Saturday, June 28, 2008

see ya!

Off to the cottage for a few days... have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

me no thinky

Every once in a while I try to do a thinky post, and it just doesn't work. I'm just not a thinky blogger. So instead I'll just share a few random ruts my brain's been getting stuck in.

It seems like not many rich people volunteer at the Drop-In Centre, except for people affiliated with a church. Catholics tend to actually volunteer, and I've seen people of a few other denominations bring in a pot of soup. Apparently, a few families at the local Seventh Day Adventist Church take turns making a pot of soup each week. Isn't that nice? But where are the rich agnostics and atheists (and by rich, I mean well above the poverty line, able to own or consider owning a home, perhaps a white-collar worker)?

I guess a lot of professionals volunteer on boards and stuff where they can build their network and enhance their careers. I suspect that serving coffee to people with low or no income is not particularly career-building. Mind you, there's also very little risk of it being career-limiting.

Based on a sample of exactly two people, I have come to the conclusion that recovering drug addicts, early in their recovery, are high on sobriety. I wonder if those two will be able to maintain their commitment when the novelty wears off?

I can be horribly judgmental. The other day I saw a brand shiny new Porsche Carrera (or something snazzy like that) with a license plate that said YASMINE. Is it unfair that immediately I didn't like the driver/owner?

My recoil wasn't quite as intense as a few weeks back when I saw a black SUV with the license, HOTT MD. Now THAT's a person I most definitely don't want to meet -- especially not in a doctor's office when I'm sick and vulnerable.

But the worst words I've seen on a car were on a bumper sticker that said "I wasn't born a bitch. Men like you made me this way." Another person I'm grateful I don't know...

Yesterday, I watched an interesting multimedia project featuring 8 photographers in 9 countries shooting 30 people before and 4 months after starting anti-retro-viral treatment for AIDS. There are apparently 9 videos, but I only watched the one in South Africa. It gave me chills and made me cry, although it's not really sad. I just always get chills and cry whenever I hear South African music and think about all the shit that South African people have dealt with and yet still they sing, still they dance. And here we are, having a much easier time of it over in North America, and all we do is sit on our couches, watch tv, play video games, and surf the net. There's something seriously wrong with that picture. Please go check it out.

Imagekind has another sale on: 25 percent off frames until July 7, if you're interested. Just remember to enter the promo code, JULY42008, when you check out. If you want to buy any of my work, whether cards or images, you can look through the work I have at and click on the image you want to complete the purchase at Imagekind. I'm still donating 50 percent of the proceeds to the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

I LOVED SYTYCD last night. I'm really digging Mark and Chelsie, which is a total surprise, and Joshua and Katie were just awesome. I also really liked Twitch and Kherrington and Kourtni and Matt. Oh! And Gev and Courtney are pretty cute too. What did you think?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

musing on Myers Briggs

Ever since Bea pronounced me an ENFP more than a year ago, I go through periodic obsessions with Myers Briggs Type Indicator. I'm in one right now.

I had a sudden epiphany a few weeks ago, that when I butt heads with someone or don't understand at all where they're coming from or why they're in a twist about something, it's probably because they're an SJ. It started to become a bit of a dirty word for me, and I started to assume that if I disliked someone they must be an SJ. Last week, I discovered two of my cube-mates are SJs... Eek! I'm surrounded by them! Of course, I quite like my cube-mates, so this was surprising and enlightening. It was also humbling and rather amusing that I thought my type sounded so awesome and how lucky was I to be considered one of them, and my SJ colleague jumped to my denfence: "That's not very nice," she said when she read a description of ENFP, "Sometimes procrastinates?" Like procrastination is one of the worst things someone could do.

"Oh yeah..." I replied, utterly unconcerned. "I'm a total procrastinator."

The same description said that ENFPs work best on a time with a couple of Js to keep us in line. So it's a good thing I'm surrounded by SJs at work.

Monday, June 23, 2008

me so sleepy

I think I'm suffering exhaustion. I'm definitely feeling better than I was on the weekend, but I'm still very very tired.

The sold sign went up outside our house on Friday, exactly two weeks after we signed to buy the new place, and three weeks after we first laid eyes on it. Crazy. We're still finalizing the closing dates, but fingers crossed we'll get to enjoy a bit of summer in the new place.

Swee'pea hasn't been sleeping well and he's been coughing a lot. I took him to the doctor this afternoon and she said his ears have fluid in them, so could either be starting an ear infection or on the tail end. Now I feel even worse for not being particularly sympathetic when he had trouble sleeping Saturday night.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

invincible youth

When we sorted through all the boxes in our basement, we did a quick triage. Books? We edited our book collection last fall so just stack those boxes to go straight to the movers. Baby stuff? Ditto. I thought we'd edited all our stuff down there, but as we got deeper into the piles of boxes, I realized that we had not. This afternoon I went through a box that clearly hadn't been unpacked or even looked at since we moved into this house five years ago.

On the top were old bills and bank account statements that hadn't even been opened, clearly tossed into the box in a last-minute moving panic. Those will be shredded. Deeper down, there was evidence of mouse activity, and envelopes and albums and smaller boxes of photos. So many photos. I will hold onto every single one. As I went through them, I couldn't help but conjure up adult children and grandchildren sorting through them when I'm dead. I'll have to start writing on the backs of them so they know who, when, and what they are.

There's my brother's second gallery, the one that was like a bowling alley, and there are his paintings, photo after photo after photo of his paintings. There's my niece and nephew at the lake, the day we went up to Petroglyphs Park and stopped at a small empty beach to cool down. There's my Grandpa Jack being presented with a birthday cake that holds the number 88, back before they moved into their retirement home, and the painting that now hangs over our guest bed hangs behind him. There's my Grandma Ruth looking absolutely tickled at her first two great-grandchildren, then an infant and toddler, now about to turn 10 and 8. It's the same look I saw almost every time she looked at me, and my chest ached and my eyes pricked that Swee'pea will never see that look, except stilled in this black and white picture.

There's me looking all fresh-faced and thin, wearing my mom's old horn-rimmed, tortoise shell glasses. There's Sugar D and I at my parent's farm and my bony hand, which looks far more graceful than I ever remember it being, holds a cigarette! (Oh yeah, I used to smoke, and not that long ago.) There's us at his graduation, and then his citizenship ceremony. There's the envelope of pictures from the roll of film that started it all; there are the pictures of Sugar D on his balcony at the time that made me think he'd rushed through the last frames just to get to see me again. There's the polaroid of Sugar D with Lala and Po (the Teletubbies) that was taken the day before our first date, the one that made me think he was a pretty cool guy since most guys my age ran from all things children-related. There's Sugar D back in South Africa with his cousins and granny and uncles. There's him again in a picture I've never seen before, and judging from the snow shovel he's holding like in American Gothic with not a single flake of snow to be seen, he must have just arrived in Canada, and his mom must have taken the shot with the intention of sending it back to the summer in South Africa. They arrived in winter and on his first walk to the grocery store his eyelashes froze together. That's never happened to me.

There is the box of runes that I made myself and consulted frequently for romantic advice for a few years. I was about to toss them, but somehow I can't quite. Like they still contain magic, and the magic is one of the threads that hold Sugar D and I together. He also made his own set of runes before we met, and that seemed so significant once upon a time, although I think he lost those long ago.

And of course there's envelope after envelope of boring yet pretentious photographs of brick walls and windows. What was I thinking?!? I guess all those pictures I have on my website will mortify me one day too.

What a treasure of memories this box is, and I feel guilty for all the bends and creases and stuck-together pictures. I guess when I threw stuff in packed that box, I must have intended to sort through it sooner than later. Or maybe not. Back then my grandparents were still alive, although they'd moved out of their apartment, and maybe I thought I was somehow immune to the passage of time, that my memories didn't need photographs to prod them and keep them alive.

When I found those binders last week, I was about to throw a second one out, just like the blue one. But it was my grade 11 English binder and I was sad to throw away my thoughts on Piggy and Ralph and MacBeth, and then I came upon a journal entry on Halloween. Apparently the task was to write about my most memorable Halloween. Now, nearly 15 years after I wrote that, I would say my most memorable Halloween was probably that year or maybe the one before, our last year trick or treating and the first time I tried a cigarette. But the journal entry was about my grade 1 or 2 Halloween, and now I have absolutely no recollection of it. Memory is such a vulnerable and precious thing, and when I packed that box, I had no idea.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

ding dong the witch is dead

Ding Dong! The Witch is dead. Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch!
Ding Dong! The Wicked Witch is dead.

For some reason I woke up with that song in my head. I suspect it's related to selling our house last night (well mostly -- still a couple of conditions to waive by Friday), even though I don't think of our house as a witch at all.

Yesterday, I started to wonder if we really wanted to do this, to leave our home and neighbourhood, but of course the decision's already made. The deal on the new house is totally firm, so there's no going back.

And that's ok, really.

In unrelated news, it appears that bloglines has been wonky, so all of a sudden bloggers are showing up with 5 and 10 posts at once. And then I realize that I haven't seen them pop up in a while. So if you've missed me, that's why.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Letter to Swee'pea: 28 months

Dear Swee'pea:

A week and a day ago you turned 28 months. It's been a crazy week and a half, during which time we've bought a new house and put our current house on the market. I don't think you understand all this, of course, but when we went through the new house, you ran all over it, and when I asked you if you liked it, you replied with an enthusiastic, "YEAH!"


I suppose that means that you won't have any memory of this house, which is ok I guess, though a little sad. You weren't born in this house, although we had everything ready in case we decided to go with a home birth. We did bring you here when you were three days old though, after a harrowing drive home and a traumatic diaper change, I swear you looked around our living room and thought, "Ahh. I'm home now. I know this place," and I thought that was pretty amazing. I've heard that babies in utero can sense the smells of the mother's world through the amniotic fluid.

We cleaned up the whole house over the last week, and did the most dramatic work while you were at daycare one day. When you came home, our real estate agent met us here, and you took her around the house. When you entered your clean room and saw your bed made, probably for the first time ever, you sat on it very proudly and proclaimed, "My bed!" It seems like you say everything with an exclamation mark these days. Speaking of which, you've developed a most annoying habit at mealtimes. You play and don't eat while your dad and I eat, and then when we're done and ready to do something else, you exclaim, "I'M NOT ALL DONE!" (No my aw dah!) But then you just sit there, still not eating, and when we try to prod you into eating or leaving the table you bellow again, "I'M NOT ALL DONE!!!" I've tried to explain that if you're not eating, that means you ARE all done, but you're not having any truck with that. I suppose it's your way of exerting control over mealtimes.

ripping jeans
(These jeans had a very small rip in the knee until you decided to expand it, er, up your thigh. What are you, 16???)

Right now, your dad is putting you to bed and I can hear you talking about the thunder rumbling around us. "NuhNO, nuhno dah dye." (Thunder, thunder's outside.) Our first thunderstorm this year took place while I was at belly dance and your dad was putting you to bed. Apparently you were scared and held onto your dad very, very tightly. Since then, I've made sure to put on a happy face when thunder comes and I tell you it's exciting and it makes lots of noise. You seem less concerned about it now.

The other day, a thunderstorm rolled over us in the morning, minutes before our alarm was set to go off. It was actually quite nice. Instead of the blazing morning sun, it was soft overcast light that came in our windows, and instead of your usual, "Up! Up, Mama!" (Bah, bah mama!) and bouncing out of bed, we cuddled and talked and listened to the lazy thunder. It was so energizing to lay there together, our whole family right there in that comfy, comfy bed.

Your imagination is really growing and you crack us up all the time. One day you said grandpa was here. And when I asked where, you pointed to a little dot on a book, and said "Right there!" (Dye doh) and you picked poor, miniature, invisible to the naked eye grandpa up in your hand, and held him out to me like he was one of your pretend snacks that you're always cooking. The snacks that you tease us with holding your pots out all inviting-like but when we reach in for a taste, you yell, "NOT READY YET!" while you wear an expression of shock and horror.

This morning, you said your tractor had a flat tire and you had to fix it, so you took a cup and held it to the tire and made a buzzing sound just like you hear at a mechanic's and we were so amazed and surprised, wondering where did you get that from? It's a little scary the things you pick up on sometimes.

After dinner, we usually go for a walk to the park. We start in the stroller and let you run on the soccer fields, where you say all the chalk lines are choo choo trains. I think you're actually saying that the lines are train tracks and you're the choo choo train because you run along the lines over across the lines, yelling, "Choo choo train!" On the way home, you always ask to get out of the stroller and walk, and we make you wait until we turn the corner onto our street, at which you demand loudly, "MY WALK! MY WALK!" until we let you out to walk the rest of the way.

Tonight at dinner, after the first round of "NO MY AW DAH!" and before our walk, a sudden loud toot reverberated from your chair. You burst out laughing and so did we. Your mirth was hilarious. And then came the punchline: "No my toot. Mommy tooted!"

"Oh," said your father between gales of laughter. "You're definitely one of your mom's family." (Your grandpa and uncle are well known for their flatulence and subsequent denials.)

Lately, when I'm putting you to bed, you always want more books than I have the energy to read. So I've started to tell you stories about a girl named Kate because then I can close my eyes. You love them. I tell you about how she rode horses, and I tell you about some of the horses, and I tell you about her dog, Merlin (although I haven't yet told you about a horse kicked him in the head or how he got hit by a car and survived it all), and life on the farm. I figured you just thought Kate was a neat kid, but you've very quickly figured out it's me. When I told you about she grew up and had a baby boy named Ezra, you knew I was talking about you, and you pointed to me and said, "Kate!" (Day!) Now when I put you to bed you ask for stories about her, saying, "Day! Day!" The only way I appease you is to say I'm thinking of a story and I need quiet until I think of one. Many times you fall asleep before I think of another one.

You seem to love music, or at least you love the tape player that's at your level. You know how to insert and remove tapes and press play. Then when the music comes on you start to groove. You bounce on your knees. You move your firsts around in circles like you're stirring the pot, or up and down like you're mashing potatoes. You twist your hips and move your arms up and twist your hands like I do when I'm belly dancing. It's really cute.

Today is Father's Day, and your daycare helped you make him a sexist card and a placemat with your footprints on it. He loved it all, even though he has no interest in most of the activities mentioned on the card (things like golf and baseball and hockey). The last month has been a lot of fun with the mild evenings and gorgeous days. I know your dad is loving being able to kick the soccer ball around with you, and I love the way you watch him so closely and mimic, in your own clumsy way, his ball handling.

It seems like we can't help but project. When you're pretending to cook, we think you're going to be a chef. When you're kicking the ball, you'll be a soccer star. When you recognize the letter E, we peg you for a writer like your grandpa. When you bring home paintings or draw, your use of colour convinces us you will be an artist. Today, when you and I were dancing in the kitchen, I wondered if you'd be a dancer. I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing to do this, to put the world at your feet. But it's irresistible, and a product of the joy and excitement we feel at every single thing you do, whether it's peeing on the potty -- which you did once -- or saying you're poopy, or kicking a ball.


Love Always and Forever,

Friday, June 13, 2008

Cuba shots

Just wanted to let you know that the best (IMHO) of my Cuba photos are finally up at peripheralvision. You'll also see the final selection of Lunenburg parking meters, if you're interested.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

our house

Our house is now the cleanest and least cluttered I think any living space of ours has ever been or will ever be. We have worked our tails off, along with a few paid professionals, and we now have a house that I think is more than just presentable. It looks bright and airy and clean. I'd even buy this place. Oh yeah, I already did.

Last night, I started to feel the need to honour our home and the work we put into it; I felt a little like I was abandoning some small loved thing (nothing like a child, maybe a hamster?). This morning, my mom was all, "It looks so nice I bet you don't want to sell it now," but no. I still want to move, I just want to take a moment to honour the memories this house has watched unfold.

We've put a lot of work into this house. Our blood, sweat and tears literally line its floors. Mostly the front hall floor. I remember when we bought a coworker made fun of me for picking the ugliest house we could find. She was right. I was embarrassed to be buying a house at the age of 26, and I fancied myself a home renovator. I was wrong.

One of our first tasks was ripping up the ugly linoleum in the front hall and dining room, and ugly pissed-on 50-year-old-if-it-was-a-day carpet in the living room. The carpet was easy, and so was the first layer of linoleum, but then we found another layer. And this one was laminated onto chipboard sheets, which had clearly been nailed down by someone with a fancy-schmancy, brand spanking new, can't use it too much nailgun. In other words, the perimeter of each sheet had two nails per inch all the way around.

We started to work at it, but the chipboard just chipped off. It was right around this time that Sugar D and I nearly broke up. We freaked out, he went for a walk and I cried on the stairs, feeling trapped and solely reponsible for it, and wondering if he would come back. He did, we calmed down, and decided that even if we were just going to turn around and sell the house tomorrow, we had to just get through that damn floor. It took days of chipping every fucking square inch of that damn floor off. We tried different crowbars, and anything else we could think of. Eventually we figured out that pitch forks worked the best. But still it was slow, slow work. Nails pierced our shoes. It was July, and hot. We dripped with sweat and still had energy to bicker and argue about how to proceed.

We discovered that only the front hall had hardwood underneath, and the other rooms had this weird sort of masonite tiles floor. Once we got all the chipboard up we spent another full day or so pulling the leftover nails or hammering them in if we couldn't get them out. By that time we'd had enough of ripping out floors and decided just to live with the strange dirty flooring. Upstairs, the situation was a bit better. The stairs and hallway had the same ugly 50-year-old doggy carpet as the living room, and it came up not too badly. The pine floors underneath were painted, probably with lead paint. Another room had a couple of layers of linoleum, but they were only stapled down so they came up easily enough. Once refinished, the floors came up beautifully.

We also did work in the kitchen, which had ugly fake wood panelling half way up the walls. People warned me not to be too ambitious with taking that off, because it's usually up there to hide things. Um, yeah, they were right. Underneath the fake wood panelling was fake tile panelling, which was almost the same colour of green I'd picked out for the walls and actually kind of cute, except for the large areas of some black, tarry, paint-like substance. So we pulled that down, and it pulled large areas of the plaster down with it, except for the areas where the toxic adhesive remained all gluey-like. Yum. Long, long story short, we somehow removed the glue and paid someone to replaster the walls. Two years later, we painted them.

Unfortunately, if unsurprising, my before pictures are all packed away and I have no idea which box they're in. So I can only give you some of the afters, taken last night:

(eventually we covered the strange flooring with laminate)

(our bedroom doesn't look nearly so fancy in real life, although the lack of dirty laundry strewn on the floor does wonders for it)

(our backyard is suddenly much, much tidier than it was a few short days ago)

Sorry for the boredom... I tend to obsess about this shit. Plus, our house looks way better than I could have imagined.

PS Just got off the phone. Our listing just went up this morning and we already have our first viewing tonight. Woohoo!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

things that make me go GRRRR

[we now interrupt your regularly scheduled frantic decluttering and touch-up painting for the following rant]

The other night I was flipping aimlessly around the boob tube and came across a movie that I felt like watching for a few seconds. It went to one of those non-commercial intermissions where people talk about things that they try to relate to the movie but really it's totally irrelevant filler. It was a self-esteem girls' slumber party sponsored by Dove and a facilitator started talking in this blank white room with a bunch of tween girls around her about negative self-talk and some of the words women use to come down on themselves. The girls immediately came up with ugly, fat and stupid, in that order I'm fairly sure. The facilitator asked what words we could replace those mean words with and one of the first responses was caring.

"Caring," approved the facilitator, "That's a great word for girls." WTF??? Last time I checked, caring was a good word for human beings to aspire to, not just girls.

I flipped away, enraged at the myriad ways we indoctrinate our children with gender.

Then this morning as I was driving to work, I got the celebrity update on the radio. "Tori Spelling has whelped again," the female DJ said. She said the name, the fact that it's the second child between Spelling and her partner Dean somebody, who "Tori stole from Canadian actress Mary Jo Eustice [or something]." The DJ's voice seethed with venom over the word stole, then she went on along the lines of, "Tori is despicable. I'm sorry but I'm still siding with Mary Jo on this one... You're building a career as an actress, handsome husband, and one day you come home to find that Tori Spelling has stolen your husband." She tried to make a joke of it, that it could happen to anyone, but this line of thinking drives me nuts. I'm not saying I would feel very friendly towards someone who slept with my husband, but excuse me - Tori Spelling did not make and break vows till death do them part to Mary Jo. The husband did.

I hate the idea that these scheming nasty women just bewitch these poor hapless men who just get swept innocently away.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

knee deep in (de)clutter

We've been working all weekend and house looks much, much worse.

I'm trying to throw away things that have no real function and aren't easy to store, but it's hard for some things. So, I'm taking a picture.

Behold, one of my binders from grade 9 probably:

high school binder
Just in case you can't read it, a number of my favourite bad pop songs from the time are featured, including "Everybody, everybody," "Wiggle It," and "Do Me." I also declared my love for Johnny Depp in the corner.

And from a couple years earlier, one of my first shop projects from grade 7:
first shop project
Dusty was my first horse. She's been dead for more than 10 years. I felt like I should hold onto this to honour her but our new house has no basement, and it's not like I'm going to hang it on the wall. So a picture is perfect.

Our real estate agent just told us today that the market is neutralizing, becoming less of a seller's market. Now that we've just gone from buyer to seller, this is not a good thing to hear. Why couldn't she have told us this a couple of days ago???

My monthly letter to Swee'pea will need to wait a few days or a week so I do it justice.

Friday, June 06, 2008

We got it!!!!

As of 8:40 this morning, the house is ours, totally firm, done deal.

[insert buyer's remorse here - still waiting for it to hit]

Schedule housewarming for early October when the leaves on all the trees in the backyard are bright colours but it's still (hopefully) warm enough for a barbecue. Or, if not, we'll just hang in front of the enormous living room windows to the backyard and enjoy a wood fire.

Now bring on the cleaning, decluttering, weeding, and lawn-mowing at our current house so we can get it sold asap. We were aiming to get the house on the market by next Friday, but I just looked on my calendar and saw that it's Friday the 13th, and I'm sorry but I just can't do that. So Thursday it is.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


The other buyer didn't sign... they're counter-offering, but this opens up a new window for us to sweeten our offer, which I think we will do.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

pre-SYTYCD wallow

The problem with the whole everything happens for a reason and whatever is meant to be will be line of thinking, especially with regard to real estate, is that it makes me spend an inordinate amount of time and energy seeking and finding significance in the world. Sometimes, everything is a sign to me, everything. These times make me wonder if perhaps I'm bipolar and in a manic phase.

With the last house, I thought it was going to be our destiny to live there. I had asked my coworker how she came to move to her current house, and she had told me a story about how her son, who was two at the time, was sick one day and she stayed home with him. Not being able to get out, she started checking out mls and saw a house that looked nice. Then she decided to pack her son into the car and drive by that house, just to see what it was like, and she thought it looked even nicer. They looked at a few houses, still liked the first one, which was still on the market, and bought it without a second thought.

It just so happened that last February, Swee'pea was sick one day, a few days after I heard this story, and I started checking out the mls listings. And I saw a house that looked nice, and packed Swee'pea into the car and drove over to it, just to see what it was like, and I thought it looked even nicer. Then we looked at the inside of it a couple of times, and that was supposed to be it. We were supposed to buy it without a second thought. But we didn't get it. (And, at the time, I was pretty relieved, and took the relief to mean that it wasn't meant to be our house.)

Right now, I'm feeling some pretty intense regret. This latest house was really something special and for all our obsessing about the fact that it was not walking distance to downtown, I didn't place proper priority on the fact that it IS walking distance to my work, and would therefore support a single-car lifestyle much more easily than a downtown house would. Living downtown would pretty much not support single-car living at all, unless Sugar D found a job here in town. Sadly, this realization didn't come to me until after we found out we didn't get the house.

I'm also intensely regretting not removing the condition of sale this morning. We had such a long closing date that it would have been very low risk (unlike the last house, which had a closing date that pretty much guaranteed at least some bridge financing), especially in this seller's market. We would have had four months to sell our house. Sadly, this realization didn't come to me until after we found out that we didn't get the house, and that it went to another conditional offer, a conditional offer with a reasonably short timeframe to waive the conditions.

When Sugar D came home, I asked him if he was sad about it. He said, "Enh... not really. It just wasn't meant to be."

And I said, "Well I KNOW that but I'm still sad that it wasn't meant to be."

Most of me figures, well we've learned something. The first time we were so gung-ho, we threw caution to the wind. The second time we were too cautious. So the third time we should get it just right, right?

But there's another part of me that believes that if I'm feeling this much intense regret, surely that house is meant to be ours? Surely it means that something will fall through in the other offer and we'll end up getting it, right?

Where a few hours ago, I wanted the possibilities to go away and leave me with some certainty, now, I'm clinging to that thread of hope, still wanting to believe that we'll end up in that house and someday laugh about how it almost never was.

0 for 2

I was all set not to blog about the house offer we made, having seen some bloggers not only make an offer without blogging about it, but have the offer accepted, sell their other house, and MOVE, before blogging about it. I do not believe I'm capable of that kind of withholding. Even though I know it's boring (except to the few people I'm keeping up to date by email), I must blog about this.

We made an offer on another house today. And so did someone else. So once again, we're in a multiple offer situation. Only this time, we're more experienced. After the intense relief of not getting the last place with an unconditional offer, we have learned that we are not comfortable with removing conditions, especially not sale of property conditions. So we didn't.

We still haven't heard officially, but it's not looking good. I believe the sellers are negotiating with the other buyer. If that falls through, we still have a chance, but it's really not looking good.

And I'm feeling a lot more disappointed than I did with the last place. I'm trying to be all fatalistic, but it's not really working. This was a really nice, unique house. All on one floor, fairly open concept, enormous windows out to the most gorgeous backyard you've ever laid eyes on, enough vintagey quirks to keep us from feeling all out of place or like we're living in a model home...

I hate this shit. It feels like dating, like unrequited love all over again. You go to a house and notice all its flaws but then you notice all its special bits and you start to envision your future with all those special bits and even with the flaws and you think it looks like a pretty nice future. Until he never calls or he says it's not you it's me, and you wish you'd never imagined that future in the first place. The problem is, this time around, I'm not really in a position to comfort myself with booze, cigarettes, and bitter poetry. And instead of keeping myself from calling a guy and hanging up (or not), I have to keep myself from going on the virtual home tour - again.

Edited to add: Ugh. We didn't get it, but there are still two glimmers of hope: 1) the buyer doesn't sign the amended agreement by noon tomorrow, and 2) the conditions of the offer don't get fulfilled within a week of signing. I'm not sure which is more frustrating: that we didn't get it or that there's still a glimmer of hope. I hate uncertainty.

Monday, June 02, 2008

go ahead, make my day

I was in a very big grump yesterday. It's possible I was PMS-ing. But don't quote me on that.

Anyways, I was very grumpy when I was at the drop-in centre. Some of the usual volunteers weren't there. Mostly it was people who aren't actually volunteering - they're doing community service as part of a sentence. Don't get me wrong, they're perfectly nice folks... they just aren't choosing to be there. So they commented on the cute girls moving across the street and muttered that one of the regulars was fucked! in a way that suggested italics and an exclamation mark. It just didn't make me feel comfortable, and I started to feel stupid or something. Plus, I still didn't see the book guy or my first (hopefully!) subject, or some other regulars I've made friends with. I even started to consider not coming back. I was THAT grumpy.

For some reason though I started talking to this woman I'd love to photograph, and she's into art too. She seems interested in participating in some kind of photographic collaboration but wants to see some of my prints first. I spoke to her just before I left. Afterwards, as I was getting ready to leave, Sister Christine thanked me. I said, oh no problem.

And she said, "And thank you for talking to N."

"OH!" I said, surprised. "It was... my pleasure!"

And she said, "well that's really good. Thank you."

It totally made my day, that Sister Christine sort of validated me.

And then, as I was going towards the door and saying bye and have a nice week to the regulars, a woman I'd not seen before yesterday made eye contact. She looked a bit rough; between the way she looked and a half conversation I overheard, I suspected she was struggling with addiction. Anyways, she said thank you too! Just for being there, not for serving her anything in particular, but for just contributing.

And that made my day even more.

When I got home, suddenly much, much more optimistic, I worked on my photos during Swee'pea's nap. I'd been putting off working on this particular shot, because I wanted to process it well, and I thought it had potential to be pretty exciting. It's my favourite I think. What do you think?


And it's available at Imagekind (you can click through directly from the image), which just happens to have free ground shipping in the US until June 16. Just make sure to enter the promo code, DAD2008, when you check out.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

signs of the times

It's been a very long time since I had a good ole grammar grump. This one I've been sitting on for more than six weeks, waiting for a time when I remembered AND was sitting near the computer.

When I shot this, there was a man in a yellow hard hat mixing cement in front, and I deliberately avoided looking at him so I wouldn't see the what a weirdo look.

This one doesn't really have any incorrect grammar but it also tickled my funny bone -- from the bathroom of the Nova Scotia inn I stayed at not long ago:

And finally, another treat from Nova Scotia, with many thanks to Mad for telling me about it: