26 October, 2012

"That's Not A Beer Belly, It's a Fuel Tank For A Sex Machine"

I have a Buddha-belly.

It doesn't bother me in and of itself. I have never once looked in a mirror and thought Jesus, buddy, you're fat. The only thing that bothers me about my general body shape is that any pant without an elasticized waist will tend to slowly slip off me, unless I cinch a belt tight enough to deprive my legs of blood. That's annoying. It makes me wonder what, exactly, the working world has against jogging pants--which are supremely comfortable and STAY WHERE THEY'RE PUT.

I'm overweight. I'm not obese.

My wife is. Obese, I mean.

She is completely honest and upfront about this in a way that really disconcerts many women. Yesterday, she was striding towards her car after work when someone called to her, "you look like you're in a hurry. Trying to get out of here?"
Eva responded "...as fast as my fat little body will carry me." This caused the other woman to laugh like a loon.
This is far from the first time that my darling has referred to herself as fat. Every time she does, she provokes reactions from laughter to awkwardness. It's like she's violating some ancient feminine taboo. You can't refer to yourself as fat, even if you are. ESPECIALLY if you are.

My male mind finds this utterly bizarre. I mean, it's perfectly obvious that Eva is a big girl. Just look at her, you'll see. I think it's very healthy of her that she acknowledges this weighty truth. There are many fat women who refuse to. And, more critically as far as I'm concerned, there are an unbelievable number of average-sized women, or even skinny-Minnie skeletons, who think they are whales. I don't know whether to cry or scream, confronted by these women.

Of course it's the culture, right? The stereotype is that women have to be skinny to attract men, while fat men are okay so long as they have fat wallets. This stereotype, needless to say, offends me to my core.

Many years ago, I was almost fired for saying I found larger women attractive. This was a nonchalant remark, expressed a little more crudely in the presence of two women with whom I had traded much cruder jokes in the past. One of the women who overheard this offhanded remark considered herself larger (I didn't) and therefore felt I was propositioning her, or outright harassing her, or something (I most certainly was not.) That was my first real lesson in female misperception of their own bodies, something I have had confirmed over and over again since. Skeletons think they're oozing fat; average-sized women think they are aircraft carriers. And actually fat women? They're not allowed to mention their weight at all. No wonder so many women of all shapes and sizes think they're fat. Their self-esteem is weighted down to the point of being crushed.

My heart weeps for these women. Especially the really fat ones. I mean, consider. Nearly every person you meet looks at you and dismisses you as Fatty McTubbo. There may be a human being under all that cellulite, but who wants to find out? Yet you yourself can't even acknowledge your weight out loud without provoking discomfort. or hilarity that you'll probably interpret as discomfort.

Men don't usually have this problem unless they are grossly obese. If I may invoke a gender stereotype to explain a gender stereotype, I think it's because women tend to have a little more empathy, a little more of an ability to get inside heads. Many men, for whatever reason, don't.

Much as I love, and in many cases embody, the "female" way of looking at the world, I really wish in this one case that women were more like men. I wish women didn't spare so much as a passing thought about their weight...or if they did, that their only motivation for losing weight was to feel better physically, not mentally, about themselves. I wish women shared men's comfort in their own skins.

Just say it with me, now: I'M IN SHAPE. ROUND IS A SHAPE. Or: A WAIST IS A TERRIBLE THING TO MIND.

If I could, I would swing a merciless fat-stick at anyone telling fat jokes. You can tell me racist jokes, disgusting sex jokes, nearly any kind of joke at all. But tell me a fat joke and I can assure you I will not laugh. I won't so much as crack a grin. This has been with me all the way back to second grade, when I first heard the taunt "fatty, fatty two-by-four". I observed all the way back then that the girl (always a girl) so taunted would invariably burst into tears. Fat jokes aren't jokes. They're missiles. Guided missiles.

I really respect John Pinette".  He tells fat jokes, directed at himself, but self-deprecating rather than self-shredding. Wouldn't it be great if there was a female version of him?



24 October, 2012

Bullying the bullies?

I admit it: when Anonymous announced they'd found Amanda Todd's primary bully, I cheered. A few days later, I was forced to retract my cheering when it turned out the guy they'd collared was innocent. Of that crime, anyway, though he's facing charges for something similar. Anonymous seems to think this is a-ok. I don't.

Now Anonymous has a new bully/victim. Is he the guy who bullied Amanda?  I don't know. I doubt they really do, either. And that's a bit chilling. You have to figure they found something suggestive in his computer, but at the same time, this is getting perilously close to the same mentality that has forced teachers to refrain from touching or especially hugging their pupils under any circumstances...or the not-a-joke going around that nowadays, you need specific, written and signed documentation detailing every step you can and can't take sexually with any new partner. Women may scoff at that...but trust me, you can destroy a random man's life just by saying he raped you.

I have a wildly overinflated, knee-jerk sense of consequence, coupled with an idealist streak a mile wide. It's not a very good combination to have. I'm the guy who believes people found committing acts of vandalism or arson should have their own property destroyed or burned in return. Which feels great until the thug/pyro also becomes a thief and possibly a murderer.

As for those who taunt and beat on helpless classmates--yeah, there's a spiritually juvenile part of me that wants to beat them to a pulp. It's not (just) simple revenge. Really, it's not. I can't understand why such people don't get that bullying hurts. I shouldn't have to hit you with a hammer for you to intuitively grasp that you shouldn't hit other people with hammers. But if you really don't understand this simple truth, there's a part of me that would like to demonstrate. Here, see this hammer? bash Yeah, it don't feel so good, does it? Just call me Mr. Comes-Around.

But if I was to embark on that path, even if I could somehow evade prison for longer than ten minutes, the fact is I'd be hitting an awful lot of people with an awful lot of hammers. Because our society rewards bullying. Many of the world's super-rich got that way, in whole or in part, by bullying their "inferiors". The entire entertainment industry is built on ritual humiliation, which is why I keep popular culture at arm's length if not further away from myself.

I take great pride in the fact I have watched less than three minutes of so-called 'reality' television in my entire life. It's getting harder, since the 'reality' virus is infecting more and more channels. The Food Network is increasingly full of profane, angry men telling other men how useless they are. The various incestuous relatives of American Idol keep vacuuming up ratings, and somehow I doubt many viewers are actually watching because of the four good singers out of every sixteen. No, they want to see dreams stomped on. They want to see someone with the courage to get up and sing in front of millions of people have that courage belittled and mocked. For every Susan Boyle who improbably bubbles to the top, there are a dozen people with lovely voices who are charged and convicted of the heinous crime of being un-telegenic. Cue the tears.
And network comedies? Please. Almost all of them milk pain for laughs.  Pain is not funny. If you think it is, let me introduce you to my friend Mr. Ball Peen. Or if you'd prefer a less hands-on approach, step into any schoolyard and watch a bully working over his victim. Look at his friends: they're smiling, laughing, having a grand old time. Put yourself in the victim's shoes. Still funny? Didn't think so.

I'm at a loss as to how our 'civilization' come to the conclusion that bullying people is admirable. Oh, the social Darwinists will say it's simple survival of the fittest, and I'd question their definition of fitness.  We can't all be alpha males, after all, and if you really want to look at things from an evolutionary perspective, shouldn't we value each individual's contribution, in the name of diversity?

We pay lip service to that concept, but judging from our consistent choices in entertainment, lip service is all it is.

One of the world's biggest religions centers around a man who advised us to love our enemies, to turn the other cheek, and not to judge anyone. According to the stories, at any rate, this man practiced what he preached, asking forgiveness for his killers even as he was dying. Somehow, his entire philosophy has been upended by a sizeable contingent of his supposed followers, who spew their hatred of anyone who doesn't think exactly as they do. And I won't even mention that other religion, supposedly named for peace (but actually a synonym for submission), that is responsible for more than thirty thousand known terrorist attacks and murders in the past twelve years. Hey, bullying people is great fun when you have God on your side. And if you kill them, so what? One less infidel in the world.

But whatever the atheists might say, you don't need religion to justify bullying people. Any difference will do. As Ollie (Toby Jones) says in The Mist (2007), "As a species, we are fundamentally insane. Put more than two of us in a room together, we pick sides and start dreaming up reasons to kill one another."

I got kind of off track, there--this is supposed to be about whether bullying the bullies is a good idea or not. I vote "or not". Bullying, like most 'despicable' acts, is usually not done out of real outward malice, even though the victim and the bystanders will definitely think otherwise, and so might the bully. This behaviour nets the bully various social benefits he (or she--please don't think I'm ignoring female bullying, which is in many ways worse) is unwilling or unable to attain any other way. Rewards such as attention, camaraderie (always so much nicer to be on the inside...take it from somebody who's been outside of practically every inside there ever was), respect, even worship: that heady brew is undeniably intoxicating. Bullying the bully, in a weird way, legitimizes bullying. "What you did was wrong, but it's okay for us to do it to you because you did it first." Nuh-uh, I reject that.

And there's the possibility, as with Anonymous, that your one man judge/jury/executioner team has the wrong perp. What then? You've quite possibly ruined someone's life for no good reason. Talk about bullying. On we go up the chain: who bullies Anonymous for their bullying anti-bullying actions? This way: madness..

21 October, 2012

If I was growing up today...

...I probably wouldn't. If I was somewhere between grades six and nine in this lovely year of 2012, I'd be seriously considering suicide. Not in some melodramatic teenaged way, either. I'd be one of those methodical suicides you'd be shocked about, then realize in hindsight was inevitable.
What I wouldn't do, under any circumstances, is post my suicide note to YouTube.

I'm not sure I can say why, and that's what this blog is going to be about: my attempt to explain why I turned out pretty much okay despite five years of what I thought was constant bullying. Why suicide never did more than cross my mind when I was a young teen, and why I'm certain it would do a hell of a lot more than cross my mind if  I was that age today.

In grade three, I was one of The Popular Kids in my class. I wrote horror stories that were painfully derivative but still managed to scare people. I was the epicentre of a short-lived 'maze craze'...I actually sold little books of mazes I'd created for a buck apiece until the teachers got wind of it and put a stop to it. I was even popular with the ladyfolks, even though in grade three I was still pretty innocent regarding the depths of ladyfolk charm.  (Kissing 'em was sure fun, though...)

I moved to London to start grade four, the first of many moves to come. London was only about two and a half hours away from my Bramalea home, but it might as well have been on the far side of Neptune. I went from well-regarded to pond scum pretty much instantly.

It didn't help that I got glasses that summer.

They were desperately needed, of course, but I was at least as desperate not to get them. Nerds wore glasses. I sensed a whole lot of nerd within me just waiting for its chance to be seen and stomped. I was so convinced that glasses were a one-way ticket to social doom that it became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The bullying was low-grade, for the most part. Not much blood spilled. A few well-placed kicks, a few lunches squashed, a few things I've kind of suppressed. I do remember getting stuffed into a garbage can--a full one--and also a locker; I remember constant belittlement, a whole lot of taunting, unthinkingly vicious. It left internal scars, some of which have not healed even to this day.

What kept me sane? Several things. One, I loved school. I loved learning; I loved showing teachers what I'd learned even more. Teachers didn't bully me. The worst I could accuse them of was forcing me to go out for recesses I very much hated. But recesses were only fifteen minutes, twenty at some schools.

I could go home after school to loving parents. Granted, I'd have to keep my eyes peeled for my tormentors on the way home, sometimes going out a different door, sometimes detouring a couple of blocks out of my way, but once I got home, I was home. I wasn't a spazz or a fag or anything else in my bedroom: I was just Kenny, and Kenny was free to bury himself in books where the characters didn't mock or tease. So that's what Kenny did. The outside world very quickly became a thing to be avoided. Too unpredictable, too many things out there that snarled and occasionally bit.

I kept most of my problems from those loving parents, in case you're wondering. Gentle prodding suggested three parentally sanctioned strategies for dealing with bullies, and NONE of them work, and anybody who has been bullied for any length of time will tell you as much, but what do us bullied kids know?

1) FIGHT THE BULLY.

Yeah, sure. I'll get right on that. Then I'll be tossed off like a flea and mutilated.

2) RAT THE BULLY OUT.

They love that. They just love getting in trouble for something that's so pleasurable. After the trouble is over, they're in a worse mood than usual, and they're motivated to get you but good.

3) IGNORE THE BULLY AND HE'LL GO AWAY.

Bzzzzzt. Ignore a bully and he'll escalate the behaviour until you're stuck in a garbage can or bleeding in a pile on the ground. "Going away" is not in a bully's nature. He bullies on his time and on his terms and he does it until he's ready to stop.

But I had my classroom and I had my bedroom and I was the king of both those places as far as I was concerned. Whereas today...today there's this thing called the Internet.

*************

I was heartbroken reading about Amanda Todd. Just heartbroken. Her story, while completely different from mine in its particulars (and outcome), resonates strongly with me.

Grade seven: she bares her breasts on webcam for a stranger. Okay, now here's where I suspect most parents are cringing and shouting stop this bus, I want to get off, what kind of girl-child does this and where are her parents? The answers to those two questions are many, maybe most and completely oblivious. Emma Teitel says in this week's Macleans that parents are frighteningly naive about what happens in the basements and bedrooms in their homes. Chances are very good to excellent that your little girl has been playing in some of the darker corners of the (spider)web...sometimes unknowingly, often very much willingly. Attention is probably the most powerful of drugs to a teenaged mind. And, of course, where the girls play, the boys will follow, so yep, your little boy's probably seen and done more than you know about, too.

Your fault, parents? Not really. I mean, yes, you should never have let the computer, with or without webcam, wind up in your little girl's bedroom, but let's face it: children of that certain age are evasion experts. If there's trouble out there (there is), and if they've a mind to go looking for it (many of them do), then they're going to find it despite your best efforts.

So that shy little breast-baring begins a sordid story of blackmail, widespread bullying (cyber- and otherwise) and mental breakdown that culminates in suicide. Before that tale fully plays out, her parents move three times in an effort to give their daughter "a fresh start".

Oh, the false promise of the "fresh start". I had four of them, myself: I moved between grades five and six, halfway through grade seven, between grades eight and nine, and again to start grade eleven. The problem for me was that wherever I went, there I was: a fresh fuckface ready to be worked over. The problem for Amanda was more pervasive: wherever she went, she dragged her Internet past and persona with her.

I actually saw somebody questioning why Amanda didn't just delete her Facebook account. Seems logical, if you're an adult. But to a teen today, that's something akin to deleting her eyes and ears. You might see and hear some awful things, but do you blind and deafen yourself because of them? You might as well just kill yourself and have done with it. I have seen and heard several teenagers threaten suicide with the loss of their Net connection, and while some of them were probably posturing, I'm not so sure about others. So much of yourself is invested in an online presence these days that you're literally nothing without one.

Many people, on and offline, taunted Amanda and told her she could end it all just by...ending it all. She couldn't escape it any other way. Eventually she gave up...and I can't say I blame her.

Fight the bully? How? Thanks to the Internet, she didn't even know who her primary bully was.

Rat him out? How? See above. Plus, Amanda felt she brought all this on herself, and so this was her cross to bear. After awhile she was absolutely sure of this. Coming forward meant publicly admitting it...unthinkable.

Ignore him and he'll go away? That picture is out there, still circulating, and there are still any number of hateful comments directed Amanda's way even though she's now dead.

That YouTube testimonial, though...I know why she did it--it got her the attention she really needed, albeit far too late to do any good for her. Personally, I wouldn't have left an online note. Because if I was growing up today....it would be the Internet that would kill me.


*****
Part two to follow: Vigilantes--bullying the bullies?

12 October, 2012

"Hey everybody, I won the Nobel Peace Prize!"

...says Ken, in the year 2021. Or hey, why not make it next year, since they seem to be handing the things out like like candy now?

First Obama got one, not on the basis of anything he'd done at that point, but more because of sentiment and wishful thinking. Three years later, the country he leads is still at war--and will soon be at war on a second front (to be fair, this will happen whether Obama wins another term or not).

I will give the sitting president of the United States some credit for softening the sharp edges of American hegemony. Many on the right are horrified at this, because AMERICA FUCK YEAH WE'RE NUMBER ONE!!!1!!!! without Team America: World Police, the planet will inevitably devolve into a mess of warring factions.
Perhaps they have a point there. America's compulsive pie-poking over the last sixty years or so has kept World War Three at bay...but boy, has it ever increased the terrorism. Personally, I'd just as soon let sovereign nations keep their own councils, and be ready to step in if and only if they insist on acting out. Maybe I'm naive...or maybe invading and occupying countries serves only to breed more terrorists.

No minds will change on the matter at this late date. Suffice it to say Mitt Romney's alpha-male chest-beating resonates with a great many Americans who yearn to return to a time when the U.S. was the unchallenged cock of every walk. And should Romney win next month, as is looking entirely possible, expect war to begin almost immediately.

But back to the Nobel Peace Prize, and the joke it has become. The European Union? Really? Oh, again, points for sentiment. The idea behind the EU was to unite and unify a fractious continent, and a noble (and Nobel) point it was. This prize would have made a hell of a lot more sense in 1994--if it had gone to the people who brought the EU into being, that is.

As about three thousand wags have noted--just on the one news site I sampled-- at this point the only good reason to award the Peace Prize to the European Union in 2012 is because my God, do they need the $1.4 million that goes with it.
The EU, sad to say it, is almost certainly doomed. I've watched world stock markets yo-yo over "Euro debt fears" for two years now and I've become convinced that the marketeers are bouncing the indexes up and down like children on a bed, wringing fortunes out of every rise and fall. The long-term outcome of the game, I'm certain, is not and has never been in doubt: the only thing left is to play it.

I mean, come on. Nothing has fundamentally changed in Europe: the southern half of it is, to varying degrees, bankrupt. Every new infusion of money serves only to keep the game going another turn...and also to make the endgame more catastrophic. Money printed out of thin air always evaporates back into the thin air whence it came, and once this pile does, the inrushing thin air is going to make one almighty boom. And probably more than a few booming echoes of the sort militaries the world over are intimately familiar with. In my darker moments, I wonder if this bauble should henceforth be referred to as the Nobel Piece Prize.

I can think of so many deserving candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize. Most recently, Mulala Yousufzai, who has captured the world's attention because she believes that girls should get an education. This is a heresy in her benighted native land...but perhaps not for overmuch longer.
If the keepers of the Nobel flame really wanted to make a statement, they'd give the thing to Julian Assange. His life's mission to make governments and corporations transparent to all will do more for world peace than anything else I can think of.
You know what else deserves a Peace Prize, now that I think about it? Twitter. Without Twitter the Arab Spring would never have come to pass.
Then there's the perennials, or should-be-perennials, like Doctors Without Borders, GLAD, and most of the women's rights organizations you can name, especially those operating in regions where women are not yet people.

But the EU? All I can say is, enjoy it while it lasts.




05 October, 2012

Our Morning Routine

Daddy's alarm goes off.

It's early. That goes without saying, but he'll say it anyway. It might be as early as four a.m., if Daddy's working at 6 that morning. It's 5:00 if he works at seven. And it's never later than 5:30 because that's when Mommy has to get up. 
Daddy has probably been awake for three minutes to half an hour when the beepbeepbeep of the alarm shatters the predawn tranquility. He'll extricate himself from the tangle of covers and dogs--the Tux reclining regally at the top of the bed between Mommy and Daddy, the Peach buried deep under Daddy's covers. (How she breathes down there Daddy will  never know, but that's her preferred sleeping position, glommed to the Daddy with her butt aimed strategically at his nostrils. Peach-farts, by the way, do not smell like peaches.)

Now, the shower. A critical part of the morning here: the Shower is the halfway point between Bed and World. The main point of the Shower, besides the sluicing away of night-time funk, is the gradual dawning of consciousness.
There are certain rules. It must be dark. To turn a light on at this stage of unwakefulness could be dangerous: Daddy's eyes might burn out. It must be hot. A cold shower will waken the Daddy, to be sure, but he'll be in a foul mood that will last for hours. No, the idea here is to create a pea-soup fog in the bathroom. We have a fan in there that's meant for a room three times the size. This is because Daddy has set off the smoke detector from the fog of his showers. 
Daddy stands under the spray like a cow, shaving if he must--he has never figured out the link between facial hair and job performance, but apparently there is one--and attending to other bits of hygiene. 

Then the donning of the clothes, which is accomplished with much moaning and groaning and creaking of limbs, being as Daddy is not 40, as his birth certificate claims, but in fact closer to eighty and as flexible as your average iron bar,

Now we Go Downstairs. Peach is her Daddy's dog: she's bleary-eyed and dopey in the morning, searching only for the couch so she can embark on the Second Sleep. Tux, by contrast, has rocketed down the stairs, and he's prancing like a puppy down there, claws clittering madly on the laminate, awaiting his Things.

Tux gets two Things in the morning, and woe unto Daddy if he forgets either. First is the Cheese: a processed cheese slice that totally makes our dog's day. If the Georgia-Peach is awake enough (rare), she will accept part of Tux's cheese--occasionally, our B.B.-cat will meow for her share as well, and it's cute as hell to see them all sitting in a line in the kitchen, awaiting the Cheese. Tux usually has to be told "Gentle", whereas Peach will take her cheese in exactly the same way an ATM takes your card. zzzzzut!

Next: the Biscuit. This is a standard dog cookie, but it's up there with Cheese, Car-Rides, and Bedtime as far as our Tux is concerned, and it's got about a tenth as much appeal as one Georgia-Ball  to our Peach. Meaning Tux will prance his way around until he gets his Biscuit, and Peach will blearily open one eye, slither off the couch and trudge over to the Daddy, smacking her lips softly and accepting the Biscuit with her customary grace. 

Things given, the Tux then embarks on his Second Sleep, which might be awfully short if Tux's Mommy is about to Come Downstairs. Tux, you must understand, lives for his Mommy. The Things are about the only Things that can coerce the Tux to be on a different floor of the house.

Daddy, meanwhile, has set the Keurig a-burblin'. producing two coffees for him and one for the Mommy (who may or may not require a second coffee later on, after Silly Buggers). He will think about eating breakfast, but probably won't just yet. Instead, he'll sit and drink his coffee, checking the Net for all the news that dared to happen while he was sleeping.

By the time this is done, Mommy has been downstairs a while. The TV is, of course, on. Just for Laughs is chuckling away. If the comedians suck on this particular morning, Mommy will like as not have her Shower early. And Daddy's bowels will commence growling.

Daddy's Daddy calls them steaming stools. They are oddly timed to coincide with Mommy's showers. The humidity left over from Daddy's saunashower combines with the water vapour from Mommy's, creating the perfect environment for the perpetuation of scatological horrors on an all-too-suspecting Mommy. Daddy will sit on his throne, reading the Social Studies page of the Globe and Mail to the Mommy, almost as if the air hadn't been replaced by something best not smelled or indeed thought of. The best part is, with Mommy in the shower, Daddy can't even flush....

Many laughs are shared and choked over, then Mommy gets out of her Shower and goes to get dressed and it's time for Silly Buggers. Tux, of course, knows this, just as he knows about the Things. He's ensconced on the bed, waiting. 
Silly Buggers, aka Hide-the-Tux-Face, is a simple game, but endlessly entertaining. The idea here is to take a sheet and put it over Tux's face. He will then roll on his back and paw madly at the sheet, tangling himself up and grunting like a mushroom. (What's that? You've never heard a grunting mushroom? It sounds just like our Tux playing Silly Buggers.)
If you don't make the first move, like as not Tux will burrow under the sheets himself, nosing them up until he can roll in them and be a Silly Bugger. He will expect, at some point, the rubbing of the Tummy-On-The-Tux, which will change his mushroom grunting in to something decidedly more sensual and. quite frankly, disturbing. Peach will occasionally launch sorties at the hidden Tux-Face, provoking even more hilarity.  The sheets will be in total disarray when this game is over.

Back Downstairs we go, to breakfast...then for the thing that the Peach has been waiting for all morning (yes, even through her Second Sleep)...Georgia-Ball!

Tux will Go Outside to Get-The-Poop-Out-Of-The-Tux. Even this is fun to watch because our Tux refuses to poop in one place like a normal dog. He'll go into a poop-squat and then kind of shimmy-jog over half the yard. Weird dog. 
Georgia will grab her Georgia-Ball (or, if she can't remember where she had it last -- rare -- the Red-Ball will do in a pinch) and drop it in front of the Daddy. Daddy is equipped with a Glove because the Ball will very shortly be -- what did they call it in the eighties-- grodie with Peach-drool and yard-mud. He will throw. The Peach will retrieve. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. At some point, halfway through the game, Peach will suddenly stop halfway back to the Daddy, ball in mouth, and excrete. Copiously. A new lake will form or a new mountain will arise.

As this game is going on, Tux will watch patiently. He will herd the B.B.-cat back In The House if she dares to poke a paw out on the deck. And th---


SQUIRREL!!!

Tux has shot across the yard and is trying to climb a tree. Georgia, ball still clenched firmly in her jaws, will bark and shake her head violently, sounding like a drunk man vomiting all over himself, and she'll give chase.

Tux has never caught the Squirrel. He knows the Squirrel's House -- our shed -- as opposed to Tux's House, and he will sometimes stand at the Squirrel's House door and stare longingly, exactly the way Peach stares at her Georgia-Ball all day every day. 

Daddy is convinced the Peach is telepathic. If Daddy so much as thinks about going In The House, Peach will somehow sense this and come to a complete standstill in the yard, resembling either a cow or Daddy in a Shower. Daddy will then have to tell the Peach to come In The House, and she always comes, albeit reluctantly. 

It's time for Daddy to Go Bye-Bye. He loves the Mommy dearly and he makes sure to remind her of this, in case she has forgotten in her sleep. And then he goes, and the countdown to Bedtime starts. 


04 October, 2012

Political Microblog

I did promise to blog more, didn't I?

Call me Mitt Romney, then, because my God, the stress. This has not been a good week. I'm not at liberty to discuss the details. but trust me. Thanksgiving is going to be celebrated around here with considerably more heartiness than usual.

Couple of minor points to make. One: Justin Trudeau.

Colour me amazed. He's actually running to be Liberal leader. Who saw that coming? I mean, I don't think the Canadian media has even mentioned the prospect more than oh, about thirty million times.

This is the most insightful article I've yet seen on that prospect. Trudeau simply can't afford to pretend, even for a moment, that these are his Daddy's Liberals, or, for that matter, his Daddy's Canada. The country has shifted markedly since the days of PET. Part of that is Harper's doing, true, but only part. People tend to forget that Brian Mulroney, as hated as he was at the end of his tenure, didn't get just one majority...he got two.
If I were Trudeau, I would accept the adulation of those Laurentian elites...and then chart my own course as far away from them as I can comfortably go.

Two: Mitt Romney.

By all accounts he blew Obama right the hell out of the water last night. I was asleep by the time the debate started, so I can't give a personal assessment. I will say this. Romney is, as Republicans go, not that bad. Damning with faint praise, I know. There was one Republican I might have considered voting for were I eligible, and he was (predictably) eliminated early. No, I'm not talking about Ron Paul. I'm referring to Jon Huntsman.
But Romney hails from Massachusetts and that part of the U.S. is almost Canadian. He also came up with something strikingly similar to Obamacare. Both health care visions are fatally flawed, from this Canadian's perspective, but I have to give Romney credit for doing something.
Don't get me wrong: Romney is not someone I would endorse without a gun to my head. But should he win the presidency, I won't immediately start looking for new digs on some other planet...which is something I might have done if the Republican candidate in question were Rick Santorum....or Sarah Palin...or Michele Bachmann...or Newt Gingrich.

And that's all the energy I have for now. Something more personal soon...probably Sunday.