Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Handout

Sheesh. If you can believe it, that's what our mother tried to convince us to say when we went door-to-door for Halloween. As you might imagine, when we said it, most people looked at us like we were visitors from Mars.

It seemed our mother was always trying to get us to do things 'differently' than others. While I'm grateful now that she urged us not to be sheep, I can still feel the cringe when some of these memories surface.

Like, really, what was so awful about plain old 'Trick or Treat'?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


On this date, my grandma died. Only I never called her Grandma, I called her Mayme.

She was one of a kind, especially for her day. When almost no women worked outside the home, she was the Assistant to the Sheriff for a big city. Yep, that was a full-time job, and she had a houseful of four kids she was bringing up on her own.

Working for the Sheriff's Office, she had plenty of occasion to meet prisoners. And now this is something I choose to do -- only I work with men in prisons as part of a writers' group. Mayme carried this interest a lot further than I intend to, as she ended up eventually marrying one of the men.

When I got my ears pierced, my mother tut-tutted. My dad said they made me look like a slut, but Mayme? She marched me down to the jewellery store and let me pick the nicest pair of gold posts in the shop.

So yes, even though she's long gone, I still love her dearly, and reckon I always will.

That would be her, over there on the right, looking down at me, the young bride. Er, no, that's not right; it's big time Communion Day.

Friday, October 24, 2008

W and the corn cob

So, what gives? Why, in the movie 'W' does she step the corn cob into the lawn?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Little Magazine that Could turns 20

Once upon a time, not so many years ago, a couple of guys in Vancouver had an idea. They decided to start up a literary magazine. They wanted it to be different, a voice that would be distinctive -- a magazine that would make readers sit up and pay attention.
The first issue was all of 12 pages long. The cover was credited to Brueghel, but looked hellish enough to be Hieronymous Bosch. The magazine might not have been very pretty, but it did have a cool name, subTerrain. Kind of undergroundy, vaguely 'beat generation' but more modern-sounding.
Well, the little magazine that could has just turned 20 years old and marked the event by publishing Issue #50. It hasn't always been an easy road, but really, this is cause to celebrate.
Congratulations, sub-Terrain. We're looking for many more issues (in all senses of the word!) to come.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Thankful for -- my machines

Yesterday saw ten of us gather around the traditional Thanksgiving feast: turkey, stuffing, gravy, assorted vegies -- crisp, steamed and baked.

Right now, I'm feeling grateful for some of the machines that make my life easier. Yesterday's tablecloth is tumbling in the dryer; the serviettes, tea towels and dish cloths are swirling around in the washer. The dishwasher is running its second load. And oh yes, the fridge is guarding the leftovers.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Being an old hand at the art of being depressed, I've devised my own ways of describing it.

For me, it isn't so much a matter of being sad all the time. Heck, given the right companionship or joke, I can laugh long and loud. But just because I'm laughing or joking doesn't mean I'm not depressed.

It's more as if a button has been pushed in, and then, uckily (stickily?) it won't come 'unpressed'. It's as if it's stuck in 'pressed-in' (de-pressed) mode.

It's a nasty one to deal with, as it has a way of interfering with almost everything I need or want to get done.

Where this is Mental Health Week, there's a drive on to help people determine whether they're depressed. If only to give yourself a free online check-up -- or to find out more info on behalf of someone you love, make a stop at Beyond the Blues. Heck, it might even make you feel happy.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Say No to Russ Hiebert

Tonight's all-candidates' meeting was proof, if any more was needed, that our current MP needs replacing.

Unfortunately, the alternatives will likely knock each other out of the ring, leaving us once again with a Member of Parliament who seems to believe he can do no wrong -- that he has no reason to be accountable to his constituents. Of all the candidates, he was the only one with the arrogance to point-blank refuse to answer questions of his choosing.

But Hiebert at least was no surprise; he's been oozing arrogance since he parachuted in from Vancouver for the last election. The evening's biggest disappointment was the local Green candidate, David Blair. He gave the impression that he had done nothing to prepare for the event. Even his opening remarks were disorganized and off the cuff. I believe the best thing he could do for the community he claims to want to represent is resign from the race. At least the Green vote could be redirected to more worthy campaigners.

About all we can hope for here is what Danny Williams has been advocating, ABC -- Anything But Conservative. Thirteen days and we'll know.