Wednesday, June 29, 2005

twizzlers and diet coke

you know, i was sitting at my computer working away the other afternoon and i was wanting a snack. . not much didn't wanna spoil my supper! So, i went downstairs and fished out some Pringles light (5 whole chips!) 4 strawberry twizzlers (licorice) and a can of diet coke with lime.

I sat at my desk working, eating my snack and i started to think of what i did with twizzlers when i was a kid. . . . i used them as a straw!!! guess what i did? yep! i put 1 in my can of diet coke and slurped away. . it took me right back to my childhood and all the goofy things i did with food and various other objects!

let's see. . where to begin. .

*ripple chips were eaten 1 ridge at a time.
*ice cream was stirred into ice cream soup (my sisters and i had tons of fun with this!)
*ju jubes and other chewy, gummy type candies were pounded flat before eating
*mashed potatoes were formed into pools for gravy, peas were thrown in.
*chewed gum was held tightly between the teeth and pulled as far away from the mouth as possible.
*shoestring licorice was tied into humungous knots before eating.
*kit kat chocolate bars were eaten in layers
*bags of potato chips were pounded in crumbs before eating, then the bag tipped to your mouth to pour in the crumbs.
*cadbury crunchie bars were licked clean of chocolate and the sponge toffee base eaten an inch at a time.
*orange segments were opened and individual juice sacs were burst between your thumb and index finger!
*'lola' flavoured ice triangles were sucked of all juice, leaving behind a block of white ice, which got chucked!
*a jawbreaker in the mouth was removed every few minutes to check which colour was visible.
*saltine crackers were sandwiched together with some butter, to see the butter ooze out of the tiny holes.
*all beverages were 'bubbled' with a straw!
*sugar cubes at church luncheons were eaten like candy
*pop fizz was listened to with fascination!

oh and it wasn't just food we played with. .

*my sisters held chemistry class on the bathroom counter. . everything and anything got mixed in a bowl just to see what would happen!
*i operated a pastry shop out of my wooden sandbox. . the bench-like seats were my cooling racks.
*dandelion stems were spliced together to make chains and necklaces.
*chestnuts were stripped of their outer husks to reveal the smooth brown nut beneath, depending on your gender they were either smashed with a hammer *boys* , thrown at your enemies *boys again!* or made into necklaces (girls) we'd take them home, get our dads to drill a hole through them and thread them on a shoelace.
*flower petals were removed 1 at a time while chanting "he loves me, he loves me not"
*Reciting the alphabet while twisting your apple stem (to find the initial of your boyfriend's name)
*blades of grass were made into palm whistles.
*bikes were placed upside down and the pedals wound really fast then let go. . .don't know why? just to watch things spin??
*golf balls were taken apart to see the rubber guts inside
*maple seed pods were spun like helicopters
*"puff balls" were puffed (a type of fungus that release spores in a cloud of dust when squeezed). If you found one of these on the school ground you were a celebrity!
*I put blobs of Elmers white glue on the palm of my hand, let the air dry it a bit, then rolled it into a ball and squashed it into a pliant white glue pancake.
*sewing needles were painlessly stuck through the most superficial layer of your fingertip skin, to the amazement of all!

Why do we lose this fun in our lives?!!! do you ever wonder? I was thinking about that as i ate my fun little snack.

Anyway, my lunch time is over, back to work. .
My diet coke has a twizzler straw sticking out of the can! heh heh!!! (i had so much fun with this that i decided to do it again today before the licorice sticks got eaten up).

Saturday, June 25, 2005

yeah, the 'c-word' again. . . last time i promise.

my friend Sherri commented on my 'what's it all about' post. . i took her comment to heart and began to write this out, cuz i respect that she cared enough to want the 'ideal' to emerge when it comes to 'church'. I want that too.

I love the church - worshiping God by being in community with other people, accepting one another - all 'one anothers' not just select ones. I think that one of the things a 'church' is supposed to be is a learning place, we learn together how to get along with God and with each other. Community and acceptance is no mystery, or maybe it is? cuz it seems to elude some of us. Worship also seems to elude us, maybe we really don't understand it? *though we have no shortage of celebrities or heroes or people on pedestals who seem to do the trick for us*

I think it means holding someone in awe, praising them or being speechless, overwhelmed even at the thought of them. Its unflagging devotion and passion, being completely given over to, having all my thoughts centre on and all my time and energy used up on that singular focus. You know if i really think about it, the only one i worship like that is myself. . . So, have i ever worshiped God at all? or was 'me' always lurking behind the proper facade? what i could get out of it? have i had truly genuine relationships with others? *i think its hit and miss. . . i try, but sometimes i fail or maybe they fail, or we all do*

Its time for honesty. I think if every church member would grit their teeth and brace their hearts and fess up to this same predicament, we'd see that 'self' is this huge dragon in need of slaying. God knows it is. i behave like a member of some colossal dysfunctional family because that's what I am. We're all members, whether we are in the "family" currently or whether we have become estranged from it and found some place else to belong.

Once upon a time someone drew this great picture of church and its stuck in my mind. The 'church' should be like a bunch of white hot coals all heaped up and gathered together - their closeness maximizes their burning power. You take a piece of coal out of this pile and put it off to the side, it loses heat until it is cold. Take another out, and another. . cold, cold, cold. What happens if the whole bunch is cold?, not heaped or gathered, just all separated and inactive. . live coals get extinguished, cuz there is no nurturing of the spark, no flame - . that's not church. .that's death. I don't want to be that way. . . i long to be a member of a heaped up, live place. . i wanna be a hot coal but i'm afraid sometimes that this is only a dream. Its a dream that dominates all my thoughts and i actually cling to this strength of belief that there is a place like this somewhere. . .

You know, i think that people, churches can be fooled into thinking they're full of life - and maybe they are, but what kind? Captain Danielle Strickland of the Salvation Army once talked about the difference between the 2 kinds of life. . . 'bios' --Greek for physical, breathing, blinking, you have a pulse - you exist and "zoe" which means "Spirit" life. . . the invisible, deepest part of what makes you 'you' is contagiously ALIVE, way beyond existence to plenty --more than enough for you and plenty for others to soak up. Now we're talkin'. That's my kind of life and church.

Can God's people be this way? Can i be this way? Transcendently and purely attractive? Flowing over zoe life? There is this giver of life among us . . you've seen his work, so have i -- we're surrounded by it. He's a starkly and thunderously powerful being whose presence causes seismic shifts but he's got this great, bleeding heart of love for humanity. He holds the time/space continuum -- his voice activates atoms, protons, electrons. His fingertip touch sets off stellar winds and solar flares -- can i dare to approach his greatness with my knees knocking and my mouth like cotton? but this is not just God, He's my God - he planned my life before i was ever born. He did the same for you. He knows our condition. His mercy leaked all over the world when the broken body of Jesus bled for our calamity. He is our God. Can we dare to love him? I could kick myself for the years i wasted, my heart encased is concrete, my spirit lay shriveled and gasping within my self-absorbed soul. How little did i risk and do for him because i was frightened of uniting with his soul claiming, spirit igniting, body shaking presence? I wanted control, i cherished my foolish independence. I was sick but i thought that i was fine. I was afraid to know him, and afraid to encounter the raw, aching hearts and dying spirits all around me. How much easier to throw tokens at their misery, never touching it or taking it into my heart to feel it? Even worse i ignored them by pretending that the world was tiny, with a pleasing little orbit of my choosing, safe, predictable. But desperate times came and were followed by desperate prayers and much needed rescue. I don't know why i couldn't get it before, but there's something about hard times that softens the hardest heart and gives zoe life to near dead spirits. So, now how can i keep this great news within myself? I would never hesitate to tell everyone i know about a diet that works or a killer recipe or a bargain at "liquidation world". I should take out a full page ad in the paper!! His love is more fantastic than an 80% off sale. . its better than winning the lottery, its better than chocolate (i agree with Sarah McLachlan!) Even so, do i even know how to handle such love, much less contain it? I've maybe poked at this love, to examine it, even touched it with my fingertips and been content - maybe even thought that was all that i could ever ask for. Still there's always this part of me that holds back from embracing him. If i can only give out what i receive, no wonder God seems small and unreal in the eyes of the searching ones. Its time to receive more.

so this morning i was sitting out on my deck alone. . having 'church'. . ha ha! this is my way these days. . i don't know if its 'right' but I know that i have a lot more time to think these days not going through the Sunday motions all dead inside. I'll never go back to that. So yeah i'm on my deck. The trees are rustling in the wind. . i hear neighbours doing yard work, life is all around me, the yard is serenely beautiful - green vines climb the trellis behind me, the umbrella shades me from the sun and i'm reading my Bible like it was food and i was starving - taking in the book of Romans in the new testament. I was just talking in my head to God and i was staring at the roof line of my house. I noticed the connections to the nearby telephone pole. I saw the hydro lines running their course along the street and i noticed the connections of my house hooked up to this main line which supplied my home. I started to think about all the things i couldn't do without that connection. I thought of what life would be like without it and i didn't like that thought. Cut off, without power, cold in the winter, too hot in the summer, hungry cuz i'd have no way to keep food, no light to see, no way to get clean. . not connected to the network that supplies all the power i need to live. That was better than a million sermons. . i got it. that was cool.

Well, i've gotta stop . . my thoughts are always going 'runaway train' on me! but i'm still holding out hope for being part of a family again, a church one. . maybe i'll find some 'hot coals'?! maybe it will be nothing like what i thought. . i don't know. . . but i'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

longest day of the year!!!

June 21 is the summer solstice. . day of the year with the most sunlight!! i wonder how many weirdos may gather at Stonehenge today to re-enact the pagan dances and celebrations of the day?! First day of summer. . . ahhhh. . .

summer is so freeing. . the layers of clothing come off. . which itself is great, cuz you actually get to feel the air on your skin without it becoming numb!! You have to have worn a stupid winter coat for months in the frozen tundra to appreciate shedding it!!! Feeling a warm breeze, the marvel of wearing sandals or the gloriousness of lounging on the deck, looking at the sky without having your vision obscured by the mist of your own breath! Sure the sun fries unprotected skin in a matter of minutes. . . and the smog alerts are coming thick and fast. . yeah, we saturate ourselves in DEET mosquito repellent to avoid West Nile and of course the bugs attack us should we decide to dine al fresco. . . but its summer. . this is the price we pay for going around in our convertibles, swimming outdoors, firing up the barbie. Still wouldn't trade it, would we?

This summer i have many chores to do and i'm hoping that we will get some canoeing in?! i want to buy a sandbox for the grandkiddies and a swingset. . What i REALLY want is a gigantic trampoline!!!!! maybe i'm having a midlife crisis?? i want to be able to go outside on my break and jump like a kid on my very own trabampoline (Homer Simpson's hilarious!!!) anyone see the 'trabampoline' episode?!!! classic! My killjoy husband says "Where are we gonna put it when the summer's done?" oh, i don't know *I'm tempted to say 'Up your butt and around the corner." as he's sometimes fond of saying to me* but my response is "How about in between the shed and the fence?? no, sez Rob, its too big for there. D'oh!!! I hate when he's the serious one. . its such a reversal! So that's out. . . I'd also like a pool too! but 'realistic Robbie' is nixing this refreshing idea by citing the potential filter clogging potential of the nearby foliage and i don't give a crap about that. . cuz as Lindsay says "that's what they make those scoopy thingies for" excuse #2 from Rob is "it'll take up the entire back yard." no it won't!!! and all its used for now is for the dog to poo on.. and the grandkids to run around on (hopefully not in the poo). . *sigh!* excuse #3 is: 'its only operational for 3 months out of 12.' (okay he has a point there), but so?! can't those 3 months be spent in the pool? Excuse#4 " It'll cost a fortune to fill it and operate it." yeah, yeah. . . i hate this last excuse the most, cuz its the one that keeps the pool in the store and out of our yard. . oh well. . Robbie and his excuses win. We do have a pool, however -- its purple, 6 inches deep and has googly eyes and elephant ears. We bought it for James when he was little. . . he used to scream "NO, NO NO!!!!!" every time we tried to put him in the stupid thing. .*gee, I wonder why?!* who designs these things?? so "Ella" has never been used! It sits behind our canoe, gathering spider webs and catching grass clippings. . I think maybe its time for her debut? Hopefully Eri won't be spooked by a giant purple elephant face pool??

hmmm. . what will i do to commemorate the longest day of the year??? going to pick strawberries in the evening would be nice. . . but we bring home sooo many berries and then i have to find room in the fridge and the herculean task of sorting the mushies from the firms, washing the jam berries, then sterilizing all the rings, lids, jars for the jam and making the jam and pouring it and filling up the basement freezer with the jars, and then turning my attention to the others and making the pies and sorting the 'eating berries'. . . . .ohmigosh. . you gotta psych yourself up for that marathon!!! makes me tired just thinking of it. . maybe i should get to bed now, so that i can wake up on time to get up and at 'em, to make the most of the hopefully gorgeous day? Of course it will be beautiful, cuz its a work day and as our youngest daughter, KK is discovering as a full time worker. . . every flippin' work day is gorgeous, fantastic, beauteous, marvellous and where are we full time workers on these splendiferous days??? we're indoors working!!! BAAAAAHHH!! the weekends roll around, whaddya got? clouds, clouds, rain, overcast conditions, partly sunny to cloudy, drizzle and yes, more clouds!!! its like some cosmic joke and we ain't the ones laughing.

anyway. . have a great day!! do something commemorative. . . have a picnic supper or maybe bbq it, go mini golfing, go to DQ, throw the frisbee, play badminton, go for a sunset drive. . .

that's it for me. . i'm beat! 'night!!! (*I mean morning*) everyone!

Friday, June 17, 2005

and now for something completely different!

175 solid kilograms of Cadbury's delicious milk chocolate. . .
over 1000 hours in the forming. . .
Madame Tussaud's finest artists set aside their wax and went beserk!

yes! i'm talking about a chocolate statue of . . . . . .Sir Elton John! Its eerily realistic. . pretty much like Elton with a toasty tan! but perhaps a tad too glossy with the satiny sheen of carnuba wax covering his ample chocolateyness.

What's next, chocolate Prince William? chocolate Donald Trump? In fact, why not get rid of the wax dummies and just go 'chocorama'?!!!

you know what's really odd? they took pictures of Elton's 'husband' posing with his partner's chocolate doppelganger. . oh boy.

so yeah, that's surreal but delicious! I love Cadbury's chocolate. Do you think they can trust the security? the general public? i would imagine that climate control is important for this particular work of art!

what's this world coming to? Elton's been immortalized in chocolate, he's writing show tunes and now he's doing Vegas?????!!!!!! what happened?????!!!!!! My friend, Ally was talking about Elton the other day. . so Elton seems to be in the news with the chocolate effigy and the Vegas gig, etc. Where's that prolific tunesmith? the hands that played Bennie and the Jets, Empty Garden, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, the voice that sang "Someone Saved My Life Tonight", "Don't Let The Sun Go Down on Me", "Tiny Dancer". . . is singing the papish "Circle of Life". . . . oh Elton. . . . and now Vegas? I used to admire you so!!! I once bought a custom made E.J. sparkly t-shirt! I put your pictures on the side of my wardrobe!! I listened obsessively to Captain Fantastic!!! You WERE Captain Fantastic!! I read the album's comic book insert a million times! I read and read and re-read your lyrics. . . you were right up there with Chicago and The Bay City Rollers for me!!!

Elton, you've gone old, squidgy and all bland and toothless. . there's no more bite to your songs!!! I know you don't need the money. . but come on!!!! throw me a frickin bone here! why not kick it for old time's sake?! use your lucky pencil, stand on your head. . tell Bernie to get with it. . come on Sir Cadbury Chocolot -- you can do it!!!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

what's it all about?

i kinda debated writing this, but the compulsion was strong, so here i am. If you've read a few of my blog entires, you know that i like to keep things on the light side, that i love to find the humour in life. This post, i'm not sure now what it will shape up to be, but i guess it will be me attempting to take a lifetime of familial and societal conditioning, pick it in up, turn it around and try to see if from all angles. I welcome you to share your own experiences, your thoughts, your critiques. The subject? CHURCH.

I hear voices *maybe its the blog etiquette fairies*? in my head saying "don't write a therapy blog", "don't get personal", "don't write a 'this is my day' blog" don't, don't don't. . . . so i'm rejecting those labels and turning a deaf ear to those voices and i will do, do, do what i like! here goes. . .

do you ever get to the point in your life where you start really thinking about things? about why you do the things you do? do you take a long, hard look at your motives? Have you ever felt like one of Pavlov's dogs? dingdingding!!! SLOBBER, DROOL. My focus is admittedly narrow here, its only 1 word - but its a word fraught with layers of meaning wrapped in layers of mystery - an enigma, a riddle. what IS it? where is it? who is it? and why??? We could totally play 'word association games' till the cows come home with this word. . let's have a go! church = boring, church = conformity, church = hymns, church = community, church = hypocrisy, church = social club, church = charity, church = building. . .

i grew up in church, me and my sisters were taken to church by our parents. In my early days church was : our mother drawing little stick figures on a notepad to 'keep us quiet' in church. . it was plastic containers filled with cheerios, shreddies etc. to keep us quiet, it was dressing up in uncomfortable clothes and sitting on hard pews and being made to keep quiet. I always felt that we had to leave our 'real selves' in the parking lot on Sunday mornings. Not just us kids, but grownups too. Sunday mornings in our house were chaotic! I hated them. Our parents were stressed, we kids didn't want to dress up or miss cartoons, there was yelling! there were tantrums a generally rotten mood pervaded the house. One Sunday morning i had my 'church clothes' on, i had my little Bible in hand, whose cover depicted a smiling Jesus and happy children and I made the mistake of saying to my mother : "I HATE GOING TO CHURCH!" what I really meant was "Why isn't our family like the cover of my Bible?" I hated that it wasn't. What she seemed to hear was: "I'm a chromosomally deficient axe murderer in the making" I got the biggest spanking - we went to church, but I could barely sit down for the throbbing sting. . ouch! You know what that taught me? Honesty will be punished. The notion that i wasn't acceptable seeped into my young soul and to this day i still feel that way, at least in regards to many of the authority figures in my life.

When i got older i went through my 'i don't give a crap' stage. . i know its tedious, how many stories of teenaged rebellion must there exist? As a member of my church i had done my stint of jumping through hoops, i was involved in the things that young church members were expected to be involved in. Sometimes I felt like a trained seal. But sometimes I had moments where the hoops faded into the background along the expectations and judgement and I had glimmers of THE 'who' and 'why' of church, Him. . . God. My mind was so young but sometimes i had these peeks behind the facade and I really, really believed that Jesus was so loving and good. I remember being at summer camp -- music camp-- when i was young. I was so glad to be away from the 'stuff' at home. Here i could have fun, SWIM, live in community with lots of other kids and eat dill pickle chips and coffee crisp bars every day! We had chapel meetings on Sundays at camp, and we learned about the Bible every day. . i have to say that i didn't fully appreciate this, i was too busy being immature! But on the Sunday the camp leader talked to us about God, about Jesus and the Holy Spirit. He was really good at speaking to kids. I was actually listening.. and suddenly i was aware of my own badness, hey it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that we are all fighting the 'dark side of the force'. . ha ha!! but for the first time I was helped to understand that God still loved me in spite of this. I didn't know what that felt like, i thought God was like my mother who only seemed to tolerate me when i fulfilled all their conditions or when the wind was blowing in a favourable direction. So you know, my heart was kinda bursting outta my chest, thinking about a love like that! I decided that i loved God, even though i couldn't see him and I wanted to belong to him. It was a rare moment, quite overwhelming and I think if i had not been there at the moment in time, I might never have known God and I might not have come through the ups and downs of my life with my faith worn, but intact. When the end of that week at camp arrived, back home i went. The drive home was hard. . my mother's 'dark mood' polluted my newly found heart. Maybe she didn't want me to come home, i reasoned. Finally we got home and her mood had not improved one iota, yelling and screaming at all of us, about what? i can't remember. . i was wishing that i could go back to camp to live and i had this picture of Jesus that I pushed in front of her face and screamed 'WHAT ABOUT JESUS?!!" Honestly, i draw a blank after that. I don't know what she said. I cannot remember. I was too young to understand the complexities of her mental pathology, other than it was horrible to live with and confused us girls and i'm sure it confounded our father. Jesus was my champion. I didn't know it, but I was seeing hypocrisy and even sickness in action and maybe because of that i was amazed at how my new feelings for someone I couldn't see or touch or for that matter fathom could help me through the quicksand of family life and in fact every part of my life.

I thought once thought that church was a building. I thought it was about being quiet and pretending that you're someone other than yourself, "Sunday smile", "Sunday clothes", "Sunday behaviour", it didn't jive with the rest of the week!! I thought it was about not going to a store on Sunday, not doing yard work on a Sunday, in fact we children were ordered to rest on our beds after lunch on Sundays. We could not go outdoors, we could not raise our voices. geez louise. . .Sunday "day of rest" to the 'nth' degree. Later i went through the stage when I thought it was a set of rules about clothing and 'deportment', it was about what not to do, not swearing, not drinking, not gambling, not going to movies, not dancing, not wearing jewelry or makeup ad nauseum. Some of these 'no nos' were good for me and I am even grateful for them, but others are preposterous, man-made rules. I thought church was about music, learning to play a brass instrument, singing, going to rehearsals, having musical programs with other church musicians. I guess when i think of all the things I thought church was. . i was thinking what i was told to think and there was no room for independent thought, thinking was to be done in the box and in the box only. IN THE BOX!!!!

There's probably lots more i could expand upon, but i think thats sufficient without belabouring. So, fast forward . . . today is Sunday and now, today this is what I think church is: people and God. that's 'the church'. . simple. its living together through everything, lending your "everything" to others - your hands, your heart, your mind, your money, your time, your compassion, your talents, your tears, your will and having them do that back to you; binding you all together is God. You all make this circle. Does it sound cheesy? I don't want it to. Its not about exclusivity, about creating a counter culture so far removed from reality that it cannot possibly lend anything to anyone but people like themselves. . . its not about rules, though life rules are necessary, but rules without love are like iron shackles -- why did Jesus have to die to free us, if we were meant to turn around and chain each other? are we saying that we know better than He does? oh, i'm getting long-posted, as usual. When i started to write this, i had no idea of what i was getting into!!! I was even gonna scrap it, cuz i think that I had definitely bitten off more than i could chew. . but i hope that it made some sort of sense.

Here are just a couple of examples about what I think church can be:
*giving some money to a dirty, legless, fingerless, stump handed man and getting a hug and a kiss on the cheek in return.
*going over to a neighbour's house and having a one on one talk.
* sponsoring a child
*having your heart broken by someone else's sorrow.
*doing a kind thing for no other reason than you want to.
*sitting still and talking to God

what do you think about church? good experiences? bad? indifferent?? how has it shaped you? hurt you? built you up? what is it to you?

Saturday, June 11, 2005

dream, dream dream dream!!!

Yeah, the Everly Brothers write good songs. . and i can hear their dreamy little ditty circling around in my mind's ear now. .

my post is not of the romantic type though and more of the 'pipe dream' or 'day dream' variety. My conscious dreaming has morphed a lot over the years! When i was a girl i used to have these crazy fantasies that many if not all of my own perceived shortcomings could somehow miraculously disappear and i would suddenly be endowed with astounding abilities, eliciting 'oohs and aahs' from all those who normally would a) not even notice me or b) make fun of me or c) critizie me. . my dreams were always 'i'll show them'. . Its crazy. . . okay, i've always been a bit awkward -- i was a 'back row girl' in the class pictures every year (tall). I wore cat-eye glasses! (geek), i was 'bookish' (hopelessly kinetically challenged - with 2 exceptions: swimming and badminton) my mother cut my hair (i can't find a word for that!!! perhaps "traumatized"??) this woman had a nonexistent esthetic. So, yeah, I was taller than all other girls in my classes up until maybe grade 5? until the hormones kicked in i was often called a 'boy' by any and all substitute teachers, like i said - cat eye glasses, i wore home made clothes (and not good ones, folks -- I was at the mercy of the fabric sales at Woolworth's) i couldn't play any kind of sport to save my life - i would pull any and all tricks in the book to get out of gym class and i used words like "goody" and "gee". . . *oi* (In grade 4, Valerie Sitnik, God bless her cotton socks, told me that "Nobody says 'goody', so if you want to be cool you'd better stop saying it.") I owe her a debt i cannot pay. . . So, you see why i had this rich fantasy life???

I would often fantasize that i was little, petite, cute, all the boys liked those kind of girls. . I pictured having flouncy, blonde hair instead of home do 'pixie cuts' that made me look like some prepubescent Liza Minelli. . When i couldn't get out of gym class and they made me do gymnastics for instance. . my day dreams would take over. . so i had parents who never enrolled me in anything, no gymnastics, no team sports, no skating lessons - my 'lessons' consisted of my father pushing me across the bumpy outdoor rink on dull swap table specials. I always had a bike, which the older neighbourhood kids taught me to ride by taking me to the top of the street and pushing me! i only learned to swam cuz it was part of our school curriculum. You get the picture. So, gym class, there are mats on the floor, there are expectations. . . other girls are doing 'round offs' and tumbling moves - (the cute, little ones) my palms are sweaty because the teacher expects me to do what i've never been taught to do, and what my body was incapable of doing!! It was absolutely horrible. . i had no grace, i could not do the arm swoops and the deer-like leaping. . i was a bull in a friggin' china shop!!! it was utter humiliation. So, after receiving some good, sound heckling i went home and thought "Wouldn't it be great if i could show them?" I could see myself in my little dream bubble. . executing a floor routine that made the teacher applaud madly and made the cute ones stare respectfully and open-mouthedly. It was nice while it lasted. By the time i got to high school, track suited, clipboard carrying, whistle-blowing, middled aged women still expected me to do things with my body that i was not programmed to do. . only now i had the added humiliation of performing these distasteful tasks in a blue, puff-sleeved 'gym romper'!!! and the piece de resistance: white gymnastic booties!! Our high school was big - we had a couple of gyms - so we were made to change in the upstairs locker room, then run down stairs to the main floor gym. . Of course we then had to walk down a hallway. . and the whistles and screams made our cheeks burn and our psyches churn!! horror! I had daydreams of burning the romper, breaking my limbs, going to Siberia, you name it. I used the 'girl problems' excuse until my credibility lapsed. . hey, what can i say? i tried!

I was still tall, amazonian and no less awkward. I couldn't do a balance beam routine to save my life, though they forced me to. Uneven bars? those belonged in some medieval castle's dungeon as far as i was concerned. Floor routine? I still had nightmares over that!!! the ONLY thing i could do was vault and only in the most lumbering, rudimentary way imagineable. My gym marks were nothing to write home about. Eventually I experienced the elation of dropping gym from my course load. . Hallelujah! burn the yellow and green uniform, burn the gymnastic bloomer and booties! Now THAT was a dream come true!!!

my other day dreams were, of course, about boys. . . i grew up in an era where young girls' dreams were summed up in the school yard rhyme : "_________ and _____ sittin' in a tree k*i*s*s*i*n *g. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes ________ with a baby carriage." So that was my dream. I day dreamed at school and I day dreamed at summer camp. . the dream was the same: 1. be noticed. 2. go steady -- i couldn't get much past that point, nor could i get past my old demons: "I'm ugly and my mother dresses me funny." How i wished that i could be like my lovely, bird-like camp friend, Julie Johnson. . Her clothes were perfect, she got to wear jeans (my home-made plaid bell-bottomed pants seemed positively elephantine next to Julie's straight leg "Lees") my big feet and broad shoulders stood out in stark contrast to her daintiness. She had soon snagged a guy and i, of course, did no such thing.. . they held hands, they went to canteen together. . i dreamed of someone being my camp boyfriend, someone to sit beside at camp fires, someone to hold my hand. d'oh. . sometimes its easy to lose hope, lose your dreams. . It took a few years, but guess what? I finally started to be noticed, one season i had to choose between 3 guys. . and i shamefacedly say that i juggled all three the same week!!! the next year i met this guy who turned my legs to jell-o and made my heart palpitate. . and i didn't have to dream any more, cuz this one was different and he thought i was lovely and delicate (his feet were bigger and his shoulders wider) he was TALLER!!! i didn't have to wear flats!! he noticed me and he wanted to 'go steady' with me. . and you know what? we just celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary last month!!! First came love, then came marriage, then came Kathy with a baby carriage!

I still day dream but its gone down hill, man!!! I have ceased to dream about back hand springs and being noticed by boys. I don't dream of burning my gym bloomers any more, i dream of burning my mortgage!!! now THAT'S a dream!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

i love air conditioning

ahhhhhhhhhhhh. . . . . . cool air . . . . what a great thing it is.
grrrrr. . . living in Southern Ontario . . . . what a humid place!

well, i should prob just count my blessings, eh? cuz i'm sure there are many hotter, more humid places on this earth! right?! rainforests for one!

we're havin' a teeny bit of a 3H wave "hot, hazy and humid". . everything's wilting and baking in the brutal sun - which reminds me to go out and water my droopy flowers.

not feelin' especially chatty at the moment *are you relieved?!!* ha ha!!!

just wanna say that i love central air. Its an asthmatic, hayfever sufferer's best friend. the 3H days are indoor days for this girl! i hate the feeling of not being able to breathe well. I'll consider resurfacing next Wednesday when the weather dude says it'll be back in the low 20s temp-wise. till then. . windows are shut and air is on!

Monday, June 06, 2005

caffeine, cat fights and insomnia. . .

its 10 minutes to 2 in the a.m. i'm weary but my tossing and turning in that 'oven' that's passing for a bedroom. I'm no closer to lapsing into anything that resembles sleep. my 'el cheapo' husband refuses to put on the central air so soon in the season! oh come on, its the first week of June and today is wiltingly humid. . . though he hasn't checked filters, etc. on the unit, so gotta suffer 2nite anyway. otherwise i'd defiantly crank that baby up!!! Maybe the 3 cans of diet coke consumed around the supper hour have something to do with my current state? i consumed them before 8 p.m., which is my usual 'caffeine cut off time'. . or it might even have been the small slice of espresso/bittersweet chocolate cake that we had in honour of Rob's birthday! our windows are open and the little, tiny bugs smaller than the screen holes are buzzing around and biting me! to top it all off. . there's a wicked cat fight going on outside our bedroom window. . .


so i'm lying in the dark, flipping my pillow to the 'cool side'. . which soon becomes the 'warm side' and this could go on indefinitely! everything's clammy and icky. . but my mind is in high gear. . thinking a million and one thoughts - which often seems to be my biggest problem -- shutting down the brain!!! How is that done? I've never been good at that and have consequently battled insomnia since childhood!!! Back before 24 hour television, all that used to be on in the wee hours was teletyped weather information scrolling across an otherwise blank screen, or cameras focusing on barometers, clocks, etc. I used to sit in front of the TV and watch test pattern!. Can you GET any more desperate??! now all that's on is infomercials. . i don't even both checking any more. . i don't need what they're selling.. . though if they were selling sleep, i'd phone in for that.

Today is Rob's 44th b'day! I've been celebrating b'days with him since he was 16. . unbelievable and wonderful!! We had a family supper earlier this evening. . it was great, sticky fun. . though everyone was a bit irritated from the heat!!! Today we're both off work - a nice b'day for Robbie. . i'll probably be sleeping all day!!! ha ha. . nah. . its only 2:15 now, i've stayed up that late many a time, then got up at 7:45, to start work, which for me is about as early as it gets. People who wake at 5 or 6 a.m. part of me is awed by their ability and part of me says "is there a 5 a.m.? what does a sunrise look like?" i wake up every day and the sun's up there already. . the world's been going full tilt and i'm perpetually tardy! oh well. . . God grant me the serenity to accept the things i cannot change. .

well, i'm goin' crazy here with these miniscule pests. . they're attracted to light of the computer screen. i've probably smushed a good 20 of them into oblivion. summer's over rated, man! YUCK!! anyway, i think i'll give the pillow wrestling another go. . the cats have either killed themselves or called it a draw. .all's quiet on the western front and i'm yawning, that's a good sign, right? now if i can just de-active my brain!
wish me luck!!!

Saturday, June 04, 2005

hey ya!!!

Saturday is a grrrreat day of the week! They're actually fabulous, Saturdays are, cuz they are THE day that allows me to lollygag if i want to, or multi-task if i want to do that! Today was half and half!! Sleeping in is part of the lollygaggin', natch!! ahhhh, sleeping in. . though when one stays up till 2 a.m., sleeping till 9:30, 9:45 is hardly sleeping in really, right?! ha!

cleaning is always something that needs to be done. i have this love/hate thing going on --i love it when things are clean, but i don't like to DO the cleaning! I actually did lots and lots today -- laundry, folding of the laundry, cleaning windows, cleaning the fridge, doing the weekly 'throw out' of any icky things that may be lurking in the back of the fridge. . . blech! though i try to use the food up before it turns icky. ohmigosh!!! you won't believe what i'm hearing now through the screened sliding door here. . . somebody's singing 'opera'! actually, i think its a kid just goofin', but it sounded amazingly like some sort of diva doing her warm-ups!!! heh heh. . . hilarious! So, i worked out today, had visits from our oldest dau, Linds, and our beloved little grandkiddies, Jimmy and Eri!! I LOVE them to pieces. . James was hugging his Opa today and he suddenly announced : "I love everyone in the world, except aliens." we laughed our heads off!!!! That's not the first time he said that, Lindsay says. You know what? i hate that kids lose that sweetness as they age. . it happens i know, but i wish it didn't have to! especially boys. . it seems to be a 'rule' that boys must suppress that sweetness and be all rough and ready so that they don't get teased and made fun of. blah! I hug this boy every chance i get, cuz pretty soon he won't want me to!!!

When the kiddies first arrived here, we hung out downstairs and Jimmy jumped on my little mini trampoline and watched "Mighty Machines"! we had fun. . Eri came along and so i popped a Disney "Under The Sea" sing-a-long in the VCR and James decided that he didn't want to watch that 'stuff' but you know, he became quite interested, though he hates it if you try to sing along. awww, that makes me sad. . he used to love it when anybody sang to him. Eri has the attention span of a gnat, so she was getting more thrills turning the dehumidifier dial . . on/off/on/off/on/off. . Then she toddled in to the 'music area'. . where our band is set up for practice, so that's an 'adult accompaniment' area for sure!

I was entertaining Eri at the drum kit, when i heard the opening strains of the Peter Pan song, "Never Smile At A Crocodile" , James bolted up the stairs screeching "I'm sooo out of here!" He is HILARIOUS. Next thing you know, who's sitting on the top step, peeking down at the TV?! You guessed it. . i guess his fascination overcame his fear?!

So the kiddies had some lunch while they were here, i was still in my Donald Duck night shirt and house coat. . what a SLOB! i don't care!!!! Its Saturday!!! After Lindsay and the kids walked home Rob went to get the groceries and i did more chores. . then worked out. I helped Rob put the food away when he got back, then i threw the cake together and got that in the oven. . when who should appear at the door but Glenn and Jonah!!! they were biking by and stopped for a little visit with me and KK. . . Rob was out scouring the grocery stores for some bittersweet chocolate and raisins (the 2 stupid things they didn't have in the store when he went for groceries earlier). We had lotsa fun with 1 year-old today, Jonah!!! He's very good natured and of course adorable! Its great to see Glenn and Sherri as parents!!

So, yeah, we wanted to go see our sister and brother-in-law's new house, but its 7:30 p.m. and Rob's re-stringing his guitar, packing up our gear for our band's first gig in 9 months!!!!! (tomorrow afternoon!) which has turned out to be such a neat opportunity - we feel that God had a hand in bringing this about at a time when we sorely needed direction and it seems this is a little baby-step towards some kind of 'something' for us as a band?!

We watched "Revenge of the Sith" last night. . with KK and Joel, the last instalment of the prequel triology, which leads right back to episode 1 of the original triology! (which we have rented to 2nite!) Why did George Lucas do things backwards like this? not sure. . but it doesn't really matter cuz this made him a gazillionaire!!! Do you think that he was a nerdy kid?
i imagine him doodling when the teacher was talking, drawing pictures of 9 foot tall hairy 'wookies'. . and blob-like Jabba the Hut, C3po and r2d2 -- what a fertile imagination!!! nerds are brilliant.. .

So, its been a great day. Didn't get everything done that i wanted to but i'm not gonna let it concern me, cuz its Saturday!!!!! I hope you had great day too!!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

and you think your job is bad?!!!

"Groom of the Stool". . . now there's a job for a Tudor gentleman -- wiping King Henry VIII's buttocks after he's done a #2. . HA HA HA. . . I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS WAS AN ACTUAL JOB!!! Yes, it really was! Tudor royalty was considered to be fleshly divinity - therefore not the least bit inclined to attend to mundane matters of personal hygiene. They wouldn't want those regal hands to become soiled, so they appointed someone to wipe up after they did their 'business', or administer enemas to take over where their steady diet of fatty meat left off.
Imagine the 'privilege' of navigating the rolls of the coruplent, kingly, 52 inch waisted girth? Work fit for for an aristocrat! Man, diapering a baby is gross enough and their bums are teeny and cute. **shudder**

Take this link into the disgusting anals of centuries' worth of England's worst jobs. . .

ponder the fate of the tanner, the 'mudlark', the actor (yes actors were considered to be the lowest of the low), the workhouse prisoner, the bone grubber, the 'powder monkey', the rat catcher, the professional 'nit picker' and the violin string maker (sheep's intestines did not get shipped to the factory, the string maker 'harvested' and cleaned his own -- baaaaaad stuff!) The most bizarre one i think was that of 'professional hermit'! Wealthy Victorian mansion dwellers would employ a 'hermit' to live in a cave on their property. They were not to speak to anyone, not even to the servants who brought them food. . they were not permitted to bathe, groom themselves in any way, speak, interact with anyone and were not paid until 7 years' time had expired, at which point if they had not gone completely bonkers - they would receive a lump sum payment of 50 pounds for each year of hermitage!! The hermits would be required to 'perform' for company at their 'employer's' whim. . one such employer required his hermit to hold up a human skull and stare at it. .

Rob and I have been watching this History Channel series and it is positively enthralling. . I'm very thankful that we do not have 'smellivision'. . as the host's descriptions and reactions are so vivid that I am even beyond gratitude to downright relief.

You know what? I suddenly love my job!!!