Sunday, September 28, 2008

Manning the Phones

Tonight I was out manning the phone lines for a local Candidate. My apologies to anyone I annoyed with my brief queries. Hello... I am ... Can we.. support? thank you ... goodnight.

It's a pretty easy gig. 'Cept with some ladies. I sit and stare at those pages that list two inhabitants. I might see one response next to the man of the house, not supporting or 'won't say'. The next call to make is to the lady of the house. But I hesitate oft times. Do I call?? They always encourage you to call the numbers you're comfortable calling. The best thing for the candidate is an easy-going canvasser. With the ladies I'm not always so easy going. Too many times I've been cut of by a growly male voice declaring "WE are" or "WE are NOT" supporting.. blah blah, slam!!

So I don't call. But is there such a thing as "we are" voting? That's never been the case for my spouse and me so it's pretty hard to swallow.

A little tiny barrier, as I see it, to the franchise; but still somehow profound. I hate to let the women-folk down, m'self.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

In our own filth

For a week or two I have been turning over the big news that we are all wallowing in our own filth. I mean not you personally. But me? Maybe.

I mean I eat deli meat and have plastic drink bottles. I have melamine products in my home. I live in a cesspool of pollution and, it has become increasingly clear to me, disease. It has become a hyper-environment for us. To date I was sort of wary of certain toys and we tend to buy organics. But now I bark at the sight of even a moment of teeth to toy contact. "Don't put that in your mouth! It's dangerous" I shout. And, I mean it. Material culture, sucks baby!

Years of coy distance from the measurements of choking hazards yet now I'm choking in a new way.

Don't get me wrong. Don't think I can't hide my head in the sands of triple-think on this one. Sure I can frame fear-mongering around it all to make myself feel better most days. I can blame the MEDIA! Compulsive demonization of China by the west. Blame the fear and feel it all at the same time. I'm all tingly.

There is part of me remembering that long gone chit chat with my cousin's husband on a dark Alberta highway. Mr. MBA-Exec working for a Waste Management Corp declared the 21st century would be about managing the world's garbage. Finding new uses, disposal, and only lastly reduction of waste products from the lifestyles of the new millennium. Was he right? I look with suspicion at every scrubbing bead in a new face wash, hell I look at face wash. What byproduct of manufacturing is being re-purposed into a useless new luxury. I look at the hairy legs on the 6 year old girls, moustaches on the little boys???? Wondering about the hormone food chain. This week I cried and worried over baby formula. A new dead old lady fed super-centralized smoked pastrami by a twice-contracted out hospital food service centre stretched my deli meat fast to its fourth week.

I am having to question our family dependence on these SYSTEMS. I have always erred on the side of caution but this week... It's like HOLY HELL. This crap is everywhere. I must hurry the family to a field and construct a new wattle and daub domicile! We didn't grow enough beans this summer!! Food wrap is an agent of the devil!!!

1.) All mother-womanly, let me ask how you the hell do I end up being the responsible for this? and 2.) Can you pass me some fresh yurt?

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy. Happy. Joy. Joy.

A friend of mine suggests the standard for marital contentment, in the broader sense, and in the moment, is to be able to answer the following question in the negative: is he/she trying to fuck me over? This is not the starry romance I was led to believe awaited me after I left my life as a hooker to live with the kind and vaguely Buddhist businessman who was once my john... oh, wait. I like his idea, it works, even though in order for it to work I am required to overcome my own expectations, nay, entitlement of the dreamy and gauzy romance celluloid sells me.

Of course, beauty sells ideas (even if beauty cannot spell the words which describe the ideas), which must explain why a recent entertainment television program's crack panel of shiny people was concerned with the following, vexing, problem: who is more attractive, Michelle Obama or Sarah Palin? This program confirms two things I have long suspected. One, Mo is trying to make me kill myself by subjecting me to this inane tv.* Two, at its purest level the democratic system appears to be nothing more than a beauty contest. I am certain the candidates are in a dead heat.

So who of them will be the next caesar? The rather tanned Alfred E. Newman type who wants us all to believe he is somehow different from the guy with the Timex up in his transverse colon, or the daddy's boy with the red telephone to god, or the aforementioned watch-assed individual. I have to ask myself, just as I would ask the candidates were they to pop by with jars of soil and a new vacuum product, or copies of the Watchtower, who would want this job? I'd rather be the landlord of a house of cards.

Of course, unknown to most, we are having our own federal election. I cannot say I am too motivated to embrace the process this time around. Our current PM, who will continue in his job come October 15, is a cyborg. The head of the orange team, who wants to tell me when I can go to the bathroom, has a large chalk coloured head and is allowed by his muppeteers to display the personality of soggy bread. (Who knows, maybe he is tripping on some lively indica?) There's some guy in Quebec who won't run any candidates outside that province, even though my dad has volunteered to run in Quadra (although the NDP just had an opening).

Then there is the Liberal hope, he who leads the party whose utter lack of ideals most closely resembles my own. He would have us think he cares for the environment. A symbol of his great care is that he named his dog "Kyoto."

What a great and utterly hollow gesture is this. What a twat he must be to think we can take a measure of his nature-loving self, or any aspect of his personality, by reflecting on the name he has given his domestic animal. I wonder: is Kyoto a vegetarian? Does Kyoto pick up its own shit? Is its kennel powersmart/solar powered/made with reclaimed material?

Maybe it is true that a pet says a lot about the ownwer's personality. I suppose I am not merely a stooped and chronically mopey insurance lawyer with a delightful spouse and two exceedingly energetic children. No. I am much more than that. I have a kitty named Dexter.

Sanguinely yours,


*You ask, is there any other kind of tv? And I respond... um, no.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Many Blessings Come

It was raised this week that there are more kids coming to the blogosphere. It was opined that we shower the again-moms with loving views of the special happy baby times!

I said in the rapture of my daughter's birthday last week. Our children come to us with nothing. They know us only to love us. Don't let all that pooping, and crying and not-sleeping get in the way of that. Many blessings come to you both, Bec' and Kristen.

I wrote of the closure on infancy at the House of Wo ... Our children are born incomplete in themselves. They are not like the new foal who wobbles about or even the kitten who stumbles with eyes closed. They are born more helpless. Prior to my motherhood I did not appreciate this and I did not appreciate the nourishment a newborn baby gives me. On Tuesday my son passed from newborn to infant and I have left the experience for good. Some might think it odd but I will miss it.

I think of the little babe so dependent on others in those first three months as something precious. It is the trust -- so fleeting in our humanity -- that amazes me. I also think of it, quite selfishly, as my redemption. While a child grows inside me I think they are a part of me. As it happens this does not sharply extinguish for me with birth but instead it dwindles in the flash of time from newborn to infant.

What you need to know about me to understand is that when it comes to me I do not, cannot, always love myself. But this child? It was a part of me, paradox. They arrive, helpless and are unavoidably a piece of me I must love without reservation. I do this wholeheartedly and this redeems me. It seems especially true when they are wee. That is when they are most resonant of what I need to unreservedly love. What am I saying? I should love my pants-crapping/screaming self? Well maybe...

And if you follow the link... you'll see I published it at 1:48 AM. GAME ON!


Four Years Spoiled

All my daughter really wanted for her birthday was a ridiculously sparkly party. Friends and cake and a FLYING MERMAIDS theme! I'm pretty proud of how her dad and I made out.


And as if that wasn't enough. Her Grandparents had to show her the devotion only a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Party could muster.


This post is a limited time offer. Just couldn't keep our apparent descent into birthday lunacy a secret.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Collateral Bonuses

You know I don't like all of the parents of my daughter's friends. But my daughter seems to swing with the knowledge that she is required to like all the children of my friends. THANK GOD.

I am becoming the tyrant I oft swore to defy.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ingratitude Rest

On Tuesday last I bustled from the elevator to my desk, wearing the frustration only an effective mother trapped in the body of an ineffective bureaucrat can wear so well.

I saw the delivery guy running around and around and around our offices looking for someone to give flowers to. I thought, wow, isn't that nice, someone is getting flowers. Twenty minutes later a finger pointed at me and my co-worker ushered him and the flowers to the 'door' of my cubicle.
Are you...?
OK, have a nice day.

No card. Umm. But he was gone.

Now I like getting flowers, don't get me wrong. But sometimes I get a bit shy about it. You know how it is. for-me?for-me?for-me? REALLY? I sort of ferretted them away. Really, for me?

I just let the mystery of their sender lie. I mean I had been pretty nice that week, despite broadcasting my feelings that Monday. Putting up actors and sharing my quality lox supplies with hungry children from Oregon. I had busted ass, kissed ass and hauled ass for school after school for two solid weeks. These were my flowers. I deserved them. I got them because I'm nice. I sat back to admire them and to read a Cathy cartoon.

Today I could let my ingratitude rest no longer. I had to know to whom I owed thanks.

Well, it's you. My most darling friend. And not because I'm nice at all, but because you are. I love you J. Thank-you. You picked me up.

Ok, now I'll go call.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I had hoped to arrive at some clever title or to generate some insight as to the recently deceased abbreviationally-referenced titular individual, Mr. David Foster Wallace. Mr. Wallace, for those of you who know nothing of him, is a direct descendant of William Wallace (that's right, Braveheart!) and a half brother to Rasheed Wallace. He is arguably best known for penning the long awaited sequel to "Gone With the Wind". This past weekend he was found dead at home by his wife. He hanged himself. More abbreviation.

Should you care to research this author you will find many news articles about him. Many of those who have written about him will note that he was smart. At least I think that is what they are trying to say. There are some big words out there! None of these writers refers to his penchant for wearing bandanas in public. On his head. Tied up so they'd cover at least 4" of the front of his head. Check it out - lots of photos, but nobody talks about it. I find this troubling.

Nobody talks about what the man's work means to me. Now I feel compelled to do so in some kind of half-assed effort to leap onto the tail of the dead star. Look at me! Perhaps somewhere near the end I will offer an "appreciation" or some clever anecdote about how I met him in an elevator and he took 1/2 hour to introduce himself on account of his digressions or maybe never finished because of some tendency to defy the normative expectations of narrative and introduction, all of which I self-mockingly and self-deprecatingly relate in a manner which suggests I know the man, or know his art, and understand either.

"Infinite Jest", likely the least well-known of Mr. Wallace's books (after "Revenge of the Syphilitic Cheerleaders", "Runts Do Stunts", and "John McCain: Spokesman of the Soul" which were all, as I understand it, best sellers in his home nation of Latvia) is the one best-loved by me. Among its themes are subjects close to me: tennis, Quebec nationalism, the potentially pernicious nature of commerce and art (or commerce, and art), and addiction. There are others. The tome is 9,000,000 pages in length and is printed in size 6 font. You will need to read it with an electron microscope set on high. I read this book in 2000 after I had been high for about 12 years. During that time I had rendered myself incapable of focusing, or reading, or behaving in a humane manner towards any person or thing. I gave up on the things which had nourished me as a youth: tennis, bitching about Quebec, and writing. I desired release from the pain which comprised my daily existence.

Within weeks of drying out I found a copy of the book and set about to read it. What a trip. So funny, so sharp, so, so fucking much of life is in its covers! I could wax on and on about what happened to me as I read the book and raptured at its aching beauty, its incredible sadness, and its infuriating conclusion but others will likely have done so or will do so and those writers will not infuse their reviews with bathetic and soppy comments like: this book gave me a renewed appreciation for life, my life, for art, and for humanity when I had recently wanted nothing to do with any of these things... or some similar corny bullshit that you may wish to wipe from the sole of your Doctor Martins boot while pausing to measure the content of the corn in the shit and wondering how it is that any person can say he knows sweet fuck all about anyone else, let alone someone they've never met; or why they'd bother to comment on the writer, his life, his choice of head gear on the event of his death as opposed to, say, last week; or how addicts are some seriously demented people, with their dessicated recollections about the authors they claim to love but about whom they are sorely uninformed; how it might be to be the one to find your loved one, your tortured genius, hanging by his neck in some high-ceilinged portion of your residence; or how it could be to make that decision to hang yourself until death, to feel the constriction of the cord around your throat, to feel the gift and the burden of this life, your life, receding to nothing and as your last human act... you shit yourself.

Fuck me. I cannot say I can miss someone I never met but I feel like I will miss him nonetheless.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lipstickedness is Next to Cluelessness

Since I have returned to work I have made a, extended effort in the deportment department. While some of it might have to do with setting a suitable example for my young daughter it mostly reflects 1.) the expansion of disposable income, 2.) a general need to get noticed in the position I fill and 3.) the relief of not either being a nursing mother or pregnant chick for the first time in nearly 5 years! Hey there have been some sweet styles out between 2003-2008 I seriously missed out on. What's in and what's out is a mystery to me. What's up with the pointy toed shoes? I'm all over that if it's just in. What about the preppy thing, is that new or almost over? I am seriously without a clue. Help! Vintage is always bullet proof right?

It has gone pretty well the revitalization project. Despite my overall cluelessness I have garnered some attention with my good new dresses, some nice suit jackets, those super cute red patent shoes and so on and so on. I got a new do and I've exploited a lovable new shade of lipstick, Rum Raisin. Last week I was flattered by the hep chick at the office-side soup shop at lunchtime, "That's a really great lip colour!" she said earnestly. Seriously! I had already tipped her the 58 cents for the $5 freaking soup. So nice, eh?

I like the colour. It is wearing fast and putting to shame the old Wine with Everything, I find doesn't go with anything anymore. I am a lipstick lame-o I tend to keep a single shade in my repertoire for years! Lucky I seem to have a hit on my hands. But tell me this, what about you? I'd love to get to know our readers better through the lively taglines of their lipcolours? Is the cheesefairy's shade something with the word nude? Mad do you count on Rosewood Fury? Nonlinear? Whatcha got in your cosmetics bag? Geoff G. is it Chapstick or L'occitane's Immortelle? Come on give us a little lip!

And, would someone please tell me when they stopped calling it lipstick?

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Baby Girl

Four years ago you came out.

Those days so lacking in volition. You were all mine and I was all yours.

tonight the half moon hangs low, tinged lemon yellow.
everything soft focus and sweetness.

I shiver in the dark with love, and sorrow and wonder and joy. Sending a heartful to other mothers and other little girls that may come out of a night like this. Coming out the way you came upon me my blessed girl.

I was so young. There was so little I really knew until you. My love, my teacher of heart, failure, strength, attraction, spine and innocence... on and on and on.

In the morning you will be four years old. So full of volition. So beyond dear. 30 cupcakes a badge to bear at child care with friends, of whom you have so many.

You are so much less mine in degrees.
I am beyond proud.

the nolstalgia

Updated to add: And come she did, that other girl. Welcome, be well dear bonnie lass of cribchronicles, most earnest congratulations to mother-bon and family. we could not be happier for you all.

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Monday, September 08, 2008

Man Up

I lie.
I lie.
I lie.

Call after call. Colleague after colleague asks. How is it going?

"Fine", I say.
"We've worked it out."

There is really no other answer. Mothers work. Face it, mo-wo! To mention my longing for them is beyond pointless. Preaching to the choir. I think I won't mention for fear of the commiseration. To have the truly commonplace nature of my agony be borne full force back upon me.

It is a very demanding time right now and our times together seem criminally brief.
I miss them so much.
And, I lie about it over and over and over.

Tomorrow maybe I just won't answer the phone.


Thursday, September 04, 2008

Connectivity... or Transferrable skills

I have been a lot not blogging this week and for weeks before. We have instead been blessedly intersecting with our blogging content in a considerable portion of molecules and atoms

I mean we have been, not instead of blogging, but also communing in the physical realm. And as I used to say in the corner of some eighties dance hall standing tall in my mustard suede pointy shoes... "It was a slice, or maybe more like a wedge." It is a lot this embarrassment of riches. We are well. Ensconced in connectivity.

On this past Saturday I collaborated with neighbours on a massive block party project. More than 200 men, women and children joined us at the playground for a picnic. That afternoon our dear nonlinear ones arrived, next day a concert with them in Stanley Park. And then after they left a man of letters flew in full of Fringe charisma and the promise of a story.

Since then I have gotten to see Vancouver schools open and I have talked and talked and talked and talked to teachers new and old about helping children read and research. I write you tonight exhausted... but happy. Feeling beyond satiated with opportunity. Yum.

And I think about that the cribcast hosted by the brilliant and beautiful bon last January. As a special tribute to the social justice goals bloggers Jen and Mad bon asked us to chat. At that time I got caught in the sidebar of how self-serving and overly introspective blogging can be. How we manage, for example, courtesy and pedantic comments on our own blogs. We all know we exercise regularly, if you have nothing nice to say don't say anything at all. Convenient.

But me? I just can't shut up. Lucky me, only slightly ashamed to be Just Postless again this month yet oddly full with the fuel of company and courtesy and sharing on my micro-level. Filled to the toe-top full of direst fraternity.

I think of the rushing earnest friendliness that filled the gaps of so many moments with our recent guests. And I think, largely, of the sweat and tears I put in for our neighbourhood event. I mentioned to the NLG "I don't know that I would have done that sort of thing before blogging." Not that I wasn't friendly then. I just was not quite as forward and in charge over courtesy. I would look at options to connect less sure of a course to proceed. Having virtual relationships has surprised me by enhancing my overall risk taking in real life relationships. YOu know that and parenthood. Excuse me let me clean my kid's puke of your carpet can do that. There MetroDad, does that answer your question?

Now time for your reading assignment.

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

My Linear Non-Pornographer Weekend (At Malkin Bowl)

Recently a neighbour described his visit to Las Vegas. It sounds like fun, I said, except for the gambling. Well what would you do there? he asked me and I told him I'd go to a prize fight or maybe watch somebody get his head caved in in the octagonal poultry mesh cage of surprising economic return. His reply: why would you want to watch people getting hurt? I had no ready reply, but thankfully another friend, to whom I later related that episode, did: Have you met people?

Speaking of meeting people, I just met Nonlinear Girl and family. A few impressions: they are tall. Their daughter, who is three, towers over me. She helped me get my long lost ELO album off of a really high closet shelf. Thanks. Mr. Nonlinear Girl, who is not a girl, plays a mean guitar. Mo observes it is quite fortunate for us to have met such fine people on the internet of all places. I agree, I think, I wasn't listening to her, but to the omnipresent Mason Williams! Yess!

Speaking of classical tunes. While we were hanging around together, we did many things. We took our kids to the Vancouver Fish Jail. That was fun. We went to the park. There were no fatalities and that was fun too. We asked each other questions about our respective nations, such as, "Are all Americans tall like you?" and "Do you have any spray cheese?" and, "You missed a spot there. See it?" That was fun (for me, anyway). Plus too as well we went to the Stanley Park Singing Exhibition and we saw and listened to Neko Case. I love Neko Case. NLG et homme love her too. She is lovable and hence the love. Love her, that's right, Mo, love!

We also saw and listened to a set by Destroyer. Wow. That wasn't fun, for us, or for Destroyer apparently. There is no amount of grain alcohol that would help me make sense of their act.

I could go on and on about a: how much I enjoyed meeting Nonlinear and family in the flesh after reading her blog for the past two years or so; b: what delightful company they make (if Neko Case is coming soon to your town let NLG know!); c: how I cannot wait until Neko Case plays in Portland (I am sleeping in your yard with my kids, my cats, and all the aerosol cheese I can find and Thrifty Foods); and d: the lovely and funny Neko Case. I really could but I won't*. Suffice to say I feel great fortune to have made their actual acquaintance. Thank you for visiting.^

(Insert Segue Notations or Symbols Here)

I could end there but my rock fest weekend had just begun. On Monday I went to day two of the exhibition where I caught the sets by Black Mountain and the New Pornographers. A word about the former: stoned. I am certain that I was a quarter ounce of cubensis and a Camberwell carrot short of being able to fully appreciate their set. I could tell the players are totally disciplined and can really play (and do so without irony [incredibly]) but in listening I conclude my Gong days are long left behind me. Also, the sound engineer must have been impaired, or deaf, because things got louder and louder, so loud I could even type louder in caps so as to convey the louder-ness of the loudness, but let me just tell you, it was loud, and the force of the crescendo of the set, the last three tunes or so, they sounded like, I don't know, a microphone in a blender. Loud.

Not to mention the New Pornographers which is a band for whom I hold great affection which band, of course, I just mentioned here in this sentence and maybe a paragraph ago. (Don't go back to check, stay here!) If you have followed this band even a little, as have I, then you know the stories about the sex changes, the ferret addictions, the marriage to Norman Fell with its highly public and terrible end. I need not repeat these stories here, or even fabricate them. I'm not doing this for profit (obviously).**

In any event, there were as few as 7 and as many as 10 musicians on stage at any time. Anywhere from 2 to 5 of them singing. I imagine this would be a very difficult mix to master. It is not the sort of situation that is helped by making everyone louder, then louder still. Pretend you are in a taxi, listening to a favourite song: you know where you are and what you are hearing does not invoke thoughts of the Valkyries coming to split your puny skull and spirit its contents to Valhalla or Black Mountain or wherever it is that scary fictional characters of yore reside. Whereas with the previous band, where I thought someone should stun the guitarist and fix his volume knob at 0.5, here it was the vocals that caused me to suffer great pain and to complain about the obviously gin-sodden sound guy anonymously on the internet. (Admittedly, a low threshold on both counts.) Things were too loud and there was no reason for it. And I had to pee.

In conclusion, I attended portions of a modern outdoor musical festival last weekend and can report as follows: I am old.

p-man going.

* But I am waiting to see what NLG has to say about us first.

^ I should note that I am generally a bit freaked out about meeting people and especially internet people. Still, I have read NLG for a while and while I believe the posts there have a verite which I will never muster, meeting NLG in person was way better than reading. More... lifelike, for one thing. Also, plus, too, with wings, that Mr. N informed Canadian Customs that he and his family were coming to Canada to stay with some people, people they met on the internet. That's so true and so funny. He's tall and funny! I can't stand him.

** By which I mean to say this is a terrific band. Strong material, good musicianship, excellent harmonies. The real thing. Unlike the last time I saw them this time Kurt Dahle was behind the kit, drinking, singing, strumming, all with calculated and reckless aplomb. A monster performer. The band was good too. I didn't want to suggest I enjoyed myself in the main text. That would be awkward.