The things You Learn...

have you ever run into
that saying about how
"nothing you ever learn is wasted"?

i certainly have, and frankly

it's always seemed a little
on the Pollyanna side to me.

...maybe because there are so many things
i've had to learn - and still have to learn -
that seem to take maybe a dozen reruns
before i (a) notice and (b) learn anything,
in the sense of changing my behaviour.

it's on my mind tonight, because i'm
spending a lot of time with my brother
these days, who has cancer.

it's intense.

good days, bad days.
days with hope, hopeless days.
we're just coming off a three day run-
crazy hope, then hopeless,
and hopeless again... worse.

so tonight, after a hopeless day
and then an even more hopeless day,
where he has been shivering
and shitting and sleepless,
he turns to me and says
"this feels a lot like quitting opiates"

...which is not something
he learned in a book.

see, he's been hooked up to a device
that is supposed to give him
a bolus (dose) of clinical pain reliever
from time to time for 3 months now...

...long enough, know what i mean?

...so tonight, when he said what he said,
we got the nurse to come in
and take a look...

...low and behold, the device
was not delivering as advertised.
she fixes it.

an hour later, i'm not sitting with a ghost.
i'm sitting with my brother.

three days ago,
my mom and i thought we were helping
get him ready for chemo and stem cells.

two bad days later,
we thought we were dealing with someone
we loved who was going die.

slowly. painfully.

if he hadn't known what cold turkey
felt like, we all would have assumed
it was "that time".

so would his doctor.

he would have been designated "palliative"
and that would have been that.

instead, tomorrow is going
to be a hopeful day.

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Evil Jesus

...there are a lot of these images around.
these are my faves...

also available en espanol!

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Twit this, Tweet that...

i guess i am closer to full-fledged old fart-hood
than i thought. i don't even DO this particular
social media thing and it still bugs me. i think
it's because it seems be inescapable these days.

there are people standing around in the foyer
at the hospital tweeting. there are people
driving around in cars tweeting. now, there
is even a street in the UK where they
are wrapping pads around the poles
for streetlights because so many people
keep running into them while tweeting.


these next two are my contributions
to the the conversation...

...and somehow, it seems appropriate
that the last word on this should go
to good ol' Zippy!

- 30 -


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night walking

so i took a break from hanging out
with my brother on the oncology ward
and went into the big city
to see some friends this week.

they're in a band called Delhi 2 Dublin
from Vancouver.

it had been a while since i'd been
to a club, and way too long
since i'd heard live music,
so i was really up for it.

the place was packed...

their music is a mash-up of bhangra,
celtic, electronica and hip-hop
with some metal edges...

it was great - a really fun, positive set
where the beats just kept on coming.

it was great to see them,
and hear how their music's been evolving.

i was really glad i went, but i was also
reminded that the big city
is still a challenge
for me.

it's so much information!!!
the noise and the lights and the words
everywhere adds up to a lot of input.

it makes my brain go way too fast,
and scrambles up my thoughts
unless i take steps to deal with it.

so i usually plug in my earbuds
and keep the music coming...
i take out my camera
and i walk.

the hospital gets pretty intense,
so it was great to get and about,
see some friends, hear some great music
and wander a few streets that

i don't have committed to memory.

it was also good to get home.

- 30 -


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Oh, Those Vegans...

I like to think of myself as a 'live and let live'
kind of person most of the time...
but vegans sometimes get on my tits,
as they say back in the old country...

there's sometimes more than a hint
of sanctimony there... even a Puritan,
or a fundamentalist thing, to be honest.

and judging by some of these works
of art, I'm not the only one who's
had this experience...

I don't think my mom even knows
what a vegan is...
there are only two kinds of people to her-

a) those with the good manners to eat
what a host might serve...

and (b) "picky eaters".

want to laugh at Vegans some more?

click me now!

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What the Hell?

i've got a mood on these days.

i seem to alternate between stress
and focus, if that makes any sense.

it's beyond rapid cycling.
it's manic and depressed
in the same hour.

fascination and sorrow.

anger and wonder.

and sometimes, still.

just dum-de-dum-de-dum...

stay tuned.

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Sarah Palin's Grizzly cubs

... so it seems that the uber-Grizzly
has raised up some fierce cubs.

Here's  a couple of pages of the recent Facebook rant from daughter Willow....

If this tickles your prurient interests, as it clearly did mine, there are pages and pages more of this fascinating conversation up here on the Huffington post.

Aside from the Palin factor, it's actually an interesting look at how modern teens discuss ideas and issues and issues on Facebook, and an interesting example of how language is used in a digital environment.


a word of caution though, girls...

Not so long ago, there were a couple of other presidential spawn who were a little wild and crazy, in a "growing up special" kind of way.

...remember Jen and Barbara?

It was all just fun and games, for sure.
Nothing too far beyond the pale...

but all of a sudden they were just kind
of ......'gone', 


No more scandals.

No more problems.

...just an occasional public appearance where they they behaved themselves before they went off radar again.

Who knows what happened?

Drugs? Lobotomies? Grounded? House arrest? Water-boarding?


There's a lot at stake in a presidential situation, girls. There are people who have a lot riding on it, and some of them aren't very nice.

History shows us no one is immune.

History has also shown us that the little black dress is very camera-friendly.

... and somewhere somebody's done the math
on how many votes something like a "snowmobiling accident" or a "hunting accident" might be worth*...


All I'm saying, ladies, is "be careful out there".

* plus or minus 3 points, 19 times out of 20...

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