Just Another Day

another day on the mighty miramichi. freezing rain. ice pellets. showers. and now, snow. yee-haw! heavy wind on the base tonight, dunno what it’s doing in barnbonia. looks like a miramichi new years for me, head home on monday. all fired up with flipping the page, i am. itching to get this thing started. i’ve got plans! places to go! people to see! things to do! lottsa changes coming up . . . exciting stuff!

Mood: fired up
Drinking: i am dryer than a wooden god as thurman would say
Listening To: typing en masse
Hair: disheveled

Barnbonia

still here in the kingdom of barnbonia. the snow is much. i feel like i’ve gained a hundred pounds from all this crazy food i’ve been eating and being housebound for so many days, the inactivity aggravates my joints. feet aching. legs stiff. freezing rain now. not really good for road walking. i’ve survived this long without getting run over by a drunken underhill or jardine, why take chances now? there is always the treadmill i suppose . . . blah. sherry wants me to stay for new year’s, go to her house, drink wine, toast, sing karaoke . . . blah. can’t stop yawning. don’t feel like doing anything . . . not even playing poker with mon pere. think i need to get out of here before i fall into an endless sleep. somebody throw me a towrope.

Mood: surprisingly sober
Drinking: wine, brandy, cognac, jacks and coke
Listening To: madagascar on the keenan tube and darth vader’s light sabre attacking samuel
Hair: fading like a jet’s trail

On Time

Knock on wood. So far I’m right on schedule for afternoon departure to Miramichi, where my father will meet me and whisk me away for last minute shopping details. No, not the mall, not Christmas gift shopping — I am not completely insane. I’m talking about the liquor store and drink fixings from the grocery store. Hot toddies here I come! (And I’ve got this extremely weird craving for jacks and coke, dunno where that’s coming from, but it might happen.)

Tonight I’ll attend the annual Holiday Games Night at Casa Keenan. Jenn plans to extract her revenge for the many years of Trivial Pursuit shame I bestowed upon the Keenan clan and restore honour to her household by introducing the Friends trivia game into the festivities . . . whatever! We’ll see who kicks ass in Texas Hold Em.

Mood: punchy
Drinking: nada yet
Listening To: brass in pocket, the pretenders
Hair: sleek and shiny

Ghost Town

It is not just my house that’s quiet. Out on the runaround today I couldn’t help but notice how quiet it is — I could hear dogs barking on the other side of town. There is NOBODY out there! Seriously. Downtown was dead. I’m so used to the insanity of last minute Christmas shopping in Miramichi, but here I circled the Jean Coutu on my own, no line at the post office, very few cars parked on the street or in the parking lots . . . it’s just weird! No traffic on Salem. Houses totally dark on all sides of me. It’s like I’m the last one here.

Mood: boppy
Drinking: diet coke because it was on sale and i’ve given up wine
Listening To: You DO NOT even wanna know
Hair: attention garnering

Six Years

Six years ago today I became an aunt. On the 18th we went for breakfast at Darlene’s where they were having a craft sale too . . . or something like that. It was a warm sunshiny sort of day. Over pancakes Sherry announced contractions, there’d been false alarms but we thought this might be the real thing. Steady throughout the day, but still not time. It was a weekend I think, a Friday or Saturday night, and I went to that guy’s house, (mister cool dude who left such a lasting impression upon me that I can never remember his real name) who I’d been hanging around with all fall. We were sitting at the kitchen table drinking beer, thinking about going out to visit friends, wondering about road conditions because snow was coming down. It was probably going on 11 o’clock when the phone rang and Mom said it was time.

Mom and Dad picked me up and we made our way through the snow to the hospital. Hanging out all night waiting for a baby when you’re half drunk and on pilled high-speed fast forward play is a pretty intense experience. They crammed us into a miniscule room to wait it out. We could hear Sherry puking her guts up in a room down the hall. I went in to see her, only briefly because she didn’t want any of us to see her like that. If you looked up ashen in the dictionary you would see a picture of my sister from that night. She was the colour of E.T. when he lay dying. This was my first experience with birthing from so close and I hadn’t thought it would be this scary. After what may or may not have been hours it was time and they wheeled her into the birthing room. We waited. And waited. And paced. And read magazines. And tried to stay awake. And waited some more. And no word. No sign. No Gary. No Sherry. No baby. No doctors or nurses. Nobody told us anything. Did it take this long? I had no idea. And finally in the wee hours of the morning Gary came out and told us the baby’s head was too big, it was impossible and Sherry was going in for an emergency c-section. This was not part of the plan. This seemed serious. My stomach lurched and the back of my neck turned cold. This scared the shit out of me. But it happened all the time I was told by people more experienced in these matters, practically routine.

The waiting continued and for me it seemed more ominous than before. I was jittery, having a major problem staying still. I was pacing the hallway outside the little room when I saw Gary coming, big silly grin, wheeling his baby to the nursery. We swarmed him before he even got through the doors into the ward. A girl. Paulina Blaine after my mother and father. Dark. Sherry’s mouth. So tiny. All her mother in these first few moments it seemed to me. Amazing how she hadn’t been here an hour ago and now here was this new person, our blood, family. Looking at her later through the nursery window while we waited for Sherry to come to her room so we could make sure she was okay, I wondered where Paulina had been and where she’d go. Pure potential. It was overwhelming.

At first I was afraid to hold her, she was so tiny and fragile and perfect. But I got over that pretty quick, especially once Samuel and Jules arrived on the scene a few weeks later, and I spent a lot of time with Paulina — godmother and babysitter. We used to see each other every day. A hugger, cuddler, stubborn, articulate, super smart. I’d rock her to sleep singing My Bonny Lies Over the Ocean, when I didn’t have to blare Blue Rodeo. And now she’s getting so tall I can barely pick her up. First grade, reading at something crazy like a fourth grade level. Knowing more about animals than I’ll probably ever know. I miss seeing her everyday.

Happy birthday, Paulina!

Mood: remembering
Drinking: coffee
Listening To: my stomach growl
Hair: accentuating my eyes

Hurt

I hurt myself today
to see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
the only thing that’s real
the needle tears a hole
the old familiar sting
try to kill it all away
but I remember everything
what have I become?
my sweetest friend
everyone I know
goes away in the end
and you could have it all
my empire of dirt

I will let you down
I will make you hurt

I wear this crown of thorns
upon my liar’s chair
full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair
beneath the stains of time
the feelings disappear
you are someone else
I am still right here

what have I become?
my sweetest friend
everyone I know
goes away in the end
and you could have it all
my empire of dirt

I will let you down
I will make you hurt

if I could start again
a million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way

I really liked this song when Nine Inch Nails did it. Really liked it. But then one day flipping through channels I stumbled upon Bravo videos and watched Johnny Cash just weeks after June died sitting at a piano in a room lined with photographs from his life with June staring at a picture of her standing on the piano top and singing Hurt. It broke my heart. I only saw the video a few times before he died. I like Nine Inch Nails, but when Johnny sings Hurt I’m always brought to tears.

Mood: melancholy and wanting to visit uncle marcus
Drinking: tea, organic orange pekoe (because it’s the only tea i have with caffeine)
Listening To: Hurt, Johnny Cash
Hair: copper top

Beer Not Kids

I’ve always read Rick Mercer’s blog, but now that we’re into election mode there’s even more fun stuff going on over there . . . like this. I love it when he starts a petition! And he’s got more signatures than the competing petition. Some funny comments in there too.

I caught some of his show the night Frank McKenna was on. Frank was pretty funny, holding his own with Rick, actually cracking him up. Like when Rick asked about softwood lumber and Frank gave the politically correct response, and Rick pressed — but what if that doesn’t work? Then Frank said something like we’d sue their asses. THAT was pretty funny. He’s got the charisma to be PM. Maybe next time.

Mood: giggling
Drinking: coffee
Listening To: silence deafens, think I’m alone now doesn’t seem to be anyone around . . .
Hair: shaking by the roots, it’s D-Day, anything seems possible