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Showing posts from April, 2005
I'm feeling...depleted.
Bereft of ideas, devoid of inspiration, completely barren of wit...and my energy level's somewhere beneath the sub-basement.
Luckily, as of right now, I am on HOLIDAYS!
I went through hell to get here. The last month or so has seen a succession of absolutely brutal ads at work. I screwed up my orders a few times, leaving us hung with too much stock. And I'm still working through the rejection by Children's Aid: probably will be for a while yet.
Today was a perfect microcosm of the last eight weeks.
Barely had I gotten in the door at work when a din arose from the express lane. A woman. Yelling. I tuned her out and hustled to my dairy department, roughly eighty-three things on my mind already and more suggesting themselves everywhere I looked. Stock this, fill that, order more of the other, and who's this? A cashier. From till one. Shit.
'Ken, can you go talk to this woman? She's tearing a strip off me about some expired milk.'

Everybody knows...

If you listen to a radio, watch a television, or peer into the sky to determine patterns in the clouds, you know that Canadians don't want an election right now. Our media trumpet this out at every opportunity, even as politicians of all stripes are out vigorously campaigning.
Martin's revealed his election strategy: depict Stephen Harper as a man who seeks to destroy Canadian values. This approach, after all, has been extremely successful in past campaigns. They do it every time: play pin-the-demon-on-the-Tory. And the media gleefully plays along.

You never see Liberals labelled extremists, even when they are. (There are several members of the Liberal Party who have uttered epithets...on camera, even! rival anything ever blurted by the most ardent Reformer. Ask Tom Wappel how he feels about gay marriage and you'll swear you're hearing 'Parson' Manning answering you.) How many people even know who Tom Wappel is? Yet it's common knowledge in Canada that …

A new electronic era...

I remember when the Commodore 64 came out. Upon learning it had 64K of memory, I gasped. 64K! Luxury! How much memory can one person possibly need? And augmented by a floppy disk drive, with yet more space to be filled? No more waiting for clunky cassette tape loads? It was almost frightening.
We've transferred most of the essentials over from our last computer -- just in time, too, as I thought I saw it starting to smoke -- and now we're left with only 142 gigabytes of space left on the hard drive, and 504 megabytes of RAM. We'll be sooooo close to running out of the year 4076.
We got this thing at the MDG store. The process was relatively painless, all told, but I really didn't like the salesperson very much.
To be fair, that wasn't...entirely...his fault. I have impossibly high standards for salespeople. In some stores, I want immediate assistance. In others, I want the hired help to leave me the hell alone. And they're supposed to know just from l…

Goodbye, Mr. Chips...

This computer has a case of electronic Parkinson's disease. It's slowly but steadily worsening: I expect the situation to be critical in a few months. Luckily, we'll have replaced it long before then.
Our first and probably worst problem is that we're running Windows ME. You tell that to a tech guy and he'll wince as if he's just found a nasty worm in his Apple. It seems that Microsoft rushed this operating system out on to the market before it was fully debugged...and every new patch seems to cause a rip somewhere else. I've been told that previous configurations of Windows--95, 98--were far preferable, and I'm inclined to believe it: this damn machine crashes while it's trying to figure out how to crash, sometimes.
I don't know much about other operating systems. I've never touched a Macintosh and you'll never read an ad for a new Pentium 5 running Linux, will you? Gates has the market pretty much cornered. It's too bad his operating…

Get power at all costs: hold power at all costs.

Paul Martin gave it the ol' college try last night.
The PMO "requested" airtime last night and didn't tell the networks why. That put them in a pretty pickle. The nation's airwaves are the Prime Minister's by demand, but historically, PMs have only used them in times of national crisis. Chretien and Mulroney used them to try to stave off Quebec separation. Trudeau used them during the FLQ mess. (Do we sense a pattern, here?)
The networks weren't sure what Martin had up his sleeve. The last thing they wanted was to be seen to be providing partisan advertising, but there was the off chance the PM was going to resign and call an election on national television. Or maybe he'd declare war on Desolation Island. Who knew?
What Martin did was spend seven minutes telling Canadians (a) the Opposition just won't play fair; (b) he cancelled the sponsorship program, called the Gomery inquiry and testified before it, answering every question; and (c) he pledges to…

And that's all I have to say about that.

A perfect parent is a person with excellent child-rearing theories and no actual children.
--Dave Barry

...I'm pretty sure Mr. Barry meant those bon mots sarcastically, but with the week I've just had, I'm not inclined to take them that way. The social worker we welcomed into our home (on eight separate occasions) spent a good fifteen minutes telling us what wonderful people we were and how sound our philosophies on children were, before he left our dream of adopting children in tatters. Maybe we're perfect parents because we don't have kids; surely the only way to get truly meaningful experience parenting is to be a parent.
Everything we have done in the past four years has been geared towards getting children in our lives. We bought this house in no small part because it was in a child-friendly neighbourhood, across the street from a school. In what we once thought a happy coincidence and now see as a sad irony, our home inspector performs that function for Family a…

Shock; Anger; Denial; Bargaining, Acceptance

These are the five stages of grief, as first expressed by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross in 1969. She stressed that there is no order to them, that regression is common, and that grief takes time to overcome.
Grief, we have been told time and time again, is central to the whole issue of adoption. The adopted children feel it, obviously, in response to the loss of their birth families. Birth parents feel it in response to the loss of their children. And adoptive parents often have to come to terms with the loss of their 'dream' family, conceived 'naturally', before the adoption process can even begin.
Oh, yeah, and you can rocket through a bunch of grief stages when Family and Children's Services determines you don't make the grade as parents. That happened to us, tonight.

They didn't tell us "no". They told us "not yet", but made that feel so much like a "no' that right now, stuck in the first three stages of grief which I seem to be feelin…

The Good Food Festival

Disclaimer: the following blog entry is entirely fictional. The writer wishes to inform his readers that the "Good Food Festival" is wholly imaginary, and any resemblance to an actual food festival that takes place annually at the International Centre in Mississauga is quite unfortunate. If the "Good Food Festival" actually existed, this writer would never tell you about it out of a selfish desire to limit the already daunting crowds of people (who again, remember, are merely figments of the writer's imagination.) Read at your own risk.

We paid $12.00 to get in. Before we'd even entered the hall, we were each given a bag containing $14.00 worth of coupons and at least that much free merchandise. This is the kind of place where you expect a phantom narrator to break in over the hubbub and intone "If life were really like that, you wouldn't need your Visa card."
You don't need your Visa card here. Here you need three things: starvation, stami…

Minority Report: Ugh. has been really dodgy of late. Hope this one works.

Okay, the sole item on the agenda: should we have an election?
Polls show the Conservatives would win a minority if a vote was held, umm, three minutes ago. Ask us again in three minutes.
As the Gomery allegations mount, Martin is playing the only card he can: those were yesterday's Liberals, those dirty, mucky, icky, sucky pigs sucking at the unity titty.
That card might have some value if (a) Martin wasn't Finance Minister for most of the duration of the sponsorship mess and (b) he hadn't cheered Chretien when the latter testified at the Gomery inquiry.
What was with that, anyway? If you believe the Machiavellian machinations of the last, oh, ten years, Chretien and Martin get along about as well as vampires and Holy Crosses. So why the hell was P.M. applauding and praising the former PM for his brazen and contemptuous spectacle in court?
No, Martin is neck-deep in the ooze and sinking, fast. Harper has the golde…

Teach your children well...

Tomorrow: our last homestudy session. Hopefully.
We have been asked to consider how we will deal with adopted children throughout their lives with us. There are many concerns specific to the adopted children, centering around loss and resulting feelings of rejection, guilt/shame, grief and identity confusion leading to potential concerns with intimacy and problems with mastery and self-control. All of this will have to be addressed on an ongoing basis: it won't go away and stay gone. The best we can hope for is that our children come to terms with themselves and with us.

The following is from Communion with God, by Neale Donald Walsch. It perfectly encapsulates the things we want our children to learn.


Teach your children that they need nothing exterior to themselves to be happy--no person, place or thing--and that true happiness is found within. Teach them that they are sufficient unto themselves.
Teach your children that failure is a fiction, that…

Charles and Camilla...

The late Diana, Princess of Wales, famously remarked--she did everything famously--that there were three people in her marriage to Prince Charles, "so it was a bit crowded."
Well, that third person's going to find her marriage to Prince Charles a tad claustrophobic too, at times.
Not from anything amiss in Charles' heart, that's for sure. Camilla has been his one true love since they met in 1970. His marriage to Lady Diana Spencer didn't change that one whit, and all three of them knew it. Camilla's wedding present to Charles in 1981 was a pair of cufflinks, with entwined C's engraved, for Charles and Camilla. I'm sure Diana found that quite charming.
I started out writing this without any intention of mentioning Diana at all, and I did it right away in spite of myself. She had that power in life and still has it. You'd like to, out of goodwill for the royal newlyweds, dismiss the late ex-wife of the groom as entirely irrelevant to this wedding,…
You know, we here at the Breadbin always believed the government to be composed largely of criminals.
True, most of their "criminal" activities have been, historically and strictly speaking, entirely legal. (It helps when they write the laws, doesn't it?) And voters in Ontario, especially, have come to expect larceny and pickpocketing on a grand scale...actually to reward it.
When the next election comes, pray God we don't do it again. Because if we do, they might as well start hiring hitmen to whack people. Using taxpayer monies, of course.
Why not? If Jean Brault is to be believed, our money's been misused for just about every other nefarious process imaginable.
Minor caveat: Jean Brault himself faces fraud charges. Liberals will therefore insist his testimony before the Gomery inquiry is suspect in every detail.
I think not. For one thing, Brault supplied a library of documentation to back himself up. For another, his account of shady dealings is anything but self-…

Requiescat in pace

Karol Wojtyla, Pope John Paul II 1920-2005

When writing the obituary of a man as significant as a Pope--particularly this one, the longest serving, most well-travelled Pope in history--I think it important to disclose bias, pro or con, right up front.
According to the Catholic Church, I am a Catholic, by virtue of being baptized in the faith. Catholicism is like Scientology or alcoholism that way: once a Catholic, always a Catholic.
I don't hold the Church's view on this...or much of anything else, for that matter. I have a jaded view of organized religion in general and the Holy Roman Catholic Church in particular. But it's hard not to respect the man who has headed that Church for over a quarter century.
Before being elected Pope, Karol Wojtyla was an actor, a scholar, a member of the Resistance in Poland, a labourer, and always, always, a man drawn to the holy. Fiercely intelligent but utterly without pretense, John Paul II fully embraced the responsibilities of the Office …

I had this budgie once...

...we named it Enza. One morning we opened up the kitchen window and Enza escaped. We never thought we'd see him again, but a week later, we opened up the living room window and... flew Enza.

Yeah, I'm now officially, certifiably, doctor-approved, sick with the flu.

It serves me right, really. I've always been a skeptic when it came to those free flu shots the Ontario government doles out. How could they know what strain of flu would be circulating around? Besides, I hate needles. Well, I've never met anyone who claims to like them, but I really loathe them. So I've never bothered to get the shot. I'd convinced myself it was too much pain for too little gain.

So now I've got it--the flu. Eva had already convinced me to bite the pinprick and get the year. The doctor corrected a false assumption I'd held in telling me the effects of the flu shot don't fade away in mere months. He said he'd had maybe ten shots so far in his life, and …