You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2010.

Hummm.. so there may or may not be a kinda-sorta started album floating around out there in the vast sea of “where the heck did those files go?”

If so, ignore them…I’m going to try to get the photos up here.

Another reason to date a photographer: you think your iPhone images are brilliant. A reason to smack a photographer in the face: they criticize an iPhone photo when you know it’s not genius, even though the composition is pretty good for someone who doesn’t have a zoom, but the rasterization looks like fairy land.

I’m about to try to put some photos on here… let’s see how it goes!

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1) Unpack – I’ve hidden all kinds of fun little gems in my boxes!

2) Figure out something to paint/or otherwise modify on the big white wall of the garage

3) have a bath

4) let the dogs out the back door

5) pull weeds

6) plant seeds

7) have a garage sale

8) put my tile in the back yard

9) Have people over for Hot-Pot

10) trim the hedges

…. domestic or WHAT?

On April 26th. 2009, my dad, from whom I had been pretty distant for about a hundred reasons (but he can save most of that for his own blog ūüėČ ) for more than ten years, came to visit, kind of out of the blue. Not one week into the desperate attempt at a life-size shift, he popped in out of nowhere. He was content to accompany me on my “tasks of the day”, like helping me to shove mentos into Diet Pepsi bottles (that totally works, btw), and to walk around Kensington, and even having a beer with me, which was absolutely, stunningly unprecedented.¬†The whole time he was here, I thought that he must, that he had to sense my desperation, my absolute and abject failure. And that he had finally cracked, or that he was dying… why else would be break the ice that had covered our relationship for over a decade?

What he said to me, for the first time in my life that¬†I really remember (not that he hadn’t said it before – but this one was like a nail-gun to the forehead), was “Christa, you make me so proud to be your father. You have never failed to make me proud.” and then he let a happy/proud tear or two out.

Instantly, a whole dam of feelings for this man came crashing back through my life, breaking up barriers, like in a ridiculous CGI movie in slow-mo where you see giant logs from break-walls flying at your face on-screen¬†… things I had been blocking for years. Also, it was just absolutely what I needed to hear at that moment.

Let me explain: Mumsy has always , unfailing been proud of me. We are as close as sisters – even without talking a lot to each other, I love that woman as if she were my¬†daughter. But the special thing about hearing those words from Dad was that they didn’t have any weight; nothing at all tied to them. Like balloons you just let go. Mumsy is proud of me, and I have tried so hard to live up to the expectations… but this one comment from dad came from left-field. Smack-on to the left side of my face… really! It came from a man who hadn’t been available while I made¬†the transition from child to adult;¬†hadn’t been available for the talks about where my life was going. I had, during my ill-fated engagement, been unsure if he would be allowed to make it to the wedding (which can also be explained on another blog).

Instead, he popped in, April 2009, got the refresher course on my disaster of a life…. and he was… *wait for it* ….. still proud of me. It completely blew my mind.

In a time when I was so awfully low and barren, he came back, unexpectedly, and instead of being a burden, or another labyrinth to negotiate,¬†he scooped me up gave me the figurative hug that I didn’t even know I had been craving so very badly. I felt his love, almost physically, wrapping me up and assuring me that it was going to be ok. I wasn’t sure, before that, that he loved me… it had been a bit of a blank slate since much before my parent’s divorce. Back then, things were going on that I had no way of comprehending, AND I had my own teenage angst to wallow through. Thanks alot, 1990’s, for the Sesame Street ridiculousness!

Since his first visit, we have carefully and earnestly worked at getting our own lives, and our own relationship back on track. I have re-connected with a side of the family which I had, in anger, pretty much thrown in the trash-bin.

When my dad’s dad died, I was there, with him and my brother, for the funeral, and went back for the burial just last month. I had a lot of family history to catch up on, but doing it brought back memories that were buried so deep that my former depression had nothing on the blackness. I got to revel in the beauty of my now-teenage cousins, and meet the single cousin like me – born just one month after me, who I had never met until he casually stepped out of a van.

Now, when I talk to my family, on either side, I FEEL them as family. I don’t know why I didn’t before.

As for Dad? I am proud to say that he is my dad, and he is proud to call me his daughter. I love him in a way that I never had, before – I love my head on his shoulder, and I love seeing myself in him, and vice-versa. He is my friend, and I am so very, very happy when I get texts from him… ūüėČ I am so incredibly proud that he is letting go of his “stuff” and being the person he was meant to be… partially because it lets me do the same.

Win-win!

Happy belated Father’s Day, Daddi-o! I love you!

xox

Every summer I get the urge to actually DO all of the little things that I have wanted to do all year long.

This year, it’s been spurred on by an impending move (for which, in true Christa style, I am not packed), and the fun decorating and designing challenges coming up… most specifically in the bathroom and garden. More so the garden.

I know that I’m not going to have a lush, verdant garden this year – mid-July is a bit late to start planting, and it’s full of a particularly nasty and clingy weed¬†– but I have started collecting things for the tropical paradise in my head. Citronella candles for the patio (which doesn’t exist), solar-powered lights for the walkway (which doesn’t exist), a little cement winged pig to peak out whimsically from the¬†leafy underbrush (which doesn’t exist).

Somewhere, in the things I have packed, there is a little shoebox hiding, full of little baby-food sized jars of seeds my Granny had meticulously cultivated from her garden over the years… jars with names on them in her tidy cursive handwriting (before she got too shaky) that I still have to Google to figure out what the plant is. I can’t wait to bust it open; I’ve been waiting for years, sitting in my basement suite, brimming with life and creativity that I can’t use (see an analogy, anyone?).

OK, so that was a garden tangent. Long story short, I will rip out the weeds, turn over the soil, litter it with some wild seed, and then, in the fall, raze the soil with a weed-killer so that I can plant and sink my hands into the freshly freed earth in the spring…

Remember how I started this blog? ”

Every summer I get the urge to actually DO all of the little things that I have wanted to do all year long.”

I had a point.

I have a little, adorable, recycled paper notebook with very cute graphics of line-drawn trees and burgeoning plants that the world has never, and likely never will see, on the front of it. It has been sitting in my drawer, waiting for a suitable purpose. Do you know that feeling? Those blank pages just looking beatifically out at you, daring you to mar them with something appropriate? Something that will give this little, designed object a significant purpose? Something that you will treasure in time, or that, at the very least, will fulfill the life expectancy of the book?

Actually, it came in a three-pack. One is a grocery list book – fun, because I can look back and see what meals I’ve created. It also kind of serves as a recipe index… (“what was it that I put in that Tandoori Halibut again?”). The middle sister of the books is a haiku book, which is, sadly, being ignored, but has some fun little illustrations and haikus that pop into my head.

This last little book, the golden child, is a list.

Allow me to pop back in time, to explain the list a little bit, as well as my opening line, “Every summer I get the urge to actually DO all of the little things that I have wanted to do all year long.”

Last year, on April 21st, I spent an evening making big, poster-board monthly calendars. I got elaborate with doodling on them in coloured markers РI made a real event of it.

Why?

Because I was dying. Not litterally dying, but I was poisoning myself. I could feel the walls coming in closer and closer in this basement. The ceiling hovered just inches above my head. I couldn’t stretch, I couldn’t breathe, and I couldn’t leave. I was unbalanced, and I could feel it, even in the way I walked. I was full of one thing, and one thing only, really – despair.

Javier, who I loved more intensely than anything, with whom I went through things I couldn’t describe to you, had been in Barcelona since October, and I had missed him every single moment. He was my soul-mate, and he was off, living the life I wanted to have without me (even though we tried to speak every day), getting a Masters¬† in Architecture that I will probably never be able to afford. My family was all back in BC, including my wonderful Granny, who finally gave up her house to a young family and went to hang out with Mumsy and Neil. I had finished school… my few girlfriends had moved away to various places across Canada, and I was stuck in a job that I hated telling people about, and I was drinking a lot, alone; not the “hey, it’d be nice to have a bath and a nice, hard highball with a good, thick book” kind of drinking. The “holy crap, I fell asleep on the couch, and I’m late for work” kind. My sleeping pattern had become “sleep only when you have to, and then for as long as you can”, which meant that sometimes I was going full, 24-hour periods before seeing my bed, and crashing, hard.

I felt disconnected from everything. I actually felt a big, black hole in my chest, trying to crawl up out of my throat and blacken everything around me, in Exorcist-style pea-soup-but-black-instead, rotating-head VOMIT. I hated the carpet, the walls, the light coming through the crappy basement windows. I hated BIGSBY. I needed to GET OUT because EVERYTHING was crumbling apart in my head. I could feel my instability rushing at me the same way that you can feel a train coming when you stand on the tracks; you know you need to move, or you’re going to end up spread out in a lovely red slosh.

I’m not that person.

So what I did on April 21, 2009, was sit down, and make some lists.

I made a list of things that I wanted to do, and things that I should do. I made a list of the things I hated about my life on one side of a page, and on the other, I made a list of things I could do about it. And I set myself to the task of doing one item each day. That’s why this blog exists.

The good news is that it worked.

If you go back to last April in this blog, you will read a very unhappy girl’s desperate attempt to get her hands wrapped around something, anything, solid. The only solid thing I could think of in my life at the time was me and with the state I was in, I was kind of like a crumbly old bridge, just waiting for that one last bit of weight to send me down into the current. One of the tasks was to spend 1/2 hour writing every morning, just a pure stream of consciousness.. one of the dreams I describe is this giant, magnificent bridge, which goes out to the middle of a vast river, and just ends, and because it wasn’t completed, the current is slowly taking it apart. I didn’t exactly know what the dream was, but at the time, writing it down, I felt so painfully small. Now, I feel like I can finish the bridge, make all of that hard work getting to the mid-point of the river pay off, and do it BETTER than the first part.

Some days I would fill up with list items. Some days I just couldn’t get up the gumption to do any of them. I made a point of not beating myself up when I failed, and recognizing that some days just needed to be “days off”. Then, suddenly, I stopped needing the lists. I didn’t need to blog every day. I dropped away from the life raft, and kind of just swam along, and the water was … get this… nice.¬†

Which, finally, brings us to the new list. This cute little book staring up at me as I type is full of a list of things to do. Some of them are yawners, like “wash all the bedding” or “clean the bathroom”. Some are nonsensical, like “do something a dragon would do”, and some of them are artsy and can be taken in several different ways, depending on how I feel that day (paint something orange). Some are just things I’ve been meaning to do for a long time, such as “plan a theme party”.

This list is my friendly little jab in the ribs. The nudge that says, “hey, didn’t you want to start a cross-stitch?”. It’s so much nicer than the old list, I think, but I might be prejudiced by the circumstances. I’m coming from almost the same place, but my outlook is so different. I’m not hinged on someone else, or something else. I’m for-sure going to be a bit screwed up, but now I think that’s ok. We’re all a little “f’d” in the head.

Besides, I’ve got my lists! ūüėČ

Anyway, it’s going to be fun – part of the new list is to blog about my silly little items-of-the-day!

Blog you later!

-C

Incidentally, someone commented on one of my blog posts “suck a chode”. I had a little moment of “screw you too, buddy”, but then I had a bit of a chuckle. I almost approved it. Really? Suck a chode? Someone took the time to write that…. it’s pretty funny, really.