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enough sleep
2004-08-31-- Posted by: allegra

I can now post any picture and it automatically resizes. The ghost in the machine has spoken!

Things are cruising along nicely. I could complain, but who's listening?

I had a really good email exchange with a customer a couple of days ago. I think most of my job is figuring out how smart the customer is and tailoring the response to his or her particular requirements. I wish I could be loving and tolerant toward stupid people - I'm working on it but it's a hard, hard slog.

Pete Seeger quote on 12 string guitars.... "You spend half your time tuning, and half your time playing out of tune."

enough sleep
2004-08-30-- Posted by: allegra

Picture my astonishment (thus the blank) when we got home from singing and playing last night and Katie was already home, in fine form from another evening out taking pictures with her brand spanking new digital camera.

Another loverly evening at Tom and Peggy's - this time I put a flea in Doug F.'s ear about how he should drag around his fiddle. And he did. Then he sang, to my astonishment, Willie's Diamond Joe (he is apparently an avid Willie P Bennett fan) not knowing that I have worked up amazing harmonies to this tune - and I did not, as they say, hold back.

Paul did not play all that much but he says he had a grand time, and we'll do it all again at our house on September the 19th. John was Mr. Entertainment AGAIN. And Keith did his Darwin's version of Never Set the Cat on Fire, which was well received, and I sang C19H2802 and Paul sang Co-Pilot.

Last night I dreamed a snake started following Paul around (heeling like a dog), and we (a gang of people I know and don't know) went to a retreat to think and write. It was set in a forest much like Cathedral Grove - that entish green filtered light. I also dreamed I descended a four storey metal-but-not-particularly-rickety ladder very very fast because I hate ladders and was trying to get it over with as soon as possible.

Tonight we're taking Akiko to supper, Wednesday I go see Sally for my first Costume Consult and hopefully there will be some curriculum planning in the next week.

Sigh. Why can't church just be FUN all the time?

Woodn't you like to fix your car
2004-08-30-- Posted by: allegra

This is what I walked by this morning on my way to Peggy's house.

enough sleep
2004-08-30-- Posted by: allegra

Ah yes. There is a ghost in the machine, and his name is Glen. Some of you may be aware that the picture with the snake was the size of a dinner table; Glen held his peace for a couple of days and then without comment resized it.

The first time my website was live, it had nothing but a bunch of pornographic writing in it; that pesky spirit. I'm a pro porn feminist, so I was irritated without being scandalized. Most of my irritation came from a feeling I get rather more often than I ought, which is HEY I can do better than *that*.

People who know me know my flinching muscles work over time. I am an extremely tic'y kinda person, and I actually sat down and tried to review all of my personal tics, and I'm too smart to write the list down anywhere but it certainly got interesting before I lost track of how many I have. Then I reviewed a list of all the things that can happen during sex to make me completely reset to zero, and that made me want to phone Paul and apologize to him; I must be a sore trial to that man. Strangely he only really complains once in a long while. Really, the inside of my head never ceases to be of more fascination than television, lawn bowling (I typed blowing at first, and wish I'd left it that way) and everything else except the internet.

Pic is Paul's.

who's that girl
2004-08-29-- Posted by: allegra

Katie's having fun with the camera.

nowhere close to enough sleep
2004-08-28-- Posted by: allegra

Random pic, taken somewhere close to home. Had a great time at Jim and Carol's last night. Saw the Otto-man, Jerome, Megan & Jenna & Sergei, Tom U., Brian C, Chari (who was in fine form on the subject of marriage), Sarah & Ian, Jim and Carol of course and their neighbour Heather who's just back from a year in Europe. Mike bailed, no reason given.

Today the board retreat - was supposed to provide coffee and I bought some but of course I am not a decaf drinker so I had to phone Michael and ask him to ask Elaine to pack some, as it doesn't occur to me to purchase it, shudder. Decaf. I spit at decaf!

Katie was home before we were, phoned up asking plaintively where we were. Nice to have the shoe leather on other foot sez I. Keith is going to try to make the Saturday Karate class. And ask a girl out. Wish him luck.

I hate
2004-08-28-- Posted by: allegra

animated smiley faces in business f*cking email correspondence!!! Jumping Jiminy Crickets but that p*sses me right off. I KNOW people mean well, but grrrrr ......

Lexi if you're reading this the link to the parody of Never Set the Cat on Fire (and there was a guy convicted of that today, fancy that!? found at is at I laughed until I cried the first time I tried to sing my way through that. Keith is inordinately fond of it as well.

I experienced the embarrassment of having my clothing disassemble as I was coming down the stairs to lunch today. Of all the stupid days NOT to wear a bra, there I am, gone SPUNG into space so I have to skate off into the bathroom clutching my chest. Managed to fix my zipper but I'm scared to breathe now. Watch it happen again at the party tonight, but I'll be two beers gone and find it amusing instead of paralyzing. Hey Mike! My clothing flew apart and you weren't there! Just kidding. I suppose it could be worse, I could have done that in front of a bunch of investors. On the other hand... no, let's NOT go there.

I did phone Katie (it's an item of clothing she frequently wears) and politely ask her if she'd booby-trapped it. So to speak. Every word of this is true, I have witnesses. Unfortunately, they are all too traumatized to corrugate my story at the moment. (Roger Rabbit reference, that wasn't a typo.)

Imagine a company
2004-08-27-- Posted by: allegra

That has an accident between an aircraft and a truck on the ramp at a major international airport. The accident happened off an active runway while the aircraft was being towed. No idea what happened to the tow truck driver - he should have been disciplined at the very least, because he was going too fast. The tow bar snapped and sheared off the tow pin, then the aircraft (which didn't have any fuel in it and was therefore light and 'hoppy') bounced into the air and came down on the truck in a variation of the 'jackknife' accident so well known to Canadian highway drivers. Since Canadians specialize in 'expensive f*ckups that don't kill anybody' nobody was even injured.

Anyway, although I am not going to reproduce them here, out of respect for the lawyers at Air Canada, Paul was able to walk up to where the work was being done and take pictures. The guys are doing beautiful work on the belly skin (and a couple of structural members, alas), getting it fixed up again and back into service, and as they have nothing to be ashamed of I'm glad Paul got pix. I find it interesting that Paul is by no means the only person who's wandered in there with a digital camera and absolutely no attempt has been made to stop him; he's wearing the uniform and has the badge, so nobody said a thing.

nowhere close to enough sleep
2004-08-26-- Posted by: allegra

there's a lot of beauty going begging

and a lot of sorrow going unassuaged

Anyway Mike was over for dinner last night. Fed him lasagna. Keith got his learners permit and went for his green belt grading yesterday AND he worked at Habitat for Humanity's Re-store, so he had a day crowded with life and incident. Paul went to watch and take pictures with our NEW DIGITAL CAMERA and I should be posting pics but I'm feeling too lazy too find them. One of the girls at the grading patted Keith on the bum. I said in my understanding girls don't look for excuses to touch boys they don't like. Katie took some nice pix of Pokey but once again I'm feeling lazy. I took a picture of Cousin Itt, which is this weird thing around the corner from where I live and if I ever get a GOOD pic of Cousin Itt I'll post it. Taking pictures is harder than it looks.

2004-08-25-- Posted by: allegra

Minister Katie Stein Sather had a letter published in the Sun today. My Katie disappeared with the new camera last night, prompting Paul to nearly blow a head valve, as they say, but of course she brought it home safe and sound, and loaded with pictures of her .... friends. Not much else to report.

enough sleep - the unconquerable
2004-08-25-- Posted by: allegra

I have come to regret ever volunteering for the youth program at church. My heart tells me I am still doing the right thing, but I look at this pile of well meaning literature (which has come to my hand like the dreck of ages as oozed by VERY Nice 'n' Earnest Humans) and have to suppress a shudder. I will do it their way because that's what they're expecting, but I think about the Correction that is coming and I have to suppress another form of nervous tremor, which is me envisioning a Unitarian Gun Club. I mean really, if you were cursed with an imagination that could think up the Unitarian Gun Club without suffering cranial herniation........ I am a sad sad puppy, and need to think about other times, things and higher stuff.

I committed labour unrest the other day, by reporting a bus driver for using a cell phone - while manipulating the bus MY preciousss heinie was parked on. Under normal circumstances this would generate an unproductive but bilious fury. Under these circumstances, which I am about to relate, which I witnessed with my two (still barely functioning) eyes, which really happened to me and belong to me until my neurons part with them - under these circumstances I did not transform into a dove but into a f*cking stool pigeon. Dear friends, relations, neighbours and strangers, there was a family of FIVE GERMAN TOURISTS in the front, aged 15 to 50, the boy and girls as bleached and Teutonic and GORGEOUS as it is possible to get without lurching into parody, the parents trim, big featured and intelligent looking. The looks on their faces as they watched the driver answer his phone and then PULL OUT OF THE STATION should, by rights, have knocked the phone out of his hand and onto the street. Now even then, all my relations, I might have kept my little cheese-eating paws in my pockets and swallowed the river of molten lava/bile that was mounting in me like the cork pressure behind Krakatoa's little urk, BUT he made a mistake. He WAS TALKING ABOUT HOW MUCH HE WAS GOING TO MAKE ON OVERTIME as he was on the phone. What's a good citizen to do? Of course I ratted him out. Three f*cking strikes baby.

As the Bible says, a puppy will go back to its puke (okay, I'm paraphrasing, but not by much) I will go back into the mopes and wails of my life, telling them over like a rosary made of fossilized porcupine sh*t, ever so tactile. I guess the thing that makes me saddest (or maybe sadist, they're pronounced the same way in my dialect) is thinking that teaching these kids peace love and understanding is not really gonna help them that much when the crap hits the fan. So I am not really inclined to teach principals that won't keep you alive when evil men pack weapons, but I know that I must or abandon the post.

It says that a youth advisor must be drug free. I happen to really like beer, although I don't imagine that I'll drink that much around.

As a Canadian woman, I would be a fool, and the worst kind of feminist (in other words, impractical in my understanding of human nature) not to acknowledge the role that many thousands of Canadian men and women played in giving me the life I have today by valiantly parting with life in local and foreign wars on behalf of my ancestors, and the ancestors of the governors of my part of the world. I don't believe for two seconds that anybody deserved to die in the conflicts of this last or any other century (okay Ceaucescu), but democracy is worth dying for (the ideal, not the nation state), if only because it seems the single chance for the improvement of self government.

Okay the boys are back from F 9/11 so I guess I'd better get away from the computer. I still think I'd like to teach UU Youth to blow things up, but I'll have a hard time getting THAT on the curriculum.

here comes a twister
2004-08-23-- Posted by: allegra

Tornado Pictures, All Rights Reserved, Scott Newton, 2004 (Permission to use pictures granted. Please give attribution to Scott Newton)

This is the highest twister ever recorded in the continental US (taken at Rockwell Pass in Sequoia National Park, ABOVE 3500 feet). The streaks are hail. Much thanks to Scott for specifically allowing reprint with attribution. The rest of the pics are pretty amazing too. Please do not forward pic without attribution.

You gotta admit, digital photography really rocks. The hail was alley-sized and fell for - get this - an HOUR.

Finally finished my cloak.

enough sleep
2004-08-22-- Posted by: allegra

Last night I dreamed that John Kerry, with a straight face, offered to be p*ss tested, and asked that his worthy opponent do the same. I woke up chuckling. I'm sure the Repulsigans would just love that. "I'm sorry, John, but the President's urine is none of your concern." "How dare he make the president's urine an election issue?" While all the Dem pundits go, "Of course he's refusing, let's speculate on what he has to hide!!!"

Watched the Michael Moschen tape again last night. It's on its last legs. Ma, if you're reading this can you ask pOp if he would be so kind as to rip me one (if you folks still have the original)? The only way we could watch it was if Keith rested his heel on top of the VCR to keep the tape stuffed a little further down into the track. Otherwise I'm going to have to go on ebay and see if somebody can't sell me a copy. I'm also looking for a copy of Blown Sideways through Life; if anybody has one I'll gladly pay for one.

I just made peach duff and I'm going to leave you soon to go consume it. Then shower, off to the down town church to return the labyrinth, then off to Stef's bar b q and then we'll figure out what else to do depending on the weather. Dave D is getting married today. I really hope the weather cooperates a bit more.

Dropped 417 dollars at the vet's yesterday. Another 800 waiting in the wings - as suspected Zeek!'s teeth are bothering him. Kira apparently has asthma, which I don't believe for a minute. I figure as soon as she has some of her other health problems cleared up (and the vet said she was an amazingly fit cat all things considered) she'll quite horking every evening. Considering we've never spent a nickel on them except for shots and food, and we've had them six years, we can't complain.... we just have to amortize the cost..... Kira was an angel at the vet... Zeek! does NOT do pills. He bites and wiggles like a snake.

not enough sleep
2004-08-21-- Posted by: allegra

Well you can tell Katie's back in town. At 10:30 JJ and Billy showed up with Natasha and two other boys and started verbally abusing her - Natasha not bothering to say a thing in her defence all the while - so she left for the skate park, shrugging and ignoring them. Fifteen minutes later they are still - all five of them, standing in easy earshot and yelling and carrying on so I asked them to kindly move along so I could sleep, no doubt getting sworn sotto voce at as they immediately and without demur walked away.

At 11:37 pm - Jesus - every light in the house was off do you suppose this kid could have collected a clue, some knob bangs on the door and rings the doorbell twice yelling for Katie. I didn't even bother going down to the f*cking door, I just yelled at him from the sun room that Katie was not there and it was a little late, didn't he think, to be disturbing people who have to be a work at 7 a f*cking m in the morning the next day? He apologized and skated off. Have no idea when Katie got home from the skate park but her shoes are here and her door is closed.

Keith appears to have had a wonderful trip and was very pleased that the Frank magazine was here when he got home.

2004-08-21-- Posted by: allegra

Pic provided by Rob and LJ from their kayaking trip to Widgeon Creek last week. The Great Blue Heron is my totem animal.

enough sleep
2004-08-20-- Posted by: allegra

Sure was nice to see Rob and LJ at Carol's last night. I second Dan's candle and raise it with a big plea for keeping my trap shut. I figure how I'm going to go is to have a massive stroke that takes out the talking side of my brain, and everybody will sigh in relief at getting a word in edgewise. No interesting dreams or family dramas to report so see you after Katie and Keith get back. Send me furry animal pictures, golblarnit. Or I'll post those nasty pictures of Michelle Malkin I found on the web recently. Paul continues to be pleasant to be around - he's still happy he went flying, and so, by extension, am I. Don't forget to wash your hands. A lot. Soap is our friend.

today's mgmt tip
2004-08-19-- Posted by: allegra

Suck UP. Bite DOWN.

Little furry animals
2004-08-19-- Posted by: allegra

Winkie and Spud.

As you can see, the phrase 'they get along as well as a dog and a cat' really depends on the critters involved.

These animals own Mike, and crew-ell-eee force him to toil in the salt mines to buy them treats and keep them in luxurious (and remarkably work-free) accommodations. Winkie has very nice markings, in my opinion, a long and slender tail, and a one man cat kind of disposition. Spud is more of an obsession than a dog. Bone idle and a suck for attention, she coasts through life on her sunny personality.

nowhere close to enough sleep
2004-08-19-- Posted by: allegra

In the words of the immortal Martha Ballard, my comforters are much as Job's were.

My initial hunch that I would be better off not calling any of my friends about what's going on right now was borne out; fortunately my family is being a lot more sensible about it. Nobody else believes - or appears to believe - that Katie will smarten up while she's living with me; my loosey-goosey style of parenting would likely prevent this from happening. I go through phases when I want to kick her out, but they don't last. I should steel my spine and just say, you don't respect me, out you go. "She needs to go to someplace with a LOT of rules." "You've done your best, it's time to get out of the situation." It's like I'm the only person who believes she'll smarten up, and I'm being gently rebuked for thinking so. The alternative, according to my friends, is that she's going to end up dead, hard drug addicted or on the street selling herself or some dreadful combo thereof. Katie, if you're reading this can you email (names deleted but available on request) and let them know that these - while interesting and dramatic life experiences - aren't in your immediate plans? You might want to add something about how you have two parents, as well.... I mean, if you want to.

Interesting dreams. In one, Peter and Cheryl announced that they were going back to South Africa (and a very DIFFERENT lunch bunch all screamed about it, going on at length at what a bad idea it was (there were a bunch of people there, but it wasn't my usual lunch bunch from work)). But they were adamant. That's bloody weird, cause I can't imagine them doing that except to visit.

Next, I was molested by forest trolls (picture the Egyptian god Bes except green and furry and two feet tall) and gotten beaten until I couldn't see when I was spirited enough to bite one.

Then I was watching a giant picking up two little people, howling at them, "I'll grind your bones to make my bread" at which point one said, "How unsavory!" and the other said, "How un .... sanitary!" Where'd that come from? Paul thinks he knows, see below. Also in other news from dreamland, Glen and I worked at the same place and seven people were laid off and we were both on notice that we were next and Glen said, "You'd better get your resume up to date!"

Then I had to fill out customs papers on a Hungarian typewriter. From the script of Starman "Weird you want, weird you get." But I swear, officer, I did NOT melt that man's lugwrench.

Snap back to reality, drum roll please. Paul was dreading going into work this morning, and rightly so. Air Canada skated out of bankruptcy by renegotiating all the union deals, all the deals with suppliers and creditors (same thing) and of course it made a deal with Cara. People on the bottom of the Cara Foods organization do NOT make what I consider a living wage (specially in THIS burg). Air Canada wrung concessions from Cara and then Cara blithely asked some very poorly paid, mostly immigrant, sandwich cutters and food preparers, if they could offer up some bone mass for the next Air Canada passengers' meal in the form of wage concessions. I know that conservatives will argue that there is no moral difference between getting a 5% concession out of a regional pilot who makes 70K a year and getting a 5% concession out of a sandwich cutter who makes 20K a year, (and the market will reward sandwich cutters who improve their educations, etc.) but conservatism aside, there's a practical difference. Full marks if you spot it. Anyway, Paul, who has already had his pay packet lightened by some hundreds of dollars a month (and is content to keep still for it if he keeps his job, true so far, and the management quits p*ssing away money on paint jobs and VPs of French Communication, which so far is not true - 27 VP's for a company in bankruptcy protection???? I prob'ly don't have the number right but Paul hauled out the org chart a while ago and we reviewed it with bile, liberally mixed with disbelieving fury), is furious on behalf of the Cara employees. He is so upset that I can't repeat what he said because it's the kind of things that makes lawyers turn green, then slowly flush. Anyway, Cara is on strike effective today, so I'm sure the food purveyors in the airports will be smart enough to make bag lunches for the masses - or will they? Capitalism is not as quick off the mark as everybody says it is. Sorry I'm writing so parenthetically, I've got a mind like a trash compactor.

I went over to Hank and Margaret's last night. Terence was utterly charming - he kept running up to me and patting my leg and then running away. I collected 'the story so far' of the youth curriculum and at least we got that out of their basement - and into our front room. Paul grumbling throughout.

I have to confirm if it's circle tonight and then we pick up the kids tomorrow. Another grisly day awaits. Okay, it isn't grisly, I'm just spoiled. And seeing as how I've gone off, maybe it's time for a shower.

marmot sighted
2004-08-18-- Posted by: allegra

Head for the hills! Provided by Brother Jerome, taken at Garibaldi. PLEASE SEND FURRY ANIMAL PICTURES, especially if they are digital, reasonably detailed or have a good story connected with them. This means you, Glen and LJ!.

I will have to make a second post for the second picture as you can't post more than one picture at a time in a single post with this software.

marmot sighted
2004-08-18-- Posted by: allegra

Head for the hills! Provided by Brother Jerome, taken at Garibaldi. PLEASE SEND FURRY ANIMAL PICTURES, especially if they are digital, reasonably detailed or have a good story connected with them. This means you, Glen and LJ!.

I will have to make a second post for the second picture as you can't post more than one picture at a time in a single post with this software.

not enough sleep
2004-08-18-- Posted by: allegra

Have confirmed that both of the kids are coming home on Friday night. I am just dazzled at the email I got from Keith. Apart from the one typo (and hell, I've made some dandies) it was a masterpiece; entertaining, informative, well constructed and droll as all get out. He really didn't sound like an 18 year old man except in his enthusiasms. (Boys and toys). Anyway, he actually did get to shoot at things and is claiming good accuracy. (I'm a pretty boy! I'm a bright boy! - which is actually a quote from Frank Magazine which Keith and I use all the time - the follow up is a dour "Please! Silent affirmations!!)).

Glen is trying to get me to use wordpress which will make this site a lot more interactive, but I am being somewhat Luddite and having problems with the back end. I mean I log on and look at things but I don't really know how to do stuff, so I think I'm going to have to admit my ignorance and get some coaching. I did download it and the documentation looks really good.

Various people I've lit virtual candles for are doing better, so that's a bonus. Anyway, if I'm going to make the bus I'd better assemble my feces and fly. Completely inadequate in the sleep department. My eyes are squeaking again and I'm yawning convulsively and repeatedly.

Was very pleased to hear that Meg the Temp is going to be with us until September. The department she's going into is short staffed. I would run out of adjectives to describe how badly.

2004-08-18-- Posted by: allegra

Pictured is the newest bird, the Calayan Rail. Locals call it a piding. I have to ask, how the hell did the wildlife biologists miss a bird that's wearing conspicuity garments? Native to the Philippines but not for long, apparently. They found it while it was on the verge of extinction.

not enough sleep
2004-08-17-- Posted by: allegra

Katie is coming home on Friday. I am really looking forward to seeing her. Don't know when Keith is due back. I cut the cloak out last night but Paul insisted on going for a walk so I hope to get at actually sewing it up tonight.

I light a virtual candle for some people who have very troubled times right now. It grieves me when my friends are having difficulties and feeling like life isn't worth living. It's hard not to feel overwhelmed.

enough sleep
2004-08-16-- Posted by: allegra

Pokey ran away AGAIN last night. We had a choice between ranging up and down the neighbourhood, rendering the joint hideous with our howls of POKEY! PO-O-O-O-KEY! or going to Chong Lum Hin for Singapore style noodles (and a side of spring rolls). This, as any fool can plainly see, was a no brainer. Upon our return, I called Pokey's name and he trotted up from the back yard, making "I'm a pretty boy, I'm a bright boy" prr-ping noises, leaped into Paul's arms and demanded his dinner. Really, I think I did the right thing. The fence is finished, may the saints be praised, and now it's on to the next chore.

enough sleep
2004-08-15-- Posted by: allegra

Yes, I will admit it, I am a complete pantywaist. After many years of flying a desk, a day of physical labour - and I wasn't even HAULING things just painting - I am a complete physical wreck. Had a great, extremely visually interesting dream last night which included going to London England with Paul and browsing through an animatronic antique shop (quite startling, as I wasn't expecting it) doing mental math to try to figure out how much things cost and going to a party which was extremely surreal and quite indescribable - I tried describing it to Paul and I kept not being able to talk.

Ate at the Pho Hong last night. Paul narrowly dissuaded from trying Durian ice cream.

Given my current state of mind, I am glad I have no more housemates than Paul to deal with, and he's being pretty damned civilized.

Pokey was out on his leash most of yesterday. He appeared to be having a wonderful time and finally went back inside of his own accord, at which point Paul untied and fed him.

If the gods are kind and the fates propitious, I hope to go shopping for a digital camera today. I've more or less given up on the notion that I'll even start let alone finish, the cloak. The amount of thought we put into purchases is quite amusing. Drop 1200 bucks on a rug? (Like we did when we vacationed on Pender). No prob. Spend $300 on a 4 megapixel camera? More thought than goes into a Papal Encyclical.

Anyway, I am aching all over (my hands are so stick like I can scarcely type) and I am looking forward with happiness to returning to my air conditioned eyrie on Monday. And the bloody fence isn't finished.

enough sleep
2004-08-15-- Posted by: allegra

We're finally painting the fence. We've been at it since 9 this morning and it's five thirty now, I just took an extended break. Tom and Peggy wanted to take us out to Sasamat but I can't deal with any more exercise and any more sun, and really I should be out there working, so I'll suck back the last of the Lemonlimade and it's bye for now. I suspect I'll have no trouble whatsoever sleeping tonight, I feel like I could curl up right now and crash.

Free Range Rant
2004-08-13-- Posted by: allegra

Shown here me, as the dark goddess of customer service. My costume this year will be even better. Snicker. Found a clawhammer on the stairs the other day coming in to work and handed it over to SFU security. It was a NICE hammer, and I did briefly think of liberating it in the name of the revolution. I bounce around between feeling ill, weak, perky, strange, okay and overwhelmed. I'm working on a new song. Off to Glen and Marilyn's tonight. Uneasy feeling it may be dinner, but I have no details. Earliest we'll be getting there is 7:30 given when Paul's getting home from work these days. Loved Wonkette's column about the NJ Governor resignation. August *is* National Anal Sex month, so I'm kinda scratching my head about the timing, but life is like that. Didn't see any Perseids; sleep beckoned like a man with a cold beer on a hot day. Wake me up when it's National Free Beer Month. In other news Keith's going to visit his great unca Barry and great ontie Jacquie this weekend and hopefully learn something about projectiles. Katie phoned yesterday and appears to be fine, but she can't get MSN to work over at Grandpas, which does NOT surprise me.... It's a great train ride up to Courtenay - I envy Keith. Nita and her friend Kaitlyn (sp) stayed briefly Wednesday night when they were locked out of where they were supposed to sleep. Lois is off to Mexico doing her 'mission junkie' thing. Damned Mennonites, always making peace and building things and feeding people. Don't they know it's a Doggy Dog world!? Anyway she's going to build another house, with a lot of other people. John's off to Nakusp for the Beemer rally. He's never been to the Hot Springs so he's in for a treat, they are stunning. Got to listen to him tell Joy why he's not joining the church last night. Accurate and not nice, but at least we all know. Circle last night. Good to see Dan... he's all relaxed from Hornby Island. Peggy brought an IMMENSE pinky purple dahlia flower, just stunning, and we sucked back lemonlimade (home made) and rude amounts of blue cheese and a whole pineapple. (And yes, we lit candles and meditated in there too, outside because it was extra crispy in the house and delicious on the back deck). I have finally learned how to select pineapple so I guess I've accomplished something in the last year. With the kids and John gone we'll have a fighting chance of getting some work done this weekend (we are eyeing the fences with some distaste), and if the weather holds hopefully get some Wreck time on Sunday afternoon. Got a postcard from Linda, old family friend addressed to me and my exhusband. I haven't lived with the guy in almost a quarter of a century, so needless to say, in my current fragile state of mind it was enough to practically give me hysterics, and I have actually talked to Phil (my ex) in the last week (he's fine) so it all neatly snicked together. Third conversation with a customer in as many weeks about Burningman - this one was entirely seductive and wild. I will go next year, but only if Paul buys us a bus. Or maybe we'll fly in. Coworker astonished that I know who Annie Dillard is. Really, it's amazing how big life is when it isn't 100% television. I know Hakim Bey (the Luddite butthead that he is) insists on staying away from the Internet, but I think he's missed the point (and I admit he's cool anyway). Not only will the revolution not be televised, it will be distributed, and a fool be him who does not believe. I am very worried about Michelle Malkin. I don't think the woman is well. For a member of a visual minority (I mean visible, but that was a cute typo) to be arguing for racial profiling and internment of enemy aliens is bad enough; but for her to be doing it while apparently harbouring a tapeworm is just gross. See a doctor, girl! What makes me howl is thinking what would happen in the popular press in Canada if she tried to pull that sh*t here. Multicultural mobs of children in ethnic dance costumes would be lobbing pies at her. Mm. Pie.

enough sleep
2004-08-12-- Posted by: allegra

23 years. Paul and I - as previously explained - celebrate our anniversary in triplicate. This is nifty, in my opinion. Anyway, I got enough sleep and now I'm taking a brief break from washing up the joint for circle tonight to blog.

I can't believe what's happening in Najaf. I don't think many spots are HOLY, per se, but if American tanks were running over my recently buried grandmother I think I'd be a little choked, and not exactly telling my kids not to fire on the interlopers.

Read in that Wayne Madsen got a good look, via a computer screen at the GOP campaign headquarters, at the Republican polling data. It is becoming increasingly obvious that the polls that are being published in the popular press have nothing to do with reality, except this - the GOP are going to steal the next American election, again, the tactics from the last election having worked so well. They will disenfranchise minorities. Have you heard that the American election will be monitored internationally? Why isn't the popular press crying with shame, trembling with anguish? Oh yeah, two hurricanes are going to hit Floriduh simultaneously. The last Canadian federal election was a cockup from a number of different perspectives but by God I know my vote got counted. And so did everybody else's who walked into the polling station that day, no matter what the hell colour they were.

It's like have a neighbour who's psycho. It doesn't matter that you're normal, you have to deal with this crazy guy.

Our down the alley neighbour is teasing us to get the fence painted, now that it's been powerwashed.

enough sleep
2004-08-12-- Posted by: allegra

Children dispatched to Victoria. Feel like articulate scrap. Intend to cocoon tonight. Pic sort of covers it.

life goes on Part II
2004-08-11-- Posted by: allegra

Arden. Cute!

life goes on
2004-08-11-- Posted by: allegra

From Tom U., basalt columns in Keremeos.

not enough sleep
2004-08-11-- Posted by: allegra

To preserve the dignity and privacy of the people involved I will not give an account of the events of the last 48 hours. Keith and Kate are going to Victoria (and up island) for a while, possibly for a chunk of the rest of the summer, and that's a good idea as far as everybody is concerned.

I would like to thank Debbie S., Gary D., my mother, Peggy, Glen, Paul, Keith, John, Tom L., Mike, Sheila E. and her colleagues for the material and emotional support over the last little while. Anybody who's wondering what the hell is going on can call me.

not enough sleep
2004-08-11-- Posted by: allegra

Bad night's sleep, had to take Katie to the hospital this morning, staggered into work about 12:30. I'm so angry and upset I can't post anything more, and for privacy reasons probably shouldn't post anything more.

Out ya go
2004-08-10-- Posted by: allegra

I am tired of the lying, the thieving, the drinking and the laziness. Katie is not acting like she wants to live with us, and she's spending most evenings elsewhere, so I am going to ask her politely to move out. She has a lot of fans. She could probably couch surf and mooch food for a year before she noticed she wasn't living here any more. She has stolen $30 in the last 3 days, turns my phone off the second she leaves the house with it, and has not done anything useful in weeks.

Buh bye!

Cool cat
2004-08-10-- Posted by: allegra

Alice again. Thanks to Peter Thomson for continuing to provide an unending supply of cute kitty pictures.

enough sleep
2004-08-09-- Posted by: allegra

Yes, I finally got enough sleep. Was completely zoned yesterday from lack of sleep, and worried as hell because Katie did not answer her phone all day and did not come home last night, although she finally phoned and said she was staying at Natasha's around 10 pm. Perked up a little in the evening and read the first three chapters of A Zoo in My Luggage by Gerald Durrell to Keith and John, both of whom roared with laughter at the descriptions of various 'beef' (animals in Pidgin English) and the hunters that caught them. Pic was chosen at random.

I am actually feeling not half bad. Hope you all are too.

not enough sleep
2004-08-08-- Posted by: allegra

Saw Festival Express last night. Really great concert/documentary movie, amazing footage of Buddy Guy, the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin.

Also saw the finale to the fireworks. My word, but there were a lot of people there.

We were at the foot of Burrard.

Thought about going to the beach today but I am inadequately rested. Sun and exhaustion often equal migraine for me, so I'm giving Wreck a pass today. Paul is up at Hope and flying back shortly - he sounds like he had a fabulous time.

No sign of Katie and she's not answering her phone - it's now about 12:30 in the afternoon.

enough sleep
2004-08-07-- Posted by: allegra,3605,1276787,00.html

Bloody brilliant, is all I can say. Read it if you have the time. There are lines in that excerpt from a book which I would cheerfully kill to have written.

Yesterday Char's first child, a son named Arden, was born, and he and his mother and dad are all doing fine. Tom U., Paul, Jim E. and I went to the Golf Course to toast his existence and then I managed to talk Tom U. into going to the night market with our family to meet up with Mike.

I had a simply fabulous time although it wasn't until after I subsidized it that I found out I'd helped Katie purchase a switchblade. As Mike said wryly, I know something the customs inspectors missed. Anyway there were heaps of interesting things there; I purchased a stocking stuffer for my dad and a ring for myself, neither of which came close to breaking a ten spot. Paul said the best thing about it was the food, and the food was pretty damned good.

I am feeling in a philosophical mood today, but there's no reason I should spoil YOUR day by talking about it.

Paul is going to a fly in up at the Hope Airport with Mike J. and it's an overnight campout so he won't be back til it's time to go to the beach tomorrow. What a life, eh? He spent a miserable 30 seconds (during which my face nearly caved under the strain of not smiling) trying to explain how much work there was to do on the house and OF COURSE I said that now that the drains work and John's kitchen doesn't have a divot in the floor he was a free man as far as I was concerned. I'll be dropping him off around 1 at which point I'll come back here and work on my cloak, I promise. SHEEEESSSHH I better take the plum duff out of the oven. Arhhh. That's better. It's so pretty, such a saturated purply red.

The plum crop - purple freestones - was truly stupendous this year, and the cider pear crop looks to be outrageous as well. I have to admit Tom and Peggy's plums were awfully good - a brilliant yellow and juicy - but I like the colour of these ones. I don't think I added enough sugar but that won't bother Paul. I should probably poke my head out the door and tell him it's ready.

There's a home down the alley for men who've had brain injuries or were born with subnormal intelligence and one of them - I don't know which it is - howled for a good half hour this morning. A clear case of existential angst. Somebody hearing him for the first time - I'm almost used to it - would think that he was being murdered. Anyway, I am doing quite okay today.

Katie report... she skated off as soon as she got home from the night market (round 10 after 11 last night) and hasn't reappeared since and it's 9:30 am. I assume if she'd shanked somebody in the interim we would have heard about it, so I imagine she's sleeping on the floor in Billy's basement, again. Or maybe she's at Natasha's. Or maybe JJ's. I'm not even going to bother calling her.... I figure she'll show up about two, completely scrubbed out and entirely unapologetic.

I should make some phone calls re church. If only all the people I loved all loved each other.

I just found out that Keira Knightley has signed autographs in the nude. The professionalism of some people never ceases to amaze me. Instead of telling her fans, "ExCUSE me, I just finished working out and I'd like to f*cking well put me trews on" she just signed away. If she's like this at 19 she'll be quite the piece of work when she's older and can really express herself! Actually I can hardly wait for the next Pirates movie - hoping against hope it will be as good as the last one. You know I could just keep on typing, and I've only had one cup of coffee.

And Matt Damon wants to make a character driven porn film. If he doesn't hire Marilyn Chambers as a creative consultant, I'm gonna be really miffed. But if he takes the advice of that Hollywood insider and calls it the Porn Identity, I'm really gonna get mad.

enough sleep
2004-08-06-- Posted by: allegra

This entry is an excuse to post a picture. This is Henry.

Night market tonight. Hope it quits raining.

Actually I hope it keeps raining, we need it.

Hiroshima Day today. May we pause and take notice of and warning from this horrible event in the life of humankind. There's an event at the Nikkei Centre tonight to commemorate, with a survivor. John is going.

Hope to start my cloak (and finish it) this weekend.

enough sleep
2004-08-05-- Posted by: allegra

phone rings about 6:30 last night and it's Paul, sounding all cheerful. he says.... did you remember our anniversary and I had to say I didn't. Does that not give the most amazing flavour to our relationship? I'm the one that forgets anniversaries. And you know, even if he'd forgotten too, I would have laughed later if I'd remembered, because I just don't give two hoots about this artificial stuff. (We celebrate three anniversaries in August - the first one is the anniversary of the day we met. the second is exactly a week later and no details are provided. The third is exactly a week after that and it's the anniversary of the day we went to housekeeping. Considering how fast we took each other on it amazes me we're still together, but there you go.)

he took me to Milestones and I ate steak and prawns and TWO STELLAS. He had seafood fettucine and he WOULDN'T BUY ME DESSERT and I'm assuming that's because I drank my dessert. We reviewed the last 23 years and I toasted him for giving me two beautiful children. And he told me to get off my ass and turn my novel "the House on Summerhill" into a movie script.

Mike took Katie out for sushi and fireworks last night.

I shaved John's head when I got home. I don't know why but I really enjoy cutting hair when I've had a few.

Astronomy Picture of the day is great today. Some sports picture today had the caption that some basketball player had a game winning sh*t. I rubbed my eyes and read it again. If it's still up, you can get access through A truly great typo.

When I was a kid, I used to love watching Pierre Berton interview because he'd always say to somebody - stammering almost -"That must have been a sh*t'shattering experience!" and I'd kill myself laughing while everybody else in the room just looked at me funny. I must have been the only person in Canada who ever noticed. He did it so often I began to believe he was doing it on purpose so he could say sh*t on the CBC.

enough sleep
2004-08-04-- Posted by: allegra

Nice long visit with Lynn J. over at her sister's place in Coquitlam last night. Her children, 6 and 4 apiece, Tegan and Connor, are very smart and very cute - the usual scary modern combination. She's visiting from Barrie and is headed back tomorrow.

There was a pair of shoes I didn't recognize in the back hallway this morning. I have no idea who slept over last night. I assume it was a girl from the size of the feet. Warned Keith not to wander around naked.

It continues to rain, and as far as we can tell no water is coming into the basement.

Paul borrowed a pressure washer from Tom L. last night.

RIVERBEND POSTED AGAIN - I am so happy. She hadn't posted since the 18th of June and I was praying nothing had happened to her.

More later.

John Hiatt
2004-08-03-- Posted by: allegra

Just cleared the front door from the John Hiatt concert at the Vogue. That was one of the best concerts I have ever been to. When he fired up Ethylene and Riding with the King and Gone and Thunderbird it was like watching a man high on joy do what he most wanted in the whole world. Tremendous audience rapport and respect. Opening was an interesting singer songwriter named John Dee Graham from Austin TX - which is an amazing city for music and the arts these days. He sang a song in Spanish and a bunch of self written ditties and a king hell version of You Gotta Walk that Lonesome Valley which sent chills down my spine. I would have posted a pic from John's website but the cunning webmaster has fixed it so you can't copy stuff from the site.

John Hiatt played Icy Blue Heart, making Lexi's wish come true from Saturday night. He had no set list. He said I'm 52 I am too old for a set list. He also said there are only two things you need to know about God. He exists, and he isn't you. In attendance me, Paul, Lexi, Rob, Jacquie, Unca Barry and Keith. Neville bailed; meshuggas with seating.

enough sleep
2004-08-03-- Posted by: allegra

Well, Pride Day went off reasonably well. I got a nasty sunburn on my neck and lightly crisped around my Anglo edges (both of my grandfathers were born in Angleterre after all and pappy is a redhead). Being in the parade is very different from seeing it.

Katie is being difficult at the moment. This difficulty can't be talked about because it would be disrespectful, doncha know. At least she's been sober. I suppose I shouldn't complain. Arranged another trek to Night Market next Friday. Am attempting to assembler ma merde in an effort to make another cloak, this time for me.

I am very worried about Ann Coulter. I think the poor woman isn't well; I long to feed her peach pie and tell her it's going to be okay even if George Bush doesn't win the election. I'm also sad because she doesn't like hairy women, and I'm hairy and I can't do much about it because my husband likes me that way and I read in the Bible that women are to be subject to the rule of their husbands. So even if I made a peach pie for her, you know, the church lady thing, she probably wouldn't eat it.

So what I want to know is when I run across a difference of opinion between Ann Coulter and the revealed word of the Lord, should I play safe and do it Ann's way? I mean, she's a lot closer than God appears to be at the moment. She's been on Nightline and God's never so much as returned Larry King's calls. (Note to infrequent readers. I DON'T HAVE CABLE. I'VE NEVER SEEN NIGHTLINE. I DON'T WATCH NETWORK TV. EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT THESE PEOPLE I LEARNED FROM THE INTERNET.) I must admit the image section of Ann Coulter's website is one of the most unintentionally hilarious things I've ever seen, not that I'm encouraging you to look. You know every time I see her, I think of what my dear old pappy sometimes says when a good looking woman is brought to his attention; "She's a nice enough looking girl but she looks underfed." (Or words to that effect. The voice of tender concern for the health of the woman in question is what makes this opinion so remarkable - and you'll have to forgive my father. He's not very politically correct and does not understand the modern intricacies of the word girl, and how it can be used certain ways but not certain other ways).

Then I read Revelations and now I am exTREMEly worried, because I suspect that even if I do everything that I'm supposed to do to get into Heaven, or at least the Christian versiohn of this idea, Heaven is going to be MUCH noisier than anticipated and while I have come across references to stopping up the ears I don't see a specific reference to ear plugs in the revealed word of the Lord and I don't think they'll be issued once I get there, and I am still not sure whether I will have a physical or merely spiritual body; and thanks, I don't WANT my gallbladder back if I am getting the other part of the "full" meal deal back, although I would groove on being 132 pounds again. WRT earplugs, I read Revelations and when it said and there was silence in heaven for the space of half an hour I thought (sacreligiously I own) it was about bloody time, with all the trumpets and clashing and lightning and people falling down. People fall down a LOT in Revelations, it got to the point I was suspecting that the spirit they were full of was overproof rum.

This next paragraph deleted, because I think I skidded off the pallet of discerning Biblical interpretation and I'm close to hell as it is. Believe me, it was funny.

I am in love with the Streets song Fit and You Know It. I'd be playing it right now but John hates it and he's reading in the living room.

Musical evening
2004-08-01-- Posted by: allegra

If I had a picture to post of last evening's events it would be of Lexi, face ferocious, as she attempted to shake a pick out of her guitar. Attendees included (in the audience category) Lynn S, Jim P, Jan G, Unca Dave, and briefly, Katie, and in the participant category, me, Paul, John, Mike, Tom L., Peggy, Lexi, and briefly, Keith.

We covered Tom Waits, Indigo Girls, Bob Dylan, Willie P. Bennett, me, Dick Gaughan, Leslie Fish, Nate Bucklin, Leonard Cohen, the Eagles, Don Henley, Simon and Garfunkel, the Band, Cat Faber, Lyle Lovett, Spirit of the West (take me ho-o-o-o-o-me!) and narrowly missed Nick Cage. Not to mention traditional songs like Wild Mountain Thyme and a wide eyed parody of Will the Circle be Unbroken, in a which a turtle named Myrtle hurtles towards the ground, but the Turtle, was unbroken, bye and bye, Lord, bye and bye... etc. And we sang Never Set the Cat on Fire. INCLUDING (as Keith popped out of his room) the Darwin awards FILK of that tune, including such deathless lines as The Embarrassment would be intense/of dying of your flatulence.

Festivities ceased at precisely 2:09.

I am leaving July up for another couple of days in the hopes that the folks who haven't read it yet get on the stick. Then it's gonna go where all good blogs go.

Today the Pride parade. Looks to be a gorgeous day, and MUCH cooler.