Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Splash du Jour: Wednesday

It's a very romantic sentiment, but to think that you would die if you didn't write, well, I would definitely choose to not write and live.
-- Sarah McLachlan –

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Splash du Jour: Tuesday

A well proportioned mind is one which shows no particular bias; one of which we may safely say that it will never cause its owner to be confined as a madman, tortured as a heretic, or crucified as a blasphemer. Also, on the other hand, that it will never cause him to be applauded as a prophet, revered as a priest, or exalted as a king. Its usual blessings are happiness and mediocrity.
-- From Thomas Hardy’s, Return of the Native

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Irshad? Down The Street?

Usually, when I get home from work, I open up my email and when I see stuff from people I do not recognize, I just scroll down and “delete – delete – delete”!
I’m sure you do the same, right?
But tonight, just a few minutes ago actually, after returning from an excellent coffee time with this amazing John Irving book [I should be his agent, huh?]… I was just about to delete this one email from Chapters Rideau.
Since I practically LIVE there on weekends, they send me emails about upcoming events.
Well, I saw the name “Irshad Manji” and there was those squealing breaking sounds… you know, like when Wile E. Coyote goes careening past The Roadrunner in a cloud of dust and ends up falling off the cliff anyway, complete with severely exaggerated neck extensions, and that little final wave good-bye?
Yeah, it was like that.

Because I saw the name Irshad Manji.

She’s speaking where? Down the street from me? At the Chapters store?
And it has a Starbucks in it?
WHEN? → Friday, Nov.2nd, at 7:00 p.m.
How can I be a part of this event?
Just show up there?
Hell, yeah! I’ll be there!

For those of you who may not be familiar with Irshad Manji, she is ummm… a radical journalist, and most notably she is the author of the book The Trouble With Islam Today.
She is a fireball. A firebrand. Iconoclast. Rebel. Self-proclaimed Muslim Refusenik. She has been referred to as “Osama bin Laden’s worst nightmare” and I don’t mind this at all, seeing as he has been the cause of so many nightmares, for so many people who do [or did] not know him or his “god” from a smoldering hole in the ground!
I loved reading her book. I highly encourage you to read the thing.
I can’t wait to hear her speak on the topic of “Faith Without Fear.”

And so, hmmm… what is her book ABOUT, you may ask?
Well, it is about the trouble with Islam!
And what is the trouble with Islam?

Well, the trouble with Islam is the same “trouble” that is the scourge of all religions, be it Christianity, Judaism, Mormonism, or whatever else. And it can be stated in one word.
[Something that is never fun, but always mental!]
In my opinion, the "problem" with all fundamentalist religion is that it is convinced that even its most ridiculous and exclusivistic aspects [ and all religions have these] should be embraced by people that have no current desire to embrace them. Or adhere to them.

So yeah. I’ll be there!
Listening intently, sipping my Grande Bold.
But I will be neither as grand, nor as bold, as the woman up there, speaking.
Telling it like it is.

Meep, meep,
Wile E. Coyote


Splash du Jour: Monday

If I get on a plane and see someone reading a good book, I like them instantly. I once flew all the way to Europe sitting next to somebody who was reading a book of mine while I was writing a book of mine, and there was never a word between us. It was fun...
-- John Irving --

Have a great Monday!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Me Sick

Hi, Friends.
This is a picture [actual self-shot photo] of me a few minutes ago.
Me sick.
I have a bad cold. Hence, I just thought I’d pop by to say where I've been.
Been drinking Neo-Citran© and stuff.
I asked my American friend if she had ever heard of Neo-Citran. Nope! She had never heard of the stuff.
This shocked me, because here in Canada, Neo-Citran is like the first thing a sick puppy reaches for, when feeling the sniffles coming on.
So I’ve been drinking that, and popping Benylin© and Tylenol© .
At first, these pills seemed rather ineffective with my runny nose issues. So I shoved one up each nostril. And wow, the dripping stopped immediately!
Nowhere on the package does it prescribe this method, so I’m giving you all some free medical advice here!

Besides just lazing around, I purged some of my bookshelves of unwanted books, since next Friday begins a weekend of wild used-book sales at the Annual Rockcliffe Park Bookfair.
Every year I not only attend the thing, but I also donate! This year will probably be my tenth year at the Bookfair.
I have gathered up six boxes of books, perhaps 70 pounds each, ready to go. In one of them is a 25 volume set of The Complete Works of Honore de Balzac.
I put a special note on the top of the box, explaining that the contents are valuable.
I wonder what these will be priced at?
If I attend the sale on Friday and see those things going for $500 or something I will promptly jump off a bridge. I am too lazy to put them on eBay.
Reading-wise, I am thoroughly enjoying John Irving’s The Fourth Hand.
I really loved my previous read, also an Irving book, A Prayer For Owen Meany.

I wish you a great Sunday afternoon / evening, and I hope you do not catch my cold from reading this blog!
But if you do start to sniffle, I advise you to drink some Neo Citran, and shove some pills up your snout.
Cippy Sickpuppy


Friday, October 26, 2007

Splash du Jour: Friday

A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity and once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen by morning light, at noon, and by moonlight.
-- Robertson Davies –

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Splash du Jour: Thursday

Hey, this is totally cool.
Last night I was informed by the lovely Amanda over at A Patchwork of Books, that I won this book, shown here.
It’s a new autobiography of singer, Amy Grant. I LOVE Amy Grant.
The book is called Mosaic.
Thank you, Amanda.
Here’s an excellent quote, from Amy…

If you went to your closet today, would you pull out the same outfit you wore 10 or 15 years ago? You wear feelings and faith differently as well.
-- Amy Grant

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Splash du Jour: Wednesday

I was a moody kid. I was an aloof kid, I kind of kept to myself. I think that an early sort of pre-writing indication that I had the calling to be a writer was how much time I liked to spend alone. I wasn't anti-social. I had friends, but I didn't really want to hang out with them after school. What I saw of them at school was enough. I needed to be in a room by myself even before I was writing, just imagining things, just thinking about things. If there was a weekend with too many cousins or other people around, I got a little edgy. I think the need to be by myself, which I've recognized in a couple of my own children, is one that was respected by my grandmother, with whom I lived until my mom remarried. . . when I was six. And I was fortunate to be in a big house, my grandmother's house, and there were lots of places to get off by yourself and imagine those things that I didn't know. And I find -- I'm 63, and my capacity to be by myself and just spend time by myself hasn't diminished any. That's the necessary part of being a writer, you better like being alone.
-- John Irving –

I may have discovered a NEW favorite living author, in the reading of his Prayer For Owen Meany. Look at the guy. He is like a George Clooney but with even better hair.

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Finding Zone 57

Isn’t Murphy’s Law something along the lines of "whatever can go wrong will go wrong, and at the worst possible time, in the worst possible way."
Or whatever?
Well, tonight, Murphy had my number.

Disclaimer: For those who need their blog-reading to have plot and excitement, quit reading this one, NOW. I beg you.

If you go on, against my advice, all you are going to hear is Blog-Catharsis.

I just want to vent, as to why it took me so long to get home tonight, and how a simple problem ate itself into my Starbucks reading time.
And that last thing I mentioned [my reading time] is no small matter, because my Reading Partner© has already indicated that if I don’t get through Irving’s Owen Meany soon, she is going to trade me in on two twenty-somethings.
I cannot keep up to her, in our recent [and non-recent] reading ventures!

Then again, she is a high-school English teacher.
And so… she doesn’t really work, per se.
Even Owen Meany himself would agree with me here.
But of course, I jest.
She is so brilliant, and industrious, and witty, and hard-working…… no, wait a minute, scrap that last part, but she is all the others. A savant. A genius.
And I love her and our life-long project of Reading All Of The Good Books In The World©.

But back to Murphy.
So, today I wanted to get out the door in a hurry. I was the last one there.
I was thinking only one thought → SOON READ BOOK!
I was setting the damn alarm.
Uh-huh. Uh-huh-uh-huh uh-huh….. NOT FRIGGING WORKING!
The alarm is not setting.

Says there is a security breach in “Zone 57”.
Well… where the hell is Zone 57?

The warehouse in which I am now trapped is like [how to describe it]…. you could literally have several Boeing 747’s in there! All of them... LOST!
And doors? There’s got to be 800 doors in the place!
Where would I START, to check!
Forget What Would Jesus Do... a rubber bracelet is not going to help you tonight.
What would MacGuyver do, is more like it!

So, I had to call my Supervisor on the radio. He’s never even heard of Zone 57.
I feared that very response.
And in one section of the place, we have had contractors working for weeks and weeks. So, how am I to know if they have left a door ajar in one of their work areas? As I waited for my Supervisor to arrive [from home] I walked the perimeter of the buildings, in the drizzling rain, checking all of the miserable doors in the place. All looked good to me.
I went back to the Alarm Panel.
And started just pressing every button on the thing.

All of a sudden, the fire alarm went off in the facility. Whoa, that’s damn loud! How do I stop that?
[Pushed way more buttons....]
When in severe doubt, always press something that says “CLEAR”.
I did. That stopped the bells.
However, in my wild…. pressing of buttons, I had forcibly called Police, Ambulance, and Firetrucks to the building.
My Supervisor, en route, called my two-way radio and asked me what the hell I was doing?
I said…. “Umm. Pushing all kinds of buttons.”
He said, “Don’t do that. DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING! I just got a call on my phone to verify whether or not we want every emergency team in the city at our building.”
“Oh my God,” I said. “OK, I’ll just wait…”

When he arrived, we did a thorough search of the interior of the place.
About an hour into it, as we were walking through one sector for the second time, I noticed a ladder leaning on a wall that had a sort of double trap-door affair at the top of it…. and I asked God if this was Zone 57. This was where the contractors had been working.
As usual, God said nothing, but from down below I could see that there were those white plastic Security contact things. I climbed up and shut the doors and we went back to the Alarm Panel. Sure enough, now we had the all-clear.
Set alarm. Get in car. Drive like hell.
But it’s no use. I did not finish the book.

Now I am in Jeopardy. And I don’t mean the game show.
She may trade me in on those two other guys. She is all hot and heavy to begin reading the next book, and I have not even finished this one yet!
I’ve gotta “get in the Zone” as it were.
Maybe if I get a better job? Like one where I am not even required to set Security Alarms at the end of an already-too-long day?
Maybe if I…. become an English teacher?
Oh! Was that "Meany" of me?


Splash du Jour: Tuesday

My earliest recollections of writing are not really recollections of writing at all, but of... transposing. Before I could even read one word, I used to take my mother's handwritten recipes and type them out on dad's typewriter. One painstaking character at a time. Not even really knowing what I was "writing".
But the letters themselves just always fascinated me.
I would then hand my astounded mother perfectly typed recipes on 3" X 5" cards, which she would put in a little recipe tin.
She said I was undaunted... I just kept going.

-- Cipriano –

Have a great Tuesday!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Steps To Being Vivacious

Forgive me, dear readers, for embarking yet again, and so soonly, upon another absolutely nothingful blog.
This afternoon, as I left my apartment building I had only one thought in my mind. → READ BOOK!
Because of certain distractions lately, I have not had the kind of reading time I would prefer.
Basically, I would prefer my reading time to be umm… constant, and never-ending!

So there I was, walking down the street on my way to Starbucks, excited about some afternoon time with Owen Meany.
A Vivacious Blonde Woman walked toward me.

Hey, it’s my neighbor.
She lives right next to me on the 14th floor. [Alas, she is married].
So I nodded, and we exchanged a “Hi” as we passed by each other.
Then I walked backwards for a bit.
My God, it’s warm out all of a sudden. Why am I wearing a jacket?
Whoa! Unseasonably warm!
A minute or so later, I set my backpack down and, while stuffing my jacket into it, noticed that I had forgotten my book! Owen Meany is NOT IN HERE!
Now I’m walking back to my building.

Took the elevator up and retrieved my book. Just as I get back to the elevator, the stairwell door opens and into the hallway walks The Vivacious Blonde Woman.
We say “Hi” again.
My God! Did she just run all the way up the stairs to our floor?
Seriously, as she’s unlocking her own door I say to her, “My God! Did you just run all the way up the stairs to our floor?”
“Yep,” she says. “I try to do it as often as I can,” and there is not even the slightest huffing and puffing going on. No chest-heaving cardiac problems whatsoever. Just a nice little flush on the face. And a beaming smile.
So I am horrified.

I say to her, “If I had just run all the way up those stairs,” and I point to the door that is still slowly closing shut, “I would be right now trying to stuff my lungs back into my throat.”
She laughs a bit, shrugs apologetically, and goes into her apartment as my elevator door opens.
As I was hauled on down to the main floor again, I must say, I did not feel vivacious at all. I shuffled on out to the street, realizing that even taking the damn elevator tired me out!
Could part of my cardio-problems be connected to the fact that the closest I ever get to eating from The Five Daily Food Groups© is when I’m handed a bag of bun, pickle, cheese, mayonnaise, and cow at the Drive-Thru window?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Hermit: A Poem

Hi, all.
This is a poem I wrote, last night.

The Hermit

There was a troglodyte. A hermit.
Deliberately ignorant of all things going
On outside his dripping cave and brown
Beard. Craggy, shaggy, each.

Not knowing Tuesday from Friday
He ventured out, to gather seaweed
Or clams. Whatever lay stranded, left
Behind. On the mild, wild, beach.

Near a boulder, between driftwood
Ducking and alert, he stooped. Never,
Not ever, squinting, had he ever seen
This, before. Dove, love, needing.

It cannot be. Forgotten, every longing
Now awakened, stood to claim him.
In a white dress, the sand held golden
Tresses. Flying, sighing, reading.

She flipped a page. He leaned, as though
Her hand could move his soul. And
Tears like drops of cave-dew sent a ripple
Through his heart. Drop, plop, but...

Turning, the hermit stumbled headlong
Up the crags to what he knew. Two sticks
Will give me heat while I sleep hungry, and
The stone, will keep me. Sleep me. Shut.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Friday, October 19, 2007

Favoring Frolic

Forgive me, dear readers, for embarking, this very minute, on the writing of the most nothingful blog in the world.
I’m sitting in the Starbucks section of a Chapters bookstore, and I’m reading John Irving’s A Prayer For Owen Meany.
Fabulous book. I am loving it.
This book sat on my shelf for years and years before I finally picked it off of there and opened it up. It had dust on it! I’m only halfway through but I already know that Irving is an author I will want to continue to discover, through his many other novels.

So I’m sitting here and in walk the two girls I once mentioned a while ago.
In fact, since this current blog is absolutely nothingful, I would encourage you to click on the above link and and read that former one.
Then return here, if the two girls intrigue you.

Same girls.
And as they sit across from my table here in the little alcove area, there is the occasionally wafting of air that tells me they still smell good.
They still smell very much… “like a woman!”
What intrigues me about them though, is how much they do not study.
Apparently they are here to study something. They have dragged a small endtable out in front of them and have filled it with papers and pens and highlighters and textbooks. Then they squeezed the two chairs together, so they could be nearer each other.

In a way, it so refreshing to see such happy friends, so thoroughly enjoying each other. So primed for fun that they can utterly forget their studious intentions.
Smelling so good, and teeming with such a fret-free measure of Friday-night frivolity that they frigging forfeit their fact-finding faculties in favor of frolic.


Splash du Jour: Friday

Romeo: O wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?
Juliet: Why, what satisfaction canst thou have tonight?
Romeo: The exchange of thy love's faithful vow for mine.
Juliet: I gave thee mine before thou didst request it:
And yet I would it were to give again.
Romeo: Wouldst thou withdraw it? for what purpose, love?
Juliet: But to be frank, and give it thee again.
And yet I wish but for the thing I have.
My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Splash du Jour: Thursday

The world is full of people who are gifted and cynical.
Rare are those who are gifted - aware - even broken by life - and yet joyful. With an upturned face...looking always forward.

-- L.B., a.k.a. ‘O Great One’ of Illinois --

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

To All Slugs...

Here is a poem I wrote about 300 years ago.
I address it to all the slimey slugs out there...

To All Slugs In The Grass

My gardening debut will be on morrow morn
When this field and thy home shall together be shorn.
At seven precise, while dew on the grass
Still glistens, my rotors will merciless pass;
And if you would escape the unfeeling blade
Where ‘tween lawn and slug no distinction is made,
Then heed thou this edict, my slippery friends
For on vacancy then your existence depends.

And publish it wide, from Slug King to Slug Peasant
That shunning advice would be naught but unpleasant.
Be blessed, I have oft been acquainted with pain
And I have no desire to render thee twain,
(As groundsmen before me who came without warning
And clogged up their mowers with thee in the morning.)
Now leave slimy trails, and freedom pursue;
Make haste, lest at seven, thou be snipped in two.

And forgive in advance my disturbing your sod.
I pray for thy safety, commit thee to God
Who alone knows I have no intention to kill…
And as for my own soul, I pray that I will
Receive His forgiveness, if any be torn.
Now “Away, get thee hence!” and with these words I warn.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Splash du Jour: Wednesday

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.
-- e e cummings –-

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Splash du Jour: Tuesday

The novel remains for me one of the few forms where we can record man’s complexity and the strength and decency of his longings.
-- John Cheever –

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Trouble With Chopsticks

So there I am, well, just moments ago, at the Foodcourt in the Rideau Mall, and I am immersed in Irving’s, A Prayer For Owen Meany.
You know when your face is downwards into a great book, you only notice things around you in a peripheral, half-hidden, inattentive, way?
There I was, the book was drawing me into its vortex.
In this state, I half-noticed a woman sit down at the table across from me… no, I only ONE-QUARTER noticed, I barely noticed her at all. I kept reading, acknowledging nothing other than what John Irving was trying to tell me.
By the way, what a tremendously engrossing novel!

At some point, the woman got up and walked away. Again, I did not really notice this, it was just a smudge on the outer fringes of my peripheral consciousness.
All of a sudden, a guy walks by, scruffier than last week’s hailstorm.
My eyes lift, for about half of one second.
He sits down in front of the plate of steaming food!
Takes his jacket off.

Now I look up, and try to concentrate, calling all of my recollective powers to the foreground.
Owen Meany, Owen Frigging SHMEANEY!
Wasn’t a woman just sitting there, before this guy?
He seems to be salivating over this windfall… this sudden, unexpected, good fortune… and he is just as oblivious to my squinting eyes as he is to the fact that he did not order, nor pay for, any of this grub… this → manna from heaven… and just as he reaches for the fork…. the woman returns!

Looks at him!
She has chopsticks in her hand.
She only left her meal for a few seconds to go back and get some chopsticks, and in the meantime, Johnny Anonymous has usurped her meal!
He mumbles something like…. “Oh, umm, crap, hello, bye, yeah, umm, errr, whatever..." grabs his coat and runs away!
[I’ve forgotten all about Owen Meany now.]
I want to see what this woman is going to do.
She looks around.
I look down at my book…. I’ve been reading the whole time.

She sits down.
Looking at her plate of sprouts and rice and noodles and broccoli florets.
Glances at me as I look at my book, which is totally upside down by now!
And she digs in.

My question is simple.
Would you?

No, really!
I mean, here, some total other person, [a homeless vagrant, no less….. and we all know, these have the worst germs of all] this total stranger who had those sort of radiation fumes coming off of his body, the same kind that you see on the highway ahead of you on the hottest day of last July… THIS guy was just sitting at your plate of food!
Are you going to eat it, now?
What if he burped on your broccoli?
Spit on your sprouts?
Touched your tabouli?

She waited a while.
She weighed the medical possibilities.
And then dug in, with the sticks.
I kept reading my book, but all the while, I was wondering what I would have done.
What would you have done?
Would you have sat down, as though this was totally acceptable behavior?
Some sort of excusable societal misdemeanor?
Would you have thrown the stuff away, and ordered some more?
Or… pretended that YOU were returning to the wrong table?
Taken those chopsticks, and stuck them each into this guy’s eyeballs, left and right?
I mean, the options are plethora!

As for me?
The question does not even apply.
I would never have left the table in the first place.
Because I don’t even know how to use chopsticks

Splash du Jour: Monday

Posed like that, the question sounds positively ignoble. When a religious person puts it to me in this way (and many of them do), my immediate temptation is to issue the following challenge: "Do you really mean to tell me that the only reason you try to be good is to gain God's approval and reward, or to avoid his disapproval and punishment? That's not morality, that's just sucking up, apple-polishing, looking over your shoulder at the great surveillance camera in the sky, or the still small wiretap inside your head, monitoring your every move, even your every base thought." As Einstein said, "If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.

-- Richard Dawkins, in The God Delusion

Have a great Monday!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

(happy) birthday (e.e.)

Today is the birthday of a very important figure in American letters.
On this day in 1894, Edward Estlin Cummings was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
That makes him a cool umm… 113 years old today.
Does he really even need any sort of introduction?
His accomplishments are remarkable. He turned poetry on its head with his inimitable, unconventional style. Although most of his poetry is demanding, as in, one must read and examine and re-read it to truly “get” it, other poems are so simplistic that I recall reading and “getting” them back when I was in elementary school.
Here is an example of one of my favorites.

you shall above all things...

you shall above all things be glad and young

For if you're young,whatever life you wear

it will become you;and if you are glad

whatever's living will yourself become.

Girlboys may nothing more than boygirls need:

i can entirely her only love

whose any mystery makes every man's

flesh put space on;and his mind take off time

that you should ever think,may god forbid
and (in his mercy) your true lover spare:

for that way knowledge lies,the foetal grave

called progress,and negation's dead undoom.

I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing

than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance

e.e. cummings

For more of my own commentary on the work of e.e. cummings CLICK.

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.
-- e.e. cummings

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Where My Mom Is

I am finally back home.
Well, back to my apartment.
I am back home, from being back home!
All of my family is out west. Far from me. But Jack, my cat, is here.
So, in a sense, home is where the cat is!
My new catsitter, Angela, did an excellent job of taking care of my boy. I can tell. Everything was ship-shape when I returned. Jack’s plaintive meows were… plaintive, but I could tell that he was treated well, in my absence.
This is the longest time, in the history of my Bloggitry, that I have been away from the Bookpuddle. I hope that I have not lost you all, my dear friends.
It was a good visit, with my mother.
An important visit.
My mother does not read my blog, so I am able to say here, that it was difficult to see how she has dwindled away, since I last saw her, at Christmas time.
Leukemia is ravaging her once capable frame. I must hold her hand as she walks.
This is new for me. Just as it is new for her, to ask me to do it.
And yet, she cooked a wonderful dinner for me, after we had gone to church, last Sunday. I had not been to church for years, but it was her one wish, that we go. So, I walked to church with her, holding her hand the entire way.
And afterwards, mom made me the best steak I have ever eaten. I am not kidding. It was wonderful. I wanted to help. But she wanted to do this for me. She chopped up onions, and I cried.
She had this steak spice, and [stupid me] while things were sizzling, I said I would sprinkle it on, and she said, “No, no, no. After it’s done. Not now.”
And she was right.
It was the best steak I have ever eaten.
And I have eaten a lot of steak, in my day.

One look at my mother, and anyone would know that even the most optimistic doctor would not have her ringing in the New Year, of 2008. But mom keeps telling her own doctor that she will see a minimum of five more.
I hope she is right on that. I love her.
Her doctors have to admit they have never seen a better attitude.

But time does its thing. Life does its thing.
In some ways, I have never felt more at home, coming back here to Jack, and resuming with my normal life.
But, when I try to go to sleep, there are times when I do wonder if “home” is where my mom is.

Friday, October 05, 2007

My Struggle With A.H.A.

← [Me and my addiction. Hamburger!]

I haven’t been around much lately.
Well, actually, it is more accurate to say that my computer/desk workstation area has been in a state of non-existence, and hence, it has been really uncomfortable to be online, and nearly impossible to do any quality blogging.
All of the units here on the top floor of my apartment building have had to be fitted with some sort of water valves in the ceiling, and [Murphy’s Law] it just so happens that the place where the work needed to be done is directly above my computer universe!
So, I’ve been dislocated for about a week now, having to do any computer work on a rickety cardboard box I have set up. And it is still in this state, until next week sometime.

Aside from this, I am going home to visit my mother. In a matter of hours, I’ll be flying back to Saskatchewan. So I probably will not be around for a while, in Bookpuddle-land.
She is not currently in the hospital but she is not at all well. Her visits for full-scale blood transfusions are becoming more and more frequent, and that is not a good sign of…. well, it’s just not good at all.
So I really want to have a great visit with my mom and do a lot of talking with her, over the Thanksgiving weekend.
She is clear across the country, and it is frustrating sometimes to be this far away from her and the rest of my family, when she is so ill.
So, I just thought I would let you all know that I may not be around much, probably until the end of next week.
And now, just a word or two about my own health problem.

My struggle with A.H.A.
← [Advanced Hamburger Addiction]

See, in the first picture, at the top of this blog, I am in a state of relative equilibrium.
I am focused.
I have only one thought. BURGER!
I am at peace. Content. One with the cosmos.
But, in this second picture, you can see that there is trouble in paradise.
Someone, in this case a brave and undaunted photographer named Corinna, has encroached upon The B.E.P. [Burger-Eating Perimeter].
Gotten a bit close there.
She did not even have the sense to approach downwind. You can see that I am alert and ready to snap. Ready to pounce.
My left eye is locked onto the situation.
Things could have gotten out of control but the photographer did the right thing. Hearing the low-pitched growl, she slowly backed away. Backed…. away.
And then ran like hell.


Splash du Jour: Friday

I regard music as something that transcends the labels of gender, class or creed, which is why I think it's such a powerful medium. And as a fashion plate? I have to tell you that I've been given many opportunities to collude with the fashion industry, but I declined because I don't want to be a clotheshorse for anyone.
-- Annie Lennox –

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Being Alone

Surf pounds relentless into shore,
yet, instead of the roar
is heard the ocean of silence
behind it.

And the breeze itself whispers
that though it be near
the most ardent embrace cannot
find it.

This is being alone.

Golden blue, they clasp each other
these waves in moribund procession,
dying in rhythmic monotony, like
the feeling…

of night’s four walls and ticking,
‘til the heartbeat seems aligned
and the eyes know every nuance of
the ceiling.

This is being alone.

Now the morning,
and the wandering
of gulls in their circling dance,
remind him that his own heart
has no home.

And there in the azure horizon
of this unframed canvas meant for two,
his mind sees written, “This is
being alone.”

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2007

Splash du Jour: Thursday

One of my favorite books, ever!

As a writer, I am a firm believer in serendipity, in accident and chance. Some things just happen. Some images occur. They insist. They reoccur. Suddenly you have a motif on your hands. Then you look at what you’ve got laid out before you, and you ask, Could I use this? Can I turn this into something significant, meaningful, even powerful? There’s a lot of alchemy that happens right in front of you as you write. I believe that artists must possess an inner sense of aesthetic balance, just as musicians have an “ear” for their music, to help them deal with the accidental nature of creating art. That’s why I create so many drafts when I write; then, when I feel the time is right, I start sifting.
In terms of efficiency, I’m probably the most wasteful writer there is. I edit a lot. I generate hundreds of thousands of words, then go back for the cull. I see the assembling of the big mess of words in the earlier stages of the novel as the search for the right block of marble in the quarry. Only after you get your hands on the right block can you start chipping away inch by inch. Hopefully, with a couple tons of crumbling, excess marble at your feet, you get your little, perfect, six-pound statue to show for it, gleaming and smooth, as if it existed in that block of stone all along and you were the only one able to see it.

-- Dennis Bock

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Splash du Jour: Wednesday

As seen on a Starbucks Cup:
The Way I See It #230
 "Heaven is totally overrated. It seems boring. Clouds, listening to people play the harp. It should be somewhere you can’t wait to go, like a luxury hotel. Maybe blue skies and soft music were enough to keep people in line in the 17th century, but Heaven has to step it up a bit. They’re basically getting by because they only have to be better than Hell." 

-- Joel Stein, 
Columnist for the Los Angeles Times. –

Apparently, the above message on Starbucks coffee cups caused quite an uproar at Safeway Stores.
Listen to this guy: → "I work for a Safeway Starbucks, and we are going to lose the 'The Way I See It' cups because of a few grumpy old people with no sense of humor. The cup that started it was #230, Joel Stein's comment about how ‘Heaven is overrated...’ Its freakin' dry humor, people! So now the Safeway bigwigs are trying to dump the whole program so that no one is offended. We had to go through every single sleeve of Venti hot cups in the store and pull out every single one with #230 on it.”

Hey! Chill out, people!
And have a great Wednesday!


Monday, October 01, 2007

Splash du Jour: Monday

I love a good mystery, but not in the conventional sense of that word: the mystery of right behaviour, moral choice, responsible action. I’m put off by novels that pretend to answer the questions they raise. There can’t be answers – not sincere or meaningful answers – to the questions of moral action raised in a great book. A serious writer, in my mind, attempts to expose the flipside to any commonly held belief. It’s a shell game of sorts, with each shell containing – or seemingly so – the seed of truth. Point to it with anything resembling conviction or certainty and you will be proven wrong.
That being said, a novel isn’t a game. It doesn’t try to cause the reader to stumble, but in resisting an easy answer to justify a character’s choices, readers may find themselves in the confusing position of simultaneously loving and hating characters, their choices, their beliefs. For me, a novel is at its best when it brings contradiction to the surface of a character’s life, and when those contradictions are highlighted by a dramatic conflict between characters. In exposing those contradictions by the right positioning of character, setting and drama, you approach the heart of what it is to be human. There is in this world, instead of the simple black and white universe of poorly imagined fiction, an infinite variety of greys.

-- Dennis Bock

Have a great Monday!