Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Anyway, A had asked me if i wanted to participate awhile ago, and i sort of said yes, in the back of my mind hoping i might not be around when it actually happened. I hate meeting new people around my age. They usually make me feel totally inadequate and childish. It makes me nervous and i say stupid things (like revealing too much medical information) that usually end the conversation in an awkward silence. i can't help it, it just happens!
I think A knew I was nervous, because she called me at 7 to come over at 7:30. I hadn't even washed my hair that day, but i was wearing jeans and a nice top, rather than my usual sweatpants, so i decided to go as is and hope she hadn't improved the lighting in her house.
Huzzah! My new neighbours are really nice people! They change out of their work clothes and visit neighbours in jeans and holey old sweatshirts! I actually got the conversation started by asking them how they were doing in their new house and quickly moving on to what I really wanted to know, what our old neighbour had left behind (a ringer washer, a credenza with a working record player, the original stove that was actually made here in Guelph). Somehow we found out that the girl and i had gone to the same highschool for a year (she was in OAC/grade 13 the year i was in grade 9).
We had a great chat with hardly any pauses at all and talked about everything possible! It ended up being a really fun evening. I don't think I have laughed so hard in a long time. First time I have felt my age since I moved back home. awesome.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Tom Thompson (and the G of 7) did alot of work in Algonquin Park, which is likely where The Drive was painted. My grandfather grew up right on the edge of Algonquin Park, in Dwight, where his grandfather had all the prime patronage posts, and made my great-grandmother (his daughter) do all the lousy ones (like sit in the unheated Post Office all winter). We always went on drives to visit the area when we were at my grandmother's house when we were kids. I feel a great afinity to this area, as I do to the Bruce Peninsula and Georgian Bay which is where my father grew up and my mom had a cottage growing up. Can you tell we have deep roots here?
Actually, on a date once out in Victoria, we went to the Victoria Art Gallery, and they have alot of Group of Seven stuff in the shop. I had been trying to tell him about me and the beauty of my Ontario homeland and he was obviously not getting it (typical BC person, thinks Ontario is all Toronto). So when we got to the gift shop and saw the Group of Seven stuff, I said "See! This is home!" and he was all confused "You mean this painting of trees?" "No all of them! well, obviously not the glacier, but the rest. The trees! And the river! and the lake! Aren't they gorgeous?" He still didn't get it. hmm, maybe that's why there was only one date.
Anyway, seeing The Drive brought out some stories about my great-grandma. Apparently when all the logs were jammed in the bay, the great fun was to go out and dance on them. This is extremely dangerous. If you fall in, the logs close up after you, and you can't get out again. My great-grandma was the champion. This was in the late 19th century. My great-grandma was out dancing on the logs in her heavy long skirts and highheeled button boots!
It also led my mother and I to start singing "Log Driver's Waltz" which was made into a NFB film and played continuously on TVO while I was growing up. It was not up for Obama's Playlist, but we think it should have been! But i pointed out that none of my BC friends had ever heard of it, so the rest of Canada probably hadn't either. Anyway, here is a link to it on the NFB website. You all must watch it because it is awesome! And think of my great-grandma dancing on the logs in her long skirts!
Friday, January 16, 2009
anyway, it was a fun exhibit to walk around and read everything, and now i really want to watch some of the original Anne of Green Gables Movies, one of which actually inspired the actress to change her name to "Anne Shirley" because she liked the character so much!
The best quote from the whole thing was Maud lamenting the fact that she couldn't just write books that were "fun for fun's sake" and that, in order to sell, they had to have an "incidious moral message".
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
so here goes:
bottom shelf: Our good children's books, i think mom brought these out for some little b&b guests. James Herriot plays a big role here, as do the Berenstein Bears and Madeline.
second shelf: computer stuff, packets of printer and lined paper, a watercolour of a first nations woman done by my grandfather (the only one of his paintings that i can claim as mine, why is this not up, its in a frame and everything?!)
second from the top shelf: box of computer software, 4 photo albums mostly from my London semester, copies of The Beaver (yes I am a good Canadian Historian), Fast Talking Dames, and a book on how to make Rag Dolls.
Top shelf: various textbooks I did not bring to Victoria (who really wants to re-read The Theaetetus of Plato?), some Colette, some Roald Dahl, 2 What Not to Wear books from the original British series, and a stuffed cat that plays Jingle Bells.
But the Ultimate is the middle shelf, it contains: 6 Thornton W. Burgess books about the "Green Forest" (My and my brother's favourite show on TV when we were little, who knew my Dad had the books?), two Sewing books from the 50s and 60s, and 8, count them 8 Pollyanna books! The Pollyanna books were gifts to my grandmother from one of her aunts back in England. The scary thing is, these are 1960s editions. She received these books when she was in her 50s. I actually read the original two one summer, just to see what they were about. Everyone is annoyed by her until they grudgingly take part in her "gladness" and become happier nicer people. Its actually a pretty good attitude towards life, finding things to be glad about even though your life is crap, but she just takes it too far (just watch Happy Go Lucky) Inflicting one Pollyanna book on someone is enough, but 8! That's torture!I hope you enjoyed your tour of my "Bookshelf o' Randomness"!
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Anyway, here is the story:
one year for advent, our church sent the Mary and Joseph figures on a journey too. They spent a day or two in every family in the parish's house (or almost every) and to transfer them, you had to go over to the next family's house and visit with them. lots of fellowship with people you might not know.
well, the day after Mary and Joseph arrived at my parent's house was the day of my first ever final exam in a history class. I missed it. Everyone's worse nightmare. I thought it was an 11:30 exam, when really it was a 9:30. I realized this at about 10am, hyperventilated while my roomate called a taxi, and made it to the exam with only half an hour left. Luckily it was a first year course and the prof let me write for the last half hour. So i left, having finished only one section, and wandered slowly home to my mom's house, giving myself permission to cry.
On my way across campus, I met my minister. his wife was the ecumenical minister on campus an he was dropping her off. He started to say Merry Christmas, and i started to cry. i explained what had happened, and he turned me around and said, "Explain it to your prof and they will probably let you write the rest of it."
So, I ran back to the gym, found my prof and the T.A.'s dividing up the exams. I explained what had happened, and my TA heard and said "You have to let her finish! She was my best student!" so, they let me write the rest of the exam in the prof''s office while they started to mark the exams as a group.
When I finished, I wandered home to my mom's house in a daze and told her what had happened. She immediately cited divine intervention as evidenced by the arrival of Mary and Joseph at our house just the night before, and my chance meeting with the minister.
That was my first University History class. If i hadn't been able to write the exam, I would have failed the course and not been able to take any more history classes. I would not currently be a history master's student.
So, if I believe my mom's theory, it is God's will that I am a Historian.
I am not sure I am ready to believe that just yet, but something must be keeping me going to finish the horrible thesis.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Today, January 6th, is the day celebrated as the day the Magi/Three Wisemen arrived to give Jesus his prezzies. In the Orthodox church, this is the day when people give their christmas presents (often referred to as "Ukrainian Christmas" in Canada), and really, it makes more sense, but I am Anglican, and we give presents on the 25th.
Anyway, in my house Epiphany is the day that the three plaster wisemen finally make it around the table to the nativity scene, and we take down all the christmas decorations.
I am not exactly sure why Epiphany is the day when the decorations "must come down", but it is, and so we take them down. I asked my grandmother once (actually I whined that I wanted the decorations left up longer) and I was given a vague answer about it being bad luck to leave them up past the 6th. It is also apparently bad luck to take them down before Epiphany, although we do cheat some years, but usually, like today, the decorations all come down in one fell swoop. They usually sit around on the table for a few days afterward waiting to be put in boxes, and the naked tree still sits in the corner, but they apparently don't count as decorations if they are not on the tree or in their special spots throughout the house.
This year was a bit different though. in our family the players in the nativity scene are only allowed out on their appointed day, before that, they are hidden behind the picture frames. So when the decrations go up, Mary, Joseph and the animals are set up on the table. Then on Christmas Morning, Baby Jesus comes out and the Wisemen start their long journey around the edge of the table, until they arrive at the manger on the 6th. Well, this year, we forgot about the wisemen until about 2pm, when we moved them from the corner of the table to in front of the baby Jesus, so mom and I decided not to put them away just yet, because they had only just got there and needed time to visit. Then, when all the boxes were packed up and being put back under the stairs, we told my dad he couldn't take the nativity box yet because the Wisemen needed some more time to party in the manger.
I believe I actually told my dad they were still "Rocking out with Baby Jesus"
Friday, January 2, 2009
2. First time my mother has ever asked me to dial 911
3. First time my mother has been a patient in a hospital since she gave birth to me
My mother does not like hospitals. It isn't an overt phobia, you have to be paying attention to figure it out. Like observing the fact that every time my dad has had to go to emerg, mom has dropped him off at the doors and told him to call her when he was ready to come home. One of those times he had had a stroke. also, when i was a teenager, I had to have a bone marrow test, and mom made dad take the day off work to take me to it, even though he didn't even know how to get to the hospital (it was in another city).
She has good reason for this dislike of hospitals. When she was a little kid they thought that strawberry birthmarks, of which she had three, were cancerous. We now know that they just go away as the child grows up. So she had to have them surgically removed, at around two years old, when your parents weren't allowed to visit you in the hospital. When her parents came to take her home, her dad had to drive home with her around his neck because she refused to let go.
So, when she woke me up last night and told me to call 911, I called. and asked for an "amblance" (i was still asleep). so, of course, we get the ambulance, and then a few minutes later, two firemen and a police officer. party in mom's bedroom! the cop and firemen left soon after, slightly disapointed. she left for the hospital around 12:30, we got to go in and see her after all her bloodwork and x-rays etc at 1:30, they told us she had to stay overnight and we should go home at 2:30. Fastest time through emerg that I have ever heard of. 1 person came through triage the entire time we were there, and no ambulances even came in. Apparently the night of New Years day is a quiet time in the ER, who knew?
Things we learned:
1. Complaint of "Chest pain" trumps everything, even what you ask them to test for and should have been obvious in a diabetic patient.
2. The ambulance desk doesn't communicate well with the rest of the hospital and does not pass on key information, like the fact that she is diabetic!
3. Volunteers and staff only know their little bit. The information volunteer has no idea that you can't park on the street at night, or where to park instead, the ER coffee shop volunteer has no clue how you would go about picking up a patient from the ER, and of course, the nurses aren't allowed to give you their opinion or tell you what they think.
all in all, a pretty uneventful trip to the hospital, but still nothing i would like to repeat anytime soon.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
yesterday was the best though. i had plans for new years. not big plans, just my friends coming over to veg out, maybe going down to the city fireworks at 8 o'clock, but generally just alot of catching up and gabbing before they fly back to victoria and edmonton.
this is as elaborate as i usually get. i am not a big crowd person, especially if there might be erratic drunk people in that crowd. i have been down to the big CityTV countdown in Nathan Philip's Square in Toronto twice, once last year, and you can't see anything except maybe one big screen if you put your head a certain way to see over or around the crowd, you lose your friends, end up in a cloud of pot smoke (the bad ontario kind), you can't hear anything, and then you guess at the count down, which is of course a good second off everyone at the front of the crowd. to top it off, you can't hear anything from the speakers themselves, you just hear the music reverberating off the other buildings in the square (and really, who are the people they get to sing? i have never heard of half of them!)
the best part was that last year, the family in front of me, that i was mashed into by the crowd, had all obviously had beans for supper. a giant vat of beans. well, i guess i was a bit warmer that some other people.
anyway, this years plans were scuppered by the contagion. my friends came over for about 45 minutes for a last minute exchange of christmas prezzies and gossip, before going off to the fireworks without me. i spent the evening watching movies and Air Farce Final Flight with my mom and a few boxes of kleenex. we actually stayed up until midnight and toasted in the new year with a tiny bottle of bubbly (and were suitably creeped out by Dick Clark. omg put the guy out of his misery already! i just wanted to see the ball drop, but i had to look away because Dick Clark was so scary!)
it was wonderful. best New Year ever. so nice to have the responsibility for an awesome new years taken off your shoulders and just let go. I couldn't do anything else, and it was great to do just exactly what i really wanted to, and not feel like a loser for watching videos on new years.
gee, i hope my brother had fun at his big party.