Archive for September, 2005|Monthly archive page

Do it again!

Friday, September 30th, 2005

Took the day off work. Primary reason? To be at the first showing of “Serenity”.

From the sounds of blogs and reviews typed furiously all day around North America, I was part of a larger experience: absolute giddiness waiting for it to start, people talking to the characters, common gasps and laughs and “oh”s of horror at particular (shocking if unspoiled) moments, and even tears in geekland.

We cannot wait the long it will be for another movie. And watching all of my Joss DVDs for the sixth time won’t scratch the itch. JOSS – MAKE ANOTHER FRICKIN’ TV PROGRAM, PLEASE!!!

We’re gonna go see it again.

JeanLuc’s generation

Sunday, September 25th, 2005

My friend Sue had to put her cat, Samson, down this past week. He had cancer in his mouth and he was bleeding and couldn’t eat. One to avoid strangers, he was her constant companion on the couch and a cuddlebug in private. And my friend Mel lost her dog, Thor, last month. He died of heart failure. And then Melle sent me to a blog about the loss of Martha – someone’s cat, someone I don’t know.

Samson was only 14; Thor as well.

JeanLuc is 13 now, and having diabetes is probably going to affect how long he’ll be with me. He has problems keeping food down from time to time, which is a terror every time – since his system is such a delicate balance of protein, carbs and insulin levels.

I don’t think I can articulate the absolute sense of connection I feel when we curl up on the couch for a nap. He loves spooning; it’s his preferred place to sleep. And spooning with a 17-pound cat (formerly 21 pounds) is substantial. He stretches from my arms down to my knees. I can hear him purr, feel his fur, know that he’s in a deep sleep that embodies contentment and security.

I can’t do justice to the “discussions” we have about just about everything. He’s salty. He likes to swear. He’s pretty sure that all humans entering the house, including workmen with power tools, require his close personal supervision. He likes to pounce on the head of any man who dares to sit on my couch. He’s been the best therapy and best of friends through any number of life wrinkles.

When I go away, I think about him constantly. Will he be okay? Will he go into hypoglycemic shock? Hyperglycemic shock?

Yes, I live alone. Yes, I live the sterotype: single woman + cat = crazy.

BUT, I don’t think of myself as his mother. I think of myself as his friend, because we are equal partners in this relationship.

I’m going to start telling him he’s really only 7. He’s got many years to go… (please)

Coffee, warm oven bagels, spices, herbs and manure!

Saturday, September 24th, 2005

It’s a good start to the day to go to the Market with a friend. I picked up some coffee at City Cafe (supporting some fair trade along the way) before we headed over. That place is a jewel. Its bewitching aromas of fire-baked bagels and hot apple tarts made me so mellow that I was charmingly nice to the elderly patrons one finds there at 7am on a Saturday.

The Market was pleasantly busy, and we enjoyed a wander among the stalls. The peppers were ready with a myriad of colour to draw us in. The corn was plump and a sweet Fall yellow. And the hardy mums brought beautiful russets to the mix (on balance with the gourds and pumpkins in profusion).

In the air was the smell of fresh basil mixed with spiced lamb, new cider, ripe fruit and fresh manure.

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When I got home, I made some great scrambled eggs, then enjoyed another coffee with my morning paper on the porch – crisp air and dappled sun. Sigh.

It’s the kind of day when I wish I had a country lane for a long, meandering, contemplative walk.

The “I’m not having that life event” party

Saturday, September 17th, 2005

From time to time, I entertain the idea of having a “No Life Events” party, whereby my friends and loved ones can give me gifts in celebration of my non-marriage, non-children, non-children graduation, non-anniversary… . Carrie Bradshaw registered for a pair of shoes; I think I’d register for some really nice Denby, a wine fridge, gift certificates at the Depot, kitchen doo-dads (but wouldn’t use them), maybe even some furniture. And/or I could have a shower: lingerie, plush towels, self-indulgent bath accessories.

I love my friends. But it does seem rather unfair that single people go through life giving gifts for all sorts of occasions for which the kharmic wheel will never spin ’round to them. Of course, gift-giving is selfless or, on the other hand, totemic to our consumer culture. Life milestone? Gimme! Gimme!

When I turned 21, my Grannie gave me a big brass key – something she found at a garage sale, I have no doubt. About as much as she could afford, month to month.

She said that it was a Scottish tradition to give a key “to the house” to someone when they reach “adulthood” – to be given permission to come and go as one pleases and to stay out as late one likes. Interestingly, the tradition is attached to young MEN coming of age. I wonder if she knew that?

Purposefully subversive or no, it was a good gift.

Dappled sun

Saturday, September 10th, 2005

I have a great set of windows in my front room. When I’m sitting on the couch, I have a view of dappled sun on tree branches. And these windows are original to the house, so they have a certain wavy nature to them that refracts the light in interesting patterns.

No matter what’s going on, no matter what new rant-worthy news is on TV, I have that dappled sun. And it’s good.

What is slouching this way?

Saturday, September 3rd, 2005

Since the turn of the century, we’ve had our share of disturbing events – 9/11, the Tsunami, Iraq, Afghanistan, genocides, London…. Each time, it feels like a blow to the head, or a kick to the gut, and we get more serious for a while, vow to give more time to charity, to be a better person, wonder at the craziness of it all; then slowly work our way back to our comfortable if voracious existence complete with pop culture, lots of ‘stuff’, and maybe not so much on the good works.

But Katrina is whacking me upside the head in a whole other way.

Take One: Dystopia, Apocalypse = America

No coincidence that sockmonkey and I would both have “Slouching Towards Bethlehem” in our heads this week. At various times I’ve talked about…

- The looters in New Orleans are like Americans with their skin ripped off – the revealed greedy spirit underneath – unfortunately, that’s a ‘prototype’ of them for me.
- In other disasters (think Asia), we saw poor people giving other people everything to share, including their last bit of food; in America, the “epitome of civilization” as they would have it, we’re hearing about people being raped, people stealing guns and shooting at rescue helicopters, toxic fires that are out of control, looters going after big screen TVs and stealing bread and water from old people.
- Right-wing religious nuts (that may be a redundant phrase) touting Katrina as God’s wrath for licentious behaviour, being friendly to the “gays” and letting women terminate pregnancies.

See http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20050902/STORMPSYCHOLOGY02/TPInternational

Take Two: Piss On the People, Piss On the Land

- North America and China like their gas. In Canada, we’ve seen jumps of as much as 20 cents per LITRE, even though about 90% of our gas is produced domestically and has NOTHING to do with American gas reserves. Our governments (provincial and federal) should get enough in tax grabs to build the best health care system the world has ever seen, but that won’t happen.
- Images of people in Florida and Louisiana waiting in line for hours for basic survival supplies, like WATER, in their SUVs, with the motor running!
- Katrina was a fluke, of course, and had nothing to do with global warming (see nuts above) and we should continue to use gas and other non-renewable resources as we see fit.
- This IS racial. No need to adjust your television because most of the people stranded in New Orleans are black, and poor. It’s all good though, right? I mean, most of the rich white people got out okay…
- Here come the higher prices: starts with gas; moves to travel, and food (due to transport costs), and fresh water, and lumber, and… . Inflation remains low, with related compensation increases. Rich gettin’ richer (and which family in the US makes money on oil and gas reserves, um, I think the name is “Bush”) and poor definitely gettin’ poorer, and those of us in the middle losing ground.
- Totally makes sense to rebuild New Orleans right where it is, below sea level, on a freakin’ swamp, with only a levee to protect it. Cuz, you know, what are the chances?

Flash forward to the future and which fork will we take? Will we suddenly start making wiser, more future-thinking decisions? Or will we have a blast killing off this phase of existence on planet Earth? I mean, we’re way past 1999 anyway.

Take Three: George W. is Right!

America is at a turning point and CNN doesn’t know it. The conditions are ripe for the far right, the religinuts and the military to impose their will on the American people. And the people may take it – for a while.

- It’s already come out that $700 million was diverted from FEMA to Homeland Security, which is part of the reason that help has been slow to be organized. Yet its citizens don’t seem to concerned that “help” has been replaced with privacy restrictions, security and a big, bad DOMESTIC war chest.
- As quoted more than once, many Americans feel that what’s happened in New Orleans shows us why we need MORE GUNS. To protect ourselves from the gun-toting looters, of course.
- In the comforting words of the Louisiana governor, the military are moving in, they have M-16s, and they are “locked and loaded”!! Oh, and we’re here to help!

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In the end, I cry for what has been revealed about human behaviour, I worry about the largescale implications (the ripple has started here – mark the calendar), I fantasize that America is just a fucked-up island that can implode into its own crater without much lateral damage, I pity the life of the poor American, I hope that there’s another way and that we decide to take it.