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This post might actually end up being useful for someone, sometime.  Someone who thinks they don't have room for a nice big Christmas tree.



Gump and I were talking about age, and it got me thinking about my favourite story about age creeping up on me as I sat unaware.

Just over two years ago was my first Hallowe’en in my new place. Living upstairs from me were four of the nicest young men imaginable. Nice, but not spiritless; they were trouble in the way that young men are, but they were great neighbours and I miss them.

Hallowe’en 2003 fell on a Friday night and it was unseasonably warm.  I dutifully bought candy and put out a pumpkin. So did the boys.  I had beer and cigarettes, and they had beer and cigarettes. We sat on the porch and talked and laughed and drank and smoked and handed out candy and I had a great time.  They made me feel like I was in my early 20s – no great feat as I feel like that most days. 

Eventually, the rush of children turned into a trickle.  Then it dried up all together. At 10:00, the young men and I went our separate ways.  They went to party and I went to bed.  Their evening was just beginning, and mine was over.  Or so I thought.

“Unseasonably warm” on the last day of October in Toronto is not the same as “warm”.  It had been a bit chilly, and a bit damp and I had been sitting on the porch for four hours.

As I lay in bed, my hip started to ache. 

I tried to ignore it.

It got worse.

About half an hour after the young men would have arrived at their party and begun their true celebration of the season, I got out of bed and lowered myself into a hot bath.  I sat there until the water started to cool.  Then I went back to bed.

It’s a long road between feeling 23 and being 23. And that road is hard on your joints.

Told You

I just couldn't leave it alone.

Me and Web Stuff

Like the new look?

I have a love-hate relationship with web stuff. I can't leave it alone, and I can't touch it without breaking it. I get thinking about something, then I decide that I want it, and how hard can it be? I'm clever, I can figure it out, right? So I dive in without looking. Then I spend an afternoon crying because I've fucked everything up and I can't fix it.


Tuesday Night

Steve (showing game to Kate): What's this?

Kate: It's Hangman

(stunned pause)

Steve: I mean, what's the solution?

Kate: Oh... "Cardigan"

Crossword Puzzles Talk to Steve

LorneWow - three words in common between my side-by-each crosswords: Oslo, Canoe and Aide. Whatever the Norwegian fur trader's assistant's message is, it's not for me, it's for Steve. I know this because of the New York Times' 5-Down. I cracked that much of the code.

Still though, three words. That's... more than two, anyway.

Words that You Spell Wrong Without Knowing It

This week: Complement

Notice the “e”. 

Compliment and complement are two different words.

A compliment is a nice thing to say about someone. To compliment is to say that nice thing. Something that is complimentary is kind or it is free.

Complement is derived from “complete” – hence the “e”: That scarf complements your outfit. A full complement of soldiers.  Complementary colours add up to white (in RGB, anyway).

Awkward client moment:  When I was working on the account management side at an agency, I once had a client send me a list of edits to a piece that was being published the next day.  Among her edits was her desire to “correct” the spelling of the word “complement” to “compliment”.  We spent hours trying to figure out how to tell her that she was a dumb-ass without pissing her off.

How Not to Spell Things

This could easily become a serial feature.

  1. congradulations
  2. alot
  3. absense

The Thief, The Johnson Brothers and a Lack of Goodwill

To the Person Currently Eating off of my Old China,

Every six months in my neighbourhood, Goodwill puts white plastic bags in everyone’s mailbox, asking us to fill them with items that we no longer use. On a specified day, trucks from Goodwill cruise our streets and pick-up the bags. I bet you cruise the streets on those days, too.


Hallowe'en Candy

That time of year is slowly fading;  The "I have to get rid of this left-over candy" panic season.

It hasn't completely passed though, my cab driver offered me some this morning.  He had a big container of it on the passenger seat of his car.  Call me crazy, I declined.


If you're walking that awkward distance behind someone - where you're too close to be ignored, but still pretty far away - and the person in front of you holds the door for you:  Speed it up a notch, shorty! Unlike many people - I will lose patience with your sense of entitlement, and I will let go of that door right at the moment where you have to quickly catch it to avoid being hit with it.  And even though all you can see is my back, you can be sure that I'm grinning.

A Rare Two-fer

Ankaalda Some people (not to mention any names, Steve) have said that both "Anka" and "Alda" - as in Paul and Alan - are very common crossword puzzle words, and as such should be expected to show up in adjacent puzzles every once in a while.

To which I reply:  Both on the same day?  I don't think so, Dr. Smarty-pants.  I never thought I'd see the day when you started working for them.  Trying to cover up their nefarious plans.  Oh, Dr. Smarty-pants, when was it that you fell?  And if you are working for them then I can only assume that you are also responsible for the loss of my beloved purple pen which has been missing since this weekend.

Note: Allan (not Alda) seems to have felt a need to do his part of these puzzles in pencil.  As such, I cannot be held responsible for the reduced legibility of some sections of this image.  Plus, don't his "E"s look like squiggles?