August 30, 2010

in honour of smee

an odd day, following a sad yesterday.

the queen left early this morning to work with his brother for a few days. waking up this morning at the gnome home and reaching into the closet for clothes was a really lovely feeling. it feels like home here. i went to work, had a craving for apple pie, made do with lasagna and nanaimo bars. rainy day, decent business. came home, brooded for two hours (the queen teases me about brooding; it's really cute when "brood brood brood" is said in soft irish tones). finally, got off my ass, put away the solitaire and went to pack up the last of my room at the old place.

all that remains is a quick cleaning of the bedroom and a thorough cleaning of the bathroom, which i will miss; what a great tub. these tasks i have planned for tomorrow and then i will be free of that place, and one item further down the list for this month.

the queen's cat died under suspicious circumstances. he went missing saturday night, and was found the next day at the subway station near the university; far out of his range. he got hit by the train. what would a smart cat like him be doing out there, with all the people and noise, having crossed two major roads? i think he got picked up by bar-going assholes. who knows the extent of their douchebaggery; how much they contributed to his death. knowing there are people out in the world who torture cats for sport is part of what makes me a devoted cat person (and not really a people person. that i get along easily in social situations is preemptive strategy).

hence the brooding. what got me out of it? harry belafonte. he is very cool.

tomorrow i am going to go walking in the river valley, listening to harry belafonte. i encourage you to do the same.

August 25, 2010

tiny dribbles...

late august. aaaah.

i realized recently that i haven't been super happy. there's been stress, yes, and i am moving out of my house again. the job got really busy, and people keep quitting, so there is always someone new to train. the vibe at work is nice, but it was smokin busy for two weeks and we're all still recovering. the queen and i, well, i'll get to that. but anyway. stress. and i find that when i am feeling stressed, i tend to just try and plod on until it's over. but there tends to be stress that follows stress, maybe because a stressful situation leads to neglect for the ares of one's life that aren't on fire... which leads to those areas smoldering and then lighting up, then catching the curtains... sorry. anyway. stress, and my plodding through it. not a good thing.

so i am recognizing that i want to aim for a happier demeanour right away, instead of waiting until 'the right time' to feel better and relax. not put off feeling better because i am too tired.

today is my day off, and i have a list of things i want to do this month. i accomplished one task, took steps on two more, and got a fair amount of packing done. but i also did enjoyable things - ate gluten-free pizza with the wife, read most of the memoirs of two airline stewardesses from the sixties (light-hearted and fun, incredibly dated and heterosexist, and apparently kind of fake. perfect) and got some walking in.

the queen is down at the farm tonight (or off with a brother). we've been hanging out quite a lot lately, and i guess it's good to get some space in. being focused on all the stuff i want to get done is quite helpful. i've felt tired lately, and haven't been able to get as much done on my workdays. still, i've enjoyed time with the queen. he is such a lovely and loveable man. it's amazing how such grace and kindness can co-exist with a rough and tumble farmboy attitude (i think kittens are cute. he remembers drowning them).

i want to talk more about what's going on in my life and what the plans are for the winter, but i am ready to go to sleep. so i'll just set it up and leave you hanging.

August 13, 2010

every day's a lucky day, freaks.

being right in the path of a large theatre festival for the next ten days, the bookstore has been preparing forever. extra stock, extra staff, etc. this year, we're also part of the "bring your own venue" extravaganza, which means a local playwright has convinced us to close off half the second floor for her hour-long one-woman show, featuring bits of accordion and that's all i heard.

today, while the 'roadies'/friends & neighbours of the playwright were setting up, i was eating gluten-free pizza in the office (most of my workday is not this comfortable) and i overheard one of them use the word 'cumbersome' in describing an overhead projector. i thanked him for using an unusual word. i haven't heard cumbersome in a while.

the rain has driven away most of the theatre-goers (i love how a blizzard is no big deal in alberta, but rain sends us inside in droves. it's some of my favourite weather. bring on the rubber boots). so sad. oh well. i get to wear sweaters again and this makes me happy.

the queen is off gallivanting in the northwest territories with two of his brothers and their father. back monday, he is. i am torn between noticing refreshing space, and noticing how ... absent and vacant it feels. quiet jazz songs sound even more quiet.

it's interesting to notice how the "part of a couple" dynamic is fitting in with my life right now. in the past, i've had to work pretty hard to keep a healthy ratio of friend time and couple time. but in the past few years, i have shaved my friend group, not out of dislike for anyone in it but simply with the realisation that spending time socially isn't as rewarding as it used to be, and i would rather be by myself or with someone i deeply care for.

most of my close friends don't live here. rural alberta, louisiana, toronto, rural ontario. three people in this city that i actually seek out. sure, many more who are wonderful and come in to the bookstore, or see me at the odd event, and update me on their lives. great people! but not people i go to in a crisis. so.

what this has all translated to is that i don't actually spend a lot of time with friends, except in the gnome compound, where the queen lives. so i don't find i have had to balance much. mostly i am just reading less and having more sex. other than that my life is pretty much the same, except better. because the festivals are more fun (one exception of sunday the fair) and reading is more fun. making food and eating it is more fun. having a bath is more fun. sometimes the communication required to make all this fun happen can be kind of draggy, but that's just par for the course: i am trying to communicate with another human being. it's going to get needlessly complicated. that's what we do best.

August 11, 2010

cue willie nelson.

had a fabulous weekend. the queen and i decided to head to grande cache to see what was up there. in short, a jail and some ugly housing that reminded me of suburban sprawl from the 80s. it was terrifyingly hideous. there must have been a historic town at some point, but it had clearly been demolished for the dubious honour of progress. the drive up was gorgeous, and i am sure there were some lovely natural sights around (the place is surrounded by parks) but we were so horrified by the ugly that we left as soon as we could and headed to nordegg, through jasper and the columbian icefields. jasper for lunch was lovely. it's the town i remember most from my childhood. we went to the tiny café for lunch and then for some fudge. fresh fudge is far beyond the usual old, hard confection. it's soft, pleasurable, creamy... anyway. you get the idea.

we stopped on highway 93 and took pictures like tourists. some ungulates, mount kitchener, old bridges... nordegg was exactly what we had hoped grande cache would be: tiny, historic, mountainous and filled with old bridges and abandoned cabooses (the queen got some lovely pictures of me in the caboose, with moss growing on the floor and up the walls - nature taking back. the beauty of decay was everywhere. i got stung by a wasp).

roadtripping together was really wonderful and we decided to do more of it. we have similar desires in terms of what to stop and see (old bridges, anything train-related), what to listen to, whether or not to talk (lots of silence, lovely), how often to stop and what to do. i like the royal driving, too. if you don't think it an oxymoron, the queen breaks the law safely.

being back at home is okay, but i am back in that space where i prefer to be on the road. this was my inner space for years - travel and explore. always on the ground, i have some desire to go abroad but more to explore my own backyard. canada's backyard is incredible. i constantly want to go north, east, west. it's never enough.

when my dad died, i tried to keep it up but i felt so tired, so wounded, so stuck, so lost. i drifted, but that is not the same as travelling. travelling is far more rewarding, more purposeful. so for the last ten years, even when i have travelled (florida, hawaii, northern bc, the rockies, moving to vancouver for a year), i feel an ache that some people describe as wanting to 'nest'. and having been through 18 months or so of therapy, maybe that's what is helping me to feel stable enough to want to set loose again. i am quite sure that finding the queen as a (travel) partner is also an influence. but i feel the inner foundation that a journey can grow on. i feel like taking it in, and sending out spores. little sistasage spores, floating through the troposphere, taking root in people as urges to be kind to oneself and others, especially cats. i like it.