Waste not, want more

No variations on a theme.

Stewing Without the Beef

While painfully trying to complete my schoolwork without getting too sidetracked by tangential thoughts about everything that wasn’t what I was doing, I created a number of lists of things that would be fun to do when no longer trapped. Among them was a list of blog post ideas – the sort of thing that in days gone by (i.e. September to November, my only uber consistent blogging in history) would have resulted in an immediate, pithy draft about the matter at hand. I look at the list now and wonder, how on earth did I intend to come up with an interesting post about “What I love about the Christmas tree”? I’m sure it was brilliant, but I know not.

Interruption: I should stop here to acknowledge that I am in fact done that school-like thing that I was doing for the last few years. My post-exam elation was followed by a tremendous kick in painful places that brought me crashing down to Realityville. Nothing tragic, just a closer look at the paper I had yet to finish and the many useful, intelligent, utterly overwhelming comments on a draft. That was 40 agonizing pages of my life that I will never get back. I do not regret it, but it was tough. And anti-climactic. I finished just in time to recover it (with help) from the nether-regions of MS Word evil, email it, praise the universe and get to the shower for a real live theatre production (so much fun) that only extended my feeling of floating in between window panes, seeing everything but unable to escape. The point is, I am happy, but I am many other things too. And I’m giving myself time to feel those other things and not be upset with myself about it. Let the morbid me be for now. [It strikes me that I’ve made it sound as though there was a real live theatre performance in my shower. Sadly, it was just me cleaning my greasy self. The real life theatre performance was a splendid staging of Jitters, a three act Canadian play about egos, reviews, stage fright, “making it” in Canada, playing it up for producers and getting along.] Digression is a magical thing…

I’m still stewing on a number of the topics, including a new one presented to me today thanks to Dana. But one topic I need to deal with now for ritualistic purposes: at the top of my blog to be list, or almost at the top, is “Goodby Studenthood” (either I didn’t have the time to correct my spelling or I was being too brilliant about something else to notice at the time). It’s time dear friends, for me to go post-student.

Step #1: The dreaded sweatband featured here is a relic of my undergrad days. I bought it in first year for a Richard Simmons Halloween costume (so sad that I don’t have a scanner). It somehow morphed into my study band, only to be worn once things got desperate, always upside down (damn the man and all that). The sweatband is being ritually burned this week. I would post pictures but my camera is still languishing sadly in Calgary. Documented or not, the burning will happen.

Step #2: I have to change my about page to reflect this new post-student life. It will take skill and determination, but I will do my best. I should also change my avatar since it too features the sweatband [I suppose once this is published these matters will no longer be in evidence].

Step #3: I have to organize all of my binders, course packs and other student paraphernalia into two categories: the limited number of things I am keeping and everything else. The everything else then gets given away, sold, or calendarized (seriously, it’s happening) to be sold at some relevant time when people might actually want to buy Remedies: the Law of Damages.

Step #4: I must post a damning eff you to studenthood, despite the fact that I am still for many purposes considered a student for the next year. Me oh my. Can you feel the anticipation?

December 20, 2011 Posted by | Brackets, Law, Self-reflection | , , , , | 9 Comments

The Wedding Dress that Keeps on Giving

Given my inner burn to recycle, reuse, avoid buying, and decrease the flow of stuff to the place that stuff goes to die, it may come as no surprise that I actively seek ways to wear that item, often cursed in the closet for its girth, its awkwardness, its expense: ye olde wedding dress. Lawn bowling, bathtub cleaning, and the water park are a few of my favourite dress destinations. This inner burn is perhaps, um, less than classy. I can hear it now … you might be a redneck if … you wear your wedding dress to parties and people ask you where the other half is.

[For those of us not interested in the ridiculousness that is a relatively boring wedding dress shopping narrative, skip to the ridiculousness of me photographing myself in it earlier this week.]

In a classic example of the battle of wits between mice and men, or in this case, mother and daughter, the wedding dress search and purchase was a compromise. I wanted colour, maybe electric blue. My mom wanted conventional, virginal white. Aside from that whole purity thing which irritates me, and the princess thing which makes me uncomfortable, I really wanted a dress that I could wear again, at least in theory. My mom – somehow – got that I was pretty strong on the white issue and didn’t put up too much of a fuss, though she fought me to the death on high heels. They were a must in her book. When I suggested, every so gently I’m sure, that I wouldn’t be able to walk at my own wedding, she said with a smile, “too bahdd.” Take that, contrarian daughter! (In Retrospect #1: I still regret not pushing back harder on that one. Matching ballet slippers would have been pretty fun.)

So, along comes my mother for dress shopping, and magically, things went relatively smoothly. I tried on a few bridesmaids’ dresses before finding something that we both really, really liked. It was dark brown. I love brown. My mom primly suggested we look at the other colours available. Being so completely reasonable, I agreed to look at the swatch card, which had a number of colours that excited me and a number of versions of white that caught my mom’s eye. Then, our gaze magically landed on the silver square of fabric at about the same time. We looked at one another, our eyes meeting like two people in a bad movie who thought they hated each other until they discover their love in one another’s brow, scent, and sheen. (Is that a weird thing to say about your mother?) We were of one mind. (In Retrospect #2: I kind of let my mom get her way by agreeing to silver, it’s not a colour after all, and could be mistaken for an almost-white sort of dress. It certainly didn’t make an electric blue statement.)

To fast forward, the silver dress was ordered, it was a hit (with me, anyway), and I later wore it shamelessly at my 29th birthday party – a “wear something in your closet you have no excuse to wear” party. I couldn’t have been more pleased to get the news that I had an excuse to wear it again, at a black tie affair with dignitaries and other lesser life forms, that I was invited to by association. The affair was fun, the dress appropriate, the food excellent, and the company lively. There was however no dancing. How I love to dance (link includes a full length view of said dress). I also learned that the affair may be an annual one, which means that rather than selling or cocktailing (it’s a term) the 3 – seriously, three – full-length gowns in my closet as I had planned, I may in fact hang onto them, or let the closet hang onto them.

Sadly, my camera is happily bumming around in Calgary like some sort of teenage delinquent driving her mother crazy and I was unable to get a proper picture of the full effect. We’ll have to accept my impressions of a three-year-old twirling in a tutu in the dark that I took at the END of the night.

In retrospect, I could have repositioned the computer, moved further away, and turned on a light

I also could have smiled and moved the barometer

I shall return to things of relevance, or things that involve less shopping, in my next post.

November 26, 2011 Posted by | Brackets, marriage, Waste | , , , | 8 Comments

What I learned at camp: Samoan Sharing Circle

I’ve been mulling over the following recently. Then Woman Wielding Words posted an invaluable blog discussion of constructive online dialogue. She writes eloquently about the balance between respectful disagreement and argument gone awry. Though not directly related, the post gave me the impetus to finally get my excitement down/out/around.

Even in discussion groups, community meetings, classrooms, boardrooms, meeting rooms, and other places meant to foster the exchange of ideas, ideas are often stifled. Minority opinions and wild what ifs are frequently silenced and consequently unexplored.

After spending five years in what – with youthful abandon – I liked to refer to as a right-wing propaganda institution (it really wasn’t, but who hasn’t had fun saying “fascist pig” once or twice? I kid – I actually don’t find that super useful. Or a little useful.), I enjoy finding myself in the majority on occasion. There’s comfort there. As well as singing and hugs and vegan recipe exchanges – yum. I’m probably too comfortable there. That said, I still want people to bring up those other points of view. I don’t want them to be or feel silenced.

I think silencing leads to bad blood and extremism as well as people constantly seeking out others with the same viewpoints in order to find some community (I could be the president of that club). As a result, it’s easy to forget that there’s still racism to unlearn, that some people find immigration concerning or capital punishment necessary. This is obvious to many, but if I don’t know why someone supports capital punishment, how can I learn from them, argue with them, or refute their claims? The discussion starts from the wrong place, and loses anybody who isn’t already there. If a conversation were a hill climb, starting some people at the bottom and dropping some people halfway up and expecting them to know why the rest of the crew is wheezing and traumatized from a near accident. This is why finding base matters that everyone can agree on, or at least understand, is valuable even though you’re never going to get every person starting from the same position on the hill.

More importantly, conversations, positions, debates and issues are not binary – either yes or no, black or white. You can’t plot all the people in the world into one of two boxes. Issues have varied and complicated points of view to match all us varied and complex people.

So, what’s the point, queen of the obvious?

Well, maybe there doesn’t have to be one, have you thought about that? Maybe there’s a bunch of points and any one of them is worth some thought.

But in this case there sort of is a point (foiled!). During my dreamy (read challenging and crazed) field course this summer, I learned something new and exciting (one would hope). After several rounds of mock negotiations and adversarial conversations about who wants what, we were introduced to a new way of sharing ideas, the Samoan Sharing Circle.

I realize that a sharing circle harkens ideas of hand holding, crying and cannabis that are not firmly within every person’s comfort zone. But let’s try to put that aside for a minute, shall we? Let’s also set aside that the practice as I learned it probably misappropriates Samoan leadership culture. I cannot claim any knowledge of its history and am speaking only of the experience I had with something called the “Samoan Sharing Circle” by the person who facilitated the discussion. All that said, there were some great things that came out of the exercise.

First – what goes on?

There is a small circle of three or four people in the middle. They are given an initial thought or discussion point and asked to talk about that particular issue. There is a larger circle of people around the outside of the smaller circle that must listen but not speak. If someone from the outer circle is motivated to speak or add to the conversation, they physically move behind the person whose point they want to address. At that point, a person removes themselves from the inner circle so that the outer circle person waiting to speak has an opportunity (i.e. the number of speakers remains constant).

This may sound a little exclusive, all this talk of inner and outer circles, but it produced amazing results, even among a group of people relatively willing to speak their minds. In particular, the exercise:

  • freed people from the obsession with being correct and allowed them to raise ideas in a more “I think someone somewhere argued” sort of manner;
  • allowed people to play devil’s advocate more easily without feeling as tied to the views they were expressing;
  • elicited contributions from people who don’t participate as much in more adversarial discussions;
  • made it more difficult to be disrespectful when you disagreed (though I wonder whether that would be the case in a different group)
  • allowed me to learn a great deal from others and apply what I’d been learning in lectures;
  • brought up really good and interesting ideas;
  • curtailed conversation monopoly; and
  • it really drew us out of that X versus Y approach by allowing us to think about the multiplicity of factors/issues/positions to a given statement

Such exercises always hang on their participants. Admittedly, this group was pretty fantastic. Others may not find it as illuminating. All I can say is that I was plenty illuminated.

About this illuminated. (Moon Jelly)

This was one of those perspective changing moments in my life. I’d be dying to hear from anyone who has given the circle a try.

October 5, 2011 Posted by | Brackets, Self-reflection | , , , | 6 Comments

Anemones are my Shiny Happy People

Like R.E.M (the band, not the sleep stage), I too have a work for which I am most famous. And by “work”, I mean blog post, and by “famous”, I mean less completely unknown. People don’t tend to pine away in the hope of being remembered for some embarassing/non-representative/unimpressive moment in their lives. Some would rather be known for their body of work. Some would rather not be known at all. Some, of the 15 minute of fame variety I’m thinking, don’t mind a bit.

  • Drew Barrymore will always be the cutie from ET and the subsequent poster-child for everything you don’t want to happen to your child actor

Courtesy of hecklerspray.com

It’s a little silly to write about this at all given how little traffic my blog gets, but I just can’t get over this weirdness. I can’t say phenomenon because that word conjures a notion of something that actually matters. I have no illusions of grandeur. This does not matter. I know I’m a drop in the river of creatures.

But I find this interesting all the same. At some point, google and my blog post on the word “anemone” became very close friends. While that post was fun for me and all, it’s not really anything to write home about. It certainly represents no particular authority about anemones. However, 43% of all views of my blog (excluding the homepage) have been of that “cash” cow, the anemone! I’m not actually bitter about it. I’m more flummoxed than anything. The wonders of the internet world.

R.E.M. said goodbye yesterday, announcing their official breakup after 3 decades of goodness. I have an attachment to R.E.M. rooted in my 13-year-old discovery. Here’s to you Berry, Buck, Mills, Stipe:

September 22, 2011 Posted by | Bad TV References, Brackets, Wild Animals | , | 5 Comments

200 Episodes is a Drop in the Productivity Bucket

I cannot tell a lie. The past 3 months have been … unpleasant. And it’s not over yet. [She says as tax snarls at her back, teeth gnashing and saliva swinging (tax can be a nasty beast)]. Aside from the usual difficulties of a scholarly semester, which aren’t quite as bad, at least for me, as for some of my compatriots – I do actually like it, I’ve had some additional set backs. Health, career, extracurricular, and overall mood have not been at their best. I’ve eaten way too much that came into my house the same way it went into my mouth (takeout can be the devil) and been virtually unable to exercise (not because of time). But the point is not the sob story of the last few months that will of course get better.

What I’ve learned is that I have developed very limited means of seeking solace. Being unable to exercise, and finding social interactions unpleasant when I’ve got nothing nice to say, I turn to my partner, good soup, and nostalgic television. I am not so much astonished as surprised at my own ridiculousness to say that when I was sick, when I was winding down before bed or when I was otherwise seeking comfort I turned to one of America’s favourite families.

Seriously. Why I am comforted by syndicated shows I watched as a kid is beyond me. I find present-day sitcoms annoying for all of their canned laughter and forced obviousness. The old ones have all the same failings (except Roseanne, which had no issue being atypical and awkward on a regular basis). I could probably blame it on my TV childhood, but I don’t know if that’s exactly it either.

The Point? I have watched the entire 8 seasons of The Cosby Show in 3 months. All of it! Well, everything available; there are portions of about 6 episodes that are not available online in Canada. To be fair, half of this happened while I was sick and couldn’t really do anything else but I don’t think I have ever engaged in such a horrendous use of downtime. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot I love about the Cosby Show, it could be elitest and ridiculous sometimes but there are many great moments and fun to be had. And how many prime-time TV shows talk in depth about young women getting their first periods, the March on Washington, or Shakespeare? But I am no less inclined to get depressed after a bout of TV then I used to be. There’s no winning.

This is the part of the post where I insert a clip but since I just wasted another 20 minutes not finding what I’m looking for and I can smell the odious breath of tax, I’ll leave it at that.

April 8, 2011 Posted by | Bad TV References, Brackets, Irritated, Law, Self-reflection | 5 Comments

Who me? Well if you insist. No, thanks.

The Facts (forgive me, I’m studying for exams at the moment. Clearly. I’m studying, really. This is me studying. Maybe it’s more believable to say I’m writing a paper. Okay, this is me writing a paper.):

The illustrious blogger Dana of zonapellucida fame recently wrote about her bucket list. You know the one: before I die I want to … list.  I commented on said blog that among my bucket list items is the desire to refuse an award for political reasons. Dana, being the thoughtful and hilarious person that she is is giving me my shot. I feel like one of those lonesome Midwestern kids who heads out to California with a dream and a floppy backpack seeking fame and fortune. This is the part where the Hollywood producer passes me in his convertible while I’m standing on a street corner (for no professional reason), slams on the brakes, vaults himself out of the car, grabs my face and says “Darling, you’re going to be a star!” Well it’s kind of like that.

Anyway (ahem)… my shot is as follows. Dana has nominated/awarded me with a (nameless?) blogging award. Rather than graciously accept and pretend I deserve it, I am going to less-graciously refuse and pretend I deserve even better. Were I to accept the award, the rules dictate that I share 7 things about myself. Instead, I will share 7 reasons why I reject this fine blog award honour:

This is what aloof rejection looks like.

1. Because anyone I can think of who has ever refused an award for political reasons was offered the award in benevolence for recognition of something relatively fantastic. Refusing award = accepting the compliment.

2. I will make public confessions and other personal revelations on my blog when I feel like it. I don’t need no stinkin award to bribe me into doing it. Not that I mind, of course, but I don’t need it.

3. Because chain letters, awards, bread starters, and games of tag are scourges of the earth that I am compelled to speak out against. The social pressure to “pass it on” on the one hand and the pressure to “not even think about passing it on to me” on the other makes for awkward times for those of us that aim to please. This form of subjugation by the man has to stop.

4. Because rejecting the award means I don’t have to come up with 15 other bloggers to give it to. Aside from finding this politically appalling (see 3), I am lazy and can think of other better ways to procrastinate (like planning next semester’s classes).

5. Because it is complete crap that the broadcast consortium voted to keep Elizabeth May, leader of Canada’s Green Party,* out of Canada’s current federal election leadership debate. While this is in no way tied to the actual award, I feel I should actually say something that sounds political and take a stand-y. … There. Stand taken.

6. The digital footprint of people declining awards is teeny and dominated by men. It happens, but we’re just not uploading it. I’m doing my part. (Please fill me in. I’m sure there’ve been some goodies.)

7. Because if I don’t reject this award, I risk never achieving my bucket list item of refusing an award for political reasons. I find that politically offensive.

* The Green Party received 7% of the vote in the last federal (Canadian) election whereas all other “fringe parties” received 1% combined (Communist, Marijuana and so forth).

April 5, 2011 Posted by | Brackets, News, Politics, Self-reflection | , , | 3 Comments

Warning! Lecture Zone: Generalize at your own risk

There is one blanket statement that I can accept: “Blanket statements are the devil.”

The Dictionary of Rose, 30th ed., 2011 defines blanket statement as “a jerk-bum method of communicating that involves stereotyping to the nth degree and lumping the worst of anything in with the best and the averagest anythings.”

Clear? Probably not. What I am getting at is our willingness, me included, to say things that we don’t really mean. I’m talking about things beyond light-hearted exaggeration and sarcasm (though maybe we – yes, as a people – are far too willing to be insincere and coy rather than directly saying how we feel about something or someone). Call me some sort of accuracy fascist, or hater of artistic license, but I think casual society (how’s that for a phrase?) and the language pendulum have gone too far.  It’s just too cool to slam, disavow, and point out the worst. Criticism has its place but we should also be capable of giving positive feedback, and recognizing strengths, beauty and wonder.

Aside: I have been known to be hyper-critical in my day and I will acknowledge this. I can definitely overdo it, and focus more on the negative than the positive, though I’m learning I cannot hold a candle to some.

But my point is not our willingness to criticize. My real issue is one specific symptom of this critical culture: the earlier mentioned blanket statement. To achieve the desired effect of our statement, do we really need to say or imply that all X are/do/have Y? Really? How has language arrived at this place? Has it always been this way?

Essentially, I think we’re (often) too happy to make these all or nothing statements without acknowledging exceptions. Granted, you cannot follow every sentence with “well, not everybody.” But is there any reason we can’t use words like “sometimes” or “on Tuesdays” or “I feel like”? Heaven forbid we occasionally go so far as to say, “maybe I’m wrong but…” or “ it seems, in some cases”!

I could get over it. Just words, right? Sticks and stones and all that. However, I think carelessness with language has real harms. It stifles debate (because if you’re wasting time responding to garbage, you don’t get to make a real point) and contributes to the type of hyperbolic non-conversation that has been so damaging for example in recent American political debate. On a touchy feely level, it also just hurts sometimes or at the very least it annoys me – always (oops, there I go). Observe the table:

Statement Accuracy Level harm-unfairness-annoyance
Wool is itchy Not true The wool industry suffers from your negligent statement and what about lovely merino?
Women love shoes and shopping Not true If I don’t love shoes and shopping, I’m not a “real” woman
Canada is cold in winter Mostly true, but not everywhere, all the time When you travel to Antarctica in January people might say at least it’s not Canada
Lawyers have to work long hours to succeed Not true If you can’t work 80 hours a week due to life, family obligations or a disability, you  can’t be a lawyer. Too bad!
Mr. T is a useless teacher Not true Useless is pretty strong and I learned things from Mr. T
Canadian water is pristine Potable in most places, but not everywhere It ignores that numerous small communities and First Nations are often exposed to e.coli and other issues
Middle-aged white guys are all bad Not true We’d all be missing out on the lovely middle-aged white guys out there

While my examples aren’t serious, I am. Really, horrendously, embarrassingly serious. I cannot think of a time when a generalization has done any good. Let’s get comfortable with uncertainty and subtlety. Everything has a context and maybe we should be spending a little more time giving context to what we say. Maybe people are also more likely not to misconstrue our statements if we explain what we mean more fully. Or maybe not. See how I did that?

PS: I’m very interested in being/willing to be called out on this. Please.

March 25, 2011 Posted by | Bad TV References, Brackets, Childhood Complaints, Irritated, News, Wild Animals | | 4 Comments

Today, I’m spouting the F-word

In celebration of International Women’s Day, I’m giving a quick shout out to feminism in all its stripes. A great deal, too much maybe, has been said about feminism. I can’t pretend that I will add anything of use to the commentary, but I’ll write all the same. It’s too important and I silence myself too often (cause ladies do that sort of thing). Consider this the pablum/coles notes version of my perspective on feminism. Maybe if I use the word feminism enough, people will stop going into shock when they  hear/read it – ambitious, I guess.

Feminists are accused of being man-haters, or impliedly worse, lesbians at one extreme (when all else fails, throw in a little homophobia) or passé people stuck in the 60s on the other. Here comes my radical thesis: men and women have not reached a place of substantive equality in Canada or elsewhere. Until they do, anyone who cares about the gap can call themselves a feminist in my opinion (p.s. This includes men!). While the social and economic gap between men and women is starker in other countries around the world, it is still very alive here in Canada.

1) First I’d like to touch on the 3 part myth  of women, oft perpetuated in literature, TV, and our own peanut-sized brains. Women are often portrayed as either

  • the mother: wholesome and nutritious, good for feeding and cuddling
    • undertone: boring at parties, unattractive
  • the virgin: virtuous and innocent, good for marrying and bearing offspring
    • undertone: stupid, easily led astray, frigid
  • the whore: dirty and knowing, comes out at night, good for sex and seedy pleasures
    • undertone: can’t take her to business functions, diseased and depraved

No person is this one-dimensional yet these myths continue to shape our thinking. The law still often relies on these myths. Which takes me to my next point:

2) Sexual assault. It sucks and nobody likes to talk about it, but it happens. And sexual assault (which in Canadian law includes rape but means in essence any unwanted sexual touching) is very  much a gendered thing. Overwhelmingly, it is women that experience sexual assault. For me, this is the most obvious reason why feminism has a ton of work left to do. Only because women are more socially vulnerable and seen as less worthy of respect do they experience the brunt of sexual violence. Feminist women and men have to do a much better job talking about why all sexual violence is unacceptable. I should leave this topic to people who are much more convincing, but I can’t without also mentioning that sexual crime is horrifically unreported arguably in large part due to the legal system’s willingness, accompanied by the general public, to blame the victims of sexual violence (the “she was asking for it” defence):

3) Many people have heard about the gender wage gap. In Canada, despite more women becoming executives, filling other high-paying positions, and attending post-secondary institutions in record numbers, there remains a gap between the average woman’s wage and the average man’s. Some would say that this is because more women stay home to raise children and do lower paying work. Both of these things are true. Though there are many problems with those arguments, I will only raise a couple here. Maybe part of the reason women are more likely to stay home with children is that they don’t make as much money. If a two-parent family is going to make a choice, it is often on that basis. Secondly, work that is traditionally done by women is undervalued (child care is a fine example). And,  unlike in some jurisdictions, families in Canada receive no incentive to equalize child care responsibilities between women and men. Some have said that access to child care for low to middle-income families is one of the biggest barriers to equality (note: I am not suggesting that anyone who chooses to stay home with their children is doing anything wrong, but I can’t ignore that among the poorest Canadians, this choice becomes very difficult).

This British video does a fantastic job of touching on some of the ways that women experience the world differently than men:

It almost softens me to the fact that the Bond franchise uses women like a sexual circus side-show. There I said it. It’s good to get that one off my chest.

March 8, 2011 Posted by | Brackets, Childhood Complaints, Doing it the hard way, Irritated, Law, News | , | 3 Comments

I don’t get out much

I wrote the following four sentences six months ago as a draft.

“As I believe I’ve said before, my life is not a run away train of Huck Finn adventures (clearly, if Huck Finn is my reference). There’s mainly a lot of computer sitting, interspersed with some domestic activities, bike rides, movies and yoga. I don’t mind at all, but I think many would perish at the mere thought of such an existence. The bonus, obviously, is the excitement over little things.”

Sadly things have slid to a lower level of excitement in the last couple of months.Unfortunately, right now, the list of little things to celebrate has been downgraded from bike rides and yoga to items such as

  • making a complete and tasty meal, which still happens but not as often as I would like
  • cleaning the kitchen
  • having the bus arrive just as I do but without the stress of the half-block jog
  • scavenging enough food for my lunch (PB&J, chunk of halveh, banana, chunk of cheese – yay, can’t find anything green in there? you got it!)
  • the days I don’t need long-johns
  • movies
  • watching my plants grow
  • grapefruit
  • daydreaming about going to physio again
  • phone calls
  • and, ever so rarely, writing something, anything.

Of course, this is a snapshot of a particularly busy time that is equal to much less than a whole life (hopefully). But I am still keenly aware that I am allowing life to pass me by. I can’t even say I’m watching it, because I am a bit of a prisoner in my own head. Moments of lucidity are rare. (The other day I noticed a tree was budding and I nearly fell over from surprise, at the budding and the noticing.) I am still enjoying life, or parts of it, on a daily basis, for which I am eternally grateful. But I am acutely conscious that if I die tomorrow it will not be atop a mountain peak either real or metaphoric but in a relatively dark canyon or crevasse, with it’s own beauty and wonder, but lacking the glory of the skies.

It’s a good thing I’ve crammed in some planned fun for this summer!

March 5, 2011 Posted by | Brackets, Cycling, Doing it the hard way, Law, Self-reflection, Waste | 4 Comments

Who doesn’t love a snow day – oh right, those people

So snow is not exactly every person’s first love. I get it. It increases accidents, slows things down, and in some cases buries your home so completely you can’t see out. But not here in Victoria, of course.

I on the other hand, love it when snow, or any other weather phenomenon says, “Hey, you. Yeah, you! You’re not such a big deal. I’m in charge now. And you’re going to know it, too!” It sounds aggressive, but really dramatic weather is a big softy. “I’m not doing this to be mean. It’s just my time to shine. And you were getting a bit big for your britches. You know, hubris and all. You just haven’t got the control you think you do and the sooner you recognize it, the easier life will be.” (Tell that to the “let’s just bury our carbon emissions and keep trucking” people)

I also love making snow angels. And strutting around in the yard with my shirt off taking pictures. Oh wait, that’s my neighbours…

Oh, yes.

Well, at least I didn’t take pictures. 🙂

Admittedly, I too used to love being buried in snow and burying my friends. I would probably still do it, too. But I might stop the crazy lady across the street from documenting.

What I woke up to

Snow is large and in charge, when it happens. Though I might never again experience walking, sorry trudging, to school in two feet of snow and feeling like an Olympian when I finally get there, I enjoy it mightily all the same. Snow – I shall submit to your control just as long as you promise to show up every now and again. Keep it fluffy!

February 23, 2011 Posted by | Brackets, Consumption, Doing it the hard way, News | , | 1 Comment