Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Meep Meep

It's a happy day in our neighbourhood when the corn field that backs on to many of our properties is harvested. It means that all of the coyotes that make it their home in late summer and fall have to find residence somewhere else. Most of us have lost small pets to them at some point or another. Both my neighbour and I lost a cat, and two small dogs have also been gobbled up. Needless to say, our new feline is strictly an indoor cat.

I always assumed (never a good thing, I know) that a coyote looked kind of like a big fox. Arthur never told me otherwise, as he didn't want to scare me. It wasn't until this summer when we were driving down a country road that I saw one trotting along the side of the street. They kind of look like a scraggly dog with a scruffy neck. In fact, they reminded me quite a bit of Wile E. Coyote.

Sadly, ever since I've seen the coyote, all I can think of is a cartoon coyote carrying ACME boxes into the corn field and creating elaborate traps to catch our unsuspecting pets. It makes it a little easier to deal with the fact that our first cat is no longer with us. My daughter, however, doesn't find it therapeutic at all. Once again, the parent-of-the-year committee will be skipping my house.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Giving Thanks

Disney's Monsters on Ice is coming to town soon. While driving to work today, I got to wondering if I shouldn't buy tickets for the kids to take in this psuedo-cultural extravaganza. Sure, my 5 year old would like it, but would it just be another one of mom's lame ideas in the eyes of my 10 year old?

My mom took my younger sister to see Sesame Street on Ice when she was 5 and I was 10. I can't remember if my mom gave me the option of going, but I'm sure I would have declined in an ungrateful and disdainful fashion if she had offered.

I did, however, ask my little sister to say hi to Ernie for me. Bless her soul she did. I think that it speaks volumes about what a great sister she is. When given the great honour of shaking hands with Ernie, she used the moment to relay my message rather than to deliver her own. She's still like that. Maybe it's something about being the youngest sister, because my daughter's like that too.

Living in my own suburban life, and all its consumer ideals, I often overlook that special quality she has to give of herself in such a generous manner. Sometimes I'm even a bit critical of her selflessness. She shouldn't be so trusting and naive, I've thought. She shouldn't let those loser friends of hers crash on her couch and eat her food without paying her a dime, I've said.

She lives a very different life than me on a skihill in Banff. She hasn't let herself be shakled by the golden handcuffs of the North American consumer lifestyle. She does something she loves and doesn't worry about all the rest of the crap.

She makes a lot less than my husband or I do, yet I'm sure that if we were walking down the street and came across a homeless person, she would be more likely to give him/her more than I would. Which is something, considering how little she has.

So, in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday of our neighbors to the south, I say today - I love you, sis. I think you have a beautiful spirit and a warm and generous heart. And while you might sometimes drive me absolutely crazy, I give thanks for who you are every day.

If I didn't say it 25 years ago, thank you for saying hi to Ernie for me. Maybe Benjy will say hi to Mike Wazowski for Frankie, too.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Quote for the day

We are here on Earth to do good to others. What the others are here for, I don't know.
W. H. Auden

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

George Boole is Rolling in His Grave

Someone found my blog via this Google search:

instructions on how you make paper people holding hands

Hmmm. The librarian in me wants to tell them that:

"paper dolls" +("how to" OR "instructions")

would be a lot more effective.

Next I'm going to talk about Politics....

As many of you know Arthur and I are agnostic, bordering on atheist. I would say I was an atheist, but it requires a level of faith, that frankly, I don't have. If I could muster that much faith, I would likely believe in one of the world religions. But, I still think that it's really important that my kids understand the different kinds of faiths that are practiced around the world. We have a few books for kids that describe different religions, and my kids find them academically interesting, if nothing else.

The small town in which we live is dominated by Portuguese Catholics and Dutch Christian Reformers. My daughter's caregiver is of the latter faith and the kids pray at meal time and learn the standard children songs (Jesus loves me, etc.). I don't really mind (obviously, since she's been going there for 4 years), as it exposes her to other belief systems. Also, her caregiver is what I would term a true Christian, in that she is very tolerant, non-judgmental, and a very good person. Rather rare as fundamental Christians go.

Frankie has a number of friends whose families attend church regularly. He has attended Pentecostal, Baptist, Catholic, and Christian Reform churches, and also attends a Christian camp every summer (the facilities are great, the activities are wonderful, and it's a good price - what can I say?). For a while he proclaimed that he was 75% Christian. I suggested that I should start taking him to church then, at which point he let me know, conveniently, that church-going was the 25% that he was not. He decided that the idea of God (or at least the Christian God) was a silly idea at about the same time that he stopped believing in Santa. Coincidence? Hmmm.

Benji, on the other hand, relishes "rebelling" against us by declaring herself a Christian. That's fine with me. Although, at 5, I don't think she has a great handle on the topic.

In the car the other day, Benji raised her hand and said, "Everyone who believes in God, raise your hand." Frankie and I declined. "Well," she said, "I believe in God, but I don't think I believe in Jesus."

Frankie was quick on the draw. "You believe in God, but not in Jesus?" he asked.

"Yeah," she replied, "Jesus is just a nice guy. He's not God."

"Then you're not Christian," he said, "You're Jewish."

Semantics aside, he obviously took in more from those books than I thought.

We seem to have a longstanding reputation for being Jewish. When Arthur fist started his career in our town, he worked in an office that was swarming with fundamental Christians. They would discuss scripture in the lunch room and would constantly cast judgments about homosexuals, non-Christians, sinners, and the like. Political correctness not being thier strong suit, some of them would question Arthur about his faith. He stepped around the topic by just saying that he wasn't Christian. He is, however, a very good, ethical, kind, and spiritual person, so this, in the minds of his co-workers, was at odds with his lack of Christian faith. They made the assumption that he must be of a different faith. Because, apparently, it is impossible to be a good person without believing in something other than yoursel.

During the holidays, they would wish each other a "Merry Christmas" all around. When they got to Arthur, they would pause and say, "Happy Holidays" or "Happy Hanukkah." One of them said "Shalom, Arthur!" He never corrected them. I'm not sure what they think he is now. Likely just a pain in the ass.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Thank You!

Lest we forget. Thank you, Vetrans!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Tell me Something I don't know

You Belong in Paris

Stylish and a little sassy, you were meant for Paris.
The art, the fashion, the wine, the men!
Whether you're enjoying the cafe life or a beautiful park...
You'll love living in the most chic place on earth.
Ok - so maybe I won't be going there this week or anything.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Too Late

Your Fortune Is

To make a long story short, don't tell it.

Hmmm. I think I got Jennie's fortune.

Overheard on Campus by a "Future Leader"

I was walking behind a couple of students today with some obvious language barriers and overheard this gem of a conversation:

Future Leader 1: "I was watching a movie about Blah Blah Blah last night on CBC" (I couldn't hear that part)

Future Leader 2: "Oh. Was it a documentary?"

FL1: "No it was a movie. But it was about real people."

FL2: "Oh. Was it a docu-drama?"

FL1: "No, man. It was a movie."

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


SxKitten tagged me. Here's what I'm supposed to do:

1. Go into your archives.
This appeals to my librarian senses.

2. Find your 23rd post.
Entitled "Old People and Cars Don't Mix"

3. Post the fifth sentence.

I can certainly understand why she was driving so fast - if you've only got a few years left on this earth, you'd likely be in a hurry to get everything done.

4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
I'm such a follower! Look at me following instructions!

5. Tag five other people to do the same thing.
I don't know if I have five friends...


I'm not scary, apparently

A day late, but oh well. Thanks for the link, Dean!

You Are Not Scary

Everyone loves you. Isn't that sweet?