Thursday, April 30, 2015



I'm not sure what the qualities of being a good friend really are.

Over the years, I have had many friends, but the people I call my "best friends" now live far and away. Most of the people I now hang around with are more like acquaintances than friends. A couple of guys with whom I work out are pretty good friends, but I rarely see them socially. My artist friends are fun to be around, but like me, artists need a lot of space. I appreciate that. I certainly need space as well.

I hang around with my kids a fair bit, but I don't call them "friends." They are my favourite people, of course, but I'm not one of those people who obsess and demand constant attention from them. They have their own lives and their own friends.

Then there are my blog friends. They make up a special kind of friendship, always supportive and caring.

I can't imagine a life without any friends. Well, yes I can actually, because there have been times when I felt terribly alone.

I should have bought a dog.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Jelly Beings

Jelly Beings

I don't suppose jelly beans are the ideal thing for breakfast.

Oh well.

I'm afraid there's nothing else in the place, and I'm awfully hungry this morning.

You know, I'm not sure why there are different colours of jelly beans. I find they all taste pretty much the same.

I used to think the black ones had a bit more of a licorice flavour. Not so sure that's true now.

Maybe we're not supposed to divide up the experience. Maybe different colours taste the same because they are the same.

I wonder if that's true of people as well?


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Shower Power

Shower Power

Sorry, hate to bother you this morning, but could I borrow your shower?

You see, we've had more lightning storms here lately, even the odd tornado or two that have caused a great deal of damage. One of the outcomes, for reasons that escape me, is that I have no hot water here in the penthouse, so if you don't mind, I'll just pop through yours, if that's OK.

Huh? Yes, I have my own soap and my own towel. And, yes, I'll rinse the thing down afterwards ... no problem.

The floor? Oh yes, I'll make sure the floor is bone dry before I leave.

What's that? No, don't worry, I never pee in the shower. OK, I might have once, but only once. It was an emergency.

Sure, sure, I'll leave the door open a crack so the steam can get out ...

You know what ... I think I'll just head down to my gym and have a shower there, but hey, thanks for offering ...


Monday, April 27, 2015

The Missing Brownie Incident

The Missing Brownie Incident

The funny thing is that you should have known there would eventually be no more brownies in the pan.

You ate them all. Every last one of them.

They should have lasted you much longer, because someone had cut them into tiny perfect squares.

There were a lot of tiny perfect squares at the beginning.

Even halfway through the pan, there seemed to be quite a few tiny perfect squares left.

It was only a little while ago that you noticed the tiny perfect squares were dwindling in number.

Then there was that night when you said, "Oh, the hell with it," and you ate all the remaining tiny perfect squares in one silly binge while you watched The Biggest Loser on television.

So, now there are only crumbs left in the pan, and just this morning you did the finger press thing and ate up all the crumbs as well, after muttering to yourself, "Today, I must really pick up another pan of brownies at the store."

Life seems so replaceable sometimes.

Well, except for certain things, like good health, honesty, commitment, friendship, love, and a bunch of other abstract notions. Sometimes, those things are a bit harder to replace.

I wonder what you would do if there were no more pans of brownies at the store?

Perhaps the date squares or the strawberry and custard tarts?

Lovely with a cup of Earl Grey tea.


Sunday, April 26, 2015



I'm not a sentimental guy. Usually, I leave the past where it belongs ... in the past.

Still, I admit that my mind does wander back in time on occasion, and I think of all the people who have come and gone in my life.

Some I miss terribly.

Some I don't miss at all.

And what will it be like in five years time? Will you remember me? Will I remember you?

It seems like such a gift to be remembered ...


Saturday, April 25, 2015



Life is a series of invitations that arrive in the mail.

You are invited to take part in a series of celebrations, in a calendar filled with joyous events, with birthdays, graduations, weddings, the birth of your children, the successes of your career, the beginning of your retirement.

You are invited to love and complete yourself in the arms of another.

You are invited to embrace every moment as if it were your last.

There hardly seems room for sadness.

And yet ...

... there is sadness.


Friday, April 24, 2015



This morning, I decided I would spend a little time meditating.

I like meditation. It allows me some space to just tune out the world, and of course, it's very relaxing.

One time, I decided to meditate in the bath and fell asleep somewhere between Om and Nirvana. I woke up when the water reached about 40° Fahrenheit and came crashing back into reality. Every inch of my skin looked like lasagna noodles.

They say meditation is good for you. It's supposed to relieve stress and all the everyday tensions of all the everyday world. Of course, if you have a screaming 3-year-old in the kitchen, well, it's hard to get into that state of calm that meditation requires. Reality always seems to have our phone number.

Then, there is sex and mediation. Tantric sex. I'm no expert on tantric sex, but the point of it seems to be to enjoy one another fully without necessarily having an orgasm. It's sort of like having a turkey dinner, and the drumsticks just never stop coming, no matter how much you might want to get to the pumpkin pie and gob some whipped cream on top of it.

Now, this may come as a surprise to you, but really, I'm not a tantric kind of guy. I believe it comes from my writing background. Everything seems to need to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. I don't like a story to linger too long, and I don't like my sex to take two days before I zoom into the stratosphere.

Don't get me wrong. I don't see sex as a kind of drive-thru experience, but really, love is forever, hopefully a long journey, sort of like a never-ending cruise around the world. Sex is more like a bus ride downtown.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Timing Is Everything

Timing Is Everything

Of all the things in life that seem to last, constancy in love seems one of the most resilient.

Oh, yes, I know, some relationships are disasters waiting to happen, and Lord knows why some people are attracted to one another. Other relationships, like those based on a kind of co-dependency need for companionship, last a bit longer, but in the end fizzle out almost as quickly as one of those firecrackers that shoot a ball of coloured flame into the sky.

Still, some relationships go on and on and on. I don't really think anyone knows why. Is it love? A shared interest in some aspect of life? Great sex? Who can say for sure?

I suspect there is truly an element of chance in the establishment of a lasting union between two hearts.

Timing always seems to be everything. How many times have you said to someone, "I wish I had met you when ...?"

Sometimes, I think life is a bit of a stumble game. You stumble and fall into different situations without much rhyme or reason. It's like chance and circumstance can make life good or bad, all because the timing is good or because the timing is bad.

I guess one of our greatest faults is our belief that we are always able to control the way things take place in our lives. I don't think we can. There are just too many other variables involved. You may think you chose the path you are on, but more than likely the path chose you.

Readiness is everything. All you can do is try to make sure that you're around when that special moment and that special someone crosses your path, and if and when he or she does, make sure you don't blink.

Carpe diem, right?


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Life As A House

Life As A House

I feel a little sorry for the generation of young people who face such tough and weird economic times.

Most young couples can't afford to buy a house, and many live with their parents well into their 30's.

Housing as an investment is a crock, and the downswing in house prices is a good example of what should happen. Strange that a house supposedly grows in value, while a car depreciates by some 30% the moment you take it off the new car lot. I'm not so sure a house is any different from a car. The same depreciation occurs — the roof sags, the pipes rust, the driveway cracks. If anything, a house should lose its original value rather than become more and more expensive.

The problem is that people see their house as some kind of miracle investment, but it's not. In fact, I predict a huge "correction" in the housing market as the younger generation realises that they are getting sucked into the housing game by thinking they "have" to buy to get into the "market."

The best thing they could do is let the market stagnate and falter. Let's see if we can't roll house prices back to reasonable amounts, so that the next generation can start the cycle all over again. Sure, some people will lose money, but you lost money the moment you bought that Chevrolet ... what's the difference?


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Eating My Way To Paradise

Eating My Way To Paradise

I love raisin bread. I love it toasted with a smack of butter and some cinnamon on it. I guess it tastes something like a cinnamon bun to me, and I love cinnamon buns, the stickier the better.

I have never tried it, but I can't help but wonder what it would taste like if you bought one of those cans of vanilla icing and spread it between two pieces of rain bread. Hmm ... something to think about. Sort of a poor man's cinnamon bun. I don't suppose it would be too healthy, but after all, someone has to keep the cardiologists in business.

Some foods are so sinful. Most people have a thing about chocolate. I'm not a great fan of chocolate, not even white chocolate. These days, my most debauched food choice would tend towards pastas with thick sauces, such as a white clam sauce that I love to pile on spaghetti or macaroni or fettucini ... razinni ... plentiweeneni ... any of those noodle events ...


Monday, April 20, 2015

It's Not Always About Chewing Gum

It's Not Always About Chewing Gum

I've never been one to gripe. To me, every day gives you just enough pleasure and just enough hassle to even things out. But I have to say that there are some people who live by their ability to make you feel small.

It's not hard. Push the right buttons and you can make anyone feel like a piece of crap, any time of day and on any given day of the week.

Ever wonder why? Ever wonder why some offhand remark and a weird glance from your boss or from a "friend" sends you down the road to self-doubt?

I believe it all comes down to self-image, especially with regards to the confidence of lack of confidence you have in yourself. I suspect that you are only vulnerable to the trolls of this world if you actually allow yourself to be their victim.

There is no doubt in my mind that some people are mean-spirited in their very essence, but you have a choice whether or not to participate in their game. If you choose to let them affect your world by responding to them, you choose to reinforce their behaviour. Choose to ignore them, and they will eventually move on to someone else.


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Hell-No, Jell-O!

Hell-No, Jell-O!

Do you like Jell-O?

The other day I was shopping for milk and what not, and I saw a special on Jell-O — two packs for a dollar. Is that a good deal or what? We're talking a Canadian dollar, commonly referred to as a Loonie, because it's a coin with a loon engraved on the front. Probably not worth much in your currency.

Now, I don't usually buy Jell-O, because it's full of sugar. Oh yes, I know there is a sugar free kind, but they make that with aspartame. I don't eat aspartame. I did when it first came out, but it makes me schizophrenic, which may not always be a bad place to be, but I'm really trying to keep my personality integrated. I have enough crazy characters from my stories running around in my head, so it gets a little difficult remembering who I am sometimes.

So, the reason I bought this Jell-O was because it was Margarita flavour. I don't drink alcohol, and I have no idea what a Margarita is supposed to taste like, but somehow the whole idea of Jell-O made to mimic a cocktail appealed to me.

Of course, the whole concept of Jell-O-as-cocktail seems a bit strange. I mean, isn't Jell-O mostly a dessert for kids? Should the Jell-O people be concerned with the idea of introducing 4-year-olds to the pleasures of a Margarita? I wonder if there is a Singapore Sling flavour? Whiskey Sour? Gimlet? Harvey Wallbanger? Sex On The Beach?

Nothing like starting alcoholics off early ...

Oh, where will it all end?


Friday, April 17, 2015

Coming Back To Life

Coming Back To Life

I got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.

Strange phrase that. I mean which is the wrong side? It can't be the right side, can it? It must be the left.

And what does the phrase really mean? Does it mean you're grumpy? Bumping into chairs and things? Need a coffee IV drip?

Whatever it means, I think it describes my morning perfectly, but I think I'll go back to bed and try again ...


Thursday, April 16, 2015

What You See

What You See

I went to the Dollar $tore yesterday, and I bought three pairs of those eye glasses that you can still get for a buck a piece.

This morning, I'm trying them out.

One pair makes everything thing seem awfully big. In fact, I feel as though I've fallen down a rabbit hole, and the world has literally doubled in size.

Another pair makes everything about two sizes smaller. Even my coffee cup looks to be miles away, and I dare not try to reach for it.

The last pair just sort blurs everything into a kind of milky fog, and it's like I've been on a drunken bender for the last couple of days.

Some people say, "What you see is what you get."

Don't believe it. It's usually a lie.

Some people go to great lengths to ensure that others see them the way they want to be seen. Some pretend to be larger than life and oh-so-worthy of your admiration, some pretend to be small and insignificant and oh-so-worthy of your constant sympathy, and some just whip up a bit of hocus-pocus so that you'll never really see what they're like at all.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that I don't always want to see what others are really like, but some days, that's all I seem to be able to see.

I guess that I should have bought the pair with the rosy tint in the glass.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Morning Rush

Morning Rush

yawn ... mmmmmmm ... you getting up?


well, i'm going to sleep a bit longer

huh? no, no thanks ... i'll have my coffee later ... you go ahead

you having a shower?

oh, a bath ...

ok, i'll wait

no, it's ok ... go ahead, i can wat ...

seriously, i don't want to get up yet ...

lemme sleep a bit more, ok?


not my dawg ... your dawg ... you put him out ...

noooo ... just want to sleep ... geez ...

mmmmm ... what ya doing?

coming back to bed?

oh ....

ohhhh ...

mmmmmm ... nice ...

ha ha ... gentle ...

ohhhh ... that's nice ...

hmmmmm ...

oh yes ...

ohhhh ... slower ... mmmmmm

love your lips ...

love your mouth ...

ahhh ... yes ... take all of it ...

yes, love ... yes ...


oh ...

oh gawd ...

ohhhh-hhh ...

don't stop ...

oh ...

oh ...

yes ... yes ...

ohhhhhhhh, my gawd ... oh sweetheart ... ohhh-hhhhhhhhh ...


oh, i love you so

gawd ... so nice ... so nice

mmmmmm ...

ahhhhhhhh ...

pardon me, didn't get that ...

oh, make coffee, while you have a bath? and walk the dawg??

oh ok ... right away, hun ... right away ...


Tuesday, April 14, 2015



It's a pretty vain notion to think that someone else's happiness depends on you.


Monday, April 13, 2015

in darkness complete ...

in darkness complete ...

in darkness complete
lights a candle
that flickers for a moment
in a sudden gust of wind
then quickly blinks out
in a trail of grey smoke
but in the quivering second
between the light
and such an absolute night
i saw your eyes
and turn my way
to remind me
that darkness
is not without
cracks in its
cloak of
and that though
we remain
so far apart
we are
and always will be
in every beat complete
of a single
perpetual heart


Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Keg And I

The Keg And I

Last night, the "boys" and I went for dinner at The Keg, a sort of middle-of-the-road restaurant chain that some of you will know.

While swapping tales about our lives, we ate and ate and ate. The seemingly unending onslaught of appetizers we ordered would probably have fed a family of six for at least a week. I was full somewhere between the salad and the scallops, long before I even laid eyes on the prime rib that I had ordered. But, for whatever reason, I ploughed through to the end.

Thank goodness I was so near unconsciousness by the end of my dinner that I had the good sense, or maybe it was just blind luck, to skip dessert.

Overindulgence, no make that outright gluttony, is one of the seven deadly sins. Last night, I pretty much rehearsed how the excesses of food can kill you. It's not death in the truest sense, but more like a near-death experience. I'm not sure which is ultimately worse.

This morning, I'm doing the bob-and-weave. The place seems to be shifting beneath my feet a little more dramatically than usual, and the furniture seems to want to knock me down and out in some kind of absurd sparring session. Even as I punch in these little letters, the "t's" and "l's" seem to want to dance around the screen, as if doing some weird form of a wedding-reception chicken dance. The gentler vowels seem ready to faint at a moment's notice.

I need water. I suspect the little "extras" that restaurants put in their food dehydrate you. A shower may snap me to attention as well. Then, it's off to the gym. Sure, I'd love to skip my morning exercise, but my workout partner would never forgive me. At least he's a cardiologist, so if I collapse from the aftershocks of clarified butter dip, well, he should know what to do.


Saturday, April 11, 2015

i am writing ...

i am writing ...

i am writing

not to find you
nor to lose you

not to corner you
into some dark recess
of hollow commitment
nor to free you
from the silent fearfulness
of every hopeful heart

not to shelter you
from the danger
of some unruly storm
nor to banish you
to walk alone across the
desert's heat

not to remember you
nor to forget you

not to forgive
your misdoings
nor to become
your shadowy accuser

not to foresee
your future
nor to disregard
your past

not to unfold
your body
for my pleasure
nor to control
your every
waking thought

not to celebrate
your joys
nor to mourn
your failures

not to make
impossible promises
nor to confound you
with whispers of doubt

i am writing

to say only
what i have found
in your offering of love —
the firm and
unshakable you
the you who
has become
the solid ground
beneath my trembling feet


Friday, April 10, 2015

Ooh & Aah

Ooh & Aah

April is National Poetry Month, so this morning, I was hoping to offer you a poem to read. Not a complex number, just something simple.

Some days, however, it's hard to come up with that central image, the little bit of glue that sticks all the pretty or weird words together.

I do have a bag full of metaphors under the sink, by the trash can, and I suppose I could go fetch one, but you see, I'm looking for something fresh, something you may not have seen before.

That's a tough gig.

Most of what needs to be said has already been said by someone somewhere.

So, originality sometimes seems impossible.

Everyone is a poet, of course, just as everyone, these days, is a photographer. Anyone can throw words together and call it a poem.

In fact, when I was a younger man, I threw a great many words together and called those little missives poems. I'm not sure any of that stuff was worthy of being poetry, but, hey, the world was always very forgiving. If I called something a poem, then people simply nodded their heads in agreement.

Today, I am sensitive to other people's poetry. If it looks like a poem, then I am the first to ooh and aah.

After all, I think the simple effort of writing a poem is what counts. For example, if a poem is the way someone wants to express a love for someone else, then I am certainly not going to be judgmental about that. Even if reading the poem creates that feeling you get when someone scratches his or her fingernails down a chalkboard, I still admire the effort.

Some days, I think that I have never really written a good poem. Perhaps you agree. On those days, I wonder why I bother to write at all. I mean, if it sucks, it sucks. The problem is that when any of us write a poem, we are so engaged in it that we think it's fabulous.

It's no easy task to take an objective look at one's own writing.

So if I'm writing for a lover, and I pen the lines:

You bring me a daisy
Even when I'm lazy
And its sweet perfume
Never leaves my room
It's no wonder I love you
And I'll always be true

Now, you might suspect that my poem isn't very good, but "good" and "bad" really don't apply to poetry these days. It's a poem. Ooh and aah. No judgement necessary.

Let's try a rewrite and see if these lines are any "better":

The daisy falters
In the jam jar by the window
Its scalding perfume permeates
Every breath I take
And I wonder
If love is like that

Is one poem better than the other?

Well, no, the same thirty-second effort went into the first as went into the second. Both are poems. Ooh and aah as you like.

There is, however, a difference between the two poems. You may recognise that difference. You may not. You'll like the poem that connects with you the most effectively. Nothing else really matters.

I honestly believe that people write poetry to release some internal nuance, feeling, or conflict that they are experiencing on a particular day. To that end, if the person gets that experience out there in words on a page, then the very act of writing has accomplished something. I admire that process. It's cathartic. It lets the pretty butterflies or the snarling hounds out. At the end of the day, there's really no sense in keeping things locked up inside.

Well, I was determined to write you a poem today, and I got off-topic and wrote all this instead.

Maybe tomorrow ...

Just don't expect it to be any "good."


Thursday, April 09, 2015

The Impossible Possibility

The Impossible Possibility

Some people believe that anything is possible. Other people insist that it is important to know your abilities and your limitations and live according to what is reasonable and realistic for you.

I dream of the impossible and try to make the impossible possible in my life.

I admit that I have not always been successful. But I have never backed off without trying.

As I get older, I sometimes catch myself thinking that it's time to limit my lifestyle to a more conservative set of dreams. That little voice inside me says, "Don't be a fool, you're too old to be chasing rainbows. Be happy with all that you have. Give in, retire, relax ... "

Thankfully, I have yet to shut any doors. I still hunger for new experiences, new places to explore, new people to meet.

I'm not sure that I could be any other way.


Wednesday, April 08, 2015

The Big Dump

The Big Dump

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times ...

Whoops, I think someone has already used that line.

OK, let me paraphrase then.

It was the happiest day, no wait, it was actually the crappiest day of your life ...

Remember? The day that the boy or girl of your dreams, the man or woman who seemed to be the promise of the future, simply let you go.

Remember? Just when you thought everything was perfect, perfect became goodbye, adios, arrivederci, we can still be friends, see-ya-wouldn't-want-to-be-ya ...

It was the day you first got dumped. Maybe, it was the gentle dump, maybe it was the full-out crap-splash dump, but whatever the circumstances, whatever the modus operandi, the end result was the same. Your dreams crashed, your undying love hit a brick wall, your heart cracked into a thousand and ten puzzle pieces, and there you were ... suddenly alone, misty eyed as you scribbled break-up poetry late into the night.

You were my heart and my everything
You were my hope for a wedding ring
You were my sunrise and my dawn
And now, OMG, now you're gone

OK, I never said it was good poetry. After all, how can you write good poetry when your world is crumbling like clearance-rack brownies long past their best-before date?

It's a day you hate to remember, and it's a day you'll never forget. And there you were, wondering how you could live, how you could possibly carry on without that special connection, which turned out to be not so special after all. How could you wake to the next morning feeling divided, confused, and so alone? How and why? Why and how?

And yet, here you are.

Yes, go figure. Here you are.

What does that tell you?


Tuesday, April 07, 2015

See Better

See Better

It's not what you don't see in someone that matters. It's not what's not there, not the fact that someone lacks this or that, not the empty spaces, not the failings, not the mistakes, not the errors in judgement, not the weaknesses, not the human frailties, not the irrational fears, not the dark corners of consciousness, not the disappointments.

It's what you do see that matters. It's the spark of light in someone's eyes, the hesitant but honest hope, the uncertain but unwavering longing for acceptance, the gift of love, no matter how tightly wrapped or how carefully hidden away.

In a world in which we have learned to see with such a critical eye, it is time to see better.


Monday, April 06, 2015

Oooops ...

Oooops ...

Let's face it. We all make mistakes in life.

Some mistakes are big ones, life-changing boo-boos like, say, driving your car the wrong way on an Interstate Exit ramp and instantly killing an entire Iranian family in a head-on collision, or even worse, like getting married.

But for most of us, life is just a string of small mistakes. We forget someone's birthday. We run our bank account into overdraft. We forget to flush the toilet. We say something sarcastic and hurt someone's feelings. We drink a beer too many and act like an idiot at the in-law's family reunion. Oh, the possibilities are endless, because, generally speaking, people have an innate ability to screw up.

It's not a big deal, really. Making mistakes doesn't make you a bad person. Sure, mistakes are embarrassing, and sometimes you feel like a complete idiot when you realise you really were an idiot, but oh well, it's just life. Most times, you survive the experience and move on to brighter and better days.

Over my lifetime, I have made a couple of huge mistakes and a million little ones. When a mistake hurts another person, I am quick to apologise with the hope that my apology is accepted. If it is accepted, then great. If not, then I just move on regardless. Despite my Catholic upbringing, I am quick to forgive myself my trespasses, and I never much care what anyone else thinks.

Most importantly, I never tolerate the kind of person who makes a career out of reminding me of the mistakes I have made. Allowing anyone to try to make you feel inept, ridiculous, unworthy, or small is, without exception, the greatest mistake of all.



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