A week of things

This week was a good week. It’s nice to have them occasionally. I honestly didn’t expect it would be all that wonderful. But it was pretty chill, and productive, and somehow visiting with my radiation doctor made me feel less dismal and more . . . just . . . steady.



Here is what happened. It’s almost so unremarkable that you really needn’t read another word in this post. But I feel like writing it out, so there you go.

This week I saw Margaret Atwood for the second time in my life. I’m editing/recording a mini podcast feature for the Ottawa International Writers Festival and Foment Literary Magazine. It’s a nice thing that gets me out of the house on the rare evening, and lets me talk about events with other literary loving minds. Margaret Atwood wore skeleton gloves for the event, which she picked up at a gas station. Throughout the evening I know everyone in the audience was wondering why she wore those gloves. And I know this because during the Q&A at the end, someone ask her why and everyone clapped. Then when she explained it was a spooky season and she bought them at a gas station, everyone clapped again. Two rounds of applause for the skeleton gloves. And Margaret Atwood. And her new book Hag-Seed, which sounds really entertaining.

Also this week, we have had a bunch of pumpkins populating our home. Tomorrow I’m hosting a small gathering of family and a few friends, and we are carving these pumpkins up. This is really an overly elaborate plan to make other people carve pumpkins so I can enjoy the benefits of roasting pumpkin seeds later. Mmmm, I adore salted roasted pumpkin seeds.

Furthermore, I made a rather excellent cheesecake.

As well! It’s always a satisfying week when I’m able to make progress at work. It seems to me there is always another big project that needs attention. In general, it feels like having this massive piece of ice I’m meant to turn into some lovely sculpture. But the only way to accomplish this gleaming sculpture is to slowly scrape and scrape at the ice till it finally takes forms. The  scraping is emails, phone calls, writing texts, experimenting with ideas, sending newsletters and such. And in the in, you get something wonderful. This week, I could move that sculpture along. But next week, of course, there will always be more to do. This is okay. It helps me. By the by, the Amnesty International Book Club is having a Readers Choice vote – go vote! It closes on the 31st.

Counter that above point: this week I worked mostly from home. I just could not handle it otherwise. Firstly, it’s a post-chemo week. Secondly, I received shitty news about my treatment last week, which got me down down down – and so incubating myself, in a way, helped me cope with all the ice chips I needed to scrape off not only my work sculpture, but my life-in-general sculpture too. And I could cry whenever I wanted. Plus stop to take naps. And watch the end of Star Trek Voyager.

Next: My art class was attended by only two people this past Wednesday. While that sucks for our lovely instructor, it wasn’t at all bad for me. It was useful to have  a little extra input into my impossible-flower-painting-that-is-driving-me-crazy. Oil paint is an interesting medium, but my goodness does it require patience. Patience is not my strongest point. And so, I am reminded to slow down in life.

We cleaned. This is why you invite people over, in additional to harvesting their pumpkin seeds. It forces one to finally clean one’s apartment.

We had sushi. That was fun – it’s this roll-it-yourself sushi that Zsolt and I really enjoy. After finally finding sushi rice at Bulk Barn, we ate our hand-rolled sandwich style sushi. It made us both quite happy.

So you can see, it was an unremarkable week that was nevertheless good.

Last week was terrible. Apparently while other areas in my body are stable’ish’ in regards to the cancer, my liver spots just keep on growing. Fuck buckets. This terrible disease is terrible. However, there are areas in my body that seem mostly stable, and that is good. Dr Canada is working to see what alternative treatments he can find me. I hate cancer. And this is a shitty way to end this happy blog post.

Therefore I will add this! I booked a ticket to go on a trip. I’m excited. Extra excited because I’ll be traveling with my Dad, and we haven’t done anything like this together ever. Not that I can remember, anyhow. It’s gonna be one long plane ride of him saying crazy things, and me taking the bait every time. FUN!

Last thing, it snowed!! Holy moly.

Happy Halloween 🙂



Here is something fun :)

So, to jump off from that last post – here is something FUN.

I have been body-deep in the painting lately. I say that, because the stuff is splattered all over me. Zsolt keeps finding more paint on my neck and face . . . on on our living room furniture . . . sink . . . back splash . . .

Anyhow, it’s good fun and a wonderful distraction from other aspects of life. There’s an element of disconnection, follow by some moments of emotional processing, and then back to disconnection and process. Every time I sit down to paint, I never know what will happen. Every time I find myself surprised. Sometimes frustrated. But often quite satisfied. It’s a learning process to say the least.


And let’s face it – I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t set up a website for my better bits of art. So I have taken my love of website building and am experimenting with Etsy. After suggesting a friend give it a go with her artwork, I decided to try it myself. After all – there is literally nothing to lose.

Here it is – and maybe I’ll continue, and maybe I’ll abandon it entirely. Either way, it has been great fun. Fun, fun, fun. And healing, and fun.


(Here’s a mental picture. Zsolt builds his Lego models while I paint in my sunny corner. This, to me, is a form of everyday bliss.)



A twist on mansplaining

The other day my dad and I were having a ‘conversation’ in the car. This happens a lot. I think, to most people (including my father) these conversations could also be called arguments. I would say they are debates.

Anyhow, I can’t help it – my father has a very special kind of logic. Often there is sound reasoning buried inside the kernel of the idea, but he begins his broad concept and not with clear reasoning. Maybe a car on the highway reminds him of back when he used to drive a Chevrolet 76 with his buddies, which would tear up the street with clouds of popping black exhaust.

But when he’s talking about that car, he’s actually talking about climate change, and how that one car company had that emissions scandal, and how many other eco cars are just a lot of fluff and nonsense, and how e-cars have batteries that will never break down.

And somewhere in between this stream of backward consciousness, he’ll make a ridiculous statement that totally gets my goat. Something like ‘only intelligent turnips should drive cars!” which makes no sense – but probably, in some way, it really does. I just need to suss out the train of thought, if I had the patience to do so . . .

But of course, instead, I lose it and argue against intelligent turnips driving cars. Because he gets me every time – and it’s really quite good fun.

(By the way, He never said turnips should drive cars. This is just a fictional example of how these things get started.)

Anyhow, the other day I mention that the Clinton/Trump debate was a perfect example of mansplaining.

‘Do you mean man spreading?” he asks me.

“Man spread!? Man Spread?!”

“Man spread,” he says.

“It’s not man spread,” I reply.

“So what is man spread?” he asks.

“It’s when a man sits with his legs wide apart, and everyone can see his balls pressed against his pants.”

And we laugh like crazy.

“So what is mansplaining?”

“Mansplaining is when a man talks over a women, cutting her off, explaining what she really means, or giving background on the subject in which she’s already an expert.”

We agree that the term isn’t really fair. As in, not every man does this and labeling it so isn’t fair. Really, it’s being damn overbearing, is what it is. Unfortunately, I do believe (based on my experiences) that in many, many, many cases, when it happens, it has often been a dude. A man. A boy. And yeah, it happens a lot.

But you know what, women need to keep their knees together all the time, and men are allowed to let it all hang out without one touch of shame – in fact, there’s almost this machismo associated to man spread. More than once a male has noted that I sometimes sit with my legs too far apart. Mmmhmm. Which is, in a sense, putting me in my place.

Maybe, metaphorically speaking man spread and mansplain aren’t too far apart.

So I’ll give this one to my Dad in our never-ending debates. In this case, you have made a great deal of sense.