Archive for May, 2009

At risk of becoming a blog about middle age

May 21, 2009

Yet another how/when/why did I get so old post. Went to the Little League game tonight. It’s early in the season, so all the mommies and daddies are just getting comfortable with each other. I spent 20 minutes having a lovely conversation with another mom, reminiscing about our own Little League days in the ‘hood. At one point, our experiences contradicted each other, and I fluffed it off as, “well, I must have played a few years before you did.”

“Not really,” she answered. “I’m a year older than you.”

I spent about 15 seconds wondering how in Dog’s name this complete stranger could know exactly how old I was. I took off my sunglasses and squinted at her and realized she’d been in my Grade 9 Biology class and that we’d been married in the same church.

I was very embarassed and apologized for not putting two and two together. Especially when she said, “I have a signed copy of your book!”

Gah.

Plus, my children are starting to wonder if there’s anyone I don’t know, as this happens with alarming frequency. Guess it’s bound to happen when you stay pretty close to home your entire life. But I never imagined myself starting conversations with “Before we begin getting to know each other, can I ask if we already do? Saves time and sheepishness and all that.”

Or maybe I should just not wear sunglasses that obscure my vision.

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Wait just a freakin’ minute now….

May 18, 2009

When one has taken to making weekly visits online to Entertainment Weekly to keep up with the Lost coverage, one tends to accidentally absorb OTHER information. Ok, not absorb it, as such. Let’s say, notice and file away for future processing. Like when you’re wandering back and forth to the fridge and you notice a a bread tag on the floor, but you’re headed for the fridge, and then you’re focused on the food you’re making/eating, then on the dishes, and you see the bread tag nine times and somewhere, a little voice in your head says, “You’re going to have to do something about that bread tag. Like, ACKNOWLEDGE it and DEAL with it.” But the slightly louder voice in your head is muttering “fridge/food/dishes/breadtagLATER.”

What, that doesn’t happen to you?

It happens to me. And as I said, I’ve been visiting EW weekly for a few months and quickly clicking right through to the Lost coverage, but that home page still registers, you know? And today, I went to EW online, but you know, Lost is over now…

DIGRESSION: And by the way, the season finale could have been just two scenes longer and I would have been fine with that. I mean, fade to white without our Losties reuniting? That’s just cruel.

Anyway, Lost is over, which leaves me to notice other stuff on EW, and today I saw that they’re remaking Red Dawn, which is the latest in a succession of notices about remakes of other 80’s movies and TV movies, like Footloose, the Karate Kid, V, Short Circuit

To which I say…bleh. I mean, it ain’t been that long, people. I am NOT that old. And while some of these movies may not have been much in the first place, (personally I think Weird Science should never have happened), can you imagine if there’s truth to the rumour that another Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is coming? You can’t improve on that, you simply can’t.

And some of these were so very 1980s, if you know what I mean. A new Red Dawn? Who’s the enemy going to be? What will Red Dawn look like post 9/11?

There’s got to be new stories to tell. I know that the themes of these movies are, in many ways, timeless, but you can still tell a new story, or put it in a new place. How about a movie with a 2003-type blackout as a backdrop? Or a movie about a group of teenagers that have to go 48 hours without a cell phone in their hands? That would be interesting.

Or something.  But 20 or so years isn’t long enough to wax nostalgic about, not yet – after all, I still have my Tommy Howell scrapbook stashed around here somewhere.  And the current generation of movie makers is more than clever enough to come up with their own statements without repeating the past.

Apparently, an F-0 tornado doesn’t necessarily lead to a yellow brick road

May 7, 2009

“May you live in interesting times,” goes the saying, and it has been nothing short of interesting around here.

I’ve spent my whole life living along what is known as “Tornado Alley,” and spent a childhood thankful that I had a basement bedroom.  Ever since I saw that episode of Little House on the Prairie where Laura foolishly leaves the safety of the storm cellar to fetch the cat, I was plagued (ok, moderately annoyed) by occasional nightmares about a funnel cloud coming for me and mine. Should it happen while I was asleep, I reasoned, at least I was already in the basement, and therefore, safe.

And yet, in spite of “the big one” that brought down the local curling club back in 1974, an event I was too young to imprint, and in spite of summer after summer of at least one scarily-green sky, I’ve been lucky enough to escape seeing, or experiencing, a tornado close up.

Until last week, when one dropped into the neighbourhood. Like, two blocks away. Before my very own eyes.

I was reading on the porch, and felt the wind pick up. It had been a very breezy day, so it didn’t seem out of the ordinary. I leaned forward over the railing when I thought I saw a flash of lightning to see if there would be another one. At the same time, a very loud roaring sound began.

We’re in the flight path of some very large cargo jets, so even then, it didn’t seem out of the ordinary. (can you imagine how wiggy I was after 9/11?) Except it got louder. And, Lost addict that I sadly am, I looked over to the water tower, suddenly convinced that a plane was about to crash.

As I looked at the skyline, watching for the errant plane of my imagination, a whirling cloud of debris appeared in the air. Not a funnel cloud, or a storm cloud – a DEBRIS cloud. My thought process went like this:

There are pieces of wood – LARGE pieces of wood – in the air. Large pieces of wood don’t belong in the air. Did a plane crash? DEAR DOG IT’S A TORNADO.

I ran inside shouting, and The Man shooed us toward the basement. Except, one problem: The Baby had gone out riding her bike ten minutes before.

So while my 12-year-old was a block away doing her Dorothy Gale impression, riding hell-bent for home, we her parents were playing Uncle Henry and Auntie Em and shouting her name at the top of our lungs on the lawn.

The whole thing lasted about ten minutes, just long enough to be scared silly. Dorothy sped up the sidewalk, raced for the basement and we could hear it end as we dashed in the front door ourselves. There was a light rain for a few minutes and later, we walked over to take some pictures of where it hit – TWO blocks away.

I kept describing it to the kids as "it ripped the roof off the beer store!" Alas, it has not been the beer store in their lifetime, and is currently a union hall. The roof, or parts of it, as you can see, is lying in the road. The building belong to the roof is on the right.

I kept describing it to the kids as "it ripped the roof off the beer store!" Alas, it has not been the beer store in their lifetime, and is currently a union hall. The roof, or parts of it, as you can see, is lying in the road. The building belong to the roof is on the right.

This guy's front windows were all smashed, I think from flying debris. The yellow stuff is insulation from the beer store roof, and yellow bits were scattered as far as six blocks away.

This guy's front windows were all smashed, I think from flying debris. The yellow stuff is insulation from the beer store roof, and yellow bits were scattered as far as six blocks away.

I think this was soffit from the roof.

I think this was soffit from the roof.

I live two blocks on the oppostie side of this water tower. Close call!

I live two blocks on the oppostie side of this water tower. Close call!

It took three days before Environment Canada was willing to call it a tornado for sure, and it came in at F-0, the lowest rating possible. However, it was plenty of excitement for me, and if I never see another one, that’ll be okay.