Skip to main content


Showing posts from September, 2004

I dreamt of heaven...

I'm currently reading a rather chilling horror novel called The Dwelling. The Canadian author, Susie Moloney, has mastered atmosphere: her haunted house is genuinely creepy.
The scariest books give me nightmares. I've dreamed scenes from Stephen King's The Shining off and on since I first read that book. The Dwelling might yet provoke a night scream or two out of me.
(Yeah, yeah, I know, what kind of masochist buys a horror novel about a haunted house that keeps coming on the resale market...just after he buys a house? That'd be me. Hyuk hyuk hyuk...)
Anyway, last night I went off to bed, checking first to make sure that all the closet doors were firmly closed, that the tub hadn't sprouted claws, and that I couldn't hear music coming from nowhere...or the creak...creak...creak of something long-dead hanging from a beam in the attic. The house checked out least for off to sleep I went.
And had a truly remarkable dream.
I dreamed that I had…

Friday nights in Arcadia

I once went three years without a television. Not without digital, not without basic cable...without the actual idiot box. Didn't really miss it much, either. I listened to my hockey games on the radio and read a lot.
No television show has ever made a lasting impression on me. Comedies? Good for half an hour of escapism. Reality? Puh-leeze. Soaps? See under "reality".
But I keep trying. Every year, I scan the TV previews looking for a show to hitch my wagon to. And every year, they either pull my show off the air to spite me (Stark Raving Mad) or prod it into a screaming left turn into tedium after a few episodes (Boston Public).
My wagon soared into space with Enterprise. For a season, I felt this had the potential to dethrone The Next Generation as the best Star Trek serial yet. And then they decided to take a single story arc in season two and set their phasers on "boring".
Back to the drawing board.
Enter Joan of Arcadia.
For those of you who think you hav…

And awwwaaaaay we go...

Last night was the first of seven adoption seminars we'll be attending into November. And while I can't say I will await the next six Wednesday evenings with bated breath, I can certainly report that the first class exceeded my expectations. That is to say that although I yawned maybe seventeen times in two and a half hours, I never did quite fall asleep. In fact, I was reasonably engaged in the discussion as it went around the room.
I was nervous, no denying that, especially at first. Practically the first thing I had to do was introduce myself to the stranger next to me and make small talk about 'what we hope to get out of this training and what we're bringing to it.' Three things: one, I'm reasonably sure that Doug didn't really care; two, not to put too fine a point on it, but we're all there for, umm, children; three, I'm not completely sold on discussing this very personal quest--which is what it looks like they're going to demand--in a c…


An article in today's National Post cites a British study which claims that keeping a diary is diagnostic of depression: the longer one keeps a diary, the more depressive one is...and those who go back and re-read old diary entries are most depressed of all. And the first thought that went through my head was 'wow...there's a blog entry in this somewhere!' Then the irony hit me and knocked me out cold for awhile.
I kept a daily diary from January 1988 to February 1991. In all that time, I missed exactly two days: once when I locked myself out of the house (moral to that particular tale: never try to sleep on a picnic table) and once when I misplaced the diary for a day. Both days were made up immediately. The 1989 volume got some kind of acidic soapy goo all over it in one of my moves, rendering a swath from March to October all but unreadable--which is really too bad, because some of the most memorable days of my life occured between May and October of 1989. But I sti…

Hockey Not In Canada

...or anywhere else for that matter, not NHL-calibre hockey and not for quite a long time to come.
As a lifelong fan of the game, I'm more upset than I should be at the prospect of TV-free Saturday nights. And while polls repeatedly show that the majority of Canadians blame the players for this state of affairs, I do not. I blame the owners.
Oh, don't get me wrong: the players make way too much money. Professional athletes by and large rank just behind movie starlets and pop singers on the "overpaid non-contributors to society" scale. In a logical world, the truly essential people (doctors, teachers, firefighters, police officers and such) would be paid the way we pay athletes. And athletes' pay would be based strictly on performance.
But alas, every time I open my eyes I still find myself in this world, wherein a hockey player can be awarded an eight million dollar contract just because somebody thinks he could lead the team in scoring. Yup, I won't exactly …


So far, this is the only day of the year that has been abbreviated into an international touchstone. It's so pervasive that subsequent terrorist acts have taken place on "Spain's 9/11" or, just recently, "Russia's 9/11". The Madrid train bombing and the Beslan school atrocity seemingly aren't grandiose enough to merit their own 'day of infamy'.
America has refashioned itself in its own image since, of course. The country that invented Attention Deficit Disorder still has a case of it. For about a month afterwards, it looked like 9/11 might actually have wrought something positive out of the horror, as Americans paused to reflect on who they were, where they belonged in the world, and what the important things in life might be.
Sadly, though, the opportunities for transformation on a national scale have been frittered away. America had the world's sympathy and charity in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks, but ask the man on…

Defining Characteristics Of That Which Defies Definition...

WHO I AM (Part 1 of an infinite series)

As of this writing I am (still) a procrastinator. It's one of my worst failings. Give me something to do and if I am not specifically instructed to do it right away, then it'll get done...eventually.
This burned me back in grade five. I turned in a project four days late, and got 98% on it...minus twenty percent for each day I'd missed. Thereafter, essays and assignments from school were exempt from my prevailing "leave it alone and maybe it will do itself" attitude.
Procrastination is something I would choose to change, if I knew any alternative. It sounds simple, really: just do whatever it is you're supposed to do, when you're supposed to do it. It's not so easy when you live primarily in a mind that refuses to stay still for any length of time.
My two passions are music and the written word. I see them as related, kissing cousins perhaps. If you can't say it in words, say it with music...then de…

ALONE Chapter 1

You’re going, and that’s final.”
“Damn it, dad, you--”
“--and one more word out of you and it’ll be three weeks instead of two”.
Jo’s birthday: exactly two weeks and three days away. I bet he fuckin knows it, too, she thinks. The thought of spending her sixteenth birthday in the middle of fucking nowhere--on a goddamned island, no phone, no computer, no friends…intolerable. She whirled around and trounced up the stairs, indulging in a good solid door slam when she got to her room.
Jo flung herself on to her bed, furious. I know, she thought. I’ll run away. That’d teach them. I’ll get out of bed at five--no, four--tomorrow morning and I’ll just take off. Maybe crash at Amy’s place for a week. Maybe they’ll go anyway and maybe they won’t and I don’t really give a flyingfuck.
The phone rang. Jo rolled off her bed and went to retrieve it, but Dad had already gotten it downstairs. Jo sighed a fifteen year old world-on-my-shoulders sigh that would have impressed anyone there to see her. The…

Thanks for the holiday, organized labour. Now bugger off.

Today is Labour Day, the day we're supposed to reflect on organized labour and all it has done for us.
So, after some serious reflection, I have this to say:
I hate unions. Hate hate hate them. I find it extremely difficult to come up with anything positive to say about them.
Okay, yes, in certain instances, like where a company decided to lay you off for no good reason after you've worked for them for forty years, a union could come in handy. I guess. But then so could government legislation banning such treatment.
What do unions do? Well, they come in to your minimum wage environment and excite workers with the prospect of making $14 or $23 an hour for what remains a minimum wage job. They never let you know that instead of 32 hours a week, you'll get three.
What else do unions do? They interfere with the free market economy and drive jobs away. They negotiate absolutely ridiculous 'benefits' for their workers--like the right to take sick days with no questions a…


A trio of items to tackle today.


Do we ban them, muzzle them, lock them in a big cage with their owners...what?
Let me preface this by saying: I love dogs. I had a collie named Cyndy who was my constant companion from age two to eleven; through my teens our family owned a succession of German Shepherds. (One year, I handled our dog Mac's to a first-place showing at the London Obedience Trials; my stepfather handled our other dog Seren to a very close second.)
So yes, I love dogs. But I hate dogs used as weapons. And let me tell you that a sizeable percentage of pitbull owners view their dogs in just that way. I have little use for people so insecure with themselves that they need a vicious dog to proclaim their superiority.
Having trained dogs, and done it well, I'm usually susceptible to the argument that 'it's not the dog, it's how you train it.' But not in the case of pitbull terriers and their related breeds. These dogs are bred for feroci…

Going Moldy....

Show more