Friday, December 24, 2004

ten reasons why i love fernwood

#10- The belfry. Its purdy.
#9- The two dollar taco place...the best freakin tacos. the guy makes them up right there, they are fresh and spicy and he has this restaurant just for the love/fun of it.
#8- Its a good mix of hippies, yuppies, anarchists, cyclists!, fancy theatre goers, and bikers! We have community gardens galore and even a Compost Education Centre, believe it or not.
#7- Grafitti! Even when that jerky slumlord boarded up their building...whatta we do? paint/grafitti/create art!
#6-The Thin Edge of the americano haven and favourite local food spot. I also love watching the gathering on Biker Nights....and seeing all the beautyful harleys.
#5-As much as it can be sketchy....i feel safe here. At night I've gotta walk tough downtown sometimes, but once I get to fern'hood I sigh with relief.
#4-Logan's...the local pub. i was there tonight and it is always a fest of reconnecting with people i haven't seen in ages. plus they have strongbow on tap.
#3- The Hootenany...sunday afternoons, especially in the summer...a mix of old drunk musicians and a super diversity of us twenty something fiesty folk. Hosted by the ever entertaining Carolyn Mark
#2- Fernwood free boxes...people offering up the things they are letting go of. especially on moving day it can be quite the free thrift shopping experience
#1-Its home. My orange curtains and feline friends tried other parts of town but it just ain't the same.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

the only person you can count on is yourself

i don't even know how to describe these present days
the veil of disillusionment has been lifted
i feel raw and grounded in reality
but it is bittersweet and has some sharp edges
my heart finds familiar memories in my days living in montreal....i didn't really know anyone there at that point, living at my folks and not being involved in any community there...just working. i had one hell of a time though, wandering montreal, eating at santropol, movies at cinema du parc, tam tams, st. dennis, st. laurent....sorbet on duluth...all on my own.
i'm stubbornly independant it seems...i wasn't gonna miss out on the beauty of montreal just cause i didn't know anyone there....and mind you it is perplexing...i can sit on a city bus anywhere else in canada and make friends at the drop of a hat, but not montreal. montreal is the land of solitude for me.

these days seem far different at first glance. i am surrounded by ever-growing beautiful social network, i have a good job, a spiritual community, a funky different from montreal. but this week has just been filled with that feeling, not lonliness. i rarely feel that. am i heading into a period of solitude? perhaps.... it feels though more like i'm heading towards a period of intense self-care. finally putting myself first. i don't think i've done that since montreal now that i have this verbal rant.... yup. its time.

on one of the saddest days of my life, the day of the funeral of my sisters partner, about 10 years ago...she and i were driving to a gathering after the funeral. classic toronto black ice was pulling cars off of the highway one by one. we barely made it into a gas station....blown away at the surrealness of the day. i remember after she got the gas she told me...
viv...the only one you can count on in this lifetime is need to always be your own best friends...and always have the skills to survive on your own.
cause you are the only thing you've really got.
i don't know if she remembers this. i thought i'd never forget it, but i think i did for a while. she didn't mean that one would always be let down by people, but moreso that you really don't know how life is going to manifest. creating community and love but without losing my relationship with myself. that day i knew that i would need to be able to always be my own best friend.
and i did.
and i will do.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

my love/hate relationship with friendster

things i hate about friendster:

1. you only get two choices for gender identity....ummm...hello, have you looked at who likes friendster? i swear outta my 35547 3rd degree friends at least half o' them don't fit easily into two categories of gender.
2. people picking me up. does my profile say i wanna date? no, it says friends! the first time it was charming, but after the third person, its getting downright weird.
3. people make profiles for their cats. (i mean, i have time on my hands, but not that much time!) 4. people make profiles for their dogs. (no lady and elliot do not have profiles, and yes you can laugh at me when i get bored enough to do so)
5. its so fucking slow it doesn't let me update anything.
6. shameless self promotion.
7. the "popular searches in my network section" any of my friends(ters) are looking up
"hipster quiz" or "gothic hair styles" or "getting over a breakup" i'm gonna believe that any of my friends are gonna look to friendster to find out how to get over a breakup!
8. it creates a whole new type of "aquaintence"...the friendster....the not quite yet friend...maybe this is a good thing...helps us computer geeks get friends!
9. it makes me look like a hypocrite for bitching about computer addicts, when look at me! addicted to checking my 'friendster' everyday!

things i love about friendster:
1. i've tracked down so many long-lost people in my life.
2. a much purdy-er alternative to my junkmail over-run hotmail account.
3. people make profiles for their cats. (i've gotta admit the first time i saw that a cat had 227 friends, all of them being cats i laughed for 15 minutes straight until my jaw/belly/bladder hurt).
4. people make profiles for their dogs. (okay there are some ridiculously cute dogs and dogowners out there)
5. all the little emails have pics of my purdy friends faces beside them.
6. shameless self promotion!
7. i get to be a total geek after hanging out with my lovelies, i get to send them little testimonials with snippets of our nights....taking action on the sigh and grins after a good gathering.
8. testimonials. we need to attest to why we adore our friends more often.
9. its a mighty easy way to develop crushes on strangers.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

the madwoman on the corner

i'm on a new kick...after hiding away on this here island, i'm interested in finding out where all the people who were in my formative years have gone to. i'm slowly uncovering ex's, old crushes, the boy who sat next to me in science class, the girl that i took the bus with every day but never knew. i'm not contacting everyone but am enjoying surprise spurts of info about who is who and what now.

i was procrastonating and looking up people from my hometown on my friendster thingy and came across a couple boys that i went to high school with. they were both a little bit awkward in high school, one was tall and lanky one was the chubby boy. and it just about made me jump outta my chair to see them happy, buff and GAY! oh lordy....somehow i feel relieved. feel a little sense that everything is gonna be okay....i barely remembered these guys names...its not that i'd been worrying about them all this time, but seeing their now confident faces has just made me so relieved. its not that they were buffed and gay per say (thought i must say they both looked studly nowdays) but that they were happy.

i live right near a highschool and every day i see the parade of kids heading to school as i drink my morning coffee. awkward boys with pants a bit too short cause they are growing too bloody fast, chubster girls, the trendy girls, nouveau gangster boys. i worry about them all. cause teenagehood is fucking hard.

i wanna yell out the window to them....please don't be so fucking cool, remain humble....don't worry about being awkward, you'll grow into yourself...someday you may be happy and gay.... i swear someday you'll love yourself....

i don't become the mad woman on the corner trying to save their souls, but when i walk by the school i just try to smile extra big at the one's that remind me of myself cause usually i can see that they see the reflection too.

i wanna track down more people. i don't much care to find the well off white boys and girls cheerleaders jocks and all the people that hung out at the trophy case. i wanna find the goths, the geeks, the queers, the musicians. not that i was really any of those things during high school, but i feel more and more humbled within my own life seeing how other people are thriving, creating, surviving, making their place in the world.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

drunken emailer...

i have a problem.
whenever i have a few too many, i enjoy doing a little emailing before i retire for the evening. sounds harmless, yes, but its not. alcohol induces bad spelling, misjudgements, sentimental excess, bizarre subject matters and a lack of memory of writing such emails. i usually remember that i did so, but it takes all day for me to recall who i wrote to and what i said. recievers of such emails may not know that i was drunk...perhaps just that i am weird.
i would really like someone to invent a computer breathalizer for me....needing to have a certain level of soberness to be able to turn the 'puter on. i don't know if anyone else has this problem, so i don't think its a real money maker.
i guess drunken emailing is better than drunken phone-calling.
you don't have to hear people laughing in your ear.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

transgendered warriors

i've been re-reading (for no joke..the tenth time!) the book stone butch blues, by leslie feinberg.
this is one of my most treasured, cover worn, coffee stained, corner folded books. i'm about 10 pages from the end, writing this to procrastonate from having to close it again till the words drift enough from my memory to pull it out again and dive in.

stone butch blues follows the character jess through discovering the pre-stonewall bars of buffalo, discovering the femme-butch dynamic and learning from mentors. not an easy life, it chokes the reader up when jess and friends regularly get beaten by the cops that are supposed to protect them. jess pulls our heartstrings through relationships and the decision to transition to living as a man. isolation and loss accompany that decision and we read and read hoping jess will make it through with some hope left till the final pages.

i was reminded today that saturday november 20th is the Transgender Day of Remembrance. Many cities worldwide are having events to commemorate those who have been killed due to anti-transgendered hatred or prejudice.

All of the transgendered friends of mine are alive and most thriving in ways that would not have been possible or even imaginable during the era of 'stone butch blues'. Surgeries are covered by health coverage, communities are growing and diversifying. I'm not saying its at its peak though...i think there is lots of growth for the trans community to come. I'm grateful to be a part of this movement. There has been so much change even through the years since I began to learn about the trans community.

There is nothing planned in victoria, but i think i'm going to make an anscestral altar of remembrance. I'm going to remember the characters in sbb....Al, Ed, Grant, Frankie, Ruth because although they may be characters in a book, the experiences from which those characters came is real.

If anyone has not seen the movie 'Boys don't Cry', i highly recommend it. Its a hard movie to watch but it is the true story of the murder of Brandon Teena, a transgendered young man from small town nebraska.

I am grateful to be an ally of the trans community. It has changed me in ways I have yet to learn. Questioning our own gender identity is something everyone can to... we all have masculine and feminine aspects. Just like we have light and dark. I'm grateful to have watched my boys go through changes. The broadening of shoulders, the lowering of the voice. And as they changed I felt myself becoming more comfortable as a femme, returning to feeling empowered as a woman. Thats what it is about...feeling comfortable within your gender identity. whatever it may be.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

are you gonna show up?

this is work being human. taking breaks from deep healing work turns into numbness and then smack....
right back into the deep-earth-moist-rich-soil-dirty-knees-hands-full-of-so-much-life.
too much sometimes to know where to start. where to start catalouging organisms in the soil, temperature, consistency, finding what is buried beneath it, which roots connect to which ancient trees. today i don't want to catalouge, quantify, or name. i just want to curl up in the rich soil, be a mess in it, leave cleaning up for later.
get to know the smell-taste-touch of it. cause the rest of it is work. this messyness isn't work. its being alive.
big realizations today. as you can tell!
big realizations about when i feel alive and when i shut down, when i am open or numb, when i close off and when i flood, when i am honouring or disrespecting others, and most importantly when i am passive and when i decide to 'show up' in my own life. really be present, authentic.

i've been described as aloof, an enigma. i never really understood why until today. i've come to understand from eyes outside my own skin the ways i shut down...close off... out of protection sometimes, out of fear others. i want to be present as much as i can be. i want to show up, show who i am, be interconnected, not just solitary.
i wanna 'show up' in this live, not just live through it.
and at the same time to honour that it is okay to be protect ourselves, to keep things private, to be solitary.
it is all welcome...

Sunday, October 31, 2004


happy samhain
happy hallowe'en
this is the time of the year when the thin veil between the worlds is lifted, when we can honour our beloveds who have passed on and honour those who have been born during this year.

every year i go to an event in vancouver put on by the reclaiming collective. each year it gets more inspiring and creative. i am not there tonight due to circumstance and miss my dear sweets who i usually spend this day with.
in thinking about this season i am recognizing that i have not experienced the death of a loved one this past year. it is a very important part of my mourning process to go to this ritual, where all 200 + people in the room have the sacred space to honour our beloved dead. grateful to not have lost this year.

i did celebrate samhain last night with a collective of folks. i was grateful to have the space to honour our beloved dead and chose to honour specifically my great grandmother elisa. i placed an amber bracelet of hers on the altar and when i held it in my hands i missed her so much. this woman....this woman i will tell you about one day. so grateful to have met her in this lifetime and blessed to have been her grandchild. grateful after all these years to still have the space to honour her and tell her i miss her.

in my neighbourhood there are firecrackers going of like haywire. there are the formal backyard firecrackers with familys gathered, clapping after each one goes off and there are the fernwood-hoolagans setting off firecrackers in the middle of the streets. some of them are far too close and i can hear far too much inside these thin walls...i wonder if falling asleep soon is a remote possiblity with all this activity.
oh, and after all this serious samhain talk...check this pic out

Sunday, October 24, 2004


today one word was said that drew massive amounts of fluid up to my eyes and nose
ready to pour out in streams from both orfaces.
i held in in somewhat until i got home.
i'm not gonna tell the whole story because its not really the point. but it is good to recognize when we are being triggered. it allowed me to be present in the moment with my emotions but to also look at it in the big picture. it isn't really about that one word, the person who said it, or the context it was in. it is about why that comes up for me.
where does it fit in with the map of my life.
these are all concepts we are exploring in this lay-counsellor program i'm taking. but i got to experience the real thing today. real life emotion.
issues can lay dormant for years and then burst out in a second.
pretty overwhelming.
in my state of disarray i called a good friend. she helped me put it into great perspective. she brought up that a mere month ago i had spoken to her i didn't want to replay my trapped negative cycles anymore, like what came up today...issues of self-sabatoge in success, not letting myself reach my full potential.
i hadn't realized that i had actually asked for todays emotions. i asked for this change to occur in my life. i asked to establish new patterns. today my emotions were an alarm bell telling me that i was heading towards my old patterns. today was a challenge to see if i would listen or if i would hop right on into the cycle i've been in. thank the goddess for tears! thank the gods for friends who listen. and thank the universe for its ways of supporting and challenging at the same damn time!

Thursday, October 14, 2004

bit o' heaven

i spent the other day in heaven....a small room overlooking a lake. inside this space was not only a grand piano and two upright basses but guitars, a banjo, drums, cases and cases of instruments that one just had to look in to see what else could possibly be in this room! i discovered within a dusty little case high up on a shelf...a clarinet... and fell in love with that sultry sound. i played clarinet in like grade 6.

during the day we had the sweetest jams and i don't usually jam on instruments, just vocals, cause there is usually a fancier guitar player around. lifechanging amazing to rediscover an instrument. i'm realizing how much i love and need to live music. i hope i have a room like that someday. i have a little (and i mean little) corner in my place where my instruments await attention. the guitar gets far more of that...but i think when i get my very own clarinet (i'm in love) there may be a bit o' competition.

so grateful for that day and that room. life lately has been consumed by work...homework...and trying to get a little rest in there somewhere so finding myself in such a beautiful room where you are asked to be a case, pick up an instrument and just play! heaven i tell you. heaven.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

i just bought a domain name.
strange but true.
a logical choice it seems.........
i'd been eyeing it for a while, getting ready to get my ass in gear and get serious about my dreams and intent in having a website is to promote myself as a perinatal assistant and doula, to promote my music, and to get my but in gear and make my herbal body products.
that is the plan.......................
now i have to learn how to make a webpage though.
oh lordisa.
html is already making me dizzy.

Friday, July 09, 2004

random act of kindness?

so, my bike seat got stolen...yup.
i left locked up for a couple hours in the place where i usually leave it.
when i returned to it...something was different. someone had stolen my bike seat. but...there was a newer, nicer, more comfy bike seat on my bike....
what could be the explanation for this. my main theory was that someone had stolen another bike and wanted to make it less distinct.
but with everyone i've told about this, their first response is
"random act of kindness". i love the optimism in this.
but really...poor girl with the crappy looking bike...i think i'll give her my nice fancy seat and she can sit happily ever after on it...i dunno about that.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

stepping into the light

at this point this blog is just for me...i've been a journal junkie on the page for most of my life. online journalling is far different in that for me it lacks some serious creativity.

but you know, there is something powerful about pressing the button, committing to your words, letting them go free in the depths of the lands behind this buzzing box... for anyone to see.

i will soon be done building my website and will let it have its own life, and along with that i will let this personal journal free. stepping into the light, as a musician, a doula, an herbalist and letting myself follow my dreams...

"the important thing is this: to be ready at any moment to sacrifice what you are for what you could become" -charles dubois


Monday, May 31, 2004

creative dreams

the newest book on my bookshelf (though it hasn't had a chance to sit still yet...its been travelling with me everywhere)is the newest book by sark (, called MAKE YOUR CREATIVE DREAMS REAL: A PLAN FOR PERFECTIONISTS, BUSY PEOPLE AND PEOPLE WHO WOULD RATHER SLEEP ALL DAY. this book has perfect timing as my creative dreams are stepping more and more into the light each day. so i am going to let them speak, announce themselves.
My creative dreams:
-to make a c.d.
-to perform my music regularly in public
-to explore my writing and poetry and honour it, not hide it
-to make herbal body products
-to rediscover pottery
-to integrate music into my doula practise
-to rediscover my watercolours
-to keep my heart open
-to create my body empowerment workshops

so mote it be!

Sunday, May 30, 2004

my inner bitch

lately i've been drawn to checking certain folks web journals on a regular basis and i'm noticing a pattern. they are all fiesty, sarcastic, blunt, authenic women who say exactly what they want to. i laugh, i empathize, i think perhaps i dream of being able to be that blunt! leoness i am, i think i have an inner bitch that wants out! so if tomorrow i seem like i've woken up on the wrong side of the bed, its a good thing.
check out: