The Formerly Cranky Old Bastards Web Page
This is where I post all of my weekly rants. If you don't like it then please feel free to bite my bum.
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None of the following is true except for the parts I didn't make up. The parts I did make up may also be true and some of the parts I didn't make up may also be false. If any of this makes you any money don't tell me as it may actually tick me off. If you do make any money off this and don't tell me I will sue you. Any Resemblance to any persons living or dead contained within is purely an act of naked aggression on my part.
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Word of the Week
(or whenever I get around to it.)
Ergasiophobia: Fear of or aversion to work. It's the single largest affection of Town and Provincial employees. It also seems to be extremely strong in Banks and anywhere I am waiting in a line.
All words taken from Peter Bowlers "The Superior Persons Book of Words."
Yet More Generality
Tuesday July 4th 2006
So here I am again, updating a blog no one reads for no particular reason. Maybe I just enjoy frustration? It would explain most of my relationships. I'm having a rather blue couple of days. Just feeling low and not up to snuff. For one thing, Ginger died four time now (Ginger the Guppy) and the last one filled my tank with babies before dying. But I helped my friend Sydney get her tank going (rather I sat there and kept her company while she did it. It was fun.) and moved the ten surviving babies over to her tank. They seem to be doing very well. Unfortunately Diana died too and Jack is apparently Jacqueline and is getting fatter by the day. I'm a Fish Daddy extreme for some reason...
Lately I have this odd suspicion that everything I do is in vain. That no matter how hard I try all I ever end up accomplishing is the opposite of what I want. Especially where it comes to friends. It seems like all my life the more I try to help people, the more they want to push me away. Maybe I try too hard. I was talking with a friend from years ago recently. We were really tight, best of friends and did everything together. But at some point she just decided to walk away. We kept in touch for a while but then it got longer and longer between communications. Then we just stopped. I hate that.
People just grow apart sometimes, but I can't point at one person that I still hang out with from High School. None from College. I can't even say I hang out with people I was best friends with two years ago. It seems like they all divorced me too. I get the odd polite hello when they see me passing. But they ignore my invitations and don't send any my way. Maybe I'm just bored this week. Maybe it just doesn't matter anymore.
I am making new friends now. It's a slow process as most people around my age have a core group of friends and are slow to let new people in. But it seems like the friends I do make don't really want me around lately. I must just be a needy jerk or something. Maybe I should just get drunk and forget everything.
(Is he related to General Failure or General Disarray?)
Sunday June 11th 2006
So here I am again, twice in one seven day period, trying to bang out a sub par update for the one or two brave souls who keep coming here for some reason. But I'm afraid your going to be disappointed if you came here looking for entertainment, I'm just not that interesting these days.
One of the Neons I bought died, so to console myself I bought two male and two female guppies. Now my tank is where I want it. Overstocked but if I'm careful I can manage it. I gave all my non Neons names. Not a good Idea for short lived pets, but since they all seem to have individual personalities they deserve individual names. The Neons (for the most part) all look alike so I haven't named them. But here's the names for all the others
Orange Platy... Jack (Short for Jack-O-Lantern)
Yellow & Black Platy... Diana (Jack and Diana)
Orange Male Guppy... Skipper
Yellow Male Guppy... Gilligan
Yellow and black female guppy... Mary Anne
Sultry Black Female guppy with the Blue Fins... Ginger.
Unfortunately when I got up this morning Ginger was dead. She's in my freezer awaiting my return to Wal-mart tomorrow. I'm going to get another Guppy. From this point on I will only be getting plants for my tank, they will help maintain the balance. In total now I have seven Neon Tetras, Two Platy's, four Guppies an Otocinclus and one Mystery Snail.
My last Baptism class was today. Next Sunday is the day they dip this dip. I'm really looking forward to it, but at the same time I'm not. I'm betting it will be freezing cold that day, but at least I will not be alone. Three other people will be getting Baptized that day. Two older people from Germany and their 13 year old Daughter. Their names are Eva, Bruno and Rossanna. They are quite interesting. Diedre did a good job getting us ready despite our penchant for going off on wild Tangents. So anyway, here it all is.
The Rants of the Past
Wow... Am I Getting LAZY!!!
June 9th 2006
Yep, it's true, I'm getting lazy again. Time to make major changes to my life again. Of course the number of major changes I've made in the last four years are starting to get ridiculous. I've been going over it all in my head tonight.
I quit my job at Seagull Pewter, I went Bankrupt, I became a Buddhist, I lost my job at Hub Meatpackers, I got a job at Poly Cello, I shaved my head, I left my wife, I moved to Amherst, I was born again, I grew my hair back and now I'm about to be Baptized. On top of all that I might take a job in Calgary. I just can't seem to stop creating my own roller coaster to ride on.
But on top of all that I'm still getting lazy. I've been neglecting my housekeeping (remedied that today) and my little corner of the internet is hardly ever getting updated anymore. Oh well, I'll update it when I can remember it.
On a good note, I now have eight Neon Tetras, two Platys one otocinclus (one died) and a huge snail in my tank. It's really cool.
"We Are Our Stories"
May 13th 2006
Never were truer words spoken then those, "We are our Stories." They were the eloquent words of a Rabbi at a funeral attended by Carol Bruneau, author of "Purple for Sky" and "Berth". She was one of four authors attending the CAN-U Writers Cafe at the Wandlyn in Amherst.
CAN-U is the Cumberland Adult Network for Upgrading. It's an adult literacy and upgrading group staffed by wonderful volunteers and they have a writers cafe every year that has become a large part of the literary year here in Amherst. This was the first time I've attended and I'm thankful for the wonderful person (Sydney) who pointed me in that direction. CAN-U is worthy of our support in any way possible and I see myself volunteering with them some time in the near future (hopefully.) Any organization that brings people the gift of learning and reading is giving a gift not just to the people they teach, but to all of us. Every person they empower is a person that won't fall through the cracks and become a burden on our society. Every person who gets the gift of literacy gets access to a million different treasures and galaxy of adventures that can be enjoyed one chapter at a time. But I digress.
The M.C. for the evening was Ms. Duane Lowe and she did a consummately professional (how could you expect any less) job of keeping the evening both light and moving along well. Duane is an Amherst native and besides being very personable is incredibly bright as well. She started the evening by introducing Two of the CAN-U Students who read their own compositions.
The first was a Woman named Marlene Smith. Marlene had gone through her life never being literate. Her Composition was called "Second Chance" and was a demonstration of bravery I could only hope to one day exhibit myself. She was very nervous about going back into a learning environment. She had failed many times and ended up being a sixteen year old in grade eight. She was placed into a "Special" class and hated it. It made her an obvious target for ridicule. That was on top of the frustration she already felt in her life. So she dropped out and spent most of her life working in menial jobs and then becoming a single mother. Her illiteracy made life for her hard, and with the increasing technology curve in ordinary life started making it near impossible. But through CAN-U she has gained a second chance, not just at learning, but at life. Now because of CAN-U not only can she read, but she can use a Bank Machine and a Computer and Vote. Things most of us just take for granted.
The next student was Betty Thomas from my hometown of Springhill. I've seen Betty around but I can't say I've ever actually talked to her before. But the Betty I saw wasn't the Betty I knew. Her Composition was called "The Person I Admire." and although the language wasn't perfect, it was fitting and well written. She wrote about her Dad, who couldn't read or write, but he built his own house and could fix a car. It was touching.
The thing that really amazed me though is that Betty was different. I remember seeing her years ago and never talking to her. She always seemed to be trying to melt away from everyone. Trying to meld into the background and go unnoticed. She was marginalized and sadly, I was one of the people marginalizing her. But the Betty I saw tonight was proud and brave and not trying to shrink, but growing. Becoming a prouder greater Betty.
Betty and Marlene are what CAN-U are all about. They are their stories, and by hearing their stories, we all become a little wiser, and hopefully a little more compassionate.
But anyway... The first author was Joan Baxter. Joan normally writes political books about Africa and such. She divides her time between living in Africa and living here in Nova Scotia (Tatamagouche to be exact.) One year her kids told her about the missing Hermit of Gully Lake. And since no one else wrote anything about this enigmatic and interesting person, she took it upon herself to write about him. And it's a wonderful book (I bought a copy and got it signed for my Mom for Mothers day, but don't tell her...). The excerpt she read weaved a tale about an eccentric and child like man who combined a skewed view off the world with an offbeat spiritualism that came out to be a compelling personality.
Next we had an offering by Carol Bruneau. She read a passage from her novel Berth about a Military family moving to the Halifax Dartmouth area. She combined a witty offbeat prose style with incisive observations to develop characters that many would find worth the price of the book. It wasn't my style of literature though.
During the intermission the authors made themselves available to sign copies and the lovely and Vivacious Sydney Hansen from the excellent Goodwords Bookshop sold copies of the books to the boisterous crowd. If you ask her nicely maybe she has a few signed copies left.
After the intermission, Duane had a little trouble seeing her notes and complained about her smudgy glasses, only to realize she was wearing her sunglasses not her reading glasses. But she managed to get the next author introduced and I found her to be the highlight of the evening. Her name is Lesley Crewe and she wrote a book called Relative Happiness. It stars the neurotic but quick witted Lexie who gets a roommate from South Africa named Adrian. It's a very "Bridget Jones-esque" novel that includes a very dynamic, but dysfunctional family and a smattering of Friends who act as foils as often as allies. All in all her wit was beyond merely functional "Chick lit" and into the realm of transcendent metamorphosis anchored by stinging humor.
Lastly we had the always vibrant and enjoyable Donna Morrissey. Donna writes about life in her home in Newfoundland. She grew up in the beaches, an outpost of humanity with more in common with the 18th century than the 1960's. There were no roads, no electricity and very little contact with the outside world. But it was a society in conflict with the encroaching "Modern" world. Her book "Sylvanus" took that theme as the crux of its story. It's about a family dealing with the change from traditional ways of living with the sea to the modern method of "taking" your living from the sea. Her style is brash and raw and at time tender but usually coupled with her outstanding humor. Before doing her reading she had the entire room in stitches with her stories and picking on Duane.
Donna's sister Karen favored us with two songs which she accompanied herself to on Guitar. The first was Michelangelo and after Donna's reading she gave us a stirring rendition of Fiddlers Green.
I greatly enjoyed the night and was thoroughly impressed with everyone involved with the whole evening. My hat off to them all, especially Marlene and Tammy.
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