life in the sodden city

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

can they feel it?

i plunked a teabag into Gran's old stainless steel and wood teapot and filled it with hot water. couple of digestive cookies on Mum's china saucer with matching teacup. replaced the cookie box in the cupboard alongside the old bowl that Bill used to grab handfuls of peanuts from. they'd rattle around in his hand as he shook them before throwing his head back and tossing half a fistful into his mouth while patting Nicky on the head.

they say that keeping old junk around serves no purpose, but as i carried my teapot and teacup over to the coffee table i couldn't help but smile, recalling the faces of my grandmothers, both of whom passed away in the last 10 years or so. smiling stupidly to myself, my heart welling a little bit, i wonder if they can feel me reminiscing about them. i wonder if Mum smiles seeing me use a teapot and a teacup after the horrifying moment in second year when i served her tea in a coffee mug with a teabag floating in it. she made me start all over with a teapot. the look on her face actually flustered me and made me scramble around the kitchen making it right. i think she must have wondered then just who this granddaughter was and what the heck kind of education was i getting.

i have always secretly wished i would acquire a taste for whiskey, so i could share the satisfaction Gran seemed to get from her glass of whiskey "and a fag" on the deck before bed every night. i'll never get it. the stuff tastes like poison.

and i still remember staring at Grampa's horny, dried old thumb and trying to see the green that he told me was in it. i convinced myself that it was in fact a bit green, and it probably was, given the amount of time he spent in his rose garden. always beautiful, it was, and his slightly stooped frame moved in and out of his green house and amongst the roses in the back yard.

i can still conjure up the smell of the barn in penticton. sweeping up the sawdust seemed like the greatest job in the world with Bill in his ratty old sweatshirt at the saw cutting 2 by 4s for something, using his stub of a pencil to make important marks and then tuck it behind his ear again. it was a crisp, cold smell, strong with the scent of cut wood and a hint of dust.

i like to think that they are around me. that they see what i do, and are proud. that when i use the things that remind me of them, that we are somehow drawn a little closer, recovering some of the distance that time and death have put between us.

Gran, Grampa, Mum, Bill.

Monday, October 02, 2006

the end of the season

the end of prime's 2006 season came this weekend as we competed for one of the top two places in our region, and the chance to go to nationals in florida at the end of october. happily, we did everything we could do win, sadly it wasn't enough.

fog covered the fields in the morning. sun shone all weekend. wind blew just in time for fury to throw their zone defense on us and shut us down in pool play on saturday.

we lost the semi-final 15-10 to seattle's riot on sunday morning, which (thanks to double-elimination) meant that we were not out, but that we would have to play two more games to just qualify to play the loser of the final. which just happened to be riot again. what a game. it was intense and exciting and we played our hearts out. we managed to do everything better than we'd ever done it before at just the right time. but, in the end, riot prevailed, damn it. they're too good. we came in third with a score of something like 13-9 or 13-10. we consoled ourselves with the fact that any other year that would have been enough to get to nationals....

does this mean i'm playing competitively again?....who the hell knows.... but in terms of personal performance and focus and individual and team energy, this may have been one of the better ultimate experiences i've ever had.

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Friday, September 01, 2006

shave everywhere

check this out - a hilarious mini-site from philips norelco. every link is a good laugh.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

china's rich kids get bonus points in school

the globe and mail today reported that the children of wealthy business owners are being awarded bonus points on their school exams, just for having rich parents. this is legistlated by local governments in a misguided attempt at promoting entrepreneurship and generating respect for successful businessmen. other perks with the same objectives include letting them roll through highway toll booths without having to pay, and skipping the wait lines at local hospitals. the only thing that these programs will generate are resentment and a grave sense of social injustice.

thanks for the walk, Liz

thanks Liz for walking in the 60km Weekend to End Breast Cancer. she, along with 2,100 or so others, managed to raise $5.5 million to fight breast cancer in BC. particularily nice was the fact that she walked for people that other people know who have battled breast cancer - she wore this skirt of names around her waist when she crossed the finish line.

Dale Charles worked with my mom in physiotherapy for many years before succumbing to breast cancer a couple of years ago. liz carried her across the finish line with all the others. thank you.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

vanishing Vancouver

cool flickr group - some fascinating photos of some of the locations in Vancouver that are disappearing under the new developments that seem to be relentlessly spreading across the city.
i'm not opposed to development in general - i mean, things change - but it's sad that all these unique little corners, some of the rare places where you can actually see what little history or heritage Vancouver has, are disappearing in favour of uniform, bland glass and metal structures. i just wish that we didn't have to build condos that are all replicas of each other. or well, if they're not identical, they're definitely fraternal.

ginch or gonch?

what is the proper term for your underwear - "ginch" or "gonch"? growing up, the two terms were used interchangably as far as i could tell. both boys and girls used both phrases, usually followed by a giggle in the case of the girls, and a snort in the case of the boys. now in adulthood, i have used ginch or gonch now and then, only to find myself one of very few people who are even familiar with the term. how can that be? to us in small town BC, it seemed universal. they are both such great words - you could really savour them, and relish the experience of saying them. "nice ginch! (giggle giggle)" was not infrequently heard in the girls change room after PE. i was beginning to think that ginch and gonch were going to be a lost fragment of my past, discarded and forgotten from lack of use. when what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a website dedicated to both ginch and gonch! and it's from right here in BC! need some fancy new ginch or gonch? check out they're hilarious, fun to wear (i imagine), great sense of humour in the company. still haven't got around to ordering a pair for myself, but it's only a matter of time.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

riding to work

I ride my bike in to work every day. Initially I started doing it because I was too cheap to spend $5 a day on the bus. Now I do it because I'm too cheap to spend $5 on the bus and I need the exercise. There are those who worry that I take my life into my hands when riding through the city. And there are days when I think they might be right. Today a woman who I couldn't even see sitting in her drivers seat, and who had been apparently parked, suddenly swung her front end out, barely missing me as I went by. Luckily I was going slowly enough that I could avoid her bumper. Generally speaking I try to be on guard to the point that I can almost see the stupid moves that drivers are going to make before they even do it, so I can steer clear of the situation all together. But sometimes the move is so stupid that no one can predict it. It's shocking how many drivers think that bikes are at a standstill - driving beside me at the same pace and then think that they can just turn right in front of me - as though I wasn't keeping pace with them. The examples are endless. However, to me, it's still worth it to ride. Probably always will be.

Monday, August 14, 2006

the newest member of the family

i have a new niece... or, at least the closest we're going to get for the next while, eh toby? she's cute, she's blonde, and she sleeps in the kitchen. no, it's not cinderella, it's kona! aww...what a cutie.