What to Post When You Can’t Keep a Train of Thought on Its Rails…

Image: Trojan Moose
Trojan Moose
Taken July 7, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550

Yeah, yeah, I know I said I *hate* these things not two posts ago, but…The Best Memes in Life Are Stolen. Elle said that, so it must be true.

Stole this from Elle, who stole it from Angelika, who stole it from Why Are You Stalking Me?, who stole it from someone else. 😀

1. Do you like blue cheese salad dressing?
— No.

2. Favorite late night snack?
— Mashed potatoes. And beer.

3. Do you own a gun?
— No.

4. What’s your favorite drink at Starbucks or other specialty coffee shop?
— Here in Canuckia, it’s Tim’s, and it’s either a black coffee, or an English Toffee something-or-other.

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments?
— Not anymore.

6. What do you think of hot dogs?
— I try not to think of them, or it puts me off them. Have eaten them. Will most likely eat them again.

7. Favorite Christmas song?
— Gramma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
— I wish I had the nerve to say beer. It’s coffee, though.

9. Can you do push-ups?
— I can… but will I? HA!

10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry?
— It’s a toss-up between my Grandmother’s little silver “broach-watch” thingy, or my father’s wristwatch. I wear neither of them, though. Or any other jewelry of any other kind, for that matter.

11. Favorite hobby?
Digital Photography.

12. Do you have A.D.D.?
— Probably.

13. What’s one trait that you hate about yourself?
— I procrastinate. A lot. I probably stole this meme weeks ago.

14. The last disease you contracted?
— Wrinkles.

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment.
— I can’t possibly be expected to untangle THREE of them considering I might have A.D.D.

16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink?
— Coffee, coffee and beer. Although ‘regular’ on beer has become more ‘few and far between’. And that’s a shame, if ever there was one.

17. Current worry right now?
— None. I refuse.

18. Current hate right now?
— See above.

19. Favorite place to be?
— I haven’t been ANYPLACE, yet. I’ll have to do something about that.

20. How did you ring in the New Year?
— I seriously cannot remember.

21. Like to travel?
— I hope so.

22. Name three people who will complete Sunday Stealing this week:
— No.

23. Do you own slippers?
— Yes, I do.

24. What color shirt are you wearing?
— Black.

25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?
— Haven’t the foggiest. Probably not.

26. Can you whistle?
— Can so.

27. Favorite singer/band?
— Impossible to attempt to decide.

28. Could you ever make it 39 days on the show Survivor?
— I’ll betcha I could. But what the hell for?!

29. What songs do you sing in the shower?
— I don’t. The Idiot Child does though. And in the sauna. And in the “bathroom”. And in her sleep sometimes.

30. Favorite girl’s names?
— Kyla.

31. Favorite boy’s names?
— Hmmmmm…. Matthew for my father, maybe?

32. What’s in your pocket right now?
— Nothing right now, but a few seconds ago there was a hand in there!

33. Last thing that made you laugh?
— How fast “Hand in My Pocket” started playing in my head after I typed the above answer.

34. Like your job?
— I do.

36. Do you love where you live?
— If you mean my apartment – yes. If you mean this town – not like I once did.

37. How many TVs do you have in your house?
— 1

38. Who is your loudest friend?
— “Real Life” friends – The Fly-Girl. “Imaginary Friends”, as my mom calls anybody I know online, I haven’t a clue yet. But it’s probably Suzi, now that Sheikh is gone… 😀 / 🙁

39. Do you drive the speed limit or speed?
— I always drive the speed limit. Unless I think I might have cocaine in my pockets.

40. Does someone have a crush on you?
— If so, I hope it’s a movie producer in need of new scripts…

41. What is your favorite book?
— Can’t say… too many. I like anything by Madeline L’engle. Or Douglas Adams. Or Robert Heinlein.

42. What is your favorite candy?
— Just gimme the candy.

43. Favorite Sports Team?
— At one time, it was the Edmonton Oilers, but then Wayne defected.

44. What were you doing 12 AM last night?
— Dancing in the parking lot.

45. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up today?
— I haven’t yet woken up today.

So, steal it if you want it. 😀

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Gyasi Went Home” – Bedouin Soundclash

Goodbye, Captain Underpants…

"The Tattered and Worn"
“The Tattered and Worn”
Taken November 10, 2007 with Canon PowerShot A550

Tattered and worn is how Ky and I both feel about now. Our move of residence is imminent. As in, Today.

I hate moving. I wanted to space it all out over a period of a couple of weeks, and the plan was working for awhile, even. The J.O.B., though, has me worn out. When I’m there, I’m thinking of all the packing still left to do, and when I’m here, I’m too overwhelmed and “procrastinatey” to get much done.

I don’t have to be completely gone from this building until the 31st, but The Fly-Girl’s wedding reception is on the 30th, which requires an overnight… and nope- can’t book the following day off for the last little pickings involved in moving house, so I’m hoping I can get it done ahead of the celebrations. And that I’m not hungover at work the day after the dog bites me.

I hate moving. I said that already, didn’t I? Well, I hate it even more now, than two paragraphs ago.

We’ve been chauffering little stuff in boxes over since the 15th, with much of it going the opposite direction to the charity drop. I’m forced to abandon items that I would have clung to fiercely a year ago, and I’m surprisingly at peace doing so. There is no room for more than is absolutely necessary, and no storage space. At. All. The place we’re moving into is even smaller than the one we’re leaving. I wouldn’t have thought that to be possible, but…

I took the place sight unseen (or is that site unseen? Whatever.), because every apartment I did look at was filthy. And expensive. And filthy. I considered buying a small house. Even looked at a couple. They were filthy, too.

And then Ruby suggested I check into an apartment above a store, right around the corner from her. She figured that even if they didn’t have anything available, they might know who owned the really well-kept up, retrofitted house next to them. Turns out “they” own both buildings, and a basement apartment would be available in the retro just in time for me.

It was small, they said. Very small. Newly renovated, though, with new fixtures, and floors, and appliances, and cupboards, and a sauna. Convincing Ky to take an unseen apartment (with a sauna) was actually a simple procedure: “Want a sauna?” “Duh! YES!!!”

I stood outside the building, not being able to see the place, yet, because of the squatter that refused to leave it, and pictured a full basement. I convinced myself that if it wasn’t bigger than the place we were leaving, it at least had to be close to the same size.

I paid a deposit. And the landlord hit me with another zinger.

We have no walls.

Hmmmm…. Okay, so it will be a Basement Loft with Sauna, then, won’t it? I signed a contract, and wrote out a bunch of post-dated checks. Accepted a key, and signed for that.

On the 15th, we went to see it.

It’s about this big.

Well, the new landlord tried to warn me, didn’t he? I’m taking it anyway, though. I can’t imagine looking at any more filthy, little expensive places…

There are all those pluses, too… I could spit and hit Ruby’s door… security parking for Prissy, behind a chain-link fence, complete with barbed-wire ruffles at the top… cheap rent, all inclusive… decent landlord…. the new everything he put in the place… Oh and did I mention

The Sauna?

And I’ll be glad to get out of this place, finally. It’s not the same without Ruby at the helm, and about the only things I’ll miss are the considerable whack-jobs populating the block.. like Captain Underpants, who moved in across the street last winter, and introduced himself to the neighbourhood by walking around barefoot in the snow, wearing nothing but his green boxers, beer in hand, yelling “Howdy!” to everybody he saw. Every day.

Now that the snow is gone, he yells from his kitchen window. I don’t think Captain Underpants likes heat. At least I know I won’t find him in my sauna some day.

Random Song-for-the-Day: “i am the walrus” – The Beatles

Great Aunt Emma

"Emma's Knight"Taken October 20, 2007 with Canon PowerShot A550
“Emma’s Knight”
Taken October 20, 2007 with Canon PowerShot A550

I must apologize to the memory of my Great Aunt Emma, for this horrible photo of her painting. It’s a water-colour, framed behind glass, hanging in an awkward niche in my parents’ small space. To get the shot at all, I had to jam myself between the fake gas fireplace and the stereo stand, straddling something or other – it might have been a speaker; I don’t remember. I imagine Emma, if she could somehow see them, would marvel at both the fireplace and the electronics in the stand, not to mention the annoying blinds that caused me problems with the reflection shining on her painting, 70-odd years after her death.

The knight in the painting is Emma’s depiction of a Crusader, having his sword blessed before setting off to convert the heathenish sinners into unwavering faith in a God they’d never heard of.

And if you can’t convert ’em, hell – run ’em through.

When I was little, I used to stare at Emma’s painting for hours at a time. I thought, then, that it was Joan of Arc. I used to imagine that maybe Emma felt a little like Joan: misunderstood… ostracized… martyred. Well… “martyred”, I guess, came later for Emma.

She was my mother’s father’s sister, one of three. As you can see, Emma was an artistic soul, at a time and in a place where that was unusual. The time was the late 1800’s or early 1900’s, and the place was a teeny-tiny farming community on the Manitoulin Island – a community of hard-working, God-fearing, good people. “Haweaters”, they still proudly call themselves, and I’m just as proud to be descended from them.

Emma was a “difficult” girl. She was not exactly… dependable. Her moods were sometimes… erratic. Her actions often confused people.

Sometimes, she could be extremely morose. Depressed. Her family worried over her. At other times, she became violently angry, and frightened them. There were days that she was giddy, and loud, or just plain “odd”. There were also days, and weeks, and probably whole months at a stretch that she was just plain “Emma, herself”, and they would be relieved and nervous at the same time, wondering which Emma would be there next, and hoping by some miracle that her “fits” had passed for good this time.

My mother believes, now, that Emma might have had Bi-Polar Disorder, or what at one time was called Manic Depression. I think my mother might be right, but that was an unheard-of condition way back then. And I’m guessing you have a pretty good idea where Emma ended up.

It must have been a difficult decision, sending her away. Committing her to an asylum. The Nut House. Booby Hatch, Funny Farm, Loony Bin. Horrible, terrible names, I know. Back then, though, they were horrible, terrible places to be “institutionalized” – places where, if you were shut up into them, whether by your family, or by a magistrate, you would be shut up with other people that may very well have started out with troubles similar to yours, but over time had really been driven literally mad. By the time you met your fellow inmates, most would be dangerous, psychotic, unrecognizable versions of themselves. And you would probably end up the same way. And back then, they almost never let you out.

Emma’s sisters, Marjorie and Lavinia, would go and visit her when they could afford the trip to Toronto. Sometimes, she didn’t care if she saw them or not. Maybe during those times, she didn’t realize who they were. But there were also visits when Emma was “Emma, herself”, her perfectly normal “self”, the sister they loved. Those visits were especially hard for Marj and Vine, because Emma would cry, and beg them to please, please, just let her come home. She hated it in the asylum. The other patients frightened her. She was going crazy. Please, please, just take her home. But they couldn’t take her home, and they would have to say good-bye and leave her in that awful place, alone.

After awhile, they didn’t visit anymore.

Emma died some time during the Great Depression. My mother doesn’t know if she was still in that asylum or not, but she was still in Toronto when she died. No one had any money then. No one could afford to travel.

There was a man who came from the Manitoulin, who lived in Toronto at the time. He saw Emma’s obituary in the newspaper, and recognizing the family name, he decided to go to the funeral. He knew Emma’s people, and he wanted to give his condolences. He wasn’t able to.

He was the only person there.

Not-So-Random Song for the Day: “Eleanor Rigby” – The Beatles

Ruby Strikes Again…

…strikes me funny that is. Another little collection from “The Landlady”.

“She still hasn’t forgiven me for that time I hit her over the head with a shovel.”

“I was black and blue from all the pokin’ around.”
(About a nurse drawing blood…)


“I had the stupidest dream. It was Christmas, and all these dead people showed up. You should’ve SEEN all the presents!”

“I was just beside myself. I should’ve got a lot more done.”

…and after she realized why I was laughing so hard…

“Don’t you write that down! I didn’t mean to say that.”