Waste not, want more

No variations on a theme.

The Second Person Sin

There are days where the world stops.

And   it    stops    hard.

At least it does for you. Everyone and everything else, generally, marches on. You can almost feel them marching on. And you may keep in step, or look in step. But you’re much, much further away. At a distance that you just can’t recover.

It’s an affront. A powerful aftershock. Don’t they know? Isn’t it written on your face that you will never forget this date? That it is etched into you as few things can be?

(But it’s just another day. There’s humility in that, when it hits.)

On those days, relatively rare, there’s a drop of happiness in the sad. A sense of taking stock. A feeling of truly living. Without the distraction of gossip, advertisements, or fried chicken.  Just you, your thoughts, and those you are most inextricably linked to. If you’re lucky. But even then, lost in yourself, there is great solitude.

That drop of happiness makes it bearable. That tiny hope of better days that can well up from almost nowhere. Somehow, it may just be okay that you will re-enter the world behind. Changed.

They are big, heady days.


July 30, 2012 Posted by | Hypotheticals, Mr. Lonely, Photography, Self-reflection, Writing | , , , , | 6 Comments

Sigh-ns of Life

I did not think it was going to take me two weeks to revisit the world of writing here. I had initial envisaged a 3-part tribute to  my dad whose birthday would have been this last week. One of the intended posts – a publishing of something I’d written in the midst of processing the news of my dad’s illness and the throes of being 16, a heady combination. I’d decided against that post anyway because though I can forgive myself my perspective and attitudy writings at that time, that doesn’t mean I feel it would be appropriate to share them. Too many people in my family would not appreciate that if they knew and I think I’m okay with that.

My two other mid-thought posts have not manifested either though and for only practical reasons like working much too long hours, being away, and being sick. Thankfully, despite all this and today’s exhaustion, I’m in good spirits and hope to re-emerge into the world in short order. In case I don’t however, because I’m dying to communicate but incapable of sitting here much longer, I decided to provide random poetry that happens to be typed up on my computer. It’s random in that I’m just going to pick something that I find in short order. Lucky you!


A cast-off piece of maltreated gold has no idea of its continual worth and influence

People have tried to change it, fix it, break it, but it stubbornly, successfully stood strong


If, in despair, it buried itself within the rocks of once boiling lava…


It would be difficult for those who still looked on it amorously –despite the wrinkles of a grinding life-

To forgive escape


Gold’s brilliance endures many eruptions.


* Portuguese for the respectful form of “you” – I know there’s a term but it’s not coming

February 1, 2012 Posted by | Childhood Complaints, Mr. Lonely, Portuguese-ness?, Wild Animals, Writing | 5 Comments

A Brief Hiatus

OK, the time has come to admit temporary defeat. Exams are next week and very little preparation has been done (by me, that is). I am reinforcing my tired old procrastinating student pity me campaign: “Oh, I have exams, isn’t it terrible? I would like back pats for failing to do my work all semester and cramming information into my brain while dealing with the pain of sitting in a chair 12 hours a day…”

I consider this official notice that I do not expect to blog for approximately 10 days. I’m sure you’ll make it through but I’m sad about it. Do not be alarmed, I read the odd blog while I eat. I may comment, too. Don’t judge 🙂

I shall return without dirty study band in short order, for better or worse!

If I go from looking like this...

...to this, I'll let you know.

November 30, 2011 Posted by | Doing it the hard way, Mr. Lonely | , , | 11 Comments

Unsettled and other Tales of YIKES

Things are a little unsettled over here in my neck of the woods. Good news, weird goings on, and the usual impending doom mean I’m all a flutter, quivering like butter. The wind mocks my inward state.


When every utterance makes your heart jump

but not with romance

and when your stomach sinks

at the sight of entrance

is it selfless concern

or self-preservation?

when your imagination runs wild

and you question your safety

are these unfair assumptions

or animal responses?

when it’s not about you

but you is all you know

the fear of tongue-lashing raises tension so high

collective avoidance

or unified support?

Watch the plaster come off

let it crumble

patch it back hastily, deficiently

or turn away

… hope it stops.

November 24, 2011 Posted by | Mr. Lonely, Self-reflection, Writing | , , , | 6 Comments

Community and the Cat Lady

I have not, miraculously, spent a great deal of time or energy blogging about my cat Shy, formally The Countess of Shy. She’s a needy little kitty, approximately 10 years old that I adopted over a year ago. She had been in the shelter almost a  year. She’s a tortoiseshell.

I realize you, dear reader, do not give a flying fizzard for my cat and that is fine by me. Abstract living beings are hard to get behind most of the time. Lucky for you it doesn’t matter, because Shy is just a proxy for the real point of this post. Patience, grosshopper.

Shy is a bit of a fraidy-cat, if you will. We couldn’t get her to come out the first four days she lived with us. She squirreled away under the couch that rests only 3 inches above the ground. We’d lift the couch and pull her out much to her  chagrin, then do it all over agian soon after. She’s better now. In fact since our nephew visited, she doesn’t even hide when people come over anymore. She acts non-plussed and occasionally pretends we starve her. All part of her plot to charm the visitor with the potential  live mouse in their pocket – it hasn’t worked yet. But she still doesn’t deal well with us taking off for too long; it’s stressful never knowing where your next meal (or tummyrub) will come from. This stress mostly manifests in vomit but has twice been capped off with expensive vet visits.

The first time we were going away, we took her with us despite the 10 hour drive. We’d only had her for a month and it seemed like a good idea. She did well for a couple of days before she started sniffing her food like it was catspam and slunking around disgruntled teen style. This did not improve when we got home. Felines face cat-astrophe if they don’t eat for a couple days so we took her to the vet, ran 10,000 tests that came back negative (phew) and got her a hydration shot. She came home and ate like it was going out of style. She’d made her point. Or, if I were to be less anthropomorphiz-y, she felt better and was back on the cat train to good eatin’.

The second time,we left her home thinking that would be better. No such luck. We returned to vomit piles, a refusal to eat, and an otherwise pleasant disposition. We tried tuna, salmon, steak, crab (we were eating really well that week, not just bent on lavish cat food) but to no avail. Back to the vet for another hydration shot and we returned with a happy, eating cat. Lesson learned. Again.

All this to explain how I found myself where I am now. Where is that? Paying a professional cat-lover to comfort Shy in her time of need (i.e. people vacation). That’s right; I have cat respite. The Cat Lady is fantabsome. In her former life she was a vet tech, she’s very knowledgable, loving, detail-oriented and offers additional services like checking your mail and taking out your garbage. It’s all very lovely.

Having to hire someone to love your pet is probably emblamatic of my isolated urban life. Yes, I have friends. Yes, if I asked one of them, they could probably check in on her every couple of days. But somehow I’m not comfortable asking someone to give Shy loving, send status reports, and scoop the poop. Why? Nobody I know lives close enough. I don’t know many of my neighbours and we’re definitely not on a “here, creep around my house for the next week” sort of footing. I have no friends living really close by and a number of friends are out of town when I am. The worst part is that I wouldn’t want to go too far out of my way to return the favour. I’m all about only engaging in activities that are en route to other activities, even kitty petting. Selfish and jerky? Check. I’m aware that this lack of community, as I call it, is a defeceit in my urban experience. I know what I could and should do about it, but I won’t. My time spent on things other than me is maxed out at present. There will be no further community volunteering, chatting up people in the park or joining of kitty groups. I’ve become a miserly individual. Well, not quite. I have a wonderful relationship with the Cat Lady.

September 13, 2011 Posted by | Consumption, Doing it the hard way, Mr. Lonely, Travel and intrigue | , | 6 Comments

Confessions of an Aged Aquarius

For some reason today I feel the need to check in with myself about my astrological sign: Aquarius, the water bearer (January 20-February 18). Don’t like it? I’m quite comfortable with that, but recommend you head elsewhere.

I’ve never been one to hold a ton of stock in a horoscope on any given day, but the general description of Aquarian types has rung true for me since I can remember. I once read that I was born both under the sun and moon of Aquarius (whatever that means), making me even more likely to reflect Aquarian tendencies. Likewise, I was born almost smack-dab in the middle of Aquarius-ville, February 5.

[For those into this sort of thing, I will remind you that Aquarius is a fixed (hello pig-headed), air (demanding) sign.]

While I’ve always glommed on to certain favourable Aquarian traits like humanitarianism, originality and being a woman ahead of my time (I think there’s something about ego too), I have wondered some about others. First, there’s the fact that an Aquarius is supposedly fiercely independent. In relation to my parents and being the master of my own “domain”, I think that this describes me well. I in fact think that aging is awesome (so far) primarily because of the increased autonomy it gives me. Obviously, this feeling could change depending on what life brings. On the other hand, I don’t feel that this independence, sometimes referred to as fickleness, applies at all in terms of my closest relationships. In fact, I can be clingy as all get out. Likewise, I am also in no way detached from emotion. My emotions and I spend far too much time together, in my opinion. Anyway, no surprise there, but interesting to me nonetheless.

There is something else that has stuck with me since I read it some time in teenagehood. Apparently, Aquarians are frequently forward-looking and progressive in youth, seeing new and creative solutions to problems. This sounds nice. But I also recall hearing that in older age, Aquarians become more and more fixed on these ideas, discouraged when they are not accepted or whole-heartedly adopted by others and at worst, become tyrants in respect to other people’s thoughts. I thought I would report that I am not sure when it happened, but that moment has arrived. It’s official and rather unfortunate. My people tolerance is dipping to alarmingly low levels. The problem? I like to hear differing perspectives on issues and assess them for myself. Well, that doesn’t sound so bad. I am also opinionated. Fine. I hate confrontation and deal with it very badly. Rather inconvenient. Thus, engaging in discussion with people that I disagree with, particularly if they are unwilling to consider another point of view or speak respectfully about the topic, puts me in a multi-day tizzy. At times, the image of sitting in a cabin chewing on furniture and stewing in my own strangeness is exceptionally appealing.

This is a recipe for a cat lady if I have ever read one.

November 29, 2010 Posted by | Doing it the hard way, Irritated, Mr. Lonely | | 6 Comments

A list of things

  • I had a wicked awesome “weekend” that I won’t forget with an incredibly fun friend. I don’t think Kate and I have enjoyed “nothing” like that together since high school. I’m thankful.
  • Taking the time to enjoy smells makes me disproportionately happy. I do have a good nose, which helps. Yes, what I’m trying to say here is essentially that I should “stop and smell the roses”. I’m wordy, it’s not news.
  • In a related strand of thought, Lavender rocks. The scent of lavender. I’ve heard other people say this, but had not knowingly smelled it. Message to the universe: If I’m dying semi-immediately, wrap me in lavender.
  • I’ve discovered a spa so good it surpasses my guilt over excess, luxury, waste and general unsustainable behaviour. Visit Tigh Na Mara Resort‘s Grotto Spa. This doesn’t make it right.
  • Pop references: Damhnait Doyle, the Hogan Family, the Tragically Hip and Glee
  • I dislike the homebuying process. I am also fearful of consequences. There I said it. And to pre-empt comments about how homeowning is always better: I don’t believe you, economically or socially. To oversimplify, “They say most people pay for their home 3 times before it’s paid off.”
  • I have a date this August with the Juan de Fuca Trail. It ain’t backing out this time, or I’ll get mean.
  • Tomorrow I make peanut butter soup. Later I blog about peanut butter soup. This soup speaks to my sense of rebellion and things that aren’t meat and potatoes. I’m a very predictable Generation Y – type. But I like to think I have slightly less sense of entitlement than average.
  • I don’t live alone well, even in the short term. The cat finds me irritating. Her irritation is not a separate issue.

May 5, 2010 Posted by | Bad TV References, Irritated, Mr. Lonely, Waste | 1 Comment

It’s not me, it’s him.

So, you know when everything’s going well with someone new? You have overlapping interests and different experiences to share. Personalities mesh. Tips on good stores, camping spots, websites, concerts, restaurants and sales. Personalities really mesh. Laughs are shared. Personal moments discussed. You go on a couple of test outings to see if your relationship withstands social pressures (is she rude to servers? does she throw stones at children?). It does. You help them with a small project just because. You haven’t felt this way in some time. You’d forgotten what it’s like to meet a kindred spirit, a bosom buddy.

And then, it happens. You invite her and her partner to have dinner with you and yours. There’s excellent food, good conversation, talk of a group road trip, potential dates are tossed around. After a lovely evening, they leave, warmed and fed, with a new recipe or two. But all is not well. You call and leave a message about a possible hike. You wait two days, 5. Nothing. You send a follow up email in case something happened to the message. You run into them downtown only to be avoided like a former teacher that doesn’t know when to end a conversation. You bring up the road trip only to see awkward looks and shifty feet. You go home, reflect and realize: it’s OVER.

What happened? You were interesting, funny, thoughtful. You not only like her, you like her partner too. OH.    You realize…slowly…your partner didn’t make the cut. A mistake? Some Seinfeld nose scratching taken for picking? Scratching gone bad? Some sort of washroom issue? Was it one of those quasi-redneck jokes that only work when people know the person well enough to know they’re not serious? Was he sniffing shoes while you weren’t looking? Or just unsuitable for companionship?

Well, it couldn’t be me.

You’ll never know. And that kindred spirit is sowing her oats elsewhere.

April 24, 2010 Posted by | Hypotheticals, Mr. Lonely | 3 Comments