Tuesday, November 02, 2010

A Personal Reflection

Life would be so much simpler if I were a zombie. My mind, perhaps for the first time since infancy, would be clear of the everyday clutter that inevitably collects there. Problems at work, annoyances with family and friends would most definitely fade to nothing, if only the z-virus would find its way to me. There would be nothing left of the person I am now. I can’t imagine a more peaceful and utopic existence than having this one track mind.

If I were a zombie, my greatest, in fact my only, ambition would be a nice, juicy brain. And when that goal was achieved? I wouldn’t compare the next brain to the last. There would be no critique given to which had a finer texture, or a richer, more savoury flavour. I would eat, sincerely smack my lips in satisfaction regardless of the relative quality... and because eating brains would be the one thing I existed for, everything would instantaneously reset itself when the hunger took over. Once again, my world would have a singular purpose and I would be driven to excellence because of it. Yes, I would be the best zombie, I could be!

But what, you ask, of politics and governing bodies? How would I be able to define myself without these affiliations and associations? Simple. I wouldn’t. I would wander freely, heedless of borders and the people chosen to protect them. Perhaps not completely unmindful, though. After all, border guards and military personnel all possess the one thing I will desire: cerebrum. Further, as I would not be endowed with any fear of their weaponry or ideals, they would serve as easy marks, gathered together against me, their grey matter ripe for the picking.

The question still remains of whether I would foster any conscience against tearing people limb from limb, all for the sole purpose of devouring the delectable morsels that lay hidden beneath skin and bone. Regret would mean that I have the capacity to feel, to experience the world on an emotional level. And while, at first consideration, it appears sentiments of any kind are beyond the understanding of the zombie population, I must disagree. The ability to supersede emotion and carry on with only necessity as a guide could be, in fact has been, argued to be the ultimate result of enlightenment. Have not religions, the world over, extolled the virtues of giving up oneself to a higher calling? Isn’t this surrendering of one’s ego, in essence, what would happen with zombification? There would be no feelings of loss over those things we can no longer have (and to have, I mean control). No agonizing over decisions. No thought process at all, in fact. Spirituality and religion would have no place, hold no value. My soul would no longer be in any danger, having transcended completely, to a different plane, altogether: one beyond that of piety and doctrine; my only veneration being the search and ultimate consumption of a warm, toothsome brain.

Friday, July 02, 2010


I packed a bag this morning and climbed into my little green Ford Focus. I was heading West. Towards BC and towards friend-Shannon and friend-Zachary. The visiting is really secondary. The actual pull for this trip was the 12 hours I would have alone in the car with only my thoughts and imagination to keep me company. Then multiply it by two since I planned on coming home less than two days after I arrive. If you include pee breaks, that works out to about 28 hours of solitude. Solitude and a whole lot of singing along with the stereo.

Now when I have even a few moments to myself, my imagination wants to take flight. Today, it had free reign.

Somewhere between Edson and Hinton, the landscape changed ever so slightly as I was looking at it... roads disappeared, people and cars vanished and in the stead, dinosaurs roamed. Not just lumbering beasts, like Brontosaurus or fierce theropods like Albertosaurus, but even Procomsognathus. I could feel the ground shake beneath me as the large sauropods made their way past me.

I was brought back to this world by a worrisome buzzing in my car (terrified it was a bee, I tried to remain calm and not drive my car off the road, taking out whomever was unlucky enough to be in the car behind me). I soon realized the noise was nothing more than the seat belt rubbing against the casing and I was reminded of a Gary Lawson Far Side cartoon about a giant bumble bee sitting calmly in the back of a woman's car.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Road Trip as seen through eyes of a perpetual list maker

OK, so writing the trip in chapters is not going to work for me. Too many thoughts that don't matter run into each other and I simply cannot find joy in writing like that. Let's try something new. Something near and dear to my heart. Lists. Here are things we've done, seen, said and laughed at. I hoping that by expelling these bits, I may see the trip for what it surely must be... AMAZING.

1. Jasper (the park, not the city) is freaking huge... especially when it's pitch black out and you're tired and just want to get to Valemount and go to bed.

2. Following a truck through most of the windy turns in Jasper will do much to alleviate the feeling of impending doom that waits for you in the darkness.

3. Sometimes the Universe does all it can to correct the small mistakes that happen in life. When a travel booking site switched reservations for they wrong type of room, the wonderful woman at the hotel asked 20 or so rooms if they wanted to switch rooms and no one did. When we arrived, we let her know that the "mistake" was in fact what we wanted. We averted a small crisis and tension filled night. Yay Team Universe!

4. Driving along the highway... sorry, Freeway in American speak, in Washington, I noticed to the side of the road, in the distance, a NUCLEAR POWER PLANT. My mom and I spent a good half hour or so trekking back to find it so we could snap a picture of it... we even did a little off roading to find it.

5. I forgot to take out a toy out of the car I bought for my dog, Chyna (nicknamed Chin-nee) before we left. He is a stuffed guinea pig from Ikea and can now be found in random shots of the trip. He's been christened Guinea Chin-nee and has thus enjoyed the trip so far.

6. I had Guinea Chin-nee on my lap along the way, for no apparent reason other to keep it from falling out of the car while my mother was getting in and out. We had stopped for gas somewhere in Oregon and I was enjoy the Full Service station we had pulled in at. I gave the lad my credit card and was enjoying a moment of solitude. He came over to the window to check my ID (stupid boys name!) and walked away a moment later, with a look that was somewhere between fear and confusion. I didn't understand until I looked down. Not only was Guinea Chin-nee on my lap in plain sight, but I had be PETTING him! Rubbing his back and scratching behind his ears...

7. I spent the most delightful quarter of an hour on a deserted beach at 6 am in Lincoln City. Alone with nothing but my imagination and the ocean, looking through the haze at what was before and behind me, I caught the echo of something... the stirring of someone long passed. I saw this through the haze that had fallen and heard it through the pounding of the surf. A story lay within and I need only to coax it out.

It's late and after driving the insane I-80, I am off to bed... the list will continue a different day.

Road Trip... A story of the open road, told in chapters


I decided to take my parents on a trip for their 40th wedding anniversary. A road trip to San Francisco, via the Oregon coast was soon decided upon. I would foot the bill for it all... food, gas, accommodations and attractions. I was feeling pretty pleased with myself until a few days later my father bailed out. When I re-iterated that this was an anniversary present for he and mom, he still didn't want to go, citing his health and inability to keep up with us. I tried to convince him otherwise, but could not change his mind. Now the poor man is stuck in Edmonton babysitting my two cats along with my mom's two dogs.... all of whom could win the douche-bag of the year contest-pet division.

And so the trip has been planned (my darling mother was given the task of booking motels and hotels along the way which necessitated researching mileage between stops and figuring it out what attractions we wanted to see and how long it would take us to do everything we wanted). We were to leave as soon as I was off work on Thursday... throw her bags in the trunk and hit the open road. What actually happened is that my cat, who had been at my parent's house for 4 days heard me come home and thought she was going to be thrown in her carrier and hid. Hid so well we couldn't find her when I wanted to say goodbye. Hid so well, we spent 30 minutes looking for her and believing she got out. My mother was muttering hateful things about my cat and I, in turn, was muttering hateful words about her attitude. We finally found her under a bed we had each looked under twice before. Tensions were still running high when we piled in the car. We made it as far as Stony Plain when I realized I couldn't see out of my streaky, dirty windshield. We stopped and bought Windex, since I had forgotten to pack some. After much spraying and wiping and veiled comments by us both about how late it was, we were finally on our way.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


When Shannon and I started to hang out we learned that each of us were suffering from a condition we so fondly christened, "a lack of filter". This is to say that whatever was swirling around inside our little noggins, would tend to pop out if the opportunity presented itself. Never was it malicious, though, hurtful it still could be. We were more the type that would actually tell people if we were sad (after they had asked how our day was), or on the other side of the spectrum, would gush all the goodness we felt about a person when they happened to come round. Long ago my filter grew back. I found that my spouting off everything I was feeling made it hard to work, hard to play and hard to feel like an average person. I found that I needed a balance between letting my heart show and keeping everything walled up inside my inner fortress (which is how I was prior to this).

So, I do understand a thing about filters. I also understand about putting a foot in one's mouth. I've done that, too. But each time it's happened, I've known what I've done. I've apologized, and those "I'm sorry"s have been heart felt and sincere.

Now, what I am coming to understand is that not everyone cares if they hurt someone's feelings. They do not care that using the disclaimer, "I don't mean to offend you, but..." or "I'm saying this as a friend..." doesn't make it OK. Yes, we've all offended people, but when that happens, we do our best to make ammends. Or at least some of us do.

Is it time to subtract more from my life? I just finished, earlier this week, my post about weeding bad things (people) out. At that time, I was feeling good about those I allow in. Now, I am unsure. What's worse is that it's not just ONE person. I've had no less than FOUR people, this week, disappoint me in how they treat me. And when told that I did not appreciate how things were going down, I was either ignored or told I was over reacting and being bitchy. I am tempted to come out of my corner, fighting... stooping to the same level as they do. But then I know I am more talk than action in that respect, I couldn't live with myself knowing I'd hurt someone I cared about.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Lately, I have been thinking about the math of my life. There are always new equations to contend with: the addition and, sometimes, subtraction of people and ideals. There is the algebra aspect, where I try to make each side of a new situation even. And, always, I try to keep my answers in the "real" realm, that is to say that I require a positive and not a negative outcome.

While it is true that I am a sole number, I would not go back to being the second half of the pair I once was. I realize that I am better off with my ever changing formulas. I can factor out that which I do not need to make my life work.

My additions far outweigh that which was taken away.

I could never believe my friendship with Shannon ever getting past the initial, polite stages had it not been for late night phone calls, distracting emails and random bursts of laughter over very weird and random things.

I can't imagine not only being so close to my cousin Steven, if it hadn't been for my being on my own.

Never would I have considered Brandy more than family, had it not been for being forced to put my trust in someone new. Any friendship we may have had would never have been so strong... never would we have had shared experiences and stories and early morning secrets while travelling.

I would have lost out on lessons of friendship and committment from Carol. I would have missed knowing there was someone so similar to myself, and yet so completely different. I would have never had the pleasure of introducing Gladys and Millie to the world, emailing walkie talkie sounds or bouncing rubber balls in a church parking lot in the dark of night.

Missing from life would have beem seeing Julie cry when she laughs, and feeling like I'd accomplished something great when it was I that reduced her to those tears. I would not have ever received text messages on my cell about toast, or Jesus or Tim Horton's chili. I would have missed out on boy talk, birthday surprises and much giggling.

Kept to the sidelines would have been Des, Pat, Wing and Johnny. I would never known the delight that is every other person I choose to have in my life. I would not believe myself to be a storyteller, or someone that could make people laugh. I would never have licked Chaucer's tomb or the tower of London. I would never have been kissed in Scotland (nor Greece, for that matter). There would have been no call to sew a superman cape or to admit to a crush on a friend. I would have missed having Stewart and Elizabeth. I would even have missed out on making mistakes and poor decisions.

These additions are what my life are. I would gladly give up, once again, what I had for them. I would live through the sadness and the pain to have what I have now. I am more complete, more balanced for having been part of a subtraction.

Monday, February 19, 2007


The past few days, perhaps even nearing a week or two, there has been a substantial change in my funny bone. Something is different, and while I am not sure what this could be, it seems positive, and has lasted for more than an hour or two, so I am claiming it. It's mine. It's brought me to a place I was before. Nearly six months (or possibly much more than that, I fear) has passed since I've felt myself.

Now, for anyone who know me (or at least knows the good part of me), this will be demonstrated by the fact that I have reverted back to a state where I find much more of life fairly random and am given to fits of giggling because it really is ever so ridiculous.

Though I am sure not everyone will get these, and those that do, will probably not understand why I am printing them (perhaps being funny only to myself). The following statements and ideas (or something close to them, since I am not even pretending to use direct quotes) have caused me much joy:

When talking about sending Kenny a singing telegram for his birthday, "man in a chicken suit OK?" is the greatest question one can ask. Being told that said chicken would receive a thrashing for his troubles is an adequate, if not laughable, response.

Telling Shannon that Sundays should not include dinner parties will then degenerate to mumbling (via msn, no less) about how Sundays are for movies and just what the proper placement of butter in a bag of popcorn should be... which then leads to a rant about how other nations should have free refills so that one can send Julie for a refill before the movie starts, but to make sure she doesn't take any money with her, just to see if she can get free butter.

Having spent an entire day (noon to 8 PM) with Carol... with nearly six hours of that day being spent at The Tea Place (much to the dismay of the owners and employees, I am sure). While sitting at the table we have now claimed as our own, we experienced all the flavours of life: philosophical and theological discussions, pie, laughter, tears, discussions and confessions of bodily functions and even a practical demonstration of how dwelling on the topic of broken bones can make a person physically sick.

Waterpark hair.

"Bobbie, I think we are missing a lot of pieces to this puzzle!" (in reference to the 100 piece puzzle... children's puzzle... that we assembled at The Tea Place) We were not missing pieces, by the way, we are just too hasty when we can't make the pieces fit right away.

Big Hair Carol.

Hearing there is a "more efficient way" to fill the princess pez dispensers than how we had been doing it all our lives before.

Windsor salt, old beer commercials and being Canadian.

Ninja skills being discussed as a standard for accepting a man as a potential mate.

Being told by Wayne that it's just like before going to war.

Going to ask Julie a question about a bridesmaid dress and instead being reduced to laughter through tears (when I needed it most).

"If I don't laugh, I'll cry."

Cheese discussions at I.G.A. with Tanya, my only contribution being, "I like provalone." Having Tanya say it, at the same time, being an added bonus.

J.C. text messages from both Brandy and Julie (making my catholic heart guffaw and cringe, all at the same time!).

Travel talk with strangers.

"If you aren't going to show, just say so..." (being called on a most unpleasant character trait and having a good time because of it).

"I will order... one bowl of steamed white rice... oh, I didn't really want that, I was just being an ass."

"Happy Birthday. That is all."

As a side note, I find every person who made an appearance here, whether named or unnamed, remarkable.

Monday, January 29, 2007

For Sale

For Sale:

One Castle.

Fortified stone walls reaching 40 feet, vertically, and surrounding the property, ensure privacy AND protection from pesky outsiders.

High slit windows, originally intended for defending against attackers, pilagers and other unwanted visitors, also add the illusion of eternal dusk. This preferred new style of lighting enhances all decor, no matter how dismal.

Security equals safety with a traditional European moat, fully loaded with snapping turtles, alligators and pirahnas. This waterway circles the entire grounds and boasts a newly stained drawbridge for access in and out of the property.

Drawbridge is in working order, though will require maitenance, as its spring mechanism tends to snap back, pulling the bridge up at any given time (whether actually in use or not). (Drawbridge workmen may be able to deodorize the moat water, as it has become stagnant and smells as soon as the light of day hits it).

Sentries are not required, though this castle does employ a full staff, presently. The guards can be kept on retainer, if desired.

Surrounding area is heavily forested and makes for a delightful backdrop, should one climb high enough to stare out the slit windows. It should be noted that would be visitors CAN hide in the woods, so extra caution should be taken in keeping any and all people out.

Cost of Castle and those amenities included: Am willing to negotiate.