that perfect hand…

In Ocean's 11, Danny said that "the house always wins. If you play long enough, never change the stakes, then the house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big… and then, you take the house." Here's the hand I've been dealt, sometimes it's risky and sometimes it's safe, but all the time… it's perfect. It's mine.


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to wish impossible things

“The stars in the sky illuminate below,
The light is the sign that love will guide you home.”

Nathan, my brother, got into a car accident today. He’s okay, aside from being quite shaken up, so are the other two guys that were in the car with him and so is the driver of the vehicle he hit.

He has had his ‘N’ since March and is an excellent driver. He pulled out a little bit past the stop sign and couldn’t see anyone coming so he made the turn and turned into a van. He just made a little bit of a mistake.
See ever since I got home, Nate has been driving the Nissan Sentra that I’ve been driving the last three years at school. And for the three years before that, Jes drove it. And she started driving it after Nana gave it to us after her many years of driving it. This white, rusted, rickety old car has a legacy not only within our family, but all of our family. So for the past month, he has replaced the brakes and some filter thing and done a ton of work on it, all by himself. The little beater quickly became a labour of love and it was pretty cool watching him driving it like nobody’s business because it reminded me of my grade 11 year and driving the Volkswagen Beetle to school and being invincible. At least feeling so.

Either way, I just hurt for him today because while he had, quite possibly, one of his first real tastes of fear, all of his hard work in a few short weeks came to a flying halt — the car is beyond repair, some call it a “write off”, and it has been a surprisingly sad little evening knowing that the Sentra is off the road for good. And it is totally unfair and sucky (for lack of a better word, honestly) that Nathan has to go through this. Even though there is a lesson in here somewhere, sometimes finding it is pretty annoying. Coupled with the fact that the Stams seem to have the absolute worst luck with vehicles in the history of anyone, I wish for a break for everyone — is that too impossible? Poor guy.

I bet Scott is secretly smiling that it won’t be parked by the Rutherford house anymore, though.


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not for the faint of heart, mind…or stomach

Spoiler Alert!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!: This post is disgusting. However, now that I have access to a digital camera, I can post pictures. And tonight was in full need of photographic documentation.

DISCLAIMER: I work for the regional government and consulted with both our environmental coordinator, pest control, and the guy who I have a crush on (he knows about these things, so I needed advice). Ergo, everything you see here is completely legal, legitimate, and not, I repeat NOT, interrupting the circle of life or interfering with the natural vegetation of our area/property or the Okanagan Valley as a whole. So please refrain from calling me an animal killer or inhumane, because this is completely condoned and done by actual contractors within our RD and municipalities. There is a bylaw too but I am not going to scan it on here, just take my word for it.

BACKGROUND: We have a pool in the back yard which is a God-send in the 40 degree weather during the summer months. After slaving over cleaning it and filling it, there is a type of black bird (Starling — “Starlings are very aggressive and will drive native birds out of their territory.They often gather in the tens of thousands, creating a nuisance when roosting in populated areas”) that use the pool (and now the pool cover) for their bathroom. So after scooping and pressure washering and everything else, they don’t leave. In fact, they are nuisance birds that scare away all of the other birds and “wildlife” that habitat here, especially orchards/vineyards (like the one we live on). And a few years ago, our pond was filled in so the guy at work detected that theses birds now use our pool as their “pond” because the other one is gone. Anyways, if it’s not the pool, it’s our vehicles. It’s absolutely disgusting. Below, the picture shows a SAMPLING of what the ENTIRE pool cover looks like, it’s covered, and what the entire bottom of the pool looks like too:
Stupid Birds

SO with the go ahead from coworkers and the law, we have to call the conservation officers who will catch and poison the birds — so they will be killed anyways — because they are interrupting the life balance here. But we’re also allowed to shoot them with pellet guns and slingshots:

That’s Nathan, John, and Riley.

And by golly, they made an example of the little hideous monster:

This is all that’s left of the little guy:

This is what’s left of the crew:

I consider this a pure example of problem-solvers 101. Want to come for a swim?? We’re ready to go!


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echoes, silence, patience and grace

“There’s a big
a big hard sun
beating on the big people
in the big hard world”

It’s kind of like the residue of heart-burn and stomach pains. Sometimes, it hurts bad enough to leave an echo of awfulness, then there is silence while I anticipate its return, in mock patience. And I’d like to think I handle it with grace given that I hardly every complain, even though it’s pretty consistent in my life.

That is so not the point.

I don’t really know much but I do know that things are still at a standstill. Is that okay? It’s not like I am an excitement junkie, but it sure feels like what I am craving when there is none. And I mean excitement as in something new. It’s interesting how wonderful home sounds when we’re not here. Doesn’t mean it isn’t wonderful, but I am desiring something a little less predictable. I joke with my friend about this, like God is just keeping me here in preparation for something really BIG that’s coming around the corner.

Well, I keep turning them and then there is nothing. Why is that? I mean, I wake up, go to work, go to the gym, come home, eat dinner, sometimes talk to someone on the phone, sometimes I write, most times I work outside, then I go to bed. My social life has picked up a bit this summer so far, which is fine, but that’s not what I mean.

I am just missing when my blood pressure raises higher and not because I am getting defensive or because my coworkers are being [insert explicative]. I want something to get excited about that is not my crush at work or Mom’s cooking. Don’t get me wrong, I am not sad or depressed or hyper sensitive, I am just…gasp…bored.

I want a curveball.
A dream come true.
Some seriously warm weather.
Attention.
God-time.
Inspiration.
A visit from someone.
Good news.
A niece or nephew (just kidding).

Basically, I want it to be my turn for something ultra-fantastic-and-unexpected. Any chance you want to get on the bandwagon, support and pray for me? I don’t want a challenge necessarily, just something that rocks, that’s for me, and that pales the ever-present heartburn that I still haven’t seen a doctor for.

Echoes, silence, patience and grace. I need something other than that. I’ve gotten pretty good at the echoes, communed with the silence, tried my best to be patient, and accepted the grace.

Cheers.

Listen to me: HOME by the Foo Fighters:

Wish I were with you but I couldn’t stay
Every direction leads me away
Pray for tomorrow but for today
And all I want is to be home

Stand in the mirror you look the same
Just looking for shelter from the cold and the pain
Some want to cover, safe from the rain
And all I want is to be home

Echoes and silence, patience and grace,
All of these moments I’ll never replace
No fear of my heart, no absence of faith
And all I want is to be home

All I want is to be home

People I’ve loved, I have no regrets
Some I remember some I forget
Some of them living some of them dead
And all I want is to be home


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mitch hedberg

Sue, one of my BFFs from high school, used to download comedy for her own listening pleasure. (She might still do it, we don’t really talk about those sorts of things). Sometimes, when she would find a particularly good one, she would call me and tell me to listen to it, sometimes over the phone (?), or when I would visit her, she would play it for me and wait expectantly for me to chuckle at the right spots. I would take my cue from her and laugh when laughter glazed over her own eyes, because I honestly (sorry Sue) did not think it was funny, at all. He wasn’t crude, by other comedic standards, and my lack of enthusiasm seemed to just be another peg on my socially incapacity scale — it was really hard for me to admit that I was naive, especially when [by all appearances] I was pretty socially smart and “in”. (I am not ‘tooting my own horn’ I am just saying that our ‘group’ in high school was pretty much the conventional ‘in’ crowd, much to my 23 year old wisdom dismay, so when I struggled with things that were ‘in’ that I didn’t understand, I never admitted it, hence the need for a therapeutic blog of admitting past issues).

Also, I struggled with that comedians often sound like they are on drugs/drunk or they often laugh or crack jokes at the expense of others. Wrong. Stupid. Glorifying humour that we should stay away from. But then again, I am all for people who can poke fun at themselves.

Anyways, I didn’t think Mitch Hedberg was funny. In fact, ‘funny’ to me isn’t always what other people think is funny. Just before Christmas, Luke and Buzz and I took a study break and I brought over Superbad to watch with them. Maybe it was the 18th C Literature that was suffocating my brain, but I also didn’t find Superbad funny. In fact, I found myself stealing looks at the men to know when I should be laughing, even though when Luke started full on rage-cackling at a scene, I was thinking ‘is this guy for real?’…Luke, not the movie… I couldn’t believe they thought parts were as funny as their laughs dictated. I watched Superbad again a couple months later, on my own, and while it didn’t make me laugh out loud like it did them, I could see definite funny-possibilities once I watched it again.

I find this fascinating, because I like to think of myself pretty easygoing and always up for anything, particularly if fun is involved. But regular old 21st C hilarity is just not funny to me. I mean, some comedy is fantastic… I think we can all agree that Ellen is absolutely fantastic, I do laugh out loud at her show whenever I catch it on the TV and her stand-up DVD I must’ve watched every time I went over to Daly’s house the year after I graduated (well, maybe the two times they had rented it…but hey). But yea, it’s just not my thing. It’s almost as if movies or comedy are almost forced humour, and I can’t seem to get over that they are standing up in front of an audience and their whole purpose is to be funny. It’s almost as if I don’t want to give them the satisfaction of my laughter because I refuse to let people make money or entertain by physically trying to be funny. So even if a part of me wants to LOL, my psyche refuses.

Therefore, when people put me on the spot and say ‘hey Kate, check this out!’ I cringe because 9/10 times it’s either comedy, like Mitch Hedberg, that I struggle laughing at, something stupid that a human being has done that I will laugh laugh laugh at to a point where the person showing me questions my morality, or a dumb movie that is so absolutely hideous that I start getting angry that I wasted a moment watching it.

People, time is something we cannot get back.

Although, I do love this quote from one of Mitch Hedberg’s finer moments:

“I’m sick of following my dreams. I’m just going to ask them where they’re goin’, and hook up with them later.”

(Please respect the fact that this blog is A: a matter of personal opinion and B: does not, by any means, serve to inhibit you from showing me ‘funny’ things… I Just needed to create a safe haven so I don’t have to keep pretending anymore and C: like many things, is completely blown out of proportion).


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uninspired

“I found my place
In a fairytale of thought”

Maybe it happened because I cut off my hair (well, 4 inches of it) but I am struggling lately. Struggling to find the words for what is going on in my head and heart right now.

I was just driving back from my girlfriend’s a little while ago. It started raining and I went down to the beach for a little bit (stormy weather = strong waves = God’s fine masterpiece) and I noticed that I struggle with how to express what’s going on but just how absolutely quiet everything is right now. During school the noise becomes so loud (and downright obnoxious) that I sometimes forget my motive or approach or reasoning for what I am doing. Or what I did. It’s easy to justify things based upon all that noise and simply not hearing over the loudness that consumes us.

But right now, everything is so quiet. Not in a way that makes me believe that it’s ‘setting me up for something’ or that I am numb, but a stillness that is making me feel like, if only for a breath, that I am where I am supposed to be (mentally, physically, emotionally) and I don’t want it any other way right now. My sister was talking to me about being newlyweds or pregnant or just dating or just engaged or any other milestone in that part of life and told me that she is content with where she and her husband are at. And I think that that might be where I am. It’s pretty quiet here. I don’t mean not lonely and I definitely don’t mean I’ve peaked, but I do think God has me right where He needs me to be and I am not worried. It’s just…really cool.

It’s kind of like at the end of Christmas holidays and we’ve just removed all of the ornaments from the tree for another year. The tree stands there, just as it did before it had ornaments on it, erected in a way that makes you think ‘while the ornaments made it beautiful, the tree can stand on its own, without all that’. And for a moment, we stare at the tree in a way that glorifies the tree just for being a tree, for standing in your living room, for what it represents.

I feel like I am a tree stripped of all my ornaments right now. Even though our ornaments are irreplaceable, what is there when they are gone? Strip them away. Take away what says ‘student’ or ‘mother’ or ‘wife’ or ‘child’. Take away the part of you that is for your children, your family, for work and play and commitments and goals and pride and accomplishments and dreams and obligations. If you removed the grudges and pain and anger and bitterness and hyper activity and laughter and emotion and depression and love. Whatever you’ve decided that defines you, whatever things you believe you’re only good for or not good enough for or whatever you would say to someone when saying ‘this is who I am’. If that was stripped all away, as it will be one day, what will you be? Who will you be? Where do your desires end and God’s desires begin? Where to they merge? Where have you lost yourself? Did you lose yourself on purpose? Are you ignoring something that you know you shouldn’t be? Are you being encouraged to say something you should have a long time ago? Are you afraid to be honest? Are you scared to be vulnerable? Are you aware that all that you have and all that you control really is beyond your possession and beyond your control? Did you know you’re not always right (but you’re not always wrong, either)? Did you know that what you could’ve done when you chose not to could’ve changed the day of that person for the better? Did you know at the end of the day, all that matters is you and God, not what we acquire and desire in this life? Did you know that we always have options? Did you know that at this very moment you could be in someone’s prayers and have no idea? All I know is that we are a lot more transparent, not only to God, than we’d like to believe.

It’s just very quiet right now. I want to know all of those things. I am just waiting. It’s pretty cool right here.


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stolen quote

From Brian’s Facebook profile:

my wife: “I’m way more popular than you, look how many friends I have on facebook!”
me: “Louise, its about quality, not quantity”
my wife: “Yeah, thats what people say when they don’t have alot of friends”
Touché.
________________________________________________________________________
In other news, I am attempting to fly up to Smithers next weekend. Attempting being the key word. A friend of mine is having a wedding reception and I am really hoping to get back there for it. If not May long, I am going to try to go the weekend after. Wouldn’t that be great?


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just an ordinary day

So I have been back in Penticton apprx. one week now and the two feelings clashing are “same old, same old” and “wow, I love my mom”. Not that they are really clashing, but it feels like nothing really has changed and for a self-proclaimed adventure-seeker, well, it should be enough that I am just reminded again how great my mom (and her house) is.

I started work on Thursday, so I was technically home only two days (not even unpacked — as a result of sheer laziness) before I went back to the regional district. I will admit, I was a little hesitant about returning because at the end of last summer I went to my boss with two fair, albeit major, concerns for the next (this) summer that would determine my return: different work (ie: no more filing) and higher wage (Tim Horton’s was paying a competitive wage to mine…and it included full benefits). With a promise to “work on it”, I was welcomed back to the RD in February but didn’t hear a peep about my concerns. So I was prepared to look at the outline for my job on my first day and walk out if it wasn’t satisfactory. (Not really, but I was unsure how I would handle another confrontation about my worthiness to the job when I am not the most confident person in those situations). Lo and behold, my job description has completely changed as they will be training me for Electoral and Municipal election prep and I will spend my summer preparing for the RD Director Elections come November (by then I will be long gone). Also, my wage went up so significantly I had to go sit in a bathroom stall and pray about it for awhile, to be 100% certain that it was okay for me to accept such an increase and I am still reeling by it. When God answers prayer, he does so in insurmountable ways. Enough of that. So needless to say, work is shaping up to being interesting this summer, with the continued tradition of JEANS on FRIDAYS and flip-flops and skirts and t-shirts standard apparel. Also, the guy from last summer that I had that ginormous crush on, see where I blogged about it here is still working there and he blushed when I asked him about his year. I am on a roll. Just kidding. And to top it off my one friend in Penticton also returned to work so yea, it’s nice to be back, in a roundabout way.

Although, it’s been so gorgeously sunny and warm that I am having a difficult time not finding excuses to leave work. Pretty soon I will be offering to treat everyone to Starbucks just so I can walk the lonnnnnnnnng way to the coffee shop (How? I don’t know yet, given that it’s right across the street). Today Mom and Jayme are in Salmon Arm for Jayme’s rep/Gold program soccer jamboree all day and Nathan is at work and I am just taking a break from sunning myself. Life is good.

My gym pass last year was a whopping $131 for two months. I was ecstatic when I went and renewed it for four months at the price it cost for two last year. Not bad.

Other than that, I have settled into my makeshift-room in the basement and after four years, it has become pretty cozy down here. I have a couple writing projects on the go and I anticipate some visitors, namely friends from the island and Calgary/Drum this summer. I also just got my grades from this semester’s courses and I was pleasantly surprised.

Which brings me to Victoria.

On a scale of good decision vs. bad decision, the pros and cons of moving out to the island compared to staying in Alberta are pretty hard to determine. See, I loved how small Victoria is to Calgary, but I did not enjoy Vic’s lacking in an Ikea and Olive Garden, only because I had come to appreciate those luxuries. While I loved the lack of snow over the winter months, I missed not being able to see my breath in the morning or being able to wear my cute touques and mitts I had accumulated over the years. While I didn’t mind U of C or MRC, UVic has been an awesome vessel for change in my own academics and its Humanities focus benefited me tenfold, so I know Victoria is the best place for me academically. Even though it was awesome being able to reconnect and witness to old friends from home and new friends met this year, I definitely missed those who grew close to my heart that I left behind (ie: Leanne). And while the Josoks, Rutherfords, Simpsons, Trav and Chrissy, Marli and Dad being so close were such a blessing by way of family in Victoria, I absolutely missed Steve and Megan, Jes and Mark, and Mark’s family (especially Brian hahaha) being either a stone’s throw or a three hour drive away. And in EITHER case, my mom is neither place so it doesn’t even really seem fair to choose Calgary over Victoria while she’s here. 🙂 So I just realized one or two highly significant things:

1. Comparison is not worth it. I am just blessed beyond measure for my life and the time I had in Alberta that allows me to have a place/places to miss while I am enjoying my time in Victoria. They both rock, and both times I went to Camrose this year I felt a huge sense of relief like “I am home”… so maybe, in God’s weird way, leaving forced me to appreciate it. But leaving also helped me grow away from what I was trying to leave behind. So there’s that.

2. I still need a husband. For many of the obvious reasons, but right now I just wish I had another person to base decisions on. Being free to do what I want is a tricky thing. Who knows, I might even be back in Alberta before you know it.