Friday, May 29, 2009


~ I'm back this time, I really am.

~ No, really, I'm back. For real.

~ Remember when I didn't post anything? Well, now I'm posting things again.

~ This is coming rather late in the game, but my mother has published a book and also has her own blog: here. The book is called Blooming and is about a Christian woman's spiritual journey. One of the main characters in her book is named Paul, a likable chap who seems both witty and highly employable. If I have one criticism for the book it is that this character has very few lines despite his obvious genius.

~ Don't you hate it when people use clichés like "late in the game"?

~ Don't you hate it when someone tries to get you to agree to a statement by prefacing it with the phrase "don't you hate it when?"

~ I just learned that the reason honey is so easy to digest is that it has already been digested by bees. Makes sense.

~ Laurianne says hi.

~ Actually, she doesn't. She's not here right now, but I would imagine that she would say hi if I asked her to.

~ If any of my readers remember, I used to refer to my horribly disfigured fingernails a lot. Good news, the doctor claims that they should be growing normally by July. Then you never have to hear about them anymore.

~ Unless you want me to. I could write a story about my horribly disfigured fingernails every week if you wanted me to. I really could.

~ Linda and Rachel visited us about four weeks ago. We had a wonderful visit and Linda seemed a lot more like her old self. We went to Don Cherry's for Breakfast and I was amazed at how much Linda could eat. Apparently her nickname around her house is the "garburator." This was given not because she eats garbage, but because she eats a lot of leftovers . . . I think.

~ I have another sister who is famous around my former home for eating some butter that had been discarded into the garbage can. If life were fair, she would be the one called the garburator.

~ Blogger is insisting that I have spelled garburator incorrectly, but after using an online dictionary I believe this is just another case of my vocabulary being more extensive than Blogger's.

~ Here's a quotation that made me think: "Government is an institution that prevents injustice other than such as it commits itself" - Ibn Khaldun.

~ I missed this.

~ This, as in posting things on my blog.

~ A special shout-out to all Peter Tosh fans out there.

~ Quoting from Ibn Khaldun almost made it sound like I was poring over his works and came across that quotation and simply had to write it down. If you want to think that, it's fine with me.

~ Am I the only one who thinks the fact that Beyoncé has an alter-ego named Sasha Fierce is pretty funny? I mean, she presumably sat down, thought up the name Sasha Fierce, and then proceeded to think it was an awesome name to give her alter-ego.

~ My alter-ego's name is Patrick Smith. He's just a regular guy.

~ I doubt many of this blog's readers are fans of Beyoncé. If you are, please comment and I will give a name along with a description of your alter-ego.

~ If you are not a fan of Beyoncé you can still comment, and you can have a cookie. Look in your cupboard, they're probably there.

~ Song of the Moment: Ron Sexsmith - All in Good Time

Monday, May 25, 2009

She walked with a slight shuffle, her long pleated dress swishing against the backs of her round calves. Her curly hair was black but had a purplish tinge when it caught the light a certain way, betraying the dye she used every month. She wore a pair of thick glasses affixed to a chain hanging limply around her shoulders.

"Look who I brought home!" her son announced in semi-triumph.

Her laughlines crinkled as she smiled at her grandson sitting on the couch, "Hi Michael!"

Michael sat stonily on the couch, fiddling obsessively with a small electronic gadget that remained completely alien to her.

"Say hello to grandma, Michael," her son admonished.

She lowered herself slightly, clutching her purse and the precious card she had picked for him that morning. She readied herself for the hug she had been anticipating all week.

Michael's eyes flickered in a moment lazy recognition. "Hello," he mumbled in disinterest.

"Happy Birthday!" she waved the card slightly. It had been too much to hope for a hug, but at least she could have a somewhat enthusiastic reaction. She recalled how her children would wait at the window for hours before the expected arrival of their grandparents.

Michael raised the electronic gadget higher, closer to his furrowed brow.

Her son chuckled, "he loves that thing."

She stood for several long seconds, unsure what to do, "Happy Birthday," she repeated, her voice shrill in her ears.

"Michael, grandma said something to you," her son laughed as if this were just another case of boyish mischief.

Michael nodded absently, "thanks gramma." He tilted the object in his hands and muttered something about one more.

"One more what, dear?" she set her purse on the coffee table and slowly lowered herself onto a chair opposite her grandson.

"One more figibblet before I power up," Michael mumbled, turning his body slightly away from her.

"A figibblet?" she queried, "is that some kind of alien?"

"Nooo," he snorted scornfully with a peel of high-pitched laughter.

She smoothed her dress and peered at her son, hoping for help. But he had become absorbed with his own electronic gadget, carefully fidgeting with the keypad, a look of vacant amusement on his face.

"Michael," she called, as she fingered the envelope with the card. She had arrived at the store at 8:30, unaware that it did not open until 9:00. She had waited patiently for half an hour before a mopey woman with entirely too many ear piercings had sleepily unlocked the sliding barrier and opened the store.

Michael was unresponsive, his thumbs moving with lightning speed as his eyes stared at the small screen in front of him.

"It's my grandson's birthday," she had proudly told the clerk.

The clerk had smiled superficially and had said with veiled apathy, "isn't that nice?"

She had caught the apathy, but had merely smiled as if she were oblivious to it.

"He's turning eleven," she had offered brightly.

"The birthday cards are in that aisle," the clerk had gestured lackadaisically in their direction.

"Thanks pumpkin," she had offered. Pumpkin, oh how she had relished the grimace of distaste from the mopey hipster at the sound of that word.

"Got it," grunted Michael in semi-triumph.

"You got the fuzzgublet?" she queried.

"What the heck is a fuzzgubblet?" snickered Michael. He glanced at her with a strange grin on his face. "You don't know anything, gramma!" he snickered, the word gramma laced with childish derision.

Whatever a fuzzgubblet was, she suddenly had a strong desire to strike him soundly on the bottom with one.

She had carefully perused the cards. Some were silly, illustrated with horribly garish cartoon characters. Others were too serious, as if the eleventh birthday of a child were a sobering milestone on the journey of life. She had quickly thrust a particularly obscure card with strange and silly text back onto the shelf. She had glanced at the clerk who was peering out the window in a fit of hip boredom. She had smiled to herself and immediately decided that the clerk's equally dull and mopey boyfriend had authored that card.

She adjusted the envelope in her hands, holding it up so that Michael could see if he just looked away from his screen, "I have a card for your birthday, Michael. Why don't you open it up?"

"Just a sec," Michael grunted in minor annoyance.

"Now, Michael," his father said, thrusting his own gadget into his pocket, "you need to put that away now."

"Five more miiinutes," whined Michael, "hold your horses."

Michael's father reddened slightly, and then laughed, looking at his mother as if this were a shared joke.

She smiled thinly and almost told her son what a horrible father he was. Instead, she tried to think of an interesting question to ask about his banal accounting job. Just as she opened her mouth, he stirred from where he had been standing in his fidgety way.

"Sorry mom, I have to make a phone call. I'll be right back," he walked away hurriedly, leaving her with Michael.

"Alright dear," she called to his retreating back.

She sat quietly, running her fingers over the envelope. She peered at her grandson.

"Did you get that thing for your birthday, Michael?" she asked gingerly.

"No, I had this for a long time. I got a new game," he said, "but I am beating this one first."

"That's nice," she offered, "what else did you get?"

Michael sighed in exasperation, finally putting down the gadget in resignation, "Gramma, I can't concentrate when you talk to me."

She had been happy when he was born, she told herself. She really had.

"What else did you get?" she asked.

"The new Zugamatchi movie, headphones, and a funky Freddy t-shirt," he tilted his head backwards, looking directly at the ceiling as he recited the list in a bored monotone.

She nodded, fairly certain that she did not care to know what a Zugamatchi was or who funky Freddy might be, "Would you like to see what Grandma got you?"

He stood up, stretching his lanky frame lethargically and then shuffling over to where she sat.

Pam, from Scrabble night, had a cute little grand-daughter in ballet. Theresa, her neighbour for thirty years, had five grandchildren who would probably all have doctorates in nuclear physics to hear her go on about it. She had Michael.

He snatched the envelope from her hands, ignoring the immaculate cursive writing, "to my favourite grandson." She had won awards for her penmanship in elementary school.

After nearly half an hour of carefully looking at the cards, she had finally settled on card decorated with a romanticized painting of a tallship. "Sailing on into the future . . ." was written on the outside. Inside were the simple words, "Happy Birthday, grandson."

"Are you sure?" the clerk had pronounced snidely before ringing her purchase in.

"I'm sure, sweetie-pie," she had grinned.

At home, she had written out her ideas three times on a scrap piece of paper before carefully penning a message of love, advice, and hope for her grandson.

He ripped the envelope open diagonally, pulling the card out carelessly. He opened it, ignoring the script, his eyes following the money that fluttered to the ground.

"Ten dollars?" he queried.

"Wow," he said, "I'm glad I stopped for that."

Suddenly, in her mind, her grandson's face was transfigured into the face of the mopey clerk.

She stood, smiling benevolently at her grandson, "You're welcome, pumpkin." She gathered her purse, and shuffled quickly out of the house, her pleated skirt swishing wildly against her round calves.

She would take the bus home.

Who deh?