Posts Tagged ‘rambling’

You win. The old-fashioned letter is clearly dead. This was brought home a couple of days ago while driving the kids home from school. Boo announced she had learned a new song, and sang it for us: “I wrote a letter to my love and on the way I dropped it. A little doggy picked it up and put it in his pocket.” I remember learning this one in nursery school. She sang it about 74 times in a row, then paused and announced, “They didn’t make that song quite right, did they? It should be: ‘I wrote a number two my love ….’ because ‘two’ isn’t a letter, it’s a number.”

Maya and I laughed for quite some time, but she wasn’t offended, as we convinced her we were laughing at the absurdity of two being called a letter instead of a number. Then I tried to explain what a letter was. You write something on paper, put it in a envelop and mail it to someone. Really? Why? Isn’t emailing faster? What a bizarre concept – putting a letter in the mail. How quaint.

It got me on a roll, and I told the kids about what it was like back in the stone age, when the phone was attached to the wall and if someone phoned you, you didn’t know who it was until you answered it. And if you didn’t answer it, it just rang and rang until the other person hung up. And that was it. I told them about computers pre-Windows and how you had to remember the name of the program you wanted to run so you could write, “Run …” Better yet, there was the first home computer I ever saw, at a friend’s house, where you loaded a program using an actual tape cassette, so each game took about 20 minutes to load onto the computer. Then there was the typewriter, where if you made a mistake you had to backspace, blot out the wrong letter with white-out, wait until it dried, and then type over it. And to go to the next line, you pushed down the carriage return, physically slammed it back to the start of the line and kept writing. I remember when the electric typewriter was impressive.

The children had a good laugh and I felt old. I can’t figure out when my age is going to catch up to me –¬†when I am going to feel my age. It feels surreal to be telling my children stuff like this, the way my parents told me about their long and serious discussion over buying a caculator, which they eventually decided was worth the investment. Do old people ever really feel old, or do they just feel like the time has suddenly shifted on them when they didn’t quite realize it? Because that is how I feel. I didn’t have this problem when I was in my 20s. That felt like where I was supposed to be.

I asked Maya how old a new teacher of hers was, and she said, “I don’t really know – kinda old, like you.” I felt a wee bit grumpy about this until I took a good look in the mirror. I see lines around my mouth and drooping eyelids. I’m getting what could only be described as small liver spots on my cheekbones. I do look kinda old, which does not match my inner view of myself. Maybe that is why some people go nuts on cosmetic surgery, hair dye, make-up. Maybe they are just trying to get their outside image to match their inside image?

It is amazing where stream-of-consciousness ramblings will take you at 1:30 am …


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Yogamum, the evil thing, turned me onto audible.com, where I found a ‘book’ that is the first two seasons of This American Life. Forty hours! Woo hoo!

The show is heading into its 13th year, which makes for some interesting listening. For one thing, it is just at the very start of web access (at one point, the host does mention that someone has a web site, and gives the address this way: “Go to http …”).

It is an interesting reminder of how quickly my world has changed. Here I am, charging the iPod, watching a DVD of the Dog Whisperer that I rented on-line in a smaller window while I write on my blog in another window. None of which I would have imagined doing a decade ago (makes me half-fearful/half-excited to see how different things will be in the next ten years).

I just listened to show on closeted gay men, who stay married rather than come out, and that really did seem quite old. I know that there are lots of places where being gay is still just utterly shocking, but the descriptions these guys gave of the impossibility of being gay and having a ‘regular’ life seemed so foreign.

When I was a kid, I didn’t think anyone I knew was gay, not that I thought much about it all. At an adult, I can look back and realize that one of my best friends in high school was gay. He moved away in grade 11, so I can’t confirm it now, but I’d bet a lot of money on it. It also occurred to me that one of my favourite babysitters was also gay. I can’t explain it beyond gaydar. It is just obvious in retrospect. Recently, wondering if I could find out what had happened in her life, I googled her and discovered that she’s apparently a respected medical researcher. The only other clue to her life was an obituary notice in which she is mentioned as the ‘life partner’ of the dead man’s daughter.

Given how homosexuality seems so normal to me now, how regular, I have to confess that it seems weird to me that my kids still find it so … titillating. They keep forgetting the gay people we know are gay and are shocked all over again whenever it comes up.

A couple of days ago, Maya made a yellow star – like Jews were forced to wear under the Nazi regime – for a project at school. She commented that she’d rather make one in pink. I told her that they did have pink stars, for people who were put in camps for being homosexual. Then I said, mostly to myself, “I wonder what they did with gay Jews? Did they have to wear both?”

Maya actually said, in a tone of disbelief, “There are no gay Jews.”

After I stopped laughing, I once again listed our gay friends and acquaintances.

It’s 1:40 am. I can’t sleep. I have no idea where I am going with this. I just thought that was really funny. Where do they get this stuff? When I pointed out (once again) a relative is gay, both the older ones said, “But he’s not married to another boy!” No marriage, no homosexuality, I guess. I know a lot of Conservatives and Republicans who would just love that to be true.

Oo, I think I’m actually feeling the possibility of sleep! I’m going to stop rambling about gay people and go to bed.

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Mousy murder

We have mice in our cold storage room in the basement, and in the closets down there. We keep the extra dog food in a storage closet along with tons of other crap, and when I took out my winter boots, they were filled with dog food. They also got inside the gift I was keeping for my 5-year-old nephew – a set of kid-sized tools from Home Depot and filled his little tool belt up with food too. That made for a more amusing gift-opening experience. He was so happy he has his very own level and chalk line, he didn’t care.

So J did the manly thing when we found the boot full of food and set out traps in the cold storage room. The mouse find their way in every fall, no matter how many little cracks J stops up with steel wool. The kids refuse to go in when this happens, making it easier for me to hide gifts from them.

But today, our remaining cat, Roxy, got into the room unsupervised. Predator that she is, she found one trap under the shelving and dragged it out to the middle of the basement. Traps themselves aren’t so easy for a cat to carry, but when there is a nice, plump mouse in it, it’s a snap – so to speak.

Maya found the result, which is a bad thing. She came screaming upstairs, raving about “blood everywhere”! I didn’t panic. Maya exaggerates. A lot. Sure enough, there was a dead mouse, caught in the trap only by maybe a lip (eeewwww!), but I think Roxy did it a favour and finished it off. The ‘blood everywhere’ turned out to be a smear on the trap itself.

The positive side to all this is that Maya has now announced she will never again go down to the basement and since that is where the TV is, maybe she’ll never watch TV again. I wouldn’t count on it, but then again, I wouldn’t put it past her, either. When she was four years old and we lived in a different house, I flushed a wasp that got inside down the toilet on the main level and she refused to use that toilet ever after, convinced the wasp was going to swim back up and bite her on the butt. That’s only mildly insane when you are four, although she did irritatingly keep it up the whole summer until we moved. But what pushes it over the top is that this summer, she remembered the incident and now refuses to use the ground floor toilet in this house, which has basically the same lay-out.

I totally understand why people chose not to have children, given that they suck very life out of you for 20 years or so, but I do feel a little sorry for those who live the stable, expected life that comes from not living with these unpredictable, insane little creatures. Like, for example, an 11 year old who refuses must go upstairs to pee because her mother flushed a wasp down the main floor toilet in another house 7 years ago. I giggle every time I think of it.

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