Saturday, 28 December 2013

Christmas Contagion and a Happy New Year!

A bumpy Christmas for many this year, with ice storms and power outages making life difficult.  I was lucky enough not to be affected by any of that!  Sadly though, I have received the gift of sickness for Christmas.  Even worse, I gave the same gift to both my parents.  It's the gift that keeps on giving...

Oh well looks like 2014 will be welcomed, not with a whimper, nor with a bang...but instead with a hearty sneeze!

Regardless, I can't complain.  I've been pretty blessed this year.  Despite barely being able to lift my poor aching head right now, I still must admit that things are looking up!

Happy New Year everyone!

Friday, 20 December 2013


If you meet up with some friends this Holiday Season, and you happen to bring along a bottle of festive Jack Daniel's WinterJack whiskey, you may decide that it's cool to drink the whole 26er since, "Hey!  It's only 15% alcohol so no big deal, right?"

Well, it's not really that big a deal.  And it is tasty and delicious. Still, it may hamper your desire to blog the following morning.

Although you may get together the energy to discuss it, briefly, by early afternoon...

OR just watch videos on Youtube!

Merry Christmas Everybody!!

Friday, 13 December 2013

Weekends in December...

Yesterday I woke up, got groceries, put in the laundry, vacuumed, dusted and mopped the whole apartment, cleaned the bathroom, took out the garbage and the recycling, did some light Christmas shopping and the had a Dentist Appointment.  Oh and all before the Leafs game, of course...

Today after this blog I am  heading downtown to (hopefully) FINISH my Christmas shopping, then back here to wrap and put up the tree and also I need to head to the the pharmacy and post office if possible.

Days off in December are EXHAUSTING!  What happened to sitting quietly and reading comics?  That's what JANUARY-MARCH is for!

Oh well, It makes me feel useful!  Better get going before my motivation wears off....

Saturday, 7 December 2013


I can't be the only person who thinks that the Double Double and the Frozen Raspberry Lemonade from Tim Hortons are complimentary tastes, can I?

Not much time to be demented today.  Not much time for blogging at all lately, it seems.  What's up with that?  What a good question...

Oh well, 'tis the season.  In lieu of being meaningful, I will attempt to be entertaining:

Friday, 29 November 2013


Yesterday I visited the dentist for the first time in...oh....far too many years....

The good news?  No cavities!

The bad news?  Tartar buildup so bad that they couldn't scrape every tooth in one sitting!  They cleaned up the bottoms but I've got to go back in 2 weeks to get the top set done...

The WORSE news?  Wisdom teeth.  IMPACTED Wisdom teeth.

I used to think that Wisdom teeth were called that because they didn't grow in until you were older, and presumably wiser.  However, NOW I know the TRUTH! 

For you see, the Dentist explained to me what would happen when they remove my Wisdom teeth.  How they'll knock me unconscious and cut into my they'll need to use a bone saw to cut through my teeth, shattering them into pieces while still inside my jaw...thus allowing them to pry out the shattered, sawed up remains of these silly, sideways teeth.  How the bones inside my face will then hopefully heal up and fill in the missing spaces over the next days and weeks...

The Dentist also explained what would happen if I choose NOT to have the teeth removed.  How they are growing sideways, moving and pressuring my other teeth, grinding into my healthier, more well behaved molars on the sides, destroying both themselves and the useful, cooperative teeth.  He explained how there is an excellent chance that this will cause injury and infection in my mouth.  How the putrid swelling will begin once the infection sinks in, causing the teeth to start rotting in my head...he described the way that PUS will start to build up in the gaps within my jaw and they may have to drill holes up through my face to drain the pus pockets caused by the disgusting, infected Wisdom teeth that I didn't have removed in time!

There's only about a 50-60% chance that the pus thing will happen.  The grinding into healthy teeth until problems arise?  Already started, and very likely to continue, causing more problems the longer it goes on....

SO...the WISDOM comes, not because these teeth grow as you get older, but because these teeth provide you with the opportunity to make the WISE choice!  Do I suffer the certain pain and torment of having them removed?  OR do I take my chances and possibly suffer the much, much worse fate from leaving them the way they are?  There *is* a small chance that everything will just stay the way it is and be fine and I needn't suffer at all if I take no action... 

Too bad that is a fool's hope....I think the WISE choice is obvious.  Have the teeth removed!  I can even get paid time off work for it! 

Still....I don't wanna!!! 

OF COURSE I'm going to do it anyway.  I'm hoping to get an appointment for January.  I'm trying to find WISDOM.

Here's a secret...I have already been FOOLISH.  I've known about this problem for YEARS AND YEARS!  The last time I went to the Dentist he told me about all of this.  He gave me the number to call the surgeon and make the consultation appointment and to get the ball started. 

I.............well........I "lost" the information he gave me and then avoided going to the dentist at ALL for YEARS.  Until yesterday...

Co-incidence?  I think not....

But I finally went.  Perhaps this is a good sign?

Friday, 22 November 2013

Encouraging Diabolical Tendencies

The other day my buddy brought me a box of action figures from the late 80's.  His parents wanted that crap out of their basement and he immediately thought of me!  Within the box I found a few Transformers and both the Batmobile and the Batwing from Tim Burton's Batman '89.  Also various action figures...including one of Superman that I used to have back in the day!

The Superman figure made me smile when I saw it again.  I got a lot of amusement out of it as a child, for you see, this figure has a special action feature.  Contained within the chest of the figure is a weak magnet.  Also included with the figure was a child-sized plastic ring with a green "gem"...a Kryptonite ring!  Just like the one Lex Luthor wears!  Obviously, the ring ALSO has a weak magnet within...and when you hold the ring up to Superman, the two magnets push against each other.  In effect, Superman is REPELLED by KRYTPONITE!  Cool!  The power of magnetism, finally useful!

Now, obviously I relate to Superman.  I wear the T-Shirt, I buy the comics, I even have my own Superman outfit.  However this action figure encouraged me as a child to play, not the hero, but rather the VILLAIN!  And so play the villain I did!  I often pretended that I was Lex Luthor...attacking Superman with Kryptonite...somehow changed into a giant know, technology or something.  And it's fun to play the villain!  Externalize all of the heroics and let yourself eventually be "defeated" by an army of brave little toys...

I thought of it again when I saw the most recent issue of Superman Unchained:

Lex Luthor...holding a Superman action figure...just like me when I was 10!  Diabolical!

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Winter Beard and Batman Toque...

I knew I had to keep shaving throughout October to keep my Halloween "Super"...but with the start of November, the mood has shifted!  The Sun has set on Metropolis and Winter is coming!

And along with Winter?  Long, dark nights...

Long dark nights that require a protector...a shadow to strike fear into the hearts of evildoers...A Dark Knight!

Move over Superman!  Clearly I have Batman on the brain!  My plans today include playing several hours of BATMAN: Arkham Origins and possibly taking a break to reorganize my Batmobile collection.

So clearly I'm busy and ought to get to the point...which is simply that it's late fall and I wanted to show off my Batman toque.  Bought it at FanExpo but it entered "active service" today!  Also, I'm growing a beard:


Friday, 8 November 2013

On any Thursday in November...

Yesterday I woke up early.  I had a shower and checked my email and then I wandered out into the city.  I took the subway to Bay street and had breakfast.  Then I hopped back on the train and went to Ossington for a haircut.

After the haircut I walked back to Bathurst to visit the record store.  I bought the albums Who's Next by the Who and a big double album - August and Everything After: Live at Town Hall by Counting Crows. 

I came home and ran a bath...lit some candles and put the Counting Crows album on the turntable.  The first track is a medley of the songs "Round Here" and "Raining in Baltimore", already two of my favourite songs, with an addition to the ending...a new verse about a girl trapped an island...

"So she sends a boat out on the sea - with a little note for me
 it says:

Why are all the girls so hungry?
So why are all the girls so hungry?
& why are all the boys so lonely?
& why can't anybody see me?  

And I thought about it a lot and surely it's meant as a metaphor but I wonder...if all the girls in the world got together and conspired to each gain 15 pounds...the skinniest girl would still be the skinniest girl and the fattest girl would still be the fattest girl and all the girls might be a little less hungry and maybe a little nicer because of it....and maybe none of us would need to be quite as lonely as we are.

Of course it would never work...too many girls would cheat.

Too bad.  Speaking for myself, I'd much rather spend my time with a girl who is full and chubby and happy than a girl who is hungry and skinny and angry.  

I guess I just don't understand society.

But it doesn't matter...since of course it's not meant to be taken literally...

Friday, 1 November 2013

The NEW Adventures of Superman!

In a blur of motion, faster than a speeding bullet, SUPERMAN arrives!

"With my super-senses I heard loud noises and high-pitched squeals coming from this apartment!  I'd better investigate!"

"Have no  fear, Superman is here!!"

"I've found some sort of strange, alien technology!  I think it might be the key to saving the day...let me examine it more closely with my x-ray vision!"

"What could it be?  What is it for?"

 "Great Scott!  I think I've discovered the answer!!"

"It acts as some sort of hypnotic prison for hot girls!  These two ladies won't cause any more trouble tonight!"

"This looks like a job for SUPERMAN!!!"

*With thanks to Jeff, Doris and Joy!

Thursday, 24 October 2013



I know pain.  I've been through it all before.  I've been cut, bruised, broken and beaten.  I've had my bones broken.  I've torn my flesh in a thousand places.  I've felt chunks of my body ripped away with dirty pieces of broken glass, with rusty nails and splintered wood, with barbed wire and shiny but dull blades.  I've had my shoulder, my knee, my hip, several ribs and the fingers on both hands dislocated, torn violently out of their sockets and shoved mercilessly back into place.  I've had my back sprained in violent collision and forced myself back into usefulness through years of excruciating physiotherapy.  I've damaged the interior, cushioning bits in many of my joints, so that I can feel the bones scrape together when I move...the stabbing pain that accompanies my every breath.  I've torn the fabric of my lungs and been left struggling to breathe as they began to fill with my blood.  I've been burned by dozens of cigarettes, by fires and boiling liquid...I've been immersed in ice water and rushed to the hospital as my skin began to blister and redden.  I've fractured my skull and battered my brain over and over again.  I've tattooed myself and sat out in the sun for days, watching my skin take on a sick but cheerful glow.  I've been beaten and put down by the fists of someone I loved.  I've awoken on the side of the road with a limp and a bloody lip and several cuts and bruises and no idea of how I got there.  I've fallen from the tops of many, many high places.  I've picked embedded rocks and gravel from too much of my soft pink flesh. Blood like streams pouring off of my body, pooling in my shoes to make a soft squishing noise with every step I take.

I know something about pain.  I cannot recall the last time that my body did not hurt.

And none of that, not one bit, has ever hurt me as much, has ever caused me as much pain as a woman...

I sometimes feel (these days) as though I'm living my life wrapped in gauze.  As if I'm so emotionally detached and unavailable that nothing really touches me any more.  I can practically see the cool white view through my soft cottony bliss.  The calming light, the chance to rest. 

Is it any wonder I'd wish to protect myself as the days tick by into years?  Of course not.  All that amazes me is that lately I can feel the gauze begin to unravel.  Like a lady caught in the Twilight Zone, doctors are pondering my rate of healing, doctors are unwinding my soft gauzy cocoon.  What will be underneath?  A monster?  A human?  A beautiful creature in a terrible world?

The gauze grows thin and the light grows brighter.  Of course it will take time.  Lots and lots of time.  I'm well insulated.  Bright red spots stain the snowy white.  Time.


Saturday, 19 October 2013

One Week in October.

I love October.  Those that follow my comic book musings over at Fruitless Pursuits will already know that I've been lucky enough to have this week off work.  Today's my last day of freedom...back to work tomorrow!  Anyway, in lieu of a proper blog for the week, here's some random pics I've taken as I wandered about Ontario.  Enjoy!

Saturday, 12 October 2013

The Medium and the Music....


So the other day I was randomly thinking about all of the different formats I've listened to music on over the years.  I don't really have a favourite, but each one offers something a little different than the others.  I hope that progress doesn't completely homogenize and thus destroy that variety, although I am afraid it already has.  If so, that's too bad, as I think the options are too valuable in some way to just give up.  In that spirit, here are a few thoughts on each format:

The Record Album:
 I like records.  Records are full of joy and whimsy and are highly visually entertaining.  They also remind me of my childhood which can be nice.  I also like the large format Album artwork and the addition of "record noise"...the pops and hisses and strange resonances that come along with records.

The 8-Track:
 8-Tracks fall into that weird groove of time where I am familiar with them but when I was too young to really know what they were...I don't have much to say about them except that they seem mysterious to me, and possibly a little dangerous.  In that "don't get into that guy's van no matter HOW much candy he offers you" sort of way.  My main experience with them was during a 3 day road trip in my dad's old car, so I also always feel a sense of transition associated with the format.  Which is, I suppose, quite appropriate...
The Cassette Tape:
 Cassettes have real character.  Much more durable and easier to transport than records, but still occasionally finicky.  You sometimes need to know just how to treat them to make them shine.  Who hasn't had to hand-spool a cassette to stop it from sticking and/or playing slow?  And of course there is the ever-popular huge spool of unraveled tape that you have to somehow get back into that little plastic case!  Got a pencil?  BIC pens work wonders, too.  I think all that unspooled tape is very pretty glinting in long ribbons on the side of the road on a hot summer day.  Of course the sound quality isn't exactly the best, but hey!  It could be worse! And then there are Micro-Cassettes.  Sometimes they're just tiny, you know...because!  Also the cassette gets preferential treatment for inspiring my favourite Transformer, Soundwave!  Where would the Decepticon army be without their own micro-cassette playing ally?

The Compact Disc:
  Compact Discs are beautiful!  Shiny and modern and wondrous.  How many people had one hung from the rear-view mirror of their cars at one point?  Or used them in an art project?  I remember just staring at the first one I ever bought (Guns N' Roses - Appetite For Destruction).  I didn't even own a CD player yet...I just bought the CD...they were that seductive!  This is the main format of my teens and twenties and probably the one that I'm the most attached to.  Each Compact Disc was like some shiny magic treasure of possibility!  Music made solid, like a thought frozen in time.  Beautiful and clean.

The Digital Format:
 And finally we get to all the 1's and 0's.  MP3's are...well...I sure can carry a lot of them in my pocket!  I really enjoy being able to shuffle every song I've ever heard on iTunes just to see what happens.  Having digital music is infinitely practical and useful.  It's great being able to carry so much music in a tiny magic rectangle in my literally makes me feel special somehow.  Still, I have to ask...where's the fun??  The whimsy?  The digital format is certainly the most dull, boring way to present and listen to music, even if is is the most practical.  Perhaps that is okay, though, as finally the focus is fully on what you are hearing, rather than the medium through which it is delivered.  Despite it being the least interesting musical delivery system, I must admit it is the one that I am using right now!  Progress!  Right?  Maybe?

I don't know.  I just hope that no format ever "wins" to the point that the others become unavailable.  I'm "Pro-Options"! 

Saturday, 5 October 2013

75% Completion.

Another October arrives and we find ourselves once more three-quarters of the way through the year 2013!  Preposterous you say?  I'd tend to agree, but it's right there on the Calendar in black and white...

Although it's become sort of cliched at this point, I'm gonna once more look at the goals I set out at the beginning of the year and see how far I've come.  If at all.  Hopefully!

1.  Have a minimum of $5000.00 in a separate savings account by the end of the year.

Oh well, I have the cash but still haven't been to the bank to set up a separate savings account or any of that.  I just hate going to the bank so much...and at the end of the day it doesn't matter as much to me as it maybe should.  In any case, I'm quite proud to have more money to my name right now than I've ever had in my life!  I'm somewhat ashamed at just how low that amount is, steps!

2.  Maintain a healthy lifestyle!  

I still exercise at least 3 times a week and try to walk and be active in general...I think my diet is pretty healthy and I've maintained my weight between 160-170 lbs pretty much for the whole year.  Of course at this time last year I was only 150lbs, but I have actual muscles now.  I am actually sort of torn because I want to weigh less and be more muscular at the same time, and I think that those two things are mutually exclusive.  I also find that since my diet generally is pretty regulated, when I cheat for just a day or two my weight jumps up 5-10 pounds for a few days, before dropping back to previous levels.  I don't know what's up with that...

I also keep putting off going to see the various healthcare practitioners that I ought to be seeing.  I've been procrastinating but I'm running out of time...will I make it before year end?  Stay tuned!

3.  Try a few "new" interests.

Since Springtime arrived, pretty much all of the free time I've had has been spent trying to make my way up North!  The cottage isn't exactly a "new" interest, but it's one that I've been without for a long time.  This year, and to a lesser extent last year, have been the first in ages that I've been able to get out of the city on a pretty regular basis, so I'm gonna count it!  Now that cottage season is winding down (gonna close the place up the week of Thanksgiving) I'll have more time for other things...but what?  We shall see!

4.  Start trying to put more of my writing energies into a "big picture" project.

Lots of concepts and ideas and back-story and planning and not a lot of actually committing anything to paper.  I feel like I'm close to something pretty interesting but like a timid swimmer, I'd rather just get my toes wet right now...can't seem to bring myself to just dive in!  I wonder why that is...probably all of the laziness.  Yeah....

5.  Be flexible and don't be afraid to experiment.

While I have been pretty experimental in a lot of ways this year, I don't know if I can say that I've been flexible.  Then again, I suppose it all depends on one's viewpoint.  I've been far more reclusive this year than in the last several, which has caused me to be far more flexible in my thoughts and activities when I'm by myself, but probably a little more obstinate and difficult to deal with socially.  Since I'm not particularly social at this time and have become more interested in pleasing myself than any other people (for once in my life), this doesn't particularly bother me.  It's too vague of a requirement for this lost anyway.  Who wrote this list?

So that's all the points I have for the year 2013.  3 more months...if I do this again next year, I think I'm going to try to come up with more specific goals.  Maybe.  Who can say what the future may hold??   All I know for sure about what's soon to be is that the Leafs home-opener is tonight!  That's about as far as I care to look ahead right now!

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Fall Days

I was up North again for my off days so there's not too much dementia to go around this week.  Gotta sit in the sun by the lake as often as I can while it's still feasible, right?  Beats staring at a silly computer monitor...

Actually, being up at the cottage in late September when the weather is good is a little too nice!  It really makes me question why I would bother spending time doing anything else...I mean, yesterday I woke up and drank some coffee and went for a boat ride and dipped my feet in the lake and took some pictures of trees and generally had a nice Fall day.  Today I woke up at 4:20 am to spend all day in a filthy tunnel driving a filthy train around in a filthy circle.  

I suppose without the latter, I wouldn't appreciate the former quite so much.  For that matter, without the latter, I wouldn't be able to afford the former (or anything else).  That's what it really boils down to for us all, isn't it?  Doing what we have to do almost all of the time so that we can do what we'd like to do a tiny fraction of the time. 

Doesn't seem right...

But hey I'm not complaining...not really!  I'm grateful to get the good moments when I can, and to have the job to pay for them!  It's more than a lot of humans ever get, I know!  It's all good...

Friday, 20 September 2013

The Lonely Entrapment of Star Girl

Once upon a time there was a young girl who glowed like a star and she lived in a tower on the edge of the Eastern sea.  The girl's skin shone with such brilliance that she was always obliged to keep covered with a huge black cloak and to stay sheltered in her tower room, for all who gazed upon her were instantly struck blind!  Thus the girl stayed locked in her tower room, where she lived a satisfying but lonely existence.  Only when the girl became so lonely that she dared to peek through the heavy drapes that covered her window was their ever any trace of her in the world, as her light would twinkle spectacularly from the top of the tower for a brief moment before being hidden once more.

For many years the Star Girl was very content to live in her tower alone.  She was well taken care of by an order of blind and silent monks, who brought her food and water three times daily and often brought her books and trinkets and various sundry items to amuse her throughout the day.  Due to the monks' kindness, the girl was well educated and learned in the ways of the world.  However, it was a world that she could never join or even truly feel a part of.  Sadly, all of the monks had taken a vow of silence and thus even they were little company for the lonely Star Girl.  

As our young protagonist grew older, she felt the sting of loneliness increase.  She began to tempt fate and gaze out of her tower window more and more often, sometimes not even bothering to cover herself with her heavy cloak.  Her brilliance at these times were such that her light could be seen far and wide!  Occasionally a traveler would be drawn towards her tower due to the light and Star Girl would long to call out, but instead she would quickly withdraw!  Although she was lonely, the Star Girl would never wish to be responsible for blinding someone simply due to her restless negligence!

Despite her best wishes, however, the Star Girl's carelessness inevitably drew the attention of someone from the outside world.  One day, the girl heard a strange rustling noise on her windowsill!  As she was quite high up, this noise confused the girl and she cried out in her rusty, rarely-used voice, "Who's there!"  She looked towards the draped window, curiosity and apprehension warring withing her.  "I warn you, to peek in my window is to lose your sight forever!" 

Shockingly, the girl heard a strange croaking voice from the windowsill in reply!  "Don't blind me I am but a simple Raven I won't look I promise I won't I just want to know what's so shiny and mysterious that it must be kept from the world at the top of a tower!  What light keeps teasing me as I gaze east from my nest in the evening?"

The Star Girl was amazed!  Could this be true?  A talking Raven had come to investigate her tower room?  It seemed unlikely.

"Please sir, do not tease me," quoth the Star Girl, "for I am a very lonely girl who glows like a star, and I am trapped here in my home, desperately in need of like-minded company! Yet I am quite certain that ravens are unable to speak!  I would open the curtain and prove you are no Raven, but to do so would instantly strike you blind!"

"So certain are you of this?" replied the Raven.  "You must have great and inexplicable knowledge of the great wide world, despite being trapped in such a tiny bit of it!  How can you be sure that a raven cannot speak when you cannot descend from your tower dwelling or even dare to but peek out and verify your claims, for fear of blinding me?"

"Although it is true that I must never leave my home," replied the star girl, "I have many books brought to me by my caretakers and thus I have learned a great deal of the world through my studies!  Never have I heard of a talking Raven outside of fanciful storybooks!" 

"Perhaps you are IN a fanciful story, my dear!"  replied the Raven.  "For I have never heard of a girl who glowed like a star and who would blind any that dare gaze upon her outside of fiction!  I suspect that you are lying and simply do not wish to show yourself, as you are too shy!"

And so it went.  The Star Girl did not believe in the talking raven and the Raven did not believe that a girl could glow like a star.  Yet the light in the room came from somewhere, as did the voice on the windowsill!

"I must go and hunt my dinner now," said the Raven to the Star Girl, "but I will return each day at this time, to speak to you some more until you reveal the truth!"

Thus the Raven flew away, returning each day to converse with the Star Girl.  At first the pair simply argued about each other through the heavy drapes, but eventually this became boring and their conversations became more diverse.  They began to discuss philosophy and art, music and the state of the World.  What of the happenings in the far-off land of Nod?  What news concerning the riots in St. Petersburg?  And so on...

And still, the Star Girl could not believe that her companion was a raven.  Still the Raven could not believe that his newfound friend really glowed like a star!  And yet in order to prove these truths, the Raven must necessarily be struck forever blind!  So they must agree to disagree.

Well, the seasons passed as they are wont to do and the Raven continued to visit the Star Girl every day.  Eventually, their friendship changed and blossomed and feelings began to develop between the pair.  Despite their differences, the two fell in love.  This, of course, proved to be torture, for although the pair were nearly always together, there was forever a barrier between them.  Until one day, whilst studying an ancient scroll, the Star Girl found a possible answer!  Running to the window she called out for her feathered love!

"Raven!  Come quickly!  I've discovered how we can be together!  I have found a map that shows the location of a secret pool far to the North...according to the legend, if we travel to the pool on the night of the full moon, and bathe in the waters, we shall be transformed and joined as one for all eternity!"

Raven heard the cries of his love from behind her concealing drapes and flew to address her.  "How can this be, my love?  How can we get to this pool?  For you are trapped in your tower and I cannot even look upon you without being struck blind!"

"If you are really a Raven as you say, then you can fly us both to the sacred pool," replied Star Girl, "for I am made of light and weigh nothing at all.  I can wrap myself utterly in cloth and hide my light.  Then you may fly into the tower and lift me in your talons to carry us both to the pool!" 

"If you are really a Star Girl as you say, then this can be done," the Raven decided.  "Despite the fantastical nature of your claims, I will take a leap of faith.  I love you, and I believe you!"

"And I believe you and that you are truly a Raven, for if not, then I must plunge to my death on the ground far below my tower window, being unable to fly myself." Exclaimed the Star Girl.  "I too must have faith!"

So the Star Girl wrapped herself as tightly as she could in her heavy cloak, taking care to cover herself completely and, when she had finished, called out to the Raven.  He finally, with much trepidation, entered the now darkened tower room, where he saw the Star Girl's bundled form.  Even wrapped in many layers, she glowed softly in the dark.  Raven flew to her and gathered her up easily in his talons!  As she said, the Star Girl was as weightless as moonlight and Raven could fly and carry her effortlessly.

"To the pond, my love!" whispered Star Girl from inside her coverings.
"With all haste!" replied the Raven.

And so Raven and Star Girl flew to the secret sacred pond and immersed themselves in the water beneath the full moon.  As Star Girl felt the touch of the water, her clothing fell away and she was revealed in all her brilliant glory!  Raven glimpsed her blinding light for the first time as his feathered head sank below the water's surface.  Thus each finally shared the truth of their being to the other, and, having done this, they each began to change!  The Raven, rather than being struck blind by Star Girl's light as feared, instead began to absorb the light and to glow!  His form grew large and his dark black feathers lit up in multi-coloured flames!  Rainbows danced from his body and his eyes shone like suns!

Star Girl, meanwhile, began to feel herself change as well!  Her long, slender limbs began to fluctuate and change form while her light infused hair began to grow and transform into feathers!  Her old form melted and poured like liquid into a new shape!  She became a huge falcon-like creature with lightning for wings and starlight pouring from her eyes! 

As the ancient scroll promised, Raven and Star Girl were transformed into birds of a feather!  Raven looked at Star Girl and Star Girl looked at Raven and the two were the same!  They called to each other and took wing together, creating a massive light show that caused the North sky to glow for all eternity.  The two were Star Birds now, a Phoenix and her mate, and they flew high into the night sky together, searching for a new home.  They flew away from the Earth, abandoning the trapped, confused beings that they once were, and found the Sun!  Here they made a nest and stayed, living amongst the forest of flames, soaring above the surface of the Sun, where they lived happily ever after.

The End. 

Friday, 13 September 2013


The air inside was close, dusty and dry.  A whiff of smoke scents the air in a vaguely menacing way.  The only light source in the room is an alter in the corner with a few sputtering votive candles slowly giving up on life.

When he first entered the room, the boy felt the sickly crawling sensation of webs against his bare arms and face.  In the background he imagined he could hear tiny skittering noises, the sounds of things with thousands of legs.  Maybe the sound of scales rubbing against scales.  He couldn't remember exactly what had caused him to flee into this place, but his panicked mind could easily recall the urgency of the need.  Trying to remember images are too frigthening to view...

A sharp pain in his shin and the boy stumbles into a wooden pew.  Only then does he recognize the church he attends every Sunday with his family, dressed in their best, all shiny and sleepy after being torn from their warm beds and scrubbed and rushed out the door.  Made uncomfortable and bored for what seemed like eternity, all the while being lectured about how terrible you must certainly be.  For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Now the church building is dark and abandoned and strangely ancient, as if no one had entered it for decades.  How can this be when there is a Traveling Circus is right outside?  But no...musn't remember the Circus yet.  Don't want to remember the jugglers and the clowns and don't want to remember her or...

She was wearing a blue sundress with yellow trim and a silly floppy straw hat.

The boy clutches his knee and whimpers on the old hardwood floor of the tiny chapel, slumped between pews.  Pain brings him back to the moment.  The smell of smoke is growing stronger, along with the sounds of the bugs and way off in the distance is it the sound of music?  The boy can hear the organs from the Circus in the back of his mind without ever letting himself hear the screams or the sirens.  A brief glimpse of her bare white thigh and something dark and shiny dripping onto the dirty pile of rags underneath.

The smell of smoke is getting stronger.

The boy turns and tries to regain his feet but his limbs are strangely leaden.  His fingers and toes feel far away and strange and he barely manages to roll onto his back before all mobility is lost.  He hears the clicking and snapping of all the things in the darkness coming for his face and then he hears the Voice.

Quiet and sibilant, the voice of a snake.  The Voice tickles his ears and paints pictures in his mind.

"What if it was inevitable?  Are your actions really yours or were they preordained?  If everything you did was part of your inevitable destiny anyway, what part does morality play?  What if time is so fixed that, even were you able to find a way to turn back the clock, the events would play out exactly the same?  If that is true then it's not your fault that it happened.  Then nothing that happens is ever your fault."

The boy can see the clown.  His pale, grinning white face and dark fierce eyes.  The lips so bright candy apple red smeared and dripping with her blood.  The bloody palm on her thigh in the moonlight seemed to glow.  Her pretty dress is torn and her eyes are closed.

"It's OK, my boy," the voice proclaims.  The boy is not particularly reassured.  "All the blood burnt away while "Entry of the Gladiators" played on and on and no one can blame you because it was always going to happen...don't you understand?  You don't have a choice.  Your suffering was decided long before you came along."

The smell of smoke is stronger than ever and the chittering of bugs has resolved into the bright angry crackle of flames consuming the ancient, well-oiled wood of the chuch.  The boy suddenly, helplessly recalls the stables behind the circus tent.  The stable boy he knocked out with a piece of wood from the church's log pile fell to the ground like a puppet whose strings were cut.  Dousing him with gasoline next to her prone form made the scrape on the back of his hand sting.  He tried not to look at the angry dark gash on her thigh or the unnatural bend of her neck.  When he threw the burning match did he see her eyes fly open?  Did they widen in sudden helpless awareness?  Or when the flames rose up was the high pitched moan only the steam escaping?

As he ran he had been able to forget these things.  Now the voice reminds him.  "It's not your fault.  All of it had to be.  Where is the evil?  Where is the blame?"  

The room is quite bright now, illuminated by the flames.  Inside the boy's mind he sees the clown with the blood red lips and the sharp, sharp teeth.  The clown is laughing and licking the blood off of his fingers.  The clown grins at the boy and speaks.  The voice of a snake.  The voice of the boy.  

"It wasn't your fault.  The pain was too big for you to contain.  Everyone needed to feel it.  Now, they'll remember forever.  Now they will know.  These things had to happen.  They already did."

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Season's End

I was excited yesterday to welcome the soon-to-be Fall season by buying a new pair of jeans, wearing multiple layers without fear of overheating and putting an extra blanket on the bed, all within the span of a day.  When the season changes, it just can feel it.  Even though the temperature is only a few degrees cooler, there's just something in the air...

And then today it's rainy and cool and mellow and grey.  I like it, even though it makes me moody...

I've been feeling restless, anti-social and pensive lately anyway, and the weather seems to be exacerbating the situation.  See, I have a lot of plans and schemes (or hopes and dreams) for the future, but almost nothing that I can currently act on.  Everything I want to accomplish lately takes a lot of planning and saving and waiting for the opportune moment.  This is not something I'm particularly good at...I tend to conceive of something I want to do and then immediately do it (or immediately discard and forget about it).  All of this long-term planning has me feeling a lot like I'm just spinning my wheels.

I am trying to be patient and simply enjoy the journey, but it's not easy.  At least there's always lots of little things to do to occupy the time.  Although I worry that the little things will gang up and overwhelm the big things and nothing important will ever get done.  Hmmph.  Sometimes it's hard to retain focus.

Oh well it is as it ever was!  And all the little things combine to make everything radically different once enough time has passed anyway...or at least so far!  Every time I think I'm stuck in a rut, I only have to think back to see the dramatic twists and turns my life has taken...everything is always changing and the status quo is nearly always tissue-thin...shockingly so, usually! 

Just sometimes it seems like everything is taking too damn long...

Friday, 30 August 2013

Mike Vs. The Wizard

There's a strange reoccurring flight of fancy that keeps crossing my mind lately.  It's that my life is not at all dissimilar to that of one of the many, many wizards that populate the various works of fiction I've absorbed over the years.  In many ways, I live a lot like the prototypical wizard.  I'll explain with a brief list. 

1.  Wizards often live alone in tall towers cluttered with strange and unusual items.  These towers generally include a balcony for addressing rampaging Orcs or for smoking a pipe while glowering up at the approaching storm. 

I live alone in a one bedroom apartment on the 19th floor.  It is filled with strange and unusual items and includes a balcony upon which I can step out and address the rampaging East York residents, or perhaps even smoke a pipe whilst glowering up at the approaching storm.

2.  Wizards generally have some sort of scrying device, a magic mirror or a crystal ball or whatever, so that they can view the happenings from far and wide throughout the land.

I have high definition "magic mirrors" in the living room and the bedroom, both of which bring me news from across the land, including traffic and weather!  Sure I call them TV's and mostly use them to watch cartoons, but still...totally counts!

3.  Wizards generally have row upon row of dusty shelves full of books and scrolls containing vast amounts of knowledge on topics both strange and diverse!  

Me too.

4.  If all else fails, Wizards may need to summon a demon or spirit to assist them in finding the answers to life's various mysteries.

I have the Internet for that.  If need be, I can even venture into the foul underworld of the "Discussion Forum" to confront the demonic trolls that reside there and learn the answers to even the most obscure questions, albeit at great peril to my fragile psyche!

5.  Wizards often have collections of obscure potions to treat a variety of conditions, both mental and physical, along with the ingredients and knowledge to create more of these magical concoctions.

I buy most of my potions pre-mixed at the drug store, but I admit to indulging in occasional experimentation...

6.  Wizards can frequently be found brooding in their towers, pondering the mysteries of the cosmos and the overwhelmingly complicated intricacies of existence and the human condition.  

That's like, all I ever do. 

Well, I could probably go on and on about this, but you get my point.  Clearly, I'm a wizard....

7.  Wizards are WISE.

D'Oh!  Uh...Never mind....

Saturday, 24 August 2013

FanExpo 2013!


Once again I'm late for posting...this time cause all day yesterday I was at FanExpo!  This was...oh, the third or fourth time I've gone.  It's a fun day!  Although my friends and I don't really "do it right".  We just sort of wander around treating it like the world's biggest geek garage sale, without actually looking into any of the panels or activities or signings or anything that most people go for...

Even without all the "activities" there's still tons to do and see, especially in just one day...

Fun!  Someday when I finally have enough seniority at my job to get weekends off or just time off in the Summer, I'll have to do the whole thing properly over the whole weekend...

Oh, of course I had to bring home some "loot"...I didn't go too nuts this year but I managed to purchase a nice selection of terribly nerdy things...

Can you believe that they made an action figure of the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh?  I know, right?  Awesome!

Anyway, good time!  If you ever have a chance to go, you totally should.  You know, if you were on the fence or something.  Do it! NERRRRDDD!!!!!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Saturday's Dementia...

I took off (to the Great White North) for my days off (Thursday and Friday, as per usual) this week which was great!  I've been doing it every chance I get this year!  Unfortunately due to a combination of laziness and poor planning this time, I had to suffer the consequences of being away...

Don't be alarmed, the consequences are mild! 

One - I gotta blog during my break today since I wrote nothing on Thursday...

Two - I had almost no food so I had to go grocery shopping today!  Ugh...THIS is where they get you!

It amuses me, the things that I build up in my head as a "big deal."  Without having weekends off for most of the last decade, I have managed to successfully avoid going to the store on a Saturday for years!  It's so much easier to get your groceries or say, try on a pair of jeans on a Thursday morning than it is on a Saturday afternoon.  I mean, it's the same thing, but on Saturday it's like everyone else on the planet had the same idea as you and thus everyone is in everyone's way.  Suddenly there's an extra 150 people within shouting distance of me wherever I go.  Very annoying...why do we even live in cities full of this many people?  It's crazy!

But at the end of the day, it wasn't NEARLY the "big deal" that I thought it might least the annoyance factor was not so terrible as to make it worth living without all of the grocery items I needed until Monday afternoon just to avoid the crowds.  On the other hand, I'm in no rush to do it again.  Thursday morning is still clearly preferable!

Anyway I don't know what the point of all of this is except to say that I am well on my way to becoming a hermit who is completely set in my ways.

Oh and that this blog is late and less interesting than if I'd written it on Thursday, but too bad...I was busy sitting in the sun by a lake.  A far more worthwhile activity, to be sure!

Saturday, 10 August 2013

The Bat, the Clown and the "Family"

I just finished re-reading Batman issues #13-17, containing the most recently published Joker story, "Death of the Family".  In this story, the Joker's come back to Gotham City after having been missing for a year and he's upset with Batman for all that's happened in his absence.  He sees a Batman who's become weak and lost the edge that he had back in the "early days".  Why does the Joker think that Batman's so weak?  It is because he has become too dependent on his allies...his "Family".

See, when the Joker first arrived on the scene, it was just the Clown and the Bat...dancing their dance with the fates of the anonymous citizens of Gotham hanging in the balance...some will live, some will die, and the dance goes on...until Batman introduced a new element.  Suddenly Batman had help...suddenly he had Robin! 

This might have been alright, but it didn't stop there...after Robin, out of nowhere Batgirl arrives...then the first Robin grows up and becomes Nightwing and ANOTHER Robin appears to take his place...and when Joker KILLS that one another appears...and then the dead one is resurrected...and then Batman's son shows up to be the next Robin...and suddenly it's awfully crowded on the dance floor.  And all of that is just in the New 52...before the reboot it was even MORE complicated!

So the Joker argues that having all of these "kids" to take care of/rely on for assistance weakens Batman.  That Batman is more pure and driven and a stronger force when he is working alone.  That having so much help takes something away from him, as a crime fighter and maybe even as a concept.

It got me the Joker right?

At the end of the day, should the Batman be surrounded by friends and allies?  Or should he be a lone, brooding Dark Knight?  What makes for a more interesting story?  

Personally, I enjoy it when Bruce has a whole network of people to work with...there's more chance for character growth and it opens up more avenues for storytelling.  Yet every time Batman arrives at that place where he has all this help, it inevitably gets taken away from him.  He loses his family, he become yet darker and angrier and goes back to brooding in the shadows of the night...

Not that I mind terribly.  I enjoy solitary, brooding Batman too...although the transitional phase where he's extra grief-stricken and angry and grim is kind of a bummer....

But of course the Bat eventually makes it back from that solitary's a never ending cycle...and one of the great strengths of Batman as a character is the ability he has to adapt...he can go from campy and lighthearted to dark and serious...from street-level crime-fighting to galaxy-spanning can tell almost ANY kind of story with Batman as a protagonist!

Anyway, I was just thinking about it...maybe drawing a few parallels as I've been kind of a hermit myself lately (partially through circumstance and partially by design).  What is Batman's most natural state?  Alone or with his "Family"?  What do you prefer??

Friday, 2 August 2013

The Struggle to Relax...

I keep trying to tell remind myself...that sometimes I just have to let things go. 

I'm way too prone to being stuck in my own head and over-analyzing things and yeah maybe everything does have meaning BUT sometimes you just have to let it flow instead of trying to figure it all out.

Not that I don't want to be mindful of my past, or attentive to where I'll be going in the future, but sometimes it feels like I'm focusing too much on those aspects...anything to distract myself from living in the moment that I'm in right now!  Which is strange, because the moment that I'm in right now is usually a pretty good moment!  If all that was ever on my mind was where I am right now and what I am doing right now, I'd rarely have any reason to be unhappy.  Most of my moments in this modern world are nice moments...why is it so hard to just relax and enjoy them?

When you really stop to think about it, most everything that we burn energy concerning ourselves with will do whatever it's going to do regardless of our plans and strategies.  Sure we can affect change on lots and lots of things...but the staggering amount of activity that goes on in the universe without any help or interference from us makes what we CAN change pale in comparison.  So why worry about it?  I don't know...but it seems I can't always help myself. 

It's silly...especially since I'm pretty sure, with or without my overseeing things, that everything is going to work know, reasonably okay.

So I just keep reminding myself.

Sometimes I just need to LET THINGS GO.