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Showing posts from January, 2009

On The Edge of a Yawning Maw

You may or may not know I've enrolled in a Young Adult Fiction Writing course. It's for credit, so it's, I guess, real . I'm surrounded mainly by Creative Writing Majors, there's lots of talk about allusions and 'making art' and whatnot. It's great to have a group of people who you can talk with about the 'sagging middle' or the 'tyranny of the blank page' and not have them slowly edge away with terror in their eyes. So, for this course I have to write about, oh I dunno, 10,000 words? Which, in my beginning days, would be a snap. Word count has been more of an issue as late. Could be debillitating overthinking, or a creeping suspicion that my fiction writing is shite when compared to my blog writing, and my blog writing isn't exactly Meville. This presents a problem. A problem that I intend to clamber over like a well-intentioned trench soldier leaping out of his foxhole to experience just how bad machine gun bullets hurt. Now, the go


There aren't many of us. We hang around indie coffee houses and comic shops, Banana Republic and Ed Wood marathons. We lie and feint and try bold face bluffs in social company; but overall we try to keep our mouths shut. We might catch a snippet here or there, gold mines of information that we can spend, ever so carefully, if cornered and trapped, prodding eyes and waiting ears aimed at us. We shouldn't be ashamed, of course. In this pluralistic world where Puritans are no longer hunted and children aren't expected to put in a full 18-hour work day, people are pretty open to new ideas; there's no reason to hide it. But we can't help ourselves. What would our coworkers think? Uncle Ralph? What about Stan across the street? He'd never let us borrow his gas powered weed whacker again. We are the sports idiots. ¹ I mean, we're not even the sort who only watches New Zealand rugby since we 'caught the bug' while backpacking across South East Asia. We don&#

Light Criminal Activity, Heavy Drug Use, and Voluntary Sleep Deprivation

Everyone wants a memorable birth story; but no one wants to go through one. I mean, that mother who, every year, gives birth to triplets in a cab at rush hour while her obstetrician texts instructions to the cabbie? She'll never have another conversation about vinyl siding or how overrated Jim Carey is, never again. That's what we want to talk about, anyways; what we want to go through is a textbook birth, whether we want the "home-water-birth with the coven, three doulas and a mid-wife" sort of birth or the "more narcotics than a Columbian drug lord while surrounded by enough MDs to launch a mildly successful soap opera" sort of birth. Our story is a little bit from column A, a little from column B. First off, we have fantastic neighbours. Neighbours that'll bend over backwards and forwards and angles found only in extra-credit geometry homework. Generally all-around very giving and nice people. Almost makes me reconsider my hermit personality. They of


So, you only get a few massive, rather unsettling, yet still exciting changes in your life. Many of them, well, you can't really plan for them, they hit you like a wayward brick at a rather shoddily managed construction site: having your kids visit you with brochures for an old age home, winning the lottery, your bestest friend in the whole wide world moving away even though you promised to be like the two musketeers in the sixth grade. Others are well planned, expected, yet no less, or perhaps even more life changing: marriage, graduating, bringing your aging parent brochures for the old age home, a new baby. It's a looming event. An event so massive and altering that your brain shuts down trying to comprehend how your life will be different (hopefully better). I guess I take the 'glass half-full' theory. For many reasons. One, I quite despise those super happy new agey touchy feely sort of people who insist that the birth of a new baby is the 'adventure of a lifet

Waiting Room Farewell

Owlet has reached her terrible two's. Which is not a fairy tale made up by the Population Control Board to scare people; it's very, very real. Now, the Demon of Misbehaviour doesn't rear it's ugly head all the time, but when it does... well. It's unconsolable, loud, angry, sad, with every motion dialed to eleven. There is no way to reason, no way to cajole it. It has come to test your will as a parent. You just have to try everything until something works, as best as I can figure. But then, 'frantically trying everything' pretty much sums up my parenting style. So a few weeks back we go to the drop-in clinic. For what, I couldn't tell you, but none of us are dead so it probably wasn't that interesting. It was like, an hour wait, so we walked around the mall, unfortunately, got Owlet good and tired. This is fantastic if we're going home and putting her to bed, this is less than optimal if we are going to spend 20 minutes trying to avoid eye conta

Singing Evangelical Tree

We went to the "Singing Christmas Tree" over the holidays. In it's 40th year, apparently; a heartening thought. Something that goes on for that long must be good. This is lazy thinking, the sort of logic that assumes that since some neo-con pundit with less sincerity than a used-car salesman in houndstooth has published a few best selling books, he must not be totally batshitinsane. Or the rationale that, "Hell, 5 million Scotsmen can't be wrong", right before you take a bite into haggis. For those of you far too clever to be sucked into one of these 'events', a Singing Christmas Tree is a concert where the choir sits in risers shaped like a , well, you know. Except these risers go about 3 storeys high, and outfitted with enough light to pierce through even this curmedgeon's ill-view of Saturnalia. It all started well enough, held in one of those mega-churches that are so non-denominational one isn't sure if they are in a church or a very p

Just. F*cking. Omelettes.

No, we don't have any crepes. We don't have OJ or corn bread or waffles. We cannot and will not offer you bacon, sausage, or ham. Just. F*cking. Omelettes. Read the damn sign. We got an omelette station and a pretty questionable dishwasher. There are two goddamn tables in the entire establishment. We can't even afford new hairnets, for Christ's sake. Just. F*cking. Omlettes. Do I have to repeat myself for every customer? You have the menu, you see how all the items are under one title that says, oddly enough, 'Omelettes'?! Our sign is twenty goddamn feet long. With neon. What's that? Oh sure, I can make you a pancake. It might look and taste like our onion and liver omelette, though, hope you don't mind. Because, you know, that's all we f*cking do. Just. Omelettes. I don't know who sends you here. Zagats or some fruity food critic. You've been mistaken in our culinary range. It's ok, we all make mistakes. Just accept it. Accept that I wi