30 May 2005

Scattered ...

I've been tagged to blather about books, something I'm always willing to do. It's not going to happen today, though.

Today was the second and final all-day of being lectured in a stifling classroom in the nasty hard school desk. Turns out the guy's a rabid Elvis fan and keeps in touch with the Presley family. How cool is that? I still want to tell him his comb-over's awful, though. We did the written part of the test after the lecture, and I did the driving part of the course Tuesday through Friday, so now I just have to do the road test. I cleverly scheduled my first lesson for rush hour the day after Victoria Day. I explained that I'd driven a (very small) handful of times in the last ten years and not much more before that ... and most of it country driving, to boot. We drove around the block east of my house, then she sent me down Whyte to 75th, out to Millwoods, down the Whitemud (in freakin' rush hour!) to the west end and back to Millwoods to poodle about in the residential areas. My driving instructor is an utter kook. She didn't stop talking the whole time. She called me Honey, Sugar, Sweetie and Babydoll and said she was blown away and she's never had an easier first lesson. Easy for her to say ... I think I chewed my lips off ... twice.

I was down to my last stick of Morning Star and tired of missing the smell of Nag Champa in my house, so I made a trip down to Mars and Venus one day after my lesson. My house smells wonderful!

I practice my bass lesson every day ... okay, most days. Stevie wants twenty minutes a day and I usually end up doing an hour, so I'm trying not to feel too guilty if I miss a day.

Dandelion has commitments a few days a week in Clan Lord (I still have way more fun playing CL than any other game I've tried ... way more). I turned down a pizza and movie with Brandon offer 'cuz Dande had a class to teach and had to admit that I am a geek after all.

Ernie came for his birthday sleep-over this weekend. In no particular order, we went to Mars & Venus on Whyte to find him some clothes on Saturday, then downtown to see The Hitchhiker's Guide, we talked through movies a couple of times at home, he created a character and played some WoW, we ordered from the Melting Pot (ordering food is really cool when you live out in the country and never do that).

Barbara and Anailise drop by for post-lunch snack and pre-nap walk every couple of days. All of a sudden, this week, she's demanding "boobie!" instead of just fussing 'til she gets some. When she didn't get the response she was looking for yesterday, she went fishing down my shirt instead, just like her cousin does!

Barbara is thinking about taking Anailise to see Miles, who's working in Jasper for a couple of weeks. We have plans to have second breakfast together on Tuesday, then I have a play date with Anailise while Barbara packs the car. Tomorrow's plans to see Episode III with Brandon are on hold, so maybe Barbara, the bairn and I will do a grocery run. It's supposed to be nice out, so maybe I'll get the rest of the shelves for the kitchen done, too. Or maybe I'll get the litterboxes done and not do another blessed thing all day!

Circumstances of various stripes (some of which I've encouraged and even authored myself, granted) have conspired to build up a lovely case of sleep deprivation over the course of the week ... details are not mine to tell, but there've been middle-of-the-night distraught calls from someone very dear to me who's in crisis (resulting in my making middle-of-the-night calls to someone else who has trouble sleeping already ... which was excused graciously) ... a late-night visit to a police station* and the downright nasty treatment of another someone very dear to me ... a middle-of-the-night post partum meltdown, etc. It's not been all stressful stuff, though ... there've been other, far more pleasant circumstances conspiring as well.

I talk to Brandon just about daily and we spend time when we can. I occasionally wonder at how easy it is to slip back into each others' lives as though it hadn't been years since we'd seen each other.

Roberta Jane phoned me this week. I find myself thinking about her often, but hadn't realized just how much I miss her 'til I heard her voice on the phone. And now she's working days, so I can phone without worrying about waking her up. Huzzah! Tap-tap, Hon.

Cory's confirmation is this Sunday, so I'm off to the lake with Mona, Pete and the girls on Saturday and we'll go from there. I'm thinking about taking baked tofu for the after-the-confirmation-hanging-about-at-the-house-thingy ... Mona's encouraging me.

I'm feeling pleasantly loopy and quite mushy. I am blessed with a great deal of love in my life, and amazing people with whom to share it, first family, chosen family, and friends. The loopiness has about run out and I'm feeling an enormous nap coming on. Toodles.

*(the second time In my life I've been inside one ... the first was when Dad and I were cleaning out Grandma and Grampa's house and found an old, badly modified gun that had to be disposed of)

Stuff and Nonsense ...

Length of day: 16:32
Hours of dark: 5:50ish
Sunrise: 5:16 am
Sunset: 9:48 pm
Start of twilight: 4:27 am
End of twilight: 10:37 pm

Current weather: Mostly Clear. 21°C (69°F), humidity 26%, wind SSE 25.6 km/h (16 mph.), barometer 30.03 in. Hg.

Tonight.. Clear. Wind SE 20 km/h (12.4 mph). Low 8°C (46°F).
Monday.. Sunny. Wind SSE 20 km/h (12.4 mph). High 26°C (79°F).
Tuesday.. Sunny. Low 7°C (45°F). High 23°C (73°F).
Wednesday.. A mix of sun and cloud. Low 9°C (48°F). High 22°C (72°F).
Thursday.. Cloudy with 60% chance of showers. Low 8°C (46°F). High 19°C (66°F).
Normals for the period.. Low 6°C (43°F). High 20°C (68°F).

23 May 2005

Happy Birthday ...

Mom and I went to the Centennial Kick-off Thingy by ourselves today. It was grey and cold and pissing rain this morning, so Chelsea decided she didn't want to drag Bernie out in it and Barbara decided Anailise probably just wouldn't enjoy it either. We'd figured out the timing with toddlers in mind, so we got there early, climbed way up to row 72 and watched the flurry of last-minute-it's-freaking-raining-buckets set-up. Then we listened to Colin McLean and someone whose name we didn't catch give a brief history of the province and explain what was going to happen in what order during the royal visit, while folx squeegee'd small lakes off the stage and tried to keep a tarp over the birthday cake. We couldn't understand a word of it with the horrific echoes in the sound system, unless we lip-read, but our fingers got too wet and cold holding binoculars for that.

Then we watched all the official folx come in and get set up where they were to do greeting things ... politicians, ambassadors, kids ... then the honour guard and their brass band and the RCMP pipe band and the massed pipe band ... lots of marching and playing and standing perfectly still in the pouring rain ... then the horses! ... we're pretty sure they were Lord Strathcona's Horse Mounted Troop, but we couldn't make it out without lip-reading and we were busy looking at the horses ... in fact, we were so busy looking at the horses and admiring the pairings that we didn't notice until they'd driven through the Avenue of Cultures thingy and onto the grass that Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh had arrived ... good thing we'd already put on our hats when the bands came in (I don't care if it isn't mandatory anymore, or if it's pissing rain, or if we're 72 rows up in the sky, we wore hats ... dresses, too! ... and long johns and wooly socks and rain ponchos and a tie-dyed scarf that ended up looking like a great splodge of kelp on my poncho ... and and and ... ) ... troops were inspected, the cake was cut, folx were greeted, flowers were accepted, all the while looking very chic ... then they finally got her under the canopy and out of the rain for the concert. Michael Carey sang the song that won the contest to become the official song for the centennial, backed by the Black Pioneer Heritage Singers choir ... Jens Lindemann, Tommy Banks and the choir did a piece ... the White Buffalo Dancers and Drummers Society performed ... Ian Tyson did one song from his new album, then they told us that, because of the rain, the rest of the performances would be cancelled and they closed with all of them on the stage doing Four Strong Winds with Ian Tyson. "What's a girl gotta do to see Corby live?" says Mom. We were both very pleased that both Ian Tyson and Corb Lund wore jeans an' they weren't new ... Corby shaved and Tyson took his hat off to bow to Their Majesties ... I figure that's pretty cool. In spite of it being bloody cold and windy and pissing rain and Barbara and Chelsea deciding not to go and the sound system sucking and the concert getting cut short and not getting to see Corby play, we decided we're glad we went and it was still fun.

I'm still waiting to hear back from a few hippies, but I've been too busy this week to panic. Next up in the learning-to-like-cooked-cereal experiment is Scottish Oats ... so far, Sunny Boy's the best of the bunch ... I've about settled on equal parts dry cereal and raisins as the right proportions. I finished watching Episodes IV, V and VI and Brandon lent me his copies of I and II and came over to watch them, too. Tharloch fixed my Tiger/mouse woes, bless his heart. I spent Sunday in a stifling classroom in a nasty hard school desk being lectured by a guy in an incredibly bad comb-over ... it was really hard to stay awake ... Brandon came over to watch a movie Friday night and we were up way late. I'd switched the music lesson to Friday so I could spend the day with Patty, Barbara and Anailise, and Chelsea and Bernie out at Chelsea and Darwin's on Saturday ... we had a great time, but not a lot of sleep. I grabbed a short nap in the eveing, then Brandon came over for a wee dram ... I figured I'd fall down early after that, but I was up late-ish yackin' online 'cuz I was too wound up to sleep.

Sirs (gendernonspecific) Bunrab have been about lots this week:

Stuff and Nonsense ...

Length of day: 16:17
Hours of dark: 6:10ish
Sunrise: 5:23 am
Sunset: 9:40pm
Start of twilight: 4:36 am
End of twilight: 10:27 pm

Current weather: Overcast. 8°C (46°F), humidity 87%, wind WNW 22.4 km/h (14 mph.), barometer 29.9 in. Hg.

Tonight.. Periods of rain. Wind NE 20 km/h (12.4 mph). Low 5°C (41°F).
Tuesday.. Cloudy. 60% chance of showers. Wind NW 20 km/h (12.4 mph). High 14°C (57°F).
Wednesday.. A mix of sun and cloud. Low 5°C (41°F). High 16°C (61°F).
Thursday.. Sunny. Low 3°C (37°F). High 19°C (66°F).
Friday.. Sunny. Low 7°C (45°F). High 21°C (70°F).
Normals for the period.. Low 5°C (41°F). High 19°C (66°F).

15 May 2005

Homework ...

It's getting to be late enough that I'm getting stressed about the crew folx who aren't getting back to me or don't know yet if they can make it.

I'm trying to learn to like cooked cereal. I'll be happy if I can eat it without paying attention, rather than having to focus on not gagging. Enough raisins may do the trick.

I hadn't seen the original StarWars movies since they first came out and I haven't seen Episodes I or II. With Episode III coming out, I was assigned the watching of all five as homework. So, since Video Solutions (the alternative video store with the lovely business plan, close to home) is closed for a while 'til they find a new location, off I went to Alternative Video to get a membership and rent Episodes IV, V and VI. So far, I've watched IV and V (and knit down to partway through the colourful bit on the second of the Rose/Cassandra sweaters). I'll watch VI today or tomorrow, then take them back and rent the other two.

I switched yard clean-up folx, this year. The old ones managed to weed-whack a golden elder and a lilac to death and didn't seem to think that was a problem. The new ones are the folx I hired to look after the walks for a month as a treat for when Billy got back from Miami (so much for that plan). Apparently, they weren't familiar with the type of composter I have, as they unpegged it and lifted it up to mow around it ... dumping all the pre-compost out. Oops. They cleaned it all up and I'm starting fresh. Speaking of Billy, I e-mailed him about his cat and wonder of wonders, he replied (not much of a reply, but he replied).

I installed Tiger and now my mouse doesn't work properly in either CL or WoW. Bah and Humbug. I await new drivers.

I had my first music lesson since I was about eight, yesterday. Stevie is a terrific and patient teacher and just plain fun to hang out with. As an added bonus, I get to hang out with his wife and not-quite-two-year-old, the cat and a coupla dogs. They live in a very cool old house in McCauley with an enclosed front porch. Stevie'd said he has a couple of basses, so I didn't take mine. When we got down to his studio in the basement, he handed be this enormous acoustic bass that came up to my chin and had a body I could have rowed, had I oars. At some point in its life, it'd been rendered fretless. If I can learn to play that behemoth, I can certainly learn to play my l'il 'lectric one. The plan is that I'll be the last lesson of the day when possible and we'll hang out afterwards. Yesterday, he had someone book after me so we puttered about a while before starting, then he installed me on the couch in the porch with a pooch to practice while he had his other lesson. I didn't practice long 'cuz Joan and Stacey came home and toddlers trump instruments, even cool big-ass acoustic ones. After the other student, we finished up and hung out a while longer, then they gave me a lift home on their way somewhere. He sent me home with two pages of scales and exercises and stuff he wants me to memorize. More homework! Stevie's got this great hands-on style of teaching ... "relax your wrist right here" scritch-scritch ... "Open up your hand in here" ... poke, poke, tickle. He keeps telling me I'm going to be easy to teach, which is nice to hear, but scary! What if ... what if ... what if ... aieeee! Shhh!

Stuff and Nonsense ...

Length of day: 15:53
Hours of dark: 6:40ish
Sunrise: 5:35 am
Sunset: 9:27pm
Start of twilight: 4:50 am
End of twilight: 10:12 pm

Current weather: Partly Cloudy. 14°C (57°F), humidity 71%, wind WNW 9.6 km/h (6 mph.), barometer 29.77 in. Hg.

Today.. Sunny with cloudy periods. High 24°C (75°F).
Tonight.. Cloudy periods. Wind becoming SE 20 km/h (12.4 mph) overnight. Low 9°C (48°F).
Monday.. Cloudy with sunny periods. Wind SE 20 km/h (12.4 mph). High 23°C (73°F).
Tuesday.. Periods of rain. Low 7°C (45°F). High 14°C (57°F).
Wednesday.. Periods of rain. Low 7°C (45°F). High 14°C (57°F).
Thursday.. A mix of sun and cloud. Low 4°C (39°F). High 17°C (63°F).
Normals for the period.. Low 4°C (39°F). High 18°C (64°F).

11 May 2005

Grace ...

I went to see Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy with Brandon this afternoon. Then we went to the library and the post office (yarn!). Good movie, good company, pretty day.

Much to my dismay, I seem to have misplaced my grace. I've long struggled with accepting gracefully when someone treats me to a meal or a show. It's not something that I particularly like about myself, but I am well aware of it. Somewhere along the line, though, I've gone from being capable of doing things for myself to not knowing how to behave around someone who holds doors open. I am baffled and more than a little sad about that.

Mom just asked me if I'd ever heard The Swiftys. I hadn't. Go listen to "Find Another Fool" if you get a chance.

And while I'm at it, Brandon sent me "The Littlest Birds" by The Be Good Tanyas, from Blue Horse. Go listen to that one, too, if you get a chance.

I've just noticed that I like to bury introspective stuff in the middle of more mundane things and that's got me thinking, too.

10 May 2005

The Dandelions are in bloom!

Prerogative ...

The gruel boiled over on the stove this morning. While babbysitting it the rest of the time, I got thinking and decided that while I really do get the delayed gratification thing, having all the bits in hand to install Tiger and not being able to do it today would not be fun. So I've changed my mind and I'll go to Bcom tomorrow.

09 May 2005

Moms' Day at the APs was very lurvly. The one bad note came as we were cleaning up ... a merlin flew into the window and landed on the deck with his neck at an odd angle, wings spread out and legs poking out oddly, one of them all curled up. We were pretty sure he wasn't going to make it, and his breath kept getting shallower and shallower. Mom phoned me later to say he'd flown off into the neighbours' tree. Huzzah!

It's 3:30 in the afternoon and I just got off the phone. I've been on the phone since I got up this morning. I need new ears ... and new phone batteries, I have two - one's going and the other's dead (batteries, not ears).

Every single person I talked to was someone I wanted to talk to! It's just been one of those phone days, I guess. In fact, I'd like to've talked to a couple of 'em more than I did.

Barbara has tickets to this ... she and Anailise and Mom (dunno yet who else) and I are going ... Mom is beside herself ... Ian Tyson, Corby Lund an' the Queen ... oh my! That's the weekend Patty's in town and Nina graduates, too ... we're trying to organize a sleep-over visit with Patty, Barbara, Chelsea and maybe Nina.

I have a copy of Tiger (complete with iWork and iLife) in my hot little hands, but hafta wait 'til I can get to Bcom to get a bigger external HD before I install it. Oh, the agony! I thought I'd do it today, but I'm thinkin' I'm not going to make it. Maybe I can do it tomorrow if I go early enough that I can get downtown by noon to get to the chiropractor.

07 May 2005

Diversion II

My new glasses are done (way early ... they told me 7-10 business days to order the lenses, then they'd have to tint them and grind them) but I don't think I'll get a chance to pick 'em up today. So far, I've fed the beasts and dust-mopped and written my MP (in response to an inflammatorily written mailer he sent out ... I was good, honest. I asked in the nicest possible way that he behave like an adult and encourage others to do the same), made potato salad for tomorrow, tie-dyed curtains for the 'puter room and talked to Barbara on the phone. Next up is washing the curtains and hanging them out to dry, hanging the curtain rod, and then the curtains, baking a carrot cake (two if I get to it, so there's one with a different icing for Cory, who doesn't do dairy ... otherwise I'll hafta do icing-on-the-side and that's just not right) for tomorrow, building some not-almond roca for Mom and wrapping it. I'm toying with the idea of e-mailing Billy about his cat, since I haven't heard from him about that (or anything else, for that matter). I also want to download the pictures that Adele and Ned took at Nina's fashion show on Thursday night ... with my camera, so I get to go through 'em before Nina gets her hands on 'em and trashes most of 'em.

I have a rib that gets pulled out of place sometimes when I get all wound up. It's like twisting an elastic 'til it twists back on itself ... the muscle attached to the rib does that if I don't catch it and get it (and me) to relax in time. I've been feeling wound-too-tight for a while and sometime last weekend that rib went out. It wasn't nearly as bad as it often is, so I ignored it. I remember saying that I was going to meditate for a little while ... but I didn't do it ... so I stayed wound up. I woke up in the middle of the night on Tuesday and thought, "oh shit!" I could feel my neck getting tighter and tighter and tried to relax (of course, trying to relax in a hurry isn't too effective) but it was too late and I felt my neck kinda go "ptwang!" I tried heat and ice and stretches and lots of lying on the floor on Wednesday and ended up phoning the chiropractor on Thursday. I got in to see her in the afternoon. I took the bus, even though Brandon offered to take me there ... parking downtown's stinky, and the bus from here is really quick, and apparently I'm stubborn if Ma's to be believed. Still, it was awfully nice to be fussed ... maybe it' time I grew up and learned to take it gracefully. It's been almost three years since the last time this happened, so I haven't seen this lovely chiro since then. She put the rib back where it was supposed to be and got that muscle to let go fairly easily, but she couldn't get my neck to behave 'cuz it was all spasm'd up. She sent me home to ice it some more and do some more stretches and lie on the floor some more and made an appointment for me to go back on Tuesday.

It felt so much better yesterday! Granted, I felt like I'd been run over by a truck, but it didn't hurt to breathe or swallow ... and I could move! So I did a buncha stuff around the house (but not as much as I had planned 'cuz Vince made me pick one thing to take off the list ... fussed again!) and walked over to the other end of the Mill Creek bridge to have lunch with Adele and see about that respiratory formula she was talking about. She'd already had lunch when I got there and the herbs they sell are marketed through MLM (a business model I don't care to support), and she kept wondering if I was there 'cuz we had a session booked. That was all a little on the weird side, but we ended up yacking for four hours ... something we haven't done in a few years. We spent a couple of hours sitting on her sound table (massage table with transducer thingies attached to the bottom of it that carry parts of the sound through the table itself) with an alpha-wave CD on while we talked ... what a great way to spend time with someone! Yah, I'm still going to be cautious about her, but it sure would be nice to be able to maintain a relationship that's a little deeper than just being civil.

After spending the afternoon with Adele I ran some errands, came home and fed the cats, then it was time for Dande to go hunt with FB. I made it 'til about 10:00, then it was like someone hit the off switch and I just had to go to sleep. I was suddenly wide awake at 2:30 and stayed up for half an hour or so. The rest of the night I was woken up several times by very vivid erotic dreams, a common (and not unpleasant) cleanse side effect for me.

My copy of Tiger arrived yesterday, but I didn't hear the door. Bother. The delivery guy left his number, but was out of this area by the time I phoned, so he'll redeliver on Monday. I'm not too bent about it since my external HD isn't big enough to back everything up anymore and I want to do a clean install.

Turns out it's not nice enough out to dry the curtains fast enough for my current state of mind, so I'm off to hang them in to dry and to get to the rest of the list.

With all this nonsense going on this week, I cancelled my very first lesson with Stevie - bumped next Saturday ... and my haircut on Thursday - as yet to be rescheduled ... and I still have to phone the AMA about lessons this month.

Stuff and Nonsense ...

Length of day: 15:25
Hours of dark: 7:10ish
Sunrise: 5:49 am
Sunset: 9:14pm
Start of twilight: 5:07 am
End of twilight: 9:56 pm

Current weather: Overcast. 9°C (48°F), humidity 75%, wind NNE 11.2 km/h (7 mph.), barometer 29.93 in. Hg.

Today.. Cloudy with 40% chance of showers. Wind N 20 km/h (12.4 mph). High 12°C (54°F).
Tonight.. Cloudy with 40% chance of showers in the evening. Clearing overnight. . Low 4°C (39°F).
Sunday.. Sunny with cloudy periods. High 17°C (63°F).
Monday.. A mix of sun and cloud. Low 4°C (39°F). High 14°C (57°F).
Tuesday.. A mix of sun and cloud. Low 4°C (39°F). High 15°C (59°F).
Wednesday.. A mix of sun and cloud. Low 1°C (34°F). High 14°C (57°F).
Normals for the period.. Low 2°C (36°F). High 16°C (61°F).

03 May 2005

Diversion ...

Huzzah for sunshine and above-freezing daytime temperatures! Poor Nina was at her grad class's camping retreat in that foul weather.
Saturday was my uncle's 65th birthday do. No kids (his granddaughter was there, though, so it wasn't a total bust) ... I really don't often go places where there're no kids. After that, I went to John's for a house concert featuring The Stone Merchants. Sunday was APs with Mona, Pete, Rose and Cassandra for snacks and kid fix. Yesterday, Brandon and I finished dying his curtains. The spirals turned out more saturated than I'd planned, but they turned out okay, so he got to keep 'em.

I got a new glasses prescription today and ordered new sunglasses. I really dislike my current sunglasses ... there's something about the combination of astigmatism correction, tint, and polarization that makes me queasy when I wear them ... the new ones won't be polarized.

Adele phoned to say that the chinese doctor she works with has done up a respiratory formula for me, since I can't get Respaherb anymore. I'll give it a shot. I've tried quite a number of things, none of which works nearly as well as Respaherb. Grumble. I probably shouldn't have leapt into a cleanse right after eight months of being sick just about constantly with those kids I was looking after ... but I've really been feeling like I wanted to do one and it's the first chance I've had. It's a really gentle herbal cleanse, but there's still the sinus/ears/general congestion stuff to deal with after this past winter. Joy.

Right, then ... back to the never-ending housework.