Friday, July 27, 2012

Hope raises no dust.

My focus for the last few days has been primarily upon cleaning my horribly dusty house.  Where does dust come from?  (Don't tell me, I'm sure I don't really want to think about it.)  I hate dust.  But I also hate dusting.  So there's the problem, I do not dust very often.  Or vaccuum.  Or anything, really.

Sometimes I shake my head and smile while people moan about how exhausting it is to hold down a full time job and manage a household, and think to myself that managing a house isn't really so hard.  And it's not, not if you don't bother cleaning it.

Something interesting about dust is that when you really allow it to accumulate, dusting just once doesn't get rid of it.  At least, not for any length of time.  After an hour, all the dust that you disturbed by dusting settles back down again and you have to dust a second time.  Seriously.

The dogs are annoyed with me.  I haven't been spending nearly enough time rubbing their bellies the last few days.  I've been dusting, repeatedly.  And vaccuuming.  And washing floors and polishing wood and all the things that normal people do on a regular basis.  Every time I get my house all clean and beautiful I tell myself that this is it, I will never let it get so dusty ever again in my whole life.  Hah.

This is a true confession.

A couple of years ago I received an urgent phone call at work from the alarm company that secures my house.  They said that a door had been opened and that police had been dispatched.  I was terrified.  I wasn't really worried about the computers or the televisions or anything like that.  I was worried about the dogs.  What if the intruder hurt them?

I raced home and was only a few minutes behind the police, who when I arrived were just coming out my front door having walked through to make sure no one was inside.  "Is everything okay?" I asked breathlessly.

"We think so, ma'am", said the nice police officer.  "There's no one inside.  But it looks like someone went through your belongings and threw things around a bit."

I nodded.  And peeked inside.  Hmm.  He was actually just referring to the mess, the jumbled piles of books, coats strewn carelessly over furniture, that sort of thing.

But this time it's going to be different.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I've waxed poetic here a bit about pretty shoes and my new love affair with them.  But I should point out that my first love is still running shoes.  And by running shoes I do not mean the kind I loaf around in on days when I'm feeling sloppy.  I mean shoes made for running.

A few weeks ago I started to notice that my right foot was hurting in the arch when I ran, and this concerned me because I didn't know what it meant.  Was there something wrong with my gait, my posture, my knees, my back?  Who knows.  The everything-bone is connected to the everything-bone, particularly when you're running, and for some reason I dreaded the idea of becoming a Pronator.  Ever since I was fitted for my first pair of running shoes and the salesperson gave me a test, and pronounced me a non-pronator, I thought there was something pretty special about that.  But arch pain seemed to indicate pronation.

I bought new shoes (which I have noticed cures most pains).  I have obviously been attached to my old running shoes for too long because the difference is dramatic.  Not only is the pain gone, but my feet feel like they have springs again.  I'm a new person.

This afternoon I went running by J's stables which is one of my favourite places to run because the breeze blows in off the ocean and keeps it cool enough to run even when the rest of the world is hot.  In addition to the new shoes, I also purchased a new running bra.  So I was feeling pretty awesome.  Bouncy feet, and no bounce in the boobs, exactly the way it should be.

And a few strange things happened while I was running.

1.  I saw not one, but two dead mice lying on the pathway.  In different places, as though their murders were not connected.  But I think they were.

2.  A garter snake and I surprised one another as neither of us saw (or heard, because I'm so fantastically light in my new shoes) one another until we nearly collided.  Although I am not particularly frightened of snakes, he wound around my shoes and scared me into doing a little jig like Yosemite Sam when cowboys shot at his feet.

3.  And, as I was nearly finished running, a man on a bicycle rode up beside me and said, "Beautiful pace you run".  This was strange because I actually do not run a beautiful pace.  Although I felt like an Olympiad in my new gear, my pace is not impressive in the least.

I do not know what any of these things mean, but I'm writing down the clues in case there is a mystery to solve that I won't notice until later.


Monday, July 16, 2012

a little hydration

Last night I finished We Need to Talk About Kevin.  I started to get troubled toward the end as Shriver foreshadowed more deaths I had not earlier predicted, and at the end I felt ill.  Even more so by the sudden affection, potential apology, and hint at an image of mother and son reunited, sharing a small apartment.  Because love is unconditional, and transcends everything, even murder.  Or maybe it is loneliness that transcends everything.  For a woman who has lost everyone and everything she loves, perhaps it is preferable take a chance living with someone who has proven himself dangerous than it is to live alone.

The idea of unconditional love does not make sense to me.  So I suppose I am not much of a lover.  Not that my love easily evaporates or that it is easy to get cut from the list.  But love certainly must hinge upon some things.  Or perhaps it isn't the love that evaporates but the willingness to subject oneself to someone else, for there are people I love that I cannot stand to be around.

In Shriver's interview, tucked at the back of the book, she said among many things that she corrects people's grammar and alienates her loved ones by insisting they use English correctly.  She would fit in well with my family, I thought.  She also pointed out that flaccid is properly pronounced flak-sid, which was news to me.  I felt a swell of admiration for her, closely followed by a sense of mild irritation.


The other night while we were out walking the dogs, Shawn asked me what I thought of selling our house and moving to the Island after J is finished school.  Life on the Island is quieter, property is cheaper.  I asked him where we would work.  He said we would find out when we got there.  This kind of blind faith in the universe to take care of us is new.  I'm not sure what I think, but I like thinking about it.


Friday, July 06, 2012

Shawn is trying to read.

But all these critters want to lie on him.


don't call it a comeback

This morning I cleaned two drawers, both cutlery drawers, because when I opened one drawer to retrieve a coffee spoon my attention was caught by the crumbs lingering in the corner of the fork section.  Further examination also revealed fingerprints, black ones, as though perhaps the owner of those fingerprints had first done some work repairing some sort of engine and then celebrated by clacking spoons together, prairie style.  And then eaten some toast standing over the open drawer.

I removed all the cutlery from the plastic sorters, and then washed the sorters in the sink.  They looked quite new when I was done, but it wasn't the most satisfying kind of improvement because no one can see it unless I lead him into the kitchen, open the drawer, and explain that it once was rather crumby and fingerprinty.  And no one cares except me.

While I was washing the cutlery sorters I was thinking about two things.  One of these things was about moving, because I remembered buying these cutlery sorters when we moved into this house five years ago now.  There were instructions on how to cut the sorters down to the right size so they would fit perfectly inside the drawer.  And I remembered how new and clean the cutlery sorters felt, and how perfectly they fit.  And I remember the newness of the drawers in which I placed them, because we had also had the kitchen remodelled.  It was an exciting time, a time of things being new.

And the other thing I thought about was why I have never hired a maid to clean my house once a week, or even every other week.  I have guilt around my poor housekeeping.  Part of the problem may be latent rebellion against my mother who has OCD, and kept -and still keeps- her house perfect at all times.  But JesusGod I'm not a teenager anymore, so why can't I run the vaccuum across the floor once in awhile without it meaning I have given up my identity?  If someone else was to do it for me perhaps I would feel less inclined to fix engines and eat toast over the cutlery drawer.


Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Yesterday I started reading We Need to Talk About Kevin  (finally!  Thank you N!) and am already fascinated.  Some writers have voices that are easier to listen to than others.  For example, when I read Murakami, I am always at an arm's length.  You love Murakami from a distance, and I think that it is his choice, and I love him for it.  Shriver is different.  Her voice let me close immediately, very close, so much so I could imagine the words on the page coming from my own fingertips.  It made me want to begin the same exercise of writing to former lovers to dissect the past.

Dear Tony, I would write.  You always loved your hair so much more than you loved me.  When you told me we would make beautiful children, you wanted me to hear the emphasis on children, but I heard your emphasis on beauty instead.  You were imagining their hair, weren't you?

or perhaps Dear Noah, Whenever I go home to Winter City, I drive past 17th Avenue and can still picture you on the side of the road, standing on your knees to kiss me, and still a whole head taller than me even like that.  You were the tallest person I've ever known in real life.  I wish I had known you longer.  I wish I knew you better.  I would like you to kiss me again like that.

Things like that.


Dear Shawn,
The sun is out today for the first time in what seems like forever.  I wish you didn't have to go to work because I want us to ride our bikes out to Derby Reach and have lunch in the woods.  And maybe roll around under the trees a little bit.

Things like that.


Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Maybe they are blooming in the order that I like them.


airborne heisman

Sunday was Canada Day.  George Abbott celebrated by firing the entire elected Cowichan school board for submitting a deficit budget in protest of his cuts to education.  What an ass.  BC teachers celebrated by ratifying a deal -out of fear- that provides no improvements to class size or composition but offers them free viagra and birth control.  Asses.  When I was younger I never watched the news or knew anything that was happening in the world, and in many ways this was a happier way to live.

Most people had Monday off work since the statutory holiday fell on a weekend, and that makes today, Tuesday, July 3rd, the first real day of summer holidays.  Real in that it's the first day that everyone else has to go to work, and I get to thumb my nose at them and chomp viagra and birth control pills.  That's the most important part of being on vacation, the part where other people have to work.  The world celebrates by raining, thus preventing me from reading my book in a lawn chair as planned.

We woke up at 6am, with the stated plan of working out early in the morning to get the day started strong.  Shawn is currently working out in the living room, nearly finished his hour.  He's tough like that.  And I'm still in my pajamas.  It turns out I cannot make myself work out at 6am when I have not yet consumed any coffee.  I'm lazy like that.  I'm going to work out more like ten-ish.  At least I got up.  At least I made coffee.  Maybe it will be possible to work out at 6am when it's not raining.  But probably not.