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Showing posts from April, 2008

Going Deep

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One of the favourite books of my childhood was Heidi, the story of a little girl who lived on the Alm (Alp) with her grandfather (first published in 1880, more here). I haven't read the book since I was 12 or 13 and didn't remember much more then that. Last weekend, in a fit of nostalgia, I got it from Audible and prepared to settle in for a warm and fuzzy trip down memory lane. Before I continue, a quick caveat. I'm about to discuss major plot points and am assuming everybody has read the book (which may be wrong - North America has an altogether different canon of beloved childhood books than Europe does).

As I started reading the book, I noticed that I was very weepy. I'm not a crier, but I do get verklempt very easily. Am a complete and utter mushpot. Anything that remotely pushes that button in movies/TV and real life - dying animals, reunions of lost lovers, special moment spent with a sibling, birth, weddings and all other poignant moments has me tearing …

Random April

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From Björk's 2007 album Volta, the video of the single Wanderlust.Pretty resource heavy, but worth a watch.Just don’t take any hallucinogens before you do or you might permanently go over the edge.I love the beginning, with the foghorns, seagull screams and sound of water – the influence of Iceland is very much there.I’ve been thinking that a piece of music solely composed of these sounds might be really, really cool.Yes, anything with ocean makes me happy, but really.Watch it and think about it.Am I wrong?Zombie Strippers.A real movie with Robert Englund and Jenna Jameson.Seriously.The trailer had me convinced.Must. See. It!!Helping the Handicapped (link fixed). Hysterical.
I just watched part of the news, but turned it off once they started the segment on "what the public thinks", sticking microphones in people's faces on the street. How is this news?? Why are you shortening the segments that contain actual news to allow room for people spouting their opinions? …

Angel Wings

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Life Before Death

I've been sitting on this one for a while, because it's about death and that can be hard to read about.But it's also about life and not just because death is part of life.I saw a link on dooce a little while ago about a project called Life before Death.A German photographer named Walter Schels interviewed people who were dying and photographed them before and after death.If you follow the link, you will see a series of photographs with accompanying stories of the person in the photograph.The Guardian, on whose site Life before Death appears, calls them sombre, but I don't agree. I think they are beautiful.I was 12 years old the first time I saw a dead person.It was my farmor (father’s mother) and the night before, I had woken up a little past three in the morning, crying inconsolably.In the morning, the hospital called to tell us that she had died a little past three in the morning and I was not surprised at all.My mother wanted to go say goodbye and I came with her.I …

Weekend Water Report

I love my weekends.I guard them with the vigilance of a medieval lord with 11 marriageable daughters and a handsome stable boy.They - the weekends, not the marriageable daughters - are my sanctuary, two days of peace after five of running around.I find my equilibrium again, stop the static buzzing through my mind and it is when I write the most.But it’s writing without stress (usually) and when I goof off, it's without that nagging feeling that I should be working, because most Saturdays and Sundays, by the time I'm ready to sit down with a movie, I already have my word count for the day.It's my time in an isolated cabin (yet with all mod cons and no packing) and usually, I turn into a positive hermit by Friday evening, trying to whenever possible keep socializing to other times.Or at least not both days.My 25-year-old self would be horrified.I like it better than going out.Does that mean I'm getting old?This past weekend was lovely and I feel energized and satisfied w…

Announcing!

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Spring! Is here!!

I'm sorry, normally I'm not a very exclamation point kinda person, but I'm not quite done yet.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ah, that's better.My friend Leslie has finally relented and started up a blog.She's frequently funny, often soulful and I love her writing. Please pop by her Spring Chicken and say hello.The lovely Lynn of the comments is doing a good thing.She's having an auction on eBay with some great-looking vintage knitting books and donating the proceeds to Medecins Sans Frontieres.She wants me to mention that these are for entertainment value only, not in a resale kind of condition, but if you have a hankering for the knit- related (and I know many of you do), like the cause, check it out and consider leaving a bid.p.s. I'm not wearing socks! On April 18! Which may be a record...

The Human the Orchid and the Octopus

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It's no secret that since I was a child, I have worshiped Jacques Cousteau, dreamt of working on the Calypso or if I can't do that, then spend a few hours in his company, learning at the feet of a master.After his death a decade ago, it became the dream that would never come true.Except, it sort of has.In the past month, I've been consumed with reading The Human, the Orchid and the Octopus: Exploring and Conserving Our Natural World, a book written in the last 10 years of Cousteau's life, co-authored by Sysan Schiefelbein and which has taking an additional 10 years to make it to North America.In the book, Cousteau uses stories of his life and career, his inventions and his explorations as springboards for a wider discussion of the impact the human race has had on our Earth.Cousteau starts the book with a discussion of personal risk and public risk, grounding the rest of the book firmly in the philosophical understanding of the factors involved in assessing risk and how…

Waking Dream and Waking

There's been a strange confluence of events.Somewhere between a recent steroid shot (which the Humira needs in order to have the possibility of kicking my state of ability and health past OK), several days worth of massive painkillers due to a seating issue and, I suspect, warmer weather (no drafts = less muscle clench!), sometime this week, I reached a point where I couldn't tolerate painkillers anymore.It's happened as long as I can remember - every now and again, I need to go into "detox" and not take medication for as long as I can.It's as if the painkillers build up in my body and at a certain point, the levels become too high and when I stop taking them, what's already in my body can take me however long the detox time needs to be.In the past, it could be a week, 10 days, two weeks.These days, it's significantly less, but still, it's a sort of reset button in terms of being able to get the same effect for a much lower dose of whatever drug t…

Flight & Landing

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Exciting/Six Degrees of Lord of the Rings

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A few days ago, I was contacted by the lovely Sarah from HealthCentral.com, asking if they could feature one of my February posts.Naturally (because some days are not blonder than others), I agreed and you can find it here.It's very exciting connecting to a new community and I can highly recommend their sites as a source of information and discussion.And speaking of discussion, let's have some.Not so long ago, I read a post over on defective yeti about the Lord of the Rings.Or, more specifically, about how Matthew’s wife (aka the Queen) refused to read The Hobbit based on her experience with the Lord of the Rings being "super long and boring".Now, I have read The Hobbit, not just once, but several times and thoroughly enjoyed it.I have also attempted to read The Lord of the Rings, not just once, but several times and never got past page 70, because as the Queen says, it's super long and boring.I know several men who are at this very moment in dead faints at the b…

In My Grandparents' Basement

My pharmacist (the handsome Hanna) is renovating and as part of the process, they've built floor-to-ceiling shelves for the files.These boxes for the boxes are made of pressed wood and as I walked in the door, the smell of sawdust instantly transported me back to my childhood or, more specifically, the basement of the building where my mormor and morfar (maternal grandparents) lived.It was an old building, so old that only cold water was piped into the kitchens and there was one toilet per floor, out on the landing by the kitchen door and shared between two apartments.My grandparents lived on the first floor and we'd go down the back steps by the kitchen and into the basement and another world.Down there, it was dark, lit by serviceable fixtures that may or may not have been bare bulbs - I can no longer remember.The walls were bare of any coverings and the long narrow hallway had a warren of rooms on both sides.The smell down there was unique, scents from each of the rooms con…

Wall & Blue Truck

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Out

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There're a lot of things I haven't done for a long time - typed, danced, knit, hugged, etc., etc., ad nauseam. And one of the things I haven’t done for a long time is go out.It’s been years, actually – at least 2, likely more.With the exception of two concerts (Etta James and The Police), both Life List items and both during brief times less crappy than usual, my previous lifestyle of out and about, concerts, plays, parties… wait.That makes me sound Fabulous and I wasn’t.I did, however, live downtown with access to a bunch of fun things and have quite fabulous friends.Still do.But the way we were friends has changed as my body and abilities changed.More friendship-by-phone, more squeezing in a bit of socializing between my nap and when I fade in early evening and always within walking distance of my home.I have great people in my life, people who work with my abilities and within my limits, who blithely rearrange their schedules to accommodate my needs, absorbing the pain in t…