Thursday, January 31, 2008


no matter how pissed you still are, life and laughter and memories can still break your poor heart.
and i promise not to argue with lunatics in the street anymore. for now.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Issues and Asshats(or Asshats with Issues, myself included)

So this guy in our neighbourhood wants to start a Compassion Club here in Nanaimo. I don't know how I feel about that. I really don't. First of all, I am not the most compassionate person out you can maybe tell from my rants on this here page sometimes...right? It's true. I can live with that. But chronically ill people smoking something that eases their pain and maybe gives them an appetite doesn't sound like a bad thing, either. My aunt died of lymphoma and the end was gut-wrenching for her and those around her for months and months helping her die. If it could have eased that a little? I live with chronic pain's a just barely bearable backdrop to my life but somedays, when I get a little extra kick in the ass in the pain department? I could almost shoot myself over it. I sleep instead...or start the whole take-pain-relievers-and-begin-gut-rot- almost-as-painful-as-the-pain-you-were-seeking-to-relieve cycle. Maybe you know that one, too? What I wouldn't give to avoid that whole scenario...and my pain is nothing compared to cancer, Crohn's, glaucoma, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia(both very real, you doubters!)...
I know that pot helps some people with chronic medical conditions. Sometimes I wish I was one of them. Personally, I hate the stuff.
Mostly, though, I just don't care about's a NON-ISSUE to me. Probably because it doesn't work for me and I hate the stuff.
BUT, this I do care about....he's been a good neighbour, involved in cleaning up the garbage around here, taken a tough stance with some scary people, stood up for the neighbourhood before Council...all in all, his family and their presence has been a boon to the neighbourhood.
Mostly I think his timing is crappy...when we are a neighbourhood dealing with issues of drugs and drug abuse, it's just another damn argument I don't want to be having...and yet, there I was arguing with this Asshat on the street picketing my neighbour's planned compassion.

Well, really, Mister Asshat, why the fuck aren't you picketing outside one of the crackhouses in this neighbourhood? Why the fuck are you not picketing the methadone clinic or the needle exchange or wherever it is that VIHA will be handing out crackpipes next? Where have you been during any one of the times this neighbourhood has worked to pull another crackhouse down? Where were you when the open air drug market was going on up the road? Where were you with your sign then? ASSHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!
I mean really? Standing on the same street corner that crack whores sell themselves for the price of one hit(merely a few dollars, how sick and sad is that?), across the street from a guy who deals crack, up the street from another, around the corner from a full blown crackhouse? Two blocks from the old granary where there are probably 40 homeless addicts KILLING themselves on poison they bought somewhere in town and you are going to picket this?!? Really?!? Fucking Asshat. How's that for compassion, eh? Asshat. Nimrod. Stupid.
Those fucking cigarettes you've smoked are a drug more harmful than pot and, by the way, throwing the fucking butts on the street is littering. Asshat.
When you are suffering from the pain of lung cancer? What then?
When I asked him if he would please go picket outside one of the crackhouses, he said no, he wanted to "take down this guy." Huh, sounds like more than just an issue about "drugs." Sounds more personal to me. Like you have a particular issue with a particular person. Did somebody hurt your little feelings somehow?!?
And so, my mouth got away from me...and though he thinks he has the "right" to stand there all day pronouncing his views, he told me to go away because he didn't want to listen to mine.
I am off to the mall to get me one of these to hang out with the guy tomorrow.
(Can you all even believe how many times I just cussed? My Dad would so kill me right now!)
*Oh hey, it's later now...that picketeer just passed my house glaring in my windows, as if making some point that I won't comment on. Asshat. I think he was carrying a bag from the Methadone Clinic...but maybe I am just passing along hurricane rumors now. But, we're all human now, aren't we? And I am still angry, after all. And we are all, after all, human? Right? I never said I was a role model. He did pass my house with a very small plastic bag, definitely not a grocery bag...and made a more than definite point if glaring in my windows. As if he could be the one to intimidate me. I wonder if the little plastic bag in his hand was from the methadone clinic just up the street, the only closest store....if so, I wonder how long he will ride the methadone train? A lifetime? Another drug-addicted lifetime? Now I am just being bitchy,eh? Sorry. My father would definitely not approve.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Crack City Updates

So, apparently, even though all the beds at Salvation Army are not filled every night, we need to provide more housing/shelter for the homeless. Only they want to put in "wet housing" in some of our rooming houses here in the Southend. Conveniently, the north end probably "doesn't have" any rooming houses. A wet house is a residence where the person still gets to do drugs. You know, what I might consider a CRACK HOUSE...especially when you see some of the properties that may have been getting the once over this week. Some of them are quite possibly crackhouses already.
A large number of the "rooming houses" in this area are owned by the same pariah that owns/owned Spanglish and the old church...the guy that sells them and then steals them back....the guy with the current crack house up the road and several unsavory properties up around the other corner. Other properties and landlords around here are really just as bad, a continuing source of aggravation and dispair to the neighbourhoods they are in. Revolving doors of crack and meth, deteriorating conditions, stacks of garbage and foulness. And now? Maybe the landlords get a reward for their behaviour instead of jailtime...which is what should be happening to them...or they should have to live in one of these places. Already the song and dance is started with certain city officials in response to our questions and concerns. It is enough to really HATE living here sometimes. Did I mention how much the city says our property values have gone up in two years? How much more they want in taxes? Holy cripes, folks. When do we get to see the return of our investment? And I don't mean with another social service agency...I think we have our fair share and then some....and then some more.
Also, a "Living Room" or drop-in centre....again, the Salvation Army presented the need to open this giant Wal-mart of a service centre in the downtown...they were going to have a DROP-IN CENTRE down there. They accepted the money for it. Give back the damn money or do what you said your were going to do. Instead, now VIHA feels the need to place another drop-in Centre somewhere in Nanaimo...hmmmm, will it be in the North End or in any other town centre like every study that has been sponsored has said to do ? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. And you know, the last one they ran went so well, too. NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Will money be going straight to the pariahs who have been feeding off the southend for years?
Probably won't get a straight answer on that either. See, we don't know for sure, because Vancouver Island Health Authority sees no reason to involve the possible new neighbours in this at all. No reason at all to talk to us about it. Typical. Typically gross and disrepectful behaviour from agencies meant to be bettering peoples lives...and I thought they were there to better ALL OF OUR lives. Silly me

Monday, January 28, 2008

What did you just call me?

Have you seen the photos over at Viewfinder View? You should go check it out...and I may have to go look for an old camera and try out the ttv technique so I welcome any suggestions in that department. Anyhow, Val Cox over there has posted all these photos of kumquats on her site. I LOVE kumquats. When we lived in Vancouver, when I got the hankering for this delicious little treat, we'd head off to Granville Island. We could usually find them there, tree ripened and not too dear a price. Plus, we got to putter around the market, window shop all the funky little places, try to pick out which floating house we would buy if we could, pick up something artsy fartsy at Opus....I know Michael doesn't miss living in Vancouver, but I do. We lived in a BIG city with a fraction of the issues of this little town(known as Crack City in other places)...and there was stuff to do, too. Here on this island, Vancouver Island, when I do find Kumquats, they are not ripe. They don't ripen if you pick them too early. And? Super expensive. Last week, though, Thrifty Foods had organic kumquats, tree-ripened for 5 bucks a pound. Not too outrageous...not for the best treat ever. Oh happy day.
In twenty years, maybe I'll be picking them for free.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

We'll follow the sun......

Oh, it's been a glorious week. Cold, frosty, joint achingly so...but clear and sunny, all the same. I felt like a different person. I cleaned the house, every corner, every window ledge, door frame, baseboard...I banished dust and opened the doors to air out the old house must...and I sang while doing it! Coffee on the back deck wrapped in my big sweater. Lots of good dog walks. Off to the beaches and the best spots because we wanted to really enjoy it all. This afternoon, the clouds look to be rolling back in. I'm not ready to say goodbye to the sunshine just yet. Sigh. It's been such a nice visit.

Friday, January 25, 2008

What a deal......

This notorious building has been rented to crackhead after crackhead after crackpot after dealer after "tinkerers" after crackheads after crackpots after....well, you get the point, eh? Every time someone is kicked out of there, it's in worse shape than before and the landlord(you all should know who I'm talking about by now) does nothing to upkeep, upgrade, upscale.... just up yours, basically. The last tenants were busted, four cop cars for four hours there, I hear. We weren't home. And the truckloads of filth and waste hauled out of there after. Gross, but not the first time...nor the second, third, fourth or fifth. It's been "for sale" for a while. It's been "sold" a number of times. He holds the lease and when the new "owners" default, well, he steals the building back. Only it's not stealing. It's criminal, but it is not illegal. And he's been asking a lot for it, considering it's a hole. But wait, what is that sign?!?
Blow out pricing!!!! What a, deal. $300,000.
That's the price of a hole these days.
Do you think he'll throw in those two toilets there that have been sitting out there for weeks? Cuz, dang, that would surely seal the deal for somebody.
Any takers?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

circular music

Ah, Dave Matthews...lovers him. Don't you? Anyhoo, he covers lots of Willie Nelson tunes. He always has. Willie is one of his heroes,* just like me. It's true. He says it often. He doesn't try to hide his admiration. He's a good boy that way.
Good taste in heroes, eh?

Getting to work with one of your heroes seems pretty special, doesn't it? Oh, what I wouldn't give to be backstage at these shows. Out in the audience is pretty damn good, too(at least I can attest to that)...but backstage? Gah, can you imagine? Really, I can't. But I wish I could. But I can't. But I wish I could. But I can't. But I wish I could.....
But then.......imagine this.....your hero's new album is coming out on January 29th(you can preorder it on Amazon for quite a savings! You know how I know? I just ordered one for me and one for my dad[for his 74th birthday yesterday].) and you discover something that makes your knees just the slightest bit weak.... something that takes your breath away just for the tiniest second....

While looking through the playlist, you discover that YOUR HERO....

is covering

one of your songs.....
wouldn't that floor you(just for a moment)? Wouldn't it break your heart(just a little bit)? Wouldn't it make you want to say your thanks(a whole damn lot)?
Oh, I can't wait for the end of this damn month of ghosts to come...and for my new Willie Nelson album to arrive, as well. I am going to go listen to American Baby and pretend he is singing to me...oh happy day.
*Gawilli....this link is for you(and for me)!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The View Over Nicol Street Pawn Shop

From our back deck we enjoyed sunset on the mainland mountains....
over the ugly Nicol Street Pawn Shop out back.....
across 40 miles of water.....

Sigh. Hot chocolate anyone?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bird Nerds

Skies broke crisp and blue again today. We all got an early morning start.... following our neighbourhood's Official Bird Nerd out into the bird sanctuary south of town. I will have to get back to you with the name of the place. He knows all the good birding sites...we were looking for owls. Short-eared Owls, to be specific. It was SO BEAUTIFUL out there that I forgot we were looking for birds.
See them out there looking for birds while I am photographing ice crystals? They kept stopping and waiting for me to catch up.

They had to wait for me a lot.

It's the first sun we've seen in weeks and weeks. Though it was crispy cold and my fingers ached, I couldn't get enough of it. The long grey days have had me down, diluting my spirit as well as the colour of my eyes. What a gift the past few days have been.

So we walked through frozen rushes and ice-crusted wetlands, breathing the cold air into our lungs, tasting the melting frost and savoring the sunshine on our ruddy cheeks.

Hallelujah. Hallelujah and thank you.

Oh yeah....we were bird-watching. Right? Heheh, I forgot again.

Did I mention that we saw some birds while we were out? You know, because we were out there looking for birds, in case I didn't mention. Swans galore. This was my telephoto lens set to it's greatest capacity. Not so awe-inspiring, but it's alright. You get the idea, right? These were just a few of them.

Hey, you two!!!! Look up! Look up!!!! Someone is watching you watching birds.

Funny that we were being watched, too, isn't it?
We DID see a Short-eared Owl, but he was not the least bit interested in letting me get close enough for a photo, though the two photographers out there with the lenses as big as Eem-er probably got some good shots. Momentarily, I was jealous of them but I know that I am in this for the walks anyway. The photos are just the bonus.
Thanks, Bird Nerd, for the tour...ever the great bird guide. Your excitement is contagious and I like that none of my questions were too just answered them like they are the most well-thought-out questions. When are we going again?!?
There are lots more photos. I will be posting them to the Flickr site as soon as I know the name of the bird sanctuary.

Monday, January 21, 2008

We are bound and we are bound

I have a dream today.

"And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free at last."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Let us turn our thoughts today

To Martin Luther King

And recognize that there are ties between us

All men and women

Living on the earth

Ties of hope and love

Sister and brotherhood

That we are bound together

In our desire to see the world become

A place in which our children

Can grow free and strong

We are bound together

By the task that stands before us

And the road that lies ahead

We are bound and we are bound(James Taylor)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Hockey Night in Canada

Oh the good ole hockey game is the best game you can name, And the best game you can name is the good ole hockey game. The Hockey Song by Stompin' Tom Conners.

Friday, January 18, 2008


Alright, here are some photos...the bed isn't made. Don't hold it against me. Eem-er is sleeping still. She is fully backed by doctor's orders to rest, rest, rest. I shouldn't disturb her. She is happy about that part of it all. Normally, I do kick her out of bed and make it every morning. We need a headboard and some skinny side tables but that will have to wait now. I did have my eye on a really inexpensive but very nice looking headboard at a clearance furniture warehouse. It had a couple of dents but the price was great...until the vet. It won't happen for a while now.
The new rug looks beautiful though, eh? We bought that BEFORE Emma went into the doctor's. No turning back now. The open doorway back there is the walk-in closet. Michael will make a bi-fold door because it is not a standard door size...and we need bi-fold to be able to open it with the bed here.

Walking in to the walk-in closet. I found this old dresser for 20 bucks at a thrift store. Love it. We have a window in our closet that overlooks our back yard.

This is Michael's nasty old dresser. We were looking for a new one for him, too, but that's on hold now, too.

We have a beautiful, framed, bigger-than-life-size mirror to bring in, but we have to find a way to attach it safely and securely to the plaster wall at the back of the closet first. And hang some art on the other, uncovered, 9 foot plastered walls. Surreal, isn't it? Hanging art in a closet? That hutch on the right was just cheap, plain pine and Michael stained the top and sides to match the hardwood floors, then stained to doors a bright sexy red. Nothing plain about it now.

Walking back out of the closet, those empty walls over there will one day have our corner bookshelves(once they are built) filled with our books and treasures. The empty window will have a nice fabric roman blind soon, but for now, at night, I just put a piece of plywood over it. And Michael removed the main door and is sanding it and putting a clear coat on. It will be back up this weekend. When the door is open, it nearly touches the bed and that is why we need such skinny bedside tables.
In here, I don't know about art to hang. I just love looking at my walls right now. I am in no hurry to put anything up yet. The room glows so warm at night with just the small bedside lamp reflecting off all the colour and texture. It's so pretty in there. Okay...that's it. For now.
Hmmmmn. What should the next project be?!?

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Seven teeth gone. Seven. That's a mouthful of rotten bacteria. Hopefully, the murmur will clear up as the infections do. Eem-er is home, asleep, miserable, with a pink bandage on her leg and the right upper side of her mouth empty of teeth...poor thing.
However, continuing yesterday's rant on all things medical...the vet quoted me two prices. Michael and I rearranged many things to meet one of them...the lower one. No frills package. It was the most we could manage.
I went to pick her up and it was HIGHER than the high end package. No phone calls, no warning. The vet made some decisions without so much as a phone call to me, expecting me to be able to come up with an extra (nearly) $300 dollars.
I am not so sure that people who make lots of money really appreciate how difficult it is to come up with "extra" money. It's like Oprah saying everyone needs new pillows, body scrubs and plush bath towels. As if.
Anyhoo, after some confrontation in a waiting room full of other folks with pets and forthcoming bills, the price dropped quite a bit. Still not what Michael and I had anticipated, but better than the first "final" price.
More than I spent on my own medical stuff far. By far and away, actually.
It's a good thing Michael and I like rice and beans.
That's all I'm saying.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

winter fairgrounds

How sad and lonely are fairgrounds in winter? Pretty freaking sad. But beautiful, all the same.
Today was my last hurdle for immigration. My physical. A full physical. It also makes me feel sad and lonely...even though the reason I am doing this is for the love of my life. For my Michael.
Growing up in the "working poor" in the U.S., and continuing my own working life on the outskirts of lower middle class, I hardly ever had health insurance. My only reasons to see a doctor were emergencies...and then hours of filling out forms to see if the cost could be covered by somebody else....anybody else.

The doctor today said I should have used some of my tattoo money for regular physicals and women's shit. Goddamn. Everyone is a critic. Some of them were from a time I could afford tattoos AND healthcare. I didn't get them all yesterday. Some of my tattoos were trade for bookkeeping.... among the general population, you would be suprised how much the Barter System is alive and well in the U.S. and elsewhere...and I can put someone's bookkeeping in order in hours....or a bit longer, if you are many tattoo artists. Not many doctors barter anymore(though I have seen some doctors who know just how far minimum wage goes when you have rent to pay). She also said something about dental shit....does anyone have any idea how expensive dental anything is without insurance? Ask me how much tomorrow will cost to have some dental work done on my dog...go on, ask. It's heartbreaking.
I had major dental work done five years ago. And? That rich asshole(as well as the dentist I'd seen before him) was a critic, too. He told me that it would be "no more" than a car payment for a few months to cover his costs...he drove a Porshe. Um, I already HAD a car payment AND insurance for that car and rent and groceries and utilities, etc. to pay. You know what else? I know I worked HARDER than either of those costs more when you're "poor." Don't think it doesn't.
It's not a crime to be poor, but everyone sure makes you feel like it is...even here. Fuck off.

So, besides my attidude, all went well enough....girlie stuff went well(whew) and my physical went well, also(whew). Chest X-rays? Clear. Now, just the bloodwork to wait for. It's been such a process...such worry....because, of course, I haven't always been kind to myself. I have not always been kind to myself. I didn't know I was supposed to be kind to myself. Nobody taught me that. Damn. Who knew I would be here now when I was young and dumb and not being kind to myself? And the not knowing for as long as I have not known? Damn. Double damn. Double dog damn. Really.

Fingers crossed that all is went much easier than I thought fact, I am toasting with a beer tonight.
Honestly, fuck the US and their medical system for making this such an outright burden for me. I have been sick with worry over it...and that alone could have been enough to make me sick enough not to get here.
Forgive me for my four letter words.
I have been so very worried about things that are beyond my control. I just want to be here with my Michael. I just want the clueless, worthless, lame and pathetic choices I made in my young life to have no bearing in the life I have been living every day, acutely aware of and making coherent decisions in for many years. Many, many years.

So, I toast one too many tonight. I am sure Fourdinners would approve of that. After all, he says that the Pissheads of the world should unite. Cheers. It's done now. Hopefully, all is well and I can, at age 39, get one with the rest of my life. Whatever that is.
Peace out and fingers crossed.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Guess what I'm doing....

Moving us back into our newly (re)finished master bedroom....woot woot!
Still need blinds and a couple of skinny bedside tables...and eventually bookcases so that I can take our books back out of the boxes they are in. I miss them.
Yesterday I had the most surreal moment...Michael and I were deciding which art to our closet!!!! Hahahahaha. How freaking weird is that?!? Our walk-in closet is gorgeous...except for the hole in the ceiling from the leak we can't find.
Well, back to work.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Okay, we've had some damn crappy grey weather....but today, despite the early rain, it worked for me. Walkies at the estuary today were beautiful. Even the sogginess on the ground didn't seem so oppressive. Rabbits a-plenty for Eem-er to chase...the light, the fog, the camera. Redwing blackbirds singing like it was Springtime...that or the dead of night. Do they know something I don't?
The fog, like *Smoke on the water. Ethereal. Magical. Heartbreaking.

And the sun coming down....

...a gift for my soul.
Learn to fly.
*Shout out, Victoria.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Just a walk in the park....

Er, wait... is that how the saying goes?!? Or is it...Just smoke some crack in the park? Dang. I never could get that right.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I was wondering

if I always look this tired?