Monday, July 5, 2010

I Very Sorry...

I apologize...

Deeply, Profoundly, and Sincerely. I simply could not carry on as it was. I could offer countless excuses or rationales: some misted veils of truth, others holding water to some degree. By and large, I was weak.

I had been strong for so long... 3 years... Maybe even longer, as I lost track/stopped counting the days, weeks, months as they passed. Each year was a small victory. Each season a feather in my imaginary cap. I was proud. Perhaps too proud. There were times I could have given in before now. Times of deep introspection. But I did not... resisted... fought the good fight...

Until today.
  • Several days of increasing temperature...
  • A humidex peak of 41c yesterday...
  • Day Two of a smog alert...
  • ... and the firm prospect of 4 more days of the same conditions
I have installed my Air Conditioner

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Really... Seriously ??

So I get a fancy legal letter in the mail this week. Oddly enough, from a lawyer no less. Truth be known the lawyer folk are just a conduit for the real author – Ontario Justice A.Pazaratz. They, and their ere so just peers are writing to tell me something I already know (in part). It would seem that I am now officially, in the eyes of the law and those who make and enforce them, divorced.

Obviously not news, as this has been in the works for a while now. No great surprises here on any front save one.... the date of the order: January 14/2010. This was the day that someone read the appropriate papers, thought they were in order, and thumped them with a stamp to say just so.

The very last line on this simple single page of fact says that the order comes into effect one month after the heretofore mentioned stamp. This brings us to the definition of a “month”. Is this four weeks? Twenty-Eight days? Twenty Nine? Thirty? Thirty-One? What is a month exactly. Originally, I was inclined to think that a month is 4 weeks (a month of Sundays if you will). After consulting the feral wilderwebs, and a select few thinkers... well, lets look and see, shall we?

If I start from the original premise:

1 month = 4 Weeks – 28 days – February 11...

If we "fait la google":

1 month = 30.4368499 days - February 13th.

However, add that extra little .563151 days:

1 month = 31 days .... yup... February 14th

Really? Seriously? Valentine's Day?

... wow ...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Jean R. Allen (1929-2010) - A Eulogy

What follows is not the original text from the service for my mom. As it was written, it was more a point-form layout designed to be read aloud rather than perused. I did my best to recreate it, without too much embellishment. I have not included the kind and insightful words offered on the day by Reverend John Perkin (I will endeavour to transcribe and add at a later date).

The visitations and service were well attended by a broad scope of individuals who had been touched in one way or another by my mom.

All that being said, there were countless others whom I know were unable to attend. My hope is that I can reflect the events of the day and share them with all to remember.

There is no doubt that my mother's passing is in one way an ending, just as her birth was a beginning. Between these events, like bookends, lie the volumes of living and a life spelled out over the 80 years she shared with us. Here we can remember... celebrate..... and learn of each other's joys of knowing her.

I have had the great privilege of knowing my mother my whole life. Outside our life together was another span equal to my own in which she lived a life I can only see remotely. My thoughts today offer testimony to all I have known of her, and far beyond.

As a craftsperson, my mother contributed and created for the world around her.

The NanaJean Ball (So named for it's maker)

is one such creation :

It is soft, pliable, chewable if need be; yet firm enough to grasp, to hold, to squeeze and still retain it's shape. A down-to-earth pragmatic solution to the problem of safe play for a young child.

Upon closer inspection we see each panel having 5 sides.... As if to reflect her own families (Atkinsons and Allens). Each panel, as made by hand, being slightly different. Always colourful.... and when assembled, having a use far beyond the abilities of the individual piece.

It gives me great joy to say that dear friends of mine are expecting their first child in July. I will have the great honour of giving them one of the last remaining NanaJean Balls for their newborn to enjoy in the years to come.

Before any sons or husband, my mother worked with the Victorian Order of Nurses. Over the span of her last days, I met a nurse here in Sackville who remembered my mother to me.

She would have been a young woman herself when my mother tended to her ailing grandfather so many years ago. She was recollected to me as “jolly”, “happy”, “down to earth”. Hearing this extended the reach of my mother's influence beyond both my knowledge and my existence. It gave weight to the impact and affect we all have on the world around us as a result of our actions and choices. There is no real way to quantify how near or far my mother's deeds reached. What remains is to be able to qualify them. Her way – her methods – her personality – had such scope as to give us all here pause, and to hopefully empower us to achieve the same in our own daily lives.

Four days ago (Jaunary 5th, 2010) we learned yet again something new about our mother. We had no knowledge of it's existence. At first it had no meaning... no context... no place in our story.

Upon her passing, my brothers and I assembled some of my mother's affects. This included her wedding band. It was our desire to reunite the rings of my father and mother to give honour to both. Upon closer inspection, we found an inscription on the inside of her ring. It included the date of my parents wedding and a small, three word phrase.

When bringing her ring together with my father's, we found the very same inscription on both rings. Stored in the same box as my Father's wedding band, we found a third ring... it too bore this same three word message. Based on it size and date (May 31st, 1916), we believe it to have belonged to our grandmother.

All three bands bore the inscription: Ke-Non-Wes.

We found it to be an Iroquois phrase meaning: I - love - one

A simple bond: exchanged 50 years ago between husband and wife. Expressed in the most unique and wonderful way. One that now know has been expressed in the same way for two generations, and that we can share with you here almost a hundred years after it began.

Note: It had been our intent to have three baskets of yarn clippings (selected from my mother's varied collection ) available at the the front door of the parlour. Upon leaving the house for the service that afternoon, we sadly left them behind. I've included this section so that those that choose, may act upon it's intent.

In the foyer, on the table by the door, there are three baskets of yarn fragments taken from my mother's vast collection. We ask that on leaving there today, to please take two clippings:

    • One to keep: in the spirit of remembrance of the woman herself and all she has meant to us, and

    • One to cast away at the time and place of your choosing: to acknowledge, be it brief or lasting, the depth and breadth of influence we have on the lives of those we touch.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mental Ulceration

That's what I'm calling it.

It may also be referred to as Cyclic Thinking in some... circles. The state of mind whereby the thought process is compromised by an abundance of ick. (which for the record, is the most appropriately named disease out there - sorry fishies). Pockets of acidic mental ick that eat away at good, productive gray matter leaving ick-ridden tissue in its wake.

At present I have a great many things troubling me. Some I have control over; some not so much; some I'd like to control but can't. Complicated for certain.

Respectfully, I'm not really in a position to rattle off the litany of angst in this arena. I expect to leak it slowly and cryptically over the next couple of months. But I thought I'd drop a few delights to offset the immediate imbalance and help realign the lobes:
  • Friends with a baby in their tummy
  • Cookies from a student's mom - I haven't taught the student in like 2 years, but I was still referred to as "the best teacher she's ever had"
  • Friends with new digs - much needed, much deserved
  • Friends with purple Docs (women's size 8 to be precise - Awesome!)
  • Snow
  • Did I mention the cookies?
  • The smell of the ocean (it will be cold when I next get it - but powerful nonetheless)
At times it can be difficult to spot the good amongst the ick. But it is most certainly there.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Swamp Land in Norway

I dunno...  

I've seen some extraordinary things in my day. Some almost defying description. I'll also admit that I'm gullible and imaginative in equal parts - killer combo -  makes me great fun at parties. 
But this...  this is whack:

Sooooo... what to make of it?

Another delightful viral video in advance of some media event?
A kind of Flash Forward/James Cameron/Blair Witch ad campaign thingy.

More proof for the V'ger lovers of the world?
Bald chicks from space... not much argument here.... KAHN!

Looks a little like spaghetti... FSM?
Primavera Intervention.

Crazy ass beacon for the Magi?
The timing is awesome. Only now the saviour wears a cool watch and carries an Allen Wrench.

The geography almost fits... and who doesn't like to blame science for stuff?

To me, the real clues that all is not as it should be are the speed and clarity exercised in trying to define it.  Some of my best excuses, justifications, or rationales came furiously following the event itself.  Listen to the booming, newsy, scientific voice of reason...  just don't look at the spiraling wormhole behind the curtain. 

If there's even a hint of veracity to this, I am equally psyched and freaked. Time will tell either way.  I'm going with the whole Hadron thing until further notice. :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tired... yet tireless

Despite this being day 10 of the brain plague, I have committed to being as productive as possible here. 

It is not a good day. A great may things are weighing heavy on my mind. I'm not going to go into detail at the mo' given the sensitivity of the topics, the people involved, and the vulnerability in expressing them openly in this arena. Rest assured, I am still looking for the tunnel in hopes that a light may be found at it's end.

Holiday time is fast approaching. I will be found in  a different province, under a different roof for about a week. I'm looking forward to the change in scenery, deeds, and peeps that come with the visit. I don't expect it to be relaxing, but I do expect it to be rewarding in the long run. How's that for cryptic? 

Sorry... I can't see myself clear to navigating total disclosure just yet. I guess that will be the next "challenge".  It is not my intent to write exclusively about neti-pots and jelly drops.  If the intent of blogging is to provide an on-going capture of the internal dialogue, there will have to come a time where more honest and forthright posts are the norm. I am not there yet.  I want to approach that goal carefully so as to respect not only my own thoughts and privacy, both those of the people around me that may be affected or directly involved in the exchange. 

Speaking of jelly drops, here my wish list for Santa Boots (in no particular order):
  • Camera - The spankier the better, but as I have none, anything will do. I've been feeling the desire to produce in that medium for a while now, but lack the tools at the moment.
  • Storage/Router - Laptops are truly laptops when they are free from tethers. Storage becomes more critical if there's more production/amassing of media.
  • Eye Candy - A new telebishion and shiny PS3 are "wanna gets" just for the fun of it. An indulgence for certain... one that the grown-up brain has difficulty reconciling.  In my mind, it's perfectly acceptable for a 40+  fella (age, not size) to want to run around and bounce off virtual walls.  Justifying it however, is a different matter. Admittedly, I also feel oddly competitive with "El Ex" on this one as well. 
  • Recording Gear - So as to help execute the on-going threat of actually producing something for the world to hear. I've had some notable difficulty in actuating this to date.
  • Chip-Nuts: The FSM's gift from the dining world to the snacking world. 
  • Better Friends: I am not asking for more - nor are those already in the fold lacking in any way.  I just wish really good things for the ones I have, thereby giving them better lives and times. 

Post Script  -  9:07 pm   - 
  • After a particularly "enlightening" phone conversation and some heady reflection: I would forgo the entire list and countless things beyond it if Mr. Boots could grant a little more time.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


That's it then...

I'm a fledgling NetiPot-Head. I've now been there, and am about to effectively blog that.

I might even have insights into the process to improve it for the "unititated":
  • Get a jug 'o' distilled water: boiling over and over again is tiresome and wasteful in the energy department.
  • It's not pinball: tilting is TOTALLY endorsed. The head; the neck; the elbow. Anything to avoid backwash.
  • Baby formula/Baby Bear's' Breakfast: the wrist test works wonders to get the temperature right. My first time in was too warm. Second, too cold. Third.... just riiight. 
The whole process is still a little disturbing, but I think after a while the icky parts will become less so and the benefits will shine through a bit more.  I can attest (without entering into the grizzly detail department) that it seems to be a good thing for the holes in your head and the stuff that lingers there.

I didn't know, but apparently Oprah went all batty for it. Who knew? Now there's a mental picture reserved for the stalwart and true.... A drippy snorky Oprah.  <>

Maybe I'll post a pic/vid for the sheer "o no he didn't"  factor.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Attempt # 2

So here's the new plan...

I'm going to try to be less calculating, and more productive. I got hitched up on the process of blogging, and lost the "flow".  So I'm going to try to be a little less prepared, and a little more spout-of-the-brainish. This comes after spending a little time puddling around looking at vlogs on YouTube.  There is only a hint of rhyme and reason to the material on there. The least I can do is prove that I indeed do have fingers with which to type (if not a cam with which to vlog - not there yet, but under consideration)

Having said this: today...

I now have (courtesy of the clinic MD I shall refer to as Dr. Rickenbacher)....   a NetiPot. 

I don't know if that's good or bad thing yet. But I will. Seems as if I have a sinus infection. So along with run of antibiotics (first time taking them in years thenk yoo vedy much!) it was suggested that I procure one of these little "Maison D'Smurf".  I have heard a fair amount of whoop-dee-doo about these jobbies from a host of reliable sources, but I was reluctant to dip my toe in the pot (so to speak). 

I had a drowning thing when I was younger. Came kind of close a couple of times, so I wound up with a wee aversion to being underwater and such. Got over it somewhat when charming daughter needed someone to accompany her to the pool. I learned how to swim and dive Yet he fear haunts me a bit to this day. 

The act of using these things involves flushing the sinus cavity with warm, happy fluid. A sensation not unlike that of being underwater in my mind. Only I'll be fully dressed, standing up, and watching it happen in the bathroom mirror.  Having said all that, rationally speaking, there really is no similarity at all. Still.... fears like these don't follow the traditional paths of reason. That is why they are called fears.  I am off to give it a go.  

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Near the village.... the peaceful one.

   A couple of days ago, I was walking down the street headed to the store when coming slowly towards me I noticed a young woman in an orange dress.  Not nasty slurpee orange.  More like an autumnal-leaf-I-wear-birks-and-nerdy-glasses kind of orange. As we neared each other, I could see her mouth was moving.  She was walking quite slowly, more an amble really.  Nearer still and I heard her quietly singing...."in the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight". Loud enough to be heard obviously, but not so loud as to carry very far beyond her own enjoyment.  I had been nursing this song in my own head for several days, so it was a treat to hear it out of the blue like this.  As we passed each other, I smiled politely at her and received the same in return.   Just beyond our passing, say about 20 feet up the sidewalk was a small child.  The woman in orange was taking her time going up the street to allow the young girl in tow (with her wee little legs) a chance to catch up.  As the wee-wee lass dawdled her way up the street, running her hand along the picket fence beside her (being sure to bounce off each tine on her way) I noticed that she too was singing something:   wimoweh...  wimoweh... lion... da jungoo... sweeping.  It was like the song was driving them forward and yet also nearer to each other.  A truly sweet and rare moment. 
   I carried on the rest of the way to the store with the wry grin of a lucky witness tracing my face.  I popped into the corner store to grab an item or two.  I pick up what I needed.  Paid my due.   Said my "good day" to the shop keep.  Went on my merry way.... 

...  then just as I was opening the door to go out, I caught the faintest hint, just a whispered tease of a melody from behind the cash:

dee dee dee dee - de dee de dee dee - de dee de dee dee deeeeee

   I will never be certain where the song began, but I saw where it was going, where it had been, and I got to join it a while in it's journey.  Maybe even help it along a bit...

Monday, September 7, 2009

To Sleep Per Chance....

I've been thinking about sleep of late.  Habitually I don't quite get enough of it.  So I began to muse on the ways and means of it all...   The rites and rituals of rest:

Geography:  bed right (like stage right, but lying down), typically facing the door. If there is an adjoining wall, my back will be towards it. 
Pillows: Two. One firm, one soft. I may use either one or both if the mood fits. 
Covers: light or non-existent in summer, douvet in winter.
Window: open if possible, curtains open/blinds up.
Waterglass: only with a fever

My "roommate" 

Georgraphy: centre bed, head to the door, face to the wall. 
Pillow: one
Cover: one (two if chilled)
Window: open, curtains drawn/blind down
Waterglass: every night 

My father was a bed left man; Mother - bed right.

All this analysis was triggered by a curiosity about how sleeping orientation and habit may offer insight into character traits expressed in the waking hours. No conclusions as yet, but there are insights to be had.

n.b.   As an experiment, I am trying to explore the real estate dormie available to me:  Centre bed is a strange place. Delightfully symmetrical, but oddly disarming.

In defiance of Twitter

Welcome one and all... 

I am uncertain what possessed me to begin blogging (this is the correct term, yes?). I have historically maintained a relatively low tech profile. I had no reason to change. Yet after idly flopping around the magical interwebiness, I stumbled over a dear memory. After reading some of their many insights, I felt some how empowered to share some of my own.  There may also be other contributing factors:

  • A growing desire to redefine and assert myself after a year of significant change.
  • A spanky new laptop from which to post.
  • A penchant for verbosity that twitter just kain't handle.
  • Middle Aged Brain Droop 
I was, therefore I am or will be, henceforth I blog...