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Showing posts from March, 2014

Looking Back (III) The Joke That Wasn't Pinned On Me, Thank God

As published April 2nd, 2006
Spring forward, and lose all your clothing. Hey, everybody! How's about an hour's less sleep?
April Fool's!
What? You thought I was April Fooling you? Well, April Fool's allover that!

When I worked for 7-Eleven, I was always scheduled every 'spring forward' night. I used to dread every night store was surrounded by bars catering to the student crowd, and students, as a rule, drink to excess on nights ending in "y". Thursdays through Saturdays were the worst, as even the poorest students scrounged up enough money to intoxicate themselves on those nights. And of course, special occasions like New Year's Eve, Octoberfest, Hallowe'en (and its attendant Devil's Night), the return of the swallows to Capistrano, any of those and a dozen more would provoke an orgy of casual shoplifting and bring threats of violence or vandalism.
But 'spring forward' night was unique, its own special breed of hell.


Creature of the Night

It's nearly two in the morning as I write this. The house is not as still as you might think:  Eva's sleeping upstairs, having set her alarm clock (me) to six a.m. In the basement, a load of clothes is sudsing away in the washer and another is tumbling around in the dryer, with a third in a basket waiting the all clear to come upstairs (six a.m., remember?)
Peach is asprawl on the couch; Tux is within petting distance of me (or probably more pertinently, within easy grabbing distance of any of my lunch that might chance to drop his way.) The cats are wherever cats go between bouts of mindless frantic running all over the house. Oh, there's Mooch now, looking for love in all the Daddy-places. Bubbles cares not for love....Bubbles cares not for naught but Bubbles.
And I? I'm listening to Godowski's improvements on Chopin's ├ętudes, played by Marc-Andre Hamelin. I've completed a French essay and I'm reading, between distractions, a long article in the weeke…

Like This! It's For Breast Cancer!

So there's a couple of trends going around Facebook right now that I really need to comment on at some length. Both of them ostensibly have something to do with breast cancer, although I can't think what.
A work colleague got me today with one of those bait-and-switch status updates. If you've been on Facebook any length of time, you've probably seen at least one of these things. The person puts something in their status that's guaranteed to elicit some kind of reaction amongst his/her friends, something like "the damn condom broke last night and I think I might be pregnant" or "has anybody got a remedy for excessive flatulence" know, like that. Then when you like or comment, you get a private message telling you that you now have to perpetuate the meme.

I played along with one of these things a few months back--'haha, you got the riddle wrong, now you're a giraffe'--and I'm sorry, once was enough. What really irked me abou…

Life is a Cabaret

What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play
Eva told me weeks ago to mark March 22 on my calendar. We have not seen all that much of each other since Christmas...she's been working an awful lot of overtime, leaving both of us "sitting alone in our room" far too often.  Mystery date night!  She wouldn't tell me what this date entailed, only that it would be a night I'd enjoy and that it involved a bit of travel. 
Life is a cabaret, old chum
Come to the cabaret

Little did I know it would also involve seeing an old chum. Craig was my closest friend for a couple of years of high school. HIs passion for music made (and makes) mine look like a passing fancy: he was playing trumpet at a technically professional level in grade nine. We bonded over a love of brass music, but drifted apart as so many friends do...only to reconnect on Facebook many years later and pick up the threads of a friendship as if they'd never dropped. (It's interesting to…

"That Is Because You Crazy"

I know it's silly, but I feel bad for Harold.
I haven't seen the new addition to the household yet--Eva believes it's a girl--but I did turn in my key to Harold this morning and I have the car a little pat on the rump as I went off to work.

I'm not going to tell you I'm crying over this car. If I was still a child, though, I would be.

I don't know how old I was when I accompanied my dad--I think it was just my dad--to the junker's. Too young to remember why we were there, but old enough to go exploring. I found something deeply, deeply disturbing about the smashed up cars there. Cars missing doors, cars with shattered dashboards, one car with a steering wheel embedded in  a seat...I couldn't shut off my imagination, much as I wanted to. And then I ducked into one particularly well bashed in vehicle and  found a colouring book on the floor.  The implications of that took a while to filter into my brain, and once they did, I was an emotional wreck. From …

Upgrading the Wheels

It's time. Time for a new vehicle.

Harold the Happy Homo will be headed to that Great Bathhouse in the Sky tomorrow, or at least to the local junker. Harold is a 2003 Toyota Echo, and the story of how he got his name is right here.

Yes, he's a gay old car. Not that there's anything wrong with that. He's served us very well: two trips to Florida and a myriad of shorter jaunts (for Ontario values of 'short': my dad is four and a half hours away from here...five counties over, and that's still well within southern Ontario.) We've crammed all manner of stuff into that capacious back end of his, including some things you'd swear would never fit. As I say, somebody reamed this car out but(t) good: the trunk on an Echo is shockingly large. Very few problems over the years, but we're getting to the point where stuff is going to start costing.

And we'd like something bigger, something a little more capable of dealing with winter. Eva's got a comm…

Looking Back (III)

As published March 23, 2006
Say hello to the Sunkist Man... ...all juice, no seed.
Yes, I had "the procedure" yesterday, the one where they 'fix' you. I still don't know why they say 'fixed' when they mean 'broken'. 
The transition of Ken Breadner to Scooter the Neuter began with our third and worst miscarriage. To this day, that story is very painful to narrate: suffice it to say that my wife went in for a routine ultrasound at the three month mark only to discover the baby had died inside her weeks before. I was regaled with stories about people who had miscarried umpteen times before delivering a perfectly healthy child (or, often, two, three, or thirty). Eva and I talked it over, and I decided I couldn't risk putting her through that ordeal again. Because of a myriad of complicating medical factors--polycystic ovarian syndrome, the diabetes it spawned, incompatible blood, just to name a few--"that ordeal" was, while maybe not assure…


So Rogers is starting to shuffle Don Cherry off towards retirement. And with him, presumably, Ron MacLean.

Word is that George Stromboulopoulos is going to take over hosting duties on Hockey Night In Canada once Rogers assumes editorial control next season.

The only people who have no emotion over this, seemingly, are those few so-called Canadians who do not care one whit about hockey. Everyone else has weighed in pro or con. Surveying around, very few people are unabashed Strombo supporters: most people seem to view him as an interloper from well outside the hockey world, even though sports broadcasting is where he started his career.  No, it looks like people aren't so much pro-Strombo as viciously anti-Cherry (and to a lesser extent, anti-MacLean).

There are certain touchstones in Canada that derail sane, rational discussion. As in many countries, mention of anything that could conceivably have anything to do with government is like a spark to a bomb: here, it immediately brin…

For a friend: Why Are Men Arseholes?

This blog is for a good friend. She knows who she is. ---------
"You always hurt the one you love, the one you should not hurt at all;
You always take the sweetest rose, and crush it till the petals fall;
You always break the kindest heart, with a hasty word you can't recall;
So if I broke your heart last night, it's because I love you most of all."
 -- The Mills Brothers
"Each man kills the thing he loves." --Oscar Wilde
"Love of my life, you hurt me, You've  broken my heart, and now you leave me." --Queen
There are dozens of similar sentiments scattered throughout song and many that it almost seems like love and sabotage are synonyms. It's yet another of those cultural tropes I simply do not understand. Love and pain are opposites. Love is a salve for pain, and (to me, at least) the desire to inflict pain is a symptom of hatred, not love.
I'm not talking about unintentional hurts. A close, loving relationship actually…

Looking Back (II)

There are several posts I like from 2005, but only one deserves to be republished, in light of what an earthshaking effect it had on our lives.

As published April 18, 2005

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 …

Going Moldy....

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