Monday, June 30, 2008

It ain't the 4th of July anymore....

Happy Canada Day, everyone. It's good to be here.

Friday, June 27, 2008


Another week....working really makes things move fast. I had forgotten that part of it. I forgot scurrying to put dinner together at the end of the day, packing lunches, squeezing some time out of every day for myself....wearing my hair up(beats a hair net any day, but I still hate it)....but even still, so far, I am enjoying myself...immensely. My own pocket change, time away from the hood here, great people to work with, and even how fast things move now.
We are heading into a holiday weekend, I hear. I haven't even been near a calender other than to look if I work that day or not. I think we are taking off soon...the following weekend? For a week of visits and camping along the Sunshine Coast. Michael's back is not real strong yet and still quite tender, so I wonder how enjoyable sleeping in the van will be for him, or even if he will be able to climb up into the pop top. But, we have another week, right? Zzzzzzzzzzzzoooooooooooooooooom.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I turned myself to face me....

Things are changing around here...and I am not sure if I will like the results. Then again, I am not sure if I won't like them, either. Amid all the bullshit of needle drop boxes and crackhouses and drug dealers running on the street, we have our personal lives to tend to, as well. In a neighbourhood where everybody knows everybody, and knows their business, it can be hard to know how to handle personal problems. Two sets of neighbours are seperating(one divorce, one trial seperation). The couple divorcing kinda rocked me back on my heels because I thought they were "meant" for each other. Really Like two peas in a pod, like when people use the term "soulmates." I don't always agree that finding your soulmate means you marry them, cuz I believe the soul is beyond all the bullshit of sexual identity and getting hitched...and I also don't believe your soul only has one "mate," but in fact, resonates with it's own "tribe," if you will, of familiar entities. But if two soulmates find each other and love...well, this would be them...forever. Then again, not so much, apparently. I ran into her the other night, and after some distressing email, she did seem radiant...and happy and ready to move on to the next thing...which is good, and healthy, and woman power!
The two heading into trial seperation are more than just neighbours, though. They are our friends. Good friends. Some of our best friends. And though I have often put the heel of my hand to my forehead over his antics and asked "HOW does she put up with that shit?", I am more than rocked back on my heels by the fact that she has, in fact, reached the end of what we ALL thought of as her infinite(somewhat saintly, make me feel lesser) patience. And I don't know what to do with what I am feeling...where do I go with it? How do I deal with this? What are my loyalties? Michael's loyalties? Do they go down the gender lines? Is there any such thing in these cases? What? Where? How? Why did I answer the phone?????? I know that it sounds selfish and such...but it's not. My feelings for her, and for him, are without question. I have no doubts about how to stand up for her...or for's where this situation puts us that I question. You know? He is one of Michael's best friends, ....she is one of mine. You see where I am going with this, eh? But, maybe I am overreacting and all will be well.

I am in love with this man here, with our life, with the life I anticipate coming....He is my last, best boyfriend.... despite the times we don't always see things the same way. I love him. I love him. I love him.
I hate when friends break up. It opens too many doors, too many questions, too many disrupts my rose-coloured view of our world. But....then opens up a whole new world to my friends.....infinite, wide open and one that may make them radiant beyond all comprehension.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Hips of Fire

The Summer Solstice Party at Delicado's was Saturday night....bands, fire jugglers and hula hoopers, music, dance, and a street festival atmosphere...however this year, what with Michael's back and my cold, my first week of work completed just an hour or two earlier, we were not up to our usual party selves. We were content to sit on the outskirts, bopping our heads to the music with Eem-er and watch the happenings. We headed home early, without drinking too much and woke without hangovers the night after the Solstice Party for the first time in the four years we have attended. Gawd, we're old.
Michael has turned a corner with his back on Saturday, and today I think my cold is gone...or as good as gone. Things seem to be getting back on track. Last week was a rough one, and though my cold seems better, I find myself exhausted tonight though I have had yesterday and today off. I spent hours at BC Canada getting my SIN number for employment, depositing my first paycheck(woot woot), doing a little shopping with my first paycheck(beer, a fancy new halter for Eem-er and two organic chocolate bars). I made a huge vat of jumbalaya, baked some bread, did some laundry and wanted to make some banana loaves tonight but I think that will have to wait. It's nearly nine and I want to get to bed soon, read my book, and fall asleep early. I want to feel rested enough to get up and run tomorrow morning before starting my next work week.
I want to make that a habit...but it is so damn painful to give up that extra hour of sleep. It really is one of my very favorite things.
Wow, so boring now that I work, eh? Hopefully, once I get my stamina back up, I will be back, better and stronger than the Six Million Dollar Man or the Bionic Woman.
Well, we'll see what this week brings.
Talk to you all later.

Rest in Peace, George (as much as you can anyway). Thanks for the laughs and for never being afraid to speak your mind. You sure were something else.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Happy Friday, Everybody

Hope you have a good weekend.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Has it already been nearly a week????

Really? Thursday last, we boarded an early ferry(in our Fluevogs) to Vancouver...woot woot. One of my best girlfriends and I were on our way to see k.d. long last. We got off the ferry, jumped on the express bus and found ourselves in downtown Vancouver. Exactly where we were supposed to be!

This is the Vancouver Library from the deck of where we stayed....sweet!!!!!!!! The Vancouver Performing Arts Centre is right around the corner, literally. That's where k.d. would be later. But we had hours to be tourists....and shoppers...and diners....and drinkers.

This is the inside of the library entrance. It is such a beautiful building. Glorious. Magnificent.... and did I mention that it's a LIBRARY?!?!?!
Fluevog's.... otherwise known as the holy land....although I have to admit that I was disappointed to find several of the shoes I was most interested in buying were made in China. That's a new twist, and one that I am not very fond of. It just doesn't work for me, John Fluevog. Sorry. I may, in fact, have to find a new favorite shoe. Are you listening? Pay attention.

We ate snacks at a lovely Italian restaurant and, later, dinner at Delilah's. And some martinis...cuz that is what Delilah's is famous for. When in Rome. Don't tell Eem-er, but I had RABBIT!!!! And guess what?!? Tastes exactly like chicken. No lie.

So, yeah, the concert...where to begin? The Vancouver Performing Arts Centre was beautiful. Thank goodness I dressed up in black velvet and Fluevogs( and my friend in silk and Fluevogs). It totally deserved it. As did k.d. Yeah, you ladies in your tie-dye? You must try harder next time, okay? It was k.d., not the the Dead. There is a time and a place for everything...and this was neither. Sheesh.
Dustin O'Halloran opened for her. He was soft-spoken and engaging...he played beautifully for about a half an hour on a piano that responded well to his touch, as did the audience...and then there was k.d.
What can I say?!? She was everything you hope for (and so very much more) in a memorable event. She was radiant and lovely, gracious and happy to be home in Canada after touring elsewhere. She made me feel like she'd hand-picked this audience to see her, like she couldn't have been happier to see anyone other than she adored us as much as we were so obviously adoring her. Thank you, k.d., for your absolute graciousness, for your joy in the music, for making it feel like the first time you sang Constant Craving and not the one thousand and first, for having fun with us, for involving us, for singing your "bottle of vintage, " as well as
your newly vinted.... , for the jokes, for your smart, groovy band and you letting them have their own lead, for giving us your very best even though we all know you've been on the road a while now...thank you for giving us your best.
She had a standing ovation halfway through the show after reducing us all to jello with Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah directly following Jane Siberry's the Valley. A standing ovation and we still had 40 minutes of music yet to come!!!! Holy moly. The tears, the tears....I could barely see her sometimes...and we were only eight rows back, in the close, so close. Three encores.
Wrung-out, literally, we stumbled back to our room with a view, and had a glass of wine, watched the nighttime traffic for a while, then collapsed into sleep.
Next day, we hit the Vag, ate lunch and parted friend caught a float plane home, and I hopped on the sea bus(yes, I said sea bus) and went to visit....

my very good

friends. So we visited, ate more food, drank some beers and I spilled some beers(poltergeist in the fridge, I swear!), and went to bed and then in the morning we all headed to Nanaimo on the ferry....we were on our way to a very important birthday party celebrating a toddler becoming a little boy....
However, when I got home, I found Michael laid out on the bed, unable to function....just home from an overnight trip to the emergency room and doped up on Morphine. Seems he'd fallen down the basement stairs the night before, and with nobody home, and the place locked up tight, he'd had to make his way back up, make some calls, and unlock the door so the ambulance drivers could get in. Needless to say, I missed the party.
Still, we had company overnight that night, and Michael managed to get out of bed for a couple hours. We bbq'ed and ate too much, visited. Sunday came, company left....I took Eem-er out for a little special walk, but there's no room for those photos here today.
Monday and Tuesday were hectic...up at 6:30 am to run before work, make coffee, make breakfast, pack the dog's dinner and the cat's....pack a lunch for me, get Michael to work(for as long as he can stand it with his back!), and off to work where it's busy busy busy, then come home and make a late dinner cuz Michael is useless with that stuff at the moment(normally he is fantastic in the kitchen but he's in a world of hurt right now!), clean up and hit the showers, in
bed by ten...and somewhere along the way, I picked up a cold. Nice.
Today is my only day off during this week of training...groceries, laundry, banking, dog walks, clean the house(hardly), take cold f/x, neti pot my nose(disgusting, I know, BUT IT WORKS!!!!), and make a giant dinner so there's plenty of leftovers for the next couple of days.....
How did I get so dang busy?!?
Oh, and....I know I haven't commented on anyone's blogs for a while but I am still reading!!!! I am with you guys! I am!

Monday, June 16, 2008


I am beat...been so busy and stuff sort of fell apart around here(don't anyone worry)and started the new job today(went really well, I think)...and fighting a cold on top of you all will have to wait til Wednesday so that I can catch my breath and catch you up. G'nite, then.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

gonna be gone, then gonna be busy

Heading to the big city tomorrow for the kd lang concert(at last!), some sightseeing, some shopping, some big city food and drinks, some visiting, coming home Saturday, which is another big, busy day and work starts for me Monday morning so I will try to fill you all in Sunday night..........

but don't hold your breath. I may be asleep.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Careful what you wish for........

Yup...after a good long run of unemployment, I go back to work next week. Eek. I hope I can handle it. It's not like I have hated all the time off. It's not like I haven't been busy enough.... but it will be nice to have my own money again, somewhere to be on certain days, feel like I contribute something besides clean laundry and dishes...I imagine it will be a shock to all of our systems, Michael's, mine and Eem-er's....even the neighbours. Kitty? Probably couldn't care less. But I think the rest of us have all gotten pretty used to me being home, the house clean, dinner done, shopping on a schedule, long daily dogwalks for Eem-er and Eem-er's friends, lots of playtime for Eem-er, taxi services for the 'Hood, etc. Might not be so much camping this summer(although with this weather, who cares?). The times are changing.
I am the newest employee at Piper's Meats, and I am pretty excited about it. It is a local meat and kitchenware shop. They provide antibiotic and growth hormone free meat from LOCAL farmers who only feed their animals a vegetarian diet(unlike me). It's where we shop. It is a choice we made quite a while ago to be conscious of how we impact the world around us, just as it impacts us. We support local businesses who support local farmers who, in turn, give us a product that I can have faith in...we all win. I like the people there. I like working for smaller companies. I like the idea of working somewhere I actually shop(unlike when I worked at Starbucks and drank my coffee at Batdorf and Bronson!!!). I think it's going to be a pretty good place to work and when Michael and I finally reach that small town life we want, it'll be one more marketable skill I will have to work with....and as I have learned from life in small towns, sometimes it requires a variety of marketable skills to keep yourself employed year round....

two days until k d lang............that's a good way to celebrate, isn't it?

Monday, June 09, 2008


So today, I stopped by this place that I like....six weeks ago, they had a Help Wanted sign in the window and at the time, I was not legally able to work and I was sad about missing the opportunity to apply. Today, they were putting the sign back I asked. Dressed like a street bum, with slightly damp and greasy hair due to torrential downpour, I had a VERY informal interview with the owner. I told him about immigration, not working for a long time, that I had wanted to apply 6 weeks ago but couldn't .....He was super nice. He told me to bring back my "updated" resume tomorrow. Since coming home, I am working feverishly on my resume and trying to figure out which of our summer plans I am going to have to axe. You see, I wasn't really prepared to look for work until after July because we have a lot of trips planned for the summer...but I really think I want to work here........and that's all I am saying at this point.....don't want to jinx myself.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

dealing with politicians is a lot like walking at the Abyss

This is the Abyss here in Nanaimo...and much like our city politicians, doesn't look too very scary. Not really. But it's deceptive...kind of like politicians, the social service industries and city officials...
" Look over here at the pretty things we have for these succulents...or like curbs and street trees and some grass seed....and maybe even a little money for your tiny park, we can take that out of the tulip budget over at Beban Park or something where it couldn't possibly be missed..we just won't plant any yellow tulips in the "nice" park this year....."

But look closer. You see that? No? Nobody knows how deep that is and if you are a "little guy," you may never see the bottom coming at you.....maybe there is no bottom. That's what it's beginning to feel like to me, anyway.

Walk your footing.

Because around the Abyss of city politics is also an obstacle course. It's a little rickety and nobody is really sure who made it or who maintains it...and if you fall and hurt yourself out here, I am not really sure who's going to come help you, either.

And always, just out of reach, are the numerous agencies in question, all talking at the same time, all making their own agendas without consulting each other or anyone they may impact, never learning to work with anyone, always creating animosity....chattering on and on, saying the same damn things and not really meaning a word of it, so busy making a louder noise then those next to them that they can't even hear you...or you... or you, either.
Dear Mayor and Council, City Staff, Vancouver Island Health Authority, Media and Fellow Nanaimo residents,
The idea of a drop box in Nob Hill Park is a crying shame. After all the time and effort the residents of Nob Hill have invested making that park a neighbourhood and family friendly park, a plan to now make it another city sanctioned hangout for addicts is quite a low blow. We believed our increased presence with weekly Neighbourhood walks, less-organized but more frequent friendly group strolls and the advent of the Red Zones, that the message we were sending is that drug use would not be tolerated in the park near our children and our homes. It would seem the City disagrees.
Three needle drop boxes within a two-minute walk of the VIHA’s needle exchange? Now we can’t even “impose” on addicts to cross the street from the Cavan Street stairs to the Needle Exchange? Isn’t that the slightest bit ridiculous? It’s literally just across the street. This seems more of non-verbal statement that this is the part of town where substance abusers are to come and stay and yet another step for Nanaimo in establishing it’s very own Downtown Eastside.
Once again, where is that Decentralization Strategy that most unbiased studies show is the only true solution?
I walk in Nob Hill Park every morning, every afternoon. I rarely find a needle. What I find there now is children playing in the park and neighbours working hard to take back what is ours. With (coming soon) new playground equipment, a three stage beautification process beginning this summer, and ground-breaking on a new 60-unit retirement residence going in across the street, we see a bright future for our wonderfully historic neighbourhood park.
I also walk in Bowen Park at least once a week. More often than not, I find numerous needles, rigs, and saline tubes scattered among the benches there. It seems to me, there might be a greater call for needle drop-boxes to be further from, not closer to, the Needle Exchange. Drug abuse is not only a downtown problem. It’s about time our City Council, City Social Planner and our local Social Service industry started to acknowledge that and act accordingly instead of continuing on this course of ghettoization in an area they just spent millions on to revitalize.

Victoria Road.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

***other people's words

The Moths

There’s a kind of white moth,

I don’t know
what kind,
that glimmers
by mid-May in the forest,
just as the pink mocassin flowers
are rising.
If you notice anything,
it leads you to notice
and more.
And anyway
I was so full of energy.
I was always running around,
at this and that.
If I stopped
the pain
was unbearable.
If I stopped and thought,
the world
can’t be saved,
the pain was unbearable.
I noticed enough.
All around me in the forest
the white moths floated.
How long do they live,
in and out of the shadows?
You aren’t much,
I said
one day to my reflection
in a green pond,
and grinned.
The wings of the moths catch the sunlight
and burn
so brightly.
At night,
they slip between the pink lobes
of the moccasin flowers and lie there until dawn,
in those dark halls of honey.
Mary Oliver

*** I just keep using other people's words lately. Mary Oliver is a brilliant poet, don't you think? Her poetry often comes to my mind when I am out taking my photos. "If you notice anything, it leads you to notice more and more." I don't have much to say lately except things I don't trust myself to say right now... this city gets on my very last nerve sometimes(if you haven't noticed), all the time lately....and rather than go into a raving lunatic rant which may reduce me to tears, I am trying to collect my thoughts that when I explain it to you, you will be able to understand me better. I only hope the City of Nanaimo can understand me(us), too...before we all explode. I think I need to live far away from here...and never visit.

Monday, June 02, 2008