10 February 2007


Roncesvalles to Scarborough.
I'm Very pleased.
I thought to myself, yes, Victoria Park, I know where that is, that's easterly, isn't it. The beaches or something. No problem, it's a lovely evening.(cycle cycle cycle)
And then I reached a very large rather regal looking building with what seemed like Absolutely nothing beyond it, and the "Scarborough" sign, and I realized i'd reached THE VERY EDGE OF THE WORLD. And in 35 minutes no less. Who KNEW?!?

08 February 2007

not that I'm procrastinating by posting COUNTLESS ridiculous stories or anything...

But my bog is busted. It happened about an hour ago. I heard the sound of running water, and went in to find the tank part wouldn't stop filling. An overly ambitious toilet. Who thought it possible.

(This reminds me, inconsequentially, of the tea bag 072666 and I found on our winter vacation in Cornwall in '99. To quote the dear fellow upon its discovery: "Look! It's the most ambitious tea bag in the world! And now, I shall BREW THE SEA!"

But back to my crapper. There was quite a kerfuffle. Javi came over and showed me how to turn off the tap, and told me I have a broken floater. Then Fred, my other upstairs neighbour and a notoriously handy sort, was trying to tell me how to fix it. I officially decided, though, that I will not extend my DIY aspirations to the arena of plumbing. I WILL not.
I finally managed to get ahold of my superintendent, who, bless her, told me the location of a secret key to her home that I might use her washroom, should there be any need, until it all gets fixed tomorrow.

I have to confess, I am feeling very coddled about the whole crisis, at the end of it all.
Glorious neighbours and blasted old buildings. (heheh) Honest to bog.

a bicycle christening.

I have, over the last week, consulted acquaintances, loved ones, colleagues and strangers, both devout cyclists and the bikeless rabble, and have at last come to a decision.

DB Ampersand.

This moniker is not mine, alas, it is the brain child of one Scott Waters, fellow Reverent Cyclist, and a clever sort to boot.

(Actually, cyclist is a bit of an understatement. Cycling machine as I discovered earlier this year, when I foolishly thought I might match his speed on a pilgrimage up to York University. We were off to see the beloved Shannon Gerard deliver her masters thesis on autobiographical comics.) It was quite the journey. We ended up being a bit early, so took a shortcut through a park (or something) with a river. Though arriving at said river, it ended up the ruddy thing had flooded with the rains of the night before. Not wanting to backtrack, we ended up taking off our shoes and portaging the bikes across.
That's right. PORTAGED. BIKE PORTAGING. I had Totally forgotten about that 'til just now. Glee!!!

Of course, I can't throw to save my life, and one of my boots ended up IN the river before we made it across, and Gods only know what Shan's adjudicators thought, as I took it off upon our arrival so that my sock could dry while they determined the course of the rest of Shan's academic life.
But I digress.

DB Ampersand.
The Perfect name for my bicycle.

DB stands of course for Drop Bars, which are by far the most excitement my bicycle has had since getting stolen and then re-appropriated in 2005.

The D will serve a dual purpose though, standing also for Dervish, which refers (only modestly, you understand) to the constant state (so help me Gods) of my brain.

And the & part (as pointed out by Mister Waters) allows me to leave my options open.

Dervish B. Ampersand.
(slurp) christened with a cup of tea at 7.19pm, this Thursday eve in February, 2007.

i have Absolutely no idea who said this to me.

Found scribbled on the back of a bike tire tube box snippit, whilst going through sundry papers today:
I was very distressed when my grandmother named her cat "cukey"

06 February 2007

And it begins again. PART THREE.

Got half the day off from work and managed to be thrilled, despite my consternated wallet.
Went to the ref mit story outline and officially began pictures research for my third book(let). 3 hours sorting through 30 odd picture files, including such categories as London-Camden, flowers-poisonous, and implements-garden, Honestly, it's a Fascinating life, this.
I amassed 173 borrowables in the end, and the reference collection lady was very tolerant, duly stuffing them in five separate envelopes so that I could actually sign them all out. I left the library completely high on this IMMENSE Rush of excitement about it all.
100% Adrenaline.
And so, dear reader(s), it (re)Begins.

Other highlights of the day include a sighting of cookie monster mittens (on an adult), a copy of "the emperor's new clothes" in a (different adult's) bike basket, being fortuitously present for a TPL lecture by George (Yay!!!) Walker about the revered nature of the book, unexpected gustatory victory in my carelessly packed lunch, the discovery and purchase of sea monkeys for bk's birthday, misplacing my ring in this EXCEEDINGLY cold weather, biking across town, and then discovering said ring tucked into my trouser leg which I had rolled up in order to bike, and, last but not least, arriving home to stunningly red kitchen walls, freshly painted last night and then promptly forgotten about upon leaving the house this morning in a haze of pre-grant mailing anxiety.

Non-highlights include pre-grant mailing anxiety, followed quickly by LOSING MY NERVE in front of (IN FRONT OF) the mailbox in the mailing of said bloody application.
Yes, Mere moments away from letting it go, I brought the blasted thing back home with me.
Only tea and bikkies can save me now.
And a smack in the head should I not relent at least by Thursday, once I've addressed my newest round of anxieties over it.


or that's what I thought I read in the browser window just now.

Anyhow. The office phone rang today, and after a short conversation, Coco hung up the phone looking quite distressed.
"What?" I asked. "WHAT?!?"
"I just picked up the phone to the oldest lady in the world at the other end. And do you know what she asked me?" said Coco.
"No, Coco, I don't." I said, which seemed the only correct answer, given the circumstance.
"She asked ..."
"What??? What did she ask?!?!"
She asked.....'do you have ladies underwear... in wool?' "The poor thing! She must be chilly today!"

Goodness. The poor old dear. Imagine the chafing.

In other "news", I spent much of my day trying to re-create this: þ, for a poem we are publishing in our next issue. An icelandic thorn, by name, it is a latin ligature pronounced "th", but is in fact just a P with an ascender, and really a very lovely symbol to boot. It led me through an astounding maze of olde english, mathematical symbols, and countless other typographical ephemera. Of course my computer wouldn't cooperate, and frustration reached fever pitch when I read that the thorn is sometimes used as an emoticon, (:-Þ) to represent a face with a tongue sticking out.
Of course, Here I am casting about with the academics and the typographers for old english ligatures while all the youngins are sticking their proverbial (thorny) tongues out at me. And believe me, the irony is not lost on me that creating a thorn on this blog took about .231 seconds, while creating a printable one in our house font took...much longer.

05 February 2007

of eyelashes and bike couriers

I have just had a nearly fatal collision with another bike courier this morning.
Ok, actually we missed each other by a couple of feet but both burst out laughing since we both had the same bikes and were identically attired in 20 feet of sundry woolies and full body ear-muffs, looking not unlike pomeranians on (exceedingly stylish) wheels.
And as I trooped up the steps of the regal George Brown house to our little office, eyelashes (eyelashes!) defrosting, I thought, yes, indeed, I really really love winter. Love it.

04 February 2007

On the naming of bicycles and tea with Woogie, (the wise and dreamy guardian of the lavender sheep) in the first colour of the rainbow

Out on a skating expedition last night, I was asked my bicycle's name. I abashedly admitted that I have yet to come up with one (the naming of a bicycle is a task not to be treated lightly, and I have yet to feel adequately up to the task.) When I returned the query to my questioner, his answer was "Mathilda Junkbottom" A Fantastic name, I thought admiringly, while my brain niggled...why does that sound so immensely familiar. Why why. Finally I asked, from whence came such a remarkable moniker. His reply: Doctor Snuggles.


Well. I nearly lost (what little is left of) my mind.
(second only to the muppets of course).
I have not seen it since I was about 7 or something, but have just spent one Ridiculously Happy Sunday morning plumbing the depths of the internet for bits of Snuggles' nostalgia. *sigh* oh my Goodness. Doctor Snuggles.

Doctor Snuggles, a bespectacled inventor, complete with pinstripe trousers and duck-headed umbrella pogo stick, lives with Miss Nettles his stiff and formidable, but well-meaning housekeeper (stiff and formidable, indeed!), Dennis the badger and Nobby mouse, and of course Mathilda Junkbottom the robot built from junk to perform various useful and enigmatic roles. They spent each show (done in the 80s[?]) running around the forest and such, doing good deeds, flying to space in Snuggles' home-made rocket Dreamy Boom-Boom to have tea with WOOGIE (WOOGIE!!!!) the freckled camel,
(the wise and dreamy guardian of the lavender sheep) in the first colour of the rainbow, and doing their utmost to foil the dastardly deeds of one Professor Emerald, the malevolent power crazed magician and Doctor Snuggles’ archenemy. (descriptions courtesy of the Doctor Snuggles website)

Sigh. I include a few more characters for your (possible) edification, dear reader(s):

Madame Dumpitoo, Miss Nettles' pipe-smoking consort,
Winnie Vinegar Bottle, the witch who lives in salt and pepper mountains
Charlie Rat, Willie's fox's pea-brained serf

And an Abundant and Vociferous encouragement to visit youtube where a benevolent chaply sort named Sebastien has posted the episode of "the Remarkable Fidgety River", where big square blocks of the sea have gone missing and the river has retreated to a cave in mortal fear, until Snuggles comes to the rescue. Written by one Douglas Adams. DOUGLAS ADAMS!!!
Sweet Toenails of Tartarus. Could there be any greater thing to have graced our boob tubes, EVER???

all hail tiny gems.

Came upon this during the course of my editorial-y duties on Friday:

"He moved at a speed that allowed him to replace loss.”

Truly Wonderful.