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Monday, August 31, 2009
Today punched me in the face, and I didn't even write any poetry at it. Well, that is, not until after the punch, when I went off in a snit and wrote some. After watching "The Hurt Locker," which harrowed me mightily. Today was just one of those days where I fumbled continuously for the Rewind button. Oh, and did I mention that I fucked up hugely in the early afternoon? Yeah, that. And got chewed out for it, which I richly deserved.
Fucking day. [Yes, yes. Another twoonie to the cuss box. I KNOW.]
Friday, August 28, 2009
T-shirt success! I mentioned a week ago that I'd kept an old T-shirt to wear at one of my cousin's recitals. The shirt is adorned with iron-on felt letters (circa 1984, this shirt is) that spell the message "I'm related to Laura Backstrom." Well, don't you know, Laura e-mailed me a few days ago about a recital that took place tonight. With me in the front row, wearing the glorious turquoise-hued shirt that proclaimed my specialness. Laura didn't notice it until the encore called her quartet back onstage. She recognized me in the crowd, saw the shirt, gasped and laughed. SCORE!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I love this company. I bought my first Blend T-shirt a couple of months ago, and as soon as I tried it on, I knew: I must have more of them. Besides, I was charmed by the handwritten note that accompanied my original order, and by what I'd read online about the company. Oh, and my favourite little hippy surfer, Jason Mraz, wears Blend, so you know, what the hell is a cougar to do? Send off a second order, naturally. It arrived with a handwritten note and apology for one of the items being on back order, and it was one of the most amiable shopping experiences I've had. I e-mailed a reply on their site:
Dear Blend:
I think I'm falling in love with your company. Another handwritten note, an apology for a back order, and -- of course -- the world's softest, friendliest T-shirts. Canada Post probably has my address flagged with the note: "Careful: if you're delivering a package from Blend, the recipient WILL start dancing around you." Thanks for such a refreshing customer experience and the chance to share in what you do.
This afternoon, this popped from my Inbox:
hey hey jane!
thanks so much for writing to us!
we're so glad your shirt founds it's new happy home/owner. we hope you enjoy your new wearable hug.
we can't wait to service you again soon.
Have an AMAZING day!
much love, bA
And you know, I just can't summon up any cynicism about this. No snarky comment about them knowing how to upsell the 40-ish, or how I could interpret being serviced. Nope, I'm just plain damn tickled with Blend, even if they misspelled "its".
I love this island. A couple of weeks back, as Nik and the girls and I were driving to the riding arena, we noticed a temporary radar sign had been installed on the West Saanich Road. As we got closer to the electronic display, we saw something taped to it:


In the offing: a new Olympic sport, aka Danger Dressage, as practised by Nik aboard Dinny the Haflinger. Controlled canter in a 20m circle, wait for it, trip! fall! launch human into space! Nik makes a comparatively elegant sliding stop, face first, into the woodchip-covered ground. Beats the hell out of yet another hugely expensive horse trotting to the damned Phantom of the Opera, I'd say.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Surfing past Dec. 25, I may manage to do yet again, thanks to a bit of ingenious flight booking in the company of Nik and Dani. They are the original Christmas elves, but know that I am not *at all* one for the ho-ho-hos. So the topic of me flying to Honolulu to share in their Christmas celebration had that tang, for me, of "I hope I don't ruin anyone's big day." As the day draws nearer, I've been thinking more and more that I should postpone my Hawaiian interlude, since (a) Christmas, heh, and (b) we'd save money on a farm-sitter if I were to stay home.
But no! Keep up the surfing fitness kick. Now I will be flying to Honolulu on Dec. 29, returning Jan. 7 with Nik's dad, Colin. Plenty of time for surfing in there--man, surfing on New Year's Eve, now that has Saturnalian overtones that an old Classics major just has to love. Surfing with firemen on Dec. 31st. All the more incentive to crack that horrible freestyle phobia I have once and for all.
You Dump Me, You're Dogmeat:

A recent picture of the Horse Threatener in action with the spotted gent, Diego. [Thanks to C. and D. for the photo!]
Monday, August 24, 2009
To set the record straight, oh, you know, fuck it. I've received a couple of wondering messages lately, the gists of which are whether or not I'm a dyke. So I wrote a terse reply and posted it here, but you know what? Keep guessing, wonder mutts. Because it's just none of your business, that's why. Also: why oh why do you care?
[Yep: another dollar goes to the Eff-it Bucket. And you know what? It was worth it.]
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Confession: I owe the F**k it Bucket about $30. Perhaps it will accept a cheque?
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Don't worry, it's not going to be all poetry around this place. Yes, I'm trying to write more, following the Jules Renard philosophy that "in literature, there are only oxen." Yes, it helps my flickering ego to publish online. But! I'm aware that to do so is a tad self-indulgent. To get over myself, I check out bookstores with their tiny shelves of poetry books, noting a certain percentage of them seem to be vanity press editions. So blogging a poem is just a cheapskate's vanity press, really.
Them poor, poor, poor. Five garbage bags, five! full of clothes go to charity yesterday. This is more than a generous impulse: this is me finally admitting that most of what I own is of absolutely no use. And sentimentality is an insidious excuse to keep millstones latched around the neck. So out out OUT go the T-shirts of my youth: 1976, 1981, 1982, 1984. I did keep the one with "I'm related to Laura Backstrom" spelled out in felt letters on it, since I intend to wear it to one of her recitals here in Victoria one day. But all the others, farewell. Also I filled two boxes with books, quietly and carefully, since to discard a book is rank heresy here in Authorland. Jeez, Nik's got catalogues from the '80s she won't throw away, so chances of trimming the book hordes are few and far between.
It never gets old, the feeling of increased freedom as venerable belongings get discarded, that is. Freedom with an Aretha Franklin voice. FREEDOM.
Vinnie blames Jason Mraz for making me into a love-spouting hippy freak, which she says is how I sound these days, and says she will have to have a word with him after his Calgary concert in October. I say instead she should have a quiet chat with Nik before she gets too worried. Nik continually sees me rage around the hobby farm and would probably like to hear that I'm actually getting mellower compared to prior days. Yeah? Well if people would just put the DAMNED MANURE RAKE back where it's SUPPOSED TO BE, I'd be FINE. This to be sung by Janis, not Aretha.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
In progress, late-ish Saturday.
Of all the silly things

To what good are mementoes, even photographs? It is comforting that things die, as well as men.
[Jules Renard, Journal, 1905]

What I would love is
if you were to drop in,
even if only for a brief message,
supposing that is your allotment.
Sitting here with the boxes weighted by your life
all around me, I hear new words:
You're hanging on to that?
Dear. It's just things. So my big ass
dented all those couch cushions --
I sat in many, many chairs in life--you want to save them all?
But Mom, say I, these are the things that held you,
Something I can no longer do. Some of these things
you loved, and God, how I love and loved you.
Darling, she sighs. Darling.
If you really want to take care of what I love?
Don't rely on -- to be genteel -- this shit. Listen, now: get rid of it.
Then, even if you don't understand, you're taking care of what I love the very most.
And then--gone, in a gust that rattles cardboard corners,
in a practised sweep that blows towards the rubbish heap.

Family? Please, sir, I want some more! Another branch of Nik's family is arriving on the farm oh, any time now, so of course I am doing the mature, the friendly -- I am hiding in the basement and counting the remaining days.
Of course it's not that bad, but exaggeration is my metier. It's what poets do: you compare a bug's wing to the cosmos often enough, and suddenly a raft of unrelated houseguests is synonymous with Visigoths. Well-dressed, urbane Visigoths with remarkably clever children. This lead to: Jane hide in basement. Basement good, good.
How goes the surfing training? you didn't ask, but the answer is: um. I still have the vast lower body strength of a peasant and the upper body strength of a weakened, querulous despot who can't quite get the forkful of caviar to his lips. My surfing lesson may evolve into me aimlessly paddling my board around the shoreline and looking enviously out to sea.
But I show off! By God, I can show off with the best of 'em. For every young guy who's grunting and thrashing over lifting too heavy of free weights in the gym, there is one 46-yr-old crone over on the floormats, flaunting her flexibility. Touch my forehead to my shins? Sure. Keep my heels on the floor during Downward Facing Dog? I'm on it. Take THAT, impressively bicepped boyos! Sure, you can lift a Volvo off a toddler, but can you do THIS? (Arms pressed in prayer position behind back, body bent over, head touching straight legs.) Didn't think so!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
A bit overwhelmed by a family not my own. A bit chagrined that I was not loudly thanked for noticing that the dog was sick. A bit embarrassed that I still need to be thanked for doing good. A bit panicked now about the lack of job. A bit annoyed at the old dad for dodging another get-together. A bit amused by how ego-driven I still am, even now. A bit in love with my MacBook Pro, though it is far smarter than I. A bit unprepared for my latest Toastmasters speech, which incidentally is completely made up. A bit stiff from whaling on my deltoids yesterday at the gym. Bits and bits and bits of life sliding past.
Saturday, August 08, 2009
Let us speak of bananas. Let's do. Those who know me are aware that I have had a lifelong aversion to bananas. My brothers loved good old mashabanana with peanut butter, which I always thought looked horrible and refused to eat. But always through the years people who should have known better kept trying to get me to ingest the goddamned things. And then. This winter, in the interests of getting off the head meds, I found myself doing a little research and read this and other pages. It occurred to me that I could probably sneak half a nanner into a yogurt smoothie now and again. So early in May I steeled up my courage and made the first one. Peeling the threads off the banana was enough to bring on a heave. Still, I choked down the smoothie and did not die.
That was May 8th. Three months later, and 25 pounds have disappeared. I expect the purchase of the road bike (aka The Mighty Banana) has helped with the avoirdupois level, but all the other benefits (energy, sleep, skin tone) have to be chalked up to them dern grass seeds. Bananas. I still can't believe it. I willingly buy bananas.
Friday, August 07, 2009
Oh. Em. Eff. Gee. Soho Services has my MACBOOK PRO. Um...I'll be right back. Chagrined update: Not so fast, toots. My bank's debit system wouldn't authorize the transaction (despite there being more than enough numbers in the account). There was wriggle room in the credit card chastity belts, but VISA and Citibank still wanted a look-see. "You know," I said to the trembling Soho Services boys, "why don't I just try this again after a visit to the bank?" It was now 4:30 p.m. and my local branch was closed. It may be open tomorrow, in which case the Rage of Jane just has a few more hours to build up to detonation strength. Kidding, kidding. I can't tell you how deeply funny I'm finding this--of course, I wouldn't have said this at 4:35 p.m. today. But seriously, I wouldn't have much trouble, if I were correlation inclined, believing that the gods don't want me to have a MacBook Pro.
Late-ish night update: Okay. My silly bank is open tomorrow, so I HOPE I HOPE I HOPE there will be a MacBook Pro on my lap this time tomorrow night.
UPDATE PART 3: ELECTRIC BOOGALEE Saturday noon: I have the MacBook Pro. I do not have to wait long before seeing how the gods react: Elliot the poodle gets volvulus (look it up, I did) and is in the vet clinic for a fiendishly expensive "stitch stomach to ab muscles" operation. Right, right, righty...I'm not supposed to do the correlation illusion thing. But the timing was just too weird.
This is Why

This love with a tenor as clear as light;
These words that I read for the first time and remember;
These life friends I have met only now;
For that matter, this ripe cherry that tastes of giddy greed.
Maybe no one would ever miss this slate of cross-outs, me.
But these I would have missed had I yielded to your call.
Perhaps there is no more pain, as you have promised,
but neither do you offer any light.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Gratitude: for having friends like Karyn who makes time in her insane schedule for an afternoon of Sidney meandering and non-stop yipping by me. Sheer, relaxing fun.
So, ho: Where my Macbook at? No word from Soho Services. Tomorrow I'll head over and calmly ask for my deposit back, before doing what I should have done in the first freaking place: order from Apple directly (or even head to the Apple store in Vancouver). Still! Gratitude for the chance to air a righteous complaint--which formerly I'd have clammed up about and seethed for months.