Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Are you an organ donor?

I had this conversation today.
Some people are not comfortable with it.

There are things that are worse than death.
Don't you think?

Some people envisage doctors waiting in the triage twisting their mustaches intent on not doing all they can to save you in order to take your organs in order to give them to someone else.

Some people aren't because of their religious beliefs.

Some are not, just because.

I'm curious to know,

Are you?

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Imagine that you are 26 years old.
You are beautiful.
You have a decent job, and a sideline as a Jazz/Hip Hop dancer (you’ve been in videos and everything).
You have your whole life ahead of you.

Then, your mother is diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease.
You stop your life.
You move to a small armpit town in Northern Ontario, and take care of her, along with your stepfather who is suffering with prostate cancer.

This is The Mister’s cousin.

We saw both Cousin and Auntie for the first time in a long time last night.
Auntie has declined significantly.
We see less of the Auntie we remember every time we see her.
Yet with the melancholy there is also the comedy.

When Auntie first came in, after my hello hug, she said:
“Yuh better watch me, yuh hear? I’s steal bad, bad. It’s the Alzheimer’s.”

True to her word, she was found to have 4 packs of cigarettes and 2 lighters by this morning. Thinking that every pack that was the same brand as hers, was in fact hers.
The repetition, the same questions over and over, and the obsession with certain items (like the whereabouts of her purse), become fatiguing.
…and how sad it is that Auntie also knows this to be so, and is constantly apologizing for it.
To see a daughters infinite patience, and love for her mother.
It’s a maddening, devastating thing to watch.
To know that a person you love is slipping away from you every day, a little bit more, to be replaced by a stranger.
To think, and wonder if the same thing might happen to you.

What a puzzling and infuriating disease this is.
To not remember where you are, or who you’re with, or even if you’ve eaten.
Yet, your memories from 20 and 30 years ago are crystal clear.

I overheard Cousin talking with someone last night, and that person said to her:
“What a wonderful daughter you are to make the choice to care for your mother when she needs you.”
Cousin replied, “I had no choice. She’s my mother”

Yes, she did have a choice.

The difference?
She made the grown up one.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Stupid Parent Quote of the Day:

Parent of a 10 year old student complaining to me:

Stupid parent: My daughter doesn't need to practice reading. She already knows how to read.

Me: (speechless for a moment)

To quote my Mother in Law:

"Apple tree don't get oranges".

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Vehicles I Would Only Drive if They Gave Them to Me.

The Pon.tiac Az.tek.
Now, I don't know if this vehicle is good on gas, reliable or what. What I do know is that it is ugly. I'll tell you that whenever I see one on the road, in my head I say: "THAT, is an ugly vehicle". Especially when it's in a fucked up colour like canary yellow.
Nice idea to make it a conservative colour on the company website. I've never seen this colour on the road.

Hon.da Ele.ment
This looks like a giant kleenex box on wheels.
It's ugly.
For 30Kcd, without the bells and whistles, I expect more.

The Hum.mer
I'm sorry, but this is a ridiculous vehicle to be parking in front of a Star.bucks.
Yuppies don't need military vehicles to get to their Bay Street offices. There is no tough terrain in the city. The only city people who should be driving this ugly vehicle are "gangstas"...because they actually shoot at each other.

These are my top 3 fuggly vehicles.
Notice how they are all SUV's?

How about you?
What vehicle do you think is the ugliest?

P.S.: Is this English?. See?
This is the end result of taking phonics out of schools.

Friday, January 14, 2005

(Part Two) My Favourite Serbian Phrases

“Kad mi pukne film”
Literal translation: When my film breaks
Meaning: When I lose my temper

“Nas je, makar i usran”
Literal translation: He’s ours, even if he’s covered in shit
Meaning: regardless of what, you love your family

“Njena kosa izgleda kao da su macke sisale”
Literal translation: Her hair looks like cats have been sucking on it
Meaning: She needs to do something about her appearance

“Ubio bi te za zuto dugme”
Literal translation: They’d kill you for a yellow button
Meaning: They’d rob you for anything that even looks like it might be worth something (yellow button representing gold)

“Skoce onda kazi ‘hop’”
Literal translation: Jump and then yell “hop”
Meaning: Doing something and then thinking about it afterwards/acting in haste

“Ko kopa za drugi, sam sebi kopa”
Literal translation: Who digs a grave for someone, falls in themselves
Meaning: Those who plot against others, will reap what they plan for others.

“Kad Mama nije besna, kuca nije tesna”

Literal translation: When Mama isn’t mad, the house isn’t tense
Meaning: Keep Mama happy.

And last but not least: When my Mama was in an argument with my father, and he was shouting about something, she would always calmly say:
“Jaaaaooooo, Kao u bioskop”
Meaning: WOW, just like in the movies.

Language is a beautiful thing.
Share yours with me.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

(Part One) My Favourite West Indian/Guyanese phrases:

I really love language.
I love the way other cultures use language.
West Indians have a rich way of expressing themselves.
Here are some favourites I can remember:

"Mouth open, story drop out"
(Can’t keep a secret)

"Apple tree don’t get oranges"
(Like father, like son)

"Bush get ears"
(Watch what you’re saying, someone might be listening)

"Every rope gat two ends"
(Every story has two sides.)

"It dee same six an four"
(it will have the same outcome)

"She had me in a gear"
(She had me upset)

"It nah good to shove yuh foot in every stocking"
(You don’t have to be involved in everything)

"I nah say he stewpid, I say he simple"

"Nah all who guh a church guh fuh pray"
(Some people just do things to put up a front)

“Dey gon leave he widout a pot to piss in”

I love this culture.
I love the humour, the easy and light spirit West Indians have, the way that sentences are structured in patois, the visuals the words bring.

Next:(Part Two) My Favourite Serbian phrases.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

When The Mister and I announced that we were getting married, one of the things that was important to me was that my uncle approved.
That he and his family would be at our wedding.

Interracial weddings go over like a whore at a church picnic in the Serbian community.
Well, ok…let’s not be rash…no one ever says anything to your face.
They just talk shit about you, and they don’t spend precious yak time on facts.
I was concerned about the kind of effect my personal life choices would have on him, and his family where the community was concerned…but more than anything, I wanted him to accept my future husband, and his two children.

My Uja met The Mister about two weeks before the wedding.
He found out about and met The Misters children at the reception.
"Outrageous", you say to yourself.
When something means so much to you, sometimes you’re paralyzed when faced with dealing with it.

I used to tease my Uja because his wife loves to dance, and Uja says that he has bricks for feet. Through my youth, Uja always promised me that if there was going to be any time that he would dance, he would dance at my wedding.

He did.
The first time I ever saw my Uja dance as with The Misters sister.
The Misters sister is one of the most beautiful and personable people you will ever meet.

When he was introduced to The Misters children, I could see the look of surprise on his face, and I was immediately sorry I hadn’t prepared him.
My oldest stepson, who had heard so many wonderful stories and things about my Uja, upon hearing who he was, spontaneously said, "Uja!!" and threw his arms around Uja’s waist and hugged him with sincerity.
A look of surprise, mixed with a genuine love for children, Uja returned the embrace.
It still moves me with emotion, recalling the scene.
I don’t think my eldest stepson could ever understand, with the innocent gesture of a child, what kind of bridge he had built at that moment, on that day.

From the mouths of babes, indeed.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Dear Diary....

I’ve been a diary/journal keeper since I was eleven, or so.
Believe me people..... with a mother like mine, keeping a private journal was no easy feat, let me tell you.
Wherever my little mind thought was a clever place to hide said diary, was a piece of cake for KGB Agent Milinkov to find.
Hide it between books?
Behind the toilet?
Under the bed?
Under a floorboard?
Behind a loosened brick in the backyard?
In a shallow hole under a bush close to the house?

Yeah, sure.

Mama was a compulsive “thower-outer”, and she decided whether I needed something or not.
Saving those Teen Beat magazines because they have posters of Michael Jackson and David Cassidy? (Shut. Up.)
I was not allowed to put them up on the wall "bekaz da tep rooin da paint".

They would disappear in a military style shake down of my room.
With a “vy yu keepink det garbitch?” in passing, from Mama.

To approach her in this decades' teen style of:
“How dare you go into my room!!! I have a right to my privacy!!!!”
Would have resulted in a shpaff across the head, and a reminder of who I was talking to.

Mind you, what was so private in the diary of an eleven or twelve year old?
Page after page of “Richard(names interchangeable) said ‘hi’ to me in the hall today outside of Mr. Murrins’ room...he's sooooooo cute”?
“Lisa said that Keshra is a snotty bitch, and then Keshra told me that she’s not Lisa’s friend anymore, and then….”?
Endless laments and bitches about my mother?


One time, after a particularly percolated tongue lashing from her for Ican'trememberwhat…. I wrote all about how much I hated her, and what a bitch she was, and how unfair my life was, and how much my life sucked, and then promptly hid my journal between my mattresses


My eleven year old mind thought.

Until I got home from school the next day.

Even when I think about it now, my ass smarts.