Archive for October, 2008|Monthly archive page

Respects

Friday, October 31st, 2008

My brother picked me up first thing this morning and we drove down to my uncle’s memorial service. My brother was only 9 or so when my parents split, and since I went to live with my father and he lived with my mother, we kind of didn’t “grow up” together. We’ve never lived in the same city since, so despite the reason, it was kind of nice to have some hours alone together to talk and laugh about musical taste, and to revel in his new son who’ll be 3 weeks old this Sunday.

The service was very nice – my cousins spoke well about their father and there was humour and tears in equal measure, which I’m sure my uncle would appreciate. And the people I saw – many I hadn’t seen in 20 years or so. People whose childish faces I recognized in their adult form. People who brought back memories from the 70s and 80s.

A tough morning and a sad reason to see old friends of the family, but oddly uplifting.

Geektastic

Monday, October 27th, 2008

I’ve just watched an episode of Chuck that is bound to become a classic. Chuck discovers the key to beating “Missile Command” is a mathematical algorithm hidden in Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” in front of a crowd of 40-year old game geeks at the Buy More.

He saves the world with the kill screen because the game was hooked up to a real missile. Natch.

Wink at the end to the Canadian quarter.

This is awesome

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

Underwater movie in the Galapagos. Gorgeous.

Guitar-man

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

My Uncle J passed away some time during the night. He had failing health in recent years, so to go in his sleep was a peaceful end.

He was a great guitar player back in the day. Banjo too. He favoured bluegrass and old-style rock, which isn’t really my style, but I have fond memories of going to watch him play at a festival, and hanging out in his backyard with a bunch of musicians who jammed into the wee hours of the morning around a campfire.

That’s the way I’ll remember him.

What about a hairy pork chop?

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

People in my neighbourhood received our green bins this week! This is a magical bin into which I can put all manner of things that go to a magical recycling truck that is transported to a special place where they put it in manure furrows and composte the heck out of it.

I have spent joyous minutes perusing the list of things that I can put in my green bin. Like paper towels, and pork chops, and cheese and eggs, and mayonnaise (although why they single that one out, I’m not sure). And kleenex, oh and other stuff like hair and finger nails (though I think it has to be separated from the body first – I don’t think they’re accepting whole bodies).

The coup de grace in this whole thing? Kitty litter! By diverting the prodigous output of someone who shall only be named as “JL”, I will probably now have garbage for pick-up once every two weeks.

Recycling, dude. It’s so cool.

Sookeh

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

Been watching True Blood. If you don’t know about it, it’s based on a series of books from Charlaine Harris. The series was created by Alan Ball, also known for Six Feet Under. Until I started watching the series, I didn’t realize that I had read one of the books, which seem to push harder on the comedy than the series does.

This show is really hitting it stride – the opening credits tell it all – this awesome montage of southern rural folk, testifying, maggots eating a dead dog/wolf, roadkill, sex and a baptism.  And I tried to find a youtube link for you, but they’ve put it behind the Adult/Pr0n wall, so that gives you an idea.

I’m in love with Lafayette, a misanthropic, hedonistic, bad-ass, drug-dealing gay man in every best possible way. And Rene, the Frenchie, reminds me of half of the Great White North (the one that’s got a dry whit and an open mind). Tara, the smart-talking, tough with soft shell bf gets some great smackdown lines.

Then there’s William – the vamp gone good, or at least trying to. But this is no Angel. He hypnotizes cops to make them pee their pants, he’s willing to kill someone for his girl, and his carnal urges most definitely provoke a vampy response with no need of “pure love” to see his dark side. Since he was turned at the end of the civil war, his language carries the syntax and drawling care of a gentleman’s speech. And the way he says “Sookeh” about melts any female person within 20 feet of the television.

And what of Sookie? I really wasn’t enamoured of Anna Paquin in the first couple of eps, but I’m warming to her.

If you like it dark, a bit dirty, and full of character, check it out.

There is no moment of zen, so don’t suggest it

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

I have a modest-sized sign on my mailbox that says No flyers, please. I don’t like pulling out a wad of advertisements that I’ll never read printed on a waste of paper and putting them in the recycle bin. I hate flyers.

So, there’s a new kid on the flyer route or something, because I am coming home to a mailbox of flyers 2 or 3 times a week now. I see them sticking out, and I feel an utter and immediate sense of rage – I said please, for flippin’ sakes, and you can’t seem to figure out that that means DO NOT put the FRACKIN’ FLYERS in MY MAILBOX!!!

So, here are my options:

- come home early and hide behind my front door until the unsuspecting culprit arrives and tries to put the offensive wad of paper in my mailbox, then box him or her about the ears yelling NO FLYERS! THE SIGN SAYS NO FLYERS!

- find some time to figure out who the company is that pays the offender to put the offensive wad of paper in my mailbox and then call them up and harangue them so that they flag my address with a suitable label such as “Crazy Old Woman with Cat and Hatred of Flyers – Do Not Approach”.

- change my mailbox to something that’s just a container with a slot small enough to repel offensive wads of paper but big enough to accept envelopes and my subscription to Buffy comics.

What do you think?

Peace and good government, right.

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

It’s a strange day when a federalist is thankful to the Bloc Quebecois, but here we are. Had they not held their 50 seats and taken some Conservative seats back in Quebec, Steve “I’m an arrogant asshat” Harper might have been handed a majority.

Of course, if the Liberal party had any kind of clue, they could have had some of those seats and a lot more. I’m wondering if the strategy team they went with wasn’t some little known co-op program for communications majors who didn’t get a placement in the first 2 rounds. There has been, and should be, lots of questions about Stephane Dion’s leadership, but the bigger culprit here really was the campaign manager and the communications people. Completely clueless.

In the end, Canadians got what they wanted, which is a minority government (Note to Steve: thanks for wasting some more taxpayer money to end up in the position that we were already in – we sent you a message, so do us a favour and listen this time).

Even and still, staying away from the polls shouldn’t have been the answer, though it’s one that many Canadians took. At the lowest numbers ever (59.1%), turnout is being blamed on apathy, or maybe the distraction of the American election, or a passive-aggressive comment on a distinct lack of good choice in any of the parties. Doesn’t matter. You don’t vote; you don’t get to complain about a single damned thing to do with policy, taxes or government for the next 4 years (or until Steve forgets about that pesky fixed election law he put in place again, and calls one in about a year or so).  I get really ticked off at people that don’t vote.

Positives? If there had to be an election, at least it was only 37 days and a lot less money than another election taking place in a country very close to here.

Spam poetry

Monday, October 13th, 2008

I don’t approve it, or approve of it, but I appreciate its evocative powers…

The train slammed past teenage girls in bras from the hairy man.

Brodick, as silent as teen crossdressing the door, weeping.

My words seemed unconvincing mangosteen juice wanted to sleep.

Old

Monday, October 13th, 2008

In a book I recently read (Deaf Sentence, David Lodge), the main character is dealing with his growing deafness and age-related body failings, as well as his father’s onset of dementia and refusal to leave the house he’s lived in all his married life.

In my 20s, reading the book would be a look into someone’s life and no more. In my 40s, reading the book makes me anxious and a little worried about growing old. Welcome to middle age.

One makes a choice to not marry and not have children, and it’s the right choice, but descriptions of old age homes or senior homes or growing old alone do little to make one feel like the twilight years will be easy.

I’m not afraid to be alone when I have my faculties, a body that works, and the ability to support myself comfortably well. But what if I have no one to care when I need it? There’s the usual fear of choking on a chicken bone with only the cat as a witness – getting found days later with maybe a few teethmarks around the soft parts, and the detritus of dish mountain attracting flies in the kitchen. A snapshot for a stranger of a lonely life, even if it didn’t feel that way for the one living it.

I’ve made some pacts – buying our own nursing home with friends, marrying a friend at 70, or ingratiating myself with my niece and nephews. But the reality is that I may grow old alone and in a town where I have lots of friends right now and no family, but over time, who knows?

It’s not nice to think about old age – about dementia (which somehow scares me more than anything, since I’m a very brain-oriented person), about incontinence, about being one of those stubborn old people who doesn’t tell anyone that I fell down the stairs in case they make me give up my house and be with the “old sick people” in a home.

Scarier though, is the idea that there would be no one to tell.