Friday, July 30, 2010

Tomorrow's to-do list

6:00 a.m.: One-hour run with the dogs
8:00 a.m.: Several hours of tennis with AM
1:30 p.m.: Eight hours of work

The day after tomorrow revised-to-actual-time list:

6:30 a.m. - 7:25 a.m.: Run with (off-leash!) dogs
8:15 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.: Tennis with AM
1:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.: Work

Plus I got my hair trimmed between tennis and work.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Running four years to spell

I've continued to run regularly, and have kept to my promise of not blogging about it, but today I break my promise. But, hey, a now-and-then running update is good, right? It lets you know I'm still keeping it going without cramming that fact down your throat, or eye sockets as it were. Today was marvelous. Today was effin' brill. Warm without being too hot, the sun shining, the river's water glistening (would you believe I have yet to go tubing this year?!), and hardly anybody else on the trails. Plus, there were NO bugs!

Enough of that. Last week, Biscotti and I celebrated our four-year anniversary in part by attending a performance of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. It's being put on by The Arts Club Theatre Company, is showing at Granville Island Stage, and is a lot of fun. A LOT of fun. There were many, many highlights, such as the sundry "definitions" of words, and several clever riffs of the spelling theme. I loved the whole show, and here's a particular bit that stuck with me:
If you took the W from answer, the H from ghost, the extra A from aardvark, and the T from listen, you could keep saying "what" and no one would ever know what you're saying, 'cause the whole word would be silent.
One more thing: "Life is Pandemonium" was phenomenal.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


On my way to work one day last week - as I walked through the park and around the lake - I was listening to my Zen music player. The device was on the Random Play All setting and at one point Andy Kaufman's version of "It's a Small World" was playing. When that fun bongo-filled song ended, any one of the other 758 songs could have started; the one that did was R.E.M.'s "Man on the Moon". For those that don't know, that R.E.M. song is about Andy Kaufman.
Now, Andy did you hear about this one?
Tell me, are you locked in the punch?
Hey Andy are you goofing on Elvis?
Hey, baby.
Are we losing touch?
I smiled at that fortuitous one-two punch of songs, and then my thoughts wandered to a guy I knew named Scott. That often happens when I hear R.E.M. because one of the few times I spent time with Scott I was playing an album of theirs and he was asking about it. Scott was engaged to my stepsister when he was in a car crash and died in hospital a few days later. While growing up he had never shared living quarters with any animals - no dogs, no cats, no nothing. After presenting my stepsister with a kitten named Matilda for a Valentine's Day gift, he couldn't get over the fact that they were living with an animal! However, stepsister didn't want to keep the cat without Scott, so my mom expressed her desire to adopt her, and ours she was. Over time she became my cat, and when I moved out of my parents' place I was moving to a no-pets residence and had to leave her behind. It wasn't long before she was living with us in stealth. When it comes to Scott, I have R.E.M. and I have Matilda.

There are some other things that prompt memories of people I knew who have passed on:
  • Diet Coke makes me think of Jennifer, a classmate in grade eight who would often - almost always - have a can on her desk in whichever class we were in. I didn't know her well and though I could tell that there was something a little different about her, I couldn't put a finger on what it was. It wasn't until after she died during our grade nine year that I found out that she had been fighting cancer.
  • Will was a friend of mine from a very early age, when he was still Evan. We went to elementary school together and started high school together, at which point he was often singing the theme song to "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" . I suspect his name change had less to do with him thinking Evan sounded too childish and more to do with him wanting to be Will Smith. Now that Will Smith is a huge movie star I wish that Will could have enjoyed his many movies. He would've especially loved "Men in Black" and "I Am Legend", but he committed suicide mere months before "MiB" hit theatres. Anything to do with Will the actor reminds me of Will the friend.
  • One day during grade twelve, I was walking into biology class and somehow found myself singing Montell Jordan's "This Is How We Do It" with Clare. We got to the point where neither of us knew the words - about halfway through the first verse - and then Clare mentioned that we're probably not supposed to know that song that well. Well, I'll admit I liked the song. I also liked Clare. She died a few months later after getting hit by a drunk driver while crossing the street. I hear that song, I think of Clare.
In all four deaths, parents were left to grieve the loss of a child. At the start of The Last Six Minutes: A Mother's Loss and Quest for Justice (a book by Sandra Martins-Toner about the murder of her 16-year-old son), there is a page with this quote:
When a child loses his parents, he is called an orphan.
When a spouse loses her or his partner, he is called a widow or widower.

When parents lose their child, there are no words to describe them.

~ J. Neugeboren ~