Tag Archives: rain. sigh.


Since mid-October when I started a work assignment in Surrey, I’ve been walking to and from the skytrain station every day. It started because the bus schedule either got me to work too early or too late, and because October and early November were so sunny and crisp it seemed silly not to walk around in them. It was flip-a-jaunty-scarf-over-your-shoulder-and-wear-leather-boots weather. It was only-one-tissue-required weather. I felt so virtuous.

The mornings turned me into a walking evangelist, because what is more lovely than starting the day strolling briskly through your neighbourhood park, then the streets you’ve been walking for thirteen years, sometimes pushing a stroller, sometimes training for a half marathon, a neighbourhood full of old houses with wrap-around porches and stained glass windows. In October there was a civic election and I felt connected to my community in a way I hadn’t in a long time, walking from one side of New Westminster to the other, seeing clusters of lawn signs and thinking fondly of the people who lived behind those lawns, in all those civically engaged houses.

In the mornings Saint Aardvark and I often walk together (he’s the one who’s been walking to the train for years while I took the bus like a sucker) and it’s motivational and pleasant to take a walk with someone you like every morning. Some days he works from home and then it is just as pleasant to walk alone while listening to Metric or Sylvan Esso or the Electric Light Orchestra or Courtney Love.

In the morning I love the chittering birds bouncing from tree to tree, the crows tearing up lawns, the occasional peppy fur ball dog, tongue flapping in the breeze. I love the way the light – when it comes – sometimes comes from all directions, washing over us like someone tipped the jar where they’ve been rinsing paintbrushes. I love when it starts as a tear in the thick clouds, growing bigger and bigger until we’re waiting for the light to change under a bright, blue sky.

When the Rains came, it got harder, but I do have the brightest, orangest rain boots in the world, and an umbrella with cats on it, and let’s face it, the bus is no treat in the rain either. Soon enough people decorated their homes for the holidays and there were twinkling lights and wreaths and full colour blinkyphernalia and like a runway leading an airplane, those blocks all led me home.

Yes, walking to the train station in the morning is easy, but I never intended to walk home every day too. It’s uphill in a special, hill-city way. It’s a hill that iPhone health says is equivalent to 24-29 flights of stairs. One day in my first week, I came out of the train station and my butt cheeks were still sore from the day before, so I waited for the bus that comes every half hour and goes right past my house. It was ten minutes late and full of people and I had to stand at the back holding on to the ceiling with the palm of my hand. An infant cried quietly from its stroller. It’s one of those wee buses that feels like a mini van strapped to a few skateboards and I just didn’t want to tax it. I didn’t want to be the straw that broke that camel. I never took it again.

So even on a day like today, with the rain sheeting and my uterus having its own winter storm, I popped up my umbrella and hung a left for home. I love that the lights are on in the houses I pass and the blinds are open, that kids are sitting at tables doing crafts or reading – and I recognize some of them – and there are dogs on couches staring out the window at me — and I recognize some of them too. There is security in knowing whose house you could knock on if you had to pee or started to feel faint. I love seeing the light of a kitchen at the back of a house through the living room window. I love people pulling into their driveways and slamming the doors of their vehicles. Home, the car doors say. Home.

My home stretch takes me down the path to the bottom of Queens Park. The cars strung out along McBride, ruby lights lined up and waiting. I’m glad I’m not them, every day.

I Am The Taco

Some weeks are productive and you squeeze out every last minute like a delicious lime over your taco and some weeks are more like you are the taco: easily broken, vaguely tasty, sort of cold, soaking in lime juice, about to be eaten. It’s raining and I have a cold and the train is too full and people breathe too much and I want to embrace humanity but I don’t.

Related to my last post about days off, here is a great article about how to do it properly:

How to Take a Day Off . Ahh. Are we all relaxed now?

Related to nothing much at all, except that squirrels! are great! here is today’s XKCD cartoon, which you probably already saw because everyone but me reads it on the regular. However, when directed, I do greatly enjoy it. I just forget.

Today at daycare Eli gave away all his Pokemon cards — except two — and then regretted it.

We were driving behind a vehicle a few weeks ago and it advertised YOUNIQUE PRODUCTS (collective groan) and I kept forgetting to look it up on the Internet, but then I did. It’s makeup. Direct marketing makeup. Younique.

It’s you, only ‘niqu-er! No?

What else? That’s it. This taco is done. Here is a photo from Ye Olden Tymes, aka February.


Eighty-Four — A Small Vacation Before the Work Starts

This is how it happens: at first you pledge to write every day and then you do. Then you give yourself weekends off, because that just seems reasonable. Then you take the occasional weekday too, because the kids are sick or you’re on holiday. Or both. Often both.

You begin to write less than you don’t write.

Then the pendulum swings back. Or you find it, give a big push, grunt and pull a muscle in your shoulder to get that bad boy swinging again, because I need to get to 100 posts. I pledged it! I will not break my pledge!


Since my last blog post I accepted a part time job that starts relatively immediately. It was supposed to start today but there was some paperwork missing so I am waiting to hear when it starts. I will work two days a week and a third day every other week. It is pretty much the most perfect schedule I could hope for. I’ll be working for my old employer, for whom I have not worked in six years, but in a different department, which means I am fulfilling my obligation of returning to work after taking a maternity leave pay top-up. The pay is great, the work is..

..the work is not great. It is fine. It is administrative assistant work. I can do it. It’s not hard. But it’s not great.

It’s not a calling or anything.

But I have to do something, and of all the somethings I’m qualified to do, within the constraints of my old employer to whom I owe either time or money, this is the best thing.

No really, I am happy. Though with happiness due to change in status quo comes stress. They are two sides of the same bagel. They come in the door holding hands and smiling.

Saint Aardvark is modifying his schedule to help take the kids to school and back. My mother will help out one of the days. I am hiring a babysitter type person to look after the third day. I have new corduroy pants. I already try to get up early, although as the days grow shorter, darker and rainier, this is harder. Pitter pat, pitter pat, the rain falls on the roof and the duvet is warm and I can still hear the phantom cat purring. It is hard to get out of bed at six o’clock. BUT I WILL DO IT. Soon.

Right now I am having some tea, listening to Radio Paradise, and smelling the banana chocolate chip muffins I just took out of the oven. In half an hour I will fetch the children from school. I hope they’re happier than they were when they went in this morning.

Correction: Eli is as happy as a songbird full of fresh bugs. He loves school. He loves soccer. He loves his friends. He loves playdates. He loves recess. I ran into his teacher at the grocery store the other day and she described him as “such a happy little guy” which was quite a head-scratcher for me but then I realized he is. He is happy. Everything is in place for him.

The other child, the previously happiest child ever, is suffering beneath the weight of the world this week. He stays up late reading and the mornings are hard. This morning he slept in until eight o’clock and then insisted he was not going to school because it was too dark and cold and wet and he was too tired. He sounded like an adult. And no, a mental health day is not the worst thing in the world when you’re seven, but also, soon I will lose 50% of my time my time and I really am selfish. I am. He had two sick days — actual sick days — last week and that threw my whole tentative new schedule into a spin.

In the immortal words of my old first year professor, Allan, a man who had lips like a Muppet and a pocket full of change that he jingled while he lectured, life is flux. (Not fucked as Sarah and I used to write it in our notes where we should have been, well, note-taking.) Flux. Life is flux and we can ride the waves smiling.

Twenty-Eight: Brains

Eli and I were driving to the store today, to look for maple leaf-shaped baking pans. Arlo’s 7th birthday is Canada Day and I thought I might make him a cake for the first time in 7 years but like all my ideas, this one is harder to execute than you might expect. Canada Day may as well not be happening at Michaels Craft Store and Winners/Homesense.

Eli said, “It sure is raining.”

I said, “Yup. But, it’s June. It always rains a lot in June. Remember last summer when we left for Ontario and it was raining? And then when we got there, it was SO HOT.”

“Yes, I remember,” Eli said.

I turned left at the corner.

“I have a picture of that day in my head,” Eli continued. “the day we arrived in Ontario.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah. And it’s hot in the picture. And there was a car seat just for me in grandma and grandad’s car.”


“It’s too bad you can’t come in my brain and see the pictures too,” he said.

“It is too bad,” I said.

“The small part of my brain is showing the pictures to the big part of my brain.”

I laughed out loud, even though Eli doesn’t like it when you laugh out loud because he hasn’t figured out yet if you’re laughing with him or at him.

“I’m laughing because it’s a great picture in *my* brain now. Of your big brain and your little brain,” I explained.

“It is kind of funny,” he allowed.

This is one of my favourite pictures (in my brain) of our trip to Ontario last summer.

This is one of my favourite pictures (in my brain) of our trip to Ontario last summer.

Oooh, I Hear Laughter In the Rain

I have been jogging — I was calling it running, but Trombone, age 6, was kind enough to point out that I don’t actually RUN — on the regular for almost two months now. Usually I go on the mornings that Fresco is at preschool. I do a thirty minute tour of the neighbourhood, work up a good sweat and come home. This time has become a very important part of my mental health maintenance and though I may or may not ever get past 5 kilometres or thirty-some minutes, being able to go up and down hills without expiring is something I am proud of.

There are a lot of hills in this neighbourhood. Sometimes I think I would like to live somewhere flat, just to see how far I could go on flat terrain but then I remember my horrifying ‘flat terrain in rural Ontario with deer flies chasing me” experience from the summertime and I would gladly take hills over bugs that like to eat your sweat. Any day of the week. I choose hills. HILLS, I SAY!

Speaking of sweat, this week I did my first jog of the season in the pouring rain. Now, some people will tell you that sweating/heating your body in the rain will make you sick but a) I was already half-sick, have been for weeks now and b) I am not one of those people who believes in the sweat / cold voodoo. Even if today I am sicker than I was at the beginning of the week. Shut up. It’s my sinuses, which flare up like fireworks every year at this time. (pew! pew! crackacrackacracka! pew!)

Anyway, I am here to recommend jogging in the rain over jogging in the stupid, hot, sweat-inducing sunshine. Suck it sunshine. We don’t even WANT you back. *sob*.

Why #1: You know when you pass other people on the street, many of whom are also jogging, some of them RUNNING even, and you have to do that whole “do I say hello / is there a jogger wave / I can’t breathe so I can’t really smile right now / but it’s rude to just look away / oh he’s looking away / fine then, asshole, look away / what am I some kind of LESSER jogger? I don’t warrant even a smile? / fine, screw you.” thing?

I hate that.

In the rain, there are 90% fewer people out on the street to do that thing with. And, this week when my music player ran out of battery power, I could carry on a very nice conversation with myself, as I jogged, in the rain, without anyone calling the nice policepeople on me. In the sunshine, the park would have been full of go-getter running types who would have shamed me into carrying on my internal conversation, well, internally.

It’s better out loud because then I can pace myself and not expire on hills. And because also I like the sound of my own voice, see also: blogging about it.

Why #2: You may or may not BE totally hard core, but you certainly feel that way with rain dripping off your nostrils.

Why #3: You’re going to shower anyway, right? Well if you’re me you are. The wetter the better. (TM)?

Why #4: In the sunshine, there are hazards. Once, I got stung by a wasp on my foot while I was jogging. Once, I was blinded by the sun and nearly ran into a house. Those things have never happened to me in the rain.

Why #5: Thirsty? Just lick a tree. I have done it. Can’t do that in the middle of summer. Without tearing your tongue off and looking like a person who has eaten too much glue.

Is it raining? Do you have shoes? Go out in it! Lovely.*

* unless you are in hurricane country, in which case, sit on your couch and enjoy a beverage and some chips.