Monday, April 30, 2007

Catching Up

A correction: My dad is 22 years younger than Carol Burnett, not 12. Sorry, Dad. I haven’t done math in a while.

So much to say. Because I blog so little.

Here’s a quick recap of my recent life (notice that I actually seem to have a life):


It’s Michael’s birthday. For those of you who don’t know him, he’s a former basement-dweller-turned-friend who now lives out west. And he’s visiting his girlfriend in Toronto. And his girlfriend is very cool. (Possibly cooler than you, Mike. No offense). So she plans a surprise dinner for him at a great restaurant called Fire on the East Side. Great food. Fun people. And I totally monopolize Mike’s attention. Because I see him for a couple hours once a year. I do manage to miss someone finding a vibrator that isn’t hers in her purse when I go to the bathroom, though. Oh, and Nelly Furtado was there the night before, so I’m officially hip. And the waiters are all beautiful gay men. Good raspberry chocolate cheesecake. Happy birthday, Mike.


Nothing super-eventful. I make birthday cards for my dad and brother in front of CSI. (It’s birthday season, you may have noticed). I pack for the weekend.


I leave work early and head to meet my mom at Yorkdale Mall. I have a massive bag with me. A guy on the streetcar stands over me and essentially tells me to put my bag on my lap. Even though I already have another bag on my lap. So I pile my bags on top of each other so he can sit beside me. He then feels my bag and asks me if there’s a live animal in it. I tell him he’s feeling my blow-dryer as I silently vow to never date a guy I meet on public transit. Especially ones who will increase my discomfort just to sit with me. And who molest my luggage.

I meet Mom. We head to my grandma’s, who doesn’t know we’re coming for dinner. Then we head to my cousin’s (Second cousin? Third?) for a ladies’ meeting. My mom’s the “speaker” (it feels too casual for such a title. She’s the “talker”? “Sharer”?) and shares about her experience in Haiti. I’m the youngest person there by at least 20 years and yet I’m surprisingly comfortable there. And all the little old ladies (my mom will kill me for typing that) chat until 11pm!


Mom and I get up early and head to Waterloo. First, Grandma tries to serve me every brand of cereal she has. And raisin bread. And cookies. And chocolate. For someone who doesn’t look fondly on chubbiness, she is certainly trying to release my inner 300-lb woman. Mom and Dad disappear to the EBC graduation, so I spend my afternoon teaching Nathan’s roommate to make omelets and watching my brothers try to work together on a card for my dad. It’s both hilarious and exasperating and takes hours, but they finally agree on an outline of a sheep with a cotton ball and glue stick in a separate baggie so it can be interactive.

The whole family goes to East Side’s for dinner (I include Sam in “the family” since she will be one day), and sit by a door. That employees like to open. I am cold. But the food is good and I took great advantage of the all-you-can-eat Caesar salad.

I have a trivia addiction, and am finally able to convince people to play Trivial Pursuit with me. Unfortunately, we play the Baby Boomers Edition and very few of us are baby boomers. In fact, my pop culture knowledge is older than that. I want questions about Jimmy Stewart, Laurence Olivier and Katherine Hepburn. We soon realize that the answers are always Don McLean, The Beatles, John Denver, Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar and Ronald Reagan (although the last time my parents played, the answer was always Jimmy Carter). We cheat to make it more fun. And Joel stays far away, as he would rather have surgery without anesthesia than spew out trivia.


Church. We go to the church we visited on Christmas Day. Missionaries with Wycliffe are visiting and their presentation is awesome. And inspiring. I’m getting that itch. Not necessarily the overseas-missions itch (yet), but that dissatisfaction with my life because I know something bigger is in store. A good, exciting dissatisfaction.

We head to a pottery show. My dad has recently started pottery classes, so while I admire, he takes notes and gets inspired. Then I go grocery shopping with Mom and Dad. It’s a field trip. Barbequed hamburgers soon follow. And as it’s gorgeous out, my mom and I go for a walk (and talk) for a while, before everyone just crashes in the living room and lets Dad explain NASCAR racing to the ignorant (all of us) while eating Rolo ice cream.


Back at work. The schedule’s a little impossible, but I ignore this fact and still manage to leave a little early so I can catch the matinee of Amazing Grace that’s showing at a cheap theatre. Now, I’ve been to a lot of movies by myself, but never have I been the only person in the entire theatre. By the time the previews are over, there are six people in the theatre. But the row is all mine.

The movie is pretty fantastic. I am in love with Ioan Gruffudd. (I couldn’t figure out where I’d seen him before. So I IMDb’d him. He was an officer in Titanic). He should be on the cover of People’s 50 Most Beautiful People. Yes, William Wilberforce is my new crush. There are these perfect moments where you can see God in his eyes. I’m not sure how an actor prepares to be a man of God, but he did his homework. Wilberforce wasn’t even 30 when he was lobbying for the abolition of slavery in the House of Commons. The whole story is just really beautifully played out, painting a picture of a man with a heart for God and a desire for justice. I’m inspired by his youth, by his own struggle in figuring out how to follow God and still be involved in a secular world, by his counterculture image, by his perseverance. I know that slavery is still a pretty huge reality for a lot of the world, but the changes he saw in his lifetime were pretty miraculous. The movie also makes me want to lie down in the wet grass and stare at spider webs. Until I remember that I don’t like being damp.

I go grocery shopping. Some old man is yelling and swearing at a guy who asked him to move for a woman and her baby. And he doesn’t stop yelling. Or swearing. So we all stare.

I make my lunch for the next two days and unwind with a good blog.

That is all.


michael lewis said...

I'm not sure which is more disturbing:

Pottery Classes or Nascar.

My world is turning upside down.

michael lewis said...


And THANK YOU for coming to my birthday dinner.

It was a complete and total surprise!!!

Joanne did so well at hiding this from me.

And you're correct, she likely is cooler than me.

Have you scheduled a shopping trip yet?

mike said...

NASCAR & Pottery... I like to keep people guessing or wondering.
Power & Creativity.
you're just jealous !?

michael lewis said...


I believe the word you are seeking for this context is envious.

However, I am not envious at all!

Speaking of guessing, my most recent MEC purchase was the Travel All Shoulder Bag, though some may refer to it as a purse, or rather murse (compound of man and purse).

Joanne said...


Thanks for the compliment!

It was great to meet you...

Michael is the "coolest" person that I have ever your suggestion that I surpass him in that matter, is very flattering...

:) Yes, shopping & people watching soon!

nadine said...

I'm loving the battling Michaels....

The murse is where it's at. I am envious.

I like pottery. I still don't get NASCAR. Maybe because I don't drive. Or hang around people with cars.

And yay for shopping and people watching. And Michael gossiping....

mike said...

murse... it looks good
MEC sells good stuff

I think either word is acceptable in this context
Jealous: 3. Having to do with or arising from feelings of envy, apprehension, or bitterness: jealous thoughts. American Heritage Dictionary

NASCAR is about automotive power... it seems to me that I remember a pretty powerful mustang you had on a previous return visit to Ontario.
& what's not to like about throwing mud?

Beth said...

nadine, i like your life.

also, i was so excited to be in on the surprise for michael, who i don't actually know. i like that what could have been a creepy comment on my blog turned out to be a cool new friend for you.

re: discontent - "vancouver...." (said in a whispery voice that doesn't pretend to be God's)

nadine said...

Beth, I like your life. We should arrange some sort of exchange. Or we could just visit each other instead.

An amendment to this blog: After seeing a preview for the "Fantastic Four" sequel, I am confident that my crush is not on Ioan Gruffudd. I am merely in love with William Wilberforce.