Saturday, 5 May 2007

Concentric Ripples in the Upholstry of Life

So, helped a friend clean her old place today, and she was very grateful and sweet, and made the comment in reference to her whole moving experience: "What would I do without my friends?"

This got me waxing a bit poetic and nostalgic about my own moving, furniture acquiring and friendship experiences. Or maybe it's just the PMS talking...who knows.

A good friend, Lynn, recently left the city, and bequeathed me two giant, rather ugly, but suitably squashy and comfy armchairs. She even arranged two likely young lads (one friend and one brother) to haul the chairs up to the 3rd floor for me so I wouldn't have to worry about it. This is my most recent furniture contribution, and I love them. It adds extra seating for more peeps, and nice cozy spots for me. Said friend is a fellow student from the Folklore Department, and I suddenly realized that a huge amount of my current possessions have originated from this hub of learning and iniquity!

I have two bookshelves bought from Lynne, a PhD Folkie, and her hubby Steve, both of whom returned to their native United States, as well as the complete Black Adder VHS set (previously owned by another grad). This couple also supplied my futon, which has most definitely made the departmental rounds and was owned by a few other lowly students who have joyously bent the bars and compacted the cushion nicely. I have a bed and some chairs, as well as a sewing machine, purchased from Jodi and Ian, another couple, both folklorists, who have since moved on as well. A kitchen table, coffee and end table, and some dishes from Kelly, who went to teach in Korea and work on her thesis. Additionally, I have various books, articles, video cassettes and an Irish newspaper all left, "free for the taking," by fellow grads; and a kick ass set of tea cups and saucers from Dr. Paul Smith, beloved and truly mental prof. This is all not to mention the overwhelming help, advice and small favours my colleagues provide me with!

The next ring of this furniture ripple relates to the university as a whole. Meeting Ginny through German classes, and then subsequently her partner Blair, meant that I have enjoyed much assistance, grocery trips, and awesome knick knacks and bath products! From working in the QEII campus library, I was able to score a plethora of bookshelves from retiring librarian Laura, and from my bosses Michael and Dawn have happily accepted Cd's, gift certificates and chocolates (in the form of Xmas goodies). As I get to help with the book sale each year, I also make out like a bandit in the used reading material racket. Definitely a perk.

In the ever broadening pool, friends and roommates have bequeathed me with artwork, dishes, posters, knick knacks, books, music, movies, calendars, games, food products and food-like products, and of course support and fun times.

When I first moved to Newfoundland I lived at the outskirts of town (having not read a map when I signed up for my apartment over the phone in Van.), and my landlord and new found neighbours made sure I ate and knew how to get around, and gave the "girl from B.C." a lamp, TV stand, desk and bed.

The biggest ring, the one that almost touches the end of the proverbial pond (I am certainly prosaic this evening...must be all the cleaning products I used today!), represents those people, family and friends alike, who actually got me to Newfoundland, and made sure I was OK when I got here. Nathan sent me a gift certificate to Zellars that enabled me to buy a desk and chair, and much needed kitchen accessories, as well as sending me care packages. Crystle and Nathan helped get me home for my first visit a year after my arrival, and Crystle recently sent me a fabulous care package filled with everything from deodorant to DVDs. My auntie bought me a TV my first Christmas away so I wouldn't go stir crazy (I am a TV-generation gal!!). Parents and my brother of the younger persuasion have sent me gobs of cash, care packages and all manner of interesting things, and mummy has put up with many rants and odd phone calls.

I suppose, if I really wanted to be truly entrenched in my prose-osity at this moment, I could also mention the splash back (like a guy in the can after a night of drinking) that represents all the help just getting on my feet and back to school after my separation, which led me here in the first place. Or should those people be shot for trapping me in a never ending cycle of winter and graduate school hell? Who knows. I guess they get their payback in my rather poor "friend-man-ship" over the years. They knew what they were signing up for.

Yes, my ripple metaphor has been beaten over the head like so many hippies at a cop convention, and I don't even have a daisy in the barrel of my gun to show for it!! Ah well, a little waxing on now and then should not only be allowed, but encouraged. Otherwise how will you know when you're high, drunk, or dying??

Besides, after the mouse incident, I think I deserve a little compassion, non?

Like sands through the hour glass, and ripples across the pee-filled kiddie pool, these are the metaphor-filled days of our lives!

So sayeth the rippling Venus!

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Mouse Remorse

Out, out damned spot!!!!! Oh...heh heh...sorry...

Well, there has been an "incident." An incident involving a grey mouse, a squeamish tenant, and an errant landlord. The usual cast of characters...

So, yesterday was an interesting day. Woke up and wandered out of my bedroom, innocently wending my way through various furniture to the bathroom. There it was...on the kitchen floor. Sitting in the middle, like a tiny grey island, The Mouse. I did not exactly freak out. I mean, I used to have rats as pets...but there's just something about a wild rodent that kind of gives me the heebie jeebies.

I assumed that if I moved it would bolt across the room...but then instead it sort of hobbled. Yes, hobbled. The blasted thing was obviously sick or mangled. This did not really amount to pity at this point...more a sense of ewwwwwwwwww....

The damn thing got under the stove before I could get it, which was actually fine at that point as I had nothing to "get it" with. I put several mousetraps, reminiscent of some sort of Warner Bros. cartoon, all around the space where the mouse would come out, and went and washed up--didn't want to be late for a meeting I was due to attend. When I came out, the traps were empty, so I was planning to pull out the stove and deal with things, when I saw it. No longer in the kitchen, it was now an island unto itself on my office rug. I grabbed a mixing bowl, and crept towards it. It sort of tried to move, but it seemed really damaged, and I'm positive that the cat downstairs, Hank, had actually been at it first. As I approached, it just sat there and I clamped the bowl on him.

I then proceeded to have the biggest case of the willies I have ever had!! I mean, this was an all-out, pre-teen-girl freak out! I was done...I just couldn't deal with this mouse. So, what's a girl to do?

Call her landlord of course. I had the rent cheque waiting, so it was like I was ordering a $600 hit. "Hi David, I have the rent and a mouse in a bowl. Want to come pick them up?" He said he'd be by, and as I had to go to my meeting and work, I placed a copy of Great American Folklore and a Norton's poetry anthology on top of the bowl and left.

Well, apparently the "mouse in a bowl" was not a super pressing issue in my landlords mind. He did not collect said mouse until several hours after I had, when he got here, Mssr. Mouse (gender being assumed of course) was most definitely perished.

I have never felt so mean. Yes, it was a scurvy, sad, obviously damaged, disease-ridden pest, but if I would have just squished it with a boot, or tossed it's ass outside, it would have been better. Instead, I left it to die under a mixing bowl. On my tan rug. For who knows how long?

When I got home, the "body" was disposed of, but I can no longer stand to use the bowl, and have put so much foam carpet cleaner and disinfectant on my carpet that I'm a modern day Lady Macbeth. I still shudder to think of it.

And let's just say that friends...or should I say "friends" not help matters much. A certain person I shall name Heather...or perhaps Shelly to protect her identity...Shelly then said that I should be watching out for a tiny mouse apparition, trailing tiny chains "forged in life," warning me of my own impending doom.

When you're awake and rested during the day, kind of funny...but overtired, and in the wee sma's of the morning: ha ha, Hea..Shelly, ha ha.

Well, that's the tragedy. Stupid mouse.

Now, let's all bow our heads for a moment to remember the death of Mssr. Mouse...and to reset the traps!

Lady V.

Sunday, 8 April 2007

Spring is D.O.A.

Huzzah!! I am going to D.O.A. tonight, Canadian punksters for 3 decades!!

They haven't been to Newfoundland since 1984, their only trip here, and I'm thinking that this is going to be quite the show tonight. They're playing with Tough Justice and Dog Meat BBQ, two old school Newfoundland punk bands, so I'm also getting a taste of the music scene from "back in the day." My only complaint thus far (since the show isn't for another 7 hours or so...) is that tickets were $12 in advance, and $15 at the door. Now, I can understand that anyone coming from the mainland to the rock needs to pay for gas...but it's a far cry from the $5 I used to pay for shows...ah, I'm so jaded.

And since today is also Easter, I'm looking out towards St. John's Harbour, to the Atlantic beyond and poetically musing: Where the bloody hell is spring???

Ok, ok, it's not snowing (which it did last week), and it's not hailing, nor is there really any ice on the ground. Snow is melting, and I can see patches of blue sky beyond some light cloud coverage. But one wonders, in all this melting, blue-skied wilderness, why there are no blossoms or buds, no people in their spring finery going off to church or the park to look at robbins, and why the wind is rushing like a freaking freight train past my window at speeds of 8000 miles an hour with a wind chill of minus a million.

Well, I suppose I exaggerate somewhat, but my Vancouverite brain is trying to grasp why I'm still here...I mean, the first robbin of spring was blown into my window and then frozen to the side of the building last week...

Ah, punk rock will cure all ills (unless you count "hearing" as an ill), and I will forge forth with proposal writing, thesis research, folkloric endeavours, and only cry quietly during the lull's between bands.