Saturday, 28 February 2009

happy birthday mum

Happy Birthday to you
Thanks for all that you do
You look after us well
And make a great stew

Just in case there is still any doubt, I am NOT a poet but once, for an online course I was facilitating, I wrote a note poem about my Mum.

Sometimes when we came home from school--when we were much older than we are in the picture below of course--my Mum would be out. She would leave us a note to tell us where she was. My mother always wrote very short notes. Usually they were just 2 lines. Something like:

Bank Street.

Here is my poem:
Travelling Mum

Bank Street Mum
Market Mum
Downtown Mum
Art Centre Mum

So many Mums?

But a Mum who always
comes home to become

Kitchen Mum
Garden Mum
Front Porch Mum
Laundry Room Mum

and Bedroom Mum
tucking us in before sleep.

See the poem on the course page here.

Friday, 27 February 2009

#94 is home

My robot arrived today. She is magnificent. I love her already.
I thought she was going to be shiny but she is furry. She came with a certificate, a book, a sticker and a postcard. I am going watch the tape of Coronation Street with her right now.

I'll take some pics later but I wanted you to know.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

crouching mouse

I have been tagged in 2 pics on Facebook and in both I am crouching in the bottom left corner. And look where I am on the Political Compass. Hmmmmmmmm. Coincidence?

Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

hot [chocolate] news

I am not ready to pronounce on Twitter yet (hee hee), but I think that this tweet might be part of it.

Ha ha ha. As we say over there on Twitter. You can find SimpleEnglish here.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

à propos?

Ha ha - right after I posted you have been tagged, I checked into Twitter and this tweet was at the top of the page:

That Rajio is a funny guy. He has his finger on the pulse. On the other hand, there are no 30-year old photos of him on Facebook.

you have been tagged

Yesterday a friend posted this picture on Facebook and tagged me in it. I am the one wearing the bumpy fisherman knit sweater my Mum made. We are at a friend's cottage. I am pretty sure that I was still living in Ottawa when this was taken. I left Ottawa in 1980 so this might be 30 years ago. Or more. I am not sure how it is possible for someone as young as me to be in a photo from 30 years ago. But so it goes. When I saw this picture, I felt -- well I am not sure quite what I felt. Freaked out probably sums it up in a nice, non-specific way. I have been feeling that way (a way probably better explored in a therapist's office than on this blog, for all our sakes) around Facebook quite a bit lately.

I have been on Facebook for a couple of years now. For a long time I just kind of hung around the edges. I confirmed friend requests but rarely requested. I loved reading everybody's status updates but never updated my own. I threw baked beans and smelly socks at people, sent them drinks, vibrated their hamsters, sent them more cowbell, created gardens, ran from zombies and took care of my cyberpets. I knew most of my Facebook friends in real life (IRL) and we would insult each other in Shakespearean English and then laugh about it over dinner, much to the irritation of our friends not on Facebook.

All the while, I kept reading about the power of social networking. I heard people on panels talking about the amazing opportunities for connection and work and achievement to be found on sites like Facebook. I thought, "I guess I must be doing it wrong." I decided that in order to see how social networking really works I should do more socializing and more networking.

I decided to socialize and network my ass off for six months and see where it got me. I requested friendships from people I know through my work and people whose work intersects with mine, including those I have never met IRL. I joined lots of groups, I started a discussion group, added my blogs to the blog network, posted work-related articles and links. I tried out some cyber political activism and followed some of it up with some off-net work. And so on.

The six months was up in December. I thought that those panel experts meant I could use Facebook as a tool to face, or face down, the future. I thought that I would find my choir and that we would connect, organize, activate, mobilize and transform. But that did not happen. People point to the fact that young drivers, by joining a Facebook group, got Premier McGinty to back down on some legislation as an example of the power of Facebook. I wonder if it was just that Premier McGinty does not really understand what joining a group on Facebook means. Politicians have learned to ignore and dismiss petitions, letter/email writing campaigns and IRL protests outside the halls of power. I am sure they will learn to ignore and dismiss Facebook groups too.

For me, Facebook has become more about the past than the future. I have connected with people I have not seen in decades. Yes! Decades! Again, not sure how that is possible. After the friend request, the "OMG!" and the confirmation, usually nothing much happens. Sometimes there is a flurry of catching up messages and then we tell each other about stuff that makes us laugh, listen to music, invent games to keep ourselves amused, and make wisecracks. Which is pretty much what we did together 30 years ago.

I still check into my Facebook account at the end of the day. Sometimes in the middle too. I love to see who has left me a message or made a joke at my expense. I like to play the games and follow the memes. I have re-friended some truly beloved people and am happy to know them again, even in a silly, Facebook way. Maybe this is my choir. As one of those people said in a note, "With only a couple of exceptions, I still love pretty much everyone I ever did love." Me too.

Update: An article by a real NYT journalist about being middle-aged on Facebook versus Growing Up on Facebook. "William Faulkner, I suspect, would love it — Facebook, after all, is the best evidence yet of the undead past."

Monday, 23 February 2009

another point of view

the greedy mouse dance...

Friday, 20 February 2009

ich bin ein beavertail

Beavertails are a Canadian version of one of the world's most beloved treats: fried dough covered in sugar. I don't remember beavertails being part of my Ottawa childhood diet. An internet search reveals that beavertails arrived in the Byward Market in 1980 - the year I left Ottawa. Coincidence?

I have tried the Grouse Mountain version with lemon juice and enjoyed it immensely. I also have fond memories of churros in Spain, funnel cakes on the Jersey Shore, beignets in Washington DC and donuts at my Grandma's house. I certainly understand Mr. Obama's craving. Here is how it went down yesterday afternoon -- a series of delicious events that prompted one pundit to name President Obama's visit The Beavertail Summit.

It brings to mind another beloved American president,
an international visit...

... and ... donuts.
Warning: NSFW - some swearing.

This president did not call himself a donut.
Some worried that he almost called Ottawa Iowa by mistake,
but his proclamations of love for Canada
and his hearty enjoyment of the sweets he found here
banished all recriminations.

For an American view of the BT, see the Oddly Enough Blog.

My reply:
Sure we have an excess of flags, but so does Bhutan.
And on the subject of poutine, here’s why Mr. Obama should be happy that he went to Ottawa and not Toronto: poutine_chain_set_to_unleash_gravy_curds _on_toronto/
More about Obamawa from this blog.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

he's here

photos from the AP. collected from here.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

this pot is calling you...

here is what happens when you are fooling around with your old highschool buddies on facebook -- posting videos and being a smart alec -- instead of paying attention to your household chores. oops.

have fun in canuckistan mr. obama

Sunday, 15 February 2009


Saturday, 14 February 2009

frankled eggs

I met my friend Nancy at the AGO. Still loving it. My Mum and Dad bought me a membership and I am thrilled.

Nancy and I poked around the galleries for a couple of hours and then Nancy treated me to lunch at the restaurant Frank. Look how nicely they present the salt in a little shell. Sea salt. Get it?

We both had the scrambled eggs. I had mine without the veal demi glace and we both agreed that they were better that way. They have some kind of truffle oil in them and they are delicious -- the best scrambled eggs outside of the ones my Mum makes which are truly supreme. And for $16 they had better be, eh?

All the wines are from Ontario and we chose a sauvignon blanc. Perfect.

Thank you Nancy for a most excellent lunch and, most especially, for your most excellent company.

(For a gritty AGO surprise, check out this post at Downtown Dust Bunnies.)

Sunday, 8 February 2009

thank you, ms. dearie

And you can listen to Once Upon a Summertime here.

New York Times Obit.

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