two pics about one hole in the head

Here he is, recovered and contemplating a job change.


23 year old Patrick Lawler walked around with this in his head for six days. The neurosurgeon said, you know, this is the second one we’ve seen like this, where a guy whacks himself with a nail gun and doesn’t realize he’s millimetres from death. Anyway, he is making a complete recovery. His symptoms included toothache and blurry vision.

Mr. Lawler, who works in construction, opines that he’ll stick to hammers in future. I looked at the skull xray and just shook my head.

continuing slog

Janna, Morgan and Sam slept over again last night. At 4:20 am I got up and told them to knock it off, then I got up a half hour later and read the riot act again.

Keith’s winter training is happening in 3.5 hours. Seeing as how it’s literally the coldest day so far this year (house ambient dropped to 59 F overnight) and the wind is blowing, Paul is accompanying him so he has a warm car to retreat to in the event he can’t handle the cold or the promised on site hot showers fail to materialize. I imagine the turnout will be extremely thin this year; it’s so cold little kids would get hypothermia.

Hate to think what the house would have been like overnight before Dave and Paul insulated the roof. As it was it was pretty nippy in the biffy, if you know what I mean.

Paul’s making pancakes, Katie has an eye appointment (she’s claiming that her perfect vision isn’t, anymore).

Keith applied at Anime Jyanai; we’ll see if employment awaits.

Have no idee whether Paul was laid off effective the end of this month. There is, of course, a plan if he’s not working in Vancouver any more but he won’t know what is going on until he goes into work for midnights on Sunday. I only heard about it at lunch yesterday so I thought I’d give Paul a call, and believe me it was a rude shock to us both. One hundred and thirty people in maintenance were laid off just in Vancouver. You’ll not blame me if I’m feeling a little sick today; it’s just so tedious, being an adult and having to deal with this stuff without screaming or jabbering.

Keith is watching Last Exile, which I find disorienting and silly. Although it is visually stunning about 30 seconds in 1000. I’m picking up some Japanese, which is part of why Keith watches anime, of course.


Stuff like this makes me want to cry from happiness.

Quoted from the NASA/Cassini/Huygens site.

This is one of the first raw images returned by the European Space Agency’s Huygens probe during its successful descent to Titan. It was taken from an altitude of 16.2 kilometers (about 10 miles) with a resolution of approximately 40 meters (about 131 feet) per pixel. It apparently shows short, stubby drainage channels leading to a shoreline.

I am thrilled to report that the probe landed successfully on Titan, and that the data have started to come in. I will post what pix I can when they become available.

In the meantime, visit for some extremely cool pix of prehistoric rock carvings in Northumberland. I have wanted to get a tattoo similar to the cup and ring / and / or spiral patterns shown here for many many years. I never do because the guy I sleep with gets snarly at the idee of my messing up my pink and white corpus with nasty blotchy ink. However, I am announcing publicly that if my weight ever dips below 155 pounds again, I’m gettin’ a tat to reward myself. Maybe two or three. I still want a black rose (anarchy symbol) and a great blue heron (my totem animal) <—- 2019 called and it wants its racism expunged thank you and a scorpion (my astro symbol). I’ve lost three pounds since New Years. Many thanks to my mother for getting me off my ass about dieting again.

Brother James sold me a phone. He told that wasn’t why he was calling, but that boy was born to sell things….and I’ve been wanting a cell phone for ages, since Katie permaborrowed mine. I kin hardly wait til it arrives!!!

Brother Jerome is an uncle – he has a nephew. He sent me a pic, but I’m not posting anything until the healthy mite (8 lbs 2 oz) has a name.



who is sleeping where

I’m very happy, and I needn’t go into why. My peeps are all here. Didn’t do my homework. Sigh. Didn’t get my hat back from Mike’s, either, though I don’t need an excuse to go over there.

John sez the post offices in both Italy and Israel suck, and the Saudi post office is much more efficient. Paul finished his day four and is relaxing in a chair. For once his day four was showing a little slack.

Katie says SHE didn’t get enough sleep. Janna and her bf Morgan slept over. Then Katie didn’t go to school because A) she didn’t sleep enough cause she was up to all hours, beeg surpize b) her bed freaking collapsed in the middle of the night, which you’ll have to admit is inconsistent with restful sleep (and I woke up with the muffled thud and then listened to the bed slats get stuck back down therlumpa therlump therlumpa therlumpa therlumpa and then the sound stopped and I heard subdued cursing which I thought at the time was Katie and turned out to be Janna, and then the therlumping started again) and c) she actually was sick and slept most of the day.

Because I am a complete suckyfaced moron, (Look! A Suckyfaced Moron! Mind you they don’t look as good out of their breeding plumage) I dodged into the Sears Outlet and dowsed for children’s clothing. It took longer to check out, guh witness, than it did to select one pair of pants which fit Keith perfectly and of which he approved, and a blue blouse and Buffyesque black pullover pimped out with lacing and black ribbon for Katie, who yoinked the black top out of my hand with a laugh when I said that if she didn’t like it, I’d take it. As freaking if. Dang! And it would look good on me too, ‘most as good as the camo stretch pants which she is either wearing or washing these days. There’s no point me trying to dress young. If it isn’t effective Katie won’t touch it and if it is she yoinks it. As it is my children are happy with me.

Then three episodes (may I be struck with Jovian lightning) of B5 (2nd season). I think the guy who plays Londo should be strung from something, and the special effects bring into play the astonishing French advertising loan word “Fromidable!” which gives you that chemical, chimerical, cheesy tang. When John and I see something really big and really cheesy, we sometimes tandem bellow “C’est frrrrrrromidable!” The Fromidable is actually on the French speaking label of the generic form of that wizarding spreadable cheese I don’t want to mention by name.

My heart is full of the love of my coworkers. They are all wonderful people. There’s nothing fromidable about them.

Crap! Doesn’t this bleeding phone ever stop ringing! As Dorothy Parker (may her soul find an ashtray soon) frequently remarked, “What fresh hell is this!?”


A friend of Elly’s and his wife went to Thailand a few months ago and they haven’t been heard from since Christmas.

I was really sad to hear about that because her description of him made him sound really cool, and she saw him just before they left. We must love one another or die.

Have to mention that the last time I went to Mike’s, Tori pulled out a work of art that she had to do for school. Normally I don’t think of school work as art, but this was one of the strangest and most beautiful things I’ve ever seen, and I found myself asking the question of the Ultimate Philistine – how much money would it take to part you from this, because it is without a doubt one of the most lovely things I’ve ever seen. It’s done in the style of Edward Gorey, on transparent paper, mostly in black ink but with occasional splashes of colour. Mom, if you saw it, you’d be asking the same question. It’s just amazing. Because the paper is transparent, you can see through about 4 layers of art, and each page is designed in such a fashion that it tells a story, with foreshadowing. People who can think visually just thrill me, because normally I only think in words.

I work on my spatial from time to time and I’ve gotten much better at estimating what will fit where (useful in cooking and containerizing groceries) but I watch Paul pack a truck and just want to curl up into a fetal ball.

Writing class was cancelled last night. I wrote a passionate two page essay on why my heart has a rock tied to it, and then of course couldn’t read it to anybody. On the upside, I heard the new King Cobb Steelie album see pic and MUST HAVE IT; it would be the ultimate background music for my style of writing. One of the guys from Oysterhead has a new album out and it’s pretty good too, although I don’t think I’ll buy it. And I dickered with a bartender for a price reduction on my beer and he gave it to me. Weather going downtown on the bus just sucked, we were twenty minutes getting down Burnaby Mountain.

DON ROSS IS COMING. Be there or be square, or possibly an oblate spheroid. Friday, January 28th 8 pm St James Hall, Tix $20, Info 604-736-3022, Two time champ of the US National Fingerstyle Guitar competition, first Canadian ever. His intelligent, accessible and impassioned playing is like a drop spilled from the cup of the gods.

Read a bunch of first person accounts of the tsunami last night. Talked to David yesterday about how it seems to be diverting attention from what’s happening with homeless and marginalized people in Canada, and I owned as how I don’t think it’s an either or situation. Nobody expects a tsunami; I don’t think anybody deserves one. However, he did get me thinking bout where my priorities are in terms of social justice and welfare, and I guess currently it’s the nasty trifecta of drugs, alcohol and mental illness as components to homelessness. I also remember telling David that homelessness is, as of yet, still very much a man’s issue. Did anybody hear that the first Iraq veterans have turned up in homeless shelters? I don’t see Bush talking about that much, he’s too busy trying to gut Social Security.

hair today

A picture is worth a thousand words. Thanks, Brooke. Brooke is very pleasant and intelligent, neither of which attribute is particularly well limned in this pic. Nor am I entirely sure what the signal is. I will have to ask her hubby, when next we meet.

It’s picture day at work. One of our colleagues is ill, so we’re going to take a picture of our Lunch Bunch and put it in a nice frame and send it to her as a very late Christmas present.


Hair today
2005-01-10— Posted by: allegra

Brother James in Ottawa responds, with no trace of irony, sarcasm or derision, “My hair stands straight up.”

enough sleep
2005-01-10— Posted by: allegra

Paul worked his first afternoon shift in about ten years yesterday. Katie and I went to see Brad Bird’s first movie the Iron Giant, and I was very favourably impressed, if only because the script was orders of magnitude better than animation scripts usually are. Sure wish the last ninety seconds of the movie didn’t COMPLETELY ruin things for me. Spoiler! but I’m sorry, if you hug a nuke, you don’t get to reassemble yourself afterwards and if there were, by chance, anything left over, it would be hotter than Chernobyl and it would NOT be given to a small child. Then I came home and was subjected to second season of Ghost in the Shell Standalone Complex and then Last Exiles and then Keith flung on a Fistful of Dollars, so it was a pretty media oriented day. I had never seen Fistful of Dollars. The movie is great when Clint is on screen and verbs the galactic moose the rest of the time.

I sleep way better when I take my vitamins, so I am glad I’m back on that regimen.

Keith wants to register for Japanese; it’s like he keeps expecting me to do it for him, so I had to straighten him out on that.

If hair is a sexual signalling device, what does yours say about you?

one think & another – you will find this link informative and educational. The whole Alligator in the Sewers story takes on a new complexion when you pull a 400 pound alligator out a waterway in downtown Miami. You have to wonder how many homeless people it ate before they caught it. This link will probably disappear sometime soon so go have a look.

George’s memorial service was absolutely wonderful, and it feels really strange to know that somebody at Beacon congregation fought against the Anschluss and had to flee Austria way back when. We sang Die Gedanken Sind Frei – which is a Unitarian hymn, by the way. I think it was on a Limelighters album which my folks had – I remember being so pleased and startled the first time we sang it in church. The German speaking guys all used to stand at the back of the church and sing it in the original German while trying to drown the rest of us out. Happy memory.

My heart leapt up when I realized that my Monkees album still exists, and then my heart crashed when the ******** turntable drive belt which I JUST BOUGHT turns out to be suboptimal in performance. Take wow the wow last wow train wow to wow Clarksburg wow indeed.

There is one song on Encore, the new Eminem album, which I cannot get out of my head, but I think that’s the general idea. Seeing as how some of the lyrics run, “Every time I think about you, I puke” I’m almost inclined to try running the Barney song in my head as a substitute. On the other hand, Katie could not believe, when she played it for me and John, that we actually liked it. Maybe like is the wrong word. Maybe, identified with. After all, there are a lot of people in this world that I should be trying to feel compassionate for, but they just wanna make me hurl. I am a dead loss as an enlightened human being, but I’m okay with that.

Today I am going to do my homework and prep for my next writing class. And do laundry. The Neverending Story.

Got an interesting book from my folks’ place called the Skeptical Feminist. It was worth picking up just for the title.

Also reading a novel, the Navigator of New York. It starts slow but I’m finding it really compelling reading.

Paul does his first evening shift today, so he won’t actually be here for supper, which is roast pork. I am thinking of inviting the non bf for supper, and if he doesn’t want to come, somebody else, but I’m wracking my brains who else I can invite over without having to clean anything. I mean, except the kitchen and the bathroom, you don’t want people to be scared to use the john, or concerned about ptomaine and giardia and e. coli and salmonella and suchlike.

Don’t I just sound like Susie Housekeeping.

Now the kids are working their way through Babylon 5 and Paul said, (this comment deleted)(plaintive) “I prefer Buffy.” Yes dear, but we ran out of Buffy. This line deleted because nobody wants to hear about our shopping trip last night, although I suppose it could be comedy material.

Katie says School sucks the fun out of everything. She doesn’t know how lucky she is. Keith is reading Dana Stabelow, John’s running sound at church, and the yard is a peaceful winter wonderland – apparently the white stuff is going to hang around for at least a week. May you enjoy a Sunday of recounting your mixed blessings. Pic is random. From Phyllis’ apartment in London, circa 2001

Mike Moment

Experienced another classic Mike Moment last night. He’d brought out a water glass and a small snifter of cognac; the snifter was inside the glass. I was following him out to the hot tub (two inches of snow on the path) and he skidded, fell on his ass/back, and sproinged back up in the air in a fashion that left me gaping. I was the only witness; Tori had popped back inside for shoes and Paul and Keith joined us a couple of minutes later.

All those years of Kung Fu! He did not spill a drop, was uninjured, except for his dignity, and what really amazed me was how fast he recovered. I’ve taken bad falls without dropping what I was carrying so that part didn’t astound me. However, when I fall I generally lie there for a while going hunh? and don’t LEVITATE back into bipedalism. It didn’t look real! It was like a movie!!! (See earlier comments by Lexi (who’s moving this weekend) about how she hates it when people say “It was like a movie”. But that’s the frame of reference. Really what it was like was a guy with a shipload of Martial Arts training, but I’m still shaking my head this morning. Mike said, upon getting up, in an oh so sophisticated tone, Well, at least I still know how to fall.

So we sat in the tub for a good while – Keith bailed early to go in and read Japanese books Tori had; the rest of the time we did the Buffy and Angel spoiler game, and described our favourite scenes so far. I am thinking the role reversal in I Only Have Eyes for You was my fave long scene so far; the Judge saying “What’s that do?” was the funniest one liner; and my favourite facial expression is Seth Green looking quizzical.

If you don’t read Dunnett, skip this paragraph. Dunnett fans will of course wonder where the hell my head has been for the last ten years, as there is an intense amount of Buffy/Lymond/Niccolo cross over in terms of fandom, and now all the times people have moaned that James Marsters could do Lymond if he wasn’t so bleeding tall (Lymond is not tiny, but he ain’t immense, either, not like Niccolo, who’s bloody massive) actually make sense to me. Personally the only person I’ve ever seen on screen that makes any sense to me as Lymond is a very young Peter O’Toole; except OF COURSE that Peter O’Toole is too tall for the role as well. I have never seen, and possibly never will see, an actor who can do Niccolo. He’s big, and ugly from some angles and impossibly gorgeous from others, and is physically graceful, and has a beautiful singing voice (as in, better than the professionals) and for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being that he really really likes women, he’s dead sexy. I think that the biggest reason that there is Buffy / Dunnettfandom crossover is because the quality of the friendships in the Dunnett/Whedon oeuvre is a major part of their appeal (and the love interests OF COURSE – think Buffy and Angel’s tragic love, or Jerrott and Marthe’s starcrossed, bizarre marriage, or Tobie and Clemence’s completely stage managed courtship and marriage, or Phemie and Anselme’s ‘it seemed like a good idea at the time’ relationship after his first wife dies.) Phillippa’s sacrifice for Lymond (no spoilers on this one, brrr) is a major achievement in fiction. If I read you off ‘what happened’ you’d go, “Oh, she was just frikkin nuts, eh?” but Dunnett writes it so the whole horrible slide into martyrdom makes sense; at that point in the books (like an inch from the end of it all) you are as passionately in love with Lymond as she is, even if you know that he’s one of the biggest jerks in history. But sexy. And hardworking. And self-disciplined. And meaner than a junk yard dog. My kinda guy.

Okay, back to real life, where two inches of snow fell last night and Paul is doing sound for a memorial service today and the kids are still asleep and there’s a massive flea invasion and I found out that I can’t actually loan Rob of Nine the Michael Moschen DVD because Keith took it into school for another juggler. Some noises were made yesterday at lunch about the idea that a juggling club could be started at work. I’d join, but I am kinaesthetically challenged (the left side of my body is notoriously snobbish about cooperating with the dominant and right side) and now that I’m in two separate writers’ groups I think I’d be somewhat pressed for time.

Peggy is plugging away at transcribing my hymn “Not Afraid to Believe” and says it’s a challenge. I don’t read music – another of my many lapses in good taste and judgement, not to mention energy. I am grateful she’s spending some time on it. I was hoping once she gets it transcribed to have the privilege of listening to Tori try to sight read it; that would be great if it happens.

Katie went through the family photo albums last night, and started describing how she wanted to go through them with the Non BF. I want to type his name SO BADLY, mostly because it’s great having somebody in my life whose name is weirder than mine. And he is cute. Katie has finally brought somebody home that I can stand looking at. You will understand it all when the Cone of Silence flies back up into the ceiling.

Note to Jeff: Blasted through Eleanor Rigby right after Christmas and enjoyed it, but Coupland mismatched the character and the way she talks; since he does it consistently it’s easy to deal with. Really, it’s a Harlequin romance with Buffyverse sized coincidences, but I enjoyed it. Adam’s Curse by Ryan Sykes is proving to be a bit harder slog. I’m going to have to find the Eurekalert reference to the Y Chromosome stuff that challenges some of what Sykes has to say. However he says one thing at the beginning of the book which made me want to buss him soundly, and it goes like this, from Page 4.

“On a very practical note, sex and the reasons for it are fundamental to this book, and I use the word in several different contexts. Sometimes it refers to reproduction, sometimes to gender and sometimes to intercourse. I adopt this general usage to avoid, among other things, the angst of defining *exactly* what I mean by gender and to sidestop such literary absurdities as describing the shedding of pollen as any sort of intercourse. I hope the context will make my meaning clear.”

When I write my masterpiece on the Trader’s Peace I think I’ll post that over my desk.

The Trader’s Peace is a concept I have about the reconciliation of the long running battle between men and women which is based on an extreme shift in how relationships between men and women are viewed and transacted (with appropriate and concurrent rules for lesbian, gay, trans, intersex, neuter and asexual people). I’ve been thinking about it my entire adult life and I keep reading books that help refine my conceptions about it. Maybe instead of a book I should just do a manifesto. Manifestos are shorter, and you don’t need bloody footnotes. Just what I need, another project. Hit delete, delete, hit delete, delete.

Well that’s a whole bunch of verbiage, and for what? Catch y’all later.


View from 2019 – OH GOD there’s so much to unpack here, but let’s just say I got virtually all of it wrong.

moar fun

Came back from my first comedy writing class in four or five years, impressed as hell with David Granirer, who is smoother than triple filtered cream these days in terms of delivery. Wowie Zowie.

Delighted to see Julie’s cheerful phiz in the mix, made for two familiar faces in the room and my god, the talent. To be respectful to the other comics I won’t go quoting all their amazing stuff. There’s one woman in the room who is orders of magnitude funnier than the rest of us, but very generous and fun to be round.

Gotta go, I need to pay attention to the new Eminem album.