Friday, August 28, 2009


"You will not get a gold star of accomplishment from the Deep Writing Intensive Correspondence Course."

Somebody should have told me that a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnng time ago ...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Apparently a p*sting spate has come over me

So. Reading Writing Begins With The Breath. by Laraine Herring. On page 89, I read "Are you drawn to a culture or a time period that is not yours? Chances are, it's because the stories of those places intrigue you. [...] They pull you in the most unexpected places, and if you follow, you'll find signs, some written in sand, some blasting yellow neon: You over there. Yes, I'm talking to you. You're on the right path."

And I think - what culture calls me? And I think of my dear high school friend, recently found on Facebook, who has seven adopted children, all under 10, and how much I wish I could live like she does, and how many times I've asked God why I'm not patient enough for that many children, and I realize - I'm focussing on the wrong thing. Why do I ache for that life?

Because all seven of her children are safe*, or, at the very least, safer than they would have been otherwise, or as safe she can make the world for them.

It's not the child-loving adult in me that yearns for that life. It's the terrified five year old that never felt safe, for whatever reason. (I used to think I knew why I spent my early years so terrified, but I was wrong.)

Suddenly it's become enough for me to look at the two children God so graciously gave me, and do my best to be a safe place for them.

*yes, safety is an illusion, but that's not what this post is about. We can have a theoretical debate some other time. Or you can, with friends who like that sort of thing, and come back and tell me about it. :)

Is it just me?

Or do other people make cryptic notes to themselves in the margins of books and then not have one freaking clue what they're referring to?

Re-reading Writing Begins With The Breath* today, I found this note next to an underlined section. The underlined section reads "If we can't extend ourselves compassion, we can't extend it to others." In the margin, I have helpfully jotted down "J novel". I am now completely derailed because one half of my brain is reading and the other half is saying "J? who is J? am I writing another novel that I don't remember? Could I forget a whole freaking novel? J? J. Huh. Maybe I should write one." Etc. Have completely lost the ability to focus on what the lovely Ms Herring is attempting to say about compassion.

*I love this book. I love it the second time, and I will love it the 200th time. If I live that long.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

In which I type and type and type and type. Feel no obligation to read and read and read and read

Thing the First:

I can never live alone. Twice in the last year I have spent several days alone, and it's not pretty. Without the presence of other human beings I lose all motivation. I do not get dressed. I do not shower. I let the dog sleep in my bed. (Cesar what's his head says you should never never never do that. The dog doesn't seem to mind.) I make plans with people and then change my mind because it is just so. much. work. to get up from whatever I'm knitting or reading or computer-ing and make myself presentable. I ignore the doorbell, resent the phone when it rings, and eat the most ridiculous combinations of food. (yesterday? cream cheese on melba toast followed by a tin of smoked oysters. Washed down with about a litre of Diet Coke. At 2 am. That was "supper".) Seriously. I'd go feral, whatever that looks like in a human. And then I'd get depressed because I was lonely because I am essentially an extrovert, it's just that I am gifted at self-sabotage.

And it's not like I do anything worthwhile on the computer either, unless you count finding a seriously hilarious blog and reading the entire two years worth of archives.

Thankfully other people live here, and will be coming home today, and with that in mind, I did accomplish a few things along the lines of tidying up and washing dishes and cleaning up the kitchen (which I totally did just last week, what's up with that??) and buying the last of A's needed school supplies and finding a place that will fix her backpack buckles because last year's's's' (hey, can't tell where to put the apostrophe. Didn't I mask that well?) backpack is PERFECTLY FINE except for the shattered buckle and I don't have a sewing machine that will handle sewing through that much webbed strapping.

Thing the Second

School starts tomorrow. I hate school. Stupid stupid school. Give me back my children, you tyrant.

Thing the Third

ACK fall is here. Must look up how to Act Like A Writer. Anybody have a good URL for that?

Thing the Fourth

My mother is getting better. I have spent so much of this being stoic and resigned and frustrated and heartbroken that I am almost completely unable to process the reality of that. They took her feeding tube out because she's eating all her meals by mouth now. Huh??? Old bedridden people don't get BETTER. Only, you know, she is.

Thing the Fifth

Wow was I a complete jerk to my husband on Sunday. I've already apologized to him and to the kids and possibly even the furniture, but as I was sitting up, too mad to sleep, snapping at him from the couch on Sunday night at midnight, I had this huge epiphany. What I was essentially doing was being furious with him for not having my personality, and then telling him that because he didn't have my personality, he couldn't possibly have one freaking clue what he was doing. I literally stopped midsentence and gaped at him, and let the profuse apologizing begin.

I'm very very very glad you don't have my personality, love. One of us bringing the crazy is more than enough, thank you very much.

Thing the Sixth

I got a parcel the other day and because our mailboxes are banks of vaulted metal dotted strategically around the neighbourhood, I had to get it out of the special bin for parcels too big to fit in my regular bin. The mailperson forgot to allow for the fact that there is a big ol' lock sticking out of the door of the mailbox and so I had to bash the box to bits to get it out. (or, you know, leave a kindly worded note and wait one whole day but ...see FERAL, above. I'm surprised I didn't try to knaw the lock off with my teeth.)

Thing the Seventh

TechnoGuy has this really cool geek toy that is a globe that sits on a stand but is full of magic so that it turns even though there's no plug. It does seem to need some light, though, and now that he's off backpacking through Kananaskis with the children and our buddy B, he's not in his office so much, and it's not working. So I'd just like to say:

You can come home now. The world just doesn't work the way it's supposed to when you're gone.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Silver lining

So it's handy to be married to a TechnoGeek when your laptop presents you with not the black screen of death, but the greenish-blue pinstriped screen of frustration. It will boot, occasionally, and just as you are clicking "backup all my e-mail now before this sucker changes its mind again", it will remember that it now favours bluish-green pin-stripes as What the WellDressed Laptop is Wearing and just as you are settling in to gaze at your lost data in sickish dread, your ComputerGeek spouse will snatch the laptop out of your hands, take out the hard drive, find the right cable (or go buy one, because isn't that just the way? you could have 800 cables. None of them will be the cable that you need, so you will go and buy one that you will never ever ever need again. Perhaps we could splice them together and string them across the back yard and hang our laundry out to dry on them.) where was I? hard drive, cable, computer genius backing up the hard drive from a no-longer-functionning laptop.

He's magic.

So my laptop is broken broken broken and as I have no other computer, this saddens me. Techno Hero is letting me use his until we can get mine fixed and the only drawback to this is his laptop was designed for a lap the size of Texas. Anybody who could comfortably use this behemoth on their lap needs to be buying two economy class seats in an airplane. As I currently have a pinched nerve somewhere in my back that makes sitting in a normal chair like a normal person excruciatingly painful - I am going through computer withdrawal.

I'm pretty sure this is good for me.

Tomorrow I am making jam.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Public Service Announcement/Warning

Before you all think "Hey if *SHE* could climb the Eiffel Tower, I bet *I* could!" I just have a few things to say:

1) you're right. You likely could.

2) I think it fair to warn you what could happen.

You could get home from your vacation and look around at your house that has not been properly cleaned for lo, these many months because you are too tired/sore/busy/lazy and instead of being completely overwhelmed by the mess that is the kitchen floor, you might think:

I climbed the freaking Eiffel Tower, I can wash a floor.

And you might wash the floor on your hands and knees with a scrub brush, which it totally needs, and you might find out that your back and your knees put up with a whole lot more cleaning than you have been telling yourself they can for years.

A terrible snowballing thing might happen. You might start baking again, looking up new recipes in cookbooks, washing walls, cleaning out cupboards that haven't seen the light of day since you moved in. You might actually clean your oven*, because after all, you climbed the Eiffel Tower - how bad can three years of cooked on grime be?

So go ahead, book your ticket. Just don't say I didn't warn you.

*the other day I was reading old blog posts (apparently there is time for that even with all the cleaning/tidying) and I am happy to report that it has been at least a year since I've hidden dirty dishes in my oven.)

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Balance in the universe

So one week there's floating down the Rhine on the top deck of a boat watching your impossibly beautiful children eat ice cream sundaes and Italian pizza in a quaint little German town and your last hotel room so large that you can't stop giggling when you see it and then there's

Unnamed Airlines (that coincidentally have those very same initials) managing to get exactly none of your four bags to your destination with you, and the dog not eating, and you not remembering who, exactly, you gave your mail key to and buying shampoo on sale that smells like menthol (seriously, menthol? so you can smell like you live in a nursing home well before you hit your dotage. Good thing I only bought 4 bottles of it) and the housecleaning fairies having somehow, mystifyingly, missed your house on their clandestine visits and it's all just so very ...

Deep breath. Balance. Ride the pendulum back to the center. Give me a few days to get over jet lag and I'll post some vacation pics. Maybe.