Saturday, September 27, 2008


One Christmas, back in my late teens, I received a gargoyle for Christmas. Technically it is a grotesque, as a gargoyle has a built-in spout to redirect water away from the side of a building, but at the time, I did not know the difference. Anyhow, it was winged dog, about a foot tall, and I thought it was pretty cool.

The next Christmas, I received a four inch tall grotesque on a little pedestal and a gargoyle calendar. The next year came the black-sand pewter hourglass framed by six grotesques, and a garden grotesque tic-tac-toe game. People had started to assume I was the gargoyle type.

As a side note, as a birthday gift just after that last Christmas, my sister bought me a wooden skull, with wings made of bones expanding in a two and a half foot wingspan. The salesgirl at the store she bought it at gave her a look that asked "Really?" and my sister said "It's his type of thing." Because, you know, skulls uh... and gargoyles and... yeah, I don't even know.

The salesgirl gave her a pitying look and sold it to her at half price.

When my wife came back from BFF (and brought with her tons of story) she said she brought me a gift and hefting over a box with a smirk on her face. Opening it up, I saw a lot of packing paper, and a book on top: Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. Apparently Random House provided the attendants of this bloggerfest free copies of the book, and had also held a draw for a prize - which Lara had won...

Gargoyle Bookends. "Cuz it's your thing!" she could barely withhold her chortling.

Anyhoo. The book's pretty good! It's about a hedonistic sort of fellow who has never loved anyone. He gets in a car accident and gets severe burns all over his body. As he recovers in the burn ward he is approached by a patient from the psychiatric ward who tells him she was born in the 14th century and that they were married. She tells him stories of love from different ages, including their supposed shared past, and slowly he begins to fall for her. She's a sculptor who creates gargoyles and grotesques - the strange forms call to her from within the stone and she brings them forth in days-long sessions, giving them a "heart" when they are complete. Then she informs the burned narrator that she has only 27 "hearts" left to give before her time on earth is done.

I saw a review in some magazine describing Gargoyle as "The Time Traveller's Wife meets the English Patient", which is a pretty lame review, because all three are on completely different levels. Gargoyle is quite well written, has a cynical tone which made me laugh - loved the part where he goes on for a page listing off the food at the Christmas dinner, inserting random things within to make sure you're actually reading; my wife is a chronic word/sentence/tract skipper so it made me think of her - and definitely my type of thing.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Weekly Wednesday #28

Weekly Link:
The Little Mermaid gets her tongue cut out, can't get the prince, and dies, turning to sea foam (she turns into a maid of the air, but dead is dead. Practically everyone in the Hunchback of Notre Dame - dead. At least in Disney's Snow White the queen died, but they still should have kept with the original death - her feet were forced into heated iron shoes and she danced until she fell down dead. Disney can't even stop themselves with the bowdlerization of their own materials - we had a 101 Dalmatians book in which Cruella De Vil wanted not a puppy fur coat, but to have the biggest dalmatian puppy circus in the world. Seriously? Screw that.
I don't want my kid growing up thinking we can put Humpty Dumpty back together again "if we wish real hard". This is a common rant I have, which has been brought up to the forefront of my mind after reading this: Fear of Fairy Tales

Weekly Image:
Vintage ads are hilarious. If you look up 1515 W. Hart Ave on google maps, the closest match it finds in street view is a back alley.

Weekly Workplace:
Wow. Seriously. I don't want to talk about it.

Weekly Kiernan:
We were at my mother's the other day, getting ready to leave, when she offered to change his diaper. Score! Anyhow, as she removed his dirty diaper, he exclaimed "I'm all done pooping!" My mother asked "All done peeing too?" and he squinched his eyes in the way he does when he's sitting on the potty, and you could tell he was really trying. Luckily for my mother, he was in fact done.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Woman's True Sexual Responsibility

The following excerpts are from Chapter 4 of The Manual of Hygiene - Father and Son by M.A. Horn.

Woman's True Sexual Responsibility

(Though short, this chapter should be very enlightening!)

Most divorces reaching the courts are instituted by women against men. Most often the cause given is that the husband found "another woman," one who apparently gave him better sexual satisfaction. The husband is held entirely to blame, both by the court and by the friends and acquaintances of the couple. If the truth were known, probably in more than half these cases the wife was as much or more to blame than the husband.

(I am curious as to how M.A. Horn, the Nation's Favourite Author managed to not even have his biography on Wikipedia entry. I want to know more about this classy guy.)

Perhaps she was taught in her childhood and adolescence that the sex act was not "nice" - that it would be a most degrading think if she were to act as if she enjoyed it.
Any husband who allows his wife to entertain such ideas after he has married her, has only himself to blame if his marriage does not measure up to what he thinks it should be. Also, if you are one of those men (and if you are, you constitute the great majority) who think only of their own self gratification and give no thought to that of your wife, you are at fault. You are at fault if you bungle the art of love, if you are too hasty in your love making and if you have failed to educate your wife in the matter of sex.

(Okay, so let's recap the math: Over half the time, the woman is to blame, and the great majority of the time the man is at fault. Got it.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Weekly Wednesday #27

Weekly Link:
The stupidest haircuts on the internet

Weekly Image:

Weekly Kiernan:
He turned two on the weekend, and he's still a genius. The other morning he corrected his use of verb-usage mid-sentence: "Mommy are you going - Mommy are you coming downstairs?" Also, he's definitely Canadian. Or maybe Lara and I just say "Eh?" at the end of too many sentences for him not to mimic.

Weekly Video:
New Pomplamoose! Woohoo!

Weekly Environment:
If you buy compostable bags to line your kitchen compost bin, please note that the bag may compost before it's time to empty the bin, thus lowering the usefulness of the bags.

Weekly WTF:
Blog posts which revert to earlier saves when you preview them.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Bob tagged me, so here are six random facts about me.

First, the random rules (hat tip to Connie Crosby):
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on the blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

1. I have a thing for cartoons from the 1930s, especially Betty Boop. I have far too much random Betty Boop trivia in my brain - did you know she was originally a dog? The animators had such a bizarre creativity at times - my favourite parts being the looping segments of most complex Rube Goldberg setups that make me wonder whether the animators were showing off or merely on hallucinogens. I have a pile of classic cartoon DVDs (and CDs of downloaded episodes from the pre-youtube days, gasp!) yet to be watched, except for the one which Kiernan and I were enjoying until his mommy told us that the Be Human episode is a little violent and we had to stop.

2. My ears don't seem to register the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard. "I don't understand the problem..." I once said to classmates, scratching away as they cringed.

3. I first drove standard when I was in my early teens, on a tractor at my grandparents' farm. When I'd puttered around in the lowest gear for a while my grandfather suggested I push the throttle up. Expecting it to be the sort of mechanism that should be stiff to move, like a bike's gearshift, I pushed too hard, and the throttle was nearly at its maximum. The only pond in the field was directly ahead. In my panicked state I luckily remembered that I needed to clutch before braking, and when my grandfather caught up he said "That's enough for today." and I didn't drive standard until I met my wife.

4. I sometimes have vivid dreams in which everything is completely normal until I notice my mouth hurts a bit... then when I check them out in the mirror my teeth fall out. Sometimes I dream that I wake up and check my teeth again and they fall out a second time. Those nights suck.

5. Rogers Cable 22, the local public access TV station, ran a series of dramatic shows involving teen choices. I was the skinny male lead (this was 30 pounds ago, in my pre-college days) in the episode on body image. The closing shot involved me in a bathroom stall, conflicted look upon my face as I stared down at a baggie of "steroids" and a dental syringe. I've never seen the actual episode, so if anyone has contacts at Rogers, please get them to "accidentally" run a magnet over the original copies.

6. My second most-hated font is Matisse.

Now, the six people I must tag. Do I even know six blogging people? I choo-choo-choose you, enchante, Lynn (don't know if you want the traffic, so no link), Lara, surferjay, kimizzy, and... um... my sister. What's her blog again?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A great win for spelling sticklers everywhere!

The billboard mentioned in yesterday's post has been updated.


Someone must have complained.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Weekly Wednesday #26

... Happy Yearly Wednesday Lara!

Weekly Celebration:
Three years ago today I was lucky enough to marry the love of my life. Insert sappy stuff here. Happy Anniversary!

Weekly Link:
The Large Hadron Collider at CERN went on while I was asleep and the world didn't end. Reality didn't alter whatso --- wait a second --- wasn't I a raccoon yesterday?

Weekly Pictures:
It's the opposite of a Cake Wreck - the Muppet Show Cake

Weekly Kiernan:
"You sing ABCD and Kiernan sing B-I-N-G-O."
\ "BINDEFG, HIJK, elemmemmemmemmo NO DADDY! No sing ABC!"
"Okay, you sing it."
"No, Kiernan sing B-I-N-G-O! Daddy sing ABC."
"Okay, go!"
... and repeat.

Weekly WTF:
Outside the Irish Pub which I pass on the way to work was one of those roadside billboard things:

Friday, September 5, 2008

At least I wasn't trying "pi r squared" again....

"One. plus. one. is. twoooo!" came out of nowhere during bathtime.
"What's that?" I asked.
"One plus one is twoo!"

This, I figured, must be mimicry, learned from the kids at daycare or through They Might Be Giants lyrics. I had to test him, so I tried the second line from the song to see: "Two plus two is...?"

I was completely ignored, so I prompted "Four", which he repeated. We continued on to four plus four ("twoooo") and eight plus eight (an attempt to capsize the captain in his floating hippo).

Perhaps just from daycare then... are they adding one to other numbers? "What's two plus one, Kiernan?" No response, so I brought in the heavy weaponry: "Okay, we have two fishes here, and one fish here. How many is two fishes plus one fish?"

"Thassa turtle though."

"No, the turtle is over there. These three are all fishes."

"Stop trying to teach him math." Lara instructed out from the next room, so we stuck with near and far for the rest of bathtime.

(update: as I typed this blog post I asked what one plus one is, and the sum is now up to "four cars")

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Weekly Wednesday #25

... Same weekly Wednesday time, same weekly Wednesday channel!

Weekly Images:
"Tilt-shift miniature faking is a process in which a photograph of a life-size location or object is manipulated so that it looks like a photograph of a miniature scale model. By distorting the focus of the photo, the artist simulates the shallow depth of field normally encountered with macro lenses making the scene seem much smaller than it actually is."
In other words, this is a real location, not a model:

Check out 40 more cool tilt-shift miniature faking photos!

Weekly Link:
Don't remove earwax. Apparently we're not supposed to put anything smaller than our elbows into our ears. Nice to know, 32 years later... ah well, at least I don't dig in there with knitting needles like my dad does...

Weekly count of electric toys from my youth which I was saving for my offspring that turned out to be broken:

Weekly count of toys opened up in an attempt to fix them:

Weekly toys that were so old they didn't even include a circuit board:

Weekly count of toys which, while partly disassembled, sprung to life and traumatized Kiernan to the point at which he couldn't say more than "scared of the robot owl though!" until bedtime:

Weekly count of robot owl nightmares:
0 (so far).

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Way too many "the tide has turned" puns though...

Googling "Ray Nagin pun" does not get the obvious one... Am I the only one who thought the New Orleans mayor's last name was pronounced n'again?