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Showing posts from July, 2004

Excursions

An interesting, at times awkward day today.
This morning we went to the K-W bookstore in downtown Kitchener. This bookstore, billed as the largest in Southwestern Ontario, used to be an oft-visited treasure chest for me. It has a positively enormous selection of magazines: you can be reasonably certain that if it's not on the rack, it's not published.
We were in search of magazines for fat women. There used to be one called B.B.W...it doesn't seem to exist any more. Nor is there anything else for this growing (ahem) market. Disappointing, but not overly suprising.
What did surprise me was their book collection, equally disappointing. We have a number of authors we cruise for every time we are in a bookstore (which works out to at least once a month); few of them were even represented. We did snag a Bathroom Reader (we're huge fans) and I found a book by Dan Simmons called SUMMER OF NIGHT that I foolishly sold off about ten years ago, never to see again until today. So …

In all shapes and sizes...

I like fat women.

Yes, I've alluded to this in passing, but in truth I feel so strongly about it that I need to say it baldly, right there so you can't misinterpret me. Just in case, I'll say it again:

I like fat women.

Nearly everyone I have dated through my life would fall into the obese or morbidly obese category. There have been three people dear to me who have astounded doctors with their level of physical health despite their obesity. Ask a really fat person about the last time their blood pressure was taken. Chances are the doctor left bruises and obtained a normal reading.

And yet...

What's your first reaction upon seeing somebody that weighs, say, 300 pounds? Pity? Anger? Disgust? All of the above? And while you're thinking about that, does your attitude towards that tub of guts change if said tub of guts is a male?
It's funny, you know...I have no studies to support my belief, but I'm willing to bet only women would find a 300 pound man intrinsically …

The Monkey on My Back

Look for a long time at what pleases you,
and longer still at what pains you...
---COLETTE

I don't know who Colette is or was, whether it's a first name or a last. I ran across this epigram just now on a disembodied page sitting next to our bathroom sink. Live with us for any length of time and you will not find the preceding sentence overly odd...we have books everywhere, and some of the older ones occasionally molt.
In any event, I was 'bathruminating' on something that pains me mightily when my eyes were drawn to Colette's words of wisdom. It occurred to me that this thing should be dragged into the light of day (or at least the weak glow of my monitor) and examined.

Christ, it's heavy. Not that I've noticed the weight before, or not often--We Do Not Speak Of It. But I've carried this burden pretty much my whole life. Not only that, every chance I got I added to it. Proudly, even. By now, though, it's a monkey on my back, a big one, maybe actually …

Home, sweet...is this really home?

It's been a month since we moved in here, and I'm still not used to it.Moving from a one-bedroom apartment to a three-bedroom, three-level house has its advantages. There's finally room for everything. Excepting, of course, our kitchen paraphernalia: you'd need a whole 'nother house to store all of that properly. Okay, I'm exaggerating, a bit...our cupboards are nearly overflowing, but there's still ten or so boxes marked "Kitchen". This place is fully furnished save the two extra bedrooms. Realistically, our library has room for one or perhaps two more bookshelves--both of which we could fill easily--and that's it. The rec room downstairs is positively stuffed with furniture. I look at it all and wonder how the hell it came out of our old place. It's like seventeen clowns in the back of a VW bug, you know?What I'm finding is that I just can't get used to the expanded space. Before we moved in here, we visualized a downstairs "…

Cheap rugs

So Martha Stewart was convicted.
I'm not a Martha apologist, not even close, but I have to wonder about this whole business. Forgive me if I am missing something, because this is just the sort of celebrity circus I tend to deliberately overlook, but...
Didn't somebody give her a hush-hush tip that her stocks were about to tank? And so she sold them off, right? And then lied about it.
Okay, well, let's take the actual selling of the stocks first. I ask you, WHAT THE HELL WAS SHE SUPPOSED TO DO? If the president of Acme Inc. gives me a call and says, hey, Ken, keep this on the down low, but as of Monday morning you might as well wipe your ass with Acme shares, am I supposed to actually hang on to the damned things and lose my pants?
And then she lied about it. Well, duh.  Isn't that what you're supposed to do when you're in trouble? Lie? Of course it is. After all, us normal non-billionaire people do it all the time...sixteen times a day, on average, according to on…

Is there any sense left in the world?

Yesterday, we went to the McCormack branch of the Waterloo Public Library. It's about three blocks away from home. I wasn't expecting  illogic, not in a library. I tend to think of libraries as glowing oases of sanity in a lost world. But alack! Nonsense intrudes even here.
Now, I wasn't expecting much at a branch of the Waterloo library, when the main library itself is so pitiful, but even so I was unpleasantly surprised. Nearly half the selection is for kids; the adult non-fiction encompasses two, count 'em, two racks. I can see the sign now: CLOSED UNTIL BOOKS ARE RETURNED.
Undaunted, I sauntered up to the catalogue terminal. Behold! Not only do I have the Waterloo catalogue at my disposal, but also that of the Kitchener Public Library, a much better collection.
I'm currently reading The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco, and finding it tough sledding. A little online research has turned up the existence of a reference companion to this novel, something I think w…

The Adoption Option, Part II

I'm up writing now because I got tired of trying to sleep in an oven. Whew.
So we're adopting. The original plan called for us to move to Listowel, Ontario--about 35 minutes northwest of Waterloo. Why Listowel? Well, the house prices are about 40% cheaper than they are here in the city. I would commute with Eva until the kids came along, and then I would find a part-time job in town and be a househusband the rest of the time.
Except it turns out that adopting in Perth County is a six to ten year process. Here in Waterloo, we could have our children nine months from now, and will almost certainly have them in two years.
Thanks to an extremely generous gift from my father and stepmother, we were able to find a house here in town that meets all our needs. Living in Waterloo changes everything.
1) I can keep my job. In fact, I have to.
2) In turn, this means that adopting infants is out, as we can not afford to have one of us stay home.
(I have nothing against parents who choose…

On the outside, looking in

My -- oh, this is just great, to stop dead exactly one word into this entry! -- what the hell do you call the husband of your step-sister? Step brother-in-law? Yecch. My brother-in-law and a dear friend both wrote me in the aftermath of the other day's kvetchfest to say basically the same thing: why the hell should I care what others think?
Simple answer is, I don't. Except when I do.
Yeah, that was clear, eh? Like fine, transparent mud.
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I used to be Popular.
Quit that sniggering, damn it. I'm telling the truth. From Grade 1 through Grade 3, I was the most popular kid in the class. In those years, nearly every recess was devoted to kissing tag. I don't think there's a girl in my grade 3 class I missed.
Oh, weren't those the days?
Then I moved. And got glasses. At the same time.
Either one I could have overcome. If I hadn't moved away, my contemporaries would have seen me for what I was, Kenny-with-glasses. If I'd neve…

The Adoption Option, Part I

Every once in a while, either Eva or myself runs into somebody who has yet to learn that we are planning to adopt kids. Their reaction upon being informed speaks volumes.
Nine times out of ten, the first thing out of their mouth is something like "you'll get pregnant..."
And, damn us, we always play along.
"What do you mean?"
"Well, as soon as the adoption is finalized, you'll get pregnant!"
"I don't see how that's possible."
"Well, my cousin's best friend's sister's boyfriend's mother, see, she went to adopt kids because, like, she'd had trouble, you know? And behold, she gave birth to the entire population of West Bumfuck, Iowa. You watch, it'll work for you too.
"What'll work?" We're really being dense at this point.
"Oh, c'mon, you're just doing this so you can have kids of your own." The person shrugs, as if she'd just announced that two and two are four.

Tales from aisle 10

I work at Price Chopper. It's a low-end grocery store akin to No Frills or Food Basics, the difference being that (at least at our location) it's clean. You won't find cockroaches trundling across our produce.
Now, our store is located in an upper-middle class area. We don't see any difference in volume on "welfare Wednesday". I've heard horror stories about customers in Toronto-area Price Choppers who throw vegetables around the store, who try to haggle with everyone for everything, and who have actually been caught on camera dropping, say, a cherry on the floor and then repeatedly trying to trip over it so they can sue.
I saw enough of that kind of behaviour at 7-Eleven to last me several lifetimes, thank you very much. Luckily, we don't get that kind of customer in our store very often.
I have, however, accrued some stories over my three plus years as a Dairy/Frozen Foods manager. Looking back, you laugh. Or cry. Or snarl.

Two things you ought to k…

Under the reading lamp...

Neither Eva nor myself are what you'd call "bandwagon jumpers". We tend to walk one of two paths: either we like a group until it gets popular (Barenaked Ladies), or we shun the trend du jour for a few years, let it age a little, before embracing it.
Take television: "The Simpsons" was into its sixth season before I deigned to watch it. (Granted, part of the reason was my naive predjudice against cartoons...pshaw, I'm not a kid! Cartoons are for kids! Right? Right?) Of course, I quickly became a fan--not a fanatic, but a fan.
I've yet to see a single episode of any of the myriad of CSI spinoffs. Just no interest in them. And I once watched about twenty seconds of the first Survivor before I realized what it was and turned the channel lest I get reality-cooties.
Harry Potter is another example. The books were a phenomenon before Eva brought the first one home. Again, I reacted at first with disdain: "Kid's book! Kid's book!" After havi…

Wow, it's hot...

...and the temperature's only in the mid-twenties. Humidex value at 33. Those who know me well will know exactly what I think of this weather. It should be stuck, quite literally, where the sun don't shine.
Of course there's a severe thunderstorm warning out for us, and of course it's going to amount to no more than a couple of drips.
I always get so excited whenever Environment Canada consults their weather fairies and issues a severe thunderstorm watch or warning. I do have to be careful how I inform my wife about these things. I won't call her a "weather-wuss", but she doesn't have the enthusiasm for earthshaking storms that has always been a trademark of mine. And then there's the fact that she's perpetually confused as to which designation is worse, a watch or a warning. When I tell her that the watch means conditions are ripe and the warning means it's imminent or occurring, well, she unfailingly responds that it should be the other…

The Proud Canadian:

Ten great things I find quintessentially Canadian:

1) Sunset over water in the Canadian Shield. Do yourself a favour and drive anywhere north of Barrie in Ontario. Stop at a lake, turn to the west, and wait. You'll come away believing in God a little more than you did before.
2) Tim Horton's double-doubles. I assume these are laced with low-grade narcotics: how else to explain why I, an avowed coffee hater, have become ever-so-slightly hooked.
3) Hockey played hard but fair. For every Todd Bertuzzi in this country there's a dozen Gary Robertses and Doug Gilmours.
4) Poutine. It's a heart attack waiting to happen, but you'll go with a smile on your face and a song in your heart.
5) "Peace, order and good government". I'll take that over "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" every day of the week and twice on Tuesdays. Granted, "good government" is at a premium in this country of late, but we're Canadians. We keep hoping…

Ceci n'est pas ma maison!

My father, my stepmother and my aunt Dawna have been here for the past couple of days. My cousin Terri joined them the first evening. It's not quite "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"--the rooms are still all the same size--but nevertheless this house has taken leaps and bounds since they got here.
The kitchen, which was once a sort of industrial booger colour, is now a very pale yellow. Its cupboards (and our baker's rack) now match the table; a big ceiling fan has been put up. The bathroom has been painted and gussied up real pretty-like, and our bedroom has been transformed, from beige-y taupe into "cornsilk". (Painting that was a tassel.)
Curtains have been installed throughout, very nice ones. And all of our appliances are now up and running. Let me tell you, that was arguably the most, well, "interesting" part of the last two days.
Hooking up a washer and dryer ought to be child's play. This was child's play's total antithesis: adu…