Get Off My Lawn

I can't tell if he's laughing or crying.

Non-Fiction

The Questions and the Math: A Small Reflection on Poverty

Poverty is a blight, a disease, a cancer, a kind of rust that never sleeps as it erodes dignity and injects anxiety into the host, slowly saturating the soul and taking the body for itself. Poverty is the manifestation of failure, sometimes deserved, sometimes not, but once marked the stain lasts forever. Recovery is slow, and the heart never fully heals. It’s always the math. That math consumes the mind in feverish, […]

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The Bailey Chronicles Part 2: Hustle and Flow

The Bailey Chronicles Part 1: Like a Boss Part of our weekend ritual for many years was going to the mall. Bailey loves movies, and loves to watch them in the theatre. His favourite genre is horror–the scarier and more graphic, the better. We’d go to the food court for lunch, then head to the theatre. When I first started working with Bailey, he was much more independent than he is now. We’d settle […]

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The Bailey Chronicles Part 1: Like a Boss

The first time I saw Bailey, I was walking through the atrium of the Robin Hood learning centre, a kind of school, employment placement service, and sheltered workshop serving a population with developmental disabilities. Bailey was the embodiment of poise as he leaned back in his chair with the casual confidence of a crime boss holding court at the back table of a greasy spoon joint. He’s bald on top and has a […]

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A Friend in Need

Every time I think I have a handle on consistent posting, I encounter an unexpected event that requires time and attention. A dear friend of mine, Bailey, became very ill with a lung infection and a variety of other ailments that required him to be hospitalized. The last four weeks I have spent pretty much all day, every day, and a good chunk of the evening, at Bailey’s bedside. Bailey has Down Syndrome, is a brittle diabetic, […]

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An Old-Timey Treasure Chest

    From 1935-1944 the Roosevelt administration took on the largest photography project ever sponsored by the government. The idea behind the project was to provide evidence of success in New Deal initiatives, and then the project was carried on into World War II. The project amassed some 170 000 photographs which have recently been released to the public. You can see the photos on the website Photogrammar; and if […]

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Amending History

“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” — George Orwell Maria Bertoletti Toldini was tried and convicted of witchcraft in 1716 in the Italian village of Brentonico. Now, 300 years later, she is getting a retrial. Maria was a childless widow who had a dispute with family members over an inheritance. She was in a vulnerable societal position, so her relatives took advantage and […]

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Look But Don’t Touch

  “Maybe just once, someone will call me ‘Sir’ without adding, ‘You’re making a scene.’” –Homer Simpson I feel your pain, Homer. A quarter century ago, I was making my first visit to the Edmonton Art Gallery. I was so enamoured with a particular painting that I leaned in close and brushed my fingers along the surface. I just had to feel the paint. The person I was with looked at me […]

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Devil-May-Care

I have been asked to do the three-day quote challenge by dearlilyjune. I normally don’t do these kinds of things, but I had to admire the hutzpah of someone who came over and stomped all over my lawn and issued a challenge. So I thought “What the hell, I’ll give it a go.” And speaking of hell, here is the first quote: “Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav’n.” This quotation […]

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It’s A Boy!

So this past Wednesday I had a sebaceous cyst removed from the middle of my back. I’d had this thing, this squatter fetus which I took to calling Fester, for eight years. I was told it would be a quick procedure taking maybe fifteen or twenty minutes. It actually took about an hour. What the doctor cut out was just a bit smaller than a golf ball. He said the cyst was far bigger than he initially […]

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Things That Made Me Happy and Sad These Past Two Weeks

Things that have made me sad: An Edmonton police officer was shot and killed while serving a warrant. The nut job who shot him was one of Freemen on the Land, a quasi militia group that is dedicated to hate and does not recognize the authority of the government. This was the first Edmonton police officer killed in the line of duty in 25 years. Things that have made me happy: I saw Mad Max: Fury […]

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