7/29/2006

The Mask

My trip to the dentist's office this morning was the usual threeway with me, the hygienist and the good doctor. When they leave their masks on through the whole thing, it makes me feel unsexy.

And do they have to talk so much all the way through? Christ, I'll hold you afterward if you'll just shut up.

There is that cool mini sink though for quick clean ups before the getaway.

See you in six, mofos.

Boys Don't Cry

I was going to call this mix Testosteroni - The San Francisco Treat but it left a bad taste in my mouth.

Mix Time Again (in lieu of real posting or I could tell you about my dental appointment this morning? no? Okay)

Steady As She Goes - The Raconteurs
Can't Stand It - Wilco
Stacks of Money - Eagles of Death Metal
Brimful of Asha - Cornershop
Smell The Coffee - Spek
Shadow Stabbing - Cake
Cold Cold Ground - Tom Waits
Oddfellows Local 151 - R.E.M.
Whole Of The Moon - The Waterboys
Broken Drum - Beck
Leap Of Faith - Delbert McClinton

I'll have to work on this one more later, going for a swim. It's 42 degrees Celsius with the humidity. (107 .6 Fahrenheit) Whew.

When I Was A Boy

Thinking about Jane Siberry the other day started me listening to some of the other Strange Angels I enjoy from time to time. There must be extra Liz Phairemones in the air or something.

A CD that I've compiled in various incarnations for people has for cover art the blue opera diva from a film I love, The Fifth Element. The tracks on the current mix of Strange Angels goes a little something like this:

Secret - Meryn Cadell
Hello Earth - Kate Bush
Diva Dance - Fifth Element Soundtrack
Strange Angels - Laurie Anderson
Glory Box - Portishead
Song To The Siren - This Mortal Coil
Come On Home - Everything But The Girl
De Cara A La Pared - Lhasa
Body's In Trouble - Mary Margaret O'Hara
Llorando - Rebekah Del Rio

And I'm still working on it. How do I fit Liz Phair, Sarah McLachlan, Jann Arden, Anne Sofie von Otter and a dozen others on and make it work?

Warning to men - I practically grew breasts just typing the list so beware. Should I have put that up there first?

If you like the Diva Dance from Fifth Element, you might like my review of Lucia Di Lammermoor, the opera the piece comes from.

Post Traumatic Ennui

A few years ago, I lived in an apartment in a house. As it wasn't a huge place, storage was sometimes a problem. I'd thought of moving but then how would the family of dust that had come to think of the place as theirs too feel?.

Coming home from work one day, a solution was laid before me in terms I could not ignore.

Arriving at my door, I could see something was askew, right off in fact. It was the door, hanging in a peculiar way I was certain I hadn't left it. As my head dog tilted to one side and I squinted, my brain began to whirr.

I pushed through, stepped over broken glass and the explanation started to register. Books had been freed from their shelves, clothes from my closet liberated into the light and the dust was reacquainting itself with the new layout.

A crime victim, that's what I was. Some cheeky bastards had kicked my door down, taken my valuables, upended everything they could and were off to huff and puff their cares away.

The most immediate and stunning loss was my 300 or so CDs. Without so much a note, gone and never to be seen in the beautiful chaotic order I'd loved them in again. Being a ridiculous sort, I had no insurance and so, they went unreplaced in the CD format for the most part. I began to rely and still do on downloading. It's legal here you know. If I like something enough, I'll buy it fair and square.

Later, as the police officer went through the requisite motion of dusting for prints and telling me I'd never see my things again, I thought I'd tune him out with a little television, something too big for them to have carried away quickly. In a moment, I knew what indignity meant. Fuckers took my remote.

This post has been brough to you courtesy of what I'm listening right now: Crime Jazz, Music In The Second Degree.

Christmas In July

Kringlors.

The Feast of Santa Lucia
.

Kevin Spacey. Judy Davis. Dennis Leary.

Snarky and funny dialogue throughout.

My favourite Christmas movie of all time.

The Ref.

It's hot today that I'm thinking Christmas.

That's normal right?

7/27/2006

Gazpacho

Because I like saying it. And eating it. Other favourite food word currently: samosa.

*

I was asked to proofread something the other day. The person had written lone behold. I provided guidance.

Later in conversation, it was discovered that the same person thought the correct term was rod iron instead of wrought iron.

I asked her not to take my porn name in vain.

Veritum Dies Aperit

Two weeks ago, the freaky styley watch I employ for everyday use stopped ticking. That's when I reached for my revolver. Couldn't find that so I went for my backup watch. Lo and behold*, it had stopped ticking. Next up, my good watch. You know this part. I don't care what you say, I believe batteries can be impertinent.

There was a time when I couldn't function without a watch on my wrist. I'd feel naked without it, anxious but not quite twitching. I'd turn around and go back home if I'd forgotten it although this was a rare occurrence.

I've always been a bit pathological about being late so much so that I've been known to show up half an hour early and then have to kill time (even for things like Church when I was still living under one God).

Not having my watch to look at hasn't worried me as it once might have. Am I'm too lazy or cheap to get the batteries replaced? Or is it that I'm getting older and don't want to be reminded that my own clock will wind eventually wind down? Or is it something else?

Time discovers the truth.

7/26/2006

Creepy Awful Dale or Commuters Are Dull

Tomorrow is Customer Appreciation Day (CAD) at the train station I use.

There will be coffee and doughnuts (CAD) provided.

I am a CAD (asshole) because I plan on cutting in front of people repeatedly and taking their doughnuts and spilling their coffee.

Love Is Everything

I mentioned singer Jane Siberry in a comment the other day which led Coaster Punchman to post about a context I'd never seen her in. Well he told two friends and they told two friends and both of those friends happily were in my head and named Dale.

Although many seem to know Jane Siberry for a few novelty songs and contributions to soundtracks like The Crow, she's also a potent songwriter who can make your heart ache.

I've seen Jane in a few of her incarnations over the years and it's always been an education and a treat. I think that one of the strangest moments I may have shared with her was when I went to see kd lang on her Hymns of the 49th Parallel tour.

kd's album showcased interpretations of some of the songs that Canada's greatest songwriters have sewn into the cultural fabric. Two of these songs were written by Ms. Siberry. She was in the audience that evening at Roy Thomson Hall and I spied her as she made her way to her seat.

I wondered how it must feel to sit and wait for someone else to perform your work and settled on flattering and a bit jealous. I'm not sure why I felt so nervous for Jane but I did. Having seen kd perform live before, I knew on a bad day, she could tear the roof off. Both songs were done the justice they deserved and kd acknowledged Jane's presence and praised her songwriting talents.

I felt proud for Jane and just to be in the audience at all that night. The rest of the show focusing on songs by Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Ron Sexsmith, Bruce Cockburn and kd herself was brilliant and everything met with thunderous applause and cheers.

Although people widely praise kd lang and I am among them, I really don't think you should consider your opinion fully informed until you've heard her sing live. There's plenty of power in her recordings but none can quite accurately capture the unbridled power and beauty.

Love Is Everything. Indeed.

Boozy The Clown


While something like this will make me smirk, it won't last long enough for me to fork it over.

7/25/2006

Justify My Zzzz

Is it wrong to kill a man just because his cell phone rings three times disturbing your sleep on the train ride in to work? And does anybody know how to get blood out of cotton?

7/24/2006

A Tug Of War

Being a connoisseur of many things fine, I was horrified to suddenly realize that the art print hanging in my dining room looked like it belonged more in a waiting room than across from where I usually take my meals. The offending item was immediately rended from the wall and I headed for the shops.

While walking the aisles of my local art store, I struggled to remember all the many rules of choosing a suitable work of art for home di
splay. I seem to recall hearing that one should never pick something strictly on the basis of its size or its colouring as it should complement the d├ęcor and not just blend in and fill space. As for other rules, I wasn't sure.

I felt the weight of certain defeat about to weary and bow my shoulders as I arrived at the end of the last aisle with no prospects. As I was about to turn and go, I heard a sound. Looking up, there it was, a fine piece of art almost missed and speaking directly to me. And do you know what it said? Dale, look at me, am I not exactly the right size and perfect colour to match your scheme? Yes, yes you are. And so it was mine as it was always meant. I mean really, how often does one find a talking piece of art?

It was an old newspaper illustration framed and entitled A Tug of War. Pictured was a kindly gentleman, engaging in a genteel tug of w
ar with laughing children in a garden and oh look, a spirited dog is joining in on the fun. What a sweet scene, adorable and happy children, a frisky pup. What fun.

A day that had begun under a dark cloud brightened with the blush of satisfaction over a completeness I hadn't expected. With my treasure freshly coaxed to it’s new place of distinction, I rewarded myself with a little roast duck and a Burgundian pinot noir. As I relaxed and savoured the earthy flavours and the moment, from som
ewhere near by, I heard a dog bark.

Bob's Your Uncle

Mine's named Patrick. Only he died years ago.

7/23/2006

Fun Searches That Bring The World To Me

Survey of Site Meter Stats Says:

lurning guitar notes


"ted the handyman"


chicago spanking club dale

homespun honey

beard types wagner

"My brother" "fought"

laboured breathing passion

Thanks strange world.

Three Burials, Two Coincidences and a Big Lummox

Three Burials

After reading a good review of The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada over at Big Suck Loser written by Creepy, I thought I'd give the film a look.

Westerns have always interested me whether they're set in the wild west, in space or in the present day as this film is. They're not my favourite genre but I do enjoy a good morality tale and Westerns serve this function very well.

This was Tommy Lee Jones' directorial debut and he stars alongside Barry Pepper, Dwight Yoakam, Julio Cedillo, January Jones, Melissa Leo and Levon Helm. The remarkable thing about the solid performances on display is that everyone's so natural and honest that it doesn't look like anyone's acting.

This is a beautifully shot film filled with loneliness and shaded with some of the darker tones of humanity. In the end, enough redemptive light is shone round to allow for a satisfying conclusion and to allow some of the characters a chance to transcend their lots in life. This is all managed subtly and without a trumpeting score.

The premise of the film is that a Mexican illegal working in Texas named Melquiades Estrada is gunned down. His Gringo friend and co-worker Pete (TLJ) sets about returning Mel's body to his family with the unwilling assistance of the man who shot him to begin with.

Along the way and through the effective use of flashbacks, we learn more about the characters and how they came to be in their current predicaments. The slow pacing of the movie gives the characters and the audience time to think, something that's not generally on offer these days.

I'd recommend the film if you like Tommy Lee Jones, Westerns or if you just like saying Melquiades Estrada.

Two Coincidences

A few days ago, I was talking with some friends about those wallpaper murals people used to have. I had mentioned a sunset mural that a neighbor had in their kitchen (of all places). In a scene in the film, two of the characters are dancing in front of the same mural I was talking about.

Not very long ago, I titled a post The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down. This was in relation to Dixie Lee fried chicken and a poorly painted sign. I probably had the song title still in my head having recently watched the Martin Scorsese film The Last Waltz starring The Band. In the film, drummer and singer Levon Helm sings that song. He was in The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. I suppose saying man he's aged is a bit ridiculous considering the time that's passed.

and a

Lively Rivalry

I enjoyed thumbing through some TIME magazines in spare moments over the weekend.

The July 10, 2006 issue had an article by Jeffrey Kluger about the impact your siblings have on who you turn out to be. This interested me as I've got a ton of the damned things you know.

Some of the points dealt with how siblings of the opposite sex can affect whom you marry, how not being the favourite might work to your advantage and why your siblings might or might not be your best role model.

The tastiest read for me was about the psychological phenomenon called de-identification. This is a process that comes into play when siblings decide whether to pattern themselves on or differentiate themselves from their siblings. Through this process, a sibling can make choices after observing other siblings engaging in risky behaviours or dangerous habits such as substance abuse.

Without engaging in too much defaming, to my many siblings I would just like to offer a heartfelt thank you. I successfully de-identified and didn't even know it.

7/22/2006

Now With 100% More Thievery

I borrowed this fun item from Jen over at Casual Slack. It'll tell you who you were in a past life.

If you know your birthdate and have a mere few seconds, you can do it. Go.

Me? Not that you asked but:
Click to enlarge your knowledge of me and where I came from.

7/21/2006

Friday I'm In Love

After commenting on the great comedy series Little Britain, Ziggy suggested I check out The Catherine Tate Show and after the little I've seen, I'm primed for more hilarity.

The Am I bovvered? girl, the cockney granny and Ally all caused that magical thing to occur where I find myself laughing out loud. I don't do that for just anyone. I'm looking forward to seeing more and plan to devote some time this weekend to doing just that.

Catherine, will you marry me?

Thanks for the great recommendation Ziggy!

While on topic of British comedy, why do the Brits seem to know how to do a series so well?

With a few exceptions, they make a great show, do a few short seasons and then move on to something else. What an ideal approach -- make some great shows and leave viewers with good memories and not the pain of watching something once considered great fall into decline. The shallow end in the pool of mediocrity is deep enough already isn't it?

Lou and Andy -- don't forget to floss and brush at least once in a while. Good bile.

7/20/2006

Idioteque

Someone I know used to work for a small town newspaper. The boss was a twerp who tried at every turn to ingratiate himself with the staff. They in turn found him of little use.

While most everyone was at lunch one afternoon, he took a call for a last minute ad to go in the following day's edition. A shoe store wanted an ad highlighting their big sale and wanted mention of their special senior's discount.

Mr. Bossman rolled his sleeves up and did the typesetting for the ad himself and crowed the rest of the afternoon to everyone about his fine work.

Although the proofreader saw it, he didn't say anything. The ad ran:

Big Sale On All Shoes!
Seniors 10% Discocunt

Devil's Haircut

Titling your last post See Myself In The Pouring Rain can have ramifications.

I'm soaked. But I like it.

It starts with a test drop of rain hitting the train window and someone tutting. That's all the worker raindrops need to hear to start them covering the window in patterns that spell get ready.

The people made entirely of sugar fondle their umbrellas and look extra pleased with themselves for making good early morning decisions.

Me? I'm not so worried. If it's not raining when I leave in the morning, I'm not carrying anything I don't have to. If I get wet on the way home, I'm okay with that.

Halfway home, I'm soaked and breathing in the lovely smell of summer rain. It's like a haughty mixture of relief and hope tempered with grass like it smells at no other time.

Cars can splash at me and I keep on grinning and going. I'm still smiling by the time I get home.

Chelene and her pals know what I'm talking about.

See Myself In The Pouring Rain

I keep seeing this guy who looks like Moby. I’m just walking and there he is, a guy who looks like Moby. Should I say something?

Edit -- 24Jul2006 -- no sign of Moby. Has he moved back home or has he just heard all of your whispers?

7/19/2006

Inside The Blogger's Studio

Arbiter elegantiarum Bella Rossa has done what they said was not possible! She made a tedious smart ass like me seem a little less tedious.

Bella has an ongoing series of interviews with bloggers and I was really pleased that she asked me to join in the fun.

I’m not sure how she does it but Ms. Rossa maintains her own blog, video blogs on occasion and almost single-handedly runs Chicago through the offices of The Bastion. But aren’t you tired of reading about her overachieving greatness?

Now that Chicago’s safe, read the interview.

7/18/2006

The Lent Trap

Each year at Lent, my mother would expect us all to give up some food item or treat so we could play the suffer along at home game with Jesus. This expectation had little to do with the way I felt, so I ignored it.

In order to drive home the point, Mom sometimes taped up a picture of a malnourished child on the front of the fridge. This act did little to quell my urge to eat regularly.

One day, the following exchange took place as I opened the fridge.

Mom: Didn't you see that picture I put on the front of the fridge? There are thousands and thousands of starving children in Africa.

Dale : Name one.

I'm not sure whether I'd heard that somewhere else or if maybe Biff was putting words in my mouth but I never got lectured at Lent again.

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

When I was visiting the home province, I made sure that I stopped in to see my friend Dixie Lee.

Dixie Lee is a small(ish) chain of fried chicken restaurants founded in Canada that makes delicious chicken with 9 selected spices.

The usual Dixie Lee sign shows the lovely Dixie Lee looking for all the world like an Asian French maid.

Apart from the great taste, another wonderful selling feature is that the chicken they use actually seems to be chicken. You can identify the small to medium sized pieces as parts from a, gasp, chicken.

My sister told me about a location I should visit not only for the fine chicken but for the sign. The store sign is fine but the one in the parking lot finds Dixie looking like maybe she's been working a bit too much overtime.

Sis refers to her in this incarnation as Picasso Dixie.

Coming To A Head

Some people call them pimples or zits which I think is disrespectful.

I think that when you've got something about half the size of your own head developing on the end of your nose, it deserves a proper name.

What if it's your twin that never fully developed? Ever think about that?

Submissions for a naming ceremony are being accepted.

7/17/2006

This Storm Is Called Progress

While I'm at the computer, I generally allow all sorts of music to shuffle past my ears and I enjoy it and keep doing what I'm doing.


When a Laurie Anderson song comes on, it's a bit different. I tend to stop and listen. I sometimes hear things that sound new and that I don't recall hearing before.




Tonight, A song called The Dream Before from her Strange AngelsCD came on and made me laugh and feel a little sad. I had to go back and listen to the entire CD. All hail Laurie.

Oscillate Wildly

At the end of May or early June, I read a piece that Holly wrote about the film New York Doll. She very eloquently described the documentary and the effect it had on her.

I didn’t know anything about New York Dolls bass player Arthur ‘Killer’ Kane, or much about the band either and so I put it on my mental to see list. I stayed up too late last night watching it but I’m glad I did.

Long after the band had broken up and several forms of despair had visited him, Arthur suffered a fall from grace that landed him smack on his head sending him to hospital.

While recovering and hoping for someone to answer his call, the Mormons happened to be home and picked up the phone. They took him in and before long, he was quietly serving in their family records office.

One day, a Dolls reunion show was arranged by none other than Morrissey, well known for his Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows persona. I love Morrissey and The Smiths but am now convinced that he can only speak with his head canted to one side . As he spoke with a great deal of reverence and affection for Arthur and the band, I did occasionally tilt my head to listen during some of his interview portions.

The reunion show gave Arthur the opportunity he needed for some reconciliation, healing and perspective.

Along the way, there were interview clips from musicians, fans, writers, Church co-workers and friends, and Arthur’s ex-wife. They helped paint an interesting portrait. That's all I'll say in case you'd like to see it.


My own emotional reaction to the end of the film was magnified as my brain quickly placed the opening strains of the song Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want into context. By the time Morrissey had sung the first few lyrics, I was a mess.

7/16/2006

Yertle

Yesterday I visited a friend's cottage. The city air has been so charged with humidity lately that the offer of heading toward some cleaner country heat was a welcome one.

Once there, it was bathing suits and jumping into the river from the dock to wash the city away. After the intermediate splashing and swimming, I planned to sit on the dock and let the sun get to first base with me.

When it was time to get out, I swam until I hit waist high water. I started to wade back the rest of the way when I saw something moving to the right of me. There are often fish that will come to say hello when you're in the shallow water but this was something else.

I stopped and it came toward me and surfaced. A turtle. It was about 5 inches long. One quick look at me and it dove back under. The first thing I thought of was Jerri Blank's turtle Shelly. The next thing I thought of was the turtle I once had as a pet years earlier.

Shortly after my parents had traded me for a red paper clip at the age of 5, they realized their folly and bartered for my return. It had come to them that they could probably get all sorts of office supplies for me if they just held out. Once I had rejoined the family already in progress, they decided they'd have to work fast because I wouldn't be little and cute forever.

To buy my silence, I was given a pet turtle. It was a wee little thing at maybe 2 or 3 inches long and I loved to watch it swim and make it's way around the little plastic bowl.

The clear bowl was a perfect habitat complete with molded steps for climbing and a palm tree for lazing under. With my little can of turtle food, I felt very adult and responsible for the welfare of another living being. Until I forgot about it. I was 5. Don't judge me.

One day, I realized that I hadn't seen the little fella in a few days and asked mom what had happened to it.

Your sister took him to school to show and tell last week.

Show and tell? What's that?

Never mind. You'll get it back later.

I anxiously waited for sis to come home that afternoon. The moment she got in, I asked where my turtle was.

Oh, well, um, you see, he kind of won't be back since there was a bit of a problem at school.

What? What do you mean? What kind of problem?

Well, I left him there over the weekend and forgot to feed him so he kinda died. And then we dissected him in biology class.

Died? What's that? What do you mean bispected him? What's that?

Never mind. You'll get him back when you're older but only if you're really good and don't mention him again.

I never said a word. I never mentioned him again. I said my prayers every night and dreamed of the day we'd be reunited.

Eventually I was traded to a circus family who forced me to do odd jobs like trimming the bearded lady's toenails and making sure the ashtrays didn't overflow. I never said a word but those were some nasty toenails.

One day, I was surprised to learn that the bearded lady had a cottage. She invited a bunch of us to come over for a swim and while there, I spied a turtle in the water. I could tell by the way it poked it's head out of the water that it was the same turtle I'd been missing all these years. He was all grown up and letting me know that he was okay.

I smiled and realized that all those years of waiting and being good had been worth it.

That night I had the best soup I'd ever eaten.

7/15/2006

Urgh!

Wise and all seeing Shroom-Monkey commented about the music film Urgh! A Music War which I had never seen. She mentioned it in the comments of a post I did about The Nomi Song.

Because I have no desire to anger the Monkey, I searched until I got my grubby little paws on the film and can now say

Exclamation Marks

Pere Ubu
Gang of Four
Fleshtones
Klaus Nomi
The Cramps
Joan Jett
Gary Numan
Dead Kennedys
Echo & The Bunnymen
XTC
Oingo Boingo
UB40
X

Question Marks

Skafish
Devo
Splodgeness Abounds
John Otway

The extreme head bobbing of the audience during the Oingo Boingo song was very motivating. They were a pretty tight group that I didn't pay much attention to at the time. All hail the conquering Elfman.

A moment of heaven - XTC singing 'new song' Respectable Street. This was followed by Klaus Nomi, pretty wild.

Gary Numan is in the film spinning around on stage in a little cardboard car with headlights and he looks pretty serious about it.

Did you know that people body surfed to the Go-Gos? Well, one girl did. I saw her.

I remember being too scared to go to see The Cramps. If I had, I could have thrilled to the excellent deadpan looks on the guitar girls' faces while Lux Interior did his deep throat microphone routine.

What can I say? It was an interesting but uneven document of the new wave with some really cool performances and some huh? moments held together with some editing slapdashery.

Bookended by performances by The Police, on a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate it fun.

7/14/2006

Drama In Real Life: Keeping Your Guard Up

I was at work one warm summer day. Looking back, I can’t say that there was anything much different that day except perhaps my happy focus on the Choco-Chiller drink I’d just bought from a local purveyor of fine beverages.

I was on my way back to work and got into an elevator. The doors started to close and I was ready for the long lonely rise to the top.

Just then, I saw someone approaching the elevator and being a decent sort, I waved my arm between the doors to stop them from closing. Nobody could have predicted what was to happen next.

It worked. My waving my arm between the doors worked so well that the doors stopped dead in their tracks and remained stuck a few inches ajar. I was trapped!

The stuck doors caused an alarm to sound. This woke the slumbering and never vigilant lobby security officer who ambled over to assess the situation. He could see me through the space in the doors.

You okay in there?
Yes.
You sure?
Yes.
You're not feeling panic or anything are you?
Slurp. I sought solace in my icy drink.

A second security officer arrived on the scene.

Sir, are you alright in there?
Yes.
Did you try pushing the open door button?
Yes.
Okay sir, I need you to try that again.
Okay. Slurp.

Nothing happened. They turned around and conferred for a few seconds. Sleepy turned around and said we're going to call for elevator maintenance. They started to walk away.

I set my chiller down and pried the doors apart. I picked my chiller up and got in the other elevator and went back to work.

I hope that by telling my story, I can help you avoid the same trauma I felt. I beseech you, never drink a Choco-Chiller too fast. It will freeze the fuck out of your brain and make your face hurt.

Life On The RD List

I have a confession.

I have a subscription to the Reader’s Digest. Yes, it’s a venerable institution and yes, I loved it as a child but I’d forgotten all about it until my mother ran out of ideas on what colours and sizes I don’t wear and sent it as a Christmas gift.

Most people hide their porn, I hide the RD. I’m not sure why but sometimes I feel really dirty reading it. The porn (on the other hand) is scattered on the coffee table in a cross formation for the Church singles nights I hold in my living room. They’re becoming really popular.

One of the best sections in the Digest was always Drama In Real Life. For a time, it was a stirring series with real danger! confronting real people! but then, it seemed to degenerate into more mundane emergencies like Drama In Real Life: Trapped In The Bathroom. That bored me and I started seeing other magazines.

I was flipping through the latest (I didn’t subscribe, my Mother did) issue having already completed It Pays To Enrich Your Word Power when I came across a story on something that held no interest for me.

The interesting part was that at the top of every few pages of this lengthy story, it said Bonus Read.

What made this a bonus read? Were the editors giving us a little something extra for nothing? A free gift with purchase? Had there been heated discussion about how much reading a Reader’s Digest reader could digest? No explanation.


I’m writing a letter.

7/13/2006

Look To The Skies Or The Site Meter

"You don't Nomi"

Large Chest Hair Shavers for stress tests

home remedies to make diamonds shine

a Fine Balance germaine greer

alla rampa restaurant in rome,italy

Cross Eyed And Painless

This morning, something hit me in the eye while not walking past that guard rail thing on my way to work. Anything can emerge from the fog banks that early in the day so I just rubbed my eye and soldiered on.

Lucky for me, I’m always stoned and keep a skid of Visine near my desk at work. I headed for the bathroom to spy with my inflamed eye what the damage was.

It was a bug. A dead bug laying peacefully on the little red ball thing at the corner of my eye.

I felt special. To be chosen of all other beings in the universe for this poor little thing to spend his last seconds with.

Then I felt dirty. And I’ve been washing my eye out for an hour. Fucking bugs. Tasty though.

7/12/2006

Whatevah

David Walliams of Little Britain fame has swum the English Channel and in good time too.

Let’s hope he did it in a Laaaadylike manner.

If you don’t know Little Britain, you might not care.

Not my fault.

Good bile.

Reviews of Concerts I Have Never Seen

I heard a glowing review of the Crosby Stills Nash & Young show held in Toronto last night from a co-worker this morning.

She said they rocked the Air Canada Centre and gave the crowd good value for the money. Especially her money since she scammed the tickets for free.

The first half of the show was geared toward anti-war anti-Bush sentiment and paid tribute to the fallen.

The second half of the show was more hit oriented and got the crowd really revved up.

Everyone was busy rocking out to Rockin’ In The Free World and nobody harder than Stephen Stills apparently.


He pitched forward and fell down still playing and stayed down for the duration of the song. Crew members tried to help him up and he just motioned them away and kept floor rocking.

They finished out the song, brought him a towel as he had cut his hand and then the band left the stage.


Someone then came out and announced that the show was over as Stephen needed to tend to his arm. Having no encore bummed the crowd a little as it would have me.

The only good to come out of this is that it freed up David Crosby to offer his impregnation services to every willing woman in the stadium.

7/11/2006

Letting My Guard Down

I was walking by the parking lot entrance on my way to work. It’s guarded by one of these things.

As I approached, it went up. So I asked it what the fuck it was trying to say. No answer.

I wasn’t sure how to take that either. I kept walking.

Just Say Nay To Neighbors

Next door to me lived a lovely retired couple.

She was in charge of groceries and gardening while he cut the grass and swept the driveway.

I loved them because they never engaged me in anything more taxing than a smile or hello. One day, they waved goodbye on their way to retiring to a condo.

The person who bought the house decided to turn it into a rental property.


A group of people of assorted shapes and sizes moved in. Their first act was to cover the front of the house with satellite dishes.

Then they began to use the grass median between our two driveways as a turning lane for their used car collection.

One particularly rainy day, I came home to find mud spattered all over the side of my house and deep tire ruts in the grass.

Rather than engage in direct warfare, I divided the grassy knoll by putting a fence down the middle.

Just when they were getting the hang of using just their driveway, they moved. Satellite dishes and all.

The next group to move in was a family of four. He drove a big truck and
was rarely home. She did more laundry than was possible for a family of four to have and hung it all out in the backyard to dry.


The back yard looked like an ad for a white sale that was never going to end. Rows and rows of sheets and the like. I come from a large family and we did not have this much laundry.

They had two small children. I’d occasionally see them over the fence playing in their backyard while I sat out on my deck. Thing 1, a girl, seemed shy and simply stared. Thing 2, the more outgoing boy, would jump up and down waving his arms yelling Hey Mister Hey Mister Hey Mister Hey Mister until I acknowledged him. Then he’d start yelling Hi Hi Hi Hi until I went back in the house or threw something at him.

One day, the white sale finally ended and they were gone.


My assessment of this latest group has been more meandering. It seems as though the main adult would be a very blonde former pole dancer who is still on the bottle. (Of peroxide)

A guy who looks like he might be a handyman who pulls up every now and then in a pick up truck and spends quality time deep tongue kissing her on the driveway, in the front window and sometimes in the back yard. She seems friendly.

There are occasionally two younger women who are exceedingly pleasant and always say hi. I say hi back.

There are also occasionally about five or six young men throwing a football or punches at each other in the back yard. A few weeks ago, they were having bare knuckle boxing matches and cheering each other on very quietly. I think they’re taking that first rule of Fight Club too literally.

I’m pretty sure either I’m on some sort of Truman Show reality thing or there's one being filmed all around me.

This post was a result of reading Berry's post on her neighbors. While she seems to have become something of an expert on taking out the trash, I just like to rush to judgement and comment on it.

7/10/2006

What's The Matter Here?

Once again I’ve been beaten to it by the good people at Coaster Punchman’s World.

Spurred by a post done by Old Lady on the issue of spanking came the hilarious commentary and a suggestion for returning corporal punishment back to where it belongs – in school.

Corporal Punishment, Coaster Punchman, same initials. Coincidence? Probably.

There were some pretty freaky and violent teachers in charge when I was in junior and senior high school. But just in case I dreamed the whole thing, I got corroboration from my two nearest in age siblings while reminiscing last week.

Our art teacher used to hit people with a broom if they acted out, soft brush side for minor infractions, hard wooden end for bigger crimes. So, I suppose, some of us suffered for his art.

The math teacher had a yard stick that he introduced to each new class at the beginning of the year. It had a name. For emphasis at times he would slam it down on someone’s desk and get everyone’s undivided attention. He eventually broke it over someone’s back and had to get a new yardstick.

History repeats itself. A lot. Both teachers of this subject were stoned most of the time and let us cheat if we wanted to by leaving the room frequently. Plus we could supply them with pot for better marks.

One of the other teachers (can’t remember the subject) would take you outside the classroom and slam you into lockers repeatedly yelling Why? Why? Why? if you showed up homework unfinished or dog eaten.

How did they get away with this stuff? Where were our parents? We’re not sure but we think they were probably home thanking their lucky stars they didn’t have to do anything more than feed us and lock us out from time to time.

The teachers were definitely on to something though. That fear took me to dizzying heights of straight C’s and D’s during most of my academic career.

Oh those lazy, hazy crazy days of after school, you’re dead, notes and whispers of pass it on and lurning. Don’t miss it one bit.




Rona Morgenstern

Yesterday I went to Home Depot because they had something I wanted, specifically, carpeting. All I needed was enough to say, roll a body in.

The place was teeming with life forms the way Home Depot always is.

What is it about seeing orange aproned staff standing around counting screws, speaking authoritatively about power tools and helping people find ways to repair their broken dreams that makes me shiver? I put on a sweater and made my way to the flooring section.

There, one employee was filling out paperwork and talking to a customer. I intruded as politely as possible asked if there was anyone else who could help me as the carpet needed to be cut from a roll. He told me that he was working alone and if I could wait 20 minutes or so, he’d be glad to help me.

Not being blessed with an abundance of patience, I knew I’d have trouble waiting that long. Just then, as though he knew my blog post needed a snake, I spied another staffer slithering by. Eating an apple.

I begged him to help me and even offered to help him figure out how the measuring tape hanging from his belt worked if required.

He stared at me blankly for a moment and said Nope, gotta talk to that guy over there, he’s the only one who can do it. With that, he continued on his way shedding his cares and rankling my core. The Depot is not my friend.

On my way out, I remembered that there’s a Rona store about a 20 minute drive away. A little inconvenient but I knew they’d have the same general merchandise. So I went.

I could hear music coming from the store after the chariot was parked. As I neared the entrance, I could make out a few lyrics. It was a song written exclusively for me featuring all the things that make me happy. Nice touch Rona!

Once inside, I was handed a cone filled with ice cream in your favourite flavour and eased into a comfortable chair. Well groomed and intentioned staff gently strummed small harps they’d tuck back under their wings when they weren’t offering me appetizers and incredible savings.

A carpet sample was unfurled in just the dimensions and style I needed and after nodding my approval it was rolled up and brought to my vehicle. They urged me to stay but I couldn't. I had unfinished business to tend to but promised to come back soon.

They made me feel special and loved and less like a criminal than I had a right to feel.

I heart you Rona.

7/09/2006

Morning Sarge

Like many, I'm really looking forward to work tomorrow morning.

Oh, I'm at my best during the first few hours of any given Monday.

I sort of envision tomorrow unfolding thusly - people saying things to me and expecting me to reply.

I will but it may be more along the lines of something like this:

Current Project

I'm working on how precisely to document a quietish week and make it sound sexy.

Don't think it can be done? You just wait.

Until I've figured out how to do that.

True Confessions

You know when I said I really loved that potato salad? I lied. I only liked it as a friend.

Horton Hears A Huh?

This is how my day started. Looking for Tim in a strange town.

The big sign was roadside. We drove into the parking lot. We searched for the drive thru. This is what we found. They're building the store still but people cannot wait. I could not wait.

The coffee was at least as good as coffee I've had not made in a tractor trailer. They didn't have the doughnuts I wanted. They said it had been a busy morning.

For those of you not in Canada, Tim Horton's is a chain of coffee and doughnut shops that is successful. Successful enough to exist in this form occasionally.