wmtc: update from the land of the missing white dog

We miss Tala a lot. Of course. Need it even be said. Somehow I have gone from abject grief to poignant acceptance quicker than I expected. I have no idea why this is. With each dog we have said goodbye to, eventually I get to a place where, thinking of them, I feel sad but ...

wmtc: tala

We must say goodbye to our sweet Tala today. At the vet yesterday, we got the worst possible news, and we know we must do this right away. I’m grateful that it’s a clear decision. Tala, Tala Bobala, Talabo, T-bo, T. Skinny Face. Princess Tala. My Little Girl. She started life in a puppy mill ...

Dead Wild Roses: The West Wing – In Excelsis Deo

The holiday season seems to magnify all the emotions, it can make for some rough times during the last couple of weeks of December. Sometimes it is good to pause and reflect and what is, and what isn’t and focus on the people and ideas in one’s life that really matter. Sometimes it works, sometimes ...

mark a rayner: He’s My Man: Leonard Cohen

I’m sure most people are still trying to understand Trump’s win, but seriously, they’re missing the meaning of Cohen’s loss. He made the personal epic, but in the right way. Leonard Cohen will be lauded as a songwriter, and a poet, but for me, he was always a consummate storyteller. The kind of storyteller I ...

Terahertz: Introducing PolitiCoast

There’s not much going on here these days but if you’re still following this feed, make sure to check out my new project: PolitiCoast – a Canadian politics podcast. Our marketing’s so good we’ve already been accused of hiding our funding. Is this new podcast funded by someone? Its timing and apparent marketing budget are ...

Scripturient: Old habits, old junk

The past couple of weeks I have been trying to turn my office (one of our spare bedrooms, once upon a time) back into my office. A working space I’ll need when Susan retires this winter. My man cave, so to speak. Over the past few years, since I sold the store and went back ...

wmtc: what the strike meant to us, in our own words

Image: “We Hit Them Like A Wave” — Diane Davies After CUPE 1989 ratified our new contract, I said I would write about the intangible gains we made through our strike, the kind that aren’t written in the collective agreement. I’ve heard labour activists say that strikes are a “transformative experience” — a life-changing event ...

wmtc: what the strike meant to us, in our own words

Image: “We Hit Them Like A Wave” — Diane Davies After CUPE 1989 ratified our new contract, I said I would write about the intangible gains we made through our strike, the kind that aren’t written in the collective agreement. I’ve heard labour activists say that strikes are a “transformative experience” — a life-changing event ...

wmtc: we have a new contract

Our ratification vote meeting was an experience we will never forget. The line to sign in snaked all around the building; it took more than an hour for everyone to sign in. I believe it was the largest turnout we’ve ever had, for anything. At the top of the meeting, the bargaining team stood in ...

Dead Wild Roses: The Bathroom Conundrum in Public School

   “I don’t want to see penis when I go to the washroom; he just stands there with the stall open and it makes me uncomfortable.“. That was the quotable bit from a conversation I had with a female student I happened to be teaching at an elementary school this week.  We were walking in ...

wmtc: happy birthday to me

Apparently I have been alive on this planet for 55 years. That seems completely impossible. Yet there it is. As always on my birthday, I feel incredibly fortunate to be alive and living such a good life. Thanks for still reading my (now occasional) blather.

wmtc: pupdate: happiness is a cancer-free dog

Tala’s stitches were removed last week, and we got the full biopsy results: clean margins all around. The surgeon says she does not expect to ever see us again. A week later, I’m still feeling waves of joy and relief. Allan takes the good news in stride, by not letting himself fully contemplate the bad ...

Scripturient: The gems of Salomé

I was perhaps 11 or 12 when I first encountered Oscar Wilde’s play, Salomé. Some of it, at least. At the time, I knew nothing of Wilde, his writing, or even much about theatre in general. After all, I was in grade seven or eight. It would be a few years before I encountered (and developed ...

Dead Wild Roses: Happy Gotcha-versairy, Shadow!

On May 15, 2012, Arb and I took possession of the house we now live in. Back in early April 2012, literally the same day we closed on the house, I started looking on Petfinder for a dog.  We were going to have a fenced yard, and I had always wanted a dog.  Arb grew up with ...

wmtc: hooray for tala

Tala is doing great! Of course she was exhausted and a bit wobbly when she came home, but now she’s well rested and back to herself. And she looks a whole lot better without a disgusting, oozing tumour sticking out of her side! More importantly, there’s a 75% chance the cancer won’t come back. Look ...

wmtc: in which i ride an emotional roller coaster and get off at the top

Short version: Tala has had surgery and has a very good chance of remaining cancer-free. Whoo-hoo! It’s been a crazy couple of days. Monday afternoon we hear the biopsy results. Tuesday morning we have X-rays done. Our vet recommends a top surgeon who is in the area. She has a cancellation, that very afternoon! I ...

wmtc: i’m not ready for another broken heart, or, nothing says mortality like your sick dog

Tala has cancer.  As it happened with Cody, We found a lump. First I was sure it was a cyst, then I was hoping it was a cyst, now I’m just hoping it’s not an iceberg.  There’s a big ugly tumoury thing sticking out, but this type of sarcoma is known to have internal tentacles. ...

wmtc: last day and home

We spent our last day in Oregon poking around downtown Ashland, looking at scarves and jewelry and used books. We don’t shop much when we travel, but there were a few things I was looking for on this trip, and I found them all. We also picked up this very amusing guide to New York ...

wmtc: random observations on southern oregon, great kitchens, family love, and absent eagles

This morning we woke up at 3:45 a.m., packed up the car with binoculars, cameras, sandwiches, and coffee, and drove two hours in the dark. According to our guidebook and a few websites, we were heading towards an opportunity to see dozens of bald eagles on their migratory path. Short version: we drove a lot ...

wmtc: the rest of the trip

This is the view from my brother and sister-in-law’s new home in Oregon. Last year B+SIL retired, pull up stakes, sold their home in New Jersey, and moved to the other side of the country. One of their adult children and partner – and now their first grandchild! – lives 15 minutes away in Ashland, ...

wmtc: leaving vancouver: in which we discover the scary truth about canadian passports

This was an eventful day! We started at the Acme Cafe, for another BOGO breakfast. The food is great even without the discount. But a free goat cheese-portobello-sun dried tomato fritata, with potatoes and toast? Yes, please! The Acme Cafe is a few buildings down from the old Woodward’s Building, which figures prominently in the ...

wmtc: vancouver, day four

Our last day in Vancouver was a full one. It included a library, great art, a meet-up with an activist-friend… and noodles! I didn’t want another breakfast at the hotel, so we poked around a bit online and found something nearby. This place didn’t open til 10:00 (I guess hipsters don’t wake up early) but ...

wmtc: vancouver, day three

Another beautiful day here, sunny with a few clouds and a high of 10 or 11 C. Vancouverites are all exclaiming about three consecutive days without rain. We got an early start with the train to a bus to Stanley Park. On the way to the bus, I was intrigued by a food truck called ...

wmtc: vancouver, day two

On Tuesday morning after breakfast we were finally able to see the pups on the webcam, so the day started out right. After a quick breakfast in the hotel, we bought day passes for transit – Vancouver’s new Compass Card – and set out for the Granville Island Market. The weather was beautiful – 9C ...

wmtc: vancouver, day one

We forgot to pack Allan’s netbook and my little Bluetooth keyboard for my tablet isn’t working, so this is going to be interesting. And annoying! But I can’t travel without writing, so here goes. We landed in Vancouver mid-day on Monday. A super friendly information person gave us directions to our hotel, and Vancouver wins ...