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.