Sunday, May 22, 2022

Vive la Même Chose

My DNA results were curious. Mostly Spanishy with a titillating 4% Turkish. This was 2016. Timely, as it saved me from Boydenesque embarrassment. Never again would I repeat (with caveats) our family’s «Grand-mère Zepherine était indignée» story. But then they sent an update. Ninety-four percent French Canadian. NINETY-FOUR PERCENT. Generations of snogging Habitants, lumberjacks, spade-welding Welland canalers, bootleggers and the women who made their bail. They all contributed to Barely Bilingual Me. No Basque whalers, Ottoman anarchists, nor clan mothers. A predictable tête de couchon of sameness. But just maybe, some Viking-Pirate made up that vestigial 1% Dane?
Image of Me from Inspired by One Copes.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Inventors in Heaven

“What’s he even doing here?” 
     Tesla tsk-tsked. “They gave him credit for inventing vodka.” 
     “What rubbish,” Edison spat. “Smirnoff bought his way in. And even if vodka were legit—here of all places!—it’s no light bulb.” 
     Marconi tuned the old grumps out. Always bickering, yet completely united in their snobbery. They had too much time on their hands. Who knew heaven was dry?! 
     Marconi kept himself busy puttering with radio-telepathy and people-watching—the Inventor’s Wing was chock-full of characters. Recently he’d been observing Smirnoff himself, curious about what he was cooking up on the sly with that American, Zamboni. 

Inspired by Inspiration and the heaven I imagined in J-Section. Image: Historical Artwork Of The Mechanics Of The Heavens, by Science Photo Library, based on a medieval artwork.

Friday, May 13, 2022


Circles of steel, circling trucks,
Circles of steel, circling tanks,
Circles of steel, circling guns,
Circles circling circles,
Trucks and tanks and guns,
Circles of steel, circling the city,
Circles of steel, tightening circles,
Circles of steel, circles of boots,
Circles of boots, marching,
Marching past new graves,
Circles above, steel in the air,
Circles within circles within circles,
Circles of fear within circles of hatred,
Hatred encircling, hatred reflected,
Circles of fear, coming with steel,
Circles of youth, turned to old age,
Circles of steel, encircling steel,
Pain within steel, tears within steel,
No sunlight penetrates the hard steel.
Sadly, the war in Ukraine continues to inspire. The image of a hospital window cracked from shelling in Mariupol was shot by Evgeniy Maloletka of the Associated Press.

Monday, May 9, 2022


Independently of the “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!” folks, my father-in-law, post-heart attack, came up with “Margibutt”– his own margarine/butter combo. The dinner table erupted with laughter and ever since then any get-rich-quick scheme talked up in the family is labelled a “margibutt.” My hubby’s got a whole file folder of them on his laptop. We used the term so often over the years that when my adult son called a work colleague’s idea a “margibutt” and got a blank look, he was amazed to find out that it was not in fact in any dictionary.
Inspired by Inspiration. Image from

Wednesday, May 4, 2022


The Think Tank was a plastic sphere containing 13,000 words printed on thin plastic strips. It had a window through which you could see the words and a knob on each side to stir them up. The idea was to watch as they churned past and wait for your lateral-thinking circuits to kick in.
I remember using one once in Mrs. Applebaum’s class; but its inventor, Savo Bojicic, had to live with them every day. Those words were all cut by hand, and they followed him everywhere. Said Savo: “I couldn’t reach into my pocket without pulling out a few.”
Inspired by my wish for a long-forgotten gizmo designed to inspire me. Photos from Shirley on Kijiji, who is looking to complete her Think Tank collection; and Welmas on eBay, who is looking to sell one.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

The COVIDteen (Easter) Rabbit

It was bound to happen. By day, Dan works with electrical contractors and plays in a band at night. Rich teaches tiny little Petrie Dishes karate. I’m not out much but I’m kissy-huggy. So, Rich on Ash Wednesday, me and Dan on Good Friday. Anticipating my own fall, I did all my Easter shopping on Thursday, including spending a small fortune on chocolate. COVID time is different, it’s slower and the illness has its own feeling-shitty-feeling-good-feeling shitty again cadence. It’s perpetually 2:00 P.M. and I’m in this guilt free cycle of Read-Knit-Snooze-Pee. But I won’t die. Because science. Because vaccines.

Inspired by We’ll always have Downsview. Image “Easter Surprize” by L. Leclair.

Monday, April 25, 2022

The All-In Simulation

We used to live in the Base Case. Our birthright was peace, prosperity, and sanity in governance and public discourse. Now I wonder if someone’s running what-if scenarios. “Let’s see how they react to a cascade of catastrophic ‘natural’ events.” “Let’s make a sociopathic narcissist their most powerful leader.” “Let’s see how they deal with a pandemic.” “Let’s have a nuclear-armed megalomaniac go batshit rogue and launch a war.” 
     “Now let’s combine them all.” 
     Maybe we’re characters in a simulated reality, where real people run worse case scenarios on us virtuals. Hopefully they’ll get things right by watching us fail.

Inspired by 2022. Image from a poster for 20th Century Studios’s 2021 film Free Guy.

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