Thursday, April 20, 2006

Weird Dream

So, I had this dream last night in which both my mother and father had been committed to the same psychiatric hospital. It was scarier than One flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. It just seemed darker and grittier, like they were in some sort of Victorian poorhouse. My dad even wore a ratty old bath robe with yellow stripes.

I was not so surprised that my mother had ended up there, but my father in that situation makes no sense. He is far too grounded and aware to ever lose it in that way. Besides, I am not sure he could handle the embarrassment of being committed. In the dream, he kept prodding me and pinching me and I felt that at any moment, he would strike me, perhaps lethally. Again, I find this very odd because he is essentially a pacifist. When I was a child, the strap that hung in the closet was only ever used by my mother. She wielded that half inch thick leather strap with great craft.

Two days ago, I found out that my mother requires dialysis three times per week, but I am not sure that this information led to that dream.

Later, I had a dream about a visit to a strange farm that featured disconsolate chickens, an angry goat, and a dyspeptic pig. Now that was entertaining.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Answers, Part 4

Doris Night asks: "how much is that doggie in the window?"

That depends.

1) If you go to a Humane Society, you can get one free, or almost free. I think that there is some sort of administration fee. Let me check...yes, the Toronto Humane Society charges $25 for a cat, $50 for a dog, $20 for a bunny - I am not sure if that comes with a recipe - and $4 to $65 for mice, birds, gerbils, guinea pigs, and ferrets (in other words, food for your pet snake). So, come to Toronto with $50 and you can walk away with a vicious killer of your choice. OK, just kidding: I am sure that there are some very pleasant dogs at the Humane Society. They may be anti-social, but I am sure they just need love. I guess the Humane Society of New York would be closer, right?

2) Do you really want a dog that has been on display behind some glass? I have heard that these kinds of dogs may not be so healthy, and that some come from puppy mills. I say, forget about the pet shop dog.

3) I did a Google search for you and found out that you can get a puppy for as little as $50 - as you already know - and as much as $1500. How much money do you have to spend?

Arf! Arf!

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006


So, I was cycling in, minding my own business, when I saw this Asian lady crossing the street. I know that many Asian people are very fashion forward. Why, just the other day, I saw an Asian (perhaps Korean?) girl wearing a yellow coat with orange rubber boots and a pink handbag. It was very colourful. However, when I saw this lady crossing Harbord Street, I thought, my God, that has to be the most grievous fashion error since parachute pants.

She was wearing, and I have no idea what to call them, boots that were like sandals. I guess you could call them sandal boots or boot sandals. But, let me explain. First, they were a most horrid shade of beige. Very little good comes out of beige (as proof, I remind myself that every room in my ex-in-laws' house was painted beige - but that was years ago, and maybe things have changed). Each boot also had two brown stripes that only added to the travesty. Are you getting this? OK, so they were low boots, kinda like the ones my grandmother would wear, but they had open toes! This can't be a good look for anyone, and I have to say that I was slightly nauseated. Mind you, I refused to expose my toes in public until I was in my mid-twenties.

I did go to the beach and swam in pools, but you would never catch me wearing sandals in public. Even now, I am very careful about that. And, I can never see a movie while wearing sandals because the damn air conditioning is way too intense in summer.

In other news, I am back from my long weekend. Actually, I was back yesterday, but I had no energy to post anything. That's all I have today. I need more sleep.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Answers, Part 3

Kyahgirl has a few questions. I will tackle two in this post:

Have you met any blogger buddies in real life?

Why, yes I have. I know a handful of bloggers in real life, but only two that are listed in my blogroll. I have known Running42k, proprietor of Musings of Middle Age, for many years. We were roommates in our first year of University and we were next door neighbours the year after in the same residence. Here is a picture of him from back-in-the-day.

As it happens, in the second year, I was the only person on our floor - aside from the House Advisor - not to get an "Incident Report." I believe Running42K's came when he threw some heavy object out of his window and nearly hit the Hall Advisor. Talk about bad aim. If I am not mistaken, that was the same night that I put R42k's phone in his freezer, but I am not really sure why. It just seemed to fit. I could go on and on about residence life, but that is probably enough for now. By the way, there was an incident or two that probably deserved an Incident Report, but I was smart enough to keep out of harm's way.

The other person I know is Katherine, from Wabisabi, which is in many ways a blog about knitting, but also more. She and I went through the Master of Library Science program at a large North American University. I have certain opinions about that program. She is also my ex-girlfriend (I hope she doesn't mind me saying that so publicly). She was the first urban cyclist I met, and I soon decided that cycling in Toronto was a good idea.

Have you been out West?

Yes. I went to Edmonton in February several years ago. I was flown out for a job interview. I was not entirely taken with Edmonton, but it was February and something like minus 55 degrees. The sky was very blue, however. I spent some time on Whyte Avenue, and that was cool.

I went to Vancouver about 6 years ago, where I presented a paper at a conference with a co-worker. I loved Vancouver, even though I mistakenly walked right through Junkieville. That was interesting.

If I keep answering questions, I'll never have to think of an original idea again for this blog.

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Answers, Part 2

Next, Super Happy Jen of Super Happy Jen's Super Happy Blog, asks a complicated question. I should really ask her why she is so happy. I mean, what's that all about? She lives in some sort of super happy world. Everything about her is happy. It's all happy, happy, happy. If you want a happy little blogging diversion, visit Super Happy Jen for a little happiness. She says, "Most people think I am the most hilarious girl in the world - even when I'm trying to be serious!" I can't believe that she is both hilarious and happy.

So, here is her question:

So you know those Klingon warriors from Star Trek? Not the Original Series.

Yes (so far, so good).

I'm talking full bumpy forehead, crooked yellow teeth, armor, bat'leth, lots of cleavage.

I am secretly wondering why she knows how to spell bat'leth.

Anyway (we are getting close to the question), say you were hanging out in the 24th century and one of them asked you out on a date. What would your response be and why?

I think my answer would be, what the fuck am I doing in the 24th century? And, perhaps more importantly, why am I in a fictional 24th century? This would presuppose that I have either gone completely insane or that time travel is real and that one could move into fictional universes. So, I can't see any way that I would ever be in such a situation, without the influence of something like hallucinogenic drugs or complete mental collapse. OK, I know that this is a scenario question, so I will play along.

If a male Klingon asked me on a date, I would say no: I'm not gay, not even for Klingons (not that there's anything wrong with that). Now, supposing a female Klingon asked me on a date, I would say no as well. I'd be worried that she would accidentally kill me. Now if a green woman asked me out...

Does that answer your question?

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Friday, April 07, 2006

Answers, Part 1

Liz, from Library Tavern asks: "If you were a nut, what kind would you be?"

Well, that's a tough one. If you had asked me what my favourite nut is, I would probably have said the almond. You know, if you split in half just right with your teeth, you will notice that they are delightfully smooth on the tongue. I am also a fan of almond butter, despite the hefty price. What kind of nut would I be is a far more difficult question.

I like cashews, but they are not nuts: they are seeds, although some people persist in arguing that they are nuts. Anyway, I don't think I would like that kidney shape. I can rule out the coconut - not a true nut either - and the peanut, for it is far too common (not to mention that it is not a true nut either). Walnuts are over-rated and bitter and the Brazil nut is far too much work to get into.

I considered the filbert and the hazelnut (close nut relatives). In the end, I would have to choose the pistachio.

Why? Well, just read this sentence from the Wikipedia entry: "When the fruit ripens, the shells split open partially. This happens with an audible pop, and legend has it that lovers who stand under a pistachio tree at night and hear the nuts popping open will have good luck."

That is cool.

By the way, if you want to ask me a question, do it here.

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

An Open Letter to Jacob Richler

Dear Mr. Richler,

I deleted the first letter I wrote to you because it was filled with profanity. The letter was excessive and most probably cathartic at the same time. I am sure I can get through this letter with far fewer expletives.

I read with great interest your attack on cyclists in yesterday's National Post (p. A10). If I understand you correctly, you are pissed off because you got a parking ticket and now you think that the law should come down on all cycling "freeloaders" because we use roads "built on the hard-working backs of motorists, and who get around without contributing gas taxes, or helping the local automobile industry or anything useful at all." Mr. Richler, many cyclists own cars as well as bikes, and we pay our fair share of taxes.

I pay a huge amount of taxes: I pay property taxes, sales taxes, and income taxes. I support the local bicycle industry and my local bicycle repair shops too. I do this while not polluting the air with exhaust fumes, or by supporting the environmentally-damaging petroleum industry, and the wars waged on its behalf. Your statement that cyclists don't contribute "anything useful at all" is both ridiculous and ignorant.

Your run-in with that cyclist on Yonge Street is regrettable, but would it be fair to characterize all automobile drivers by the behaviour of a few? There are some cyclists who ignore the rules of the road, and who ride dangerously. I have no problem with fines for dangerous cycling. The tone of your opinion piece is negative to all cyclists. You refer to bicycles as "monsters on two wheels." Clearly, you have no respect for any cyclist and, despite what you claim, it is obvious that you hate them.

The next time you get a parking ticket, just remember that the parking laws are there for a good reason: that is, so you can have a place to park. If everyone was permitted to park wherever they wanted, there would be SUVs on the sidewalks in front of Starbucks all across the city.

I suggest that you park your car for a few weeks and try to navigate the streets of Toronto by bicycle. (I would have suggested that you try the TTC, but I remembered that you hate the TTC. And, I also recall that you hate the Green Bin program as well. What is it with you and progess?). Anyway, get on a bike and you will quickly learn that the streets of Toronto are very dangerous to cyclists. I'd like to read a column about how well you did on a two wheeled monster when surrounded by a sea of 2000 pound automobiles.

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Ask Me

OK, here is your chance. I am finishing up a long report and have no time to post today. (By the way, that was an April Fool's joke: I am not sure I have the discipline to become a monk of any variety). So, I invite you to ask me questions. I know, other bloggers have done this, so I don't claim that it is original in any way.

Go ahead. If you are dying to know how tall I am, how much I weigh, what colour my eyes are, the last book I read, the last movie I saw, my favourite food, etc. Ask, and I might answer.

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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Good Bye

Well, that's it for me. I am packing it in and packing my bags. After much internal turmoil, I've decided to become a Zen Buddhist Monk. It's been real.

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