Saturday, May 30, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
From 16th Avenue
They never found the fingerprints
Or the weapon that was used
But someone killed country music
Cut out its heart and soul
They got away with murder
Down on music row
The almight dollar
And the lust for worldwide fame
Slowly killed tradition
And for that, someone shouldhang ("Ahh, you tell 'em Alan")
They all say "Not Guilty!"
But the evidence will show
That murder was committed
Down on music row
For the steel guitars no longer cry
And the fiddles barely play
But drums and rock 'n' roll guitars
Are mixed up in your face
Ol' Hank wouldn't have a chance
On today's radio
Since they committed murder
Down on music row
They thought no one would miss it
Once it was dead and gone
They said no one would buy them ol'
Drinkin' and cheatin' songs ("Oh, but I still buy 'em")
Well there ain't no justice in it
And the hard facts are cold
Murder's been committed
Down on music row
Why they even tell the Possum
To pack up and go back home
There's been an awful murder
Down on music row
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I used to sit beside Emmy Lou Hayes
A pink dress, a matching bow in her ponytail
She kissed me on the school bus, but told me not to tell
Next day I chased her around the playground
Across the monkey bars to the merry-go-round
And Emmy Lou got caught passing me a note, before the teacher took it, I read what she wrote:
And if you do, well then don't be afraid to take me by the hand, if you want to.
I think this is how love goes, check yes or no
Now we're grown up and she's my wife
Still like two kids with stars in our eyes
Ain't much changed I still chase Emmy Lou
Up and down the hall, around the bed in our room
Last night I took her out in a white limousine
Twenty years together she still gets to me
Can't believe it's been that long ago
When we got started with just a little note
Monday, May 25, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
I called home to catch up with my parents; dad answered the phone and I could tell something was wrong. He was irritable, frustrated and although he would never admit it...on some level, confused. He shared the news with me that the GM dealership that he's worked for the last 10 years received their letter from head office in Oshawa that they were one of 240 dealers to close their doors. While some of you may feel on a grander scale this was owed or deserving to the corporation, what you might forget is all the people in all the towns and communities across THIS country that work their ass off to make GM a success. These people, to some extent, have no impact on the decisions that have been made to bring the corporation to it's knees. Their pride and dedication is birthed from a desire to be providers to their family, to have a successful career and to have a company that employs people in that town and community.
Dad has worked for GM for 30+ years, previously at another dealership in my hometown. I grew up with General Motors. It's more than a car company to me - it represents my dad, it represents my family, it represents so many incredible childhood memories. When I was in elementary school, dad used to have to work the odd Saturday. My brother and I would go in with him to the office and we would sit in the cars in the showroom and pretend we were racing each other. We'd always fight over who got the camero with the top down. When I was sixteen, my first job was working the reception desk for 3 weeks in the summer and answering the switchboard for the salesmen, parts, service, finance and the used-car lot. I loved that job and listening to John, Robert, Big Jim and old Haddon talk about how cranky 'my old man was sitting upstairs in his office'. Even thinking back to that building I can say that GM has a rich smell - the combination of the oil, gas and rubber. And when I walk into a GM dealership anywhere in Canada now the smell is consistent and brings me back to Disco Street in Sydney, Nova Scotia. GM IS my dad and what he (and it) stand for - strength, hardworking, commitment and loyal. GM is my university education, my original home on Beechwood, it's the pool in my parents backyard, my family cars and even my value system.
In my adult life, my affinity for the company continued to grow when dad changed dealerships and went to work in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia for Carlo. Not only was dad seeing the happiest years of his life, but he had made an incredible friend. Carlo has been so good to me - from providing me with sexy Aleros and sassy Aveos, to taking care of my sweet Daws on drives from the Cape to Halifax. Carlo was a boss, a friend and a professional advice-taker to my dad. So, GM is way more than a big American company, a country music song, rugged trucks or construction workers. It is a touch, a smell, a family and a passion.
Carlo, remember that from big change, even tradegy, comes sunshine and strength. Hold on to your memories and everything you've built, be proud and strong.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
As you know, I just spent the last six days in Los Angeles. It was, by far, a trip of a lifetime. Last year, I made a pact with myself to embrace my age and celebrate it each year in a big way. It began on my 34th with a solo trip to Machu Pichhu, and this year by sharing it in LA with some of my closest girlies. As you can imagine, the two experiences were vastly different, but remarkable in their own unique ways. While Peru was spiritual, LA was magical. From not skipping a beat with life-long friends (that I haven’t seen in years), to making new ones, experiencing different lifestyles, living 100% in the moment without fear of judgement, decision-making without inhibitions, learning new things from amazing new people and experiencing a surreal earthquake. The combination of the many events was remarkable, unforgettable and completely serendipitous.
As if I didn't know this already, this trip was affirmation that I’ve arrived at a place in my life where I’m beyond confident in my decisions and have not one regret. I feel that although my life and choices are different than those that my friends make, they are truly meant to be made for me and my little ole existence.
So while 'all of the above' may sound like complete fromage to you and you might think that it's a simple case of suffering from post-good-times-blues. How shall I say this... you're wrong. The friend that introduced me to the eternal return concept is a ‘true, professional writer’ - in a related conversation he told me that words are never good enough to express an energy you feel or even the chemistry between certain people. Kinda of sad hearing this from a writer, but he's so right. No matter how hard I try, I cannot express it in words. I'm aware that the energy experienced in this past weekend was rare, but thankfully it comes around just enough that I know how and when to clutch it tightly. These tiny incredible sparks are fleeting and magical, not to be missed and savoured for your memory to remind you how painfully beautiful life really can be.
When I started this blog back in April, I mentioned that I’ve wanted to mark my body with this too shall pass. On Friday, May 15, I walked into Zulu Tattoo and was happy to see that I got to lie on a medical bed, basically because I have passed out at the sight of a needle and blood many times in my life. Ironically, knowing where I 'was' and how happy I am at this stage, I never felt more relaxed lying there getting inked. It was euphorhic.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
But over the last number of years, there are so many incredible women in my life that are amazing mommies. And I’m lucky enough to share in their joys, sorrows, tears and happiness in all that it takes to be a mama. I can honestly say, with conviction, I never tire of their stories and I’m the one always pressuring them to send new pics of the kids. So, while I don’t have children of my own, I do feel blessed to know things like: gripe water is liquid sanity; you sleep when they sleep; toilet training begins around two but it can take much longer than that and accidents are OK; it’s fine if they don’t walk by the age of one; no one experiences judgment from others like a mother does. What I don’t know is: what it feels like to dedicate 9+ months of your body to nurture and grow a small human being; what it feels like to wake up numerous times throughout the night to feed a wee mouth and see a tiny smile in a moonlit room; to get more excited about having a date that includes a movie in a theatre with popcorn than having sex with your guy (wait, I do think I remember what that feels like); to miss your husband even though he's in the same room with you; to feel sick with worry wondering about the little person you created; praying that they become good people or hoping that no one ever, ever breaks their heart or lets them down.
So mom, for all those years I was too young, too stubborn and too selfish to not recognize you for the things I didn't know about motherhood, I want to say thank you. Thank you for never, ever giving up on me. Thank you for being so proud of me, then and today. Thank you for telling me I have often accomplished a life (and walked a path) you may never have chosen for yourself but that it is still a life worth bragging about to your friends. More importantly, thank you for showing me in these last few years that women do get better with age, that you can find strength within when you lose your most prized feminine possession, that you can maintain a healthy and active lifestyle in your sixties and that you can find love worth working on every day of your life...within yourself.
And to Samantha, Rod, Danica, Cams, Avery, Jack, Lola, Ethan, Brodie, Nolan, Mara, Riley, Matty, Ariss, Bruno, Pete, Charlie, Marc, Andrew, and Liam – make sure you let your mom know that your heart aches for her as much as her heart aches for you.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom...the book is in the mail.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Today, well...Todd and I were back to our old selves via text. And after our snatchy little banter it ended like this:
Todd: God, I cunt wait for your period to be over.
Cheryl: Um, it hasn’t even started. This is just PMS baby!
Todd: Well…however all that works down there.
Matt, I hope we cheered you up in some way. You should, at the very least, feel good knowing you’re better than the two of us…in every way.
Love you both.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Well, not this month. Why hello there rage, where the hell did you come from? It started Tuesday and has built up to the point of me literally yelling on the phone, in my cubicle at work, to the ignorant, hill-billy that runs my parking spot at work (yes, even typing that felt good). It feels like everything this week is going wrong and is completely senseless (legal disclaimer: this blog entry might be swayed by dramatization). Don’t worry, I have enough self-awareness to know that, yes, in the grand scheme of things in life, most of the shit I’ve been dealing with this week is peanuts. And I agree, the thickness of my PMS goggles just might be distorting the colours coming through the lenses. I totally get that it’s temporary and will work itself out. But when you’re in the middle of it and pre-menstral hormones are oozing through your veins it’s plain ugly. I’m mad and feeling mean.
Thankfully, I feel that the rage may have just climaxed moments ago to an all time high, which oddly enough I’ve resolved by breaking down in tears.
OK, now I’m done. Moving on to next month…
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Sunday, May 3, 2009
This past weekend I read an article about a design competition where the goal was to create an architectural solution that would be a temporary home for residents of NYC in the event of a catastrophe. The featured designer (and I believe winner of the competition) was created by Studio Lindfors, it was called Cloud City.
Because of its population density and concentrated infrastructure, the City is not well suited for traditional post-disaster housing, such as mobile homes. CLOUD CITY is literally an uplifting experience that will allow communities to remain intact as they pull themselves out of the rubble. The homes can be rapidly deployed with minimal site preparation. They are intended to ‘plug in’ to existing utility services, and can be deployed by a team of four workers in roughly an hour. Once airborne, the floating homes allow construction crews below to work unimpeded, speeding up the recovery effort. This in turn reduces cost overruns and unnecessary delays.
I was moved by this so much so that I was thinking about it most of the weekend. I honestly think these types of designs for the way we live are just around the corner. I remember as a kid thinking how fun it would be to live like the Jetsons, but really only believing that possibility in my lifetime was about as tangible as ‘magic’. With the rapid pace of technology and human intelligence being used for creations that were once deemed to live only within the walls of our imagination, I can’t help but wonder how many people are noticing the current life around us. Are we taking the time to notice the small things in each day that are breathe-taking and euphoric in simplicity alone? We’re all running to a distance ahead of us, racing to create a better future – chasing goals and dreams, but in this race to beat our own ‘personal best’ we need to stop, pace ourselves to live the moments that get us there.
So if we move to our Cloud City will we lose the energy and information that exists everywhere in nature? You know that rush and adrenaline you get from waking up super early to watch a sunrise, or to just sit on the beach with a coffee with an old fashioned newspaper, like I did this morning. I felt so incredibly happy in that moment and again later when I went for a run. It’s moments like this when I notice my breathing, my abilities, the sky and the skyline and just how lucky I am to have my feet on this earth, and not having my head in the clouds.
While it might be nice to live next door to George and Jane, I’m happy to be grounded right here.