finally the PO

What you are about to read may shock you….but our meeting today with the Parole Officer was a warm human experience during which we all communicated reasonably well and left with a feeling of having accomplished something important.

The Crown may still elect to send Katie to court. Extrajudicial Sanctions is at the discretion of the Crown.

Katie has quit drinking, had perfect attendance at school and is actually getting good marks, is working out, going to see a counsellor (next week, likely), no longer hangs out with the kids she got in trouble with, is orders of magnitude more pleasant and responsible than she was even three months ago and recognizes perfectly well that she screwed up – all of which revealed itself during the course of the interview. So there are conditions – and I have to say Katie got off pretty lightly – but she is prepared to go to court and take her lumps if she must. It’s unclear how long the conditions apply. It helps that she doesn’t even know where this girl lives and has no intention of raising a hand to her again so the condition about staying away from her will not be a problem.

In other news, an 11 year old girl tried to kill her 34 year old babysitter with a machete that she found lying in the yard after a dispute with the babysitter about the dog. You know, you hate to blame too much tv but you have to wonder sometimes. And any householder who leaves a machete lying around the premises should be hauled in along with the kid. (Parents’ reaction upon returning home… “Sh*t, now we’ll NEVER get a sitter for the Halloween party. And I guess New Years’ is a write off too….”)

Picture is something random from the Katie files.

a good hair day

The world’s best Mohawk, from New Zealand. Let me say this about that. It’s an hour in front of the mirror every day. He holds it together with a number of noxious and interesting substances, including egg white and sugar, which would a) be extremely funny here in August when the wasps are active and b) be even more funny in the rain. Now THAT’s something I’d pay money to see.

Keith saw Sky Captain. He says it sucks, and he usually tries to feel the good in things.

Paul went riding today with Dan T.

I would like to publicly state that Paul is the world’s bestest spouse. By me, anyway. Katie is off working out with Alex. Matt was here… I told Katie to wait until he explained himself. They have kissed and made up.

Talked to Lois for ages. Talking to her always cheers me up (That’s Paul’s youngest sister who lives in Brooks Alberta and is an active Mennonite). Cooked dinner for Paul and Dan T. – really that was the most energetic I’ve felt all day, which has been just this side of total somnolence.

Musical evening went swimmingly, in attendance Tori and Mike (what a GORGEOUS voice Tori has, I was so impressed), John of course, Joe and Jean (who make a very cute pair, who brought Miss Vickies Jalapeno chips, which are in my top five for junk food and who are buddies of Mike’s), and Brooke and Tom and Peggy. Paul didn’t show up back from Victoria until after everybody had left, which p*ssed him somewhat. Mike hauled out a LOT of Simon and Garfarkle, which will go over very well at any time, and sang his way through all nineteen verses (okay, it’s not that many) of the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. I love that song.

Bye 4 now.

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.

youth report

I am pleased to report, that for this Sunday at least, the size of the youth group went up 50%, from two to three.

Katie is talking to Kai on the phone. Matt hasn’t phoned in 5 days and they are discussing how they will abuse him. Fortunately she is just blowing off steam. It’s too bad, really, he seemed like such a nice guy. I said she should wait until he’s explained himself, but she’s justing waiting to see him again so she can dump him.

I’m glad I’m not young anymore.


Woke from a very detailed and bizarre dream; my family and I had just moved to an island in the Pacific and were just straightening out issues like refrigeration and getting along with the neighbours when all of a sudden a dirty great typhoon blew up. I walked into a terrible wind and watched two and three story waves crashing over the headland and realized that where we were was not more than a couple of feet higher than that. We felt paralyzed. There was no point in making preparations; we were going to either drown or get pulverized or some particularly unpleasant combination of the two; we had heard on the radio that the people who were supposed to evacuate us were concentrating on a place with more people and less hazardous conditions. I fell to my knees – more or less because I was too scared to stand – and prayed to God not for a miracle but for the fortitude to bear the next few hours. I can still hear the wind noise. The dream started on a nice balmy day and rapidly deteriorated. At one point I looked up and identically shaped ragged clouds were going by counter to the breeze on the ground at about 100k – not exactly what you’d call calm conditions. Very intense and detailed dream.

Still feel like scrap but no sense complaining.

Dealt with our fruit fly situation a la Hoover this am, while Lexi and Katie looked on in amusement. Katie forgot she was supposed to be going to work out and so sat up swearing and assembled her crap in short order. Wish I’d known, I’d been up for about an hour and could have spared her the embarrassment.

Paul and Keith off to Victoria for the weekend. Paul is finding the course challenging, but that’s good; it’s even better knowing he can handle it.

So Kerry won the debate. Or is winning the spinmeister’s brannigan subsequent to the debate. Jumpin’ Jimmy Christmas, I thought all he had to do to win the debate was to stay conscious. And what’s all this about >Kerry< flip flopping on Iraq? If you look at a time line on the Iraqi handoff, as envisioned at the commencement of the war, a certain Chalabi character, whom Bush was relying on to keep the peace after the troops pulled out (yeah sure) was in there earlier as the big saviour. Maybe they should have picked someone who couldn’t speak English, I don’t know. The guy was a frikkin Iranian agent, American sleepers! Wake up! Bush is a traitor! While he was playing shell games with the gay marriage ban and No Child Left Behind, he pillaged the treasury, handed off incredible chunks of your child’s future to Halliburton, and took more vacation time than any president in almost 100 years!! He’s using your Christianity and your sense of personal responsibility as a plaything, and you’re thanking him for it! It’s like the American Right is an abused wife, going back again and again, because the kissing and making up is so nice and “He says he’ll never hit me again!” That’s the level of self-deception we’re talking ’bout here. The people who can see it are disgusted – they want to kidnap her, or give her a shake – but she’s not ready to leave yet. When will she be ready to leave????

Pic is my granny. Or maybe something else, I can’t pick it until I’ve actually hit send, which is just one of those things you learn to live with.

no f*****g coffee

Due to the service provider changeover, there was no frikkin coffee at work this morning! You should have heard the p*ssing and moaning! Finally a bunch of the new folks rushed around and got coffee happening on the separate floors. Fortunately, I have a friend named Tom, useful, intelligent, handsome, inventive Tom U., who by prior arrangement provided coffee at 8:20 this morning. As a special treat he gave me half of a sticky bun. Life is worth living.

Which reminds me, last night Katie said that the only good thing about winter is that I will start making cinnamon buns again.

Slim Loki

I just deleted about ten paragraphs detailing my aches and pains, as they would be of no interest to anyone but me and would be actively embarrassing later. So I will announce to an uncaring world that I have no idea who won the debate, although I’m sure Wonkette will get her digs in, and that I think Eminem’s new song Just Lose It is one of the funniest and catchiest things I’ve heard in ages. The man’s a clown.

I imagine I’ll be blogging more over the next week as I have the week off. On the other hand, I may just go to bed for a week, the idea has polled very well in the target market. Paul’s off to Victoria for his course on the 7 pm ferry, I’m off to work; musical evening on Sunday for those interested. Mike may bring his new friend Victoria. We shall see. My mother had to have the Diebold ads explained to her. Don’t you wish you could live in her world? A world in which I didn’t have to know what Diebold was would be a truly cool thing. A guy went surfing with a whale the other day. Is this another sign of the apocalypse, or just a sign that juvenile whales are as playful and easily confused as other juvenile mammals? Paul’s mother turns 80 today. I think… or maybe it’s the 6th. Anyway, she’s more on the ball than I am, and has the advantage of knowing when her birthday is. Happy birthday Phyllis! Katie is learning how to do massage; might have something to do with how screwed up her shoulders and hands are (trading work). Her boyfriend has been sick and not at school. Her word for the subject is GRRRR. Writing is hard work, especially when you haven’t done any in years, so opineth Kate. Keith was very happy that his dad picked him up from Karate last night – nice to know people will do little things to care for you. I’m so bagged I can’t believe I still have an 8 hour shift to haul before I can collapse. Oh well, I’m off to the doc on Monday.