17 January 2017

Oh, heck no.

I interrupt the Ruminations to register a hearty "Heck No!" to this news: Kevin O'Leary will entering be entering the Conservative Leadership race. 

He is almost literally the last man I would support for the job.  One famous name who thinks their first political job should be Prime Minister is enough.


As threatened- er, promised- I will over the next few days publish some of the deleted sequences from the Ruminations of a Miserable Failure.  (For those who wish to see what it was deleted from, here is the link to the ebook and the book book.  Also, I have published 27 and 1/2 Short Plays about William Shakespeare, also available in ebook and book book.  And so, without further ado, here begins the deleted series.  For those of you who recall, I had just finished telling my Father's war stories.  It was time to pick up my own parallel (only not really) stories.


 I was supposed to die in war, but my war ended up not happening.  When growing up in the seventies and eighties, we were constantly told the Third World War was coming, and most predicted it would happen by 1986 at the latest.  There were almost weekly specials on the television explaining to us what would happen:  within minutes of the beginning both sides would go full nuclear.  The armies, the regular ground pounding grunts, had the life expectancy of a corpse.  So did everyone else.  All life would be wiped out.   
We grew up with a sense of fatalism and foreboding.  We would not live. But as we edged closer to what was supposed to be the ultimate limit of all our spans, something odd happened: nothing.  It became more and more apparent that nothing was about to happen.  Now a different kind of gloom settled upon my generation.  We were going to live and sweat under the weary burden of the future after all.  Our deaths were shipped backwards and it seemed we might even have a normal lifespan. It left us with just one little question: Now what? 

11 January 2017

Just some fond memories.

Over at Facebook and on a lot of blogs, people are talking politics non stop.  I grew weary of the pointlessness of it long ago, and would much rather speak of other things.  Plus, my mind is still drifting back and forth to Christmas, the last one I'll likely ever have in the old house, and all those who were no longer there to share it with us.  So I thought I would reminisce about my father, and tell another story about him.

Some of my favourite times with my father were in the old boat, when he and my brother and I would go out fishing together.  When we were young, we would generally drift fish, which meant my brother and I sat and hung baited hooks over the side of the boat while Dad would stand and cast.  As we grew older, my brother and I wanted to be more like Dad, so eventually we were all standing and casting.

This  of course presented some danger.  We had to be aware of where the others in boat were, otherwise we could end up hooking someone on the back cast.  As it turned out, no one ever actually got seriously hooked, but there were some spectacular close calls.

My closest call came one otherwise lovely day.  I was casting using a Mepps number five spinner (Dad used a Mepps number five, therefore I used a Mepps number five) and I somehow managed to hook the cigarette out of my Dad's mouth on the backcast.  Thinking about it, I regret that I was facing away from Dad when this happened.  It must have looked amazing.  If I was trying, I never could have done it. 

I watched my lure flying away, wondering what the white thing stuck to it was, when I became aware of some sputtering behind me.  It was my Dad.  "Hey, I just lit that!" he said.

I turned and faced him, and he let me have it.  He was a soldier with a soldier's mouth, and I got a fair sample of it right then and there.  He said things about watching what I was doing, being more careful as well as something about me swimming back home. 

"All I saw were red and gold flashing before my eyes! I thought I was sent for!" He shook his head.  "You could have ripped my nose off.  What do you think your mother would say if I came back to the cottage with no nose?"

"Maybe we should tell her," suggested my brother, not helpfully.

"Nah, we don't want to do that," said Dad.  He began fishing his pockets for his pack of smokes and matches.  "When she found out that he stopped me from smoking a cigarette, she'd take his side."

30 December 2016

A year of farewells

No man may step into the same river twice. -Heraclitus

The year is drawing to a close. I've said goodbye to a lot this year. Not the stars who passed- one can hardly bid farewell to those one never greeted in the first place- but to much more personal things, at least for me. Mother died, of course. She was the last of her family, I have no blood aunts or uncles left.

Soon her house will be sold. It is the oldest house remaining on that road, just two years shy of a century... home. It was built by my grandfather, and has never passed from his line. It was the home where I grew up, and I still think of it as home. It will likely be bought by a developer who will level the house, the garage which once held horses, the foundations shall be ripped up and the trees planted by my grandfather cut down, until no trace of the house and those who called it home is left, and a new house shall be built in its place.

Mom's funeral was likely the last time I will see many of my cousins. I haven't kept in touch with them nor they with me, and neither they nor I seem interested in changing that. The reasons are tedious. Were I to explain I would tend to condemn them as I exonerated myself, and their version would almost certainly do the inverse. Take your pick. Funerals are the most likely time I will see any now, should any have my address or phone number to call me, or my family has theirs to summon them for mine.

As for my brother and sisters- we have had our last Christmas together in the old house. It was a rather sober affair, compared to other Christmases we have known. Quite possibly it was our last together at all. I don't know what occasion shall draw us together again.

24 December 2016

22 December 2016

19 December 2016

Looking over the stats,

It seems my post of my Mother's Eulogy (scroll down) has been my best read and most visited post in years.  It doesn't seem to have any links to it, so people just found it somehow.

Weird.  I mean, thanks for the visits, but still weird.

Also weird:  it was post number 2000.