I know why some women “let themselves go.” Looking good is a lot of work! My weight for example. Take my weight. Please. I’ve been struggling with it all my adult life, especially after hitting forty and peri-menopause, which wreaked havoc on my metabolism, mainly by slowing. The pounds creeped on imperceptibly. One day I got on the scale and the needle flew, way, way, way over 150 pounds. At 5’8”, I think my ideal weight is 140 pounds.

I had been thin/pure but was too young and dumb to realize it, always feeling like I was never thin enough, always feeling inadequate in other words. At least I had time to shop and though I couldn’t afford designer labels, was very resourceful and adept at finding highly stylish things to wear. Life was simple. Not so anymore, not with a kid and home schooling and running a household, like this woman in the van in front of me, full of wee ones, including a newborn. She has a look in her eye, like prey. Guess I’ve always suffered from a lack of self-esteem, boo hoo, and now I get to factor in aging as well. Buck up. As they say, aging is not for sissies. At least I have perspective along with the sore feet. My innate fashion sense and high quality garments are more important than ever, thus I spent hours and hours downtown looking for a dress to wear onstage. I’m wiped out!

Thunderstorm last night. Does it explain the vivid dreams I’ve been having? In this one Junior and his pals were seated on a Murphy bed. I was alarmed when I didn’t recognize two of them and asked Junior who they were. He, they, wouldn’t tell me. I got frustrated and closed the bed up, with them inside. I asked Junior to open it again, to give me the key. He laughed, said he didn’t know where it was. He found this very amusing but I was getting scared, on the verge of panic. I couldn’t open it!

Bird enchantment report: I spotted a new species by the feeder yesterday though this guy was on the ground. I thought it was a sea bird but looked it up in my guidebook and found out it was a woodpecker, a female. I get such a thrill every time I successfully identify a species. I can see why people get hooked on birding. Apparently, though most woodpeckers spend most of their time in trees, some will forage on the ground for insects. I was surprised to identify an exotic bird that resembled a parrot as an Evening Grosbeak. The poet in me is equally enchanted with bird names and categories: Loons, Grebes, Shearwaters, Petrels, Boobies, Gannets, Bitterns, Egrets, Spoonbills, Limpkins, Rails, Coots, Lapwings, Plovers, Skuas, Jacanas, Oystercatchers, Stilts, Terns, Skimmers, Auks, Cukoos, Nightjars, Trogons, Tryrant Flycatchers, Shrikes, Vireos, Larks, Wrentits, Verdins, Creepers, Nuthatches, Warblers, Gnatcatchers, Thrashers, Bulbuls, Accentors, Wagtails, Pipits, Tanagers, Towhees, Longspurs, Weavers.

Enjoyed an evening with new friends Tina Schliessler and Charles Wilkinson at their house in Deep Cove where they were celebrating his MFA in film from UBC. Tina is the artist whose phainting graces the cover of our new Aural Heather new cd, Princess Nut. I had the privilege of meeting their many intriguing and fabulous friends and family, including one of Tina’s favourite subjects, her son Pablo. I chatted with Charles about Tina’s enormous talent, humility and ability to put her subjects at ease. He said my face looked different in the flesh. I hope he meant it in a good way and there you have it, the afore mentioned insecurities roiling to the fore once more. Later Charles screened a documentary he directed called Down Here, a portrayal of several women that reside in the downtown eastside. The subject has been covered before yes, notably by my dear friend Lincoln Clarkes’ Heroines project, but Charles’s approach was equally uncompromising, authentic and quite striking with excellent cinematography and editing.