Friday, December 26, 2008

What looks like elephants, smells like oranges and tastes like sawdust?

Warning: The following post contains humiliating confessions. If you are uncomfortable around losers you may wish to quietly sneak away at this point.

A while back I completed the entire Halo video game and was content to put the roommate’s Xbox away and get on with my life. Until a day later, when I started playing his Halo 2 game. Upon completion of that, I discovered that such accomplishments were pale in the light of my having played each of them entirely on Easy mode.

Since then, I played through each entire campaign again on Normal mode and celebrated their completion and my ability to let go and get on with my life.

Except that my nightly Halo dreams have not abated while several falsely-sympathetic friends have gleefully pointed out the existence of the Halo 3 game.

“How much would it cost?” I asked my brother over Christmas turkey dinner.

“Maybe sixty bucks. Maybe less, now that it’s been out a while. Go to EB Games. They sell used copies cheap.”

“EB Games? Never heard of them. Do they have a Mississauga location?”


This morning as I drank my coffee, my nose in a good book, Steve-o came jogging down the stairs. I hadn’t seen him in a while due to all the holiday travel we’d each been neck-deep in.

“Merry Christmas!” he said.

I tried to be subtle and gracious and not tip my hand. “Oh - hi there. So um - did you get Halo 3 for Christmas! Did you!”


“Fucker!” I screamed.

He backed away from me slowly and slipped on his boots and coat. “Halo 3 is an Xbox 360 game. I only have the original Xbox. You can’t play Halo 3 on it.”

“Liar! I cried. “You’re conspiring against me, you Bastard!”

“Dude, it’s true. I swear.” He watched me wide-eyed as he reached for his keys and backed out the apartment door.

I googled Halo 3 and Xbox original. What the bastard had said was true.

My mouth had gone dry. I tried not to panic. To all problems there is a solution.

Ah hah! I’ll rent it!

I rushed to the truck and drove to Blockbuster Video. My stomach growled at me, wondering why this task was so much more important than breakfast. So I reached into the Tub o’ Christmas Loot I’d lugged home from the folks’ place but not yet hauled inside from the truck.

I pulled out a giant chocolate bar - one of those ultra pure dark kind that are so much less tasty to me than milky chocolate. This one had relief images of elephants all over it and had a hint of orange flavour. Except that I really couldn’t detect much flavour. That it froze overnight wouldn’t have helped. Temperature-change kills the flavour of chocolate. It’s true. I worked in the industry. Of course, I’m not supposed to be eating any chocolate. I’m supposed to be dieting. I need to lose about eighty pounds so that the I.S. will love me. I know. I know. That’s so pathetic you don’t know whether to laugh at me or cry.

So I gobbled down the giant orange-scented nothingness and marched into Blockbuster Video.

“Do you rent Xbox 360 units?”

The girl looked very confused. A boy came up behind her. “You mean the actual consoles?” he asked. They both looked at me with the strange look that young people give me sometimes. The look that translates into “What an interesting creature! Did he just step out of a time machine?”

“That’s right.”

“No, we don’t”

“Do you know who does rent them?”

They shook their heads.

“Or is that a thing of the past? Renting game consoles?”

“It’s a thing of the past,” said the boy. “We do sell them though.”

“For how much?” I asked, not interested of course, but for the sake of conversation.

Apparently there are different versions of the Xbox 360 console; regular, arcade, pro, whatever. He quoted various extravagant prices. I zoned out.

“Blah blah blah,” he said, “But that unit has no hard drive. Blah blah blah blah…”

“Blah blah blah Halo 3 special edition blah blah -”

“Did you say Halo 3! That’s what it’s all about! It’s all about the Halo three! That’s what I want!”

“Yeah, well this is really cool. It’s green with orange-gold trim just like the Master Chief suit blah blah blah…”

What the fuck is he talking about? Why is he talking about bloody colours? I just want to sit in front of the TV and kill everything in sight. Who cares about the godforsaken colours?

“It comes with a Master Chief helmet that you can store your Halo games in!”

I patiently overlooked that I was being mistaken for some kind of cheese-eating little video game geek and asked, “Does it come with the actual Halo 3 game?”

“No. That’s sold separately. Blah blah blah blah… basic version on sale for 19.99... Blah blah blah… sold out… blah blah blah blah… Shall I call the Erindale Station store? I think they’ll have some in stock.”

“I don’t know. I need to think about this.”

He made the call anyway. They had the special edition Halo Three Xbox console in stock as well as the game. Both were on sale. Despite my disinterest, he gave me directions to the Erindale Station Blockbuster store. “Erin Mills to Dundas. Turn left. Pass Mississauga Road… several blocks to Erindale Station..”

I thanked him and left. I had to go down Erin Mills Drive to get to my bank. Had to move some money around in order to pay the hydro bill. That done, I found myself wandering into the Wal-Mart next door for no particular reason and into their computer/hi-fi section and casually noticing that they were out of stock on the Halo 3 game and any of the Xbox console units. Which is fine of course.

Returning to the car I noticed an EB Games store in the same plaza and took a little walk there - just for the exercise of course - and noticed that they too were sold out of these products - which is all well and good of course.

Leaving the parking lot I accidentally chose an exit with no left turn available which led me down toward Dundas St where I had to make a left turn in order to get back to Mississauga Road which would eventually lead me home.

Somehow I missed that Mississauga Road intersection and found myself continuing along Dundas Street. By now the giant sawdust orange elephant bar had percolated through me and my stomach was turning inside out. I needed a bathroom and fast. I drove and drove and lo and behold I came to a street called Erindale Station and there was a Blockbuster Video store there which has a public bathroom that they will unlock for you if you ask nicely.

So I rushed in and in my confusion blurted, “I need a Halo 3 game and a Halo 3 Xbox unit please - I mean - I mean - I need your washroom please!”

She scooped up the key, led me to the washroom and unlocked it. “Shall I get those items together and hold them for you at the front counter?”

“God No!” I said. But in my panic, it came out sounding more like, “Yes please!”

I emerged from the facility feeling much much better and went to the counter to clear up the misunderstanding. There I spied a good brand of White Cheddar Popcorn Powder for sale and so I grabbed a bottle. I know that there’s a Cineplex Odeon gift certificate in the Tub o’ Christmas Loot and there’s no sense going to the movies without your crack. I mean - white cheddar powder.

I’m not really sure exactly what happened after that except I found myself surrendering my credit card to pay $250 for cheddar powder while the customer at the check-out next to me said, “Ooh. That’s what my husband wanted for Christmas!”

“Cheddar powder?”

“What? No, the video game.”

Apparently the cheddar powder comes with free Xbox products. “Well, tell him that no adult should be playing with this game. It’s an irresponsible idiotic pursuit!”

Now if you’ll excuse me, I must go. I have a plethora of killing to do. Hopefully I will emerge from my bedroom in three days, twenty pounds lighter and well on my way to annihilating the alien Covenant forces and the Flood parasite. It’s called the Halo diet. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


So here's the thing. Try to put yourself in these shoes:

You're from Toronto. You start a band; you and two other local guys. It's clear early that two of you are major talents and you replace the drummer with someone up to your standards - perhaps even more so.

You're an immediate local phenomenon with a solid home fan base. Over many years you remain dedicated to your art. For no prize will you will sell out. You remain unique and you remain united into your third decade.

Commercially you occupy a rare space. The combination of your uniqueness, dedication, integrity and wildly abundant talent make you over-the-top champions of a marketing philosophy that would not come into vogue until the third millennium. It is the aim - not to hit every possible listener with a number-one hit and win the sale of an album or two from each of them - but to wow the shit out of a loyal fan base that will buy everything you make - permanently.

And regardless of your intention you are so damn successful at that, that even though you are popularly indecipherable you become commercially relevant; an industry icon even - for the sheer volume of your impact, however formulated.

You tour world-wide for two decades before ever considering South America. There are rumours of Brazilian interest but album sales there do not seem to indicate a particularly lucrative opportunity.

But loyalty flows both ways and whatever fans are there deserves their opportunity to see you.

It is 2003 and what you don't yet know is that the precocious prevalence of unofficial music downloading in Brazil can sometimes mask a band's actual popularity.

Your gigs sell out instantly. Your people book bigger gigs.

Bewildered, you are busy modifying various track components in order to salute the South American culture as you prepare to play before sold-out soccer stadiums.

Approaching Rio de Janeiro, a myriad of problems arise; weather problems; technological problems. Obviously the show will go on but the film crew that were aiming to record the show? They have problems of their own and have arrived late. Will they go ahead and record without the benefit of sound or video checks? Yes. It surely won't be the best concert video ever recorded but they will go ahead.

You don't suspect that from this collection of odd details, lie the makings of something very special.

You don't know that for years afterward kids young enough to be your grandkids; who don't even know your music, will say. "Rush in Rio? Shit, I hear that's like - the best concert video ever made!"

Which is what the kid at the Orangeville Blockbuster said to me as he hunted down their last copy for me to buy. I would own it for more than a year before finally watching it for the first time. Sound strange? I knew it would be special. I had to wait for the opportunity to see it on a kick-ass Hi-Fi system; the ex's system which I knew very well, it once being mine.

"Sure, I'll look after your house while you're on vacation. Just warn your neighbors to close their windows the first night. Your place will be rockin."

So here's the thing.

There you are in front of 60,000 fans; a great undulating sea of beautiful bronzed Brazilians, swaying, waving and singing along with three old pasty white Torontonians; singing along to your instrumental songs even!

A huge flag sways above the 20th row or so. It is the flag of Brazil except the central globe has been replaced by a slightly modified version of the red maple leaf and side bars of the Canadian flag.

They don't adore you for your sexy image or for your hip style. They adore your work. Because it moves them like nothing else does.

So here's the thing.

At what point are you no longer simply playing a gig?

At what point are you in some kind of spiritual commune?

At what point can this intense connection between artist, art and the inspired only be defined with the word love somewhere within?

How do you maintain your composure? How do you keep your voice steady? How do you keep your feet and fingers and brain orchestrating the wildly complicated technical maneuvers that your task requires?

How do you keep the tears from your eyes?

This is what I want to know. This is the question for which the opportunity to ask them, I would give anything.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cafe du Rhyme

Saturday, December 20, 2008

News Flashes

FWG Still Alive
And kicking. He just hasn’t blogged in a while. Presumably, he’s been busy putting together the dynamics of his new, post-corporate lifestyle and income sources and not sitting around watching movies, playing Halo, and writing a
love-life advice column over at Crushed By Ingsoc, but one can never be sure.

Book Barn in Limbo
I approached the bookseller with the following offer: Let me set up a portable residence on this property, gimme two meals a day, and I’ll catalogue and merchandise your entire stock of books and give you an old computer with which you will access the catalogue; an estimated six-month arrangement.

The good news: The bookseller - let’s call him ‘Jack’ (since that’s his name) thought that was a fine idea!

The bad news: He neither owns the property, lives on the property or owns the major segment of the retail businesses. He just works part-time for the primary merchant in exchange for subletting the second floor for his books. He’s broke and lives off what little he makes selling the books. Furthermore, the City of Oakville which has allowed them both to do business for the last ten years on this rural property, has finally cracked down and demanded they cease operation or else cough up twenty thousand dollars to have the property legally re-zoned for commercial use. This kind of money is way beyond reach of either businessman or the landlord.

So the deal is a bust and the timeline for resolution of their dilemma is too long for me to wait around to see what part I might be able to play. As both operations are entirely to do with the reintroduction to market of used materials, otherwise potential landfill burden, in an age of environmental concern, I offered to organize a petition drive if indeed it could be determined that such would carry influence (many thanks to Terry-Anne for advice on this matter). But as for my own subsistence, I need to move on with specific plans. Mister Mastercard has been generous but I can't go on being his bitch forever.

Movin’ On
After a five-year absence, FWG is returning to Steeltown. Biodad and Judy took a major financial hit during his illness and could really use some tenant income for a while in order to catch up. Moving from a very large three-bedroom apartment into a single room may be just the right temporary logistics on route to a mobile lifestyle. More importantly, the Illicit Sweetheart lives nearby and has endorsed the move. And by endorse, I mean that when old fat guys are having a thing with someone young and gorgeous, old fat guys know how to play ball. It’s one of the primary laws of the universe. The Law of the Cookie. He who has the cookie does the telling, and he who hasn’t got the cookie, does the listening. ‘Nough said.

Oh My Hurtin’ Fingers
My three middlin’ fingers are constantly numb and the tips of them sting whenever they touch something - like the goddam keys on this here keyboard for instance. It’s some rare medical condition known as learning to play guitar. It’s true. The amazing Doc Lock gave me my first ever guitar lesson Monday night in exchange for an eight-dollar meal at the Super Happy Fantastic Chinese Noodle House* and the next day I went out and bought my very own Godin La Patrie Etude six-string classical guitar! I've learned a few chords and declared war on a few others. So far I entirely suck at it but that’s okay. I won’t be performing any concerts. It’s just a tool for the process of writing songs from some of my poems that demand they be made into songs. They do that sometimes. I can’t ignore their pleas any longer.

I am a New Day Rising
And so are you. So there.

*Not the correct name for this particular noodle house which really deserves proper attribution because it totally rocks for its BBQ pork and cheap cheap prices. I'll get back to you on that.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Apologies to No Frills

As I write this at Denny’s restaurant there is a group of young people leaving the table beside mine. One (or possibly more) of them were continually belching out loud. Every now and then I have to dig deep and reaffirm that I believe the human race is worth saving.

I’ve had a lot of fun over the last two years poking fun at the Bristol-and-Creditview No Frills store and their customers. I’ve gone so far as to call it the Galactic Centre of Ignorance on occasion. Not very kind, I know. Not very enlightened. But fun. It’s always great fun to bitch, isn‘t it? The best things in life are free.

Yesterday, on my way to Strat-o, I stopped at the much fancier and dancier Real Canadian Superstore to pick up a case of pop and some prepared fried chicken from the hot section.

They had a bit of a line-up going on. At the check-out I dropped one of those cool separator bars onto the belt between my fried chicken and the goodies being purchased by the fellow in front of me and dropped another behind my case of pop so that the woman behind me in line, draped in her furs, would feel free to add her items to the belt. A lot of people don’t seem to know what those bars are for. Well, that’s what their for. I wouldn’t lie to you about something like that.

Oddly, the woman in fur would not begin placing her items down until I was finally paying for mine. Perhaps I smelled bad. Maybe I’d stepped in dog poop and didn’t know it. Or maybe she follows some one-customer-on-the-belt-at-a-time rule on advice from her priest or something. Who knows?

But as I was picking up my goodies to leave she pushed her cart into me. Not a problem. Didn’t hurt. She didn’t apologize. Odd, I thought but also not a problem. I paused a second to get a proper grip on the case of pop and she ran the cart into my leg again. This time I looked directly at her. She looked away, saying nothing.

“Sorry about that,” I said. “I’ll be out of your way in a second.”

She glanced at me and looked away again. I went on my merry way.

Mysterious behaviour, I thought. On my home planet I was taught that when one person hits another person it is the hitter, not the hittee, who apologizes. But hey, who am I to preach tradition, right?

Maybe she has a cougarish streak and this was some odd manner of flirting. Or maybe I was on Candid Camera and I left before they had a chance to drop the bucket of pig’s blood on me. Or maybe she just wanted me to pay for the sins of all the men in her life. Maybe I got off easy.

Do you have any theories?

Maybe she was a princess in her former country and she was taught that all her mistakes are automatically someone else’s fault. Or maybe she saw my fried chicken and forgot it’s not 1950 and didn’t like my being in the white line. I really hope that’s not it.

There is now a new group of young people at the table beside mine here at Denny‘s. One of them tried to order a fur burger. The waiter offered a polite laugh. The next kid, not to be outdone, ordered a pussy supreme with extra pussy. Part of me is jealous that I never thought of something that clever back when I was young and a moron. The other part of me thinks it might be real nice if humans were confined to the North Pole and industrialized polar bears were down here fucking us out of existence.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

god, this is so embarassing:

... but does anyone know how to kill the prophet Regret in Halo 2 for XBox? So I can get this shit over with and go back to being a productive member of society?

I mean - a productive non-member of society?

I mean - an unproductive poet what nobody understands?

I keep whacking the crap out of him and his float-buggy with a salvaged glowy sword and all he does is make alarmed noises and I don't understand if the blood splashes are his or from the endless army of little ninny guards that just never dry up.

Please. Please help me get my life back.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Holiday Wish List 2008

A meme of sorts from the excellent Viorica:

My top-ten Christmas wish list. It`s supposed to be sincere and so this is. Pass it on if inclined. I don`t know if this will really be the top ten but it will be the first ten that come to mind.

1. Cures for Diabetes, Cancer and AIDS.

2. A comfy security guard job where I can sit at a desk and write for eight hours and get paid for doing nothing.

3. More time with the I.S. (Like twenty hours or so per day).

4. A research assistant who works for free.

5. An agent.

6. An airline ticket to Pondicherry, India.

7. To reach a perfect state of harmony.

8. A cap for the truck.

9. An acoustic guitar.

10. That every living person in the world be... okay.

FWG: The Deer and I

I walked alone on a moonless night.
I walked alone but for the sounds
Of my boots upon the ground
And the raindrops on my hat
And the wind in my ears.

I almost never saw him;
Only a few short strides away.
The deer stood statue still
And so then did I
But he was more still than me.

Then I saw another frozen figure,
Much like me but formed
Of material alike the deer.
Of course, it was a Santa.

I sighed and went home.
Such is life in the suburbs.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Steve-o: The Singles

You know the drill. These are recent random mutterings of the roommate. His songs are in italics.

Simon says… Look Asian.

Look at that! Aren't you amazed by my ying-yang mustard!

Behold! The breakfast burrrrrrrrrritohhhhhh...!

The Neanderthals ate at the worst sushi restaurants. Those fuckers couldn't even cook rice or ginger.

Ah! But I made an awesome pork chawp! If'n I don't say so mah self! Which I just did.

I killed that giant centipede. His last words were, "I wish I'd worked more. I wish I'd paid more taxes."

I'm glad! I'm glad! To have! To have! A friend! A friend! Like Hercules!

And now we're going to play a game called "What's on Stephen's Shit."

You're trying to poison me so you can get my balcony, mother fucker. I saw that episode of Perfect Strangers.

Three blind mice,
Three blind mice,
Stick them in the eye,
Stick them in the eye,
See how they do this,
See how they do that,
See how they do this and that...

So he saved up fifteen loads of sperm and put it in a martini glass - and sure enough it got mixed up with the pina colada mix. Oh my god. It was so funny. I laughed my balls off. And I wasn't even drunk.

Hey mambo! Mambo Italiano! That's my Jerry Lewis singing Mambo Italiano. How did you like it?

The sentiments expressed above are not endorsed by FWG,, Jerry Lewis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Huey Lewis or Huey, Dewey or Luey. Or anyone, really.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Third try's the charm

As discovered on the ever-raucous Avitable web site, the Avitable Scramble: You have thirteen minutes to blog thirteen items. Sounds easy, right? And it is. But twice I've run out of time because I suck. Here we go again:

1. I've been participating in the the National Novel Writing Month event again this November. That's one reason I haven't blogged much. The challenge is 50,000 words in 30 days. Some of the writing is done at 'write-ins' where I gather with a bunch of delightful writer pals from ages fifteen to sixty. We're the Hamilton team and last year we defeated both challengers; Calgary and Delaware, but this year we're getting our collective asses handed to us. I hope to reverse my share of the blame. I'm only at 11,000 words so far but hoping to get my shit together and go on a 3000-per-day pace now that I should have more free time.

2. That took two minutes just now. I'm behind already.

3. I'm officially unemployed and relishing the freedom. I hope to never again sell myself into slavery. I'm looking at various solutions that would allow me to write full time and to travel. And I don't mean from hotel to hotel. I'm more than ready for a materially simple existence. There are no joys that money can buy. I know this with pristine clarity. If it wasn't for the debt that won't be paid off until August I might already be going mobile. Well - there are matters of the heart that are also weighing me down to this location. That's a challenge of another sort altogether.

4. Biodad is doing very well at this time. I'm back in Streetsville and visiting him twice a week.

5. I have an awful lot of possessions to disperse. It'll be a chore. The books! Gads! The books! How pure is my will to decline possessions? I guess this'll be the test.

6. I'm pretty certain I'll be approaching the bookseller with the book barn that needs a lot of work. A six-month project there might be just the right component to build a transitional plan around. There are so many options. So many components. It's all good. All the possibilities are joyful!

7. I've been eating my vegetables and walking and going to the gym. The frog is moving in the desirable direction again. Yay! The I.S. laid down the law; read me the riot act. There is no more fucking around. This extra weight is history.

8. I have a new laptop. It has a built-in web cam. I guess they all do now. Had to give the old lap top back to Ye Olde Information Company. It was kind of hard to go around saying goodbye to so many friends there. They have no idea how much I love them.

9. Shopping for a cap for the pick-up truck. It may become my primary residence when I go travelling.

10. I realized something awesome while at the gym today. If I get a premium membership at a gym that features locations all over the country - I'll always have somewhere to shower/shave/brush etc while I'm on the road. How sweet is that?

11. I'm immensely tempted to take a little vacation to Florida for a while. I have very dear friends living there. I could make it a sort of practice run to see how it goes, living primarily out of the truck. Of course this is really just a poor excuse to get the fuck out of the cold weather for a while! I'm no saint obviously.

12, I've been touched by the noodly appendage of the Flying Spaghetti Monster! Okay, that was a total lie. Sometimes I tell lies on this blog but at least I always confess!

13. I hereby promise to post more often.

I did it. thirteen things in thirteen minutes. I'm freaking awesome.

[Editor's note: And easily impressed with himself.]

Friday, November 14, 2008




WHAT IS THIS?????????????




The awsome beautiful JETS have beaten the vile hideous stinky stinky New England Stink-Patriots for the first time in forever and possibly the last??????





I'm opting out of next Sunday altogether. Opting the hell out. Not even gonna get out of bed all day.


Shoot me.

Someone please just shoot me.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Dear President Obama:

Loving enlightened people across the world are looking to America with rare hope in their hearts. We beg you, follow yours.

Blog friends:

You too can send a message to be displayed in Washington (it looks legit):

More inspiring sentiments from cool bloggers:

Oh - almost forgot - Matt, over at Three Angry Guys, says, "I’m so excited about the days that lie ahead that my nipples are getting erect."

Of course, Obama can not change the world single-handedly. We all have to participate. Find your own way.

Friday, October 31, 2008

I'm Bluebeard!

Get it? I'm Bluebeard because my beard is blue! Ha ha!

Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr... matey...!

Okay. That was just too much fun. Let me see if I can settle down now.
There's no photoshopping there by the way. That's blue hair paint.

Want to see my pumpkins?

No, that's not a euphemism. It's a redundant question. You're going to see my pumpkins whether you want to or not. Meet Squiggy McSquigglesteen:

Goopy and Oopy:

Jack and Jacqueline:

Oh dear. Don't you just hate it when you're shooting your pumpkins and you accidently catch the neighbor playing leap frog with her recycle bins? Every goddam time I tell you.

I was planning to get seven pumpkins but Biodad was squirming as I loaded the fourth into the shopping cart.

"How many pumpkins are you getting!!"

"Enough to feed every orphan in Africa," I said but then quit after one more. Which was good because after carving five, the fun - and my back - were wearing the hell out.

How Halloween became Easter

I bought three different kinds of candy so that I could give each little gremlin one of each or else three of a peanut-free product to anyone declaring a peanut allergy. But as I sorted the candy into three separate bowls I started reading the labels and found out that among Reese's Pieces, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Oh Henry bars, there ain't a nut-free product among them. Who knew?
Here's the lucky part. Upon delivering the three bowls to the front porch where I'll be celebrating the warm weather with a good book tonight, the one bowl I dropped was the one bowl that is non-breakable! Cool beans, eh? Of course a bunch of candy then spilled off the porch and into the garden below where I had to go hunt for them. And that's how FWG invented Easter.

So... I'm Bluebeard. Charlie is a dog and Biodad is the Karate Kid. "Step-mom" Judy had to work evenings so she couldn't participate. Actually I should confess - Charlie is in fact a dog - like 24/7. He's of a canine species. He's not in costume. Sorry to have mislead you. And Biodad doesn't even know that he's Karate Kid. But he's wearing a bathrobe every moment, presumably to remind us all that he's ill, and he makes all kinds of grunts and groans with every step he takes - like some kind of weird little quiet low-key martial arts guy, so you get the idea.

I wasn't even going to participate myself (haven't in years) but I've been reading October Dreams, a marvelous anthology by the likes of dear beloved Ray Bradbury and by Peter Straub, Poppy Z. Brite, Thomas Ligotti, Micheal Marshall Smith and many, many others, and it's got me totally in the Halloween spirit. I'm saving the last four stories for tonight!

Oh - and while we're talking Halloween, whatever the heck is going on with the Google banner today?

Is that razor blades and syringes I see in that pic? Excuse me but should we really be celebrating syringes and razor blades as Halloween icons? Isn't that kind of tasteless? This is the worst Google banner I've seen since the Giant Swimming Sperm of Beijing. Crazy bastards.

Well, that's all for now. I got kids to feed and stories to read. Goodbye and happy Halloween from all of us here at Mission Control!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A barn and its secrets

In need of a 30” kick plate for a fridge – any colour, any style – I made a pit-stop just off my Streetsville-Hamilton rural express route to visit one of my favorite merchants.

It looks like a typical farm except for the vast collection of used home building materials gathered at one side of the massive three-storey barn and the two little tent-signs at the entranceway – one of which reads, Builders Bazaar.

Inside the barn lay endless rows of used doors, windows, and bathroom and kitchen fixtures. Fridges – none. Kick plates – nought.

“While I’m here, I’ll take a peak upstairs, Greg, though I’m really not in buying mode these days.”

“Go ahead, but you’ll find it messier than usual.”

That was hard to believe. Navigating the upper floor had always been a challenge.

Up in the loft things looked as usual. The extensive labyrinth of book-crammed bookshelves lay riddled with the usual hurdles. Open boxes of books and loose stacks of books and fallen stacks of books made every step a peril.

But there was one difference.

The longest straight corridor, flanked, of course, by shelves of books, was no longer capped at the end by yet another bookcase. The maze now had an exit. Darkness lay beyond. And perhaps a giant hunk of cheese?

Naturally I approached, thereby discovering that weak light from a few bare bulbs did indeed illume the features in this place beyond: More and more and more bookshelves, these ones arranged in neat rows like a library, but teeming with books in no apparent particular order. And all along one wall – boxes. Fifty or more – labeled in marker, Hard Cover, Sci-Fi, Mystery, Literature…

I spent a long time wandering here, thinking.

I love books. I love reading them, writing them, searching for them, buying them, holding them, shelving them, cataloguing them, talking about them, writing about them, looking at them.

Suddenly I had to marvel at my own newfound capacity to grab hold of the world, to slow it down, to see the paths and possibilities before me and the freedom and confidence to participate however I choose. Perhaps this is how a lot of people are. But for me, it’s new.

I went down finally and talked to Greg. The fire inspector has demanded changes be implemented to his merchandising and storage layout. His stock is non-catalogued. His online presence is weak. His ability to fill specific customer requests is sporadic. He has only so much time. He’s getting older. His only helper, his wife, is also aging and working the book loft has become too difficult given the circumstances of her health. He confessed there are another ten thousand books on the third floor. He estimates forty thousand in his collection. I suspect that’s an underestimate.

We talked about books and writers and poetry and happiness and freedom and kindness.

I told him of my giving notice to the corporate slave-master to whom I’ve been providing database services for the last six years. I told him of my shedding possessions and stepping out into the world on my own terms – looking to be useful in ways that are honest and real.

He shook my hand and wished me good fortune. I told him that I would be back.

I may be back soon. I may have found another project. Another way to be useful in a real way.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

FWG's nugget o' wisdom #361

You know why your hands are always sticky after a Chinese buffet? Even when you eat everything with your fork and knife and not with your hands? Even when you're careful not to lay your utensils on your sticky plate? Know why?

It's the handles.

On the serving spoons.

You're wearing other people's stick.

Bon appetite!

This has been an original nugget o' wisdom from the brain of Fantasy Writer Guy. Do not attempt to use nuggets o' wisdom in your own home without the guidance of a trained professional. Do not allow contact with water or bright light. Do not feed them after midnight.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Secret Selves

Why I take advice from a blogger who's every second post concerns his penis, I don't know, but sometimes I do. Mr. Avitable sent me here in order to take the secret self test. The result was amusing. Have fun with it.

White Knight
White Knight
Take Your Secret Self 1 Step Beyond today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

Going 1 step beyond I would be rescuing damsels (or damsirs?) in distress, standing up as a champion for the underdog and/or righting every wrong you could possibly imagine. I am the incorruptible cop, the brave friend of little children, and the one who will constantly save your ass from your own repeated idiocies. When I die I don't need statues in my honor, just name your children and dogs after me. That would be pretty cool.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

FWG's Amazing Election Day Prediction: Dumb Canadians use Dumb Political System to Elect the Candidates They Don't Want

Canada has only one federal conservative-oriented party of any significance. They're the Conservative Party which were re-built from the ashes of the Progressive Conservative Party and the Reform Party, a project headed by Mr. Stephen Harper who now leads the new Conservative Party and is considered the Prime Minister thanks to a small minority of Canadian voters who cast votes for his party (those afraid of losing their privileged share of wealth and those afraid of the darkies, and presumably some other categories of voters of whom I've never made acquaintance) and thanks to a political system supposedly democratic but which empowers its constituents to the slimmest possible degree.

I should note that I once had a significant explicit conversation with an associate of Harper, a Reform Party candidate who was most thankfully never elected and who's messages were in no way indistinguishable from that of a Nazi. Somehow I resisted the urge to slit that monster's throat and for that negligence I apologize to you all.

There are four more parties of significance and they are all liberal-oriented parties. We have the popular Liberal Party who historically dominate power in this nation due to the popular liberal-thinking essence of the country.

We have the Bloc Quebecois who only run in the large province of Quebec and do so based on a separation platform that is somehow not considered treasonous (thank goodness - I don't like seeing people put to death). The Quebec public has twice rejected separation in provincial referendums but continue to elect it's proponents to office (not necessarily inconsistent, I realize)

We have the New Democratic party who have never held power nationally (though provincially on several occasions), who have become very proficient in the opposition role, who are probably more liberal than the Liberal Party in that they traditionally propose the progressive motions only later gobbled up by the Liberals, and who are probably more green than the Green Party given the independent studies that proclaim them so.

Oh yeah - the Green Party is the final element of the liberal-oriented community. They took the NDP's platform and slapped a green label on it and now help the conservatives by stealing votes from well-meaning but dunder-headed former NDP supporters.

Here's how it all works. A typical breakdown of an anglophone Canadian electorate might go like this:

party------------------------------ popular support
conservative-oriented Conservatives 23%
liberal-oriented Liberals --------- 20%
liberal-oriented NDP's ------------ 17%
liberal-oriented Green ------------ 4%
none of the above (no vote)-------- 36%

Result: A largely unpopular conservative minister goes to parliament.

If we voted with the same commitment to fairness as the leadership elections carried out by individual parties we would rank the candidates on our ballots in order to emulate the tiered system where supporters of cast-off low-scoring candidates would be reassigned to remaining candidates until one person gathers more than half the votes. In the above sample the Liberal would probably eventually inherit the support of NDP's and greenies and emerge victorious with about 40% on the above table or two-thirds of the vote.

At the last federal election we also had a referendum to decide on a proposal to change to a mixed representation system which was basically a compromise, which would have fallen short of fair representation but was at least unarguably more fair. All my most intelligent friends considered the proposal a no-brainer and voted YES to the proposal. Others had no idea what the proposal meant and voted NO because they don't want us participating in something they don't understand. They got their wish. Congratulations.

The same kind of insanity transpired, very tragically, in the nineties when we collectively downed an improved new version of the Canadian Charter of Rights by referendum. The new version was superior and more reflective of the current social environment than the old version in every way. Everyone I talked to who had bothered to read the damn thing overwhelmingly agreed with me but alas, we were the minority.

Many homosexuals axed it because it "didn't go far enough". Many Native Canadians axed it because it "didn't go far enough". And so on and so on. And the reward given to the clever "not enough" crowd is that they threw their $10,000.00 winning lottery tickets in the garbage because they didn't get their $1,000,000.00 grand prize. Too bad, so sad for all of us.

Canadian people are rarely considered politically savvy. It's no surprise how lazy we've become. We've been largely exempt for many years from the darkest consequences of humanity's political fascination; war, revolution, terrorism. We have no respect for the politicians who eventually play the political charade well enough to graduate into positions of consequence; we perceive them as actors and bullshitters. Each election a large share of voters bear the ridiculous discomfort of having to decide whether to make our preference known as democracy supposedly is to be celebrated, or to vote strategically in order to keep out the worst of the villains, meanwhile depriving their party of choice of the public support that would otherwise be useful for their future.

Oh yeah, my prediction (if anyone is still reading this mess, which I doubt): Another artificial conservative minority. The crippling left-wing vote-splitting combined with the Bloc effect - their localized popularity but absence at large - make it inevitable.

As for our non-political savviness and the low voter turn-out -- make room for me among the ranks of disinterested. I've never seen dynamic change follow a Canadian election. I've had it with the BS. This is probably my last time voting.

(Oh and don't forget to vote NDP or you'll make baby Jesus cry!)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Hmmm... What to be thankful for...?

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving y'all. Day one of two was spent here at Mission Control (Biodad's home). Tomorrow I'll be up at the farm with my official family.

Today's deliciously awesome menu:

cranberry sauce
spiced yams
broccoli w/ melted cheese
whole wheat rolls
pumpkin pie

And what do you suppose we were thankful for?

No! Not the pumpkin pie! That dad is alive!

Yeesh. You people are incorrigible.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

No, Dad. You can't buy the Respiratory Therapist

Pleased to announce that Biodad's condition is now improving so rapidly that he may be home in a couple days. He's currently in the ward, removed from the respiratory apparatus and from various other devices which were plugged into every available natural orifice and a few new ones created by doctors. I'll leave the particular details alone. How's that?

The turning point began about ten days ago when he came out of his tortuous delirium - or rather, for the most part - and communication of a rough sort began. He was still impeded by a full-size tracheotomy and thus voiceless and some remaining drug effects still lingered in his brain.

He mouthed words we couldn't grasp. He signaled for the clip board and pencil and wrote, with terrible effort and shakiness, his muscles and thought processes both impeded, POLPE.


He shakes his head.


He shakes his head.


He nods, and slowly points toward the other patient in the "semi-private" ICU ward. There is a pole between them and it bears the electronic devices which administer drugs to his roommate.
'My pole.' he silently mouths.

"Your pole? I don't think so, dude. Your pole is over there."

He shakes his head and slowly points again. 'My pole.'

"That pole is hooked into that lady. That's her pole. She needs it. It's giving her the drugs she needs. Your pole is on the other side of your bed. Over there. See?"

He shakes his head, takes up the clip board and begins the arduous task of writing, $100.00 bill.

"One hundred dollar bill? You'll give me a hundred bucks to steal that pole?" I quickly calculate that a hundred dollars is not enough to go killing a person for. I do have principles.

He shakes his head and we spend the next ten minutes or so establishing his claim that there is a hundred dollar bill on top of the pole and he wants it. I spend the following ten minutes assuring that there is no such bill on top of the pole and we should all just relax. Finally he winces and puts his hand to his forehead. He seems to realize he's been a little off the mark. We laugh and tell him it's okay.

Later he asks if he can purchase the pretty young respiratory therapist and take her home. This is no delusion. This is how we know he's his old self again.

Welcome back.

Monday, October 06, 2008

FWG is still alive

Sorry for this regrettable absence. The new and temporary circumstances of my life dictate that I reside in Hamilton while my biological father slowly recovers from a heart attack and many further complications. He's been in ICU four weeks now. My schedule is entirely dismantled and I haven't found much time for writing or blogging.

Actually I did one post recently but posted it at the CRUSHED site instead due to contractual obligation of sorts! It's poetry so I expect that few will be interested but if so it's here:

Duplicity - Part Two: Me, My Priest, My Society

Under the theory that any little old material is better than no material, I offer you, with what limited time I can eek out, a literary snapshot:

I am in the little basement office at Biodad's house, doing some remote work for Ye Olde Information Company (and a little blogging), while on the little desk, immediately beside my laptop, sits a wicker basket, oval, roughly 18" by 14" with arcing handle. In this basket lies a towel and, on top of that, a bushy-browed, scruffy little dog, part poodle, part terrier of some ilk. He's five or six, dark with white markings on legs and chin, dressed in a blue sweater (one of his faves) and is snoozing and occasionally issuing a little snort or quiet whimper.

He wouldn't let me work, constantly standing and pawing my knee and wanting in my arms until we finally discovered this solution. His name is Charlie or sometimes Chuckie McPoochdoggie or Chuckie McBoondoggle since I showed up. He hasn't seen his "daddie" in a month but he seems to enjoy my company.
And we're both getting a lot more walks than usual.

Hope to post more often - even if they're quickies.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Aequitas: Insights

Piece of Sin

The best of the rest make fools
Of themselves, and abuse themselves
With remarks of "I'm confused."
And lost and used they wait upon their shelves
Like collectables, delectable
And ripe for the choosing.
But there's something undetectable
And it's something worth losing.
A mind could find it again
But the heart cannot,
For it's a little piece of sin
Lust, avarice, and sloth.


Demanding, standing
On grandiose delusion
Illusion, your confusion
Eludes your attitude
Of rudeness and lewdness
Too cruel and foolish
To seem like you belong
You're wrong, but strong
In devotion to your lies
Hypnotized and compromised
Realizing you despise
This guise and rise
Above, below, or
Love and sorrow
Or borrow the time
Selling the line
That you can't
Or won't, but don't
Pretend like you intend
To defend your independence
When friendless you stand,
Grand, but alone, a stone
Against a rock
And talk while walking
Cocky, locked and go
Away or stay
Whatever you say
Just say it today.

Read more poetry by Aequitas on Authspot

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Steve-o: The Star Wars edition

More recent random mutterings of the roommate:

Oh Yoda, you're the ugliest thing ever.

Luke…! Luke…! Comb…! My hair…!

Man, if I had a bionic arm like that, I'd shoot laser beams out of it. I'd be like pshew! pshew! I'd have it do all kinds of neat stuff. You guys suck. George Lucas, you blow.

I'm gonna eat those bush babies. I'm gonna suck their blood.

Play like a Ninja! Play like a Ninja!

And what about Darth Vader? He was totally rebuilt. Why doesn't he have a laser penis? He should've had a laser penis.

Why does the emporer have a German accent? They make all the bad guys German in these movies.

Learn to ekthpect the unekthpected? How do you ekthpect the unekthpected?

Welcome to the Ice Chamber of Shangri-la!

That reminds me, I need to go to the liberry. I need to find my liberry card.

I hope the Ewoks win. I hate it when the Ewoks lose.

The preceding sentiments are not endorsed by FWG, or anyone long ago in a place far, far away.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The waiting is the hardest part

ICU West.

His nurse is expecting me. She calls to me and leads me around the corner to bed five.

He’s moving like a bug trapped on its back; not thrashing; he’s too weak for that and too sedated but he’s moving; legs kicking in slow motion; arms rising and falling. His head rolls back and forth. His eyes are very slightly open. Tubes are wired into his puffy wrists and into his mouth and down his throat. There are bandages on his legs. I have no idea why, unless they extracted something there for use in the bypass surgery. Gadgets and displays surround him in a great arc. There’s enough computing power hooked into him to launch a mission to Mars.

I wasn’t ready for this. He’d been motionless when I’d seen him previously; in essence, comatose.

“He’s very fidgety right now,” says the nurse. “I’ve just upped the dose of [whateverdrug – Trazipan or some damn thing] to try to get him to sleep. He didn’t sleep well last night.”

I wouldn’t either with a goddam pipe down my throat. “When can he come off the breathing machine?”

She explains their difficult position. It might just be the tube that’s making him so ornery but if they take it out and it turns out not to be the cause – the situation could be dangerous.

“Is this a bad time for me to visit?”

“No. It’s probably a good time. You might be able to calm him down. Try to convince him to sleep.” She moves away from us.

“Hey Dad.” I step closer and lean down. “Hey Dad.”

His legs slow. His head turns in my direction. His eyes open wider for a moment. His lips and throat are moving.

“Are you trying to talk? Don’t try to talk. You got that tube down your throat.”

“Is it driving you crazy, that tube? Listen, you need to be as calm as you can. You got to try to live with it for now, you know? They can’t take it out until you’ve been calm for a while. You need to cooperate with these guys. The nurse says it’s best if you can sleep for a while.”

“You’re lucky, you know. This is a great hospital. These doctors and nurses – they’re the best. I trust them. I think they know what’s best for you, you know? And I know Judy thinks so too.”

Three different wavy lines undulate across a monitor. One of them is his heart, I assume, beating, blessedly, again.

“I’m really glad you got this operation. I’m looking forward to – I’m looking forward to seeing you recover, and how much better your health will be after.”

“I love you, Dad. No, don’t try to talk.”

“It’s a little strange; this one-way conversation. I’m used to being more of a listener, you know?”

I’m touching his shoulder. His arm rises, whether to hold my hand or to punch a hole in the ceiling, who knows. I hold his big puffy hand.

“I’ve been talking to Judy a lot. I know we hardly ever talk, you and me, and when we do, you always say it’s great to see me and I should call more often, but you never call me. So I’ve just always thought it’s a bit of a game, you know? That you’re just trying to be kind to me; to make me feel wanted. But I’ve been talking to Judy and she says, no, it’s not like that. So I guess I had it wrong. But I want you to know that I gave Mosaic my notice. And I want to move back to Hamilton for a while. And I’d like to see you as much as you want. Every day if you want. I mean that.”

A tear runs down his cheek. Maybe it was there before. Maybe I didn’t notice until now.

I look around and search for things to say; to pass some time.

“I’m really excited about the future. My life has really changed, you know? And I think it’s gonna be the same for you. I think there are a lot of possibilities coming out of this. Healthier lives for both of us. I really look forward to talking to you about these things when you can talk again. Hopefully soon if you can just find a way to put up with all this shit; to be calm, you know? To do what the doctors ask you to.”

His eyes are fully closed now. He’s barely moving.

I tell him hockey season is coming and his beloved Montreal Canadiens are looking like a strong team. Some predict them to lead the conference.

“I don’t know if you can hear me anymore, Dad. I don’t know if you’re sleeping or not.”

“He is,” says the nurse, coming up behind me. “Thank you. You’re timing was excellent. You helped him to sleep. He needed that.”

“Thank you for everything,” I say. I tell her when I’ll be back again for another visit.

I make my way out to the big double doors and push the yellow button to open them. The intensive care unit does not smell nice. I would very much like to never smell it again.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Mr. Avitable has created his own meme. Link back to him if you decide to do it yourself:

My favorite age: 29.

My best friend: Porn King. But Doc Lock, Proffesor Plonk, Cap'n Vino, Rockin' Roddie, Jiggs, Matman and the I.S. are all too wildly special to go without mention.

My celebrity crush: None. Well - Mark Wahlberg if I had to choose.

My defining characteristic: I was once known as the Cigar-n-Guinness Guy according to certain bartenders.

My most evil moment: A letter in reply to an ex's letter when I was 18. Thought I was being clever but in hindsight was just cruel. Been hoping for a chance to apologize for years now.

My favorite food: Jerk pork from Mister Jerk, DQ peanut butter cup blizzard, trout paste, steak, saucy ribs, butter chicken, Tai spring rolls, The Keg's calamari, blue cheese, maple syrup with french toast, warm fresh bread. Excuse me, I need to go purge.

My grossest injury: I don't get hurt much but I was almost struck by a stream of squirting blood when an opponent's shot drove an errant helmet screw into my lacrosse teammate's head (the goalie). He recovered okay, by the way, no more brain-damaged than he was previously.

My biggest hatred: Been a long while since I experienced hate but my deepest mistrust - I'd have to say, my own ego.

My most illegal activity: Speeding, tax evasion, defecting from the Matrix.

My need for justice: I interact with natural justice. It regulates my capacity to experience joy. I think this applies to everybody but very few claim to be aware of it.

My most knowledgeable field: Human nature.

My life's goal: Harmony.

My mother's influence: Love. Unconditional.

My nerdiest point: God, where to start... Devoted half my energy in my youth to being a dungeon master (the other half to street hockey; I was awesome at both!)

My oldest memory: Waking up early the mornings after my mom's parties and drinking the dreggs of cold coffees left behind. Thank god she couldn't afford alcohol.

My perfect date: No comment. I'm committed to keeping this blog somewhat clean.

My unanswered question: How do I get there from here? And: Why don't I just get out the door and figure it out?

My random fact: I don't know how to whistle.

My stupidest decision: "Fuck it, I can jump from here."

My favorite television show: M*A*S*H

My style of underwear: Tighty whities.

My favorite vegetable: Barley. In liquid form only.

My weakest trait: Inherently lazy.

My X-men power: I'm a walking lie detector.

My strongest yearning: The I.S.

My moment of Zen: Gazing at the moon, stars or the empty page.

Friday, September 12, 2008

FWG: Dear Father

Though you believe you plainly see,
In fact you do not know me.
For I have purged all I thought I knew
And began this living all anew.

But my covertness for your comfort,
I can no longer maintain.
For a rightful task calls me to my feet
And now your blindness might soon retreat.

Your deeds were apt for self destruction;
A low straight line marked the end
Of your heart's fragile beating
But your death they are now cheating;
They, dressed in loose blues and greens
And all of their fine machines.

And now you too are reborn
If you should wish it and will it so;
If you will now learn to let go
And begin to purge the ways you knew
So to begin this living all anew.

Release those demons from your embrace!
And turn to the sky, instead, your face
And be stunned by the unfamiliar sun,
So brilliant is the new day.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

FWG: Code Blue

Better another and another cigarette
With every breath borrowed against terminal debt.
These charcoal lungs haven’t failed just yet.

Better another and another stiff drink
Then a lucid mind with which to think.
Wellness be damned! Let mortality shrink!

Shortness of breath is a portent of death,
Still the method of suicide be sold
By the pint, by the bottle, the pack or the carton.
A nice long drag it is, getting old.

Ignoring the signs; the future declined.
Such apathy in the glare of his danger,
But when skin’s pallor ices with alarm bell devices,
My, how they fly to the aid of a stranger.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Aequitas: Nightingales

Dread not the coming dark of night
The whispering winds
And hidden frights.
A pallid light washes over all,
The leaves, once green, begin their fall.

A silvery moon, thin and wan
A nightingale sings it's waking song
The glimmer of stars
Though something's wrong.
Here it will be, ere long.

Then a blackened sky
Storm clouds brew from on high.
Churning with the wind,
And I rescind into my nest
And hope and pray for the best.

A flash of light
Illumes the night
Caught me unawares.
For to my left, and to my right
A twin pair of stares.
Hollow stares, cold as death,
And I need rest,
For I'll be tested yet again.
And as the nightingales grow silent
The storm unleashes violence,
The night that never ends.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Film: Wascally Wabbit Meets the Big Hill


Wascally Wabbit: Stella

Man on stairs: Cap'n Vino

Director: FWG

Producer: FWG

Camera Technician: FWG

Grip: FWG

Chief Bartender: FWG

Assistant to Miss Stella: Cap'n Vino

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Dispatches from the Want-n-While lodge

I'm not even going to bother fixing the awkward random spacing that will inevitably fuck up the layout of this post nor will I bother to find out who at is responsible for this fuck-uppedness that happens every time you try to post more than five photos nor will I knee said person in the crotch. We'll just live with it 'cause there are worse problems in the world...

This is the best pic I have of the cottage itself. It's kind of buried behind the trees. Use your x-ray vision:

Professor Plonk salutes the wolves upon trading authentic wolf howls with them. We think he said, "If you're coming over to visit I recommend you eat the others and not me. They're much tastier."

Foggy morning:

More 'foggy morning':

Still more 'foggy morning':

Enough 'foggy morning' to choke a small horse:

Not so foggy:

Who 'dat!

Cap'n Vino shoots a giant stool! Um - toad stool, that is:

Gateway to the land of the Tommyknockers:

Caught on the Tommyknockers' surveillance camera:

Me and Stella:

A few random quotes from the week:

"I started my vacation off properly. Had two beers and a Cuban cigar for breakfast."

"Why does this toast smell like fish? Did you grill this toast on the barbecue? By god, it tastes like fish."

"The mellow yellow policy is simply good water management."

"Go get your quadrapus!"

"Looking up at the stars I know quite well... That for all they care I can go to hell... But on earth indifference is the least We have to dread from man or beast. How should we like it were stars to burn... With a passion for us we could not return? If equal affection can not be, let the more loving one be me." (W. H. Auden)

"Apparently you get six bucks worth of free Crispy Crunches with every fourteen cent purchase of baking powder. Who knew?"

"Make way for the dock dip."

"Oh come on people. Do I have to demonstrate how to perform a demi-squat?"

"I like this tissue with lotion. I only needed one sheet instead of three and it leaves a nice taste on the lips."



"What the hell are these tommyknockers you keep talking about?"

It's a band? Manhattan Transfer! Three words... First word... The! The Manhattan Transfer! Second word... Um. Suspenders! Lumberjack! Paul Bunyan! Backpack! Hiking! Sinking! Melting! Stairway! Downstairs! Manhattan Transfer! Falling! Mushroom! What the? What are you doing? Oh! Flying! Airplane! Jefferson Airplane! Jefferson Starship...! Third word... Swing! Bat! Club! Buena Vista Social Club! The Breakfast Club! Oh! Oh! The Parachute Club! Oh shit. We were out of time.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The wheels... are in motion!

I had a couple meetings with my boss at Ye Olde Information Company this week.

They refused to dismiss me or give me a severance package - no surprise - but we did plan an exit strategy where the company and I will trade favors and part ways between three and four months from now. Basically I will stay on until they can get a new person on board and the successive training completed that will shift everyone involved into their new roles.

And then... look out world! I'll be free from the Matrix. And I'm coming after you!

In other news:

Item one: Completely independent of this circumstance, I was approached by two separate persons this week regarding income opportunities of writing and self-employed natures. How interesting how things fall together.

Item two: Very dear pal, Professor Plonk actually applied for a new job this week. I've only been urging him toward this end for twenty years or so. Did I mention it's interesting how things fall together?

Item three: Also in the realm of expanding my poetic adventures - Crushed By INGSOC has appointed me a guest position on his very most excellent blog. My debut article went up today. I'll be posting there once a month or so.

Item four: As of tomorrow, Friday August 22, 2008, at 3:01 PM -- I am on vacation! Going back to the Want-N-While lodge for a week with Professor Plonk, Cap'n Vino and their new wee dog, Stella who looks adorably ugly and shatteringly cute all at once, in pictures that is.
And also with the excellent Doc Swallows and some chum of hers who I look forward to meeting.

I shall miss you when I'm gone! Back in a week or so.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Aequitas: Generation

We are the generation
Of instant gratification
And with this molestation
We're doomed to extermination
But my determination
Is opposing all the nations
And in the decimation
We face annihilation

So spend all your money
Ignore all the warnings
Eat your milk and honey
Cuz there may be no morning
And there'll be no one mourning
When you are gone
Cuz they'll all be gone too.

We are the lost children
Led by thieves and villains
And only a few are willing
To see the truth, beyond the killing
The truth that we're all just shilling
Our souls away for top billing
On a playbill that has no feeling
And all the while you're wheeling and dealing

So spend all your money
Ignore all the warnings
Eat your milk and honey
Cuz there may be no morning
And there'll be no one mourning
Cuz you're just a greedy fuck.

Read more poetry by Aequitas on Authspot

Friday, August 15, 2008

FWG: A Thousand Loves

Life, so fragile. The body, so weak.
The heart, a miracle in every beat.
While in every house on every street,
In every corner the cancers creep.

Our days are few and each one fleet.
A thousand loves are ours to seek.
Yet no one that we’ll ever meet
May we claim our own, somehow to keep.

All things must pass. All things must pass away. - George Harrison

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Avitable Scramble - a second try

Tried this a couple weeks ago and missed the mark. Only got twelve items. Hoping to score perfect this time around. The Avitable Scramble is this:

You start with a blank mind - so to speak, and then try to belch out 13 separate thoughts in 13 minutes. It's blogging by the seat of your pants.

Here we go:

1. Sitting in the throne room this morning I picked up a magazine – not from my half of the rack but from Steve-o’s, for a change. It fell open to a page with a drawing of a deer lying on its back. A man knelt before it spreading its legs. The dear was naked but the man was dressed, thank god. In hunting clothes. The headline said something like: FIELD DRESSING BASICS. Steps 2 and 3 concerned removal of the genitals and anus. I shall never open Steve-o’s magazines again. Ever. EVER.

2. Dammit I’m behind the pace already! Did you know there’s a species of lizards that are all female? They reproduce by cloning – which is inferior to sexual reproduction in most circumstances but occasionally beneficial.

3. Scientists say that the mutualistic symbiosis of leaf-cutter ants and tree-root fungus has gone on for about 50 million years! What the--? How do they know that? Hm. Spellchecker nixed ‘mutualistic’ but that’s what the scientist wrote. Personally I would have objected based on redundancy, not spelling.

4. They also suggested that 40% of mothering songbirds cheat on their husbands. I don’t have time to explain further. Moving on…!

5. I had a dream about a goose and a short-brown-haired baby hippopotamus napping together, slightly entwined, on a couch. What does that mean, you dream people? Does it mean I’m secretly some kind of pervert white-supremacist or something? If I am, I don’t know it yet.

6. Chances are - the first woman or man who will set foot on Mars is currently alive and preparing to enter high-school in a few weeks.

7. I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth when Steve-o’s suction-cup shelf – bearing a treasure trove of health products - which any legitimate metro-sexual would covet – gave way and came crashing down making the ungodliest of booming noises behind the closed shower curtain. Not knowing that it was raining male beauty products as opposed to a many-tentacled beast springing out of the bath tub at me, I bruised my hand in my instantaneous flight through the bathroom door! God, what a ninny I can be.

8. Friends recently invited me out to see the Journey to the Center of the Earth movie. Dear lord, what a waste of time and money. I had no idea it was going to be a kids movie. Do not go see it. Unless you’re a kid. Or have some of your own and are bringing them with you. The part where the heroes fall down a hole and land safely – all the way down at the centre of the earth – they should send in ushers to beat the viewers about the head during that part so they can miss that part and then assume later that there is some legitimate reason for the heroes being in this comfy place with beaches and clouds and comfy 70-degree temperatures.

9. I can never remember my 6-digit license plate number but I can always remember my 14-digit library card number any time. 29079817018758. So there.

10. I had green eggs for breakfast the other day but not with ham. I used red onion in the omelet and wherever there was a piece of red onion, the egg in that vicinity (otherwise yellow and white), turned green. And I don’t mean yellowish green or greenish yellow. I mean Christmas tree green – which freaked me out so I didn’t touch the green parts and then got turned off half way through and tossed half the damn thing in the garbage. Does that mean the eggs were bad or the onion?


12. I’M A LUMBERJACK AND I’M OKAY. That’s a Monty Python song.

Time’s up. Hell’s bells. I can’t believe I only got to 12 again! Boogers. Time management has never been my thing.