Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Frittered Away

Even though I've had a great deal of time at my disposal over the last eight months, inconsequential activities seem to fill my waking hours. As I result, I've yet to write the great North American novel, improve my guitar skills, or better myself to any significant extent. One by one, my lofty goals have fallen by the wayside--victims of the merciless law of diminishing returns.

The American Transcendentalist poet and philosopher Henry David Thoreau once famously remarked that "our lives are frittered away by detail"...How true. In the context of modern Canadian culture, Thoreau's peculiar word choice conjures up images of mass-produced pastries--a near-perfect metaphor for squandered time and energy.

If you were able to have an eight-month sabbatical, how would you spend your time?

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Introducing Mali

Yes, Amalia, you've influenced the choice of names. Here are my first puppy blogging photos.

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Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Our New Baby

I'm picking up our new baby tonight. Her name is ****, and she's a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy.

What's her name? I'll give you a hint. Because she was born on St. Patrick's Day, and because the breed originated in Africa, there really was only one name that could be chosen. Her name is the name of an African country whose homonym is a fairly common name for Irish females.

Double Canadian Tire money if you guess it.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Banquo's Ghost

On June 30th, The Goderich Little Theater will begin performances of Shakespeare's MacBeth. I'll be making my theatre debut in the role of Banquo, MacBeth's rival. Visitors to Goderich can arrange boarding at Castle Banquo during the weeklong run by contacting me via this blog.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Thanks to Pat Crawford for sending me a link to this tombstone generator:

Get Yours Here

Friday, May 13, 2005

Mr. Floatie for Prime Minister

These are tough times for environmentalists. Even in Canada, where the vast majority of citizens describe themselves as very concerned about environmental issues, the mass media seems to be oblivious to environmental concerns. It usually takes an environmental catastrophe like the Walkerton water crisis for people to sit up and take notice.

Because of this, those who seek clean air and water for future generations have to be creative in order to snag headlines.

While I'm not of big fan of scatological humour, I couldn't help but admire the creativity of James Skwarok. He didn't get in the meeting, but he did make a splash in the press.

A man dressed up as a giant piece of faeces has been refused entry to a government meeting in Canada.

James Skwarok arrived as 'Mr Floatie' to represent POOP, People Opposed to Outfall Pollution, reports Canada.com.

But the cross-party meeting in Victoria-Beacon Hill refused him entry.

Skwarok said he wanted to protest against the daily dumping of 120 million litres of raw sewage into the Pacific ocean.

He said he was "a little bummed out" by the politicians' refusal to meet him and that British Columbia province should look good for the 2010 Olympics if it didn't want to get a "brown medal".


Does anyone know where I can get a good fecal coliform outfit?

Quote of the Day

"It's not like you can just make up a quote." ~ Brian J.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Just Show Up

Back in high school, my old friend Greg Brister had a Carpe Diem mantra that resonates to this day: "Try Something New", he often admonished. Back then, that phrase led to climing fire escapes, riding boxcars, and other exploits my lawyer has told me I'm not allowed to mention until 2025 when a certain confidentiality agreement expires.

My new motto is "just show up". Good things tend to happen when you extend yourself, even just a little bit, in the direction of your interests.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Happy Belated Orgasm Day!

This from Yahoo News yesterday:

Sex rarely makes the news in Brazil's conservative Northeast — until a small town declared an official Orgasm Day on Monday.

Espertantina Mayor Felipe Santolia endorsed the May 9 holiday, which he said was intended to improve relationships between married couples.

Read The Full Article Here:

Come to think of it, saying "Happy Orgasm Day" seems a little redundant, doesn't it?

Monday, May 09, 2005

I Understand Women: Part Two

Today's Lesson: The Narratives of our Lives

It's time once again to take down the meerschaum pipe from the mantle and retire to my study. As one of the few men to unravel the gordian knot of the female psyche, I'm duty-bound to trudge back to Plato's cave and lead my trogloditic bretheren to the light of day. Relationships are a maze, and the minataur of misunderstanding has been the ruin of many a fine, well-intentioned poor lad. You must continue your quest for the golden fleece, or forfeit connubial bliss. That's why I've called you here, young squire, for our second lesson.

-puff- a perfectly-formed smoke ring wafts toward the ceiling.

It's not enough to be well-intentioned, my friend. There are no blueprints or schemas for your relationships; no templates, no foolproof methods for securing happiness. For women, relationships aren't problems to be solved or bridges to be built.

Most men think the story of their lives most closely resemble the choose-your-own-adventure books of our youth: You do something, and as a result, something happens. Sometimes you make the right choices, sometimes you don't. It stands to reason that if you had made different choices, something else would have happened. The stories of our lives, it seems to us, follow a logical and linear patten.

Women, on the other hand, follow a more complex plot. The female narrative is replete with irony, counterbalanced subplots, and complex, multifaceted characters-- each of which is deserving of attention. Appreciation of subtle nuance and things unspoken totally absorbs the reader, leading to sublime appreciation of complexity.

The Victorian novelist Jane Austen once described her work as "the little bit (two inches wide) of ivory on which I work with so fine a brush, as produces little effect after much labour." A more succinct summary of the female perspective on life has never been articulated. Little things like remembering a particular dress she wore in 1995 can be more meaningful than a thousand snogs.

These two disparate narratives are the source of many conflicts in relationships. Consider this dialogue, for example:

Brad*: I saw your Aunt Linda. She's right up the street. Your cousin Kelley had a baby.
Angelina*: Was it a boy or a girl? How much did it weigh? When was it born?
Brad: I don't know...She's over there...Why don't you ask her yourself?
Angelina: (sigh) I can't believe you! Don't you know anything?

* Names changed to protect the innocent

Now in this example, Brad heard news he thought Angelina would like to hear. This required action on his part. He flipped the pages of his choose-your-own-adventure book to page thirty-six and dutifully chose to walk to his spouse to inform her, expecting praise for his labours. Mission accomplished. What he didn't realize was the social complexities; the finely -caved two inches of ivory that convey the richness of the female narrative--the seemingly superflous details that are the hallmark of fine fiction.

Rule #2: Always remember the details. If you can't remember them, make them up. A good story trumps incurious truth and cluelessness.

Please join me next week for installment number three of our series. In the meantime, feel free to comment below and I'll reply posthaste.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Resuming Transmission, Commitment

Now that we've moved in to our new place and it's wired to go, The Poutine Diaries will resume transmission. For the foreseeable future, I will publish Tuesdays and Thursdays at bare minimum.
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