Thursday, 25 February 2010


The banana is a radical fruit. It's like, you know, epic, in that way that only a banana can be.

Take one in your hand and grasp it, man, it's like, yeah, Ba-Na-A. No other fruit has that fluffy texture, and I dare you to scrounge another fruit you can snap in two with your bare hands. Try it some time, man, it's like, wow. Snappage.

It's sorta tomato-related, cause, they're both fruit, but they're both out there. I mean, one is kinda like a veggie, but it's not, and the other is so out there. I can't grasp any other fruits, and I mean that, grasp, and peel like a banana. They have their own protective coating, so you don't need to wash them, and you don't need to bring a knife along, and there's no pits or seeds that get stuck between your teeth.

And the energy -- woah -- like potassium, it's in there, truly, the kind of juice that keeps you going. Not like five grapes and you ate, but you're still hungry, you know. They're almost like drinking water, not much there, just a thirst quencher, but I'm not here to talk grapes.

Bananas. They rock. They rule. They are my friends.

So go get one, and make it a good one, not those blackish ones, because they're pretty slimy, though my mom freezes them and uses them in muffins, but whatever.

Saturday, 20 February 2010


Gold is the metal that everyone wants. Or should I say medal. Because at this time of year, while we're all watching sports like luge and long track speed skating, sports we wouldn't even know exist the other 1442 days between winter Olympics.

But hey, we've won some gold. Four, now, and I'm speaking about Canada, in case you didn't figure it out. And it seems a bit silly for me to say "we" when I had absolutely nothing to do with the winning of these medals. I simply watch the sport and then take credit for it. Silly, right?

Why is it that we feel the need to take credit for such feats, when "we" do nothing but sit on our duffs, drinking beer, eating chips, and basically behaving an absolutely un-athletic manner? Well, we do pay taxes that go towards the development of the athletes. And we pay for ridiculously overpriced merchandise that supports the athletes, so "we" do play a microscopic role.

But we aren't the ones getting up at five am so we can practice before school. We aren't the ones who put our education, our lives on hold while we become elite athletes in obscure sports that get so very little glory we might as well be living on another planet.

That's why they want the gold. So for a few seconds it's all worth it. In that moment, their story lives forever. In that moment, they shine like gold.

I guess that's why they use a metal that doesn't tarnish, doesn't rust, doesn't even dissolve at the bottom of the ocean or in a tomb for a few thousand years.

Good choice, that GOLD!

Go Canada!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Hope, Antidisestablishmentarianism

Thanks to Michael and Emmett for the words.

Edgar sat on the sidelines, hoping against hope, that one day the Homeland Security people would allow him to join their antidisestablishmentarianism club. With their dark suits and their bland ties, always watching, always listening. These were men (and women, of course) whose sole purpose was to catch the bad guys, the lurkers, the disturbers of peace, justice, and the truly American way.

Edgar had a flagpole on his front lawn, and every day he flew his flag with pride. And at the end of the day, he would hum a little taps while he lowered the flag, never allowing it to touch the ground. Folding it was a bit difficult, those marines made it look so easy on television, but as a solo man, he couldn't possibly make as crisp a job of it.

Perhaps that was the reason the Homeland Security people hadn't called.

Edgar decided he would ask around the neighbourhood, and perhaps round up another two or three patriots who could help him each night. There had to be some close by. After all, who wouldn't love this fine country?

Definitely a plan. He would throw in a little something, like some TastyKakes or Twinkies, to add to the enthusiasm.

Saturday, 13 February 2010


Becky's right nostril was larger than the left. By a significant amount, or so she believed each time she studied herself in a mirror.

Which was often.

Becky had issues with self esteem. She believed this trait (she refused to call it a flaw, even though some would argue it might be on the verge of one) had been passed down from one Cavindil mother to another for countless generations. Between their too-thin lips, their larger-than-average thighs, and their under-developed breasts, they had plenty to feel ugly about.

Not to mention the inside issues.

Like how Great-Grandmother Cavindil had believed that the number three was so important that everything in her life revolved around it. Three suitors, three husbands, three children, three doors to the house, three windows built into each wall. Most of the town folk thought she spent too much time intoxicated, but she rarely drank the whisky they all assumed she overindulged in.

Yes, a fine lineage of eclectic weirdnesss.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Chance and Chipmunk

To dabble with chance is to stand in front of a waterfall and hope that you won't get wet. Sometimes the wind is blowing the right way, or the water is slow from too many days without rain, or trees provide shelter from the mist.

Other times, you get wet. Plain and simple. So wet, in fact, that your shoes squeak and your socks squish and your hair will never be the same.

Chance eluded Gus, the same way a chipmunk will avoid humans who seem more intent on wringing its neck than giving it a peanut. Gus would buy lottery tickets, three every week, and he never won. Not on the scratch and win, not on the pick six in 49, and not even in the pull open for charity game, where every third ticket is a winner.

Not Gus's tickets. Nope. He would sit in the mall, near the lottery kiosk, and in his first move, he would carefully scratch each symbol. Sure, sometimes two would match, sometimes more than one pair. But never three, the winning combination. Next, he would pull open the charity cards, revealing an assortment of lemons and cherries, but never the combination that shouted out victory. Finally, he would dig in his pocket for last week's forty-niner, and walk slowly up to the kiosk. The self-help scanner would then inform him, again, that he should try again.

"I always do," he would tell the machine. Funny, but the machine never thanked him, or laughed at his misfortune, or gave him advice.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010


Stacy set a new schedule, penciling in the simplest of tasks. Like waking, eating, and moving. Normally, a person shouldn't have to set a structured time to accomplish these menial, daily functions, and even Stacy found it the tiniest bit absurd to do so. Funny the hoops that others can make one jump through.

Millicent had been chatting with Stacy for three years, and seventeen weeks. These "chats" were actually sessions, of the head shrinking variety, but Millicent found the alternative term set her more fragile clients more at ease. In those particular instances, ease was taken in whichever form it could be found. Even a repeated white lie.

At home, Stacy dug her phone out of her purse and scrolled to the never-used calendar feature. There, after several mistakes, the worst of which erased a picture of a squirrel she had been particularly enamoured with, she taught herself how to enter appointments via the daily sub-menu.

Three intervals of fifteen minutes, allocated at eleven, two, and seven for "movement." Check.

Four sessions of eating, including the all-important evening snack before retiring. Check.

One appointment to wake, and another to put in for the night. Check.

With a shrug, she set the appointments to chime, as a reminder, then placed her phone on the nightstand.

"I'll give anything for this one to work."


When you're sitting on a chair lift, you've got plenty of time to think. About recent events that make you smile, about obstacles that you're still facing, and about the many ways you can improve on who you are and what you've become.

I'm happier than I have ever been and simultaneously, more profoundly sad than I could imagine feeling. This constant dichotomy is straining me in ways I will struggle to describe.

A good, balanced, healthy relationship can truly make your world more positive, more glowing, more full of laughter, and I have been lucky enough to find this miracle. Sure, it took me two tries, and our geographical situation is far from ideal, but simply thinking about him, or looking at a picture of him always brings a smile.

On the other hand, children can be taxing, particularly during the teen years. And though I will not go into any details here, they can bring immense, long-lasting, far-reaching sorrow into your life. Granted, when I consider the possibilities, of how bad things can be, and have been, for the many people who have since shared their own stories, I do feel lucky that my burden isn't so large, or tortured, or horrific.

I still hurt. But the amount of time I will spend grieving lessens, as I discover ways to heal, to get on with life, to look forward rather than backward.

Skiing brought a forgotten thrill -- the speed, the view, the open air, the sky -- I am so glad to have participated.

Monday, 8 February 2010


Euphenal's depiction of human life brought tears to his tutor's eyes.

"You captured them so well, with their drooling and their awkward loping. I've never seen such an accurate xenobiological play performed so beautifully."

"Thank you, sir," said Euphenal. "I've been studying them for several orbits."

"Your hard work paid off." The tutor fluffed Euphenal's eye stocks and spit in his thorax. "I am nominating you for a place on the next student expedition."



Euphenal clicked his pincers together with delight. Such an honour, to be included on the next expedition. But convincing his Queen to allow him to leave the hive for an extended period of time could prove awkward.

His Tutor must have sensed Euphenal's concern, for he said, "The Queens' Council has a pact with the tutorial board, allowing such absences, only if the pupil is properly deserving, and nominated for the trip. I'm sure your Queen will approve your temporary withdrawal from the colony."

The tutor leaned closer, brushing his antennae against Euphenal's, and added, "If I were you, young plick, I would buy her a bowl or two of honekduai at the docking port. Sweets go a long way."

"Great idea." Euphenal began to pack up his study supplies for the day, and added, "I haven't been this elated since the Blipard colony offered free Snuuzkzs."

Sunday, 7 February 2010


The juices of the plum dripped down Serina's face, so that she looked more animal than human. Her first meal since discovering the plum tree, she gorged herself. Cramps pulled and jabbed at her stomach, a sure sign that she would soon lose half the meal, but her hunger spurred her on.

Eat. Live. Eat. For the next meal might be far off.

A noise, from the woods close by. Footsteps? She turned to spot something tiny, no bigger than a squirrel or a cat. A glimpse of brown fur and a huge, fuzzy tail.


The creature scampered closer, chittering and flicking its tail. My plums, no doubt the warning it tried to pass along to Serina. Get your stinking human paws off my tree.

But Serina would not be stalled by a creature as insignificant as a squirrel. A part of her hoped that with a quick jab, she might be eating squirrel stew in a few hours.

Then the little fuzz ball jumped high, taking Serina off guard, and dug its teeth into the flesh above her belt. She batted at it, pain numbing her senses, trying to ward off the beast.

To her horror, the creature had ripped her open, a wound at least ten centimetres in length. Had its teeth been replaced with razors?

She reached for her belly, trying to hold in what used to be on the other side of her skin, where organs belong. The last thing she remembered, before she passed out was the slash of its claws along the tender flesh of her inner wrist.

With a blink, her world faded and the squirrel screeched in victory.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Boy, Den

When I was a boy, I used to sit outside my father's den and listen to him type. When that door was closed, I wouldn't even dream of knocking, let along opening the door. Dad would be immersed in his characters, dreaming of far away places, heroes who saved the girl, and the vile and sinister exploits of their evil nemeses. Sometimes, I would bring my own pad of paper and scribble down stories of my own.

If only I had saved those stories. I bet they would either inspire me, or make me fall off my chair laughing.

But I don't have much from my early days. The fire took it all, my stuffed animals, pictures of me as a baby, and almost every shred of proof that my mother ever existed. All that my father kept of her was the ring he still wore, despite having lost her during my birth. He often told me that he intended to wear the ring forever, even if he found another woman to share his life. She wouldn't mind, so long as the ring was designated "theirs" as well as "hers."

Dad's not much of a dater. As a matter of fact, he rarely leaves the house now. My house, where I've set him up a nice little apartment in the back, to keep on writing, and keep on living, even on the days when breathing is more of a chore than a requirement.

We continue to be inseparable. Perhaps that's why I haven't found a wife of my own, or discovered what it feels like to be a father. Though some would argue that I am my father's father now, or at the very least, his keeper.

Sucks to be old. Sucks to be an only child. Sucks to dream of living instead of actually doing it.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010


The edges of the bowl were caked with dried soup, remnants from the stirring pre-microwave. Shelly had intended to savour the food while it was still hot, but once again, she found herself distracted. By the laundry, the dishes, the phone, her Facebook games, anything and everything to keep her from taking time for herself.

Her therapist called it "self care," but she tended to think of it more as self indulgence. After all, the less eaten, the higher probability that she might fit into her favourite pair of jeans once more. But that's not how life actually worked out, because once she realized how hungry she had become, she would eat way too much for dinner and then regret it, promising herself that tomorrow she would eat the soup, tomorrow she would take that walk along the river, tomorrow she would begin to live the life she wanted to, rather than the one that pushed itself upon her.

Right. Self care. Perhaps it was more than a catch phrase, perhaps it would actually improve the quality of her overall day.

She glanced at the bowl of soup. Now, the top had grown a bit of a skin, but with a stir, it all swirled back together. (Or at least buried itself below the surface in clumps too small to be detected by the casual observer.) A hint of steam escaped, not much, but evidence none the less that what remained in the bowl was not only edible, it might actually border palatable.

Gripping the spoon with a newfound determination, she filled her mouth with the creamy-earthy taste of mushroom soup.

"That'll do." She said to her laptop, then took another mouthful.