labyrinth walk

Before we went to the concert at the chapel, we walked the labyrinth. Scoff if you like, but it’s a very peaceful and spiritual place. I walked the inbound circuits palms up, and stayed in the centre for a moment, and then walked out remembering just at the first turn that I was supposed to be walking palms down for the outbound circuits. So I turned my palms over and a river of sparks and water flowed down my arms and bounced off the ground like raindrops (obviously that’s NOT what happened, but I’m trying to hint at the sensation). My chest filled with pain – a nice pain, the kind you get when you see somebody you love after a long absence, and I started to weep. I took a deep breath and kept walking, palms down, and tears flowed until I found broken glass on the path, so I picked it up, and after that I felt quite a bit calmer. Keith found some more glass after that, and I was very glad we found it before he stepped in it, as he chose to walk the path barefoot.

For a portion of the time we walked the labyrinth, a dog was howling in time and in harmony with a chainsaw. Unbelievably eerie sound, but after a while you just ignore it and keep walking.

Then brunch at the Tuscan whatever with Keith. Then taking a wrong turn and driving around like a fool until I found my way to the chapel 5 minutes before festivities commenced. Keith pounced on two seats together and we sat back and enjoyed a stupendous concert with three singalong carols.

Now I have to go get Paul from work…. more later.

off to Chor Leone

Chor Leone is the premier men’s chorus here in Vancouver, and I’m going this afternoon with my eldest and the son of one of the men in the choir, who’s a buddy of Paul’s. Hope that’s all straight. We have to go early, and I am going to use the opportunity to go to the Labyrinth at Xenia on Bowen Island. Must remember to pack camera.

I am writing porn again! That more than anything else should tell you about my mood. Read it to Paul. He only laughed once when he was supposed to and he snorted when he wasn’t supposed to… yes I know, it’s a bizarre thing to write soft core porn that’s supposed to be funny, but there you go. If there’s anything with more potential for complete and lung squeezing embarrassment than sex, it’s a kind of sex you didn’t know about before. However I’m not into the humour of embarrassment (much) so most of the humour has to do with the heroic efforts of a band of devotees to get the lead female character, ten guesses who that might be, to just shut up for a minute, or several.

I remember telling a friend that I love laughing in bed and she said she’s learned not to. I had to have that explained to me. That’s how stupid I am!

Or, and you can take this any way you like, any person foolish enough to want to get close to me BETTER have a sense of humour, and not be afraid ta unlimber it as the occasion may require.

In the best circumstances, I get to share the stories I write with the person who’s the object of the stories… sigh, the good old days … but that leaves me with freaking MOUNTAINS of stories that I will never be able to publish, at least not until…. No, drop it like it’s hot. Lean back. At last count I have twenty of these sick little puppies squirming around. I am extremely happy though, because one of the best stories I ever wrote MAGICALLY REAPPEARED recently (actually it was stuck on the end of another story so I didn’t realize I’d never lost it). I re-read it with great happiness, because in the last two paragraphs is a line that made me whoop with laughter when I saw it. I just wrote an entire paragraph in the hopes that I could somehow Disnefy it, but it didn’t work, so you’ll hafta trust me.

Speaking of soft core, check out It is one of the narstiest pieces of political humour I have seen in quite a while, heard about it thanks to the News Dissector. The English accent of one of the girls is really jarring until you realize that it is part of the shtick…. you know, the coalition of the willing and don’t forget Poland.

I love Canada. Six hundred women came to the land of the beaver last year because of our horrific shortage of exotic dancers.

Aren’t you glad I didn’t post a picture? In my current mood I might be posting those ‘art’ pix I had done of myself when I was 21. (Brother James in Ottawa is screaming and clapping his hands over his eyes right about now – that thin reedy wail… can’t you hear it?).

I give this advice all the time, and I’ll give it again. If you think you can secure them, get naked pictures of yourself when you are in your early twenties. I have never ever regretted doing it. At the time I thought I was uggggly. Jumping Jimmy Christmas, I look at em now and go that girl was hotter than a compressor stall. But I figured my then husband would want them.

As a pro porn feminist, I have a horrific confession to make, one that will make most of my male readers want to KILL ME. I hardly ever think about this dark blot on my past, but I am truly contrite and if I could fire myself back into a time machine, I would never ever have done it. I would have found some more humane way of dealing with it or I would have shut up.

In my defense, I must say that I was the victim of a pre pro porn feminist mentality. Because, to quote Gord Downie “She says, Why are you partial to that Playboy con? When you can see me naked anytime you want?”

I figured that one live me was worth more than, ow, I don’t even want to type this, I am compelled, o master stop the pain,

Every Playboy published up until 1979. All of them, stapled navels and all.

I made my first husband get rid of his Playboys. Can you believe it? Can you understand why I can never run for public office? Most Canadian men would read this and go, sorry, you’ll never pass MY background check, ya silly twink. Okay, enough true confessions. I’ll say one last thing in my defense. They took up a LOT of room and it was a bachelor apartment. But that’s a women’s excuse, so I expect no mercy from the men who used to be my friends.

But I do stand up in support of Romanian lap dancers (I just typed tap dancers!) so maybe I will survive this confession. Isn’t a goil allowed to smarten up?

the things I like best

Are Paul&ourkids, salmon, the Internet, my parents, my coworkers, goofy pictures, crazy writing, long hair on guys (but not freaking mullets), big tyme sensuality, the colour and feel of real gold, Betty Page, things that go boom, the ineffable wonder of drums, bass, rhythm, lead; horn sections that come on like a boot in the ass, soaring gospel harmonies. Feeling competent about something, and being able to list a long list of hard things I do well. This next sentence deleted, but it’s for you, and you know it, M. Artingais-Douelle. The lunch bunch, past and present. Biscotti. Chicken Cho Lee. Spike Jones, Chuck Jones, the CBC, Martha Ballard, Dorothy Dunnett, vice grips, lockwire, anarchy, fresh turkey, leather, Monty Python, women who are either 4 feet tall and weigh 80 pounds or 5 feet tall and weigh 200 pounds; the Antler Dance (you’d have to be my age to remember it), and Laugh In, and guitars and all stringed instruments.

Entirely evil chocolate cake

Entirely Evil Chocolate Cake

(good for Vegans and people who are lactose intolerant)

You need an 8 x 8 x 2 inch cake pan or 1 large six muffin tin or both if you’re doubling the recipe.

Preheat oven to 350

Dump the following ingredients into a medium sized mixing bowl UNLESS you are doubling the recipe, in which case use a large one.

1 cup white sugar OR firmly packed brown sugar

1 1/2 cups white flour. Pastry flour makes a small but not critical improvement. Sift it? wtf? Don’t bother.

1 tsp baking soda (fresh is best)

1/2 teaspoon salt

AT LEAST two heaping tablespoons of cocoa powder, more if you are a chocoholic. Original recipe calls for three level tablespoons. Ha! I laugh in your moustache!

ground cardamom and/or cinnamon and/or nutmeg to taste. You can omit these but they subtly improve the cake.

Mix these dry ingredients well.

In a (minimum) two cup measuring cup, mix one cup of water, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1 tablespoon of vinegar and five or six tablespoons of vegetable cooking oil (peanut, canola). You can use melted butter or margarine if you’re not feeding vegans, but for this recipe, unlike so many others, it really doesn’t make a difference to the end result. Use a four cup measuring cup if you’re doubling the recipe.

Dump the wet ingredients in the dry ingredients, mix until the lumps disappear, pour into cake pan and cook for 1/2 an hour.

Cool and devour.

This is an adaptation of the Chocolate Cake recipe in the I Hate to Cookbook by the ever entertaining Peg Bracken. Could I but write half as entertainingly as she, I would be a happy woman. Hey, I am a happy woman. Maybe things aren’t so bad.

holiday cheer

The holiday cheer party was very pleasant, and although I could have wished for better music, I couldn’t have gotten better company. I was amused and startled when Rob of Nine, the new guy, turned out to be a tow pilot. I promptly swapped chairs so that he and Paul could clack about aviation together without having to deal with my eye rolling and finger tapping.

After all, I have nearly been turned into complete sky paste by the whirling props of a Lake Amphibian, lo these many years ago, but I still understand and appreciate that my sweetie has a portion of his heart given unto another mistress, she being the cold and unforgiving wench who dares us to fly.

Told a couple of the women at the party to be nice to their menfolks, as they never used work as an excuse to complain about or diss their spouses. Alas, wish I could say the same, although I am getting milder. Chinook of the spirit, blow through me!

I light a candle for Heather’s dad, who has bone cancer and is having a damned rough go of it, and for Rob of Nine’s lady wife, whose name I didn’t ask after, for a speedy recovery from her ailment. I light a candle for Bernie Kerik, may enlightenment break like a jar over his head, for Keith, who was practicing compassion meditation the other day, and I won’t say for whom, and for Katie, who brought home a simply scrumptious young man last night. Not the non-bf. This one goes back to grade school. Cute, intelligent and well spoken. Anyway both Paul and I had an extremely enjoyable talk with him (many times more advanced and friendly than virtually any contact we’ve had with any of Katie’s friends before) and then we crashed out, while listening to Katie giggle almost continuously for about an hour, hm….

Woke up thinking, Jumping Jimmy Christmas, am I going manic again? It’s five am and I feel like going jogging. Did a writing practice (subject, masks) instead. Now I have to clean my room, write out ten topics for sermons, I mean routines, I mean same dif, and think about all the things I’m not doing for Christmas. It’s very peaceful. I did get blackberry jelly, though. Some progress in the xmas department has been made.

Pic is something I spontaneously did at my desk yesterday. It just came flowing out in one piece of automatic writing. What I consider most amazing about this is that I am really really klutzy when it comes to writing and just about everything else and yet this is legible, intelligible and there’s no parts I scratched out.

If you’re one of these people who never drop things, etc., you would find me a real trial. I don’t actually know where my edges are. I find it entertaining that I can keep a car in a lane but I’m constantly banging into people partly because I want to (ha ha) but mostly because I’m severely kinesthetically challenged.

biscotti recipe

Biscotti for lazy swine


you will need a big bowl, a sharp thin long knife, enough aluminum foil to cover two cookie sheets, and two days.

throw 6 eggs, a cup of softened salt butter, two pinches of salt, 2 cups white sugar, a little almond flavouring, a lot of vanilla, one pinch cardamom and a two pinches of cinnamon, two cups *previously toasted nuts*, (hazelnuts or almonds by preference), two large teaspoons of baking powder, and five cups of unbleached all purpose flour in the bowl. Get the ingredients acquainted until no flour shows. Put the dough in a container in the fridge.

The next day form what’s left of the dough that your roommate didn’t eat into two logs. The fatter the log the longer the biscotti. Centre each log in a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and squash it down. Bake for about 25 minutes, and watch it like a hawk so the edges don’t burn.

Take the logs out and roll them gently off the aluminum foil onto a cutting board. Leave the oven on. That shit about cooling the first bake is terrible make work shit like recipes are always full of. The most important thing is to show no fear. Take your big knife, and while imitating the action of a paper cutter – fearless and even – slice the loaf into biscotti sized slices. Thinner than 2 cm may break, much fatter doesn’t crisp right. Put slices back on the same cookie sheet (no grease or cooking sheet required) and bake until the OGB ORIGINAL GOLDEN BROWN BABY




Adapted from a Toronto Star recipe about a zillion years ago. What you will need;

Two big bowls

An electric knife (really really helps) or a thin sharp knife with a serrated edge

Three cookie sheets

Enough HEAVY DUTY aluminum foil to cover the three cookie sheets

Food ingredients

6 large eggs

two pinches salt

2 cups white sugar

2 tsps vanilla

1 cup melted butter (no substitutions are permitted – marge does NOT cut it)

2 – 3 cups any combination of hand chopped hazelnuts and almonds

5 cups flour

2 tablespoons baking powder (I use slightly less)

several pinches cinnamon

optional but optimal several pinches ground cardamom

Sift the flour, baking soda and spices in one bowl. Dump all the other ingredients in the other and beat violently for about a minute. Upend the flour and spices in the other bowl. Get all the ingredients acquainted, but only just barely. Use your hands if necessary

Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for a couple of hours. Do not refrigerate for more than 12 hours or the dough will turn an odd speckly colour, which does not affect the taste but is not aesthetic. If you are in a hurry, add slightly more flour to reduce dough stickiness if necessary and go to the next step. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Put the aluminum foil down on two of the cookie sheets.

Divide the dough into four parts, and squeeze with your hands into a log shape. The final result should have a smooth surface with no big gaps or cracks, be between 1 1/2 and 2 inches in diameter and about ten to twelve inches long. Place this log lengthwise on the cookie sheet, one inch from the side. Do likewise with another log. Do the same with the last two logs on a separate cookie sheet. Mash them down with your hand until they seem quite impossibly flat. This is the only way to get the real biscotti shape.

For the first bake – 20 – 30 minutes is about right. I have given up trying to measure the time because it seems to vary so much with each batch and oven. Basically, when the smell starts to drive you insane, pull them out. They should be quite brown on the bottom as this crust is part of the structural integrity that allows you to move and cut the logs without destroying them. Check to make sure that the top of the logs isn’t ‘doughy’ looking or you’ll be cursing when you come to cut them; then the final product, while entirely edible, will look funny – sort of ‘pregnant’. If they are doughy, toss them back in for another 5 minutes at least. Cool the logs to the point you can comfortably handle them, peel gently from the aluminum foil, and transfer to a cutting board and then slice in half inch slices. The original recipe says “Cool logs completely” but I don’t find that works at all well. An electric knife makes cutting easy. Otherwise the most laborious part is cutting up the logs without rendering them into expensive crumbs. The technique for doing this is hard to describe and really depends on the knife you are using and how klutzy you are. An even, fairly swift ‘rocking’ cutting motion is best – do NOT saw, and don’t try to cut them too thin. Think “paper cutter at work”. Place the cookies flat on the three cookie sheets and bake another 15 minutes at 350 until golden brown. For extra crispiness turn off the heat and let them sit for a while longer, otherwise pull them out and let them cool completely before you put them in containers.

Tomorrow…. Entirely Evil Chocolate Cake

2019 is laughing at this post

Last night I sat and watched Buffy season 1 again with the kids and thought to myself, this is entertaining. Not because of the stuff we were watching, which was so so… but because every time the guy who plays Angel came on the screen my daughter would mimic having a seizure, and it made me think about the hordes of young men, real and imaginary, that I had a crush on when I was a wee tad, this next comment deleted. And I guess it is completely irrelevant that her non boyfriend, whose name I can’t even put here unless I want to see what the top of my skull looks like from the inside, looks just that little bit like Angel and having seen him I can confirm this. And he called last night. Between the palpitations and the subdued shrieking and squirming, I am amazed she survived the evening.


one metre per pixel

This is Mt. St Helens, from a LIDAR image. That’s a truckload of magma every second, folks. The dome is moving up very slowly and smoothly, but what goes up eventually comes down. An explosion or periclastic event is now unlikely, but a dome collapse (god help ya if you’re flying downwind) is probably in the cards sometime over the next 5 – 10 years. At that point all of the ice still on and in the crater will abrumptly melt (sp deliberate) and you’ll get a column of superheated steam and ash about 15K meters high.

TTTO the Colonel Bogie March

So the other day Katie comes in singing, to the the tune of the Colonel Bogie March:


It is a piece of skin


It keeps your testes in


Don’t overload ’em!

Or you’ll explode ’em

And then you’ll

have none.

The sheer grandeur, elegance and poetry of this brought tears to my eyes. I mean, compared to gangsta rap. If you think this poem is disgusting and stupid and jejune, get the heck off my website and scrape your eyeballs against something else. Katie was surprised to learn that the girl had never heard an earlier version of this….The one that starts with Hitler, has only got one ball… etc. So she shared that. Cultural history as transmitted by teenaged girls. Sigh.

Pic is random.