Wednesday, May 31, 2006

there's a garage band that practices down the street from me for hours every few nights, and MAN they are awful. and loud. anti-props.

and it's 9:30 and i just got home. and i have to be in bed in half an hour.

we had our spring concert tonight ('we' meaning my daycare), and i got to interact with parents that i hadn't had a chance to talk to at length before, and i found that i have a handful of wonderful things to say about each and every one of those children even though i frequently want to shake matty j until he jellifies, and if levi doesn't start chewing with his mouth closed...anyway, my practicum ends on friday, and i have to leave these wee babies and never see them again, except maybe in a few years when they're old and grown and have forgotten me (which is the true tragedy of my profession), and in light of that i've realized how much i love them all, every one, despite their many foibles, and i wonder why i can't extend this sort of unconditional love to grownups?

one of the moms in our daycare is battling breast cancer, and she made a slideshow of her struggle to play tonight, which is closely tied in with the daycare because they have been a dream of a support to her, and no lie, i just bawled right through it. little andrew mcquarrie on my lap, and i cried into his hair. cancer is not supposed to young and beautiful women, with handsome husbands and young children. it's supposed to happen to stringy old hags with bottle-blonde hair and wrinkly paper-bag cleavage, or cantankerous old men who tear up their grandchildren's letters. people who deserve it. i suppose it's a good thing i'm not God. except that if i was, i'd cure this lady's cancer right quick.

i'm going to thailand in 10 days. and to bed in 10 minutes. shuddup, bad-and-loud garage band.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

hey ben, remember that time you killed a rat with a 2x4?

at least the mt waddington rat had the good sense to know that he was not a housepet. he confined his sordid activities to the garage and the interior of the walls. our first canadian rat (my father chased down, trapped, and exterminated no few vermin while we lived in the states, a skill which stood him in good stead this morning) has been cavorting in my parents' bedroom, spotted in the hall, and was recently flushed out...

caught...and imprisoned...
in the living room. it's been 15 years since we lived south of the border, and at least that long since my father has made a practice of killing rats and mice by throwing them into coffee tins (the big round maxwell house ones) and letting them suffocate, the most humane death that my ruthless, soft-hearted daddy could sentence them to. he will tell you stories of the time he tried to flush one and it wouldn't go down so he had to hold it under by it's tail, and watch it frantically swim upwards, terror growing in his little mousy eyes until it finally expired. then there was the time he was holding one tightly in his rat-catching-glove-encased hand, calling for my mother to bring a coffee tin. terrified that it would escape, he clutched it a little too tightly, so that by the time the tin was brought, the rat was tossed lifelessly in. so here we are, with this rat and no coffee tin in sight. so what does a sophisticated, city family do with their unwanted houseguest? we discussed poison (of which we had none), drowning (unthinkable in light of previous experiences, and the rephrehensibility of a water-logged rat-corpse which would have to be disposed of eventually), torching, smashing, throwing down from the roof, all of which had their own drawbacks. in an effort to buy time, my father hit the rat over the head with a stick to subdue it...
and the rather obliging beast was subdued unto death. may you rest in peace, you invasive little bastard.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


life is full of teeny blessings.
like the time the long weekend threw me off so that i thought today was tuesday, and that i had to get up at 6:00. it wasnt until 6:05, after i had rolled out of bed to lie on the floor and contemplate my day (this is how i transition. slightly less good than bed, but better than getting up) that i realized my mistake, and that i had 55 more minutes to sleep.
some may disagree, but for me this is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than getting to sleep through.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

the family...

girl cousins... the doggies (the moderately hairy one in the middle isn't a doggy...that's my brother)

proof that taking really attractive photos of myself is's in my genes (neither of these people is me).

the hike...

the hike...
james suckling his youngest daughter (it's one of those water things you put in your backpack with the tube that comes to your mouth)

my kickass sunburn

the boots...

whoorish, no? but an expensive whore.
ps. she homemade her bathing suit.
pps. that hairy beast next to her is fargo. makes my dog look twiggy.

rachel's may long weekend - celebrations

ok, so i really did have a rockawesome two days.

we (the kids and the dog) didn't leave burnaby until about 1:00 because we didn't really want to go. this is how the pletts are. we know it'll be fun, and we'll be glad we went, but we don't really want to go. ever. i don't want to go to thailand (for the record, jane, excited AND nervous).

anyway, we had too much stuff to cram it into the backseat next to me so that koala could ride in the back, so her and i spooned the entire way. by the time we got there, my two cousins had gotten tired of waiting and decided to take their boyfriends to the gym. the one boyfriend, simon, has been around for about two years, and i have recently decided that he is awesome (recently being this weekend, now that he has loosened up enough to let his funny out). the other...he's new. britta's never dated anyone long enough to bring him home, so this was a shock to us all. no one had met him, and the jury is still out. nice enough guy, but we are none of us quick to decide. his main favorable factor:

mochi. japanese for 'sticky rice ball.' phil's pug.

i'm not going to recount the weekend for you play-by-play. we did all the things my family usually does when we get together. those of us who don't love our wine love our beer, and there was a steady supply of both. we're all good eaters, and three of us are gourmet chefs (the 'us' not indicating that i am one of those). there was never a point when any of us thought, gee, i'm hungry. it was more that you ate yourself to that aching fullness, and as soon as that had eased into a comfortable fullness, you snacked on a few things.

we (5 female cousins, 2 boyfriends, one sticky rice ball) snuck next door into the pool of my grandma's hotel, and got her in a spot of trouble.

we went on a hike and i got a kickass sunburn. so we're hiking up this mountainy thing (hilly, more), and then it plateaus and goes up and down for a bit before going down. we're about halfway across the plateau, and my MOTHER starts jogging down the trail. my sister and i are like...meh...and we start jogging after her, along with my cousin franny. all the way back down the house, mother leading the whole way. fittest 50 year old lady i ever saw.

my aunt gave my sister an $800 pair of boots that she had won. this friggin bloggy won't let me post any more pictures in this post, so i'll do that after.

we sat around and watched SNL reruns. and the best of just for laughs. and some funny clips that my father had stored on his laptop. and this video my aunt made.

we napped on the trampoline in the afternoon sun.

we napped on the trampoline in the afternoon rain.

we threw sticks for one of the four dogs to chase. we mostly threw them in the river, and may the best dog win.

sunday night drew nigh, and my brother and i would have none of driving on monday, so we headed home, doing 140 the whole way, farting freely since we already had 110 lbs of wet dog in the back and no nothing was going to overpower THAT stench, and listening to mix cd's that matt's gf made for him. mix cd's are rockawesome. where else can you hear the dixie chicks, johnny cash doing a nine inch nails cover, and the only good song by three doors down all on one cd?

a full and relaxing weekend. time spent with beloved family, getting to know new significant others (james also brought his new girlfriend, brenda, who i must say i think i like), and eating, OH the eating. i can't express how grateful i am to share blood with these folks. i guess that's what family is.

Monday, May 22, 2006

rachel's may long weekend - postponementations

i know i promised a complete elaboration on my long weekend, melancholy reflections aside, but i just watched 10 episodes of 24, season 4, and let me tell you, fighting terrorism is hard work. i am bushed.

rachel's may long weekend - lamentations

we assume some things in life to be permanent.

for example, when my ever-young and achingly cool uncle james (he's 9 yrs younger than my dad, and wore a leather jacket and drove a motercycle when we were kids) married that dirty pirate hooker, maggie, choosing her out of his seemingly endless parade of relatively awesome girlfriends, we assumed, however grudingly, that her and her awful horseradish carrot dish were here to stay. to everyone's shock and no one's dismay, after ten years of marriage and three kids, they divorced last year. a break-up of a marriage is unutterably tragic, especially when children are involved, and while we all wept for james and the three young ones, none of us were sad to see the back of her; still less after she hired a private investigator to sniff through my grandma's affairs and find out how much my uncle would be worth if my precious granny died.

i don't know why we thought we were impervious to divorce. probably because it had never happened to us. apparently, however, divorce was just waiting for an in, because a very short time later, my beloved uncle dennis left my darling auntie sylvia. it is way harder to choose sides in this event. dennis and syl have been together since before i was born, so, even though he's not blood, he belongs in our family. except that he's gone.

dennis and syl lived on a beautiful estate in kamloops, in a sprawling, cheery house chock full of syl's crazy art. dennis is a lawyer, and he let his artsy wife run wild (in a creative sense). their house was always the favorite gathering place for thanksgiving and easter and whatever else excuse we could muster to congregate there. and no wonder. this is the backyard.

this is another part of the backyard.

this is the house, as seen from pictured yard.

not pictured: the tennis court, the pond with the rowboat, the other three sides of the house, the trampoline on which we used to play 'ninja worms' (a game where you pull your sleeping bag up to your neck and cinch it tight, and then jump around trying to knock everyone else in their sleeping bags down/off the trampoline. many injuries were incurred before the game was discovered and kaiboshed by the grownups), the tiny pond with fountain surrounded by life-sized statues (which i DID take a picture of but which wont upload), and the ever-changing interior of the house. all of these things are covered with the sticky handprints of childhood memories.

some things you know will pass. leaving cbc and my mt waddington girls was hard, but i saw it coming. marrying off my best friend (and in a sense, losing her, too) was hard, but these things happen. i never thought i'd see the day, though, when i'd say goodbye to the kamloops place. syl can't afford to keep it without dennis' income, and so she's sold the dear thing off. this weekend was our last family bonanza at the old place, one final hurrah. i'd planned on blogging all about it, the rockin good times and all (my family is a non-stop party), but i can't just now.

nothing stays the same, it seems. even the face of my family is changing. this has been my book of lamenations. my psalm of praise will come tomorrow.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

back by popular demand... uninteresting life.

monday, tuesday, thursday and friday, i wake up at 6:00 am, make a lunch, primp a little (for the sake of my fellow bus-folk. my babbies don't care if i'm wearing deoderant), and head out the door just before 7:00. a 15 minute walk to the skytrain, half hour skytrain ride, half hour bus ride, 15 minute walk to my infant/toddler center, so i'm there by 8:30. for nine and a half hours i play with babbies. some days, everyone's good and pleasant and i love what i do. other days (like today), everyone has their angry faces on and half of them show up already crying and no one is consolable. most days are a mixture of small, perfect-toothed grins and crocodile tears, and emma roberts won't eat her lunch.

i leave at 6:00 pm. it's the same path home, so i'm there by 7:30. i prep for the following day while i watch 24 with my family (on DVD; only saps watch shows in syndication), journal for the sake of my practicum credit, juggle my thailand preparations (anybody wanna donate some $$ towards my trip?), sometimes i shower, sometimes i kill a precious hour grocery shopping, sometimes i have a good chat with my mum.

i have to get up at 6:00 again the next morning, so i go to bed at 10:00. except for tuesday nights, because wednesdays i don't have to get up until 7:00. wednesdays i spend the day with elle, my precious special needs practicum, and her mother and older sister. i'm there all day. i leave at 5:00, and get home by 6:30, so comparatively speaking, it's a short day. the intensity of the one-to-one interaction, however, compounded by her older sister hovering about like an amiable but oh so inconvenient fly, makes it far more exhausting than nine hours with toddlers. i also spend five hours with elle on sunday mornings, ferrying her through her sunday school classes and whatnot, while her mother, paladin of overwhelmed parents, runs the special needs program that allows elle to be in such whatnot.

for all two saturdays in may thus far, i have attended weddings. even when i am not taking a supporting role in the wedding itself, this still involves me getting myself to abbotsford and back, which is a transit nightmare.

so that's me. my main adventures consist of the time joel gave me a driving lesson in his ratty old car (standard, of course), and the time andrew got himself covered in baby spiders. the driving began with me telling joel (in my most threatening manner) that this would put a strain on our relationship, and ended with him picking me a yellow tulip to congratulate my hurculean efforts. the ickity bickity spider adventure began in the back field of my daycare. andrew is two-and-a-half, and came out from under the climber on tuesday crying hard, repeating that he didn't like the bees, and twitching every so often as though fending something off. i was afraid that a bee had gotten caught in his shirt sleeve, and was stinging him repeatedly (although we did just finish two weeks on bugs, so by now i know a thing or two about bees and how they can only sting you once before they die, final proof that God is just), and so i rushed over to him. as i got closer, i realized that his upper half was swarming with something. he had crawled through a spider's nest, and baby spiders covered his hat and his neck and shoulders. my ultimate fear factor is a spider, so internally i panicked. externally, i plucked off his hat and quickly brushed the poison-yellow creatures from his clothes and skin. having cleansed him, i drew his skinny body into my lap and held him for a long moment, as much for my own reassurance as his. 'andrew,' i said, 'that was a horrifying experience.' 'yes,' he replied. then, '...what's howwifying mean?'

that's all.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

i teach babies about bugs

who's rackin' up the practicum hours? it's me! my supervisor decided that the 1-6 shift that i've been working (so that i can come in with dawn) isn't going to be enough to get a comprehensive view of an infant/toddler center, so this morning i went in with amanda. she starts at 8:45, but i have to leave the house at 6:50 (that's right, in the a.m.) to make my way out in time for her to pick me up. the internet swears that there's no way i can bus straight out to my practicum site, but i plan on calling that bluff. anyway, i still come home with dawn, because it's a way easier transit adventure from where she drops me off, so today i worked 9.25 hours. i AM a machine! i wish i were getting paid for this.
i think i need to eat dinner now.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

pluggin on

things are getting done, one at a time. the wedding is over. it was beautiful, i nearly passed out on stage from the heat and i still had the flu and all that STANDING without moving, i refrained from crying through the whole ceremony and well into my 'toast to the groom' speech, and now it's over. both my practicums are succesfully commenced, and neither is a drag. i met my little special needs practicum girl this morning, and OH she's cute. this is her.

anyway, she's a doll and we had a great time. so those are underway. i finally have enough ID to get a passport, so tomorrow morning before practicum i'm heading into the passport office. my plane ticket is purchased, my forms for MBMSI are in.

i had a mini-meltdown last week when all of these things were still pending, and my sage of a mother said 'well, rachie, if God wants you to go to thailand then you have to trust that everything will come together in time.' i promptly turned around and told that to God, but more along the lines of 'God, all these things are Your fault. it's Your fault that i'm friends with robyn and that she met ryan and they're getting married, it's Your fault that i chose ECE and now i have practicums, and it's Your fault that i'm going to thailand, so i need you to make sure that all these things happen.' when i relayed this to my friend dawn, she replied 'yes, and God told you to stop being a whiny brat, didn't He.'

which He probably did.

He's been good to me. things are progressing, and keeping a death grip on my patience will spare me an apoplexy.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

this would be a great excuse to watch tv if i could mange getting out of bed

i have the stomach flu
i'm past the throwing-up-eleven-times-and-just-making-my-bed-up-on-the-bathroom-floor-because-i'm-too-weak-to-make-it-across-the-hall phase (thank God)
now i'm in the body-cannot-stand-being-either-too-cold-or-too-hot-but-cannot-regulate-itself-so-at-any-given-moment-i-either-have-one-limb-thrust-out-of-the-blankets-to-catch-the-cool-breeze-with-the-rest-of-the-body-marinating-or-vice-versa. this is also the attempting-saltines-and-ginger-ale phase.
i think this is the first time in a week i've been grateful to be living with my parents.

Monday, May 01, 2006

it's a fond farewell after all

i am through with the mt waddington hole. i have washed my hands (and the rest of me) of it. i am through with this house,

where kitchen faucets have no common decency...

where garbage day is a tri-annual event...

where generations of 'storage' find their resting place...

where the dishrag is also the garden (doesn't that make you want to barf?)...

where poker is a necessary predecessor to sleep...

where gluttony is NOT a sin...

where household vermin are hunted with broomsticks (and butcher knives, and two-by-fours, and bare hands)...

where benny boop had his first smoke...

and his first 'black eye'...

where cultery is optional...

and usually unavailable...

alan schram suggests that perhaps God led me here...i suppose He did, because i certainly didn't choose this dump. when all was said and done (and dropped off at the value village), it was way more good than bad. i thank God for daddys who lend us their trucks to move and for friends who lend us their trucks and their manly arm strength, for thrift stores that wont accept any of our shoddy-but-still-functional furniture so that we appreciate the ones that will take it all, from the glass jar shaped like an apple to the chair with the cigarette burn in the arm. i thank God for berfday parties and for parties without occasion, for trabble scrabble and tetanus shots, for a coffee table slightly less precarious than its predecessor and for free coffee, for amy and chels and jo and munro and caleb and ben and alan and james and donovan and those boys from quest and bekah and arnie and erin (peters) and adam nash and lutz and chris penner and everyone else who piled their shoes in the front hall and had a smoke on the porch and hit their head on joanna's ceiling and tried to kill (or at least swore at) the rat and accidentally sat on that horrible spot on the couch and watched back-to-back episodes of the OC and generally participated in mt waddingtonery.

we don't live there anymore. *rachel sheds a single tear while drinking wine straight from the bottle and staring out the window over paris*