Thursday, September 23, 2010

New Site

I am working on—have been working on—a new website for my little company. It's hell. Doing work for yourself is so difficult because it never gets priority. I am trying something new with this site and so there is a huge amount of angst and uncertainty about it. Plus, I can no longer do all my own programming (that is if I want the site to look any good) so I have to spend time communicating what I want to others and then like a horrendous client I am prone to change my mind because time passes between my work sessions and when I come back to look at what I have created, I think what on earth was I thinking. Here's the splash page and my new logo to amuse you while I grind the rest of the content out.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Despite the incredibly wet weather and abounding sadness around me I am feeling pretty good. I attribute it to fruit. I was not eating enough plant matter and lately I have upped my quota, choosing fresh snacks instead of cheese and crackers. My old tenants, the bus people came for a visit from Oregon and we had a little potluck with all the neighbors. I think there were about 9 kids in the house, I was surprisingly calm as I had made sure to have a glass of wine before everyone arrived. The dinner was great and it was wonderful to catch up with everyone. That was Wednesday and on Friday the world turned upside down when one of the neighborhood dogs collided with a neighbors car on the driveway. Everything felt uncertain and dreadfully sad and we were all involved, suddenly drawn together by shared sadness and compassion for one another. Friday night was a blur but on Saturday came some relief in the form of shared tears, a release of pain for this lost dog who was a friend to us all. I wept over his body and said goodbye, petting his cold shoulder as he lay so still in his bed. A friend came to visit later that morning to check out the studio and to discuss a card I am helping design and print which memorializes his wife who recently died of cancer. We talked about the dog, and his loss and adjustment to being without a partner. I was struck again by how we are all walking along side death at all times, a slack fence line that separates the two states, brushing our hips and hands. And I eat fruit with my meals because I want to feel better, when I feel better my thoughts are less morose and death is less scary but thoughts of it don't subside. When I feel better I can accept it's presence as equal to my own life, no larger, no worse, just there.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hair Piece

I ran into a woman I sort of know from a long time ago in the Co-op. She has untreated bi-polar disorder and had that look of crazed focus on her overly thin tan face. She called my name down the frozen food aisle which surprised me and invited me to a party she was planning, a blues band would be playing at 2 the following Saturday afternoon. I asked her where she lived knowing she had lost a house recently because she was unwilling to stay medicated. She told me the neighborhood and then went on to say why she was having the party. It was for healing she said, to heal the neighborhood trouble with heroin and deceit. I said I would be busy with my reno-project and she said oh no you should come, it will heal you. She had a point.

In my dreams last night I met up with her again and we exchanged scalps and hair. I took my freshly washed hair off and gave it to her and she did the same, it was as if we were passing caps between us. Try mine and I will try yours. I ran my fingers through the hair that was now on my head, knowing it was not mine and wishing I could have my clean hair back but she was still enjoying it.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Planning as we go.

Mark hammering the concrete nails

I look around my place sometimes and think, "if I only had a plan". The reality is that your plans change, things happen, life changes and we must adapt. Recently my sweet tenants who had been with me a year gave notice. I was sad, they were a great young couple and loved living here but they had been given a house of their own and who in their right mind could say no to that. The hardest part of having a little rental here on my property is finding a suitable tenant. I have been pretty lucky over the 8 yrs I have offered the space for rent and have only had a few total duds. When faced with this recent challenge of finding a new tenant I went backwards and approached the person who had first rented from me 8 long years ago. She was interested but the deal was she needed more space, an office for her partner in addition to the large studio for herself. The studio was no problem, the room was there being under utilized as my guest room but the office did not exist. Instead we had a covered breezeway between the living space and studio, the result of another plan conjured long ago.

So between now and October 1st it is our project to make this outdoor space into a functional indoor space. I drew up a plan and then changed it in favor of another plan. We started on the floor yesterday and today we will purchase windows and frame up 3 walls. By Friday the plumbing and drywall will be complete and next week we will insulate and do the finishing.

I enjoy doing this work and strangely look forward to it once I get over the initial shock of what is involved and the money that suddenly needs to be spent. I was cutting wood yesterday in the rain and I found it satisfying and even comforting to have this new plan guiding me along. So maybe having one plan is not the goal, rather the ideal is to have many plans and go from one to the next joyfully executing each one.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Occasionally I feel bored and hit the dreaded "next blog" button. (yes my blog is still on blogger, so lame) I click click click until I find something interesting to read. If the blog is presented on a black background or anything with more tone to it than white or beige I won't read it, fearing the text will be burned on to my retinas forever. My eyes are sensitive, or I am sensitive about my eyes lets just say. If the blog is too busy and has some lame audio track and resembles a scrap-booked page–and by scrap-booked I mean the new trend of making one's photo albums fancy with printed fake letterpress paper, stamps and bits of ephemera which seems to have infiltrated the certain blogs–I click away. If the blog appears to be the rantings of a lunatic I avoid it. If the blog is salacious I may read it. If the blog comes with a warning of adult content, I will most definitely scour it with a fine tooth flea comb. If the blog is written by an artist I may read it, if I like the art, if not I click away faster than insert speed metaphor here. If the blog is about knitting, sewing, or cooking and does not have a black background or an audio track I will read it. If the blog belongs to a wannabe photographer living in the high desert with an audio track I won't read it, even if they keep horses. Really what it comes down to is that it's difficult to write at times and I like to see what everyone else is up to so that I can feel either superior or unworthy.

Today I felt nothing but stay tuned, this too shall pass.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Catch as Catch Can

Recently I have gotten it into my head that I want to catch a Sockeye Salmon. Last year the news was all bad, very grim information out of Canada. The Sockeye fishery was in serious trouble, the number of salmon returning from the ocean was at an all time low. This wasn't surprising to me, ocean temperatures are rising and the water is more acid making it tough on the phytoplankton which these particular fish feed on. Lo and behold this year there is a bumper crop, somehow no one predicted this, in fact the crop outnumbers the entire population of Canada. The run is estimated at 34 million so I says to myself, I want a piece of that action.

With Mark at my side we paid a visit to the local sportsman's shop. I was extra happy about this as I had asked Mark where we might go to get some info about fishing for salmon, somehow going to Sportmart in the mall seemed wrong on many levels. A malcontent mall rat is going to know nothing about what I was thirsty to learn. Off we went to the LOCAL sports store in the historic part of town, wouldn't you know it. It was nirvana. First of all there were 4 parking spaces out front so we were able to easily park Mark's giant convertible. It was a classic shop, loads of rods, guns, gear and requisite stuffed game heads.

Because I am a non book learner and am gregarious by nature I began speaking to a man who was buying some fishing gear and an employee, a youngish asian girl. He was speaking some crazy foreign fish language and I could see I was losing Mark. The girl on the other hand was clearer and had more practical advice. She gave me the low down on the fishing license we would need. Three-day tidal would do us. We would fish downstream of the railroad trestle on the Fraser, I knew where that was. The fish aren't hungry so you don't need bait, you need floss aka wool, and I have that in spades, and a weight called a bouncing betty. Mark has those.

Mark took me aside against a wall of florescent lures and pointed out that for the $40 dollars we would potentially spend to augment his ancient sockeye-less east coast fishing gear we could get a sockeye at the grocery store for a fraction of the price. I was undeterred and got the stores hours for the next 3 days so I could keep all my options open. When we got home I called my brother. He told me to buy a salmon, it was cheaper than fishing. I was shocked. Wait a second I said, you love fishing. Yes, he agreed and said that he pays about $5oo per pound when he fishes. Mark gave me two thumbs up. Ian exaggerates, but I knew there was some truth to what they were saying, bastards I thought.

The reality is that I just want to try it. It's a record year and I want to get out there and feel the excitement, it's like the Olympics. When something big comes to your town you want to chase the parade. Because this run is so huge there is a danger that the spawning grounds will be over-run and this will cause problems with eggs being safely laid and fertilized, and in 4 years we will experience a real collapse. If this does come to fruition I want to be able to look back and think about the winter we feasted on salmon that we caught ourselves.
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