Tuesday, July 31, 2007

life with a dog

My temporary dog, Lotte, brings out some of my best & worst traits. So much for the hard-nosed woman who swears "No baby talk! If I ever have a child, it'll hear nothing but the King's English from my mouth!" Now, when I walk in the door and Lotte squeals with delight and grabs her favorite stuffed toy for me, this is what you'll hear: "Lotte! How's my baby? Oh, you brought me your Bunny! Clever girl! Is this Lotte's Bunny? Yes it is!" and sundry other slop. But she also makes me fit and healthy as we explore East Van together, and her dependence on me, her soft brown loving eyes, make me gentle and patient.
We took her to Illuminares on Saturday night. I think it was all a bit much for her but she took it in stride pretty well. I got some great shots, so I'll post a few here. I don't like to use the flash so a lot of my pictures were too dark or too blurry. But when they work, they really work, in a way that I don't think a flash photo could capture.
L & I walked all the way down to the PNE grounds today. A 2-hour walk which is hard on Lotte's little stumpy dog-legs. So I've left her to sleep while I sneak home like an errant lover to my other spouse for a little while! J gets itchy at Lotte's house- all that dog hair and dirt- so I haven't seen that much of him.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


Well as you can see, Gord's cabin was anything but hell, even though there was no swimming to be had. (the weeds daunted even me, and besides, it was too cold.) We took off last Sunday as early as we could but not early enough, due in part to my crashing hangover. We'd been out late at Rime to see Jon's friend Rodney play at Rime and I got carried away with the red wine because our friend Sean was visiting from the Sunshine Coast. (Not that I'm blaming him for my drinking- that was all my fault.) Here is a nice moody picture of Rodney:

When we finally set off it was with a very excited Lotte, who settled down in the backseat and was basically a dream dog to travel with the whole 4 hours or so. I love traveling in BC- every highway is an adventure and since I don't drive, I get to gawk out the window the entire time. Gord's cabin is on Tunkwa Lake, which is just north of a tiny town named Logan Lake. Nothing good to say about LL except it has a prolific Marmot population. Looks like a small town where something ba-a-a-d happened years ago and they're still picking up the pieces. No heart to it, only marmots.
Anyway, Tunkwa is considerably nicer, although ringed with brown trees from the pine beetles. Gord's cabin is basic but comfy, and a good time was had by all, except for a few minutes when I took a scary 10-foot fall off a pulley Gord had built for his nephews and gave my head and elbow a good bang. I had technicolour bruising on my elbow that is still fading nearly a week later. We had roaring fires in the fire pit, gorgeous walks through fields and several Yahtzee tournaments. It was so fun to watch Lotte, such a city dog, get to know the great outdoors. She seemed to enjoy herself, although she is very clingy. Still, her mother recently died and her owner is away so it's not surprising, really. Here she is, posing in the tall grass and here are some spooky calves we met by the side of the road.

We only had 2 days up there and then we had to drive away because I had another road trip on Thursday- all the way to Williams Lake and back in less than 48 hours! That's well over 1000 km. Zeellia was playing a concert up there- part of a weekly concert-in-the-park series they do in the summer. We were a quartet: Russell, me, Carmen and Beverly so I had to do triple duty- more singing, more playing... I practiced for hours last week getting ready. This is what the countryside looks like most of the way up- it always reminds me of a model railroad set: you have your river, your train tracks, some scrubby sage bushes and a few scattered buildings every so often. I love this highway and very seldom get to drive it so it was a treat. I was an idiot and left my camera at the motel during the concert, but here is a picture of Russell practicing his euphonium before the show:
It went well (only an hour long at that) but of course I made mistakes because I had a lot of new material to know and I wish we'd had another couple nights of shows because it would've sounded great after a few more shows. However we had lots of fun traveling together- makes me look forward to future touring...

This is a bit of a catch-up entry 'cause I've been so busy lately so I'll stop for now. I'm still dog-sitting and Jimmy doesn't have internet (gasp) at his place, so I have to sneak home and update when I can. Illuminares is on tonight at Trout Lake so J & I will get the dog later and go check it out- if I get any good shots I'll post 'em here soon. Ta-ta.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

R.I.P. Summer

Yes, summer has flown the coop yet again, leaving us with more rain and grey skies. I am not opposed to rain in the summer, especially in these global-warming, forest fire times, but I think a nice fierce night storm or one day a week is perfectly sufficient, thanks. I am especially keen to have summer back because next week I am
  1. dog-sitting, and
  2. going to friend Gord's cabin in Logan Lake.
Gord's family cabin is reputed to have
  1. no trees, due to pine beetle infestation, and
  2. a lake you can't swim in, due to Beaver Fever and weeds.
Sounds like a merry hell to me, who thinks the only reason you should camp is to swim, so you can see why at least a little sun would be nice.

Jon-boy & I are back on the late-to-bed-even-later-to-rise kick again. It's almost 11:30 and there's no sign of him this fine morning. But he is excused because he did make us a lovely risotto and baked chicken dinner last night. I don't feel too guilty, because I know Lotte the dog will wake me around 7am starting next week. She sleeps on the bed right near you, waiting for the thunderous creak of an opening eyeball, and after she hears it, she will never allow you more rest. Just thinking about it makes me sleepy again.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

an update...

OK, as you can probably see, I finally figured it out. Turns out the problem is not that I have a Mac, but that I was using Safari instead of Firefox. One quick download later... italics are finally within my grasp!


I'm getting hooked on reading other people's blogs; it's best done in the morning before The Boyfriend rises, so he can't say "and WHO is this you're reading about?" Yeah, it's kinda like porn- I read them guiltily, in private, because most of them are... MOM BLOGS. Yep, I'm hooked on the lives of complete strangers as they struggle to raise their assorted brats- do you think I may have some not-so-subconscious motherhood longings? Not even gonna GO there right now, it's too early (only 11:30am).
One thing I do notice is how many blogs are much fancier than mine own, which is not for lack of trying on my part. Including other Blogspot ones, so I know I must be doing something wrong. Must investigate this template thing further. I secretly blame it on having a Mac, because I also can't write in italics or bold by pressing CTRL I, like I should be able to. Anyone have any insights on this?
Also noticed that so far, only ONE person has left a comment, which is a bummer. When I started this blog I didn't care if anyone read it, it was just like a diary except I could post photos as well. But now I long for fame, or at least some readers. A couple weeks ago I got an email informing me that SOMEONE had left a comment about my latest blog entry! I was thrilled! Checked it out right away... it was in Spanish, which I do not understand. Now, I am pleased if my blog has a far-flung Spanish readership (which it probably doesn't). But if you write English, for the love o' god, drop me a line- I want to know if anyone's reading this damn thing!
Ok, rant over.
BTW, my day back at Tanglewood Books was long and fairly dull, but it was nice to catch up with my old boss and to sit around reading all day and get paid for it.

Monday, July 16, 2007

the universe is always listening...

So here's the thing: I had a mini-meltdown the other day after we got back from our camping trip because my bank balance had fallen low. Don't know why I expected otherwise; you always think a camping trip will be a low-cost experience, but what with food, canoe rentals and various other supplies it inevitably adds up. So I sez to the Boyfriend: Aaaargh! Need a job NOW! And the universe listened: today I got a call from James at Tanglewood Books asking if I would like to do some part-time on-call work, AND a call from my friend Jimmy asking if I would look after his dog Lotte for a couple of weeks. Neither will pay any spectacular amounts of $$$, but they will help quite a bit. Isn't that amazing? The timing is spooky.
Here are some pix I took as I lurked outside the Vancouver Folk Music Festival this weekend. It now costs FIFTY STINKIN' BUCKS for an evening-only ticket (gulp), so I stayed resolutely outside the fence and heard (and saw) most everything I wanted to anyway. Thanks again, gods of wishful thinking, for helping me out on the job front.

Friday, July 13, 2007

out of the city

Out of the city I relax, even in the searing heat. A guest at Dad & June's place in Kelowna or a canoe camper on Alouette Lake, I am free of this sweltering apartment, phone messages saying callmecallmecallme, even this time-sucking computer.
I packed a lot into this week, travelling to Kelowna last Thursday for a few days, then bussing back Monday, stocking up on food and supplies Tuesday and leaving for a couple nights' camping on Alouette Lake Wednesday morning. My arms are sore from paddling, my boyfriend keeps telling me to take a shower because I'm still camp-grubby but I don't want to wash it off me just yet because then it'll be truly over.
Some highlights: tubing on the canal in Penticton with Malcolm & Naomi; hearing the results of June's latest cancer test results- no new developments! Maybe the alternative treatments are actually working to slow the cancer down; watching Quizzie the poodle watch "The Dog Whisperer" on tv, absolutely riveted; our gorgeous 3-hour paddle to the Best Campsite on the Lake, hands down, with hardly any other people around; playing with glowsticks (never camp without 'em) whilst on mushrooms (never camp without THOSE, either!), freshwater swimming in the heat of the day, getting rescued by powerboaters today as the lake became too dangerous to paddle on , then the weather suddenly clearing up the moment we were safe in their boat (thanks, Chad & Dana!).
I'll let these pictures do the talking- oh, happy summer!

Thursday, July 5, 2007


I slept outside on the balcony last night. Thereby achieving coolness (no, not COOLness, just the state of being almost cold), but precious little actual sleep. Our neighbourhood goes to sleep very late and gets up very early. (I wonder if it's the same people getting up early as going to bed late- they must be tired.) Tonight I will be scrunched into a Greyhound bus seat, heading up to Kelowna for 4 days to belatedly celebrate my dad's birthday/see how June is doing. She's back from her 2 weeks at the clinic and sounding much more positive about her health, so we'll see...
My shoulders are on fire from carrying the Big Red Accordion to band practice (Zeellia). My abs hurt from the gym. I am healthy, but sore- one must suffer to be beautiful and all that.
Camping next week with Gord & Darryl- I won't risk the SLR camera, but the little point-and-shoot will make it into the canoe I think. Can't WAIT to get outta town!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


When I got up today my arms were a bit sore. That's odd, I thought, I wasn't at the gym yesterday... Then I realised it was from hauling a 20-month-old around for a few hours! My friend Galia's little Sebastien is getting so big! I was nervous about babysitting him because it had been so long since we'd hung out, but he was a little angel. We played at Templeton Park and it was so fun to see him tackle everything. He learns like a sponge. "Hold on tight, Sebastien", I'd caution, hovering behind him while he launched himself up a swinging chain-laddery thing. "Tight," he'd echo, and up he'd go, learning the first time, then smoother the 2nd time, then mastering it the time after that. I love his sense of humour and the fact that he doesn't laugh at my bad french. (His mom is bilingual.) "Chaud!" he exclaimed when the piece of pasta he'd grabbed was too hot; "Lave les mains", as pasta sauce dripped from his grabby little hands, his face, his hair... We played at the park, splashed each other with the hose on his balcony, wrestled with the wild pasta for dinner, and had a final stroll about the neighbourhood before bed. It was debatable who was more tired at the end of it all!
It's so fun getting to watch your friends' kids growing.