Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Strong Swimmer

My father... father...

My father is a bullshit artist of the highest order.

I, as the only child of my broken family, have had the pleasure and privilege of being the only recipent of the teachings of the two most polar opposite people in the world. My parents are so unalike, that to compare them accurately would take more time and space on this thing than I'd prefer. They're great, though...both of them. My mother lives in a comfortable suburban home with her husband and my father lives in a house he built himself outside of town with his 7 dogs. My mother took me to Shakespeare in the Park, my father took me to Stampede wrestling. My mother picks me up clothes she thinks I'll like from Jacob, my father gives me gift certificates for Mark's Work Warehouse. My mother and I go out for lunch, my father kills chickens for me. I'm thankful...because of them, I've become terribly indesicive.

I figure the only way I could possibly describe them is in D&D terms...but a/ I'd have to think about that and consult my manual and b/ it's too geeky and I'd end up embarrassed and deleting this section of my little essay here.

My father, getting back to the bullshit artist part, tells his coworkers stories about me. He tells them stories about my childhood that he's made up. He tells them stories of abuse and neglect with a straight face as if every parent throws their child into a lake in a sack to teach them to swim.

As far as I've heard:

- I've been (as I said just now) put into a burlap sack with a rock and tossed into a river/lake to learn to swim (which lead to the joke "she used to have a ton of brothers and sisters...she's just a strong swimmer").

- I've been slowly working up my resistance to Round Up (the weed killer) by injesting small doses since I was a toddler.

- I've suffered a mysterious and unspeakable accident which caused months of hospitalization and my mouth to be wired shut. "She writes on her pad that she's okay, but her eyes tell a different story."

- I was often locked in a closet because my parents couldn't afford babysitters.

- And, a recent and personal favourite, I was put into a school for mentally challenged kids and it took 2 years before they figured out I didn't belong there.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Did you know...

dr seuss war comics
Originally uploaded by himbly.
that Dr. Seuss used to be a political cartoonist?

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Old ladies and grumpy men...

My grandmother was very old today.

She's doing well...better than I expected. As a matter of fact, she was prancing around the hospital room like she'd never uttered the words, 'can you believing I suffer so much?' Just, after my uncle left, she sat down, held my hand and we both knew that she was not the same and that she had decisions to make (although, sometimes after 10 minutes with my uncle, ~I~ don't feel the same and want to hold someone's hand).

She puts up so many appearances and, frankly, can get so ridiculous that I forget that she ~does~ understand. We didn't talk much, but I knew she'd been thinking about the rest of her life and the lives of her family after she's gone. And she was squeezing my hand tight. It's been a long time since I've felt as though she saw something in me she liked and trusted me enough to be honest. We discussed living arrangements for her when she gets home, we discussed the death of my grandfather 24 years ago, we discussed her needs and their impact on the family...but we didn't discuss any of those things for long because her aphasia (and probably just old age) affects her comprehension and ability to say what she wants to say. So she has to stop. It must be a drag.

Anyway...she's healthy as a horse, she just has a bum knee now. So that's good news ('cept for the knee) and I'll knock wood.

Whoa! Dude...4 posts on my family and all my grandmother's got is arthritis? Enough of that.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Bad Daughter

I feel bad for writing what I did. My mum is wicked...she's just a little stressed out right now.

Turns out my grandmother has just has arthritis and she couldn't walk because her leg swelled up badly. I saw her yesterday and she was in good spirits. She should be home in a few days after they give her some physio and see how her new medication works.

More later...

Monday, September 13, 2004

I love you, Mommy...

...but you're being a passive/aggressive micro-managing martyr.

(so nice that she'll never see this)

Sunday, September 12, 2004

"Your grandmother's in the hospital....

....but she's okay."

Well...good morning. Woke up to my mother phoning telling me my grandmother's in the hospital. The good news is that it's probably nothing. Her leg felt numb and she can't walk on it, but they put her on blood thinners and she should be out today. I, however, snapped to attention and couldn't get back to sleep.

We've been lucky with that lil' ol' Polish tank. She's a toughie. One of the more interesting characters in my life, and I've got the pleasure to be related to her. Remindeds me of Scarlett O'Hara...started off a princess, lost it all during the war and did everything she could so that she would regain her 'regal' status. According to her, Poland pre-1939 had cotton candy trees and chocolate rivers. She lived in a city, Przemysl, which at that time was located more centrally in Poland. So, by her tell, the Germans and the Russians often took turns occupying. My grandfather was gone with the Polish army and she was left to care for my two year old uncle her mother, and mother-in-law. She was about 22.

She's given me so many stories over the years. How russian officers often lived in her house, how she worked for the germans in labour camps, how people went shopping and then were unable to get back because one of the two warring sides will have advanced enough to cut them off from their homes. Closer to the end of the war, she and her son were herded out of work and onto a train. A day or two later, they were in Germany and she never saw Poland or her family again. She lived in a bombed house, helped in a soup kitchen, worked for a barroness, etc...and then, through letters written to family, found her husband after 8 years. He took her to Scotland and that's where my mother and the rest of her siblings were born.

Yet...this woman calls my mother to work the VCR. She never learned how to lock a door until my grandfather died (I once told her that might have helped in preventing the Russians storming into her house...hehe). She consistantly opens the milk carton on the wrong side. And she can be ~mean~. She rules as "The Matriarch" of our family and is extremely comfortable with that title. "I'm the grandma", she tells you if you protest ~anything~.

Anyway...she's 88 and as healthy as one could hope for...knock wood. I'm pretty sure this leg thing will pass and she'll be back chastizing me and my cousins for not being married yet in no time. I love that old battleaxe.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

5 days in a leaky boat...

Lots has happened in my brain since the last post (went to crazyville...stayed for a few days, caught the shows, saw the sights ...back in sanetown now). Feeling much better, thank you. Trying to think of what to write about next, but frankly, all I can think about today is the fact that my friend Sandra made ketchup on the weekend and that I can practically taste the deliciousness. Combing the web for recipes that don't include sterilized mason jars because that may be beyond my present abilities. Will be back with more soon enough.

It's good to feel like myself again.

PS. Don't you just LOVE Magic: The Gathering? (Don't you just, Rjak?) Some girls buy clothes to make themselves feel pretty...I buy a Fifth Dawn booster pack. Talking to the clerks at the geekstores about the deck you want to build can ~really~ make a girl feel special. And...when you tap that card that makes your boyfriend curse your very's a very specific kind of pride you feel.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Friday, September 03, 2004

Hi Sad Goat...This is Helen from beautiful downtown Barnwell....

I was listening to Richardson's Roundup this afternoon...well...The Roundup (enjoy your new pursuit, Mr. Richardson). They kept mentioning 'The Proust Questionaire'. So, I looked it up. Evidently, Marcel Proust (July 1871 - November 1922) was asked to fill out a questionaire at two points of his life...once when he was 13 and attending the birthday party of Antoinette Felix-Faure (which went as follows):


What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
- To be separated from Mama

Where would you like to live?
- In the country of the Ideal, or, rather, of my ideal

What is your idea of earthly happiness?
- To live in contact with those I love, with the beauties of nature, with a quantity of books and music, and to have, within easy distance, a French theater

To what faults do you feel most indulgent?
- To a life deprived of the works of genius

Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?
- Those of romance and poetry, those who are the expression of an ideal rather than an imitation of the real

Who are your favorite characters in history?
- A mixture of Socrates, Pericles, Mahomet, Pliny the Younger and Augustin Thierry

Who are your favorite heroines in real life?
- A woman of genius leading an ordinary life

Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?
- Those who are more than women without ceasing to be womanly; everything that is tender, poetic, pure and in every way beautiful

Your favorite painter?
- Meissonier

Your favorite musician?
- Mozart

The quality you most admire in a man?
- Intelligence, moral sense

The quality you most admire in a woman?
- Gentleness, naturalness, intelligence

Your favorite virtue?
- All virtues that are not limited to a sect: the universal virtues

Your favorite occupation?
- Reading, dreaming, and writing verse

Who would you have liked to be?
- Since the question does not arise, I prefer not to answer it. All the same, I should very much have liked to be Pliny the Younger.


"A woman of genius leading an ordinary life"
Shit damn...he would have ~loved~ me....hehehehehe

Seriously, though....did ~all~ educated thirteen year olds of that era answer questions like that? I mean...hell. Okay, I'm sure not ~all~ of them did, but I'm 31 and have answered dozens of questionaires in my lifetime. I'm not fantastically educated or anything...but I have a difficult time when asked what my favourite food is. years later, our hero is at another social event and asked to fill out a similar questionaire:


Your most marked characteristic?
- A craving to be loved, or, to be more precise, to be caressed and spoiled rather than to be admired

The quality you most like in a man?
- Feminine charm

The quality you most like in a woman?
- A man's virtues, and frankness in friendship

What do you most value in your friends?
- Tenderness - provided they possess a physical charm which makes their tenderness worth having

What is your principle defect?
- Lack of understanding; weakness of will

What is your favorite occupation?
- Loving

What is your dream of happiness?
- Not, I fear, a very elevated one. I really haven't the courage to say what it is, and if I did I should probably destroy it by the mere fact of putting it into words.

What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes?
- Never to have known my mother or my grandmother

What would you like to be?
- Myself - as those whom I admire would like me to be

In what country would you like to live?
- One where certain things that I want would be realized - and where feelings of tenderness would always be reciprocated.

What is your favorite color?
- Beauty lies not in colors but in thier harmony

What is your favorite flower?
- Hers - but apart from that, all

What is your favorite bird?
- The swallow

Who are your favorite prose writers?
- At the moment, Anatole France and Pierre Loti

Who are your favoite poets?
- Baudelaire and Alfred de Vigny

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
- Hamlet

Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?
- Phedre (crossed out) Berenice

Who are your favorite composers?
- Beethoven, Wagner, Shuhmann

Who are your favorite painters?
- Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt

Who are your heroes in real life?
- Monsieur Darlu, Monsieur Boutroux (professors)

Who are your favorite heroines of history?
- Cleopatra

What are your favorite names?
- I only have one at a time

What is it you most dislike?
- My own worst qualities

What historical figures do you most despise?
- I am not sufficiently educated to say

What event in military history do you most admire?
- My own enlistment as a volunteer!

What reform do you most admire?
- (no response)

What natural gift would you most like to possess?
- Will power and irresistible charm

How would you like to die?
- A better man than I am, and much beloved

What is your present state of mind?
- Annoyance at having to think about myself in order to answer these questions

To what faults do you feel most indulgent?
- Those that I understand

What is your motto?
- I prefer not to say, for fear it might bring me bad luck.


I think I ought to start reading Proust...

(though...he did like Wagner...hmm)

Weird...I am ~so~ shy.

I am completely uncomfortable with posting. Hopefully, this will melt away and I can rant freely and with abandon....but at the moment, I'm stuck. Not sure what to say or how to say it when i do.

*tap tap tap*


So...I suppose one just jumps in and hopes for the best.

But...then again, I could congratulate myself for going this far and try again later.

Think I'll do that.

Atta girl. Now go lay down.

Thursday, September 02, 2004



uh...not sure what I'm doing here. I think I've got an awful lot of nerve coming in here all, 'I want a blog' and stuff. I am, so I'll give it a go. I can't promise anything.

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