Nobody loves your compost as much as you do…or do they?

I have spent a fair amount of time during my life being told that nobody wants to hear any of my crazy ideas. Maybe some click counting software figures out my interests and then throws out thinly veiled advertisments for those products that are sort of in-line with said interests making me believe that those crazy ideas are mainstream, but I resist falling for it. I really do. If I have learned anything in sixty years it is that I am not popular, I am not mainstream. I don’t mean that I am counter-culture either, or fringe or edgy. I am annoying. So I stopped going on and on about composting when I was at a parties years ago.

But it seems compost is a good subject for casual conversation. Sheesh. When will I ever NOT be a social pariah?

My Crazy Ideas for 2018

Call me “Sir”. As Supreme Being I Decree:

  • Every seat in government has to be co-occupied, job shared so they can have a life while being involved in governance. That way, looking after the kids, the pets, the community garden, or community market, is part of their lives; so they can experience things that are about being a human being and not just an ambitious grasping jerk. Does that mean things will take longer to get done? Maybe, but they won’t take as long as fixing fuck ups!  Like war, like bad legislation, like inequity, like sanctioned discrimination, like really bad ideas. I heard they are doing this somewhere, Iceland or Greenland, or Paradise Island…
  • Anyone who is  in a position of authority must be referred to as “Sir” regardless of thier gender.
  • Queen Elizabeth the first (not our Queen Elizabeth, the zoo creature and her litter of baby zoo creatures) made a rule that one tree for every 100 acres every where in England had to be maintained.  (She needed mature trees for building ships to fight Spain…) We can do that! We have surpassed Tudor England with Good Ideas We Can Do THAT.
  • We will always have problems when laws and personal freedoms conflict, but lets face it, people are often jerks.  They gripe about everything.  Even a free lunch.  This planet gives us a free lunch when it comes to air and water but we constantly ruin it!  So these things have to be legislated up the yin yang. Because as I said, jerks.
  • Corporations,  and I heard they are now considered persons,  can be HORRIBLE jerks.  They need rules to govern them, rules up the whazoo.  Corporations don’t need thier own armies. Nope.  They can’t be allowed to go into a country and then build a fort with “private security”.  If they are not benefiting in a direct way the people who live there so that the people there have an investment in their presence, they are breaking international law. Period.  Saying you are building a school for the local population and then teaching them to be domestic servants in the hotel you are putting up (totally bulldozing over the local population and their needs) is NOT  building a school.  Unless a gulag is a school. Time was, people welcomed trade. But when its about flim flam, nobody welcomes them. Bad for business really is about bad for people, OTHERWISE IT’S ABOUT BAD FOR BULLSHIT AND THEFT.
  • And we need gun laws, MORE OF THEM, because, again, people can jerks. Lets face it, many jerks are alive today because there wasn’t a gun handy at the time and  I would like to think that where there is life there is hope. We might shop at “Jerks r us”, but we don’t want to live there. Or die there. I realized the other day that there are so many mass shooting in the United States that now they catagorize them. “Church mass shootings, school mass shootings, Walmart mass shootings…” Sheesh.
  • Taking a life is not a good thing.  It will never stop happening but it should not be a reason for celebration, ever.  It should not be the object of any game.  The enjoyment of violence is not something we want to encourage.  It is not how we navigate towards our objectives as human beings on this planet, and anyone who enjoys causing pain and suffering  is to be considered damaged, possibly ill/sick and should be denied employment where violence and abuse would be likely, i.e. the police force, the army and probably some sports.  I recommend cross stitch for violent people. They can design whatever violent scene or sentiment they like but it has to be rendered in cross stitch. I know you are thinking that these are the jobs where we want violent people because “the enemy” is ruthless, bla bla bla, but I’m Supreme Being in this make-believe scenario remember? Nobody gets to have fun killing. End of discussion. Now go and work on your sampler.*
  • As for sports, I find quilting pretty intense so I am no authority but I think it might change the game if commentors made comments like: “Youre right Jim! And that impressive body check he took will mean he will be ten times more likely to suffer early dementia, depression and suicide!” “Danger pay Rex?” “Well I say, God Bless them, they give us our careers Jim.”  “Hahahahahahaha”. The camera can pick out a child in the bleachers who has seen the results of Repetitive Head Injury Syndrome in a parent. 😦  I would imagine competitive quilting and cross stitch would start to look pretty good. Okay, that’s maybe cruel. Cross stitch is hard to do.

I just realized that all these things are pretty much the things I would have decreed when I was six years old. So, just in case your were wondering, no it’s not likely I will ever succeed in becoming “Supreme Being” so relax. I mean, really, I can’t think of anything more unlikely happening…oh wait, ick, this is awkward…

Finally, it was argued recently that things are changing for the better. I don’t know. Talk is cheap. Only when we meet in the field of our own vulnerability, aware of this vibrant and improbable event that is life, when we are just there, not in an abstraction, but in the terrifing, liberating beauty of it, does anything change.

If not now? When?

Happy New Year!

* It seems there really is a program to teach inmate to quilt.




I have always hated Christmas. I prefer Xmas only because it is easier to read and faster to spell. I do like Winter Solstice but it gets drowned out by all the Christmas hoo-hah though I admit, if I actually lived in the land where Winter Solstice was generally celebrated I might hate that too.

Typically I would get super depressed every Christmas. As a kid I was always sick with the flu or tonsillitis. “Way to ruin Christmas, again!” has been the most popular refrain of those around me most of my life.

As a young adult I spent a few Christmas’ entirely on my own. They were okay because often though I was sick  at least I was alone and not ruining everyone else’s Christmas.

As soon as those songs start to fill the stores I feel myself turning into the Grinch’s poor little dog, weighed down by fake antlers and the burden of stealing all the joy from Whoville. I think there are several things I am allergic to or maybe just sensitive to and the combination of these things just becomes too much for my body and mind: Stuff, Guilt, Actual Allergies, People in Close Quarters, The Cult of Santa.

First: Stuff

At a time when we are supposed to think of the poor we are expected, even if we are poor ourselves, to spend money like the lunatic super rich, buying crap that is only meant for Christmas, stuff that will need to be stored somewhere for eleven months (I guess if you are super rich somebody else worries about that).

And then the gifts:

  • The funny, stupid Christmas gifts, ironic sweaters and apparel that will made the recipient look like an idiot that you bought because you were overheated, overstimulated and totally exhausted in a mall, therefore NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR USE OF A CREDIT CARD.
  • The designer/decorator’s fetishes, really useless, mass produced and guaranteed to be a faux paus next year: CRAP.
  • the GIFT that condemns you to the horrible, sinking bog of eternal Christmas failure, the “what were you thinking when you knew I really wanted fill in the blank.” Even if they don’t say it, you can tell. You have offended, disappointed, or finally proven you couldn’t possibly love, them.

Second: Guilt

The hypocrisy is, like nutmeg, almost imperceptible and yet a fundamental ingredient at Christmastime. The people who beg are just as revived up as you and I are about Xmas, but unlike us they need money so they can escape the reality of maybe DIEING. They need our money but we know it’s not really our money. It’s the banks money. The bank likes us for now because they think we can continue to pay the interest on what we owe them. That’s the big difference: “There but by the grace of  Master Card go I”.  Yes I know there are other differences; people who beg might know people who know where to buy opioids on the street but they might have good reason to know this and we might still have friends and family who still have reasonable lives who will take us in on Christmas.

Third: Actual Allergies

I think I have actual allergies to the stuff I eat over the holidays that I would never eat any other time of the year at least not in those quantities. If I do not have hives at least once over the holidays it is a Christmas miracle.

The Christmas hives started as a small babe with beautiful angora hats and mittens lovingly knitted by my mother and placed on my cherub head and hands. The continuous rubbing of angora into my red annoyed skin, especially my nose and eyes, ruined every photo of me at Christmas as a babe. I am quite sure they have all been destroyed. *guilty*

  • Fruit cake with the supernatural bright green and red cherries.
  • Cigarette smoke from visitors who drank lots of alcohol and sometimes gave me a sip
  • Antibiotics that were, to my parents relief, readily prescribed without question by any doctor if I had the slightest temperature.

As a young adult I consumed many things that were not good for me. I started smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. When Christmas came each year I added eggnog and pot to the mix, oh and boyfriends. I don’t know which gave me the hives.

Fourth: People in Close Quarters

People are stressed and they drink too much or not enough and they say and do things they shouldn’t and the best that you can hope for is nobody remembers too much about it come the next seasonal get-together.

Lastly: The Cult of Santa

My dad used to say, “Santa, what an old fooler!” Children know. Oh yeah, they may buy into it for the presents at first, but they don’t really commit, not most of them. Every year a few get caught. Santa knows it’s a numbers game and he has to get out there and try to pull in as many as he can but like all pyramid organizations it is a select few who really get what they want for Christmas, the rest just keep flogging the Santa message, hoping beyond hope, all the while staying hopped up on sugary treats. I know this. I was one of them.

Looking in the Mirror

Looking in the Mirror…

I read my horoscope everyday, not so much because I believe in the power of celestial bodies messing with my life as I believe it is the acid test for how I am feeling when I read it.  Today it said something to the effect that I would be likely to get into arguments, which pissed me off.

I do get angry. It is hard not to sometimes but I try to be aware of it before I am in some action that can do harm and also, I will admit, gets me in harms way.

I used to toss a coin when I couldn’t make my mind up about something.  Never anything really important, usually when either choice was valid.  I found if I didn’t like the outcome of the toss I would simply do the opposite. Again, either choice being valid, my inclination was the question. I learned that didn’t need to waste my time. I am not as quick witted as I once was, but I am more measured.

Inclination is in itself a type of coin, perhaps a coin we don’t know we carry until something in life causes us to choose an action and we have to turn it over. Granted there are plenty of thoughtless thugs who never question their inclinations. Often if they have some part to play in history they become celebrities at least in their own pub or whatever cultural gathering place that includes mental incapacity due to alcohol or religion or the combination that results from professional sports. Or they become infamous villains depending on way things play out, how attractive their features are and if they survive or end up on t-shirts. Those who question inclination often become ineffectual in the grand scheme and hardly thought of at all when the dust settles except perhaps when they say, “I was alive during that time”.

My question is, within the mass of humanity that might get caught up on the streets in some sort of demonstration either by folly or desire or virtue, are not most feckless wanderers who despite the rightness or wrongness of their inclination would choose NOT to cause harm to another human being, especially if they could toss the coin endlessly until the question of being there or staying home was exhausted?

I once spent a weekend with a lovely couple in the seventies who had been caught up in the arrests without cause that followed the FLQ crisis back in ? She was less ardent but he was sure a war between French and English Canada was coming and after hours of talking concluded that I would be shot by both sides. The assertion being that NOT CHOOSING was a greater sin than being wrong.

But again, there are people who just show up. People like me who don’t know how to effect change but recognize at some point you have to decide to show up in support of this or that. The hard part is not falling prey to the inclination to do harm. The miraculous part is seeing some who can show us how to address the harm that others might do without perpetuating it or fueling it.

Wow. Just writing that last sentence got my heart pumping. The scary thing is being scared and not succumbing to acts of violence. Not condoning aggression even as pay back. It is the fear of losing the peace that I enjoy that reveals the fear and perhaps the dishonesty of my pacifism, but that peace includes everyone I endeavour to love and that includes everyone. So when whatever war comes to my door (because I will stay in) I will try to be brave and say, “either side can kill me, I will not defend myself if it involves harming others.” My inclination will not decide for me. Regardless of how close to what history will bare as the most important choice a person can make in these times, a gut reaction will not be useful. My practice and commitment to love and to do no harm to others will be what determines my actions. I will be wrong perhaps but not untrue. I tend push back, it is my inclination, but I submit by choice.

These are frightening times.

P.S. I have just learned of the events in Charlottesville, in the U.S. yesterday. It is hard not to want to strike out against the monstrous mental paralysis that has lead to these murderous acts. It is not terrorism, it is bare-faced murder.

These people who are in the mental paralysis called fascism want to kill the opposition. They do not recognize any people who have opinions other than theirs as being human, as anything but a target for their hatred.

So how do you respond?

I think that it is good that the statue is coming down and it shows the success of government and civic responsibility. I don’t believe that the fascists have done anything to change that. (I hope). I am sorry for all the people who were injured and their families.

I am not going to say I laughed my head off…

I have an overdue library book.  Unfortunately I can’t find it.  I couldn’t even remember what the name of it was.  I usually just scoop up three or four paper backs at a time at random; it is the only way for me to overcome a bias that ends with me reading the same type of books (and even the same book) over and over and never EXPANDING MY MIND.

I asked the librarian what the name of the book I seem to have lost is, get this, it’s title is:


Is that  funny?  Should I move to Prague?  Besides now having literally fallen on my face, this new phase of my life is seeming all too literal!

Metaphorically speaking…NOT!


the Artist’s Project at the Exhibition Place, a good time!

Laura was kind enough to send me two coupons for tickets. She is an encaustic artist, does really great work, a lovely person and generous too. I would not have gone otherwise, probably. Not that I don't love the show but just because it is at Exhibition Place.

It was still quite a wintery day despite the warmer temperatures. The wind was fierce off the lake and as it happened, it was not in the building I thought it was in. I thought it was in the Direct Energy Building. As we walked from the streetcar to the building I was really excited to see how many people were going to look at art! There was a tall guy in a lime green kid's hat complaining about the show not being there. He didn't fit with the crowd I noticed. It took me a while to register that there seemed to be a lot of really badly dressed men in the line-up. Of course it was the motorcycle show… I know I sound like a snob but it's true. People are more likely to put on clean jeans for an art show than for a motorcycle show. I am fairly certain they do not wear lime green kids cartoonish type hats.

So we had to brave the cold wind and slushy sidewalks to get to the show, I felt bad cause Dee was getting over a cold…

I, myself, am still feeling like I need to curl up in a ball under lots of blankets most of the time for emotional warmth if not physical warmth. It is hard to throw myself into social situations. I either talk too much or not enough BUT and this is a BIG BUT, I had a really good time.

I like to pick up cards (if they have them) when something of the artist’s work strikes me. I try to do this without discretion, and only on impulse. I don’t get cards for all of the work that gets me only the ones that compel me. This way it is about my own “work” rather than some sort of critique. Peter A. Bareikowski’s caught my eye. I have noticed I am inclined to gravitate towards iconic or symbolic work that is child-like and including dream like images. This is from his bio:

His work has been about human conditions like isolation and alienation. Creating a paradox between his joyful colours and darker subject matter, his paintings attempt to play with our ideas around sadness. As a form of subtle escapism, the figures in his paintings are depicted in a one dimensional, cartoonish style – with almost grotesque undertones. By doing so, Barelkowski hopes to create the feel of another world.


Catherine Jeffery who does wonderful street scenes full of reflections and colour and just how I feel downtown when I don’t wear my glasses! She was generous in talking about her painting method, something I love to learn. Dee really liked her work.

I ran into Jamie and Russell from the Artist’s Network days…wonderful work this year from both of them, and nice to see familiar faces!

Dee and I had a long and interesting conversation about some of the pitfalls and challenges for creative people and what genius might be, also, she told me a wonderful story about time and layers in a space that she has lived in for thirty years…the conversation shifted in and out of our meanderings, heading home we got on the subway going the wrong way, even though we very consciously noted the Eastbound sign before heading down to the platform!!! At one point I imagined ourselves on the other train, engrossed in conversation but going the right direction in a different time! BRAIN EXPLODES!

My first time dealing with crowds for a long time,I had to eat some sugar to keep going but then got a bit loopy. Damn pancreas!

There was a lot of really amazing work. You can check out the website for The Artist Project. It was a great show but too far from public transit on a cold day. (I am an grumpy crippled old crone after all!)

Today is the last day. If you are in town you should try to check it out!