an imaginary gift for my mother


It’s an archaeologist’s kit.

My mum just finished and sent off to me four, count them, four family projects.  One is a family history book about the Mennonite side of the family, one is the survival book my mother’s mother wrote (notes – really – that got turned into a book), my forebear’s (not lineal) book of copied out poetry, and my unca Barry’s book about his family’s adventures in Reunion Island.

What a haul for me and what an incredible amount of work by her.  Jeff and Barry and I believe Mary assisted with it, and I did transcribe some of the poems although I gave up and handed it back to mOm before I was completely through.  I just found the poetry so Depressing.


Anyway, mOm in another life you would have been an archaeologist, so I hope you like your kit.

No work with Family Compact today

Paul’s got a ghastly cold that just came up out of nowhere so no joint rehearsing.  Katie turned up after work last night and slept over and did laundry and got a steak and eggs brekky at her mother’s hands.  Then we went to Village de Valeur and I bought three work outfits (hopefully so I can repurpose some rather elderly dresses).

Family Compact was the name of the imaginary band John and Paul and I were going to have.

I have to put finishing touches on my homily.  I also get to do the homily on Easter Sunday.



Since I have a perfectly satisfactory alternate universe, see y’all later.

So we’re up to the end of Season 4 on SG1, and yes, we’re blasting through it at a tremendous rate.  It’s such a good hearted show, filled with values like personal loyalty ahead of personal comfort and affirming science as the best bullshit detector we have as a species.  Also, NO PRIME DIRECTIVE.  Sure opens up the narrative possibilities.  Disgusting, hateable humanoid aliens who all have narcissistic personality disorder as a side effect of their rejuvenation treatments (nice touch!), hundreds of planets that all look like locations within ten blocks of where I live or really cheesy sets made out of foam.  I just love it.


I don’t agree with all of it or even how it’s written. But it got me thinking…

Dear Marilynne, anybody who uses the expression “Be that as it may” needs a better editor or clearer thinking unless trying to be funny or trite.  I can boil it all down to “Without story the people will die”, but there’s some good stuff in there.


Juan Cole translates

Juan Cole, everybody’s favourite Bahai Unitarian Universalist (whew!) is retranslating Omar Khayyam.  One verse at a time.  He’s also an awesome political commentator and full of menschy goodness.


Get up and come here
for the sake of my heart,
and lend your beauty 
to solving my problem.
Bring an earthenware cup
full of wine
for us to drink,
—quick before we’re clay 
in the ground
that they quarry 
to make cups.


And I really like it.

It’s 10:18 and I have 20 minutes to write a list of 100 things to do with a manta ray skin

  1. Cat armour.  This was obvious, but not, alas, to my cat.
  2. A decorative gauntlet.
  3. Wrap it round a ceremonial pole
  4. A portion of a warlords personal banner
  5. Use it as a frame for a touch up mirror in a club.
  6. Cut it into strips and use in hatmaking.
  7. Ditto jewelery.
  8. Ditto applique for sweaters
  9. Ditto coat lapels or pocket trim.
  10. Turn off all the lights and shine multicolour LED lighting displays on it.
  11. Cut out a skull shape and put it on your mailbox
  12. Make cat collars out of them.
  13. Roll ink over it and press it out to see what the pattern looked like.
  14. Break an egg over it and take a picture of it.
  15. Nail it to the bottom of a table for no reason.
  16. Take pictures of it everywhere you go and talk to it like it was sentient.
  17. Turn it into Gor girl nip covers.
  18. Make a bondage habitat for hamsters.
  19. Make a bandanna for Aku Aku with it.
  20. Deck out a Harley with it.
  21. Ask your lawyer what to do about it.
  22. Tie it to your car aerial.
  23. Glue it to the underside of the glass table where your brother won’t see it until he moves some papers and which will freak the fuck out of him.
  24. Paint Dali’s signature on it and call it done.
  25. Put it on the altar at church.
  26. Get fresh with it.
  27. Put it up to your ear to see if you can hear the ocean,
  28. Ask it for forgiveness.
  29. Blow your nose with it.
  30. Run the eyes through the belt for a creepy gothic vibe.
  31. Cut carefully into gear shapes.
  32. Use in a multimedia collage.
  33. Make a fob for a cell phone.
  34. Make a wallet for a tarot deck.
  35. Eat it.
  36. Make hair decorations from it.
  37. Glue pieces of it to your nails.
  38. Repair a broken relationship with it.
  39. Make a video about its relationship with a rabbit skin and the crazy stuff those kids get up to.
  40. Greet proseletizers at the door wearing it as a thong.
  41. Masks for Mardi Gras.
  42. Dracula style decor.
  43. Use it as a mold for alien skin patterns for effects.
  44. Carve a crow’s head and decorate it with that.
  45. A breastplate.
  46. A crest, mixed with feathers.
  47. Set dec for Lego figures.
  48. Or Robot Chicken.  I would like that.
  49. A cape for baby Cthulhu.
  50. Thrones for evil geckos.
  51. Bathroom tiling for queen bees.
  52. Doll house I don’t know what but it would kick ass.
  53. Fill it full of catnip and give it to a cougar.
  54. Dog toy.
  55. Harness decoration for a draft animal, perhaps a reindeer.
  56. Decoration for a magical item used in a shamanic ritual, possibly involving the appearance of something unlikely and untoward.
  57. Mac cover.
  58. World’s wackiest Book of Hours cover.
  59. Give it to a real designer and let her figure it out.
  60. Corset decoration.
  61. A habitat for a pseudoscorpion (suitably closed off).
  62. Something for the costume of the Black Swan.
  63. Find out what its resonant frequency is.
  64. Use it to drive the decision to find out about the  trade that brought it through your door.
  65. Ditto about the habits of the creature.
  66. Ditto a consideration about the ways of the manta.
  67. Open up a case file on it.
  68. Bring it to the office so other people can admire it.
  69. Cry on it and see if it splashes strangely.
  70. Gently run it over your nose.
  71. Go to Stephen Harper and ask him for his opinion.
  72. Examine it under microscopy and spectroscopy,
  73. Determine its resistance.
  74. Watch Spinal Tap with it.
  75. Take it cloudwatching.
  76. Carefully weigh and measure it.  Weigh it and measure it every day for the rest of your life.
  77. Fling it from the observation tower of a building.
  78. Swim across Sasamat Lake with it in your mouth.
  79. Cut out the words Unbelievable and applique them to a jacket you normally wear to work.
  80. Then wear it to a funeral.
  81. Try to wear it inappropriately as much as possible.
  82. Toy with it on stage while doing standup.  Oh, right; that’s prop comedy. fuck all yall
  83. Take a high def photo of it and post it as your background on your work desktop.
  84. Sew it to a silk cloth, frame it and sell it to a restaurant.
  85. Make a native loincloth out of it for a movie.  That you make mostly in your bathtub.  While running a temperature of 103.
  86. Use it as an opening gambit in a mating dance.

As you can see it took me until 10:59 to come up with 86 but somehow I don’t mind.



Katie hasn’t actually been home since we got her the new channel

and it’s very strange to be here on a Friday night by myself.  Cindy’s off at a Browncoat or Stargate thing and Paul’s in Ontario with his sis, so no musique. Peggy was supposed to get the Bean today but he’s been illing.  The little snot machine, just like mine were.

One of my coworkers was fired this week.  Nobody saw it coming; nobody is sure why; everybody is very sad about it.  Because either the bosses screwed up big time or she actually did something work getting fired over, and either way I don’t want to believe it.  My boss sat me down and gave me just enough more detail that I’m no longer panicking and chewing on my arm, but it was sad.

This time last year I was suicidal.  Man, I wish somebody had told me to take Vitamin D.  I haven’t come anywhere close to feeling depressed – although I do give in to anxiety once in a while – since I started taking it.  I’m sleeping better, my joints quit hurting, my back is better, and my mood – for February – is great.  Neurochemistry is shore strange.

Sue’s mom died two days ago.  She made a good death – if you’re going to die in hospital, dying 10 minutes after your husband has told you he loves you, surrounded by other family members, after 75 years of marriage, isn’t a bad way to go.  Sue just went to the board meeting like nothing had happened.  I know she’s sad, but she’s such a trouper, and I just love and respect her so much, she’s really an important person in my life and I hardly ever talk about her.

Peggy gave me asparagus last night, I just cooked it up with the leftover Chinese food Keith bought me, om nom nom.

Jeff and I are loving Sg1.  I was expecting to find it cheesy, and it is, but in that happy making way the best cheese in ST:TOS was.  We’re into season 3.  The characters continue to develop, the plots are interesting, the ideas depicted show thought and are described well, the shows clip along nicely, the villains are hideously awful (so when one gets tossed into a vat of liquid nitrogen it’s HELL YEAHS all round) and I’ve even got used to the irredeemably cheesy opening score.

Margot wants to know where Jeff is.  She’s hanging around the back door waiting for him to get back from Rob’s where he’s apparently doing something computery.

In the middle of all the emotional chaos at work there is even more genuine chaos.  The other section of our team which got reamalgamated after the bosses shuffled stuff around yet once more, has moved in with us.  I feel so sorry for the guy who moved in next to me (where somebody had been laid off from, so it’s been vacant for a couple of months).  He’ll have to get used to me talking to customers loudly on the phone and cackling with laughter and singing.  Yup, I’m a fucking bowl of joy to sit next to, although nobody ever complains, maybe because they are scared of my bilious and variable sense of humor.

I sang “A Habitrail named Klein” at the lunch desk today.  Kevin loved it.  Everybody else put up with it.