Day 1000

I have taken (at least) a photo a day for the last 1000 days. Mostly more, since this is still a big learning curve for me, and I almost never get the shot I want right out of the gate. What I am also learning, is, that’s true for most photographers, today.

I am lucky to live in the digital age. I can take 137 pictures of bees, or leaves, or toddlers, and one is going to be good enough for what I was thinking of, once I’ve uploaded and edited. This is exactly the right time for how I work, which is to see the picture in my mind, and edit to suit, crop, nudge up some colour, whatever it takes. Or, as is sometimes the case, randomly snapping in the hopes that something will catch my eye once I have a bunch of shots.

I couldn’t have done this without my Photo-a-day folks, either. I know there are a lot of groups like ours on Flickr, but I feel that ours is one of the special ones. I have come to know some really cool people through their photos. Many of us have never met many of the other members (me most of all because I am the only Canadian in a pool of UK and some US peeps) and yet we still can see and, in a way, participate in one another’s lives.

I call it Flickrstalking. It’s seeing a cool hat and wondering how Lindsay’s millinery is going. It’s breaking an egg and wondering how Bena’s new hen is settling into the backyard coop. It’s knowing that Jo gets back from hiking in Turkey on Tuesday, and making a note to check in on her photostream. Knowing Winkle ran another half-marathon today. Lily’s class went into the forest to look for lichens. In return, they have little windows in my life: E, Bax, the cars, the pictures students draw, family and friends and things I notice. A thousand pictures later, I have shared quite a lot in Photo-a-day.

When I first started this in January of 2008, I doubted I would last a year. I am not so good at sticking with things. But having seen myself reach Day 1000, I have to say, bring on Day 2000. This is part of who I am, now.

Peter and Katherine Get Married

Yesterday I went to the most wonderful wedding. Morgan’s little sister Katherine, the nicest girl I have ever met, got married to Peter, the nicest boy I have ever met.

Inner Cynic didn’t even make it out of the gate with this one.

The ceremony was at the Lutheran church, but it wasn’t a Lutheran ceremony. Instead, the officiant said lovely things about each of them, about Katherine’s commitment and her attention to the minutiae, and Peter’s concentration in his music and in his attention to daily life, and then they said their vows, which were simple and lovely.

The reception was at the Polish Community Center. Potluck, and such gorgeous food. Tara, Morgan’s wife, made the cake, and iced and assembled it on site, which was pure magic to watch.

The thing about Tara is, she’s a Kitchen Goddess. When she steps into a kitchen, she is automatically the boss. She doesn’t do anything to displace anyone, she just naturally becomes the boss of any kitchen she enters. It’s like she’s air and anything else is water: She rises to the top.

Tara iced the cake, and I helped, and the wait staff were watching in awe as T balanced the cake layers one on top of the other. It was a triumph!

The reception was wonderful, and because the waitstaff was so awesome, I got to eat a bunch of amazing food, including the most amazing spring rolls. I brought them cake and other desserts, and we had a grand old time in the kitchen

It was a hell of a fab wedding. Congratulations, Peter and Katherine!

Global Environmental Fail

There I was, innocently watching TV, and the commercial came on:

Kleenex bathroom hand wipes: Clearly marketed as an alternative to hand towels.

It took about 10 seconds, and then I was yelling. “Fuck you, Kleenex! Fuck you for using the fear of germs to kill more trees!”

Here it is, I thought. Here’s how, despite the Comfortable Western World trying hard to go gentle on resources, Kleenex will get people using more primary resources. And, fuck it, people are scared of germs. They will believe that using paper towels (which these are) will protect them from disease. Sorry, trees. Humans need to feel safe. Sorry, Green Movement.

But then (and I have been thinking about this for awhile) who really buys into the concept of ‘green’? Middle and upper class folks from first world countries. People with the choice, because we have the money.

People who have to count every penny are not going to buy paper towels for their bathrooms, in Arkansas, Anatolia, or wherever. They have towels that work fine. Poor people all over the world are probably not going to buy disposable bathroom hand towels.

In addition, think of the people who work in factories in China or India. Many of them work just to get the money to live. How much do they care how their dollars help the environment? How much do they care that their work may harm the environment? Not a lot, because they can live, from month to month. Recycling? No. Eco-sourcing? None of that, either.

Over the entire world, all the people, how many of us are consciously doing things to help the planet live? It strikes me that it is only, really, the privileged few, and the other (sometimes very poor) few, whose lives are so local that they do not rely on very much other from outside their worldview.

We who have the choice are such a small percentage. How are we to save the planet?

Greek Myth Nerd.

A while ago, I was sitting at the Fringe marking book reports and Simon started talking about Gods of War. While I do not play video games (poor hand-eye coordination and the attention span of a three-year-old), I had heard of this one, which is pretty remarkable.

Will and Craig and Dalton picked up on it and they started trying to name all the gods in the game, but they were getting their Greek and Roman gods mixed up. “Who’s Jupiter?” asked Will. “Zeus”, I said, not looking up.
“Yeah, and then there’s Mercury. That’s um. The sea guy.”
“Sea guy is Poseidon, Neptune to the Romans. Mercury’s Hermes. Mercury. Quicksliver. Hermes was quick.”
Will laughed. “We have an expert!”

They kept talking and trying to match all the Greek and Roman names. I held back and did not write up a handy comparison chart, but I did keep correcting them. I’m a Greek Myth Nerd, and I embrace it.

So imagine my delight when my Doc Marten Mary Janes came in the mail for me (Thanks,!) and I noticed that the style is called ‘Athena’. Perfect.

Athena has always been my favourite. From the time I was seven, she has been a role model of mine. Kind of a supernatural Godmother.

One thing that I admire is that she is kind, the kindest of the big goddesses. Except for that incident with Arachne. Really, that business annoyed me. Sure, the girl was vain and full of herself, but lots of people are. Let her think she’s better than you, I used to think. You know the truth. But other than turning a girl into a spider, Athena isn’t really mean. She helps Odysseus, she gives the gift of the olive tree, she teaches skills to help improve life. She’s thinking about how to help.

In contrast, Hera’s always turning other women into animals in retribution for banging Zeus, and flying into jealous rages. What does she expect? He’ll turn himself into a bull or swan for a little mortal booty. Zeus can’t keep it in his pants. For someone who’s a general women-and-home goddess, she sure brings the hate to other women.

Aphrodite is needlessly cruel as well. She’s married to Hephaestus, who loves her and makes her fabulous jewelry, but she’s discontent because he has bum legs and so she is always sloping off with Ares, who is handsome, but a stupid, cowardly bully. That’s not love, Goddess of Love. That’s cruel and short-sighted. That always made Aphrodite pretty dumb, in my eyes.

Artemis might be the cruelest. She turns a guy into a stag and his own hounds tear him apart, just because he accidentally catches a glimpse of her bathing. If I turned all the guys who have seen me naked into deer, I would be eating venison steaks every night. Moonlight and wilderness are all very well, but Artemis lacks any real feelings.

Athena’s mine, for sure. She’s in charge of all the best stuff, too: Wisdom, justifiable warfare (with an emphasis on strategy, not gore), arts and crafts, and navigation are the big ones.

Sometimes I wonder if she’s my favourite because of some of the things I love, like knowledge, justice, crafts, and travel. But I always come back to the fact that she’s kind and just. Not a bad role model.

And now I’m walking in her shoes.

Ex Encounter

I ran into one of my exes on the bus yesterday. Not the Big Bad one, one of the interim ones. I loved his family. He was ok. Kind of dumb and a bit dull, but not too bad to look at, and he had a nice mom who used to help me with essays.

Thankfully, I looked ok, ie, I remembered to put makeup on and wasn’t covered in pimples. And we really only chatted for a couple of minutes, because I had to get off the bus. I didn’t even have time to ask him how he was. Which is just as well, because I don’t care. I know he is married to a healthy-outdoorsy girl. I’d have liked to ask after his mother and brother and sister. But him? Meh.

Heartless? Probably. But if the past is a foreign country, my visa has expired.

Loner Weekend.

E is up at the Squamish Festival. The work’s not too hard, and tomorrow’s the most ridiculous of all: He’s the roadie in charge of the DJ stage. Since those guys control and tune and set up all their own gear, his entire job will consist of setting out and pulling in power cables.

But if he’s there, I’m down here, and it is so weird not to factor him into the equation of my day. I don’t have to wait for the shower, or hurry out of it. I know Bax is going to get fed as many times as I feed him and can’t gobble everything and pretend to be starving for someone else. If I want to eat steak and potato chips at 9PM and call it dinner, no one else cares or is too hungry to wait.

On the one hand, I love having my own agenda and doing what I want, when I want. On the other hand, I miss E beside me on the couch. I miss discussions about dinner.

Mostly, though, I miss half-waking in the night, and hearing him breathing beside me.

Coast Friday

Ok, my hard drive exploded, so I have been dealing with the aftermath of that. However, what I really want to say is: Vacations Are Good.

Heading upcoast last Friday to the property JP takes care of, Sandii called to make sure he was at the property. Turns out, not.

She turned to me. “We have to get off at another stop. There’s a path down through the woods to the back of the legion. They’re at the legion.”

OK. Wait. Now we have to get off the bus where we don’t know where we are and then walk through a forest we don’t know to a destination we’re not sure we know where it is?


No kidding. You can’t get lost on the Sunshine Coast. It’s too small. Just walk downhill awhile and you’ll come to a landmark or someone to give you directions. Walking through the woods, my biggest concern was gauging the ripeness of the blackberries on the trail. “There’s lots here,” I told Sandii. “I think there will be a lot on the property.”

When we got to the legion, JP told us the plan: We’re going to have a couple beers and then go to Jeff’s birthday, down at Browning Beach.

I’m thinking, Who’s Jeff? We don’t have presents. Or cake. Or a passing acquaintance with Jeff.

It turns out, upcoast, that doesn’t matter.

We ended up on a glorious beach, watching the sunset and listening to casual live music from guys with guitars and drums. It didn’t matter that we’d never met them before.

That’s the thing about upcoast. You end up making friends.

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