Archive for April, 2008

What’s On The Menu

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

It has come to my attention that I am not funny any more. That sarcastic, mouthy me, feared and revered by dozens has virtually disappeared. I’m sorry. So this blog needs some humour, and a few animals.

I am sharing my attic with a little black spider. He’s moved in and he’s getting away with it; because his legs aren’t that long, nor that hairy. He just doesn’t scare me a bit. I’m kind of amused by how busy he is. I can be reading my book in the living room and look up to see him traversing the ceiling. Later that day while I’m in the cubby writing at the computer, he’ll get my attention rounding a corner and heading towards the kitchen. I flicked him off the bed covers one morning and warned him, “A little too close buddy, a little too close.” Since he’s been around so long I thought I should name him, you know, something cute, something trendy. I heard of a guy who called his dog Stella, so that he could lean against the door frame late at night, in his undershirt, and howl, “Stellaaaaaa!” But what I’ve come up with is George Bush. Why not? A month or so ago Gazebo the cat and I were having a cuddle on the bed when something caught his eye and he batted another little black spider to the floor. He noshed on that for a minute before rejoining me. It’s only logical to think now that that was George’s predecessor, George Bush, Sr. Yesterday I opened the door and George Bush scurried out across the threshold and I thought that was the end of him. But wouldn’t you know it, I swung the door open later to let in the air and the sun, and back in he ran. But it’s only a matter of time. Life goes on. The cycle of sinners and tyrants all end eventually.

It’s a rather odd, anti-climatic career move, but on my way to the trail I saw a sign in a restaurant window – Help Wanted. As I walked I tried on the idea of waitressing again, and felt a flicker of interest. I’d been feeling so low but decided to resist that flight reaction again, and the fantasy of walking across Canada. At first I was squirming once again by my lack of ambition. I started the internal debate. Should I not be trying to excel? Leap ahead? To where? Over there? Oh, how friggin’ tiresome. I slammed the clock off and went in and got the job. So this is my new incarnation – It is me playing the part of an actress, playing the part of a waitress, in the movie of my life.

There is a story from a book called “Sunbeams,” quoted by Thomas Powers…The composer Stravinsky had written a new piece with a difficult violin passage. After it had been in rehearsal for several weeks, the solo violinist came to Stravinsky and said he was sorry, he had tried his best, the passage was too difficult, no violinist could play it. Stravinsky said, “I understand that. What I am after is the sound of someone trying to play it.” I feel like God told me that story, and said those exact same words, “Diane, I understand. What I am after is the sound of someone trying to play it.” Well, that would be me.

It’s three weeks later. I can do it, I will do it, I’m doing it. And I’m the one surprised…I love it!

“Even a shabby camel can carry the load of many donkeys.” – Goethe.

As I walk along the path inside the cemetery on my way down the town, there is an exuberant dog that galumphs to the fence to say hello. She lives in a trailer adjacent to the cemetery and I’ve watched her grow from a pup. I’ve never known her name, she has no tag. I’ve nicknamed her Rosemary because she very enthusiastically licks off all my hand cream while I scratch her head. Rosemary looked so surprised the day she cleaned my fingers on my way home from helping Angela at the chocolate shop.

I told Angela I could see her new sign for EUPHORIA CHOCOLATES from my balcony. But I realized with a start one night while I was standing in the quiet, that that was not the direction of the chocolate shop at all, and that was not her sign glowing in the dark across the cemetery. It is the neighbour’s next door, the medical clinic, and it is a cross. And not all crosses stand for CHOCOLATE! HELP IS HERE!

What I know is funny, but feels excruciating, is learning the new “machinery” at work. It took me eight shifts to discover that I was using the wrong ratio of water to coffee. Argh! If you had the most watered down coffee at THE ADOBE GRILL in the last two weeks, come on back and I’ll buy you one. It took Kirsten and John and three customers to help me figure out how to pump coffee out of the urn. Everyone was so helpful, all clustered round, talking all at once. I was laughing so hard I had to hide in the dish pit for ten minutes. You’d better laugh when you’re up to your elbows in hot water.

I am enjoying seeing my old book store customers coming in for a meal. They are so surprised to find me there. They ask me if I’m working my way down the street. I say, “Next stop is the river!” And we can still talk books. I asked one table if they’d like anything else and they all groaned and held their full stomachs. I inadvertently started a conversation about “Fast Food Nation” and the movie Supersize Me. I’d finally seen it and it brought back all my horror at the fast food life I’d witnessed last Fall. Texas has the most cities of all the states with the highest rate of obesity. Dessert, anyone?

And what about goats? If you go walking along the outskirts of town on the west side, there is the Molenaar Farm on Wright Street. They have the fakest sounding goats I’ve ever heard. They sound like a tape of a goat trying to sound like a goat. (I know, double standard, goat bias.) I was standing at the fence the other morning when a brown goat trotted over to check me out. While I was busy feeling how attached to his head his horns really were (what an opportunity), he had used his time to ingest the wooden buttons on my coat. I was just barely able to reel them back by their cords. If you witnessed this tussle when you were driving by that morning, I assure you, there were no goats hurt in this incident.

What charms me about Fort Langley is that you can almost get outwitted by a sneaky goat on a Sunday morning. And a miniature horse will bow her head, and let you touch the velvet of her nose. That’s my kind of church.

But what does the dyslexic insomniac think about all night, laying there in bed?
…If there really is a dog.

Of course there is. Her name is Rosemary.

Good Life

With gratitude to Dr. Bill, the biggest Heal in my life.