Archive | June, 2010


27 Jun

summer sunset, seule

the sky is pink and purple and peach and blazing orange, glowing behind the trees. it’s a cool evening, with a breeze and a sudden lack of humidity. the air that’s been thick with haze and smoke these past few days has thinned out to the point of being refreshing after a brief storm. it really is perfect weather for camping.

this summer is going to be different than my previous 8 summers: this time, there will be no day trips to small farm towns near and far; no extended camping trips on the shores of the lake; no late night walks in random neighbourhoods at midnight; no impromptu bonfires organized at the last minute. there will be the usual festivals – fringe, folklorama – but the company i keep shall be different, and therefore the entire dynamic of my attendance at said events will be different. “different” does not equal “bad”, and i will simply find a new groove this summer. but… i did so like the old groove.


pool party

26 Jun

i promise i’m not anti-social. well, not a lot… except perhaps whilst trying to sleep.

i’m not sure why, but i desperately needed a nap this morning. only a few hours after getting up, i could barely keep my eyes open. so it was that at 10:30 on a saturday morning, i went back to bed.

i slept for 3 hours. it would’ve been longer, had there not been a get-together of sorts next door. the one next door neighbour used to have a hot tub, but it disappeared at the same time as her ex. a few days ago, i noticed she had installed an above-ground pool in its place, on her deck. this morning she had company over; from the sounds of it, 3 adults and 2 small children. not that i was eavesdropping: i simply had no choice but to hear their goings-on. as i’ve explained before, my bedroom is the attic of an old house. there are 4 windows up there that use crank-style mechanisms to open. one of those mechanisms is completely busted, meaning i can’t budge the window. so the window is stuck wide open. unfortunately, it’s the window that overlooks my neighbour’s back yard. and so it was that i heard everything happening at my neighbour’s impromptu summer morning party.

as i was dozing on my bed, i slowly returned to consciousness at the sound of a repetitious mantra. i heard this highly annoying baby voice – not the voice of a baby, but an adult speaking baby-talk, y’know? so it’s a man’s voice, all high-pitched and googly-gaga, and this voice is saying a single phrase, over… and over… and over. so i’m lying there and all i hear is “big splaaaaaash! big splaaaaash!” with the occasional “yay!” thrown in for good measure. obviously the wee ones were playing in the pool. but c’mon, seriously?

it went on like that for literally 10 minutes, non stop, that’s all the dude said, in the exact same sing-songy tone of voice, “big splaaaaaash!” i thought i might go give him a big splash – of boiling water to the face.

so then something happened and one of the small kids started crying and screeching. so dude stopped his “big splaaaaash!” for a couple of minutes while people comforted the kid. (wanna know what happened? apparently the little girl, slightly older than the little crying boy, splashed him right in the face. now where do you suppose she got that idea?)

after a few minutes of crying, all was forgotten and the splashing resumed. only this time, dude changed it up. he took it up a notch and started singing what was obviously a song he was making up on the spot. now, i’m all for creativity and spontaneous bursts of song. however, for the next 15 minutes (yes, i timed it), the soundtrack of my “nap” went like this:

big splash, big splash,
heidi heidi ho!
big splash, big splash,
oh no oh no oh no!
big splash, big splash,
oomagammmago! [or other random sounds that ended with rhyme for “go”]
big splash, big splash,
big splash here we go!
big splaaaaaaaaash!

and then he would clap frantically for a few seconds… before starting it all over again.

he sounded like a freaking teletubby. i mean, good on the dude for not worrying about his manliness and just goofing off for the kids, but seriously? i’ve never ever heard a man use exclusively baby talk for such a long stretch, without interruption. (unless he was a paid entertainer; then I’d understand. but from what I could gather from my perch in my bedroom, he was just some random relative/friend, no clown.) he never once used a normal adult voice, never once said anything except “big splash” and random rhyming words and sounds. So by watching the clock, i determined that i laid there for about half an hour listening to this buffoon. i wish he had just taken a big splaaaaash in the pool himself, and “accidentally” swallowed a bunch of chlorinated water.

father’s day festivities

20 Jun

vive la famille!

so we arrived at the suite to a distinct burning smell. as she let us in the front door of the complex, my aunt breathlessly explained that the day had gotten off to a great start, with a fire in the kitchen. as in, an actual fire, not just a little flame in an oily frying pan. my other aunt had put some bacon in the microwave and instead of 30 seconds set it for 3 minutes. the bacon and the paper it was sitting on both caught fire, to the point that the insides of the microwave started to melt and come detached, dripping globs of plastic on to the glass tray. the unit is totalled. we missed all of the action; by the time we got there, the entire lower level of the apartment complex smelled awful, and there was a big empty space where the microwave used to be in my grandpa’s suite.

we ladies then set about preparing lunch. as it’s a nice spring day we had planned on a cold meal (the bacon was the only thing that had to be cooked – so much for that). whilst putting our various homemade salads in large bowls, of course my aunt spilled some of the green salad that she was tossing – lettuce and oil and vinegar flying everywhere, decorating the walls, the floor, and staining her dress. (this was the same aunt that set the microwave ablaze.) yee-haw!

whilst eating at the table, my other aunt’s mother dripped meat juice on the table, soaking a good portion of the tablecloth in cold chicken drippings. at the same time, my aunt spilled coffee on said tablecloth.

for dessert, my aunt had brought two pies – one apple, one cherry – and had her son fetch them from the car. he, being a 13 year-old boy, didn’t pay particular attention to the way he was carrying them, and had them sitting up vertically in the bag. when his mother took the pies out of their boxes, their crusts were all cracked and broken, and both pies were squished to one side. somehow, it was a perfect end to the luncheon. i love my family.

calm down, sistah

16 Jun

the inside of my brain, circa 12:23 today

it’s a sunny afternoon. yesterday was a gorgeous day. the past few days have been glorious, warm, bright; i’ve had work to do, and it’s been work that i enjoy; and things are relatively stable on the financial and familial fronts. yet i’ve been feeling increasingly on edge – stomach in gnarled knots, nights plagued by insomnia, body nearly twitching with anxiety, whole self possessed by urge to flee… but why? flee to where? sure, there are some stressful things going on right now, but nothing i can’t handle, and nothing anywhere approaching past stresses i’ve endured. so what gives?

everything either frustrates, annoys, or angers me lately. my patience is at an all-time low, my sense of diplomacy and tact is wearing thin, and the judgmental side of me is operating in overdrive. so i’ve started to go on more walks, in an effort to burn off some nervous energy, and to distract myself with the pleasant smells and colours of late spring. maybe it’s just a sign that i need to keep myself busier. maybe i should take a holiday. maybe i should just lay off the coffee for awhile…

tonight, tonight

13 Jun

it was the first sunny day in weeks. despite the piercing blueness of the sky, and the brightness of the sun, and the fact that it’s june already, the air was cool – which was fine by me; i prefer a slight chill and bright skies over stuffy heat and humidity. n e way, here it is, 21:00, and the sun is starting to sink slowly closer and closer to the horizon. right now it’s a big orange ball in the sky, glowing fiercely, spraying its juicy colour through the branches of the evergreens on the neighbouring street. the breeze coming in through the open window is an intoxicating blend of smoke (from barbecues and backyard fire pits) and freshly cut grass.

it was the kind of day where we once would have hopped in the car and taken off down the highway, choosing the direction as we drove. we’d stop at a gas station or small grocery store in some small town to pick up some food for the drive and the destination: fruit, cheese, bread, chips, coffee. we’d end up in a provincial park, or a tourist trap, or a small prairie town, or a lake, and we’d walk and eat and talk. on the way back to the city, we might stop for dinner at one of the greasy spoons or mom & pop joints along the highway. that all feels like a lifetime ago.

tonight would be perfect for a bonfire.

of puddles and insects

10 Jun

that thing that looks like a river? it’s the street, in front of my house. you could say we’ve had a spot of damp weather lately.

i sometimes have the attention span of a gnat.

what is there to say when everything is so trivial compared to everything else? all the horrible things happening right this very instant, all over the globe; environmental disasters, humanitarian conflicts, guerilla wars… even small-scale tragedy: death of a loved one, loss of a job, ending of a relationship… bad news is everywhere. yet we focus on the trivial, which is just that: so very trivial. but i guess that’s how we survive: by reminding ourselves that there is something other than the bleak, the painful, the depressing.

the carcass of an ex-spider is glued to the back of my notebook. not literally glued, of course; i’m no avant-garde artiste. no, unfortunately my notebook became a weapon again, for the second time in as many weeks, landing firmly on the head of a large, fast-moving arachnid that was scampering across the living room carpet. i hate killing bugs, even evil spiders. actually, especially evil spiders, at least at this time of year, when the mosquitoes are beginning to hatch. n e way, i left that notebook there in the middle of the floor all weekend. why? to ensure the spider was really dead, naturally. (i’ve since picked it up and left it on a chair so i wouldn’t trip over it; but i’ve not yet peeled the squished bug off the back of it.) and so it sits. meaning i’m not writing or doodling these past few days. but i have a feeling that a sudden urge to clean will be upon me in the very near future…

update: just after posting this last night, i went to the washroom to prep for bed, and who did i find lurking there? yet another dastardly eight-legged beast. i shut the door, turned round and *poof* there he was, standing motionless beside the bathtub. i let out a loud gasp, but proceeded to change into my pj’s anyway – slowly, of course, lest i startle the wretch. then i slowly let myself out, closing the door behind me. i had to call for help to dispose of the creature; otherwise, i’d never have gone back in the room…

mise en garde:

6 Jun

use as directed.