Monthly archive for January 2010

For JD, with love & squalor

I never got around to reading The Catcher in the Rye when I was an angsty teenager, as I believe you are supposed to, and upon discovering in university that I had never read it, my friend Dahl was shocked and appalled and insisted I remedy that immediately.  I did, and I … didn’t like it.  At all, really.  And I was disappointed, because it’s a classic, and with classics you kind of expect to love them, or at very least appreciate them on some level, and I wasn’t capable of doing either.  Undaunted, Dahl insisted I read Nine Stories, which I did, and Franny and Zooey, and the rest of the books about the Glass family, and I complied, reluctantly at first, and then more willingly, and then voraciously.  To this day, I’m really unsure of exactly why Catcher is considered Salinger’s great work of genius, because the rest of his writing is almost overwhelmingly poetic and sophisticated and tortured and brilliant and … just really, really great to read.  (more…)

Seasonal ennui disorder

Daisy, as I have mentioned before, is an all-weather sort of dog.  While she indeed spends most of the summer bringing me her frisbee in an attempt to convince me to come outside and play right this very minute, it’s very urgent, the sun is shining, don’t you see, we’re going to MISS IT, she is also quite willing to sit on the deck in the pouring rain and enjoy the … ambiance, I guess.  She also quite enjoys sitting on the deck in the snow or diving off the deck into snow drifts up to her chest in a fit of ecstasy and/or in pursuit of a tennis ball, which we rarely buy for her but keep showing up mysteriously in our back yard.  Really, what I’m trying to say is she spends a lot of time smelling like wet dog.  (more…)


My schedule is such that I’m out of the house rather inconsistently and also, some weeks, rather infrequently as well.  I say this to give a little context to how strange it is that almost invariably, no matter which part of town I’m in, no matter which time it is that I’m in it, I see one of two people on the sidewalk that runs alongside part of the route I’ve chosen that day.  One of them is a woman, likely in her 70s, who runs, gracefully and at a much faster pace than the labourious one I tend to move at while running, dressed in a white long-sleeved t-shirt and bright orange running shorts. The other is a man, probably in his 70s as well, bearded and blue-sweatpantsed, who walks, quickly and not at all gracefully, swinging his arms with such force that his entire torso twists with every step he takes.  Collectively they must have covered a great deal of ground over the years and I wonder if maybe they’re at home right now, blogging about a red car that always seems to drive by while they’re out walking or running, and wondering why the brown-haired girl who drives it is always peering at them as she passes.

I’m not sure why I bring this up, except to say that I find it strange, and also wonderfully comforting, the remarkable regularity with which they are out and about and also the remarkable regularity with which I get to watch their routine from a distance, and if ever a few weeks pass where I haven’t seen either the man or the woman, I may start to worry.

Bylaw #635C

On Monday, while I was on my way to meet Pam for a run, I stopped at a red light.  Crossing the intersection in front of me, coming from one direction were two 20-something guys, each with a puppy.  Crossing the same intersection from the other direction were two young women, each with a baby.  It was, not to put too fine a point on it, too much cute (laughing babies! chubby cheeks! playful bounding! floppy ears and oversized paws!) all contained in just a few square feet and I couldn’t help but wonder if there shouldn’t be some sort of city bylaw in place to prevent this sort of cuteness explosion from happening.  As it is, I may never again be satisfied with just ONE puppy or just ONE baby, or even just one of each at any given time.

Ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby

I have a really sensitive sense of smell, a fact that is both a blessing (when cookies are baking) and a curse (when I manage to somehow track a tiny piece of cigarette butt into our car on the bottom of my shoe and then spend half an hour wondering why the car smells so strongly of cigarette smoke).  I also love Christmas, perhaps more than just about anything else, and so I find Christmas tree shopping and my trusty proboscis to be two great tastes that taste great together:  the tree lot smells like Christmas trees, and then your car smells like Christmas trees, and then your house smells like Christmas trees.  Eventually your garage smells like Christmas trees and then the side of the road smells like Christmas trees and some landfill smells like Christmas trees and I’m curled up in the fetal position on the couch, weeping and feeling not at all festive enough.  (more…)

Untitled (like much of my awful poetry)

For some reason, Mike and I embarked on kind of a cleaning frenzy around the house during the time we had off over Christmas.  We ransacked both of the closets in the basement, setting aside things to sell at the garage sale we plan to have this summer, and then tackled the closet in my office, which was full of a myriad of non-office-related items, as well as some file boxes that contained a bunch of things from both of our pasts that we have never been quite ready to part with.  In one of the boxes was a blue binder that contained about 100 pages of miscellaneous writing that I did during the apparently rather tumultuous and angsty period of my life that covered the tail end of grade 12 through to a few months after I started dating Mike.  It’s awful and it’s cheesy (oh, so awful and so cheesy) and I thought y’all might enjoy a few excerpts and thusly a quick peek into my subconscious from a decade ago.  (more…)


I got up yesterday morning and had breakfast and walked the dog, and it was cold but it was sunny and everything sparkled a little and the dog was really happy, bouncing from snowbank to snowbank, trying to eat a little bit of sandwich someone left on the sidewalk, wagging and wagging and wagging.  I brought her inside and peeled off my sweaty clothes and planned to have a quick shower before my doctor’s appointment, only to realize it was in 15 minutes, not 45 minutes, so I put my sweaty clothes back on in a hurry and drove across town to their shiny new office, and parked in the new parking lot, and opened the door of the car, which was caught by a gust of wind and driven directly into the passenger door of the van parked next to me, leaving a small, barely-noticeable-to-most but glaringly-obvious-to-me dent and smudge of red paint.  I panicked, and wondered what to do, and decided I was late and I should just check in at the doctor and then decide whether to leave a note.  (more…)

Personal growth

It’s only Monday afternoon, and already I’m realizing I’ve scheduled my week such that my life is interfering with my work, or my work is interfering with my life, but at any rate I have it on my to do list to blog today, so here we are.  I just made a wholly unsatisfactory grilled cheese for lunch (story of MY LIFE) and I’m about to make some tea and hunker down for some client writing, but first let’s turn our attention inwards, shall we, and enjoy a little bit of quiet reflection. The title of this post reminds me I can’t ever hear the phrase “personal growth” without thinking of the scene in When Harry Met Sally where Marie tells Sally, “There’s someone staring at you in Personal Growth!” and the someone that was staring at her was Harry, lurking around the bookstore, trying to remember if Sally is who he is remembering.  Oh, you two crazy kids, when will you realize you’re meant for each other?  This is really neither here nor there, but is to say that I’m trying to grow as a person, and if it gives me an excuse to reminisce a little bit about my favourite movie, so be it.   (more…)

Five minutes

So, Christmas is over, which means our holidays are over, which means that after two glorious weeks of sleeping late, I have to set my alarm again which, of course, is something I hate doing, but the pain of which is somewhat mitigated as of late since my parents gifted me with a special alarm clock in which I can dock my iPhone, so as to wake up to something I have carefully selected to be engaging and energizing, rather than the bad news and obnoxious DJ chatter that usually pipes cheerfully but depressingly and annoyingly out of my alarm clock at the top of the hour.  I’m currently in the process of selecting the Perfect Song To Wake Up To, and so far the best I could come up with is Eye of the Tiger, but I think it leaves a little something to be desired and I’d be happy to entertain suggestions or recommendations from interested parties.

At any rate, the one strange thing about this alarm clock, as I discovered on Monday morning, and then again yesterday, and finally had to check the manual to confirm, is that each snooze cycle (the amount of time I get to fall back asleep after hitting that most wondrous of buttons) is only 5 minutes, rather than the standard 9, and it has an upper limit to the number of times you can make use of it on any given morning.  I hit it a handful of times on Monday morning, as is my habit, and finally roused myself, only to discover it was much earlier than I anticipated.  The same thing happened yesterday, and this morning I just raised the white flag and got out of bed pretty much immediately, so it seems to have the desired effect, but I can’t help but feel that I’m being reprimanded or judged a little by Sony, as if they’re saying that yes, I SUPPOSE we’ll give you a few extra minutes of sleep, but you should have been up an HOUR ago, so we’ll check in with you again in 5 minutes to see where you’re at.  I mean, REALLY.