Wednesday, February 29, 2012

paddles and fuzz



I have a serious issue going on at the house.
Yes, she's a cute baby (a loaner).
Yes, he's a large bunny (a beast).
Yes, I should build the shoe rack (those boots).

But let's focus. That thunder bunny with the giant paddle feet? He's still molting. LOOK at that fur!

I've vacuumed every day for the past two weeks. I'm getting annoyed. This isn't something you can sweep up. Dust bunnies. Bigger than normal sized bunnies.

leap

leap year
leaping into festival
leaping into new thoughts and attitudes

Last night was an Operating Committee night for the Shelter Valley Folk Festival... There are days that I dread going to these meetings. Just... well, it's a meeting, in a board room, talking teadious details through in order to get everything in order to pull off a huge event. There's always a voice or two or three that don't mesh well sitting around any table like that- and I hate conflict. But last night was great. We've been starting the meetings reading from "the virtues project", and it really puts everyone in a space where we're better able to listen, better able to respect.

I feel like I'm ready to sit down and get some work done- it's going to be ok- and we're all on the same team.

Drat those pheromones though.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

yes please

I've got a soft spot for the grump.



I posted this video and told Erin that I was in love with Al- but that he lived too far away.

The following happened:

E: Clearly he should move to tend chickens and play Ukulele with you. The fool. :) (L likes this)

L: lol. I'll tell him that.

E: Please do :)

L: just sent him the tweet.
only, I upped it to "marry me" (E likes this)

E: and make babies

L: that's it. this conversation is going in the blog. (E likes this)


Monday, February 27, 2012

breaking legs (a review)

My biggest worry is that someone will take offense to something I write. I worry more than a person should at the best of times. Suck it up butter cup (that's directed at me).
Some spoiler-ish things may be found here. Just go see the show. (edit: I didn't credit most of the cast and crew- I'll get that fixed later Plus, this is a blog- I don't use last names.)

Every year I get pissed off that no one gives an actual review of the show. T
here's this guy who sometimes writes them- and he gets really hung up on stupid things. Here goes nothing.. my first review.

Friday night I took in the opening night of
Northumberland Players production of Cabaret.

The show....


It was Lovely.Flashy.Sexy.Gender Bluring.Painfilled.Beautiful.Dirty.Smart.Sweet.Shocking.Sad.

NP puts on shows with a fraction of a budget, and a fraction of the pool of "talent" to draw from- but this doesn't keep them from consistently producing shows on par or better than those I'd pay to see in the big city.

Directed by Jack and Shannon, the blocking in this show was fantastic, as was Alina's choreography... those poor "Kit Kat girls" and their kick line dance... I was out of breath watching them- but they made it through and still held their poise afterwards- it was a complicated little number, I was so proud of them! The opening piece "willkommen" was a treat- and had the whole audience excited (and maybe a little uncomfortable?) about what was to come. After being in a few shows- I really appreciated why people were placed where they were on stage, and how they moved within those spaces. A few times I said to myself "oh, I like the way they look standing in that configuration".


There were also some really cute numbers that made the whole audience chuckle with glee. "Two Ladies" was one of those, it just had some smart little moves in it that the Emcee and the two Kit Kat girls pulled off really well. Another was the Telephone song, oh! The Money number was fabulous too. A nod to the kit kat boys and the rest of the company in those bigger numbers- I loved how much attention to detail there was in creating each of your characters! Good job folks! I loved watching your faces in these pieces- how your characters interacted with each other, and how each person was unique.


The Master of Ceremonies... oh Michael. You're beautiful.

He was perfectly cast in that role. I did want to punch a number of the audience members who couldn't get past the fact they weren't sure of his gender (and kept having debates about it while he was up there being magical...), but that was all part of the balance needed for the part of Emcee. Great dance moves, great expression and reactions- there was definitely the possibility that it could have turned to cheese having him in most scenes reacting to the other characters- but he kept it under control and didn't cross that line.

One of my favourite parts of the show was the love story between Fraulein Schneider and Herr Schultz. I wanted to run up and hug them both- they were that adorable! Jan and David did a great job of playing their blossoming love... They were so believable in the first act, that the second act seemed like they must be joking. I kept waiting for Fraulein Schneider to say the whole break off of the marriage was a sham. I think the only thing that would have made them stronger would be if Herr Schultz would "cheat" his stance a little more when talking to his bride to be. I was in the centre of the audience, and was sad for the people stage left in the audience that they were missing some of the show/ a number of really sweet facial expressions shared between the love birds. I wanted to put the two of them in my purse and take them home with me.


Fraulein Kost did what she could with what was written for her... can I admit that? No reflection on how she played- That whole story line could have been axed and not missed. (I know, the way a story is written shouldn't be part of a review) It slowed the show down a few times near the beginning- I think to improve it, I would have had the director ask to play up the whole "not getting caught" part of things a little more with her character- to have her be more playful to counter the weakness in the story line. Or maybe just played up the energy of her character? GREAT singing and dancing though! I loved watching her move.

Sally and Cliff....

hm.
I didn't get it.


Antonio and Alyssa are fantastically talented people. But I think that they weren't the right people to be cast in these roles. Perhaps younger might have been the way to go in casting? This is community theatre though- so talent wise, they may have been best fit for the roles when keeping in mind the needs of the entire cast. I love their voices, I love their acting. They're both beautiful... But something in me kept wondering how the part of Sally would have worked with someone like young Elly playing the part a little more coyly. Can coy and sass exist at the same time? I think Sally needed that... Alyssa has a very sweet innocent look about her and a very sweet singing voice (Which, I must note- she broke from in one of her last pieces- it had some serious "oomph" behind it). Antonio (while only in his 40s) played his part well, but I just couldn't accept him as a "young writer searching for inspiration". His age kept me thinking that his character was a washed out dud of a guy. His acting served well though, and his reactions to things Sally did often gave me a chuckle. As always, I couldn't get enough of his voice.


Chris as Ernst Ludwig. Sigh. Part of me feels like this is a case of "sound of music syndrome"... a great little story gets ruined by a nazi story line being fed into random places. Chris always plays the part of a creep too well. (Sorry Chris!)


The Kit Kat girls... wow... just.. wow. I know they worked hard learning those moves, learning the attitude... they totally pulled it off.

I have to add this. Three times during the intermission, three different people called me by the name of one of the girls on stage. I'm not really sure why people get us mixed up, but I'm so ok with it- Amber's wonderful- and in this show, she's a scene stealer. She OWNS the stage. She owns the people watching the stage, and her character Helga knows it.

The first act was long. I know, it was written long... but there were a few longish music vamps in there that went on (for 20 seconds or more) making it confusing for the audience as to weather or not it was break time. I don't know if that was a set change issue- or what that was. The band, and cast, did so well considering they couldn't see each other for cues- I loved the accordion and I'm pretty sure I heard a banjo. Curses to those safety regulations that require the top bannister blocking our view of the band! I enjoyed having them in sight- adding to the feeling of being in the club in their great outfits. (ps, the "bei mir bistu shein" vamp? Maybe it's written in, or maybe Susan added it, but I've always love that tune).

Adding to the length of the first act was the addition of "audience participation". A fun idea, but the transitions distracted me and broke the rhythm of the show. I couldn't help but hear murmers of "what's going on?" and people wondering if it was break time... Not something you want to hear. But, at the same time, it was cute. Epecially when the Master of Ceremonies was able to improv. I do love when the audience has a moment of discomfort thinking about what it would be like to be up on stage.

Opening night tech was a little rough. Mics not turned on, reverb left on, spot not quite ready when actors were ready... I know they were working hard back there, and there are likely things that I don't know about that caused some of the issues. When they were doing well, they did really well. Lighting was good- there were a few scenes where the lighting was really really well done- enough that I actually thought about it- which is a big thing- I don't notice things like that usually ... Kudos to the actors for working though the problems without distraction. And an even bigger kudos/congrats to the crew on getting most of them worked out by the second half of the show.

A big really treat in this show was the costuming! SO MANY COSTUMES! feathers.lace.bows.garters.skirts.flowers.sequins.bowties.scarves.headpieces.furs
I loved scene changes, waiting to see what each character would come out in next! Lisa did a FANTASTIC job.

Props too! It took everything in me not to steal one of those great suitcases... or telephones...

And finally, this has to be mentioned.
The set.
Was amazing.


Visually impressive (and making for some great photos).
And so smart! I loved the box/curtain/door thingys... the way they worked as the back of the club, become the boarding house and were able to be turned into a train car, and then into the boxcar at the end.. just... super smart.

There's a lot I haven't mentioned. There was a whole lot of talent on that stage. I couldn't stop grinning like an idiot the whole night.
NP, be super proud of what you've acomplished- that was a fantastic show- I'm telling everyone to go see it.

All other photos credited to the lovely Jer.

peck peck

tippa tappa.

I've stayed up too late writing a review of the show I saw on Friday.
I'll post it later (today) after I've got permission to use some photos.

Also, the dog stepped on my face this morning waking me up, I've got a big ol'scratch across my cheek.

Also, the dog is pissed that we haven't gone to bed yet.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

quiet listening.

one of those sounds that I just really like....






Friday, February 24, 2012

just call on me

scene: Elbow is sitting in the dining room at work, singing loudly with an individual.
Jenny is working in the kitchen preparing dinner.

L:
if there's anything that you want, if there's anything I can do.... just call on me and I'll send it along with love, from me to you. I've got arms that long to hold you, and keep you by my side. I've got lips that long to kiss you and keep you satisfied.... woooooooo...
Sorry that's all I know.

J: that's impressive!

L: thank you mini pops!

J: that's slightly less impressive.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

yes

um.. I can't express how much I love this video.
These will be my kids. No joke.
Starwars and instruments and books.
perfect.





There's another video of these kids, at the end one of the brothers screams in excitement for getting the piece right... haha. perfect.

it's a load

I carry my stress in my shoulders.
I know this.
Thankfully, work has a pretty good benefits package, so I've got massage coverage. Strangely I've never maxed out on it.

This year, I've decided to take full advantage- so I called around looking for a new RMT.
After a recommendation, I settled on one, and made the commitment to myself to go every 3 weeks.

strike one- When I called, I mentioned that I was looking for someone new to replace the RMT that I wasn't totally sold on. I was asked if I wanted the full hour, and responded that as I was "shopping" I'd prefer to just have the half hour - I'm meeting someone new, I'd like to see how it goes. I met my RMT and hit it off right away.... really liked what she did... and then she told me that tomorrow is her last day.

strike two- The building in under some renovations- great! How exciting! Except for the part where the newly installed pocket door fell off it's tracks and I was locked in the treatment room (sans clothing, on the bed) while my RMT frantically pulled on the door.. and had to call for assistance. RMT later said that the person helping her was just about to go get a hatchet when it opened. I hope that was a joke.

So... do I go back and hope there's no strike 3?

*from my RMT*
I'm surprised at your range of motion considering the state of your shoulders and neck.
Do you get headaches? Why are you not getting headaches?!
This isn't a money grab, I'm not here after tomorrow.. but you're going to have to come back in the next few days to continue this, otherwise it's been a waste of your time and money- after that you should be fine to come in just once a month... but not yet.
If we get locked in here, I'm sure we can figure out some other way to get out.


I REALLY miss my hot tub right now.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Homesteading

It's not what I thought it was.

I've been reading quite a bit lately about the idea of homesteading- in particular urban homesteading. Bedmates with green living. I feel like everything I read is an attempt to live the ideal set out in early editions of "The Mother Earth News". Things I've been trying to do, things I hope to do.

side note: we've really got to finish that TMEN documentary... I was reminded at the new years' eve collage party.

side notes' side note: the new years' eve collage party was great- and we've published our own little hand-bound book featuring our work. You can purchase a copy at the bookstore down town.

more notes: I finished two pieces I'm particularly proud of. One is silly- "all the single ladies" with two TMEN "positions and situations" ads and a few old articles from the Port Hope Evening Guide- articles from the 1890's... and another that I shouldn't call finished.

Today I was reading an article about taking stock of the things you're currently doing in your own way, and things that are on your wish list (to do list?) that take you steps closer to a homesteading way of life. I think I'm going to take some time this week to make those lists.

Making music must count.
Community building- I'm putting that on the list.
hm. maybe my list isn't going to look so homesteady after all.

Do the worms count?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

beautiful things in a week

-crispy snow
-friends having babies
-snowshoes
-friends coming for visits from far away
-laughter
-friends getting married
-warm blankets
-tea
-friends releasing beautiful things into the world (cds,books,art,words)
-indian food
-cuddly dogs
-warm eggs
-music
-creating
-garden planning
-happy coworkers
-hotwater bottles
-klenex

Sunday, February 19, 2012

update

that sneezing brought to you by the letters F U and R?

was actually brought by the letters H E A D C O L and D.


guh.

not even monday bunday.

Finally moved the kitchen table back into the kitchen... sad day.
Though, for a good cause- breakfast.
More specifically, Elevensies.
Sometimes known as Brunch, though edging into the lunching hour.

My little sister had a birthday this weekend- I figured a table was one of those things she'd appreciate at her celebration meal... though, I wonder if she'd have preferred dance hall breakfast?

Anyway, snow, thaw, snow, thaw, thaw... daffs are up, snow, thaw, snow... the rabbit is in full molt. Have you ever seen a rabbit in molt? CHUNKS of fur falling out. A constant tumbleweed of fluff rolling across the floor.
I'm vacuuming daily...
As an ROUS, Pontouff is filling the vacuum canister daily.

Moving the table from the back room to the kitchen created a haze of fur and has left me sneezing like none other. Apparently there was a "drift" of fur in the back corner behind the table that I wasn't reaching when vacuuming... it was set free when the table was pulled away.

ug.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

smell that?


I watched a lot of documentaries growing up... animal kingdom type documentaries, nature of things type documentaries... Some things I just didn't "get". Like how the trees knew when to release pollen... HOW do they know???

A few nights ago I was out with some friends and ran into a guy that I know, we visited for a bit, then went our separate ways

sigh.

This isn't a person that I'm particularly interested in or attracted to.

But he has just.the.right. pheromones.


oh sorry, too much information?

Friday, February 17, 2012

just wait

Do you ever get the feeling you're starring in your own tv show?
Like that Jim Carrey movie years back "the trueman show"? I'd never really thought about it until the movie came out, and then I was sure it was a message from MY show's producers to me. Really.
If I see something strange, I chalk it up to poor direction.
I WILL catch them in the act. I'll figure out how to get out of my show.

This morning was one of those moments.

When I let the hens out to free range in the yard, I usually sprinkle a little feed out in the yard. "Scratch", it's made of cracked corn and some other grains... the squirrels sit on the fence shaking their tails at me.

There's always a little left behind, so I've been getting some wild bird visitors and those tail shaking squirrels usually get a snack too.

This morning I watched a sweet little mourning dove walk down the path and start to round the gate, I turned away from the window to do something, then looked out again... AND THE BIRD WAS IN THE EXACT SAME PLACE walking at the same speed, just about to round the gate... laws of motion don't support this sort of occurrence. That bird should have been 3 feet or more from that spot at it's current pace... unless? UNLESS!! The director to my show had yelled "FREEZE" and even the dove froze.

That was the only explanation that made sense in my mind.

Until I saw the first bird out in the yard past the gate, and realized that I was just seeing a second bird.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

furniture

I live in a little house.
I love it.
As long as it's not cluttered. Sadly, storage isn't something I've got figured out yet...

Friends of mine have a theory that you're either an outtie or an innie when it comes to your organizational style. Neither is wrong... it's a preference and a system that works best for you. Innies like to have a place for everything and everything in it's place (out of sight)... while outties tend to have stacks. They know where everything is, and everyone can see everything.

I'm a closet outtie.

Rather, and outtie raised by strict innies.

I feel like I'm being bad if the kitchen counter is cluttered.
A dish in the sink??? OMG. trouble.

meanwhile, I can't get in my closet (as I have to build some shelving for sweaters etc). And I've yet to build the storage shelving in the basement- there is a carpet of boxes and tubs across the floor (unstackable).

I've found a way to make it easy to keep the kitchen clean though.

I moved the kitchen table the night of the last house concert (nearly two weeks ago) into the back room... and have never bothered to move it back. The kitchen is a dance hall/yoga studio now. oops.
But, at least the table isn't collecting items!

(note: the table IS collecting items, it's just in another room)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

bounce

Wish I'd had my camera with me when I let the ladies out for their daily "free range" time.
My chickens are chicken.
The snow is terrifying.

Add the fact that poor Darlene and Maria N'coco (the newer hens, I changed their names again- story to follow) are just learning about their wings, and we've got a chicken comedy routine like none other!

Darlene and Maria N'coco are young, and though they lived in a lovely coop and run, never were given the opportunity to stretch those wings and fly. Chickens are not known for their flight abilities... As they get older, they'll find it more difficult. For now, they can fly up-ish. And they can fly out and down-ish... they're best flying from something they've climbed up on (like the wall of the run, or off of a straw bale) to a point a few feet below.

Maria is more cautious about getting into things and only flies if Darlene flies, and she's half-hearted about it. She'll flap her wings and plunk lazily and ungracefully on top of the dog, or on Cheepers, or in the water dish.. whatever... usually about a foot and a half away from where she "took off".

Darlene though... she's scared ... or more chicken... of everything. But, she doesn't seem to realize she's the one in control of her body. She gets an idea and goes for it... and then...

She sees snow. She doesn't want to land in it! So, instead of dropping down the steps into the coop, she freaks out and flies into the wall, bounces off the wall, bounces off the steps, bounces off the other wall.... and lands in the snow... all while still flapping her wings frantically.

She spies Cheepers snacking out on the corn and grain on the snow covered lawn... hops up out of the run, onto the edge of the run... prepares to drop down to the treats.... REALIZES THERE'S SNOW... and starts flying.... and flying... till she's across the yard, gaining some height... nowhere to land but in the snow.... so she runs into the fence, bounces off the fence, flies till she bumps into the rain barrel and bounces into the snowdrift behind the lumber pile... and squawks till I come rescue her.

I'm telling you... GOLD comedy routine.

enough.

I pulled the plug on the online dating site last night.
I know it was the pressure of valentines pushing the crazies out of the woodwork... I just don't have the emotional energy to sort through them.

After several jokes at my expense, a conversation at dinner about the whole ordeal left me feeling like the very person I've always dreaded I'd become.
The spinster.

I know that's not the case, and I know it was all in fun, but by the time the conversation took a turn to "who can we set her up with", the damage had been done. I don't want to be her.
The alone one that other people wonder about- the one discussed and brain stormed for by her peers/friends/family.

Over the past few days I've had a number of emails from people encouraging me about "my journey" or "my hunt" or "while I'm seeking". They are well meaning.

I just don't want to be that.

So, account is closed for a bit... and that's the end of that topic for now.

And if you say "the right person will come along" I WILL punch you in the kidney.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

according to my research

it's time to bring back "hero of the week".

Let's just say it's the neighbour who keeps shoveling my sidewalk before I wake up.

Ha. Two nights ago, I was shoveling the sidewalk in front of the grumpy neighbour's house (the one who hates where she lives, all other people, and life in general). Jellydog was running loose while I worked... running from one front porch to the next- ever so hopeful someone would let her in the house and give her food. Jelly jumps up on grumpy's porch, and grumpy swings the door open... I'm not sure if it was to yell at the dog or just to see what was scampering around... She spies me shoveling her walkway and slams the door shut. About 40 seconds later she opens the door again, peers around to where I'm shoveling, and slams it shut again.

I don't do it for the thanks, but if you KNOW someone is doing something nice for you, and you know that they've been doing it for 3 winters... it's common courtesy to acknowledge that it's being done... at least once.
yes, I shoveled it again the next morning.

my very own garfield minus garfield

A few years ago one of the sheffrat family introduced me to the joys of "garfield minus garfield". A series of comics showcasing poor John's life, Garfield is taken out of the frames.. it's funny, and sad.

This morning I laughed so hard I puked.

Two things here- Early in the morning, or late at night, if I'm tired - I puke easily. It's just one of those awesome things about me. If I cry too hard, laugh too hard, or even think about it... my stomach will often turn on me.

The other? The reason for the laughter. The... garfield minus garfield of the situation.

WHY (the week of valentines) is this so in the forefront? Other than posting that article on the book of face, I've done nothing different... why so many notable crazies?

I got another of those stimulating emails ("hi how r you") from a winner on the dating site. I'm not going to post his photo (that would be mean)... but his blurry self-taken photo (not even a bathroom mirror shot) showed an unshaven (not in the good way) slightly drunken man in a basement apartment. Location? That often mocked industrial city to the west of us.

His "about me section" has been changed since I read it in the morning, but at the time it said
"Oshawa Ontario, hey what girl i like to go for bake run and i like to go i like to go for woke i like to work on car i am for shawa i like to work to i like to lis to music i like mover to i like tv to cool"

He also wanted to go for caffe for his first date.

But the part that brought me to the porcelain with my uncontrollable laughter was in his bio- there's a section that has quick info listed in the same order on each profile, including schooling, employment, pets, if they have a car, if they drink/do drugs.

(no joke)

Pets: Cat
Profession: -cat



Monday, February 13, 2012

I'm not mean, I'm awesome

*cue Law and Order type sound effects*

The following is a collection of things said to and around me at work on Sunday.
I may have said the "I'm not mean" thing to someone who was whining.

Enter Church Lady- oblivious to the topic of singledom that has been floating around this week.
Church Lady is wearing a well meaning sly smile. I know IMMEDIATELY what she is going to ask. Hemming and hawing, with a giggle she asks...
"Would you ever consider dating a younger guy? Now, I know they couldn't be too much younger, because you're already pretty young..." giggling nervously like she's the one asking me out, she grabs my arm, gives it a squeeze and dashes back to the other room after my patient and slow reply "I have in the past".

Apparently I've been wearing t-shirts and keeping my hair up in a pony tail far too often if she thinks her boys are near my age.

Moments later, I hear more giggling as she comes back into the kitchen....
"I should ask you this... do you like Jeeps or Junkers?"
I really shouldn't keep playing along, but I have to be honest, and thinking about a farm, answer... "I like them both"
Church Lady titters and flees the room again, only to turn around again and stand close to me as she asks "would you date a musician? or a cop? because the cop comes with the jeep, the musician has the junker..." I don't reply for a second... mostly in shock as I do the math and realize how young she must think I am ... or perhaps how desperate she thinks her boys are. Then there's the further pause as I decide weather to tell her I've sworn off musicians for the time being... Finally I respond with "I don't think I make that choice".

This must be what Church Lady is looking for, because as I turn and get something from the fridge, I find myself locked into the most awkward hug around my back and middle... the type that really excited moms give. She's still tittering and chattering like a pot on a stove as she leaves the room.

I'm blushing.
From embarrassment maybe? I'm not sure.
But I get back to making supper... and don't see her for the rest of the night.
From embarrassment maybe? I'm not sure.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

the daily

Before the book of face, I had a list of about 20 blogs and websites I needed to visit each day- in order to reach out and find that connectivity I so badly craved.

Now? I have 5. My email, twitter, hotmail, facebook... and the heart and stroke calendar draw page! Oh my gosh, best Christmas gift to receive (I mean other than perhaps a pony). Each day there are three draws for $5,000. Once a week, a draw for $10,000. Once a month, $100,000... Let's not forget the occasional $25,000 holiday draw!

I'm not a winner yet, but I'm holding out hope.
And a plan to purchase a 3 pack of calendars for myself next year.

follow up

I need to follow up yesterday's post with this fantastic article which someone posted a link to (on the book of face) and which I've been sending to pretty much everyone- especially those who have been encouraging me to try the online dating thing. Sorry this is a long one, and sorry that there's that annoying white background thing happening behind the quotes, and again behind my last bit at the end. I think I need to tweak some things on the site again.

The article can be found here, by Antonia Zerbisias in the Toronto Star....

"Single People Make Up a Crucial, Fast Growing Demographic"

So, yeah, Valentine’s Day.

Hearts, flowers, candlelit dinners, whatever.

If all that manufactured schmaltz makes you feel like a loser just because you aren’t partnered up, you’re going to like this.

Despite the ceaseless romancing of the idea of coupled life, and the political focus on families as the building blocks of society and community, Canada’s population of singletons — defined as people who live alone — is arguably the fastest-growing demographic. And it may well be the most crucial — socially, culturally and even economically.

The evidence is literally towering.

All over Toronto, soaring glass warrens of tiny box-like “lofts” are shooting up into the skyline. They create densely populated areas where everybody walks to work in the morning and stops by the new supermarket on the way home for a freshly made, single-serving microwaveable meal. Later, these people fill the local gyms and pubs.

Singles are fuelling inner-city growth and keeping the core alive, frequenting the parks and other public spaces with their pets, dining out and attending cultural events, while couples, with or without kids, are in watching TV.

Singletons also contribute to the community through volunteer work; unlike married people, they have the time for it and it is a social network-building opportunity.

So take heart all you singletons, whose V-Day dates will either be with the girls (or boys) over drinks, with Facebook friends or with NBC’s cruelly timed The Biggest Loser and a bowl of popcorn.

You are not alone.

“I think the incredible rise of living alone is the biggest social change that we have failed to name and identify,” says New York University sociologist Eric Klinenberg, on the phone from Manhattan. “We treat it as a personal matter, like we are the only ones in the world dealing with it. The truth is, it’s now a widely shared condition and we need to understand it and talk about it.”

Klinenberg’s just-published Going Solo: the Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone is causing a sensation, both for how it has shaken up our traditional notions of the single life and as a sociological breakthrough. Psychology Today has already described it as “a social science classic.”

“This is the first book on this topic to take it on comprehensively, but it’s clearly not going to be the last one because we’re just coming to terms with what I call this social experiment,” Klinenberg explains. “We have 200,000 years of experience as a species living in domestic groups and we have about 50 or 60 years living alone. So we have a lot to learn.”

While Klinenberg’s research focuses primarily on the U.S., much of what he writes pertains to Canada.

According to the 2006 census, one in four Canadian households are single-person. In Toronto, almost one in three households consisted of people living alone, up 11 per cent from 2001.

And they form clusters.

“People who live alone tend to live better when they live in an area where there are a lot of other singles,” Klinenberg says. “One of the amazing things about contemporary cities is that we can name the neighbourhoods where living alone is a social experience. I don’t know the neighbourhoods of Canada, but in the United States you have Greenwich Village, West Hollywood, Lincoln Park in Chicago . . . these are places where we know people go to live alone together.

“One of my big arguments in the book is that urbanization has made living alone not just possible but also pleasurable.”

The numbers haven’t yet been crunched for the 2011 census, but the 2006 data show that in Toronto, the postal codes covering the Harbourfront highrises, as well as those in the Church-Wellesley and Davisville areas, just to name a few, are single-person household hubs.

When many of these buildings went up, the ’60s had swung the pendulum toward living single. The ’70s “Me Decade” grew into the Me-llennium. And, of course, the divorce and remarriage rate soared, with people moving in and out of the single state from one life stage to the next.

Women, especially, were breaking out, getting careers and gaining independence. Marriage was no longer mandatory and mothering for many fell right off the map.

“A lot of (divorced) women felt that they had neglected themselves for too long,” Klinenberg says of his findings. “They needed to have time for themselves. They wanted intimacy. They wanted to be in relationships. But they didn’t necessarily want to live with the person. They wanted to maintain their autonomy.

“Women are more likely to live alone than men but they are less likely to get isolated and the reason is because women are, on average, much better at establishing relationships and maintaining them.”

Twice-divorced Toronto writer Joanne Ingrassia, 57, is typical. She’s one of many who responded to an informal poll on Facebook.

“I’ve lived alone for the past 18 years,” she notes. “I’ve never let being alone hold me back in any way. I’m very active, community involved and very passionate about music, the arts in general, nature, travel (yes, alone) and more. I love the people in my life and have nurtured good relationships with family and close friends. But would I consider sharing my life and living space with a guy again? My life, yes. My space, quite possibly. I am at least open to the idea of both!”

And then there’s government worker Darlene Tansey, 43, who volunteers at the Toronto Humane Society: “I lived with a man for over 10 years. Gradually, I began to feel like I’d lost myself; I didn’t remember who I was or what I wanted to accomplish in life for me. Since I’ve been living on my own (about seven years now), I bought my own condo in a neighbourhood I love, I vacation in super hot climates and I do volunteer work that I love. I am waaaay more confident — and I can do what I want, when I want, how I want.”

“The stigma of living alone is much less than it used to be,” says Klinenberg. “In 1957, a group of psychologists from the University of Michigan surveyed Americans about their attitudes toward marriage and singleness and they found that 80 per cent of the respondents thought that adults who wanted to be unmarried were either ‘sick,’ ‘neurotic,’ or ‘immoral.’

“Learning that fact cracks us up today because it is so foreign to us and it tells us that our attitudes have changed tremendously. But at the same time the social pressure to couple up remains intense. Many people get uncomfortable around their single friends and family members because they’re independence feels threatening on some level. That’s true even though half of the adults in the U.S. are single. I think we failed to collectively make sense of why this has happened and what it means for us and at the very least I hope that this book sparks a debate.”

And that debate needs to be political, Klinenberg tells us, because it is the senior cohorts and not the young ones who are increasingly living alone.

As StatsCan found with the 2006 census, 63 per cent of those over 65 in the GTA — almost 90,000 people — live alone. Those numbers will go up as baby boomers age and while the Harper government talks of postponing old age security benefits, the need for housing, health care and related services will grow greater.

“You can make the case that the needs of people who live alone and single people have not been served by political parties and the issues that matter to single people have not been championed the way they should be given the size of the population,” warns Klinenberg.

This, he maintains, “will be a real challenge” in the years ahead — and we don’t seem to be prepared for it.

Meanwhile, governments, media and Valentine’s Day card-makers ignore singletons at all our peril.

“I am not advocating for living alone,” insists Klinenberg, “but I am concerned that we fail to understand why so many people have made this decision and collectively have failed to remove the stigma of living alone — and we can be so judgmental. And our judgments are alienating for about half of the adult population.”

Happy Valentine’s Day all you singletons.

You deserve the love.

While I realize this article is urban biased to a degree, I couldn't have said it better than C.Shaw in her reply "I am single, and I really like being single; until there's a partner on offer whom I don't have to drag along with me or pick up after, I'm more than happy to stay single."

re: "urban biased"- one person commented that they felt that here in smaller towns more parents volunteered - I'll agree that parents are volunteering- but I have a feeling they are only volunteering in the activities their children are a part of... I'd lean towards calling that "taking an interest in their activities" or "fulfilling a required duty" (in the case of some sport teams that detail the commitments required of the team member in fund raising etc)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I liking to find soul mate

oh dear.
Some friends of mine have been encouraging me to try out a few dating websites. These are my "happily married" friends, or those who have found themselves in relationships that they are still trying to justify.... I've taken to copying some of the gems that contact me to a friend, just so I can share a few tears, be they laughter induced tears.. or sheer terror and sadness tears.
Yes.
It's important to get to know a person.
Yes.
One should never judge by appearances.
Yes.
I know some people have found lovely partners using this media.

But if I say in my profile "ask me about this", I really mean it. I'm giving you a free pass to a conversation.

Tonight's winner:
with a private message attached-
"do u wanna chat"

(oh dear, this is going to be bad... and yet, I click the profile link... Even after seeing a screen name "Dude197" I can't stop myself)

I like Sports, walks I like every kinds exept rap MUSIC , MUSIC ROCK I

LIKE CHILLIN MY GOOD FREINDS ILIKE UFC MY GOAL TO MEET A NICE

GIRL AT FIRST THEN BECAME A REATIONSHIP.I LIKE CAMPING, I LOVE

ANIMALS ESPECAALLY DOGS AND CATS.I AM VERY HONEST ,LOCALLY,

OUT GOING WILLING TO TRY NEW AVDENTURES WITH THE RIGHT

GIRL.I AM VERY CLOSE TO FAMILY.i dont like playing games.I LIKING TO

FIND SOUL MATE


Just... oh dear.

magic fingers

After years of neglecting my resources, I've decided that this is the year I take full advantage of my benefits ... I just called up a new RMT and made my first appointment- I'm shopping for one that I like, one that I'm going to commit to seeing every three weeks for the year... how's that for awesomesauce?