Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween...

Update for the full story of Ape Escape....sorry, I forgot you weren't all here for this then...November 20th, 2006.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

two, two, two posts in one day?

Ouch, people. I know what you're asking yourself right now...."Is she on the red carpet and, if so, WHO is she wearing?" Nope....not the red carpet...just my new orange room.
And? Who AM I wearing? Can you guess?

Gawd, I love these walls, don't you?

Gawd, I love my new shirt, don't you? It makes me feel a little closer to a certain somebody...a friend of mine that I have never seen.

It's shur purty, ain't it? Don't you lovers it? Have you guessed yet? Want one, don't you? C'mon, you know you do....

Yeah? Sure you do. Cara, lovers you, too. Not just your shirt...You rock. Hope you are feeling better. Smooches.
Now, if a gal were looking to expand her wardrobe, where might she go? Hmmmn.

Follow this logic....

I am a little blue today and this is may sound strange. My neighbours are moving which means Morph won't be stopping by anymore.

Here is Fishbone looking out the window at a cat named Morph. She can't figure out why I run to fetch him a little snack when he comes calling. He's not even nice to all. I mean, how rude of me to be so nice to someone that is so nasty to her... But once upon a time, I had a orange Tom, too. And Crook and Morph were best friends. Every single morning, Morph would come to my front door and "knock" to see if Crook could come out and play. I kid you not.
He'd place his little orange feet on the front door and rattle it in its frame until I would answer it. He'd wait on the front porch for Crook to come out and off they would go to rule their universe together.
And when I had Crook(and the ugly-old-not-sexy pellet stove), I also had a very old, dear and treasured friend. We brought Crook home from the SPCA so that Maggie would have company during the day while we gone from the house.
They did seem to like each other very much. It might have even been love... a very understated love...with glancing blows of affection.

And very soon after Maggie left me...left us, Crook crossed over, too. I like to think of them together, sleeping by a warm fire while they wait for me.
I miss them like crazy.

So Morph is leaving...a frequent visitor and reminder of fallen leaves, time passing, loves lost, friends grieved and memories to warm your hands by. He is a good little orange soul and I am happy that he will be off this street, though I will miss his appearances at my window, as if he is still here to pick up Crook for a good romp through the if these things were not already gone forever.

And then we begin again.

Monday, October 29, 2007

What have you done for us lately?

Again....yet again. What did this neighbourhood do to this town? How did we do something so egregious(and when did we do it?) that the powers-that-be just keep adding insult to injury? It is definitely beginning to feel personal.

Business people from downtown, City Social Planner John Horn, some council members all met behind closed doors in a secret meeting denying access to our neighbourhood residents. In fact, John Horn told our neighbourhood liason to these such meetings only HOURS before there would be no meetings at all for the next couple of weeks. Blatant lie. Hey, Council....will you do anything about the BLATANT LIE?

Suprised? Nope. Not down here we're not. We're pretty well used to it by now.

The meeting is to establish another drop in centre in this neighbourhood. Another high impact social service...don't kid yourselves. It is high impact. It was here last year, too. They told us then it would be a temporary measure(four months?) because, after all, the No Hope, dammit, the New Hope Centre would soon be opening and part of the main reason for developing the No Hope Centre, er, dammit, the New Hope Centre, was to develop these services. I mean, they did get millions of dollars just to do that, right? I am right, right? Six or eight months later, the centre did that was just a little White Lie, eh?

Now, apparently, the Salvation Army has their fancy new No Hope Centre, er dammit, New Hope Centre! And they don't want to support the drop in centre. And in this Behind-Closed-Doors-Secret-Society-Meeting, Rick Hyne who owns/manages this piece of shit building down the street has offered it up again for the service of drop-in centre. You see, he's helped drive out all his decent tenants by keeping his building a piece of shit. So he can't rent his spaces out and complains that it's the neighbourhood, the crackheads, the criminal elements(his words, not mine) and then opens up more and more spaces in that building to HIGH IMPACT social services thereby completing the ghetto-ization of the neighbourhood . He doesn't see the forest for the trees...if he invested some damn money, made his building secure, beautified in any way, shape or form, treated his tenants with any iota of decency(or his neighbours, little rat fink), maybe he could be part of what helps turn this neighbourhood around. But in fact, he is one of the main reasons this neighbourhood is shutting down, I believe.

He had that drop-in centre in that building last year. When it opened, when he was getting his rent paid by my tax dollars, he was providing a service for the "homeless." When these same people broke into his building, creating thousands of dollars in damages and theft, they were no longer simply "homeless," but criminal, addicts, etc. We, who live here, already knew that because it was hellacious around here when that centre was here last year. It's hellacious around here right now and they want to put in a drop-in centre on TOP of that? How about getting some kind of handle on the problems already here first before creating more?

Yesterday, three dealers/pushers/pimps followed and intimidated this poor older woman up the road. I guess she must have walked on THEIR side of the street. They followed her back and forth across the street up the block until I saw them. Then they proceeded up the block to try and intimidate me, too. Came right up(I could touch any of them) to me before scattering. Poor woman was scared...I drove her home. She said hadn't walked downtown in a long time and wouldn't do it again now. Good God, we live one block from downtown and we have to drive? Crackheads get to swarm and intimidate little old ladies in the street. Hey, guess where this happened? Exactly where they want to put this drop-in centre. Genius. Aren't they brilliant? I mean, c'mon, aren't they?

And before anyone calls NIMBYism on me....come down here to my street, park your car a while and watch the happenings. Then, if you feel brave enough, get out of your car and walk my neighbourhood. Then, do it at night. Then, come try and get a good night's sleep down here. Try it. I'll put you up. Hell, I 'll bake you those chocolate chunk cookies !

The RCMP have had a marked presence around here lately, and we do notice it and appreciate it, but it isn't enough. Do you hear that Council? John Horn? Downtown Nanaimo Partnership? You helped create this...time to take some responsibility for it...and hey? Sally Ann? Can you give back all the money you took in order to create your multi-million dollar space to house these services if you are not going to, in fact, house these services?!? It is only is the ethical thing to do, right?

Am I right?

*The views in expressed in this blog post are merely my opinion....can I get sued for my opinion? Maybe since I live in this neighbourhood, eh? I mean, it's obvious that we did something wrong by living down here...maybe I will get sued. Dammit. Oh well. And, Asshats and Ratfink really are terms of endearment, right? Am I right?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Photo Assignment: Bowen Park

I've heard it said that into every life, a little Rain must fall... thank goodness, thank goodness. We decided to see the same places in order to see how we see them differently...see? Yeah, see? Weather finally permitting, last week, we both walked Bowen park. I thought she might have gotten the short end of the stick, since I got the better weather, for sure, but I don't really think so anymore. Did you see her photos? It's no secret that when this town, this neighbourhood, these circumstances make me feel trapped that I have weapons...a leash, a dog, a camera, my feet. I have a way that I feel which I look for out's not that I find that feeling through the lens, nor even that I remember it through the photos(though I can), because I can remember moments that have so consumed me that I never even thought to snap off a picture, even if they happened a lifetime ago.

However, these photos I can share with you...and you...and you. Bringing you all along on these walks has introduced me to some friends of mine and opened up a space for us to be...and I like it here in our space.
This is my favorite spot in this park. I couldn't really tell you why. I like how I feel right here. That is one of the reasons I love bringing you along.

I have enjoyed the challenge of trying to find words which echo what I am really feeling out here because I don't always convey myself well in "the real world." I am not always sure that people "get" what these moments are all about to me...sometimes I am sure I frighten folks on these trails when they come across me crouched forever studying something they can't see. Mwuhahahaha.

Right here, I get right up close to the falls and close my eyes. The roar of it drowns everything else out. It becomes just me. I become just me. I don't think about anything else for that glorious roaring time. In Texas, on South Padre Island, Michael and I used to swim out past the first breakers and float, belly up, between the incoming waves of the first and second breakers. All you could hear was water. Fifteen minutes of that was like a good massage followed by eight hours of deep, sound sleep. Standing next to the falls is kind of like that...maybe more like a sweet (but short) nap.

This park is pretty magical...for some folks, I am sure it is all about the river...Millstone River. It is beautiful. It's course is astounding, slicing through slick rock and pounding now throughout spring. It will be a mere trickle in the late summer.

However, there is so much more to this park than the river. It's manicured. It has hangnails, too.
The wildness of the river trails, the calm waters of the outdoor community pool, horseshoes, disc golf, high-pitched children's voices rising over the seniors' activity center... it is a park for the ages, all ages. It is a park with a heartbeat.

The funny thing is, I didn't really feel too inspired to get out there for photos...these past weeks have really been taxing and I just didn't think I would get "there." At first, I was just pointing and shooting...I admit it. I didn't have it.

But then, rustling through the leaves, watching the filtering of the light, searching for the treasures I might share, I found it. That place I like to be. That way I like to feel. I have a hundred photos to prove do I choose?

And another funny thing is still don't even have a picture of "the Park." In total. You know what I mean? Rain didn't give you a photo of the park. I didn't give you a photo of the park. You still don't really know what the park looks like, do you? Granted, it is a pretty big park, but still...neither of us has given you the big picture.

We gave you tiny moments.

But I think they make a grander statement. Don't you? Thanks for coming along with us.
You choose the next one, Rain. Krista? I hear you want to play, too?!? This is gonna be good.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Hey, Rain, I finally made it...ready when you are. How many photos-ish? I called the above photo "Ode to Rain."
...except when we go for a walk
to get the Sunday paper
I stand there and read the headlines
she reads the wind
sometimes she hits a funny smell and laughs
I hate it when she does that- I feel so dumb
what? what?
Everything Reminds Me of My Dog by Jane Siberry
p.s. Buy this, cd.....holy s@*t. It may rock your a bluegrass-y, steamy sort of way.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

This is the melody, but it has no words...

 and for those of us who would like some words with our melody, looky here....
Have a good one. Talk to you laters.

Monday, October 22, 2007

shoulda, coulda, woulda

It should have been a most excellent week...finishing up the bedroom walls, cooking a giant pot roast, vino, beer, friends, dogs, Mambo's pizza, Alice's Restaurant, visiting, the sexy new pellet stove warming everyone.... but this week on Nobility Hill has been brutal. Absolutely brutal. The private security guards hired to clean up downtown have done a most excellent job. They have pushed all the crackheads, dealers, hookers, pimps, etc, right up here into our residential neighbourhood. The guards stand on the corners to town, letting no crackhead out of our neighbourhood. Thanks, Nanaimo. Really. Great job. Good plan. Pat yourselves on the back. You are so clever.
It could have been at least bearable, if it felt at all like the city was going to help us out with this situation that they have helped create. However, it isn't bearable because, in fact, it feels as if the city has now sanctioned this area to be the New Nanaimo Crack Festival. Maybe we should order banners.

It would have been unbelieveable to me that the solution to the drug/crime problem downtown is to hire people to literally force the problem into an area struggling to make a decent go of it. It WOULD have been unbelieveable, if I didn't live here, that is. I mean, really, it's not as if we can afford to hire our own security guards, since, ya know, we have to pay property taxes and all.

Michael was asked if he wanted to buy drugs twice today...within half a block...and he was asked if he wanted to get high by some random crackhead...also within that same half block...hell, withing the same 15 seconds. I have verbally moved people on twice today and Michael once. I have been on the phone with dispatch four times today...and that is only the times I bothered to call. We are conditioned to be apathetic because of the ridiculous system here...3 dispatch officers to serve Cedar, Cranberry, East all the way to North Wellington, Extension, Lantzville, North Oyster.... plus ALL of Nanaimo...we spend so much time on hold with dispatch, we hang up.

Four RCMP officers for South Nanaimo. Officers who are not from here, for the most part...and often can't respond in time to do anything...even if they COULD do anything.

If crack dealing and consumption are illegal, and you know it is happening with abundance in one area, why are there not beat patrol officers here all the time? If you know that crackheads are in an area harassing , menacing and and generally making life miserable to the residents of that area, wouldn't you just have the car patrols fill out their reports parked in their cars there, just to do the right thing? ...make a community police substation at one of the offices here. Hell, make it in my livingroom...I'll make cookies, chocolate chunk cookies. Make one progressive movement. Please.

Again, how about busting the Johns? Printing their names somewhere? Reading their names out loud in a court of law?

Repeatedly, I have asked Mayor and/or council members if they would come spend a week in my house. It's a nice house, too. Probably better then theirs...and I know I am a better cook than any of them. So come already. I'll make cookies...chocolate chunk cookies...I know one of you must be reading this. I am sending my repeatedly unanswered invitations to the newspapers next.

I don't understand all these pricey vehicles selling drugs street level around here lately, distributing them through the hookers or through their windows. Or why the dealer with the Alberta plates has been driving around unobstructed for six months. I can't be the only one who recognizes these cars. Right?
So, I'm sorry, Em, that I couldn't seem to find that really happy place we usually inhabit when we're together, that I was distracted and a bit gloomy. It's like you said when you came back from is a town full of angry people.
Whew. Where did that come from?

Friday, October 19, 2007

The doctor will see you now....

It's been a long, rainy week, with a good storm thrown goldfish pond in the front is flooded so it's just as well that the raccoons ate all the fish earlier this year. Otherwise, they would be flopping around in my grass just now. It's also been a hard few few weeks for Michael and I in dealing with this neighbourhood. It's got us down. I don't want to get into it all just now, though. So today, when the blue skies broke through for an hour, it was time to go for a walk, just Eemer and I, and to have a long talk with a good friend.
When the skies are blue, even the puddles are pretty, aren't they? Full of sky and colour. Just up here around the corner, Eem-er and I have a friend we like to talk to. Wanna meet him? He's heard us arrive and is coming to the door.

Eem-er looks forward to meeting and greeting this guy...and he is just as eager to meet her through the fence each time. They have some catching up to do. They haven't seen each other for a couple weeks now.

Smooches. Maybe it's a Beagle thing, cuz Maggie loved horses, too. I had a friend I used to visit with a horse out back of her property. We would get to talking and I would lose track of Maggie. I could always find her out in the pasture, nose to nose, with the old chestnut mare out there. I always wondered what they were talking about, just as I wonder what these two have to say to each other.

And then, he turns to me...hellooooooo there, Friend. I have missed you.
Where have you been?

And we talk...for a good long while. We have meaningful converstations about everything that bothers us, things we love, the weather, the view, the kind of day we've been having. Whatever pops into our minds.

He comforts me.

I can tell him anything...and feel my stress level decrease. I can feel it melting away. It is amazing. I want to take him home with me. I don't want to ride him, or have him pull me in a cart...I just want to talk to him.

He makes me smile.
He tells me things... things that speak to my soul....

...and then he smiles, too. It's hard to leave him when it's time to go. I wish I didn't have to go home without him.
Well, you all have a good weekend. I'll try to do the same.