Thursday, December 30, 2004

At a Loss

Unlike any end-of-the-world disaster movie, this earthquake, these tidal waves, were real. It's astounding to imagine the devastation in 5 different countries, hundreds of thousands of family and friends facing uncertainty and loss. To think of a population like St. John's, Newfoundland, swept away on Christmas Day...

Even in small town Arkona, people know people in Thailand. It's sad that it is tragedy and disaster that pulls people together. When things are fine and good and sunny, we very easily splinter and separate over minor differences.

That, I suppose, is human folly. Yet we tap into something greater beyond ourselves when we respond to need with kindness and compassion. That too, is part of human nature: frustration and hope travel hand in hand. Nothing profound here, just grieving great loss.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Amazing Racecap

*may contain spoilers. definitely contains opinions.*

You know that The Amazing Race is hitting the mainstream when it indulges in the obligatory, mid-season summary episode with extra, unseen footage. If anything, seeing more of the teams reinforced my opinions of them. I would love to race with ...

Kris and Jon: simply fabulous. They are a strong team, performing well at the tasks. They are well-grounded, supportive of each other and easily laugh at their miscues.

Gus and Hera: I love their perspective and appreciation of the journey. They just glad to be there, enjoying each new experience (and beer) as opportunity permits.

I would love to race against ...

Freddie and Kendra: mostly it's Kendra's attitude and offensive comments about the countries and cultures where she is the guest, an obnoxious, demanding guest.

Jonathan and Victoria: Ugh. My thoughts on Jonathan have been previously documented. The one thing I didn't like about the recap episode is hearing more of his "insights" and seeing more of his gameplay.

I'm rather ambivalent and non-committal about the others at this point. Lori and Bolo are certainly the most entertaining team; I find Adam to be quite whiney and Hayden very high-maintenance.

Of course, I realize this TV. These are all edited and filtered presentations of the reality that is truth -- hmmm... kind of like the Bible! Judging by storylines and airtime, I see Kris/Jon facing off against Jonathan/Victoria in a ham-handed good vs. evil plot. Jon against Jon, very existential.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Christmas Hits and Misses

A quick, but lengthy, summary of the Christmas gift exchange.

The Hits


  • Rufus Wainright, Want Two. Song #4, "Little Sister" is operatically sublime.
  • Peter Gabriel's Growing Up Live Tour DVD. Have yet to watch it but I know it's going to be good... Any show featuring a Zorb is worth my patronage.
  • Raffi's Baby Beluga for Rei. A classic of my childhood - the evocative title song, the frentic "Joshua Giraffe" and the heartfelt "All I Really Need". It is a good Day O!
  • U2, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (actually, Shelley received it). Song #5, "City of Blinding Lights" reminds me of Urs. I can see her cruising the Vegas Strip in a VW, city lights reflected in her shades, this song as the soundtrack to the movie of her life...


  • Wireless Router from Santa. Is this a license for a laptop? Shelley derisively disagrees.
  • Braun InterFace Excel rechargable foil shaver. Exactly the model I circled in the Sears catalogue. Braun claims that I "shave the length of an 18-hole golf course every 18 months". I beg to differ.

The written word

  • Games magazine. I didn't get the paper on Saturday, missing my weekly New York Times challenge.
  • Dan Brown, DaVinci Code. Biblical mystery and intrigue. Secret religious societies and ... other stuff. You can tell I haven't gotten very far in it.

The Misses

  • My present for Shelley: New Balance cross trainers for her step class. I was so excited for her to get them. According to salesperson Kyle, it was a better shoe for only $10 more except ... wrong size.
  • Present for my dad: Lever pull corkscrew, the 3-second wine bottle opener, featuring "all metal gears". Too bad the plastic housing was cracked. It's OK, we still managed to open La Vielle Ferme for Christmas supper.

All in all, more hits than misses. And isn't that what we want in life?

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Christmas Peeve

This morning someone at church kindheartedly wished me a belated merry Christmas. Argh! It's not belated; Christmas _begins_ on the 25th. The 12 Days of Christmas begin on the 25th. Christmas lasts until January 6.

At least keep the trees and decorations (that were up obscenely early) until then. The Orthodox church - Christians, all of them! - celebrates Christmas then. January 6 is traditionally, if not "historically", when the Magi bring the gifts to the barn baby.

You can label me liturgically conservative. I can see the validity of that assessment. But, I still say if all of society wants to cash in on this holiday, at least it should be done right. I'm sure malls and merchants would love to prolong the spending. It is still Christmas all day, all week, into next year.

Now that that's off my chest [calmly breathing in, breathing out] ... May the loves and the joys of the season continue to be with you through these next days, and always. Peace. I feel better now.

Friday, December 24, 2004

I just blogged to say ...

"Ho ho ho" and "Merry Christmas".

Those are Rei's latest words, newly discovered tonight. It's more seasonal than her conversation earlier today at her diaper depot: "poop" and "bum".

Ho ho ho and Merry Christmas from us all.
The best of the holidays to everybuddy.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Snow Day III

It only took 1 hour and 20 minutes for the two of us to clear our driveway. Good thing I only "work one morning a week" so I can do this; Shelley, on the other hand, was shovelling out the goodness of her heart ...
snow pair

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Storms a-comin'

Chris Scott of the Weather Network, and alumnus of Mitchell District High School, watches as a "Mississippi Queen" with a lot of "juice" looms on the horizon. The promise of 10-15 cm of snow overnight with another 10-15 cm tomorrow has me thinking "Snow Day III" will be here sooner rather than later. Perhaps that would be the occasion to explore and develop my theology of snow shovelling.

In other storms, Rei's eye teeth are on the way leaving a cranky little toddler in their wake. Although even at her crankiest, she is still so lovable and endearing ... and I'm not just saying that because I begat her.

The storm of activity around Christmas Eve will be hitting its fever pitch soon. As much as it is wonderful to do all these things for the church, I'll be glad when it's over. And yet, I hope that the coming flurry of involvement will carry over into the weeks and months after. I won't hold my breath on that one.

Hunkered down and waiting for the snow, I quote Ross Porter: "Be cool; stay warm."

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

'Twas the Night Baker Xmas

It was Christmas appetizers and gifts tonight with Shelley's family. Much cheer and goodwill was had by all.

Imbibed some Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages (as recommended by CBC Ontario Today's Konrad Ejbich); I'm looking for a red wine that Shelley would like. The search has not seen much success, but I'm having fun trying. Although I did have to switch to Moosehead to try out my new Homer Simpson bottle opener.

Tomorrow night we'll break in our new indoor grill. Hmm, reading this you'd think all I do is drink and eat. I find time to watch TV too.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Snow Day II

Shelley's turn for snow day today. Although, she didn't get this information until she was almost at work. And after I spent an hour in the predawn light shovelling out the driveway! The snow had stopped and the roads were manageable; most everything else was open ... but we weren't looking a gift horse in the mouth.

So we embarked upon a day trip to London so that I could finish my shopping, return a book to St. Peter's Seminary and reload on Diet Coke. Due to a some personnel manoeuvring at Ford, Shelley's dad will not be able to join the family gathering tomorrow. So while in the city, we celebrated a pre-Christmas gift exchange giving Shelley's parents their digital camera gift in time for their trip to France.

Shelley had to get back home for a Board Meeting that wasn't cancelled. And I look forward to finishing the shovelling.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Life's Rich Pageant

Rei's stage debut began well enough: simple bewilderment and awe at the big space filled with many people. Mostly she stood at the end of the toddler row and sucked her comfort fingers (middle and ring, right hand). It ended in tears as a strange bearded, pillow-padded man clad in red attempted to give her a gift. The next day, she was quite appreciative of her yellow and blue Play D'oh.

At the post-pageant reception, we received a new ornament for our tree: the hands, feet and face of our little angel.

P.S. It's still snowing.

Snow Day

It snowed throughout the night. Softly falling, relentless flakes of crystalline cool smothering the ground with a white stratum of insulating precipitation.

After shovelling out a path to the unplowed road this morning, I got a phone call from Ravenswood saying that church was cancelled. I'm always bittersweet about these calls; I am thankful that I don't have to brave the driving conditions to preach to the converted. Still after spending an average of 12 hours a week on the worship service, it seems a shame to let that slip away forever.

So for Arkona, well, I live right beside the church... I figure that I'll go next door and if anyone from town is able to make it, we'll do something worshipful. If not, then it's just a short snowy jaunt back home. I don't expect a big crowd or any of the country folk; I certainly don't want people to risk life and limb to get to church.

Instead of the gym today, I'll get my workout in the driveway and on the sidewalks as I shovel. Some may say that's not so different from my workout in the pulpit: shovelling...

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Sayonara Tabuse-san

Now here's a basketball farewell that I could grieve: Yuta Tabuse, Japan's first NBAer, has been waived by the Phoenix Suns. One less little guy to root for in the league.

By "little guy" in basketball terms, I mean Earl Boykins (5'5") or Muggsy Bogues (5'3") little, not Allen Iverson (6') or Carlos Arroyo (6'2") little. These gentlemen are the truly gifted. Like it takes any talent or skill to play basketball when you're 7' tall and 300 lbs. Pfffpht!

Tomorrow, as promised, Rei's Daycare December Concert tale...

Friday, December 17, 2004

Friday Night in Arkona

Lately, this has meant that supper was take-out. Although we didn't go for local Scotty's fish & chips; tonight, the Colonel ruled the roost Kentucky-style.

The midnight hour draws near, which means I'm writing a sermon. Although right now, I'm much closer to finishing that just getting started. There is also the promise of international Catan with settlers in New Zealand and the foreign land that is Toronto (a Vince Carter-less Toronto, at that; not that he was fully present for the past 2+ seasons ... no tears from me). So sermon's Amen may not be as close as I thought.

Rei was in her first Christmas/holiday pageant today. More on that later... I have an island to conquer!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Finally: Wednesday

I've been thinking it's Wednesday all week. Not sure why. Now that it's here, I fail to see what the fuss is about. Still waiting for my cold to erupt, merely suffering through a perpetual headache.

I go through my days now with a mind half-composing blog material, trying to manufacture a blog-able event. I can't remember what today's was. Left my glasses at Doug's Home Hardware. Saw half the congregation at Bob's grocery store.

Saw my first '24: Day 4' commercial the other day; Jack's back Jan 9th! Ohboyohboyohboy. What wild adventures await?

Speaking of wild adventures, the Raptors won! Against Minnesota! Without Vince (I can't say I'm surprised at that part). And that was the day that was Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Low Post

It's like I'm afraid to post new entries for fear of bumping Rei's supercute picture too far down the screen. Plus I feel a cold coming on. Be well everybuddy.

Monday, December 13, 2004

If a Tree Falls in the Forest ...

If God sneezes in a church, and there's nobody around to hear, does it make a sound? Or more to the point: if I have a worship service and no one shows up ... do I still get paid?

It was to be a quiet Advent evening service where people could find refuge from the chaos, commercialism and artificial joy of the season. Because pain and sorrow can be especially acute if the whole world is chipper and cheerful. It was going to be the best service ever.

The weather was bad and roads were dangerous, with the promise of worse to come tonight. So I don't begrudge everyone's absence. I did tell the organist not to try coming in if it looked bad. It looked bad.

I'm just glad that I adapted another resource for the occasion, that I didn't create one from scratch. Although the time I spent working up the liturgy, making a last-minute run for more tea lights, shovelling the church walkways, running off bulletins and searching for my suit pants button could have been used for serving my totally selfish needs. Like napping.

Alone in the church, I was strongly tempted to strip down and prance around like Homer in Homega Man or David in 2 Samuel. I figured that would be the moment someone rushed in looking for sanctuary. Discretion is the better part of valour.

Now that I'm home, valour is not what I'm seeking.
"War! huh yeah What is it good for? Absolutely nothing..."

Winter Wonderland

This pretty much speaks for itself doesn't it? How cute can you get?

snow smile

Sunday, December 12, 2004

I Blame Entropy

The aftermath of writing a paper wreaks havoc on the neatness quotient in the household. It cannot be helped; it is inevitable. I am ever grateful to chemistry class for introducing me to the principle of entropy and the universe's natural tendency to move towards disorder and disarray.
If it wasn't for the Open House at the manse today, it would be an entropic den of catastrophic proportions. Although now that I've put everything in its proper place, I have no idea where to find it.

Friday, December 10, 2004

All Work, No Play = Dull

I know it's almost midnight here and I haven't blogged for today. I've been preoccupied trying to finish my paper. Too busy for waste-o; I'm actually engaged in work-o!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Canadian Celebrity Dilemma

Of course as my paper deadline looms nearer (tomorrow), I am actively engaged in the discipline of waste-o. (Is it appropriate to link to one's own blog or is that too narcissistic? I know I'm annoyed by scholars who do. Maybe just this once is alright...)

To the point, in my cyber wanderings I stumbled upon my Canadian idols' weblogs. To think that Spirit of the West blogs; just like me! What joy it is to have the collective wisdom and musings of John, Geoffrey, Vince, Hugh, and Tobin so close at hand!

My conundrum is this: Do I submit comments to their entries? Is it an invasion of privacy or assuming a non-existent familiarity with strangers? I did invite them to our wedding (they didn't come) so maybe I've already crossed that line.

I will be respectful and polite and not expect anything in return. Can I be witty and appreciative without being creepy and predatory? Although having seen John do his psycho-smiley face on TV and on stage, I don't think I need to worry about being creepy!

And now on to track down The Rheostatics. ... The Beast needs more torque...

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

An Evening with the Pope's Peeps

In the pursuit of further education, my travels took me to St. Peter's Seminary library in London where I hoped to mine some nuggets of theological insight into the revelation of God, specifically through the lens of Lectio Divina. The smell of incense filled the hall as I walked past the grim-faced portraits of graduates. I paused to search out Father B who was in my CPE unit at Kingston General (translation: chaplaincy internship). Serious young fellow, he was. Probably still is.

I did find some useful material and have all sorts of ideas for the paper due on Friday. And it's only Wednesday; I'm ahead of the game! I also had occasion to use the bathroom where I marvelled at the impressive array of urinals and stalls. There were so many ... I quickly clued in that the women's washroom would not need as much plumbing in a place such as this.

Back in the library, the volunteer student staffer was mildly helpful; certainly, he was eager. Ah, the wondrous days of theological training when ideals were steadfast and ambitions were untarnished! Someday, the weight of his vocation will leave him jaded, cynical and looking to the CAW for support. (But not me, I'm having a great time and I love what I do).

He wished me a good Christmas with a measured nod of the head, his lips firmly drawn in a show of earnest goodwill. Just like Father B. Maybe it's a St. Peter's thing. All in all, a pleasant and fruitful experience. I wouldn't want to do it everyday.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Above the Rim

Defying gravity and soaring to meet the backboard, Rei nets her first two points. Her ball control and light touch belie her father's lack of skill.
air force one
The Raptors sure could use someone who takes the ball inside and makes the sure shot.

Monday, December 06, 2004

December sixth

In all seriousness, part of having loves and joys is the un/necessary balance of sorrow and tragedy. Fifteen years ago I was 16. I worried more about driver's ed and what the cool kids in school thought of me. One man killing 14 women in Montreal was just a blip in my consciousness at the time.

Things change; I've changed. An excerpt from my sermon yesterday:

... Tomorrow marks a grim anniversary for the city of Montreal. Fifteen years ago, 14 university students, all of them women, were gunned down. An angry man killed them in cold blood. He had been refused by the military, rejected from the school of engineering and blamed these failures on women. I heard, once again, on the radio this week all the familiar statistics: that 1 in 4 women will be sexually harassed in their lifetime; 80% of these women will not report it.

At that point, I just got so sad that I had to scoop up Rei in my arms and tell her I wanted to her to grow up to be strong and unafraid. I held her close and apologized for the world that she is living in. And I was almost sorry for bringing her into this mess. Was I being too melodramatic or sensitive? Perhaps. Probably. But I don’t want her to grow up thinking that just because this is how the world is, this is how it always has to be. ...

Others are able to say it better than I:
There are more voices. Find them and share.
The world will change. Hopefully for the better. It has to.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Coast to Coast, secrete-ly

It was an odyssey from the shores of Lake Huron for church in Ravenswood to the shores of Lake Ontario for a youth worship service fabglam confab in Steeltown. It was a long day buoyed by the merriment of four United Church boys trapped in a pimped out 6-cylinder family car.

To the disgusted delight of the other passengers, the youngest in this car was telling a tale that required the use of the word "discrete" or "secret". Alas, his young mind contorted the intended adjective and his mouth instead spouted out the sentiment that he needed to keep his sexual preference "secrete". Oh, the hilarity!

I learned that pizza places in Hamilton do not deliver to The Mountain unless they are located on The Mountain. The food we ordered from P_P_ (the name has been edited to protect the guilty) was less than scrumptious. The pizza? Pedestrian. The wings? Uninspired. The salad? Chewy. The pop? Transcendent!

Screw Flanders! Err ... I mean, Bon appetit.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Today Was Brought to You by the Letter T

Tonnes of types of things today tied into the twentieth letter of the alphabet...

Rei had her first "Time Out" for continuing to kick after repeated requests for her to stop. We're not totally certain she grasps the action-consequence dynamic yet, but we believe she's close to making a breakthrough. She is beginning to make the "you" and "me" distinction -- that the identity of "you" or "me" changes with the speaker. Is 19 months too young to bewilder her with subjective reality? She is making noises that sound like "Thank you" and continues to toddle along.

I removed a trojan virus from the computer. Ate some smoked turkey for lunch, trail mix for a snack, also had some tangerines (OK, they're technically clementines. But they're tangerine in colour).

The Christmas Tree went up today. Clever us: apparently when we packed it up last year, we left the lights on the tree. Either we're brilliant planners or lazy slackers.

Tonight Shelley and I dusted off an old favourite, "The New Tetris". We indulged in strategic placement of four-unit block shapes for about half an hour. We have to ease back into these things! The brightly coloured, softly falling bricks would have been more soothing were it not for the soft swearing that accompanied the soundtrack. All our favourite Tetris configurations appeared: Starburst, Zipper, Standing O, The Church, Sandwich, Bookcase ... Oh baby, pass the buttah!

I wonder what adventures await tomorrow?

Friday, December 03, 2004

Feels like Saturday

Shelley took the day off work today and we did some Christmas errands. We went to Sears for Rei's picture shoot (because she was #75 on the waiting list at Zehr's) and immersed ourselves in the ambiance that is Lambton Mall in Sarnia.

Then Shelley continued into London to do some gift shopping while I worked an a sermon, a paper and a mileage report. It might have been smarter to do all of our commerce in London, but then Shelley would not have been husband- and baby-free. I hesitate to guess which freedom she enjoyed more.

It feels like Saturday because these are things that usually happen on the seventh day in our household. And also because I'm up late at night working on a sermon. Therefore it must be Saturday. Well in a few minutes, it will be.

Happy weekend, everybuddy.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Family Resemblance

Is it me? Or does Homestar Runner's Strong Bad StrongBad
look a lot like Cartoon Network's Brak?Brak
They share so many traits: ruddy red complexion, captivating green eyes set in black, manly red gloves, and off-putting oral features. They're both about the ladies. Their falsettos are remarkably similar. They break into song. Their best pals are non-human. And they both have the letters "B" and "A" in their names.

*sigh* If only Mulder and Scully were still around to look into this. Or Mr. T.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

How Preciousssssssss

Ah, as Christmas approaches my thoughts turn once again to Middle Earth and the heroism of the hobbits. Usually at this time, I'm re-turning the pages of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Sadly, this year because of academic priorities, this pleasure has been stolen from me.

I am indebted to the Boots of Doom and her commitment to the destruction of the One Ring. There is a legend that fifty bonus minutes lurk upon the upcoming release of the special extended edition of "The Return of the King"; some of which are available for sneak preview.

It's enough for me to break forth in Elven song:

When pages turn in the Book of Net,
Of battles fought and comrades met,
Riding the tube light of cathode ray.

When hobbits brave and true upset
Ravage and ruin of Isildur's debt
And light o'ertakes the dawn of day.

Evil undone and hearth song rise,
Moonlight glows as eagle flies.

A joyous journey now told as tale,
Soon available, soon on sale!

Sudselling Friends

While flipping through the sports channels, one particular commercial made me stop and watch and listen: Molson Canadian's plea for hockey to return, as presented by various men singing the Violent Femme-inized ballad, "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?" Of course, it was the acknowledgement of that fine piece of American music that caught my attention.

The last face I saw, before the logo plastered the screen, gave a heart-wrenching delivery of "Do you really want to make me cry?" This was one of Shelley's university roommates, Jon. I'm glad to see this budding actor, funny man, and lover of cheese is getting some air time and is able to claim that outfit as a business expense.

This is a different Jon than the one mentioned in my previous entry. How many Jons do I know I know? At least two.

That also makes two of Shelley's friends in beer commercials. Her co-birthday buddy, Sam, once played pool with an imaginary dragon.

I'm still waiting for Moosehead to call me about their next campaign: "Lovejoy that lager!"

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Amazingly Tragic

*contains Amazing Race 6, ep. 3, spoilers*

Oh, how my heart broke! Lena rolling and rolling bales and bales in the dark, Kristy only able to stand by and watch ... It's a shame that hard work and perseverance wasn't rewarded by the cruel world and steely-eyed Phil Keoghan.

Yeesh, if anyone needs to go, it's blue-haired human hyperbole, Jonathan. I thought Colin from the last Amazing Race was abusive and controlling (certainly he was edited that way). I don't think any amount of editing is going to help Jonathan's cause.

And my heart broke when Victoria thought his temper and unpredictability was one of his charms. Living a boring life never looked so good. As pop culture diva VicBear pointed out to me earlier, Victoria's flinch in the cab seemed far too familiar and practised.

It is pure coincidence that I have friends named Jonathan and Victoria. Except we know them as Jon and Vic. They are married, but not to each other.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Flickr-ing Out

It does seems that Flickr, my image hosting service, is on the fritzr tonight. Or maybe it's just me. Either way, I'm sorry.

29 Days Later

Halloween has come and gone but the costume remains. With veiled reference to the best zombie movie I've seen recently (have not yet viewed Shaun of the Dead), I am pleased to announce I've figured out how to post photos without having to use monopolizing Microsoft's Internet Explorer. So, for those who have been awaiting the first buzz-around of HappyBee, here she is...
Happy Bee
You can't see the stinger, but believe me ... it's there.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Sunday without The Simpsons

Thanks to Americans giving thanks, Springfield's famous family has a night off. Perhaps it is a welcome respite. I have to agree with fellow critic Jon: the quality of the writing has been less-than-stellar this season. I've already mentioned last week's ep was a saving grace, but the previous two shows have been abysmal. I'm almost worried.

Maybe it's because all creativity and thought had been funnelled into re-vamping the official webpage. Quimby's cabinet of characters has some gems: Milhouse VanHouten and Ralph Wiggum are as good as expected; Lenny Leonard and Rod Flanders are pleasant surprises. Missing from the files are Jasper, Hans Moleman and Uter, among legions of other favourites. Somebuddy better right this rig before it's too late. How I miss season 8.

So what to do on a Simpsonless night? Yahtzee! Shelley kicked my can to the curb. It wasn't close. Total scores after three games = 758 to 551.

No Simpsons, no yahtzees and no 35-point bonuses ... and the Raptors laid an egg at the end of the game today. If it wasn't for Rei's amusing supper of dill pickles, I wouldn't be having any fun!

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Woozy Nash Coming Back

I jumped on the Phoenix Suns bandwagon when Steve Nash signed in the off-season. I fastened my seatbelt upon said bandwagon when Japanese player Yuta Tabuse made the team. He played decently in his first couple games before the acquistion of Bo Outlaw sent him to the "injured" list.

It was with a mix of dismay and hope that I learned of Nash's concussion in last night's game: oh no! Hair Canada is out, but ... maybe Yuta comes off the injured list to get into some games! Turns out the head knock was mild and Nash is back. Which is good, but not as good as it could be.

Advent is a season of hope and waiting. Not saying that Yuta Tabuse is the Messiah. But I do ask, who's number one? Yuta! Yuta!

Friday, November 26, 2004

Bye, Buy Nothing Day

I did try. I really did try to buy nothing today. I planned on hunkering down at home, working on stuff and not enter into any commercial transaction or enterprise. Instead I ended up going to South St. hospital in London to make a pastoral visit.

En route, I cashed a couple cheques and some coinage - a financial transaction, but still no purchase. I stopped at a particular store to price a particular item (a Christmas gift) to find a spectacular deal on a last-in-stock item. CBC talked about "Buy Nothing Christmas" whose intended spirit is "buy smarter" rather than "buy blindly". Getting this particular gift now was the smart thing to do. Although ... technically, I did not buy it. Mastercard did.

My noble journey unequivocally ended with $5.51 at Tim Horton's for my BLT, Boston Cream and black coffee. Being a person of artificially-moderated blood sugar levels, I could not put this purchase off.

I did otherwise manage to buy nothing today: using our domestic vacuum to clean the car instead of the commercial hose job at the car wash; postponing our purified water refill until tomorrow; not paying for the CD player that I grabbed out of some church ... (a joke, that last one. Really! Ask the bastard who was chasing me).

Maybe I'll be able to buy nothing on Monday. Or maybe I can block out today's lunch hour.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Waste-o Thursdays

I am not doing what I am supposed to be doing. I am supposed to be finishing and submitting a reflection paper for my course with the Centre for Christian Studies. Instead, I procrastinate.

I lovingly recall this practice from my university days, identified to me by a floormate, Ethan, as "waste-o", as in "waste o' time". This not to be confused with intoxication as others might call "wasted" (which in Ethan-speak is "stink-o", as in "stink o' beer"). This expansion of my vocabulary was courtesy of the man who composed the classical piece, "Taco Bell Canon." Coming soon to a wedding near you.

My list of waste-o accomplishments this afternoon/evening: 2 loads of laundry; gym, ran three 6-minute miles; 2 naps; groceries; curry; 1 beer; vicariously visited New Zealand via Jeffy and Cheryl's pics and vids; scoured the web for useful information; solo Catan settling; online chat with Martyn, bringing him up to date on The Simpsons (this past Sunday's episode was the best by far of the new season); blogged.

My paper is in and done. Thank you and good night!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

First Steps

Some firsts today for Rei: she used a pillow; she tasted and spit out latkes at supper; she gets mentioned in my blog.

And she walked. Four independent steps to Shelley, to greet her return from work. Then it was a delirious, giddy time of back and forth, steps and slips, between her parents. So exhilarating, so fun, so fast ... she's growing up so fast.

Next? We'll work on her cross-over dribble and drive to the basket.

Hello Haloscan. Hello hello.

So anyone who has an opinion can share. Not that I'm saying you're an overly opinionated bunch...

Belated Bobo

Now I would be remiss if I did not offer belated birthday wishes to my dear friend Bobo. While our paths have taken different directions, my thoughts turn to Clark Hall Pub and a bleary-eyed drunkard effusing his love and appreciation for everyone in close proximity. (Is "close proximity" redundant?)

Happy birthday Bobo; may all your hangovers be light. A Canadian Tire dollar is on your way.

I see that I've set a dangerous precedent for myself... apologies in advance to the many people whose birthdays I will not acknowledge in the days to come. I'm so "sorry".

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

happy birthday

Blast off! Only fitting that the madness begins on dear Ursy's birthday.
A tribute haiku/birthday present:
doctor ursula
is a stylin' birthday queen
smells like daiquiri

Happy birthday kid. Everyone else, welcome to the online meditations of an irreverent man of the cloth. So be it, Amen.