Friday Confessions.

It’s been a week. The highlight: Making Richer Than God. When it’s ready, someone’s got to tell me how to link it or embed it. Because, damn, that was fun. Even more fun was the repeated conversation:

“How was your weekend?”

“Awesome! I got together with friends and made a movie about the economy using Barbies and Star Wars figures!”


However, I did kind of bring the meanie to the table this week. I told my landlord that I thought the guy who ‘fixed’ the heat vent did an appalling job. And I did so with passion in my voice. Honestly, it was complete Amateur Hour, screws awry and leaky seals. It squealed so badly when the heat came on that I duct-taped it up and had a good cry. “We have a nice place,” I said to my landlord. “We don’t want to gum it up with ugly stuff. This is appalling. Ghastly.” So now I am going to try to put covers on the thing myself. With dust filters, if I can get them. And I am charging my landlord, because he told me to. Also, I took the appalling vent off last night so I could take it to get the right sized new one, and had hot, dusty air blown in my face the moment the heating came on. I may be bitchier than necessary today.

Also, I told the boss I didn’t want to take a shift tomorrow. It’s my birthday and I don’t want to work on my birthday. Actually, I would quite like to go shopping for heat vents. Jesus. Apparently, I am middle-aged.

But I did sneak Max, the dog at Tremblay Motors, a slice of pepperoni from my pizza. Bitchy and middle aged? Apparently yes. Immune to Dog Stare? Not yet.

How about all of you?

The Line.

So Morgan and I were talking the other day about this and that and I mentioned in passing that if I were drinking thousand-dollar-a-glass wine, I should be doing more for charity.

Morgan, who, if he were a superhero, would be called Captain Moral Relativity, pointed out that there’s no limit for that kind of thinking. “What about your rent? You could move to White Rock and pay for the food, education, and medicine for a family in Africa with the difference,” he pointed out. “Or how much wine do you drink a week? You could stop drinking wine and feed a family in Guatemala.”

Okay, while those are extremes (to my mind, anyway. Terminal Sobriety in White Rock? I could also kill myself and donate myself to a sausage factory), it made me think.

“There’s no line,” Morgan said. “There’s no line in the sand.” And he’s right. There’s no set value for how much well-off folks do for those well off than them.

“We have to draw our own line,” I said. “It’s up to us. Individually.”

I would not move to White Rock for those Africans or Guatemalans. Not unless I’d met them. But I will give disposable income that’s not being used for rent or food or wine to charities that will help them. I will live without a car for the good of the planet, but I won’t sabotage other people’s cars. I will choose low-carbon-footprint options for food, but I won’t live without electricity if I can help it.

That makes me a little bit sad. Every year, my youthful idealism slips, just a little. I am afraid that one of these years I’m going to look down and see it on the floor, and not bother picking it up.

Flip and Toss

Oh, there will be another couple of days of blue sky, but I’ve been shivery in the evenings, particularly coming down from UBC, and car jockeying in the mornings, so today I took the plunge and put away my summer clothes and brought out the winter ones. “Well, this is really kind of a shoulder season item,” I told the cat, who was supervising and trying to sleep on everything I was moving. “But I don’t think I’m going to wear it again this year.” And into the suitcase it went.

Things that didn’t go into the suitcase or out to be worn went to the thrift store. I love giving things to the thrift store. It makes me feel light. Absolved, even. Here’s my stuff, Thrift Store. Sell my uncomfortable jeans to someone who needs them. Give the money to Easter Seals. Here are some shoes that never quite fit. Let the SPCA benefit. Here’s a shower head hangy thing for shampoo bottles. Let it transmute into money for a homeless shelter.

And now I have that tidy, squared-away-for-winter feeling. I have scarves to choose from, gloves aplenty, and hats a-go-go. I may not be hanging hams from the rafters, but I’ve done my Winter Prep ritual, and I feel good for it.

Mental Floss

By the time the fifth class was over yesterday, I was done. Five classes is too long. The 6:30 Friday kids are burnt out, little or big. Everyone else’s weekend already started. It’s like extra-cruel detention.

Luckily for them, their teacher (me) is not up to much by then. Want to do some grammar? Okay. Want to have a riveting conversation about sharks? Okay too. My mind, she is a-wandering. Not so focused or productive.

So I walked up to Broadway to have a glass of wine and see how Tom’s plans are progressing to turn The Fringe into Moe’s from The Simpsons for Halloween. Turns out, everything is coming together well.

Then I ran into Jane. Jane was a party buddy back when E played in a rock band that had songs like “Booty Call”. Now Jane is a dental hygiene student. She said she could get me a $250 toothbrush for $69. I was not sold. Because that’s too much for a toothbrush, no matter how gimmicky. But we did have a conversation about tooth brushing and oral care in general. And then I came home and sat on the couch until it was time for bed. Because I realized that if I can go to a bar and get engrossed in a conversation about oral hygiene, I am probably too dull to actually interact with other people. At least, anyone not involved in the dentistry business.

Friday Confessions.

I really need to stretch more after belly dancing. This morning I woke up with my knee bent so that it was the same height as my head. And now my back is bitching at me.

I fear getting old. I fear it for my vanity’s sake, but mostly I fear it for my mobility’s sake. Sometimes I feel age stalking me like a jailer, waiting to take away my ability to walk far, or climb, or dance or bend.

My mother was only ten years older than I am now when she woke up that one morning and could not move her arm. She spent the next eighteen years of her life lying on the floor, or lying on her bed. Oh, she could go to work. She could go on vacation. But she couldn’t ride a bus without going into spasm. She had to rest after grocery shopping. Vacuuming hurt. She spent about 16 hours a day lying down.

She almost always got up to make dinner. I think in her mind that made it okay. In my mind it was not okay. It was not okay at all.

I fear that. I fear the narrowing of my horizons until I consider getting up to make dinner a benchmark of success. And so I stretch and I walk and I dance, keeping immobility at bay.

Sorry, that was a little heavy. Anybody else got a confession?

Three Biographies of Miles Davis/Contentment.

Three different biographies. That’s what E’s parents got him for his birthday. Based on a conversation they had about a poster he had in his room. A poster he had twenty five years ago. E doesn’t read biography. He seldom listens to jazz. Another score for the nutcases!

Other than the fact that my out-laws are hare-brained lunatics, there’s nothing. I’ve just been complaining to Arwen that nothing happens in my life. My students do cute/funny things, or they learn something, and I’m happy about it. I really don’t want this to turn into a Teaching Blog, though.

So here’s a few snapshots of me doing the last couple of days, before the teaching:

Driving cars in the sunshine. Singing along to “High School Confidential”, making eye contact with the guy in the van next to me, and seeing him laugh.

Seeing the maple trees flame red on 12th Ave, against a mackerel sky.

Taking note of a cool new purse on Main Street, and thinking about how to make one.

Watching a young woman chatting on her phone on a bus, watching her laugh.

Walking Max, the giant mutt who belongs to Brad at Tremblay, back to the shop, and seeing construction guys smile at a happy, wag-tail dog.

I’m not blogging my life so much these days. But that’s because there’s nothing to say except it makes me happy to be me. I never thought it would be that easy.

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