Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Sometimes I dream about this place because I love it.

It's such a secret.

Very few people know about this place but I have met people from Ottawa to Argentina here; and yet I always encounter someone I know too. (I love that; it makes the world so much smaller.)

The lodge is classic rustic. The benches are the kind we all had to make in shop class in junior high. There's no fireplace but attached to a wall is a truly ancient pair of skiis. (Think 1x4s with leather straps.) And this lodge smells like homemade soup. Plus the cinnamon buns here? Whoa.

What else can I say? My favourite run is dancing hill. And if heaven exists, I know it has chairlifts.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

Wordfuse (Mirror-Gazing Edition)

I just saw the movie Young Adult with Charlize Theron. She skillfully portrays a career Narcy, aka a young female narcissist. The fact that her character enjoys watching the Kardashians was not lost on me. What does one call a young male narcissist? Narcus. Aka Kanye West.


Sunday, March 18, 2012


Pictures have always spoken to me. I think in pictures. I tote pictures around in my head like carry-on luggage, I keep them close so they are safe. Because for me they whisper and yell and nudge and assault. In silence. I feel tethered to them. One of my favourite quotes is by artist Paul Klee: "a line is a dot that went for a walk." I feel that pull.

I stumbled upon this picture this morning and it is exactly how I feel today. So succinct. Exactly.

And I'm curious...what does it mean to you?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I miss when...

I still knew people who sported pocket protectors.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Wordfuse (Blather on Edition)

This is that awkward anxious feeling somewhere in the sudden lull between one person's incessant yapping and even more yapping when the so-called listener is finally given a moment to remark but has understandably already stopped listening thus has no idea how to respond and compensates with a nod and fake smile. It's a classic.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Things that deserve the stink-eye:

Because of this.
T-shirt design from

Why are we out of Advil?

At a friend's birthday party last night, why did I eat Chinese food, birthday cake (with two types of ice cream) and then return home to eat a slice of cheesecake?

Instead of using my treadmill, why did I watch three hours of TV yesterday then watch a movie?

Why did it rain and then snow and then freeze last night?

Why did I not know where I was when I woke up this this morning?

Why is there so much sodium in everything good?

Why is my teen son so grumpy today?

Why doesn't my workplace benefit plan cover all my daughter's wisdom teeth surgery costs and why do dentists charge $4000 an hour and why didn't I find this out in the first place when we scheduled the surgery and really, what different does it really make because it just had to be done and why the hell do we have wisdom teeth anyway?


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Things that are most likely the devil:

Once upon a time I enjoyed TV. Seriously enjoyed it. Looking back on my childhood years I could create a lengthy timeline detailing most of The Bionic Man's life but as for the Prime Minister then, I only vaguely recall that he gave someone the finger on, you guessed it, TV. Even crappy TV mesmerized me. To this day a German shepherd makes me think Littlest Hobo (classic Canadian propaganda). There are more music videos stored in my brain than life strategies.

Are you thinking, why is he admitting how stupid he is?

Uh, I'm wondering that too. Anyway, things have changed a lot since then. Sort of.

It all started over a decade ago the time my little family and I went without TV for about a year. Despite being raised on television, I managed not to die. But something else died that year. I lost my stamina. Plus my kids ruined it. Eventually, I enjoyed my battle with them for the remote control more than actually having the control. Soon I was watching their shows. So with the exception of one or two series, I lost my will for it. Essentially this: meh.

Successively, over the years, this trend continued. I gave up on sitcoms altogether. Don't freak out peeps but I can't quote much Seinfeld. Reality TV intrigued me and still does sometimes but most of my likes have been forgotten like the leather ties I once owned.

And then it happened. We got PVR. (Some call it DVR or TiVo.) At first I couldn't manage to program anything so no big whoop. But through the commercials...never miss an TV when I want to...pause live TV? Booyah! PVR made me love TV again.

And then I discovered PVR's dark dark underbelly.

There are two types of people: 1. Those who make lists; 2. Those who don't. The way I see it, people with lists often get stressed. Obsessive even. I base this on reliable research aka I once made lists but that ended a long time ago. Why? I went nuts. Well guess what? PVR makes lists for me. For a while I had 7 episodes of Top Chef. What's a guy to do? I can't handle that sort of stress. I CAN'T. So I watched them. All. Of. Them. Until my eyes fell out.

My teachers warned me that TV would turn my mind to mush. I'd like to refute that but I don't have time: I have to go watch 19 episodes of The Big Bang Theory.

Monday, March 5, 2012


T-shirt sold here.
Sometimes, there's only one thing that will cure anything and everything. And that's a Ron Burgundy moment: 

"Well, I could be wrong, but I believe diversity is an old, old wooden ship that was used during the Civil War era." ~1970s anchorman legend Ron Burgundy


Sunday, March 4, 2012

It's Grammar Day!

Was the exclamation point too much?

I studied grammar in university. At first, terrified, I eyed that professor like he knew the weakest part of me. Soon though I was loving that class. Why? He taught us the basics, then he went deeper and in the depth of those lessons he dispelled our fear, our intimidation. He made it one big syntax sandbox.

Shakespeare knew language should be playful. Seuss knew that too.

So instead of correcting someone's grammar today, "march forth" and boldly split an infinitive.


Friday, March 2, 2012

I want an accordion.

Image from here.
I know we’re well into it now but I’ve only really just discovered something about the 21st century.

It sounds different. Significantly different.

And I’m not talking about the accordion from the 70s that never ever shows up at parties anymore. (Wouldn’t it be cool if it did?! Just imagine someone pulling out an accordion and lettin’ her rip. I’m 96% sure everyone would freak out in a good way. And then it would be on Youtube and there would be like nine million hits and then BAM somebody’s on a talk show. Whoa. No one steal this idea. Seriously. If only I had an accordion.... Okay I’m back from kijiji. Accordions are expensive. And I’m cheap. Let’s just say that if someone had an old accordion hoarded in their basement and if that someone were to anonymously leave said musty accordion outside my back door I would not turn up my nose at your shenanigans and if you also left me a bag of chocolate chips I would lovingly dedicate my first talk show accordion performance to you and only you.)

Anyway, back to my scheduled topic: what does the 21st century sound like?

Mmmmmmmup. Mmmmmmmmp. Mmmmmmmp.

Come on reader. You know what this is. The first time it woke me up in my bedroom one early morn I visualized a tiny kidnap victim, his mouth duct-taped shut, hidden somewhere deep in my clothes basket. But it doesn’t always sound that way. Sometimes I hear an 80s tune. Sometimes there are quacks.

There are now four cell phones buzzing and beeping and distracting me in my home every day. And even when they are supposedly asleep, I sometimes hear their Mmmmmmp and I recall the frogs croaking outside my childhood window and I wonder are these phones sending messages to each other. Yeah I know: duh. What I meant is that perhaps these phones are communicating with each other in ways unbeknownst to us. Suspicious ways. Sometimes I come into the room and I swear I just heard one of them Mmmmmmp but guess what? Silence.

Think. About. That.

I guess I just long for the past. An uncomplicated less paranoid past. A past when people played accordions. A past like this: “The bathtub was invented in 1850 and the telephone in 1875. In other words, if you had been living in 1850, you could have sat in the bathtub for 25 years without having to answer the phone.” -Bill DeWitt 

That silence sounds great to me.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Some of my touchstones.

There are so many things we touch everyday with hardly a thought. A butter knife. A pen. A keyboard. Doorknobs. The phone. The steering wheel.

Yet sometimes touch lingers on particular things, special things. And there’s a story attached to every piece, isn’t there? Which of your objects tell stories?

These objects are touchstones.

Small inexpensive objects I collected during most of my travels would be examples. Subtle yet powerful, they transport me when I need to disappear for a moment to a street in Paris, or an old army post in Halifax, or a cemetery along the South Saskatchewan River. Likewise, I linger when I touch the covers of favourite books. Others keep these objects too: a friend tells me she keeps a letter I wrote to her many, many years ago. And I notice how some people touch their guitars.

Better yet are the ones who represent people, like the duct-tape wallet my son made for me. I almost always have it with me. It keeps us linked. In my real wallet there’s a message inside one of the pockets especially for me. I take it out every once in a while and read it. It helps.

And then there are the objects I don’t have. When my father died, I really wanted his wallet. I guess it was because I knew he touched everyday. I didn’t say anything to my Mom though. So instead I seriously considered stealing his badger bristle shaving cream brush. I remember standing in his bathroom contemplating my thievery. At the time, I wondered why I was acting so ridiculous. I get it now though. It’s a touchstone. Some things over time are such a daily part of our lives or our growing years that their permanence seems genuine and true and somehow grounding. They link us to the past. They steady and soothe us. During my entire youth, my father’s shaving brush sat beside the bathroom sink. And I guess it remained there for years even after I moved away because it was still there after he died. I wish I had taken it.

Some wouldn’t even glance at these items but to me they are more valuable than so many expensive things I could be given or buy. And they remind me how little I need in the way of objects. In fact, it’s not about the objects at all.

We need memories folks. Make memories. Keep them close and touch them often.
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