beary interesting

Pictured is a young polar bear playing with a pumpkin stuffed with fish. His name is Cranbearry, and he likes swimming, trying new food and people watching.

In family news, Paul is heading to Courtenay next weekend to go hang out with family members, Keith is hoping to get to see his uncle Jeff but OF COURSE hasn’t phoned yet to make arrangements, and since I have to go to church on Sunday, I’m hanging about with Katie, who is mad at Matt again, and won’t say why. Young lerv! Paul is always taking it personally when I don’t go places, but I’m kinda stuck at the moment with commitments every Sunday until next June. The way I feel right now I’d like to quit at that point but I know the feeling will go away once I start feeling better again, whenever the hell that is.

Reconnected with an old CDS colleague – now that’s going back a t’ousand years – and he described a summer in hell; he checked into a psych ward and from the description of what was going on at that time it was really the only sane thing to do. I send a virtual fig to his psychiatrist… five separate psychoactives? That’s like getting a blue pill to remind you to take the yellow pill. I salute Dan in ON’s new career – he’s getting a PhD in Biology, and teaching. His little mischievous boys are now sporting mohawks and developing work avoidance strategies – entertaining that I posted that Mohawk picture just before getting that part of my buddy’s story. Time do fly.

I’m going to Katie’s parent teacher night tonight and taking her to the parole officer tomorrow at noon. Yessirree folks, parenting teens in these parlous times takes you into buildings you didn’t even know existed.

For those of you who don’t know, Katie was charged with assault last March – same day I had a root canal… ah, memories! Many interesting things have happened since them, but the legal sequelae linger on. So we’re off to see Natalie the Parole Officer tomorrow to get a whole bunch of stuff ‘splained to us. While Katie frequently thinks of assaulting people these days, she doesn’t actually think it’s cool to do it, and I think that’s perfectly appropriate. I mean, I can think of dozens of people I’d like to assault, starting with Charles Ng (with a deadly weapon) and Ann Coulter (with a peach pie, see previous blogs). But these will all remain in my imagination. Yes, I’m talking about it. And no, it’s not in keeping with Unitarian values. However, my truth is that I constantly struggle with the urge to slap people for various infractions of my own admittedly bizarre and fluid social code, and the fact that I hardly ever do slap people is a testament to my sanity and restraint in the face of tremendous temptation.

Keith has been following the Veep/Veep in law debate more closely than I. I refer you to Wonkette’s blog. The drinking game on her site was pretty funny; you would have been plastered within about ten minutes, according to those rules.

Spoke briefly to my girlfriend in TO the other morning. Once again, in defiance of my Unitarian values, I told her to put his goddamned crap on the back porch and tell him to come and get it. Or maybe she can start charging storage fees. The removing a box at a time BS is like water torture.

Wonder when my blood work will come back. Got the same venipuncturist as last time, to my great relief. She’s gotta be one of the best vampires in history, I’ve never had a problem with her.

Paul finally had the stew I made on the weekend and liked it. I also made lentil stew last night. And Two Frikking Batches of cinnamon rolls – the first batch (I had three, the kids made little chuffing noises and vanished the rest) must obviously have existed because the pan got dirty. I made a second just so Paul could have some. I also cleaned out some of the cupboards, which was what triggered the lentil stew – gotta rotate stock or you just end up throwing it out. Jumpin’ Jimmy Christmas, those were the DIRTIEST lentils I have ever seen. For enough lentils to make about two or three litres of stew, I cleaned out no fewer than twenty little bridgework destroying rocks, two twigs and half a dozen really weird looking pieces of what were obviously organic matter of some sort, provenance unknown. It took so long to clean that I went through three different cleaning methods, finally settling on pouring about a 100 ml at a time onto a white piece of paper and shoving things around until I’d pulled out all the ick. My advice is, don’t chew it. Just roll it around in your mouth. Cooked the lentils with a big ass cube of veggie soup base, two cinnamon sticks, a whack of fresh ground black pepper, half a dozen whole cloves of garlic, about 300 ml of four cheese tomato sauce that was lying around the fridge in a suggestive fashion, about a teaspoon of turmeric and the rest of the celery that was in the fridge. Turned out pretty good. The turmeric and spag sauce are more for colour than anything else – I find without some kind of colouring agent yellow lentils turn a sort of almost gray colour that I don’t really associate with food. And if you put in cinnamon sticks, it takes away that “almost dirt like” flavour. I should probably add something tart to it as well – I’ll check it out for lunch and see what else it needs.

My pumpkin, my lonely pumpkin, is about the size of a basketball now. I’m actually going to have a homegrown pumpkin for Halloween.

Back to fruit fly control and cleaning out kitchen cupboards. Can’t sit here blogging forever.

never enough sleep

I can barely open my eyes – they squeak – and I feel like a barrel set in concrete, but other than that I am fine. Emotionally I mean. Katie and I had a very pleasant and low key day yesterday, killing fruitflies, doing laundry, making stew, doing a small shop. Nothing too taxing.

Now I have to do a bit of a clean as a bunch of people are descending on the house tonight – including Joe, whom I haven’t seen in donkey’s years, and his relatively new girlfriend, whom I haven’t yet met, and Mike and his friend Victoria, whom I have also not yet met. Then we’re going to sit around and sing and play, and at some point Paul and Keith will turn up from Victoria.

In a couple of hours I will take the bus over to Peggy’s and get a lift into church. We are starting something new at church, we’ll be singing for about twenty minutes as people file in. Peggy is apparently bringing her bass. I wonder which of his delectable guitars Tom will bring in. Anyway, there’s no way I’m walking over there, I am just barely mobile as it is.

Pokey broke his leash yesterday but Katie, who had been minding him, watched the whole proceeding and gave chase. Pokey surrendered without a fight.

Just reread Barry Broadfoot’s the Pioneer Years, and you know what? If civilization collapses, so will I. I simply do not have the gumption required to live in a world without push button appliances. My ancestors would disown me.

Speaking of which, my mother has, in email tones of highest excitement, announced that more ugly relative pictures are inbound from a cousins’ cousin over the hill a piece. These are of relatives she does not currently have photos of (stop the presses). The problem with all the early photos is that the word “Cheese” had not yet been correlated to photography, so in addition to all looking like they’d been beaten with an ugly stick, they all make marshwiggles look cheerful. My greatgrandmother in particular looks like the before picture in a turn of the century hemorrhoid ad. I know she was hard working, pious and an excellent mother and helpmeet, but honest to god, I’d give anything to have a picture of her smiling, and if we ever get a functioning time machine, that’s going on my List of Things to Do.

I am probably going to get an earful from my mother about making fun of her hobby. I am not making fun of genealogy. How else would I have learned that one of my close relatives is a street person? Or that a whole bunch of my close kin died in a house fire as young children while the parents had stepped over to the neighbours? I am making fun of family portraits, and if I didn’t know I’d mortify my father and grandmother (not to mention myself – I look like HELL), I’d post to this website the single funniest family candid ever shot (thanks Katie, I think).

And I am going to the family reunion in 2005, Inshallah, so I can witness whatever happens at family reunions which are heavily populated by Mennonites – don’t imagine there’s much point to ordering in a keg and (this part deleted) – and eat a lot of really excellent food. So it’s not like I don’t support my mother’s obsession, it’s just that I thank the nine gods of Clusium each day that cousin Lexi volunteered for the task in the next generation. Phew.

Picture is of a baby elephant born at Whipsnade Zoo. Whipsnade Zoo was where Gerald Durrell got his start, so I was thinking of him when I grabbed this picture. Damn, it’s cute! Do you want to know what Katie said when she saw it? She said, AWWWWW, I wanna see Dumbo and our copy is trashed!

One last thing. has a picture of George W.’s back at the debate, and it looks like he was wired. He needs a better ventriloquist. Or as the first commenter to the story wryly put it, did we need PROOF that he’s a remote controlled robot? I’m sure he’s a very nice man in person.