Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Typical grocery run and what I can fit in either a couple of panniers or my Burley bike trailer. Click on the photo to view larger.

$118 worth of groceries. This usually takes a two or three hours out of a Saturday or maybe spread over Saturday and Sunday. Rain or shine. What follows is what you see in the photo:
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Monday, May 21, 2012

'til Death Do Us Part 

There's the tall spiky grassy thing, some succulents, marigolds and little mini-lupen-esque whatsamahcallits. See. No idea.

I have no idea what I'm doing. I should probably be stopped before someone gets hurt. I've killed before and I might do it again. I have the exact opposite of a green thumb. It's like some kind of "black thumb of death". It's like the Spanish Inquisition Thumb of Vengeance. Plants see my thumb coming and they recoil in fear. My thumbs are the East German Stasi of thumbs. Wait. That can't be right. I'm sure there were Stasi agents with more empathy for plants than I have. My thumbs are more like Stalingrad for plants. Here I am. Plotting. Potting. Planting. Killing. A lean, mean green-killing machine.
“Here I am. Plotting. Potting. Planting. Killing. A lean, mean green-killing machine.”
Despite all that, I thought it might be nice to have a bit of colour out on the balcony. Oh but death becomes me, I guess. It's not like I want plants to die. I'm not out on the boulevards yelling "Death to pretty flowers" or anything. It's just what happens. I don't wish to be a merchant of merry mayhem to the plant world.

I have, after all, developed a bit of a talent for catching and dispensing mice. It's been awhile and lately they've gotten brazen and bit clever (using the now cool radiators as their conduits). That's your mistake, mice. You thought the Slayer of Springhurst was on holiday. You believed the Exterminator of Edge Water Towers was on Spring break, but Death doesn't take a holiday, and the Parkdale Assassin wasn't gone. He was just watching, and waiting.

Now I've turned my attention from Fauna to Flora. Those plants think just because they're sitting in nutrient rich soil, and that I watered them once, that they are in the clear? It's doubtful. I've seen this pattern a thousand times before. I'll water you. Maybe too much. Maybe too little. I'll try to position you in the sun or in the shade. Like I said, I don't know what the hell I'm doing. Isn't photosynthesis just a little water and a little sunlight? What else am I supposed to do? I'll do my best, little plants, but a day will come, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, certainly not yesterday (unless all the laws of physics are completely wrong), but one day, your green will become brown. You're succulence will become dryness and your vitality will become lifeless.

Until then, I'll enjoy your blooming buoyancy and never take a single day for granted. Thank you for your sacrifice.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Darling Buds of May  

20120511 Sextodecimo from rowdyman on 8tracks.

This playlist is consists of music that is either a live recording or I heard simply as a background to something else and as such, it was compiled largely through the iPhone App, "Shazam" - the near magical application that listens to some recorded music and after comparing it to an online database, identifies the track.
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Monday, May 14, 2012

Big Pink 

Ryder Hesjedal celebrates at the Giro d'Italia

I know the Stanley Cup Playoffs are in full swing, despite actually being in a lull between series, but seriously, I can't believe Ryder Hesjedal's taking the Pink Jersey on Saturday wasn't front page news everywhere. It's the first time a Canadian has ever worn the leader's jersey in the Italian tour. I'll repeat that. First. Time. Ever. I don't know how long he can hold it seeing as his lead was a slim 9 seconds over Spain's Joaquin Rodriguez. There are, I think 5 more mountain stages left, so who knows how well Hesjedal will fare but for now it is sweet, sweet, sweet. Sunday's stage was a mountainous 229 KM race and today's is a relatively easy 166 KM (oh just 100 KM more than I barely survived on my own Sunday ride). I don't know what their strategy will be for the Tour de France but for now it's great to see Hesjedal being supported by his new Garmin-Barracuda team and see him enjoy continued success. All hail, Hesjedal, or as his Cervélo team mates plainly referred to him, "The Weight of a Nation".

"Take a load of Annie,
And put the load right on me…"

The Weight
The Band from Music from the Big Pink

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Saturday, May 05, 2012

Seen in April

Javier Bardem in "Biutiful", image via The Hollywood Reporter

Another poor month for movies. I blame hockey, napping and the rest of my life. Two of these movies were seen on planes and the third, Biutiful was so difficult to watch I took two nights to view it. In general, I continued to watch TV shows like Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Life on Mars and Futurama, just not a lot of movies. Here's what I did see.

The Descendants
George Clooney plays Matt King whose wife is laying in a coma after a boat racing accident. The same day he's told by doctors that his wife won't regain consciousness and will die, his daughter tells him that his wife was having an affair. Matt King is also the trustee of an entitled Hawaiian family that owns a large portion of land that they wish to sell but which islanders wish to remain undeveloped. Matt King's wife was a daddy's girl who was reckless, a little self-centered, a little vain and adulterous but Matt King's Father thinks he was to blame for the accident. Matt King's life has become very complicated and George Clooney portrays his doubt, anger, resentment, and isolation very well. Perhaps you don't care for George Clooney. I cannot help you there but this is a thoughtful film that faces its own conundrums head on.

My Week With Marilyn
Colin Clark is a dogsbody on a 1950s film directed by Sir Laurence Olivier and featuring Marilyn Monroe. As Colin says "[Olivier] is a great actor who wants to be a movie star and [Monroe] is a movie star who wants to be a great actor." As Marilyn's entourage encircles her and her husband Arthur Miller deserts her so he can return to New York to work she seeks comfort in Colin's adoring gaze. This is his story of his brush with the great beauty of that era and how friends and admirers were more in love with the image and idea of Marilyn than the person. She was loved and desired by so many but never found love — or so I imagine that's how the elevator pitch went. Despite the film's failings, you really do forget that Michelle Williams is playing Monroe or that she ever appeared on a dopey teen soap opera.

Mad Men Season 5
Oh Don, your insecurity is ruining your life and everybody else's. I forgot Don Draper was such a buzz kill. As Draper's stiff collar rubs up against the coming massive changes in American life and pop culture, one wonders where the man who wooed us went?

This is the saddest film I've seen in a long time. How can a film called "Biutiful" be a sadder film than one called Melancholia? There is and this is it. The last act is almost grueling. Javier Bardeem, is of course, incredible. The film is beautiful, and a heartbreaking, thought provoking portrayal of family, love and loyalty in a modern broken place like Barcelona.

Louie, Season 2
I fear that I am finding the work of great comedians more insightful than therapy, religion, or books. Louis CK is one such comedian. He is the man who can crack the lid off of your deepest, scariest thoughts by cracking wise. I realize Louis CK isn't for everyone, but my gain is everyone else's loss. Note to self: pick up a copy of his live NYC show.

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