Weird, Wrinkled and Wordy

December 7, 2007

Pondering 40

Filed under: Family,LIFE — Valorie Hoye @ 11:47 am

FortyI’ve really enjoyed being thirty-something. Much more than I enjoyed my twenties. But in a couple of days I get to move into a new set of numbers and I say “Bring it On!” Cliched, yes. But I’m glad to finally get there.

I’m not someone who would lie about my age or be coy and not answer when asked how old I am. I know I don’t look forty, and I’ve been told both encouragingly and disparagingly that I don’t act it. But I feel forty. I feel confident and happy. I know without a doubt who I am, even into the darkest shadows of my reluctant psyche. I like that person, flaws and all. I have enthusiasm but I now also have enough experience to feel prepared for whatever Life throws at me.

Forty is good.

Then, of course, my knees just creaked when I sat down and I’ll probably grunt when I get up out of the chair to go and colour my hair so my sister won’t bug me when I see her over Christmas about how much more gray I have than she does.

Getting older sucks, but the numbers are cool.

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October 31, 2007

My favourite memories of Halloween

Filed under: Art,Family,Writing — Valorie Hoye @ 1:38 pm

Halloween has always been my favourite holiday, and as I’ve tried to come up with reasons that don’t have anything to do with chocolate, I’ve settled on the notion that it must be about creativity. Halloween is one occasion where a greater than normal portion of the population does something creative, from decorating a home or choosing a costume to just indulging in their own imagination. So, as I ponder the vampire I just saw striding along in the financial district of downtown Vancouver, I thought I would reminisce, just a little. Here are some of my favourite memories of Halloween:

  • The black paper silhouettes of flying witches, cats and bats my mother cut out to put on our picture window. Every year we would beg her to let us put them up earlier and earlier. They looked spectacular against the white backing of the curtains.
  • A silver/blue cocktail dress of my mother’s that my sister and I fought over wearing for several years. Eventually, we wore it to shreds.
  • Going to my Grade Five Halloween dance as Princess Leia, wearing one of my mother’s slips and a silver cord belt from one of her dresses. And yes, I had dual buns.
  • So many years of walking through a back alley with my friends, scaring our selves silly by just imagining what kinds of creatures were lurking in the shadows.
  • Being too sick one year to go out with my friends, but my father taking me around the block and stopping at a dark house with a scary old woman sitting on the porch, rocking back and forth in a squeaky chair. Turns out, the “old woman” was one of my father’s male colleagues. He was very kind.
  • Being so proud after the Halloween when I was finally allowed to keep my candy in my own room and trusted to ration it out carefully until the Christmas treats arrived.
  • Dressing up for Halloween at GM Place in 2000, watching the Vancouver Grizzlies beat the Seattle Supersonics and snagging myself a free T-shirt and a ticket to another game.
  • Having friends show up for a party at our place with him dressed as Saint George, and her as the dragon.

Hope you have a Happy Halloween!

May 7, 2007

Celebrating 30 Years of Star Wars

Filed under: BIFF,Family,Movies,science fiction,Star Wars — Valorie Hoye @ 7:22 pm

I was only nine years old when Star Wars came out May 25, 1977, and it took awhile for the movie to get to the small city in Alberta where I grew up and even longer for me to get around to seeing it. I wasn’t interested until my Dad said “You’ll like it; it’s like Star Trek.” Since our family got our first TV in the early 70s, the favourite hour of my day had been the hour between when Dad got home from work and when dinner was ready. Star Trek was on and that was our time together. Mom said the monsters made my cry but I would not stop watching.

I’ve always wondered if Dad regretted convincing me to go see that particular movie in that summer of 1977. I spent hundreds of his dollars going to the theatre over and over again, buying the action figures, packs of trading cards, puzzles and T-shirts. The sequels meant even more money spent, as I forked over my allowance going back more than a dozen times to see The Empire Strikes Back with my best friends, so we could come home and write out all the dialogue by heart. I saw Return of the Jedi for the first time with my Dad in London, England. Bought an action figure of the red Imperial Guard at the world famous Hamleys toy store.  I still have that figure, and all of those trading cards.

I wanted to grow up and be like Princess Leia. R2D2Years later fell in love with a scoundrel, who incidentally is the tallest and hairiest man I know. I still harbour a desire to own an astromech droid. I did put down Jedi as my religion on an official census form in the 90s. Someone gave me a lightsabre for Christmas last year. It’s on the mantle in the living room. And on May 25, 2007, I will get together with my friends at BIFF to celebrate the 30th anniversary of my favourite movie. There will be a hip Jedi music mix, an R2D2 cake, probably many much-loved Star Wars toys, and possibly some frighteningly naughty limericks. We’ll even have a return visit from our favourite Star Wars author, Kathy Tyers. If you are in the neighbourhood, and you’re a fan, drop by.

The Force will be with you, always.

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