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”
After the election, the Director said, “Canada doesn’t have anything like the KKK. What is it exactly?”
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”
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.
Continue reading “Using their words: the Democratic debate”
My sister breezed through my pretty word clouds in the last post and didn’t know what to think of them because, in her words,
“What’s the big deal? It’s just a bunch of words in a design.”
Continue reading “My Sister, Her Head in the (Word) 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”
The recent outbreaks of Ebola in the US brings me back to another contagious time when people were actually doing something about it.
Despite massive preparation (mostly just worrying) on my part, I got H1N1 while driving from Montreal to Boston (my then regular weekly commute).
I’d heeded the calls. I’d read the posters. I didn’t dismiss the email from the scientist, old as dust, that MIT circulated admonishing us to do everything to avoid getting the flu. He’d apparently barely survived Continue reading “Ebola Might Not Be a Sneeze in the Park”
A gnome visited our house yesterday.
Before we met him, we wondered what he did for money, as he was evasive over the phone.
“Maybe he’s a dealer,” I said.
“Or a criminal,” the Director said.
Continue reading “Enter Gnome”
The street was lined with bricks, and the car, being from the Mesozoic era, made special noises driving over them. Riding in the car with my father, I sat in the front passenger seat, no seatbelt. I opened and shut the metal rectangle attached to the door handle – the ashtray that my parents never used because it was too small. It was not the usual way home so the car didn’t often make the sound. But sometimes it did because the street or streets were nearish enough. Bumpy bumpy, the car went, but it was musical too. I set my ears up like a dog to a whistle.
Continue reading “Riding in the car, mesozoic version”
The Director began singing “Dingle Bells” upon seeing new snow this morning. When I corrected her she said, “I know but ‘Ding Ding’ go the bells.”
Continue reading “New Snow: the maligning of a sacred song”