Book Mentions Photography Real Life The Walk-About

It May Just Be Spring, After All…

I think it might be, because the smell outside my window smacks unmistakably of what can only be described as “Old Cat-Box”. Nasty analogy, I know, but there you have it. And the weather has finally been fine long enough for me to trust it.

Which may be a mistake...
Which may be a mistake…

This is Canuckia, after all. It could start to blizzard any minute. But, so far, so good – it was “Walk-About Weather” today, if ever I saw it, so off I went.

Does anybody remember The Pigman? For those that do, look what I came across on my Walk-About today…

The Cup
The Cup

For those interested, my “Road of Life” is, apparently, the stretch of Wellington St. West/East from Gore St. all the way up to Pathways Retirement Home. Now you know. For those confused, you really ought to read Paul Zindel.

Okay, that’s enough “For Thoses”…

I found this on the last Walk-About...
I found this on the last Walk-About…

…but didn’t get around to posting it before falling down the rabbit-hole for awhile there. This is my future home, you know, or one like it, if I ever make The Great Escape (not to mention, get a driver’s license and a truck to pull it with…). I wonder about the possibilities of mobile employment…? I’m gonna need to pay for gas, I think, as it may be difficult to conduct a proper getaway whilst hauling this thing behind me.

I didn’t really get much out of my Walk-About today… the egg salad at lunch didn’t sit particularly well, and usually the walk home will make that sort of thing better, but today not so much. Beer. Beer is the answer.

Kyla is off on her school trip to Toronto – left yesterday morning, walking on air all the way to meet up with her bus. She gets a luxury tour-bus ride there and back, a 4-star hotel (she packed three swimsuits because she couldn’t decide which to wear), a trip to the top of the CNN tower, the Science Center, shopping at the Eaton’s Center, and to top it off, tickets to The Phantom of the Opera… which she will wear this.
…to which she will wear this.

…if she doesn’t chicken out, that is. She and another girl dared each other to “dress to the nines” for this shindig, but she brought a slightly-less formal outfit with her, in case they lost their nerve.

Again, Gramma & Grampa came through for this trip. I managed the cost of the bus/hotel/Phantom tickets, which came as a package deal, but she would have starved while there (not to mention lost out on shopping and sightseeing, which would have just killed her), if they hadn’t offered to help.

Of course, as luck would have it, her camera went in for repair last week, but Louie came through for her on that point, loaning her a camera of the same ilk, just one step up, and in a way cooler colour. She’s not going to want to give it back, I don’t think.

And speaking of cameras, my mom bought me Hilary for my birthday (no, it’s not my birthday), which I don’t generally like to celebrate (there’s something sort of embarrassing about getting a lot of attention for managing to stay alive another year), but my mother always acknowledges it, and who am to take away her pleasure in paying for a camera I should not have bought to begin with, (I’m supposed to be paying down the debt, not adding to it…) since it makes her happy – LOL!

Oddly, I got a call from one sister and a brother as well, which was weird. Possibly even a first. Nice though; I was genuinely touched.

And there! I have run out of steam. I’m going to drink my beer, try not to buy cigarettes, and edit the sound on that “way late” commercial, now that I’ve had a lesson in the software I’m using. Still, I think it’s going to be a long rest of the weekend.

Note to self: Don’t forget to pick up kid at designated bus drop-off at 6:30 Sunday. I don’t suppose anybody out there might think to remind me…?

Random Song for the Day: “That I Would Be Good” – Alanis Morrisette

Artsy Fartsy Little Bits of Stupid Projects The Father Chronicles

In Pursuit of a Dream… Take 2

I have been forcibly “de-funkified”. I really should thank Carol for doing it with her nasty comments (and even nastier private emails), but I’m not quite ready to do that, because, truthfully, I don’t think I’m quite ready to be “de-funkified” at all.

But she’s right. Wallowing in it, publicly or privately, only makes things worse.

I still don’t have A Dream. So, I’m going to force one. And I’m going to be purposefully vague about it (sorry), because it’s an old dream, and only a couple of people know about it.

One of those people is the one that killed it. Granted, I let it be killed. I let it be killed because Way Back When, I didn’t have any guts. I don’t have any guts, now, either, but I intend to grow some.

Anyway…! On with it.

Way Back When, when the world was still new (1982, I think it was), I saved up $250 to help make my dream come true. A friend of mine, The Dream-Killer, boosted me along. I worked in a restaurant as a dishwasher for really crappy pay back then, and it was only part-time, since I was in school. Still, when I got that paycheck every week, all I wanted to do was buy jeans and party. The Dream-Killer would remind me about saving for my dream, and I would gratefully set aside some cash, and then steal beer money from my parents. Sometimes, I just cut out the middle step and stole beer instead. Even so, it took a long time to save up $250, let me tell you, but I did it.

I lived in a teeny-tiny town 50-odd miles East of here. I had to come up here to the Sault to plunk down my money and make Step One happen. The Dream-Killer came with me for support. We skipped school and hitch-hiked, of course. I wasn’t about to spend Dream Money on bus fare, was I? I wasn’t stupid.

Hitchhiking 50-odd miles sometimes takes hours. By the time we got here, The Dream-Killer had almost convinced me that The Dream was too big for me…

“You’re too young. No one’s going to take you seriously.”

“$250 really isn’t enough to do this with.”

“That guy is just looking for money. It’s going to turn out like shit.”

Almost convinced me. Almost.

And then, killing time until Step One would be underway, we wandered through the mall… and saw…

The Chair.

It looked a lot like this…

“Look at that chair! Don’t you love that chair?”

(It really was a cool chair. Yes, I loved that chair…)

“That chair would look sooooo gnarly in your room!”

(It really would…)

“It’s only $200! You should buy the chair!”

(I really wanted to buy the chair. But The Dream…!)

And then…

“You know… I don’t know how to tell you this… but… your stuff’s really not…. that… good.”


I bought the chair.

My father worked up here at the time, piloting one of the Lock Tour boats, and reluctantly agreed to truck it home for me. Wicker chair… Open truck bed… My chair blew out of the back of the truck at about Echo Bay.

We got turned around to go recover it just in time to see another truck wing by us with my chair in the back! Pissed my dad right off.

He took off after this guy at breakneck speed, berating me the whole time for being so stupid as to spend $200 on a chair for Chrissakes, and now he had to chase it down the damned highway, and so help him God, if he got pinched for speeding, I was paying the God-damned fine.

He caught up to the guy and pulled up beside him. Waved.

The guy waved back.

My dad yelled at him to stop, God-damn it.

The guy wouldn’t stop.

My dad darn near ran him off the road before he gave up and pulled over, telling us he was “trying to catch up with us”… ?! The chair survived with nary a scratch or break, surprisingly, and the story is incredibly funny now, but only because I survived. I was certain through the whole “chase” that my dad was going to roll the truck and kill us.

We pulled into Thessalon an hour or so later; my dad with a snarl on, and me with a crushed Dream, an un-crushed chair, and $50 burning a hole in my pocket. I’m pretty sure I spent the $50 on beer. And probably grass, too.

Every time we had company over after that, my dad would tell The Chair Story, bring people into my room to show them The Chair, and beam as if me spending $200 on a chair fer Chrissakes was the most brilliant thing I could have done. Maybe a highspeed chase down Highway 17 East was one of his dreams, I don’t know…

A year and a half later, my first apartment went up in flames. Wicker burns really fast.

I’ve always regretted buying that chair and forfeiting what I thought at the time was a pretty good chance at a really big dream. I’m not really sure if my heart is in this yet, but I’m going to give it another go.

Step One is now actually Step Three – as the world has changed a little since it was new. I have changed a lot since the world was new, but I’ve already begun Step One. I’ve talked to some people, and got some advice. Step Two is coming in short order.

It’s going to cost a lot more than $250.

I know it’s a bit of a cheat to not actually detail this further, but I haven’t exactly grown those guts yet. And I hope some of you will wish me well anyway. Comments are welcome. No Dream-Killers will be taken seriously. I hope.

Random Song for the Day: “9 Crimes” – Damien Rice

Real Life Wasted Time...

Metaphorically Speaking….

Something came along/happened/was said that slammed me back about six years. I’m kind of in a box now, and I haven’t slept very much since.

I have things that need to be figured out and I haven’t got a clue how to go about it. I know this will somehow “work itself out”, as my mom is wont to say, but that only makes me feel like I’m not the one in control of my own damned life (what else is new?), and since I have discovered that there really is no such thing as God, it’s that much more depressing to realize that if I’m not in control, it’s all just up to chance, after all.

What a waste of years, in other words.

Not-So-Random Song for the Day: “All Those Yesterdays” – Pearl Jam

J.O.B. Little Bits of Stupid

Meet the New Driver…

“He’s a foreigner.”

Samoan Jim
I think he’s probably Samoan.
…not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

We went to record the sound for a commercial – a 45-minute job. I think I got home two and a half hours later.

First things first…. we got lost. Well, we weren’t exactly lost lost – we knew where we were. But the client’s store was sure lost! Funny part is (ha. ha.) that Louie and I were the ones that did the original shoot. Of course, that was weeks ago. And they could have moved the store. Or I can blame it on The Samoan being a foreigner. Well, what would you do?!

Next… I dropped Hilary Federwhore in a puddle in the parking lot. Everybody say, “GASP! NOOOOOOOOO!” Yup, I did. She lived, though.

(“Hilary Federwhore” was named by BeckEye, by the way. I’ll probably call her “Whore” for short. The camera, not Beck. Weeeel…. no. No, I won’t do that.)

Then…. I unpacked the laptop, the mic stand, the keyboard and mouse (The laptop’s “t” doesn’t work. And all the paraphernelia spread out looks really, really pro. It does.), and then realized I had left the mic at home. I blamed that on The Samoan, as well, but it didn’t really fly, because he speaks english and was able to defend himself. Foreigners. Figures.

But the recording itself went really well. I am a great director, after all, and The Samoan is a pretty darned good client coach. The client/voice-over artist was a natural, actually – and did a great job with minimal advice and no line-by coaching. And he wrote the script as he went along – I was impressed.

Now I have to edit this stuff. Tomorrow. Yeah.

Random Song for the Day: “One” – Cowboy Junkies

Little Bits of Stupid Photography

Meet the New Camera…

Louie took my camera away. Something about his Very Significant Other and Mexico (Damn, but I hate it when people go to Mexico without me! Don’t I, Suzi?).

It’s all good, though. I got pissed (“How do you expect me to work without a camera?!”), and stomped down to the mall yesterday and bought a better camera. Ummmm…. from Louie.

Canon Powershot A550

Of course, I went directly on a Walk-About to test it out. And, of course, the feature I like best is the optical zoom.

Can you see it...?
Can you see it…?
(How ’bout now…?)

I walked up to my parents’ place to show it off. My dad was suitably impressed. My mom offered to buy it for me for my birthday (Ooooh… deja vu…). Not being stupid, I accepted. And no. It’s not my birthday.

Now, it just needs a name. Suggestions…?

UPDATE: Her name is Hilary Federwhore. When I like her, I will call her “Hil”. When she pisses me off, she will be “Ya Little Whore“, just like my dad would do…

Random Song for the Day: “Chicago” – Sufjan Stevens

Book Mentions It Helps If the Whole Family Is Crazy Little Bits of Stupid Movie Mentions

Another Bridge Crossed…

bridgetoterabithia Kyla came home from school yesterday with her book order: her very own copy of A Bridge to Terabithia. She’s read school copies several times already, and seen the movie in the theater three times now. She rushed in at 3:30, dropped the book in my hands, and rushed back out to her babysitting job.

I’d only seen the movie once, and never read the book at all. So, of course, I changed all my Friday night plans immediately (homework, video rendering, writing and new computers being set up are not really Friday night occupations anyway…), and drew a bath. And I did something I believe I haven’t done since 2002: I read an entire book in the bathtub in one sitting. Errr… soaking.

And, yes, the book was much better than the movie, as has always been my experience, although I really loved this movie (note to self: find a copy of the first movie version for comparison sometime). The book has only 128 pages, so it isn’t that long of a read. I was just contemplating refilling the tub with hotter water for a second run-through, when the phone rang.

It was Louie, my Dream Job bossish/partnerish-type person with assignments and schedules and bath-time advice: namely that one does not bathe in the late afternoon/early evening. Apparently, that is an early morning activity only. And should be done standing up, under a shower-head. Luckily, Louie is only a bossish person now, with no real power, so when I hung up the phone, I refilled the tub and read the book again, remembering the “Real” King of Terabithia with growing clarity…

“At first they avoided each other during school hours, but by October they grew careless about their friendship. Gary Fulcher, like Brenda, took great pleasure in teasing Jess about his ‘girl friend’.”

Back in the Olden Days (some time in the mid-70’s)…

One of the worst insults to a young man of a certain age is to refer to his best friend as his girlfriend. It’s an even worse insult if the girl is your cousin, which may give said young man a quick retort to fall back on (“She’s not my girlfriend!! She’s my cousin!!“), but not the sort of satisfaction he would get from, say, pounding the crap out of whomever lobbed the insult. On Main Street. At the top of his lungs. In front of the entire third grade.

Of course, the presence of the entire third grade preempts any attempt at crap-pounding, simply because there’s no way of knowing if someone is going to “back’em up”. Pounding the crap out of one guy is possible, but two to four? Better to be embarrassed than to be bloody and embarrassed.

Mike at nine years old, though, can’t just leave things be. If he can’t pound crap, he will do the absolute worst thing he can think of. He will give them The Sign.

The Sign has no religious or satanic connotations to us. Sinful connotations, certainly, but we’re not concerned so much with burning in hell as we are with being strapped and/or grounded if a teacher and/or parent should see The Sign being performed, even if the other kid does deserve it (which he does, the nasty little bastard). Worse, my mother is a teacher, which makes utilizing The Sign, even in extreme circumstances, that much more dangerous. On Main Street. In broad daylight.

Use of The Sign is, in fact, so heinous, that it makes the target absolutely boil over with rage, so Mike has learned to be careful – hurling other, less volatile epithets over his shoulder while gradually inching further up the sidewalk, further from the crowd, looking for all the world as if he’s creeping away shamefully, his pride in tatters. When he judges the distance from the crowd compared to the distance to safety (my house, smack at the end of Main Street) to be favourable, he suddenly whirls like a dervish, whipping his fingers into The Sign violently with both hands. My God, he is brave.

And my God, he can run.

Which is a lucky thing, because The Sign evokes a preternatural vehemence in 9 year old boys. Lucky for Mike, I can run as well, because it is my job to beat them both to the driveway and call the dog, who will bark ferociously, viciously whenever I say “Sic’em!”, but will simply raise her eyebrows whenever Mike says it. And once the thugs are driven back, Mike and I will retreat to our own version of Terabithia, which, in 20-odd years will be buried under 60 short tons of fill and covered with 3 to 5 houses worth of lawn (not to mention 3 to 5 houses).

Knowing it’s gone makes the memories more bitter than sweet. Life’s like that.

I imagine Mike must be terribly disappointed now, that in the 21st century, The Sign is bandied about openly by drug-addled metal heads and 9 year old boys alike, a token signal used as some sort of not-so-secret handshake, stripped of its terrible symbolism. Of course he’s disappointed. It was bigger than The F-Word, after all.

Incidentally, when searching for “devil’s horn hand signal” pics, I came across this whack-job interesting site…

Random Song for the Day: “Walk Like An Egyptian” – The Bangles

Book Mentions Movie Mentions R.I.P.

Another Shock Over Coffee…

Kurt Vonnegut: 1922-2007

It (almost) never fails when discussing favourite authors, that I discover that pretty much everybody on the planet has heard of Kurt Vonnegut, but if pressed hard enough, will eventually admit that they never actually read anything by Kurt Vonnegut.

Come on, really?! Slaughterhouse 5 was assigned reading in one of my high-school english classes! How could you not have read anything by Vonnegut?! No, you can’t use “he was censored at my school”. That should have made you want to read him more.

Do yourself a big favour and go buy any one of his books. Read it. Then you won’t have to lie about it later (and no fair watching Bruce Willis movies instead, cheaters!).

Blog-Family Little Bits of Stupid

Happy BlogDay, Rhea!!

The Boomer Chronicles
One Year and Counting…


I stole this from OldGuy (and our brains are the same!!) I always suspected you were a whack-job, OldGuy…

Your Brain is Purple

Of all the brain types, yours is the most idealistic.
You tend to think wild, amazing thoughts. Your dreams and fantasies are intense.

Your thoughts are creative, inventive, and without boundaries.

You tend to spend a lot of time thinking of fictional people and places – or a very different life for yourself.

What Color Is Your Brain?

Random Song for the Day: “When Irish Eyes are Burning” – Ike Reilly Assassination

Artsy Fartsy Oh Mother...!

The Rabbit Came and Went…

My mom entered an Easter Bonnet Contest with the bonnet Kyla made for her…

She won first prize!
She won first prize!
I think it was the hummingbird that won it...
I think it was the hummingbird that won it…

We went to My Brother the Trespasser’s house for Easter dinner, so I made an Easter bonnet for myself… mind you, mine was a little less…. ummm…. elaborate.

Then again, I didn't win any prizes, either.
Then again, I didn’t win any prizes, either.

Not-So-Random Song-for-the-Day: “Easter Parade” – Judy Garland

Real Life Sault Ste. Marie Ontario

This is SO. Unfair.

Just for one year I would like April to have no snow. Just once.

5:50 pm
5:50 pm
7 Minutes Later
7 Minutes Later
27 More Minutes Later
27 More Minutes Later

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Girlfriend” – Avril Lavigne