How to Have a Baby

The first time I heard the phrase “mind like a steel trap” was when my father, PigPen, had a quiet sit-down with my siblings.  My mother was elsewhere. Likely still asleep in her bed.

“Mom’s been sick in the mornings lately. You’ve noticed, I’m sure,” he began.

We had only one bathroom back at the tiny house that had what my mother described as “cardboard walls”.  We nodded to PigPen, yes.

“So it’s only in the mornings.  And her appetite is weird. And she’s gaining weight. Sensitive about all that. Which means…” He waited.

“She’s pregnant,” I answered.

He pointed to me like I was a contestant on the Price is Right. “Mind like a steel trap,” he said. Continue reading “How to Have a Baby”

The art of winter, or how to cook a squash

The art of cooking a squash begins with the right kind of information

We go to the Jean-Talon, the premier outdoor market in Montreal, to fondle produce before driving back home.

It’s no longer summer, that message made loud and clear by the decrease in foot traffic.  The chill.  The ease in parking.  The brick and mortar shops surrounding the market sporting snow tents for their doors. It doesn’t feel like a party any more.

We hop out and head towards the vast indoors, the weather being about 12 Celcius, but I stop at an outdoor offering, staring at a gaggle of asparagus and thinking about the color of urine. What could I make to go with it? Continue reading “The art of winter, or how to cook a squash”

Confederacy in Quebec

I sent the Director out for a photo shoot, impromptu to capture a different kind of Quebec man.

We were at the bank, about to get some cash when I spied a pick-up truck with a confederate flag on the back window.  His truck had Quebec tags. A curious thing. I squinted harder at the old man in the cab. Was he American?  Why was he taking such a hard stand way up North, past yankee territory to something much worse?

“Go and get a photo of the flag on that guy’s truck,” I pointed.

She looked ahead and emitted an I don’t want to noise. “Why?” Continue reading “Confederacy in Quebec”

Inheritance isn’t a bitch…

…it’s more an Alpha male dog the size of my foot.

The dog I inherited is a complete asshole to everyone but the German, the Director, and me — to whom he’s most devoted. He was my mom’s dog for a brief respite between shelters.  She worried about what would happen to him when if she died.  I’ll take him, the German told her. She breathed a sigh of relief with what little breath she had left.

Continue reading “Inheritance isn’t a bitch…”

Using their words: the Democratic debate

People used their words at the last Democratic candidates’ debate, umpteen days ago.  And while the way they used them, the words, might have changed, since the last debate (old news), they’re still part of their permanent record.  We might as well see what they look like.

A reminder: I copied and pasted the transcript and pasted each speaker into wordle.

Oh, Malley

Continue reading “Using their words: the Democratic debate”

Republicans debate war using words and clouds

Since I missed all of last night’s Republican Debate, as well as all of the previous debates I said to myself, “why not let a professional tell me what happened?”  I didn’t use to be this way, but it’s no fun watching debates by myself since I mostly hang out with Canadians and most of them don’t want to watch American politics.

So I read a live-slog through last night’s performances with the Stranger Election Control Board doing the deed. At the 8:02 part of the debate, they said this:

Continue reading “Republicans debate war using words and clouds”

Death by Tomato

Dear Beaver,

We found a farmer’s market in the next town, the hippie town, to us, and, of course, we deride hippies in general, the royal We, but really they have this town hopping. Everyone wants to go and hang out there when farmer’s market is open on Saturdays. So the royal We bought a box of reject tomatoes for $8 and then brought them home and washed them. And then I put them on the table where I usually sit for meals and let them dry. And now I won’t let Angelique move them, Continue reading “Death by Tomato”

Modern Dance: Elvis or Johnny Cash

I first became aware of modern dance companies by the publicity shots I’d see in newspapers. Women with their hands apart pointing to Casper the Ghost or other imaginary diety. Men, wearing only white gauze, cantering over another dancer in crouch pose eating a daisy. They had me.  And then when I started actually attending dance performances, it sealed the deal.

S called me up and said, “I’ve got a spare for tonight if you want to come to St Sauveur.”   Continue reading “Modern Dance: Elvis or Johnny Cash”