Friday, April 28, 2006


I stole this from Kimber, who borrowed it from Vesper.

I AM: Irrepressible!

I WANT: All joys. Flowers to smell wonderful, the moon to always be full, magic at my fingertips, and a wee villa in Rome.

I WISH: That everyone could experience a view of the mountains, the sound of ocean waves and the smell of fresh cut grass. I wish that everyone had the ability to climb into the limbs of a grand old Maple Tree and to fall asleep

I HATE: That children starve in this world

I MISS: Bentley. My beautiful cat.

I FEAR: Nothing.

I HEAR: Django Reinhardt...strumming his old gypsy guitar.

I WONDER: Yes I do...every single day is full of wonder.

I REGRET: Regret doesn't even enter into it!

I AM NOT: Ashamed, sad, resentful or angry.

I DANCE: Unselfconsciously.

I SING: Loudly in my car (and occasionally at work!)

I CRY: When I give my mom the perfect gift and she turns to me with tears in her eyes, holding me tight to say thank you.

I AM NOT ALWAYS: Easy to get a hold of.


I WRITE: As I feel.

I CONFUSE: Directions on a map. Fortunately, Spider is generally around to correct me. "We have to go right here." I'll say confidently. And she'll steer me gently to the left. "Yeah, that's exactly the way I wanted to go!"

I NEED: A good book, intelligent conversation, a bottle of fine wine, my good friends and a long and winding road.

I SHOULD: Bah! 'Should' 'would' 'could'...they have no place here.

I START: To question, but then I remember that to 'be' is enough.

I FINISH: Nothing. I prefer to think of it as constant 'evolving'.

I TAG: No one that doesn't want to play!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Apolitical might be the word I'm looking for.

Until recently, I've been in no way politically inclined. Didn't spend any time thinking about politics, and didn't want to discuss them either.
(That being said, I do occasionally get upset by certain political figures who should be certified and institutionalized...but besides that I mean. *)

So, when my dad handed me a great huge tome on American politics, I was genuinely puzzled. Why was he giving this to me? I don't recall announcing my sudden desire to become knowledgeable in a foreign countries politics!

Well, I'm glad to say that I'm happy he gave me that book.
It turns out that I am very interested in politics and particularly American politics!

James Mann outlines the six major players (Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Armitage, and Condoleezza Rice) who comprise Bush's foreign policy advisers.

Mann reviews their individual lives in thumbnail views, highlighting their political development/ideals and occasionally how they've changed them!

I'm less than half way through, so I can't tell you about the whole thing, but I'm really excited to continue reading it.

So far it appears to be very un-biased and well researched...and darn it all, fascinating!

So. There.

Who knew!

(I suppose it's easier to be interested in them when you don't actually have to live with them!)

*I'll give you a hint.

He was recently quoted as saying "If the Iranians were to have a nuclear weapon they could proliferate."—Washington D.C., March 21, 2006

Monday, April 24, 2006

Take off, eh!

Yep. That's me with my hot little headset on, my aviator sunglasses firmly in place and a PLANE at my finger tips.

Yes, that right.
Your eyes did not deceive you.

I flew a darling little Cesna all over Vancouver this weekend.

(It's amazing what they let just anybody do these days, isn't it!) *

Here's me. FLYING!!!

My pilot Dirk actually seemed to be encouraging it.
"Here," he'd say, "You take the controls."
"No problem!" Pulling the plane into sharp spiralling banks, and straight back, up into the was a divine and lofty feeling.
(Until the turbulence over the mountains set in of course, and then the real fun began!)
It's a very interesting thing to suddenly have to be concerned about the third dimension of up and down while zooming about at 200mph.**
In truth, I've flown a helicopter too, but they are decidely different things.

This is beautiful Vancouver...Stanley Park is the large wonderful space of green at the bottom of the cityscape there. And the mountains over yonder are the "Lions" after which our bridge, "The Lions Gate" is named.

And there I stand after a long day in flight...there's nothing like a sunny blue day in the sky to make you grin like a maniac.


And the snakes?

They're EVERWHERE!!! ***

* Wait'll Bush hears about that!
** Thanks Kris, for giving me the super-cool opportunity to add that to my list!
***Sorry Mr. Jackson, I just couldn't resist!

Oh, and as an added bonus...Spider wanted me to make note that Samuel L. Jackson and I (and to be honest, several other people) had drinks together here in Vancouver at a private club a few weeks before he filmed in my neighbourhood.
Maybe he overheard me.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

You're kidding. Right?

Last summer I went out to my covered parking area to my car.
On the windshield was a notification announcing that a movie was going to be shot along that part of the alley, and would I kindly NOT park my car there between certain hours over a two day period.
As I was about to get in my car, a young man came rushing over to me.
"This is your car? Did you see the note?" He queried.
"Yes, I was just looking at it. What's the movie about?"
"Oh, some terrorists. Samuel L. Jackson has to fight some terrorists that release some poisonous snakes on a plane."
"Are you serious? And they're going to call it 'Snakes on a Plane' right?" I laughed out loud at the thought.
"Uh, well, there's a working title of 'Pacific Air 121' at the moment. But it could change." He replied earnestly.

Alas, I see they've taken my suggestion seriously.
Really! "Snakes on a Plane."
That's what they've decided on.
I hope you can you see me rolling my eyes.

(I get the feeling others disapprove as well!)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

My ol' cat Bentley

I was just reminiscing about my dear cat...he died in November but I still miss him so.

He wasn't much of a 'cat' cat, if you understand me.
Clumsy and dependent, he had more dog-like traits than any self-respecting cat should ever openly display.

I recall once, many years ago (yeah, comes the my-cat-is-the-funniest-cat-ever! story) when I lived in a wee house with a large back yard filled with dwarf (or is it more P.C. to refer to them as "vertically challenged", I can never recall) fruit trees.

At the time I had two cats. Bentley of course, and a lithe little green-eyed gray cat named Avalon.

Avalon was a wonderful cat...tiny and graceful. She was quite the opposite of the behemoth Bentley. They were the best of friends.

She would encourage Bentley to chase her around the house, taunting him with her flying leaps high over his broad head until I sent them tumbling out into the yard to continue their free-for-all play.

And that's when it happened. The funniest thing I'VE. EVER. SEEN.

I was outside one fine spring day, sitting on a picnic bench out back near the aforementioned 'short' trees when Avalon and Bentley came ripping around the corner, top speed.

Avalon, with the grace of a little acrobat, flew straight up the little wizened old peach tree and perched jauntily at the top.
She peered down at Bentley who was looking up at her from the ground rather crossly.

He paced about a bit, glancing over at me in a pathetic bid for assistance. I shrugged..."You're on your own, Bent."

Eventually he appeared to have come to an important decision.
Gathering his ample bottom under him, he managed to charge up 4 and a half feet of the tree to the first set of branches before he realized what he had done and panicked.

Unsure what to do next, he stood (and with great trepidation I might add) on the limb peering confusedly around...he wanted to move further out but there was a twig in the way.
Inching his way along, he attempted to maneuver himself around the offending obstacle.

The twig proved an insurmountable barrier.
His was thwarted from...I'm not sure, possibly the end of the branch?

Avalon mewed encouragement (or maybe she was snickering unkindly....hard to tell.)

He reversed to what he considered a better attack position, then he began to CHEW at the base of the offending twig.

Hey, if you can't scuttle around a problem, remove it entirely!

This, too, proved a poor choice.

The twig was defiant.

Poor Bent had but one choice.
He must try to navigate around the twig to get to the end of the branch where he would miraculously...what? what exactly were you trying to achieve there Bent?

Alas, we'll never know.
He slipped you see.
But not completely.
No...he managed to wrap his big furry mitts around the slim branch, and there he dangled.

He looked for all the world like an overripe and too furry peach swaying in the light spring breeze.

And it wasn't just for a few moments that he maintained this un-cat like position, oh no, it was a full 5 minutes.
I know, because 5 minutes is about how long I rolled around in the grass at the base of the tree...tears rolling down my cheeks.

But hold on he did, until I was good and ready to pluck him from the tree (meaning until I could gasp for air long enough to stand up)!

Yup, I had to rescue my large young male cat from a tree branch four feet off the ground.

I do miss you Bentley.

I hope you've found a lovely tree with big sturdy limbs about a foot off the ground with none of those pesky twigs to bother you. Maybe with a pillow.

Thanks for being my cat.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Things I Learned while on Holiday

I guess I learned about my mom.

She is the sweetest, most giving woman I know.Helping her celebrate her birthday was so important to me.

I've always know how much I loved her..but sometimes it amazes me how much.

Thanks to Spider and Jeff for dinner, and thanks for making my dear little mom feel so's no more and no less than a reflection on how vital all of you are to me.

What else did I learn on this trip?
Well, thanks to my mother AND my father, I learned that the elusive and rare 'Pink Fawn Lily' and 'White Fawn Lily' grow happily and beautifully on Vancouver Island (as long as there is a river near by....)

And the Rivers!!
Browns River, Puntledge River, Courtenay River, Tsoleum River....there is no end to the beautiful rushing water that surrounds my home town.

What else did I discover that I didn't know.

It's hard to say.

I've always known that all of my friends are beautiful.

I've always known that we had a very special connection.

But being the only brown eyed girl amongst a gaggle of blue eyed beauties...well, it's not been easy!

I suppose it's safe to safe that tulips are important to a long term friendship!

I think that one of the other extremely important things that I learned on this trip was how to balance a sword on my head.
oh Yes!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

"If you go out in the woods today...."

May I suggest that you take the old Island Highway south, just past the Fanny Bay Inn and Cougar Smith Road; turn left at "Ships Point Road".

Then another quick left on "Little Way"
(Carefully, now. It sneaks up on you. You might just fly right past it like I did.)

Down "Little Way" following the road constantly to the left as you go.
Don't look for any signs; there aren't any.
It's a local thing; outsiders have to make friends with those 'in the know' to be shown it's secrets.

There, that mud-spattered pot-holed cul-de-sac. Park there!

Well, I suppose there IS a sign; it says "Boundary of Wildlife and Fisheries. Don't disturb plants or wildlife."
But that's not hint as to the wild dream-like world you are about to enter.

Just past that sign - can you see that wee cedar-chipped path...go down there a little ways.

Watch out!

Don't run into the flying fish!

If you need directions, perhaps you can ask the locals?

Then there's the interestingly overt religious connotations:

As you can see, this art also comes with strong environmentalist overtones!

(Yes. That IS an I.V. drip attached to that tree.)

Oh, and speaking of political controversy, how's this?

Yes, this little patch of woods carries a definite theme to it.

Though occasionally it's sort of hard to determine exactly what that theme is.

Oh, and worry about the rocks; they've been taken care of.

There were so many 'things' in this little corner of the world...some where obviously symbolic, and others, well, they just left you scratching your head.

But if you can find someone to show you this place...ask them to take you there.

It may not last very long; government isn't always partial to controversy on it's 'Crown Land'.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Happy Trails to You!

Yep...I'm on HOLIDAY.

Back to the outpost on Vancouver Island with my trusty horse, Blaze.

(If you ignore the bit about the outpost, horse, and the word 'Colorado' you'll get my drift. On the upside, I'll be spending tons of time with Spider and my mom; this of course means many more photos to come!) *

Also, as something fun, Spider and I are planning out a shared post about our adventure on Sunday...look for it coming to a blog near you!

*Please note, I now have photographic evidence of what I have to put up with just to be assured of a simple bed to sleep in. It's not pretty.
I mean the GARDEN is lovely, but OH! the toll exacted.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

"Never Again"

I'm reading one of the most deeply moving and exhausting books I've read in a long time.

Called "Shake Hands with the Devil", it's a crushing account of Roméo Dallaire's time in Rwanda in 1994.

I sometimes wonder why I am reading it.
The images are so despairing and the brutal rememberances so vivid I have to put the book down and walk away sometimes.

But I think it needs to be read. I think it should be required reading in fact.

We failed almost a million people.
And in this day and age, we don't have any excuses.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

But what did the salamander ever do?

I'm a generally amiable person.
I rather pride myself on being able to talk to anyone about anything at anytime.

In fact, I volunteered for several years at the crisis centre in my community; I like to think that experience gives me a little bit of an edge when talking to people.

Several hours a day I used to spend listening to complete strangers reveal themselves to me over the anonymity of the phone line; they sought help and solace and occasionally (oddly) recipes for mashed potatoes.

I do on occasion find it incredibly difficult to talk to some people.

So, here's a fine example of a conversation that I was completely unprepared for.

I work infrequently with a woman of indeterminate age (though I believe her to be in her 40's), who shared with me some of the most disturbing things as I tarried away in my cubicle the other day.

"Yeah, so my mom was named really good. Her name is 'Rita E-- GLADYS B---', cus her ASS is sure GLAD whenever there's a Tom Dick or Harry around. Get it? GLAD ASS. She was whatya call the 'town pump'."

I'm sure my eyes widened considerably at the announcement, because she proceeded happily. "Oh yeah. I caught her and the Fuller Brush man goin' at it in the car out by the shed when I was 12. Yup, then I went in and told my little sister so she went out and watched. Boy, did I ever get a beating for that one!"

"Fuller Brush man...oh." I squeaked out.

"Oh yeah. But it got really good when my Dad came home smellin' of some one else's perfume...and it sure in hell wasn't mom's, 'cus she didn't were none. And covered in lipstick. And that was Christmas."

"That's too bad. What a sad Christmas for you." I looked around cautiously, wondering who else was being regaled with these tales.

"Yeah. 'course, I always got the shit beat outta me. Both mom and dad, all they ever had was fists for me. Sometimes my older brother would try and pull them off, but that's only so's he could get a couple ones in there." She stopped for a breath ~or perhaps it was for dramatic pause?
"I guess the worst was being locked in the root cellar for 10 days around that Christmas. See, they didn't want me around to have presents or nothin' so they locked me down there."

I had to presume that 'they' meant her entire family.

"All I had down there was some salamanders to watch explode."

The questioning look on my face goaded her on.

"Well, 'cus salamanders don't have any salt in them so you sprinkle them with salt and they kind of explode."

"You were killing things to pass the time?" I queried, not very kindly I will admit.

"What else was I gonna do? There weren't nothin' else to do down there."

For once I was completely at a loss for words.
Flabbergasted might be a worthy descriptor to use in this instance.

But how does one respond to such statements?
Do you engage in a long probing conversation to plumb the depths of the dysfunction? Ask searching questions to determine to extent of her trauma?

Not possible!
This was my (and her) place of employment!

Then, as quickly as she came in the room and 'shared' herself, she left again.

And I still don't know what to say! *

*Besides of course..."Why me!?!"

I don't mean to sound callous...her life sounds so sad.
But I think I'm safe in saying that I don't believe her difficult/abusive childhood needs to be shouted across an office space to a relative stranger.

No matter HOW congenial I appear!

Monday, April 03, 2006


I woke up the other morning only to see that my neighbours white van had been vandalized.

No one broke into it or flattened the tires, nope; not these bastards.

Instead, they spray painted all over this man's vehicle.

So now he's going to have to spend several hundred dollars of his own money to have his vehicle repainted!

What the hell was the point of that!?!

It's not even my vehicle (though I've had my fair share of thefts and break-ins and other problems) but I'm so frustrated with this kind of asinine/destructive behaviour.

(Perhaps it's possible that it was an April Fool's joke played on him by friends and it'll actually just wash off? I don't know, but I doubt it.)