Shaddap, I don’t like the new design either. Too dark, with too much contrast. (Nod to Bill.) I’m going to redesign it this weekend with a whole new set of ideas.

I was looking through my notes from Paris. The sandwich that is pictured in the photo spinner on the Stuff page cost 19F, which is $3.84 CDN. That’s not bad for a sandwich on a fresh poppyseed baguette with grilled marinated chicken breast, tomato, lettuce, and a bit of a tangy mayo. It was at least a foot long, and most importantly, it was made from fresh, top quality ingredients. The kind of sammy you’d buy here at a Snob Shoppe for about six bucks.

Dream! (Again.)

Another travelling dream. I was somewhere in Europe, with an ex. (I don’t know which one–perhaps a generalized ex who represents all of them?) Anyway, we were waiting for our flight home, but we weren’t really at the airport. We were wandering around the countryside, although it wasn’t fully rural–there were shops and things around. We ended up in some kind of gun store, where I was looking at a hand grenade. The shopkeeper wasn’t looking, so I stole it. This from the only human in the western world who never shoplifted as a kid.

Anyway, the plan was to go down to a nearby lake, pull the pin, and throw the grenade into the lake and have fun watching it blow up under water. Things get fuzzy, as they are prone to in dreams, and the next thing you know, we’re on the plane trying to find our seats. It was a really odd plane, though, and the seats were more like stadium seats than airplane seats. As I was tucking my jacket away, I felt a lump and realized I still had the grenade.

Holy mackerel! Here I am, on an international flight originating from a foreign airport and I’ve got a stolen hand grenade in my pocket! The faceless ex realized this from the look on my face and started to say something. I cut her off, but not before some authority figure on the plane got suspicious. Stammering, I tried to laugh it off as a misunderstanding, while I jammed my jacket (with the grenade in the pocket) way, way back in the storage bin.

As the plane was taking off, all I could think was “what if the pressure change sets it off?” “What if the vibrations cause the pin to work itself out?

Then, typical of my dreams that are all situation and no resolution, I woke up.


I had a dream this morning that I was back in Paris. I was the guest of some Frenchman who I knew in the dream but don’t recall in the waking world. He was a bit older than me, and had a somewhat aristocratic air, although he was not at all stifling with it. Apparently I had flown back to Paris with him, from Montreal, as some sort of favour. He had his daughter with him, who was about ten, and I think I was playing the role of the babysitter, which was not too gruesome given that she was very pleasant and low maintenance. She was also quite bright. The mother was nowhere to be seen–I think they were separated.

The man brought me to his house, which was an enormous thing in a small old village just outside of Paris. Oddly, the seaside was lapping at the property’s edge, but let’s chalk that anageolism up to dreametic license. The house was large and rambling, in the half-timbered style that was popular in midaeval times. It had a thatched roof. Inside, there were many rooms, mostly small, and hallways going here and there. At one point I saw a bed tucked into a nook in a stairwell. It seemed more like a rooming house than a home. Regardless, I loved the house and the grounds.

We were exploring a large and musty bookstore in the village when the man asked me if I could stay on a bit longer. I told him it was impossible, since I was supposed to be back at work after having already spent a week in Paris and then a week in Chicago. Asking for another week off to spend in Paris would be pushing my luck, I told him. Then an idea flashed across my mind like a burst of lightening… I could stay here for a whole year if he hired me to be the girl’s nanny!

Unfortunately, that’s about all I remember, except for some faint recollection of discussing the dream in some tangential layer of conciousness before I woke up.

Know your friends…

A certain someone emailed me this “do you know your friends” thing, which involves answering a bunch of personal questions and then emailing it to your friends. Each recipient then copies the questions and fills in their own responses and sends it on, ad infinitum.

She listed me as “least likely to respond”, because she (correctly) knows that I don’t like chain email. (I’m convinced that somewhere, someone is data-mining this for spam purposes.) Interestingly, many of her answers are exactly what I would have said.

So, I will simultaneously prove her both wrong and right by posting my answers here. Note that as a Gemini (and as an Ed) I find it really, really hard to commit to any of these answers. If you choose, you may copy the questions and forward your answers to your friends as you see fit. If you do so, please include the official instructions, reproduced in blue, below:

Here’s what you’re supposed to do…and DON’T BE LAME and spoil the fun.

COPY(not forward) this entire e-mail and paste it onto a new e-mail that you will send. Change all of the answers so that they apply to you. Be honest!

Then, send this to a whole bunch of people you know INCLUDING the person who sent it to you. The theory is that you will learn a lot of little known facts about your friends. Remember to send it back to the person who sent it to you.

1. LIVING ARRANGEMENT? Two-bedroom apartment in Westmount (Quebec, Canada) that I share with an orange cat named Spiff.

2. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? Canada Made Me by Norman Levine, England Made Me by Graham Greene, Wanderlust by the travel editors at, Paris: True Stories of Life on the Road from Traveller’s Tales Guides, The Collected Traveller–Paris.

3. WHAT’S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Don’t have one. Hate ’em. (I use a track ball at home and a nice smooth desk at work.)

4. FAVORITE BOARD GAME? It’s a fist-fight between Scrabble and Pictionary. (There’s this guy named Dave who lives on the Plateau in Montreal. When we team up we rule the Pictionary game!

5. FAVORITE MAGAZINE? Wrasslin’ match between Harper’s and the old Saturday Night (pre-National Post). I also read Utne Reader, Geist, and occasionally the UK edition of Esquire. My guilty pleasure is Maxim, but to preserve my sanity I only buy it about twice per year.

6. FAVORITE SMELLS? Fresh basil. Clean skin. My own farts (it’s theraputic).

6b. LEAST FAVORITE SMELLS? Anyone else’s farts.

7. FAVORITE SOUNDS? Birds chirping as I go to bed at 5am. The sound of a loved one sleeping. Spiff purring.

8. WORST FEELING IN THE WORLD? Utter dispair. Fortunately I rarely feel this, but I get it vicariously through the dispair of others.

9. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING? It’s Saturday, right? It’s gotta be Saturday. What happens if I stay here until Saturday?

10. FAVORITE COLOR? Three-way sumo match between burnt orange, maroon, and almost any shade of green (except lime).


12. FUTURE CHILD’S NAME? Don’t understand the question.


14. FAVORITE FOOD? Dinner.

15. CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA? Vanilla–one of our palate’s most under-rated flavors. I also like it because it’s not the obvious choice.

16. DO YOU LIKE TO DRIVE FAST? Oh, baby! (One of my favorite fast-driving memories is five hours non-stop at 150 kph from southern France to Paris, in a tiny four cylinder Renault 102 with U2’s Zooropa playing over, and over, and over.)

17. DO YOU SLEEP WITH A STUFFED ANIMAL? No, but with five stuffed pillows.

18. STORMS – COOL OR SCARY? Both. The scarier the cooler.

19. WHAT TYPE WAS YOUR FIRST CAR? 1970-something Datsun B-210 with a bent frame and trouble turning left.

20. IF YOU COULD MEET ONE PERSON DEAD OR ALIVE WHO WOULD IT BE? My first inclination is towards Oscar Wilde, but he’d blow me off as an ignorant provincial. I have undying respect and admiration for Ghandi, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela, because of all they stand for, but I would be so humbled in their presence that I wouldn’t actually enjoy myself. The Marquis de Sade would be interesting and titilating, but I’d only want to meet him as a young radical libertine, not as the sweaty pervert he became in later life. Then there’s Bono from U2 but I’d probably try to kill him and assume his identity, if for no other reason than to stop his being so smug. Realistically, I’d love to kick back with the late Brian Moore, my favorite novellist, because I think he’d not only be a brilliant and engaging conversationalist, but would be personable too, and could hold his Guinness.

21. FAVORITE ALCOHOLIC DRINK? Clash of the following Titans: Guinness, Scotch whiskey, whatever you’re buying.

22. WHAT IS YOUR ZODIAC SIGN? Gemini. Both of me.

23. DO YOU EAT THE STEMS OF BROCCOLI? No, but I toss ’em in the freezer for later use in soup stock.

24. IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY JOB YOU WANTED WHAT WOULD IT BE? Professional (and well-paid) curmudgeon.

25. IF YOU COULD DYE YOUR HAIR ANY COLOR WHAT WOULD IT BE? I can dye my hair any color. I choose not to.

26. EVER BEEN IN LOVE? Oh yeah.

27. IS THE GLASS HALF EMPTY OR HALF FULL? Hey! There’s stuff in the glass!

28. FAVORITE MOVIE? Bare-knuckle slug-fest between Casablanca, Gone With The Wind, The Matrix, and Ronin. (Note that I am influenced by recently-seen films, but Ronin is the only movie I’ve ever spent an entire weekend watching. Hail DVD!)


30. WHAT’S UNDER YOUR BED? Dust. Spiff hair.

31. FAVORITE NUMBER? The phone number I actually remember when I need it.

32. FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH? Whatever game is ending.

33. SAY A NICE THING ABOUT THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? A thoughtful, compassionate, rational, romantic. (She’d make a good Gemini.)

34. PERSON YOU SENT THIS TO WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Doesn’t apply directly, but I suspect Suki will copy this and send her version around.

35. PERSON YOU SENT THIS TO WHO IS LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Doesn’t apply directly, but I think there’s some guy in Kentucky who’s really pissed off and confused because he thinks this is Björk’s weblog.

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