Thursday, September 28, 2006

Free Screening

I am very excited about attending this film on Oct. 3 at the Richmond General Hospital (Ralph Fisher Auditorium) as part of Canadian Mental Illness week. It won for Best Director at the Sundance Film Festival last year and should be well worth the price of admission (or, perhaps even more!). I tried to post a trailer from YouTube, but she is being a bee-atch and didn't cooperate (despite my numerous attempts). Anyhow, it's a very poignant look at the life of this manic depressive genius, who spent his life battling demons while creating some absolutely brilliant songs and cartoons. He's developed a cult like following and some of his fans include the likes of Kurt Cobain, Tom Waits, David Bowie and Matt Groening (to name a few). The film documents his struggle over the past few decades with the downward spiral of mental illness, all the while creating some fantastic work.

Anyone in or around the Richmond area should consider attending the screening. Doors open at 7 (light refreshments) and the film starts at 7:30 (no late seating). See you there!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Slapstick Plumbing

Update on the reno's from hell: it wasn't oil that they struck out in my front yard.
And they didn't find any gold either, damn it. The liquid was just water that got in the lines, which were some sort of power (yeow) and a cable from shaw. Now these jokers not only did this once, they managed to hit the lines twice in the span of an hour...making my yard look like the fourth of July. Hydro had just completed patching up what had been spliced the first time (and were still idling in their truck as they entered data onto their laptop) when Mario and Luigi somehow managed to jam their shovels into the lines AGAIN. I was at my computer when I heard a very loud "POP" and looked out to see smoke wafting up from the trench as Bozo No. 1 climbed out (somewhat rattled).

So a job that should've already been completed was barely getting started. The hydro patch job gobbled up an hour. The plumbers, who were being paid well I might add, were doing a very fine job of holding the flashlight so Mr. Power could get things up and running. By this time my neighbours were all flooding out to the front to find out why they had no power/cable. I sheepishly pointed at the three stooges (the two plumbers and the hydro guy, who admitted he was hungover from the previous night of pubbing). Somehow I felt a bit guilty - it was my place afterall. "I say we bring in the fucking wrecking ball and tear this joint down. Start over, from scratch. Anyone with me on this?" Apparently not. I thought it was a good idea.

After the hydro was up and running, Shaw arrived to patch up their cables and get people's tvs back on. People appear to get a little owly without their mid day tv....I didn't quite understand it (it was a gorgeous day - get over it).

That was Friday. Little was done on the actual plumbing (that was slated to be finished that day). But we were entertained by a dazzling light show.

Monday morning arrived and the plumbers were right on time, as good as their word - at eight a.m. the vans pulled up. I went about my business, confident that things would be up and running soon and the new water line would mean I could disconnect from my neighbours. They'd been very patient and I didn't want to push it. I needed to relinquish their hose so they could go about washing their car, which they do on a regular basis (unlike me - mine looks like a shit factory on wheels and is a crow/seagull magnet for some reason).

After a short time, I poked my head out to check on the progress out front, as I'd been doing all along....for some strange reason I'm feeling a little less than confident in the workers abilities (imagine that!). They weren't there, which I found kind of strange. I went to the back and couldn't believe that the saga was continuing - there were Dumb and Dumber, coat hangers in hand, trying to unlock their van (which they'd obviously locked the keys in). The van that contained all of their tools, meaning the work was again being delayed.
I worked this afternoon and wanted them out of here before I had to go....they were pushing it for time already.

After half an hour, they'd retrieved their keys (and their brains, I hoped) and got to work. More of the same - mess, screw and fuck ups by the second. They put the casing that goes down to the line right on top of was supposed to be "seated" in a certain position (it had an opening for the water line) and they had it completely turned around backwards. They started to shovel the dirt back over to cover the hole when I noticed (thank God) and pointed it out....."oh yea, hardy har, yuck, yuck, silly me" (said the idiot). Do I have to supervise every fucking action here? I'm not a plumber....shouldn't you guys know this stuff? seems pretty basic to me. By this time I just wanted to get them the hell out of here so I hurried them along - "I have to leave for work" (in two and a half hours)...."I guess we'd better call it a day" (11:30).

So the progress is slow and unsteady. It's not even affecting me anymore - I've grown so accustomed to setbacks and problems that I almost expect them now. These renos may end up going into the Guiness Book of World Records for most hours spent doing absolutely fuck all.

I'm finding it comical at this point. I'm sitting back in my chair and being entertained by it all. Nothing can rock me anymore as I'm now made of steel. I've told them that I'm out there taking pictures and documenting everything so I can fix things myself next time. I half mean it. But the real reason is so I can nail their asses to the wall if (fingers crossed they don't) things go wrong.

Will keep you all posted.

Friday, September 22, 2006

I Think This Is Appropriate, Considering.....

Read the post that follows to learn why. Photo belongs to Jill Greenberg and is part of the Paul Kopeikin gallery.

OK - That Was Then, This Is Now

Ha, spoke too soon. The plumbers arrived this morning to complete the trench that they're digging to access the water line. They hit something (a line of some sort) that sparked everywhere, scaring the shit out of all of us. They don't know what it is. They're "on hold" until they determine what the hell they hit (that oozed black oily looking stuff into the trench). Hhhhmm, that repreive from shitsville was rather shortlived, wasn't it?

It's not as bad as the possibilities that I'd faced earlier in the week, but more delays and problems (and I have to leave for work soon, meaning the job waits until Monday now).

Yes, I am smiling. I've learned to do that, despite all of this. ;)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

It's All Good!!!

OK, it's about time I had some good news. Today I woke up and it was a beautiful day...the sun was shining and, as I trudged downstairs to continue the "wet/dry" assessments, I decided I wasn't going to let things beat me. That as long as Mom and Dad and the kids were o.k. then I was also. Bring it. Material stuff...blah, blah, blah.

I started carting out boxes that were in storage and sorting through them - mostly Christmas decorations and that kind of
"seasonal" stuff. The job was long overdue and I thought of it as an opportunity to get things done that I hadn't gotten around to (and probably never would have).

I noticed that someone had come and rigged up an industrial type hose outside and I sighed a big breath of relief at the comfort of knowing I probably wouldn't have to endure yet another leak. The plumbers had done it early in the morning. Then I heard from the strata management company....ALL GOOD NEWS!! They were looking after things and would have some plumbers and the restoration guys over today. When the plumbers did arrive, they dug out a huge trench in the front (I joked with them, saying "good, you've got it all ready....can I just climb in now?", referring to what looked like a grave that was just about my size. They actually found a wallet buried in there - not sure what was in it. I was kind of creeped out by it and told them that, if they found the decomposed remains of someone who was carrying the wallet, I know nothing. We had a good laugh (which I really needed). Turns out the plumber used to live around here and we had the same stompin' grounds growing up.

The really, REALLY GOOD NEWS also came about this time...the leak isn't in the foundation. Can you see me dancing?? It's right at the wall, where the outside line comes in and it's the strata's responsibility, not mine. So life is beginning to turn around it seems. (I'm knocking on wood, just in case).

Mom and Dad stopped by (I've been so guilty of ignoring them throughout this ordeal). Mom had her hair done and looked nice - she was on her way to meet with the oncologist. I reassured her that it's a good day to do that - I'm sure we'll get more good news. It's just turning out to be that kind of day.

Whoopee! Thanks again, friends, for seeing me through some rough times.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Russel Peters Clip!

This is my favorite comedian (the other one recently died). Although I've seen this a million times, it still makes me laugh just as hard as ever. This is the first installment, more to follow later.

Curious - have you heard of/seen him before?

Can You Believe It?

After I'd published the previous post, I went to check it out on my blog (proofreading, after the fact) and notice that the entire contents of my sidebar - "about me", "links", "archives" are gone. Tried to republish, etc. and nothing. So, this is my new blog, 'cause I obviously don't have time right now to fiddle around with this shit. *sighs (and swears)*

I Give Up

The leak that I spoke of earlier is the worst case scenario....a pipe in the slab/foundation under my unit. Though I'd called THURSDAY night to have someone come out to address it, they arrived yesterday and were too late. I came home from work at 3:30 to find my basement flooding - into the panelling, rugs, etc. I grabbed everything in site and chucked it out, into the carport, as it was soaking in the water. It was the worst possible time for this...the room that flooded contained boxes of stuff that I'd moved into there so the reno's could be done....antiques, books, hockey memorabilia, etc. I think I managed to work quickly enough to save most everything...time will tell as I unpack boxes and sort through "wet" and "dry". The city had to come out and shut the water off from outside (I'm now hooked, by garden hose, to my next door neighbour's supply). Everyone is "passing" the buck on this one and, as I haul stuff out from my crawlspace in order to allow a crew to access what they may need to, no one's even slated to come yet. A lot of phone tagging and arguing "no, YOU do it" is transpiring, back and forth. The strata management company and insurance company (handling my other reno's, from the massive roof leak) are ping ponging while I'm on hold, lifejacket in hand. I fucking hate water. And, wouldn't you know it, it's POURING here today, completely soaking the (working) TV that was hauled out into my carport last night by the restoration team. I have boxes of Christmas decorations and other shit and I just want to curl up in a ball and say "go away world". But, I've taken (my first ever) day off work to try and tackle...what? I don't even know what I should be doing. My property manager is away (holidays) all week, explaining why no one's been looking after me. I've just learned that.

Sorry guys, to be such a downer. I'm "over and out" for awhile, as I try and save what's left of my sanity. A lot of tears, swearing and questioning right now. I'll be back (sporadically) in the "in betweens" where I need to regroup and reach out to my friends (you guys). Alana, get your mom on that dance for me. You God fearing people - be saying a lot of prayers with the name "Deb" in them, ok? I'll return the karma someday, if I ever find some.

Fingers crossed as I watch my life crumble to ruins.

Monday, September 18, 2006

My Knee Jerk Reaction Is To Scream

Fucking knee. That's all I can say. I don't know HOW or WHEN, but I've tweeked my knee, putting my full blown workout on hold for a few days.

So.....@*#^@)#)*$$@&#*$^$%@*@*!!! (Oh, I guess I already said "fucking" didn't I?....makes this a little pointless. I do like the two dollar signs in a row that were randomly typed....maybe it's a sign!).

Later friends, got a busy day and will not return until this evening. Hope all is well.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

I Swear, I Never Wanna' Eat Meat Again

And this is the reason why. I'm nearly there....but I do occassionally break down and have a burger. My daughter is a full fledged carnivore, so grocery shopping proves to be a bit of a test. But she watched a video that's got her claiming SHE'LL never eat meat again...which would make this whole thing easier for me. I don't know that I'd ever fully qualify as a full fledged "vegetarian" - I'm just really trying to drastically cut down on my meat consumption (which I've pretty much achieved).

This is another installment from the BBC Photographer of the Year contest, that I previously posted about. I haven't included the names of the people who submitted these photos - you can get them at the site. They're all great photos. This one was right up there with my favorites.

Feel Good Picture Of The Day

This photo caught my eye and, at a time when I'm shedding a lot of tears and feeling like crap, it warmed my heart and made me smile. I've unsuccessfully tried, several times and using the "large" settting to upload photos, to make it bigger. You really need to see a larger version to capture the whole effect...their expressions are priceless.

It's from the BBC (In Pictures) Photographer of the Year Contest. I entered a couple of lame photos, but really enjoyed some of the submissions throughout the contest...this one being my ultimate favorite. There were several different "themes", in which people submitted their photos for on line voting. The winners of each category will now be put into the pool for selection of the "Photographer of the Year". I will be voting for this picture. Check it out, it's well worth viewing/voting.

(I apologize at my inability to "link" you directly there....damned Safari. I'll add the BBC to the sidebar, simply click on the "In Pictures" link and follow it to the contest/voting.)

BC Lions

Our Lions (Mel & I) kicked some serious Alouette butt last night at BC Place and, while most of you who visit here care about this as much as you care about paint drying somewhere, it's quite exciting to us as our team steamrolls its' way to the playoffs.

My main man (Geroy) was spectacular, as usual. He's not only a great player, but a class act who celebrates very modestly, opting for a subtle "pose" vs some of the showboating we see these days (which, ftr, I find very entertaining, just a bit too much sometimes).

My main concern was the thuggery that Mtl was laying down on our Lions. The near brawl at the end of the game was classless and unnecessary. And the way they went after (and successfully reinjured) Dave Dickenson was total crap - I know it's often the game plan of an opposing team to target a wounded duck....they just went too far.

I'm loving this team (ok, I've loved every Lions team since the 60's)....they're so entertaining. A page that Mtl could've/should've probably taken out of the BC book is that they're "having fun" with the game - you can see it. When Mtl began unravelling and using dirty play it did nothing to help their game and, rather than feed into this and go back at the Al's, BC remained composed and continued to laugh and use their great chemistry together to get the job done. Good job Lions, good job.

(for those of you uninterested in football (Lions, in particular), please understand that I just can't shut up about my team. When you see a Lions picture best to just scroll on past, roll your eyeballs and go "geesh Deb, shut up already".)

Friday, September 15, 2006

Drop And Give Me Twenty

I used to be in tip top shape - 110 pounds, blood pressure was 120/80. This wasn't just when I was a teen either, it was AFTER I'd had both of my kids and not so long ago. My doctor and I looked back at my chart the other day to see when I developed hypertension and he reminded me that in 1994 I was qualified as a fitness instructor and probably could've won a fitness "pageant" if I had any inclination to prance and flip and tumble in 80's wear...I didn't, so I didn't.

So what the hell is this leading to? Let me tell you: FF and it's all going to shit. And, in looking back at what happened, I've concluded that my life starting going down the tubes and stress became my middle name at the same time I started giving up on stuff. I'd always worked out....HARD - everything from step aerobics to weight training. In between I'd water ski and play tennis. I was always active and a french fry never passed by my lips, making me "that skinny bitch" that females loved to hate. But, that was then and this is now and I need to regroup. I'm still pretty hot by most standards but, I'm not so happy with my lifestyle. I'm worrying about where things could head if I keep putting everything else before me.

I don't know when I decided to give up on myself but, somewhere along the line, I started to. I quit everything I loved doing for a time (not conscientiously, more that I was being pulled in several different directions and was needed by everyone, all the time). I started on my own diet plan, namely the "Fatkins" diet, which included everything from pizza to cola to whatever I could grab in a hurry. That was a shock to my system...I'd been a health nut my entire life. I wouldn't eat a lot of my new found "pleasures" (poison) - but enough to be concerned that it's a dangerous direction to head in. And I'd often starve all day because I was "busy", then grab anything I could wolf down without having to actually swallow, as I was starving by the time I got around to eating. A bad plan. Usually I wouldn't eat until night, and then I'd make up for lost time. I'd never done that before and I was having a hell of a good time going off the food guide deep end. I think I hit my bottom the morning I was caught eating "breakfast" by my son - it consisted of potato chips and tzatziki dip...."what the hell you doin', Mom?". I just shrugged, as chip crumbs fell off my face and into my lap. I didn't see it as a problem. But now here I am, in my forties and realizing that I want to get back into fighting form. And I'm taking action now, before it becomes a problem (damn it!).

I remember, at the height of my obsession, climbing on my stepper at 2 a.m., Pearl Jam cranked on the ol' walkman. I must've been slightly crazy but I also had endless energy and MADE time for myself. I don't even know what that means anymore.

If there's a lesson in all of this, keep up with some form of activity or you'll be sorry. You hear about "middle age spread" and, let me tell ya', it creeps up on you and then pounces when you least expect it. I'm not going to let that happen. It's very real if you don't do a little preventative work. It's o.k. to "slide" a little here and there but be careful - before you know it you need a personal assitant to help tie your shoes. Personally, I'm not so much concerned about my "appearance", I'm pretty damn good for my age. It's my overall health I worry about. And, although I still look good for my age, I no longer feel like I could wrestle a buffalo like I once did. So time to jump back on the ol' wagon here.I'm starting tomorrow (sound familiar?). No more of this affair with food and procrastination..... I'm going to make "me" a priority and take one hour each day to put something back that's missing in my life. I won't be "Sweatin' To The OIdies", I'll be sweatin' AS an oldie. Wish me luck - hope I live to talk to y'all again. If not, please send help. I'm going to reaccquaint myself with an old friend named exercise....I just hope that she remembers me (will keep you posted).
David Usher - St-Lawrence River (Live @ Pianos Apr.27/2006

Beautiful, as always. I'll never tire of that song. One day I'll see him perform it live (and most likely cry all the way through it). Just beautiful.

Second Hand Review

Although I was not fortunate enough to attend ($$), I can give you two thumbs up on the RHCP/Mars Volta show tonight at GM Place in Vancouver. I was the official "taxi" to my son and his girlfriend, who thoroughly enjoyed the show. The Mars Volta came out promptly at 7:30 and played an hour of their magic....Ty and Fiona found the bongo solo especially entertaining. John and Flea didn't come out and play with them (I thought they might), although John was said to be taking in the opening act from the side of the stage.

Apparently RHCP put on a phenomenal show (duh...EN-ER-GEEEE!), my son going so far as to rate it as one of the best shows he's ever seen, even surpassing the MG acoustic show (shame, I may have to disown him for such blasphemy). They did all the favorites except one - Under The Bridge, which would have completely disappointed me - I love that song. But the highlight of the night (for my son, anyway) was the 20 minute "jam" which had the crowd mesmerized and screaming for more. Ty reports that it was the loudest he's ever heard GM Place - apparently a lot of love was shown for the California boys, who reciprocated in song. Sounds like I missed a good one. Next time I'm "in - you can bet your ass on that.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Two Words: ANOTHER (FUCKING) LEAK (oops, that's 3)

A pipe, in the wall, at the main shut off. Fuck, fuck and double fuck. You get the drift here. I think my days off are jinxed - today is the first one all week (including the weekend) and this....... My plumber can come WEDNESDAY. Oh, that's helpful. Should we buy rubber rafts just in case?

I think I'll ignore it and call this leaky condo a houseboat. That's it, launch me now....New Zealand, here I come! Still smiling though - Mom's o.k. (for now) so piss on all this other stuff that's relentlessly trying to bring me down. No you don't, I'm indestructible - hey, that should be a song. Oh yea.

I Confess, I Was Part of the Rossi Posse

I must admit, I was totally hooked on the Rock Star Super Nova series, as was the case with its predecessor, Rock Star Inxs. At a time where I opt not to ever turn on the TV, this was the exception to the rule. As part of my depression (for lack of a better word), I'd lost interest in everything that is TV. Or maybe it wasn't just depression, maybe it was an absence of quality programming or anything that remotely interested me that probably contributed as well. Whatever the case, I tended to mostly stick to factual programs - news, biographies, documentaries, etc. I've also enjoyed some reality TV in the past - but we're bombarded with so much of it now that it's overkill for me and I've lost interest in all of it. But Rock Star is different for me. That's caught my interest.

Now, just as I commented on Will's blog (sidebar link), I'm not completely sold on the idea of auditioning for a "rock" group in this manner. Being eliminated in front of the world is an exercise in humility and leaves one wide open for crushing blows to the ol' self esteem. Being criticized, even if it is in a constructive light, is hard enough on one's pride - being criticized in front of millions of people can really mess with the mind. Hopefully these people survive the flashbacks of team captains picking the dodgeball teams and being the last, unpicked one standing there. May as well be naked at that point.

I tend to question whether or not "what you see is what you get" and the overall honesty of the performances....these people obviously were very much aware of the cameras on them and I wonder how much this impacted their behavior and the delivery of the songs. Towards the end, some of the intensity seemed "forced" and unnatural to me - more like trained monkeys than guys up there truly lost in the performance and lovin' every minute of it. Lukas, however, remained unchanged to me - I feel he was perhaps the only one who stayed "true to himself" and wasn't affected by the whole scene. Maybe that's part of why he made it, I dunno.

Right from the word go I pegged it - Lukas to win, Dilana in there, battling hard. Those two were my favorites - I LOVED DILANA - both her voice and her style. I'd actually pay to go see a show of hers....I hope that she makes it (and think she will). Lukas, however, was the perfect "fit" for this band, as far as I'm concerned. I think he'll add a "fresh" factor to these old geezers/rockers (whom I love, btw) and his sense of style completely screams out "rock and roll star". As well as having a very unique voice and the capacity to shift gears and take on any song, he always managed to do so by adding his own flair to them. Some people just have the ability to perform cover songs and make them their own - Lukas did that for me. Some of the other performances, while very "good", reminded me of impersonations in a Vegas lounge. While the rockers may have pulled off very good renditions of the songs, they did absolutely nothing to show me that they were "their own". And if you're going to do it exactly like the original, remember - you're not the original and people don't forget that. Try and do Radiohead exactly like Thom Yorke, without actually BEING Thom Yorke and you're settting yourself up for failure in my eyes. Show them that you can do it your way...just like Frank told you to. This is probably why I liked Zayra...she was completely original and brought something new to the stuff she performed. It wasn't always "the best" as far as perfection...but it was always interesting and entertaining. Never boring. And some of the carbon copies bored me.

Probably the "decider" for me (as I was torn between the two) were the interviews. Dilana's honesty (which I could completely relate to) probably got the best of her in the end - it just wasn't the politically correct thing to do in slamming her peers (as Dave was quick to point out). I knew, then, that she'd probably blown her opportunity and the band likely wasn't interested in inheriting this kind of drama into the mix. While I applaud her honesty, I think it played a role in helping make the final decision. No matter what, she should've taken the diplomatic high road and refrained from one upping by trash talking - she probably expected it to help her but it totally had the reverse effect. It showed her lack of "got your back" comradery and only managed to paint her as a bit of a two faced backstabber. Even if it was the truth to her, it made her come off as immature and petty. Lukas, on the other hand, handled himself very well, like a pro as a matter of fact. He knew the limits and, while he pushed the boundaries of things, did so with class and composure. Dilana struggled with that at the end and her unravelling was the beginning of the end (I think) for her.

So, congrats to Lukas, the little Canadian cutie who did us proud. Just like JD before him, these guys are giving the world a taste of some Canadian kickass class and talent. Way to go Lukas, game on!

(And note: learning that Lukas has worked with members of Rush and Big Wreck and jammed with Papa Roach explains a lot to me...this guy's destined to do something great)

Who Are You?

I felt it was time to "reveal" who I am...not so much as a person (which I've shared far too much of already) but, rather, a face to place on that person. Is it important?, I don't think so. But I know what you all look like and that completes the picture for me - I just felt I should do the same. Not any big mystery thing - I don't place that much importance on myself in other people's worlds. But, since my lame set up won't allow me to link a pic to my profile and the only one I've posted to date (I think) is one with special effects in photo booth, I felt I'd add my mug to the mix here. I really don't do pictures AT ALL, explaining why I only have the ones from photo booth. I avoid cameras like the plague and mine (the stolen one) never had a single one of me on it...I like it that way. So (drumroll please) I am, with all my stresslines, bags and wrinkles. Ta'da!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

In The Middle Of A Shitstorm?

As you're well aware by now, things have been a bit rough lately and I constantly feel like I'm being tested on how much I can endure. And each hurdle I overcome just seems to mean another one, eight inches higher, is placed right in front of me. This seems to go back as far as I can remember and I wonder, at times, if my (newly developed) negative attitude is contributing to my fate. But, upon further consideration...NO FUCKING WAY. I have no control over most of this shit.

In a nutshell, my life as an adult (please, start playing your violins now):

I'd just married my childhood sweetheart and moved into our new condo when my mom suffered her aneurysm/stroke, paralyzing her on the left side. Dad and I would assume total care of her - mostly dad, but hygiene and entertainment are my departments. Before this, Mom had always been a super independent, on the go kind of gal. The stroke devastated her.

My husband and I had had two kids before he totally went off the deep end and turned into a full blown party animal who rarely came home and sometimes kicked my ass for sport. We split in '98. Should be the beginning of a wonderful life, no?

No. Shortly thereafter my dog (I fought to keep her with us) also had a stroke. I cared for her for two years, holding a towel under her to keep her up when she had "to go", sometimes all bloody night. She perked up for awhile, which is why I held on to her for so long. I wouldn't have kept her going if I thought she was suffering - I don't think she was, but I certainly was. She died a few years ago, leaving us (again) devastated. We'd had her 15 years - since before both of the kids were born. She'd always been there for us....a comfort when the world was turning to shit.

But we eventually got (somewhat) over her, meaning things would start getting better, right? Wrong again. Thus began Dad's ordeal and, what was initially a reflux/diverticulitis diagnosis, quickly turned into devastating news (devastating seems to be my theme here). The discovery of cancer. And, what was thought to be a tumor on the bladder turned out to be cancer throughout his bowels. A horrendous bout of surgery/chemo almost took Dad from us - he developed a superbug and a hernia post op. They screwed up his homecare, leaving "yours truly" in charge. I'm sure I've just posted about this but, what the fuck, I'll say it again. I fumbled around, not knowing how to care for his massive incision, that was now completely infected (a stumbling nurse had pulled out his "drainage" tube, spilling urine into his wound the night before he was discharged from the hospital....not good news). It was the Canada Day long weekend...I'll never forget how fucking scared and alone I felt. My brother was fully involved in the throws of a serious drug addiction at that point. He was completely out of control and causing chaos for us. Mom had a lump in her breast and was scheduled for a biopsy. Dad was....well, teetering on the brink of death (at home, with no help). I was buckling under. This was also during a period when my daughter was struggling in school - personal problems and bullying teachers meant she just didn't want to go and I was battling that front as well. Fuck, I don't know how I made it. Yes I do - my right hand man (and wonderful son), Tyler. So things got better, right?

Hell no! Eventually Dad strengthened and I focused more on my home. But right around that time our condo had pooled with water on the roof from clogged drainage pipes. It was like a knee deep swimming pool up there (flat roof, housing 10 units) and eventually it started leaking. When the roofers finally came to reroof, they somehow "forgot" to pump the water off first - BIG MISTAKE. A wheelbarrow full of gravel that they'd scraped off went through a soft spot over my unit, emptying ALL the water from the roof into it! I'm not talking "dripping" - it poured through for 50 minutes...every light fixture, every ceiling fan, etc. I actually "heard" it in the walls before I saw it. It was bad. It still is. Flash forward two years and it's still unfixed and mold is now growing while the insurance company, stata management company and roofers all battle over liability.

Things can't get any worse, right? Bullshit.

I had my own cancer scare a year ago, as a lump in my breast caused concern and a year's worth of testing. It was decided that no one really could explain what it was, but it's thought not to be cancerous, so I'm trying not to think about it too much. But the worry creeps in sometimes, usually late at night when I feel a bit of pain there. I quickly discount it because that's what the doctors have done....they know best, right? (Fuck, I hope so)

So here we are now, in the throws of Mom's shit. In between all of this have been some minor mishaps like the car breaking down in the tunnel (almost killing us in the process - images of Lady Di's wreck flashed before me). Sewer backups that flooded my basement with, you guessed it, sewage!!! Nails in my new tires. Stolen cameras. Concussions from slipping on wet fast food joint floors. Just a series of unfortunate events that have me screaming "STOP THIS", as I tear my hair out and my fingernails off.

Every fucking day I wake up thinking, "I'm going to have a really positive outlook", as I try and influence my shit cycle. But, so far, it just isn't working. Ty's been diagnosed with panic attacks and Lindsay has just battled mono. Today was her first day back to school since missing the last three months last year. We've been through the ringer. Oh, I forgot to mention that, due to appliance malfunctionitis, we also went four years with an ovenless two burner stove and still don't have a working washing machine (when the sewer backed up it ruined my washer and the walls it drained into).

So what's prompted this post? In reading Matt Good's thoughts and relating to his turbulence, I wonder how many of us are struggling through each day feeling alone, tired, scared, apprehensive, anxious and defeated. Those are just some of my feelings and I have them most days. I don't just start off that way or decide to be Little Miss Gloomy, it's just how things unfold in front of me and by evening I question what this life is all about. Is this all there is? And I'm starting to realize that many others seem to be going through similar bouts with shitsville. I'm not the only one treading oatmeal in lead boots here. And, while that makes me feel a little less alone, it doesn't make me feel "good" - I'm sorry to those who have their own days of wanting to scream "fuck you" to the entire earth.

I know that "life is what you make it" and "when life gives you lemons...." you're supposed to make lemonade. What if it throws fucking bowling balls in your lap - what the fuck can you make out of that?

There seems to be a bad aura following many of us around these days. Which is why I find the positive posts by my homegirls here so uplifting and inspiring....fuck, if they can be happy I CAN TOO, right?

I hope so. I'm trying.

Good luck Matt. I think I know how you're feeling.

As Selfish As It Is, I'm Glad Matt Good's Coming "Home"

Under the circumstances, it's probably not right that I feel happy about this. But I do...I couldn't stand the thought of our Vancouver boy drifting around out there in never never land while going through such a difficult time. As much as I wish him peace and happiness, I think the comfort of his family is probably something that will help him through it. But what the hell do I know, I don't even know the guy? I just feel like I do! (Thanks Reena K, for the wonderful picture)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

blue skies over badlands

What the hell...I'm on a roll. Blue Tuesday's done a good job - another favorite with decent quality video. This will make it easily accessible to me any time I want it...selfish blogging here dears!
tripoli (acoustic)

One of my all time favorites. This is very good quality...thanks, bluetuesday 25.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Children & War

Children shouldn’t know
a fear that stems from man
Children should be free to play
together, hand in hand
Children should be laughing
as they run to chase a ball
Never should we stand to see
their bloodied bodies fall
They shouldn’t know of mines
or hear as bombs explode
they shouldn’t lose their parents
or the safety of their homes
Their eyes should be wide open
with wonder of a place
that’s beautiful and warm
and puts a smile upon their face
Men toting machine guns
have no place in their world
nor does violent confrontation
where grenades and hate are hurled
Children should be loved
Nurtured, hugged and free
Children need protection
it’s up to you and me
We need to let them live
We have to let them grow
and keep the violence from them
for never should they know
The pain of missing loved ones
the fear of the unknown
of blood and cries
where some will die
and they are left alone.

Children need us now
We’ve got to make it stop

Sunday, September 10, 2006


I went in to visit Mom yesterday morning and thought we'd break a few rules. I'd noticed a garage sale sign on the way in to hospital and, as that's her very favorite activity, I snuck her out in her wheelchair and hospital gown to scope out a few bargains. She smoked the entire way there. And laughed, saying "this is crazy. You're so funny". I felt great and I'm sure she did too. We both needed some fun and felt like school kids who'd skipped class as we returned to her ward with the bag full of shit we'd bought (but didn't need).

Upon our return, our (very nice looking) Dr. arrived to update us on Mom's condition. It seems her tumors are a bit of a mystery and, because they don't like to stick 7 inch needles near the brain to investigate further, we're sort of "in limbo" right now. The good news is that her ultrasound, mammogram and other tests have come up negative- there are no other tumors/problems. That's a huge relief - I sort of half readied myself for, "sorry, it's EVERYWHERE and there's nothing we can do". This was such good news.

So, as it turns out, he released Mom from the hospital. Not that this is necessarily the best thing for us...but I think the combination of staff screwing up her meds (she caught the error herself), coupled with the fact that they'd forgotten to do the mammogram that the doctor ordered, had him concerned and slightly furious. I think he felt she was better off in our care - even though that places a lot of burden on Dad and I. We'll see how it goes.

Anyhow, last night we got her settled and some family came over to visit. My favorite cousins - Dion and Shannon. Shannon is a nurse in a detox centre and is quite concerned, as well as very helpful - she and I got all Mom's meds sorted out. She's furious over how Mom was handled in hospital and wants to go on a rampage (as she has "connections" and knows many of the doctors there). Mom doesn't want to make a fuss and said she was treated well - she loved all the nurses and got to know each one by name (and birthdate - she's fucking amazing, even after all her brain antics). She's a beautiful person - a people person who makes friends, not enemies. So, we'll let sleeping dogs lie. That's a hard one for me.

Friday, September 08, 2006

My 55 - Music (as stolen from Zombieville)

1) Stairway to Heaven, The Rain Song, Thank You (Led Zeppelin)
4) The Fine Art..., Tripoli, Black Helicopter, Blue Skies Over.... (& 100 more by Matt Good, but I’ll stop here)
8) More, The Box, Water, UFO (Holly McNarland)
11) What’s Up (4 Non Blondes)
12) Nautical Disaster, It’s A Good Life..., Pigeon Camera, Blow At High Dough, Poets,
Fiddler’s Green (Etc., Hip)
18) Aneurysm, School, Oh Me, Something In the Way (Nirvana)
22) Nutshell, Don’t Follow (Alice In Chains)
24) Black, Release, Footsteps, Half Full, Grievance, Crazy Mary, Alive, I Am Mine,
Immortality, All Or None (PJ)
34) My Way Out, Black Black Heart, Breath, Dogs, Underground, St. Lawrence River
(David Usher)
40) Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns (Mother Love Bone)
41) Black Coffee (Everlast)
42) Advertising on Police Cars, Born To Kill (MG - oh God, it’s started already)
44) Everybody (Stabilo)
45) Truth Doesn’t Make A Noise, I Can’t Wait, Same Boy You’ve Always Known (White
48) Turn The Page (Bob Seger)

Time out...I already feel stress over “oh yeah, what about Beatles? Neil Young? Pink Floyd? We need a “55 that jump right out at ya’” and “55 that you think about”. 110...that’s the number.

49) Wish You Were Here (Radiohead - sorry this cover)
50) Pigs On The Wing, Great Gig In The Sky, Us And Them, Shine On.... (Pink Floyd)
54) Wow (Kate Bush)
55) The Man You Fear (Marilyn Manson)

(So, I just thought of 8 more....this is definitely Part 1. I couldn’t possibly stop here - perhaps Barbara’s idea of one song per artist is the only way. Somehow I just can’t do that)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

It Helps When I Write It Down

When I first learned of Dad's cancer I sat alone in the dark one night - crying, swearing. And then I wrote this.

Tragic, indignant
the final curtain
And as end nears
only pain is certain
As others go on
Choice - ignorance
“too busy” to come
they sit on the fence
Frail & tired
your mind won’t keep still
wrinkles hold stories
of the opening bill
Faded photos
(but only a few)
can't tell them all
they’re stored deep within you
As it feeds on you slowly
then knocks you out cold
Death is a vulture
Heartless and bold
Cares not who you are
random selection
all even par
It comes unannounced
Doesn’t knock upon entry
Just barges right in
leaves you cold, dry & empty
Mindlessly numb
then, unknowing, a tear
too frightened to move
frozen in fear
Alone in the dark
silent you cry
can’t make a sound
insides screaming why??
And amidst all the chaos
you struggle for answers
of this uninvited guest
who calls himself

Monday, September 04, 2006

OK, I Don't Get It (So I Tagged Myself)

I felt left out. So "tag", here are mine:

1...Things that scare me: mold, my parent’s failing health, anything that threatens my kids
2...People who make me laugh: Mitch Hedberg, Russell Peters, Jack Black, Tyler & Lindsay, Conan
3...Things I hate the most: arrogance, rudeness, silky scarves rubbing together (like nails on chalkboard to me)
4...Things I don't understand: rudeness, why the world is going to shit
5...Things I'm doing right now: relaxing (YEA!), waiting for Rock Star Super Nova (in two minutes), waiting for my poker tourney (also 2 min)
6...Things I want to do before I die: give up meat (completely), have something published, buy a motorcycle, make my kids proud.
7... Things I can do: wiggle my ears, slalom water ski
8... Ways to describe my personality: outgoing, honest, caring, stubborn
9... Things I can't do: play guitar, bite my tongue, afford Canucks tickets
10...Things I think you should listen to: your instincts, your mother
11...Things you should never listen to: rap music
12...Things I'd like to learn: guitar, why our government is ruining this country
13...Favorite foods: pasta, salads, nuts, pumpkin pie
14...Beverages I drink regularly: milk, water
15...Shows I watched as a kid: Bugs Bunny/Roadrunner Hour, Pete’s Place, The Wizard of Oz (everytime it was on), HNIC

Friday, September 01, 2006

Hey Mel.....Wahoo!


Time To Fight (Again)

A quick update: looks like it was a good idea for me to push for Mom's admittance/stay at hospital. Further testing has revealed tumors on her brain and she's in for the long haul (again). I feel like going back to that little shithead doctor in emergency who treated me like I was totally overreacting and bringing him up to speed on a few things. I just might. If we'd left things to him, Mom would've gone home and God knows how long before we would've learned the truth.

I feel very optimistic and hopeful. We're fighters and there's a few more hands of Texas Hold 'Em with her name on them. Tired....later guys!