Friday, 16 December 2005

Bah, humbug!

In case you're looking for me at this blog, the fall semester is over, and I'll be away from campus -- and thus away from (free) computer access -- until January, 2006.

Season's greetings and all that crap!

Friday, 18 November 2005

Missing Punkinhead


Anybody remember "Punkinhead"? (Think Eaton's Santa Claus parade ... think wa-a-ay back ...)

Anybody remember the lyrics to the Christmas song about Punkinhead?

Punkinhead, Punkinhead, the sad little happy little
bear ...

Wilf Carter recorded it on a Christmas album (we're talking LP not CD nor MP3 ... remember, thenk wa-a-ay back!) which I used to have when I was a kid.

Of all the wonderful Christmas songs that could float around my mind this time of year, Punkinhead is guaranteed to be at the top of the list. Sure would be nice if I could remember all the lyrics, instead of repeating that one line over and over ...

Tuesday, 18 October 2005

Still blogging (occasionally)

It's been a month of flu. Ick. Had to drop a class and lighten the load in order to get caught up.

On a brighter note, I've got back into some music -- joined a community choir. We're doing lots of Celtic stuff and I love it (when I can control this icky cough).

On an academic note, I've received some recognition for my efforts with an invitation to an Honour Society. Yup, that puts me right up there with all them smart youngsters ... whaddya know, I'm a geek AGAIN!

Real hard frost here this morning. I see the campus service trucks have their snow plows installed -- hmmm.

Did everyone have a nice (Canadian) Thanksgiving? (I was thankful to keep crackers and tea down -- poor me.)

Thursday, 15 September 2005

There's something in the autumn sets gypsy blood astir ...

A couple of months ago, another PG blogger asked the question 'why do we blog?', and I've been pondering that ever since. Consequently, the future of Amber and Amethyst is up in the air.
  • Many weeks, I've found myself staring at the 'create post' blank screen and thinking 'I really should post something' when my days were 'same ol' same ol' ' and I ended up writing trivial crap 'cuz I couldn't think of anything seriously constructive to say ... so why should I blog?
  • At heart, I am basically opposed to the concept of putting private thoughts out there in cyber-space, so I've never been totally comfortable blogging ... so why should I blog?
  • Crappy comments from strangers and junk mail (spam?) are ongoing and annoying problems with blogging ... so why should I keep a blog?
  • While I've been absent from the blogging world this past month or so, the majority of those near and dear to me kept in touch regularly anyhow ... so why should I blog?

On the other hand, I've "met" some very nice people via blogging, and there are some interesting blogs out there that I enjoy reading (when I have the time and computer access). Perhaps these questions merely stem from autumn restlessness ... or perhaps not.

QUESTION: why do YOU blog?

QUESTION: would YOU be terribly upset if I quit blogging?

(You'll have to e-mail your answers 'cuz I've got my comments turned off due to junk mail overload.)

Monday, 15 August 2005

Exam over

So I'm officially on holiday until after Labour Day weekend! I expect to be away from the computer (its on campus, and I won't be), so I'll catch up blogging and e-mailing and stuff in September. Happy summer all!

Friday, 12 August 2005

Idiots, opinions, and movies, and more

Class has finished for the summer, so I was at home yesterday and supposed to be studying for next Monday's exam. This proved next door to impossible, as ANYTHING and EVERYTHING distracted me!

One major distraction was the radio - which I turned on to drown out other more distracting noises happening in my building. Several CBC newscasts and programs went on and on and on about new legislation upping criminal sentences for trafficking in crystal meth. Fine, I have no problem with that. I think crystal meth is a horrible and deadly drug and its destroying far too many brains and lives. However, some idiot law enforcement person commented that stiffer sentences had got rid of the heroin and cocaine trafficking problems! I very nearly fell off my chair. First, heroin and cocaine are still around, and if ya think not, ya need to open your eyes and ears! Second, fewer numbers of heroin and cocaine traffickers simply indicates the drug of choice has shifted overwhelmingly to crystal meth. (Again, open your eyes and ears! If I can see and hear stuff - and I lead a pretty boring life! - why can't you all???) Third, the problem of trafficking is never going to go away without addressing the social issues that lead to poverty, hopelessness and addictions in the first place! This current law enforcement attitude is also evident in PG's latest crackdown on prostitution. Hello! If there were no customers, prostitution wouldn't be a problem - y'all are picking on the wrong end of the issue!

Well! Who could study effectively after getting a bee in me bonnet over that!? While my blood pressure was still up, CBC just had to read some comments about the Bertuzzi reinstatement. More idiots! Why didn't you hockey officials just pat him on the back for being a "good boy" in the first place instead of wiffle-waffling around about suspension, etc for a year and a half!? Makes me ill!

So last night, I took myself out to a delightfully diverting movie, The Island. It was not at all what I expected - actually, I hadn't heard of it, so didn't know what to expect. I won't ruin it for you, but its about the issue of cloning, and it really makes you go hmmmmmmm! If you like thought-provoking movies, check it out!

So today, I'm on campus to study (as soon as I finish blogging and checking e-mails and stuff) WITHOUT distractions. I must make the most of today, 'cuz my exam is first thing Monday morning, and my plans for this weekend are the PGX! (When's the last time YOU watched a sheep-shearing demo, scarfed a hotdog, and turned your stomach inside out on a midway ride???) Have a good weekend all!

One more thought: hope you'll join me in 'hoisting a glass' this weekend to honour an old Canadian soldier and absolutely unique and delightful character. He was the last Victoria Cross recipient this country had left to salute. I think he would have appreciated the gesture - especially if the glass was hoisted by those of the feminine persuasion!

Monday, 8 August 2005

En Aranjuez . . .

Joaquin Rodrigo / Alfredo Garcia Segura

Un lugar de ensuenos y de amor
En el jardín parece hablar
En voz baja a las rosas.

Hoy las hojas secas sin color
Que barre el viento
Son recuerdos del romance
que una vez
Juntos empezamos tu y yo
Y sin razón olvidamos.

Quizá ese amor escondido esté
En un atardecer
En la brisa o en la flor
Esperando tu regreso.

Hoy las hojas seces sin color
Que barre el viento
Son recuerdos del romance
que una vez
Juntos empezamos tu y yo
Y sin razón olvidamos.

En Aranjuez, amor
Tu y yo!
Yes, I've been listening to Andrea Bocelli again. It seemed fitting music while reading James Michener's Iberia: Spanish Travels & Reflections, a fascinating combo of travel itinerary, interesting local characters, architecture, food reviews, and liberal doses of Spanish history. What a change from the last book I was reading! Iberia was published in the mid-1960s, so much has changed since then - especially attitudes about gender roles!

It sure is nice to have some sunny weather here! (Is the weather behaving like summer where you are???) Altho over the past weekend, I spent more time looking out the window at it than going outside and enjoying it. Apparently I've been overdoing studenthood or something. (My body has a very clear sleep quota, and when I get to a certain deficit point, it simply shuts down and catches up - whether I like it or not!). Oh well, one more class, two more exams, and then I get a break until September classes begin again!

Since my weekend was so dull, did anyone else do anything interesting???

Thursday, 4 August 2005

Newfie Week

In case you don't recognize the island to the left, it's Newfoundland. Just thought I'd share it with you all, since I've been immersed in Newfie stuff these past couple of weeks while writing my latest term paper (Regional Geographical Analysis of Newfoundland and Labrador). Fascinating part of Canada! Someday I hope to see as much of it as possible first hand!

One of the books I've been reading - to add some local flavour to dry statistics and economical data - is Farley Mowat's The New Founde Land. I was a great Farley Mowat fan years ago, and had forgotten how much I enjoy his 'pithy' writing style! I think this fall I'm going to embark on a mission to read more classic Canadian authors. Any suggestions, besides Pierre Berton???

To set the mood for my reading and research, I've been listening to Dan McKinnon's Chasing Sunsets. Okay, okay! So Dan McKinnon is from Cape Breton, not Newfoundland - I know! I know! But his song lyrics are about the sea and seafaring people, and I felt that quite appropriate whilst thinking about Newfoundland! Check Dan's official website and give his music a wee listen ... its good stuff!

I'm wishing I had the $$ for a trip to Vancouver before classes resume in September, but I don't think my budget can be safely squeezed that much. Too bad, 'cuz I'm actually homesick for the Lower Mainland! (If you're reading this, Reynolds, don't give me a hard time!) I really feel like a walk along the Sea Wall ... and some good sushi ... and a good visit with friends ...

Other than the above, I don't have much new or interesting to blog about. I'm coming to the end of yet another semester - and feeling burned out / slightly stressed, as usual. Looks like August is going to zip by fast.

Monday, 25 July 2005

Great book! Great CD!

Have you read it? I've long been interested in Rosicrucians and Roslyn and conspiracies of like ilk. This is quite a fascinating read!

Have you heard any of this k.d. lang's CD? WOW! Don't be put off by the CD title -- its only religious in that each song is about the heavenly highs and hellish lows of love and written by Canadian song writers. I am truly blown away by her version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" -- I kept hitting my CD player's repeat button just to listen to that one song! Incredible lyrics combined with k.d.'s unique but Patsy Cline-ish emotional break/cry sound -- the expression WOW! scarcely begins to do it justice!

Quiet weekend. (How did that happen???) I wandered down to the Farmer's Market on Saturday, totally undecided about wandering over to the Folk Festival because it rained really hard Friday evening, and looked suspiciously like more of the same for Saturday. In the end, I didn't do Folk Fest . . . and it didn't rain! Wouldn't you know it! However, it was still a good music weekend, what with my new k.d. lang CD, and Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap on CBC Radio. His theme this past weekend was musicians who died before their time, from Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper to Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. What a walk down memory lane! I've decided I'm becoming a big fan of this radio program!

I did discover a new yarn shop close to the Farmer's Market ("Darlene's Handwovens" ??? -- I should have picked up a business card!). Sadly, I didn't have my wallet with me, as it was (safe) at home in my book bag! Of course, a return trip is now in order! Meanwhile, its back to geography class and working on my term paper!

Friday, 22 July 2005

Anyone who is a Trekky ...

... (like me) knows who Canadian-born actor, James Doohan, is.


James Doohan, 1920 - 2005.

Tuesday, 19 July 2005

R I P Tony Soprano . . .

He was the kingpin from the moment they moved into my neighbourhood last year. I suspect he was responsible for eliminating "Sardine Bob", and possibly even "Baits". Obvious criminal tendencies aside, he was a likeable and somewhat curious fellow. He barely survived a serious run in with the Molly brothers, Rocco and Vinny, earlier this year, but seemed to be the picture of his former health and vitality again. I was a little concerned when he moved back into the old neighbourhood last week, considering the Molly brothers had grown accustomed to being the ones in control of the 'hood, so I kept a close watch on all their comings and goings over the weekend. Things seemed peaceful . . . at least on the surface.

While I was away at the University yesterday, someone put a hit out on Tony Soprano, and he did not survive. I was shocked by the sad sight of his pale, lifeless body when I arrived back home at supper time.

There was evidence of cannibalism. I'll spare you the gory details.

I'm not sure who the perpetrators were. Those two Molly brothers, Rocco and Vinny, had a long-standing grudge, and have certainly demonstrated aggressive behaviour in the past. Altho Vido was Tony's smaller brother, he had been observed keeping close company with the Molly brothers. And then there's "Tackle" to consider . . . he's such a giant compared to everyone else in the neighbourhood, he could easily have taken care of Tony all on his own even tho they were close relatives. My investigation continues.

Private services for Tony Soprano were held at 7 pm last night in the upstairs bathroom. He will not be forgotten.

Tony Soprano, Goldfish. 2004 - 2005. Rest in Peace.

Monday, 11 July 2005

I'm in love!

I know, I know! I swore it would NEVER happen again! I have to confess, it was TOTALLY unexpected! I never DREAMED it was possible! There I was last Saturday, just walking along, totally minding my own business, and WHAM! ... it happened! In one split second, I found myself speechless! I had heart palpitations! I was practically overcome with long-buried desire!

And in case you're thinking I'm talking about some hunky man ... fooled you! I'm talking about a TOASTER!

It was LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT ... And then I saw the BLENDER and I was immediately torn between two new loves! And the cause of all this? Sears now carries the Hamilton Beach line of Eclectrics. And wouldn't you know it! I actually need a new toaster! (And maybe a blender ...) I've seen many things SEABREEZE before, and never been particularly blown away by this particular colour, but I've never seen SEABREEZE kitchen appliances! How retro-licious! How appealing! And it even kind of works with all the YELLOW kitchen stuff I have at the moment!

However, the reality of studenthood is perpetual poverty, so I had to content myself with knitting a few new dishcloths in SEABREEZE-coloured cotton yarn.

On the plus side, that means I can spend countless hours of countless days and nights FANTICIZING about my new (possibly DUAL) love! I might never be bored again!

For those of you who remember how often I've griped about the BLUE kitchen (in my former life) and how very much I hate BLUE (never let your partner go to the building supply store AFTER you've picked out the terra cotta tiles of your dreams!) ... what can I say except LOVE MUST BE BLIND!

I'm thinking I could start on a new tablecloth ... something SEABREEZE and YELLOW ...

Wednesday, 6 July 2005

Long weekend ... long LONG weekend!

I did more knitting than reading, but generally moped about my wee little closet-sized space and grumped about it being another loonnngggg weekend. Can you tell I don't much like long weekends??? Perhaps the rain didn't help! I skipped the fireworks 'cuz I was sure it was going to rain and the thought of more mosquito bites PLUS rain was not very appealing!

Complaints aside, I have to say I rather enjoyed Randy Bachman's new program on CBC, Vinyl Tap, although I didn't really think anything could replace Finkleman's" 45s. I knew he had my attention when I found myself laughing over how he tricked Little Richard into playing the piano in the key of Am! The selection of music was good, and it was rather fun listening to Bachman's version / other performers' versions of the same song. I for one will be tuning in again next Saturday evening.

Back to class this week, thankfully! I'm sad to report that the second level of Spanish was cancelled due to lake of students. (Dammit! I was really looking forward to more Espanol!) My Canadian Geography class looks like its going to be very interesting -- the focus is regionalism, a very important issue for all Canadians, methinks.

D. asked me over the weekend when I'm going to grow up and get a real job and start being a productive member of society again (I was before? Really? And I'm not now?). Hopefully never if it means I have to quit learning! Even if I get stressed at end of term / exam time, I really do enjoy studenthood. Let me ask you this, Darling D.: What is your definition of "productive member of society"? Isn't learning about yourself / your country / your world productive? And why should studenthood be limited to kids and 20-something year olds? Why should I say "okay I'm an adult now so I don't need to / can't learn anymore"? (Did you realize I was going to blog about this??? Did you realize I'm not going to let you forget this??? Did you realize other people might also have something to say about this???)

Anyone else have thoughts on mature university students???

Thursday, 30 June 2005


In this life I'm a woman.
In my next life, I'd like to come back as a bear.

When you're a bear, you get to hibernate. You do nothing but sleep for six months. I could deal with that!

Before you hibernate, you're supposed to eat yourself stupid. I could deal with that too!

When you're a girl bear, you birth your children (who are the size of walnuts) while you're sleeping and then wake to partially grown, cute, cuddly cubs. I could definitely deal with that!

If you're mama bear, everyone knows you mean business. You swat anyone who bothers your cubs. If your cubs get out of line, you swat them too. I could deal with that!

If you're a bear, your mate EXPECTS you to wake up growling. Your mate EXPECTS that you will have hairy legs and excess body fat.

Yup. Gonna be a bear!

[thanks to the nice ladies at The Willow Basket!

Monday, 27 June 2005

End of an era

Last Saturday night was the last Finkleman's 45s . . . what am I supposed to do on Saturday nights without Danny Finkleman? I have to admit, ending his show with "Then You Can Tell Him Good-bye" (by the Casinos) darn near brought tears to my sentimental eyes!

I've had a lazy week off, and have spent a lot of time playing couch potato and reading. Let's see, I've finished reading:

  1. Angels & Demons (Dan Brown)
  2. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
  3. Deception Point (Dan Brown)
  4. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
  5. Velocity (Dean Koontz)
  6. Bluestocking Bride (Elizabeth Thornton)
  7. City of Bones (Michael Connolly)

And now I'm reading The Romanov Prophecy (Steve Berry). Can you tell I've had too much free time??? (Someone gave me a HUGE tapestry canvas sans tapestry wool mais avec brand new stretcher frame to keep me occupied, but its one of those 5-year long projects, not a 2-weeks between classes projects!)

So, I'm off for more of the above. Hope your week is relaxed too!

Monday, 20 June 2005

Finished reading AURIEL RISING ...

My last exam was on Saturday afternoon (egads! what a ghastly exam schedule!) so I had the rest of the weekend to relax and read. I haven't decided for sure how I feel about this particular book. It was good in that it kept up a fairly quick pace and kept you guessing about certain characters and their motives. It was interesting in that it dealt with alchemy and British politics / royal history. A couple of the characters had brief romantic moments, but the romance wasn't overdone. There was quite a bit of violence, but not out of keeping with the setting. However, the book lacked something I can't quite put my fingers on. Has anyone else read AURIEL RISING? Your opinion?

On to a new book ... ANGELS & DEMONS by Dan Brown (author of the DaVinci Code, which I have yet to read). So far, I can hardly stand to put it down! It seems particularly fascinating since we were recently subjected to a Papal Conclave and change of Popes. I can hardly wait to finish it and move on to the Davinci Code!

Here's a little snippet from ANGELS & DEMONS that really gave me pause for thought:

"Mr. Langdon, I did not ask you believed in God. There is a difference. Holy scripture is stories . . . legends and history of man's quest to understand his own need for meaning. I am not asking you to pass judgment on literature. I am asking if you believe in God. When you lie out under the stars, do you sense the divine? Do you feel in your gut that you are staring up at the work of God's hand?"

I love these kinds of conversations / debates, even if engaging in such makes me a little unpopular within certain religious groups!

Besides reading, I managed to get out and about walking in the sunshine. I discovered the Chinese Store with absolutely tons of wicker baskets on sale, (One can never own too many wicker baskets, right?) and also treated myself to a DQ treat. I've got two weeks now until classes resume, so may do more of the same, assuming this nice weather holds!

Friday, 10 June 2005

It's Friday!

What a week! I've been up to me oxters in a big final project (in lieu of a final exam - yay!) for my computer apps class, and putting in 14 hour days. I've even been sleeping sound right until my alarm clock rings in the morning, and I'm normally NEVER still asleep when its time for my alarm clock to ring! In fact, I only ever set my alarm when I know I'm pushing myself and getting overtired. Oh well, by this time next week, I can relax until the end of the next term.

One thing that amazes me about end-of-the-term stress: I don't eat, yet I never lose weight. What the ... ? I do coffee and toast in the morning, occasionally an egg or two, then keep going until I get home at night (starving), and usually way too tired for a substantial meal. Shouldn't I be getting skinnier???

I've been up to me oxters at work too (as a tutor) 'cuz everyone else has term papers and projects due at the same time as me. I've read a huge variety of writing this past week, from a University 101 essay to a graduate thesis -- life is sure never dull!

I'm taking this evening off to go see a movie -- more for the sanity break than the movie! Back to the books over the weekend in preparation for next weeks final exams. If you're doing anything exciting this weekend, think about me sitting at home conjugating and memorizing Spanish verbs (yo estudio, yo estudiando ...), okay? Adios!

Tuesday, 7 June 2005

This was fun ...

... and a little good for my ego!

You Are 24 Years Old


Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.
13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.
20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.
30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!
40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

On a different note, I had two interesting food experiences yesterday. First, I had sushi for lunch. I didn't think it was possible to have BAD sushi! My advice: if you ever decide to eat this normally tasty treat on campus here in PG, DON'T! The rice was so dry and so overcooked, I couldn't choke it down with generous swigs of water. Second, I stopped at McDs for supper (since it was after 8 and I was starving and I had to walk right past a McDs on the way home). While sitting and eating my french fries, I observed two young fellas come in and place food orders. They were told it would be 4 to 6 minutes until their whatever was ready. Apparently 4 to 6 minutes was a HUGE PROBLEM! When did 4 to 6 minutes wait become such a big deal?

On yet another note, I had an epiphany over the weekend. The definition of an epiphany is:

a sudden revelation of truth inspired by a seemingly trivial incident.

Yes, as usual, it brought tears to my ears. (I always cry at epiphanies, births, and other significant events -- I think its genetic.) I was listening to Andrea Bocelli's CD SENTIMENTO. His first song is ARANJUEZ, a very achingly Spanish love song. It suddenly occurred to me that I understood every single word of the lyrics! I guess the latest Spanish course has helped increase my vocabulary a lot.

I remember two other tearful epiphanies in recent years. One was the first time I played the theme from SWAN LAKE on the piano all on my own -- it was so incredible to have all my hands (it felt like I had 17 or 18 of them to control!) doing what they were supposed to be doing and have what they were doing come out like recognizable and beautiful music! Another was in the biology lab looking at live fern leaves under a high-powered microscope, and seeing chloroplasts -- little green structures inside individual plant cells -- all swimming around the perimeter of the cells in perfect unison. We're talking about stuff inside INDIVIDUAL CELLS here -- how amazing is that?! I'm grateful for the limited eyesight I enjoy, never mind seeing something INSIDE individual plant cells. How could I not weep in amazement?

I figure we are here on this earth to fully experience the condition of being humans. I also figure in the course of that experience, there are going to be some amazing epiphanies. I am delighted to be SO amazed at some of these unfolding experiences that tears of wonder come to my eyes, and I hope I never lose the ability to be amazed at the complexity and beauty of this creation.

Wow! From ego-stroking foolishness to philosophical epiphanies in one posting! And how's YOUR week starting out???

Thursday, 2 June 2005

I got tagged

Thank you, Uta Here's my answers:

Total volume of music files on my computer: zero! I still do music the old-fashioned stereo way. (I even own cassettes ... and play them regularly!)

The last CD I bought was: Blu Hopkins "Canyon Wind"

Song playing right now: Nada! Nothing! (I'm in a noisy open computer lab on campus at the moment.) But if I were at home, I'd probably play my Ron Hynes "Get Back Change" CD to hear the song "Dark River". I've been humming that today.

Five songs I listen to a lot or that mean a lot to me:
1. Wayfaring Stranger (bluegrass or Johnny Cash version)
2. He Stopped Loving Her Today (George Jones)
3. You Were Always On My Mind
4. Yesterday (Beatles)
5. Panus Angelicus
(Actually, the list of songs that mean a lot to me is a LOT longer than these five!)

Five people to whom I'm passing this baton: For sure BananaRants for one, and Necy too.

Monday, 30 May 2005

Hace calor!

Way too hot! Way WAY too hot! (I don't do heat well.) It was NOT a nice weekend! I went out Saturday morning and bought myself a new 19 inch oscillating fan, put it together (Yes, M., I swore a time or two in the process), then pretty much spent the rest of the weekend parked in front of it. I can't believe how much heat bothers me, considering I was raised up in the Okanagan where it gets REALLY hot. Even more puzzling, this is still only MAY! Was it too hot for you too wherever you are?

I've been struggling with an on-line presentation for my Computer Apps course this afternoon. For some reason, my last two paragraphs think they are entirely active web links instead of normal text (I'm talking HTML crap here), and I'm too frustrated to see what I'm doing wrong. That's it! I NEED CHOCOLATE NOW! Actually, I need to call it quits for the day. Maybe next post I'll do something besides complain . . . . .

Saturday, 21 May 2005

Exploring PG

This morning I walked a little farther than usual and discovered a Farmer's Market! There were empty ostrich egg shells and feathers (and I think ostrich sausage, but yuk no thanks), various stalls selling bannock, jams, home-made breads, lots of plants, fresh rhubarb and fiddleheads, and lots of beaded stuff and assorted crafts. All in all, a nice outing, altho I spent not one penny there. I had to catch the bus up the hill to the university (cuz there's no bus service Sundays or holidays here) to do some work on next weeks assignments; otherwise I would have explored the area around the Farmer's Market a little more. Next time!

So what do y'all think about Canadian politics this week??? Holy schmoley! Better than a soap opera or what? I (who am usually quite happily apolitical) am certainly with those who think our assorted governments should quit acting like children and get on with the job of governing our country!

I have to share a slightly spooky thing that happened to me this past week. One particular day, I found it necessary to share a table at meal time (I usually try to find a solitary corner somewhere). An older First Nations woman with a little girl were already seated there, and she smiled and indicated an empty seat across from them. I thanked her, and then made a special point to thank the little girl. She looked about three-ish, and cute as a button. I'm positive I've never seen either woman or little girl before.

Well, we ate our lunches and engaged in pleasant chit chat about nothing in particular. The little girl watched me very seriously, and when she finished eating, climbed down from her chair, came around the table, and put her arms around me. The gesture was very heartwarming! Little person hugs mean a lot to me, and often bring tears to my eyes -- I didn't hug my own kids enough when they were growing up, and now that I have grandchildren, I don't see them often enough to enjoy all the hugs I'd like to share.

But that's not the end of this story. Mid-hug, this little girl looked up at me and said something I couldn't understand. From her expression and tone, I gathered her words were very serious, and not wanting to disappoint (or look like an idiot to the youngster), I looked to the older lady for translation. Grandma informed me the little one had explained in their language: "I remember when you and me played together, when we were both small, and you weren't old then".

I was stunned! Did I know this little person in another life (I am a firm believer in many journeys for every soul)? If so, why did she recognize me, but I didn't recognize her? Where and when did we know each other? I've been puzzling over this all week. Ah, life does hold some interesting mysteries, doesn't it???

Thursday, 12 May 2005

Food for thought

A bus-stop acquaintance handed me this on the way up the hill this morning:

Pick 5 of the following and then complete the sentences. Then pass this little meme on to 3 more of your blog friends! But no tag backs! And be careful…you could be next!

If I could be a scientist…
If I could be a farmer…
If I could be a musician…
If I could be a doctor…
If I could be a painter…
If I could be a gardener…
If I could be a missionary…
If I could be a chef…
If I could be an architect…
If I could be a linguist…
If I could be a psychologist…
If I could be a librarian…
If I could be an athlete…
If I could be a lawyer…
If I could be an inn-keeper…
If I could be a professor…
If I could be a writer…
If I could be a llama-rider…
If I could be a bonnie pirate…
If I could be an astronaut…
If I could be a world famous blogger…
If I could be a justice on any one court in the world…
If I could be married to any current famous political figure…

so I picked ...

If I could be a painter… I'd paint a huge big portrait of autumn, and make liberal use of all the fabulous rusts and reds and golds and browns and greens of autumn. My painting would absolutely EXPLODE with colour, and I would hang it in my bedroom where it would be the first thing I see every morning. That way, I could open my eyes, and remember the delicious feeling of crisp autumn air and promise of newness that I associate with the season.

If I could be a linguist… I would study and learn languages and dialects from all over the world, and devote the rest of my life to developing a single universal language that would reduce cross-cultural hate, mistrust, and fear.

If I could be a librarian… I would want to be a librarian in a very special library that catered to craft-a-holics like myself. My library would be filled with knitting and crocheting patterns (etc) from around the world, and would sponsor knit-alongs and supports groups for people like me.

If I could be a gardener… I would have a special section in my garden for dye plants, because I have always wanted to learn about and try my hand at natural textile dyeing. I've used pre-prepared chemical dyes on wools and silks, but the colours are not as nice as the range of beautiful colours obtained from plants.

If I could be a bonnie pirate… oh what the heck! It would just plain be fun to have me own fast little ship and to terrorize the powers that be on the high seas! I'd be a bit of a Robin Hood, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, and I'd wear one gold earring and a black leather eye patch!

So which 5 sentences would YOU pick? And what would YOUR answers be?

Monday, 9 May 2005

On carnations and mafioso fish ...

Since it was Mother's Day this past weekend, and I qualify, I took myself out for yummy sushi and a movie (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy). It's really nice to be able to do that and not worry about missing the last bus up the hill to campus!

Someone tried to give me a carnation for Mother's Day after Mass on Sunday. Why do they do that? Maybe some people don't LIKE to celebrate the day? Maybe some people don't LIKE carnations? The gesture made me think about growing up in my hometown. Mother's Day weekend was always "Horseshow Weekend", and my dad and I both prefered spending the day at the horseshow rather than doing something with/for the mother person in our household. Needless to say, we weren't popular! After I had kids of my own, I had occasion to go back to my childhood church one Mother's Day (I cannot imagine why!), and was given a carnation. Grams got a carnation too, as did every mother/grandmother/female that morning. Grams GLARED at me all thru the service, and I just knew she was going to "discuss" horseshow weekends after (which she did, in great detail). Fascinating what little things like carnations can bring up, eh?

I have inherited a new hexagon-shaped tank for my fish. My "boys" ("Tony Soprano", "Tackle", and "Vido") are thrilled to have 2X more room to swim in, and way more active. (Vido particularly likes the fake lava dome.) However, the tank came with a "catch" ... two nasty little black mollies! They're so small, I figured my "boys" would just gulp them down for lunch and that would be that. However, the mollies are really feisty, and have been attacking the poor goldfish! (Do you know anything about mollies? Is that normal?) In keeping with their nasty behaviour and the general mafiaso-in-the-fish-tank theme, I've renamed the mollies "Rocco" and "Vinny". Let's hope Rocco and Vinny don't put a hit out on big fat Tony while I'm on campus!

Hey, I'm looking for a small, fairly easy quilting project that I can carry with me, and maybe stitch at while riding the bus or between classes. Any ideas anyone???

Tuesday, 3 May 2005

The latest challenge

A new semester (inter-semester?) and new challenges ... Computer Applications and Spanish!

Computer Apps is mostly done on-line (WebCT), and there seem to be a gazillion LABS and a huge and complicated list of submission dates. What little computer knowledge I have is pretty much self-taught basics, so I'm both looking forward to learning more and slightly terrified.

Spanish (... hola, me llamo LD ...) is going to be FUN FUN FUN! I love languages! I've done a couple of semesters of Spanish by correspondence in the past. However, this is the first time actually engaging in conversation. How exciting! Our instructor is from the Honduras, and very typically loud and expressive. I was surprised to see half of the students in this class are ESL speakers from Hong Kong or Taiwan, and can't help but wonder what kind of challenges they are facing.

It rained here last night. Sure was nice to wake up to the sound of rain.

By the way, M. ... thanks heaps for the lovely big picture of that chocolate cake! You are definately an EVIL person! May your beer mug be perpetually dry this summer!

Thursday, 21 April 2005


Another undergrad year is over and done, exams and all. I'm still waiting for one more final grade, but so far I've kept my (much-prided) A average, and even had another A+ added to the transcript. I've decided to take summer courses this year, as I'm getting really close to finishing (grad next year at this time ... keep your fingers crossed! ... if I can get the courses I need in Sept 2005 and Jan 2006).

The other morning, my roommate and I were pondering how eventful the past year has been ... not just in our personal/academic lives, but in the world in general. For example, we've had volcanic eruptions and a tsunami, and more recently, a change of popes. Our favourite soap opera (Coronation Street) has been pretty darned eventful, too! (If you don't watch this one, shame on you ... you SHOULD!)

All good things must come to an end, and roommates and I are all moving on. Only two of us will be back here in September (one being an international student, and one being a graduate student who has her course work done and will now be finishing her thesis at home). I'm moving down into PG proper (new phone # coming as soon as I'm organized, for those of you getting anxious 'cuz you can't reach me!). In a way, I'm dreading it. It has been OH SO NICE hearing nothing but the wind in the trees from my bedroom window. I haven't missed city traffic sounds one bit! Seeing the odd moose or two has been entertaining, except maybe for the surprise I got the day I exited the Library building just as a big moose tried to enter said building. In another way, I'm looking forward to it. I'll finally be able to explore more of PG, and even walk to Mass on Sunday! (I hear there's a craft store a couple of blocks away from where I'm moving . . . ) Living up here on campus has been very convenient, but at times felt a little isolated due to no late night/Sunday/holiday bus service.

So what are YOUR plans for the summer? Doing anything eventful? Going anywhere exciting? I may be on the move, but e-mail still works, so you've got no excuse for not e-mailing me!

Thursday, 14 April 2005


Watched this on DVD last night. Wished it was on the big screen. It was hard to remember this was an actor playing a role, as he seemed so incredibly immersed in the part. It also reminded me that I probably knew about GOOD music long before most of my age peers discovered the Beatles in the 60s.

Final exam week here. Brain on overload ... what more can I say?

Wednesday, 6 April 2005

What a week!

It was death watch x 2. First, Terry Schaivo. I found myself horrified to be one of probably thousands of voyeurs watching the hour by hour very public coverage of a private situation. My personal opinion is that too many folks tried to interfere where their interference was not warranted. (I have VERY firm beliefs when it comes to being kept alive artificially, and - to me - artificial includes tube feeding.) Second, the Pope. What can I say? I'm a Catholic convert, and not necessarily a very good one, but the connection to the Catholic church is strong and watching this wise and talented man about his travels over the last quarter century has been a big part of my evolving life as a Catholic. It's going to take a big person to come close to filling his shoes.

Wednesday, 23 March 2005

Another annoying survey

My daughters insist on sending me these stupd things every so often. I thought I'd post the latest one here. You might learn something about me that you never knew before!

What would your answers to be in each of these categories????

Thirteen random things that I like:
1. not listening to traffic noises when I'm trying to go to sleep
2. not hearing traffic noises when I first wake up
3. watching wildlife (of the 4 legged or winged variety, NOT the human kind)
4. knitting anything anywhere anytime
5. learning about other cultures
6. learning new languages or even a few words in an unfamiliar language
7. having creative ideas and creating new things
8. handling and smelling new yarns
9. the scent of a man
10. the scent of old books
11. reading pretty much anything anywhere anytime
12. watching clouds moving across the sky
13. intellectually stimulating conversations

Twelve movies that I liked:
1. Godfather I
2. Carlito's Way
3. Insomnia
4. The Milagros Beanfield Wars
5. Papillon
6. Dr Zhivago
7. Two Mules for Sister Sara
8. We're No Angels
9. Truly, Madly, Deeply
10. Com Agua Por Chocolat
11. Planet of the Apes (the original)
12. The Village

Eleven Bands/Artists that I enjoy listening to:
1. Johnny Cash
2. Willy Nelson
3. Waylon Jennings
4. Kris Kristofferson
5. The Highwaymen (Johnny, Willy, Waylon & Kris)
6. George Jones
7. Ron Hynes
8. Blu Hopkins
9. Marcel Gagnon
10. Chris de Burgh
11. Ian & Sylvia Tyson (before they split up -- that's going back a long ways -- they were an incredible Canadian duo!)

Ten books/magazines that I enjoy:
1. The Milagros Beanfield Wars
2. Papillon
3. Com Agua Por Chocolat
4. Les Miserables
5. Best Loved Poems of the American People (I don't have this book anymore but still wish I did)
6. Knitting Traditional Guernsey Sweaters
7. Anna Burda magazine (German or English edition)
8. National Geographic magazine
9. pretty much any ethnic recipe book or magazine
10. pretty much any craft magazine

Nine friends:
1. S. (cuz we go way back to before grade 1 and our friendship totally transcends time and space)
2. Too many too important to pick out only 8

Eight foods/drinks:
1. Cold clear water, straight up
2. Hot strong fresh black coffee
3. Hot strong fresh black coffee with a shot of something high-proof in it (and maybe some whipped cream and real shaved bitter chocolate on top)
4. a pint of absolutely ice cold beer (lately -- Sleeman's)
5. freshly brewed Earl Grey tea
6. real English-style fish & chips (haven't had any since last summer and I'm feeling totally bereft about this!)
7. spanakopita (made my way, like a casserole -- I made some last weekend.)
8. home-made vegetable soup served with home-made bread for dipping in the hot soup

Seven items worn daily:
1. glasses
2. earrings
3. rings
4. some kind of pony tail holder
5. jeans
6. some kind of teeshirt or top
7. hand lotion

Six things that annoy me:
1. socks
2. underwear
3. whiney people
4. people being noisy when I'm trying to be quiet
5. rap music
6. people who don't put things back where they got them from in the first place

Five things I touch daily:
1. my glasses
2. my hairbrush
3. my toothbrush
4. my feather pillow
5. a pen or writing implement

Four TV shows:
1. Coronation Street
2. The News
3. Star Trek (any incarnation, version, re-run, etc)
4. Iron Chef

Three Celebrities I have had a secret crush on:
1. Al Pacino
2. Edward James Olmas
3. Gordon Tootoosis

Two nicknames:
1 & 2. Like I'm going to tell you! Ha! Like I'm going to tell you! Ha!

One person of the opposite sex I could spend the rest of my life with:
1. Me but of the opposite sex!

Tuesday, 22 March 2005

A new link ...

... or is that the missing link? Check out "My favourite cousin's photoblog" -- click on the link, bottom right. There's a new photo every few days. (Can you tell I've been taking a Primatology course this past semester???)

Friday, 18 March 2005

ANSWERS to yesterday's St Patty's Day Quiz

As promised . . .

1 (a) St Patrick was a Christian missionary (but he did spend time in a French monastery before returning to Ireland to convert the Irish pagans).

2 (b) St Patrick also drove the snakes out of Ireland (which is usually interpreted to mean he drove paganism out of Ireland).

3 (c) St Patrick used the shamrock to demonstrate the concept of the Holy Trinity (apparently he found those pagan Irish a bit thick ...)

4 (a) 'Tis said St Patrick is buried at Downpatrick, County Down, Ireland (There is no such place as "Patrickborough". NOTE: there's been considerable discussion about the lad's final resting place, and 'tis been suggested he was actually buried a dozen or so kilometers away from Downpatrick ... in a barn instead of a church.)

5 (b) St Patrick also brought the Roman alphabet and Latin literature to Ireland (the Celtic harp and countless recipes for cooking cabbage or kale probably preceded him by many generations).

6 (b) False. Young St Patrick was probably a Welshman, captured by a group of Irish raiders and taken to Ireland as a slave.

7 (c) St Patrick's Day commemorates the day St Patrick died (reported to be March 17, 461 AD).

8 (b) St Patrick is thought to have driven the snakes out of Ireland by banging on a drum (and I can't help but wonder if this is a euphamism for overly exuberant preaching). BY THE WAY, Question #8 pretty much gave you the answer to Question #2 ... did you notice?

9 (c) The colour green represents the colour of spring and the shamrock (although I'm all for associating it with green Irish beer, as I "tipped a few pints" of the stuff myself last night!)

10 (a) You're supposed to give them a pinch (but next year be a sport and buy them a beer after you pinch them, okay?)

May your hangover wear off quickly! Erin Go Braugh!

Thursday, 17 March 2005


I must have too much time on my hands today, 'cuz I came up with a St Patty's Day Quiz -- and I haven't even had a (green) beer yet! See how many answers YOU know ...

1. St Patrick was a:
(a) Christian missionary
(b) botanist
(c) French monk

2. In addition to that, St Patrick is also said to have:
(a) discovered the medicinal properties of the clover leaf
(b) driven the snakes out of Ireland
(c) been a very talented harpist

3. Legend has it that St Patrick used the shamrock to represent:
(a) the coming of spring and reincarnation
(b) good luck
(c) the Holy Trinity

4. St Patrick is said to be buried at:
(a) Downpatrick, County Down, Ireland
(b) St Patrick's Cathedral, New York
(c) Patrickburough, County Derry

5. St Patrick is also credited with bringing ________ to Ireland:
(a) the recipe for corned beef and cabbage
(b) the Roman alphabet and Latin literature
(c) the Celtic harp

6. St Patrick was born in Ireland.
(a) true
(b) false

7. What day does St Patrick's Day comemorate?
(a) the day St Patrick was born
(b) the day St Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland
(c) the day St Patrick died

8. How did St Patrick drive snakes out of Ireland?
(a) by playing a flute
(b) by banging a drum
(c) by feeding them shamrocks

9. Why is the colour green associated with St Patrick's Day?
(a) green represents the grain used to make Irish beer
(b) St Patrick wore a green hat
(c) green is the colour of spring and the shamrock

10. What should you do to someone who is not wearing green on St Patrick's Day?
(a) give them a pinch to remind them
(b) buy them a beer to quench their thirst
(c) cook them a potato to remind them

Well? How did you do? Oh -- you don't know for sure 'cuz I didn't give you the answers? Drop by tomorrow to find out!

Sunday, 13 March 2005

As soon as I sign in to my blog . . .

. . . I can't think of a single brilliant thing to say! I think, gee, I haven't blogged in ages, and I really should write something, so I sign in and promptly go blank. Do you ever have that prob?

Its a BEE-YOO-TEEFUL sunny day here. Wish I was outside enjoying it instead of sitting in the campus library doing research! (Really, that's what I am doing. Honest!) What are you doing this weekend???

Monday, 7 March 2005


We're practically a week into March already. How did that happen when I wasn't looking?

Less than 6 weeks to semester end, and I still don't know where I'm going or what I'm doing after that! Did you know I used to think I was a fairly spontaneous person? I've come to realize I don't really like the whole spontaneous thing very much -- its very disturbing not knowing where I'm going or what I'm doing over the summer. In fact, its so disturbing, I'm thinking seriously about doing a major shift left. (Stay tuned . . .)

On a brighter note, the weather has turned spring-like here, and I have HAPPY TOES once again! (No socks, back in the Berkenstocks ...) How are your toes?

Tuesday, 22 February 2005

I can't believe I watched THE SIMPSONS!

I have to admit it was almost an interesting look at the same-sex marriage issue. Did you happen to see it?

Even worse ... I can't believe this episode of the Simpsons was actually discussed in Canadian Parliament!

Okay, here's my opinion: marriage is a contract between two people. End of story. Those who have more to say on the subject ... get a life already!

Friday, 18 February 2005

work in progress

believe it or not, I'm actually working on the ol' blog again! stay tuned, and drop by again soon!