurant at the shopping plaza across the street from Port Moody City Hall (the one with IGA). When the waitress found out it was Kathy's birthday she told the singer, who was just tuning up as we were about to leave. He insisted we stay while he serenaded Kathy. I know she was a bit embarrassed, but it was a moment of total sweet, heartfelt cheesiness.

Tomorrow after church Alex and I will cheer on the Vancouver Giants at the final game of the Memorial Cup. Alex wants his photo taken with the Stanley Cup, which he has heard will be on site. It should be an exciting afternoon.

question: why do people like jokes about "banana guards?"

mompoet - I like it when people laugh

quiz from my morning dog walk

Which of these animals are dogs? Which are cats? (all encountered on my morning dog walk). I will post the answers tomorrow. Sorry for the low-tech presentation. Quizbox still isn't talking to blogger.

1. Sasha
2. Pedro
3. Hugo
4. Asker
5. Sparky
6. Rex
7. Casey and Griffin
4. Mila
5. Classy
6. Chester
7. Gandolph

These are all real pet names in my neighbourhood.

question: what is the name of your pet? is it a dog or a cat? or something else?

mompoet - I have always wanted to have a cat named Stella, so my husband could stand outside on a hot night calling the cat, "STELLLLLLAAAAAA!"

Friday, May 25, 2007

bad dream

I'm a little bit afraid to go to sleep tonight because I had a bad dream last night. I was in my parents' garage and a bad man who looked like Riff Raff in the Rocky Horror Picture Show attacked me with a stick and started hitting me on the head and face. I tried to call for help (Mom and Dad and my family were all in the house) but I had no voice. When I found my voice I saw there were other people in the room, but nobody seemed to notice I was being killed and calling for help.

I hate that dream. Worse than the running in slow motion dream when I have to go fast, or the phone that doesn't work dream and the public toilet with no door dream. Maybe I'll just have one of those tonight.

question: when you dream a bad dream, what is it about?

mompoet - I dream reruns

I just have to tell this

I came home from the concert last night. The kids were still awake. Alex had just finished a marathon YouTube viewing session. He likes looking for comedy on YouTube. He said,

"I found this really funny parody of the TV show Jeopardy, with Will Ferrel as Alex Trebek. It was from Saturday Night Live. You know? Back when SNL was funny?"

That cracked me up. Too bad it's a serious show now.

question: do you remember Fred Garvin, Male Prostitute?

mompoet - "Roger you roundly"

and it just gets better

Tonight I'll see Anne of Green Gables again, this time with Fiona in her main character role of Josie Pye. The whole family will be there and lots of friends. We're also celebrating Kathy's birthday with a supper for Kathy and Michele and me before the show. Now I'm the only one of us who is not yet 46. Soon.

Saturday is the big garage sale in our neighbourhood, followed by the big noisy yummy potluck block party. I'm not selling anything this year, so I'll be free to stroll around and look at bizarre stuff for sale and chat with my neighbours. Andy and I may go visit with some friends in the neighbourhood after that, if he can get home quickly after working backstage at Fiona's show.

Sunday, Alex and I will go to the final game of the Memorial Cup. It's Junior Hockey, and we're hoping our team, the Vancouver Giants, will be in it. They play a semi-final game tonight that will decide it. Go Giants!

Storyteller Bill Macnamara has a show Sunday evening at Cafe Montemarte. I hope that we'll finish with the hockey game and ensuing celebration/consolation activities in time for me to get over to Bill's show. I might take Alex with me. I bet he'd love it.

Anne of Green Gables closes Sunday. Andy and Fi will be busy into the evening with striking the sets and then a cast/crew party. Monday, Fiona leaves for 3 days of overnight camp with her school. After all the excitement it's going to be pretty quiet around here.

question: still can't think of any

mompoet - full up with happiness and anticipation

Arcade Fire

Yesterday I saw Arcade Fire. My friend Vicky and I met at Deer Lake Park in Burnaby for this outdoor concert. It feels like home there for me. It's where I work, part of the City of Burnaby's central complex of City Hall, museum, gallery and Arts Centre. As a kid, I attended art programs at the Shadbolt Centre (back before it was named Shadbolt), and later performed in community theatre there and at the summer vaudeville show at the museum nearby. Nowadays it's where I go for staff seminars and meetings, to visit the art gallery and to walk around the lake. The camp that I operate in the summer uses the lake for canoe days. Sometimes, when I'm lucky, I get to see a concert there on the beautiful festival lawn.

Vicky and I got there early so we had time to set a blanket in a great location on the sloping lawn. The stage is set up in front of the lake. We talked, strolled around the grass in our bare feet, and had a bit of a picnic supper in the glorious sunshine. As we waited, the venue filled up. My friend who runs the festivals office told me that 8 thousand tickets had been sold by Wednesday afternoon. On Thursday evening, there were 10 thousand at the show, according to the paper. It didn't feel crowded. The sight lines and sound were great and the mood was excited but happy and friendly. Down in front of the stage you could crunch up and dance as a mass of humanity. We stuck with our blanket, about halfway up the slope.

The opening act, St. Vincent, was lovely - a bit like Ani Di Franco vocally, but more melodic, and with a great band, including a violinist and french horn player, that played lush arrangements that helped make us ready for the feature act. I bought the 3 song St. Vincent CD. I hope we'll hear more from her and see her again.

After a break to re-set the stage, Arcade Fire began. It was just getting dark. The moon appeared. And there was this big, rich complex sound, almost operatic. Nine musicians played an orchestra of instruments, including a big pipe organ and a silvery standup base. The band members' costumes, makeup and hair made them look like they'd just walked through a time warp from an earlier era, but from the sound of the music I thought maybe they'd been just dropped back to earth after being held captive on a spaceship for a few years, with nothing to do but write beautiful, expressive, complicated, introspective pop music. The stage was set up with neon accents, and circular screens like portholes, onto which images were projected in black and white, including real-time video of the band playing. They played a good mix of music from both their Funeral and Neon Bible CDs. Their performances were tight and solid, with not too much variation from how their songs sound on the CDs. I kind of wished they might have taken off with a totally new way of playing at least one song, but that's my only complaint about the whole evening. In fact, how they played was at least half the fun. They danced, and wailed and rumbled, and threw instruments in the air, and climbed on the scaffolding around the stage and drummed on it, and switched instruments and flung themselves from one song to the next and to the abrupt changes of pace and tone that characterize so many of their songs. There were several chances to sing along, and the audience did so with enthusiasm. By the end we were sweaty, happy and would be bouncing off the ceiling only there was no ceiling. I thought to myself that listening to their music was kind of like when you are a little kid and you're on the merry-go-round at the playground, the one that you run to make it go then you jump on, or an older kid spins while you hang on for dear life. You lean out off the side and open your eyes and look at the sky spinning, and every sound and sight of your day seems to spin crazily and beautifully in your head. Well, that's what Arcade Fire sounded like.

The concert ended at 10 (noise bylaw). We said hey to a few friends who were there, including Mike McGee, one of my favourite performance poets, there to see one of his favourite bands. Then we headed home.

It was a great night and a wonderful concert.

question: none that I can think of

mompoet - still spinning

balloons popping

Dooce has the best links (and great posts too). Today I picked up this one, a photo stream of people popping balloons. The balloons are cool. The people are fascinating.

question: does you balloon-popping expression reveal your outlook on life?

mompoet - like nothing I have ever seen

Thursday, May 24, 2007

please may I measure your fingers?

I read this article in the Vancouver Sun this morning. A study in England connects the ratio of forefinger length to ring finger length to prenatal exposure to testosterone. The resulting proportion of ring to forefinger is also an indicator of whether a person is oriented more to math or language. Women typically have equal forefinger to ring finger proportions, men have slightly longer ring fingers. A longer ring finger indicates orientation to math.

I measured my fingers and Alex's fingers at breakfast time. We both have longer ring fingers than forefingers. Alex asked, then why is Math Principles 11 so hard? I told him I don't know.

question: what's your ratio?

mompoet - wiggling my fingers

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Can I carry my gym stuff in the banana guard?

Will the banana guard hold my shirt, socks, sport bra and wash cloth?

Too bad, the bra and socks fit inside the banana guard, but Nelson will have to carry my shirt and washcloth to the gym in his backpack.

Will a toque fit inside the banana guard?

When I'm not wearing it, and Nelson is not using my toque as a sleeping bag, may we perhaps store it inside the banana guard?
Mais oui! a perfect fit!

Will a purple exercise ball fit inside the banana guard?

Maybe if we bend it gently?
Nope! an exercise ball is too big to fit into a banana guard.

Can you pack a tiny rag doll in a banana guard?

Nelson wonders if this tiny rag doll will fit inside the banana guard.
Aw, come on now. It will fit, with room to spare for my house keys and cell phone.
See, this banana guard is useful as well as decorative.

question: did you ever see anything so versatile?

mompoet - note: it is Nelson's banana guard (Nelson told me to say that)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Banana Guard Chronicles Part 2 - a Hypothetical Conversation

I was eating a snack at the office while talking with my friend Robin. I showed Robin how well the curvy banana fits in my banana guard. Robin admired the fit and marvelled at the curviness of the banana stem. (Hah! it's not just me.)

We got to talking about what to do on a day that you don't have any bananas or just prefer not to bring a banana with you in your banana guard. While Nelson the rat would be happy to keep the banana guard home with him on the shelf, I think it is worthwhile to consider the other uses of a banana guard. Robin and I came up with quite a nice list of things that can be handily carried in the banana guard. Stay tuned for details.

I will leave you with this thought...


When you are sleeping on the couch and the phone rings, and you jump up off the couch and grab for the phone, which is funnier:

A - you pick up a banana guard and hold it to your head and say "hello?"

B - you pick up a plastic rate and hold it to your head and say "hello?"

mompoet - both are equally likely at our house these days

Monday, May 21, 2007

Banana Guard Chronicles Part 1 - A Perfect Fit

The banana guard FAQs state

The Banana Guard was specially designed to accommodate the majority of banana sizes. Our testing indicates that over 90% of commercially available bananas will fit into the Banana Guard. Highly curved bananas can be straightened ever-so-slightly without harm to fit the Banana Guard shape. The opposite holds true of very straight bananas.

Yesterday, I bought a handsome hand of bananas. This morning, while Nelson the rat was sleeping, I stole the banana guard, and tested it to find out how well my typical bunch of bananas would fit.

There are seven bananas in the bunch (I bought 8, but Alex ate one before I could test it.) The four curvy bananas on the outside of the bunch all fit nicely. I copied the illustration on the banana guard website, and placed the stem of the banana in the curvy end of the banana guard. This works well, and makes me suspect that Lori's banana at the office last week would have fit had we tried this inverted arrangement. I suspect we view our bananas without including the stem in the mental picture that we make. Our banana schemata is limited to the body of the fruit, excluding the stem. It's as if the stem is meaningless to those who are banana-eaters. I wonder if it is different for banana-growers. Clearly, the banana guard-makers overcame this during their product research and development. Anyway. Turn the banana around and put the stem in the curve and voila! curvy bananas fit (at least my 4 did).

The three innermost straight bananas defied "gentle bending" as described in the banana guard FAQ page. Had I bent them enough to fit, they would have split their skin, thus defeating the protective purpose of the guard.

Suggestion for purchasing bananas intended for banana guard protection/transportation: When choosing a hand of bananas, break out the outer row of fruit. These are more curvy than the inner row. Leave the inner, straighter bananas for those who carry their bananas unprotected, or perhaps sheathe them in used paper towel rolls.

question: do you see the stem?

mompoet - now I see it

The day

After church, Alex and I drove over to my Mom and Dad's place. Together we went for a Szechuan lunch. Then I dropped Alex off at the Skytrain station, so he could run some errands at the mall and go home. Andy and Fi were in the theatre for Fiona's play all afternoon. Mom, Dad and I drove downtown to see The Andersen Project at the Playhouse.

I parked in the Playhouse/Queen Elizabeth Theatre parkade, and locked up with my "club" antitheft device. As soon as I locked it, I realised I had made a big mistake. Alex had my club key. One of his errands was to get a copy made so he would have one too. So there we were, parked and stuck. After the play we would need someone to bring us a club key so I could drive my car home.

I called Alex's cell, but it was not turned on. I called Andy at the theatre in Port Moody, where the show was about to begin. He would not be finished there until about 90 minutes after the play was set to finish in Vancouver, so worst comes to worst, he could rescue us about 2 hours after our show ended. It was pouring rain in downtown Vancouver on a Sunday, so waiting around at suppertime was an unattractive option.

Our play was a one-act (2 hour and 5 minutes long). Fi's is a 2-act. I asked Andy to try to call Alex at home on his intermission, and give instructions to find the Playhouse by transit so he could come rescue us. I asked Andy to leave me a voicemail so I would know what was happening. Before the show began, I checked with the front of house manager at the Playhouse. The parkade closed at 6, but if we were stuck he would give me his cell phone number and come back to free my car whenever I needed it. I hoped I wouldn't, and thanked him. I crossed my fingers, turned off the cell phone and enjoyed the play.

As soon as the lights went up after the play, I turned on my cell, and it was ringing. It was Alex, at the Stadium Skytrain station, just two blocks from the theatre. He needed directions. Five minutes later we were unlocking the club and everyone was laughing at me and I was thanking Alex about a hundred times for coming downtown in the pouring rain to a place he doesn't know to help me because I was absent-minded.

Alex requested a Dairy Queen sundae as a reward. Mom, Dad and I were grateful for not having to wait around to get home. I was glad I didn't have to go home by transit then come back for my car later. Even with the Dairy Queen stop, we got home about the same as if everything had gone as usual.

question: did you ever forget something then everything was okay anyway?

mompoet - grateful

The play

I loved everything about The Andersen Project. It got good reviews from some reviewers who often like stuff that I don't like, so I was wary. But within minutes of beginning, it got me and kept me and I loved it, although maybe for different reasons.

The Andersen Project is a solo play by Robert Lepage, a Quebec playwright and producer. The outside story is about a Montreal songwriter who is commissioned to work with the Paris Opera to write a children's production based on the story "The Dryad" (the inner story of this play), by Hans Christian Andersen. In his play, Robert Lepage plays Frederic, the songwriter, Rashid, a Morrocan immigrant who runs a Paris peepshow, the head of the Paris Opera (forget his name) and Hans Christian Andersen. It's pretty much linear in its storytelling, chronicling the weeks spent by Frederic in Paris. Traveling alongside this story is the storyline of The Dryad, as well as the story of Andersen's visit to the Paris World Exhibition in 1867.

The mood is grim. Everything is grey and black with occasional bursts of red. The staging is astonishing. Set pieces glide forward and back, side to side, as if propelled by some inhuman force. Then there's the screen. Parts of the play are projected onto a screen into which Lepage can jump, walk and climb. I can't tell how they did it, but it works. It's as if he's walking into a story on a page or in a movie, and jumping out again, but better than that. You have to see it to get it. There's also a puppeteer who creates the dog that is a central character, and moves trees and various other elements of the scenery. Then there are the character changes. Lepage changes hair and clothing in moments offstage (an even onstage in a couple of instances) that are so bogglingly quick, they must be magic. While it's a solo play with just one actor onstage, this production has lots of people working behind the scenes to make it happen so beautifully.

I think this play is about how being human is by definition separate and lonely. The Dryad gives up her connectedness with the world for one night in Paris as a human being. The human characters are all disconnected from the people around them. The harder they try to be part of a family or a relationship, the more they push and are pushed away from it. In the centre of it is Hans Christian Andersen, who writes beautiful tales of love and magic and longing, but lived a life without love or intimacy. It's a sad message, but it's portrayed with humour and love, in a way that lets us get closer and closer to the characters, and so becomes enlightening.

It's also about connecting through art, and establishing validity in art. Frederic travels to Paris to make something of real meaning and lasting value - beyond his usual work of writing pop music lyrics. His disappointment parallels that of Hans Christian Anderson, whose work was dismissed by many because it was written for children. The Dryad in the fairy tale has a similar experience. After a lifetime of longing she gets her wish. The conclusion is grim, but the journey of discovery is fascinating and oddly beautiful.

I recommend this play. It's at the Vancouver Playhouse through May 27.

question: would you rather be a dryad in a chestnut tree forever? or a human being in Paris for one night?

mompoet - wondering

Sunday, May 20, 2007

what shall I do?

While we slept last night, the banana guard and Nelson the rat set up shop together. They have formed an alliance. The banana guard says her name is Tallulah.

They have built a nest beside the thesaurus on the bookshelf in the living room. When I approach them, they hum loudly in an ominous manner that suggests I should back off and leave them to themselves.

What shall I do?

Well, I have to press some costumes that came home last night to be washed. Then there's church, then I'm going to see The Anderson Project at the Playhouse. I think I'm cooking a salmon for supper when I get home. It's the first night the family will eat together in 8 days, what with the show and all.

I think I'll just have to leave Tallulah and Nelson to themselves and see what develops.

question: Is there such thing as free will for a banana guard?

mompoet - Tallulahfied

Saturday, May 19, 2007


In case you are wondering if I really own a banana guard. Here it is, photographed with this morning's newspaper as proof. Please disregard the state of the banana used in this photo. It is an unprotected banana that has rested in our kitchen for too many days.

In other developments, the answer to the question of banana-fit is addressed in the Banana Guard FAQs, which are worth reading even if you don't care about banana size.

question: did you have doubts?

mompoet - going to make banana bread with my vulnerable bananas


I am lately declining timbits and two-bite brownies. I have been accepting dreambits. Here, I'll share them:

I am at a school somewhere and a celebration is about to occur. Everyone is outside the building, milling around and chatting happily. Now it's time to go inside where someone important will be honoured. I enter with everyone else but find myself coming into the room last. Now I'm in a church, entering from behind the altar, upstaging a priest who is conducting a funeral for the person who I thought was going to be there for the party. The priest stops the funeral to criticize me for being disruptive, then sends me out of the church.


I am in a meeting at work with co-workers and community people. The meeting chair stops the meeting and asks me what's wrong, because I am crying. I insist that I am not crying, but I notice that I am mopping my face with a towel and there is water all over the table and on my meeting papers.


I go to a production of Hamlet with our daughter. Some of her friends are in the show. As we watch the performance, we realise that it's not the show, or the kids, but a bunch of adults re-enacting parts of the show, and critiquing the performances of their children. I am disappointed and confused. Our daughter seems not to mind. Outside after the show the other parents tell me I am just not sophisticated enough to appreciate this "interpretation" of the show.

That's all I can remember. I must have ate the rest.

question: what flavour were your dreams last night?

mompoet - bits and pieces

Friday, May 18, 2007


I bought a banana guard at a school fundraiser. So far my bananas do not fit it. I think I have to take it to the produce store to find some appropriate bananas. I am waiting until Fiona gives me back the camera, then I will commence the banana guard chronicles.

question: do you have a banana guard?

mompoet - I have a banana guard

opening night

Anne of Green Gables opens tonight. That's our daughter's show. Rehearsals have been happening since September for this full-length musical theatre production. There are about 30 kids in the cast. I have pretty much finished sewing costumes and I'm now on to my volunteer job for the run of the show: rescue costume lady. If anything turns out to be hemmed too long or in need of renovations or if anything gets torn, soiled or crushed during the run of the show, it will come home to me at night and I will fix it in time for the next performance. During the dress rehearsals and previews I have been called on for a lot of hemming, and I had to put the pucker into Gilbert Blythe's knickerbockers. (I just had to say that because of the way it sounds, but it is true.)

Normally I would also be driving to and from the theatre and doing a lot of waiting with a book while rehearsals finish up. This time is different. Andy got called in on Sunday morning to help with load-in (hauling set pieces and props from storage to the theatre, and helping to set them up on the stage), something he's done before. But before he got a chance to leave the theatre, the stage manager handed him a paintbrush and a screwdriver and asked him what he was doing with all of his spare time for the next two weeks. Now he's on stage crew. So he's driving to the theatre every day, and wearing black clothing, and running around in the dark pushing heavy objects on and off the stage. I am delighted that he and Fiona have this opportunity to share an activity. Although it does feel weird to be secondary parent on this project. Oh well, Alex and I have been having some fun in the evenings while Andy and Fi are busy with the show. We'll go watch it tonight, then again next Friday, so we can see both casts (every actor learns and plays 2 parts, each on alternating nights).

Last night Alex and I went for a long walk with the dog. He told me that he doesn't mind that we aren't rich, like some of the people on TV. We talked about how we are rich, compared to most people in the world. Rich people's "normal" really isn't normal, but neither is ours. We have everything that we need plus a few scoops extra. We decided we are as rich as anyone really needs to be.

question: what's your family doing this weekend?

mompoet - rich

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sweet Last Days

I just posted my sister's blog for her. In case you haven't looked in on it yet, she's been chronicling her family's experiences living in Eritrea. They've been there for nearly two years, and are coming home soon.

Her stories of the birth of a baby to a dear friend Saba (who pretty much adopted them the day they arrived in the small town of Keren) and cooking lessons at Adem's home are now making me cry. How sad it will be for them to say goodbye to these people who have become an intimate part of their daily lives. I will be so happy to have Barb and Kim and the kids back at home, but I know it will be a hard time for them leaving their African home.

question: did you ever feel right beside someone, even when they were a world away?

mompoet - happy and sad and leaking from the eyeballs

why look at each other when we can look at the giant television?

And now, from Lazy Boy Furniture, a family set of chairs permanently stuck together to face the TV. No more intimate conversations. Forget snuggling. Stay focussed on what really matters. Cup holders and snack trays are standard equipment.

Gee. I wonder if there's a matching set of TV tables for Sunday dinner? And how about a built-in commode? Wouldn't want to miss a minute of that wide screen TV.

question: do people really buy such things?

mompoet - boggled by what you can buy

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

stupid worrying

I have been thinking about worrying lately, and all of the stupid things that I worry about. I worry about whether the vegetables will rot before I have time to cook them. I worry if the dog's claws are too long and I need to clip them more often. I worry about socks and pens that disappear. Where are they? I worry about losing my cell phone. I worry about whether I locked the car door. I almost always walk back to my car to check. It is almost always locked.

This may seem surprising if you know me, because I am a generally exuberant and optimistic person. I think I worry less than a lot of people do. I have faith in the people around me to take care of things, and in my own competence, and in the general goodness and natural order of the universe. But I do worry, of course, like everyone.

Spring is the time when my worrying comes to a head. And not just about studpid things. In spring I worry about important things too. I worry about work. Will I get everything done in time for summer? (Hint to self: you have been doing this job for about 20 years. Every year you are ready when summer comes. You can do it.) I worry about my husband and the kids and the dog (not the cat, interestingly) and all of the things I could do for them if I had/made more time for them. Is everybody safe? happy? healthy? Are we making the most of our lives together? (hint to self: Maybe you are not always easy to be married to. Maybe you are not the perfect Mom every minute of every day. Most of the time your family is happy, enjoying each other. You all look forward to seeing each other. There is love and appreciation. Your family is better than okay, even though you have your own interests and activities. Your life is rich and full.) I even worry about trees. There are these trees that I drive past every day on my way to work, some of my favourite trees anywhere, in fact. This spring it seems like they have waited forever to grow leaves. Every time I drive past them, I worry: Are they sick? Are they dead? When will they green up? (hint to self: Look, today they have tiny leaves poking out. They are okay.)

The funny thing about worry is that it doesn't do anything constructive. It doesn't make the work get done or the people feel happy or the leaves grow any faster than nature intends them to grow. I tell myself that when I am trying not to worry. But I also think there must be a purpose for this emotion. I think maybe it's about loving and valuing. Worrying reminds me that some things are important enough to think about them in an intense and urgent way. If I didn't love my work and my family and the trees, I wouldn't care enough to worry about them. But I do love them, so I worry.

question: Do you think I have enough shampoo to make it to the end of the week? I'm kind of worried that I might run out. (OH! I must love my shampoo. ???)

mompoet - wooo-oooo-rrr-eee

Monday, May 14, 2007

perfectly lovely while it lasted

I got an email today from Tim Westergren of Pandora Internet Radio. Sadly, this internet service will be cut off to Canadians as of May 16. It's all about licensing laws. You can read about it at the Pandora Blog.

While Pandora never was available in Canada really, all you needed was a US zip code (hint, ask a friend for his/her zipcode, or look up any US mailing address and use that one). Now Pandora has to own up to being able to detect users' IP addresses, and thus able to deny access based on that.

I'll miss finding out about music that is like the music I like. I'll miss listening to it while I poke around on the internet or post my blog. I hope they find a way to bring Pandora to Canada legally.

If you haven't listened yet, you still have 1 day to enjoy the music genome project that is Pandora.

question: is there a workaround, I wonder?

mompoet - still listening

like the last person on earth to see the show (again)

I finally saw An Inconvenient Truth last night. Our church hosted a screening, followed by a discussion. About 50 people attended - half members of our congregation, half others. Our minister and a counselor experienced in talking with people about the environment facilitated a check-in before the movie and a discussion after. Part of the idea was to think about our emotional response to global warming and to talk about ways that we react to our strong feelings. Denial, fear, anger, hopelessness, cynicism, fatalism...all of these feelings are natural in the face of a problem this big. The thing is, you can feel them and acknowledge them, then go on to do something about the problem. Without being overtly religious, parts of the discussion paralleled the faith journey that many of us take - even when we struggle to make sense or believe in any good in the universe/creation, part of us moves along to finding and following that good path. It's like the last thing we allow ourselves to believe in is ourselves.

I went to the movie totally believing in global warming, half believing in the power of the people of the world to do something about it, and fearful I would be disappointed in the way that the message was conveyed. I had heard that it was "The Al Gore Dog and Pony Show," its good intent tainted by too much Gore-as-idol. But by the time the movie finished I could see why so much of the focus was put on the man. The message is strong, convincing, relentlessly awful until near the end when we see that we do have the capacity to make meaningful change. The Gore stories give us a personality with which to associate the message. Most of the information we have read or heard in bits and bites through other media. In the movie, a personal connection is made with a man, his personal understanding of the problem (beginining in university in the late 60s) and why it has meaning to him. I think the film-makers chose to convey it this way to help it stick in our hearts. Our brains have the ability to compartmentalize, defer and shut down segments. Our hearts are relentless once something gets stuck there. I think they were trying to stick Al Gore in our hearts so the message would be pushed to our brains in a more compelling and enduring way.

I think it's human nature that we are compelled to understanding, belief and action by a personal connection - moreso than just by information alone. Again, it parallels how religious belief works, if you think about Jesus as God transformed from an abstract principle to a personification of that principle. I know that not all world religions have one spokesperson, but most that I know about have people or characters who stand for their core values. Personal stories are allegory for what we know to be true in a more general sense, and for the goodness to which we aspire.

I am not saying that Al Gore is analagous to Jesus. I am saying that the human response to a person over an idea is similar. Think about the ideas and values that have meaning to you. Most will be connected to a person in your life or in the life of the world who symbolizes the best of the idea.

So if Al Gore is the popular figurehead for reduction of carbon dioxide emission, that's okay with me. And if Al Gore doesn't speak to everyone, there are others who are conveying this message effectively, even if they don't receive academy awards. I'm thankful for many voices to speak to many hearts. Those hearts will push those scared and sad and mad minds to action that will make change.

question: have you seen it?

mompoet - trying to connect my brain to my heart on a regular basis

Sunday, May 13, 2007

life skills

My neighbour Brett and his friend Peter made this video about Icebreakers.

question: How do you feel when you have to meet someone new?

mompoet - learning some good skills from a grade 8 student project

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

BC Wants YOU!

Hey look, now we can get rich and successful people to invite our friends to live and work in beautiful British Columbia. Know an up-and-coming tech whiz just languishing in South Pompeii Arizona? Get Jimmy Pattison to invite him to come to BC! Know a corporate lawyer sick of the mean streets of Little Rabbit Saskatchewan? The guy who owns Lululemon will personally invite her to join us here where everyone is rich and happy and rolling around in nature's own paradise.

Now I don't want to be cynical about what a great place this is, because it is. It's just that this campaign is about as lame as a campaign can be. These auto voicemails have been in use for years. Think about how the video store reminds you of your overdue dvds, how the library tells you that book on hold is ready for you. I even get frequent messages from Jack Layton of the NDP whenever there's a picnic with the MP or an important constituency meeting. If we're trying to impress people with our innovative corporate culture and cutting edge marketing savvy I think someone missed the point.

Oh well. You could have fun spamming your friends with hokey phone messages and emails. It reminds me of the "teen magazines" littering the guidance counsellors' office in junior high, and how we used to cut out the coupon that said, "YES! I want to join the Canadian Armed Forces!" and we'd sign up our friends and mail them in.

If we want our friends to come live here, I think we should phone them ourselves.

question: which luminary would you like to phone or email you?

mompoet - BC is calling this pretty silly

workday haiku

safety fair hot dogs
are hazardous to your health
there is no free lunch

question: what did you eat for lunch?

mompoet - glad I packed a nice salad and ate before the fair


At Shopper's Drug Mart, they have lots of Mother's Day cards. These include one "To Mother from Dog." It has a photograph of a dog on the front, and the words, "Happy Mother's Day Mommy." Inside, it says, "Can I fetch anything for you." Hurry if you want one, there are just a few left. The "To Mother from Cat" cards are sold out already.

question: ???

mompoet - woof

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

why I don't do power point

question: chicken?

mompoet - thank you to Matthew Baldwin of Defective Yeti for the link

Sunday, May 06, 2007

is that how you spell it?

I did not know that I have been spelling fuchsia wrong for all of my life. We'll, probably for the past 30 years. I think I had no need to spell it before that.

I thought it was fuschia. Or at least fucshia. But it's fuchsia.

Put it on the list with sherbet and celcius and Venus de Meelow. I stand corrected (again).

question: did you ever discover you had been getting something wrong for a long time?

mompoet - I get lots of things wrong all the time. Once in a while I notice.

saving the planet

We talked about saving the planet over turkey supper and chocolate cake tonight. Most of the foods we ate would need to be scrutinized and rejected, were we already seriously at work saving it. We've changed our lightbulbs, drive small cars, and try not to accept unnecessary plastic grocery bags, but so far have not made any difficult changes, or changes that cost significant amounts of money. David Suzuki guest-edited Saturday's Vancouver Sun newspaper, so we have lots of fuel for thought. (World saving tip: thinking does not produce greenhouse gases.) We talked for a bit about a totally "green" newspaper edition including ecologically -conscious comics, horoscopes and births and deaths sections. Now that would be interesting.

We decided better transit and less road-building will be a big factor in convincing people to change their habits. We also talked about the flooding that seems sure to happen in the Fraser River Valley. For the first time in more than half a century we are threatened with widespread flooding this spring, that will almost certainly put people who we know out of their homes. We make grim jokes about how our house on the hill over an ocean inlet will be beachfront one day, but they just aren't very funny.

Like all of our family conversations seem to do, It deteriorated (or morphed anyway) into a conversation about creative disposal of cremated remains so as not to take up more space and pollute the land with buried bodies or urns. Then I thought of a geothermal car. It would have a big spike that would prong down deep through layers of earth and rock, and a storage cell to build up a charge from the thermal energy underground. Once it was juiced up you could move maybe 10 or 20 meters forward and it would use its last bit of power to prong again to another underground energy source to juice up for another 10 or 20 meter trundle. Nobody thought that this was a very good idea.

So I guess we'll just have to do some real, serious stuff, since nobody in our family is smart enough to invent something that will be an easy answer to the problem. It was a good birthday supper for Alex. The conversation made me think about how he will live on this earth for at least another 70 years. It's really up to us what it will be like for his lifespan, and for the lives of his children. I know we have the creativity and strength to make changes. If it's anything like our family dinner talk, it will be a creative and colourful adventure, fueled by love and some good, non-polluting sustainable thought.

question: do you ever talk about the earth? about ashes?

mompoet - even when I'm dust, there'll be those I love eating chocolate cake and laughing

what do you do when your kid turns 17?

Alex is 17 years old today. The day he was born the cherry blossoms were in bloom and I called into work sick. Well not actually sick. I called in "birthing." It was a Sunday, so the boss had to come in to supervise the rec centre (Sundays were my job). I apologized for the inconvenience, but the baby was 10 days early. He was a considerate baby, arriving a week ahead of Mother's Day, rather than three days after, as scheduled. This gave me my first Mother's Day as a Mom one year earlier than otherwise.

Since then we have enjoyed 17 years of better, and better and better. Now that he's 17 it's not acceptable for me to blog baby or toddler stories (too embarassing). For anyone craving a baby or todderler story, here's a link to Matthew Baldwin's blog. His 3 year old boy, the Squiggly, did something really cool.

Our 17 year old was an amazing baby and a wonderful toddler. As a growing up kid he has astonished us every day, and makes us proud on a pretty much continuing basis. Most importantly, he's growing into a happy young adult with great future prospects. This summer he has his first paid job, working in the kitchen at the fish and chip shop at our city park. He's managing to make it through Math Principles 11. He'll soon test for his driver's license. He's been practising Karate for 8 years. After graduating next year, he hopes to attend the film program at Capilano College. (He picked his high school for its multi-media program, and is enjoying his film courses tremendously.)

Today he may or may not wake up in time to go to church (being sung to at the beginning of the service is also embarassing). After lunch, he'll drive to Playland for his first roller coaster ride of the year. Later we'll have a family supper at Grandma's place. A trip to the movies with friends is in the works when everyone can find a night off together. That's another thing about 17, Mom no longer arranges a birthday party for you.

When your kid is born you focus on survival. In the early years, it's pretty much overwhelming in both wonderful and awful ways, by turn. Then the pre-teen and teen years come, and you wonder, "Will this person be okay?" "Will he be happy?" "Will he find love?" "Will he find kindness and fulfillment and joy in this harsh world?" because by that time, as a parent you realise it's going to be up to the child. You can't choreograph adulthood.

Today I am more sure than ever that the answer to those questions is mostly yes. And that's a birthday present for me. Thank you God. Thank you family. Thank you world. Thank you cherry blossoms. Thank you Alex.

Happy birthday.

question: What stories are you allowed to tell about your little ones?

mompoet - breathing out, (but leaving the candles for the birthday guy)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

it's a conspiracy

If you put "Vancouver Canuck Car" into google images you get this.

question: huh?

mompoet - duh

Well, at least I won't have to join the circus now

The playoff beard is a thing of the past now that the Canucks are out. I hope it wasn't something I did or did not do. I wonder if any of them saw the cauliflower topiary sculpture of Roberto Luongo that I had out on my front lawn? They would have liked that. Now I can let the squirrels eat it. And I guess I can re-paint my car.

honk honk

question: what would you do to help your team win?

mompoet - looking for my tweezers

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

my playoff beard

My playoff beard is kind of weird
But if it helps us win,
I'll forgo ministrations
To the goat hairs on my chin.

Our team's not bad, we may go far
With courage, and with luck,
So while we're in the playoffs,
I swear I will not pluck.

No wax, no Nair, no magna-mirror
These spikes I will ignore
For our Canucks, a hockey hag
I'll gladly be, and more.

The men grow manly, bearded all
Their facial growth improves
While cactus-faced I praise my team
As loyalty behooves.

O estrogen, where art thou now?
With years your gifts do plummet
Yet I stand strong, my beard grows long
Onward! to Stanley's summit.

question: how's your beard?

mompoet - proudly prickly

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I am finished interviewing

That sound of trumpet fanfares and angel choirs signals the end of summer interviews, or at least my part of summer interviews (unless any of my camp leaders resign). We had the "placement meeting" at work today, which is a combination of group collaboration and a hockey draft. Every park or camp except one has a leader, and we've got a couple of leads to fill that last space.

Now I can resume normal life. I am no longer responsible for finding great people for all of my co-workers. I feel tremendously relieved, but also glad I got the chance to do that. Meeting with people at the beginning of their careers is very encouraging. Yes! There are replacements! When I die there will still be yoga classes and floorhockey programs and face-painters for the fun fair.

question: can you see who will replace you in the future?

mompoet - grateful for the grasshoppers

When I was 13

A memory just came to me today while I was at Shoppers' Drug Mart. Chris, my friend at work, had her birthday on the weekend, so I got her a card and some tea and a magazine. It was Sunset Magazine, a pretty nice publication about living in the Pacific Northwest - a little food, a little travel, home and garden...

This made me remember how I once took over our family's trip to the Oregon Coast when I was 13. We decided to go for Spring Break, my parents, my sister, brother and me. We camped, and I'm pretty sure Mom and Dad chose the campsites, but I totally hijacked the itinerary. I went though every Sunset Magazine that my Mom had on the shelf (she kept them for reference), and planned all the places we needed to go: Sea Lion Caves, horseback riding on the beach, volcanic rock formations in the sea, dunes, lighthouses, a cheese factory, even an ice cream stand of special repute I think. Looking back, I think my parents deserve an award for patience and flexibility. I'm pretty sure I didn't get input from anyone else about what would be good to do. I also remember that I decided to dress like we were staying in hotels rather than camping. So I have a jewelery case, nylons, skirts and platform sandals for clambering down cliff-trails to the ocean. I also remembering postponing the striking of camp so I could preen a little longer before emerging from the tent, and something about a suitcase much bigger than the rest of the family's gear put together.

I'm sure my parents will say I wasn't that bad and that the trip was fun. But I think that will be a combination of selective memory and charity. I did grow up to be pretty nice, after all.

Mom, Dad, please comment. Is it like I remember?

question: is it?

mompoet - connecting with my inner 13 year old