Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Angelina Ballerina

Summary: With Katharine Holabird's lively writing and Helen Craig's charming illustrations, the original story about the feisty little mouse who wants nothing more than to dance still keeps young ballerinas leaping with delight.

Why I recommend it: (There's a theme) because I loved it. It may not have made me want to be a ballerina, but I loved Angelina. I had a stuffed animal and everything.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Back in the New York Groove

It's not overly common knowledge, but certainly not a secret (or a surprise to those who know her) that my mom's a New Yorker.  We used to spend summers in Queens, were I'd watch the local older kids play handball in the park, eat the lemon gelato in the tiny cups with a wooden spoon and wander around the neighbourhood to get a soda or play with kids I only saw once a year. In an attempt at bribery, we would go to a few Broadway shows (Crazy for You and Will Rogers Follies were favourites) and I'd otherwise entertain myself surrounded with family.

I loved it - I'd go from small town Stratford, or (I thought) big city Toronto to Queens New York City, where by the time I came home I almost didn't speak understandable English, with the mix of spanishyiddishslangnewyork spoken at a speed that only New Yorkers can master with an odd accent that would usually fade by October.

There is a point to this. The point is I always came back from Queens with a new perspective - or as much of a perspective as a kid can have. I feel like that now.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

of shoes and ships and sealing wax

I don't think I'll ever understand job hunting. I had an amazing interview a week or so ago, where everything was perfect. The people interviewing me were great, the library was amazing, there was growth it was perfect as I said. What wasn't perfect is that it's 4 provinces away. I applied on a whim, not thinking at all that I would even get an interview.  But I did - and not only did I, I had a great interview - and now they're flying me four provinces away for a second interview.

I should be thrilled. OK, I am thrilled. It just got me thinking - every friend I tell here the first thing they say is "why aren't you just taking a job here?" I tell them I haven't had any callbacks, and then the inevitable "wait - Library X is FLYING you four provinces away... and nowhere close by is even calling you back?"

So... what this tells me is all I need is a chance, and I can do great things.

Edit: I got the job, but it wasn't as perfect as it seems. Indexing is going well, I can wait for an actually perfect job.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I miss my dog.

I'm in Waterloo house-sitting for mom. My boyfriend decided he couldn't emotionally handle (no seriously) being away from his baby (no seriously) for 2 weeks, so he has him in Toronto this week, and I'll have him here next week.  I've not determined I'm that person. Maybe it's because usually when I'm here alone, Gambit's here. We go to the river, meet up with his siblings and generally have a good time.

Now, all I have are mom's cats. While I love them dearly, it's just not the same.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Where the heart is

I'm house/cat sitting for my mom while she's in Hawai'i for two weeks for her peace corps reunion.   I love being out in the country - I feel like I can breathe again. I love the city just as much, but something about coming out here is so... relaxing.

When we moved here, it was in the middle of nowhere, all farms, pastures, orchards and the river I've posted so many pictures of. It was so quite when I was 15 and first came here from Toronto. I remember not being to sleep - even when I lived in Stratford we lived down the street from the hospital and sirens were a constant. Here there was nothing - I woke up last night wondering what the noise was, and lo, it was rain.

I'm still not sure where my homes is - I'm pretty certain it's not Toronto, I don't know if it's W'loo but I do know that it involves a fireplace, several animals and a herb garden, an outdoor that's big enough to not see the neighbours, and a house big enough to have everyone over.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Why I remember

Remembrance Day is a hard day for me.

My Grandpa was from Newfoundland, and was a rock - little could phase him, and he always looked for the best in people. He was in the Merchant Marines during WWII - he was on the great lakes, and while he had a few close calls, he had an easier experience then most. He spent the last half of the war doing construction in Canada for the Army - close to home and safe. The Legion was a huge part of his life - he was there with "the boys" every Thursday through Sunday inclusively. I remember him taking me to sell Poppy's, and how he'd always pin one on me, and tell me he was so thankful he could. He could never tell me why he was thankful. I remember him asking and him telling me he would tell me when I was older.

I don't know if he ever knew how well I understood what he could never put into words. My mom's side of the family was on the flip side of the same coin during WWII. I have relatives who were in Auschwitz Birkenau, Treblinka and Chelmno. Some survived, most didn't. Of my Bubbies 12 siblings, 3 lived, and of my Zaidy's family he and his brother survived.

I'm not going to get into the details, but my mom was born in a refugee camp in Germany in '46 - my grandparents were in a mix of internment camps and on the run in Siberia during the war. They escaped, but they knew their families didn't.  My Grandpa never needed to tell me why he was thankful, because I already knew. I remember being sat down as a child, and being shown the numbers tattooed on my great aunt's arm. My mom was horrified - she thought I'd have nightmares. I didn't have nightmares, but to this day it's something I have trouble with - I only dwell three days a year, and Remembrance Day is one of those days. 

I'll never forget any of my grandparents. Neither side of them knew the other well, but they taught me to remember, to hope, and to never give up.