Monday, February 28, 2011

Borrow. Return. Share.

"If you were a library book I'd never bring you back." 

It's one of my favourite sayings about friendship. Yet we all know library books have to go back. When we truly love them it may be a struggle to share them. Reluctant to let go, we long to keep them for ourselves, escape with them again and again.

But think if we never shared them with others.

Just thinking about friends today. And how important they are. And what gifts they have. And what gifts they are. I have only a few very close friends now and I can't imagine life without them. But my list of friends throughout my life is long. Or it seems long to me. How did I make those friends? And where did they all go? 

Each one was important. Still is. Sometimes. Because I remember. I remember things they would remember too. But some things they wouldn't. Things they said or did. Things I needed. Things they probably didn't even realize I needed. Things they gave me without expecting anything in return. Though they wouldn't know that I guess. But sometimes I wonder if they wonder too. 

If I could only find that wizard in my Oz of night-time dreams I would stage a coup and take control. And then I would dream all my friends together, old and new, in my house, let them mingle, let them drink my Scotch, watch them enjoy each other. Laugh. Tell jokes. Play games. Play dice. Stand on the deck and stare at the stars and play guitar and sing. Summer breeze tousling hair and napkins. Chords changing. Soft looks. A playful punch here and there. I would let one or two fall asleep on the couch in the midst of it all just because we all need a little nap sometimes. And I would be proud of who they are and all they are and in my heart I would whisper thank you thank you and they would know what they meant to me, still mean to me. But I would watch them from a distance just to let my eyes enjoy seeing them all again. And I would ache to rush in there and say something to make them feel comfortable and loved and appreciated and respected and listen to them and make them laugh too. And mostly see myself again the way they seemed to see me. Once. But I wouldn't do that anymore. I wouldn't go and visit with them. (Well, maybe one or two. Just for a few minutes.) Somehow that might spoil it. Some weren't meant to be in my life now. At all. I can't change that. I can't. For many reasons. 

If only we had more rooms in our hearts with less locked doors, fewer gates we've closed because we had to for one reason or another, or gates open and waiting for someone to find his way back down that path again to look in our eyes and hug us and say I missed you or where have you been? Maybe someday? 

When I imagine all my old friends together like this, I remark to myself, those are my friends. Or were. When doesn't seem to matter sometimes. Just them. They mattered. They matter to others now. I enjoyed them and I hope they enjoyed me. I learned. I lost. I made mistakes. I gave. I took. I saved. I let go. They let go. I kept them to myself for a while. And I gave them back. And I shared them too.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Wordfuse

naivesdropping (verb): naive + eavesdropping = behaviour exhibited by children or youth when they listen outside their parents' door:


"Mom? Dad? What are you doing?! Are you wrestling or something?"

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Very First Movie

More than just the ticket.
I love movies. I can't remember a time when I didn't. I blame it on my parents. They bought their first TV when I was a toddler. They also took me to see my very first movie. I will never forget it.

Are you thinking some adorable Walt Disney Classic? Some imagination-infused movie-going delight like Fantasia? Maybe The Aristocats? And was it an experience so formative that it kick-started my love for the Arts?

YES! (And no.)

The first movie my parents took me to see in a theatre was Walking Tall, the original. I was about seven. If you're not familiar, here's my innocent version of the basic plot:
1. The good guy is nearly beaten to death and the authorities ignore it.
2. The good guy becomes the sheriff.
3. The good guy (?) beats bad guys with big pieces of wood.
4. The bad guys repeatedly shoot the sheriff and his wife. (It was at this point that I remember weeping a little while I asked my Mom, "That blood? It's all just ketchup, right Mom?")
5. Social services barged into the theatre to take me away. Naw. This part is fabricated.
6. The good guy sheriff blasts some holes in the bad guys.
7. I remember a fire too?

Yeah. So that was my first film.

Apparently my parents deemed the rating system merely a suggestion so they didn't stop there. Several other movies followed within the next two years: The Towering Inferno. Earthquake. Airport 1975. The Godfather, Part II. Race with the Devil. And of course, why not throw in that terror classic: Blazing Saddles.

By the time I was nine or so, I sure had witnessed a lot of people die horribly: by club, by fire, by jumping to their deaths, by suicide, by airplane crash, by point-blank execution, by human sacrifice in a Satanic cult and of course a classic fart scene (which could have been deadly considering the campfire in the middle of those bean-loving cowboys.)

As I said these films had a formative effect on me. Somewhat negative: I, uh, had a minor pyromaniac phase one summer. And yet also positive: those films BLEW MY MIND. Although I recall only fragments, I clearly remember how they made me feel. Before then, I had only begun to fathom through books that "art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time [Thomas Merton]." I was simultaneously transfixed and transported. And in the process, those films hooked up some of my dendrites in ways that if you knew me, would probably explain a lot.

And that is why I love movies AND movie-makers because clearly movie-makers then and now are NUTS in the best possible ways. Take the most recent movies for example. Just think about Black Swan. And 127 Hours. Remember that seriously creepy baby-doll in Toy Story 3. The climax of Winter's Bone alone. Every single scene of Inception took nuts to another level, maybe 7 in fact (?). What about that cabin scene in True Grit?! Nuts! Deliciously nuts. All of them.

Movies build in me a reverie. For those of you who can relate, enjoy the Oscars peeps.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Do Over Day

Or do I?
Apparently February 26 is Do Over Day. Well, I think it's Do Over Day. Some of the links seem to be dated or broken. Maybe the Do Over people lost their funding or something? See if you can determine what happened if it really matters to you. Anyway, I like the concept so whether it's actually a holiday or not, I'm pondering the do over.

Apparently there are two ways to celebrate Do Over Day: make it a day to right a past "wrong" or make it a celebration of a past "right." In other words, if we can imagine the regrets we'd like to change about our past, maybe we could also acknowledge what we've done right and celebrate it again. For example, this could be an opportunity to mend some long overdue injustice or perhaps renew wedding vows. Therefore, there are two questions to be asked:

  1. What wrongdoings would you correct? 
  2. Which of your best choices would you celebrate with a do over?

First, the wrongdoings. Hmm. What would I do over?

*crickets*

You might be thinking this means I have no regrets. Absolutely not true. I regret most things. Almost every day. I can't help it. I'm an anxious person. In fact, I regret what I ate for supper earlier this evening. The problem is that I'm hesitant to, you know, go there. In fact, I'm now regretting mentioning the entire thing.

*more crickets* *anxious face*

Uh, so then to avoid this awkwardness, what would I celebrate with a do over?

*crickets*

Maybe my kids' births? *remembering my wife repeatedly tearing the hair from my chest...the blood...a cream-cheese-like substance...cutting that mongo-huge umbilical cord* Nope.*stink eye face* 


*more crickets*

Yup. I guess this is why Do Over day died. Unless...here's a better idea: if there's more than one way to define Do Over Day, maybe there are three ways. That's why I am now pondering a list of regrets I would like OTHER PEOPLE to do over. *evil smile*

Thursday, February 24, 2011

SHHHHH. Don't tell my wife.

From my links: proof that I have a problem with ice cream.
Yeah. So. I'm going to tell you a secret. My wife has this condition. SHHHHH. She must never read this. Why? Well obviously I'd be dead, but here's another thing too: SHE DOESN'T EVEN KNOW she has this malady. A social psychologist would refer to her affliction as "cognitive dissonance."

I've tried to explain it to her but she thinks my thinking is flawed. Mine.

It's so frustrating. Here's the situation:

  1. I repeatedly ask her NOT to buy snacks because I will eat them.
  2. She repeatedly buys snacks thinking I won't eat them and then discovers she no longer has snacks because, you guessed it, I ate them.
  3. Testy showdowns at the pantry ensue. (See acrimatrimonious.)

Basically for example, she thinks we can have ice cream in the house. Seriously. Ice cream IN THE HOUSE. Like a hot, fat-guy like me needs ice cream?! This irritates me. She KNOWS that ice-cream is basically crack-cocaine to me. Before I go on, I must stress that I have never used crack cocaine. Honestly, I have no idea what crack-cocaine or any other cocaine is but I did watch that interview Diane Sawyer did with Whitney Houston and I have surmised that crack-cocaine is pretty powerful stuff and therefore an appropriate metaphor. As I was saying: my wife is well-aware that ice-cream is my narcotic. YET SHE STILL BUYS IT. AND she gets angry when I eat it all. Then honey, why-for-the-love-of-God did you buy it?

Like I'm the one with a problem.

She also buys RIPPLE CHIPS and CHOCOLATE CHIPS and she expects me not to snarf them down too. She ACTUALLY BELIEVES these snacks will still be there 35 minutes later when she wants to enjoy one of those toothsome goodies. She ACTUALLY BELIEVES this to be true despite nearly twenty years of evidence to the contrary. By clinging to those two conflicting notions my wife clearly has extreme cognitive dissonance. Like a clinical case. Totally. [See O-wise-and-powerful-wikipedia explanation if you care.]

So what's a guy to do if his wife thinks that treats will miraculously remain in the pantry and elsewhere despite the long-term evidence that my teens and I will gorge on them like wolves reared on trans-fat every chance we get?

Wait. I just thought of something: I suppose I could stop eating them.

Nah. That would only aid her delusion condition.

As I said, SHHHHHH. She must never read this.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wordfuse (Stink eye Version)


nincomtroop (noun): nincompoop + troop = a contingent, a group, a band, a bunch, even a delegation of people bonded together by their astonishing cluelessness. 


They might be politicians or they might be in charge of the bake-sale fundraiser. They might even be your coworkers: see mayhemployee. Worse, they might be your bosses. Regardless, they are imbeciles and they travel in packs. So speak softly and carry a big box of assorted crayons. It might distract them.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Those kinds of hands.

hands-on (adjective) involving active participation; applied as opposed to theoretical: video
My 14-year-old son takes on Eric Clapton's (!!!) Tears in Heaven.
(I apologize for the dishwasher noise in the background. I'm an idiot.)

These are my son's hands. His hands are like my Dads. Not so much in the way they look but in all they seem to be able to do. I always longed for strong hands that could build what my Dad could, fix what my Dad could, create what my Dad could. Some people just have those kinds of hands. Like my son (it skipped a generation I guess). Although my son and I are different this way, I made sure my kids love the Arts. So even my Dad couldn't do this.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thomas

Today I met Thomas.
Total strangers, we shared a chair lift to the top of Whispering Pines Ski Hill this afternoon and in the mere minutes I spent with him, this 7ish year-old-boy left a strong impression.

Thomas: (ascending in the chair lift) Put the bar down. Put it down. NOW. We don't wanna fall out. (I secure the bar then he extends his mitten-covered hand.) Hello. I'm Thomas. (We shake hands.)
Me: Hello Thomas. I like your name.
Thomas: Thanks. I do too. It's my name. Some people don't say my name right. I'm Thomas with an H. Some people say my name Th-omas, like "thhh" (rolling his eyes, shaking his head).
Me: (smiling, shaking my head too) I like your name with an H. I think that's the best way. Say Thomas, do you know what your name means?
Thomas: I am named after a famous actor: Thomas Allan Eldwood (?) Did you know that he does all his own stunts? We watched a show. There was a show. On TV. We watched it and (shaking his head like a tired old man) he went flying over the trees in his motorbike, (pointing) look at these trees. Some of them are like 20 feet tall. Look. I bet those ones over there are 30 feet tall. LOOK!
Me: (looking) I see. Thomas, what grade are you in?
Thomas: I'm in Grade 2. He flew so high but you know what? He didn't make it. He fell. But he didn't even hurt himself. I'm like him. I don't get hurt. But mostly I don't get hurt 'cause I'm careful.
Me: He didn't get hurt? Wow. I'm glad you're careful Thomas. Are you going to be a stunt-man someday?
Thomas: Yes (like he just realized it), I am(Barely a pause) No, (rethinking) I'm not. Stunt men are crazy. What does my name mean?
Me: It means twin. Cool, eh?
Thomas: Twin?
Me: Do you have a twin brother or sister?
Thomas: No. But a kid in my class has a twin. But I'M NOT a twin. I think you're mistaken.
Me: (chuckling at his word-choice) Well, oh I know. Is your Dad's name Thomas too? Are you named after your Dad? Maybe you're like his twin?
Thomas: NO! MY name is Thomas, (like I'm an idiot) I'M THOMAS. That's my name. My Dad's name is Calvin. (Approaching the end of the chair lift) Put the bar up. Put it up. We have to get off now (wiping snot across his face). Now don't forget. I'M Thomas. And tips up. (pointing at my skis) TIPS UP. Be careful out there, will ya?
Me: (chuckling) Thanks for the advice. It was nice to meet you Thomas.
Thomas: You too.

Albert Schweitzer said, "In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being." Thanks Albert, for introducing me to Thomas. And peeps: be careful out there, will ya?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wordfuse (Dubious Achievement Edition)

Dubious but pleasing achievement.
smilestone (noun): smile + milestone = an achievement that warrants a smile but perhaps not much more fanfare or celebration; some may not even be aware that a smilestone has occurred. 


Yet, to the person who has reached the smilestone, it might secretly feel like a bigger achievement than many other things. Other people might not get it. Like say for example you win a Grammy, which would be an AMAZING career milestone, but (no offence to anyone) maybe you won it for this and that makes it kinda more of a smilestone. Sorry. 


Smilestones happen everyday and they might be as simple as "I didn't scream at my kids once today," or "I remained calm when my teen daughter backed into yet another vehicle," or "Look honey, we still have money left in our bank account and half the month is over!" or "I didn't tell my sister-in-law to suck balls once this evening," or "Not once today did I visualize bludgeoning the district manager with a medieval mace club." Or even "My blog is one year old today and I would likely be insane without this creative outlet and all you procrastiknaves and grinputters!"

Uh, that last smilestone is mine. And it makes me smile inside and out. Thanks for making it such dorky fun peeps. *goes to kitchen to make sandwich to celebrate*

Friday, February 18, 2011

Wordfuse (Cold Weather Edition)

tuckled (verb, past participle): chuckle + tucked = that dreamy, mushy, sentimental-pleasant feeling one experiences on the couch all safely tucked into a big blanket when someone you love sits down next to you and says something that makes you chuckle because it's witty or goofy or ridiculously random such as "Frick bacon's expensive." This feeling is enhanced when one's outside temperature is -30 degrees Celsius like it is here right now. (Try not to think about this last part too much because it might kill that all-tuckled-in awesomeness, because that is my wish for you peeps this weekend.)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Things that are most likely the devil:

Voila. Chips & Dip, aka the devil.
See the open maw of that silvery Old Dutch bag? That's where the ripple chips were, all dusted with their death-by-salt goodness. But I ate ALL those bastards for supper. Like a good boy. See that innocent-looking little dip container? It's a cauldron mix of cream-cheese, salt and something called Carob Bean Gum (pronounced Beelzebub).

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

More

I try. I set goals. I push myself. I try to be more. More.

But I rarely succeed. And yet, sometimes, I'm more than I was. Not much, but more. A little more.

Sometimes I think that's all there is. That's the human condition. We stake out a piece of the sky but we end up with a handful of rain. At least it quenches. For a while. That's the way it is with us dreamers.

I can get so mired in disappointment in myself and in others. It gets so tangled, so involved. And then I wallow in my disillusionment and court unhappiness. I toss away my joy like it's cheap candy at a pity parade; I give myself permission to wallow while I try to make meaning of the mess I made of things.

Most wouldn't notice though. I don't want that sort of attention. I never have. (I can't believe I'm writing it here but I'm hoping to help someone else. So even my shame will be more. More.)

But I've shuffled my feet down this road before. And even though I know it's pathetic, at some point, I will retrace my footsteps, or most of them, again. I've overcome this before. It's taken years but I know now that it's all just a mental challenge. It's a thinking obstacle. And I think too much.

(But I love to think.)

So I construct this obstacle course for myself. I have to. It's so I can climb over it. Because I guess I need the struggle to be more. More.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Who You Are

















It seems appropriate to share this today (read the whole poem here). It hangs above my desk. He's my favourite poet. A teacher introduced us when I was 16. His unhinged syntax just made sense to me. Immediately. And then I began signing my name in lower case, an homage. Yeah. I was sort of a freak. Still am. And I believe e.e. cummings was speaking directly to me when he said, "it takes courage to grow up and become who you really are." Have courage today. Be who you are.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Weight Against the Door

Sometimes it seems to me that we forget we're alive. I do. I forget. It's so subtle. How does that happen? Familiarity breeds complacency I guess.

And yet, I'm not complacent. Not really. And I don't know anyone else who isn't struggling at times either.

I think of it this way. I grew up with older brothers. They shared a room, yet I had my own. Sometimes I had to keep one or the other (or both) from entering my room to do any or all of the things brothers sometimes so callously do to each other: steal, bully, intimidate.

But my room was my room, my safe zone. They weren't allowed. So I would bar the door with my weight on my side and one (or the other) would push from the outside. Eventually we would grow weary and then sit with our backs against each other, the door between us. Equally stubborn and competitive, neither wanted to be the first to surrender and thus that pressure, that strain against the door, that burden became familiar.

Bills. Family problems. Work stress. Uncertainty. Changes. These are the familiar burdens now. So we do what we can under the circumstances. We manage. We cope with the strain and eventually, it seems no wonder to me that we get so familiar with coping we may even forget why we're leaning so hard and maybe even what we're leaning against. It's just the cumulative weight of the world on the other side of the door. Like Atlas, we endure.

But this interferes with truly living.

And then something happens.

Might be good: suddenly the weight on the other side of the door shifts and there's an opening inside, we see anew. Might be bad: and we are forced to open the door ourselves.

Either way, I believe this opening is when we suddenly feel alive again, alive enough that we recognize the exertion, recognize the ache, recognize the opening.

And whether it's good or bad, isn't it ultimately still an opportunity? We can invite something into our lives or perhaps go somewhere we haven't gone before. Or sadly we could just choose to remain leaning into the weight against the door.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Wordfuse (Valentine's Day Edition)

acrimatrimonious (adjective): acrimonious + matrimony = a word used to describe the unfriendly goings-on that will likely occur if those of us who are married fail to take advantage of the opportunity to provide a token of love to our significant others this fast-approaching February 14. Ditto for birthdays, anniversaries and so on. 


*Derived from the Latin dogeus houseus; aka a quick way to incite strestrogen.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Things that deserve the stink eye:

Okay. First an apology: if you work in a fast-food drive-thru, I'm sorry. Well kinda. 

Yeah, I know, I know. You deal with low-blood sugar vipers all day. Your wage is unfair. So I need to be calm. I need to be patient. And no, I don’t want to be the voice-recorded quality control bad example used to train your security staff. My intention is not to add to your burden BUT I STILL NEED TO RANT!

Sure. The whole concept of a drive-thru is commendable: convenience, efficiency, speed. However, I tend to experience this: confusion, delay and RAGE.

Have you ever seen the closing credits of the Flintstones? Fred gets his brontosaurus ribs at the drive-thru in less than a second and sure they're so big his car tips over but a split second later the happy family is home and that was in like, 200 B.C! AND THEY ALL HAD A GAY OLD TIME! Yet consistently, my drive thru-experiences are not so uh, happy and the problems begin the moment I attempt to communicate with that cheap Scifi-inspired movie prop aka the place-your-order-here-doodad. 

  1. I CANNOT understand what you are saying. You sound like Darth Vader on an old record played backwards filtered through a tin can attached to a string while a screaming cat plays the accordion. All I hear is “fries” and Charlie Brown's parents. So to compensate I repeat myself veeeerrrry sloooooowly and very LOUDLY. Yes I know this makes me sound like I am vaguely foreign and quite likely a few Timbits short of a snack pack. Oh and 90 too.
  2. Stop asking RIDICULOUS questions. "Do you want the meal deal? Do you want to super-size that?" No. Have you seen Supersize Me? 
  3. After my wife or one of my kids interprets and eventually helps me place the order, I am informed (at least this is what I think I hear): “I am sorry; we are temporarily out of whatever the idiot who can’t understand what I’m saying wants to eat.”  *Barely muffled mocking teen-laughter ensues, mostly from my own teens in the backseat who no doubt will someday use this anecdote as the punch line for a gathering where they and their friends discuss various ways "old people act like old people."*

And what good would it do to talk to the manager? HE'S 12!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Things that are most likely the devil:

4 in 1 former bachelors from
 the ABC network agree.

Men: uh, I hate to tell you this but there could be a killer in your closet right now. This assassin might be colourful. This slayer may have spots. Or stripes. This predator may be sleek and attractive or so ugly you can’t imagine how something so hideous could exist in there. It may even be seriously loud but it doesn't make a peep. Regardless of its particular characteristics beware: it’s a lethal killer just waiting to wrap itself around your neck. 

I’m talking about killer neckties. Yup. Killer ties. The classic Fathers’ Day gift is apparently a ticking time bomb. Let me explain, or better yet, let the former Bachelor doctor guy explain. (I'm quite sure he knows a thing or two about uh, bacteria.)  

Apparently microbiologists have determined that “organisms can survive on a tie for up to 80 days.” So basically, that salmon you had at that wedding two months ago: it's doing the funky mitosis on your favourite tie right now.  

So what are we guys supposed to do? Dry-clean. Regularly. 

Yeah. No. Not likely. 

I'm clearly not a scientist but that's never stopped me before so therefore I authorize you to employ the microwave treatment. That kills everything. I mean look what it does to bacon. It's just science, peeps.

However, nuclear microwave radiation only helps those who help themselves so you must use caution when you encounter neckties elsewhere. Particularly in their natural habitat. I'm talking about family weddings. When you spot Great Uncle Bernie and that noxious tie he’s been sporting since 1982 and he moves in to give you a big hug, slowly back away to a safe distance, smile and give him a thumbs up instead. If that doesn't work, pepper-spray him with some Lysol. Chances are he won't remember much from the evening anyway. You're welcome.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Time I Made Bread, aka Aliens

Step #1: Easy part, sorta. I mixed stuff
 together and added green & yellow
food- colouring to make it ugly.
There's absolutely no one like Chelle and there's absolutely nothing like her hilarious contests and handmade (!) prizes. Last year, I missed the deadline but I entered anyway just 'cause she inspires me. Anyway, this year, I am determined to win Rhoda the Sock Zombie for my daughter's birthday. That's why I'm going for three entries plus (unlike some of you lazies who are just photo-shopping bread pictures). How so? I MADE bread today, my inaugural attempt. (Mrs. Tuna no doubt you are impressed. Recipe to follow.)

BUT OH THE CARNAGE! I will NEVER do this again.

My wife makes great bread but she was away for the weekend, so I just googled how to make bread and watched a few videos. (This is the same way I fixed my roof.) I chose somewhat-pixelated-Fuji-Mama's video because she looked like a real reliable Mom instead of the video by uh, the buxom hippie-lady in the tube-top, although that was indeed entertaining. (Insert Ricky-Bobby catch phrase here.)

Firstly, I thought I would make Oprah ugly-cry bread. As usual, I have no pea-brained idea what that even means but after I mixed the ingredients and added green & yellow food-colouring, I decided it would be Mountain Dew bread: DO THE DOUGH! Again I have no idea what I'm talking about. Anyway, after Step #1 my dough looked more like a hat created by Lagy Gaga in her I'm-easy-bake-oven. But whatever, I thought, I'll just let it rise. *deep breath* And then the CARNAGE began....

Step #2: During the pupae stage,
bread dough secretes the dreaded
clingy-girlfriend hormone.
(I think this caption deserves a
 fourth entry, don't you Chelle?)
It rose. And I coaxed it out of the bowl but well, no one told me bread has a pupae stage! It was like a scene from Aliens and I'm not brave like Sigourney Weaver. I started to sweat as I desperately attempted to flick off the larvae-globs of dough attempting to breed with my hands!

I intended to form the bread into bun shapes or maybe two pumpernickel-type loaves but I panicked because it would not stop trying to crawl inside me and so I attempted to cut it but then it tried to absorb the knife and it all became too David Cronenberg for me and I started to have that falling-down feeling inside and Ripley where are you?! but then the oven beeped me out of my reverie and I took a few deep breaths and resolved to continue furiously hacking the larvae into shapes and just ignored all the hissing and twisting and somehow that brought me to Step #3.

Step #3: The bread larvae stare at me.
(I think this caption deserves a
fifth entry, don't you Chelle?)













None too soon, I pushed those evil clumps in the oven, pulled out the hazmat gloves and did my very best kitchen/trauma-scene clean-up but then I pulled the plug and that's when I realized JUST HOW HEINOUS and tricky these bread-larvae really are!

Step #4: LOOK what the hell those
dough-larvae transformed into
at the bottom of the sink!
Dough worms?! Dough leeches?!
(I think this carnage photo-evidence
deserves a sixth entry, don't you Chelle?)


Meanwhile, those little bastards baked to death at 350. And well, twenty-five minutes later, out came bread, kinda ugly but real bread. Metamorphosis complete, I mixed up some tuna with pickles and miracle whip and ate one. But now I can't help thinking that maybe something is growing inside me like what happened to Ripley. Something, I don't know, like a sock-zombie. Right Chelle? Am I right? Right? Pretty please?

Step #5: Actual bread.
How the hell did this happen?













Metamorphosis Bread, A Recipe
~5 1/4 cups flour (I think I just used 5)
~1/4 cup sugar
~1/2 tablespoon salt
~1.5 tablespoons yeast I found in our fridge
~1.5 tablespoons oil (I used canola oil.)
~2 cups hot tap water
~food-colouring (optional)
Mix for 5 minutes. Let rise for in a warm, moist, dare-I-say breeding area for 25 minutes, then fashion the pupae into bun shapes or whatever; this requires lots of time if you're going to freak out like I did. If you panic just push it all together in some sort of smush-loaf. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. (I'm guessing Celsius because I live in Canada but we are a culture that recklessly mixes imperial and metric all the time so good luck with this part.) Anyway, after all this, the pupae are baked and can no longer attack you unless you forget to let them cool.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Wordfuse

diablogue (noun): Some blogs, particularly this new one, seem to inspire much banter, discussion and repartee in the comments section. In other words, they generate diablogue. Sometimes the diablogue is on topic, sometimes not so much. Sometimes the diablogue takes on a life of its own. And it's ALL good. Gotta love grinputters

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wordfuse (The Morning Edition)

An phrase intended to describe that inevitable moment when one can no longer ignore the alarm or the parents or the dog or the court order or the child or the cast and crew of Supernanny or the livid spouse attempting to forcibly drag one's sorry ass out of bed while one thrashes about in childish protest like a cat thrown in a bathtub.

$*#! It's time to get up and face the world. Put. On. A. Smile. Or else.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Only a few more days.

Regardless of the weather, once the first week of February has passed I can sense spring hiding somewhere preparing her entrance. After that first week, there’s just more light. I feel relieved. Only a few more days.

The darkest part of my life was the suicide of a dear friend in early February over two decades ago. I have been thinking about her a lot lately. She was 21. 

After so many years now, sometimes February passes without much deep contemplation. This year is different though. Lately, I have been catching glimpses of her in a good book, in the particular walk of a stranger, in a Rick Springfield song and even in a jar of raspberry jam. I am remembering things about her I forgot for a while: the musicians she loved, her budgie, her pretty hands, the little scars on her arms where the childhood-her scratched the mosquito bites her mother warned her not to scratch. 

She was the sister I never had. She saw right through me. She taught me to be myself. I regret I didn’t learn the lesson until it was too late though. So many regrets.

I just wish I could see her again. She didn’t get all the wonderful things I did from life; she just didn’t get enough time. I want her to have what I have, all the things I have been blessed with. I wish my wife had known her; they would be great friends. And with these words right now in some small way, I’m trying to make you know her too. 

But you didn't. Yet I suspect you’ve known someone whose life ended too soon. Who lives in your memory? And just what is the lesson in any life cut short? 

I wonder that too.

Writing about her feels right though. It’s a part of myself I haven’t opened for a long time. I guess she’s still opening me up.

“There are places in the heart that do not yet exist; suffering has to enter in for them to come to be.” -Leon Bloy 
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