What am I doing with a blog?

Awww…heck. I dunno.

My Nanny January 21, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — himbly @ 11:38 pm

Originally uploaded by himbly.

Last night, I had a wonderful time with my grandmother. We sat for hours knitting and gossiping. Such fun. Her aphasia was almost unnoticable as we talked about family, friends, neighbours, moving to Canada, knitting, my life, her life…lots. I forgot that when you stick a needle and yarn in that woman’s hands, she becomes as creative, clever and present as anyone.

When I came home afterwards, C told me I was glowing.

I joked about her aphasia in my speech pathology class the other day and felt a few people cringe with embarrassment for me. I ought to have tugged at my collar Rodney Dangerfield style and tapped an imaginary microphone…”is this thing on?”.

hehe…wish I did.

I’ve told this story so many times, but you gotta understand that I find it amazing that this lil’ lady…the same lil lady that calls my mum up in the evening because she can’t turn her VCR on…went through WWII in Poland on her own with a kid.

And…because I’m drinking I’m going to continue…

Granddad left with the Polish army once the war started, leaving Nanny and my uncle (who was 2) on their own. At that time, I guess, his mother was living with them (something he sprung on her after the wedding, she told me), so she took care of her, too.

The city in which they both lived and grew up, Przemysl, was apparently in the middle of Poland at the time. From what she’s told me, the Russians and Germans fought there and the occupation would switch sometimes daily. She told me once that you could go across the river to do shopping and by the time you were done, occupation lines had changed and you couldn’t get home.

That meant that when the Russians took over her neck of the city, her house would be used as an officer’s headquarters. She, my uncle, and her mother-in-law would live in one room, the officers lived in the rest of the house. She hated how they took down her crucifixes and put up pictures of Stalin.

When the Germans took over it meant labour camps. She was a forced labourer for the Germans for much of the war.

Eventually…like, within the last few months of the war, the Germans decided to pack up their ‘belongings’ (ie. my grandmother and other’s with her) and move back to safer ground. Nanny was 27 years old with a 5 year old child and never saw Poland again. To this day. Never saw her mother (her father died a couple of years before the war), her sister or her brother (actually, her brother was shot by Russians). They wrote, but never saw each other. She has only seen her hometown in pictures I brought back to her when I went.

She built coffins, believe it or not, for the remaining four months and after it was done…nothing. She found herself friends and worked as a (coincidentally) nanny for a couple of German families. Okay…really, the details here get fuzzy. But….really…my grandparents didn’t have contact with each other for nearly 8 years. If that were me telling my grandchild, my details would be fuzzy, too.

Granddad found her through writing letters with her mother, came to Germany and brought her to Scotland. My mother was born then. Then my aunt Zosia and then my uncle Ludwick. 18 years it took to complete their brood. Jesus.

Nanny still tells me she remembers being in Scotland with 4 kids and getting a letter from the Red Cross telling her they hadn’t found her husband yet.

So…that’s why I have ties to Scotland and no actual Scotish blood.

If anyone’s wondering and has actually made it this far.

So…I look at pictures like that (taken at my mum’s on my 32nd b-day) and think, “She did all that? That little lady that taught me how to knit and used to threaten me with a wooden spoon?”

She doesn’t talk about those days much anymore. I know all this because I used to question her endlessly about the war and Poland. Her aphasia makes it difficult to communicate on subjects she’s emotional about.

She’s going to be 90 this year. My grandfather died 25 years ago last September and she’s been living in the same house on her own since. And if her borsht is anything to go by, she’s doing fine.

I love that battleaxe.


my not secret not shame January 14, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — himbly @ 8:36 pm

my not secret not shame
Originally uploaded by himbly.

Things I love:

-hearing Led Zeppelin on the radio and knowing that if I just relax and try not to think about it too much, that every word will just come to me so that I can sing them out loud.


– did John Bonham feel like a wanker after he listened to Moby Dick? ‘Cause he sure sounded like one. Which is disappointing because he is one of my ‘anchors’ in my Led Zeppelin theory of ‘anchors’ vs ‘flakes’



Filed under: Uncategorized — himbly @ 10:41 am

Originally uploaded by himbly.

Are there not rules to shared laundryrooms?

I mean, I have what I think are some pretty good guidelines, but I must be crazy because people are animals!

Are you with me on these?

rules (in order of appearance (in my head)):

– when starting a batch of laundry, IF someone else has claimed the machines first, then you must wait a reasonable time for them to finish their run. They have dibs. Unless it’s an emergency and you need to get just one load done.

– If there are more than one set of washers/dryers in the laundry space, you are not allowed to take up all of them in order to have all your clothes washed faster. You must stick to one washer/dryer set. Maybe two if you need to get them done fast and there’s three sets in the room. Okay, basically, leave a washer and dryer for someone else.

– If someone leaves their clothes in the washing machine or dryer after the cycle has finished, you are NOT to remove those clothes unless a reasonable amount of time has passed. I usually allow two more visits to the laundryroom spaced about 15 minutes apart. 30 min is reasonable time to take laundry out, but 5 is not. I hate when people do that to me.

Okay..I think that’s the basics. Am I out of my mind? I think all of these sound reasonable, but there’s always some pushy laundry a-hole in every building, I guess.


decisions, decisions…

Filed under: Uncategorized — himbly @ 10:31 am

Originally uploaded by himbly.


It’s been bugging me since September (and before, actually).

What the hell am I going to do after this year? Like, what grad program should I choose?

Yesterday, with only 2’ish weeks before the deadline, I made up my mind. And I felt confident.

However, when bf came home last night and I announced my new plan, this is what happened:

“Okay..I’ve decided what I’m going to apply for at school…I’m gonna ***OUCH***…holy crap! My neck just seized up!……”

…and it still hurts.

Is that a bad sign?


hey! I know you! January 11, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — himbly @ 11:39 pm

Warhol – Howdy Doody
Originally uploaded by himbly.

I walked past Preston Manning today on the way to the C-train.

I’ve got nothing against the guy personally, just the frothing-at-the-mouth-goddamn-it-everything-would-be-fine-if-we-just-went-back-to-the-way-things-used-to-be-praise-Jesus ones that joined his club.

Anyway…so I wanted to shout, “hey, everybody! It’s Preston Manning!” but, ya know, it’s election time and I didn’t want to be, ya know…viewed as having those…ummm…leanings.


oh, happy day January 7, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — himbly @ 6:18 pm

I’ve done some things and been in some situations I’m not proud of.

A few years ago I was weak. Like, weaker than I’ve ever been. Some people I knew at the time took huge advantage of this and it took me awhile to sorta recognize them for the crappy human beings they were.

I credit my friends after this danky period and especially C for teaching me that it’s okay to have my own idea of right vs wrong and that I can believe my gut when I think people are creeps. And I don’t need creeps around me.

I slowly developed a ‘shit list’ of these remorseless pricks/prickettes and started to really hate them. I mean, really, they’re symbols of things I have to forgive myself for, obviously (says my inner Freud), but what’s wrong with a little hatred when people deserve it, anyway?

Today, about an hour ago actually, I was in Safeway picking up some stuff for dinner when I ran into one of these drains on human existance that I hadn’t seen in years.

I always wondered what I would do/think/feel in these situations…

He recognized me and when I passed him I stopped and turned around to see his smiling, ‘hey! I know you!’ face. Without thinking about it, I slowly smirked and lifted my hand which had already been formed in ‘bird-flipping’ pose. Then I walked away.

Okay..okay..not much…but it was enough to make me smile the rest of my shopping trip and when I walked past him again on my way out, I saw his face was red and he was flustered as I giggled and said, ‘dork’ and marched out of the door.

And the door did open for me, ’cause after that I worried that I’d walk into something…apparently whatever force is out there granted me this opportunity to belittle someone quietly and float away without tripping, stuttering, or falling. And for that, I might even pray tonight.

hahahaha…nah..I won’t. But still.


Crazy Bendy

Filed under: Uncategorized — himbly @ 4:01 pm

Originally uploaded by himbly.

Oh my god.

Check this out.

Wait for the third kid.


The penguins go marching up my bum… January 6, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — himbly @ 7:43 pm

Originally uploaded by himbly.



shut up.

March of the Penguins was not good and I’ll tell you why.

I am one of the first in any room or to be amazed by the wonder of nature. Animals are fascinating. Creatures all over this big green and blue earth are just chock full of crazy, interesting, wonderful, shocking, etc…things. Biology and evolution have provided each species with unique tools in which to perform certain tasks in order to maintain the ability to create more of the little effers. Totally.

So, why do we always have to anthropomorphize them every. damn. time.?

I just don’t believe that these birds are capable of complex emotions or thoughts. If they march over miles of ice to get this birth thing done, then that’s astonishing enough…you don’t have to pretend that a mama bird is crying over it’s dead young. ‘Cause it’s not.

Case in point? If those mama-penguins loved their children soooo durn much, why was there almost no action when a…

oh dear…here we go with the collective nouns: my sources say that penguins can be a: colony, crèche, huddle, parcel, etc. I’ll use huddle in this case

…huddle of their chicks was getting attacked by that Jimmy Durante looking bird?

I guess I like my animal documentaries about facts, not sentimental, heart-tugging speculation. We have no way of knowing how a penguin feels about a situation because we’re not penguins. Chances are, however, they don’t feel the same way we do in similar situations…why? ’cause our lives are completely different. They’re penguins. We’re humans. And if you haven’t noticed, our responses to survival are pret-ty different.


Tagged, hey? January 5, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — himbly @ 1:42 pm

Originally uploaded by himbly.

oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god…

I’ve been tagged by this guy and I’ve never done this before…


Okay…so…I write 5 things that are weird about me?

Is that what it’s about?

‘kay…after thinking about it, I decided it’s best not to think about it and let the 5 things flow through:

*deep breath*

here we go:

1- There are two types of salads I make as comfort food. Both were invented by me at the age of 16 in response to ‘fending for myself’ while my father worked out of town, and neither have changed much since that time. It is usually important to me that the ingredients to at least one of these salads is in my fridge at given time.

2- I handraised a ton of baby birds when I was a kid, mainly pigeons or robins.

I probably know more about pigeons than you do.

3- I cannot STAND when people leave the top off of good pens. Cheap ballpoints, I don’t care about but good pens…drives me batty. In fact, I have an affinity for all good stationary…I am the stationary whisperer.

4- I get terribly paranoid about people overhearing my conversations, even when they’re not about someone (good or bad). I used to have a habit of constantly checking to see if my cell was on, until I got my sweet sweet flip-phone.

5- I have sort of half-assed followed Danny Elfman’s career since I was a kid and Oingo Boingo was “big”. I liked his name when I first heard it and I remember him looking kinda nice crazy and red-headed. Then I started seeing his name on films. When I bought PeeWee’s Big Adventure on DVD and heard his commentary, a lot of things fell into place.

Other careers I’ve followed/cheered on: Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, and Mark Mothersbaugh.

Okay..so now I pick people to tag?

black mana if he ever blogs again.

eeners who is the only person with a blog who’s likely to even see this post.

You’re it!


Water in the booth January 3, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — himbly @ 2:14 pm

Originally uploaded by himbly.

Okay…two thoughts on this film:

a- go. It’s an important movie that I think everyone should see.

b- I will do a jig the day it leaves our theater.

Water is one of the most beautiful and thought provoking movies that I’ve seen come through the theater in a long time. It is also absolutely gut-wrenching in parts and I can’t take it now that I’ve played it 5 times.

Set in the late 30s, it’s a story of Hindu widows and the treatment they receive in a society that regards them as unlucky and unwanted due to ancient texts outlining how a widow should be treated and how she should live her life from the point of her husband’s death on. It may have been set in 1938, but it alludes to the problem still facing some women in India today.

These women, no longer welcome by their own or their husbands’ families, are sent to live together in an ashram and essentially fend for themselves, sometimes through degrading means….if ya get what I’m saying.

Also, some of these widows are still little girls because of marriages arranged early on and whichever other traditions get a 7 year-old married without even meeting her husband.

So..that’s basically the background.

Seriously, great movie.

However, everyone is an absolute wreck afterwards. I’ve seen five sets of audiences come out of that theatre like they’ve just gone through a tragic experience. And I’ve come down from the booth feeling the same way. And you should feel that way…it is a tragic story.

But one of my favourite things about this film is its (what I think was) deliberate setting in a time in which India was facing many changes. Truthfully, I don’t know much about Gandhi other than the very basics, so it never occured to me how conflicted the people must have been when he was doing so much good and making so much sense, while at the same time challenging the practices and customs that were so deeply part of Indian society.

The response of some characters to that conflict made the film richer for me.

At times, it can get a little sentimental. I didn’t really notice it until about the 3rd time I played it, though…and, I think because it’s a foreign film about things foreign to me I found it easier to forgive. Besides, really, with the subject matter, how do you not cross the line into sentimentality at times? The love interest storyline is what I’m talking about here. The guy, from the parts I saw, is so impossibly sweet and gentle and you knew what he wanted would be doomed that, if I were watching any other movie I would have been turned off. Somehow, though, he just made me teary everytime I saw him.

The ending, though, is where all the character-makes-an-inner-discovery-and-does-what-she-can-to-save-what’s-left action is and that’s when I have to rub those sandpaper-like brown paper towels (that’s all we’ve got in the booth) together so that they’d be soft enough to suck up the tears. Like, not little well up in the eyes tears but full flowing streams down cheeks tears.

So, if you see it…bring kleenex. With aloe, if you can.

I rate how much I like movies by how much I watch of them. I saw about 90% of this one…so, i think it’s pretty good. Content makes it a must see.


from the booth…

Filed under: Uncategorized — himbly @ 1:50 am

I’m posting this mainly just to remind myself and yes, I am too lazy to get a pen.

When I got back from the theatre tonight, BF made a joke about me doing ‘partial’ movie reviews on my blog

like, partial because I never really manage to sit through an entire film when I’m working. I usually catch as many bits and pieces as I can until I’ve seen the whole thing…and that’s if it’s good.

So…joke’s on him because I think that’s a good idea and i’m a-gunna do it.


freak bitch


well, lemme tell ya January 2, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — himbly @ 1:07 am

I’m drinking red wine (for ‘red wine’ read ‘truth serum’)…so, what to do next but blog?

though…all the beautifully put phrases that have been floating through my head all day have disappeared….


Xmas came and went.

New Year’s eve and day came and went.


I’m hesitant to ‘recap’ or anything…2005 was a twisty-turny year for me

I did a ‘friend overhaul’

I felt betrayed…alot

but I also found out that nothing’s perfect…bittersweet, lamegood, fucktard…

I moved into an apartment I hate with a man I love

I started working part time and going to school full time

I had a pretty frantic and pretty rewarding semester

I, for the first time in years, saw a project from beginning to completion with a real sense of accomplishment

I was gonna start knitting again, but I can’t find my durn needles

I learned that even if you spend a semester doing stuff you did while you were doing your degree…you still don’t know what you want to be when you grow up

I suffered, and still currently suffer, from one of the biggest bouts of self doubt I’ve ever had

and if I get drunker, I may whine about that, too.

so..when 2005 rolled away last night and 2006 crawled in…it met me with a nod and I showed it where it sits

I plied it with liquor so that it might be nice…but then I think I just got drunk and started bitching about it’s younger brother

I got more gift certificates than I can possibly use…that’s a lie. I’ll use them. So back off.

Xmas was kinda weird. Xmas eve is a P-tradition in which the family gets together and shows each other how weird they’ve gotten over the past year. Award this year goes to cousin S because she’s obviously worked very hard on her pathological lying. I sat wide eyed as she spun tales of complete and utter horseshit whilst trying to give my bf the best view of her cleavage as she possibly could. Atta girl. And she’s only 24.

I get a smaller prize for not laughing while my mother punctuated each fantastic fabrication with a kick under the table.

Boxing day was at the farm with my dad and his gf. Lots of tea (damn, LOTS of tea), lots of laughing, lots of pigeons, lots of dogs.

My dad has peacocks.

And his toilet works, so I didn’t have to pee behind the chicken coop.


Happy frickin’ New Year