Wednesday, May 28, 2008

On Bird Love and Things you Can Buy

Now that I read it again, my sassy spring rant was mostly just mean. Sorry to any and all who either live in High River, have a flooding basement, or are shocked each year by the return of Stampede. To turn the tide of negativity I decided to post about some things that I have been enjoying.

1. It's no surprise that I am enjoying spring. I savour the slowness of rainy days, the freshness of green grass, the change of pace when the sun comes out, and the scent of blossoms. The view into our backyard is fantastic. The only downside is that every time I look up from writing resumes or working on papers at the computer, there are birds doing it in our lilac tree. I don't know if they also enjoy the scent of blossoms, but in the sparrow community, there is something very sexy about our lilac. A few days ago, two birds created this crazy little flapping ball and then, in the throws of passion, fell out of the tree. Worried, I got up from the computer and ran to the window to see if they hit the ground. No sign of hurt birds. They're probably making tiny sparrows in a less thrilling location.

2. The Hippy Report: I finally found an environmentally friendly liquid dish soap that works! After trying many that didn't sud, my friend Karen recommended Seventh Generation. Their lavender scent is gorgeous and it works as well as conventional dish soap. I love it so much, I have to hold myself back from climbing into the sink with my dishes. The second update in the hippy report is a recommendation for a delicious fair trade organic coffee. It's called Oso Negro and it's roasted in Nelson, BC. What's not to love?

3. While it was raining, Kyle and I made great use of the DVD machines at Safeway. If you haven't tried them yet, you should. The selection is a bit limited but a new release costs $1.53 per day. That's a crazy good deal! A couple of weeks ago we rented a beautiful film, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly". Its based on the true story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, a French man who was paralyzed after having a massive stroke. With only the ability to blink one eye, he wrote a memoir.

Inspired to read his memoir, I looked for it at the public library. There were 47 people who had requested the English translation and 3 for the French. Although I'm pretty sure that I'll be constantly looking up words, I'm going to try reading a French book for the first time in 10 years. Wish me luck!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Spring Rant

Every year around this time it rains. When it rains, the rivers run high. And when the rivers run high, there is flooding south of Calgary. Invariably, Global News is on scene each spring to capture this story.

Last night, I watched an interview with an unfortunate man from High River whose basement has flooded. In his interview he said, "You never expect this to happen to your house." What?! You own a house in a town called HIGH RIVER, a town that is built on a FLOODPLAIN!

I feel badly for people whose houses flood, I do. It sucks when your things get ruined and you have to pay to clean up the mess. Also, the High River area is beautiful and I understand why people choose to live there. But honestly, being surprised by spring flooding in High River is like me being shocked by all the drunken, pancake-eating professionals in cowboy hats that innundate downtown Calgary each July.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Family photo

I didn't get either of those jobs I interviewed for and am starting a new round of applications. Even though I was a bit bummed out, one of the employers managed to be very encouraging while telling me that I didn't get the job. I'm mostly over my unemployment grumples and enjoying my freedom again.

Last night, I decided that Kyle and I needed to take a "family photo" to send to a friend in India. I chose a spot in the back yard and Kyle set up our camera on the fence. As we waited for the timer to go off, Chaz kept wandering into the photo and dropping balls at our feet. We decided that rather than having tiny basket balls in front of us and a fuzzy black streak in the picture, we'd just get him to sit down in front of us. Kyle came up with a brilliant plan. He commanded Chaz to sit before placing his ball on the fence so that our obsessive dog would be looking into the camera. It worked really well the first time.In the second photo, Kyle again got the dog to look forward by saying, "Chaz, where's your ball?" Unlike the time before where he stared longingly at his ball, Chaz ran forward and jumped up against the fence, reaching up to get it. As our camera wobbled on the fence, Kyle took off running. I just wish you could see Chaz's snout in the frame, then it would be the perfect depiction of life at our house - Chaz doing something bad, me laughing, and Kyle trying to avert disaster.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Waiting Game

I was at a party the other week when someone asked me what I did for a living. I had to answer: "Well I used to be a grad student but now I'm unemployed." The guy I was talking to said the average unemployment lasts four months. Still enjoying my joblessness, I gave him a high five.

If I were to have that conversation today, I'd probably give him a fierce backhand. As I head into my second month of unemployment, I'm starting to feel anxious and bored. I've had a couple of interviews, one of which I thought went really well. But even though I was my shiniest, most professional self, neither potential employer has phoned me back yet.

I know that after a week of work I'll be craving the days when I slept in, read books in patches of sunshine on the living room floor, took afternoon walks, met friends for coffee, and shopped for groceries down luxuriously quiet aisles. So for the next days and weeks (hopefully not three months as predicted by party guy), my task is to enjoy my freedom and trust that the right job will come along. My other task is to stop lying around in patches of sun and turn my thesis into a journal article.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Spring again!

Things around here are better than they were a couple of weeks ago. Kyle is feeling better and we're having some gorgeous spring rain. One of the most fantastic things about spring is the puddles. Ever since I got my driver's license, I have LOVED to drive through puddles. In high school, I used to cruise around town with the intent of finding massive puddles and splashing through them. Due to the awful roads in Grande Prairie, this was almost always a successful mission. A particularly good spot for finding humongous puddles was the Co-op parking lot.

When I was in high school I worked part time at the Co-op deli. The Co-op, especially the cafeteria, was where all of the cool senior citizens hung out. Once, my friend Jamie and I were taking our lunch break in the cafeteria with my sister Amisha when an old man wowed us with an array of denture-related tricks. It was pretty awesome/unsettling.

Anyway, back to the puddles. One lovely spring day I happened upon a gorgeous puddle in the Co-op parking lot. I took a few rounds with my mom's escort wagon, laughing to myself as the water splashed up and over my car. The puddle was so awesome that I picked up my friend Roxanne to show it off. After driving back with her to the Co-op, I excitedly looked both ways before gunning it down the parking lot toward the store entrance. According to Roxanne, an elderly gentleman stepped out from between two cars just in time to be caught in my tidal wave of muddy parking lot water. I couldn't see him in my rear-view mirror but Roxanne swears that I drenched him. In my embarrassment and uncertainty, I just drove away. I still feel awful.

Please enjoy the spring and it's puddles but do so responsibly!

Background by Jennifer Furlotte / Pixels and IceCream