Understanding, a never ending Quest?

The weather is fantastic.

Blue sky and just a little bit nippy.

The weather people,

 are saying twelve degrees on the weekend.

Amazing.

I have a lot of stuff on my mind, lately.

Today is Remembrance Day.

I am always saddened,

when I think of all the young lives snuffed out so early.

I am not a militaristic type but,

I respect the sacrifice and the courage.

Speaking of courage,

I have been reading a lot of stuff on transitioning.

It takes guts in this world to be yourself.

Really being yourself,

 standing up for what you believe in,

not being a sheep.

If being yourself means,

 something as potentially misunderstood,

 as physically changing genders,

it takes real guts.

Note I said physically changing,

 because it seems to me,

 that transgendered people become the gender they have always been,

inside, deep inside,

whether or not they have surgery.

I realise I may be stating the obvious, but,

the obvious,

 is sometimes,

 not so obvious,

 even,

 elusive.

Sort of like,

 common sense.

I also think,

 it can’t be easy,

 to take the steps necessary,

 to become what you are,

in a way that works for you.

I don’t know if I am being clear,

 and the last thing I want is to offend anybody.

This is a touchy subject for many people,

 and creates polarisation and even name calling on both sides.

I don’t have a side.

I have never seen being a lesbian as a choice,

 anymore than being a woman.

I can’t stand being reduced to one part of myself,

 and I try not to do it to others.

I also think it’s important not to take everything so seriously.

That’s why I blog about The Elements of Butch Style for instance,

a little bit of levity goes a long way,

 in understanding ourselves and each other.

I like the line from La Cage Aux Folles, the musical,

        I am what I am,  and what I am needs no excuses.

Thanks for listening and helping in my quest for understanding.

Later girls

BB

A rant, on how the Canadiens are not just a hockey team

The weather?

Not so great.

The Habs won one and then lost one.

On Thursday night I had dinner with a friend.

The plasma screen,

 above the bar,

 was showing hockey highlights and scores.

My friend saw me watching and said

 “don’t you think it’s silly that they named a street after the Canadiens,

 I mean they are only a hockey team”

My reaction?

Outrage.

Only a hockey team!

I calmed down after a deep breath and said,

 “not only a hockey team, a Mythical hockey team”

The Habs are not just a hockey team,

 they are the greatest hockey team of all time.

They have won 24 Stanley Cups.

The second winningest team?

The Toronto Maple Leafs with 13.

The New York Yankees have won 27 world championships.

The Boston Celtics have 17 World championships.

These my friends,

 are Mythical Teams.

Both New York and Boston,

 are sports towns.

New York has The Yankees and The Mets in baseball,

 the Knicks in basketball,

the Rangers in hockey, the Giants and Jets in football.

Boston has The Celtics, The Red Sox in baseball,

the Bruins in hockey, the Patriots in football.

In Montreal we have hockey.

We had a baseball team, the Expos.

We have a very good CFL (Canadian Football League) team, the Alouettes.

But, we care pretty much only about hockey.

The Habs are every one’s team.

English, French and everyone in between.

If you want to understand Montreal,

 you’ve got to understand hockey.

Canada is a great country in many ways.

Canada has done more than it’s part in the World Wars,

something that bears mentioning at this time of year.

We brought the world, peacekeepers and Celine Dion.

Neil Young and Alanis Morisette.

Joni Mitchell and Micheal J Fox.

Insulin and the mapping of the human brain.

John Candy and Mike Myers.

But, the greatest thing we ever did was invent hockey,

and the greatest team that ever played it are,

 The Montreal Canadiens.

The Habs, The Flying Frenchmen, The Sainte-Flanelle, the Bleue, Blanc, Rouge, The Tricolore.

They are our team.

They transcend political, linguistic division.

They are the mortar in our brick mosaic.

My discourse on the mythical team is now over.

Just wanted to clear up for my friend,

 that they are not just a hockey team.

Anymore than, Marilyn was just a blond,

 or that k.d lang is just a singer.

Again, tongue firmly planted in cheek.

Later girls, and Dan.

BB

Happy Halloween

The sky is very blue and it’s a little bit cold.

The Canadiens lost last night,

it’s OK,

you can’t win every game.

Wanted to wish you all a Happy Halloween.

I’m going to a wine and cheese festival type thing with a friend today,

should be fun.

I’m almost finished My Year Of Meats,

tell you all about it tomorrow.

I’m really starting to look forward to 2011.

I get that way at the end of the year, look forward.

It hasn’t been the best of years,

 and it hasn’t been the worst.

Just a really high learning curve,

 about myself and my romantic relationships.

I hope you all have or had,

 depending on your time zone,

a fun, safe and sweet Halloween.

Later girls

BB

Feeling Existential

Well, it’s October, therefore grey.

The Canadiens won on Saturday.

It has been really quiet here at,

 bookish butch central.

I went out on Thursday night,

 to one of my favourite watering holes,

with one of my favourite women.

I had a great time, we both did.

But, since then, I have felt tired and lethargic.

I doubt the two are related,

 it’s just a serious case of the slumps.

I’m in a reading slump, nothing seems to grab me.

I find that disconcerting,

I have a whole pile of To Be Reads,

and yet,

 all I can manage is the paper and an occasional essay,

in the James Agee collection. 

I’m reading other blogs,

 and everyone seems to be zipping through tons of books.

I envy, that.

Maybe, I’m just too preoccupied.

I have been thinking about instinct.

I used to be much more instinctual,

listening to the little voice inside my head.

In the past couple of years,

 I’m not sure why but,

 I’ve started ignoring it,

 and making more sensible choices.

I know there is nothing wrong with sensible,

it keeps you safe and relatively happy.

I used to be, I think,

 more fearless.

It could also be that,

 I am remembering things in a better light.

A sort, of fear has started creeping up on me,

fear of tomorrow, of the unknown, of being hurt.

When fear sets in you stop taking chances,

 you go the safe route,

you become complacent and settle for less,

you stop searching for what really makes you tick.

Fear, can save your life but, it can also stifle it.

Instead of listening to yourself,

 underneath all the white noise,

you take advice and you do things that seem more logical.

But, you know it’s not about sensible and safe.

It’s about the search and the journey,

what if we only go around once, won’t we regret not going for it.

I think I would.

So, I’m trying to listen to my little voice,

maybe it can tell me what to do,

 or maybe I’ll keep just keep looking.

Just so you all know,

 October/November and February/March

are often existential months for me.

You have been warned.

Later girls

BB

The Dude

View MyPhoto-1...jpg in slide show

Ladies, may I present The Dude.

A big thank you to my good friend in Toronto for the picture.

It was a dark day and The Dude was not in one of his better moods.

But, you can see what a pretty beast he is,

 right?

I can’t find a single thing to read in my piles of books,

it makes no sense.

I always feel off quilter when I can’t read.

I’ll try tomorrow to finish My Year Of Meats.

Meantime I wanted you all to meet, The Dude.

He is named after The Dude in The Big Lebowski,

one of my favourite films.

About a lovable bum in a series of insane situations.

If you haven’t seen it,

watch it next time you are in the mood for the absurd.

Later girls

BB

Memories are made of these

It’s raining.

I told you all yesterday,

 that I was feeling wonky,

yes,

that is the technical term.

So, in an effort to beat the doldrums,

I thought I would write about,

 some of my favourite things.

Some of my likes and loves,

 you are familiar with,

Blundstones, Swatches, L.L. Bean shirts …

Others are memories of things long gone.

A lot,

 have to do with smells and sounds.

My Grandmaman Lydia,

used to make cake,

this cake was known as gateau blanc,

which literally translates as,

 white cake.

This was a vanilla cake, moist but,

not too moist,

the perfect combination of air and texture.

My cousin,

an admirable baker,

makes grandmaman’s chocolate cake.

It is most people’s favourite and delicious,

but,

I’m not most people and,

the white is still my favourite.

I miss her and the cake.

My Granny Grace,

the anglo side of the family,

died when I was just a kid,

and I remember her big belly laugh,

some people say I inherited it,

genetics also gave me the belly.

Life isn’t always fair.

When my godson, Jerome,

was just a baby,

 I used to smell his hair while he slept.

A perfect smell,

 which I can’t possibly hope to describe.

He’s a big boy of eight now,

sensitive and sweet.

My ex and I had a cat, Bud,

he was a talker and a pacifist.

That cat refused to kill anything.

He would talk and talk,

 probably telling us to join,

 Greenpeace or Ducks unlimited.

My dad and I watching Looney Tunes,

waiting for the day,

 the coyote would fnally catch the roadrunner.

Some of my favourite things are sill around,

mom’s meatloaf, cold on tap beer, espresso coffee.

Some I haven’t seen in a while,

 a Julia Roberts movie,

the post coital shine in a woman’s eyes.

But, hey hope springs eternal.

I still haven’t seen Eat, Pray, Love,

so that hope is afloat:-)

My grandpa always carried peppermints,

 in a baggie in his pocket,

and when you were feeling low,

 he would say “want a peppermint?”

It was a cure all.

I can’t walk by Kerr’s Scotch Mints at the grocery store,

 without thinking of him.

Not all my favourite things involve dead people.

It’s just as you get older you “know” a lot of  dead people.

I love to go for greasy Chinese food,

 and my heart swells when I hear Pavarotti,

sing Nessun Dorma.

Lady Gaga, PBS, Joan Baez.

Flannel sheets, autumn leaves, crusty bread.

The Dude, Tom Yum soup, bookshelves.

Hot showers, cheddar cheese, long kisses.

These are a few of my favourite things.

What can I say,

 I’m a sentimental old flake.

Next post Books,

I promise.

Later girls

Thanks for putting up with me.

BB

Saint-Andre, Grandmaman would have liked that.

This morning in Rome,

at the Vatican,

Le Frere André (Brother Andre),

 of St Joseph’s Oratory fame,

was made a saint.

I am not a practising Catholic,

and I never have been,

but,

like most Quebecois,

over the age of forty and born here,

I have been baptised and had my first communion.

We live in a post Catholic society,

and yet,

 St-Joseph’s Oratory,

which can hold almost two thousand people,

was full all day and all night,

leading up to the canonisation ceremony at 4h30 am,

our time.

I remember when I was a young child,

 going to the Oratory with my aunt.

It is an impressive Basilica that sits atop the Mountain, 

our Mountain, Mont-Royal.

My grandparents and I also visited Ste-Anne De Beaupré near Quebec city,

and Le Cap De La Madeleine near Trois-Rivieres(Three Rivers).

Le Cap, is a shrine to the Virgin Mary,

 and Ste Anne’s is a shrine to her mother.

Why am I telling you all this?

Because, I believe my grandmother,

 would have been delighted to see Le Frere André canonised.

These events made me think of her,

 and also of our collective history.

When Le Frere André died in 1937,

over a million people filled past his coffin in Montreal.

My grandparents amongst them,

they had not met, yet,

they met later that year,

 and married in 1939.

Brother Andre is an important symbol of our past.

A small, frail and uneducated man,

 who had a dream to build a chapel to his St-Joseph.

For the longest time,

the only heroes French Canadians had to look up to,

were Le Frere André and hockey players.

I am glad he is a Saint for all the hardworking,

small salaried, self sacrificing people,

 who came before me.

My ancestors, my people.

Although dominated and kept down by their church,

they also found comfort and solace,

 in the little doorkeeper of Notre Dame College,

who performed miracles,

they saw him as one of them,

and he was.

This canonisation is a little bit a tribute to them.

My Grandparents would have liked that.

I’m glad for them and their memory.

Later girls

BB

Every little bit, helps.

It’s raining and grey,

that’s the down side of Autumn.

Rain.

I’m siting at my desk,

which has a view of the Birch tree across the street.

The tree’s leaves are Yellow with a tinge of Orange.

My cat, The Dude, is sitting on the windowsill ,

his head in profile,

 he appears to be the same colour.

Even at his advancing age,

he’s eleven,

 he is still interested in birds and squirrels.

He and I have lived together for eight years now.

He is a sweet beast and a good friend.

I believe I have never mentioned him before,

a grave oversight,

he is an important part of my life.

Cats,

 or dogs,

if you are so inclined,

make life better, smoother.

I think it has a lot to do with unconditional love.

When the world is picking on you,

you walk in the door,

 and your four pawed friend,

is glad to see you.

You can’t beat that.

Moving on,

before you all think I have become some sort of,

strange cat lady.

Last week,

 this lovely man who comes to my store,

spoke to me about this,

 It Gets Better project.

I’m sure most of you have heard about it.

It was news to me.

After a well publicised rash of gay teen suicides,

brought on by bullying,

this project was created.

Basically,

 adults, 

gay and straight and all things in between,

record videos where they tell teens,

 that it will,

 Get Better,

 that they will survive.

That eventually you find community,

that time and patience,

makes things better.

I may be over simplifying but,

you get the gist,

right?

I applaud the effort.

I think it comes from a good place.

Reaching young people through,

You Tube and all is a no brainer,

many of them spend their lives in front of screens.

So, nothing wrong,

 with virtual role models and comfort.

When I was a teenager,

 movies and books had a big influence.

Watching, Desert Hearts,

 in which two women made love to each other,

and nobody died,

like in most previous dyke movies.

That was a seminal experience.

My parents being marginal people in their own way,

always expressed people’s right to difference.

Being Gay was fine,

different and more difficult,

but OK.

I know they worried,

 about my happiness, about my choice,

and what loving parent wouldn’t?

Of course,

 it was never a choice,

I was born,

 Butch.

I have read a lot of criticism of this project.

About how it oversimplifies the problem etc.

That familial homophobia,

 and society’s judgment of sexual minorities won’t go away,

as a result of well meaning celebrity video interventions.

Probably not, but,

it sure doesn’t hurt.

None of society’s ills and injustices,

 are rectified through one thing.

But, many little things,

 become the building blocks of change.

If this project,

 can help teens to see that being different,

 is not wrong,

just different,

well,

Bravo.

Later girls

BB

 

Life and blogging. Works in progress

It’s a beautiful sunny, crisp day.

I have to go to the laundromat today and wash the blankets for winter,

they don’t fit in the regular washer.

I used to love Mondays,

 they were ride around town,

 go for Chinese food,

 kind of days.

Unfortunately, that is now a thing of the past.

Oh well ’tis life.

The summer of hell has rescinded,

 and now I’m getting ready for winter.

I’m not a big fan of cold but,

 I love the silence that winter brings.

I have all kinds of reading and writing projects.

My other blog bookishinmtl has been sorely neglected,

I don’t think I have written anything since July.

Anyway, I have an idea for it.

I’m going to attempt to read my way through parts of,

 The Library Of America.

I will also be taking on classics I have been putting off for years,

 Memoirs Of Casanova, which I have in French,

 Les Liaisons Dangereuses and stuff like that.

I will also be doing some reviewing for kissedbyvenus.

I’m still not over my ego stomping summer disaster but,

I’m trying.

I thank the Goddess for this blog and,

 how it allows me to “talk” about my thoughts and feelings.

Also,  my friends and readers have been very supportive.

I started Cadillac Jack last night and,

I have also been reading My Year Of Meats for my book club.

Cadillac Jack seems like it’s going to be fun.

My Year Of Meats is strange,

good strange,

 I think.

I’m glad I picked it for the October installment of Book Club,

it’s a challenge and,

 I can’t give up on it because of my commitment.

So, come hell or highwater,

a review will appear November 1st.

Over the weekend,

 many of the bloggers I follow Cass at Bonjour, Cass and Buried in Print etc

participated in a read-a-thon.

I believe I wil give it a go next year.

I love this blogging thing,

but,

I still have a lot to learn,

like life,

 it is a work in progress.

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canucks,

and a good Monday to the rest of you.

Later girls

BB

Thanksgiving, thanks Mom

It’s kind of gray and nippy this morning.

In Canada, this is Thanksgiving weekend ,

so most people get three days off.

It doesn’t apply to me,

 I always work Saturdays and have Mondays free.

In my family, Thanksgiving was never a big deal,

mom would roast a bird and,

 we would eat too much and sleep in on Monday.

Things haven’t changed much,

except for the size and the kind of bird,

these days we do chicken rather than turkey.

Turkeys are too big for two people.

As all of us get older,

 I find myself being more and more grateful for what we have.

I don’t know if I ever mentioned but,

I’m an only child.

Although, I have an extended family to whom I am close,

 and friends who are like family,

my tribe consists of my mom and I.

A couple of years ago,

 circumstances were such,

 that my mom and I moved in together.

I sort of saw it as a failure on my part,

a middle aged woman living with her mother,

 kind of lame,

I have since reconsidered.

Mom and I,

 take care of each other,

 and keep each other company,

 we ward off loneliness and,

 share chores and responsibilities.

I worry about her health,

 she worries about my happiness.

I guess we are each other’s port in a storm.

When I look around and see,

 how many people are estranged from their families,

or just plain lonely and unloved,

I know that I am loved and always have been,

I have much to be thankfull for,

thanks mom.

Later girls

BB