No Friday Confessions from me today. My head is full of Rush. It’s like going to confession, is going to a Rush concert, I’ve decided, and I feel all clean and shriven.

Well, the symptoms are obvious: I have Rushitis again. You can’t go to a Rush concert and not get reinfected, just like you can’t go to a Marseillaise brothel and not get the clap. Erm. I don’t know that for sure, actually.

But here’s what I do know: Neil Peart is the best stadium drummer on the planet. If Neil Peart and John Bonham had a love child, I would nanny that child for FREE. Peart’s drum solo last night made me realize, in the words of another concert-goer, “There. You never have to see another drummer.” I really, really don’t.

Also, I quite adore Geddy Lee. I would go so far as to (here it is, Rachel) commit lewd acts with him. He was funny, gnomish, agile, nerdy, hilarious, and goofy. I would probably sleep with him.

And Alex Lifeson? Well, he’s pretty awesome. Okay, he’s super-awesome. He played this little classical piece last night that was so sweet and full of heart, it was like he was yearning for the Serbian countryside of his heritage. And then he turns around and in some slick guitar-tech work and a flash of light, starts shredding like he taught Yngwie Malmsteen how to backcomb his hair.

Also, to the trio of young men just down the row from us: Don’t give up the dream, boys. Your drummer had some serious chops going on on his knees, from what I could see.

What an awesome, awesome night.

You Can Lead A Horticulture…

...but you can’t make her think. (I love Dorothy Parker)

Well, I can get enthusiastic enough to prune, but you can’t make me stop at a sensible time.

In addition to the thriving blackberries, I also have three gigantic, neglected, overgrown bushes: A forsythia, a mock orange, and something with pink flowers. Seriously neglected. Dead wood holds up more dead wood, some twenty feet in the air. So yesterday, I tried my hand at pruning.

I worked HARD. When the ancient pruning shears didn’t work, I started in on the bushes with a hatchet. As a result, I have a pile comprised of about half a tree in my yard.

And this morning I woke up SO sore. It turns out whacking the hell out of bushes the size of trees for three hours is pretty dumb, unless you are a lumberjack. Which I am not, although I wished fervently for a chainsaw several times yesterday. I was so stiff I could hardly write. That’s how stiff.

The depressing part? I’m only about a quarter of the way done.

Friday Confessions.

Oops. I forgot to post. I don’t have any confessions, though. This week I have been preternaturally happy, which always makes my Inner Cynic think I have a fatal disease. Inner Cynic can’t stand the fact that I am smiling at babies and flowers, have a workable plan to pay off my credit card bill, and have finally whined enough that E has been looking at sofa beds, so I can say goodbye to the monstrosity lurking in my living room.

Come to think of it, the Monster Couch deserves its own post. Maybe as a goodbye thing. It certainly has a rich and varied provenance.

Anyone else want to confess, or not?

Spare Room.

I really wish I had a spare room. I mean, we have E’s room, but it is not spare. It is stuffed with guitars, amps, computer stuff, mixing stuff, and other stuff.

I think none of my friends who live locally have spare rooms. We live in much smaller living spaces than the national average. Arwen yearns for another 300 square feet. I know I could use it, for sure.

This is coming up just now because E’s brother and his girlfriend are coming to stay with us. Why? Because they are impoverished grad students, and E’s brother is giving a paper at UBC. Not because they really communicate with E regularly. Because they don’t. E and his brother once went three years without speaking.

But I don’t have anywhere to put them. One can crash on the couch and one can crash on the floor, but I have no spare room bed. Anne of Green Gables would be horrified.

I feel sort of embarrassed by my lack of spare room (35 and you don’t have a place to put guests?? On somebody’s yardstick, you’re a big, fat, zero!) but also ashamed that I feel embarrassed about it (Almost no one has a spare room around here. Single-family residences are divided into duplexes, triplexes or more. Even my landlord doesn’t have a spare room!)

So, with no cash to get a suitable-for-just-being-a-sofa sofa bed, they’ll be sleeping rough chez MonkeyPants. What else am I going to do?

Flailing Wildly.

Here was today’s mission: Go to Simon Fraser University and pick up a car at someplace called the Verdant Building. So simple!


The Verdant Building is in this set of condos east of SFU, where I thought the mountain was too steep to actually build. See, here’s my theory: Learning is dangerous, so they put Vancouver-area universities up mountains or on the edge of the city, practically in the ocean. Because if you’re brave enough for bears, you’re brave enough for Philosophy 101. Apparently.

So I get off the bus and wander around in the woods for 20 minutes, am scolded by squirrels, and finally find the place. The condos look prefab and I don’t see how they’re even sticking on the wild and rainy side of the mountain. But they are, and I’m there. So. I call the Co-op for the access code. Talk to lovely Tom the (I think) South African guy in the office. But the access code he gives me doesn’t work. He hangs up to call security to let me in, and I think, “Christ, here I am wasting their time again. Moron.” I feel like the biggest idiot in the world, because, duh, who is smarter, me or the access gate? Um. The gate, until I tried it enough times so it worked. I called Tom back to let him know, and got the car. But I do fear that the office folk think I’m a bit of a twit.

Sometimes I think the Co-op is going to can me just for being a total chowderhead.

Cloverdale Rodeo

Me And My New Tattoo

Originally uploaded by Liz du Canada

So today I went to a John Mellencamp video. Oh, wait. No. It just felt that way. I was at the Cloverdale Rodeo, where I ate Corn Dogs (plural!) got a fake tattoo, saw a lot of shirtless men with real tattoos, saw some horses, cows, chickens, goats, llamas, alpacas, and donkeys, drank a six-dollar Budweiser, and heard many songs about broken hearts.

The rodeo itself was only part of the day.

The circus was the transit out there. Taking the B line out to Commercial, Sandii, myself, and a whole busload of travelers heard the juicy side of the conversation of a dyed-blond young woman who had a mad crush on a 39-year-old DJ with (apparently) GREAT teeth. After that, we got on the 320 in Surrey and (Sandii saw, I didn’t) a man with a bad dye job wearing an open shirt on the bus, playing with his nipples. On the bus. While children sat next to him.

Oh, yes. Getting out of the neighbourhood is always an education.

Friday Confessions.

This week, I tried to feel less fat. I ate sensibly (not always low fat because that is not sensible) and I made one change to my wardrobe to make me feel better.

I bought a cowboy hat. I have to say, it’s pretty much excellent. It’s not so much about feeling skinny as feeling sassy. A woman in a cowboy hat (I am experiencing) is less about her weight and more about the sass. This, I like.

In addition to putting on the sassy mantle, I was also a little sneaky at work. See, we’re bringing in some standardized vocab workbooks, for kids with a reading level of Grade 2 and up. But some of my kids are middle-school (and even high school) aged, and not reading at a high enough level for the books. But I grabbed the books for them anyway, because I think it’s going to make them feel more confident and prouder of their English levels if they have the books, and can use them to talk with me about words and definitions. The boss says the vocab books are for words the kids find in the reading books. Me, I say to the kids, put whatever words you want on those pages. I’m here to help you with whatever English struggles you have.

Oh, and it was a PMS week. I ate a lot of chocolate and chips. Every war has casualties.

Anyone else?


I woke up late. No, wait. That’s a lie. I woke up on time, and thought, “Oh, just five minutes,” and snuggled back down. And slept for another hour. I blame the rain. There’s nothing so soporific as hearing the dripping of the rain outside and being in a warm, safe, snuggly bed.

So. At 7:45 I catapulted out of bed, ran through the shower, grabbed my umbrella, remembered my book, looked again for my umbrella, couldn’t find it, left without it, and thanked heaven in an absent-minded way that I totally knew where the first car was parked.

I started getting calls from the Co-op right outside my door, and had to run back inside, dodge the cat, get a pen, and write down what David wanted. Mole Hill truck is in the alley north of Davie, behind the apple market. Right. Goddit. Wrote it down. A minute later he calls back. Can I shuffle the cars at Electric Avenue? I’m crouched down in the rain and writing on my sodden paper, propped on my knee. Right. Electric Avenue. Goddit. Smart Car from stall 65 to 67. The M5 in 67 to 68. Okay. Okay. Board the bus clutching sodden paper in my mouth, bus pass and pen in one hand and cell phone in the other.

I totally didn’t know where the first car was. After ten minutes of wandering around in the rain, I finally found it exactly where it was supposed to be. I was looking one block west. Go, me. Get the car. Stop home. Find umbrella where I picked up book. Proceed to Tremblay. My beloved Tremblay Motors crew are chipper, they’ve been at work for almost two hours. I act breezy instead of sodden and zip out downtown.

Electric Avenue cars get shifted and I book over to the alley behind Davie, wondering who else has a legit job skulking in alleys. As I park the truck I wonder for a second. Did I remember deodorant? Um. No. I could continue on my merry and increasingly fragrant way, but I’m in the alley behind John and Arwen’s house. Pull out phone.

Me: Hey John!
John: Hey, what’s up.
Me: Nothing. But I AM going to ask you the strangest question you’re going to hear all month.
John: (unflappably) Okay.
Me: Can I borrow your wife’s deodorant? I’m right outside.
John: (laughs) Okay.

That’s why it’s good to have good friends. With sympathetic husbands, to boot.

Mother’s Day Issues

Someone on A&E’s programming team has some Mother issues. Otherwise, why have they decided to show ‘Carrie’, with her batshit crazy Mama, on Mother’s Day?

Seriously, they knew how to do some creepy-ass crazy in the Seventies. And also? Nothing says self-defense like telekinetically skewering your Mama with kitchen implements.

Happy Mother’s Day, all you moms out there.

Friday Confessions.

What, wait. How is it Friday? I was just…Oh. Right. I DID go to belly dancing last night. That makes it Friday today. Where was the rest of the week? I must have been here for it, but it sure went fast.

That brings me to this week’s first confession. I feel like there should be more time. I’m going along, I’m living my life, but shouldn’t there be more time? Time to see friends, time to make phone calls, time to relax and enjoy life. And I don’t even work as much as normal people do!

The other thing is a body thing. You know how there’s a big movement to feel more comfortable with our bodies, more relaxed with the lumps and bumps and whatnot? Well, last night at belly dancing, I just looked in the mirror and I thought, “I’m fat”. F-A-T, fat. Not ‘Hey, good hips,” or “you’d better figure out those arms,” but “God, I am so fat. I’m repulsive.” And I don’t really want to go onto that diet cycle thing wherein I learn that I don’t lose the weight, because I can’t lose the weight. I hate my body from my boobs to my hips, and I don’t even have the willpower to do something about it. Even if I had the willpower for a while, I could not exist in an eternal cycle of splenda and lettuce. I’m resigned to loathing. And I fucking well hate that.

Sorry for the downer. I’m kind of pissed off.

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