2005-04-30— Posted by: allegra

So we got on the 7 pm ferry to Swartz Bay no problem last night and had a very pleasant journey across. Katie amused more than one person by being deeply absorbed in the book The Idiot’s Guide to Being a Sex Goddess. I won’t repeat the discussion we had in the car about birth control; I’d probably be laughing too hard to type, anyway.

pOp loaded up the fridge with things he’d never even dream of purchasing if teenagers weren’t coming into the house. Paul and I slept really well, so we’re feeling chipper. Off to see Granny at her residence around 1 pm and then back here and then home – just a flying visit. Sure is weird to be here without Mummy being here, but Gadget House is still a great place to hang out.

I have learned that Katie’s non-boyfriend has named his guitar after me. I wriggled like a Lab puppy myself when I heard that; I guess I remain absurdly easy to please.

I’m going to cruise around the hard drive and see if there’s something worth posting….ah. This is my cousin Derry. She died of cancer in her twenties, and she was really an amazing woman; her family are putting a remembrance book together for us which I am looking forward to reading. I’ve been told there is quite the family resemblance… personally I think she was always way prettier than me.

Don’t you DARE blow your nose on me!
2005-04-30— Posted by: allegra

In other news, Paul bought 4 pairs of shoes at Birkenstock today. In his defense, they were mostly on sale. Imelda lives!

happy Paul

there’s a happy man
2005-04-29— Posted by: allegra

Happy family news
2005-04-29— Posted by: allegra

My cousin Rawd and his partner Graeme are getting married. I know that as an anarchist, I should fulminate about how marriage is propertarian and not required between two free people and blah blah blah woof woof; but I can’t help being pleased anyway.

I just reviewed this whole paragraph and deleted it.

It was funny, and it was true, and it was very disrespectful to the woman who would be my mother in law if she hadn’t told me how to run my wedding.

Anyway, my mum is off to Regina for the wedding, and her email, which I won’t quote for privacy reasons, reminded me of nothing so much as a lab puppy squirming with joy to see its master come home in terms of its emotional tone. I think this is the first same sex marriage in our family and I’m sure it won’t be the last. I know some people find same sex marriage is appalling, but I think they don’t get the “God is Love” thing. And, as a Christian minister in the US pointed out once, there are something like 1000 injunctions in the Bible about how to treat the poor, 60 or 70 about how straight people should behave, and something less than five about homosexuality. If the Bible is really God’s word – and you’ll have to admit this is not universally accepted – a true Christian is more concerned with poverty than the sexual behaviour of any of his or her neighbours. But if you tell real Christians that, they get upset.

My favourite two questions are “If Joseph wasn’t Jesus’ daddy, why does the Bible go into his genealogy with such detail?” and “Why does the Bible call bats birds?” NOTE: There is no right answer to either of these questions. Generally Christians I mention this to say they’ll have to take it up with their pastors, and then they perplex me by never getting back to me on the subject.

this is what I wrote to the newspaper
2005-04-29— Posted by: allegra

I just shook my head when I read the article entitled Spanish-language
TV billboards strike a nerve.  Mr. Gheen's a racist, and should get
called on it.

Which layer of racism is more offensive? The fact that he's having a
little trouble dealing with the demographic reality of California
circa 2005, or that he forgets who was there first?

The First Nations - or aboriginal peoples, or autochthones, or Indians
- were in California first.  Then the Spanish pushed them out of the
way.  Then the Americans pushed the Spanish out of the way.  Now Mr.
Gheen is crying about how 'fringe elements' are not paying attention
to American territorial claims.

It doesn't seem to me that Americans have ever given a tinker's cuss
about anybody's territorial claims but their own; given California's
history of changing hands when somebody bigger comes along, maybe Mr.
Gheen should just fold his hands in resignation, or go kick President
Bush's door down - he's the one shamelessly pandering to the Hispanic
vote by changing his tune on the immigration issue depending on who is
voting and where.  California's economy would collapse without
economic migrants, a fact Mr. Gheen is choosing to ignore in his
readiness to be offended by the purchasing power (and sense of humour)
of the Hispanic community.  Besides, history shows that empires come
and go.  Why not the American empire?

Of course, as an urban Canadian, I view the whole issue of cultural
assimilation differently.  Within 10 years, I'm going to be a member
of the white (or as I prefer to put it, pink) minority in Vancouver.
It's no big deal by me.  If Mr. Gheen isn't jiggy with the advantages
of multiculturalism, maybe it's because he's not making money from it
yet.  Or maybe he's got a nice sinecure being a not so closet racist.
It seems in modern day America, you can always make a living from
hatred, especially if you wrap it in a flag.  I can deal with the
hatred - I can even understand it.   It's the wilful ignorance of the
reality of the interrelationship between the state of California and
its many flavored & layered Hispanic community that makes me wonder
about Mr. Gheen.


enough sleep
2005-04-28— Posted by: allegra,1413,207~12026~2839954,00.html

Okay, the story is about how a Spanish language billboard advertising a Spanish language TV station crosses out the CA in the legend Los Angeles CA and replaces it with Mexico.

Note the response of an American commentator – from the story, if the link is broke…

About 75 billboards went up last week in Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, but mostly in Los Angeles County.

Opponents, however, say Los Angeles County, where Latinos make up 44 percent of its 2.3 million residents, is part of the United States, not Mexico.

It’s not even cute. What is upsetting is that the fringe elements within the illegal-support community do not recognize the territorial claims of the United States, said William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration. They are consistently saying It is our land, and we are taking it back.

Okay, kids, your task for today is to figure out which aspect of the two layers of racism this guy is wearing is more offensive. Yupperooni, those crazy Spics stole California fair and square from the Injuns, and – Hey, wait a minute. The US didn’t steal the land from anybody!!! Nobody was living there. Move along, nothing to see here. These aren’t the colonial swine you are looking for. We can go about our business. Everybody back to sleep.

Whaddaya mean, Sisyphus was a myth?
2005-04-28— Posted by: allegra

My brain is working about as well as a Three Stooges short … “I try to t’ink, but nuttin’ happens!” Hm, if I feel like that I’m better off going in to work and getting paid for it.

Got one of the all time nicest customer service emails from a happy customer on Monday; I had to break every rule in the book to get him that happy, but fortunately my merry band of pranksters at work – the people who don’t report to me but do what I tell them anyway because their rabies shots aren’t up to date – obeyed my whims and it all ended up working quite nicely.

Sometimes I think that if customers knew how hard it is to serve them they’d cut me more slack – but that just makes me happier when somebody DOES notice that I wanted to help and actually got that Sisyphean rock to hold up for a while. Course, then it rolls downhill again.

I highly recommend The Bridge, by Iain Banks. There’s a reference to Sisyphus so hug-self-and-chortle that it ought to be required reading for humoristas. The rest of the book is pretty damned good, too.

make your own marshmallows
2005-04-28— Posted by: allegra

Paul, can you put corn syrup on the shopping list for me? Also gelatin???? Hey Brooke – I bet you really want to make this, don’t you!!!?

bumpernuts is no more

You’ve gotta be kidding
2005-04-27— Posted by: allegra

Yup. Somebody is sick, and I think it isn’t me this time.

enough sleep
2005-04-27— Posted by: allegra

Okay, sounds scary, right, support for separatism is growing? Skip to the bottom, where it reads

49 per cent favour another referendum, while 46 per cent oppose it

48 per cent said they were confident renewed federalism was possible, while 45 per cent said it was not. When asked whether a vote for sovereignty still meant that they wanted Quebec to be part of Canada, 56 per cent of respondents said yes while 40 per cent said no.

Based on interviews with 1,008 eligible Quebec voters conducted between April 21 and 24, the poll is considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out 20.

Okay, we can all go back to sleep. If it came to the vote, it would be close, but the separatists would still lose. The only way Quebec can separate this century is through a violent revolution, which means that the half of the army which is Quebecois would have to either side with the Queen or jump the fence. Which do you consider more likely? And if, once AGAIN, capital flees Quebec and the job sitch gets grim…. you get the picture. Quebeckers are proud and have an illustrious history, but they are just as practical as everybody else when somebody shouts into their wallets. They are angry now, but their anger will cool.

enough sleep
2005-04-27— Posted by: allegra

350 episodes…. amazing. Yes, I don’t have permission. No, I don’t care.

I am reading a book called Natural Capitalism. It is the single most hopeful book about the coming crisis I have ever read. Yes, it details, at some length, the crisis we are already in and looks at the potential for it getting worse. But it also proposes solutions, and LOTS of them. It’s a life changer, for sure.

Keith had his first real job interview yesterday. I could burst with pride. He’ll know in about a week.

many cute animals

2005-04-26— Posted by: allegra

Are you my mother?

This baby porcupine was recently born in Washington DC.

more mammals
2005-04-26— Posted by: allegra

This is a liger. Her name is Zita. She lives in Russia. She is actually still a kitten, but most of the kittens I know don’t eat $40 worth of horsemeat a day. Her parents didn’t know any better; they were young, they were foolish… it was the heat. Her daddy is an African lion and her mummy is a Bengalese tiger.

Insufficient cute animal pix
2005-04-26— Posted by: allegra

White Crowned Mangabey. Very rare.

enough sleep
2005-04-26— Posted by: allegra

Fabulous post by Juan Cole this morning. He incisively limns the difference between the MSM *mainstream media* which also sounds like Microsoft Messaging strangely enough, and Blogging. The pith of it – bloggers do it for love and the MSM does it for 15% profit. I recommend it.

Liz M phoned last night, demanding to know what was the meaning of this outrage. She grilled me unmercifully on why I had not commented on Papa Ratzi being a Hitler Youth as a lad. I answered that it hadn’t exactly been a secret, and that I had read what I could pro and con and made the judgement that it wasn’t exactly his idea, and he did get out as fast as he reasonably could, at some personal cost. John Paul II of course didn’t collaborate with the Nazis and worked with the resistance blah blah woof woof. But he was six years older, and that does make a difference in wartime. So I’m not going to judge him on what “Eggs” Benedict did when he was fourteen. God’s judgment awaits him for fomenting hatred towards women and homosexuals.

Read in Danny Schechter’s newsblog that some Palestinian at a news oriented gathering opined that Ratzinger sounded like a Jewish name. Read the blog for the waspish comment made in response to this idiocy by an Arab female journo.

Liz further opined that she had never seen anything like the three leaders of the parties wearing Sikh head coverings. My response was quite ungallant; I said that of course the networks only showed the head coverings; showing the knee pads really would have made trouble. The three leaders judge, correctly in my opinion, that they have nothing to lose by wearing the head covering in front of the media; they will please more Sikh voters than they will cheese off pink racists. It’s all a numbers game. Who votes? Why do they vote? And immigrants vote, folks. Well, it’s 6:46 in the am and Katie wants the computer. That’s never a good sign. Bye!!!

In Canada?
2005-04-26— Posted by: allegra

I defy anybody reading this to picture this happening in Canada. And I ask you to picture what would happen to the judge, and who would show up on the courthouse steps to protest.

Along similar lines, we were sitting around the table the other night, and we came up with the slogan (and we’re JOKING, oKAY?) “Marc Emery for Prime Minister…. because we KNOW what he’s been smokin’!”

I actually know Marc Emery from when we were both involved in the Freedom Party, many many years before he became a marijuana activist, and before I realized that I had run out of ‘wings’ (you know, right, left) and became the world’s most lame ass anarchist. (Sheesh, I should forward Brother James’ email to me, he shellacked me on the subject!!!).

I haven’t spoken to Marc in years, but I always liked him, even if he was an enormous publicity hound. (Okay, I thought he was cute, too).

Oh, and that marijuana stuff is just a smoke screen. Marc is a libertarian, as are most of his cohorts in the party. Get him going on gun control or prostitution sometime, but stand well clear and keep the tape running….

Stellar nursery

2019 sez I got a DRESS WITH THAT PATTERN.  at the bottom of the post

enough sleep
2005-04-25— Posted by: allegra

What the hell would I do without Fark? I only discovered it a year ago and now it’s difficult for me to conceive what I’d do without it. I mean I freaking hate the conservative bias, but even so…

I want to be a mystery worshipper when I grow up!!! I wish I could get paid for that!!!

Unexpected treat
2005-04-25— Posted by: allegra

One of my readers – who doesn’t normally comment on my posts – had this to say about yesterday’s political rant. Needless to say I had a good chuckle:

We sure have a great choice in the next federal election. We can choose either the mafia, the taliban, or the fuzzy headed socialists who couldn’t run a lemonade stand, much less a country.

There ya go. I am somewhat at odds with the Mafia comment… they look more like Goodfella wannabes. As for the Taliban jibe, well, I had a sudden urge to Photoshape Steven the Not Very Musical Harper into a button down turban and beard. I don’t feel comfortable commenting about socialist haircuts, so I will leave it at that.

Calendar Check
2005-04-25— Posted by: allegra

Attention Buffy fans! We are having the Singalong Buffy the Vampire Slayer at my place on the 13th of May. (Friday the 13th being the perfect evening for such an event.) Snackies available; followed by Pirates of The Caribbean and Munchkin, if people are still awake.

What happened today. Hosed down the back deck; helped Mike move; saw Tom U drink bubble tea for the first time and would KILL to have a picture of the expression on his face; ate pho; retinted my hair (Garnier 60); sang and played at Tom and Peggy’s (different Tom). The weather was excruciatingly nice.

John went to Show and Shine and went on at great length about how wonderful it was. It sure was the best day possible for it. The cherry trees are all losing their petals. I contemplate it from the back deck and think sad thoughts about the impermanence of things. But then I go back to planning the Buffy sing along, and I feel more chipper. Must have something to look forward to….

enough sleep
2005-04-24— Posted by: allegra

Today my life consists of yard work, helping Mike move and domestic arguments. In no particular order. I would like to thank Paul for making all of this possible.

Katie has volunteered to do yard work. I made coffee and now we can all think, although at very low speed.

I’m kinda cheesed about the federal election. On one hand, I think PM squared is as slimy as a two day dead squid (sorry, squids) and on the other hand, I don’t want Stephen Harper, the pol who puts the man in manboobs, getting any more seats in Parliament. I will be keeping abreast of breaking developments.

I would really like to watch PM squared stand back and let Chretien take the richly deserved crap. Let’s face it, Chretien did almost as good a job of enriching himself and his cronies as Brian Mulroney.

I also don’t want to watch the BQ (the Bathos Quebecois, also known as the Blockheads) go on about how the feds tried to buy Quebec with their own money and how Quebec would be much better off going it alone. Yeah, you dingbat, you jackasses – you knobs lost two referenda – and I VOTED in one of them, please thank me, Canada, for my role in keeping the country assembled – and because of the reverse engineered Revenge of the Cradle you WILL NEVER WIN a referendum.

Okay, a little history here. Once upon a time, Catholics in Quebec didn’t use birth control. In the old days, they fought against cultural assimilation into the sea of Anglos by having a remarkably high birth rate. All that changed in the 60’s. Quebec women took to birth control with more assiduity than any other group of females in the overconsumptive portion of the planet, with the possible exception of the Japanese. I’d say the Japanese are doing better (lower) on the birth rate thing, but apparently the Quebecois have sex (sometimes IN MOVING CARS on DECARIE BOULEVARD) and don’t get pregnant (okay, the car swerved at a vital moment), and the Japanese just plain don’t have sex, so it’s hard to get preggers under those circumstances. (I should clarify… married Japanese people don’t have much sex. Saw that in a Japanese newspaper article, so it must be true). So right now, Quebec has (among pur laine Quebeckers) by which I mean any pink (white), nominally Catholic Quebecker with a last name like Chartrand or Francois or Bergeron, the lowest birthrate in North America. Oh by the way, I am now officially offended if you ever dare to call me white again. I am pink. Goddamnit! I am so very very pink! Pink power! Pink Pride!!!! And I get pinker, when I’m mad, too. I’ve been told parts of me are extremely pink, but you’ll be rilly happy that I don’t provide documentary evidence.

Ah, but at the same time that Quebeckers were learning that you didn’t have to pull out to prevent pregnancy, the demographics changed. You see, they started letting les noirs et les arabes into the virginal spaces of Dollard Des Ormeaux, and hella hella, they breed! And around the same time the government of Quebec said, we need more people, and put in the most amazing baby bonus money in all of Canada, and basically subsidized the birth of many many brown children. (Note. I don’t have a problem with this. I have other problems with immigrants, part of which is due to residual racism on my part (unlike a LOT of soft left leaners, I KNOW I’m a racist) and part of which is my disappointment that some of them don’t get the notion of the ‘rule of law’ and the value of our constitution – and part of which is my objection to their bringing their internecine quarrels from furrin lands into my nice peaceful pink Canada. And the biggest one isn’t even racism. I just wish, whatever the hell colour they were, that they spoke English. Talk about yer cultural imperializm….)

Where wuz I. While the Nicoles and Chantals kept the reproductive pipelines, as ’twere, resolutely shut, immigrants had families. You have to wonder why pink Quebec women don’t want to breed… but they are currently way below replacement rate. All the brown people who came to Canada essentially came from places where there was no strong central government… and just think about all the places where the colonial language is French (or one of the colonial languages). Paradises like Mali, Senegal, Rwanda. Shangri-La’s like Haiti. And Lebanon, once the jewel of the Mediterranean. These are not places where citizens feel like there’s nothing but opportunity for their children. Once they felt safe – and sure, the cops are racist as hell in Quebec, but they look like Mahatma Gandhi compared to the cops in Beirut or Port au Prince – and found out they were $1500 on the upside to have that third kid, well, woo hoo. And the policy wonks in Quebec are tying themselves in knots. How do they get Nicole pregnant without subsidizing the birth of little brown children? I just sit back laughing. I lived in Quebec for two years – on the west side of the island, in the anglo enclave – and the racism of the place, after Toronto, never failed to boggle my mind. And remember I was married to a black guy and living in Toronto for a couple of years, so I got my nose rubbed not only in my own racism, fa la la, but everybody else’s as well.

The result of immigration and the differential birth rate between pink Quebeckers and immigrants is that the Parti Quebecois and the Bloc do not have a Bonhomme Carnival’s chance in hell of winning a referendum and separating from Canada. (Bonhomme Carnival is a snowman, for those of you who don’t get the reference). Immigrants are pretty consistent about supporting the status quo; it was Canada that let them in and Canada will get the vote.

It may be emotionally honest for a member of the Bloc Quebecois to say Quebec would be better on its own, but it doesn’t make sense from any other perspective. Without Quebec, Canada has its guts torn out; alone, Quebec will turn into an old drunk whose children all leave town. Sorry boys, it’s like this. We’ve been married a long time. It’s cheaper to keep her. And besides, if you leave me now, I’m changing all the currency. Didn’t you say you’d keep the currency? Screw ya! The chintziest 3rd world dictatorship has its own currency (even if the richest 10% only use Euros these days). Wouldn’t it be grand if we had currency that showed say, the kidnapping of Pierre Laporte on the 5 spot, the conscription riots on the 10 spot, the War Measures Act on the 20 spot and the hanging of Louis Riel on the 50 spot?

Hm, I sure get bloodthirsty in a hurry. Must be my European heritage overcoming the peacefulness of my Mennonite and Quaker antecedents.

Or maybe it’s just thinking about the yard work that gets me so upset.

Pic is of a star nursery. Our problems are very localized, and very small. But entertaining as hell, right?

Daybreak (new song)

2005-04-24— Posted by: allegra


Last I heard, you were on my mind
seems like I think about you all the time
If I look what will I find
Last I heard, you were on my mind

Best I know, you're the best there is
seems like I think about you all the time
Most of it's love but some of it's biz
Best I know, youre the best there is

Break, daybreak, break, daybreak.
Day breaking over my head.
Day day day breaking over my head. Daybreak

first we'll kiss, and then we'll pray
seems like I think about you all the time
moon and stars and the sun all day
first we'll kiss and then we'll pray

Break, daybreak, break, daybreak.
Day breaking over my head.
Day day day breaking over my head. Daybreak

waver with the wind that blows
seems like I think about you all the time
fill with the beauty that only the wind knows
waver with the wind that blows.

Purchased a capo for the mandolin today and rented Katie a bass from Tom Lee downtown. Be interesting to see how much she practices.

medical investigations

enough sleep
2005-04-23— Posted by: allegra

Innards. Yes, we all have them. Paul participated in a medical study so he’s off to have a CAT scan of his chest today.

I am hoping to get Katie up before noon so we can go look at renting a bass. We shall see.

After I got home last night we had a bit more of a Buffy fest. John had not consistently watched all of season six, so we watched the last three episodes of season six. Once you watch them more than once, you’re looking at all the background stuff, the way the set is decorated and the music and the little bits with the extras coming and going. The music is usually really apropos – I love the way when Willow grabs Giles’ power, the music goes all sixties freakout. Very funny, and subtle if you’re otherwise occupied. I just love the guy who plays Rack, so I looked it up and discovered that he’s played by Jeff Kober. Yes, he’s a scary looking individual, but I think that warlock is really quite cute.

Keith has made coffee, bless him. Paul’s doing yoga in the living room.

Pic is of Aureum Chaos on Mars.

Such a sapp
2005-04-23— Posted by: allegra

As I’m walking up to the wicket I see a fragment of Johnny Depp’s hand from a poster, mostly hidden behind the door. I buy two tickets for Sahara, watch it and enjoy it thoroughly. I have an epiphany about Johnny Depp, something to the effect that it would be rilly rilly cool if he ever played Le Petomane. I remember reading one time that Michael J Fox had a desire to play Le Petomane in a film, but the times were not right and alas he became ill.

Depp, on the other hand would be a gem of such fine water… it would so auger the sproing back into my step, and make the massage oil flow. And stuff.

Play the Sahara tape now. Plug disguised as a movie review. Take a plot that makes spun sugar look like structural steel. Lightly toss w/ one guy with a killer smile, truly fine abs, an ability to read his lines without sounding like an idiot, and who looks like he’s enjoying every bloody minute. Drape gracefully over two sidekicks, one male and a paragon of goofy usefulness, and one female, and gritty and smart and really cute whether she’s in safari gear or an evening gown (she gets an evening gown scene!). The opening sequence had me holding my mouth open. I want to see the movie again just for the opening sequence. That’s where we get a feeling for what kind of guy he is from the crap he’s got on the wall. It’s great, there were some just lovely little touches. & then there’s William H Macy in a great strong cameo. I recognized Oumou Sangare on the soundtrack (I had seen the closing credits and so knew to expect it). Now, since the last one disappeared, I’d better post this.

election talk

enough sleep
2005-04-22— Posted by: allegra

I’m going to take Paul out for breakfast this morning, but he refused to leave the house without shaving. I find this a little extreme, but it’s okay if he wants to be in fine fighting trim, I suppose.

Why do we have to have an election? Do the PEEPul of KENUhDuh really want a Tory government? I suppose it would take the Tories at least a couple of years to get to the point of pillage and looting that the National Governing Party has reached since Kim Campbell was flung so unceremoniously from office. (Either that or Brian Mulroney gives thievin’ lessons from his sickbed. (Tory? Party of two? Ting!) SO it would just slow down the delta, but gawdamighty.) The absolute worst thing about this election, and it hurts real bad, is that Frank Magazine isn’t on side to help out. Sigh.

The world is full of things I can’t talk about, but I will use my bully pulpit anyway. I can’t believe how many NDP lawn signs there are on my street already, I think the riding association has been ready for a while; we represented federally by the NDP so maybe they think they have a chance against Gordon Campbell’s former employee/colleague/assistant, Patty Sihota. The woman gives me the pip. Everything I’ve seen of hers that was published irresistably reminded me of a bad high school essay and I don’t know what the hell she’s done since the last provincial election that didn’t involve her getting her picture taken at a seniors residence. At least she isn’t controversial, whatever that means.

I am so happy it’s the weekend.

Be good, and if you can’t be good, be arbitrary.

Took an order yesterday for somebody who lived on Heinlein Street. Gave me a little frisson.

Oops, Paul’s ready. Bye!

two dead popes and a mother theresa

enough sleep
2005-04-21— Posted by: allegra

Mariah Carey debuts at No. 1? Drop the hammer NOW, God. I don’t know how many more apocalyptic signs we can get before the earth splits like a dropped tomato.

I dreamed last night, and I’m not making this up, that I went to heaven and saw John Paul II sitting in a big red and gold throne, and he was holding hands and cuddling (not necking, I hasten to add) with Mother Theresa. The throne was actually big enough for three, and there was a guy I didn’t recognize, all done up in church vestments, also sitting on the throne and cuddling. Everybody looked very happy, and there was a tremendous radiant light.

Liz M, if you’re reading this, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Bolton never seems to go away says 2019

This and that
2005-04-20— Posted by: allegra

Just in case that link disappears, it’s about a company that had to fire a third of its work force after they failed drug tests.

Pope Ratz has chosen the name of Benedict XVI, which is great; St. Benedict was quite the guy and the last Pope Benedict was apparently a peacemaker in the church. My question is, this guy is obviously a place holder until a younger Pope can get elected… how long are we expecting him to last? He’s 78. Looked pretty spry up there on the balcony though… I opined to John that he looks good for at least 10 years.

Bolton is getting held up by Repulsigans for the confirmation of his appointment to the UN? I had to go back and read it again. About a week ago I read in Raw Story that he went ape on some female government worker about a decade ago, and thought, snarkily, typical Bush appointee, bad karma up the yin yang but lots and lots of pull AND YOU SHOULD SEE what the neocon websites have to say about Bolton! The way they go on about it he’s the one thing standing between the US and the Antichrist. I admit that the UN is not my favourite organization, but they have kept the peace in a lot of unpleasant places, with substantial help from the Canadian Forces, and the occasional lapse in taste and judgement, but oh well. And maybe there are UN employees and designates who are helping run the sex trade out of Eastern Europe but it’s hard to make a living on what the military pays you, and all those women want to be locked in a room with a bunch of Israeli businessmen for 5 years anyway (better than being a farm worker in Moldova, right?). Okay, I’m bitter. Anyway, Bolton is a man with an interesting history and I don’t think he has the chops to be UN ambassador, but I imagine he’ll be confirmed anyway.

Also read this morning that the Conservatives in this our native land want an election. Well I bloody well don’t. Neither do the Liberals – low voter turnout will substantially hurt them, and if they call a snap election we’ll have 3 bloody elections in BC in the space of six months. Bastards! Three rounds of explaining to people who are communications challenged that I AM SO on the voter rolls. Calice.

I expect the NDP will do better in the next provincial election; they could hardly do worse. Hope you all have a lovely day.

enough sleep
2005-04-20— Posted by: allegra

It’s the first time in ages I could actually see something besides fog and rain spatters at the Mt St Helens webcam, so I thought I’d post it, mostly in remembrance of all the people in Indonesia who had to run away from a volcano recently.

Paul’s off riding with Rob W, and I am contemplating my options… shepherds pie or mac and cheese again? It was REALLY good and I’m thinking, yup, that’s what I want.

great seminar

enough sleep
2005-04-19— Posted by: allegra

Wrote a song for Paul last night. Tried to post it but I forgot how to do it and save the formatting so it looked pretty scabrous. I really am a bear of very little brain.

Made bread and homestyle macaroni and cheese last night. Dang, it was good! It’s also gone, Katie and Keith and Paul just wolfed it when they showed up from NonBF’s, Karate and Work, respectively.

What’s with Gmail? I’ve been having a hell of a time logging on.

What a great seminar
2005-04-19— Posted by: allegra

I enjoyed the seminar immensely, and I am firmly resolved to never send another flippant company email again. After seeing the havoc which can be wreaked by being candid in emails, I am a chastened and repentant sinner, and I have resolved to go call people and bother them in person rather than send emails that they never respond to anyway. The food was good too… once you’ve taken food from their hands, you’re sunk.

>>>> this seminar also talked about racism and issues in international business communication. <<<<< 2019 addendum


enough sleep
2005-04-18— Posted by: allegra

Not much time as I am flying out the door to a meeting. Had a nice peaceful weekend… did a lot of laundry, pulled a lot of weeds, and watched Finding Neverland. Big Johnny Depp fans over here! Keith said “I can’t stand how long I have to wait for Pirates II” or words to that effect. And I cleaned off some of my junk from the hard drive.

2005-04-18— Posted by: allegra

Cousin Jim emails me that he’s had the damnedest dream. Herewith:

What’s that smell?

I had my first olfactory dream. There was the most god awful smell that almost woke me up. This was definitely a 10 on the Richter smell scale. It seemed to be seeping into the house past the outside door. Outside was a small, very dead and very smelly crocodile sort of melted on the ground outside the door. Don’t ask how I knew this but it had been in Ian’s freezer for some time. What do you do with something this foul? Put it in the car and take it to the dump? Bad idea. Double bag it and dump it in the creek where things can eat it? Not an attractive option either. Bury it in the back yard? I was leaning that way when I woke up.

A few days later in real life I mentioned this to a friend who grew up in Africa with missionary parents. She confirmed that dead croc was one of the foulest smells on Earth.

Ed. In future, if I reference crocodiles it may be with this in mind. Also, I have the benefit of being able to hear Jim’s voice in my head. He has the single most Canadian accent I have ever heard in my life; it’s Ottawa Valley mashed in with Coastal BC. (Okay, I lie. He takes second place to Trent, who has the best Canadian accent ever. I’d like to pay him to narrate something; his voice is unique).

When I hear Jim’s voice, I can hear … Gawwwwwd offle smell.

Wendy bird was here; she’d locked herself out of the house and she lives across the street from us now – about 6 doors across two streets, really. Not allowed to talk about Katie, but she’s okay. Keith is mowing the lawn. I’d better grub around a while.

sundry comments and a continued monstrous visitation

Over the line
2005-04-17— Posted by: allegra

Since Ann Coulter, bless her anthracite like ticker, is making the cover of Time Magazine this week; I thought I’d present an opposing view. My comments on this woman from previous posts stand.

Had a lovely time at the John B last night – I actually got off my fat tuchis and danced.

$3.25 for Soda, though. Grr.

Today it’s laundry, and commiserating with Keith after he comes home from a job fair (but the money is really good), and commiserating with Kate, who is having a hard time about one thing and another. She is still asleep. Also cleaning all the not so great songs and pix off the hard drive. Man, 10 Gb don’t go nearly as far as they useta.

Keith is thinking maybe he needs to cut his hair, and I said, well get it done professionally and make sure you donate your hair for a wig. He really does have tremendous hair.

Paul is bugging me to volunteer for the election. I knows I should, but I’m feeling so unsociable and irritable these days that it’s all I can do to be civil to people who love me.

The weather looks like it’s cleaning up so I’m going to have a dig around in the driveside flowerbed. Hope you all have a productive and peaceable day.

Monstrous visitation
2005-04-17— Posted by: allegra

About the Monstrous Visitation the other night.

After about half an hour of very stilted conversation, with Monny no help, Chachka gave me up as a dead loss and started wandering aimlessly through the upstairs rooms. I didn’t realize at first what it was doing. Monny had become both immobile and unresponsive, and given the size of my guest, giving it a good swift kick seemed like a very poor idea. If it really was there, I was in BIG trouble, and if it really was NOT there, I was going to be flat on my ass subsequent to flinging myself through empty space.

Startling me out of my violent reverie, Fanny spoke for the first time. The voice was unlike anything I had ever heard. It was a horrible voice, but at the same time compelling my attention. It said, My name is Phantom Load. My companion annoys me by giving me a pet name.

Okay, I say. Then I ask, because I am really tactless, Are you a boy or a girl?

My eyes flash round to all of them. Monny is benignly regarding a sock on the floor, Fanny never takes her (dang – she is NOT a girl, and I keep referring to it as female) eyes from me, and Chachka is rolling its eyes and continuing to talk nonstop. In a grating, horrible voice that made one feel run over by a steam roller of spikes.

It was monster night in Canada.

Fanny does not answer my question. As always I sit in front of my ignorance and yell at it for a while, but quietly.

I remember following Chachka around, trying to drown out the outside world with my own thoughts. So Monny brought up what we are both worried about the other night. Monny is a very powerful hallucination produced by worry, and now my worry is bringing worry in the door. Two worries. They are both nicer looking, in their way, than Monny is. Monny is not a nice colour, in fact it is hard to describe what he looks like without mentioning dead things at least once.

Fanny has eyes made of lightning. Not accurate, but that is sure how it looks.

Chachka – and it agrees that its name is Chachka – is this obscene object in red and gold and black and a bunch of other colours that poops little plastic toys. I’m sorry, but everytime I review this hallucination, my recollection of it is quite clear.

There were little Pez dispensers with the first cartoon Dick Tracy, and Kinder Surprise toys that I had heard of but never seen. And they covered damned near every surface, it was a masterpiece of excess, and I kept following it through the top floor. It never went into the apartment downstairs to bug John.

All in all it was quite a show. The little toys disappeared in the order they appeared. I did not even attempt to record the onslaught; it was like trying to analyze an avalanche, an avalanche made out of pretty garbage, while standing in it.

I paid the most attention to Chachka because it was um, very demanding of attention. Meantime Fanny is standing next to me, needling me. It was quite the refinement of torture, and Monny did not move during the entire evening – and as I recollect I had to go to work the next day, so I could have used some assistance in quelling the rowdiness. So I did eventually crash, and they did not follow me into my bedroom (they are justifiably frightened of Paul) and I realized I had a lever and threatened to wake Paul up and they left, no problem. When it was safe I went to the bathroom and noticed Elastigirl (trademark) on the bathroom towel railing, and a trick of the light made her look like she was grimacing. It was pretty uncanny.

And that’s more or less what happened. It was much more intense than a dream, but as is always the case, they appear when nobody else is around, so if I talk about it I’ll appear crazy. I’m talking about it to you, but when I tell you, then it’s just a story; it doesn’t have to be true, except in the details.