Tuesday, 29 September 2009

eHarmony: Homosexuality and Business

Edit 22 Jan 2013: Ugh. I have pretty much entirely moved my position on this. I won't take it down because I don't feel like that's a responsible thing to do, but I want to state right here that as much as I understand why eHarmony would do what they did, I no longer feel like it's justifiable.

So the whole eHarmony-bigotry showed up a little while ago, but since I was thinking about it today, I decided to write a post about it.
If you aren't aware of what I'm talking about, I'll fill you in briefly: a number of people are upset that eHarmony does not match same-sex couples. There is also something out there about a misleading commercial, but I don't know much about that.

Today I decided to play a game, which I call, "Let's pretend that the organization/company/government/justice system isn't doing what they're doing because they're stupid and mean, but instead have a solid reason for what they're doing from their point of view." I don't think the game will catch on (maybe the name is too long?), but I like playing it.

This is what I came up with:

eHarmony is essentially a business. Unlike most dating websites, it has its customers fill in a questionnaire and then uses your input to match you with a prospective partner. This is more complex, as I understand it, then taking a woman who likes ska, is passionate about the environment, and doesn't care too much about cleanliness, and matching them with a man who also indicated that he likes ska, is passionate about the environment, and doesn't care too much about cleanliness. No, in actuality they've done years of research, and read generations worth of research, to determine what factors contribute to a successful relationship. Due to the money, brains, and plain-old time they've poured into this project, they can boast about extraordinarily high success rates. eHarmony is a marriage-focused business, and so they measure success by the percentage of matches who get married, stay married, and are happy with their marriage. As I said, eHarmony is a business. This is all statistical for them. I am sure they care that their customers are happy with each other; otherwise, they wouldn't be in this business. However, they do need to sell their product (which is the matching process), and so take a particular amount of interest in their accuracy.

Here's the catch. That accuracy relies on expensive, time-consuming, brain-consuming research that has been done exclusively on heterosexual couples. So if eHarmony were to suddenly open the floor to same-sex matching, they wouldn't have a whole lot to go on. I'm no expert on the dynamics of a same-sex relationship, but I'm going to say that the statistics for a heterosexual marriage do not neatly apply to a homosexual relationship. I'm also going to say that eHarmony doesn't have any statistics for same-sex compatability. So eHarmony would be sacrificing their reputation as accurate if they allow for same-sex matching. At least, their accuracy for those couples would be lower, but I'm sure that the eHarmony team is at least nervous that that would drop their popularity. If the percentage of all couples' success (homo and hetero) is several points lower, then fewer hetero people will use their site.

Perhaps you will then say that eHarmony should do that research to get those statistics to get acheive that accuracy. I say, do you remember when I mentioned how expensive it is? Do you remember when I pointed out how much time it takes to accomplish that? I'm sure you'll get the brains for it: queer theory is fairly popular these days, picking up where race theory and, to a lesser extent, feminist theory are starting to peter out. The point, though, is that not only will it take a long time to accomplish this, it will take a lot of money. So when it does come out, eHarmony will have to charge more to cover those substantial costs. Does eHarmony charge everybody more? But why should heterosexual couples need to pay for a service that they don't need, want, or use? But then do the homosexual patrons have to pay more than heterosexual patrons? Consider that the eHarmony team is likely concerned about a lower number of same-sex users compared to heterosexual users. This means that the homosexual patrons would likely have to pay far more than the heterosexual ones if they bear the start-up research costs all on their own, since there are fewer of them to divide it between. You can imagine how well that would go over. Those people complaining now that the service is not available will certainly be complaining that eHarmony makes them pay more for the "same" service (even though the cost in providing that service is at least at the beginning more expensive for the company).

To some degree, all of these concerns will have to be dealt with by eHarmony on a financial level. Can they afford (in terms of both expenses and lost revenue) to offer this service? It's like any company thinking about providing some new product. They have to balance the cost of preparing for, obtaining, advertising, and selling the new item/process/information, with how much they think that item/process/information will bring in. At this point in the game, I'm going to say that eHarmony has decided that, at the moment, they cannot afford to provide the service.

NOW, this does not make it any less disappointing, frustrating, and perhaps embarrassing for homosexual people who would like to use eHarmony. Hopefully, though, this indicates that it is less offensive/insulting than some people seem to make out. And of course I realize that there may also be other factors contributing to this decision, ranging from bigotry to fear to ignorance. But in the end I think that we ought to at least gesture to the benefit of the doubt while still arguing--when reasonable--for respect of people's basic rights.

Someone might here object that even businesses must be concerned with ethics, and I would absolutely and without hesitation agree with that someone. People speak of business being an amoral feild; I, however, think that the phonetic similarity between "amorality" and "immorality" is not a mere coincidence semantically (ie. there is no such thing as amorality, and those who claim to be acting in an amoral feild are most likely acting immorally in a moral feild). Yes, corporations should ensure that they do not do actual harm while pursuing a profit. No, corporations shouldn't shave off bits of their consciences so that they can also shave off expenses. However, consider this: I walk into a 'free-thinking' bookstore (they exist) and then make a fuss when I can't buy a Christian-audience Bible companion there. "It's a book," I say, "so all bookstores should sell it! Not to sell it is discriminatory!" And then you say, "But, Christian, look, they can't reasonably be expected to sell every book in existence. So you can't just walk in there and then get angry when they don't happen to sell a book you want. You can't even get angry when they don't sell any book that fits your lifestyle. It's their store. You can't expect that they simply must sell your sort of book, even if they don't want to or it would damage their reputation as a 'free-thinking' bookstore. That just doesn't make sense." And you'd be right. As far as I'm concerned, it's the same thing here. Yes, I agree it's a shame that homosexual people do not have access to a dating site as comprehensive and reliable as eHarmony. (There are same-sex dating sites, but as I understand it, like any dating site that requires you to do your own profile browsing, they're not as good as eHarmony.) But that doesn't mean that we have any place to blame the company. If they were matching same-sex people with straight people just to be devilish, then, yeah, get angry. If they say, "We don't match same-sex people, not only because they're demon-spawn and communists, but also 'cause it's icky," then, yeah, get very angry. But that's not what's going on here; what's going on is that they are providing a service which doesn't help some people. For the final analogy on this point, it would be like getting mad at an autobody shop because they don't have foreign car parts available in-store. It's a foreign car; how can you possibly expect a domestic garage to stock parts for every foreign car?

Lastly, if this were a government-organization or maybe even a not-for-profit organization (though only a very large one, I think), then that would be a different story. If I went into a store that was commissioned by the Government of Canada to be the Official Bookstore of Canada, and I couldn't find anything on Bible interpretation (or queer experience or Aboriginal spirituality or women's rights or Quebec separatist philosophies), then I'd have a right to complain. But eHarmony is not sponsored by the government, and the government would have to be stone moronic to get into that sort of thing (remember Trudeau on the government's place in people's bedrooms?). It's a privately-owned business, and we have to treat it like one.

So, if you want eHarmony to provide same-sex services, I'd suggest you write them and get your friends to write them, saying that you'd be willing to cough up the extra for said services. If they get enough letters, maybe they will be confident enough of the customer base to provide an "orientation-optional" edition of eHarmony.

Anyway, I Googled the issue and found out that eHarmony implies in some official statements the sorts of things I've said here, as well as giving some (in my opinion) less convincing reasons. This link I'm providing (http://www.pinoy.ca/eharmony/339) also has some on-line commenter opinions which you may or may not want to peruse.
Caveat: I do not want to imply here that I am either for or against homosexuality as a lifestyle. I know that I have readers that will be upset if I indicate that I do not "agree with homosexuality" in some way or another, and I know that I have readers that will be upset if I indicate that I do support homosexuality in some way or another. As far as I see it, your sexuality is between you and God, and no one else. I don't really take the time to formulate opinions on what I think God thinks about homosexuality, and that's the bottom line, as far as my public voice goes. As far as society and politics are concerned... well, I think non-judgementality, equality, and above all love ought to be the standards of our decisions, and that's the bottom line for now.

Last caveat: I am aware that there is more to this issue as regards the commercial, which I have not seen. There may be actually justifiably upsetting things in that advertisement; not having seen it, I don't know. What I am discussing is only the upset about the fact they don't provide the services desired, and why eHarmony is justified in not providing them. If that company has done anything else offensive, please DO NOT take this post as an endorsement of those actions. Obviously if I had a large readership a number of people would do precisely that, even with this caveat, but I am sure that you, my regular readership, will in fact use both your eyes and your brains before you use your fingers (on the keyboard). Thanks.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Unsolicited Rambling

There are a number of things I ought to be doing right now instead of writing a blog entry for which I have not prepared one wit. However, I do not feel like doing any of those things.

To begin, xkcd:

That has no context and I have nothing to say about it, except that obviously it appealed to me on some level.

Next, I will say that yesterday I had planned on posting something entitled "Bored, Scared, and Lonely," and the post itself would have followed suit. Basically, in church yesterday morning I came to the realization that I need to come to terms with the fact that I'm in Fort McMurray now, and will be for at least a year. I need to apply to schools, yes, but I cannot continue to mope over the fact that I used to be surrounded by friends and I used to have lots of spare time and I used to be doing something I maybe enjoyed if it weren't for the pressure. Rather, I must either come to accept that I have no friends and less spare time and a job that isn't 100% perfect in all ways, or I must make friends and manage my time better and find ways to get enjoyment out of my job anyway. I must stop living in the past. I have graduated from Queen's, and am not enrolling again any time soon. It's time to accept that and move on. I need to find a place to volunteer or something. (More on that later.)

Now I shall inform you that it is autumn in Fort McMurray. It was cold today; many of the trees have turned; leaves have fallen; occasionally the ground is hoary in the mornings. Brrrrr. The other day, though, I could smell fall on the air. I don't often smell things on the air in Fort Mac (other than oil or sulphur). It was nice.

In this paragraph, I will voice my desire to see Jessica's Body. By this I mean the quote horror unquote movie starring a cannibalistic Megan Fox; I am sure, though, that most people who say "I want to see Jessica's Body" are aware that they are simultaneously (truely or falsely) expressing a desire to see Megan Fox' body. For the most part I think it would be "truely". I think it (the movie) looks funny; some reviews say it is witty, having been written by the scriptwriter for Juno. Other reviews are rather more interested, as I already mentioned, in the titular (pun fully intended) torso.

At this point, I shall entertain myself, and hopefully you, dear reader, with an idea I had: I would like to go into a large museum, like the RAM, and mentally pick out an artifact in a display case. The case must be somewhere fairly well attended and the artifact must be of a category that I could conceivably own, like a pair of glasses or a cup or a spoon or a walking stick. I would stand with my back to the case, doing my best not to block view of the artifact, and then loudly ask people around me if they have seen my glasses (or cup or spoon or walking stick). I would say I just had it with me, and then I would describe the object in the display. I'd like to see how people would react.

Penultimately, I shall admit that I am still reading Anatomy of Criticism. I am enjoying it, at least as far as literary theory goes. I need to write it down schematically, though; Frye has far too vast and segmented a conception of literature for me to keep it all straight in my mind. I could easily enough chart it out, though. I find his project interesting and most of what he says probable, though the odd thing stikes me as at the wrong angle. His formalism appeals to me, and I can at last get a sense of what a high school teacher called "Archetypal Criticism" without either being overly reductive or without appealing to a Jungian conception of archetypes, which I find unlikely and useless. I have learned a lot, and now I must try not to worry about it too much as I produce writing of my own. As of late, though, I am less thoroughly engaged with it. I do not stay up nearly as late into the night reading it. I have a number of other books lined up, too: On Writing, Tess of the d'Ubervilles, Heart of Darkness, The Sun Also Rises (annoyingly saturated with marginalia by a previous reader), and an assortment of trash-lit I still haven't gotten around too. Oh, and more Faerie Queene. And other things, surely.

And lastly, I shall hold forth on the observation that I am playing a lot of Minesweeper lately, and am noticeably improving. For instance, I often know what to do with a bank of ones and twos, even if there is no corner.

That is all for now. What a strange and incoherent post. My apologies.

Friday, 25 September 2009

7 Quick Takes (XI)

1. This past Friday, I was in Windsor (as you know). My host and I saw Inglorious Basterds. I enjoyed it, though you maybe oughn't watch it if you dislike torture or gore--which were likely mild compared to, say Hostel or The Passion of the Christ--or if you do not appreciate Tarentino's cinematographic style. I liked it, though; as much as I loved the accent of Aldo Rain (Brad Pitt), I found most fascinating the story arcs of Shosanna and what's-his-face, the "Jewhunter." Anyway, it was a good movie.
That same day, in the same mall, I bought (guilt-guilt-guilt-guilt) Neverwhere and Anatomy of Criticism.

2. I finished reading Neverwhere on the plane between Fort McMurray and Edmonton. Which is to say, I began reading it in the train station in Windsor, and continued reading it on the shuttle bus from Union Station to Pearson, and read it a lot more in Pearson, and then finished it before my plane landed in Edmonton. I briefly began Anatomy on the same plane. In Edmonton, I ate at a Wok Box and a Tim Horton's. And then the plane ride from Edmonton to Fort McMurray was brief. I also tried to write on some of these flights.
I should also note that it was my first time in Pearson for years. I enjoyed that airport almost as much as I enjoy Calgary's. I like long lay-overs.

3. On Sunday, my Dad and I kayaked on the River Snye. I say kayaked. Really, you would think of it more as canoeing, since there was no white-water or athleticism involved, which I tend to associate with kayaking. Anyway, we say ducks and the enormous dragonflies native to Fort McMurray and some wading birds and some geese. It was enjoyable.

4. At work, we have been moving lots of furniture. Have I mentioned this? I missed some of the move (the worst of it, I am told), but I still got to participate in all sorts of lovely packing and pushing and carrying and arranging.
The Park has way too much stuff.

5. On Wednesday, I bought new shoes. I got them at Wal*Mart. They are okay. There were not many that fit me, so my options were slim. If you wear more than an '8' and less than a '14', you have pretty slim pickings. If, for some reason, you do wear size 14s, you actually get the pick of the litter. There were quite a few of those.

6. We are now painting the side of the Royal Bank, and, in order to do so, I have been instructed in the use of the scissor lift. It is actually quite easy to operate. My Dad, though, has informed me that I really ought to have a ticket to use it. Perhaps I will go about acquiring one...
When Darrin started to teach me to use it, he asked, "Are you afraid of heights?"
I lied, "No."
Oh boy. Let's say that knowing that you're safe is entirely different from knowing that you're safe.

7. Just as I got off work, my Dad informed me that there was a public lecture at Keyano College on the making of dictionaries. As a spur of the moment sort of thing, I was immediately disinterested. But then I decided to go, as I miss going to lectures and this actually did sound interesting. So, tonight I attended "Feasts of Literature: Samuel Johnson and the Making of the English Dictionary." It was a very good lecture, at least as far as interesting content is concerned. There were few of the Morrison-inspired epiphanies or Snediker-induced complexities or Gwynn-inspired comprehensions that some of my readers might be familiar with (and I select these professors largely based on those readers I know I have); rather, there was lots of interesting information and trivia and historical relevance. It embodied one of the fun aspects of the lecture: the leisurely story-telling fact dispensory. I miss those. Actually, even in fourth year I missed lectures, because I was in seminars entirely. I enjoyed seminars, but there was something nice about lectures that I occasionally craved.
Anyway, I intend to go to more of these public lectures. There is one each Friday evening.
Also, I found out about a new semi-annual literary magazine around here called NorthWord. I have until this Wednesday to submit something, which I intend to do. Its mandate is the publication and support etc. etc. of writing from northern Canada. I find this interesting. Wish me luck!

Make sure you visit the Quick Takes Queen and her retinue!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Sonnets to My Jilted Lover (1)

So I started writing a sonnet sequence called, tentatively, Sonnets to My Jilted Lover. I took as an inspiration, of course, the Renaissance sonneteers, particularly Sidney's Astrophil and Stella and to a very peripheral extent Donne's Holy Sonnets. If you cannot tell from the title, this sequence inverts the sonnet convention; in this case, the speaker is the one who is spurning the lover.

While it would be all lies to say that this project did not occur to me as a result of a few different autobiographical events (eek--I dislike even mentioning the existence of such an autobiography on this blog), my impetus in writing it has very little do with excising wounds of any sort. I'll note that these most certainly are not written 'for' or 'to' any person in particular--or, at least not in the familiar sense. The energy I am using to write these sonnets is more philosophical, theological, or analytical than personal; perhaps that's why "sonnets" is less accurate than "sonnet-and-a-half." I haven't put much work into it, I'm afraid. Maybe the whole sonnet sequence thing isn't for me, or maybe I need to be truly lovesick (or guilt-ridden, as in this case) to produce something of this species.

But regardless! I am going to put up a (one) sonnet, for you to enjoy and critique. Seriously. I want feedback, even of the "I hate this. I hate poetry. I hate you." variety. Except obviously that's not true. If you write that, I won't allow it. But useful criticism will be just as or more welcome than carefully nice criticism.

OK, here we go.

Sonnetta numero 1:


I know you love me, dearest one of mine,
That you have set your heart out with the glass
Which sits upon the table, filled with wine,
And wait for me to drink instead of pass
As I have passed each day and night we tease.
I hear the ache inside your dancing words,
The whispered want contained by wild ease,
The innuendo penned like straining herds.
But while you knock my heartsick onto yours,
Although you promise all of what you are,
Despite my dreams of opening the doors
Into your house of houses, left ajar,
My heart is locked as sure as these dry lips
That will not take your champagne's sugared sips.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Return to Alberta

I am back in Fort McMurray. It's been a fun but tiring trip.

For instance, the computer screen seems to be moving in ways that are unusual for a computer screen. I imagine that this is a suggestion that I ought to sleep sometime in the very near future.

Friday, 18 September 2009

7 Quick Takes (X)

1. I realized this morning how difficult to read the last two posts are. My apologies.

2. Today's Quick Takes will by necessity be unlike previous ones. If I were to try to encapsulate each of the past days in one take, each 'paragraph' would become a miniature novel in itself. So I must paint with broad strokes in one take, and then find interesting moments for the others. Which is to say, I spent this week on vacation, visiting friends in Ontario, as you may already know. I arrived in Oakville as described last Friday; I spent Saturday in Oakville with my brother; I traveled to Kingston on Sunday via the Via; I met up with assorted friends and went to a birthday party on Monday; I met up with a professor and friends, and attempted to go to a birthday party on Tuesday; I met up with even more friends and supposedly talked authorially on Wednesday; I took the Via to Windsor on Thursday, where I am now (Friday) visiting a friend from yore, who I met back in Grade 3 or so.

3. My brother and I tried to make putt-putt boats on Saturday. If you don't know what a putt-putt boat is, look here. Anyway, as is implied by "tried," it didn't happen. In this case, it was due to distractions + time constraints - adequate supplies. While Nick was watching the epoxy set (OK, maybe he wasn't actually doing that) I was looking through some of his books, including one of the art of Iian (sp?) MacCaig and one of animals; in the former there were lots of movie concept art and at least one picture of a centaurine, while in the latter there was a photograph of a hyaena eating a shark.

4. On Monday I got to play with Courtney S's rabbit, named Jazzy. This was after I met Courtney at the Tea Store; she eventually had to get ready for work, so I walked her home and got to meet her rabbit. I felt awful, though, when I realized I had been late. I had written Courtney - 2:30 - Tea Store in my makeshift agenda, but it turns out that we had agreed to meet at 2:00, and I had apparently gotten confused when I wrote it down. I could try and say that being around a pretty girl just melted my brain, but that's more Jon's forte, and, anyway, I wasn't around said pretty girl when I wrote it down. I really have no excuse.
(And I am kidding; Courtney doesn't have that effect on me, notwithstanding that she is a wonderful girl to have tea with.)

5. I met many, many people. Just in case you were unsure as to that point. Frequently, it was over coffee, though more likely tea. My week has been divided between waiting for people to get off class/work, and rushing from one appointment to another. Of course, no appointment is undesirable, but it can make me fret that I'm supposed to be somewhere else at the moment.
At the Brew Pub I was waiting to meet some people for a birthday party. I only knew the birthday girl, so was somewhat nervous--I do not like being the 'lost puppy' who follows the one person around, but it's also hard to be outgoing as the only white guy in a crowd of Asians. But I had an escape plan, which was that I could only be there for half an hour anyway: I had to be at a poker party at 9:30 and, given the length I needed to walk and the fact that I wanted to pick up a fruit platter on the way, I would have to leave at 9. But then the birthday crowd never did show up. I still don't know what happened to them.
And then, as I walked to said poker party (which turned out to just be sitting and chatting with two friends, Jamie and Jude), I somehow managed to work up a pain in my knee that has lasted until at least this morning. Remember how I hurt my knee before? I wonder if it's related somehow.

6. I should mention the conversations I've had about my future. I met with a professor--Prof. Dujardin, for those who know her--with whom I discussed my indecision about where to go from here. In our conversation she asked a number of questions, which I have yet to answer. We also came up with ways of finding the answer, which quite appropriately involve metaphrasis. I say this is appropriate because we discussed the concept and practice of metaphrasis during the classes I had with her. I have no idea if Wikipedia has a page on metaphrasis or not. I can see it being one of the things which slips through Wikipedia's cracks, like Dene dream walking. Actually, from what I can tell, that last one got through Google's cracks until I posted about it here. Anyway, she also asked whether I could even envision myself being anywhere but grad school, which is a valid point. I am feeling better about grad school now. I have to think about whether to do Creative Writing or English, though. Or Culture Studies, which I heard of quite recently.
And then immediately after that, I spoke to Dan and Brenda from Navs about how to deal with my upcoming year in Fort McMurray. More later, perhaps.

7. And the trip to Windsor was interesting. I took a Renaissance car from Kingston to Toronto, which I think I might have found less comfortable altogether than a regular car, though it is certainly classier-looking. On the train from Toronto to Windsor (which is a long haul, in case you didn't know), a woman went to sit next to another somewhere ahead of me, asking, "May I sit here?" "I snore," the other warned, to which the first answered, "I'm deaf." "Well, then," said the second, "this will work perfectly."
And then there was utter desperation getting to my friend's place, as I did not know the address. After several hasty phone calls at a payphone, I still couldn't get anyone to stalk Facebook to see what said friend had written on my profile, but in the end I convinced an at-first-reluctant computer-nerd in the station to get me Internet access. The whole escapade took half an hour, but in the end I had the address written down. (Blessings to all computer nerds. At the very least, the near future depends on them.) Then I caught a cab (which was made difficult by the fact that some vandal ripped the relevant page from the phonebook in the station)... but he didn't recognize the address. The girl at dispatch did, though. Then, as we drove, we talked about employment, and he caught wind of my time in Fort McMurray. Well, now I am to call his brother with the phone number for job hiring for the Divirsified bus company. I heard a rumour that they were willing to get you your bus license if you'll work for them, as they are desperately short-staffed. Since he (the brother) has his bus license already, they will hopefully pay to bring him out there and for a place to live. He has family back in Palestine? Arabia? to which he sends money, so he cannot afford to go to Fort McMurray unless he has a place to live already set up. the driver was uncomfortable earnest about how his family will be my friends forever if I help his brother by getting him phone numbers. I would have done it without such grand promises, and now I feel more like this is a sort of long-term family-to-family contract than a simple favour.
But, anyway, now I'm in Windsor with my friend, in the St. Clair residence. There is not much to say, except that perhaps you will be interested to know that Quinn is a metalhead and that we listened to some interesting female-fronted symphonic metal bands. Tomorrow morning I fly out with the lark and will be in the Mac sometime in the afternoon.

Make sure you visit the Quick Takes Queen.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Principles of Interaction Considered Upon the Viewing of Fungus II

Note: read previous post first. This quite literally picks up where the last one left off.

Rather than desire to shoot and stuff a thing that fascinates me, I desire to write about it. Or, at least, to contain it within my writing, for in the same way that my desire to somehow interact with it is frustrated, so too writing about it would be impossible. I cannot wholly conceive why I am fascinated by fungus. Writing that fascination would be a failure. Rather, I want to contain in my writing the fungus. I will allude to those fascinating parts, but I will not be able to plumb their depths. Hopefully, by simply placing a mushroom into my narrative and perhaps calling attention to some of its more interesting parts (the solid sponginess of the stalk, for instance), I will be able to contain all of its fascination. That is, by not describing it I can interact with it. I will not kill it, but rather it can grow by its own self.

But even this will not satisfy the desire. It cannot. Because, in truth, this desire cannot be satisfied. The desire, in the end, can only even temporarily be sated with interaction. In our physical experience, the closest approximation is talking with (or exploring with or playing music with or painting with or whatever form of mutual communication you would choose) someone. You can interact with a person: you can contribute to them as they contribute to you. You can also do this with pets, though it's largely non-verbal. I will here draw attention to a literary reference about this sort of interaction:
A mad chase began. Round and round the hill-top [Aslan] led them, now hopelessly
out of their reach, now letting them almost catch his tail, now diving between them, now tossing them in the air wiht his huge and beautifully velveted paws and catching them again, and now stopping unexpectedly so that all three of them rolled over together in a happy laughing heap of fur and arms and legs. It was such a romp as no one ever had except in Narnia; and whether it was more like playing with a thunderstorm or playing with a kitten Lucy could never make up her mind.
There is so much in this passage that I would like to touch on, but really oughtn't for the sakes of time and space, and also the sake of letting you find it yourself. Laura Miller gives some discussion of it in her book on the Narniad. But for now I will say that this is precisely the sort of interaction I desire to have with fungus or with slugs or with any of the things I find fascinating not because of an intellectual, academic concept they express but instead because of some ineffable thing about them that is one part memory (memory so old and elemental that it exceeds nostalgia) and one part aesthetics. But of course one cannot interact with fungus in this way. Rarely can one even interact with a person in this way.

I will refer you to yet another literary source, which has a slightly different, uh, thrust. It is from Book Three of the Faerie Queene:

That wondrous sight [of a statue] faire Britomart amazed,/ Ne seeing could her
wonder satisfie,/ But evermore and more upon it gazed,/ The while the passing brightnes her fraile sences dazd.

That's Canto Eleven, stanza 49, lines 6-9. It is similar to an earlier passage in which a number of knights were taken by a lady's beauty; it did not matter how much they looked at her, they always wanted more than that, which meant simply that they kept on looking. I bring a camera with me whenever I go somewhere that might be visually interesting. It is not simply that I like the art of photography (though I do), but also that I often want to somehow interact with the landscape. Looking is not quite enough. I have sometimes sort of regretted how often I looked at the viewfinder in the camera when I ought to be looking at the thing itself. It is this desire of appreciation: it want to really seriously appreciate the landscape, and so I try to interact with it. I have no learned the simple reception that some people seem to have, the ability to sit there and just enjoy.

(Read this paragraph only if you're 18+: as the FQ passage alludes to, "interaction" can take on a particular form when you have two people of mutually compatible sexualities, and I think that's not something we ought to forget in this context. The knights wanted not only to look but to touch, and not only to touch but to touch particular parts of her with particular bits of themselves. For both chemical and cultural reasons, this form of interaction has taken precedence for many of us, and we understand all interaction in ways that are analogous to or controlled by sex. Likely this is better than understanding it in terms of economics, but it is still not sufficient. Two old gentleman who have long been friends playing violin and piano together, or a man and a woman who are not romantically engaged gardening together, or, as in the passage from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, playing with a thunderstorm-kitten, are just as wonderful examples of interaction and are not sexual at all.)
And so, I take photographs and include toadstools in stories, but in ways these are not nearly as satisfying as horsing around with a girl I'm taken with (and not necessarily romantically taken with, though it's easy to confuse the two even within yourself), and that is not as satisfying as I would like it to be. That's the thing about desire: it cannot be sated. Desire fed may abate, but it will always come back, if the feeding was good.
Finally, I would like to note that there is also something enjoyable about the very frustration of that desire (whatever the desire may be), if you are able to take it lightly. What I am describing is not a tragedy, but a current state that has its own pleasures. It is like anticipation without the misfortune of the thing anticipated every having to come about.
Now, to those of you who care about this sort of thing, I would like you to think about all of this understanding that it was written throughout with the full knowledge that there is one thing that will eventually satisfy all the desires it evokes (usually represented as weariness or thirst). Of course I am taking about Christ, and, again, I'd ask that you consider for yourself the ramifications. For even this desire is one that is replenished as it is sated.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Principles of Interaction Considered Upon the Viewing of Fungus I

Written on Sunday the 6th of August; posted whenever the little date at the top says it was.

As you can tell, I decided to entitle this in a Wordsworthian fashion. This isn't to say that I admire the way Wordsworth phrases his titles (I mean, the title normally shortened to "Tintern Abbey" must be a few stanzas to itself), but that the backstory behind my soon-to-be-disclosed thoughts feels Romantic. I suppose it may also be closely allied to the sorts of things Glück would write about, except it's not a poem spoken by a mushroom, so Wordsworth seemed a better model.


Fort McMurray is currently playing host to numerous fungi. Mushrooms of a few varieties are popping up everywhere. In our backyard we have a large-capped sort of a thing, and in the back lane there were some shaggy manes. Many places are have fairy rings stretching out across their yards--including Heritage Park--and down the roads I have seen conspicious tall-stalked fellows that weren't there a few days ago. Due partly to this, fungus has played a large role in my imaginative landscape lately. But that is itself interesting to note: lots of things are seasonal, especially in a community like this, which is so surrounded by quasi-wilderness. For a while, a certain species of brown, frail moth was omnipresent; last summer, tent caterpillars (though awfully disorganized ones) invaded the city. While the caterpillars seethed in those weird thoughts you get just before sleep, and the moths were a daily hassle in our attempts to paint, neither really stuck in my mind like the fungus does. Mushrooms, and the broader category of fungus in general, has become a staple in my daydreams and half-hearted attempts at writing in ways only paralleled by slugs and not quite matched by dragonflies (both of which are also showing their antlered or exceptionally eyed heads lately). I have also taken to thinking I can smell their spores all over the place; even when I simply recall their scent, the memory is vivid.

My mother and I were driving to Wal*Mart today, and I saw the tall-stalked fellow I previously refered to from the window as we came down Thickwood to the Highway. I thought about the prominence of fungus, and thought about incorporating it into my writing somehow. Something in their fleshiness, their sponginess, their fertility, their earthy odour and flavour, their structural simplicity, and the childhood memories of legendaria and media they evoke in me, grabs my fascination and holds it. I wanted to involve them copiously in whatever writing projects I was embarking on.

And then I realized that including them in something just because I liked them is perhaps something I strongly desired to do, but it wouldn't necessarily lead to good writing. If my skill is sufficient they could be made to serve particular atmospheric or symbolic purposes and thereby in fact lead to good prose, but that wasn't why I wanted to deal with them. The reason I wanted to put them in is because I wanted to somehow interact with them, and knew no other way.

I often do this when I find something I think nifty. For instance, there is a particular category of fascination I have which is, for me, perfectly epitomized by the face of a vampire in a child-oriented "How to Draw a Haunted House" book I have somewhere. As a kid, this one particular face drew me. There was something in its composition that I admired. It fit perfectly. I don't know how else to describe it. Somehow, it managed to put everything detail it needed to have in a highly efficient space. This efficiency, this fitting--but not cramming--of detail, drew me. The Might Max line of toys and "Shrinkerdoodles," a material which shrinks to scale when baked, allowing you to draw things on it largely and then have the images shrunk down to wonderfully detailed miniatures, have the same effect, but they are not as potent. For the longest time, as a kid, I struggled to in some way actively appreciate this niftiness. I tried to trace or draw the vampire's face. I included that vampire's face in assorted imagined narratives. I was always frustrated with these attempts. I strove to do something with the face--and thereby with the aspect about it I so admired, but could never figure out what would satisfy this urge. Simply looking at it did not do the trick.

I think I understood the impossibility of the situation even at that age, but would not have been able to articulate it. I am now older, though, and not only better with words but also more practiced at introspection. Much more of the picture had occured to me since then, and today it occured to me that I may want to blog about this fascination. What I am understanding is that sometimes looking does not quench our desire surrounding something. We want to interact with it. For some, that interaction somehow involves violence. They appreciate the size of the stags antlers, or the massiveness of the hippopotamus, and to capture or contain or simply to interact with whatever nebulous thing they appreciate, they shoot the animal that embodies it and stuff it and mount it on the wall. They may also eat some of its flesh (and a potent symbol, that--perhaps the closest you can get to for interaction). This, to me, would not be sufficient. Part of what I like about fungus (and slugs and snails and worms and bumblebees and dragonflies and dogs and cats and octopi and ferns and Venus fly traps and whales and platypi and crabs and other such things) is their vibrancy. They are alive, and they have internal perspectives (or mechinations, in the case of the non-conscious species I mentioned) which I can never fully dig into. They have other cool things about them that fascinate me, but those fascinating qualities are made all the more breathtaking by being tightly bound to a living creature, which has a will and in some cases self-awareness and, at the very least, the dynamic pulse or movement of juices that all living things must have. Picking a mushroom and looking at it would kill the bit of mushroom I would be holding. It would soon lose that which fascinates me. So how to capture it?

I am arbitrarily going to cut the post here. It is too long and ought to be broken down. You will have to wait a few days to read the rest. Sorry.

An Oddity

I am writing this particular post with the computer that is regularly used to write On Route. In fact, as I went to Blogger I discovered that Cait was signed in. I could have written all sorts of defaming posts on her blog, pretending to be her! Mwahahahahahaha!
I am staying in that city which houses a few of my fellow bloggers, and is home to my alma mater. So far, I am having an excellent time, staying at Cait's house and hanging out with Jon. Of course, I am doing far more than that, as I am socializing with all sorts of wonderful people here. I will let you know how it goes.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Power in Images: a Bleg

Alright, so I'm asking for input here.

I would like you, if you don't mind, to submit moments in movies, art, books, legends, or plays that particularly stirred you, perhaps on levels you can't fully articulate. This isn't so much a favourite moment as a moment that grabbed you and didn't let go, be it joy or sympathy or enchantment or fear or suspense. For me, I'd think much of Pan's Labyrinth, but esp the banquet part; Weathertop in Fellowship of the Ring (book); assorted parts of anguished love in Romeo and Juliet; the part of It where the picture in the yearbook moves; Puddleglum's speech in The Silver Chair; the drawing of Excaliber in no particular movie or story but in the composite that inhabits my imagination; the scene where what's-his-face runs hollering through the streets in Love Actually; the pillar of smoke and fire that led the Israelites through the desert, as well as the parting of the Red Sea. I'm likely missing the best examples, because I don't know that we can always recall them at will. But, anyway, that's an idea of what I'm looking for.

So, how about it? What images from anything at all had a powerful effect on you? If you care to be more analytical or precise, what particular things about it help power that effect?

Friday, 11 September 2009

7 Quick Takes (IX)

1. This past weekend was the long weekend, of course. As I believe I mentioned already, I spent five hours of Saturday working. Indeed. On Sunday I went to St. Thomas' and had an epiphany, which I have somehow forgotten. This was upsetting. And on the Monday we (that's my mother, father, and I) toured the boats I've been working on all summer, and then went North to visit Fort McKay and the Bridge to Nowhere, two notably spots in the Fort McMurray surrounding area. I did other things that weekend, but I can't really recall many of them. I went to the bank, at the very least.

2. Somewhere in there, the Monday I think, I took numerous photographs of fungi. You will see next week how this is relevant: I had written posts on Saturday that will be published sometime in the near future. I forget the exact dates I programmed in. Eventually it will be my pleasure to show them to you.

3. I have now finished working at the Marine Park. On Tuesday we cleared out the paint and I cleaned up a fair amount of the yard in the afternoon. On Wednesday I was interrupted at Heritage Park (you'll see in what later) to go and help my supervisor move pallets and anchors around with the CAT lift. When we were done there, just after lunch, he took me back to Heritage Park and said that, minus a few hours work here and there, I was done at the Marine Park. I was now on my new project...

4. Except not really. I spent much of Wednesday editing storyboards. Summer students are great in many ways. Among these ways, however, sudden and total absence at the end of the summer is not included. Numerous storyboards somehow got slated as good for publication when someone decided to give them a quick look...and discovered they were unedited. Since my employers have caught wind of my knack (stark raving obsession) for grammar and style, I was asked to harness that compulsion and get my red pen out. This is what I was interrupted doing in the last post. And I did some more when I got back. It's not that they were truly awful, but there were some errors which would look pretty bad if they got on the walls. For instance, "5,000 thousand" was a funny one that no one had caught. The grammatical nonsense was less funny.
This is why you never ever try to publish your work without someone else looking at it. You miss things because you read what you meant to say.

5. And after that I still didn't really get much work done on my project, because I was busy helping prepare for a move. Heritage Park is getting a facelift; the Gift Shop is moving to the front entrance, Reception is moving to where Collections currently is, and Collections is sharing what is now the Gift Shop with a new Children's Programming Space. This move is happening today and over the next few weeks. I am lucky enough to have really and for truly coincidentally booked my vacation time for the beginning of the move.

6. One of the days in there my folks and I watched Point Break. I actually now own the movie. Have you seen Hot Fuzz? I love that movie. Anyway, there's a scene where Nicholas Angel (such an awesome name) and Danny Butterman are watching action movies. One of them is Point Break. The viewer sees a particular emotionally-charged shot, in which Utah (Keanu Reeves) cannot bring himself to shoot a masked man, and fires his gun into the air in frustration. Later in Hot Fuzz, Danny himself repeats the same action.
I had never seen Point Break before this, but I as familiar with that scene shown in Hot Fuzz. It was nice to at last see the movie it took place in, to get a feel for the context, and to understand the emotion it was imbued with--and thereby imbued Hot Fuzz.
Anyway, it was a good movie.

7. And now I'm on vacation. After work I packed, had a two hour nap, and caught the red eye to Pearson. On that flight I got a bit over an hour of sleep. Then I took a complex transit route, involving a bus, two subways, a train, and a cab, to my brother's apartment in Oakville. Then I waited outside his apartment for his class to finish, during which time I dozed for about fifteen minutes in the grass. Eventually Nick let me in, and now he's gone back to class, and I'm writing out my 7 Quick Takes on his computer. Which, obviously, brings me to right now.
I have realized two things about my trip. 1) This is the first time I'm on a vacation in which my destinations and suchlike are entirely self-directed. I am not with my folks or my friends or a class or even a group of strangers somehow organized, like a retreat or something. Even though I am visiting friends at each step of my journey, I make the journey alone. 2) This is also the first time I've slept outside, on public property, since I was a little kid. I've slept in vehicles like trains and buses before, but not on the grass. Huh.

Make sure you visit the Quick Takes Queen.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009


I will be unsuspectingly solicited by people at St. Thomas' to write a book for them, beginning this April. It will be called The Canadian Christian Lifestyle(s). They will pay me to go and live with assorted Christian households to observe, interview, and participate. These households will largely be chosen because they represent a demographically unusual Christian population: Mennonites; a gay Christian couple; a polygamist Christian...quadruple?; a Dene-Christian shaman; a New-Testament-inspired commune; a household with converted conjoined twins; a mixed-faith family. I think you get the idea.

I would not be expected to provide much analysis, but neither would I be expected to take a journalistic approach. Rather, I would observe at my own pace. Perhaps I would have a co-author with me to provide her own, alternate perspective.

I was absorbed by the possibilities of this project while working today. You will notice that my dream job of the moment is prefaced by my not having to do any sort of work or research to get it. It also involved living with Mennonites, observing Christian-indigenous mysticism, and discussing theology with people who have significantly different sexual ethics from my own. And it is based around both cultivating relationships and writing.

My real job is somewhat interesting; I am almost finished, and perhaps entirely finished, at the Marine Park. I cleaned up today. If I do not start the virtual museum tomorrow, I at the very latest will the day I get back from my vacation next week.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

First Saturday of the Month

Alright, because I don't want to have reams of little posts, I'll edit my latest one with the little bit of news I want to share. What this post was will be the first number, and then I'll just add more after that.

1. There is a blog carnival at http://www.elizabethesther.com/threes_a_crowd/2009/09/the-saturday-evening-blog-post-vol1-issue-1.html:


This is where bloggers gather on the first Saturday of each month to share their latest and greatest blog posts! This month we're featuring posts from AUGUST '09!
I'll begin by sharing my post: There's A Rat In My House! I chose this post because it was such a funny incident and I'm sure our kids will be talking about it for years to come. I also think it highlights the friendly joking and camaraderie I share with my husband. We make each other laugh. A good sense of humor is super helpful when you're raising a big ol' pack of kids!
Now, I'd love to hear from YOU! Choose one post from your past month of blogging: a recipe, an inspiring story, a photo, a sad story, a piece of art. THE SATURDAY EVENING BLOG POST is a celebration of art, so please no links to products or giveaways. Thanks!
I'll leave this post up all weekend long so you'll have a chance to come back and read some of the other submissions, too."

2. I just worked from home today. That really never happens. I've been taking pictures all summer to capture our progress at the Marine Park (you've seen a few of these). Today I organized them and then wrote up a brief description of each picture in a Word document for every folder, cross referencing the afters to the befores and similar things. This took about four and a half hours. Then I went to burn them to disk and realized that my disk couldn't hold them all, so I had to break it up into two separate disks and then burn them. That took half an hour. So I worked for five hours today, from home. That's right. Five. Without any breaks in the middle.
Just made up a bit more of my holiday.

3. If I have the time, topics, and inclination, I may write a bunch of posts this long weekend in preperation for my vacation. That way there will still be material coming up while I am away. I may not do 7 Quick Takes, but instead do a post-holiday thing at the end. We'll see how my hosts are about computer lending, right?

Friday, 4 September 2009

7 Quick Takes VIII

1. To those who live rural or small-town or small-city communities, the idea of a harvest fair or festival is probably not just an academic sort of thing but more of an experiental one. And I'm not just talking about dressing up for Hallowe'en or eating turkey at Thanksgiving, either, but rather about going to a real honest-to-goodness Fall Fair or Agricultural Fair or Plowing Match or something similarly named.
Well, Fort McMurray has some things vaguely approximating this idea, and one of them is the Country Fair, which has for the last few years been venued by Heritage Park. By now you can guess what that means...

This past weekend I was working at the Park. Because of the events in the Park, the executive director decided to open Chateau Gai Hot Dog Café, our concession stand. Due to the sudden absence of any summer slaves (I mean "summer staff"), I was called to work the whole thing. My Dad volunteered the Saturday, and my Mom volunteered the Sunday. Technically, Dad was there for some of Sunday, too, since we called him in but then didn't need him, so he left again.
On Saturday, my Dad and I ran the barbeque and hamburgers while the girls--Susan and Laura--ran the actual concession stand itself, taking money and suchlike. On Sunday, we didn't have Laura, so my Mom ran the barbeque while I helped Susan in the concession. However, we were worried that it would be too busy for my Mom to handle alone, and called Dad in. It turns out it really wasn't that busy on Sunday. Overall, it was a pretty slack couple of days, considering that I was in fact working. (This all means that I have worked for 12 days straight now. Ho-hum, actually.)

2. I painted some at the Marine Park. I put some aluminum paint on vents and the like, and I put black paint on other things. I also painted the great big auger (which is quite distinct from an augur, even though I would have spelled them the same if I hadn't looked it up just now) aluminum, which I don't personally think was an improvement. It does look new and shiny and eye-catching now, but I think it's eye-catching enough without the shine. Its twisted, snaggle-toothed, rusty, menacing mass was enough to grab my attention on the first day, at any rate.

I wore my knee-pads, of course, and I hadn't been on my knees all the time, but I can still feel the weakness and stiffness and pain in my joints from last week, and I feel it all the more when I'm working on those decks, pads or no. (Sorry for the hypertactic sentence, there.)

3. And on the note of things I did at the Marine Park, I once again rode up high in the Genie with my supervisor to paint things I couldn't otherwise reach. I note this in particular because, as my folks will readily attest, there was a time when I would be too utterly terrified to do it. I am afraid of heights (I know too much about phobias to claim I am acrophobic any more), and yet I am not so often afraid any more.
For instance, I was utterly fine in the Genie, despite the fact that it's basket has a grill bottom, through which I can easily see. It's strange: not only am I unafraid, I get somewhat sleepy, in a contented way. It's the same sort of feeling (though not as strong) as that I get sometimes when I am getting a haircut, or someone for another reason is playing with/working on my hair.

4. I have begun, very tentatively, to work on the virtual museum exhibit that will occupy much of my time for the next six months. When it is completed, the museum will be hosted by the Virtual Museum of Canada. Specifically, it will be part of the Community Memories deal. A good example of an exhibit, like that I would wind up making, is Ava's Story. (Isn't she pretty?) Anyway, I won't be e-curating about Japanese-Canadians in BC, of course, but that is the format of what I'll be doing.
In the end I only installed and messed with the software, looked for computers to work from, and did very very very preliminary research. But I have begun.

5. Let's see, now. There were books in there. I finished Prince Caspian. I started and finished Taran the Wanderer, by Lloyd Alexander. That was a good one, which I had never actually read before. I read all of the other Prydian books as a kid, but not that one. I also started and finished A Wrinkle in Time, and have been chipping away at The Magician's Book: A Skeptic's Adventures in Narnia. I think, for a number of reasons, I will struggle with the latter; some of those are differences in literary-analystical interests and methods (for instance, I think Lewis' biography is of far less importance than the author seems to believe), but others are more personal. The author, as you can tell from the title, is against the whole Christianity thing, and loves the books despite their theological moorings. And I think most of us know the emotional toll anti-Christian sentiment plays on me.

6. And if you didn't know the emotional toll anti-Christian sentiment plays on me, you will soon find out. I had the idiocy of reading the page on Dawkins in Wikiquote. I have no idea what made me go there, but for some reason I did. You know, I've been good lately. I haven't read very many comment threads, I haven't gone scouting out for atheist blogs (I do this looking for some thread of open-mindedness, and so far I haven't found enough to stitch together a hole in your sock), and I haven't been reading the sorts of books that are likely to irk me. But, for whatever reason, I read some quotes from this man.
Atheism in general distresses me, but I don't make a fuss about it because, let's be honest, that's almost the worst thing you can possibly do. I have lots of atheist friends and even if I'd like the 'atheist' part to change, it seems rather important that the 'friends' part remains the same. So I don't make a fuss or attempt conversions or preach or make leading remarks or talk Christianese. Atheism may bug me, but I don't let that influence my behaviour.
But that man (Dawkins, I mean). He just drives me up the wall. I read that page for maybe ten minutes, and I spent the rest of the evening angry, frustrated, scared, and hurt. I had such trouble dealing with it. While I knew that everything he said was wrong, and I could articulate reasons why it was wrong, I still couldn't shake the convincingness of it. He's like that. He's good at these sorts of rhetorical games. He's so f***ing persuasive. Part of the problem is that the man rides on probability and dismisses possibility, and part of the problem is that he tends to isolate things. Everything makes perfect sense in the little nuggets he presents them in, but they tend to look less relevant and less convincing when you realize that he's looking at a very small part from a very narrow angle. In the end, of course, he has it wrong. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't look like a fine piece of reasoning taken on its own terms.
This, I think, is how he gets so persuasive. He says things people suspect or want to believe, and then backs it up with these little philosophical tricks of the light. He adds in a great deal of the sort of dry humour which includes those who believe what he says and utterly degrades those who don't, and he layers on top of that huge piles of self-confidence in his own rightness. The humour and the confidence, though, are only hiding the hatred and arrogance that make up his whole project.
At least, I know there is arrogance and I suspect there is hatred. There is likely also fear and confusion and doubt and love in him somewhere, but I cannot see it and almost do not want to believe it is there.

So anyway, sometime later that evening I was having a shower and outright fretting about this man and his clutch of rabid followers, and I didn't know what to do. I felt I had to do something, but I couldn't for the life of me think of what. I wanted badly to just sit down and give the whole thing up (not that I could have told you what that meant) if it weren't for the fact that I knew that not only the organized church, but also Christianity, humanity, and the whole of existence would cease to exist if I didn't fight.
And then I remembered a few fundamental things. The first was that so long as I believed and lived that belief, then I've done all I was supposed to do. The second was that God would make things OK. I might not understand how he was going to do that, and I might not even be able to recognize the OK-ity of it at first, but in the end all things glorify God. I just have to deal with that, and it's something I do for and within myself. I don't need to "fight"; at least, not here and for this. The third was that all the screaming and arguement and proof and sophistry is not going to move someone who really believes, be it in the existence of God or the non-existence of God. I can provide arguments to weaken Dawkins' hold on people, but in the end these arguements will not win people over to the side of God. Just calming down would be a better bet than to go in swinging. To say, "Yes, I understand what you are saying. Yes, I can see how these things are convincing. And yet, I still believe," might be more powerful than any arguement there is.
So after my shower I was a bit better. But I've still rankled a little here and there for the rest of the week, and my back, just beneath the shoulder blades, still crawls a little with pre-fight or flight tension.

7. This Take requires some background: starting at the end of next week, I will be taking a vacation to my home province of Ontario, visiting three campuses altogether (Sheridan - Oakville campus, Kingston, and St. Clare).
I had been planning on leaving on Friday at 1:00 or so at night. On Wednesday night, I looked an my travel itinerary and noticed something interesting. Due to the obvious error we made, I am actually leaving very very early on Friday, at 1:00 in the morning. Yes. I leave a full 24 hours early than anticipated.
Which actually works out quite well, because I now get to spend a whole other day with my brother. We plan to go see 9.
My employers are fine with it, in case you were wondering.
This means that my next 7 Quick Takes will be written from Oakville, perhaps in the late morning, even.

That is all. My, what a long post for such little occurence.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Next Time on Thinking Grounds

At the Country Fair, things go well, but afterwards, Christian is tired. "You know, I kind of what a day off." Meanwhile, his parents get him a bed. Then, a mistake is discovered. "Hey, did you notice this date?" Can it be fixed?

Find out next time on...

The Thinking Grounds!

(7 Quick Takes tomorrow.)
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