yucca filamentosa

enough sleep
2005-06-30— Posted by: allegra

Katie’s off job hunting today with Wendybird; Keith and Paul are due back on Canada Day but since they are flying standby they may not make it back; off to Glenn and Marilyn’s for dins on Saturday; the yucca filamentosa exploded into bloom yesterday; Pokey caught and brought home a live bird of some description, which he let loose into the house with the attendant disarray – John’s portion of the house, I am thankful to say, not mine. I had wondered if he was going to be a hunter after watching him with that crow, and he hasn’t disappointed me. Mine have brought live mice in, but they had the decency to despatch same on the kitchen floor. Gizmo and Eddie, Jeff’s cats, have caught everything under the sun and killed it on the living room carpet… to the point that my brother is expert on dealing with the most atrocious stains and has this ‘amazing stuff’ that reduces the damage to a vague, unclassifiable blotch; although if you hit the place with fluorescene you’d think different. (Isn’t that the stuff they use on CSI? I don’t watch network TV but that doesn’t stop me from paying attention to what people talk about.) Cousin Gerald sent me last night’s link. He also sent me a link to the best television ad I’ve seen in many many years.

Nita is moved into her sublet until school starts up in the fall.

This is a note to those just joining us that my host is in England, so everything is 8 hours ahead. My posting window for getting it into ‘today’ starts at 4 in the morning. Yes, eventually I will get a local host.

Pic is of Paul and Rob of Nine (sorry ’bout the red eye) at last year’s Holiday Celebration, which was in the same hotel as the liability seminar. You can tell what kind of person I am by the fact that a) I had fun at both and b) figure this was likely because of the food.

Have a kickin’ Canada Day; if you’re on the other side of the line, have a safe and terror free Day of Independence, and remember that your founding fathers wanted you to be free of tyranny. I still think that the Declaration of Independence is one of the finest products of collective human inspiration, and I salute all those who honor it.

Catacombs of Paris
2005-06-30— Posted by: allegra

Revive your rusting French and play follow the leader through the catacombs of Paris. They were down for ten hours, and if you can read, say, grade eight french you should pee yourself laughing, I know I did. The human who wrote it is a complete card. Even if you can’t read French the ambience is cool (and did I mention damp) and the Medusa is def trif. I now know the French for “The water is sparkling clean, but I wouldn’t advise you to drink it.” http://cata.riffzone.net

I found the pic on necroticobsession.com. Isn’t it amazing which websites come up when your search criteria are ‘rats’ ‘catacombs’ and ‘leptospirosis’? I had no idea there WAS a website called necroticobsession.com. And then I found this guy.

Oh my god. I was looking at motorcyle mags tonight. I think I want a scooter. It’s a very retro looking thing.

Writer’s group was great.

Went to see Mike for dins and got so thorough-lee stuck in traffic (Ironworkers Memorial comPLETEly crapped, apparently people were stuck on the bridge so long that they were peeing off the bridge deck. (Hope they checked the “look out below” first.))that it took me 90 minutes to get from SFU to Broadway and Commercial, calice tabernac. So I bailed on that and ended up eating at Quizno’s before getting to Sabena’s place on West 10th. I have a wonderful anecdote which I can’t post, but can share that I groomed a cat I never saw before today with my own comb for about 10 minutes. What a suck!

Okay, this pic is just plain tacky, so wait for it.

I was so stressed out today that I was indiscriminately handing out neckrubs. One of my coworkers pretends to faint when I do that, which when he is standing up presents a very amusing tableau.

I am terrified of dying. No matter how many times I tell myself that it’s like childbirth, I’m going along for the ride whether I want to or not, it still scares the hell out of me. I’m really happy to be alive, and take no pleasure A-tall in the notion that I’m going to join my ancestors. Then I see pictures like this and temporarily feel better.

family pic and aurora

Family Pic
2005-06-29— Posted by: allegra

Jim P sent me this a long time ago. I have wanted to post it for a long time with my comments, but first attend to the way the pic looks. The children are all looking at the camera. The adults, for whatever reason, appear to think that a piece of something has stuck to the back of Jim’s head. We don’t want to know what… because his uncle looks amused, his grandmother repelled and his mother stunned. Jim himself looks like he has accomplished something Le Petomane would have been proud of.

I have wanted to post a picture of my urbane and camera shy webmaster for a long time, and this is perfect. You can’t see all of him, but what there is is really hot. In 1959, I was pretty cute too, in a bald headed, diaper wearing, spherical-headed sort of way. You will note that absolutely nothing has happened to Jim’s smile in the intervening years, apart from the fur (which he still has). Hopefully the notes will be clear, unlike the last time I tried to do this.

Great aurora pic
2005-06-29— Posted by: allegra

Sorry, no attribution or date, but it’s from Voisey Bay, NFLD.

this is not a cute animal picture

This is not a cute animal picture
2005-06-28— Posted by: allegra

This is Spider’s Genitalia

Maria M. Ramos GS

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Princeton University

This is the image of a dissected and cleared �epigynum��the genitalia of a female spider of the species Nephila edulis. The large spheres are the spermathecae, or sperm reservoirs.

Oh come on, if I didn’t post stuff that’s revolting once in a while, there’d be no attraction. And the next time you say “uglier than the ass end of a spider” you’ll really mean it. Because, even programmed as I am to see the beauty in all of nature, this is a powerfully creepy pic.

musical update
2005-06-28— Posted by: allegra

Ted Leo got mentioned in the 27th June Gawker.com, so now I have to go see them when next they are in town. Beware the power of a personal recommendation promptly backed up by a website. They are an “indie” band. Also, Ike Turner plays piano on the Demon Days album, he doesn’t sing.

Must go shower, the health and safety of my coworkers is at stake.

2005-06-28— Posted by: allegra

Pic has no relevence to current events, but there’s a recent convert to my blog who will just nod while viewing it.

Went to Stef’s b-day party last night, where I met a whole bunch of people who like salsa dancing and pay a lot more attention to a proper skin care regimen than I do. They were also a lot of fun and really lively, and know how to give gifts. (Tickets to the Lipizzaners? Now that’s a boyfriend.) I picked her up a beautiful, detailed little Buddha for her desk at work; also picked up a Ganesh for Suzanne, who c’llects elephants. Also earrings for Katie, who hopefully will like them. The gazpacho was so salty and bodiless that I could barely eat it, and the salad was also inedible. I am sure other people got good food, but I had to take consolation with Granville Island products and the Portuguese style buns, as there was none to be had with the table d’hote. The restaurant was the Latin Quarter on Commercial. The waitress took an hour to take our orders. As I paid my bill, I considered that I was essentially paying for the right to trash the joint on my blog, and that cheered me up somewhat.

Rounded out the restaurant meal by singing The Housewife’s Lament in the park facing Havana Restaurant. Stef was pleased.

Got home around eleven feeling quite cheerful, having avoided death on the highways and byways of Vancouver (I am terrified of crashing the car while Paul is gone), where I found John, who gave me a stern lecture about locking the Kira cat in my bedroom. I reconstructed the crime and realized that she had only been locked in since Katie left the house around 7:30 to spend the night at Dax’ (again). I was frankly relieved, not about Katie, I am more or less resigned to the understanding that the manifold delights of her incommonlaws’ house are greater than any under my roof, but that Kira didn’t break training or get too chuffed. Mind you, it was past dinner. Much is forgiven with the administration of food.

I’m going to hunt up Ted Leo… he’s apparently a really cool musician who gigs in Vancouver occasionally.

a grazing mace

2005-06-27— Posted by: allegra

Slept til quarter after seven…. of COURSE! It’s a work mornin’. Dinner last night was quite successful and now we have pasta sauce leftovers, which was the idea. I made a sign that said Danger, Zach’s Room, which he liked, and everybody else ate and talked and looked reasonably comfortable. Dax didn’t come but I am no longer upset about that as he is really sick, we don’t know with what; hopefully he will be off to the doc shortly. Suzanne, his mum, is a pet, I really like her. More later, I have to unstick my eyes and clean up.

Burning Teen Action
2005-06-27— Posted by: allegra

So I called Katie about 10:30 am, asking her whereabouts, and she said, Mom? in that tone of voice that means she has something important to communicate. What?

I got bear maced again.

How many times IS this now?

Four, she said. I’m going to be a hermit.

Apparently some kid named Shawn took the safety off his bear mace to impress somebody and he accidentally fired it and Katie got the backwash. As did Jessica D.

It’s ludicrous, isn’t it?

squirrelly girl

Squirrelly girl
2005-06-26— Posted by: allegra

I’ve been accused of being squirrelly on a number of occasions, and I thought I’d document it. The feet belong to Keith; the squirrel, a junior who died about two days after this photo was taken because I didn’t give him Complan or something similar, is Burt; and the fashion sense is entirely my own. However, the blue nylons are completely necessary for the story, as they gave the squirrel the purchase to reach such heights. Please congratulate me on not dropping the baby. This is another scan, so sorry ’bout the dirt and blur.

2005-06-26— Posted by: allegra

Kira started dancing up and down across my chest, and after I rolled over, my back, at 4:38 this morning. That’s okay, I had nothing better to do than play kitty gym furniture at that time anyway. Sleep is for wimps, right? My own damn fault for thinking that the cats had developed manners and would not start campaigning for food so early. So I groggily crawled out of bed and punted Zeek! out the back door – he had already popped his claws into my face (gently, but it’s a hell of a way to wake up) and commenced the takeoff cycle.

I don’t think there’s any way in hell I’m going to be able to get the pictures over to Toribird today; I have an awful lot of cooking, cleaning and life maintenance to do. For those of you just joining, Toribird, a wonderful person, singer, artist, cook, etc etc, possessor of the world’s most infectious giggle, is going to do my family portrait Edward Gorey style… but not before I give her the darned pix to work from! This was commissioned by my parents like MONTHS ago, so I publicly apologize for not getting off my duff sooner.

(2019 says mOm still looks at it from time to time)

Katie slept over at Jessica Ds. Or so I was led to believe; the little weiner turned her phone off, but seeing as how it had been ringing non stop with people she didn’t partickly want to speak with I’m not too choked. I am at last month’s telecom bill, though… what the hell was she doing making a long distance call or was that when she ‘loaned’ the phone to one of her morally ambiguous chums? The way of the parent is hard and thankless.

I think it absolutely hilarious and quite typical that after not speaking to each other for 4 years, or so, maybe three, the first thing that passed between Sandy and me is the gloomy agreement that the economy is about to tank because of the level of indebtedness of the US, and the amount of personal debt in Canada. She’s having a good year, as these things go, in the tourist business; but please don’t ask her what she thinks of the policies of the current Ontario Legislature, or the weather, which is broiling. She was very happy to report that the blackflies departed the earliest ever, June 9.

It’s hard to say which of my boys I miss most – Paul or Keith. So now I have to root through about six places on the hard drive, because of COURSE I haven’t put all the pictures in one place OR developed a standard nomenclature and find my favourite pic of Paul. This is a scan, so forgive the blurriness. I just think he looks so hot. Anybody know where he is? it’s the lower mainland (that’s BC). He’s standing on a railway trestle (yes, we shouldn’t have been up there and I bailed after I took the picture (or did Keith, I can’t remember) because bridges and heights etc. make me queasy). Hint. The bridge he is standing on goes over one arm of the Fraser. That should narrow it down!!! ha ha.

Alone again. Good Gosh.
2005-06-26— Posted by: allegra

Well, I’m off to a great start. I was going all confessional (bleaggh!) and I guess I’d better nip that in the bud so I just reefed on that backspace key.

The funniest part of my Mom being away (she’s currently taking a six deep bath in family in Saskatchewan, which is where both of my parents were born) is that it is very likely, and to my way of thinking, almost certain, that my father will not go near my blog until my mother gets back to read it to him.

I really like the new Gorillaz album. I keep wanting to slap Katie’s hand as she bounces over the tunes she doesn’t like; I like pretty much all of it. Their music is a colloidal suspension of homage, pastiche and collage. I’m a hopeless loser about musical tempo – no sophistication at all – so I can’t tell whether the beats are really as phat as all that. I just like it. I try to be honest in my genuine appreciation, artists like praise.

What I like about the human voice on the album is that it intertwines decent, intricate, fun loving rap with Damon Albarn whose voice (okay, whiny Brit moaning) is a colloidal suspension of Thom Yorke (Radiohead) and Jason Pierce (Spiritualized). I just read that Ike Turner (Ha! typed Tuner) guested on one track. Can such things be? Ibrahim Ferrer did an amazing turn on the last one. I am prepared to believe Ike sang, but – well I’ll be darned, there he is on the tracklist. The inertnet is strange and dangerous.

Anyway, it’s time to do dishes and start putting myself away for the night.

Katie’s off to a party at Jessica D’s. She sounded happy to be going, apparently the guest list is tiny, like five people in total, all girls.

When I came back from dropping the screen and projector at Mike’s – and it was good to see him however briefly –

oh, and I forgot to mention there were THREE west facing accidents on the way home, I literally detoured away from one accident and drove into the debris of another. Took a frikkin hour to get home with the construction and everything, always too far north or south and then smack, dead end

Where was I. Oh yeah, there are no fewer than three neighbourhood kids of various sexes, ages, and ethnic origins, mauling the living snot out of Pokey, who merely accepted it as his due. Katie chuckled, but I was laughing my ass off as I pulled up. “Hey, wanna get out of my driveway?” I asked them, choking.

Pokey of course chose this moment to leap up and pretend to run directly under my wheels as I’m pulling into the driveway, triggering thoughts of Oh My God, I mushed John’s cat. But no such luck (John’s thought balloon “Just a minute!) and I’ve now been through this drill a couple of times. All you have to do is keep your speed constant, and Pokey will have no trouble staying out of your way.

So the reason I’m laughing is because the REASON we tossed Pokey outside into an uncaring universe (you should SEE him suck up to passersby, it’s shameless) is because he clawed Paul, Keith, a niece, Brooke, John once or repeatedly; his banishment was behaviour mod. I’m thinking – that cat’s DYnamite, kids; you may get much more than you bargained for. But now that he gets to go outside, he doesn’t have the energy to be contrary. This morning he found the greenest part of the lawn (sets off his fur, of course) to wash himself on. Then he sprawled out, looking like an expensive plush toy. This is while I’m taking two wheelbarrow loads of moss off the lawn. I was dumb, I didn’t wear gloves or I could have worked longer.

Katie and I did a shop. I loathe Superstore. I want to stop shopping there.

Nita called and I made sure John called her as soon as he had his helmet off. The move is on for this week. Happy family news, she’s been accepted at UBC.

Three kinds pasta with three kinds sauce tomorrow night. I’m thinking meat sauce with a little heat, crunchy veggie sauce and my homestyle Alfredo, and we’ve already got the pasta, some of which looks quite odd. Yum, delights await tomorrow.

message on the wind

The Drugs I Need
2005-06-25— Posted by: allegra

This is a parody…. Austin Lounge Lizards provided the music and the chorus is frikkin hilarious.


Message on the wind
2005-06-25— Posted by: allegra

I have felt compelled to call Sandy in Ontario for a week now, and when I finally overcame my qualms (I thought perhaps one of her relatives had passed on) and called her, it turned out Bitsy, a very good dog, departed this life last Friday of a heart condition. We quarrelled some years back and I hadn’t spoken to Sandy since. When I called (like what the hell was I thinking, 9 am on a Saturday when the Lodge is open???) it was the usual, work to the ceiling and guests driving up and breakfast cooking. I was amused and pleased to learn that Paul had called her on his way to Grundy Lake; of course no one else in the convoy wanted to stop but I’m sure Keith wouldn’t have minded reacquainting himself with one of our favourite family spots.

Anyway, if you are looking for a really wonderful vacation spot which is just comfortable enough not to be roughing it and just wild enough to be interesting, you can do MUCH worse than Red Deer Lodge & Campground Madawaska ON.

(Notes from 2019….. heavy sigh)

my new lawnmower
2005-06-25— Posted by: allegra

This $3K (US) Solar Mower will really show the neighbours who’s upscale.

for sale by owner’s government

Somebody’s response to the eminent domain ruling
2005-06-24— Posted by: allegra

found a great site
2005-06-24— Posted by: allegra

that helps you make custom safety signs.

Alone…..if you don’t count John
2005-06-24— Posted by: allegra

Paul phoned me as I was wending my way home from the restaurant last night (and I’m glad I pulled over) to tell me that the song I recorded (actually that was with Gomi, not with PD) which is WB Yeats set to music (The Second Coming) had ‘the best harmonies I’ve ever heard’. Which was really nice to hear even if I could not hit a note during the first two bars for the life of me. It’s a damned hard song to sing and I wrote it. I was feeling musical after that so I found the mandolin – it was hiding in the dungeon – and banged out a couple of tunes, and then, because the mando does that to me, started writing another tune. Just music so far, but it has something to do with summer and I keep hearing the Edge doing backup guitar. Yeah, like that would ever happen. But it helps the process so I’m not complaining.

After joining me for part of the evening Katie vanished again, so I decided to cut the lawn. (I had been planning watching a movie with her, Finding Nemo, which I have never seen but…)

So There I Am, feeling virtuous and hardworking and property owner like. But that was then; and now I am ready to beg Keith’s forgiveness for making him touch this clapped out hulk of a lawn mower (Keith as noted in previous blogs hauls 99% of the lawn duty). Jeez, Louise, as they say, where do I start.

Okay, the extension cord has been run over repeatedly and repaired repeatedly and you have to snake it around your hand while you’re mowing to keep the juice coming. I think, “Interesting!” and keep going. The power switch has an intermittent in it, but I figure out how to let it out slow and take it back in slow and I manage to keep it going, thinking, “Fascinating!” but I keep going. I notice that the handles have broken and been repaired in a way that is functional – to a point – but hardly decorative, making pushing the lawnmower a rather Zen experience as it is not laterally stable, which accounts for the interesting appearance of the mowed rows – the ones I finished. I think “That’s weird” and keep pushing. I notice that the wheels are wobbling; cursing, I stop tighten one of the nuts (not realizing until afterwards that I HADN’T CUT THE POWER! WHAT a moron), but don’t realize that I’ve tightened the wrong one, because as soon as I get to the plum tree, a wheel comes off. I turn it over (again? again??*) and realize that the blades look like the discard pile after a Viking melee, and I can’t find the nut (although the washer, being bright and shiny, is easy to find) and then I say **** this noise, I’m off to the hardware emporium tomorrow to buy another lawnmower and after consulting with John I push the lawnmower into the garbage area by the garage and leave it, with its little wheel on its head like a party hat. Why Keith has not boycotted lawn duty until given something approaching a real lawnmower I have no frikkin idea, but I just want to publicly state that I’m sorry. And of course in my enthusiasm for weed whipping the other day I destroyed the back garden hose, and we need more extension cord, so I’m going to be heating up the debit card Friday night, I can tell.

Rob of Nine wants his Munchkin game back so I am returning it, but Brooke handed back the next three SIP digests (that was fast), so he’ll get those today too. I can hardly wait for his opinion of High School, digest 6, which has some of my all time favourite comic art in it and is screechingly funny. “Sidekick!” she spluttered. Ah yes.

John came up to me after the lawnmower debacle and said, well, if you haven’t used up all your mowing mojo, come and mow me, so I ran a rizzer over his head and trimmed his ear hair (how unfair the goddess is in her liberality, sometimes!) and of course that always calms me down; it’s a primate thing.


Hope you enjoy this mum, I thought it was interesting.

* You’re supposed to hear My Life in the Bush of Ghosts when you read this.

the headlines write themselves

enough sleep
2005-06-23— Posted by: allegra

Cousin Gerald sent me a bunch of pictures. Some cute, some bizarre, but I REALLY sat up and took notice when one combined two of my fave themes, aircraft and moose. Herewith…..

Sometimes the headlines write themselves
2005-06-23— Posted by: allegra

This morning, another miscellany. First up:

Theological and classical studies are suffering intellectually because the academic tools used to study them have not progressed or evolved the way other scholarly subjects have, says Professor Bradley Mclean of Biblical Studies at Knox College.

Culled from Eurekalert.org.

I read on Eurekalert this morning that there’s a virus that’s endemic in human populations that infects and destroys cancerous cells. I remember theorizing the existence of such an organism when I was in my teens.

Also read in Eurekalert.org what causes bedsores. This is actually important because infected bedsores are hell for the patient and not much fun for the caregivers. What happens is that the healing mechanism gets stuck. The cells at the bottom of the wound are supposed to unstick and migrate to the edge of the wound. In bedsores they stop – they literally stick together and quit migrating. That’s what forms that nasty cliff at the edge of the non healing area. Also, cells at the edge of the wound are supposed to lose their nuclei and form that tasty scab – uh, I mean, they are supposed to transform into a mat of cross linked proteins that forms a waterproof barrier while what is underneath continues to heal. That process stops at the same time. There is a substance your body normally makes indicating whether the healing process is happening properly or has stalled so now we know how to demonstrate that wound healing is screwed up when the wound is small and can hack it off earlier rather than later, or better yet come up with a non invasive treatment. May you never have bedsores! They really suck.

It’s 6 am and I’m just waiting for the bread to come out so I can go to work.

Katie’s asleep.

I have been wanting to write a guerrilla marketing piece about work for a long long time now and I got about a third of it done last night. “A girl’s guide to our products”. Sexist, but somehow thrilling and chewy, and I get some lovely shots in at the competition. This line deleted, as is the rant that flows naturally from any comment you ever make about marketing. I will insert one comment, which is Why Can’t We Use Geek Factory as our marketing Mavens, but I imagine, given that they actually work, that would be too much to pay for. This was OF COURSE last night when I was supposed to be doing something else for work, but my frontal lobes began to strangulate my optic nerves, so I had to stop and do something else. My muse wants a beer.


2005-06-22— Posted by: allegra


Read the complaint. I don’t know whether to feel sorry for the guy or consider him to be the biggest, most self-absorbed wanker I’ve run across recently. Or is Jessica Cutler an even bigger wanker? You be da judge…

Do yourselves a favor, and don’t sleep with people who have anonymous blogs.

Then ask yourself how anybody would KNOW whether somebody else has an anonymous blog in which they described in gruesome detail your shrimp fetish. Mmmm, shrimp. So I just want you to all be happy that my name and my blog address are exactly the same, that I do not even hint at what’s going on in my sex life (although I must make it clear that I have no *legitimate*, *civil* or *performance* complaints, just the usual tiresome and not to be published kvetching which any middle aged woman can uncork without effort given half a bottle of wine and a sympathetic audience, and sometimes even without those) and that even if I had the world’s hottest sex with you, personally, last night, I’m not going to describe it because my mother would rather firewalk than read it to my dad (she reads the blog to him because sometimes he has to explain things to her, which is pretty funny when you think about it). Let me find something safe to talk about.

How about those gas prices??? I’m driving by signs and I can’t tell if it’s the gas price or a cross promotion for an FM station. You know, 102.9 FM. 103.5 FM. The sound of our culture screeching to a crawl.

post haste
2005-06-22— Posted by: allegra

The boys are headed to Ontario for a week to camp and frolic, etc. I have to get off the computer right away and drive them to the airport as check in time is about an hour from now. More later…..

enough sleep
2005-06-22— Posted by: allegra

Finally met the inlaws, this would be Katie’s boyfriend’s mum and the rest of the family in their lovely apartment in New West (with the damned BIG deck). Dinner was make it yourself subs and potato and pasta salad. That woman makes the best potato salad on earth.

Happy solstice everyone.

As is usual at the Solstice, I had a number of happy daysigns. The first was on the way into work when a six foot tall fibreglass lobster went by me, tied on to the back of a flatbed, I hasten to add. Afternoon and heading back up the car with Rob of Nine and Patricia – giving them a lift – Rob nearly killed a freshly hatched garter snake, on the stair by the waterfall, so wee that its head was, like, the size of three matchheads tied together. I went into raptures about its beauty and cuteness, and then put it on the ground next to the stairs where it would not get trodden on by the next person to come along. Dang, it was a cutie patootie.

Then we had a MOSt EXcellent discussion about Disgusting Smells. It was a classic… “I can top that story” series of anecdotes. Bloated wretched mice pried from under sink floorboards, nicely gassing seal carcasses trodden on land mine style by large dogs who after FOUR baths still reeked, and the four year old boy who decided that a bucket would do for an ensuite…. ah yes, much hilarity.

Picture is some guy who appears to have worn a gorilla suit while jumping on the standing stones at Stonehenge. Man, the civil authorities in England must be really mellow, or this guy must have been really persistent.

I’m in a much better mood today, just waiting for Paul to get home.

Work is so disgusting in between bouts of euphoric hope that I think I’m going to have a complete failure of health between now and August. I might show up to work naked or start drinking at noon and then somersault myself down the cafeteria stairs while howling verses from Revelations. Jeez. I guess that’s been done. I’ll know I’ll think of something original and apropos to indicate that my last gasket has lost its seat. I know this feeling won’t last, or will last until I slap my task list into something resembling order… right now it’s making like the opening scene of Van Helsing.

Keith is at an end of term movie. Katie of course is at the in laws. And Paul will be home soon.

Chor Leoni

Chor Leoni
2005-06-21— Posted by: allegra

Ma. Ma… I had about 20 “I wish my parents were here” moments last night. 45 beautiful voices singing about opera (pianissimo…FORTISSIMO… pi zzi ca to cresCENDO!) and then That’s Amore, and the Funiculi Funicula song, and it opened and closed with Comedy Tonight, and the triumphal march from Aida was in there, and they sang Send in the Clowns, and the back up band included a freaking amazing guy on violin, a really good bassist, oh, hell, they were all good… but there was a mandolin! and the costumes were absolutely hilarious (all these guys wearing Roman style costumes, but one of the togas was… a sleeping bag). 30 guys wandering on stage with violin cases and black suits and snap brim fedorae. Sigh. And a really silly audience participation song (which they only do once a year) Honestly, you would have loved it. Promise me you and pOp will go to see them in Victoria this summer, you WILL not regret it. I have seen them six times now, and they are always amazing. And the guest singers were amazing; may I draw your particular attention to Mariatheresa Magisano, whose unabashedly operatic name belongs to a Juilliard trained soprano who hails from Montreal. She combines angelic features, the luscious mezzo frame, a soaring, effortless and joyous voice and gutbusting physical comedy skills. As always the ‘showmanship’ was great and the audience was practically giddy as we strolled out to our cars under a full moon which danced amid beautiful noctilucent clouds….


I am so choked
2005-06-20— Posted by: allegra

May the pilots of Air Canada go to hell and keep a place warm for me. Whatever the hell happened to ‘buy the airplane your neighbors build”???? Boeing aircraft are safe and well built but NOOOO Air Canada pilots are paid by the weight of the aircraft, and since Boeing is making them lighter, they want to stick with the heavier Airbuses. Somebody should slap those guys (excuse me – I’d reason with them but there have to be some neurons on the other end).

I have other Air Canada news, but I’ll keep it cryptic. NorthWest Contract = Delta Contract, and I refer you back to a previous blog.

In other news, when Katie isn’t studying for her Provincial, she’s watching Angel.

Keith applied for a bunch of jobs yesterday. It’s grindingly slow.


2019 called and said that Boeing aircraft suck

little to report

little to report
2005-06-19— Posted by: allegra

Brief correcting note – the last line out of the last post was mine, not Alex’s.

When I first started hanging out with Paul, he used to sing, “You ask me why I don’t say much, that’s because I don’t have much to say,” which about covers it. I’ve had my coffee so I can’t go back to bed. But I really feel like lazing around, so I think I will.

Paul is off to work shortly.

Happy Hallmark card day to you all. Hey Ma, tell pOp that I did get him a card but forgot to mail until yesterday. The review board, aka the family, approved, and hopefully he will too…. still no word on the computer parts…

Hm. I actually do feel motivated to do something – I see spider webs all over the place and think I will remove them.

I was unduly harsh about the LXG comic. The funniest part is not the comic part, which is frankly narsty and colored in a fashion I don’t like, but the ‘text intermission’ at the end, which is a tour of all of the imaginary places extant at the turn of the 20th century, like the Island of Dr. Moreau, and the Lost World, and Arkham, etc. The descriptions of these places are quite dry and quite amusing, and you have to really be paying attention to catch all of the references.

I have learned the extent to which cats are creatures of habit. I bought them new food dishes and while Zeek! was okay after I jammed his face into the dish repeatedly, Kira has decided that she wants her old dish back. Okay, eat mice, see if I give a flying fig. I mean, you should see, or not see, the old dish. It was impossible to clean, and cat food dried onto its surface in such a fashion that even if you soaked it in hot water for half an hour it was still a bear to clean. Let me give you a hint. It was so disgusting that John CLEANED it while he was doing cat care for us one weekend. People who know us will understand the significance of this.

So I gave up and got stainless, and now the cats are freaking out about how weird and shiny their dishes are. Shown is another grad picture, this time with the star. Doesn’t he clean up nice? Paul looks charming as well.

I think Harry Potter is out today? I must go acquire it. Dibs!

Keith is a grad

note from cousin Alex
2005-06-18— Posted by: allegra

There may be some weird html dreck in here, but the message is a solid one….

Hey Allegra!

If you wanted to post something on your blog re this with a link to my donation webpage….

This is the year I promised myself I would do two things that are important to me: get involved in community events, and work at fundraising for cancer research. The Weekend to End Breast Cancer is a way for me to accomplish both goals at once – this year I am registered as a walker.

I hope that you will support me in this effort, and visit my webpage at http://va05.endcancer.ca/site/TR?px=1111220&pg=personal&fr_id=1000 and make a donation.

I am walking in memory of my cousin Dierdre Heagy, who succumbed to her battle with cancer 14 years ago at the age of 26. I hope to personally raise at least $5000, and my team “Hunger For Da Cure” captained by my cousin, Michael Hungerford, has a combined goal of raising $66 000.

Please support us on this journey to find a cure for this indiscriminate disease that has touched all our lives.

Derry was a sweetheart, I miss her.

2005-06-18— Posted by: allegra

I’d like to thank Paul for the strongly composed and thoroughly wonderful pic – when the kids tossed their caps in the air, one of them stuck to the ceiling, a beautiful end to an interesting evening.

We didn’t stick around for the dance but everything else was quite fine. Because the grad was so small – maybe 25 kids – everybody got a turn at the mike to get all teary or congratulatory or full of happy advice. I kept my mouth shut, for once, but Keith made everybody laugh when he said, I was trying to compose a speech consisting of 80’s song titles, but I’ll stick to one, “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades.”

A lot of the kids who graduate from Keith and Kate’s school have a lot of problems with people and academics both, and family of origin issues. One of the grads is a (FTM transsexual  2019 CALLED AND SAID YOU JACKASS IT’S) trans lad and he turned and told everybody in his grad class that he would not have made it without them. I got the story from Katie earlier this year and man, I was choking back tears during his speech. If we don’t support the kids who are ‘different’ the school system is a damned cruel place, so I am really really glad that this place exists for kids with gender identity and legal and substance and family of origin problems – as well as kids who just can’t hack regular high school.

The affection and respect of the kids for the staff, teachers and principal of the school were PALPABLE – it was an incredible display. And the food was damned good too. Just to round out the delights of the evening, it was at the Gizeh Shriners Hall.

enough sleep
2005-06-18— Posted by: allegra

Keith graduates today. Gotta remember to take the camera.


2005-06-17— Posted by: allegra

I scan eurekalert.org mostly for good news about science, as the tone is irrepressibly upbeat. (Makes the donors and funders and sponsors and overseers and taxpayers happy). So I finally saw some nanotech news that made -me- happy; as far as I can tell somebody’s come up with a modelling tool that actually works for custom building nanocrystals without which we can’t have littler processors.

It works, as far as I can understand it, which is nae far at all, by being able to predict the dielectric of a nanocrystal based on its size, surface area and the base material. Anyway, I am going to follow the careers of the gentlemen who ran the labs and the computational horsepower and the software because I suspect that they and intelligent backers are going to be able to commercialize something within 4 – 7 years. And the pictures were purty! What a sap I am!!

Have a lovely evening all.

I shouldn’t have had that hamburger for lunch.

I really wish I could talk about work, but the interesting customer interaction all ended well and a BIg BEEG shout out to Debbie D for her amazing catch.

I don’t really want to say goodbye, I’m just stooging around in the doorway.

Paul has gone flying with Dan P.

The kids have disappeared into Angel’s bosom. Keith brought home the second Volume of League of Extraordinarary Gentlemen and frankly it’s nowhere near as good as the first one.

With respect to media I may say that the prospect of Batman Begins beguiles and Serenity makes me smile in anticipation.

And I’ve gotta get back to Jeff’s place. I wish to sail to that country …

crypto cat

Crypto Cat
2005-06-16— Posted by: allegra

There’s a kid’s page for the NSA! Isn’t that cool? This is Crypto Cat. I can’t make this crap up.

Did you know that the mere presence of encryption software on your computer indicates criminal intent in the state of Minnesota? And did you know that within this past week, the first gay military wedding and the first gay divorce took place in Canada? Man, that would be a great thing to have on your resume, the wedding photographer at the first gay military wedding. If it was the first one in the world somebody would have said so, so now I’m trying to figure out where the first gay military wedding was. Swedes! I betcha it was those Swedes!

Did you know that Belgians have one of the highest rates of consumption of child pornography in the world? I would have thought with all that beer and chocolate they would have better things to do with their time.

Katie has a provincial exam in social studies on June 21st, wish her luck… and Keith graduates tomorrow. Sigh.

Paul is back, and being exceedingly Paul like.