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Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Two days until I head to Calgary to see beloved old pals and catch another concert by the hippie surfer. Last night I listened to a speech about iridology during the weekly Toastgeeks get-together, and thought: well, that there's got hippie all over it. If I start gawking at my irises, measuring my poo in a colander is next on the list, I'm sure. Here's how much hippie I am: trending toward a raw food diet, toward vegetarian menus, sourcing local foods, cutting down on electricity wherever possible. But I'll still get vaccinated and I still drive the Mazdad, and I like yogurt way, way too much to ever be a vegan. Besides, I just conquered the anti-banana lifestyle. That's still a major feat. The odder of habits, such as the obsession with colonic output and the measuring of irises, well, you see, this is why we have such things as television, to give you something else to do with your time.
Anyhow, heads up, Calgary: incoming!
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Karma? Gotcha. On July 13th I blew a tire on a long distance bike ride in Alberta. That was when two road men rescued me, going well out of their way to give me and my scuttled bike a ride. My gratitude was immense, and I hoped I could help out someone else some day. Well, poetry and karma got together today: on my way back from a dog ramble/horse ride with Nik, a young woman with a tire-flat bike hailed me from a bus stop across the road. Did I know when the next bus might come? I appealed to Nik, longtime resident, for help. We suggested the cyclist walk a couple of blocks to a major thoroughfare where buses constantly appeared. Then, thankfully, I thought to ask where the cyclist needed a ride to--and offered to take her and her bike back home. Nik was all for it. Thing is, turns out the cyclist, Chloe, is deeply into urban farming, publishing, writing, snowboarding, SURFING, and is one of those kiddies whom you can easily talk to. Upshot: helped another cyclist and made a possible new friend. Karma: kewl.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Hippie choir, round two. Tonight I, Crone, head off to another choir get-together -- same choir as last week, but this practice group meets Mondays instead of Thursdays, and is located slightly closer to the farm. I should mention that this is the dippiest of hippie choirs, so accompanying the Gaia-fondling songs are many announcements about sustainable agriculture and charity this, volunteer there, love your neighbour, love him love him DO-- just about the last place you'd expect to see Crone Magnon. But I do love the singing, and I do, actually, like helping out. The fact that I'm a hair-trigger crank is just another part of the contrasting charms of Island life. This choir, in truth, sounds amazing. That's worth staying around to hear.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Checking in . . . The back is still spazzed, but greatly improved. Bicycling to continue in a couple of days, thank gar. The brain is still misfiring here and there, so it has had to confront itself with various coping mechanisms, of which "yeah yeah YEAH" is our current favourite. I have had the farm to myself for the last three days, and so far the head count hasn't changed. Movie update: "The Informant!" kept me absolutely riveted from the get-go, and Matt Damon has become one of the best actors going. Crap update: I still have way too much useless stuff. Pruning the CD tree was years overdue, but what to do with the culls? I suppose Goodwill may take them, but ---anyway. I must keep swimming against this overacquisitive current.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Out of nowhere, a fairly serious disagreement that could cause a fairly major change of affairs. I wonder if my mind is right enough for this kind of thinking today. I shall weigh the options, that's what. Weigh 'em twice.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Word of the day: moderation. I meet my physiotherapist, who is blind, and who takes one feel of the lower sacrum: "Oh my." I explain my Saturday farm chore overload and yesterday's bike tour. "Ah, well. That explains things." Upshot: yes, those are some spazzed muscles in that thar back, so take it easy for the next week. But congratulations on doing that bike tour.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Whehey, Myrmidons! My beauties! You won the playoffs, you magnificent beasts. I salute you (and I miss you). Wear those hog medallions with genteel arrogance. YOU FUCKING RULE.
Notes from the Ramble: Okay, okay. A 100km bike ride was my challenge to myself, and it lived up to its reputation as a challenge. I was the first person to sign in at the start, and the third last to finish the route. As the 100km riders rode to the start line, I took a quick look and realized that the group consisted of about 25-30 wiry, intense triathletes, and me. I stayed with them for the first kilometre, then *twip* they were off, leaving the pavement flapping behind them like the Roadrunner. The route: holy hilly. What fresh hill is this? I would ask myself each time, chuckling, yet hoping the peasant limbs wouldn't stage a revolt. They didn't, bless 'em, and in fact I am overwhelmingly grateful to my old bod for not conking out. Speed, schmeed.
The Jane factor: misreading the map on three occasions, resulting in a missed refreshment stop (dammit) and two improvised route adjustments. Oh, and next year DO NOT spend the previous afternoon shovelling barrowsful of sodden goat bedding, you bonehead. Bit of a stiff back, have we? There's a shock.
Luck was no friend to Nik's daughter, Dani, who during her horse vaulting practice performed the same dismount that she's done countless times before--but this time, upon landing, she badly sprained her foot and ankle. She's in a walking cast at present, and since her competition is two weeks away, the mood is far from upbeat. No one knows if she'll heal enough in time to take part--so I say, stop leaping around horses and get yerself a bike, Dani. Bike good!
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Blackberry Shamble: In seven hours I must haul carcass out of bed, perform minor farm chores, then garb the bod in strategically padded clothing. Then I must ride the Mighty Banana over to the Saanich Peninsula Hospital, the starting point for this year's Blackberry Ramble. I'm on the 100km route, because I live in denial about my abilities. You know, if I hadn't quit drinking I could have signed up for the winery ramble option, but no. Just hill after hill after -- actually I'm quite psyched about going on this tour. Cannot wait, in fact. Where'd I put those chamois britches?
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Murder Mosh Foul: Stuck in the mosh pit at the Jason Mraz concert at Bumbershoot, by which time I had been moshed/moshing for more than three hours. NOT FUN SO MUCH.

Bumberboots! From one of the world's rainiest cities, at the rainiest Bumbershoot Festival in recent history, some typical footwear.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Because you brought back the possible in me,
and showed me that love must always
be in the present tense,
at last I can do what long ago I knew must be done:
thank you, and let go.

A life-changing experience was had by me at Bumbershoot. That doesn't mean it was ecstasy from start to finish, though. Truth: I began and ended each day quite sad, but during the day there was much kindness, illumination and monstrously huge music. Met some really great people. Tripped over a Seattle landmark, Beth's Cafe, on my way to the rainiest bumber day. I'm so glad I went. So glad. Still beginning the day with a weep, though. Mind you, I haven't really slept in about 41 hours.
Never give up, never surrender. In 2003 I purchased or received as a gift a copy of "The Corrections" by Jonathan Franzen and "You Shall Know Our Velocity" by Dave Eggers. I remember picking each up with reader's greed and then ... somehow, the Eggers book annoyed me and the Franzen depressed me. Both books I put down again after a few dozen pages. This year, while unpacking yet another goddamned carton of goddamned books, christ, will it never end, the Eggers book fell out. I made the mistake of reading the opening words on the cover. Holy mackinaw. That book absolutely brained me. Emboldened, I thought, hey, why not try "The Corrections" again? Picked it up and nearly dropped it again after 20 pages. No, dammit, read the goddamned thing. I read it on and off before and during Bumbershoot and just finished it at 4:30 this morning, waiting for the ferry at Tsawwassen. Magnificence and pain together. One line about the Lambert patriarch, "The odd truth about Alfred was that love, for him, was a matter not of approaching but of keeping away," stunned me hollow. That's also Mad Melvin to the core. Thank you, Dave Eggers, and thank you, Jonathan Franzen. Only six years late.
Now to embark on another McSweeney's novel, "Fever Chart" by Bill Cotter, a writer I heard talk at Bumbershoot. Yep, it's going to be all Bumbershoot all the time for the next while. Sorry.
Friday, September 04, 2009
We who are about to Bumbershoot salute thee. Oh yes, I know, it's really no big deal to be all on my own in a fairly unknown-to-me city, trying to figure out a new transit system. Found my hotel all right, didn't I? All will be well. Here I go!
Thursday, September 03, 2009
It is to say, "woot."
Thanks for your definition of foodamentalist!

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Wakey, wakey, little stooge!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Childhood things I never did: A cartwheel. Skip double dutch. Hula hoop. Whistle through my fingers. Bike with no hands. SWIM THE DAMNED FRONT CRAWL.