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Sunday, November 29, 2009
November. November. Now, where did I put that dang month? Been a busy one, punctuated by sadness. On the 3rd, my gallant Uncle Al died after a 6-year punchup with amyloidosis, that was supposed to kill him in under one year. His funeral was on the 12th, in Edmonton, and was a loving and fond goodbye to a fully lived life. Laura and her husband, Pierre, played for us, and their sons Gabe and Charles also performed a duet. Then Charles sang "All Through the Night," which nearly put paid to me in the pew. I was seated by Aunt Niki, who held my hand. Sweet of her, and nice to know that we're okay with one another after all. Carol's daughter Alexa read a tribute to her granddad that she'd written as a school exercise, and it really hit home with a lot of the mourners. Afterwards there was a reception at the Derrick, a country club that my aunt and uncle used to belong to--I hung out with both my brothers. Yep, all of Joan's kids showed up. I wanted to speak with all my cousins, but to do so would have been quite selfish--besides, they were probably quite tired after the stress of the previous week. I swear, if I can, I'm just going to have a big catered blowout instead of a funeral. "Hey, I'd love to be here, but a med student is busy cutting me up right about now." That will look fine embossed onto place cards. Not, I hasten to add, not that I'm criticizing my Backstrom relatives for any aspect of Al's funeral, which was the example of dignified kindness.
I spent a while at my brother Colin's house, going through family photos he'd kindly burned on a CD for me. Naturally he had me crying with laughter in about a minute. When I left from his house, I drove down to Jean and Tyke's farm. Lovely to hang out with Jean the next day, seeing "The Men Who Stare at Goats," eating much too much popcorn, and romping with the farm pups.
BRRRRR. Strange but true. A couple of weeks back I had a phone message from someone named Louella, who started her message with "Jane, I know you've been worried, so I wanted to tell you that my plans are underway at the cancer clinic, . . ." and so forth. I don't currently know anyone named Louella, so I thought to myself, well, a good person would contact her to let her know about the wrong number. Yep, a good idea, and I promptly forgot about doing so. A week and change later, another message. This time Louella sounded ticked, since she and her husband Clark were expecting me to show up at their place the previous day. They wanted to know what was going on with my dad, and not hearing from me was really worrying them. This time I remembered to make the call, whereupon I got Louella's answering machine. I carefully explained that I was indeed named Jane, but not the Jane they wanted --I repeated my number and apologized for not phoning them after their first message. Now for the strange part. I had another message from Louella this morning, thanking me for alerting her to the wrong number. She'd actually originally called Nik's number, heard the message that directed her to my voicemail, and carried on. Why? Because the Jane she was trying to contact also shared a house with a woman named Nikki--and they were also located in Central Saanich (I'm guessing she looked at our phone exchange to estimate our whereabouts). Anyway, weird, no?
If anyone had told me I would willingly go to Bikram yoga, a.k.a. hot yoga, I would have scoffed. But oh, my. I've just had my fourth class and I can't believe how blissed out I am each time. I didn't have to worry about my sweaty-headed glory--everybody sweats hard from every pore. It's common to bring two towels, one for the yoga mat, one to mop up the perspiration. The yoga postures go from simple yet demanding, to well-nigh impossible for my 46-year old knees. Yet in only four classes, I've re-established more mobility in my left leg and my upper back. Anyway, I could go on and on about the health aspect, but let's get to what makes Jane a giggly old bird: participants wear a minimum of clothing, and the classes are pretty evenly split male/female. You know what that means? TIght man bellies! Aieee! Luckily I'm usually concentrating too hard on whatever pose has been set to give too many glances in the mirror or around the room. Oh, bellies of men, young and old, so lean, so defined, so . . . so anyway. Hot yoga. Definitely a keeper.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
It still gets to me: I know "Carnival of Souls" is a low-budget, fairly cornball film, but certain scenes are creepy brilliance.