Monthly Archives: August 2015

My Grandmother’s Birthday

My grandmother offering tomatoes from her garden.

My grandmother offering tomatoes from her garden.

Today would have been my grandmother’s 102nd birthday and I miss her with each breath and I am glad she’s dead. Continue reading

A Golden (Blue) Oldie

So I have another gig coming up and this one will be my first ever solo gig—All Me All Night—three straight hours with no sister DJs or mentors to back me up. I’m nervous, of course, but also pretty excited. But until now, I’ve never played more than an hour’s worth of music in an evening, so I am going through all my old music to see if I have enough music appropriate for this venue. And I’m coming across some great old electronic stuff from when I first moved to the Netherlands Continue reading

My First Mural: Reflecting on the process

The completed mural, with a chair for scale.

The completed mural, with a chair for scale.

At the beginning of August, I finished my first public mural. Well, it’s my only public mural, but I live in hope that there will be more! The staff at the venue where I drew the mural are concerned that it will be defaced, but I’m pretty chill about that. It’s public art; the public will add to it or hide it or otherwise react to it however individual people choose (that is, people might “deface” it). But putting something out in public is an invitation to interaction, and anyway, entropy happens. Things decay. What happens to the mural now is still part of the mural, and it’s the part I have no control over, so I may as well sit back and enjoy the process. Continue reading

Nothing as wonderful as the love of an old dog

The Brindle Dog's sweet grey beard and stumpy teeth.

The Brindle Dog’s sweet grey beard and stumpy teeth.

The health scares my old Brindle Dog has had lately are eating at me. I find myself drawn to posts about dogs who have just died, dogs at death’s door, dogs whose euthanasia has been scheduled. I’m reading the eulogies and final farewells and fond reminiscences, and getting all teary-eyed and sniffly.

I refuse to believe this is my instinct speaking. The Brindle Dog is only eleven years, eight months, and three weeks old. I could have lots more time with her. She still chases after sticks and barks at other dogs and gobbles up her food and digs under the deck. She doesn’t do those things with as much speed or grace or stamina as before, but she is still fully engaged with her own life. Continue reading

By the way, the lake was wonderful…

View from the dock.

View from the dock.

A few days ago, I was complaining about how hard it is to be a vegetarian among meat-eaters, and I realise I probably gave a misleading impression of my weekend at the lake. It was fantabulous! The food issues were a very small part of the whole experience, and I was pleased and grateful to have had the chance to head out to Lake of the Woods for a lovely weekend.

I’m absolutely a city person. I want to be close to everything, can’t abide the idea of not having quick access to grocery stores and art galleries and friends and work. But at the same time, I really hate the city. I hate having neighbours so close, I hate the noise, I hate the light, I hate the compromises and disruptions. Continue reading

Finished this book: The Stormchasers (by Jenna Blum)

Cover of The Stormchasers by Jenna Blum.

Cover of The Stormchasers by Jenna Blum.

Spoilers below, but I’ll warn you again before I get there!

I like books about people with mental illness, whether they’re the protagonist or someone else important to the story. In this book, the third-person protagonist (Karena) is a journalist whose twin brother has bipolar affective disorder and who is also fascinated by storms. This story shows the love between the twins and how that love is tested and sometimes seems broken because of the disruption of Charles’s illness. The author manages to avoid a lot of the stereotypes and misconceptions about mental illness, managing to make Charles a fuller and more well-rounded character than you often get when the “Crazy Person” is only there as a plot device. Continue reading

Too Many Ideas!!!

There are so many interesting bloggers out there! I scroll through my Reader and every second post catches my eye. And most of the ones that catch my eye inspire me to want to write something, so I have lists and lists of potential topics.

But when will I get to them? How do I carve out writing time? The dogs feel neglected, the cats are practically feral, the laundry is piled up and so are the dishes, my lawn is knee-high, and I’m due for a shower.

I am begging you, Other Bloggers: please stop being so interesting!

The Tyranny of Lists

I make lists.

I make multiple lists every day.

Right now there are five fresh lists between me and my monitor: stuff I have to ask the plumber to do, phone calls I have to make, ideas for blogging with a side list of songs to download, stuff I have to do at work, and the start of a grocery list.

Very few of these task will get done. I make lists, then I resent them. I’m all like “Don’t fucking tell me what to do!” Continue reading

Dining with Omnivores

Recipe for bean and avocado salad. Go light on the onions, heavy on the avocado and cilantro and hot peppers, and don't fuss too much about the types of beans.

Recipe for bean and avocado salad. Go light on the onions, heavy on the avocado and cilantro and hot peppers, and don’t fuss too much about the types of beans.

It’s amazing how quickly some people lose their shit when I tell them I don’t eat meat. I make a real effort not to get into that conversation unless it’s absolutely necessary. But this past weekend, I went with a friend to her sister’s cabin for a girls’ weekend with my friend, her sister (whom I’d only met once for under a minute), and two of her sister’s friends (total strangers to me).

In situations like this, I try to be self-sufficient, food-wise. I don’t feel comfortable saying “Hey, stranger, thanks for inviting me to stay at your lovely cabin. And by the way, here’s how you have to rearrange your food plans to accommodate me!” Continue reading

Finished this book: Glass Voices (by Carol Bruneau)

Cover of the book Glass Voices by Carol Bruneau. I took the image from the author's website.

Cover of the book Glass Voices by Carol Bruneau. I took the image from the author’s website.

This is my first review in a while because I kind of got stuck. The book didn’t really grab me, but I usually feel obligated to finish a book once I’ve started it, unless it is so horribly sexist or racist or violent that I just can’t even.

In some ways, this was a lovely book. It was decently-written, the story was touching, and so forth. But Continue reading

Neither Bedbugs nor Breast Cancer: A Good Day

Yes, people and bots: That's well over $300 of meds. FML.

Yes, people and bots: That’s well over $300 of meds. FML.

Not last weekend but the weekend before, I got a little cluster of mosquito bites on my side. They were itchy as hell, and although I tried hard not to scratch, I did give in and rub them through my shirt a few times. By last Monday, the bites were swollen into welts and the itch was unbearable. They were right at the edge of where my bra sits, so they were constantly irritated. Over the week, the bites just got worse, and I even took Benadryl for a couple of days with no effect.

Then, two days ago, I woke up with another cluster of bites, closer to the centre of my torso. And I freaked out, because all I could think was “I’ve got bedbugs!” Continue reading

Old Dogs: Premature Anticipation

The Tire toy and a couple of chewed-up sticks.

The Tire toy and a couple of chewed-up sticks.

Now that the Brindle Dog is old, I expect her to drop dead any minute. Which is obviously ridiculous: this dog is like the Duracell Bunny. Or maybe like a Timex (if she’d ever taken a licking, that is). Some days, it seem like she’ll keep on ticking forever.

After all the things she’s been through, the emigration from her birth country, the mast cell tumour in her neck at the age of two, the removal of a canine (root and all) after she snapped it trying to uproot a tree stump, the country life with skunks and the city life with racoons, the bone spur in her spine that sometimes makes the pee-crouch difficult, the recent liver problems, the canine and feline friends she has outlived and grieved, it is sad and rather pedestrian that what might finally kill her is a rotten tooth. Continue reading