Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Question of Loyalty

I am astounded and flattered this morning. Eventhough most of you lurk quietly on this site, I have a little tracking device that registers your activity. Now, before y'all get freaked out by that statement, this is a benign thing that tracks hits to my site: what city you're from; how long you stay; how you got there (i.e., did you do a google search on some related word and my site name caught your eye so you followed it down the rabbit hole only to discover I've used the search word as "tongue in cheek".), etc.

Now this little blurry image tells me that a number of you (almost 20) check in from time to time, but 7 of you are looking often. Almost like a little legion of angels keeping checking out what I'm up to. Do you have any idea how that might make someone feel? Did you know you could have such a positive affect just by stopping by? I scarcely knew myself, until now.

Let me make this very clear...I don't know who you people are. But there are a precious few of you who return again and again. To you, I make this solomn promise...I will try to write more often. Let's call it a little spring resolution. And if you ever feel like leaving a message...drop me a line.

Thanks for reading. And thanks for making this blog a regular part of your week. And thanks for watching my back.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

How Fortunate am I

A while ago I looked at something I haven’t looked at in years.

This little suede pouch will be fondly remembered by Veronica. We each bought one at The Bay in London’s Westmount Shopping Mall when we were 13 or 14. I don’t remember what they cost, but to me it’s just priceless and I’m so glad that I have kept it. What you are looking at is not just a suede pouch, but a bag of treasures. Anyone looking at the assortment of oddments would think to themselves, what a load of rubbish, but to me each thing in this trove is a symbolic memory wrapped in wonder.

There is the little piper ornament from my first birthday cake. He is my first and most enduring piece of classical sculpture.

There are Tiffen Tokens that represent all manner of coins and commerce.

There is a bottle full of potpourri which inspired many love philtres and potions. Once upon a time, it also smelled quite nice.

There is a “golden” headband ala Oliva Newton-John (this was the ‘80s folks) that I used to wear like a crown when I wanted to feel regal. You can see part of it in the little piper picture.

And there was this:

It is a little compact. I suspect it once held powder, and when my grandmother gave it to me, it was empty, but not for long. I filled it with cut-glass gems from dilapidated costume jewellery and four little pieces of paper.

Fortunes saved from numerous trips to the local Chinese food restaurant when I was a teen. Now, many of you will know that I am, deep down, a superstitious sort of person. I believe in Fate and Providence and a pantheon of gods and goddesses that watch over us as we stride and blunder our way through our confusing and rewarding lives. And what did they say?

1. You are protected by silent love and friendship.
2. Wisdom is knowing when to change your mind.
3. You will live long and enjoy life.
4. Your destiny is to be famous.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I think every once in a while I think we all need to stop and remember how blessed we are, even when or especially when we are beset with adversity, troubles and trials (which I am currently not, unless you count the looming tax time…which I don’t).

When my marriage broke up I felt like I was in the darkest moment of my life…and perhaps I was. But the demise of that relationship shed light on the many, many people who were waiting to help lift me up and remind me that the sun still shone and my life would get better. And not just a few people came to help me out in their own ways, but a crowd of people. All that silent love and friendship changed my life forever and I appreciate every one of you who helped me regain my feet and my self respect.

The wisdom of knowing when to change your mind is something we all struggle with. How do you know you are making the right decision? Only through trial and error and let’s face it, when you are already in your trails, a little change can do a lot of good.

Nice to think I’ll live a long life, but at the rate I’m living it, I may feel a bit like Methuselah by the time I’m 40. Wait, let me amend that, I feel like Methuselah now!

And if my destiny is to be famous, I hope the rest of the Roadies are coming along for that ride too! We already are famous…locally. My hope is that I can remain on the side of famous and stay away from infamy!

Strange eh, that something from the end of my childhood could resonate so much that I am again infused with inspiration. I think there is no little magic laced into this bag. It carries a great deal of power and I am fortunate enough to recognize it and remember.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Still Certifiable

I finally received my letter from the Editors' Association of Canada regarding my testing from last November. Out of the three tests I wrote, I received certification for the Elementary Knowledge of the Publishing Process. Ironically, this was the one I knew the least about (not working in a Publishing House).

However, this does not mean that I am a sub-standard editor on the Proofreading or Copy Editing fronts. Because I decided to go for all three tests at once, I ran the risk of having difficulty separating the basic functions of the Proofreader from those of the Copy Editor as these are hats I wear all the time and functions that I serve on a daily basis. This is a unique brand of full-service editing that I offer my company and as such, I find it difficult to place boundaries on the type of editing I am requested to do. Very good for the end product; not so good for the testing criteria.

So, I am partially certified. I know how to publish all kinds of documents. And I'm a first rate editor. I just need retesting on how to be a proofreader only or a copy editor only.

In a way, I'm quite happy that I will need to approach this testing again. It serves me well to have to s-l-o-w d-o-w-n and concentrate from time to time. And not everything should come easily.

So, all that said, I'm still certifiable. But you all knew that anyway!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Snow is a 4-Letter Word

E-nuff Already!

Yesterday was a snow day. No kidding. 25-30 cm of snow has a way of really grinding things to a halt. My day started with a 6:30 am call from the nanny who was staring down her 150 ft laneway at a wall of snow left by the highway snowploughs. I’m sure it was taller than she is. So, she was stranded with the car seats in her car…not that I could go anywhere because there was 5 feet of snow for me to plough myself.

The prospect of a snow day was ok. The kids were remarkably good. I asked them to help each other out and not get into any trouble as I pulled on my working coat and toque and mitts and stepped out into 30 cm of snow (in my little booties) and slogged my way to the barn, forced open the door because I didn’t think to bring the shovel from the back door and then went to get the power cord because, yep, I forgot that too.

Then I spent a good 5 minutes just trying to get the thing started. I did eventually realize that the key must be in the on position. (I don’t use this thing enough to actually get the hang of it.) Once it fired up in all its smoke-belching glory, I was flying down the lane way, across the ice and down on my ass…where I thanked the man (and I know it was a man) who decided that when your hands come off the throttle and the auger, the machine should stop moving in whichever direction it was going (which was backwards at the time). But I am stiff and sore even after going to physio.

The snow was powdery. Good for not working the machine too hard. Bad for the poor bugger working it (me) because I needed to pile the snow on the side of the driveway where the wind was coming from and a lot of it ended up back on me.

It only took me 40 minutes or so. Not too bad. The kids didn’t spill anything or empty the contents of the playroom (or the fridge) into the living room, and they were still wearing their clothes. Good times.

I knit, prodigiously while the girls played. Got the front of a cabled vest done. (I’ll take pictures later when I can bend over to get the camera bag off the floor without it hurting.) The kids played hard and were more than ready for bed and I (having knit myself out of wanting to knit anymore…mark your calendars) looked through some pattern books and thought about other things I might knit someday.

This morning, I discovered that the silent, stealth snowplough (the one that comes in the night when you are in a comma from digging out the day before) was by and filled in the walkway and driveway again.

So, pissed off at 7 am, I pulled on my clothes, brushed my hair and stuck on my toque and headed for the barn to do it all over again. This time, I did manage to grab the power cord on my way by.
However, the planets and stars of fate obviously moved during the night and even with the key in the on position, I wasn’t able to get the bastard to light up. Even when the starter caught on fire (a bit, briefly) I just kept on keeping on…to no avail.

Now, if I hadn’t pushed the friggin’ thing into the laneway before trying to start it, I wouldn’t have had to coerce it back into the barn. Yes, there is a pull-cord on it. Yes, I gave it a cursory tug. No, I am not strong enough to make the machine go in this manner. Even with the lawnmower, with which I have a slightly better relationship, I cannot pull that cord more than 3 times without slipping a disk. The snowblower is like a crusty big brother to the lawnmower. No luck. So, sweating already and having gotten nothing for it, I headed for one of my favourite tools: the shovel. I detest shovelling snow. So much do I hate it, I chipped out enough to get my car out of the laneway and left the postie to climb a mountain snow if she wanted to deliver my bills.
Then I carefully opened my car door, so as not to deposit a 2-foot chunk of snow on the car seat and started the car.

After finishing my ablutions inside and fare-thee-welling the kids, coffee in hand, I moved off to excavate the car from the pile of snow that had built up during the day yesterday. Yes, I should have cleaned it off when the snow blowing gods were with me, but I didn’t. So I cleared the hood and the windshield and as much of the roof as I could (it was heavy) and got in to hopefully reach speeds that would allow the rest of the icebergs resident on the car’s roof to calf and fall to their death. I find it’s an excellent way to keep tailgaters back. I looked back into my laneway and almost laughed at the cozy corral of snow I’d left behind where my car had been.

I want to know what happens to people's driving skills when snow falls. Can anyone tell me? Yes, sure, all the merging and right hand turn lanes that were their 2 days ago are gone, and we can’t see around corners very well, but you know damn well when you are not going to clear an intersection before the light turns red! So stop pulling out when you know you shouldn’t. And you, over there, the one who likes to break every time it looks like you’re going over a patch of ice. Quit giving me a freaking heart attack. It’s not the first time you’ve seen snow and there have been much worse days on the road. And while I’m rampaging about people's driving skills…the stop line at intersections, you know, if you stop at it, you can still see to turn left and let the poor bastard (me) who is trying to turn right actually see the cars that are coming before half of my car is in the active lane (where the cars are).

By the time I got to work, I was in such a mood I told people there were only foul words to describe how I felt.

And what did I learn today? Environment Canada has another winter storm warning out for the weekend. Between 30 and 50 cm of snow. Yesterday was a freaking joke compared to that!

When will it end?!

Hmm, seeing as blogging is free and therapy is not (by a long shot) I think I feel better now. Just don’t ask me how I feel on Sunday, OK?