Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wordfuse (Political Edition)

A new version of the iGovernment is available now.
Would you like to download it (even though it's pointless)?
download iGovernment        WTF?   
We Canadians are having yet another election, our third in five years. *shakes head* Our current government seems to be prompting us to download what they promise will be a newer, better version of what we all know will actually be the same old same old.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Image from here.
Zoetic. I stumbled upon this word seeking the perfect adjective to describe that sensation when the sun feels like a blanket instead of a stare. Like it did today.

Zoetic. So poetic. The word apparently derives from science, from biology in particular: "pertaining to life."

It's a cell. The "smallest unit of life classified as a living thing" is zoetic. Any type of cell really. Any composition. Like bacteria. Or the soft hair of a newborn. Or the seed hidden, protected and waiting inside the pine tree's cone. It's potential. It's life.

Yet sometimes life, numbed by fatigue, can feel anything but alive.

But today made me pay attention to the zoetic.

Isn't it surprising what makes us feel most alive? It can be something as simple as the much-longed for life-sustaining sunlight on a belated spring day. Or even the opposite.

I think I was nine years old and my heart banged around in my chest like a rabbit trying to escape its cage. That day, along with my cousins and my friend Edwina (who really was my family too), we were fishing at Tobin Lake. Standing on a summer day in still water up to our waists, we weren't going to catch anything there. We were really only pretending. Our parents were on the beach, chatting, relaxing. I think Edwina let go of her fishing rod and started splashing us. We dodged her but remained where we were. Her splashing seemed half-hearted, silly but not really playful. Somehow strange. I remember thinking, she looks drunk like my Uncle Murray does when he wants to dance with my Mom. And then her head went under like being wiped off the counter top. I also remember thinking I should be doing something but what was I supposed to do with my fishing rod? My Dad told me never to let go of my fishing rod. Surfacing, Edwina coughed and laughed and spit and flapped and then I wondered if she had caught a fish. Or if she was becoming a fish? Some woozy mermaid. I turned to look at my parents. No one was coming. I felt blood rush to my head. I looked around. Stricken, my cousin Laurel stared back. Her eyes told me Edwina was drowning. Finally someone yelled and Edwina's father sauntered into the water. I still don't know what took him so long.

A juvenile diabetic, Edwina was having a seizure. The first of many which I would witness several times over the next decade.

And watching her struggle that day, I had never really felt more alive.

Zoetic. Paralyzed and watching near loss of life is oddly zoetic. I understand why now. I think I do. I think fear makes our cells rage. Adrenalin surges. Survival starts throwing punches. And the struggle, our own or others' reminds us to grasp the zoetic. And hold on. And live. Instead of just exist.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Wordfuse (Deny, Deny, Deny Edition)

pacifibs (noun): pacify + fibs = the lies we tell ourselves and others to cope, to placate, to smooth over, to take the edge off but mostly because the truth is just too scary. 

Comments indicative of this behavior range from the mild/moderate:
~"Pshaw. It can wait until tomorrow."
~"I don't weigh that much."
~"I can pay for this next month."

More extreme cases make remarks such as the following:
~"I'm not a hoarder; I'm a collector."
~"I can so rock this Speedo."
~Or if you're OJ Simpson, "I'm still looking for the killer, seriously."
~Or pretty much anything Lindsay Lohan says.
~Or all those enablers/parents of American Idol wannabes.
~Or especially those trying to justify their participation in this train-wreck.
~Or if you're me, "I totally look like Russell Crowe."

Saturday, March 26, 2011

This is where I was yesterday.

This is where I will be today. Again.
*imagines you having a green-eyed monster moment
of jealous rage until I reveal that this happened yesterday as well.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Wordfuse (Emergency Edition)

See this example: egads!
emerciful (adjective): emergency + merciful = a word used to describe the medical staff* who kindly helped a teenager I know after he crashed his snowboard today. Riveted, I watched them yank the teen's wrist back from its perverse "S" shape back to normal. *dry-heaves*

*Medical staff who are not so emerciful might be described as emerciless.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wordfuse (Sneaking Suspicion Edition)

hoodwinkling (noun): hoodwinked + inkling = that period of time where you think you're being duped but you're not absolutely sure, like when someone says, "Did you know that if you say gullible really slowly it sounds like o...r...a...n...g...e...s?" and even though you're wearing your best skeptical face, inside your little pea-brain you are totally saying it. (Like you are right now.)

Monday, March 21, 2011

I sometimes wonder.

Wonder. Woman.
Like who doesn't?
I sometimes wonder if my brothers remember that time I punched a hole through the screen door because they wouldn't let me in to eat popcorn.

I sometimes wonder if Kevin Murphy's Dad still thinks I'm an asshole.

I sometimes wonder if Lynda Carter would have instantly fallen in love with me if we had met on the set of Wonder Woman (even though I was eleven, and pudgy, and lived in Saskatchewan). In other words, I sometimes wonder woman.

I sometimes wonder if the killer whale at Marineland in Niagara Falls remembers me.

I sometimes wonder if someone with a warped sense of humour has put my Dad in charge of controlling the weather from heaven.

I sometimes wonder if Mr. Sapara, my Grade 8 music teacher, has any recollection of making us put our heads down while he played records at his desk and tried to keep the room from spinning for an entire semester before he went to rehab.

I sometimes wonder if my cousin Mark is still selling drugs or if he found his real parents.

I sometimes wonder if Donald Trump has some serious as-yet-undiagnosed disorder. 

I sometimes wonder if my neighbour down the street (whom I've never met) with the plastic ghosts hanging from the tree in his front yard is just waiting until Halloween rolls around again or if he's died in there and nobody has noticed or if he's actually a lottery winner and he's trying to keep the crazies away or maybe he has like a 192 I.Q. and he laughs at the rest of us dolts who seem hell-bent on decorating for this and that and the other thing ad nauseum monotonia and now I'm wondering if he's reading this or if he has a blog and he's written about his pathetic bandwagonesque decoration-obsessed neighbours and now I'm wondering if that's actually a word and if it isn't it should be.

I sometimes wonder if my brain has a saturation point.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Wordfuse (WTH? Edition)

That moment when two or more people likewise inquire "Who?!" regarding the identity of someone currently trending who has not yet reached maximum pop culture overexposure saturation; the implied tone of this query is WTH?

For a current example (meme) see Rebecca Black. Remember when it was this dude? Dittwho's next?

Thank you to, uh, BiggBootieJudy for providing one of many examples
currently on Twitter. If you, like BiggBootieJudy, are wondering the same
thing you are currently experiencing what I call "Dittwho?" You're welcome.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Much Needed Sigh

Sometimes Spring comes like a sigh. A much-needed sigh. A deep breath expelled quickly, after all that interminable nonsense is finally over. All that cold and dark and greyness. All that closed in-ness, closed off-ness. Spring is remedy. Spring is my open door.

There was just more light today. The second day. Another day walking home without my toque. And there was more noticing too. Looking down, I noticed sounds that I couldn't possibly hear like the imagined melt-water trickling under the ice, under the sunken snowmobile tracks across the river I cross every day. Looking up, I noticed a few billowy clouds too. Clouds that foreshadow rain. But not rainclouds. Just the promise of rain. Just promise.

I didn't know how much I needed this.

I don't kid myself. I live in Northern Canada. It's not spring yet. As the poet says, "spring is like a perhaps hand." Spring is tentative. Especially here. After winter, it's like it has to learn to walk again. It will be a while before it remembers how to run.

But there's enough for me. Today. Enough to get me through this dress rehearsal for the season I long for always most.

And Spring makes me wonder. Will my son and I still make rivers through the slush? Drain the puddles? Build damns? Play? He's probably too old this year. Yes Spring is "arranging and changing placing."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wordfuse (St. Patrick's Day Edition)

fortunot (noun, adjective): fortunate + not 
As the phrase states, "luck of the Irish." Well historically the Irish people were actually not so lucky: invasion, exploitation, starvation, and weren't most of those who died on the Titanic of Irish heritage? Whoa. Fortunotsomuch. Thus perhaps the phrase is intended to be ironic. No matter how one interprets it, despite a history of fortunots, the Irish certainly are survivors. And they throw a good party too.

For every wound, a balm.
For every sorrow, cheer.
For every storm, a calm.
For every thirst, a beer.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wordfuse (Family Reunion Edition)

kincompoop (noun): kin + nincompoop = a somewhat idiotic member of one's family; one of the clan with distinct nitwit tendencies. 

Kincompoops inspire teethgrinding at family reunions for behaviours such as mooning Grandma or using the barbeque to light the fireworks. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

How to Beat a Dead Horse

Image from here.
I don't know much about horses. Never owned a horse. Never broke a horse. Never trained a horse. Never even been on a horse's back by myself. I've certainly never beaten a horse, alive or dead. And yet I've been beating a few dead horses my entire life. And watching others beat their dead horses too.

1. Assume yours is a dark horse. (Delude yourself into believing this information came straight from the horse’s mouth.)
2. Lead your horse to water. Try to make it drink. Try again. Try x 12. Try twice more.
3. Finally get off your high horse.
4. Embittered, scream and shout. Screw you and the horse you rode in on! (Act like a horse's ass.)
5. Quit horsing around. Beat that dead horse. (Wild horses could not drag you away.)
6. Pause. (Hold your horses.)
7. Beat the horse some more. Ride the horse some more. (Ignore your horse sense.)
8. Finally, if the horse is dead (because truly, it always was) GET OFF! 
9. Rationalize that your horse was likely Trojan and you won't fall for that nonsense again. Silly.
10. Repeat all steps expecting different results. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011


doomsday + dabbling = doomsdabbling (gerund)

I guess I understand why people portend the end of the world at times of such inexplicable natural disaster. It's all about fear. I have my own struggles with fear. We all do. But I wouldn't even dare to claim I know anything about fear in the face of an earthquake or tsunami or bombs dropping. That makes me ache. But there's a caution about fear I respect: "fear makes the wolf bigger than he is." Fear-mongering is unproductive. Doomsdabbling is dangerous. Why? It weakens us.

What's happening right now is what's important. Our choices right now make a difference. We can help or we can hinder ourselves and others. I choose help.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Luggage Doesn't Grow on Trees

Sometimes I want to sail away.
But oh yeah. My luggage disappeared. 
Packing for an overnight trip tomorrow, I needed a small piece of luggage. So I ventured into the downstairs closet and was surprised to discover the luggage I am familiar with (mostly because I paid for it) no longer exists AKA I suspect said luggage is at a sleep-over AKA one of my teens left it at his or her "peeps" and brought his or her stuff home in a plastic garbage bag along with a half-eaten bag of barbecue chips AKA we will likely never see said luggage again AKA it went the way of my mitts).

Plan B: I pulled out a small crumpled duffel bag that belongs to my teen son. It was a freebie from a sports event he attended, and looked to be about the right size. The zipper worked so I opened it up and here's what I discovered inside:

  • two dimes
  • one dryer sheet
  • one plastic coat-hanger, broken
  • 4,973 gum wrappers
  • one cheese string
Did I mention this sporting event occurred last summer? Anyway, I'm 20 cents richer! Well only if you ignore the whole cost of replacing said missing luggage. Whatever. At least that cheese string was decent. That'll teach him. 

*shoulders sag with sudden remembrance of former life before parenting reduced me to eating stale cheese strings and claiming it as a victory*

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Do you ever think your dreams are just too freakin' weird?

Things I NEVER dream about (but likely will tonight since I mentioned them):
1. giant spiders.
2. giant turkeys. That would be scary.
3. Falling.
4. Being trapped in a fire.
5. Someone stepping out of the inky darkness with gardening shears.

Things I OFTEN dream about:
1. I forget to drive someone home and she is never seen again.
2. I'm watching a movie or reading a book, thinking, It's really quite remarkable that I do not know what's going to happen next considering the fact that this is my dream.
3. My teeth are falling out, randomly. I will find them in my soup.
4. Parking.
5. I'm blind, but only when I look at certain things.

Things I WANT to dream about:
1. Halle Berry (secretly Nigella Lawson).

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fear or Greed?

Image from here.
"Fear is the highest fence." Dudley Nichols
Is fear inflating gas prices?

"Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need but not every man's greed." Mahatma Gandhi
Or is greed inflating gas prices?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

And then...

Image from here.
Sometimes crappy stuff just happens. Right in the middle of everything. And the world darkens a little. Just one lightbulb among a bunch of others. People probably wouldn't notice. So you keep it inside. But it makes a person tired.

And then there's a sun-dog.

And then you discover there are people in the world who invent things like this.

And then you help your kids with a problem. (Or someone else.)

And then they look at you like you're a big piece of chocolate cake.

And then friends come over. With guacamole.

And then someone writes something kind on your blog.

And then someone brings you a blanket, just because.

And then you notice that sometimes, somehow, the world just conspires to make you happy.

And I deserve it.

And you do too. (Notice.)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Wordfuse (Magical Edition)

I'm sure I read somewhere that the Irish believe
that if you fail to wish your spriteous one a
happy birthday you could be shredded
by a cat named Moby. Just sayin. 
spriteous (adjective): sprite + righteous = a word used to describe that magical someone in our lives who is just plain genuine and wonderful and playful and good and spunky and spirited and maybe a little mischievous at times too. Lucky enough to know someone like that? 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Dear Makers of Monopoly,

I have enjoyed your game since I was a child. In fact, I loved it then. Now though, the game has changed. It’s still enjoyable in certain respects, especially the Canadian edition. I appreciate that I have visited several places on this Canuck gameboard (or want to) like Niagara Falls, like Rideau Canal, like Magnetic Hill, like Peggy’s Cove and even Moose Jaw. Just like when I was a kid, I covet certain properties sometimes with little consideration for their value. More ruthless players would “pshaw” at that notion. I guess I can’t blame them. Although the game is the same overall, some things just aren't right anymore.

I’m not referring to the fact that the luxury tax used to be $100 whereas now it’s $1Mil. That’s some serious inflation and it makes me slightly nostalgic for simpler times, but I know we can’t go back there. I need only drive by an Esso sign and its ever-increasing gas price to know that the good old days are long past.

And I am not complaining about the rules. As a kid, I had no idea what the official rules were and that seemed to work just fine. As an adult though, I’ve actually read the rules and they improve the game. And it all just makes more sense too considering that some of my old game partners claimed that you earned $500 every time you visited someone in jail.

I am also not complaining about the concept of the game itself. I recognize its merciless real-estate capitalism and despite that, I know it also teaches fiscal-responsibility-or-face-bankruptcy type lessons. Well, sort of: maybe not so much if you steal from the bank here and there. And that part is neither responsible nor realistic: we all know that in the real world the bank executives steal from us instead of the other way around. At the same time, the game still teaches another ongoing sad reality: the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

But this is not what’s wrong with the game now. What bothers me is this: I can’t play Monopoly by myself! You market this as a family game? Now I say “pshaw.” My family consistently exhibits the following during this game:
1.      Bickering.
2.      Whining.
3.      Yelling.
4.      Freaking-out.
5.      Claiming to be Oprah and giving money away to other players in some selfless random act of philanthropy, but the real reason is just to irritate your brother, that and because you have no hope of winning.
And that’s the real problem Monopoly makers: shouldn’t this game teach social skills? Instead it highlights a lack of them! Sorry Monopoly makers. I rate this game a fail. And by game I mean my parenting skills.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Wordfuse (Current Events Edition)

gistory (noun): gist + history = a succinct summary of the main or essential parts of an account of past events; the "reduction sauce" version of history; the "gistory" is what one seeks when one wants to be at least somewhat informed but past events seem overwhelmingly confusing and/or people who tend to be idiots are involved (such as Octomom or Charlie Sheen for example.)

Consider the following gistory of the current situation in Libya: An extremely wealthy dictator with a shady terrorist past and unbelievable hubris, who seems to be unable to choose one spelling for his name (is it Khaddafi or Gaddafi or Qadhafi?!), has vowed to annihilate his impoverish, long-suffering, oppressed fellow countrymen who are seeking and deserve change and freedom. 

See also the following quotation which is quite a clever gistory of history itself: "History is the sum total of things that could have been avoided." ~Konrad Adenauer
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