Oct 092010

I support Freedom to Read. Maybe being part of a minority that has had to fight censorship makes this a pretty big deal for me.

I am proudly anti-censorship.

And this is my website.


It is one of maybe a billion on the internet.

You, therefore, as a surfer, have maybe a billion choices of where you might go and what you might read.
If what I say offends you and your desire to censor others and your need to control things beyond your control, I recommend you grow up, or go to a site more suited to your less than grown up sensibilities and abilities to problem solve..

I’ve been through some stuff. I operate from a belief that my experiences might be of value for others going through similar stuff, because when I was going through them, I couldn’t find anyone who would say how it was or that it might get better.
Therefore, shutting up is the opposite of what I am willing to do when it comes to some of the major issues I have dealt with in the last few years.

Sorry that rubs you the wrong way, but I suggest you spend your internet hours elsewhere. Ya know, if you can’t stand the heat, yada yada…

How about you do that?
And just leave me alone?

 Posted by at 10:33 pm
Feb 032010


This post is a long time overdue.

On some level, I have been waiting for the right elements to come together, so I could put this together as well as can be. I have been waiting to get some pictures so I could embed them in this post. I still don’t have the pictures. And I don’t seem to be sleeping, and things Catherine-related seem to be occupying my mind, so here I am.

I’ve thought about the process of writing this post for quite some time. I’ve tried to anticipate in advance just how candid and exposed I wish to be with the big old world about this.

I can’t say just how that will go, because, even after two months of trying to work through the details, I still have no idea what I will say here. What is there to say? Why, there is the need to say everything and the need to say nothing, because how can I ever, really, explain.

Without meaning to sound maudlin or self-indulgent, I don’t really think I have met anyone who knows how I feel, because how could they? Just like I have no idea how anyone else is feeling, except for what I imagine they might be feeling. But I am still imagining.

So, the nuts and bolts, the meat and potatoes, of this thing is that my…. ex-girlfriend, very dear friend and a bunch of other things I don’t have words for, died in a plane crash off Saturna Island on November 29/2009. There is a lot written on the internet about that. It was in the Globe and Mail, on the CBC website, it was everywhere. It was a big news story. You can google it.

There is something very strange about losing a loved one and having that loss be national news. On one hand, people around you are perhaps more kind, because everyone knows a lot, real or imagined, about the situation. It also means that you are confronted with the facts of your loss over and over and over and at times when you may not be expecting it, like sitting at work or a diner and glancing at a newspaper. It also means that some people will make a point of speaking to you about the details they have heard on the news, whether they are part of that world or not. It means your grief is news, and that makes a hard process more than a little strange.

One of the weird aspects of all this has been the internet. Because Catherine was not a very cyber-ish gal, she was much more in person, in the flesh, and it’s strange to see how her death has been handled by the internet. I mean, how much the internet has been a tool that allowed people to meet or converse or grieve, in a way that would have been much more difficult without it. Maybe that’s irony. I hear people always think things are ironic when they are actually just odd coincidences, and I don’t want to make that embarrassing mistake right now. But if the situation was different and the roles were somehow swapped, it’s unlikely that Catherine would have relied on the internet for information and communication the way many of us did for her death. She wasn’t a Facebook-y sort of gal.

So, Catherine died and I’ve had about 2 months to start processing that, and yet I find myself not quite up to the task. I raise my hand in unabashed admittance that I am in a profound state of denial. I quite literally can’t imagine never seeing Catherine again. It simply makes no sense to me, so, it seems I don’t believe it. I hear denial is a bad coping mechanism, but for right now, it’s what I have to work with. It will all turn into some sort of train wreck at some point, and that will be ugly but right now, that’s what I am doing. The closest I have come to dealing with it was when I was really sick with the flu a couple of weeks ago. I was too sick to sleep, and I ended up laying in bed, staring at the ceiling, letting some tiny speck of it all seap in.

I suppose it’s rude of me to be charging ahead and not giving you the back story, the history, the where it all began.

The world of Spike and Catherine began at a Hallowe’en dance in 1985. We danced together.

I don’t really dance.

It started something.

I was seeing someone at the time who, in retrospect was probably suffering from borderline personality and who treated me in ways that probably qualify as abusive. Catherine was horrified by how this woman treated me, and actually drilled it through my thick melon that I deserved to be treated better than that.

To every woman I ever dated who thought I expected to much, I say, take it up with Catherine. Seriously.

No one had ever treated me as well as Catherine did. She found out what my favorite flowers are and made a habit of having bouquets delivered to my home. No one has ever done that. She would take me out for brunches of eggs benedict and mimosa’s. I had never had a breakfast that was more complicated than bacon and eggs. I could go on, but the point is, she looked after me, and no one had ever done that before. She put great thought and effort into it, and it was completely and utterly about me, not what her last girlfriend had liked so I would probably like it, too. Catherine had a way of paying attention and making you believe you were worth it. I haven’t had a lot of that in my life.

We went out, and we broke up and we kept the parts of our relationship that we liked and made ourselves friends. For 25 years, we were there in each other’s lives.

When I knew I had to have this big spooky surgery for what might turn out to be cancer, but I was pretty sure it wasn’t, Catherine was out of town, on vacation with her partner. A mutual friend was picking them up at the airport. I told him, before he picked them up, “You can’t tell Catherine about the surgery and all that crap, not when she first gets home.” And, he’s a good guy, so he didn’t. I spoke to her about it a couple of years ago, told her I had told our friend he shouldn’t tell her. Not like she couldn’t know because that is obviously stupid, but she had just had a holiday and I wanted her to be able to stay in that relaxed frame of mind for a little while, before my big exciting dramatic life came crashing through her door. So, I told her about my moratorium on the news, and she told me that when she heard I was in a sticky situation, medically speaking, the words than ran through her mind were, “You can’t take my Spike.”

Because that’s what we were, or it’s part of what we were. When I was struggling to stay alive, one of the considerations in the plus column was that it would have upset Catherine if I didn’t.

I find this part difficult to express. We don’t really live in a culture that values relationships with ex-lovers.  And the having been lovers part was significant and was the base of the thing, but it really was an old love and was way more involved than simply ‘ex-lovers’, in the standard sense. Catherine was, among other things, the person I knew would remember my birthday, would make sure we exchanged presents at Christmas and would call on Saint Patrick’s Day. People who have family might not understand how big those little things are, that being remembered stuff. Catherine did many, many things for me over the years and those details of remembering me through those times was stuff that made me feel loved, even when things in my life were hard.

In some ways, I have hesitated to write about Catherine’s death because I have been so overwhelmed by some many details and so many people. It’s probably not hyperbole to say that there were 600 people at Catherine’s service, There was a lot of crying. And some singing. And some laughing and story-telling. And a great deal of whiskey was consumed. A lot of emotion was emoted that night. Catherine knew a lot of people and helped a lot of people and lots of them showed up to thank her and talk about their relationships with her. And that was good.

And not to sound maudlin or self-pitying, but….

I heard what people said, and it sounded true and I certainly believed them, but it all sounded so different than how I related to her. One of the differences was, if you love someone for 25 years and were in a ‘relationship’ with them, odds are you may have had an argument or two over the years. I knew Catherine well enough to have gone to the mat with her once or twice, and it wasn’t to grab a quick kiss, and I knew the 360 degree, stereoscopic, surround sound Catherine, and how she could be angelic, or she could flay you with a sentence and leave you there wondering where your arterial blood had disappeared to. I say this about her because I could and can do the same. I knew her well enough to fight with her, because our relationship was worth fighting for and, because I thought that one of the points of our relationship was to be there for each other and to also tell the other one if she was full of shit, As sweetly as possible, but at the end of the day, one of the great values of knowing someone so well and so long is that you know when they are full of it, and you also know when they are starting to come unwrapped or maybe steering their little sanity bus too close to the cliff. We did all those things for each other over the years. During the time when my parents were dying, I had become really isolated, which made all the hard things harder. I was really really hurt and really really nuts, and Catherine made a point of reaching out to me in those dark times.

I don’t know what else to say. It’s already too much or not enough, but probably both.

It doesn’t make any sense to me. And when she died, I realized that somewhere along the line I had decided that Catherine would live longer than me. Now, I admit, I had about a year to lay in bed and think about things like that and at times it seemed the only person I might outlive would be the Queen Mum. I’m not sure if that’s where the idea took root, or whether it just logically seemed that if Catherine could survive her adolescence, she would probably live forever. In my mind, she was on a porch, with her long hair turned silver and white, and she was still helping people, listening, making people feel listened to, subtly nudging people in the right direction. Not to be maudlin and self involved, but I don’t know how to make sense of a world where I am here and she is not.

Now don’t go freaking out… it’s not a statement that has an undercurrent of dramatic action.

I just mean it doesn’t make sense.

And I have a curse, well several actually, but one of them is, if something doesn’t make sense to me, and it’s important to me, oh my, do I keep turning that thing around and around and around and thinking about it and trying to make sense of it.

It’s a curse. And I have it going on now.

And it’s not the garden variety, ‘why would the universe take Catherine and leave George W Bush or… name your favourite dickwad tyrant here.’

But it’s just so stupid. The world was a better place with Catherine in it, and she had lots of life left in her, so why isn’t she here?

You don’t have to answer that. And if you say everything happens for a reason or some other Shirley MacLaine crap, I’ll send you a virus in the return mail.

The world, if it wants to be good, is going to have to put more effort into that with Catherine gone.

That’s the corny thing that I would like. I’d like people to just try to be nicer, kinder, more forgiving, more inclusive as a way of honouring Catherine and as a way of trying to balance the void left with the loss of her. I’d like it, but I am not sure people can do that, including myself. No one knows better than me that we can say all sorts of lofty things about how we will behave in the future when we feel our little earthbound cages being rattled. I’d like to think we might all really try to be better about whatever our particular selfish defect of character might be. Stretch ourselves. It’s like some sort of psychic socialism. We all have to be better in the world to replace the good things the world lost when it lost Catherine.

If that’s too flakey for words, I am gonna blame the lateness of the hour and the fact that tomorrow marks the beginning of another string of check ups and pokes and blood draws and being jammed in a tube, etc, by my pals at the cancer agency. I really should be asleep by now. But I also really should have written this about 7 weeks ago. I’m sorry it is sans images. As soon as I get some, I will slap them in to this post.

And so, little munchkins, it’s late and we should all be asleep by now and I am going to go bunk down. And leave you with the immortal words of Catherine and Tim Curry.

“Don’t dream it. Be it.”

or put another way, in the immortal words of Spike Harris, “This is not a dress rehearsal.”

I’ll try to remember those things if you will.

 Posted by at 2:23 am
Nov 032008

I guess if you only update your blog once a month, you should have something to say.

Briefly, it’s like this…

this weekend is the anniversary of my mom’s death. Since my dad died so quickly after her, it is hard to separate out one set of grief from the other. Oddly, I have been thinking a lot about the town where they lived. I never lived there and really didn’t like that town one bit. But I have been having lots of little flashbacks to places there. It feels related to autumn, for some inexplicable reason.
Anyway… my mom died during Day of the Dead.
Given that we all, apparently, gotta die, I think that’s a pretty good time to leave the planet.

In other news, after nine years of slogging it out in the trenches, it appears I am moving into a new job. Same organization, different position.
It’s been a long time coming. I don’t know if anyone else would have hung around for 9 years waiting for the long promised job to materialize, but I did, and it did, and it just goes to prove that I am loyal and determined rather than stubborn and unreasonable.
Well, I am likely a tasteful blend of all those qualities.

And the last tidbit is I am now a certified Open Water Scuba Diver. And while the course may be relatively straightforward for some, I had to work at it. And I had an underwater mishap that shook me up, and I had to go back and get back on the seahorse and do it again. I’m not sure if you have ever been unable to breathe while 30 feet underwater in the chilly old ocean, but it does activate something primal. I’d call that something – terror.
But I went back and did it again, and I was scared but I did it anyway.
And then I did it one more time because I wanted it solid.
It took up a lot of my mental energy, just getting ready to do this, well, actually overcoming the fear, talking to myself about how it is clearly possible to do this and I just had one thing that went sideways and it was all gonna be okay.

So, I conquered that seadragon on the anniversary of my mom’s death. I didn’t set it up that way; it’s just the way the cookie crumbled. But it was good.
And having succeeded at the skill, I realized that it is complicated to express elation underwater. But that’s okay. I think everyone knew.

Life has been such a shitstorm over the last few years, I am cautious about saying I think it’s getting better, but I am now willing to consider whispering that it may just be beginning to show signs of turning the corner and around that corner, there is a more generous light supply that what I have had for the last few years.

 Posted by at 7:33 am
Aug 292008

As I mentioned, I just spent most of August in Costa Rica. It was pretty fabulous. And I took a few pictures while I was there. Unlike the folks I was traveling with, I didn’t spend a lot of time taking pictures of my lunch; instead I was trying to soak up as much of the experience of being there as I could.

That said, I did take a few (around 300) pictures and had the good taste to cull the blurry and the stupid and the ‘what the hell is that?’.
If you’d like to see what cut the mustard and have a wee glimpse at some of the stuff I did and some of the places I went, you can check out the new stuff in the gallery. You can find that here.

Sadly but for obvious reasons, there are no photos of the white water rafting, which was incredibly fun. But cameras and rapids, not a good mix.

 Posted by at 7:03 pm
Aug 222008


I haven’t posted lately and this time I have an excellent reason for that.
I was relaxing (see above) in the biologically diverse paradise we gringos call Costa Rica.

I’ll write about it and post some pictures soon, but now I need to find some groceries.

 Posted by at 11:59 am
Jan 122008

It’s been a typically long while since I last posted. Someone left me a little nudge in my comments section and the light went on. The magic one that appears above my head in my more animated moments.

See, it’s a weird thing with we cancer bloggers that if you don’t post for some chunk of time, people begin to worry. It’s a strange kinship. But it’s also a very good thing. It’s an experience unlike any other that I have had. I have become part of a secret club that nobody would ever wish to join, but now that we are here so we do our best to help each other and keep an eye on each other and share information about treatment and surviving in general. And in many cases we could pass on the street and not know each other. But, I am deeply affected by the good things and the bad things that happen in the lives of these folks and I suspect others have the same experience.
It’s strange, but a very good sort of strange and I am awfully glad that folks are out there, doing those things.
I’m also glad for my local face to face comrades. We all share something and, not to be all Sesame Street about it, but the sharing is good.

So, how’ve I been?
You know, I really couldn’t say. Which isn’t a very helpful response because you’d think me, of all people, ought to be able to at least fudge an answer.
But I think my mom’s death sort of hip checked me into some new and different frame of mind. It’s difficult to describe and mostly I am still trying to figure it out.
Some wee snippets of it are things like…. at Christmas this year, I had this small but constant sadness that I would never get a Christmas present from my mom ever again. Now, the reality is, my mom hasn’t been able to participate in Christmas for about 5 years. And I was not someone who believed she would ever have a miracle recovery from Alzheimers and we would all slide back to happier times. But it was the absolute finality of it that kept nipping at me.
And it wasn’t about needing or wanting some more stuff. It was a sense of missing how my mom used to put a lot of care and attention into the presents, and the wrapping itself was a work of art.

When my dad had to step up and take over that detail there was a marked change in the whole deal.
My dad, who has non Alzheimer’s related memory problems in that he just plain spaces things out, would send us each a smoke detector, some wrenches and a few screwdrivers all with their Canadian Tire price tag still on it. Often there would also be a one pound can of beer. Like I said, memory problems.
And I don’t mean to take away from the things my dad did. Because they are sweet in the way he tried so hard to do this thing, a thing he had never done before and here he was, an all grown up man, having to learn how to do the Christmas shopping for his grown kids. And are there any people more difficult to shop for than your adult relatives?
But I digress.

I tried pretty hard to do the ‘it’s just another day’ version of Christmas this year. But on the inside, it was a pretty introspective time. Which is okay. There are far worse ways of spending Christmas than being introspective, and I am guessing at least a few people reading this had them. It’s a tough time for lots of people. This year was tough, but not as tough as I had expected.

Okay, so Christmas is over.

It seems the current plan in family-land is to sell my parents’ home, though I guess I should say ‘my dad’s home’, but right now, I don’t feel like it.
And that creates another strange set of emotions. My dad is now enjoying all the mod-cons of a care facility and no longer needs a house. It all makes sense. So the siblings, and myself if I can squeeze in the time between work and school, will go to that wretched town and empty out my parents’ home and then it will be sold.
Now bearing in mind that this house is not one I have ever lived in myself. And that I hate hate hate the town my dad lives in. I still have this eerie feeling that there will no longer be that home base, that spot you can always sneak back to if the spit hits the spam in your life. The old safety net.
Given that I have never really used it as a safety net, it’s not so much of a loss in real terms. It was some strange under-utilized form of stability so, I suppose I should go create its replacement, though I don’t have a clue what that will mean or what it will look like.

That’s about it for now. Things are different. Still strange, still difficult more often that I would wish for (but who can’t say that?) but in a calm sort of way.

And to leave this on a trashy pop culture up-beat note, I am currently smitten, in a movie-star smitten sort of way, with Helena Bonham Carter. I watched the 5th Harry Potter movie one day last week and saw Sweeney Todd the next. Helena Bonham Carter does evil so good.

 Posted by at 11:55 am
Nov 092007

Last Saturday night, I had intended to be hanging out at an apres Hallowe’en “Day of the Dead” party but about the time the doors were opening for that event, my mom took one final lung full of breath and then cashed in her chips.
I’ve spent the last week in a town that I hate, burying a woman that I love and hanging on to a very delicate thread that ties me to sanity and the big picture. Okay, it slipped away more than once.

I expect I will feel a lot of things about my mom’s death over the next little while. There hasn’t been much time to just sit and let the reality wash over me. I’m sure that will come, and at all the least convenient times.

Here’s the thing.
I am a mix of good things and bad things. Somedays I am hard pressed to know what the good things might be, especially lately.
Whatever good there is in me got planted there by my mom.
When I was a kid, my mom wouldn’t let me watch Hogan’s Heroes. She said Nazi concentration camps/POW camps weren’t funny.
When I came home at age five and said someone had ‘jew’ed’ me out of something, she sat me on a stool and told me why I shouldn’t talk use expressions that justified treating other people atrociously.
When I came home at age six and said someone ‘gyp’ed’ me out of something, I got the same conversation, this time about the persecution of the gypsies rather than the Jews.
When I have acted like a dope, my mom could tell me to grow up and get over it and…. I would. More often than not.
I have always held my mom, and her opinion of me, in very high regard.

My mom died of Alzheimers, but more to the point, she died from isolation. When she was in her fifties, she and my dad moved to a town where she had to start all over again. And that was just too hard. It was too hard for her to find a job at that age and her social circle was vaporized, so that her only friends were the wives of my dad’s friends. And that didn’t actually click.
I feel bad about the loneliness my mother lived with for the last chunk of her life and I find myself wondering if there was anything I could have done better to support her.

My mom was smart and funny and ethical. She tried very hard to be fair, and I try to do the same.

It’s been a long time since my mom and I could have a conversation. She stopped knowing who her kids were about 3 years ago. And yet, she knew we were all there sitting with her right before she died. Something was different, her eyelids would flutter when one of us would talk. I dunno, but I know she knew we were there and I know that it mattered for her. And then she died.
If you knew how completely unlikely it is for me and my siblings to all be in the same room at the same time, you, like me, might think that she had actually died of shock.

So… my mom is dead.
Because it’s been so long since she participated in her life, I convinced myself it was just sort of a technicality. But I sat in the car and wept when we drove to the hospital to tell my dad that the woman he married 57 years ago had died.

The funny, not ha-ha funny but kick you in the ass funny, part is that everyone in my family has been having kittens about my dad and his crap-tastic health and his not-long-for-this-astral-plane future, and then my mom goes and sucker punches all of us and I think, “Good for you, mom. Good for finally getting some tiny shred of the attention you deserved.”

If there is one decent thing about my mom and Alzheimers, it’s that she was completely unaware of my whole cancer process, chemo and all its vile side effects. I am glad she never had to watch me go through that.

So, R.I.P. Mom.
Thanks for doing all you could to make me a decent person and the world a decent place.

 Posted by at 10:50 pm
Aug 012007


I just spent 4 glorious days in this groovy cabin. I actually spent 2 months in this very cabin last winter. Back then, it didn’t look quite as splendid. That was because there was snow all over the ground as well as fallen trees and crap. Much chain saw action was necessary back then.This weekend was completely glorious. I drove off the ferry and I felt my shoulders start to drop.

The cabin is kind of bare bones. And there is a different cabin that I sleep in when I am there.
But here is the pretty cool part of the story.

I ordered my copy of the last Harry Potter book from that evil bookslinger that sells things basically at cost. Being a cheap bastard, I opted for the free shipping feature.
Now, I work 12 hour shifts and, from what the folks at Amazon were telling me, the book was due to arrive on one of my work days. So I arranged with my landlordy that she would take delivery for me and I would give her a container of yummy corn chowder. She did her part by being home and available. But the Mensa dudes at Canada Post apparently couldn’t read the sign I left on the door of the building, saying to buzz the landlordy. So, in spite of the sign, they buzzed my place, I wasn’t home, and they sent my book to a local post office, where it is still waiting to be picked up.

That was a speed bump interfering with my plan for a perfect weekend, but that was okay because I had a big armful of books with me for my little vacation.

So, I was on Galiano, having an amazing dinner of halibut grilled on the barbeque and we started chatting pop culture. I mentioned being vexed by Amazon. My friends mentioned that they had a copy and, since they had already read it, it was available for reading.
Well, really, it was all I could do to stay and finish dinner.

And that’s how I spent my time away. Laying in a chair, in the sun, on the deck of a wonderful cabin, reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Gallows. It was marvelous.

The other wonderful thing about being at the cabin is… there are bees. Lots and lots of bees. They swarm around the fuscia plants at the cabin. You can stand right in the middle of them, and they just keep buzzing around, doing their bee thing, completely uninterested in hurting you, and rubbing their little bee feet together and making with the honey.
I liked that a whole lot.
And the eagles.
And the dragonflies.
And some brilliant yellow little birds that maybe were some sort of finch, I dunno. I just really liked them.
And the strange thing that kept making splashing sounds in the pond, but I never did figure out what it was.


And then one morning, I woke up and saw that a rat had chewed through the screen on my cabin window and had helped himself to a goodly chunk of my peach.
Well, what the hell.
I thought it was funny.
The owner of the property felt considerably less jolly about the whole affair. What with the rat-liness of the whole thing. Me, I thought it was an ambitious mouse but the owner of the property says rat, rat, rat.

And now I am back in the city. Did my week’s worth of work and now I am on holidays till August 13th.
It’s Gay Pride in my town, so that will take a big chunk of the first half of that time.
And then, after that, I may just toss some food in my cooler and head off camping by myself.

And then… if everything works out, which really remains to be seen, a week long kayaking trip later in the month.
Come September I know I will have to buckle down with work and school and having no life and so I plan on running a bit wild this summer and leaving the cats in foster care a bit too often.
I’m sure they’ll deal.

Happy Pride, folks.

 Posted by at 9:30 pm
Jun 102007

Last week, while screwing around on my PC, I suffered an all too familiar screen freeze. I quickly wrapped my hand around the CPU to flip the ‘any key’ and that was all fine. It was just that the re-flipping produced absolutely no results. Just a big black screen on my monitor staring back at me uselessly. I was at first optimistic that there may be a miraculous and spontaneous re-birth, but no.

It’s times like this when it sucks to work 12 hour shifts because I had to wait till Thursday to even get a chance to take my computer in to the shop. And I must say, it was freaky to spend some time sans computer and realize my huge reliance on the beastly machine.
For example, I had a request to make some soup for a friend who is sick, and I originally thought, “sure, there is that yummy black bean soup I have been living off lately”. But then I realized that the recipe was online (at epicurious.com, in case you are looking for a great website for recipes) so instead I had to guttle around in the freezer and find a couple of tupperware containers of Sportswoman soup, which is a recipe known only to me, and while I am sure it did the trick for my friend, it was amazing to keep slamming into my assumption that anything that needed to be done could be done online.

I don’t know about you, but I am fairly internet dependent and I would say that I get an urge to do something, whether that is write an e-mail or look something up, at least twenty times a day.
In a big picture sort of way, I am glad that I went without, if only to demonstrate where I am at with all that.
And I am also happy because I spent way more time just laying on my couch reading books, rather than reading, well, who knows what sort of mindless shite on the computer.

Summer is making itself known here in my city, if only in a tentative way, and I have started exploring some vacation options for myself. Stay tuned on that score.
A vacation seems sorely needed.
Work has been especially gruelling lately, dealing with a lot of death in the work community. And it was made even more freaky when one of my co-workers was assaulted by one of the folks we work with. The colleague received 30 stitches to his face, many of which were around and inside his eye.
It’s crap like that that makes a person jump back a bit and say, “whoa… that could have been me. and why am I doing this, exactly?”
Of course, we do it for more complicated reasons than I can explain right here, but still, I think everyone I work with was horrified that someone who is known to us could do such an awful thing to a co-worker, and a totally nice man.

So, that’s me, in a nutshell. As always, it’s a mix of good and sort of complicated.

Okay, amigos. It’s a work night and there are dishes to do and counters to wipe before I lay my scruffy head down for the night.


 Posted by at 9:15 pm
May 272007

I have been so out of it for the last while that, with some degree of surprise, I realize that spring has pretty much uncoiled and sprung and is patiently waiting for the tap on the shoulder from summer, at which point spring will wander elsewhere until we need it again next year. I’m not sure where it goes. Maybe it slides into a big Rubbermaid container and gets pushed under the bed. Who knows?

I moved into my place on March 1st and while I knew I had a stunning view, it’s these days when the sun shines for a long time that really drives that point home. My view is excellent during the day and also at night, when I can see the lights on the bridge off in the distance and the ships in the harbour down below me. I have had days when I drag my sorry ass home from work, just run down and exhausted, and walked in the door and had the view both overwhelm and cheer me.

The cats have a tiny balcony and they lay out there and come in all warm and half-baked from the sunshine.
They lay around in the enormous pools of sunlight that come in. It just delights me every time I see them stretched out in the sun. They seem content here, and I am happy about that.

I have been hitting the gym a lot lately, finally getting back in that groove which I fell out of when I moved. Getting the routine established has been harder this time than other returns, but I think I have it down now. I have also been riding my mountain bike a lot lately. I realized about a month ago that it takes me exactly the same amount of time to drive my truck to work, park and then walk the 4 blocks to my work site as it does to get on my bike and blow all those pedestrians off the sidewalk… and when the cost of gas went up to $1.20 a litre, well, the stupidity of driving my truck was just too clear, even to me.

And I have been re-reading the Harry Potter books, in anticipation of the final book’s release in a few weeks. It amazes me how she created a series where some small detail in the second book will come back into focus in the 6th book. It also amazes me how many of the details I have forgotten over the last couple of years but I blame the chemo for that. I really, really like the HP series and think J,K.Rowling has done an amazing thing for literacy. And I will be both happy and sad when the final book is released, because I will have it, but then it will be over. But I think old JK probably deserves some quiet time with her family and loved ones. It may be a long time till she can have that, but wrapping up the HP series will probably provide some light at the end of the tunnel.

That’s it from me. I am feeling pretty optimistic about the summer and ways that I can spend a whole lot of time away from here and relaxing elsewhere. Money is always a consideration, but I have a few things in mind and I am hoping that I spend the summer making special guest appearances at work rather than being a regularly scheduled guest.

And on a somewhat sad note, I got an e-mail from the folks at Pandora.com saying that they were suspending service to clients who were not in the USA. For those who don’t know, Pandora was a music genome project and it was a brilliant way to turn yourself on to new music. As a user, you would create your own ‘stations’ based on an artist or album that you liked and Pandora would search its files and play music that other users had rated as being similar. So, I had created an “Etta James” station and got turned on to other women blues singers. Same for creating a “Leo Kottke” station, or even… a “Metallica” station. I don’t really understand why users have to be in the USA, but apparently it had something to do with copyright issues. But if you are south of the 49th, you should really make the most of this. And me, I am just hoping the resolve whatever deets need to be resolved because it was such a great thing. Just pick an artist that your are in the mood for, plunk the name in, and wander around your place listening to great music.
They have to bring it back!
Fingers crossed.

Rodger Dodger
over and out.

 Posted by at 7:03 pm
Apr 222007

For the unfortunate group of folks who show up as my friends on LJ, I am truly sorry for the fact that my recent attempt at a website tweak, which would allow cross-posting from my site to my LJ page, well, rumour has it that things went haywire and people got buried in 5 screens worth of old news about me and my life.
I do apologize for that.

And to set the record straight, I did get hit by a bus, but that was 2 years ago and everything is fine in that regard now.
And nope, Elaine and I did not get back together. Those things we wrote about going through cancer stuff together are now historical documents.

It was sort of bizarre, in a gruelling sort of way, for me to read all that stuff again. To think back to the beginning of the process and how freaky that was and how I had no clue what to expect or if I would even be alive today, and just try to muster the courage to put one foot in front of the other and do it.
At the time, people told me I was brave, and I remember thinking, “What other choice do I have?”
It’s weird to look back at it all.
Thinking about all the people who helped us along the way.
Thinking about all the tests and the terror and the uncertainty.
Thinking about the side effects; the memory loss and the neuropathy.
The whole event made my head tingle in some ways I hadn’t been ready for.
And that’s sort of interesting, since it’s my life I was talking about.

Anyway, for the folks who I inundated, I do apologize.

On other fronts, I saw both my gyno oncologist and my folks at the High Risk clinic (who follow me and my BRCA mutation and where that has mutated to at any given moment) and both camps are happy with my blood work and my mammograms and all that happy crap.
So, that’s good news.

And it’s spring, and I like spring. All that new life and all those fresh starts, it’s almost inspiring.

Oh, and I had a birthday in there, too. Which is another reason I like spring.

That’s it, that’s all.

 Posted by at 3:33 pm
Apr 122002

Yikes, I have been remiss with my little website.

But let me take a stab at correcting that.

Today, I am sad to announce that my beloved stove top espresso maker is Officially Pronounced Dead.

It’s bean a long, glorious, delicious and invigorating relationship. And I have been in denial for a while. I saw that the metal was starting to strain and crack in the basket, but ignored it. I noticed the flavour was starting to be less than it had been in the past, but just put an extra effort into cleaning it. But today, at approximately 3:45 pm, the coffee maker officially spit its last blast of steam thru a blend of beans and made it quite clear that there would be no second cup.

I’m sitting here with only a couple of sips left, trying to think of what bill I should dodge for a month so I can scrape up the money to get the next machine.

Maybe that’s not very sentimental, but I take my joe pretty seriously and this is a bad time of the week to be left with no joe.

Maybe I should set up a paypal account like other folks have….

 Posted by at 10:26 am