Print Story mom, skating, gardening, cuba
By misslake (Sat Feb 12, 2011 at 03:14:09 PM EST) (all tags)
my mom is on facebook, ice skating, seed starting, cuba trip preparations

my mom is on facebook. things have started getting awkward. well, not awkward exactly, i just worry she's getting worried and offended.
last week she sends me an email:
"What are you doing in New Orleans ?

Leave a good name behind in case you return"

this is weird, and i try and figure out what she means. then i realize that i have on FB, "liked" and marked myself as "attending" the kid bastion forever new orlean's jazz festival. it's held yearly in toronto.
so i reply,
"i am not in new orleans.
i am in toronto!
i am going to see a jazz band who play new orleans style jazz, but alas, i am not in new orleans."
i get a single line in return, "Facebook is confusing"
yes ma, facebook is confusing. no ma, i did not take off to new orleans without telling you.

i have been ice skating most days as my exercise. a half hour or hour daily around the outdoor rink in a nearby park is doing wonders for my health.
i watch the hockey on the other pad while i skate around.
i have been observing how the community divides themselves up into teams for shinny. only twice have i seen goalies out so people could play standard hockey. the one guy who played goal had an amazing head of dreadlocks, he explained in the dressing room how his hair ended his formal hockey career when his dreads got too big to fit under a helmet. now he just plays for fun with a specially altered face mask that he ties into his mane.
it is a very diverse hockey community, with men and women of all ages, ethnicities. there are usually less than 20% women, but i haven't seen any overt sexism or anything.
if there are just a few people, they simply talk amongst themselves and have 5 or 6 on each side. any newcomers are welcomed onto whatever team has someone who wants to trade off, or which ever team is short a player or short on hockey skills. one day there were a whole lot of people out, almost 20. the way they divided the teams fascinated me. everyone put their hockey stick down in a pile and one person simply divided the sticks in half, thus fairly and quickly assigning teams. then each team was assigned a first string of players in the same way, with few only minor changes in lineup once everyone had reclaimed their sticks and identified themselves with their team.

i thought this was a marvellous way to choose teams! everyone was divided up without prejudice (most of the players don't know each other.) way better than picking teams with captains. though i suppose if you were the one doing the dividing of sticks you could skew the teams based on who had the nicest sticks, or recognize your buddy's stick and put him on your team.

anyone seen any other methods for fairly picking teams? we used to line up and number off kids at summer camp, sometimes resorting to elaborate schemes where 1, 2, and 5 were one team and 3, 4 and 6 the other to keep kids near the end of the line from switching places and stacking the teams.

ni and i started our gardening in a kind of sketchy set up involving raising our bed up on milk crates and hanging fluorescent ballasts underneath. it's nice for the plants, it's cozy and slightly more humid than the rest of the apartment. we have a tiny apartment, but very high ceilings (more than a metre above the door frames) so it seemed the best use of available space. however, the frame creaks ominously when we both get into bed now.
tomatoes, tomatillos, basil, epazote, lettuce, cabbage, dill and thunbergia so far, soon it will be time to start our squashes and other flowers and herbs, and soon after it will be time to plant the radishes and other cold crops outside!

i am preparing for my trip back to rural cuba! i am forgoing the last 2 days in havana this time to spend time in santiago de cuba with my parents. i am assembling the various gifts to bring for everyone. while almost everyone i interact with will be either high up in the agricultural ministry or employed in the tourist industry and will therefore have access to enough money and things, there are still some goods that are rare and that you can't buy no matter how much money you have. or there are things that you can get, but are expensive and only come in one size or colour. guitar strings, batteries, nice maxi pads and tampons, work gloves, fancy flavoured toothpaste, makeup and stationary are all appreciated. i am a bit low on cash so i can't bring as much as i'd like to.
the usa is now blocking postal service so i can at least offer to carry mail for anyone who wants to send it to the states. easy and cheap for me to re-address and post things to the usa from here. all of the cuban mail to the usa at christmastime got rejected, despite the cuban postal service sending it via central america and not directly to the usa.
hopefully it is less of a concern now that they installed the new internet cables (tubes) from  venezuela. but mail is important, and i hope i can easily get letters out of the country for cuba.
i am going to be spending a couple days on my own in holguin, which is exciting! i've never gone out overnight totally on my own before, i suppose i will end up meeting people there or getting introductions through people, so i won't really be alone. but it's a new and exciting thing! setting up my own accommodations and not just staying with a friend!

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mom, skating, gardening, cuba | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
That's not quite true. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #1 Sat Feb 12, 2011 at 03:35:43 PM EST
Cuba has blocked deliveries to the U.S. in response to our embargo. Some 3rd party carriers are refusing deliveries to the U.S. to avoid dealing with the hassle of complying with the embargo. The USPS still allows letters <16 ounces to be mailed to Cuba. Packages, of course, are still subject to the embargo.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

really? by misslake (2.00 / 0) #2 Sat Feb 12, 2011 at 03:42:59 PM EST
hm... i will have to look up the article i read. i guess they were wrong.

[ Parent ]
It's posted on the USPS web site. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #3 Sat Feb 12, 2011 at 05:20:01 PM EST
Read the Cuba section under the Service Updates category if you don't want to believe me. I'd post the link, but my phone doesn't do c&p.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
i certainly do believe you. by misslake (4.00 / 1) #6 Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 11:24:18 AM EST
i have no reason to doubt you, ammo!

[ Parent ]
Just for the record. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #4 Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 01:40:51 AM EST
Even if you were to besmirch your good name in New Orleans, you and ni certainly left a very good name over here in the UK, any time you feel like coming back.

I'm fairly sure by Driusan (4.00 / 1) #5 Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 10:18:33 AM EST
The only way to leave a good name behind in New Orleans is by besmirching one's good name in New Orleans.

So I wouldn't be overly worried about besmirching your good name in New Orleans.

Vive le Montréal libre.

[ Parent ]
YAY! by misslake (2.00 / 0) #7 Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 11:25:07 AM EST
i have a great time in london! i hope i can take you up on that offer someday!

[ Parent ]
sticks by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #8 Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 08:49:53 PM EST
are a pretty common way to divvy up for a pickup game.

Next problem is who has extra jerseys, since once divided, the next step is light or dark.. So I always brought extra jerseys..

there is a reason mom isn't my FB friend. by greyshade (2.00 / 0) #9 Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 11:06:43 PM EST
I don't like to have to censor my communication with friends.

"The other part of the fun is nibbling on them when they get off work." -vorheesleatherface
the current compromise I have by garlic (2.00 / 0) #10 Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 10:52:07 AM EST
is my mom can see everything I post, but can't comment upon it.

[ Parent ]
mom, skating, gardening, cuba | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback