It’s been an exciting year here in wmtc-Joy of Sox-land: me working full-time in my new career, completing a year as a youth-services librarian, Allan publishing a new book, which was well received and got great reviews.
It looks to be an exciting year ahead, too: I was recently elected head of our library workers’ union. Our membership finally has an appetite for a stronger union, and we have a revamped leadership team to show for it. I expect all my accumulated experience and skills will be put to the test as I navigate some brand-new territory.
Two years ago, wmtc’s annual “i hate christmas” post declared: “i hate christmas is slightly less hateful this year“. Working in the library, as opposed to an office environment, I found getting through the holiday season much less trying. No more co-workers – at their computers, able to talk while they work – going on (and on and on and on…) about what they are buying for whom, reciting their shopping lists, a mind-numbing litany of consumption. My co-workers now are too busy, and several magnitudes less self-absorbed, to inflict that on anyone. And (Read more…)
Greetings and good day gentle readers. It is that time of year again where we talk about changing patterns during the holiday season and bemoan the rampant commercialization of Christmas. I have to admit I have a poorly kept secret. I don’t give holiday presents anymore. Instead all the people who are near and dear to me get a card and a message that, in their name, a Turkey has been donated to a family in need.
Let me assure you, it is a great tradition to start. I recommend you start your tradition of (Read more…)
I think so much at once kinda sucks. 20cm and still accumulating…
The view from my front window.
Filed under: personal Tagged: Break it down! Its shovel time!, Edmonton, Snow, Too Much Snow
This week, Columbia Records released The Basement Tapes Complete, six CDs of music made by Bob Dylan and The Band at the house they lived in – the legendary Big Pink – in West Saugerties, New York, during the summer of 1967.
Although The Band, and Bob Dylan, and Bob Dylan and The Band, are among my favourite musical artists in the world – and although I love The Basement Tapes (a double-album from 1975) – I greet this announcement with only mild interest. I’ll be excited to hear any actual new material, but different versions of already-recorded songs (Read more…)
In September my mother was here for her annual visit. I always plan some art or cultural attraction for us to take in. This time she was recovering from some knee surgery, so major walking in Toronto was out. On a previous visit, we had already done most of the cultural attractions in Mississauga – or so we thought. I’m pleased to say that the west-end suburbs was up to the challenge. At the Art Gallery of Mississauga, we saw a fascinating exhibit on the Sahmat Collective, a group of artists in India who use street art (Read more…)
This is a post based on a personal experience. The general topic of the sexist nature of video game culture can be found here.
As of late, I’ve been on a bit of League of Legends binge; a fact the Intransignet One can well attest. The problem with League of Legends (LoL) is that the competitive aspects of the game makes it very rewarding to win and thus, difficult to not to play. It is a strategic game based on skillful play and teamwork – it rewards the teams that communicate and work together. Thus, (Read more…)
We’ve all heard plenty about the so-called “friend zone”, which is where a person you want to date, just wants to be friends, and somehow that’s unfair and bad and mean. Let me tell you about its converse, the Un-Friend Zone.
A while back at work, we got a new deskside support/IT guy. He quickly identified me as the person in the department to talk to, because I know what I’m doing – and what everybody else is doing – with computers (even if they don’t). We were going through a major hardware and software upgrade at (Read more…)
The tango that they dance in Argentina is a very, very different dance than you might see on Dancing with the Stars. It’s highly improvisational, and allows not only the leader, but also the follower, to make artistic decisions. Everything is communicated between the partners through physical contact, whether it’s a slight shift of the shared center of balance, or physically pushing with hands, feet, or legs. One guy that I taught tango to, who was into martial arts, commented that Argentine tango is very much like judo, except that the object is to NOT fall down.
Here (Read more…)
Anti-rape education is making poor frat-boys’ penises sad, according to this article at Bloomberg.
…making out with a girl at a party. Things were going fine, the student said, when suddenly a vision of his school’s disciplinary board flew into his head.
“‘I want to go to law school or medical school after this,’” Pollack said, recounting the student’s comments. “‘I said to her, it’s been nice seeing you.’”
OK, if the disciplinary board is flashing into your head, chances are it’s because you know something’s not right. It’s too bad fear for your future, and not, you know, (Read more…)
When Shadow asks me for something, I’ll often make her earn whatever it is she wants by asking her to sit or lie down or shake a paw. Apparently ‘lie down’ is my favourite, because lately she’ll come boop me with her nose and make want-noises, then immediately lie down while giving her best puppydog eyes. Note also the blurry wagging tail. (In this picture she had just booped me to remind me it was her dinner time.)
Filed under: Cute, personal Tagged: dogblogging, shadow
. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Shadow is a good dog!
This is VNV Nation, an Irish/English alternative electronic/industrial duo currently based out of Berlin, but touring to Canada this fall/winter – I’ve already got tickets – and plane tickets because the closest they’re coming is Vancouver.
They were my first exposure to electronic/industrial music – I grew up in a classical bubble – and I was hooked pretty much instantly.
Turn up the volume and turn up the bass before pressing play.
The song is “Joy”, a humanist anthem and my personal anthem as well.
Filed under: Arts, Atheism, Music, personal Tagged: The DWR Friday Musical Interlude, vnv nation
. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Friday Musical Interlude: The Intransigent One’s Favourite Band
Meet the new permanent youth librarian at the Mississauga Central Library.
I’ve been in this position since January, but on a temporary or contract basis. Two big things had to happen in order for this job to post as permanent, and they were completely out of my control: two other people also had to get permanent promotions. If either of those people didn’t get their permanent positions, my contract would have ended. I would have gone back to being a part-time library assistant (which would have been a huge hit both financially and in terms of responsibility) and tried (Read more…)
I grew this! It’s eight inches long, and three more are on the way.
What’s ordinary to you veteran gardeners is still miraculous to me. Gardening on a small scale is easy, fun, and very rewarding.
Next stop, eggplant recipes.
Reading a news story about Robin Williams’ death, I saw a tweet from Jimmy Kimmel. It said, in part: “If you’re sad, tell someone.”
Depression is “you’re sad” the way cancer is a pimple. And telling someone doesn’t make it go away. For severe depression telling someone is… well, it’s nothing.
I’m assuming Kimmel meant, if you’re depressed, seek help. Yes. Good advice. But Robin Williams did seek help. He was in treatment. So was David Foster Wallace when he killed himself. So was… I could go on.
Severe depression is often untreatable. That’s the terrible truth.
Today I’m (Read more…)
I have been avoiding the photos I took on my trip with my mom in May. I suspected they were going to be pretty crappy and I didn’t want to see them. But finally I did go through them, got rid of the worst offenses, and posted the rest on Flickr for safekeeping. I’m not happy with them, but… oh well.
If you’re curious: they are here. There are some nice photos of my mom, and I’m even allowing a few of me to stay up, as intensely camera-shy as I am.
This year’s garden-ette is completely out of control! In a very good way. Here’s June.
And here’s today.
No idea what I’m going to do with all the zucchini. Neither of us bakes, so zucchini bread and muffins are not an option. Guess I’d better start Googling…
This eggplant is tiny right now, but I suppose soon I’ll need those recipes, too.
Random Diego pic.
And because you’re never too old to be a puppy, Tala recently fell in love with an empty peanut butter jar. No idea why.
. . . → Read More: wmtc: this year’s mini garden and a mini pupdate
Hi everybody, just a random update from your friendly Intransigent blogger, to lighten the mood around here. I have a tale of a happy convergence of circumstances.
One day, I’m at the horse rescue and another volunteer invites me to come to a different horse-establishment to meet her horse. Of course I said yes! So we made a date, and I met up with her and her horse, and as we’re fussing over her horse and giving him treats, she asks me, have you ever thought of starting to ride again. I (as cheerfully as (Read more…)
We won! And we won so easily, we’re left scratching our heads and asking, “What just happened?”
As you’ll recall, our landlord asked for an illegal rent increase – 10.5% when the legal allowable is 0.8%! – and implied that he would resort to dirty tricks if we didn’t pay.
We did our homework, checked and double-checked that this home does not fall through a serious loophole in Ontario rent laws. We crafted an email with just the right tone – straightforward and firm, but with nothing that could be considered belligerent.
When he received our email, (Read more…)
Just about one year ago today – July 8, 2013, to be exact – our area was hit with a massive flood that swamped homes, cars, highways, trains, and . . . our basement. The basement had been Allan’s office. The office in which he was working to meet a publishing deadline. Stressful? You could say that.
It could have been much worse. We got an insurance settlement, and we moved – not without some hassles, but we did it, moving in to our current rental home in September.
Now, one year later, we mentioned to our current landlord that it’s time (Read more…)
I have been alive and kicking on this planet for 53 years today. I’m pretty damn happy about it.
I’m celebrating my birthday by taking the day from work, reviewing my talk for this weekend’s Marxism conference, getting caught up on some personal business, having a play date with Allan (also ditching work) and the pups, then tonight, having dinner at Kaji, my go-to place for birthday celebrations in recent years.
Then I can celebrate all weekend by engaging in discussion, education, and solidarity: Resisting a System in Crisis: Marxism 2014. This year I’m stewarding a room, and (Read more…)
I’ve mentioned Beretta Farms in many different posts over the years, but I’ve never specifically blogged about them. With grilling season underway, it’s time to give Beretta a shout-out.
When I learned about the horrors of factory farming, first from reading Michael Pollan, and later through other sources, I knew I needed to change my eating habits. I needed translate my knowledge into action, but I was at a loss for what to do.
In the 1990s, I had eaten a vegetarian (almost vegan) diet for more than two years, but it didn’t work for me, and I gave (Read more…)
Here are some visuals for this post. This year’s crop, we hope: eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, basil, and thyme.
As you can see, it’s a fraction of the backyard we used to have, and kind of bare. But it does the job! We’re putting a canopy over the patio.
“Wither thou goest…”. Diego is pledged to Tala. Wherever Tala is, the big boy is right beside her. This goes all the way back to when she was first rehabbing from her spine injury. Three years ago:
More here on Flickr. . . . → Read More: wmtc: this year’s garden-ette and sweet dogs in their small backyard
Three years ago, we planted our first-ever garden, really a tiny garden-ette, growing two tomato plants and some daisies. (I had forgotten about the flowers til I saw that older post.)
I really enjoyed growing the vegetables, and was surprised and pleased to learn that it wasn’t very time-consuming, at least not on this level. The following year we again planted tomatoes, but substituted herbs for the flowers. Much more fun! I was so taken with snipping fresh herbs from my garden that I cooked more often.
Last year’s garden was a bust, thanks to the flood and (Read more…)