Sunday, January 5, 2020

Fave Reads 2019

Paulo Freire said, "to speak a true word is to transform the world." I didn't realize it until now, but many of my favourite 2019 reads were about uncovering truths. Not an easy task; it requires adjusting and readjusting mindset. Some books hold truth like pebbles--gather enough and finally there comes an identity landslide. Some pebbles, some more, these were my favourite reads this year.

I re-read this short memoir this
year, probably for the third or
fourth time. It's just pure honesty.
I became fascinated with
artist Paul Klee, whom I studied
for a research project. Part
philosophy, part drawing
guide, this book is packed with
ideas that jolt us from a passive
view about art & design. 
The plot unfolds backwards
revealing a doctor's sickening
history, but the narrator's
confusion and despair
unfolds forwards, and
breaks his heart.
It's gripping, and despite
Atwood's eerie dystopia
firmly connected to our
modern times, it's hopeful. 
As a teen, I read almost everything
King wrote. This book made
me want to re-read those
and so many others I've missed.
Using magic-realism, King
asks us to reflect on what weighs
us down, what immobilizes us.
I read this as part of a
creative nonfiction class.
A brave author who
holds nothing back. 

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Let's be honest:

we should all have the confidence of a miniature donkey.

They have mohawks. Long fuzzy ears. Beautiful down-cast eyes. Upon entering the fence, they just mosey on over and stand next to you, waiting to be petted. Don't try to move them though; they are tiny, but solid and, as advertised, stubborn. And I swear they are nervous system regulators.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019


My daughter got married last month. I've always told my children that the most important decision they'll ever make is whom they choose to marry. She chose well. But marriage is a choice too. I didn't expect this. Any of it.

I didn't expect my daughter would wear her mother's wedding dress. I didn't expect my daughter would ask me to read Mary Oliver's "Wild Geese." I didn't expect those vows, with hints of tender history and romance and humour. I didn't expect my wife's uncle to whisper this to me just before I went to the podium to speak, "Don't. Fuck. This. Up." I didn't expect to laugh so much, and cry, and laugh again. Or that they would sing that song, carefree and full-throated at times because that's what musicians do I guess. I didn't expect them to swing each other around in a circle during the first dance. As my sister-in-law remarked through joyful tears and laughter, "Who does that except L & P?" I didn't expect people from all over Canada, even the world. I didn't expect people to tell me how much our daughter means to them. I didn't even expect the father-daughter dance. I didn't expect to be the last one to leave the dance hall. I didn't expect that even though I've been a Dad for a long time, it will always be new, again.

I didn't expect to feel this content. Isn't it a wonder that we are always surprised by love? Forgive me: even though I've been parenting for 25 years, I've never done this before. And I'm grateful.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Fave Reads 2018

I know it's 2019, but I'm still working on another degree. Yet, the end is near [insert final scene of The Breakfast Club here]. Did you forget about me? I couldn't blame you. Today, I'm working on a bibliography and going through my good reads bookshelf, thus, I rediscovered some of the books I enjoyed last year in and between classes. I once shared my faves at year-end annually, but six months late is not so bad, right? And perchance you might enjoy some of these too? In no particular order:

A shocking memoir
that reads like a novel.
Literally, an education
can save
your life.
This is why we humans
can't have nice things
like rage and magic
fingers; although, we can
learn much from our
mistakes, or can we?
 This is not a
book for just kids. 
Quite often perplexed, I
needed this book, and I
will need it again and again.
Working on rethinking my
attractions and repulsions.

If you're reading this list you
probably love books. This storybook,
by Oliver Jeffers, will grip your
book-loving heart. 
I used to think I wasn't
smart enough for philosophy
but Diogenes would say,
"That's bullshit." Thanks
Astra Taylor (& my professor).

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Things that deserve the stink-eye:

going through the wash.

If you blur your eyes, that's me in Grade 4. I went through the wash. No big deal, right? We've all been through the wash at one point or another and another and maybe another too. But we're still here. Faded. Or pixelated. A little worn, but still here.

After several months working on another course, I have some time off. And I'm nearing the end of this Master's degree. So, for about three weeks, I am going to read (what I want). And write. And sleep late. And watch movies. And talk. And talk to myself. And walk. And laugh. And ponder the sky. And ski? And be silent. And be thankful. And be.

Sunday, July 1, 2018


Ever wonder what that movie scene moment would be like to cause an explosion and then walk away? Me neither. However, I did discover that when you drive away while still attached to the gas pump, there is no massive explosion. At least not in my case.


Yup. I drove away while still attached to the pump. Gassing up, I jumped back in my vehicle the other morning to resync my phone to the dashboard menu. It took about three minutes and during that time I forgot I was still attached so I drove away. When I heard a noise and noticed the gas pump nozzle hanging out of my vehicle, I experienced disbelief, belief, denial, disbelief, belief and a bowel movement pretty much simultaneously. Confused, I hopped out of my vehicle, checked the hose AND WHAT SORT OF TRICKERY IS THIS? The nozzle has a breakaway feature? And no damage to my vehicle? BLEEPING GENIUS. So I pushed the hose and the nozzle back together. BUT WAIT COULD IT POSSIBLY BE THIS SIMPLE?

I immediately entered the gas station and confessed, and then, like some sort of Dunning-Kruger effect ground zero, asked, "is it fixed then?" I will quote the response of the woman behind the counter.

"Ugh. No. It is NOT fixed. I will fix it. This happens. All. The. Time. Just go. Please go. We should really start charging for this. Ugh. It's okay. It's not that big of a deal. Just go. Just have a nice day."

Her admirable Canadian politeness training kicked in, but quite honestly, she did not give a shit about whether or not I would have a nice day. Nevertheless, I AM GRATEFUL FOR THIS GAS STATION MIRACLE.

One final caution: do not assume all pumps have this feature.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Sometimes you're the idiot, sometimes you're ALL the idiots.

Not long ago I quickly drove home at lunch to grab something. On the way out my back door, I must have pressed my vehicle's panic button on the fob but when I heard the noise I had no idea I was responsible. Shaking my head, I thought, some poor idiot pressed the panic button...don't they realize the neighbours have two little kids? Rounding the corner heading for my vehicle, I realized the poor idiot was me so I grabbed my keys to quickly press the panic button and deactivate the noise but what I didn't know was that I also had the keys to our other vehicle, also parked in our driveway and thus I activated another panic button. Wait, what?! With both the first and the second panic alarms now blaring alternately,  several thoughts all at once:

  1. What is happening?
  2. Who is the other idiot?
  3. PANIC.
  4. Am I the other idiot? PANIC. Press ALL THE BUTTONS NOW.
  5. More PANIC.
  6. Am I both idiots? Press ALL THE BUTTONS AGAIN.
  7. It's like I'm 96 years-old.
  9. WTF? 
And then FINALLY, quiet. Ugh. 

I wouldn't last 20 seconds in The Quiet Place
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