“You should see the lake today Kate.”

I learned today that people can still give you good advice, even when they’re not here anymore.

Dad would regularly phone me as he made his way into the city, and give me status reports on the lake. On calm days, blustery days, windy days, sparkling clear days. The breakers, how incredible the waves were, how tumultuous or still it was.

“You should see the lake today Kate.”

I was a little sad and lost today. There are too few green things near me, and sometimes I forget what they’re meant to remind me of.

So I went to see the lake.

And now I am not so sad and lost.

You’re right dad, I should see the lake today. Thank you.


Plus it makes your brain, like, super skinny

So since I broke my iPod with sweat (HI-FIVE!), my ears are out flapping in the breeze when I “run”, and often catch little snippets of conversations.

Like this gem:

Coming up behind a woman walking down the street, I half notice that she’s wearing all workout gear, and looks quite fit (Women: 1, Deification of Malnourishment: 0). But as I jog past, I hear her cell phone conversation…

“… so I’m working out every day. I know right? I’m trying to lose, like, a pound a day.”


You win this round, Emaciation De-emancipation.

White Squirrel!

If I believed in omens, and these were Ye Olde Tymes, White Squirrels would totally be good omens.

As I do not believe in omens, and these are Ye Modyrne +1m35, White Squirrels will have to settle for just being FLUFFY & BADASS.

Did You Know?: While the acorn-hucking, baby-tripping regular park squirrels only listen to thrash metal, white squirrels prefer standards. I mean, they’re cool with a bit of Metallica now and then, they just know what they like.

Wednesday evening at the homestead, or why I am the King of Socks.

In a not atypical evening, the wandering husband texted me to say he’d be taking the long way home (via music stores. le shock.)

I texted back with the wise suggestion that he take the long way home, with a pitstop in the township of roti. Population: us.

He concurred, and asked what I wanted. I said I didn’t care, so long as it involved meat.

He said his phone was running out of juice, and in the last gasps of his battery we said an overly dramatic farewell. “I’ll keep you in my heart always!” “I loooooooove youuuuu….*click*”.

When he took what my Hunger decided was too long (about 20 minutes), I followed up with a “FEED ME!” text. (<-helpful) He arrived home to find me sprawled in fake-corpse mode on the bed (I had died from hunger, obvs.) It was double strength fake looking, since I'd been standing by the front door when his key turned in the lock and I had to boot it down the hall to get in position.

“Nice top”, says he.

“Thanks”, mumble I into the sheets. (Tonight, I died belly-side down). I then suggested I was probably still alive enough for mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

We ate rotis while watching an episode of Babylon 5 (this one starred Grima Wormtongue — what is up with the guest actors on that show…). At the end of the episode, Captain Stingypants decided not to dole out another one. “I still need to get some work done” says he. “I don’t care about what you need!” says I. (<-class) He then asked where I had put his socks. Or, more specifically, he said "King of Socks, what did you do with the socks?" He used my full title as I have taken to, on finding orphan articles of his clothing on the floor, putting them on my head and declaring myself the King of them. See also: "I am the King of Socks." "I am the King of Tshirts." And so on. (He'd watched the coronation vis-a-vis these particular socks shortly before the B5 credits). I informed him that I had put his socks in the hamper, as well as thanking him for using my full title (he also called me "majesty"). He then suggested that "you could come work on the floor of my office." (Me: "Um... thanks?") "If you're quick. Kitty might beat you to it." (She did, but I pulled the ol' nip toy bait'n'switch. Sucker. Every time.) En route to my floor office, we ended up in something couples with more "spacious" houses miss out on: a full-body hallway wrestling doorjam-bracing-knee-hooking-waistband-grabbin' tussle to see who gets to use the bathroom first (answer: me). Then I made him tea. Because I love him. The end.

How a motorcycle is like a big dog. Stay with me on this…

So my brand spanking new shiny red motorcycle is now home safe and sound, tucked in under a tarp (shhh, she’s sleeping).

Which got me thinking about how motorcycles are like kids and dogs.

(No, not that they’re loud and stinky. And you take that back about my baby.)

This is what it’s like when you get your first bike. Swap dog for bike, and little kid for grown-up little kid:

Little kid sees a big dog. Runs behind parent’s legs, but can’t stop staring, wide-eyed, at the dog. Mom: “Do you want to pat the doggie?” Kid shakes head and hides face behind parents legs, clutching at fabric. Seconds later, kid is peering around legs again.

Time passes.

Kid mumbles something incoherent into fabric of parent’s slacks. “What’s that sweetie?”

“I want to pat the doggie.”

Holding parent’s hand, kid walks over to dog. Skin and fur barely make contact. Kid runs back behind parent’s legs. Kid resumes staring at dog.

Time passes. Dog scratches its ear.

Kid tries again. Maybe this time the dog licks the kid. Kid almost loses it, but holds it together. Barely.

Cut to later the same day.

Kid is chasing the dog around the house yelling “I want to play with the doggie!!!” “HERE DOGGIE!!!”

The whole ride home is doggie this and doggie that. Kid. Loves. Dog. (Dog just wants to be friends).

.   .   .

This is what it’s like with a motorcycle. When you first see it, you think it’s cool. Then you sit on it, and it’s suddenly huge and scary. Then you get used to it, and it gets smaller and smaller and you get bigger and bigger. Until you have one sitting out in your parking spot and you keep throwing on your flip flops to go peek under the tarp at it.



No fruit for you!

That’s it. I’m planting seeds.

Because I’m this close to giving up on organic fruit and veg delivery in Toronto. In the summer months, we’re well-positioned between a couple of farmer’s markets. But in the winter months, we’re close only to a very low quality/high price organics store, and a “whassaorganic?” Metro.

So I have, over the years, tried a couple of fruit and veg “box” services.

Man. Alive.

They have produce. I have (sometimes) seen it. So why, why don’t they want me to have it?

I want to love the hippies. I do. Beneath this crusty exterior, I am one of them. But not when it comes to organizing a business. Because in that respect, holy. hell.

In our old apartment, and for years, we battled it out with Green Earth Organics. Who got something wrong pretty much every order. We’d regularly be charged for items which weren’t delivered. Or the fruit and veg in the bin arrived so wet they’d either be spoilt when we got them, or they’d spoil within the day. Additional items would not arrive more often than they did – and with no explanation. The empty bins were not picked up, and the deposits on the glass jars we’d send back weren’t credited to our account. Every week was an exercise in finding out what we’d been charged for that hadn’t arrived, and what had arrived that we’d substituted out.

Finally, I gave up and canceled our service.

This year, tired of fighting scurvy with frozen peas, I decided to try again. So we placed a couple of orders with Wanigan. Since they let you place one-off orders, I thought I’d go with a few trial runs before we signed on for regular delivery.

Good. Call.

The first few orders went off beautifully. Fresh, as-ordered produce magically arrived at our door. Everything we asked for came, and everything we were charged for was there.

And then.

I came home from work on a Wanigan day, saw the small bag of produce left on the counter, and thanked the Mister for getting started putting it away. He didn’t know what I was talking about. “Well, I put the eggs away, but what’s on the counter is all that came.”

Where “all that came” were the additional items: cashews, eggs, 2 baby bok choy, some snow peas and a yellow pepper.

Exactly whose brain is not switched on here?

I can understand overlooking an item or two. But there are so many different points in the chain where it should be bleeding obvious to the people involved that this order was incomplete. Right down to whoever it was who left this teeny bag of teaser produce on my porch.

Still, putting them head and shoulders above GEO, when I contacted Wanigan about the mistake, they were quick both to reply and credit my account for the missing main “box”.


Feeling gunshy, I tried again this week.

And this week’s delivery just arrived. Additional items? Check. (That additional items guy is so on the ball). Vegetables? Check. Fruit?



My “Fruit and Vegetable” box is all vegetable, no fruit. And yes, for those of you playing along at home, I was charged for the full box.

Which, of course, triggers a crazy pills moment. I find myself shaking out the kale to see if it’s hiding oranges. If the avocado is simply squirreled away beneath the romaine. Going back to the patio two and three times to see if the pears and apples made a roll for it.

But the patio is pear-free, and I resign myself to an “about that fruit I ordered…” email.


The importance of narrative

Once upon a time Whedon made a comment about how you always have to give the audience an explanation.

Just a little something.  You don’t have to go into great detail.  It doesn’t have to be elaborate.  It’s just that you can’t leave your audience with empty space where a “because” should be.  “How did they run away so fast?”  “Why didn’t he just use the gun?” “How come that guy didn’t see what happened ?”

Something.  In Whedon-world, he creates universes where usually implausible explanations can be tossed out casually, and will be seen as perfectly sensible.  E.g. They ran away so fast because they were with X, who can mess with time; he didn’t use the gun because his breed of demon is allergic to metal; the guy didn’t see what happened because he was mystically charmed by Y who did it to spite Z (and Whedon will circle back to that about 5 episodes from now).

You gotta give’em something.  Because if you don’t, the audience is going to get stuck in that empty space, that void of explanation, and they’re not going to come with you the rest of the way, to where you want to go with the story.

I’m turning into a fervent believer in the need for an explanation.  Not just in consumable entertainment like movies or TV shows, but in life.   The need for a spot of narrative to get you out of “but-it-just-doesn’t-make-sense”ville.

Allow me to demonstrate with an example.

Let’s say, hypothetically, that you have neighbours.  Troublesome neighbours.  They’re not like, tormenting the dog or spray-painting your car troublesome.   But they are noisy.  Constant, scratching on your brain, knuckling into your eye socket noisy.

As the live studio audience of your life, you wonder, “why?”  You need a character explanation.  It’s too thin to just write them off as “just jerks”.  You gotta thicken it out.

Here’s what I’ve come up with:

They’re having an extended slumber party.

Their parents are out of town for a while (13 months) and they’re so excited that they’ve invited all their friends (thugs) over for refreshing beverages (beer) and to listen to music (gangsta rap).

They don’t want their guests to get bored (wreck their stuff) so they have an exciting list of activities (lifting weights; pimp limping; hacking up lung butter) to keep them entertained. Sometimes things get low-key (toke time) but then afterwards it picks up again (raucous toke-induced laughter).

They get to know one another (“you like bitches?”) and show off their special skills (loitering in communal areas).  They like to let each other see their new outfits (underpants) and the different ways they can wear them (topless).  They stay up late (2AM on a Tuesday) not because they want to wake up the parents (us), but because they’re so excited their friends are over.

See? Now it’s all better, because now it makes sense.  It fits into a bigger picture.  There is both a rhyme (“bros before hos”) and a reason (“…so I was like, I could just be at home on EI”).  God bless you narrative.



While sipping a fair-trade americano and scarfing a yummo fresh muffin, I decided to hijack the free wifi for a quick video chat with my buddy Catspaw.

That’s the awesomeness of living here und now.

By sheer chance, the logo of the place I’m sitting was perfectly lined up behind my head.  Perfectly on par with how perfectly a flag is positioned behind a politician making a national address.

Not by chance, but due to “sleepy husband syndrome”, Cats, EH and I were also eating breakfast at the same time.  Even though she’s on the west coast, and we on the east.

After our quick hello and goodbye, Cats sent me a link of what our brief exchange (and my making note of the not one, but two other MacBook users sitting nearby) reminded her of.

That is, Cats & I, about 3 years previously.  Makin’ fun of ourselves.

And then she sent me the amended “more accurate” image I sent her after I read her post.

My comment then:  “What? That’s my ‘around town’ outfit. Don’t judge me. ”

Funnily enough, that is /exactly/ what I’m wearing right now.  True story.

Update:  What’s more nerdy than blogging about videochatting?  Unwittingly tandem blogging about videochatting.

Cafe magic

Why does the cheesiest, lamest music just… work, so long as it’s played in a cafe?  I caught myself humming along to “Three Times a Lady”.  If I download it when I get home, I’ll know I have a problem.

In my defense, it reminds me of an episode of Dharma and Greg.  Where it was revealed to be Greg’s make-out music.  Chuckle.

My husband accused me last night of being like a 12-year old prepubescent boy.  Why?  Because he brought home the newest Soul Calibur.  Which allows you to customize your character.  And what’s the first thing I did?  Take off their clothes.

I was still tweaking the colour of their underpants when Husband walked past and made the aforementioned declaration.  Whatever.  He knows that I’m designing the best characters ever.  Everyone fights a little bit better when they’re inspired by their orange skivvies.