Friday, December 30, 2005

Jerome K. Jerome

Ever since I was about 13 or 14, I've loved Mr. Jerome for his sense of humour, for his whimsical side, and for his gentle sorrows at the way the world can turn.

My copy of "Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow" is the signed copy from 1890.
My father managed to find the "Second Thoughts...." for me for Christmas and I was so happy! Neither he nor I knew it even existed.

Here's one of my favorite passages....

(From "Idle Thoughts....)

"It is a strange thing this bed, this mimic grave, where we stretch our tired limbs, and sink away so quietly into the silence and rest. "Oh bed, oh bed, delicious bed, that heaven on earth to the weary head," as sang poor Hood, you are a kind old nurse to us fretful boys and girls. Clever and foolish, naughty and good, you take us all in your motherly lap, and hush our wayward crying. The strong man full of care - the sick man full of pain - the little maiden, sobbing for her faithless lover - like children, we lay our aching heads on your white bosom, and you gently soothe us off to by-by."

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

There's just something about blue eyed friends....

Kim & I.

'Pol & I.

Spider & I...

You just can't help but love 'em!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Oh, the Mistletoe!

As I'm off celebrating my 'seasonal festivities', I just wanted to enjoin you all to celebrate (or NOT, as you choose), in whatever you might....

Just let there be joy in your heart; life's too short without it!

(and c''s MISTLETOE!)

p.s. Kissy Kissy!!
(And thanks for the pic Spider! Love you madly!)

Monday, December 19, 2005

You're doing WHAT in December?

You're BLOOMING in December?

But look at all the frosty, frozen blackened and dying leaves you're surrounded by...
hello! Reality should be setting in right.about.NOW!

It's December in British Columbia. You should NOT be blooming...please, you're beautiful! Wait till the spring when I'm not shivering in my booties so I can truly enjoy you! ARE lovely and you probably smell divine.
But the truth of the matter, is that my nose was dripping from the fact that it had almost dipped to freezing and I had a hard time inhaling any kind of scent you might have been exuding.

By the way, what kind of flower ARE you???
Obviously crazy.
And very VERY hardy.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

I had a dram.

I mean DREAM...I had a DREAM!

Ms. Lewis and I had a delightful conversation.
We discussed the article I had written (in the dream, of course!) about her and the "Licks" (and it wasn't entirely complementary, but positive, nonetheless.)

Then a delivery person showed up with a package that she had ordered.
It contained a beautifully ornate vase, handpainted with delicate flowers.
She excitedly showed me the bottom mark 'Cornell'.

"This is 100 years before they officially became the 'Cornell' company, there are only 4 of these in existence!" She was breathless.

And this dream only came along to remind me of something I already well know.
You can't judge a person by the clothes they wear, or the movies they've played in.

So, thanks, Ms. Lewis.

You have no idea, but you've proven to be an excellent lesson.

p.s. is that your NIPPLE!?!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A moment of respite.

Sometimes, I'd really love to be sitting right back here. *

The Cinque Terre, a collection of 5 little villages situated precipitously on the cliffs edge in Italy. Nothing but a worn and ancient goats' path stitching them together.

And this is where I'd love to be once again.
Perched over a delicate little creek, sitting on a wee stone footbridge along the path between tiny towns filled with delicious wines and delightful foods, suffused with an undeniable feeling of calm.

* sometimes!?! Whom am I kidding!? RIGHT NOW PLEASE!

Monday, December 12, 2005


I’m feeling a little shell shocked these days.
So many people around me are suffering so much, some self inflicted, others due to illness.

I saw an old friend yesterday, Dee. I hadn’t seen him for perhaps a year and a half, by his choice.

At least, I think it was him who I saw.

The last time I saw him he was a 37-year-old man. The fellow I saw yesterday appeared to be 47, and a hard, cruel 47 at that.

He walked right by me, traveling the opposite direction on the sidewalk.
It’s possible he didn’t want me to see him, or, as the look of anxiety and grief showing on his face seemed to indicate, he was so involved with some interior concern, he didn’t even notice me.

He had appeared to have aged so much in such a little time.
I wondered what had been going on in his life that aged him so dramatically, and made him look so distraught and so unlike himself.
I knew he hadn’t been working for years, and was living on social assistance.
Over the last year, I also heard rumor that he had taken to stealing to sustain himself.
(I had long ago stopped ‘helping’ him with money, for several reasons, not the least of which was because it wasn’t ‘helping’ him at all. I have long suspected that was one of the reasons he decided to stop being my friend. But I’ll never really know.)

I didn’t stop him. I didn’t call his name and run over to speak to him.

I don’t think he would have wanted that.
I think he didn’t want anyone to see him.
And I didn’t want to see the question forming in his eye as we casually stood and chatted, “Maybe you have $20 dollars you can give me?”

Tonight, I ran into another old friend, Rick, with whom I hadn’t spoken for many months, as he is very difficult to get a hold off. He is either ensconced in a hospital, or out of town.
He suffers from several illnesses; leukemia being the one that has wrapped it’s sucking fingers around him and is draining him to the end.

He’s taken to hanging around in the roughest neighborhoods, and I suspect that he’s finding solace in the cheap drugs to be found there, as prescribed morphine is incredibly expensive.
I used to give him money, too, to help him cover the insane cost of dying from a leeching disease, but I don’t have enough to help and feed myself.

He used to be full of life, interested in everything, always had a plan for his life.
Now his pale face and flat eyes appear to see the world through a dense, cloying fog that chokes him, and blurs the smile he tries to call up for me at our chance meeting.

He tells me that my ex-friend, Dee whom he also knows, now lives in a shelter.
Ah, that may explain his grim expression, and sad demeanor when I saw the other day.

Rick spoke little about his own life; I suspect he has very little to say, and wants to hide his pain as much as possible.
I wonder, if I were in his shoes, that I would not care to run into old friends whom you once knew in the glow of health...I might not want to have them witness a decline and fall for which they can do very little but weep.

This weekend has been difficult and troubling.
I’m not sure what to make of it.

I suspect this feeling of breathless confusion is with me to stay until I do make heads or tails of it, and can come to some kind of terms with all of these oddly juxtaposed people in my life.

Why are they all here, and why are they suffering so much?
I know there’s nothing I can do, I can’t save Dee from his world, and Rick is dying from something I have no control over.
And the other doesn’t want help.

Why do they continue to show up in my life?
What am I supposed to do?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

In continuation of the previous theme...

I agree with all the comments from the preceding post...Bill I agree with you, too, about the over-the-top PCness of everything.

I suppose, that the attempt to generalize major customs like Christmas, is to act as an encouragement to all cultures to feel included? Maybe?

But you know, I have never personally felt EXCLUDED from any one cultures celebrations.

In fact, if I asked some one of a different cultural orientation to teach me about their celebrations, I'm sure they would happily, and I'd be a more interesting, and aware individual.

And I be sorely disappointed if we "pc'd" everything into oblivion.

No new expressions of well-wishes in other languages to learn, no special celebration foods to try for the first time, no joy in discovering wonderful other traditions to incorporate into your own festivities.

The world would be a dull and gray place to live WITHOUT a multitude of cultures.

Perhaps the answer isn't to blur out differences by rubbing out the edges, but to make EVERYONE'S celebrations important, so no one feels left out and everyone gets a chance to celebrate something that represents happiness and joy around the world?

(And can you imagine how many stat holidays we would have, it's enough to make anyone want to jump on that bandwagon!)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Merry Seasonal Festivities?

I had a long discussion the other day with a friend of mine about the elimination of the word 'Christmas' from the public lexicon.

Now, I must admit two things:
1) I have celebrated Christmas under Christmas trees, unwrapped Christmas presents, and sat for Christmas dinner all my life

2) I'm not Christian

Technically, the religion, and the celebration of it are supposed to go hand in hand, but in our Western society, we have overlooked that for as long as I can remember.

There was ALWAYS Christmas.

And now, it seems like "things they are a changing".

I'm of mixed opinion.

I LIKE Christmas for the good things it represents, family, caring, the general wish for peace for all peoples.
Those are GOOD things.

On the other hand, Christianity doesn't represent that for a lot of people that live in Canada.
Many cultures simply don't practice it.
And for others, it represents repression and an elimination of their own culture.
(and for all the religions that Christianity squashed in it's march across the world, I think at some point, an awful lot of people have ancestors that that category encompasses.)

My opinion seems that I don't really have a strong opinion, either way.

What do you think, for or against?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Just another day at work.

We ship cars (and lots of other things), all over the world.

Today, I drove this car into a container.

It's worth almost half a million dollars.

Yeah, it's a tough job, but somebody has to do it.

(Look, look, it's silver, and sparkily too!!)