birdie-tracey lindberg

“And when you are attractive and chasing in Vancouver, eventually you get caught yourself. She was caught by Stanley Manklow. A completely beautiful specimen of man. She hadn’t learned to read tarot cards or mean eyes yet.” (113-4)

“She had thought it was love and had given in to that part of herself that wanted to be hurt. And that piece of the hope of something bigger, something loving, turned into a kernel of something indescribably hard. She wonders now how desperate she must have ben to accept that ugly gift and return it. To have felt aroused at the near-beating. At that moment, she began to reject and loathe that thing in her that needed to be hit, hard. And she knew within that fury that she hated him, too. For introducing it so glibly. For making her a one-time offer.” (194-5)

this little beaut was part of canada reads, but i didn’t get to it then. i got to it because of the librarians (ola), but i love the double-charters. that reminds me, i kind of fell off this year, with my worst showing ever, at 30%, but i still have a couple of weeks (i’m probably not going to get to any more of them, and that might be ok this year). i am reading through my holds…and that will definitely be done this year.

i love that this book is about love(s), skin, and literal and figurative homes. all the good themes.

“As the blisters spread she feels, instead of alienated from her skin, more at home in it. Like it is starting to look like she feels inside of it.” (6)

as someone who has had many run-ins with eczema over the years, some of the times with it being completely out of control, this is a completely different way of approaching the situation. i mean-i am always great-full (when it’s gone) for it’s existence as a reminder that things have to change-NOW, but i don’t think i’ve ever embraced it as such.

“Then, she could not afford the luxury of disdain.” (69)

i often wish this for people at work-i mean, i don’t, but i do. i don’t wish hardship on anyone, but i do wish the experience that comes from hardship-namely the one that results in gratitude and personal responsibility and ownership of how we contribute to our own situations.

today-pastor walrus made me cry because he told me that my positive energy lights up the house and that i should keep it up because it makes people happy-leave it to pastor walrus to be the only one to tell me-rather than the pile of complaints that are usually thrown my way by people who can’t and don’t want to fix their faces.

then, maria bought me my lasagna and i was invited over for an impromptu carb fest, baby sangria, and a dance performance that got me home searching for glitter glue and garbage pail kids.

“He was only part Phil, because he was Metis. She wasn’t sure about that, though, because he pronounced it ‘Met-iss’.” (134)

“So Jesus did not weep and Jesus did not save.” (209)

i’m going to burn some more of my new gratitude mix incense and call it a night. goodnight.

cds donated: reflect-for those who wait, manu-voix de fait
cds kept: sekoya-dalawa, eternia-where i’m at (the setup), eternia-where i’ve been (the collection)


dream wheels-richard wagamese

“who’s the desperado?”

“There were no mulatto gangs. He was alone here, and he felt the weight of his isolation every time he hit the street, the disdain, the anger his obvious mixed blood caused in people. It was a dangerous place to be without backup.” (30)

richard wagamese is a national treasure. i had never even heard of him before last year, but his books have only ever been recommended to me by librarians, and that’s pretty spectacular. shoutout to nancy of (mostly) parkdale for talking to me about ragged company first and to pam for introducing me to the ola who have once again suggested one of his books to be on this year’s summer reading list. i can’t wait to devour that one in conjunction with the buffet of delicious and nutrituous works in his canon.

“The way he figured it, smell was the one sense that allowed you to hold on to things, to remember, recollect, reassemble a life, and he came here to do just that.” (12)

“The whiskey smell spewed into the room with each snore. It seeped from his skin, hung in the air like the curses from an hour ago, and her throat constricted from its sour, sickly richness.” (16)

“It struck her then that language is built of silences, the real words tucked away inside the wide gulf of the silences people fall into between the words.” (200)

“But hope bruised too, and Claire fingered her swollen nose and felt the crush of loss that hurt more than the beating. Hope sometimes felt worse than dying.” (77)

mister wagamese-i’m great-full for the beauty and the heartbreak that you wordpaint-thank you.

requiem-frances itani

“A picture from Greg was enclosed, three large crayoned stick figures holding hands. It was labelled FAMBLY. A multicoloured rainbow arced across the upper right corner. At the bottom left were a stick-figure dinosaur and a hoodoo, both tiny, as if to let me know that the work I was doing was small, in comparison to FAMBLY.” (15)

i’ve renewed my remaining titles of the evergreen summer reading club the maximum number of times. it’s like if i don’t finish them, it won’t be over-like the wire. i’ve fallen asleep at least three times during the last episode of season five, so i don’t know how it ends. i really appreciated this selection as a continuation of the ongoing theme of alternate WWII stories as presented by canadians. i remember mister murao, my grade 9 math teacher, who grew up in an internment camp. he told us how he used his $21,000 cheque to buy a van. i guess you don’t report the stories of inhumane segregation and sub-par water reserves to a bunch of angsty teenagers-it was probably written into his contract somewhere.

“Like everyone in our Fraser River camp, we would have to pay for our own internment-until the money ran out and Father found a way of earning more.” (105)

“At the beginning, there was no fresh water. Drinking water in covered barrels was brought in by truck from outside the camp. Like everything else, the water had to be paid for, though many people had diarrhea after drinking it. When the truck arrived, men and women brought buckets, pots, any containers they could find, and these were filled from the back of the truck. Three old people died of dysentery and typhoid within the first month of our arrival.” (108)

shelter-frances greenslade

“he didn’t feel sheep shame”


“he didn’t feel sheepish”

“you got a card from another boy with a book?”

the 7-year old prophet strikes again. not only with the amazing on-point misread, but with the sweetest card i’ve ever received from a junior reading buddy. my silver crush got me the same way last week, with a card tucked into john lithgow‘s recent autobiography, and three shots of a canadian tequila whose name i misheard as “strombo” went smoothly down my gullet at our staff party on wednesday night-bigups to 3030 for saving us a table. i won’t be able to get to any non-library books for a minute, as i am fully immersed in the OLA evergreen summer reading list books, rounding the halfway mark on my 6th one this morning. i really want to bake the person(s) that curates this list a cake for blowing my mind with all these canadian authors that i’ve never heard of. i flew through this one that seems to be driving the lost and/or abandoned mother story home for me this week (hey, national treasure, i hug you much).

“Not true, of course. I was just too mad at Jenny for deciding to keep the baby to make the sacrifice of riding a bus for twelve hours with Bea. And also too worried. I carried around the constant hope that Mom would pull up in front of Bea’s house with her grin and her strong legs and her kiss. My fourteenth birthday had passed without word from her. But Christmas seemed like a time when she might come. We needed her now more than ever and if there was such a thing as mother’s instinct, maybe she would know. I was afraid to be away and miss her. She could slip away again, not knowing that we weren’t okay.” (250)

my high school graduation was the last rite of passage that i stopped hoping to see mine at. leaving home, my undergrad, my trip to viet nam, my journey as a failed musician, the first time i touched a stage, the first and last time i got involved with a married person, the miscarriage, and the cervical cancer scare are a few more over the past 29 years that it would’ve been nice to have her insight and/or support for. they say blood is thicker than water, but my hemoglobin’s been awfully thin. bigups to zaki (via the manifesTO newsletter) for providing the soundtrack that’s rocking my headphones this night.

various positions-martha schabas

“I understand something at last, maybe what Roderick has always been trying to teach me: that the rules of the real world just aren’t suited to ballet. I’ve tasted something of this real world now and it is the saddest flavour imaginable, dreary as a piece of gum that’s been in your mouth too long, that’s waiting to be spat against the sidewalk.” (356)

to pay or not be paid for looking after the dependents of another? over the course of my life, i have found myself in many different situations with rewards coming in the form of cash, tiffany necklaces, a change of scenery (always good for a writer), and priceless life experience. i’m pretty sure that this friday will come with the cure to the internal dog clock that’s been ticking inside me for the past seven years. i love this dog, but it’s really hard to cultivate a relationship with someone that’s completely one-sided, to coddle someone’s insecurity so severe that it translates as defensive fang-gnashing and growls. it’s the most frustrating relationship-someone that makes you feel miserable to be around, and then neglect-full when you leave. it breeds a spectrum of victimhood/participation, and this is a theme in my favorite book so far of the evergreen summer reading club as presented by the library. the coming of age of the young woman in the context of the physical art of ballet is also a nice perspective, and i’m great-full for my dance classes this year for the extra insight of the terms and positions.