It’s Not The Heat, It’s The Stupidity.

The problem with the heat is it makes me dumb.  I’m serious. I’ve lost maybe 30 IQ points at times, and let me tell you, I am missing my brain.

On Tuesday, Dave at Tremblay asked me, “So you want this Mazda 3 now?” And I could not tell him the answer. I was like,  Do I? Do I have time? Where is Kits Beach from here? What does it look like?

Today, driving to Arwen’s fantastic new house, I forgot where Cambie Street was. Um. Cambie is a main artery in this city. You don’t just misplace something like that.

Also, I forgot how to spell ‘Horseshoe’. It looked weird, and then there were too many esses. I just froze. In front of another ESL teacher as well. I felt like an idiot.

Another symptom of the dumb: This morning I woke up and thought I was going to keep on digging the drainage ditch I’m digging in my backyard.  Um, no. I knew how hot it was yesterday. I knew how hot it was going to be today. Why did I think that digging in the backyard would be a good thing to do?

I know Vancouverites whinge a lot about the weather, and we shouldn’t complain. But I am a little worried. If the whole city is experiencing the heat-induced stupidity that I am, there are bound to be problems.

Oooh, That Smell…

Or rather, those smells.

I always forget how Vancouver starts to smell when it gets hot out. And not a lot of those smells are pretty, either.

Tremblay’s parking lot is today’s worst offender. It smells like a combination of old urine, socks, fish, and warm cheese. Believe me, I could have done without that smell.

The land around the Jaguar dealership, unaccountably, smells like hot fried cornmeal, but cornmeal that has gone off slightly.

Most of Downtown smells like stale urine.

4th Avenue smells like garbage that’s been festering awhile.

Me? I smell like sweat. Also not delightful.

Random Roundup

It’s one of those days. There’s stuff to be done, but I’m not doing it. Well, I did some of it.  I cleaned the catbox and did the dishes and marked all the book reports. I made a list of things to do.  I didn’t add ‘paint my toenails’ because they are still okay, at least from far away.

I’m making a new purse, because, again, purse manufacturers  do not share my vision. Or the purses cost too much. Or don’t have enough pockets. Or scream, “I am a rampant hippie and I knit my own yoghurt!”  Or they’re adorable, not too expensive, and I will totally wreck them in a week because I am hard on purses.

Making the new purse is not going very fast because Baxter keeps sleeping on it. But if I wake him up to work on it, he attacks the boxes I put on the shelf under the coffee table that are going to be my clutter-out-of-sight boxes. He scratches the lids off and then takes the stuff out. So in the name of peace, I am letting him sleep until he goes somewhere else to sleep.

On Friday a homeless man helped me change a tire on a car. I gave him all my change because, although I can change a tire myself, it involves me standing on the lug nut wrench lever thingie (I ought to know what that is called) and jumping in a sort of crouching hop, while trying not to fall off, in order to loosen the lug nuts. I just didn’t feel very hoppy that day.

Also on Friday I had to explain racism to a biracial child. It felt surreal. But it was also very cool that the kid has apparently not experienced any racism in his life. I like that.

Yesterday’s marathon thunderstorm was really spectacular. Thanks, Mother Nature! But when E came in from Virginfest (dumbest name for a concert event ever, methinks) he was still very damp. Also, full of frustration, because you can’t put a stadium-sized show on in a smaller venue without screwing everything up. Like having stuff fall off the stage, because the stage is too small for all the backline some of the acts have.

I was stupidly excited because I am almost caught up in Season Two of True Blood and could watch the episode tonight and be au courant. Then I remembered we don’t get HBO. Boo.

I am not looking forward to being the first out of the yard tomorrow morning, because it means I will have to do the spider run. Those little orange, striped garden spiders LOVE our yard because there are so many places to put webs. Including across the paths, and then I have to creep out with a stick and undo all their hard work because otherwise I am festooned in spiders and webs. Good thing that kind of spider doesn’t yuck me out as much as the house spiders.

Okay. I think that’s it for now. I am going to go get Baxter some new cat grass, wich may bestir him to get off my purse. Or not.  You never know.

Today’s Plan.

Okay.  So the Olympics are coming. I can’t stop that. Also, all the Mazda MPVs belonging to the Co-Op are conking out. The catalyitc converters are going. The Broadway Skytrain cargo van belched out sweet-smelling steam when I drove it last week.

“Sam,” I asked, “When steam smells sweet, it’s a radiator problem, right?”

“Right. Is the heating gauge redlining?”

“Not yet.”

“You’d better bring it back.”

I love the MPVs.  Don’t get me wrong. But if the repairs cost more than they’re worth, we need to have another plan.

Here’s my plan: Gut them. Install small chemical toilets and tiers for bunk beds.

Rent them as cheap condos for the Olympics.

Hey, presto! A way to profit from our loss, and a way for tourists who are not millionaires to find a place to sleep during the games.

Dinner for Jim’s Mom.

Last night a bunch of us convened over at Jim’s house for dinner.  Jim has the most wonderful kitchen for cooking, and is a master barbecue artist, so with minimal fuss, Sandii, Simon, Jim and I were able to feed our friends steak, salmon with creamy dill sauce, rosemary-garlic mashed potatoes, Caesar salad, buns, dips and Pita, brie and pate. It was pretty damn good.

It’s just a pity that the guest of honour, Jim’s mom, was too tired to stay up for dinner. That’s because the REAL story  happened early yesterday morning.

About one-thirty in the morning, Jim was on the couch, thinking about taking his dog for a last walk around the block. Suddenly, the dog starts going mental, barking at the front door. Then the doorbell rings.

Jim opens the door to find a young man with pinpoint pupils on his front step, standing there completely naked!

The guy asks if he can borrow a cup of sugar. Jim tells him to get the hell off his porch and put some goddamn pants on.

The guy leaves.

Jim’s mom, a birdlike seventy-year-old from Old Ontario Money (waterfront Muskoka cottage with acreage, Easter in St. Bart’s) , comes down the stairs, bleary in her chenille bathrobe. Jim assures her that all is well. She goes back upstairs.

Shortly thereafter, Jim is walking the dog outside and sees a police car streak past. They’re obviously looking for the high, naked kid.

At 4:30AM, the doorbell rings again. Dog goes nuts.  Cursing, Jim stumbles to the door to find a young couple, dazed, again, both completely naked! They ask if he’s seen their friend. Jim says he’s probably at the police station, and that they should put clothes on. They thank him politely and leave.

Poor Jim’s mom, who probably thinks he lives in a crack zone, comes down again. He explains what’s happened and she goes back to bed. However, she’s understandably a little perturbed and doesn’t really go back to sleep.

By the time 7PM rolled around last night, she was done, as would be many 70-somethings.  But she had a good sampling of all the food for lunch and pronounced it all just lovely.

And no more tweaking, naked people have showed up at Jim’s,  so order reigns again. The whole episode will simply become a very good anecdote for the ladies in Jim’s mom’s bridge club.


People have a lot of theories about why cats bring their people dead animals: The cats want us to know how fierce they are, or else they love us and bring us proof of their love.  Some people even say the cats  are trying to feed us like they would feed kittens.

To these theories, I say, no.  I know this because one of the upstairs cats has just deposited a warm, dead rat in front of our door.  Do they want us to know they are fierce? Do they love us, Rocket and Spot from upstairs? No.  Spot likes us to scratch her, but Rocket runs away.  Neither do they want to feed us. We are random primates. Why reciprocate? We are not their people.

This is the second gift-rat in two weeks. Anyone know what is going on in the brains of the upstairs cats?

Confucius Says


One of the things I love about summer is that I get to take some liberties with the lesson plans. I have a class of four who are learning about important historical figures, and today we studied Confucius.

They were confused at first, that I wanted them to create pictures that were not tracings or copies of pictures in the book. Luckily, three of the four do love to doodle anyhow, and the last will try anything! So I give you (Clockwise from the top left)  Rag Doll Confucius, Monkey Confucius, Adorable Anime Confucius,  and Michael Jackson Confucius (I don’t see it either).

We all had a good time.

Learning Curve.


I was happy with my P&S. That’s why they call it a point and shoot, right? You point. And shoot.  I got by on the easier settings for macros and whatnot, but I was scared of doing anything manually.

But my ambition got the better of me. It was a lot of little numbers and I knew there was something about ISO and f stop. Aperture? Shutter speed? People knew about these things and I decided I was going to become one of those people. Morgan tells me technical things but I  forget, because I need to know technical things in the bone.

So this afternoon I have been making notes from a book I got at the library, and testing the advice about settings. I took some really dire photos, and some pretty good ones. But I’m learning, and that’s the main thing.

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