Wednesday, November 19, 2008

*slinking back in quietly*

Update on the sadly M.I.A. Tai.

I'm alive. I successfully moved. I'm still in Victoria.

I cut my hair. Short.

I am still working at the same place I was before AND I can still walk to work from my new place.

Uh...that's it, really. There's been no explosions, crashing trees or car chases since you last heard from me. And we all know how unusual THAT is!

And I'm wishing you all VERY well!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Yep, that's me. On the move.

This is the third time in 3 years. I hope I don't need to move again. It's not that I mind, exactly. But that unsettled feeling of "I hope I like where I'm going to live" I could live without.

When I moved to Victoria from Vancouver, I got rid of most of my stuff, so now I'm having to restock.

It's interesting to discover that my taste has changed quite a bit.
While furniture of pine and particle board used to be okay, I've discovered that I want antiques and solid wood furnishings. (Not to mention, a lovely 'chair-and-a-half'.)
So now I'm 'antiquing' (which I don't believe is a word) and scouring auctions. And it's working! I've found some very nice pieces (you see??? I'm using the word 'pieces' to describe furniture. The world may be coming to an end.)

Here's a good example. My Dad recently gave me a lovely end table. It's very nice.
As the picture (which isn't identical, but close enough) shows, it's a nice little table.

It's a Duncan Phyfe. Which is good. So maybe I inherit my furniture taste from my Dad. I don't know. All I know is, my new place is a hodge-podge right now. And I haven't even moved into it yet!


Thanks to Kimber for the new (and lovely) bookshelf widget off the left!

Quick, get one of your own!

Friday, September 05, 2008

No one expected the comfy chair.

In preparation for my move, I bought myself a VERY comfy reading chair.
It's a 'chair and a half', and it's snuggle level is an 11 on a scale of 1-5.
I may never leave it.
The depth! The breadth! The sheer cushiness!
If I had but one wish, it would be that everyone had a chair this cozy along with all the books they could read to sustain them for all their days.
That and room (chair?) service.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bad bad blogger.

Well, it's true. I've been quite recalcitrant as of late. I don't have anything to excuse my behaviour either.

Though I'll try.

I'm going to be moving, so that's taking up some time.
Going through my old books and thinning them out. It's surprising how many books I've accumulated over the years. Books I don't read or use for reference any more. Books I read once and rolled my eyes at and set aside still clog my shelves (and the countless boxes) and I wonder why I've bothered carting them around all these years.

I do re-read books. In fact, most of the books I really cherish I've read at least a dozen times over the years and I never tire of them. Very often I'll be perusing my shelves and think, "It's been over a year since I read that...." and down it comes, off from the bookcase to snuggle in my lap for another go 'round.

It's the books I won't read again that I've been lugging about. I recently took a box in to the local second hand bookstore and they actually gave me fifty dollars for all those old books that didn't merit a second glance.

Now that's a good deal.

Of course, I probably spent over $150 dollars accumulating them over the years, but it's still a profit. For years I've had them, using them if I needed them, (and it's been years since I did) so I had my monies worth.

At least, that's what I'm telling myself.

And it's such a freeing feeling. Those things that I thought I needed to be tied to for all those years no longer weigh me down, no longer demand my attention though I'm hard pressed now to say why they ought to have in the first place.


I've never been a pack rat. In fact, striving against it has always been very important to me. That being said, I still have many near and dear things that I'll never give away for love or money.

My sword, for one.
Though it's not really mine, I'm merely holding it for someone 'til they collect it.
And Ted E. Bear. He's been around since time immemorial and he will remain that way if I have anything to do with it.

So there are things I will never part with. (Except when they that crow's wing I had. It moldered. To dust. Sorry Spider, I held on to it as long as I could!)

So that's it, so far. Moving and clearing.
But I'm still HERE.
As far as that goes.

Until I start moldering.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I'm having too much fun to blog!

I AM around...but I've had no urge to blog about anything of late.
Certainly, I have had (more than) my fair share of fun and amazing experiences that are blog worthy. Also some crappy things that could be complained about.
And definitely some strange things, too. My life wouldn't truly belong to me unless something strange was going on.

Oh! And I'm another year older! Say hello to 36!

So there you have it. I'm having a fun and interesting life and as a result, I'm too tired to blog about it.

Take care all! I'm reading you!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Here in spirit.

I AM still around, but my blogging time has been dramatically curtailed as of late. (They actually want me to work at work. Go figure!)

So know that I'm popping in on occasion and forgive me for my absence!

(The handsome beast to the right is Bentley, he is sorely missed.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hey, four-eyes!

I've been wearing glasses since I was 8. And believe me, I've heard just about every derogatory remark ever know to man and pissy grade three's you could ever hope to hear.

About 7 years ago I went to see if I could have laser eye surgery to once and for all have my eyes corrected.

"Your cornea is too thin. Wait a few years, the technology is always improving."

So it was with bated breath that I went to my preliminary exam for laser surgery last week. "Your cornea's too thin. Your prescription is too high. Wait a few years. The...."

Yeah yeah yeah. Heard it before.

Oh, and Doctor? Your technology is no match for how fast my eyes are deteriorating.

So. That's it. I'm not going to bother again. After the eye doctor suggested I apply to have lens replacement surgery I walked out thinking, "Nah. I'll just have to be sexy in my specs. I think I can do that."

But I'd be lying if I told you I was wasn't terribly disappointed. Because I was. I just wanted a chance. An option. An opportunity to have this magical treatment that would allow me to see.

And when I finally stumbled outside into the light, I must admit, I wept inwardly for a moment at not having the choice.

And then I had to feel my way into a store to have the shopkeeper dial whatshisface's number to come pick me up.

Those dilating eye drops are murder.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Pictures from the weekend.

Plenty of flowers this Mother's Day weekend!

My Mom and I spent the day wandering on trails and enjoying the intermittent sunshine.
The large splintered tree blocking the path didn't come any where near my car! It was a good day.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

And speaking of books.

Here's a list of books I've read in April. Just in case anyone was wondering what I do with my time.

"Brother Cadfael's Penance" ~ Ellis Peters

"The Blind Watchmaker" ~ Richard Dawkins

"Affinity" ~ Sara Waters

"Stolen" ~ Kelly Armstrong

"Alchemy and Alchemists" ~ Sean Martin

"Children of Kali" ~ Kevin Rushby

"Pilgrim" ~ Timothy Findley This is by far one of my favorite books.

"Industrial Magic" ~ Kelly Armstrong

"Madame de Pompadour" ~ Nancy Mitford

"Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason" ~ Helen Fielding

"Friend of My Youth" ~ Alice Munro

"Gutenberg: How One Man Remade the World With Words" ~ John Man

"Haunted" ~ Kelly Armstrong All of these Kelly Armstrong titles are about supernatural women; vampires, werewolves etc; set for the most part in the present day. The stories are good and the plot races along but all of her main characters are identical. Kind of a pity, because otherwise I recommend them.

"The Island of Lost Maps: A True Story of Cartographic Crime" ~ Miles Harvey

"Touching the Void" ~ Joe Simpson Joe Simpson suffered a nearly fatal fall while climbing in the Peruvian Andes. I've read this book several times and it has never failed to have a chilling impact.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Books are important.

"For him that steals, or borrows and returns not, a book from its owner, let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him. Let him be struck with palsy, and all his members blasted. Let him languish in pain crying aloud for mercy, and let there be no surcease to his agony till he sing in dissolution. Let bookworms gnaw at his entrails in token of the Worm that dieth not. And when at last he goes to his final punishment, let the flames of Hell consume him for ever."

~an inscription at the library of the San Pedro monastery in Barcelona.

That about sums it up. The bit about the bookworms is particularly pointed.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Crazy. Not stupid.

Whenever I mention to someone that I'm not scared of anything, I invariably get the same response. "You'd be scared if someone had a gun to your head, or if a large truck was racing uncontrollably toward you."

Well. Yes.
I would be afraid. I'm crazy, not stupid.

What I mean is, I don't have any irrational fears.

Rats? Mice? No problem. I once walked out of my apartment building to come face to face with a large rat sitting on the handrail. We stared at each other for a moment and then each of moved calmly on. Also? Pol and I had pet mice for a while. Wen, Mousameeque, Turbo and Torque. Very sweet they were. Especially Mousameeque.

Snakes? Nope. Held many a snake in my time, including a few very large constrictor's (Thanks pseudo-Alice Cooper! The best thing about your show was the snake. Remember that one, Spider?)

Um...bats? Well, I've never really seen them but at a distance and I admired their long, swoopy (it is SO a word!) flight around the lamp posts on their hunt for dinner. Nothing scary about that.

Heights? I went up the CN Tower once, in Toronto. They have a glass floor inset that I strode across. Other people would stand at the very edges looking down, clutching their significant others trembling and looking pale. I don't think my walking across it made them feel any better.

Enclosed spaces. I haven't really ever been 'trapped' in an enclosed space, and I doubt it would be fun. But I've been in a cave or two, and wiggled through cracks and crevices enough times to know that it doesn't bother me.

What other irrational fears are out there? Spiders? Ha! I pulled on a shirt once and stood brushing my hair in a mirror when a large fat spider crawled out of the shirt and up my neck. It surprised me, that's true, but after a momentary pause, I scooped him/her gently up and deposited it outside. Can't blame me for the rain!

Planes are a big fear for many. But I've been really fortunate to fly quite a bit, and have, in fact, flown both a plane and a helicopter myself (wheeeee!) and found it exhilarating.

Oh, I almost forgot about needles! Nope, not scared of them either and I have the tattoos to prove it.

So that's me.
Of course, being 'fearless' isn't always what it's cracked up to be. I seem to missing the instinctual 'voice of reason' that keeps others safe.

I have often put myself in questionable situations because I wasn't afraid. Walking alone along deserted streets late at night through bad parts of town, accepting 'candy from strangers', riding on motorcycles with people I don't know, and generally careening through life without much of a thought for danger. (Come to think of it, on several of those occasions I had friends with me. I don't recall them putting a halt to my activities. Kimber! Spider! What happened to my exterior "voices of reason"?
I rather suspect they came along to pick up the body parts and prepare a feasible story for my Mom.)

It's amazing that I'm still here, whole and sane (don't laugh!) and un-traumatized.

How 'bout you?

I posted a picture of a wee rabbit 'cus I figured no one would appreciate large pictures of snakes, rats and big needles. I like you guys too much to want to scare you away!

Sunday, April 20, 2008


My landlord owns both the house I live in and my neighbours house. Occasionally, he shows up to talk with the neighbours.
Do you see all that space behind the little pick up truck? Yeah, there's room for him to park his car there.
But he didn't.
Instead, he opted to drive his car up on our lawns and park. When he was done conducting his business, he proceed to drive across both lawns to get back on the road.
And I was worried about getting the lawn mowed.
But you know what they say about older men driving fancy cars, don't you?
They have very small....IQ's.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The 'Eyes' have it.

After all these years of wearing glasses or contacts, I'm seriously considering eye surgery to correct my (extreme) myopia.
I looked into it years ago, but the technology wasn't up to the challenge so I wasn't considered a good candidate.
I've recently booked an appointment for the preliminary exams with the hope that I may be, now. Still, it's a huge cost, and technically, it's rather unnecessary...I can make do with contacts and glasses for the rest of my life, but it would be such a treat not to have to worry about them any longer.
(And the costs for those add up over the years!)

My eyesight has steadily declined over the years since I was eight years old. In fact, I rather believed I'd be blind by the time I was 25 but fortunately, that wasn't the case. (Though I have to say, my prescription now is way beyond the 'norm'. I think most people with myopia have approximately -1.5 to - 4 on average and anything above that is high. I'm at -9.5 in one eye and -10 in the other. And that was from an eye exam 3 years ago. I'll bet it's even worse, now.)

I'm not nervous at all about the actual surgery, things like that don't bother me. It's the cost! It's a rather substantial amount...when all is said and done it'll be just over $3000 (this, of course, includes hotel accommodation, travel expenses and the like. The initial exam is done in Victoria but the surgery is done in Vancouver.)

Well, we'll 'see' how it goes. It may be that I'm not a candidate at all; there are some clinics that can't accommodate that degree of myopia. It won't bother me if it can't be done, then I won't have to agonize over spending that much money.
But one day, I'd really like to be able to open my eyes in the morning and just see.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

New word!


You can use it for describing how you feel when you've just tripped into a large open pit that is guaranteed to make everyone involved feel 'awkweird'.

For instance:

You go out to a great get-together for a co-worker on Friday night. Monday morning you run into the one person in the office who was specifically NOT invited * forget, and then proceed to blab away about how much fun it was and what a great restaurant you dined at.

Your faux pas is made blindingly clear by the blank and stunned look on the person's face and the flat, "Oh. That sounds nice."

This moment is followed closely by you stuttering "Uh, well, it was really nothing much. Just spur of the moment. Really. Kinda lame. Uh."

Say it with me, "AWKWEIRD!" **

* Yes, I work in an environment where some people are excluded from group 'after work' occasions. I don't like it so much, but there you go.
All the office politics were in place before I ever arrived and I try to keep my head down and not get involved. But I guess I am involved.
It rather sounds like I'm trying to excuse myself here from rather bad behaviour, doesn't it. I suppose I am.
I kind of understand WHY she's not invited, she's not very well liked in general though I have nothing against her personally.
Perhaps I should just decline going to those parties from now on. It might assuage my guilt.

** No, fortunately, it wasn't me. One of the 'invited' guests accidentally mentioned it to the uninvited co-worker. I felt bad for her. For both of them, as a matter of fact.

Monday, April 07, 2008

2 + 2 = ?

I placed my lunch order.

"That's $10.00, please."

I handed her a twenty.

She paused.

Opened the till.

Pulled out a calculator (!).

Discreetly tapped in the (complicated!?) sums.

Consulted with the other staff member.

"So you give her $10 dollars back." The reply came.

Hesitatingly she handed me a ten and looked at me quickly to ensure she hadn't made an error.

Is it just me? Was that not bizarre?
I swear, I'm getting less and less patient with things like that.
It was all I could do not to cock an eyebrow at her and inquire how grade two was working out.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Open Letter To Kansas School Board

I am writing you with much concern after having read of your hearing to decide whether the alternative theory of Intelligent Design should be taught along with the theory of Evolution. I think we can all agree that it is important for students to hear multiple viewpoints so they can choose for themselves the theory that makes the most sense to them. I am concerned, however, that students will only hear one theory of Intelligent Design.

Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. It was He who created all that we see and all that we feel. We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him.

It is for this reason that I’m writing you today, to formally request that this alternative theory be taught in your schools, along with the other two theories. In fact, I will go so far as to say, if you do not agree to do this, we will be forced to proceed with legal action. I’m sure you see where we are coming from. If the Intelligent Design theory is not based on faith, but instead another scientific theory, as is claimed, then you must also allow our theory to be taught, as it is also based on science, not on faith.
Some find that hard to believe, so it may be helpful to tell you a little more about our beliefs. We have evidence that a Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe.
None of us, of course, were around to see it, but we have written accounts of it. We have several lengthy volumes explaining all details of His power. Also, you may be surprised to hear that there are over 10 million of us, and growing. We tend to be very secretive, as many people claim our beliefs are not substantiated by observable evidence. What these people don’t understand is that He built the world to make us think the earth is older than it really is.
For example, a scientist may perform a carbon-dating process on an artifact. He finds that approximately 75% of the Carbon-14 has decayed by electron emission to Nitrogen-14, and infers that this artifact is approximately 10,000 years old, as the half-life of Carbon-14 appears to be 5,730 years. But what our scientist does not realize is that every time he makes a measurement, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is there changing the results with His Noodly Appendage.
We have numerous texts that describe in detail how this can be possible and the reasons why He does this. He is of course invisible and can pass through normal matter with ease.

I’m sure you now realize how important it is that your students are taught this alternate theory. It is absolutely imperative that they realize that observable evidence is at the discretion of a Flying Spaghetti Monster. Furthermore, it is disrespectful to teach our beliefs without wearing His chosen outfit, which of course is full pirate regalia.
I cannot stress the importance of this enough, and unfortunately cannot describe in detail why this must be done as I fear this letter is already becoming too long. The concise explanation is that He becomes angry if we don’t.
You may be interested to know that global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of Pirates since the 1800s. For your interest, I have included a graph of the approximate number of pirates versus the average global temperature over the last 200 years. As you can see, there is a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperature.

In conclusion, thank you for taking the time to hear our views and beliefs. I hope I was able to convey the importance of teaching this theory to your students. We will of course be able to train the teachers in this alternate theory. I am eagerly awaiting your response, and hope dearly that no legal action will need to be taken.
I think we can all look forward to the time when these three theories are given equal time in our science classrooms across the country, and eventually the world; One third time for Intelligent Design, one third time for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, and one third time for logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence.

Sincerely Yours,

Bobby Henderson, concerned citizen.
P.S. I have included an artistic drawing of Him creating a mountain, trees, and a midget. Remember, we are all His creatures.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Blog lazy. And Flying Spaghetti Monsters.

Well, it's not really laziness. I just don't have anything of import to say. The flowers are blooming (though it remains cold), my car is waiting to be fixed from the last insult, work is work.

I'm looking at hiring someone to mow the yard as I don't own a lawnmower nor do I plan to purchase one anytime soon.
Truth be told, I don't mind mowing the lawn, but one day down the road I'll be moving into an apartment or suite, and then what will I do with a mower?
It seems to make more sense to hire someone who owns one in the meantime. And besides, I rather like the idea of having a 'gardener'.

I've been thinking about religion lately.
It's enough to say that I'm not religious and I'm finding myself less and less able to tolerate religious ideals dictating world policy. And they do.
Pat Condell really lets loose on this topic, and I find myself nodding and agreeing as he speaks his mind. I don't know his background or his education level, but I find that he puts very succinctly (and more than a little cynically) my general thoughts on the subject.

Any of his YouTube posts are great, there's something to offend every religious belief equally.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Hello, Spring. I am SO glad to see you. This winter has really been a bear. Your fresh face is a delight. Stick around, you're always welcome here!

*The photo is of a small corner in Spider's garden...I had to use it, it's just so beautiful! I'm willing to bet she won't mind.*

Monday, March 17, 2008


As in, "My home computer is on the fritz." Where that saying came from I'm not sure, but there you have it.

It's screen is dismally black, forcing me to blog from work. Guess I'll have to tote it into the nearest repair shop and hope that they can easily remedy the problem for a very small charge.

It's not so bad, blogging from work (though my boss may have a different opinion), but my Thursday night "World of Warcraft" stint may suffer if I can't get this fixed in time!
(Yes. I am an online computer 'gamer'. My nerd quotient is hereby raised exponentially.)

Oh! And have a great St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Yes! Another meme!

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Sitting in a busy, warm restaurant with a glass of good wine with my best friends for company waiting for a perfect meal.

What is your greatest fear? My greatest fear? I'm not sure. I suppose it being kidnapped and killed. It would seem to me that being vanished from friends and family leaving them to their fears and sadness would be terrible.

Which historical figure do you most identify with? The women who stepped out of their pre-assigned roles and strode forth to say, "If a man can do it, so can I." And then proceeded to do just that.

Which living person do you most admire? I admire people that go out of their way to help others, no matter the cost. And there are so many of them.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? My insistence that things be fair and equal. It just can't always be, and I get really upset by it. I don't enjoy that about myself. Logically I can get past it, but emotionally I can't and I end up in ball of anger and frustration and sadness all at the same time. Ugh.

What is the trait you most deplore in others? Unfairness. (See? I can't escape it!)

What is your greatest extravagance? World travel.

What is your favorite journey? The night train ride across Europe. Leaving a country speaking one language and waking up having to speak a different one was amazing to me.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? I haven't ever spent any time considering this, so I don't have an answer. Although the phrase, "Patience is a virture" gets on my nerves on occasion. But that's not really the same thing, is it.

On what occasion do you lie? To preserve feelings.

What do you dislike most about your appearance? My hair, but it's a minor angst that can be easily resolved at a salon!

Which living person do you most despise? I despise people who use others to forward their own agenda regardless of damages or pain. Many world leaders might fall into this category, but it's certainly not confined to them.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse? "Oh! I just read something about that!"

What is your greatest regret? That there was nothing I could do but stand by and watch while some of my friends deteriorated into homelessness and isolation.

What or who is the greatest love of your life? Bentley.

Which talent would you most like to have? I think I'd like to be able to play a multitude of instruments with some talent. And again, there's something that's doable!

What is your current state of mind? Relieved.

If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be? It's cohesiveness.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? Having discerned at a very young age who my true friends were and held on to them tightly throughout my life.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be? Oh, I don't know. A Ferrari? In Germany. With easy access to the Autobahn.

If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be? I'd come back as a well loved, much coddled cat.

What is your most treasured possession? The relationship I have with my Mom.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Working at a crisis centre, I hear so many examples. I have a tremendous sympathy for those who live with mental health issues that don't allow for them to ever experience relief from often leads to homelessness (in the more extreme cases) and alienation from the very people that can help. And so many just fall through the cracks and, because of their affliction, are unable to help themselves.

Where would you like to live? Italy or France.

What is your favorite occupation? Reading.

What is your most marked characteristic? That I read. All the time.

What are the qualities you most like in a man? The ability to sympathize with others.

What are the qualities you most like in a woman? A wicked sense of humour.

What do you most value in your friends? Everything. But mostly their steadfastness.

Who are your favorite writers? Oh boy. There are SO many. K. Bannerman springs to mind. Simon Winchester. Robertson Davies. Ellis Peters. Alice Munro. Carol Shields. The person who writes out my paycheck is one of my favorite, too!

Who is your favorite hero of fiction? Brother Cadfael at the moment.

Who are your heroes in real life? My mom.

What are your favorite names? Some of these questions are so thought provoking and others are so...not.

What is it that you most dislike? Rudeness. Unfairness. Selfishness. Schnitzel.

How would you like to die? Quickly, with a great peace in my heart knowing I lived well.

What is your motto? "Don't let fear or common sense stop you!"

I don't know who painted that picture, but I love it!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Can you see the light?

In 1995, I was dating the bass guitarist for the Canadian based "Jeff Healey Band". I went to Toronto to visit Joe, and ended up spending lots of time with Jeff as well.

That was the same summer they opened for the Rolling Stones benefit concert at RPM, and as a result, I ended spending lots of time with Mick and Keith, too.

Jeff was always extremely welcoming. I was included in all the band activities, and he had Joe and I over for dinner several times. I was introduced to all his cats (he had 3) and he always made sure I was comfortable and happy. I was at the photo shoot for the album they put out that year (it's the picture in the corner) and attended a variety of band functions always feeling like an honoured guest.
The Jeff Healey Band was the recipient of Juno awards, Grammy nominations and chart topping singles, yet I don't recall Jeff ever talking about them. Everything Jeff did was focused on music and people and enjoying both, he never seemed to be concerned about the fame.

He was funny and irreverent, crass and thoughtful.
He loved Baby Duck, that cheap Canadian champagne that is more sugar than alcohol. He used to tease me by ordering it in fine restaurants or calling out for it in the middle of a set. "Tai, bring on the Baby Duck!"

I recall threading our way through a hotel lounge once, Jeff and Joe on each arm. Despite being blind, Jeff dragged us through the cluttered reception area never once bumping into a single chair or coffee table and calling back for us to hurry up.

A few years later, I saw Jeff playing trumpet for his other band, "The Jazz Wizards". He loved everything about jazz, and had a radio show on the CBC where he got to talk about his love for this music (and his amazing collection of jazz records) to his hearts content.

He died yesterday, from cancer. He was only 41. His wife and children remain, as well as his musical mark on the world.

Monday, February 25, 2008

I needed that!

Josie, you just made my day. Thanks so much!

"Tai's blog really raises the values as far as good writing and subject matter. She raises the bar, and when I started reading her blog, I wanted to emulate her standards. I don't think I have ever seen Tai post a "tacky" blog post, even when her car was hit by a tree (yes...) she kept her cool."

If you haven't already rushed over to visit Josie, I think you should. There's just something about her misnamed 'boring little blog' that shines out with a splendid humour. That, and a very astute view of the world makes her blog one of the ones I read every day (and if I'm lucky, sometimes she posts twice!)
And boy, can she paint!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I've just had it up to here.

I was sitting in my living room last night when I heard a tremendous BANG.
I looked out my living room window and there was the neighbour, firmly backed into the front of my car.
My car alarm blared and car had been hit. Again.

So can anyone tell me which god I might need to make a sacrifice too? And what, exactly, would suffice? A new tire, burnt over a sacred flame? Perhaps a fresh can of oil, tipped gently into the gutter whilst murmuring fevered words of prayer? Would sacrificing a perfectly good air filter release me from this wretched curse?

The universe hates my car.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

My car and other people: A rant.

Every time I go out to my car, I see another dent or another scrape.

It's true that it's an older car, but it's a cute little sports car. It's not invisible. And it's not okay to hit my car and then drive away.
But nonetheless, time after time, my car gets hit.

What's wrong with people!?!

Example one:
All of my friends were sitting out one hot night having a gelato when I saw a man pull in front of my car to (attempt) to parallel park.

"Watch this." I said, pointing down the street.
"What?" Jeff asked.

"That guy's going to hit my car."
Sure enough, he backed right into it. Hard. Spider jumped up to run down there, but I stopped her, "Let's see if he leaves a note."

Of course he didn't. He didn't even pretend too. He inspected HIS rear bumper for damage and then turned to walk away. At that point, both Spider and I jumped up.

"Hey!" I yelled at him.

"What?" He replied.

"You just hit my car."


"Don't lie about it! My friends and I all just watched you nail it." I indicated my table of irritated looking friends who were staring at him fiercely.

"It's not that bad." He said.

"That's not really the point, is it. You hit my car, looked at your own damned bumper and you weren't even going to have the decency to leave a note, were you?" It wasn't really a question.
He looked nervously at Spider, who had whipped out her camera and was taking pictures of the incident.

"I'd like your insurance information and your licence." I said.

He looked cross and rummaged around in his glove compartment.
"You'll be hearing from ICBC. And next time you hit someone's car, do the right thing and leave a note."

Of course, there was very little damage, but the nonchalance he displayed just sent me through the roof. I never did call ICBC. But I liked to think he worried about it for a long time afterwards. (Yeah. Right.)

Example two:
I was actually sitting in my car when the person next to me opened their car door so hard it actually rocked my car when it hit. I honked my horn only to be rewarded with blank and glazed-over expressions by the lot of them.

I got out of my car, walked around to the front passenger side door to have a look at the inch and a half long gouge in the side of my car from the impact. "You just put this gash in my car." I pointed at the obvious damage.


They were elderly and enfeebled. So I took pity on them and didn't persue the matter. But it astounded me that they couldn't be bothered to even look at the damage. Nope, they all just stared at me from inside their car.

Might have been the froth forming at the corners of my mouth that concerned them.

Another example?
No problem.

I was walking back towards my car one fine spring day and there, again, the person parked in front of me backed right up into my car. Watched him do it.
I ran up to the car and banged on the passenger side window. The girl passenger rolled down her window and looked fearful.

"Hey!" I yelled at the driver, "You just banged into my car!"

"Oh. Sorry."

"That's it?" I fumed. "Sorry? You weren't even going to leave a note, were you. F*uck. Just get the f*ck out of here." I don't generally curse at strangers. But when they are so obviously disinterested in their effect on me and my property, I tend to get upset.

Where am I going with this?

Well, again, today. I go back to my car and notice a fresh streak of blue paint gracing my left front bumper.

No note.
Of course.

And while I can't say I'm surprised, I sure am pissed off.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Do you think we're supposed to be up here?

When we were about 20, Kimber and I ventured to Vancouver on the B.C. Ferries.

Making our way around to the front of the ferry along the outside deck, we noted a metal girder running 'round the bow just above our heads.

(I suspect it was for the window washers to stand on and not nosy twenty year old women to clamber on).
Of course, it needed to be inspected. Always interested in climbing on things, I managed to hoist myself up and turned to aid Kimber.
Standing like odd mast heads at the front of the ferry, we turned around and discovered we could also peer in the large dark windows behind us. Imagine how surprised we were when we peeked through and saw a tall, slim man in a tidy blue jacket and hat standing there looking back at us.

His beard trimmed to an inch of it's life and his bearing was royal.
He had Captain written all over him.

We cringed down, but too late. He had seen us. And then he beckoned to us.
Oh no! Images of short planks and bloody thirsty sharks swimming in wait rushed through my head.
I'm not sure what Kimber was thinking, but I suspect it may have sounded something like, "My Dad's going to KILL me!"
We slithered off the metal girder and slunk around the side and looked up the long stairs to what we now realized was the ferry 'command centre'. The captain stood at the top of the stairs looking down on us. Waiting for us. A cat'o'nine tails at the ready.

Up the long stairs we climbed, whispering to each other if it wasn't too late to run away.

"Hi! I'm Captain Rush. So you want to see what the captain's station looks like? Come on in!" He grinned, ushering in the dark room.
"Here's the radar, and at night all of these lights get turned off. And over here is my chair. What do you think?"

"Uh. It's. Really. Interesting." I stammered.
Kimber nodded and looked bewildered as I felt.

I hardly remember anything about the inside of the captain's room...I was so surprised not to get into trouble that all I recall is the darkness of the room, the glow of the radar and the Captain beaming at us.
We scurried out of there right quick, shouting 'Thank you's!" over our shoulders, than fell into a fit of giggles as soon as we rounded the corner.

Honestly, if I got into trouble more often, I wouldn't do those kinds of things!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Who needs enemies?

I awoke this morning feeling ill used and terribly sad.
When I reflected back on the night, I realized that every single dream I had had involved someone criticizing me, or making fun of me and generally questioning my right to be on the planet.
I was reduced to running to my room and sobbing wildly.
One of the dream people even made fun of me for not having any clothes from Costco. (!)

How bloody depressing.

I much prefer the dreams I have that see me eating people after wrecking unbelievable amounts of gory carnage in Safeway.

*sigh* Think I'll go out back and eat worms.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


I've been reading a report put out by the Vancouver Police department about homelessness, mental health issues and addictions.
It's a vicious triumvirate that, when allowed to flourish, is almost impossible to escape from.

Back in the late 80's and through the 90's, the BC government decided to deinstitutionalize a few thousand people and shut down Riverview, an institution built in 1915 to house and care for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled.

The plan was to create several smaller facilities.
Of course, that never happened.

The government quite literally released these troubled people out onto the street without first creating safety nets (or even shoring up the ones that existed) for those who would find themselves out in the wide world, some for the first time in their lives.

Having mental health issues, many of these people were unable to find or keep employment, leading them to dependence on that same government to aid them financially.

The welfare system allows people a monthly starvation payment of just over $800 a month these days; it's barely enough to secure a decent roof over ones head let alone pay for food and (often expensive) medications that so many of them need to remain stable.

Next stop on the way down the pit? Cheap housing. Where do you find that? Vancouver's Eastside, a notoriously evil neighbourhood that's more destitute and drug ridden than anywhere in North America.

It's where Willy Pickton hand-picked his multiple victims.

Next? Well, many people who are mentally ill often lack skills to make and maintain safe friendships, and often have strained relationships with their families due to the difficulty of caring for someone who may not be able to care back. It's a tremendous support system that most people take for granted and when it's not in place or available, has real ramifications on those that lack it.
So who comes to their 'aid' when these people end up in the wasteland of poverty and inadequate housing?

The predators. Drug dealers and pimps are very eager to make a quick buck off of people in such a vulnerable state. Many people who are seriously mentally ill find they are not able to afford their prescribed medications (or are simply not capable of continuing their treatment on their own) and turn to 'self-medicating' with (initially) cheaper street drugs and take comfort in the company of their new 'best friend'.

It's estimated that 50% of homeless people suffer from both mental health issues and drug addictions. Many facilities designed to assist those most in need refuse to aid them unless they are drug free.

Vicious, no?

I read somewhere that a society can be judged by how it treats it's weakest members.
If that is true, then it can be said that Canada is a deplorable country, allowing it's most vulnerable to perish in the streets, either by drugs, suicide or at the hands of predators.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

It's all about MEME!

Two names you go by ~ Tai and Laurie. Tai (pronounced 'TAY') has been my name since I was about 12. It's really lucky when you get to pick your own name and it sticks.
Laurie is my other name.
Tai might be considered my alter ego. It's always Tai who gets the speeding tickets and in trouble with 'the man'.
Laurie's the one who goes to work everyday and brings home the bacon. Looking closely at this arrangement, one would suspect Laurie would get tired of having to pay for all those speeding tickets. But there ARE benefits. Tai gets free trips, new cars and adventures that could never happen to anyone else, and naturally, Laurie gets to go along for the ride.

Two things you are wearing right now ~ Two pairs of socks. One pair black, the other, white. It is VERY cold in my house.

Two things you would want (or have) in a relationship ~ Free trips. New cars. I'm kidding. Mischief and laughter.

Two of your favorite things to do ~ Reading and dining out. They go remarkably well together.

Two things you want very badly at the moment ~ An open ended plane ticket and enough money to travel in style. It's not too much to ask!

Two pets you had/have ~ Bentley. My gorgeous old gentleman cat. I still miss him. And Wen. Pol and I decided to have pet mice, so we each got one. Wen, and Doubt. But Doubt was a bit vicious and liked to bite, so we traded her in for Mousameeque (my own spelling...I wonder if Pol spelled her name the same way!).

Two people you think will fill this out ~ Who ever would like too! Mostly everyone already has done this...I'm so behind.

Two things that you did last night ~ Went for dinner with a friend of mine and ate oysters, both raw AND cooked and read a travel book.

Two things you ate today ~ Bacon. (The bacon Laurie brings home!) And a fruit muffin for breakfast.

Two things you’re doing tomorrow ~ ooooh, I'm going to WORK! And then I'm going to do my volunteer shift at the local crisis centre.

Two longest car rides ~ From Courtenay to Lake Tahoe in a truck. I would climb through tiny window to get to the back of the truck at 80 mph just to feel the Nevada sunshine on my face. Now THAT was fun. And from Banff, Alberta back to Courtenay.

Two favorite holidays ~ Halloween and...and...I guess I don't really get a kick out of holidays, but I sure do like the time off!

Two favorite beverages ~ Wine. Red AND white.

Two people no longer alive who you’d like to talk to ~ Well, I'd like to talk to my Grandmother again. We got along very well, but we never really 'talked'. She was very 'old school' and I don't think she thought an 18 year old kid was really set for conversation. I'd also like to talk with Richard Feynman. He was a quantum physicist and Noble prize winner. His books are so filled with life and laughter it seems to me that he would be a truly amazing person to sit and speak too.
In a strip club.
Drinking pop.
'Cus that's what he liked to do.
*The pictures are from Spider, Pol, Jeff (our personal photographer and Spider's dear husband) and my trip to Italy last year. The first and last picture are from the Cinque Terre and the mask in the centre I found in Venice.
In the first picture, I ordered to much food. The last picture is the 3 of us hiking the Cinque Terre trail between villages.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Wash your own cups.

"I'm going to ask you a question." She wandered over to my desk. "Just out of morbid curiousity, do you have to wash the doctors' and executives' cups?"

"No, not here." I replied, "But I've had to do things like that other places."

"Well, I think I came up with a good plan. I washed the floor with an old rag and then used that to clean out her cup. Guess that'll be the end of that!"

She did WHAT?!? Was she serious? I couldn't quite tell, but she seemed a little too pleased with herself.

She didn't say she was thinking about doing that, or thought it might be funy, oh no.
That sentence definately spoken in a past tense sort of way.

Several thoughts popped into my head after that bizarre converstion.
Like, why would she tell me that?

And why not just tell the woman, who's cup she soiled, that it wasn't her job to clean cups? Or perhaps put a sign up at the sink for people to wash their own used mugs?

And how would the woman whose cup was treated so poorly KNOW that had occured unless the dirty swill was left in the cup?
That kind of thing could go on for years, if left unchecked. What next? A quick rinse in the toilet?

Talk about passive aggressive.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


There's something really lovely about a friend who is coming to visit you for a weekend. There's even something better when she says, "And I'm bringing a little present for you, too."

Let me give you some history. Spidergirl (and Kimber and Pol, of course!) and I have been friends since we were 11.

When I was about 12 I discovered, sadly, that my profession of choice was no longer a viable option in this day and age.
Instead, I would have to get a regular kind of job. A kind of job that didn't highlight cutlass and pistol proficiencies in it's requirements. And pillaging was certainly no longer a sought after 'skill set' on the modern 9-5 market.

Yeah, I wanted to be a pirate.
Never mind that I couldn't abide 'roughing' it. Never mind I didn't know how to operate a flintlock or batten a hatch. Ignore the fact I couldn't swim.
I was willing to learn. And I never get sea sick.

So fast forward 24 years to this weekend, when Spider came to visit with a present.

You know, this present was spectacular. It was a handmade representation (complete with gold glitter and button Kraken eyes) of me and my age old dream.

But it wasn't just the present, you know, that made me cry when I received it. There was this whole other feeling that struck me. It was the idea that my dear friend truly knows me. Knows me that well (and still loves me!).
That my friend remembered and wanted to celebrate that 12 year old kid who never got to be a pirate.
And she's not the only one!
Last year Pol surprised me, too.

She said she saw this and HAD to buy it, 'cus it reminded her of me.

How'd I get so lucky?