Life in the Slow Lane

Life in the Slow Lane

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Canada Day For Some But Chemo Day For Me.

The latest scoop is that I should be up and running for getting me some chemo first thing tomorrow morning. So if you don’t hear from me for a couple days do not fret. I will be back.

My Woven Aluminium Wall

This is the whole thing.
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On my metal wall.
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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Snaps To Canada

Well, well well. A lot of people would declare that Canada is indeed in a Hand Basket in Hell now that we have officially, on all levels of government, voted to embrace gay marriage. I beg to differ. I give this country’s government a rousing Woo Hoo for this decision. Woo hoo Canada. WOO HOO!

I could never understand why two people of the same gender could not commit their lives to each other in love and be recognised by law. It’s just totally illogical to me. I do respect that certain religions do not condone gay marriage but since when did these various sects get to make the laws around here? This is about what The Charter of Rights says about equality not about what certain people state the Bible says. We all know that until very recently most people believed that women were not equal partners in their marriages and society either. Sadly some people still think that way but it is definitely not the norm nor the majority. And obviously society is better for it.

It wasn’t always pretty and even our Federal Liberal Government fought these changes a couple years ago. Luckily our catholic Prime Minister, Paul Martin, finally saw the light and realized his religious beliefs did not belong in our bedrooms. Most provinces allowed same sex marriages long before yesterday’s decision but now the final ‘uber conservative’ provincial holdouts have to suck it up and drop their barriers. This is what I think is so cool. That many people who are uncomfortable with the whole concept can at least agree that their beliefs do discriminate against many Canadians and that is not what Canada is all about. To understand that their way of thinking is not everybody’s way of thinking and is not to be applied as a blanket way of believing across the board.

Canada has not always had a great history of providing equal rights to all its inhabitants (First Nations for instance) but yesterday’s decision may indicate that as a country we are more willing and able to go against popular international opinion to do what we know is right for everybody. Even if it makes some folks uncomfortable for a while. They will get over it. This can only make for a better country for everybody to live in now and in the future.

Let’s just hope that creepy Conservative Party leader Stephen ‘Beady Eyes’ Harper, self proclaimed expert in all things moral, never gets voted in as Prime Minister as he has stated that he will endeavour to overturn this ruling by taking it to the people for a vote. I think that it is very possible that Canadians would show him up and vote to uphold the decision yet I believe it should never come to this. It is not up to the people to decide whether a minority should get equal rights or not. If it says in The Charter of Rights that everybody is considered equal and is entitled to the same rights and benefits, which is DOES, then that is the way it is. It is not negotiable. Period.

No matter what may happen in the future I feel very proud to be Canadian now. So who wants to move up to this hip country?

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

I've Been A Very Bad Girl

Sorry for the late post but I had a doctors appointment for a MRI today. It was a piece of cake opposed to the nightmare I thought it might be. I had one done a few years ago at a different hospital and I was told that particular machine is quite old and resembles a cigar tube into hell. I get claustrophobic and being crammed into that baby freaked me out. This time, with a newer machine, the experience was much more pleasant. Part of the reason for this was that the tube is much roomier in the newer models. I also had an Ativan.

This experience brings a movie equivalent to mind when that fat kid gets stuck in the tube after he falls into the lake of chocolate in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Except at The Cancer Agency there is no chocolate involved. There was when I got home. I made sure of that.

But Ativan makes me sleepy and once home I fell asleep in front of the TV almost immediately and then got up and transferred my drugged up ass to bed. Even Yoshi and her Breath Of Satan could not rouse me for her 6-pm-on-the-dot-dinner-hour. She has an amazing sense of time. I could set my watch to her stomach. Anyway, I just got up.

But getting back to my MRI. Today I was met with a request that I have never had before. One that raised my eyebrows towards my now nonexistent hairline. I had two sets of scans done. The first one was of my lymph nodes. The second one was of The Girls. For that last scan they handed me two crossed pieces of tape and asked me to stick these two gelatine type pills to my nipples. The first thing I said was, “Kinky!” The second thing I said was, “OK!” So that is what I did. One does not disobey the MRI nurses. Not without a spanking. I taped those gelatine orbs onto my nipples PRONTO. And it was fun. I had to know why this was necessary and they said that the stuff that is in the capsules glowed on the MRI shots so they knew exactly where your nipples were. I guess that is important. Or the nurses just do if for their own freaky kicks. Whatever.

I wore the capsules home.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Radio Blog

New tunes up and running.

The Scene Of The Crime
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The Wind In The Smellows

Today’s topic is smell. Obviously I could rant about how bad McDonald back alley meaty smells can make my vegetarian stomach turn, rendering me queasy for a whole day. Or how the joys of growing up with a younger brother were only added to by the vapours emanating from his room. Just last night we were talking about one particular goaty odour that took a vigorous carpet steam clean and a giant box of baking soda to get rid of. I could gripe about how The Reign Of Terry often cooks pungent meals at 4 am and how those oniony odours waft up through the heating vents to rouse me from blissful slumber. I could but I am not.

Instead I am going to talk about Yoshi who is aptly nicknamed Smellie. I call her Smells for short. I profess to be one of those totally annoying people who take common words or names and re-spell them in artful ways to give them street cred. Hence Smellie opposed to a more pedestrian Smelly or Stinky. Yoshi was named Smellie for one reason only, her breath. OH DEAR GOD how can anything so vile emit from such a cute container. I feed her high quality, organic, ‘better than I feed my own self’ cat food. She drinks bottled water from a squeaky-clean water dispenser. No ordinary bowl for her. This cat should have the breath of an angel instead of a dumpster. But that is what she smells like, a long forgotten dumpster conveniently located near a highly trafficked fisherman’s wharf.

Brush her teeth, you say! Bah! Have you ever tried that on a cat? A Siamese cat, to boot? Not going to happen. Just isn’t. Get her teeth cleaned? I don’t like the thought of that, as they have to anesthetise her for the procedure. Too dangerous. Instead I suffer. And suffer is putting it mildly.

Smells has the most annoying habit of yawning in my face. A lot. One after another. When I am sleeping. When I am typing out blog posts. When I am totally unaware of the impeding onslaught. She is a sneaky yawner, that one. It is like she knows. It is like a joke to her. Like men are proud of their farts I suspect Smells is proud of her breath. She likes to share. Think about it. She cleans herself with that same orifice everyday. So her fur can smell manky too. Spread the joy. But then she sleeps in front of the heating vent and her particular personal aura is replaced with the delightful oniony concoctions from downstairs.

Like wives with their farty husbands I can somehow overlook this character flaw and still love her like crazy. And I do. I love her like crazy. Even when I am yelling, “Stop YAWNING at me!”

However, in a strange irony, by stubbornly ignoring Yoshi’s obvious problem, I have somehow turned the word from an unkind adjective to a noun for cute things. In my mind, all sweet and cuddly animals are now, “SMELLY!” When I see a puppy I exclaim, “Smelly!” Or ‘Look at the Smelly.” When particularly affected by the overwhelming cuteness of something I will revert to adjective use but in an opposite way. As in, “That kitten is so smelly I think I might die.” What I mean is its cuteness is killing me. I know it makes no sense but that is how my mind works. And that is what I suspect is a contributing factor to why I can’t get a date.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Another Pigeonhole

Found this quiz through John Boy's blog. I like quizzes. Well, particularly the ones where there are no wrong answers.

You scored as Postmodernist. Postmodernism is the belief in complete open interpretation. You see the universe as a collection of information with varying ways of putting it together. There is no absolute truth for you; even the most hardened facts are open to interpretation. Meaning relies on context and even the language you use to describe things should be subject to analysis.



Cultural Creative














What is Your World View? (updated)
created with

Chemofication Extention

Well, I just got the word and my chemo has been put off for a week. My blood counts are just too low. Initially I was bummed about this but I now realize that this makes me hit a “feeling good” period at my Dad’s birthday this August. It is a milestone celebration - the Big 75 – so it will be good to be able to partake in the ceremonies rather than staying home and feeling poopy.

And I am treating myself to sushi this afternoon, which is another very potent ‘cheer me up’ tactic. Horray!

I have to say that the good vibes you all sent TOTALLY WORKED! Last week my blood count only increased .1 over a two-day period. This time it increased .5 over the same time frame. Unfortunately it just wasn’t quite enough. But thanks for putting it all out there.

Apparently there is a drug I can be prescribed that is taken for 8 days in between chemos to boost blood counts. It is very expensive and I have to make sure it is covered for me. It also has to be self-injected. I can’t say I have a fear of needles but injecting yourself is a whole ‘nother bag of turnips. I don’t think I can do it. My mom initially said she wouldn’t be doing me the honours either but has since decided that if it is a small needle she can in fact shove it in my flesh. I am not sure if this is motherly love and concern or serious payback for every time I lipped off to her in my childhood. I will have to watch her face carefully as she pierces my skin. Very carefully.

Snaps For This Post

I highly recommend the post about Tom Cruise's interview by Matt Lauer at You Can't Make It Up. The photos are hilarious.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Just When I Thought I Had It Down.

Well, I tried to post a updated South Park photo but Hello won't let me. Dammit! I edited it in Photoshop and saved it as a JPEG but the Hello program won't capture it. Any ideas?

SPD-Bail Out

I was at The Cancer Agency yesterday for my doctor‘s appointment and I fully intended to take a self-portrait in the loo while I was there. I even told my mom to remind me as my brain is not too retentive these days and any info, relevant or useless, oozes out like drool from a baby. Slowly and messily. Unfortunately my mom is the same way and that combined with an intrinsic need to flee the building once the doctor gives me all my prescriptions and appointments left me without a theme photo today.

Instead I am sort of filling the void with an updated South Park portrait. Honestly, this pic looks so much like me I am a little alarmed. I am slowly working to possibly posting a bald picture of myself in the near future. My mom (AKA: The Impartial Third Party) swears I look as cute as a bug in a rug. Frankly, I have to admit that seeing myself in the mirror without hair is still a little unnerving for me. While I am not really a ‘wig’ person (not a natural one anyway) but I am not really a ‘bald head’ person either. I don’t think I have the wardrobe to pull it off. That rock star persona. That is my excuse and I am sticking to it. However, when I see bald shots of other cancer folk I think they look great so I know it is something in my head (not on it) that I have to get over.

Walking On The Wild Side

It is midnight and I am posting later than usual. I spent the evening finally completing a Christmas commitment. As a gift for my dad I promised to copy several CDs for his car so if they got stolen he would still have the originals at home. You gotta cover your ass that way in this town. Anyway, I spent a few hours duplicating about 30 CDs. Most were his but I threw in a few funky ones from my collection to stir it up a bit.

My day was spent at The Cancer Clinic for my pre chemo check up. I had to wait much longer than normal but my mom always accompanies me so we got some good girlie chatting in. I found out it is likely my chemo will be postponed for a week as my blood counts are not high enough to take a round. So send me good bone marrow vibes so my schedule is not disrupted. I don’t want to prolong this if I can help it. I go for another blood test the morning of my chemo, this Friday, and will know after that what the scoop is.

On Monday night my parents and I went for a walk around Lost Lagoon. I have mentioned this little gem before. It is a small lake right near the downtown centre. Mere blocks away is shopping and restaurants. Also my parents place. Among the various wildlife you are pretty much guaranteed to see there are ducks, geese, otters, herons, skunks, racoons, and swans. We saw everything but the skunks. That was made up for last night when one was hit by a car right outside my house thereby waking me from deep slumber with such a horrendous odour I could seriously taste it. Poor thing but holy crap, what a stench.

We also saw another regular at Lost Lagoon, which is this crazy old lady who feeds the swans every day. It is clearly stated on many signs throughout the area that it is totally prohibited to feed the animals. They want to keep them wild. And not fat. This freakshow has decided she is ‘one’ with the swans and it is her job to top up their diet with shitty white bread dissolved in buckets of water. I have seen her do this many times but I got a real eyeful on Monday night.

One of the swan couples has hatched a pair of babies that are so soft looking and cute you almost fall over. We Vancouverites celebrate springtime with all its little ducklings and other cute babies that follow their moms around the park. Swans have traditionally had a hard time of it as they don’t lay eggs as prolifically as ducks and what do actually hatch have a low survival rate with the coyotes, crows, rats and other predators lurking about. Some years no cygnets survive at all. So we were all very excited to see these two little grey powder puffs floating by mom and dad swan. Well, crazy fucker lady started getting pretty close to those babies and one of the parent swans was getting a bit agitated about it. It was rather fluffy and kept on trying to head this lady off as she was attempting to slip these babies some little tidbit from her bag. She was talking to them in German and very obviously scolding the swan for being so uncooperative. The swan obviously thought this whack job was getting too close to the little ones so it reached over and pecked at the lady’s shoes. I thought it was a nice but gentle warning, as I know those swans can kick ass if really riled up. But the dumbass lifted what I thought was her walking stick and rapped that swan over its beak like it was a delinquent child, scolding it in stern German the whole time. It shook its head and backed down and the babies got whatever shit was on offer.

Well, I was livid. What the hell was this woman thinking? It is one thing to feed garbage to these swans on a regular basis but to actually hit one when it was just protecting it’s young really pissed me off. Do not fuck with the wildlife in front of me because I too will do what nature intended. I will tattle on you to the authorities. And that is what I did.

I left a detailed message with the head of wildlife at The Parks Board and he left a detailed message in return. He said that she is an ongoing problem that they are having a hard time dealing with, as she is old and crazy. He also said that he would once again phone the police and inform them of this latest transgression. Apparently she even goes so far as to sit next to the swan’s nests when they are laying eggs or resting with young to keep them company. No wonder they are not breeding. Crazy old bag. If you want to anger me quickly just harm animals and I will freak. I think if we are lucky enough to be able to mingle with wild beasties in an urban setting it is that much more important to do it on their terms. After all, we have encroached on their turf.

My summer plans now include going to watch Ol’ Batshit feed the swans but to bring along my own walking stick. When she doesn’t react exactly the way I want her to at any given time I will give her a gentle warning and if she does not comply I too will whack her smartly upon the jaw and see what happens. That, my friends, is nature’s way.*

*Said with a Steve Erwin Aussie accent.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Recipe Tuesday

My mom, who is a kick ass little cheffette, recently found this cookie recipe. She has a real knack for reading recipes and knowing what will be good. She very rarely makes something that is not totally rave-able. We are one lucky family.

I have to share this new cookie recipe that she found as it is one mutha of a yummy cookie. The first thing I love about these cookies is that they totally surprise you. They look like they will be very crunchy, or even hard but instead they are delightfully light and fluffy. Secondly, they taste exactly like a brownie. An admirable quality in all baked goods.

I do have to give credit where it is due as this recipe was in a top ten selection out of 350 sent to The LA Times. It is also from a Vancouver establishment called Senses Bakery. I will be going there shortly to sample more of their fare. Oh yeah…

Chocolate Sparkle Cookies

½ pound bittersweet chocolate
(My mom uses ¼ pound of bittersweet and ¼ pound semisweet and it works fine. All semi-sweet makes for a flatter cookie. Still tastes great.)
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 eggs
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup sugar, plus more for rolling
¾ cup ground almonds
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
Powdered sugar for garnish

Melt the chocolate on top of a double boiler, over (but not in contact with) simmering water. Remove from heat. Cut butter into small pieces and mix into the heated chocolate until melted.

Beat eggs with electric mixer, gradually adding the sugar and honey until light and the mixture falls in thick, smooth ribbons from the beaters (about 10 minutes!!). Fold into the chocolate-butter mixture.

Add the cocoa powder and salt to the ground almonds and mix; gently add to the chocolate mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use an ice cream scoop to form the dough into 1-inch balls. (My mom just uses her hands to roll the balls.) Working quickly, roll the balls in granulated sugar. Place on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart.

Back at 325 F for 12 minutes, until the centres are moist, but not wet. Cool slightly. Dust lightly with powdered icing sugar.

Makes about 36 cookies.

Yes, you do need things like parchment paper to line to cookie sheet as well as expensive chocolate since the good stuff tastes better. I love parchment paper, as you never have to grease a sheet again. Splurge and you will see. You also have to have patience, as the dough really needs to sit in the fridge overnight. But they are well worth it. Very gourmet. Good enough for a fancy dinner party. Even better for everyday.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Mind Games

When I was 6 years old I used to cope with my school life by pretending I was Wonder Woman. It really helped with the day-to-day pressures of first grade. I was a small kid who was unnaturally attached to my mother and I took a stuffed animal with me to school everyday. I used to get very anxious in class with all the other kids who were much bigger and way more self-assured than I was. Though I may have been meek I was also very responsible. So much so that my teacher would often put me at the head of the line of the all the girls as we filed down to the little ladies’ room for our twice-daily pee break. I felt so in charge and powerful when I would stand in front of all those big girls with my hands on my hips and my feet shoulder width apart, firmly planted on the tile floor. Somehow the taunts and bitchy remarks aimed at my stuffed penguin and me would bounce off my mental bulletproof bracelets. I was invincible. Wonder Woman had brown hair in a world of blondes. Steve Trevor wouldn’t look twice at Diana Prince but once she twirled on that outfit she was the shit. I loved that. I would say to myself that those girls didn’t know that under my Holly Hobby sweaters and Jordache Jeans I was really hot stuff. I was fine with being the mousy girl like Diana knowing that I had special powers that I INTENTIONALLY kept secret from the rest of the world. As Wonder Woman I would keep those girls in line and deliver my charges safe and sound in time for story hour.

This is my Chemo Wonder Woman sent to me by LBo. When my hair grows out a little I plan on re-enacting this tableaux.
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Sunday, June 19, 2005

This Year's Homemade Father's Day Card

And the burning question of who invented Father's Day was finally answered.
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A real bonding moment. He plays the part of curmudgeon but he really is her slave.
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A Father's Day 'Love In'

Happy Father’s Day to Dad Poo who is the best dad EVER! Thanks for helping me so much the last few months. You have no idea how much I appreciate it all. I love you.

Yoshi send her love to The Lap as well.

Saturday, June 18, 2005


There has been an alarming drop in comments lately so I am bringing out the big guns. I am not above shameless pandering to get the attention I so wantonly crave. So here is a photo of Yoshi the day I got her. Such cuteness will bring you all back into my bloggy clutches.
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Friday, June 17, 2005

More About ME!

I mentioned in yesterdays post that I had 4 years of art school under my belt. This is true. I don’t actually have a degree to show for all my intensive creative moments as I took all my classes at various institutions and can't combine them for a piece of paper. Like it actually would get me farther in life anyway. No.

My first foray into the art school phenominon was for photography. I had taken it in high school and LOVED it. My teacher there was really inspiring and supportive. At actual photography school not so much. But I got lots of great studio experience. I did a years worth of that part-time over a couple of years and lost my momentum when the school accidentally threw out my portfolio when it was mistakenly put into the Abandoned: Never Picked Up pile. I totally freaked. Most were original slides that I had not yet had an opportunity to have copied. What a blow. Not that it was a great portfolio anyway as it was student work but it had represented a lot of invested time and money on my part. However, I did not let that stop me. Soon after I went to the local art school, Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, located on trendy Granville Island.

This institute of higher learning boasted a fabulous 3% student graduate employment rate. How could I go wrong? I totally did. I really did not fit in there. This was for several reasons. First of all I was a bit older than most of the students. Secondly I was not able to partake in all the pub nights and political groups, as I actually had to work almost full time on the side to pay for my tuition and heinously expensive supplies. As a result I had absolutely NO friends while there. The after school scene was very popular as The Bank of Mommy and Daddy were heavily subsidizing most kids there. Nope, no bitterness here. I think that post-secondary education, particularly art school, can be terribly cliquey and political. I have never been surrounded by so much self-righteous indignant outrage in my life. So much to protest about. I didn’t have the time for it. The third and most obvious way that further illustrated my old fartitude was that I simply did not meet the school prerequisite for angst. Every class was filled with people FRAUGHT with angst. Heart wrenching earth shattering life agony. I could not compete. I am just not that emotional in front of total strangers. I thought, for the most part, that the vast majority of tuition money could have been much better spent on some really good therapy for these poor kids. And if they were not fucked up already they really went all out to accomplish that feat while at school. How many personal manifestoes of post adolescent pain and agony did I have to critique on a day-to-day basis? Too many for this girl. You see, I was simply too naive. I thought that art school was the place you went to actually learn the various techniques that make it easier to express yourself creatively. I learned very little. I certainly didn’t go to have my personal problems validated by my classmates. I am not a naturally good drawer. I was hoping to learn about drawing light and shadow, perspective and texture. Nope. I learned that I could take a dump on a plinth and as long as I could justify it creatively I would get a good grade. I learned to speak the language of Bullshit. It was all about expression and very little to do with technique. I really think that if you make it into art school you probably already have a good handle of expressing yourself. You just really need to learn how to do it in different ways. Proficiently. I was really wrong.

The other really big problem I saw with art school was that while I was expecting some serious critique and advice and direction from my instructors they seemed to belong to the school of thought that you simply CANNOT say anything negative about any student’s work as that would somehow crush their creative spirits. As a result most graduates left with very little practical knowledge and a very inflated sense of self. Not good. And not something that I was interested in. I left after my first year. I thought that if I wanted to be told that I was hot shit and an artiste of some talent I could save my hard earned tuition and make stuff for my mom to tape up on the fridge. She thinks everything I make is fabulous. In a nutshell I was slightly shocked with my drawing class C- final grade, as my instructor had never said anything I did needed improvement. I never thought I was very good but I was made to feel I was as talented as anybody else in the class according to all the only ever positive critiques I received. I had no idea that my instructor thought I was below average. There is something wrong with that.

Then I went to jewellery school for 2 years. I had originally wanted to study furniture design but the large power tools scared the shit out of me. I thought jewellery had a lot of the same elements but at a more manageable scale. It was there that I learned about perspective and watercolours and proportion. Finally I got the honest opinion of my instructors who told me to redo things if they needed improvement as only by doing (and doing and doing) and striving for perfection can you improve. I was never perfect at that school and that suited me fine. I never worked so hard in my life. I wanted to do better and get better and make myself proud. I felt like a student and not an expert. Thank God, as I was a student. FINALLY.

There is nothing as humbling as silversmithing. It has a looong and very gradual learning curve. It takes at least 5 years of training to become remotely proficient. Decades to become really good. I fucked up stuff daily. And I learned patience most of all. I learned attention to detail, which is such a vital part of my personality anyway. In my family you do it right or you don’t bother. You never do anything half assed. Jewellery design was perfect for me. While I no longer make jewellery I still think that the training serves me well. I learned discipline and dedication, as there is not a lot of instant gratification. The hours you put into a piece can never be fully compensated for financially. It is a hard living. Most can only do it part time while paying the bills with some other job. You do it because you love it. I hope one day I can get all my bins out of storage and set up a basement studio again. There are so many things I still want to make. I am still inspired almost daily. I really miss it.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

SPD-Draw Yourself...BADLY!

This is me and Yoshi sending out The Love. Did I mention that I went to art school for 4 years?
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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

I Am...

Susie suggested I try this. It was HARD!

I am from teak furniture, from Fudgesicles and Mopar.

I am from the cleanest house in the world, scrubbed, wiped and odour free.

I am from the peony, the whitest of white petals.

I am from the Family Sunday Dinner and tales from the past, from Alan and Ada and Den (Dan and Jen).

I am from long walks and war stories.

From the drama queen and exaggeration.

I am from the christened but esoterically spiritual.

I am from Vancouver, English and Welsh, Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding.

From being bombed out in WWII and the printing press and The Depression and the farm.

I am from dusty photo albums filled with tiny children and slide shows to sad songs. I am a trunk in the attic filled with black and white photos of struggling strangers.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

This is The Sea Wall that surrounds Stanely Park. It is a wonderful walk. But a long one. Over 7 miles all together. Aren't the clouds beautiful?
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This is Bikini Beach which is a tiny beach right next to larger English Bay. Lots of artists show their work right by this beach.
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This is English Bay. At a very low tide. I don't know who that dude is front and centre but he ran to be in my picture. Freaky!
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Monday, June 13, 2005


Today I have been wondering what to write about and I have decided to offer you all a potpourri of things that have been on my mind.

First of all it was actually sunny and warm so I got my ass over to my parent’s place and my mom and I went out for a walk. We went down to English Bay and walked around the Sea Wall until we got to Second Beach. We cut through the park there and walked around the golf course by Lost Lagoon until we got home again. It was a shortish walk but I was pooped. I guess my blood count levels are getting low so the fatigue is back again. Just really winded very quickly. I am not in the best shape anyway but usually I can walk for miles. The weather has been rainy for the last few days so the plants and trees were so lush and green. It was a very beautiful excursion and I am very lucky it is so close to home.

The second thing is that I read something in the paper today that really pissed me off. Recently a man from the US went missing up Grouse Mountain. Grouse is a local ski hill that offers wonderful hiking in the spring and summer months. You take a gondola up there and can hike all sorts of trails. Apparently this guy had hiked up there before and they caught him on camera getting off the gondola but at the end of the night they found his car in the parking lot and called in the search and rescue team. Our team is made up of volunteers and saves the asses of unprepared hikers several times a year. The hiker’s wife came up for the search and the whole thing was in the news every night as they just couldn’t find the guy and everybody was getting depressed about it. Finally somebody saw an eagle flying over an area and the next day when they searched it they found the guy’s body. He had fallen into the river and drowned. That is why they couldn’t find him. He had been swept so far away from the original hiking area. His wife was so kind and thankful to everybody who had some out to help in the search. Vancouverites are pretty friendly folk in general and it is not uncommon to hear about how supportive and helpful the whole volunteer search and rescue team is in times of crisis.

But then this poor woman who has been on the news so much lately was back in it again today. Some fuckhead stole all her dead husband’s belongings out of her rental car. This makes me so mad! You see, this is the side of Vancouver that I HATE. Because we are a port city we are also a hub for gang controlled drug smuggling. We have a MAJOR drug problem and as a result we have a huge property crime problem. Addicts steal shit to buy drugs. The police said on the news today that they get over 20,000 reports each year for theft from vehicles. That is disgusting. It makes me furious. You simply cannot ever leave anything in your car. Vancouver has so much going for it and yet this really ugly underside exists. This poor woman begged that the items be returned with no questions asked. The sad thing is that some drug addicted asshole probably threw most of it in a dumpster and got a couple bucks for a few items. She will never get it back as this dick probably doesn’t even remember doing it. I HATE IT that these parasites wreck it all for the rest of us. This poor woman will always remember that she was ripped off of the last belongings her husband used. It will always overshadow all the love and support she received while she was here.

Lastly, I am going to talk about feet. Briefly. Mrtl told me to. I am not a huge fan of feet. Feet have the ability to be so nasty. For most of my teenage years and twenties I didn’t wear sandals, as I hated exposing my feet to the world. I didn’t like seeing other peoples’ feet and so I didn’t think they wanted to see mine. That is until they started making pale blue nail polish. Somehow toes with pale blue nail polish were ok in my mind. Slowly and surely I got used to showing my feeties in public. Then I discovered deep red nail polish and it became difficult to get me to wear closed toes shoes. I had to have my blood red toes out there for everybody to see. I started comparing and realised that my feet were actually kinda nice. This winter my mom took me for my first pedicure. While I had become more accepting of my feet I still wasn’t too keen on having complete strangers poking around down there. I was finally convinced that they get paid good money to do it and if I was feeling so guilty about the whole thing I could just tip exorbitantly thereby erasing any guilt I may have. It worked. But the clincher was getting a little JEWEL put on each of my big toenails. It was like the angels started singing. I was so in love with my own feet. How cute is that? I cannot get manis or pedis now as my risk if infection is really high with chemo side effects but you know damned well as soon as this is all over I am so gonna get my fingers and toes bedazzled again. And yes, I will blog about it.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

If you didn't believe me!! My great view is mostly blocked by a big shrub but you can see I am totally serious.
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I live in one crazy neighbourhood. Every few months (the warmer ones) we get a group of about 50 people or so who ride their bikes by my place extolling the virtues of cycling. They have banners saying “Gas Free” and “No Oil Here” or some such thing. But the clincher is that THEY ARE NAKED! Only in Vancouver. Gay Pride Parade is the only thing that comes close.

Passive Aggressive Water Torture

The hovel I live in is managed by an on site caretaker. I use the term managed loosely as this guy is a real ass. I have no problem saying this as he is well aware of my opinion of him and I have no issue with saying it to his face. I call his pathetic, passive aggressive style of caretaking living under The Reign of Terry. This guy does the bare minimum of work around here and is only truly motivated to improve anything if it directly affects him. For instance he has a deck in the back yard. So the back yard is well maintained and cared for. Other tenants overlook the front yard. He maybe mows it once a year. It looks like a dump. He doesn’t care although he gets paid to. The rest of us do, though. The words, “Sometimes you just have to do nothing to teach them all a lesson.” have come from his lips in my presence. It was all I could do not to rip them off. I have complained to the landlords on a couple occasions but they are rich and live in the wealthiest postal code in Canada. They really don’t care much. We pay low rent. We should shut up. So as a result the rest of us are fairly self-sufficient and do our own thing. It works out ok for the most part until something happens that actually requires action on the part of TRoT.

Like this. We have a newish downstairs neighbour who is not really well liked. Over the years most of us tenants have become good friends. Recently the upstairs and downstairs apartments have gone through a series of occupants making long-term friendships impossible. The latest downstairs tenant has been particulairily difficult. First of all he has really offended/annoyed/creeped out myself and my neighbour with some fairly nasty behaviour centered around him and too many beers. Namely he sits on the front porch drunk and gets a little too up-close and personal. Secondly he plays his music and video games so loudly our floor vibrates and furniture actually moves around. We complained to him about it nicely and he not only tried to get invited up for beers and some friendly fun but he also continued to do it. Finally threats of eviction stopped him. He hates me. I don’t care. His apartment was the one that was broken into last week. My neighbour and I sat on the porch for 3 hours making sure his place was secure. We called the landlord, the cops, The Reign of Terry and the glass replacement place. I had to pay for the emergency glass people ($275) on my Visa upfront or they wouldn't come and install it. I will get reimbursed but if it weren’t for my credit card and me his place would have been open to the elements overnight. This guy didn’t bother to come home for another 3 days after we left a message on his cell phone about the break in. No thanks. Nothing. Now he has gone again. We don’t know where. He NEVER responds to messages on his phone. And this time he left his toilet running. My apartment is above his bathroom and for 5 days and nights his toilet has been running. We all get shitty showers because of the water pressure. I am slowly going insane because of the noise. Three days ago I notified The Reign Of Terry that something was wrong. He just informed me today that he couldn’t go in and jiggle the handle, as it was not an emergency. My dad is a property manager. This is an emergency. He told me so. There is a malfunctioning toilet annoying and affecting the rest of the tenants. Get your ass in there and jiggle the fucking handle you passive aggressive dick. The Reign Of Terry drives me insane. And the fact that this asshole downstairs is bugging me and he isn’t even home is icing on the cake.

I have to move. But rent is really high here in Vancouver and if I did move I would not only have to pay waay more but I would need to get a roommate. I VOWED I would never do that again. I like my privacy too much. AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!

UPDATE: Either Our Buddy Downstairs (OBD) has returned home or TRoT finally listened to my angry emails but the running toilet has stopped. Miracle of miracles. I can finally relax and get a decent night's sleep.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Stinkie Fridays

This is Yoshi visiting with my dad. Dad is always refered to as The Lap in Yoshi's presence. Dad knows his place.
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Thursday, June 09, 2005

It Is About Time I Got Out OF BED!

Oh what to blog about. I am so tired and blah feeling the last few days. Not up to doing very much at all. As you all well know my life is very weird right now with the cancer thing. Needless to say not a whole lot is going on for me. This makes posting a bit of a challenge. Nothing to talk about. Fortunately, Home Detention Lady has given me a way out by tagging me for a MEME questionnaire. Thanks!

1. Are you still working while you RIP THAT CANCER A NEW ASSHOLE?

No I am not. The timing of this assholic cancer was either very sick or very fortuitous. I haven't figured this out yet. I got my diagnosis the day before I was to start a small business mentoring program. I had plans to open up Deeee-LUX pet accessory store near my home. You know, fancy carriers, organic food, special leashes. I still hope to do this although I know time is of the essence with these things. So the answer is no. I am not working. And I am very thankful for that. The only other job I know is film work and there is no way I could do that job and rip a new asshole. I am not that good of a multitasker. I want to focus on ripping assholes.

2. Do you ever think you'll get your kitty Yoshi a partner in crime?

I have really thought about this a lot because I would love another beastie in the house. We are allowed dogs where I live and my neighbour has one so I get doggie loving whenever I want. And I don't mean THAT, you sickos! Yoshi and I have a very deep and very profound relationship. Insert uplifting music here. Really. I would love to get a dog or another kitty but I just fear that it would somehow change my relationship with Yoshi. I couldn't bear that. So for now I am happy with my unhealthy, interspecies, lesbian, non-sexual relationship with my cat. Besides, Yoshi would shit kick any poor soul I brought home. Man included.

3. What's the meanest thing you've ever done?

This is actually a hard question and I really had to think about it. I am the type of person that if I don't get along with or dislike somebody chances are they will never know about it. I was not raised that way. OK, maybe I was because my brother and I were sure terrible to each other while growing up. Beat the crap out of each other to be honest. As an adult I have got that mostly under control. Whew. The only REALLY mean thing I could think of was when I was in Jamaica a group of us were going to take a jeep ride up the Blue Mountains into coffee country. And I don't mean Starbucks. Unfortunately the goobers I was traveling with made a mistake and there were no jeep rides until the next day. So the same goobers said we could hike up the trial and get there on foot. I believed them. They didn't mention it was about 20 miles and we had no food, water, mosquito repellent and decent foot ware. About 7 hours later after climbing up the side of a fucking mountain and exposing myself to a bad dose of E-coli from the well-water of a shithole village the guys walked on ahead and left us girls to stagger behind in our strappy sandals. We reached another shithole village and I paid a large amount of money for some enterprising villagers to drive us up the rest of the way. So how was that mean? I made the truck drive right past the guys. They had to walk the remaining 4 miles. They were mad but I was madder.

4. What's your favorite store to buy clothes at?

I have a love/hate relationship with shopping for clothes. First of all working as a prep costumer I have had to shop for 12 hours straight on several occasions. Nothing cures shoppingitis like that kind of job. Secondly, my weight fluctuates a great deal so I often can't find stuff to fit me. Thirdly, I am often poor so I can't afford to buy the clothes I would like. I would say anyplace I can get a great deal and find something that fits it my favourite place. I haven't bought clothing for months. I can't remember the last thing I bought. Oh yeah, hats for my bald head. On eBay. Must get photos of those up and running.

5. What's your least favorite type of music?

Country! No doubt about it.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


Hi everybody. I am doing ok. Not too much nausea which is great but feeling quite tired. More so than usual. Sleeping lots. Apparently my blood counts were not quite up to snuff so they gave me a 75% dose this time. Felt fine after but fatigue is setting in now. The weather sucks as well, which doesn’t help much. I have way more energy when the sun is shining. Thanks for all the kind wishes. I promise I will post more in a day or two.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Half Way

Today I am getting my third chemo. This makes me exactly half way through. Woo Hoo! This is a good mental milestone for me. It is all downhill from here. In a good way. So if you don’t hear from me for a couple days I am merely sleeping off all the Ativan I need to take to sit in the backseat of the car with my dad driving me to my appointment. Just kidding. I get Ativan at my chemo as it is not only a fabulous mellow-outer but also an anti-nauseant. Who knew? So everybody have a great weekend and I will be back ASAP!

Thursday, June 02, 2005


This is my name-sake. The original Crankypants. The girl with the velvet fists. She hangs in my car. Like in The Matrix. Watch out!
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Where Is My Pepper Spray?

My Self Portrait is very late. We had a bit of excitement in the house today. Somebody, in broad daylight, smashed the downstairs neighbour’s window in and attempted to burgle his apartment. I scared them off though when I was doing laundry. They must have heard me in the hallways. Yikes! Vancouver has a huge property crime problem with all the junkies looking for quick money. Fabulous. I am still quite amazed that they were gutsy enough to do this as the house is on a very busy corner. Anybody could have seen them. But we had a prowler Sunday night and they may have been casing the joint then. Had to call the cops. Home Detention Lady has nothing on my hood. And here I was all gushy about Vancouver. Guard your purse!

Are We All REALLY So Different?

My mom got this in an email yesterday. I thought I'd pass it along you you too can know what it is to live in Vancouver. Let me know if you need clarification on anything. My SPD contribution is on the way. I have to get dressed and washed and brushed first. Apparently cancer makes you lazy.

You're from Vancouver if...

1. Your co-worker has 8 body piercings and none are visible.

2. You make over $250,000 and still can't afford a house.

3. You know what these acronyms mean: PNE, VAG, VPL, GVRD, YVR.

4. You're shocked when it snows in the winter.

5. You've had a California Roll for lunch.

6. You know more than 10 ways to order coffee.

7. You know how to pronounce Coquihalla.

8. A really great parking space can move you to tears.

9. Your hairdresser is straight, your plumber is gay, the woman who delivers your mail is into BDSM, and your next-door neighbour grows weed.

10. The guy at 8:30 am at Starbucks wearing the baseball cap and sun glasses who looks like George Clooney IS George Clooney.

11. Your car insurance costs as much as your house payment.

12. The gym is packed at 3 PM... on a work day.

13. You can tell the difference between Japanese, Chinese and Thai food.

14. You watch the weather from a Seattle TV station because it's more accurate.

15. You pass an elementary school and the children are all busy with their cell phones or pagers while waiting for their personal rides home.

16. You don't even listen when the forecast announces "chance of showers."

17. You can taste the difference between Starbucks, Second Cup, and Tim Horton's coffees.

18. You feel guilty throwing aluminium cans or paper in the trash.

19. You're not surprised to see geese throughout the whole year.

20. You can’t remember... is pot still illegal?

21. If there's a day of snowfall you consider not going to school or work.

22. You realize there are far more Rainbow flags in the city than Canadian flags.

23. When you take the bus you can distinguish 4 different languages being spoken in the conversations around you.

24. You secretly have a fear of pig farms.

25. You go the opera and half the audience is dressed to the nine's and the other half are in jeans and t-shirts.

26. You know how to set up your own Crystal Meth lab because you saw it on the news.

27. You go a friend's house party and Bif Naked shows up because they went to high school together.

28. You can name 10 Starbucks locations in less than a minute.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


I was just reading Dooce and saw that she is coming to my hood for a conference. I hope she and Jon have a good time here. If anybody can pass on this little bit of info to her please do. If they want the best sushi meal of their life I recommend Tojo’s. Seriously good sushi. All the famous people eat there. It will cost about one mortgage payment for a meal but with the dollar exchange rate it shouldn’t be too bad. Totally worth it.

Giving Thanks

I think it is about time I gave some acknowledgement to the people who are really helping me out right now during this cancer thing. I have been so lucky to have so many nice things done for me over the last few months. I have had numerous phone calls and emails from friends and family that cheer me up a great deal. I have also received loads of really nice cards. I have kept every one. But here is a list of some really great things that have been done for me that need a special shout out.

First of all huge thanks to my parents who call, run errands, come over and help out EVERYDAY. I don’t know what I would do with out them.

And everybody who is supporting my folks with kind calls and emails. I totally appreciate that.

I owe huge thanks to: (in the order that my brain coughs them up)

My cousin P who sent me an extremely sweet and thoughtful care package after my surgery.

C and G for the fancy bouquet of flowers that were delivered to my door.

S for the beautiful personalised handmade quilt. Wow!

Mrs. S who makes me her special Iranian rice every week. Yum.

Lbo, my cousin, who is still working on the knitted wig and who phones and comments on a regular basis. Looking forward to wiggy.

T Mou who emails all the time and sent me a wonderful care package today. Thanks Mou.

Spoonie for the hilarious and much appreciated care package. Our cats were separated at birth.

WHFRopera who spent a lot of time troubleshooting and ultimately facilitating my radio blog. You rock.

K and S, friends of my parents, who sent me a cheque that enabled me to get an MP3 player and rejoin the 21st century.

P Mistress who calls and cracks me up on a regular basis. Not to mention the prolific emailing. Holla Cheetah.


The folks who lurk too…I know there are a few of you. Don’t be shy.

M and E and G who helped me get some effective anti-nausea supplies recently. Woo Hoo. G also lent me his clippers to shave off the ‘do. Huge help.

The docs and nurses at the Cancer Clinic who are SO NICE.

All the people out there who are praying for me. I do appreciate that a great deal.

And if I forgot anybody for anything just know that my chemofied brain did it. Not my heart. You are appreciated.