Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Goose

Okay, so I haven't updated in forever. I know. Bad blogger. I've been seriously preoccupied. With what? Oh, I'll get into that later. Not today, but soon.

I was telling the Dude today about my high school years. He already knows all about it, but I brought up this goose I used to carry around with me in my OAC year (That's grade 13 to an non-Ontario folks, though it's a thing of the past now).

See, it might have been a duck, but I called it a goose. I was called "duck" by a number of boys in school for years, so I was more inclined to believe it was actually a goose. It went on for years, the teasing, though stopped for reasons that still remain vague to me. There may have been a variety of reasons.

In grade 11, my grandfather died and my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer within weeks of each other. In grade 12, my mother died and I moved in with my father at grandma's house, where I lived with his substance abuse problems full time and was randomly kicked out several times. Then in OAC we moved out of grandma's and she died soon after. Around this point I was dumped for the first time. And that's just the stuff I can write publicly about. It was a rough three years.

When I attended a friend's birthday party in OAC, she was given this stuffed goose and I for some reason felt drawn to it. My friend was good. She pretty much allowed me to adopt the thing when parting with it at the end of the night seemed to upset me.

This goose became a sort of talisman/security blanket/compulsion with me. I had to carry it around. I took it to class. He sat upright on the corner of my desk. He came with me to lunch. He was in my hands on the bus. I never left for school without it.

Did I lose my mind a bit? I wouldn't say that. But I think something in me was broken, damaged and in need of comforting. A little regression maybe. People questioned me about the thing, yes, but actually, I don't remember getting too much flack for it. Teachers looked the other way after laughing weakly at my confusing behaviour. Popular kids who had been hurtful to me years earlier said nothing. My friends accepted the goose as par for the course and life went on.

I don't know why I brought it up today, but my oldest friend posted this picture on Facebook of me and another friend of ours in high school, and there was the goose.

I showed it to the Dude, who I think never fully believed me. Photo evidence of a burgeoning teenage breakdown, held in check from a benign addiction to a stuffed animal. We do what we can to stay okay. Some kids would have started drinking. Others would have done drugs. I carted a goose around. I'm comfortable with that.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Climate Change

I have been in an absolute fog lately. I've been forgetful, scatterbrained and somewhat mentally absent in general. More so than usual. I have a to-do list that is growing and I've been neglecting things like household chores and my novel. 

This is a roundabout way of saying I've been feeling preoccupied. Actually, I'm still in bed as I write this. It's my day off and I do have things I could be doing and yet here I am. My kittens are doing rounds of battle on the bed at my feet. I hear the occasional growl over my laptop screen. Now? They're taking five to groom themselves. I feel like they are more productive than I am.

Yesterday was that crazy downpour. Weather has gotten so extreme as of late. I remember winters where the snow was up to my knees. Summers were hot and humid, but not nearly so painful. I don't remember those walls of heat and the feeling of literally being cooked just from being outside. Rain was more frequent and it would last most of the day and drizzle down, not come after periods of drought and then pour in buckets for an hour straight and cause floods.

Obviously climate change is happening. We can see it all around us. Our winters are getting milder and our summers unbearably hot. And yet for some reason all the leaders want to do is ignore it. I can't help but notice that those most in denial about this problem have something to gain financially. And those who have power to do something but opt not to are going to be dead by the time it really gets bad. To hell with the rest of us, I guess.

I wonder about the life a future child of mine would live. Going out to play in the summer is, frankly, agony. It's too damn hot. It's just not safe to be running around out there in humidity that feels like 40 degrees and a sun that can scorch your skin to a crisp. And winter? Well, sledding down hills is out, if the recent past is a sign of the future. No snow. And ice skating outdoors? Not cold enough. The only good thing would be not having to wear a snowsuit under the Halloween costume.

I wish this was more of a priority over "growth". Growth is all well and good, but not if the planet has gone to shit. Any time I hear people prioritize the economy over the environment, all I can think of is a bleak and increasingly humid future and the death of outdoor ice hockey.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Garden Update

Gardening is expensive. The Dude (Mostly the Dude) spent $300 in June on plants and mulch and grass seed. And that's on top of how much we spent in May to get it all started. I've capped my husband off of buying anymore backyard related items. I admire his exuberance, but would enjoy more dollars in our bank account. That said, the garden's looking pretty darn good, minus the suffering grass.

The tomatoes have finally started to grow, though I can't say much about the peppers. Nary a pepper to be seen, and the zucchini seems to have issues. They grow and then stop and then rot. I have to look into this. Last year they were effortlessly easy.

Most people who see the garden or hear about our efforts then ask about how long we're planning to stay. Well, a few years probably. We've replaced the lighting fixtures in the living room and kitchen because they were shoddy, icky and ugly. Of course when we moved in, we went to the trouble of painting the place. We tore up the crappy stairwell carpet and put down vinyl flooring. Even if you don't own, you can still make your place a home.

For the first time in a long time, I just want to stay in one place and nest. 

On a completely different note, I've been exhausted lately. I'm going to have a nap.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Oh, Canada...

Oh, Canada Day weekend. You came, you saw, you left. And I've managed to go a week without updating.

I made no overt patriotic displays this year. For the first time I feel a lack of pride in my country. I loathe our government. I mean, frankly, most Canadians do. Conservative support has fallen below 30%. They are allowed to do whatever they want. They had just under 40% of the vote and got all the marbles and they've been systematically tearing down my home ever since.

Our country is being plagued with unnecessary expenses such as, for example, a temporary crystal roof for the House of Commons, even though they're cutting down on meat inspection. I mean, who cares what Parliament looks like for a few years during renovations in light of the fact shoddy inspection of our food could kill us. A building, a symbol, a thing is being given more priority than people.

Speaking of shafting people, they want to double-bunk prisoners. Worst idea ever. Never mind the fact that'll only harden these people further before they're released in society due to the more violent living conditions, and the drug dealers going off house arrest and going into prison instead will get their free education in, well, drug dealing. Ideology over good sense, logic and evidence.

And this whole pipeline crap? Seriously? Beyond the lurking environmental disaster that is pretty much guaranteed, who would profit from this? Well, the simple answer is not the Canadian people. And since the answer is not us, why is this even a thing, especially since it has the power to destroy our land?

Don't even get me started on those bloody jets.

And the omni-bus budget bill. AND the omni-bus crime bill, both of which were total sideswipes at Canadian values and proper procedure. And this from the man who prorogued government twice to avoid accountability after campaigning on being accountable. He is the most sinister prime minister we've ever had. I have no doubt he'll go down in history as the most polarizing and destructive.

I can't count all the lies this party has told, I weep when I think what poor hands we're in for the next few years, I am afraid of what will happen to my country, a place I no longer feel all that proud of. We're not number one in anything. Real quality of life is lowering. Opportunities are few. Life is more expensive.

I wish we were a more passionate people. One of the worst things is the fact so few people even seem to care.