katiclops

This is a very serious blog.

Category: Uncategorized

(Intermission)

-Day 4-

Over the weekend, I lamented over the trials and tribulations of writing fiction with a friend (who is bravely embarking on her own November writing quest). We commiserated that we found it extremely challenging to suppress the inevitability of our personal experiences and meta-narratives from nosing their ways into whatever we were writing. While I agonized over trying to write today’s post, I stumbled upon this other excerpt from another one of Franzen’s essays, Pain won’t kill you:

“If you’re moved to try to return the gift that other people’s fiction represents for you, you eventually can’t ignore what’s fraudulent or secondhand in your own pages. These pages are a mirror too, and if you really love fiction you’ll find that the only pages worth keeping are the ones that reflect you as you really are.”

 

Write on.

(Intermission)

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Post-morning swim – June 2013, Campbell Bay, Mayne Island

(it’s much quieter than it sounds)

Obligatory “So what is NaBloPoMo about?” post

– Day 2 –

Greetings friends!

I’ve taken a long, extended hiatus from blogging. I took full-time work last December (yipee!) and traveled through a gambit of return of Saturn flux over the past six months. Normally I like to reserve this blog as a place to review books and keep me on track with critical reading and reflecting, as well as a place to stretch out my writing wiles and traumatize you all with creative writing exercises. Over the past eight or nine months, all of this has fallen by the wayside, in favour of policy writing, bike rides, terrible house moves and written correspondence: but I miss it so!

And so I’m back.

What is NaBloPoMo you ask? To quickly recap the myriad of eloquent descriptions out there, it is a month where bloggers unite across cyberspace and commit to blogging every single day for an entire month. It’s kind of like training wheels for NaNoWriMo, where you crank out an entire novel.

Wow, you’re probably thinking to yourself, that’s a heck of alot of time.  And it is!!! It is way way too much time! Last year I ended up writing for 2-3 hours every day as I tried to continue hashing out book reviews for the first few weeks and then surrendered to defeat. I also was initiated into very rad little community of bloggers that I’m hoping to reconnect with! This year, I’m committing to do it the full month, just to see what happens. I read one of the posts from yesterday from Sabrina Lovejoy (The Devil Made Me Do it) . She ended the post with “everytime I’ve participated (in NaBloPoMo) in the past, I loved the me it produced. Discipline begets more discipline.”

I have no idea what will happen this time around. I have a stockpile of 8 months of undisseminated books kicking around (Vagina, The Marriage Plot, The Invisible Man, Ken Kesey), a few unpublished/unedited entries and a reserve of traumatized photos of Griz, so at the very least, you can look forward to those (ha!). I promise from here on in the only posts I sync to Facebook will continue to be actual book reviews (hopefully I will get a few more out this month!), but feel free to come back here if you want to check in on how it’s going. It’s Mercury Retrograde after all… And please continue to harass me! I can’t tell you how much of an incentive it is to have other people holding me accountable 🙂 Or better yet, join us! I’m linking up with Yeah Write again this year for motivation and inspiration. Wish us luck!

See you guys tomorrow.

~kImageDarling Griz, June, 2013

blogroll

NaBloPoMo Nautical November

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2:27 am

Glasgow airport.

Every 15 minutes a public announcement comes on to let us know where we can purchase designer bras. It’s mildly annoying and extremely irritating for all those trying to sleep. I’ve installed myself on the last confirmed unoccupied bench in the whole airport (the parts that are open at the moment anyway). We are actually to fly out of T2, which is locked at the moment. The airport is silent. Filled with people waiting. People sleeping. People staring vapidly, desperately, purposefully into space. And construction. Doubtlessly part of why this bench has remained unoccupied is due to the vibrant, surrealist, bright light located directly above my head. This is the only such light that has been left on in the airport, most of the other banks of benches have softer square ones, letting people seep gently into grocery-store-like sedation, but mine drenches the whole area making it feel a bit like a movie set.

I’ve plugged in my noise canceling headphones, mainly to avoid having to talk to other people. My way of putting up walls. There is no music playing. It’s quiet. I ate the pastry I packed already, but I can’t imagine dipping into the the small loaf of bread, cheese or apples I am bringing as rations for the plan. My belly is filled with wine and beer and scotch and it isn’t happy with me. I am glad to be in the waiting phase though. It takes the edge off. I’m still a nervous flyer.

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 *                        *                        *

November is my hardest month.

Not cruel April, or muddy March. But November, the dreary culmination of the death drenched fall. The end of the most colourful, crispy and crystalline time. Eleven days earlier I had booked a ticket to Scotland, flown three days later, and now, already I was turned around to trek back. Mercury has retreated into retrograde, my week of reflection and wandering complete, I was ready to regroup and return to the land of the living. But this is the last part of the trip, and perhaps the most important part. Being a quiet island in public space. With all my amenities, I am my own little sailboat, removed and detached in the diplomatic ocean of airports, traceless and free. Being observed and invisible, alone. Suspended in transport, in the ether that is so familiar and calm. Suspended. A moment of weightlessness stolen from the edges of parabolic flight in the seconds before our lives change direction. Free fall. Liberation. Whenever I’m here I always think about the Heart of Gold in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, when they bend space in half to make a leap and create a portal to slip through. Airports are like that. Bringing together bits of earth, skipping all that tedious travel, unbound from the chronological passage of physical geographic, replaced instead by the simple screen of sky.

This is also what I came here for.

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11:13 pm.

The rain is rolling down Cook street in thick rapid rivers. The skies are stained sepia from the streetlights and streaks of sordid rain. During this quarter of the year, released from normal circadian strata, we are hatched into the night. Suddenly there is a safety in the evenings. Sixteen hours of darkness expand to fill the balance of the business day. Taking back the darkness, our coats grow long and thick and slick with rain, our eyes grow dark and wide and we reclaim ourselves as creatures of no light. Traffic transformed into some strange shape, a school of underwater sea creatures, shapeless headlights a moving flock of stars. Tendrils of tenuous traffic lights and beacons beaming from buildings form a curious coral reef of relief through which we slip and slither through the smudged, soaking air.

If we can embrace this change, it will be a good November.

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I’m back! So stoked to be blogging with YeahWrite for November as a lifeline to get through this crazy month!

Check it out over at YeahWrite.me!


New year, New Yorker, and peacock PhDs

royal roads misty morning january 2013 rru victoria bc

Misty morning, Royal Roads, January, 2013

S

o we made it.

This post is the last in a long serious of abandoned drafts that have sprouted up in the past few weeks.

2012 was a long and intense year; it drew to a close, with the finality and sanctity of a little lifeboat levelling out at the end of a typhoon.

My new job as started, after plunging headfirst into a sea of new faces and fumbling through a wash of acronyms, I finally feel as though I’m beginning to swim my way to shore. I only took a quick three days at Christmas, and in the holiday office-lull I finally made some headway in getting my feet on solid ground. It was a beautiful way to start the new year.

Ogden Point Victoria BC fog canada december 2012

Ogden Point, Victoria, BC – December 2012 

I spent a portion of the break travelling, a portion alone, and the past three weeks working through decluttering my existence. Needless to say, it’s been a reflective, belly-button gazing kind of month.

No one ever seems to tell you that or remember that bit about travelling-in spite of all the new adventures, new people and new places you’re ambitiously out venturing towards, inevitably you spend a huge chunk of hours in controlled, cold, public environments, staring at flight schedules, the inside of busses, highways and waiting in solitude. The holidays are exhausting and relaxing in part due to these extremes. What moments you have with people are often intense, emotional exchanges, insulated by vortexes of sterile solitude. Layer this under seasonal memory, apocalyptical apprehensions and the longest days of the year and you have yourself a complete, contemplative, crystalline disaster.

Our brains are the most metabolic, oxygen intensive organs in our bodies, and thinking takes time. This is something I always forget. All of our rush rush rushing everywhere and multi-tasking and fear of silences and empty spaces and no space to think.

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We’ve kept our white brick walls empty for the past eight months, sub-conciously for this purpose I think. There is so much texture to white empty spaces, so many imperfections to dwell on. The not-so-perfect pattern of the brick is predictable and calming. Like staring at the white slats in our ceiling, the silence and controlled environments of travelling are so good for this type of processing. In the past decade I cling to them, their predictability and the solace of their silent sanctity.

Insert some emo Eno (Music for Airports?)

So this month things are settling into their new routines. I’m adjusting to my new schedule (headed to bed much earlier!). I’ve also finished a two week cleanse and started running again. I was lucky enough to be sent away for a training course up at Royal Roads University (RRU) for the week.

Appropriately, we’ve been wrapped up in foggy, cool mornings. RRU is actually designated a National Historic Site, and hosts the (original) X-Mansion from the X-Men. Before I went, people had always raved to me about how beautiful the campus was. I brushed it off, but when I arrived I was taken aback: it is stunning. Each morning after my bus ride, I walked about a half hour down a seaside ridge ridge, through a rain forest into this beautiful old estate. To add to the allure, peacocks roam the grounds, looking as though they should all be puffing away on pipes and discussing Voltaire .


Peacocks Royal Roads University 2013 Victoria BC RRU

Peacock PhDs, RRU, January, 2013

All this futile thinking and learning as culminated in a bit of a reading hiatus since I started work. In part, I’ve picked over my bookshelf of low hanging fruit (i.e., the accessible books I was anxious to read), and I’m left staring at quite a few tomes I haven’t mustered up courage to crack (i.e., Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago, and DFW’s Infinite Jest).

In efforts pre-emptive mitigation, right before Christmas I picked up Wonderful Town, a 2001 collection of New Yorker stories that focus on New York. For some reason New York always reminds me of Christmas. Maybe something to do with the singular symbiosis of cities. Christmas also spurs me (and many folks I believe) into a bit of a nostalgia. It’s the only time of year I feel driven to re-read novels. The New Yorker seems to provide a nice compromise: new stuff from old authors and a low commitment way to get literary.

As previously mentioned, I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the New Yorker, and other literary periodicals, but I think I’m beginning to understand them. Fiction writing is hard. Absolutely, incredibly, intolerably difficult. Not for everyone, but for alot of people. Even those authors I really look up to. The New Yorker was founded as a venue for authors to air their stuff. An unfunded mechanism to bounce ideas around, to try things out, to get feedback. Not all of it is fantastic: some of it is, some of it is crazy, but all of it is inspiring. It encouraged me in my recent forays into prose and made a few of my literary giants seem less large in real life. In seeing some of their stumbles, their rehearsals, the bits that didn’t make it into the final draft; not all of it is great – but it gets better.

I was recently corresponding with a pal (i.e., friend and fellow writer) about my looming April 1st personal deadline to start a fiction project. Part of it is this: of the millions of books that exist in the world, the few hundred we read in our lifetime are (hopefully) among the best. Reading the anthology has reminded me that everyone starts somewhere, that not every day is your best day, and there is virtue in all the work that you do. You just have to do it.

The other thing I loved about this past week, was listening to their fiction podcasts. Each month a published author reads a previously published author of their choice. It’s fantastic, because I get to nerd out and hear David Eggers reading Roddy Doyle,  Junot Diaz attempt a French accent and Pamuk read Nabokov. Personalities that previously only existed in “sacrosanct Times New Roman” warmly flesh themselves out into full personalities, emulating one another, spinning themselves into a web of people and storytellers. It’s a little astonishing really, to hear narratives I have only ever known in my standard inner monologue, suddenly spring alive into a diverse range of accents, ages and cadence.

Without fail, my iPhone tended to die part way home. The January rain of the we(s)t coast delays and skews transit schedules beyond predictability. The blue-lit busses smelling of lip balm and egg salad were often almost as good as the podcasts: unfettered people watching. The more I revert back into the Real World, the more interaction I have with Real People (i.e., people outside of academia) the more I am completely fascinated by the depths of our differences and the synchrony of our similarities. The duality in our endless scope of choices that perpetually serve to limit and marry us to the outcomes of the rest of our lives.

I will miss the commute, but I am ready for the sunshine.

Literary sabbatical adjourned. Books back next week!

 Thank you all for indulging me in the vanity of a new year’s post.

All the best for 2013.

                           ~kmh

Griz hidden under blanketGriz, 2012 

The Rogue Leaves

The unsung silver lining to Victoria’s long, silvery-white, drizzly winter and pale fall, is that November is nice. Instead of 30 days of grey-brown slush and ice instead we have saffron alders and big leaf acers, sepia-orange oak and walnuts, and a smattering of wine red silver maples and cherry trees. While the rest of Canada faces barren streets, slush and ice, we are washed in a third blossoming of foliage, as snowstorms of leaves rain down scantily lit night skies. They dance their way over thresholds the city-over, swirling over doormats and forcing shopkeepers to sweep their entry constantly.  No one here believes in the double door system of the east and the golden leaves a nearly festive atmosphere about the place, as if we were all decorating for the arrival of someone terribly important.

The gusts of November prove a feat for cycling, but ensure the most vital attribute of island weather: change. Rare are the November days when dreary skies will muck up the air for entire days or even weeks. Instead they usher in-and-out clouds of cumulus, bright sunlight and winter rain. Short holding patterns will emerge. Rain in the early morning, clearing with sunrise, sunny until clouds form in the afternoon and rain away the sunset; clear, cold, windy nights. Runs need to be decisive, early and brisk.

Rogue leaf, our apartment, November 2011

November here is a time for silence. A time to listen to the wind and the rain. To listen to the quiet of the empty city.

I am struggling with reading this month. In part the challenge comes from the restlessness of the weather: it’s hard to commit to anything when the season is so variable. The momentum of the Christmas season is also starting to rear it’s frenetic head. I’ve also felt at a bit of a loss for settling my teeth into my next read. The days of the Times Colonist book-sale have come and gone, and the shelves I’ve procured have been culled more than once of the ones I had been most eager to read. Many of the ones that remain were picked up because I have passed over them once too often: part of that internal master list so many of us have in our brain. The books we should read, the ones we should know. I have a stack of commentary in international relations texts, Jane Jacobs and well over a dozen classics I’ve never really come around to reading (i.e., Moby Dick, Oliver Twist, and East of Eden for a start). After six years of school, the last thing one ever wants to do with their “leisure” reading is feel obligated to slog through something they’re really not enjoying. Especially when there are thousands of totally decent books in the world.

Lately I have taken most of my direction through word of mouth, and proof of merit. I tend to read books in torrents and association: everything by Eugenides or Ondaatje. Read Franzen because you like Eggers. The others have been through refferrals by friends, friends of friends, friendly bookstore owners and interesting looking people in coffee shops (yes, I am that person who is also voyeuristically and oh-so-indiscreetly attempting to figure out what you’re reading from across the way). Books are hard. It is almost impossible not to judge a book by it’s cover. I’ll go see music with zero expectations, because their poster looks reasonably cool, I like the venue or I know who is opening. Friends have taken me to see shows willingly based little more on “it’s a bit folksy with a little rock, fantastic vocals,” or a few snatches of a youtube video. It is seldom to see a movie without successfully enjoying the preview in advance, but when was the last time you bought a book based on a commercial?

The latest book that I picked up, highly touted by a few friends as “if you only read one book this year…” was Cloud Atlas. I had been advised by everyone to (at all costs) avoid watching the preview of the film until after I had finished the book, and preferably until after I had finished watching the movie. There was a huge relief in this, of actively deciding to avoid advertising and reviews. These days, cutting yourself off can be just as hard as immersing yourself; saying no just as hard as saying yes. But with it comes freedom and clarity. Shutting off the internet finally gives you space to breathe. As many of my previous posts would indicate, I am an NPR addict, but this month I’ve found myself shutting off the radio and working in the kitchen in silence. Wandering down forgotten avenues of memory, cleaning up and putting away things that haven’t crossed my mind in years.

I watched Cloud Atlas earlier this week, a hundred pages short from finishing the rest of the book. Since then my mind has been crowded, overwhelmed by the three hour long film, trying to commit to finishing David Mitchell’s novel. Trying to enjoy instead of dissect. Trying to be silent.

And it’s really, really hard.

Realm of dreams….(Part Two)

(Continued from Part One…)

What I wasn’t expecting about In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts was how effectively he breaks down the barriers that exist between the reader and the residents he is writing about. Dr. Maté is an accomplished physician, author and renown speaker. He has a family and lives in a comfortable home away from the DTES. I’m guessing it’s likely in the tree-lined streets of the west side of the city, quiet in the evenings, filled with affluent families, dogs on walks to the beach, and the odd baby stroller.

Dr. Maté’s book is well referenced, he provides over twenty pages of end-notes to supplement and bolster his arguments. The book is sprinkled with references to classical music and literature. But what is sneaky about the book, is that of course, the average reader, soldiering through 400 dense pages of largely scientific and academic writing will identify here and there with the people interviewed and contributing, but realistically, these same people are far more likely to identify with Dr. Maté himself. I was able to quickly locate the music he refers to, I’ve read many of the authors and thinkers he refers to—I was lulled into identifying with him. His relentless unabashed oversharing of his personal experiences and home life allow you to think of Dr. Maté as an actual person. This is helped along as many of the clients participating in the work also see him as such—they talk back to him, challenge him and manipulate him, in part (I’m guessing) because after a system has failed them so completely, what would the use be in continuing to participate in the staunch hierarchies that exist to protect it. The book’s greatest case study, is in fact, Dr. Maté himself.

Where this tactic become particularly effective is that as Dr. Maté switches to explaining the symptoms and causes of addiction, he uses himself as an example to illustrate the principles. At first, the links and parallels seem tenuous, but by the end of the work (it is impossible to feel as though this is a short book—it’s a veritable tome!), it works. That is why this book is so effective, and imperative to read for change makers, anyone really. It is why this book becomes accessible:

My addiction, though I call it that, wears dainty white gloves compared to theirs. I’ve also had far more opportunity to make free choices in my life, and I still do. But if the differences between my behaviours and the self-annihilating life patterns of my clients are obvious, the similarities are illuminating—and humbling. I have come to see addiction not as a discrete, solid entity—a case of “Either you got it or you don’t got it”–but as a subtle and extensive continuum. Its central, defining qualities are active in all addicts, from the honoured workaholic at the apex of society to the impoverished and criminalized crack fiend who haunts Skid Row. Somewhere along that continuum I locate myself.

Dr. Maté’s quirky illustration of himself as a learned, compassionate man that suffers from addictions, forces the readers to attempt to assess their own lives and social moralities. Ultimately, as illustrated in Chapter 33 “A Word to Friends, Families and Colleagues”–you can’t sort out other people’s shit unless you are able to objectively try to sort out your own, or at the very least, realize that you (and everyone else) has work to do. This is the deeply humbling and universal message of this book, that there is a need for compassion and a holistic approach to dealing with all social issues, not only is this the most effective way, but also the most efficient because the impacts are on so many levels: support systems in all aspects of life. Holistic approaches are more complicated than the current systems in place, but the problems arising out of the current “silver bullet” solutions are so much more costly and complicated.

Recently I was privileged enough to have the good fortune of reading a report on the experiences of transexuals in the medical community. Specifically looking at access to PAP smears for female-to-male transitioning persons. An incredible presentation of this report is available here (I will be adding a youtube link in the near future, pending permission of the presenter :). Before this report, I had never given this type of experience much thought, it’s a blind spot—a matter of privilege that I would have never pondered PAP access for non-female persons. I hesitate to extrapolate on the issues brought up in the piece for fear of diluting them too much, however it touches upon several key tenets that are equally applicable to the addiction community, and other groups facing prejudice. That was the second major impact I took away from this book: the double edged sword of the medical system. It is a gateway window, through which so many other services can be accessed, but also a window through which so many other services can be severed.

Those involved in the medical community are tirelessly working jobs in which they often see hundreds (if not thousands) of patients a year. However, for those being served by the medical community, it may be one of the only interactions they have with “the System,” or worse, it might contribute to conditioned responses to the System. For example, someone who is overweight and plagued by health concerns may be told every time they see care that they need to lose weight, leading them to neglect seeking care for unrelated or other preventable issues. In my own case, my high-stress levels led me to avoid seeking proper care until I developed a condition that will take several years of medication to cure. Integration of services and providing safe, sound access can promote harm reduction, as well as form relationships and in-roads into communities that will contribute to long-term healing and increased access for service delivery.

Finally, this book echoed my previous post about childhood and Lullabies for little Criminals, what we take for granted and what is out of our control—but by the same token how it takes a village to raise a child, and how we must continue to focus our efforts on not only the early years, but on supporting family units, young mothers and fathers, and the bonds and friendships that contribute to community. Dr. Maté paints the DTES not only as a place plagued with “third world levels of HIV, AIDS and life expectancies” but also a place that people can come to for an acceptance and community they would be unable to find by and large anywhere else in Canada, let alone the world.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone with the emotional capacity and time to process the complex issues it delves into. Although I don’t agree 100% with every argument Dr. Maté brings forward, ultimately I couldn’t agree more with his demands to demonstrate “curious compassion” and constant questioning: from the systems that suspend us to the actions that hold us in it’s grasp, inviting us to a lifelong work of constant redevelopment.

I would also love to recommend this post from Radical Public Health for anyone looking for another opinion on the book!

Emails from Powerful Strangers

A few hours after writing my post (In the Realm of Hungry Masters Students..), I happened to get a great email from a Powerful Stranger. He was writing to explain that over the past few months he has been keeping a blog, in secret, and we could find the first twelve posts here.  Almost all of them followed a simple template, which I will cross-post (pending his permission!) in the near future.

I was delighted to receive his email.  Not only is he a great friend, he has been a truly inspiring one, one that catalyzes creativity, action and discussion.  In one of his first posts he talks about the virtues of Powerful Strangers, and truthfully, this is who he is to me (albeit one who has become a friend!).  His blog is great, and I couldn’t recommend it more.  I am excited to be following it in the coming months.

As if the last part of puzzle coming together was this article, that was posted by Forbes earlier today. In short, it was loosely about how great business leaders read fiction, because fiction is the best way to understand people. I’d like to extrapolate this thought and say that fiction is the best way to understand ideas themselves. People, and the books (art) they produce are only the conduit. Without a forum and a medium to riff on these ideas, to document and meditate a little, I’m a little worried that they might be lost-as much as I enjoy the waves washing over me, I want to snap a few polaroids on this journey too. I’m going to try to include some quotes as well.

So thank you to all my Powerful Strangers out there! I look forward to reading all your books, blogs and comments.

Post #3: sometimes the days get very short

This blog feels very quiet and empty now. One day I am sure it will feel very full and vibrant and filled with lots of other people: maybe we will have discussions that feel like shared nachos and inside jokes about each others
Children (ie blogs). But for now I can’t help but feeling like Merlin, living life backwards, my friends have already all dropped away.

It’s raining again today. For those of you unfamiliar with the west coast, I enclose today for you, a picture:
Except I haven’t quite figured that out yet! But I will! Oh I will computer literate friends….these are but baby steps!

So it is raining again and my heart is racing. I’m shaking a little but my brain feels much clearer than it has the past three days. My two housemates are in a music war. Above me, D Is sweetly strumming guitar with lovely J who accompanies, no word of a cheesy lie, like an angel, js voice is incredible. Next to me in the kitchen G accompanies arcade fire in falsetto, complete with guitar solos. Both noises are so sweet and tranquil I can’t help but feel very blessed to be here and they drive out every possible ounce of its quarter to midnight I work in eight hours out of my body.

I have a gutter and eaves trough outside my window and it sounds delicious.

I miss him more now than ever.
They always say its darkest right before the dawn. 26 days!! And four sleeps until a mini vacation together!

I go back to scubadiving inside my head.

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Post #2: Note to self, insomnia, and the federal budget

Well, here we are again.

Two days ago I went to a two hour long session looking at mobile and e-commerce.  I typed the six-panel discussion entirely by thumb on my iPhone.  You would not believe the thumb crampage going on to you as I type this.  Every space bar is like a knife to my metatarsals…there is a future for tablets after all….

I was going to mark off that I wrote today on my calendar at work, like my pay day or the cabergoline I’ve been taking, but I fought the urge.  I don’t want this to be like a medication or an obligation.  If it fails I have failed, but it’s not like a drug. More like going to the gym.  I want to go because it makes me feel good.  Because it’s sunny out and I love runny fast.  Because it’s what I do in my free time.  Not because I get to check off another square on my calendar.

More rain today.

The federal budget dropped.

It felt like some kind of twisted backwards Christmas.  There was this aura of grotesque excitement in the air as we all clustered in our boardroom to stream the coverage off CBC. Peter Mainsbridge was there, with his blue suit and handsome unflailing white rimmed hairless head. The coverage was the wort I have ever seen from CBC.  Feeds were dropped, static flashed across the scene, audio was missing.  Good connections seemed to  never be of the right scenes.

Night love.

you’re my night love.

you’re my knight love.

your (my) night (love).

~k

To do list #1

This weekend will be a full and productive weekend.

This weekend I will:

Finish the laundry I have been intending to do since returning from Portland. Three weeks ago.

Do the yoga I intended to do when I left my mat out on the floor (admittedly now covered in laundry).

Go grocery shopping as to avoid smoothie survival off semi-rotten frozen discounted fruit in freezer as per this week.

Replenish fruit in freezer.

Finish my LAST PAPER FOR MY (current) MASTERS.  Really.  Write the whole darn thing.

Finish my taxes. For the last five years.

Wash the bathroom floor.

Call my grandmother.

Read at least one more chapter of Salman Rushdie’s the ground beneath her feet before I forget the characters names (again).

Go for a walk.

Take at least one long hot shower.

Write.

This list would have been happily continued, except it is already exceeding katiclops limits. It feels so great writing lists, like you have really accomplished something.  Ha! See world! Making progress already…the first step to accomplishing things is to acknowledge that things must be accomplished!  Funny how it’s missing the imperative weekend “catch on sleep abstained from since prior weekend…” Perhaps it’s an indication this insomnia is planning on sticking around….

The cherry blossoms are just starting to come out in Vancouver, and it smells amazing.  There aren’t really any where I live, or where I work for that matter.  Our streets are lined with broad leaf maple , which are starting to bud, and our feet with crocuses in the community reclaimed curb gardens, which are just started to peek their heads up out of the winter grass.  The willows by the park never lost their leaves.  But tonight I was in the West End and it smelled divine. It’s like their neighbourhood missed the memo that decorating exclusively in flowers is not allowed.  That it flaunts affluence, safety and oblivion.  That it’s a little guache to use that much pastel.  The whole street was encompassed in a giant pink cloud of cotton candy or some type of delicious smelling snow and the wind (which at this point at subsided to kittenly) was making all of the branches bounce almost jovially. Serious spring in your step.  Here because it is night time, I can not see outside, but the wind chime and lack of sirens tonight seem to sing the sweet song of July.