Life in progress



My day is winding down; I have just enough wine in me that I’m not sleepy. Contentedness folds over me like a warm blanket.

The sound is down on Mickey Mouse, because my son is Deaf–gone are the days of having to listen to a certain purple dinosaur, for whom I feel absolutely no love, and who I suspect doesn’t love me either. There are walls and windows between myself and my family, and the frigid winter air. My tummy is full of a simple dinner of pasta and canned tomatoes, with mozzerella cheese melted on top… What more could I ask for?

I love nights like this. It’s like comfort food for an exhausted soul.

Tell me, what is your perfect evening with family?


Giggling Bob – The Story of a Possessed Toy

For sale: One laughing ball

No, that’s not right. But I don’t know the actual name of the toy. Was it a “Laughing Bob”? The label is long worn off.

For sale: One Giggling Bob ball. Good for ages 1-4.

That’ll do. Sure, I feel bad selling it off to someone else. But I don’t know how else to get rid of it.

When I first bought it for the kids – I’m sure it worked fine in the store – I got it home and I couldn’t get it to work. According to the instructions, all you had to do was bang it and it was supposed to giggle. The kids loved the crazy high pitched laugh. I figured it would drive me nuts, but what the hell. Anything for the kids, right?

I tried changing the batteries. Nothing. Banged the hell out of it… no laughing (or giggling) Bob.

The first time I heard it go off, about a week later, it was 3:14 am. I got up to see if the kids had wandered out of bed, but they were fast asleep. And there was this stupid ball, laying in the middle of the living room floor. I just shook my head and went back to bed.

Next morning I kicked it. It didn’t make a sound. Maybe I dreamed it, I thought. Ha!

About a month after that, we were packing to move. One of the kids threw the ball into a box. I said we should just toss it in the garbage, but the kids liked it. They’d been using it to play catch, even though it wouldn’t make a sound. I said fine.

3:14 the next morning… Yeah. Giggling Bob was at it again. This time I got up and threw it in a garbage bag.

Garbage day was four days later.

Have you ever taken the trash to the curb and had it laugh at you? I’d have tossed it with no problem, except the kids (who I was taking to the bus stop at the time) caught me red-handed. Since the toy was in a trash bag with a pile of carpeting, and not with anything disgusting, back Giggling Bob went into the house.

Well, moving day came and went. Giggling Bob made it into a random box that, four years later remains unpacked. And I swear to God, if I am woken up at 3:14 again…

One Giggling Bob ball. Good for ages 1-4. Free to a good home.

That’s better.

Note: This story is semi-fictional, only in that I haven’t tried to sell the possessed ball yet. Yet.

40 Comments – The $20 Blog Post

“Do you have change for a twenty?”

That’s how it started – with those words.

“I think so,” I replied, juggling gloves and newspapers to dig into my pocket. I pulled out a couple of receipts and a five dollar bill and then went into the other pocket. Just as I was about to give up, I found a ten.

“Yes!” I exclaimed.

All right, maybe I wasn’t quite that excited. I was just collecting for my paper route after all.

It was while I was walking back down my customer’s driveway, my gloves still tucked under my arm, that I saw the writing on the $20 bill.

“Yes!” I exclaimed, for real this time. “It’s a blog post!”

This is what I saw.


I couldn’t wait to get home to check it out.

When I googled whereswilly, I saw a Wikipedia entry for it, so I decided to go there first — in case it was some kind of hacking thing. It turns out it wasn’t.

According to Wiki, the “Willy” refers to Sir Wilfred Laurier, past Prime Minister of Canada. There are apparently close to 4,000,000 bills in circulation with this message, and you can, in fact, register on the website to see where the bill has been AND be emailed to find out where it goes. It’s based on a “Where’s George” site in the U.S., to track currency there, and has been used by researchers to track the movement of pandemics, such as SARS.

Isn’t that interesting?

I’m only the second person who has tracked this particular $20, but I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes. According to the website, I can do this with any bill, any time.

You can check out the Wiki page here:

Have you heard of this before? Have you ever come across a bill with a website written on it? Do you want to start one? It’s so cool!


The Ice is Laughing at Me

First it was the ice storm. Remember that? Back in December, just before Christmas I slipped on the ice and hit my head on a concrete step. Result: concussion. Thank goodness I had the lovely villainous Navigator1965 to cover for me.

Then there were the frost quakes. They were fun.

And let’s not forget the icicles, that led to the destruction of my eavestroughs.

And now? To add insult to injury, the ice is laughing at me:

Can you see the big grin? Just in case, I drew eyebrows, eyes, a mustache and a goatee on him:


Have I mentioned lately that I’m sick of winter?


Out on a limb – Metaphorically speaking: My battle with Lyme’s Disease

Lyme Disease can happen to any one of us. Be aware of what it entails, and the hardships of getting treatment.


“The Casual Vacancy” by JK Rowling – A Review

The Casual VacancyThe Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In a truthful and incredibly rich tale of the disparity between comfortable and poor, “The Casual Vacancy” highlights the fact that one can never really know what goes on inside someone else’s existence.

I have to say that it was a little difficult to remember who was who at the beginning, but once I had all of the characters sorted out, I simply couldn’t put it down. Rowling’s ability to dive into the depths of each of her characters is every bit as wonderful as with her Harry Potter clan – but don’t expect a children’s tale. At times a difficult read, it is, (and I can’t express this enough) truthful–full of life and all its joys and misery.

This book will remain with me for a long while; it will sit in a place of honour amongst my favourites of all time.

View all my reviews


How Random

I live in a town where dog poop is front page news. It was thrown over a fence. In tiny baggies, no less.

I shit you not.

In other news, I’m still working on the article which will reveal the person behind “Boy Series…” I want it to be perfect. In fact I don’t think I’ve worked on any short piece of work this hard, ever. I hope someone actually reads it. 😛

It’s still as cold as a polar bear’s poo … thrown over a fence … Never mind.

My mind is too muddled by all the things going on in real life.


What random thing happened in your life today?


Not Listening


For all you parents out there who think their young kids take advantage, consider this:

A Deaf child who doesn’t want to go to bed, really can act like he’s not listening if he refuses to look at you…


Making Everyone Happy

They say you can’t make everyone happy. But what if you can’t help trying?

I’m okay to a point. I can say no to people if I feel that what I’m saying no to is in most people’s best interests. Or if what they’re asking for is impossible. Take Alex, my youngest son, for instance. He asks me to take him to the toy store a minimum of ten times a day, every weekend. I tell him I don’t have the money to buy him a video game every weekend and I stick to it… mostly. On average he somehow ends up with about six a year.

On Friday my mother moved into a retirement home. She is of course not happy – I’m told that it’s rare anyone is, for the first little while. If she lives alone it will be up to me to get her groceries, take her to her appointments, make sure she’s safe and healthy, and all this from the other end of town. Granted, it’s not a big town. But when I’m faced with dragging a kid around who may or may not be hooked up to a feeding pump and leaving my Autistic son, Chris, at home alone for an indeterminate period of time, it is a big deal for me.

Having her in the home where she can be supervised 24/7 is a huge worry off my shoulders, both because I know she’s safe and I know she’s eating well. And yet I can’t stop thinking, What’s one more thing? I can handle it… make her happy and let her live alone.

How do I convince myself that I matter in all this? I have to stay strong.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday Fe22/14

The wind blows where ever it wants to blow. It’s warming up outside and so the gusts are fierce. It’s days like today when branches weakened from the weight of snow and ice come down on roofs and cars (two things I’ve been having problems with of late). Times like this I listen to the creaking of the trees around my house and I want to say to the wind:

Wind, dude, stop blowin’ already. Get outta my trees. C’mon man. Ye’r makin’ me nervous, dude.

But you can’t reason with the wind. It blows where ever it wants.

Like ice. It forms when it snows, and then the snow melts and the water sits there until it freezes into sheets of slippery pavement that have me flailing as I deliver my newspapers. Like the wind, I want to say to the ice:

Ice! Stop being so damn slippery!

But you can’t reason with the ice. It keeps on being slick. So much so that I thought this morning, as I slid around the block not moving my feet because the wind was blowing me on this ice, maybe this combo ain’t so bad after all.