Monthly Archives: February 2011

If I Were President……again……

….I would make it illegal for Plinky to keep rehashing and rewording and re-asking the same questions…..I couldn’t take this one seriously the first time around, and not too much has changed……

If I were president, I would be deeply concerned about how people would refer to my husband. “First Lady” would need some serious revision, and First Gentleman sounds a bit too flippant and jaunty for such an important position.

“First Man” is pretty much carved in stone for Adam or whatever the name of the first homo sapien may have been. First anything seems entirely too presumptuous.

I’m leaning towards “Good Lord” I think. I would have my own name legally changed to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow just to confuse a few Turks, and once the tv announcers had rolled that one off their tongues, adding “…..and Good Lord W” would be quite a relief in comparison.

That way they would be allowed to say GOOD LORD and roll their eyes and actually get away with it, even in print where the eye rolling part would be the sole responsibility of the reader.

If I were president I would also get a different hair cut and buy more shoes. And does the White House really HAVE to be white? So many things to think about, it boggles the mind.

Superheroes

What superhero would you want to be rescued by?

Oh crap. Do I need rescuing? I hadn’t noticed.

Just give me a minute here to conjure up that little old superhero I keep hidden deep down inside myself somewhere. I know he’s in there because he’s popped up before to help me fend off THE FORCES OF EVIL.

Oh, wait – isn’t that a defunct reggae band or something where all the guys changed their last names to Evil? But they’ve disbanded the band. Maybe they decided to give up the daunting task of forcing evil on us all.

Okay, here he is! My super hero! Kick Ass Coffee Man! Stimulate and energize me, my amazing bean roasting friend! Rid my world of lethargy and inertia. Save me from torpidty and hebetude, for they are beastly villainous machinations of the devil!

So yeah! Okay, how hard was that? I should be good now for the rest of the day. Thanks buddy. See you tomorrow.

Leaving and Going Home

Home is something I have a sense of – it’s not just a building that shelters my family and our possessions, or the geographic point on the map where I was born. It’s the place where I can walk around in my bare feet, make a big mess and say whatever I want. It’s where my heart feels at peace and people know who I am – and quite possibly love me anyway.

I’ve been to the Pacific Ocean, the Arctic Ocean and the Atlantic (the one ocean I’ve crossed.) That’s a lot of physical distance covered, but how far I’ve made it away from ‘home’ is hard to measure.

Mostly the places I’ve travelled to have become my home. Maybe I just take home along with me wherever I go. When I leave my present home to travel to the other side of the country to visit family, I still call it going home, because that’s what it feels like. Even if it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where home is, I know when I’m going there.

I am a homebody, that’s for sure, despite all the nomadic wandering I’ve done. I’ve been homesick for different places, and the people who are there. Often my mind will go off on a million mile trip all by itself, but so far it’s always come back home. That’s the kind of ‘travel’ I prefer – the kind you do in a comfy chair with your eyes closed, confident that you’ll make it home in time for dinner.

The very best part of any other kind of travel, for me, has always been the part where I come back home, kick off my shoes, dump the contents of my suitcase on the bedroom floor and curl up in my very own bed.

Say these three little words to me and I will love you forever – “Let’s go home.”

Trouble in Plinkyplonk Paradise

I’m having a problem with Plinky in the last few days since it refuses to complete a ‘share with your blog’ process, and thus I’ve been doing a bit of cutting and pasting instead.  Yesterday it asked me to describe my sense of humor.  Good Gawd.  If you have to sit down and think about how to describe the damned thing, chances are you don’t even have one worth talking about.

Today I’ve been prompted to share my professional goals for the next year, and then the next five years.  I would be thrilled beyond belief to be able to share my professional goals for tomorrow if I actually had any. I’m going to a professional conference to learn our professional code of conduct rules in a couple of weeks.  Kind of late in my ‘career’ to be making any major changes in that department.  How sad is it that we have to be coached in the art of treating other people with fairness and respect.

I live in a state of constant hope that tomorrow’s prompt will inspire, motivate and challenge.  And that I will rise up and hit the lofty heights of brilliance!  Or just have one minor little epiphany or something.  How’s that for a freakin’ goal.

On Dreaming

“But, first a hush of peace – a soundless calm descends;
The struggle of distress, and fierce impatience ends;
Mute music soothes my breast – unuttered harmony,
That I could never dream, till Earth was lost to me.”

(Emily Bronte)

dream – a succession of images, thoughts, or emotions passing through the mind during sleep

So says the dictionary, failing to add that the dreaming process and the dream itself have been theorized and analyzed to death by people way smarter than me, so whatever I have to add to it all is purely from my own limited experience on the subject and not to be misconstrued as being momentously meaningful.

Perhaps I will have some kind of visionary dream as to why the dictionary left all that out.

Our little brains are dreaming all the time, even when we’re awake. It’s very hard to turn that off. We daydream and imagine and go into little mini trances to examine all sorts of illusions and delusions all day long. We remember things that happened yesterday and this morning and many years ago. If we didn’t do that, we’d have a heck of a lot less to say and fewer ways with which to annoy the people around us.

Falling asleep should be a lovely release from reality. A way to shut down and shut up and let it all go. But like a Timex watch, our brains just keep right on ticking, this time without the reality check switch turned on.

Little random pockets of stored information pop open and play themselves out in bizarre combinations for our dreaming pleasure. It’s probably a very good thing that we promptly forget over 90% of everything we dream. It’s hard enough to make sense of this chaotic world when we’re awake, never mind trying to glean some profound meaning from the gobbledygook our brain manufactures for us during the night.

The best part of dreaming is waking up and realizing that you were only dreaming; that chess pieces do not actually talk to each other and whine about where they are being moved to on the board, and that you absolutely did not, and quite possibly never will, become trapped in an elevator with a very nervous live skunk. That’s just a little preview of hell and should give you the motivation to turn your life around as soon as possible. Start with not eating cold pizza right before bed.

I suppose my ‘theory’ is that dream interpretation is nothing more than a pleasant little time waster, sort of like inventing excuses for not doing something you had no intention of doing even without rational explanations, or reading your daily horoscope, or opening up a fortune cookie.

So dream on, my friend. It’s not that serious.

Things That Break

When dawn breaks, morning has broken;

Night falls, but it never breaks.

Coffee breaks are the very best breaks.

You can take a break, give a guy a break.
Break it to me gently.
Break a leg.
Break a horse.
Break the connection.
Step on a crack, break your mother’s back.
But don’t break in, and don’t break out.

I’ve broken up
I’ve broken down
A heart
A promise
The silence
But never a spirit
Or any bones.

How expensive,
When you add up all that shattered china?
The pieces are worth nothing.

That’s why it’s impossible
To put a dollar value
On a broken dream.

My Siblings

 

Brother – numero uno – the boy who could do no wrong. (Well, until he hit his teens at least.)
Sister 1- (me) the smart one. (It’s a misnomer but I like it. No smarter than the others but looking smart was important to me so I worked hard.)
Sister 2- the pretty one (and the only true blonde) (and our social butterfly)
Sister 3- the other one, the after thought (and forever in our minds, the baby.)

When baby was born we were 12, 9 and 6. Three years between siblings is a rather big gap. Six nine and twelve years- that’s huge. But the differences shrink as we age.

My sister and I who share the middle spot light keep in touch the most. But I’m the only one who moved far away, so perhaps the rest of them are closer than I know.

Moving away made me the favourite child. (Another deluded belief that I cling to simply to annoy the others.) It made my children the most fussed over by their grandparents because they saw them so seldom and had to cram a year’s worth of love and attention into short holiday spaces.

My brother’s first grandchild will arrive this summer. We all share his joy.

I love my siblings dearly – I love their spouses and I love their families – I cannot imagine my life without them in it.

Valentine’s Day Thoughts

“To-morrow is Saint Valentine’s day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
Then up he rose, and donn’d his clothes,
And dupp’d the chamber-door;
Let in the maid, that out a maid
Never departed more. “

—William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5

So yeah. And we all know what finally happened to Ophelia.

How do I feel about Valentine’s Day? Indifferent, actually. It’s like secretary’s day, or groundhog day, or national tooth fairy day. Slightly amusing, but ultimately unneccessary.

Great for people who are unable to dream up their own superfluous reasons for sending flowers and purchasing greeting cards and giant stuffed bears, I guess.

Or, you know, if you need another reason to eat chocolate,  it works for that.

Going For A Drive

Lara and Ainslee are picking apples off the ground at the far end of the garden and chucking them into two big bushel baskets. The task seems endless; three or four apples here, drag the baskets there, stoop and scoop and toss. There will be lots of bruises but they’re just stupid big old cooking apples. Does it really matter when they turn brown? They’ve been told not to climb the trees, but Lara does it anyway, shaking the branches so that apples rain down on Ainslee’s head.

From her lofty perch she gazes across the fence and into the field where a rusted old black ’49 dodge coupe sits baking in the sun. She knows it runs because their dad drove it there a few days ago and parked it. Going to use it to pick rocks from the fields. Now there’s a job that’s about a hundred times worse than gathering apples. She wonders if he’ll hitch a wagon to it, or if they’ll have to fire rocks through the windows into the backseat. And who will get to drive it, and if that person will have to wear a hard hat or a helmet. The mental image makes her laugh.

“Hey Ains – wanna go for a ride?” she says as she swings herself from a low branch and drops to the ground, squashing an apple under her left foot and releasing its sweet scent into the air.

They climb the fence and walk over to the car, open up the driver’s side door and both have to take a step back from the escaping blast of heat that hits them full on. Ainslee goes to the other side and wrenches that door open too and they both stand there for a minute or two, letting the interior cool down to a slightly less oppressive temperature, grinning at each other across the front seat. Ainslee wonders aloud if there might be a bee’s nest in the upholstery, or hornets, or wasps. They put their heads in close and listen, but there’s no drone, no buzzing, so they climb in.

They roll down the windows and Lara pushes in the clutch with her left apple gooped-up sneaker. She has driven their little ford tractor before, but never started it on her own. Dad gets her to push down the clutch, foot on the brake, while he starts it and puts it in gear for her. She figures this has got to be a similar scenario, but there’s a lot of steps to remember when it’s all on her own.

Ainslee is already impatient. “Come on! I’m so hot. Let’s go!” Lara seriously doubts they’ll get up enough speed for any breeze to be coming through the windows, but she doesn’t say so, and turns on the key. Then she presses the starter and the engine cranks itself to life.

She looks at the gear shift and realizes she has no idea where the thing is at. There’s no N, or 1, 2, 3. She lets out the clutch as slowly as she can and the car lurches forward with a great jerk and dies.

“Hey! Do you know what you’re doing?” Ainslee asks her, as if the idea that Lara might not actually know how to drive a car has just suddenly occurred to her.

“Well, it can’t be that hard”, Lara mutters, pressing the clutch in again and pulling the gear shift down until it wobbles around. She knows that’s neutral. The nothing gear. Then she maneuvers it up to the left, up to the right, down to the left. Decides that’s as good a one as any to try. Starts up the beast again and begins to slowly release the clutch. This time the engine sputters a bit, but the car starts to roll forward with little jerky spasms.

“Give it some gas!” Ainslee yells, and Lara finds the pedal and suddenly they’re off. Only then does she think to look where they’re going and realizes she can’t see over the steering wheel. She can see underneath the top of it, and out the bottom quarter of the windshield, but that’s a view that’s one part field and ten parts sky.

“Stick your head out the window and tell me if we’re going to run over anything” she tells Ainslee, who dutifully hangs herself out the passenger side window and tries to imagine what might be lurking in the long grass ahead of them. It’s not a smooth ride, but it’s not a speedy one either, because Lara’s heart is racing as she strains to see where she’s going and she has no desire to experiment with another shift of the gears.

They make a slow wide circle in the field, careful not to go down the hill too far where it could be wet and muddy and where even a tractor can get stuck. When they’re back to approximately the same location as where they started, Lara pumps down the clutch, presses hard on the brake and turns off the key.

The two girls sit back on the seats and start to laugh, releasing the tension they didn’t even know was there.

“Let’s fill up those baskets and then we can DRIVE them back to the house”, Ainslee suggests with glee. They do this in record time, stretch the fence wires apart as far as they’ll go so they can slide the bushels through, and drag them across the grass and into the back seat.

This time the start-up is much more smooth, and with her sister navigating and screaming instructions at her Lara makes it down the back laneway and up beside the back door to their house, all in low gear and slow motion, but driving just the same.

They are carrying a basket between them heading to the back porch when they run into their dad. He is standing with his hands on his hips and a sort of scowl on his face. But he’s kind of smirking too. It’s a hard expression to read, and they stand there staring at each other in silence until finally he speaks.

“You got that thing started then, did you?” he asks them. They nod with serious faces, knowing any kind of lie at this point will get them into even bigger trouble. He looks at the old doge, then back at his daughters.

“Well. Put ‘er back where you found ‘er.” And he turns around and heads for the barn.

They don’t say anything as they scramble to deliver the apples to their mother, who is delightedly surprised at how well and quickly they’ve got the job done; and, thankfully, quite oblivious to their exact modus operandi. Before the smile has left her face, and before she can think up another job for them to do, they have raced back outside and taken up their positions once again in the front seat.

Figuring out reverse and how to drive a car backwards – well. Let’s just say that’s a whole other story.