Monday, June 30, 2008

The People's Affront or .. Irk me Granville Street

A couple weeks ago I posted my disdain for the treatment of children as a class. Just after that I saw a large fundraising ad for Children's Hospital on the side of a bus that read.

The smaller the patient the bigger the need.

I saw red. What??? Seriously, what does that mean? Save a life good. Save a baby better?

Then, today I saw a modest poster near the barista station at Starbucks that advertised: "Fall Prevention Program"... again what?? Do you know what this is? It is an in-home consultation to advise seniors how to avoid falling down and hurting themselves. This seems to me a wholly bald-faced cash grab. Stop people from falling down? For $$$. Where do I sign Granny up?

Don't get me wrong I am not trying to be all up with old people here. My rancour does not root in some anti-ageist diatribe. No. Rather it is that I am out to write off the patter of the humanists. Who do we think we are? Well why don't we all just think and think and think about it. This sort of stuff irks me... oftenish. The only ones worse for it than the hospitals and doctors are the teachers and schools. They are like the new church, to which I say.... Don't oppress me!

I'm no great spiritual believer but I wish I was at times like these. I am sick to death of the over-intellectualizing of existence. The empty promises of knowledge and information to overcome. (And, me a librarian?)

But seriously can anyone convince me that we can pay our way to defy vulnerability? Defy gravity, even?

Sometimes I preferred it when I just didn't get out much.

ps.. You can perhaps thank the fact that I read 470 outstanding emails from my leave today for this rant. That can make you a tad psychotic. fyi... Re: Yours truly... cheers!

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Oh Baby

Here at June's end the times are heavy for me. I rest on the cusp of being an individual again. A bit ill at ease about it.

Every morning I drive to work past the maternity hospital and my insides wrench. I think of that June two year's ago when I thought I would give birth any minute, and didn't. I think of the June four years ago when I was so oblivious to what was ahead, my legs sticky in the hot weather, consumed with guilt that I would leave work. Just leave it. Not a whiff of a clue that I would revel in our separation.

There at BC Women's Hospital I wandered the parking lot in the early morning light of September almost four years ago. My identity about to explode. Shattering of self, or was it a cleavage? There I had those two dear births, blessing filled progress toward the rattle of bones that divided me and them. There is a part of me inside addicted to the senses of it. No doubt borne of the instrinic surprise of it all; myself completely romanced by the unknown -- all that is foreign in pregnancy and especially from two lucky childbirths.

It is over for us. We will not have any more babies and that makes this really such a strange time, this aimless June. I have for so long been 'that pregnant woman'... the mother. That is, in fact, how one new administrator addressed me last week. "Ah, yes. You. You're the mother."

What the hell?

But I am. I am the mother. A month today since I returned to work and only a few steps back towards that former self. A true worker with an innate ability for the oblivious. Will it come again?


I know that some comment how parenthood made them more aware... more attuned to life, involved, connected. I wonder about that feeling. I mean it has occurred. But still, I'm a bit more in the camp of parenthood has made me less oblivious.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Design Tuesday: Da Kitchen

My Dad built the house I grew up in, with my grandpas. If you ask my mom, or me for that matter, we say it took 22 years to finish. I am used to renovation, construction, destruction what have you. I like it.

My favorite thing to do is probably a kitchen. Our last year reno was our third kitchen as a couple and I am really beyond pleased with how it turned out. Amazing what having some money to do it can do to my ego. Oh, yeah that and getting off the DIY train.

"But, what do you think?", I wonder. And do note there are a couple things outstanding. Maybe I need the advice of the Internet to get this kitchen just so and not have finishes lingering for 20+ years like my Dad!

Before Hall

After Hall

Before Floor

After Floor
Doesn't Dexter look so much more content?

The Old Cramped Kitchen

Hey, Ma. Get a job! We need to redo this kitchen!!!
La Nouvelle Cuisine!

My top 10 Favorite Design Points in this Room
1. Pantry with a sliding door.
2. Beautiful glass tile from Bedrock. That link includes the design that first turned us on to their stuff.
3. Water dispenser on the outside of the fridge. We had a party last week and it was perfect to keep guests of my way. Never mind I think Britas suck.
4. Hell I even like tap water. I do like my entry level Grohe faucet. Not too expensive and very stylish + practical! Make that very Eurostylish!
5. The beech floor turned out great. I briefly was convinced I was going to use that brick tone quarry tile like you get in restaurants but this is actually lower maintence. No maintenance is my design style every time now.
6. The custom matching millwork our cabinetmakers did.
7. The adequate lighting installed by awesome electricians. Me likey the good trades.
8. Clean lines of a modern design but casual; not a really hard modern aesthetic.
9. That righteous pull out bread board with 85lb load stopped glides and a two inch butcher block.
10. The peninsula cubbies for my dinner dishes.

Now in this photo you'll see I have my pass through peninsula counter... well there actually is no counter. That is where I need help. We are undecided. I have the fancy white quartz composite in the kitchen proper but this area is actually more a part of my dining room. My current plan is to redo the adjacent fireplace surround in slate. Could I use slate for the peninsula? Would that be a good service surface? What would the other choices be? I specifically rejected using the composite there because I didn't want white. The dining room is white and I feel I need some contrast to sort of ground that spot, all the while tying it to the kitchen.

What are your ideas? Believe me, I have hit real design fatigue. HELP!

And, we need a nice new fixture over our dining table? Oh yeah and a new dining table?...Wow it's damn handy I have an income again.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

52 reasons: And Children are People

So time for another post on my 52 reasons I could not be a SAHM, though of course I could.

Here's one. I can't be a SAHM because I am not particularly child-centred. AKA, I am too adult oriented. HA! Not true again. For two reasons really. 1. I am not all that adult oriented either and 2. Child centred?? What do I mean by that.

Prior to having children I often treated children as a class. I remember in my early library days when I worked for the Children's department of the Vancouver Public Library I shared the dreams of my co-workers of instituting long glass cases to house the books and a really klinky-rattly keychain with about one hundred keys on it. Anyway, I thought of children as a class. A kind of people. Now I realize that my children are classless, in more ways than one. Basically, I do not in any way enjoy my children as children. Rather they are delightful people. They are, like so many children, in fact interesting individuals. Who knew??

And now, here everyday as I am now sitting at work I measure each phone call, this or that huffy email, every meeting and goal-setting activity against them; against the two people who's company I really love most on the planet.

So how do you think that's goin'?


Monday, June 16, 2008

Go Ask Alice

So another good hour of my life gone. Into the abyss my time spent chasing, chasing chasing a little rabbit down a hole, or pipe, as the case may be... Looking looking deeper and deeper in the Internet, for this...

In an effort to replace the very scrungey character that passes for this fellow around here I have purchased 3 impostors -- all different sizes and finishes. It is a sad path of failure in this futile lovey hunt. By any chance do you have an hitherto unadored little specimen at your house? Ah, I might as well be looking for a small stuffed windmill.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Wherein the Lead is Buried In the Lead

Tomorrow marks the beginning of my 41st year outside the womb. Still cold and chilly. I have been told by my confederates, those whose odometers have already turned over, that turning 40 caused them to reflect on their lives... what a waste they'd made of them. They warned me: you too will experience this wave of unease as you reflect on the paucity of sound decision-making your history will disclose. You will buy a motorcycle and ride it with me to Starbucks for a diet latte where we will meet a passel of nubiles and then tattoo Cher and Gregg Allman on our buttocks while listening to the triumphant yet wholly misunderstood strains of Rick Astley. I'm never going to let you down, p-man. Neverrr!

To that, I must say, no thank you. No thank you, I said, as I ran towards my sensible compact car and drove off quietly and with very poor acceleration listening to the largely overlooked Aereogramme* and looking forward to seeing Mo who is as I type setting up my birthday celebrations which will include a night at a fine waterfront hotel tomorrow and a largish gathering here on Friday. And the chocolate wasabi cake I love so well. Mmm.

Of course, I am not immune to the introspection of which I was forewarned. My mom gave me a photo album of which I am the subject. Oh, the 80s and 90s were one long bad hair day. (On the positive side, I was thin. With the hair, I looked like a chimney brush with wire-rimmed glasses.)

I have found myself considering more serious errors in judgment both past and present. For one thing, I can seldom pick a winner. For example, from that show "Bosom Buddies", I pegged Peter Scolari for big things! Tom Who? Another error: Andrew Ridgely. Fucking asshat, I thought he had the skills! One consolation: Wopat v Schneider. No-one wins and nobody cares. I also imagined Federer might take Roland Garros one of these years.

So, as you can see, I am one foot from a Ducati and a bimbette. Ot maybe a Vespa and a ripe cantaloupe.

Aged but not cured,


* My GP recommended their final album to me. He was, um, examining me as he whispered their name... admiring my tattoo of Gregg Allman. Do me a favour on my birthday and buy this album. Do the band a favour. Be the person to buy the 23rd copy copy in Canada!


Sunday, June 08, 2008

Internet Burkha

I fear working full time but that is the work I have taken. A while back I tried on a fearlessness of working full time on this blog.

It was a lie. Sorry, friends. A lie made possible by your unknowing of me. A lie that aided me then, and now. An alternative identity to test.

It is something I have a come to adore about blogging the privileges of anonymity. Like many of you, no doubt, I look down my big ole Western nose at any image of the burkha but maybe I am a hypocrite?

Think about it. Am I alone? Wherefore Mommyblogging?? Is not the facelessness (discorporea?) a part of it? Maybe there is something inherent to certain aspects of the feminine that begs a sort of blindness? Things like motherhood? Dead babies? Wretched disease? Maybe the burkha is not so myopic as my western views attest. Yes, it is a uniformity of women as a class. I get it. I get it. But, it is also a multiplication of identity. Woman within and without the dress, more than a single being, in a manner of speaking. That is how I feel, how I enjoy feeling, in here sometimes.

Burkha, the ancient avatar?

Ah yes, another patented, half-post. But since it never seems one I can finish, might as well put it out there?

ps. nice pic, eh? it belongs to natalie.

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Design Tuesday: A Hang Your Hat Challenge

In the Spring of 2004 I was getting pretty pregnant. At that you aren't telling yet but everyone knows stage we took our escape. 17 days in Paris. It was lovely. A wonderful pre-parenting present that has coloured our whole outlook.

But I exaggerate.

Anyway, there is a quality to that trip that we have tried to hang on to, the L'Occitane soaps, the lentils du puy, even the Historical loo. One of our guidebooks directed us to a Historical Loo near Place Vendôme. My husband, the inveterate world-wide loo photographer (I know you know these people), and I made haste to this most pressing of Parisienne landmarks.

It was remarkable, and amusing. The snaps were taken and little was it thought of again, except to ask every other person we knew who visited Paris if they had been. They hadn't, scoff, losers. Probably skipped Chez Janou as well, da fools.

When it came time for me to finish designing the last of our three bathrooms in the renos it all came back to me. I wanted to make this, our main floor powder room, kind of opulent. Hell, I thought... I'll make it historic. Where are those holiday snaps??

From these I set off to compose the necessary component for our own Paris, 1905 inspired WC. Nice wood, pretty ceramic tile of great taste, mosaic floor, stone, stained glass tones.

So how did it turn out??

Our contractors did an especially beautiful job of the wainscot. They copied the detailing on each panel exactly to my Paris pics. I do love those guys.

And, now for this episode of design tuesday, audience participation! For really no functional reason I installed a chrome and porcelain hook near the door. The room is so cubicle like it seemed appropos to me at the time. See me waving?

I keep thinking I have to find a great hat to hang there. What say ye? Ladies evening hat? Fedora? Maybe something straw and suitable for Giverny? Too much?


Sunday, June 01, 2008

In with the questions tonight

Hey anybody out there looking for a sociology or womens studies thesis? I can't stop wishing someone would take up the following:

Grief, guilt, blame and the identity of motherhood

I read that dear nonlinear one today and can't help intersect it a bit with the excellent deconstructions done by the angelic medusas at glow in the woods, I mean stuff like this.

I'm not in with the answers my friends, only the questions.

Might our procreation not be, in fact, a divine perpetual manifest powerlessness? The randomness and the limitless aches... so long suffocated... so long denied any room. I am glad this space has emerged for some words.

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