February 2, 2012
The internet called, apparently we here at jodi’s weblog are not fulfilling our quotas on cat pictures. So here is more Kevin.
My goal in life has always been to become the town eccentric, and up until recently I thought there was still lots of time to work towards that goal. But thinking back on the town eccentrics I have known, I’m starting to realize that those people weren’t as old as I thought they were. I met weird old recluse Pete Z as a teenager (when he was in his early 60s, I’m guessing) but my cousins had known him all their lives, and my mother knew him as the town weirdo when she was a kid, at which time he must have been quite young. Here’s a picture of me and my cousins and Pete, taken in around 1989:
On the left are my cousins Patti and Chris, old Pete in the middle, then me (in the hat; oh! that hat! and I had stuck a flower on it that day because I was A TOTAL HIPPIE) and my brother Dave in the Anthrax hat. Pete is holding the page from the Weekly World News that told the story of the guy who farts fire (photo taken with 110 film, probably Kodak because I don’t think you could get Fuji film at the grocery store in our town; Kodak Ektralite camera).
Just for fun here is another photo from that day, of Pete’s old tractor behind his place:
Taken with Ilford HP5 35mm film and who knows what camera. Please excuse the quality, it’s a scan of a crummy test print which I guess I never got around to printing any better. I wish I still had a print of the one I took of the old Dodge car that he had parked on his side lawn, full to the roof with cut firewood.
Mrs W, the weirdo lady who lived on my street growing up, is still alive, still living in the same house, and her daughter was only in her late teens when I was a kid listening to old Mrs W’s stories in the mid 1970s, which means that when we thought Mrs W was probably at least a hundred years old she was probably only 40. AND I’M 40 NOW, YOU GUYS. I’d better get cracking! So: this year is the year that all of the plastic animals and dinosaurs I’ve been collecting will finally get installed in the front garden; that will be a good start, I think, especially now that we’ve discovered Kevin has feline leukemia. Since this means I can only have the one cat for a while, I’ll have to work harder at being extra weird in other areas. Inspired by Pete Z and my old neighbour lady Mrs W, I’m going to try working on my storytelling skills to compensate for non-crazy-cat-ladyness.
Things Mrs W told me include:
-that the birds were plotting against her. Proof: they repeatedly pooped on her drying laundry, sometimes twice in a day (I did see the poop on the laundry one time so maybe the birds really did have a plot going on);
-that someone had poisoned her dogs (Pepper and I forget the other one’s name but at any rate, nobody poisoned them and next time I saw her, there were the dogs, fine as anything);
-that when her husband died he fell in the living room and one of the rabbit ears on the television went into his eye socket and pierced his brain (my mom says he died of a heart attack at home, but who knows, the falling on the rabbit ears part could still be true);
-a horrible story about some people setting fire to a cat in a barrel that I think was actually not a delusional old lady story but an actual true story she heard on the news.
Things the neighbour kids said about Mrs W:
-that when she was her daughter G’s age (so, around 18? at that time) she was very pretty just like her daughter and also she had an identical twin sister and the two of them left a dance with some unsavoury men and Mrs W was weirded out and wanted to go home but her sister didn’t and so Mrs W went home alone and her sister got murdered that night. Totally untrue and also probably inextricably linked to a town culture of slut-shaming Mrs W’s daughter G, who took a lot of flack for driving around on her motorcycle in a two piece bathing suit;
-that her dogs had in fact been poisoned, and died, and she had gone out and gotten two identical dogs and given them the same names as their predecessors and then forgotten the poisoning had ever happened.
Things Pete Z told me include:
-that a spoonful of blackstrap molasses every day will keep you from ever getting bunged up (this is true and I believe it and I will tell all the neighbour kids about it too);
-that if you kids wanna get bunged up, just you eat them prunes off that tree over there;
-that the walking trees from South America were moving north at a rate of a mile a year and were already halfway through Mexico and heading straight for Ontario;
-that antique dealers and the C.I.A. were in some kind of cahoots bent on getting their hands on all of his valuable stuff (the part about the dealers is undoubtedly true, his whole place was full of stuff that would have been pretty valuable then and even more so now). Also detailed accounts of how he had run several of them off his property, one who even had the gall to walk straight into his house without invitation and don’t you kids go trying that or else;
-killer bees will kill you and they have a blood lust fueled by killing;
-about a man who farted fire and he kept burning holes through his trousers and had already set his bed on fire in the night a couple of times (this one he showed us, clipped from the Weekly World News, probably also the source for the one about the walking trees).
Posted by Jodi Green on February 2, 2012 at 10.23am
December 19, 2011
Part slutty, part frumpy, part art student, part rock star. (Also apparently apprehensive about something and unable to coordinate colours).
That’s me on my 40th birthday, on which I had at least 4 discussions in which I was told “oh, you don’t look 40″ and in which I replied that I am indeed 40 and this is what I look like and that perhaps those people need to readjust their perception of what 40 looks like. People don’t seem to like to hear that. But seriously, if I don’t look 40, and the other people I know who are 40 don’t look 40, then who does look 40? 50 year olds? 60 year olds? I have a sneaking suspicion that this is just another way in which the Baby Boomers’ self absorption and fear of death is trickling down and infecting the rest of us. (speaking of self absorbed: ahem. THIS WHOLE BLOG POST).
Guess what? 40 looks like this.
And like this.
I’d like to gently suggest that everybody just be a grownup and stop clinging to what they believed when they were 20. 40 is awesome because it is 40, not because of the convincing way in which it pretends to be 30. The 40 year old me could easily kick the 30 year old me’s ass into next Sunday. I wouldn’t be 30 again for anything.
Posted by Jodi Green on December 19, 2011 at 2.18pm
November 28, 2011
(I KNOW. Haircut blogging. Yawn).
Posted by Jodi Green on November 28, 2011 at 11.26am
November 6, 2011
We haven’t had one of these in a while.
Quite frankly, it’s because there’s been a complete slackitude in the workout department around here. I’ve come to the realization that I was working myself too hard last spring (as evidenced by the shoulder injury that put me in physiotherapy for the summer and pretty much sidelined not only the weight training but also the running, right when I was about to triumphantly complete the final week of Couch to 5K). While working out very hard every day felt good (INCREDIBLY good), I think it had a lot to do with frustrations about working from home and some crippling motivational blockage in the studio. Fast forward to the end of summer after physiotherapy, vacation, a couple of summer colds and moving into a new (NOT IN MY HOUSE) studio, and there are self imposed office hours to keep, which pretty much kill the leisurely work-out-all-morning-then-dawdle-in-the-shower lifestyle.
BUT! Have I ever told you about our (Peter’s, actually, but it’s hard not to go along when you sleep in the same bed) brilliant method of adjusting to the entry and exit of Daylight Savings Time? It’s simple: get up at 6:45 and go to bed at 11:00 from March to October. From November to February, get up at 5:45 and go to bed at 10:00. Get it? IT’S THE SAME TIME. Your schedule adjusts so your body doesn’t have to, so you skip the groggy days of time-lag that accompany the change. Anyway, the point is that the alarm goes off at 5:45 now, which allows ample time for a morning workout without sacrificing any coffee-drinking or internet time, all before office hours start at 11:00. There is even still time to dawdle in the shower, if I want.
So! After months of scattered workouts, the new schedule is going to look something like this: cardio and some kind of weight training on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. Tuesday and Thursday mornings will be rest days or light cardio at most, because Tuesday and Thursday evenings are 3 hour derby practices. Saturday and Sunday are optional but on weekends when we’re in town Peter and I will probably do our full kettlebells workout together. I’m also thinking of starting the 100 Push Ups programme again (SAFELY, and slowly! Please don’t send me a bunch of concerned messages, I KNOW and I have strategies for not busting my shoulder again, I promise) as well as working my way back up to running for 30 minutes (right now I’m running for more like 10 minutes; I could do 15 but laziness always intervenes at the 10 mark).
Since I’m the only person looking at them anyway, I’ll probably aim for posting workout updates every two weeks from now on instead of weekly. That will give me more time to jack around on the internet between workouts.
Posted by Jodi Green on November 6, 2011 at 7.00am
October 27, 2011
Since getting my driver’s license for the first time ever a couple of days ago, I’ve run a few errands all alone in the car. While I can’t quite shake the feeling that I’m doing something illegal (I’m not), I’ve discovered something about myself: I am a singalong driver. A very loud singalong driver. This while being the kind of person who won’t sing in public, ever. So if you see me at a stop light belting it out, don’t judge. I’ve got years of repressed radio sinalonging to get out.
SCARAMOUCHE SCARAMOUCHE WILL YOU DO THE FANDANGO!
Posted by Jodi Green on October 27, 2011 at 10.07am
July 29, 2011
*if it wasn’t obvious, this should always be said in Chicken Lady voice
142 Columbia Drive: spring or early summer 1975 to summer 1981
What the house looked like in 2006. Who puts those stupid stars on houses, and why? This trend baffles me. Also I don’t understand what people like about those angled-cut 2×2 railings that make every house look like a trailer. Bitch-bitch-bitch like a crotchety old lady In My Day we didn’t use pressure treated lumber et cetera.
No socks got shoved down the heat registers in this house, and no fires started. There was, however, a 15cm diameter hole in my bedroom wall, kicked there during a fight with a babysitter who wouldn’t let me stay up late to watch scary movies. The dislodged piece of wall didn’t fall out completely, but hung there from a hinge of plaster and old painted-over wallpaper, swinging like a little door to let in and out the small monsters and demons that I was certain lived there. Things did disappear into the hole from time to time: pencils; hair baubles; doll shoes; super secret notes; at least one sewing needle; and yes, a few socks. I would lie on my right side in bed, back to the hole, spine tingling with what I just KNEW was the fingers of the wall-dwellers tickling my skin, too terrified to peek over my shoulder lest I catch sight of one. The only time I’d ever turn onto my left, facing the terrifying portal head on, is when my dad would play a certain record that frightened me because it sounded like monsters. He’d only play it after I was in bed, unaware that I was lying awake upstairs panicking while the monsters danced behind my quivering back. Years later, as a teenager, I figured out that the “monsters” record that frightened me so much was Pink Floyd’s Ummagumma. Of which I now own two copies and can listen to it at night or alone or whatever, without incident.
Here is what the front of the house looked like in 1978, when it still had the wartime concrete slab porch and fat pipe railings, corrugated aluminum window wells, and wooden screen doors (how I’d love to find plain wooden screen doors like this for my house!):
A couple of years later those doors got painted red:
One more from around 1976: I don’t even know what pleases me so much about these plain slab porches. Growing up in military housing gave me a love for utilitarian blandness. Also, brutalism.
Those bars were perfectly spaced so that if you were sitting with your knees wrapped over the bottom bar and holding onto the top bar, and you accidentally lost hold on the top bar, you’d swing backwards and crack your skull on the side of the concrete slab. It happened to all of us, all the time.
Here is the car we drove when we lived in this house: a 1976 Volvo station wagon.
Bikes in the snow!
Posted by Jodi Green on July 29, 2011 at 12.38pm
July 20, 2011
Yesterday I received a message from a friend who works at the CBC, inviting me to comment on the 20th anniversary of Gwen Jacob’s arrest for walking topless down the street in Guelph, Ontario. Unfortunately, I’m sick with an awful cold this week, so sick that last night I resorted to sleeping sitting up on the TV room couch in an effort to keep the coughing jags under control. I’m drowsy, a little bit stoned on cough syrup, and my cough-ravaged throat is in no condition to be heard on the news. But! YOU ALL ARE IN LUCK. Just because I’m sick doesn’t mean I haven’t got anything to say about Gwen Jacob.
See: the Gwen Jacob case kind of made me a feminist. I don’t mean that this case changed my life or made me a radically different person (a more radical person? heh) than I would otherwise have become. If it hadn’t been this it would have been something else. I just mean that, for me, it was this. In 1991, at age nineteen, I had already experienced rape, sexual coercion (something that I didn’t yet understand then, but do now, is ALSO RAPE), being dumped from a car on a sideroad in the middle of the country for not “putting out”, various other non-sexual assaults including a friend’s boyfriend trying to crush me with a chesterfield (I’m not even kidding), and a massive amount of slut-shaming. This one incident, this woman I didn’t know who was my age and grew up near where I did being arrested and charged with indecency for taking her shirt off, seemed to highlight all of the double standards in the whole world, for me. It was something concrete to be angry about at a time when I didn’t possess the words to protest against things like slut-shaming.
(Incidentally, I tried going topless outside for a while once, the summer after Jacob’s arrest, when I was all alone on the farm, not likely to be seen by anyone but the occasional gravel truck driver out on the road. How it felt: silly, contrived, exhilarating, terrifying. And oddly itchy. And when my areolae starting feeling the effects of too much sun, I gave it up.)
After the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned Jacob’s conviction in 1996, when going topless effectively became legal in Ontario for all sexes, a few (very few) women started trying it just because they could. Once or twice Peter and I saw one in downtown London, always walking with a male companion, never alone, reveling in their new freedom but cautiously, self consciously, defiantly; drawing stares. Hardly free of any kind of double standard, and certainly not free of their bodies being immediately sexualized. Peter overheard one of these topless women in conversation with her (male) friend, and guess what the two of them were talking about? People’s reactions to her toplessness. In the days after the court ruling our options had expanded from living with the double standard of only men’s toplessness being socially acceptable to either that or being an activist, a test case, and having our bare breasts be a constant centre of attention. Our options hadn’t really expanded to include our toplessness being NOT A BIG DEAL.
The thing is, double standards don’t just disappear overnight because the Court of Appeal says they’re unfair. Body policing and slut-shaming and rape culture don’t just disappear overnight, and the evidence is all around us, every day, that they haven’t even budged one bit. 20 years after Jacob’s arrest, 15 years after her conviction was overturned, what does her case mean for women in Ontario, exactly? If I went outside right this minute, took off my shirt and walked down the street with my breasts visible, here is what it does NOT mean:
-that I will not be perceived as behaving with indecency;
-that my body will not be sexualized or consumed in a sexual manner;
-that I will not be catcalled or otherwise verbally harassed;
-that I will not be groped;
-that I will not be propositioned;
-that I will not be raped;
-that I will be treated with respect, or even with indifference.
-that if I am perceived as behaving with indecency, that will not be perceived as my fault;
-that if my body is sexualized or consumed in a sexual manner, that will not be perceived as my fault;
-that if I am catcalled or otherwise verbally harassed that will not be perceived as my fault;
-that if I am groped that will not be perceived as my fault;
-that if I am propositioned that will not be perceived as my fault;
-that if I am raped that will not be perceived as my fault.
What it means: that at least I won’t be arrested.
Posted by Jodi Green on July 20, 2011 at 1.57pm
July 19, 2011
There is a smell being drawn in from outside by the bedroom window fan, a fresh and not-fresh, green brown slimy smell, like algae. Nerve endings buzz, high on cough syrup, and restless legs twist in the bed but don’t want to stand up and walk around, either. This is (hope) the last of several risings, sitting upright in the dark to suck on cough lozenges. The stomach rebels at the sickly sweetness of those, but the throat demands them. In the late afternoon the heat wave gave way to torrents of rain then curled in close again, holding that moisture, keeping it warm so that the only relief comes from stretching out bare feverish feet in front of a fan that sucks great algae stinking breaths from the hot wet outside. I feel like I’m living in the South again, where damp settles into houses and never goes away and things slowly rot and you don’t even notice the scent of mould in sheets, in clothes, in hair, in everything until you go away somewhere and open up your suitcase and the stench hits you and you wonder, is that what my life smells like?
It almost wouldn’t be a surprise at all to wake up and find the house overgrown with kudzu, like in a story. Or a dream.
Posted by Jodi Green on July 19, 2011 at 3.29am
July 10, 2011
These photos of every house I’ve lived in have been sitting on my hard drive for a couple of years now, waiting to be made into a page on this site called “every house I’ve lived in”. Which page is clearly never going to get itself made. So, here begins a new level of navel gazing at jodi’s weblog. Enjoy!
166 Columbia Drive, Huron Park, Ontario: December 1971 to spring (or early summer) 1975. I was an only child in this two bedroom 1.5 storey house, from which we moved for more spacious digs when my mom was pregnant with my little brother. Above is how the house looked in 2006 with an ugly new wood porch and beige vinyl siding. When I was a baby the house had light blue slate siding and the wartime housing standard issue concrete block porch with fat iron railings, painted black, as seen in this photo from 1973:
Fun fact about this house: maybe four or five years after we had moved to a larger house up the street, when I was about six or seven, there was a late night fire in the upstairs bedroom where I had slept as a toddler. I’m going to guess it happened around Easter because my memory of the fire is all tangled up with that of some chocolate bunnies that were so tall my parents had to move a shelf up in the fridge just to get them in. Anyway. My mom woke me in the night and said she had something to show me, and she took me down to the back porch and pointed across the back field where we could see the sloped roof of my former bedroom engulfed in flames. Then she told me that the fire might have started because of all the socks I used to shove down the heating registers when I was little, and “so you shouldn’t do that here, because we want to live in this house for a long time”.
I didn’t find out until I was around twelve that the fire was actually started by grow lights in a weed closet.
In my mom’s defense, she was very, very young, probably about 24, and she has no memory of saying anything like that to me, and I have a vivid imagination and also some other memories from around the same time of walking up a tree-lined lane on what looks like an old-timey Southern plantation, hand in hand with two women in long dresses and big floppy hats, sweating through my pyjamas from the heat. And I’m fairly certain that never happened.
Here’s what we drove when we lived at 166 Columbia. This was after the white VW bus had bitten the dust, and before the green Austin Mini. My parents always had the cool tastes in imported motorcars.
Posted by Jodi Green on July 10, 2011 at 9.22am
June 24, 2011
1. Silver foil abstract paint swoosh wallpaper
3. Home cut mullet
4. White tank top (4.1 no bra)
5. Peter Frampton drawing, laminated
6. Red eye
There is not one thing not to love about this picture. Me at seventeen = amazing, y’all.
Scanned from old 110 film negatives. Taken with a ten dollar camera of unknown origin, but I remember that it had a quarter, a penny and a four-leaf clover scotch taped to the outside of it, and that I took it everywhere. Hard to believe there was a time when I only had one camera in my purse.
Posted by Jodi Green on June 24, 2011 at 7.28pm