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so, heat wave of the century, possibly, yesterday, followed by the big storm of the summer. love! (for me at least.) today, it's a beautiful day & i have no intention of letting the day go by without my taking note of every beautiful thing i see.

my night, last night?

come home from work to find miz maude in a wreck over her lack of funds, sadly unable to even buy milk for shawn, & her poor mood aggrivated by his not wanting to eat his dinner. enter michel, asking if she wants to go check out cars with him (her obsession... me, i couldn't care less). so she goes, to distract herself from her woes, & i promise shawn a trip to the ice cream parlour, so perfectly located beside the fire station... he loves those trucks!

but we are interrupted by the landlady, ready to pick up maude's rent cheque. of course, she has it with her. & she is not at home. & no, the landlady won't accept cheques from me, as my name is not on the lease, but on the very plus side, her mood swings can't rear their ugly heads on me. in her mind, i'm just... there. i explain that maude is not there, but she does have the cheque, i've given her my half of the rent, & she shouldn't be too surprised if mister daniel below has disappeared, especially after he called to tell me something to the effect of "i am going to rob a bank."

oh, brilliant decision, my friend. brilliant. thank goodness you barely speak english & my french doesn't include the vocabulary necessary to completely understand your bank-job plans.

shawn & i head off for ice cream, only to be ambushed after two blocks by maude jumping out of michel's car & telling me to turn back as the devil is at the restaurant. my response? "fine, but you'd better run back home & hope mme. delisle is still there, as she wants the rent & is quite likely about to blow her stack when she finds daniel gone." ...& so we run.

still, i'd promised shawn ice cream. so we all went, all four of us, & after maude & michel went on the car-searching while i took shawn home to get him to bed.

enter the thunder/lighting storm of the century... & my discovery that shawn is terrified of such storms. so i let him stay up with me, i put on some cartoons and we relax on the couch... well, i relax, & try to get this petrified toddler to relax who instead is huddling up close to me as if he might blow away if not.

enter the power outage. enter a whole new terror for shawn when i can't, no matter how much he points & begs & cries, turn on any lights, or make the happy little cartoons reappear. instead i light candles and sing him to sleep on the couch instead, so if he wakes up in fear again he'll have someone right beside him. & he does sleep, & after an hour i carry him to his bed & he's fine, far away in dreamland.

by the time maude comes home, terrified herself of storms, the power is back on, i've re-set the clocks, showered, & am so ready for sweetsweet sleep.

yes, i adore storms. i adore dancing in the pouring rain, forcing drops down to the ground with the rhythm of thunder & the lightshow cracking every few seconds. but when i can't dance, i really might as well be comforting le petit monstre, the adorable shawn, because doing so is quite lovely too.
yes, i am fully aware of the distinct lack of updating... this will be remedied, or so i promise myself.

in other news, however, strange hackers have hacked into one of the sites we have at work, & the following is their message, & all of what is displayed on the screen...

Patriotic Hackers Ownz. Down with!! down with turkis goverment!! We are politic Kurdish defacerz! Http://patriotichackers.com Biji Serok Apo!!

...well, at least they're "patriotic hackers" & not "mindless acid-influenced hackers" -- we must give them that.
really, do, come in. we welcome your company, if you match the description we've haphazardly concocted...

we are:
- une femme, violently ill with a virus attacking her stomach & causing gastro. but at least she's gone to the doctor by now, which she hates. she was begged. she needs to be the strong one right now.
- une autre femme, sufferring more dearly than the first can understand. she tries to be strong & she's doing so well, it's amazing, it's so admirable what she says, but the truth is the cops haven't called back yet with news of the arrest we hope for.
- un petit garçon, who knows all too well that something's wrong & les femmes feel so sorry for him & try to do anything, anything to keep him laughing.

i don't know who prays or if they even call it prayer, but regardless, send your wishes to my dear friend, my dear roommate. such terrible things shouldn't happen to anyone & they've happened to her, & we want to do something about this. reminds me of an old kathleen hanna tale, where at a show she asked any women to come at the designed gathering place & bring others. keep on rioting, we will.

& thank you, sophie, for your kindness, for your help, for your gentle insistence that this moves forward.

with love & respect, i vow to keep her going forward & get any projects running. we must safeguard each other. we are on the same team.
oh, i spent a weekend that was short but seemed like a thousand days. & i smile for the great truth that i know such lovely, welcoming people... mi casa es siempre su casa.

(please, correct my spanish if i am wrong.)

friday night? oh! dinner, wine, & i don't remember... perhaps i had an excellent night's sleep. yes, likely. but more likely that we ate dinner, complete with wine i ran out in the rain to get as maude is a cat afraid of water, & claire does too much already, & shawn is... two.

saturday, oh saturday of the not-too-distant-past, what it was like to go out on the town & not worry about finding a babysitter! i initiated maude to the goth club world, & with a beer or two she felt at home enough to dance, instead of just hanging back & watching me. & so the night went on... we met serge & yanick, danced, danced more, went for 99-cent pizza & promptly got kicked out of the restaurant for our rather conspicuous, um, existence. serge drove my home; yanick drove maude to his home... sunday morning, no mummy for shawn, but mamy claire & tante lise filled the cracks!

sleep was so good...

sunday evening, mia came knocking, of course, she wants to play & she reiterates that she'd rather stay with us than daddy francis because he doesn't play... case in point: maude & i took shawn into the alley -- the central point where all meet -- to play with the ball, soon joined by mia, melodie, & sophie's children... of course maude & i had fun! but francis, watching from his yard... "i wonder who this kids are here... while sipping wine with sophie we recounted that story. sophie, ever the fun-loving easygoing woman she is: "me!" we agreed. she showed off pictures of her oldest son, sébastien, in halifax with his girlfriend... he takes really lovely photos.

in other news, shawn decided that blue hair is a fantastic fashion statement for a two-year-old & that scented markers make the best dye.
(she stands in the doorway, oblivious to the world & smoking a cigarette. he walks, carrying an umbrella & a map. but she doesn’t notice him.)

he: "excuse me? sorry to—"
she: "ahh!"

(she screams, she jumps. silence.)
he: "i was going to say 'sorry to bother you,' but that look could win an award..."
she: "you’re..."
he: "the guy from desperate housewives. yeah, i know."
she: "…i was going to say a tourist. or something. & no, no, i was going to say..."
he: "what?"
she: "you’re not the guy from desperate housewives... or, maybe you are. i don’t know. you’re the really insanely creepy guy from the x-files."
he: "oh! yes. did i scare you?"
she: "yes. no. very definitely yes."

(a moment of silence for the two confused individuals.)

he: "i was going to ask, actually, if you could help me find the, um, the métro."
she: "right. you go... [...]"
he: "thank you. & sorry about that."
she: "do you get that a lot?"
he: "what?"
she: "the crazy person jumping thing."


he: "i’ll never tell."

...oh, yes, let’s end on a definitely-not-at-all weird note! (& so, my moment of fall-on-ass embarrassment in the face of a professional actor. brilliant, lise... just brilliant.)
sometimes all you need to do is take a step back & breathe, & if it's cold outside, at least you can see the breath you take. (work hard enough & you'll see it all the time... what colour is yours?)

claire & helmut came for shawn's birthday, two years old & still smiling. (maybe the damage of the devil is undone.) claire stayed, she's here until sunday. a few nights ago while maude was out at a car show, a large parking lot filled with pieces of expensive luxury-to-some, claire & i sat on the terrace & we talked. i shared the story of mrs. woodliffe, alive for almost a century & still a wonderful woman today, & the wisdom she spoke so unknowingly when i was fifteen or so, words that seeped into my skin & now resonate at just the times i need to hear them. claire told me a bit more about melanie, the late melanie, & though i've heard pieces about her i don't ask. loss is hard & when you're not ready for the death of someone close to you, a daughter & sister, there's nothing to make it any easier. (no wonder she is so fiercly protective of maude.)

we spoke about life, about the holistic perspective that makes so much damn sense. about turning anger into fierce compassion. about forgiveness...

& last night my mum was in town on business, so i left work early to meet her for dinner&wine. we talked about forgiveness; she tells me she's seen a lost friend at her health club twice now, & "managed to avoid her both times." she says john tells her she's being an idiot, an idiot for not going up & saying hello. i tell her i agree with john. she says she just can't, that she knows she's being pig-headed but she can't.

i tell her i know what that strong stab of pain feels like.

i tell her i remember, but i tell her i have forgiven.

the only question i didn't ask out loud... have i been forgiven, too?
what a week ahead of me! (or, not really, but there's plenty to be done...)

+ decide what sort of cake i am making for tomorrow. restrictions: must be child-friendly, as for a two-year-old's birthday. must be decorate-able. must not my my fabulous carrot cake, as miz maude does not appreciate such wonder.
+ acquire the necessary ingredients to make the mystery cake.
+ make a lovely cake & decorate it.

+ weekly conference as per usual; finish screencast on time.
+ post-work, rush home for the back-alley birthday party of "le petit monstre" (mister shawn, turning two years old).

+ possibly of movie night with m.a.c. --> want to see the girls, but do i really want to pay to see jennifer aniston's latest film? (weighing possibilities, though i really should decide sooner rather than later & let caitlin know...)

+ dear me, our new news web site must be completed. i have a lot to write, & in some cases i must write for people who don't think like me.
+ theresa is in town on business for the day... leave work early to drink an enormous amount of really good wine & meet for dinner before her flight out.
(- meanwhile refusing to discuss that topic she sneaks in...)

+ launch of the new news web site... please, go off without a hitch!

& all through the week...
-> keep miz maude from quitting her job on a whim of hatred & bellypain, but do help her to find a new one.
& so the weekend comes to a close...

(francis hitting maude with a tree branch.)
maude: "ow! that's hard! but it's ok... i like it 'cause i'm german."
i found a man, a beautiful man, a spirit jailed by the weakness of the so-called system & i ask you all to read, to learn, to educate yourselves on the situation. tre arrow is a human being with a message of love & respect, of kindness, of responsibility for one's actions towards the web of life.

why did it take me so long to veer onto this path & read the road signs? perhaps timing is everything. perhaps, before now, i wasn't ready to understand, to take the time to educate myself, & to dive in to the issues at stake. yesterday morning, on the bus, i found the little grump inside me taking hold. no! instead of screaming i thought of the spirits of the universe & held the moment, & washed away the grump. "seek, & you shall find."

i found information. i found.

a few days ago, when she called, i told my mum i couldn't wish for more in my own strand of life right now... i was wrong.

discover for yourself a piece of the sadness that occurs in our own country.
where i live, there's an alley in the shape of a T behind the iron stairs down. we live where the crossbar meets the vertical line & we see it all, all the people we know & their children & their cats, because there are a lot of children here & even more cats. so i come home to kids playing ball; maude & i join in. it's like a small town within a city, everything i need so close by home but even more beyond the limits of what i can see (the mountain is my guide, really).

so late last night we're still out, & maude & i bring beer to francis, we sit outside in his backyard while shawn & his daughter mia play, attempt death-defiance as well as a two- & five-year-old can & time slips by. it's relaxing with the tiki torches & two small candles on the rickety table on the grass.

mia proudly shows us her plush horse & we give her a tiger so they can be friends. shawn catapults off the patio & onto the grass, a skinned knee that becomes funny when we give him a foam sword & il me tue. people drop by in fragments, sophie, mélodie, joshua.

& maude finds francis attractive; for a few hours she forgets how she hates her job & really lives for fridays.