Monthly Archives: July 2015

Being a Kid in the 1970s

We'd burn all kinds of stuff in the fire pit.

We’d burn all kinds of stuff in the fire pit. Photo credit probably goes to my dad.

My brother and I were reminiscing the other day about what it was like being little kids in the seventies. We used to run around in the bush down by the creek with our dog, building forts and climbing on beaver dams, and dodging trains on the train bridge. Man, we were little and brave. Our dad would give a long wailing whistle using both his hands flapping in front of his mouth like wings. The dog’s ears would perk up; our ears would perk up; all three of us would turn our faces towards home and scramble up embankments and over logs as fast as our little legs could move. (Well, the dog’s legs were considerably longer!) It was the seventies: kids could play in the bush by a creek for hours, and nobody was worried.

Out at Uncle Wally’s cabin, the adults would give us some sawed off stubs of two-by-fours, a couple of hammers, and a rusty can of nails. Continue reading

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Skratch Bastid, Mama Cutsworth, and mosquitoes

Last night, Skratch Bastid’s BBQ came to Winnipeg. It was on from 1500h to 2300h in the parking lot of Union Sound Hall, and I really wanted to go. But for most of the day, it was too damned hot to dance, and sitting around drinking with strangers isn’t really my thing. So after careful consideration of information found on Facebook and Instagram (and of my pathetic budget), I decided to “steal” the Skratch Bastid show and then head over to the Cube to see Mama Cutsworth. Continue reading

A Book I’ll Never Forget: Descartes Error (by Antonio Damasio)

This isn’t a book review: this book changed my thinking about the relationship between logic and emotion, but I read it so long ago (2008) that I can’t really “review” it at this point. Before I read this book, I had vague thoughts and feelings about how ridiculous it was that our culture believes so strongly in a mind / body split, and that we so strongly privilege logic and reason over emotion (which, in our cultural stereotypes, also feeds into privileging men over women, whites over people of colour, and so on). In this book, Antonio Damasio (a neurologist), shows how logic and emotion must work in concert in order for people to make reasonable decisions. Continue reading

There are also good things…

Today’s post by The Bloggess is called The small things are the big things. She talks about how we tend to weigh negative things more heavily than good things. I was hesitant to read further in case it was one of those platitudinous positive thinking posts, you know the ones, where NOTHING BAD CAN HAPPEN TO YOU IF YOU THINK POSITIVE and YOUR ATTITUDE SHAPES YOUR OUTCOME and YOU ONLY HAVE CANCER BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT THINKING POSITIVE ENOUGH and all that crap. This context-free pushing of positive thinking completely overlooks the factors in people’s lives that they have absolutely no control over. Continue reading

Walking the Dogs: Finally some rain…

The Fluffy Dog on a hot day, defeated by the heat.

The Fluffy Dog on a hot day, defeated by the heat.

Over about three hours today, the temperature dropped from 30-feels-like-41 to 20-feels-like-26, and the rain started. Not the wild thunderstorms promised by the Weather Network, but a nice steady gentle rain. The dogs were wild with joy (granted, this is a common state for the dogs, but still): the Fluffy Dog got all uppity and started singing the song of his people, while the old Brindle Dog paced between me and the door, pointedly squeaking for attention. I get it, I told them (come on, we all talk to our dogs). You want a rain walk. Continue reading

Awful Earsplitting Horrifying Singing in the Car

What stops me from doing new things is that I can’t instantly do them perfectly. So frustrating! All those years of being an A-student don’t seem to translate into instant skills in other areas. I’m no Ella Fitzgerald, no Emily Carr, no Margaret Atwood, no Scratch Bastid, no Frida Kahlo. But I read a post by a sister blogger the other day (I Can’t Turn my Head to the Right) and it reminded me—again—that the trick is to do it anyway. Continue reading

Ten Spa: Average Spa; Great Pedicure

Freshly pedicured white woman foot.

Freshly pedicured white woman foot.

Sure, the pedicure was good—but I’ve experienced better spa environments. People talk about Ten Spa as if it is a high-end, world-class place, and so my expectations were pretty high. However, when you get off the elevator on the tenth floor, it’s not immediately clear which way to go, so instead of stepping straight into a luxurious relaxation experience, I had that moment of confusion which way should I go? uuuuhhhh, well, I’ll try this way! Continue reading