Category Archives: Society

Murmuring Rain and Underwear

As I was listening to the murmuring rain this morning in that dreamy state of gradually waking up on a weekend, I had the warm and fuzzy thought of running around outside through the gentle droplets in my underwear.

Unfortunately, life is not fair. If I were 4 years old, neighours would smile and giggle, but at my age, they would call the cops. . . 🙂

Found a Copy of Dreamsnake

Long out of print, I found a copy of Vonda McIntyre’s Dreamsnake on Abe Books.


Ursula K. Le Guin wrote a thought-provoking review of the book in 2011, and why she thought it disappeared:

Theory #1: Ophidiophobia. The phobia is common and extends to pictures, even the mention, of snakes; and the book features them even in the title. A heroine who lets snakes crawl on her, and she’s named Snake? Oh, icky . . .

Theory #2: Sex. It’s an adult book. Snake, though, is barely more than a kid, setting out on her first trial of prowess, so that young women can and do identify with her, happily or longingly, as they do with Ayla in Jean Auel’s Earth’s Children books, though Snake’s taste in men is far better than Ayla’s. But could the book be approved in schools? The sexual mores are as various as the societies, including some very unorthodox customs, and Snake’s sexual behavior is both highly ethical and quite uninhibited. . .

Given the relentless fundamentalist vendettas against “witchcraft” and “pornography” (read imaginative literature and sexual realism) in the schools, few teachers in the 1980s could invite the firestorm that might be started by a right-wing parent who got a hint of how young Snake was carrying on. . .

Theory #3. The hypothesis of gendered reprinting. It appears that as a general rule books written by men get reprinted more frequently and over more years than books written by women.”
Le Guin, Ursula K. . Words Are My Matter (pp. 139-140). Small Beer Press. Kindle Edition.

Comforting Cross-Cultural Pre-Covid Memory

In this time of anti-Asian hate crimes and Covid frustration, I thought of a wonderful day back in June 2014 — a garden party in Vancouver with folks of many cultures.

I am sharing this nearly seven-year-old post here again because I hope this memory brings a wee bit of comfort and joy to others.


Had a wonderful evening last weekend. A BBQ hosted by friends of ours in Vancouver. Lovely old house in an older neighborhood. An evening in a gorgeous, modestly groomed, but more wild, back yard, with many burgeoning fruit trees and raspberry bushes.

We were the youngest couple there, and we’re in our mid-40s to mid-50s.

We’re a “mixed” couple, and so was everyone else. And some were in their 80s and 90s, and enjoying life to the full. Former neighbors, still friends, now living in old folks’ homes but graciously picked up and driven to this communal feast in their former ‘hood..

As the evening eased by, there were smatterings of Korean, Italian, and Japanese in the conversations. Not all understood by all present despite efforts at interpretation.

But everyone was cool with that. We were all happy to be with other convivial folks.

And all were sure to ensure that all were happy.

The food was a wonderful mélange of those cultures, and more.
We can, we will, get back to this . . .

Grateful for Vaccinations in My Life

I just came across my childhood Immunization Record from the City of Saskatoon Department of Public Health.

At the bottom of the first page it clearly states:

“This record is necessary when child begins school. Please keep it carefully.”

It has dates and doses of my Smallpox and Polio vaccinations.

Apparently I had 5 doses of Polio Vaccine over the course of about six years from age 6 months to 6 years.

This was over 50 years ago.

Folks can draw their own conclusions, but I respect medicine and science, and am grateful to have been born into a world with vaccines.

Good Enviro Book: Changing Tides by Alejandro Frid

For my fishy friends, and anyone who cares for our beleaguered environment:

Just finished Alejandro Frid’s book Changing Tides: An Ecologist’s Journey to Make Peace with the Anthropocene.

Excellent work based on his experiences as an ecologist working with First Nations on the BC coast, integrating traditional knowledge with Western science.

With his own research into fewer fish, smaller fish, and overexploitation of marine and coastal resources, Frid maintains a positive outlook that humans can change and collaborate for a better future.

Changing TV Habits – Less Violence, More Life

Our TV habits have changed over the last year.

For years we were heavily into all the NCISes, Hawaii Five 0s, etc. Haven’t watched any of those for a year or more.

Don’t miss them.

We’ve been watching a lot more nature shows over the last year. Many on TV Japan. Mind-blowing videography and research featuring weeks, months, and years spent observing species of wildlife.

We watch happy/goofy Japanese shows on multi-generational families. Not dramas, real families.

A washi papermaker who is the 13th generation at his craft. . . A potter who is in the seventh generation of trying over and over and over to replicate a long-lost style of pottery.

We watch slow-paced series on travel in Japan that focus on regional and local arts, and crafts, and food. Travel by train, travel by bicycle. . . And always amazing food, lovingly grown, cooked, and presented. . .

We watch “Somewhere Street,” a Japanese show in which a crew visits famous cities around the world and documents major historic and tourist attractions, food, music, nightlife. . .

It’s people. It’s nature. It’s life.

And it’s beautiful.

Yumi landed a Tommy Hilfiger sponsorship for the 2021 John Deere Valentine’s Day Sledding Classic at Ron McLean Park in SE #Burnaby 🙂

She notes that the Hilfiger sponsorship, and the sled, were made possible through a partnership with Value Village and the Burnaby Hospice Society thrift store. . .

yumi sledding ron mclean park burnaby bc

Savoring Le Guin’s Essays, Reviews

Sat down after lunch to read for half an hour and got lost for three hours in Ursula K. Le Guin’s non-fiction collection Words are My Matter: Writings about Life and Books.

A collection you want to read slowly, and savor. . .

One of her best-known quotations, so pertinent to the times we live in:

“I think hard times are coming when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies. We will need writers who can remember freedom. Poets, visionaries – the realists of a larger reality.”—Ursula K. Le Guin