bogeyandruby

Random stuff, reflections on the meaning of life and death, humour, self-deprecation, a bit of bad poetry.

Today is National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada, a day that recognizes and celebrates the cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada.

Over the past few years, I have made a conscious effort to learn more about these peoples, avoiding sources from a distinct colonial perspective (for example, government-approved, high school history curriculum), and opting instead for reading material written by indigenous authors.

Whereas I might skimp and save on some of the New York Times bestsellers I read, it is supremely important to me that I purchase this Indigenous reading material and read the sometimes difficult stories that are shared.

Supporting the artists is the least I can do. Sitting with my discomfort is a small gesture in the grand scheme of things, one that attempts to acknowledge all that was taken from our indigenous communities and all that continues to be denied.

A good friend who works for a community health care unit in Vancouver recently shared the text that she uses to sign off her work emails. It reads « I humbly acknowledge that I live and work on the unceded territories of … » and proceeds to name the affected nations.

I wish there was something equivalent that I could use to sign off my work emails but this province has a long way to go when it comes to acknowledging systemic racism, never mind stolen land. If I feel frustrated and powerless in the face of this denial, I can only imagine how the Indigenous communities feel. A day of recognition is a good thing but it isn’t enough to make a real difference. We need to walk the walk the other 364 days of the year.

What do you get your 90 year old, low vision dad for Father’s Day, when he says he doesn’t need or want anything?

You get him a pair of drawstring Tommy Hilfinger shorts, and a box of 36 black Sharpie markers so he can read his own notes and ours.

And Indian take-out, medium spicy.

I find it difficult to see him looking so frail these days. He’s always been this stalwart presence in our lives, our biggest supporter in good times and bad, the dad who carpooled us everywhere and took us tent camping, immigrant-style. He still asks me if I need anything every time I call or stop by.

I figure at this point in his life, he’s earned a rest, a respite from worrying about his kids no matter how old they are.

Happy Father’s Day, dad. I hope we are lucky enough to celebrate many more. Time is so precious. Love you lots.

Party hats and my dad’s outfit matches the birthday cake.

I like the word mediocrity.

Ordinariness. Passableness. Averageness.

I dabble in a lot of things that I’m okay at. Nothing wrong with being okay at something. It’s better than sucking at it.

My husband has a teeshirt that reads, « World’s okayest guitar player ». I love that. I’ll be the world’s okayest dabbler.

I did win something once. It was a Kiwanis scholarship at my high school convocation. Unfortunately, I wasn’t listening when it was announced. Probably daydreaming about some boy I had a crush on.

On cue and clueless, I clapped along with everyone else when they announced my name, until the classmate next to me nudged me and said I’d better get on stage.

I wouldn’t say it is the biggest regret in my life, but it is a small one. That the one time I managed to rise above mediocrity, I had no idea why. 🤓

Ever won anything? Excel or dabble? Do share!

My husband and Tommy Emmanuel (World’s Best Guitar Player).

Last night, I reluctantly signed out of my early morning online class after making a mental list of all I had to do at the office today.

It’s never a good sign when your to-do list gives you heart palpitations as you lay your head down to sleep. A quarter dose of a quick-dissolve gravol eventually sent me off to la-la land.

I wish I could say it was a solid, dreamless sleep but it wasn’t. In fact, I dreamed that I dropped my DSLR camera attached to a very expensive telephoto lens in some fresh snow that was hiding a puddle of muddy slush. Thankfully, Sami shi tzu chose that moment to pounce on me, Tigger style, saving me from what was fast turning into a nightmare.

I worked hard today, nine hours straight, and ticked every single item off my to-do list and then some. Meetings were productive, case discussions collaborative, charting up to date, stats completed and only one client called me « stupid ». 🙄

But hey, it’s the week-end, peeps, and I’d say we earned it. Yay!

GO HABS GO!

I’ve been neglecting my creative side of late, partly because of COVID fatigue but also, if I’m honest, because I spend an awful lot of time supporting (and enjoying, I might add) other people’s creations, including my husband’s.

While I’m not talented enough to earn a living through my hobbies, I need to practice them to have balance in my life. I need more of the joy that comes from making something.

In order to fulfill those needs, I must make time for them. And that sometimes means not opening a link, attending a show, or scrolling through social media.

This void in my life is partly why I took on this 30 day/150 words challenge, to push myself to create again, to stimulate the right side of my brain before it turns completely to sludge.

I may not be great at art, but I am really good at following routine and commitment to habit.

What do you do creatively that brings you joy? Do you make time for it?

Another hobby!

I’ve got a stye 
in my eye
I wish
it were pie

If you don’t have time to soak in a tub, sit still for five minutes with a wet, warm compress on your eye and a soundtrack of ocean waves playing in the background.

We met a young husky mix with one blue eye and one brown on our dog walk this evening. As we approached, the owner instructed the puppy to sit, stay, then « look at me. » That lasted about a nanosecond.

Me to Ian: « That dog has got beautiful eyes and I’ve got a stink eye. »

My dad has macular degeneration. Not only has his low vision robbed him of his capacity to drive but he can no longer watch his stocks go up and down. On the plus side, he is now free to shout and clap along to FM opera from the passenger seat.

Every two weeks or so, my mother puts Jalapeño potato chips on her shopping list. « Your father eats them to stay awake listening to the stock market reports. »

My dad does everything with his middle finger: he points with it, uses it to push his glasses up, and scratch his nose.

Here he is using his middle finger to calculate his stock market gains on his giant, low vision calculator.

As a rule, I avoid large gatherings and anything resembling a celebration or party. That being said, I was really hoping to be able to watch my son pick up his high school diploma in person.

Instead, it will be only be accessible to the students with the parents being given a link to watch the convocation online.

It is a small disappointment in the face of what so many have lost in the pandemic but I will allow myself a few minutes to wallow in it.

He is my little miracle, the child I didn’t think I could have, the one I nearly lost. We’ve been through a lot together, he and I, and I just wanted to be there.

He’s okay about it. This is all on me.

Categories: love

My sister and I took our parents for their second Moderna vaccine today, eight days earlier than originally scheduled.

The parking lot at the local community centre where the vaccines were being given was teeming with mid-sized cars driven by a generation of seniors well-versed in the etiquette of public parking. There was no pushing or shoving and definitely no honking.

One thing I’ve noticed about municipal parking spaces, they are much narrower than parking spots in private enterprises, not to mention there is very little room to maneuver between the rows of cars. Add to that my poor spatial awareness (you can read about that here) and you have one challenging parking situation.

After debarking my eight-five year mother (my dad got a lift with my sister) and instructing her to wait for me, I exited and re-entered the parking lot twice looking for an opening.

Second time in and there it was, a double spot. Don’t ask me how I did it because I could neither explain it nor repeat it but in a feat of near linear perfection, I somehow managed to back into a spot, first shot, with about ten inches to spare between the car and the grassy median that separated the parking spots from the exit.

If it hadn’t been so busy I would have taken a video or at least a picture. Alas, my mother was waiting for me.

As happy as I was about my parents completing their vaccine cycle, I was even more excited to drive forwards out of that parking spot instead of reversing.

About forty-five minutes later, I did exactly that, and promptly jumped the curb of the median as I turned left to exit.

What do you get when you put two immigrants together in a phone conversation, each with a different mother tongue, one whose second language is English and the other who speaks French?

You get broken telephone, of course.

Thirty years ago my best friend Marisa brought a bottle of wine to my father’s 60th birthday dinner. After the party, my dad wanted to call all the party guests, including Marisa, to thank them for coming and for the gifts they brought. I gave him Marisa’s number and forgot about it.

Next time I spoke to my friend, I asked her if she’d received a call from my dad. She looked puzzled at first until something slowly dawned on her.

Apparently she was out when my dad called and he had tried to leave a message with her mother. Picture my English-speaking, East Indian dad trying to leave a message with my friend’s Italian mother in his broken French: « Papa, je suis, de Sharin. »

The message Marisa received from her mother was that a Jesuit Priest of the order of Sharin had called.

Marisa’s sister Pat said it best, « Why would a Jesuit Priest be calling you? »

The answer, in short, was he wouldn’t be.

LOL.

Dressed to party.

On another note, I can’t believe we are the same age my father was at that birthday party. I thought he was so old then with his dusty bow ties and his dad mugs. Perspective and time changes everything.

Yesterday after work, I drove my son to the local driving school to register him for driving lessons, at least for the initial theory lessons. Once those are completed, he has to take a bit of a detour (pun intended) to the Constance-Lethbridge Rehabilitation Centre due to his diagnosis of developmental coordination disorder.

As we pulled into the little strip mall where the driving school is located, I advised my son of my intention to park as far away as possible from the school’s store front so that nobody in there would observe my poor parking skills and judge him for it.

“Okay, mom.”, he said, without batting an eye.

As much as I like rules, regulations and structure to guide me through life’s highways, two yellow lines ain’t gonna cut it.

I was sixteen when I went for my first driving exam after having aced the theory exam (much to my driving instructor’s surprise, he who, from the vantage point of our shared bench seat, the knees of his 6’2” frame crushed against the dashboard, witnessed me turning the wrong way down a one-way street and nearly plowing into some boys from my year cutting through a field, all in the same lesson) and promptly failed when my car jumped the curb during the parallel parking portion of the exam.

“Madame, you lost control of your vee-hee-col. I cannot pass you.”

Through sheer luck (and a bit of practice), I aced my second attempt. To this day, I continue to jump curbs turning right at intersections, going through drive-thrus, and trying to get out of senior’s residences. However, since passing my driving test, I have never ever done so while parallel parking.

And that’s the truth. 😇

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