If It’s Wednesday, I’m in Albuquerque

I’m not really in Albuquerque. By the time I post this, it might not even be Wednesday. I wouldn’t really know, because I am losing track of the days. At the beginning of the pandemic I should have started scratching them out on the wall of my cave like Tom Hanks did in the movie, Cast Away. I have an iPhone and a computer, but in the early morning when I’m making breakfast, it does not occur to me to check the date.

In these pandemic times, maybe it’s only the retired, unemployed or childless who feel like their brain is in resting mode. Previously, we’ve had events in our lives that let us know what day of the week it was. For me, that was gym class. I always knew that leg day was Tuesday because I would wake up filled with dread. And now, I never know it’s Tuesday. Not until Wednesday, at the very least. And my legs are getting very fussy at the lack of attention. Come fall, I’m going to have to do something. No, really.

For now, I’m like a vacant lot with no building prospects. No fence, no tools to indicate that creation is about to take place. I work in my yard and garden every day, but I’m getting to the point where I would like someone to come over and boss me around. (This is conjecture. Don’t any of you do this.) But I obviously need direction of some kind. I am so tired of my own pep talks. Some mornings while I brush my teeth, I’ll stare at myself in the mirror and say something like, ‘Today is going to be special!’ Spit. Rinse. And then I’ll say, ‘You know you’re full of crap, right?’

To emphasize the feeling that we’re truly in a pandemic, the bugs are in the middle of a full speed ahead, evolutionary process. They’re bigger, faster, sneakier and they bite like they want you to remember them for the next month. People meet on the street and compare battle scars. ‘I made the mistake of gardening in the morning,’ they’ll say, throwing their hands in the air sheepishly. And really, what are any of us thinking? Never mind Covid 19, we need full body suits to combat the mosquitoes and all the tiny variations of black fly that seem suspiciously new to northern Manitoba.

I know, I know. We’ve always had them. But like everything else, even the bug world is freaking out. And like a two year old trying to be the boss of everything, I want everyone, including mother nature, to stop doing things I don’t like. Yes, some of the world’s craziness has been brought on by ourselves…we’re not guilt free… but the toddler in me doesn’t care about that. Like a contestant doing badly on a reality television show, I want to ring a bell and quit the game. Get off the island. Tell the bachelor/bachelorette that frankly, I just don’t give a damn.
On the other hand, the sun is shining and my kayak awaits. I have bug spray in my bag, and a bottle of water that I could exchange for gin at a moment’s notice. Maybe the toddler in me just needs a time out. (I’m stomping one foot, now.) Ahhhh. It’s lovely outside, with the sunshine and the gin…er, the water. Today is going to be special! (Oh, shut up.)

Everyone Shut the Hell Up

Some people find their gardens restful. In the summer I feel the same way, but in spring, I find my plants to be very whiny. Think kindergarteners crossed with junior high kids, with a few immature high schoolers thrown in for good measure.

It starts with the potted plants. I’m planting petunias with a couple dahlias, zinnias, some trailing ivy’s and a few pansies for good measure. Then, it starts.

‘George. George? Where are you, honey?’

‘On the other side of the petunias! I tell you, Jane, this woman doesn’t know what she’s doing.”

“The petunias! Don’t pay them any attention, George. You know how they are. Such posers. Everyone knows they’re very high maintenance.” Jane sniffs loudly and George grunts in agreement.

As I sit there, spade in hand, bugs nipping at my neck while I push in more plants, add some soil and stick in something else, I find myself agreeing with Jane’s point of view. There’s no doubt that a bunch of cascading petunias are beautiful, but really. All they want is your constant attention. ‘Dead head me, please,’ they say to George and me in a sultry voice. ‘Cmon. Just lightly massage these dying buds of mine.’

‘Don’t listen to them, George!’ Jane shouts from her side of the plant pot. ‘Once you start, they’ll bother you constantly. Stick with the pansies.’ George looks around, but the pansies have already fainted in the mild spring sun. He gives a scornful grunt, wondering what on earth possessed this gardener to put pansies in the same pot as Dahlias, petunias, and marigolds. I later admit my mistake aloud, which satisfies George immensely.

And then, the begonias. They’re quite content spending most of the day in the shade. But lately, with no sun at all, they’ve been complaining and turning slightly brown around the edges.
‘Why is it so gloomy out?’ the showy pink one says. ‘Where is the sun? I just want a few minutes of it. No, I want it lurking in the sky, somewhere around the corner of the house. This is so depressing.’ I find myself agreeing with her.

The other begonias chime in, their voices droning softly like rich people at a boring party. They’re showier than the petunias, and they know it. They don’t usually spend much energy talking to the other plants, other than offering the occasional ‘hush up, now,’ to George and Jane, who are the most vocal dahlias I’ve ever planted. George always listens. Unbeknownst to Jane, he has a secret crush on the pink begonia in the large bowl to his left.

Then there’s the grass. It whispers faintly all day long, filling me with guilt as I survey the patches of clover and dandelions dotting its surface. ‘I think I’ll move over there,” I hear the grass saying, and soon enough, it has infested a flower bed. There are large bare patches on the front lawn, but fresh, green blades grow happily in every other area.

I survey the unconscious pansies, the petunias begging for attention, the snooty begonias, and as I wipe the sweat from my brow, I drop a choice word or two. They don’t care. As I slink back into the house, I can hear them all laughing at me. Even the weeds, who sound like Russian mobsters. Sometimes I really hate my garden.

Assembly Line at the Ninth Gate

A few years ago, after a fraught experience putting furniture together, I wrote an essay titled, The Devil is Swedish, His Name is Ikea. This past week I realized that in the world of furniture assembly, the lord of Hell is still running the show. It’s the same manuals with badly drawn diagrams and tiny Allen wrenches that leave you with either hand cramps or permanent paralysis.

Like childbirth, my last painful assembly experience had been dulled by time’s passage. In fact, as I lugged home a huge box of patio furniture, I pictured myself pulling out two chairs, a love seat and a coffee table and displaying them on the deck. Alas, it was not to be. But laying out nine thousand screws and multiple chair pieces did not discourage me, because this is how the devil works. He lures you in with pretty pictures of a life filled with leisure and plants and good weather. And then you open the instruction manual. After a panicked search for actual directions comes the sinking realization that the indecipherable drawings are it.

With the first two pieces, I discovered another stark truth. The drawings were backwards. I hunched over the furniture like Quasimodo, sweating and turning the Allen wrench four thousand times. That was the first screw. I did a headstand, reaching and twisting in a feat worthy of Cirque de Soleil. But this show was Hell’s Deck, and I, its indentured servant.

After several days of assembly purgatory, my patio furniture was finally done. Next, due to local shortages amidst the pandemic, I bought a sofa bed in a box. Though still experiencing hand spasms and night terrors from my previous experience, I began again.

First, there was a detailed and fruitless search for the various parts. Finally I found the legs nestled in a hidden compartment. But not the screws. Calling the company, I got this cheerful reply.
“You didn’t check the compartment inside the hidden compartment! The large packet of screws is under the Velcro, inside the second zippered area up in the far corner. You’ll barely be able to reach it, but it’s there!” It was. After that I had to take a break because my back was seizing up.
The directions on the outside of the box said the sofa would be finished in thirty minutes. Five hours later, after much weeping and gnashing of teeth, I was done. Or so I thought.

Yesterday, I returned to the hardware store to buy a deck box for storage. It’s funny how things work. You can purchase a very large Rubbermaid bin that’s instantly ready for use. But if you need six more inches in length and a two more in height, you’ll have to purchase a cardboard container filled with a thousand screws and many parts, along with the words, Some Assembly Required. The box will stay in the garage until I work up my courage and get some feeling back in my hands.

The Devil may not be Swedish at all. His name might not be Ikea. But whatever he’s called, he’s sure to stock hell with millions of unassembled items. So make sure you end up in the good place. You don’t want the assembly line at the ninth gate, working beside Donald Trump (who goes by many names and descriptions) and listening to him exclaim about how he’s going to make the place great again.

Now that that’s settled, I need a favour. If you see me out and about, remind me to never do this again.

It’s a Mutant, Mutant World

Last weekend I got caught up watching a movie on TV. I’m fairly certain it will never end up on Netflix or Prime, because it was awful. A Mutant World had the following problems.

Bad acting
Terrible directing
Dreadful script
Unbelievable storyline
Accidentally hilarious special effects and costuming (The mutants looked like they were fleeing an off Broadway production of ‘Cats, the Musical.’ )

Here’s a plot summation. Some doomsday prepper’s dreams came true when a meteor hit the earth and made life above ground impossible. These people had formed a kind of army, and you could tell they’d always wanted to be soldiers but probably failed the psych exam. Still, they had the uniforms and matching high powered weapons. After shooting a lot of people trying to join them in their underground bunker (which looked far too sophisticated for these yokels) they locked themselves down. Ten years later, they climbed out and found mutants everywhere. Yes, those would be the escapees from the Cats musical.

The truly unbelievable part is, I sat through the whole thing. It was like watching a tone deaf singer belting out show tunes, or attending a really bad poetry slam where they acted out the verses. Every now and then I’d ask myself, why am I still watching this garbage? I laughed quite a bit…maybe that was part of the attraction. I also got angry. How dare someone make a movie this bad? For over ninety minutes, I bathed in a sea of mixed emotions, including rage.

When the movie was finally over, I congratulated myself for not breaking the television. And then, I had a revelation. In spite of its dreadfulness, the movie struck a nerve. Because, we are living in a mutant world. Never mind the tricky Corona virus. We’re not really feeling like ourselves anymore, and it’s not so much due to a sense of isolation…I think we’ve gotten used to it…but an overwhelming certainty that the world is struggling and we westerners might have to accept a new normal. Yes, some of us may have lost jobs in the past, or people we love, or struggled through illness or complicated family matters. But through it all, we relied on the rest of society to keep carrying on.

And in the back of our minds, we’re left wondering. What will the world look like when Covid 19 is over? And when will that be? How will we know when to duck, when to take aim, and when to start making plans for an alternate lifestyle? We have mutated into uncertainty, and of all the emotions, it’s one of the toughest. Especially for those of us who like routine. This Groundhog Day experience we’ve all been sharing isn’t so bad when compared to an unknowable future.

In the light of this, I’m going to make you all some promises. I won’t start carrying a gun, building a bunker, or hoarding food. I won’t start believing anything that isn’t science based (except for the whole Jesus thing, because that’s how I roll) and I will keep a stiff upper lip even if I have to get Botox to do it. (I won’t get Botox…we had that talk already.) Most of all, I will believe in you, my fellow earthlings. We can survive this. And who knows? Maybe we’re mutating into a newer, kinder, more thoughtful and environment loving version of ourselves.

John Lennon said, “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” For now, let’s all imagine that.

Oh, The Void!

There’s something strange going on with me. It has to do with prayer, but I also have some questions for my atheist friends. Like, what are your go to phrases for hard times?
I tend to cry ‘O God,’ when things get tough. Or even, ‘Help me Jesus!’ if the situation feels dire. This can happen in a variety of situations, like with bad news or flat tires. Sometimes I verge into Handmaid’s Tale territory and say things like, ‘Praise Be!’ But I mean it in a good way because unlike them, there’s no gun to my back. So it feels very authentic. But what do non believing exclaimers shout? ‘Oh, the Void?’ Or, ‘What in hell?’ I’d really like to know.

I’ve always thought of the Almighty as a she, although, does a spirit have a sexual identity? Probably not, yet we insist on giving God a pronoun, anyway. If you’ve heard the fable about the universe being built in six days, ask yourself this. Who works that hard? Is it the guy who offers up some seed, or the woman who takes it, grows a baby and then gives birth to it? Pardon me, dear male readers, but I believe that only a woman would build a universe that quickly. The male part of the God brain might add, ‘Thank ourselves that that’s over! What do you say we take the seventh day off?’

Anyway. In 2006, I said the following prayer: ‘Dear God, please help me get off the sugar wagon. I’m seriously addicted and just can’t stop.” I’m not sure what I expected to happen, but it wasn’t this.

I developed allergies and began breaking out in hives. Massive things, with maybe 400 smaller ones on the bottom of each foot. Seriously itchy situation. It started with kiwis, then apples, then every kind of fish. No one could help me. Not my doctor, or an allergy specialist, or anyone. At last, I spoke to the family guru, my cousin Susanne. She listened carefully before speaking these dire words.

‘You should give up sugar and wheat. Maybe oatmeal, too. You’ve messed up your digestion and it needs to heal. It’s just for a while.’ (She was wrong about the last part.) But I followed her advice and a week later, lost all my allergies. The brain fog I’d been carrying for many years left me. I didn’t even know I had it until it cleared up. I also got back a decent iron and B12 count, which had mysteriously gone missing.

Some people think that God watches from afar and doesn’t interfere with us. Or that there’s no one there…hence, the void. But that has not been my experience.  ‘Asked and answered,’ I pictured the Creator saying about my sugar addiction prayer. ‘Job done!’ (She high fives an angel.) It makes me wonder. Should we be careful what we pray for?

My daughter Mari has been living with me during the pandemic. I do the cooking and always end up making too much food. Not enough for leftovers, though. There’s no reason to put a cup of rice, or oven fries, or homemade soup, or chili or, you name it, in the fridge. And I can’t throw it away. That’s a waste.

So I eat it. Or I encourage Mari to eat it. And we’ve both been feeling the effects of those large meals. (I blame Clarence. His family’s motto was ‘Eat Big.’) So I prayed about it. And then one day I was out in my car listening to a broadcast about shortages in the supply chain for groceries and I pictured God thinking, “How about a temporary loss of food? That should stop her overeating.”

No, I thought. That wouldn’t happen. Humans make their own problems, and I am not the center of the universe. I brushed the worry aside, but just in case, began planning for a foodless pandemic. Storming with my fogless brain, I threw a survival idea at Mari.

“Those large birds perching in our trees aren’t very smart. If we’re desperate, I could catch one in a pillow case, smash its head against the cement driveway, pluck out all the feathers and cook it for dinner. Yeah?” She looked at me the way kids do when their parents are going around the bend.

So I pushed away the thought of no food and hedged my bets by adding prayer addendums, like, “Regarding my prayer about portion control, don’t do anything that affects anyone but me, God. And one more thing. I don’t want to end up shipwrecked or left on an island somewhere. I don’t really care  that much about overeating.” Man, the paranoia can really set in.

It’s this pandemic. I have too much time on my hands and I’m missing my friends. It’s leaving me a bit…well. Like how I sound here. Anyway, if more bad things happen, just know that my prayers are becoming very specific. And yet. Perhaps they should be vetted by a lawyer. Or by my minister, Steve. Or Father Paul. Just someone else. However it goes down, I think I’d rather shout ‘No funny stuff!’ than not believe in a Creator. But that’s me. If you disagree, comfort yourself with this. You may be an atheist shouting into the void, but at you’ll least you won’t have to give up sugar.

A Hundred Years of Solitude

I have a confession to make. I have never been able to get through the novel lending this blog post its title. I pride myself on loving literary books—I’ve read War and Peace—it’s hard!
But Gabriel Garcia Marquez did not find a reader in me. Ironically, when I was trying to get through it a third time, I told my daughter, who confessed to struggling with Love in the Time of Cholera, written by the same guy. At least she finished it.

But I still have to thank the late Mr. Marquez for his inspiring titles. They’re so timely since the Pandemic has me feeling torn between two opposing poles. Let’s just label this feeling as bipolar.

On the north side, there’s the decent, almost zen kind of solitude where all is well. For example: In that space, I give myself a pep talk every night before sleep, some part of which involves dreaming up ideas for a great breakfast. I have to face it; food is always on my mind. And it encourages me to organize my time properly. Like this:

I can’t exercise. I haven’t eaten breakfast yet.
Never mind writing, it’s time for lunch.

And so on. I also have to schedule snacks, which I do even if I’m not hungry. I know. That’s so bad. (A south pole feeling.) Pre-pandemic I used to blame my busier schedule. Now I treat the constant eating as my true purpose for living.

On good days, I pull back the covers and make the executive decision to ‘air out my bed.’ This breaks a major rule for success which says that if you don’t make your bed every day, you’re failing at life. I can’t remember who said it. Some old soldier. And then, after giving the covers a gentle pat, I turn to the mirror, smile at myself and say, ‘It’s going to be  great day!’

I try to mimic the narrator in the Jerry McGuire movie. I get dressed right away. Then I eat breakfast (well, of course) practice the piano, go for a long walk, and write. Sometimes I wash clothes or clean out a cupboard. This I consider a successful, northern kind of day. A north pole attitude of looking up. Then there’s the other kind.

When I’m spending time at the south pole, it’s more like Marquez’s other book, ‘Love in the Time of Cholera.’ Since I’ve never read it, I’m going to assume there was a fair amount of foreshadowing in the title. All the protagonist’s loved ones are dead. Happiness does not abound.

Now, this is not really true for me. There are plenty of alive people that I love. But it doesn’t feel like that when I’m spending time at the south pole. It feels like I’m the only person left in the world, except for maybe Donald Trump. (Yes, I’m in a horror movie.) Me and the Donald. If he uses the word ‘bigly’ to describe the scenery around the boardwalk one more time, I’m going to deck him.

In the south pole, there is never anything good to eat. My piano keys laugh at me because I play so badly. I can’t find anything to watch on cable, Prime, Netflix or Crave. There’s always a certain amount of sulking going on because I’ve just finished my latest read, and I always feel a bit lost when I’m between books. (This is a thing. Seriously.)

Happily, I usually wake the next morning and find myself once more at the north pole. Eggs for breakfast! Pancakes! (gluten free, sadly, but still!) Yogurt with multiple kinds of berries! Nothing has ever felt so exciting as deciding what to eat. It’s the same with lunch and dinner. In this mood, I feel like I’m on a cruise in my own house. It’s so much better than when I’m at the south pole, sitting on my toilet in the bathroom (purely for a change of scenery) and crying into my hands, repeating over and over again, “This too shall pass.”

Because it will. But I want you to know that if you’re feeling chicken hearted, cranky, and even, (if living with other people) murderous, you’re not alone. So brace yourselves, my people (this means my whole town, including the folks at the lake) because, when we’re all let out of solitary confinement, I’m going to hug each and every one of you. If you don’t want that, please wear a sign. Be direct. Until then, chin up, and stay north, my friends. The mood is so much better there.

(After all this writing, it has occured to me that Hugh Maclennan’s book, ‘Two Solitudes’ would have been a much better title. Oh well.)

Remember the Pandemic of 2020?

These are words that give me hope. The days will pass, we’ll enter summer and hopefully suspend a bit of social distancing. We’ll spend time in our yards and visit with neighbors. Time will go by and eventually, maybe next year, we will breath a sigh of relief that it’s over.

I know I’m not the only one counting on that. We started out so cheerfully, hunkering down in our homes after that first desperate scramble for food and toilet paper. The internet was filled with peppy slogans and cheerful, funny memes. Oh, I miss those. There’s still a few around, but there’s also a lot more of an atmosphere, circa George Orwell’s 1984.

I remember being in the Co-op one day when a woman coughed loudly. She swung around with a desperate look on her face, and cried, ‘I have allergies! It’s just an allergic cough!’ I swear, it was like a scene from Shirley Jackson’s short story, The Lottery, where once a year, someone is picked to be stoned.

My heart went out to this woman, and others felt the same. Even as we all edged further away from her, there were murmurs of, ‘It’s okay. Don’t worry.’ And I thought, is this what’s going to do us in? Turning on our friends and neighbors, watching out the window and then calling the police if people out walking look too close together?

I get it. We have to keep ourselves and others safe by keeping our distance. But one thing I’m certain of is that all those memes on Facebook hollering at us to Stay Home! aren’t going to make a difference. Because, guess what? We already know what to do. And those who aren’t going to listen won’t be swayed by your words. It’s like all those posts screaming at people to vaccinate their children. Most believe the science and the proof that vaccinations work. Those who don’t won’t believe you, either.

And it’s wearying. Concern for society can morph into a kind of social bullying. It leads to a lack of trust and to people feeling like they can’t count on others. And that’s simply not true. I know that this ‘pass it on’ mentality is natural. We’re part of the human herd. We want to fit in. But there comes a time when shouting instructions at other people via social media makes people (okay, me) want to turn it off. And frankly, I can’t do that. I need to see people’s funny pandemic memes, their family photos, their top ten albums, their quizzes, their desperate and hilarious stories about how much weight they’re gaining. That is the boat I want to be in. Those are the people I want to sit beside as we row through the choppy waters of this pandemic.

The news is serious. I have to listen to it. But, dear friend, I want to listen to you, too. So, please. Don’t let me down. Try a little tenderness. Because, I’ve realized that I’m in love with people. With every person I sit beside in church, or work beside at my gym class, or see at social events. Those I grew up with, and the ones I don’t know but admire from afar. Winston Churchill said that we create our own universe as we go along. Let’s decide right now to make ours the best one possible and create a little cheer in the midst of all this worry.  Now, while you think on that, I’d like you to take a little break. Just sit back and let me row this boat for a while. Because God knows, I could use the exercise.

And now, for your listening pleasure:



I didn’t think I’d revisit the Breakfast Club movie anytime soon, but I’m a lot more open to watching things again under the circumstances. (If you’re reading this in fifty years and no one is around, we had a Pandemic in 2020.) Anyway. I was thinking about this one part, where the kid writes the required essay, ending with, ‘In the simplest terms, the most convenient definitions, what we found is that each one of us is a brain, an athlete, a basketcase and a criminal.’

Through all their shenanigans, these kids manage to see each other as whole, and to realize that names are often assigned without permission. But does knowing that change how we see ourselves? It doesn’t feel great being pushed inside a box and labeled accordingly. Nerd. Soccer mom. Smarty pants. Widow. Now the last one might have you thinking that, yes, that is a very true description of some women’s status. But I have to tell you that the first time I saw it on a government document, I felt very put out.

I looked at that piece of paper and felt truly startled. And perplexed. I thought, I’m not a widow. I’m still married. To a dead man. Yes, okay, that might make you want to apply that word. It may speak to you. But it doesn’t speak to me.

In my mind, it paints two different pictures. Jackie Onassis in a beautiful dress with a black veil over her face. And Snow White’s step mother. Neither feels remotely like me. I still feel married. And I rarely wear black, or try to feed innocent girls poison apples. I wanted to sit down and write the Canadian government a letter, but you know what bureaucracy is like. I mean, I’m not willing to go to court over this. I just think that I should get to decide when to apply that word. Maybe when I’m eighty-five. Certainly not when I still speak to the guy at all hours of the day and have to remind myself not to talk to him in the Co-op. After reading this, you’ll probably want to apply the label, ‘kooky,’ to me. That’s okay. I’m willing to wear that hat. (I know, I already do. Don’t worry…it doesn’t hurt my feelings.)

So if you think of me, feel free to use any description you like as long as it’s not widow. Just say, ‘She’s married to that dead guy, Clarence.’ That will do for now.

Feeling Lost, Please Send Directions

The movie, ‘Taken 2,’ has a scene that describes exactly how I’m feeling these days. Liam Neeson is helping his daughter escape an abduction. Pointing to the the roof, he says something like this:

‘You’re going to run for five hundred yards. Then get down to the street, head south for three blocks, turn left and go through the red door on the right. On the other side, head north and run for ten blocks….’ This continues for a while, after which the daughter nods and takes off. And I’m left thinking, well, hell.

Just another confirmation about my bad sense of direction, about never knowing north from south unless I’m at home. I’m clueless about the steps it would take to run five hundred yards. I’m easily lost, especially in a strange city. I have to keep my eyes open and repetitively say the names of streets, businesses, and even the colours of buildings. I’ve gotten better at it. I don’t get lost as much as I used to, though my friend Lynn will tell you I was late for dinner in London last fall because I couldn’t remember how to get to the restaurant and didn’t have wifi for my phone. Anyway.

Covid 19 is no different for me. This Pandemic requires a whole new set of directions. The problem is, they change every day, even since I started writing this blog. Here’s what I know so far:

1. Stay home most of the time. When out, keep my distance from others.
2. Don’t travel.
3. Stock up on medicine and food. And toilet paper.
4. Wait for more news

I have no trouble waiting. It’s my imagination that isn’t patient, and wants to create fantastic scenarios of every kind. I write young adult sci-fi and fantasy, (among other things) often specializing in dystopian futures for the planet. And now here we are, facing something big. I know it’s going to be okay. But it would nice to have a map. So far, finding my way has not been difficult. But what if the directions for survival get more complicated? What if the virus decides to get creative with the rest of nature? Will we turn on the television and hear things like this?

‘All citizens must keep sharpened sticks by the door for killing the giant mutated squirrels currently ravaging the country. Stay tuned for more news at six.’

If it becomes a thing, I’d like Justin Trudeau to get very clear about how exactly one should kill a giant squirrel. Perhaps an online demonstration would help. For the extremely paranoid, or just the imaginative, should we be exploring the bat connection? Like in Justin Cronin’s Passage trilogy, where people turn into  speedy vampires? Though if that happens, I’m sure the squirrels will suddenly find themselves on our side.

I’m pretty chipper most of the time. But I like directions for everything coming my way. Don’t give me any north, south, go five hundred yards bullshit, either. Say it straight. Be clear. And don’t mess with us on April 1st. I have to admit, the government could have a lot of fun on April Fool’s Day, but we’re all losing our sense of humour, here.

For now I’m remembering all the things I’m grateful for. We’re not at war. We’re just isolated. And I’m a Canadian. (My apologies to those who are not.)That’s a social contract I’m grateful for and never want to mess with. Whatever we think is going wrong with the country, there are so many things that are right. Let’s shut down the whining (I’m aware of the irony here) and concentrate on taking care of ourselves and each other. I’m here if you need toilet paper or apples, or strange brands of canned soup. But if you’re feeling a sudden urge to bite someone in the neck, put a sign on your door. I’ll just leave the stuff outside.