Friday, October 01, 2004

Still Missing Nana: a reprint
Eight years ago this week, Nana died. Here's what I need to tell you about her:

I used to go camping with Nana at Silver Lake Provincial Park. When camping, she'd always pin her money to the elastic of her underpants. "Panties. Ladies wear panties," she told me. "Don't ladies have wallets then?" I sassed her! She smiled, and corrected me again. "No, ladies have pocket books."

Nana told me that ladies always have an extra $20 tucked away in said pocket books, for emergencies. Also, ladies always make sure they have "car fare."

Nana let me befriend and name (read: feed) all the campground chipmunks. This was a magic thing because my mom never let me do this (filthy germ-ridden beasts). I named most of them Chippy, of course, and would toss them little bits of hamburger bun or apple. Loyal readers who know how many neighbourhood cats I've adopted and re-named (read: feed) find this in no way surprising.

Nana made really, really good roast beef.
Nana liked a rye and water, one ice cube.
Nana read every library book in the city, I think.
Nana covered her hands in Nivea cream and wore little white gloves to bed sometimes.
Nana's favourite colour was blue. Mine too.
Nana watched Sunday Mass on TV, as soon as she got back from attending Mass.
Nana collected wee brass bells. I have them now, in my dining room.
Nana met Mr. Crabby only once, right before we were married, right before she died.
They talked about steak. Rare steak.

Nana hated nylon stockings! The funeral home insisted that we bring some along with the outfit we were to choose for her funeral. I said, this isn't right. She'd hate this.

I took a tablecloth from her home back to Toronto with me. Not a special tablecloth, just a serviceable green one that she kept on the kitchen table. I wrapped it up very tightly in tissue paper, and tucked it away on a closet shelf. Every so often, over the next year or so, I'd unwrap it and burry my face in the tablecloth, because it still smelled like her home, like my Nana.

We didn't know she was dying. She kept this from us. During what would be my last telephone conversation with Nana, I told her for the first time that I loved her.

Jobs I'd like to have

Writer in Residence: So official, and seemingly un-demanding
Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod: Possibly the coolest job title in the universe
Style Guru: Because I have no style
Poet Laureate: See Writer in Residence
Taxi Cab Dispatcher: Because I could tell rude men where to go

And you? What's your dream job?

In other news, the poem of the week is an odd choice for this time of year, wouldn't you say? I sent an e-mail to the Parliament of Canada, just to mention it.

Can you believe it's October?

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Seagulling: Are you a victim too?

This week I've been subjected to a rather nasty bout of seagulling, also referred to as shithawking. Colleagues fly into my office, circle about in a state of shrill distress, shit all over the place, and fly away. They fly in groups sometimes, and other times, all by themselves. But they always shit.

I've done no constructive work for days. Instead of clearing out my own shit this week as I had planned, I'm just cleaning up other people's shit.

I'm tired of the shit.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Two subscriptions, two t-shirts, and nine books later...
Yesterday, Mr. Crabby and I motorcycled over to Word on the Street, which thankfully has out-grown its former Queen Street venue, and is now housed in pastoral Queen's Park. It was lots o'fun, but I'm glad we went early; the crowds got to be a bit much. More specifically, the crowds of big fat knapsacks, big huge strollers, big huge dogs, and big huge hornets were overwhelming. We got as much loot as the bike could carry, then curled up on our porch and read for hours and hours.

Andy Rooney is a blowhole
I watched 60 Minutes last night. Despite the network's recent embarrassment, it's still a good show. Except for Andy Rooney. Retire already. Being old and cranky and elitist must pay very well. While acknowledging America's poor voter turnout, he cautioned citizens against casting an uneducated vote. He went as far as to belittle new immigrants, in my mind. I can't remember his exact words, so I'll paraphrase: "If you are new to this country and English is not your first language, wait another four years before voting." That's quite the generalization, and that makes you an arse.

Show me the money!
I found a couple of job postings that interest me. I'm not looking for a new job, but these are worth exploring. My resume needs an update anyway, so it's a worthwhile exercise.