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Showing posts from November, 2014

Honey, Who Shrunk The Honey?

One year ago today, my wife Eva underwent bariatric surgery.

What a year it has been.

The positives first. She's gone from being highly insulin dependant to control her diabetes to taking a pill to prevent it. That change, by the way, was essentially immediate.  It may not have lengthened her life, but it lengthened her healthy life considerably.

Her hormones have largely stabilized. This means, in turn, that

she no longer suffers from hyperhydrosis (layman term: sweats like a pig for no discernible reason)related: her temperature control, for the time being, at least, is much closer to that of a normal human woman. In other words, she gets cold. For the first time in her adult life. Last week she actually apologized to me, saying "if what I'm feeling right now is anything like what I've been putting you through for the last fifteen winters, I am deeply, deeply sorry"She no longer suffers from PMS--which she did, even after a hysterectomy, because the P didn't…

Hey Jian...Was It Worth It?

I'm probably legally required to state that Jian Ghomeshi is innocent of all charges against him until proven guilty in a court of blah blah blah.

In certain particularly heinous cases, the accused documents his crimes.  I'm thinking here of Paul Bernardo, who videotaped his.  Ghomeshi's not playing in that league, of course, but he did show a video of one of his 'conquests' to his bosses, of all people, in some kind of insane effort to prove that his actions were consensual. Just in case it's not clear: Ghomeshi kept a video on his phone depicting serious bruises he had inflicted and texts that mentioned a cracked rib. Who's stupid enough to record activities like that? It'd be like--well, can you imagine if the mayor of, say, Toronto allowed himself to be videotaped smoking crack cocaine?

Even more insanely, Ghomeshi's attempts to reframe his activities for public consumption seemed  to work for a while. Linden MacIntyre, in his  attack against th…

FERGUSON, MO: Let the games begin

There's a first time for everything. I actually agree with Chris Rock.

The most racist comic I know--are any of his routines about something other than race? --tweeted this a few minutes ago:

Doesn't take 100 days to decide if murder is a crime. It takes 100 days to figure out how to tell people it isn't.

It's almost like a game, isn't it? "How To Get Away With Murder."

Yes, several witnesses changed their testimony, saw things and then didn't see them, didn't see things and then saw them. That's the nature of eyewitness testimony: so unreliable in stressful situations as to be almost useless.


There are several facts that did not change throughout the trial: that Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown for the grievous offence of walking down the middle of a street. That Michael Brown was unarmed. That he was shot at least six times, and at least one of those shots, perhaps many more than just one, came well after Brown could have …

Recurring Nightmare

Here's another thing we say to the surviving spouse. "I'm keeping him in my thoughts."
Where exactly in your thoughts does he fit? In between "my ass hurts from this chair" and "let's fuck the waitress"? What are your priorities? --George Carlin (RIP)--"Things We Say When People Die"
I wake up dead. I've had this dream a good dozen times since I was a little kid, maybe more often than that. I wake up dead. It's hard to explain how I know I'm dead even before my field of vision starts expanding to impossible angles, but I know. Probably the same way I know I'm alive in the mornings before I open my eyes.
Like a helicopter lifting off, my perspective starts whirling slowly around the room. The details are always different. Sometimes I look down at my body and think it almost looks asleep. Other times I've been savagely murdered and hacked, almost minced. Sometimes there's just a newspaper article…

An Unjust Word

'A kiss is just a kiss
A sigh is just a sigh
The fundamental things apply
As Time Goes By'
--"As Time Goes By", Herman Hupfeld (1931)


You know what's an unjust word? "Just".

I'll start off here with a big one: "just friends".

Oh, the pain of that phrase when you're a love-besotted teenager and you've convinced yourself the essence of love involves, well, spilling your essence. "Just friends" means you have to console her every time she's dumped by men who aren't worth a booger (or who aren't worth one of your boogers). "Just friends" means that at some point she's going to look at you, probably crying as she does it, and say something like "why can't men be more like you?" Because, you know, you're not actually a man, just a friend.

You grow up, you find love--it's usually hiding in plain sight in those people you call "just friends"--and you realize one d…

Change My Mind, Please:

1) That we need easier access to alcohol in this province.

I need my mind changed on this because I don't think we do...and for thinking that way I'm treated like pond scum.

I think people have absolutely no trouble procuring more than enough alcohol. The cops are called to one street in our fair city an average of more than once a night. Alcohol has something to do with the vast majority of those calls. And while I understand that there are in fact people out there who can drink booze without turning into raving lunatics, the sheer number of people who do turn into raving lunatics makes me very leery of loosening restrictions on alcohol in any way.
"But it will be cheaper and there will be better selection!" Cheaper, yeah, just what we need. More selection, ha. How many different kinds of drunk are there, anyway?
"Keeping it restricted hasn't stopped people from drinking to excess, so we might as well make it cheaper and easier to get." Yeah. Restric…

Does A One-Eyed Trouser Snake Make a Man?

...or get a man made, so to speak?

Surprisingly serious question.

NSFW, adult themes, obviously

If you know me at all--if you even know of me--you can probably figure out I'm not the sort of man who would ever even dream of putting a picture of my penis on the internet. Under any circumstances. Ever. I wouldn't email such a thing to Eva; I certainly wouldn't send one to a stranger.

Sources, multiple sources, suggest that this is yet another way I'm something of a rare breed. I don't mean to exalt myself here, or anywhere when I say that. I'm just friggin' human, and I am not my penis.

I get offended enough on behalf of women whenever I hear of yet another 'dick-pic' thrusting around in some unsuspecting inbox. And yes, the crass innuendo is completely intentional: it's obvious that a "box" serves as a useful metaphor, as far as all these men are concerned. A box with holes in it. A receptacle.

What moved my disgust to a whole other leve…

Do Clothes Make The Man?

Story here: short version is a male TV anchor in Australia wore the same suit on air every day for a year without anyone noticing, even as his female co-host was routinely praised or criticized for her outfits.

"You look a bit like Sheldon Cooper with your clothing choices today," said my darling wife on her way out the door.
True to form, I failed to see the problem. I was (and am) clad in a pair of what are for some reason called pajama pants (I don't know any--well, adult male--who wears anything more than maybe underwear to bed) and a sweater. Black and grey all around, what's the issue here? I had no plans to go anywhere.

I know better if I'm going someplace...I'll wear jeans in good repair at the very least...but I'll do it grudgingly. It's not like I'll complain to anyone other than the inside of my own head, but I simply do not appreciate most clothing. My sole criterion for clothing is this: is it comfortable? If yes, add to cart. If not,…

My Life's Lesser -- And Greater -- Joys

That slow dawning of consciousness, wrapped in layered blankets against the chill of the room, with a cat purring away to itself in the nest it has made at my knees.Sometimes, I intentionally wake up just so I can slide blissfully back down into sleep.Getting up before the sun and seeing it safe into the world for another day.Sleeping in (but not too late, else the day is shot before it starts).The shower. It sounds so dirty--hot and wet and dark and steamy--and makes me feel so clean.The first use of a freshly laundered towel. How it slurps the shower residues off me from the top of my head to my knees.How Tux tries to dry off the rest of me -- with his tongue.The donning of clothes, especially comfy clothes, and especially especially new socks.The Giving Of The Things to the Tux. Never have I seen such an old dog act so much like a puppy as when Tux knows his Cheese and his Biscuit is coming.That first shot of coffee. It's a shower for the inside.Going to work. Take it from some…

...But Many Are

My previous entry rubbed some folks the wrong way, and so I would like to clarify my thoughts on this most somber of sunny days. Remembrance Day, Armistice Day, Veterans' Day, call it what you will. It matters.

Several times at school and many times at work, I was the one asked to give the announcement at the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month. I've read "In Flanders Fields"  for an audience on several Remembrance Days, and I make a point of reading (when I can), "Dulce et Decorum Est", linked in the last blog, as well. It conveys, as few other works in my experience can, the horrors of war and the birth of a global cynicism that has deadened our society.

I don't have any direct link to the military in my family, but my father raised me to respect service, and I do.

One friend of mine gently chided me yesterday for what she perceived as criticism of the uniform and what it stands for. She feels very strong that the choice to join th…

All Soldiers Are Not Heroes

It's the lead up to Armistice Day (which got renamed "Remembrance Day" because...well, because as a species, we seem to suck at remembering).

"Aye, young Willie McBride, I can't help wonder why--
Did those that lie here know why did they die?
And did they believe when they answered the call,
Did they really believe that this war would end wars?

For the sorrow, the suffering, the glory, the pain,
the killing and dying was all done in vain!
For young Willie McBride, it all happened again
And again and again and again and again..."

("The Green Fields of France",  Eric Bogle, as sung by John McDermott)

That whole song is worth listening to, incidentally. Very much so.

Salon magazine obviously thought this would be a good time to drop a bomb of their own...and they're getting an incredible amount of blowback online for it. Yet I feel there's a great deal of truth in this linked article, and it should be read and digested not just by the doves who will …

Sex and Relationship Advice, Ken-style

Wow, so many things that pricked my blogmeter today. Eeny-meeny-miney-this one.

12 Insanely Bad Pieces Of Sex and Relationship Advice
Okay, now, see, quite a few of these really are truly insanely bad. Others are not bad at all...and one of the things on this list I dole out myself all the time, so I feel like I'd better qualify it.
Yup. Insanely bad advice. Luckily, not so common any more, but you'll still find it floating around. It usually comes from conservative folks that feel they've sinned somehow by divorcing. One Christian friend of mine rationalizes her "sinful divorce" as follows: we were never really married. Now, there are obvious traps in thinking this way, but in her case...she's right. The relationship was not anything remotely resembling a healthy marriage, irrespective of faith, and it was not a healthy environment for children to live in.  Don't stay together for the sake of the children. I'm a child of…

Ken's Mind Is Rotated Ninety Degrees From Reality

I think in words. That has upsides and downsides.
 The biggest upside is that I can use my words to solve (or at least ameliorate) issues. I often forget that this is a skill that many humans lack. I'll hear about people having relationship problems, say, and I'll ask, well, when you talked to him about this, what did he say?  "Oh, I haven't talked to him. He's oblivious." He's oblivious because you haven't talked to him! At that point I have to assume that whatever the problem is, it's accepted within the relationship, and back away slowly, wondering to myself why it is that communication seems to be so difficult for so many people. Open your mouth, words spill out. Doesn't matter if they're the wrong words--at least you have something to edit. The alternative is to accept things as they are. That works, sometimes..but it shouldn't have to work all of the time.
Because we communicate with words, my facility with words makes me look in…

"You're Attracted To Damaged People, Aren't You?"

"You're attracted to damaged people, aren't you?"

I bristled when I first heard that question...actually kind of recoiled. It felt like an insult, like I had bad taste in people or something, like I'm doing something wrong.

It came from Eva, and when she saw my reaction, she hastened to tell me it wasn't an insult at all. Rather, she meant that I was attracted to depth (in which demons can hide); wisdom (often hard-won); and strength (which often comes from, and with, battle scars). And I thought yes, that's me in a nutshell.

"You're real and that's hard to find. There's no plastic in your world."

This statement, a day later from someone else, felt much more like a compliment, especially since it was coupled with "You could teach a lot of people how to feel. The problem with today's society is that we don't feel anymore, we're too busy to feel."

That was felt good to hear.  Like I'm doing something right. But…

Looking At The World Through Polyamorous Glasses

My cousin posted this on Facebook last night.

It got me thinking.As usual, my first thought was musical: David Wilcox's When You Mistreat Her. But then, again as usual, I began to think my own thoughts, and they veered off to predictable places.


The more I looked at this, the more it bothered me. Like pretty much everything else in our culture, it's heterosexist, for one thing. Yeah, I'm straight, but it's one of those thought experiments I like to perform every now and again. Listen to popular music and ask yourself how much of it speaks to gay people. Not a whole hell of a lot of it. Quite a bit of it pretends gays don't even exist. "The Game Of Love" (Wayne Fontana, 1965, later covered by a multitude) is a prime example.

"The purpose of a man is to love a woman,
The purpose of a woman is to love a man..."

Imagine being gay and hearing that. Kind of annoying. Imagine hearing that message and variants of it every time you turned on …