Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Cats, Comics, and Car-Crashin' Cops

Good evening, gentle readers. I have been conspicuous in my absense. My apologies.

Shortly after my last post here, I got a call from the Humane Society; they had found my missing cat, Maceo, but in the month that he'd been missing he'd suffered a tail pull so severe that the spinal damage left him incapable of bladder functions and largely unable to use his hind legs. I kept him in my room for a couple of days on the advice that he might show some improvement, but ultimately I had to have him put down on Friday.

You can imagine the mood I've been in about that.

I went to the Manitoba Comic Convention on Saturday, if only to cheer myself up a bit; I ran into some people I hadn't seen in a while and I purchased a few things of interest, one or two in particular that I'll definitely want to be posting about here when I'm feeling more up to it.

Some things, however, demand immediate attention. To the news!

You've seen it, I've seen it, we're all well familiar with it by now -- Harvey-Zenk will serve no jail time, instead facing the harsh penalties of (oh dear) a nightly curfew and community service work.

Yes, seriously. Community service work. Because obviously everything went so well the last time he was serving the community.

Now, many people have expressed indignation and outrage in the aftermath of this case, railing for some sort of necessary change to result -- but you and I both know that substantive change never actually happens in Manitoba. So when I read the news, I like to think more productively -- and by that, I mean I try instead to think of ways I can use our province's significant deficiencies to my advantage.

So, in keeping up with the local news, I now know exactly what to do if I ever hate somebody enough to want them dead -- just bribe or befriend a cop, get him good and plastered, and have him kill them with his car. It's foolproof! And a contact in East St. Paul told me that the deepseated police corruption and injustice have been the lay of the land out there for years (and he made a point of recalling examples as he passed this along) -- so nobody would even bat an eye about it!

But what if, instead of a murder, I need a property crime or a nonlethal violent assault committed? Well! If that's what I'm in the market for, I could easily locate and pay some underage gang members to do it for me -- and if I paid them extra for their silence, neither I nor they would ever face any serious consequences! Brilliant!

But, wait! What if, hypothetically and presumably by accident, you kill somebody yourself? No problem! There's a specified field out northwest of the city where everybody dumps corpses; people will assume the body you left there was some prostitute, the death will be chalked up to a serial killer, and you can rest easy knowing that the murder will never actually be solved!

(To readers from outside the province, and I know there are plenty of you: this is normally where I would put a conciliatory message indicating my facetiousness, and I'd like to, but I'm afraid I'm not actually kidding about any of the above. Winnipeg's still a lovely place, though! We have a new arena! And a really ugly new bridge! So please come and visit us before we're all dead.)

Tonight is Halloween, of course, and I love a good Pagan holiday as much as the next candy-chomping cynic. But I don't need ghost stories or scary movies to get my spook on! I live in Winnipeg!

Our Provincial Government can't get cropburning right, our Mayoral Office can't get traffic lights or Daylight Savings Time right, and our police forces actually make us feel less safe -- Happy Halloween, everybody!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Those are Bad Signs

My my, but the weather as late has been phenomenal, hasn't it? They're predicting highs of eighteen degrees tomorrow! Plus eighteen! In October -- in Winnipeg! Bizarre, but more than welcome.

I took my lunch break this afternoon to just walk around downtown a bit and enjoy myself; it hit plus twelve, which again is still pretty bizarre for a Winnipeg October, and really just had to smile at how idyllic it all seemed.

Never mind that people are being stabbed in the neck downtown in broad daylight, or that our bars and nightclubs are being shot up on a seemingly nightly basis; never mind that the same people who screwed up with our red light cameras last time were awarded the contract to screw up our red light cameras again, or that we're number one in underage homicide; never mind that our Mayor and his baseball team have been suddenly plagued by mysterious phantom financial problems once people started asking where the Crocus money went, or that our Premier is more concerned with making Kyoto promises to impress dignitaries than he is with cleaning up Lake Winnipeg to improve things for us Manitobans.

Never mind all that! That is what I thought to myself, also trying to never mind that I had to be back at work within minutes. Just walk around, enjoy the warm sunshine and the surprisingly pleasant wind, dream idly that this moment could last forever, and take in a bit of... the...


Oh. Oh hell no. You have to be kidding me.

(Moment lasting forever, pthhbtth. So much for that.)

No! Bad angel! Get down from there!

It is not the Christmas season yet. Absolutely not, I refuse to allow this. We're still a week away from Halloween! You put down that damn horn and get down from there right this instant.

They're putting up Christmas decorations before it even snows, why I oughtta. Who do they think are even looking at them? Not to be too alarmist, but have a look at that last picture again; isn't it a little weird that I was walking around downtown in the early afternoon and nobody else was on the streets? I didn't crop this photo at all, no framing tricks, no sleights of hand -- I pointed, clicked, and hours later went "wait a minute holy crap I was alone out there".

What's up with our downtown? Well... never mind that, either, I guess. Eighteen degrees tomorrow! Whoo!

Monday, October 22, 2007

This is How People Find Me, Part III

These never get old for me. Not ever.

As before, yes, these are complete and unedited search engine strings; they are real, and they are true, and sometimes they are almost fatally amusing to me.

Little had I previously realized that my target audiences are looking for:

-- kern hill furniture kern hill
-- bus bench realty signs royal lepage
-- ron pollock
-- ugly building winnipeg
-- the worst professional wrestlers
-- rob fai on the canucks
-- arthur a leach school blog
-- balmoral hall school past pupils 1999
-- what does 360 mean gang affiliated
-- janet stewart and fan site
-- delissio pizza spokespersons
-- louie the lightning bug history
-- songs about slurpees
-- milt stegall song
-- moses mayes wikipedia
-- pig upside down in winnipeg
-- murder markers
-- sam katz sucks

Bless your hearts, misdirected seekers of knowledge! May you one day find what you're actually looking for.

More to follow, hopefully! I'm striking into burgeoning writing projects for at least (!) two (!!) other places of note, and I'll let you know if they work out, but rest assured I never stray too far from my designated home base. I mean, I keep my beer here!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Return and Begin Again

Lucky me, I've finally been able to return home. I still can't walk on any of the hardwood floors, so I'm sequestered to the second floor -- but I get to sleep in my own bed, and I get to use my own computer, so for now it's a start.

Speaking of starts -- I have a lot of writing to start catching up on, and for a variety of things. That and I need to find MP3 hosting again, since the last one has removed its strikingly unsteady free service and attempted to charge me for its strikingly unsteady paid service.

Well, always something, I guess. Time to hunker down!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The 2007 Speech from the Throne: A Slurpees and Murder Anniversary Liveblogging Extravaganza Special (or, I Like Long Titles)

5:28 PM

All right! I'm almost all set up; I'm home from work, dial-up is dialed up, and any second now my little brother will save his game of Beautiful Katamari so I can put on the CBC and spend an hour and a half enjoying myself more than anybody should.

5:33 PM

Hoo, damn. It might just be this TV, but Peter Mansbridge is looking orange today. Mansbridge must be some kinda wizard to get a tan that deep in the middle of October.

5:35 PM

Boy, the advertised 'pomp and pageantry' of the Governor General's entrance is... kind of underwhelming. Clearly she thinks so too, because she's looking pretty bored; then again, I'd imagine she has other things on her mind.

5:36 PM




5:40 PM

Damn, the Guard Commander has two swords? That's awesome! If any invading army forgets their guns at home and attacks our country exclusively with fists and short knives, we will be ready! (And two swords means double the attack power!)

Ha ha ha ha ha Mansbridge has already whipped out the CGI calendar to show the two most likely election dates. Awesome.

5:44 PM

Oh, boy, Coyne and Hebert. Is this honestly what I tuned in for? And are we sure they aren't actually fraternal twins who were mistakenly split up at birth?

5:48 PM

. . . what the hell is going on with the collar on Chantale Hebert's shirt? Did she actually dress herself this morning? I wish I had a screencap of this, because I don't think anybody would believe me if I tried to describe it.


Uh-oh, eighteen minutes in and we've already heard the first mention of the likelihood of Dion stepping down if anything goes wrong. That can't be good for him.

Nice shot of the external stone heads; I don't know why Red Arremer is right next to the King of Clubs, but architecture was funny back in the day.

5:50 PM

Does anybody else ever want to see somebody get clocked upside the head by the ceremonial Black Rod? Wouldn't that be awesome? Or am I alone on this one?

And if that's the Usher of the Black Rod who'll be running the messages back and forth all night, shouldn't they give the guy comfier shoes? Or give the position to somebody who looks less than seventy years old?

'Terry Christopher', Mansbridge announces as his name; he looks like Mr. Green from Clue, but that might still be me fixating on the idea of him cracking some skulls with his ebony cane.

And now we get to watch him walk through the building for a while! HE'LL BE FACING THE SAMOAN BULLDOZER UMAGA THAT MATCH IS NEXT

5:54 PM

(Knock three times on the ceiling if you waaa--)

I was previously unaware that the French for 'Governor General' is, in fact, 'Governor General'. Well, that'll learn me.

This may sound odd coming from a guy who got a Double Honours in History and Political Studies, but -- what's with the pointy triangle hats and the ornate ribbon bows on the backs of suits? Is this how we have to dress to keep being friends with the Queen?

6:02 PM

Oh, god, I would have felt so bad for the Usher if he'd gotten lost. But that wouldn't have stopped me from laughing too hard to type anymore.

Aww, we'll have to wait until tomorrow to hear Dion's reaction? Not cool, guys. Well, maybe they'll cut to him during the speech and get a good shot of him grimacing his Muppet grimace or something. And wow, everybody's speculating on how long he might last as leader. Somebody should get a pool going.

6:03 PM

Speech starts.

Nice shot of the token woman included in the military delegation. Long preamble about our military history and reputation to start.

Ever notice how many statements in this thing are half-truths and straight-up lies? Like when they say "Our society is a caring society, committed to the welfare of our Aboriginal peoples" and you almost nod and gloss it over before you doubletake?

6:10 PM

Aww, the Arctic, here we go. Let's see what's up here.

Canadians see the North as a symbol of our boundless potential and imagination? Really, now? Most of us don't just associate it with the word 'cold' and with Farley Mowat eating mice?

A promise is made to put a "world-class research station" up in the Arctic, which they briefly pretend will do important environmental research before giving up and admitting that it would only be there to made seabed maps that favour us and not them foreigners.

6:12 PM

"Canada is back as a credible player on the international stage." Sure, and I can transform myself into a My Little Pony just by thinking about it really hard.

If you're wondering how we'll return to prominence as a credible player on the international stage, it'll happen through... modernizing the reserve registration system? Er. Sure!

The notion is put forward that Canada should stay in Afghanistan until 2011, and that a Parliamentary vote should be held by February 2009; how likely are we to actually have a sitting parliament during that time?

6:18 PM

Of course you realize that they know they can promise whatever they want about Haiti because nobody will ever call them on it. Haiti captures the passion and imagination of the Canadian public about as well as Bryan McCabe defended the net in overtime last night. (Yeah, that's right! Ice burn! Suck it, McCabe!)

6:22 PM

Ha ha ha they still want to try and democratize the Senate. Good luck with that, guys. Clearly the average Canadian clamors for major governmental changes like these, which is why we dumped the Queen back in 1997 and declared Bert Raccoon our new symbolic ruling figure.

6:27 PM

Ah, there are the anticipated tax cut announcements. Nobody acts surprised.

What's funny is immediately after that the speech promises to beef up infrastructure nationwide and improve the social safety nets for families and homeless people; I can't wait to see how we build towards these goals by specifically taking in less money than before.

6:30 PM

Wow, the Conservatives are still going to keep pushing for the end of the CWB? What part of any of this went so right for them over the past couple of years that they want to keep trying?

I waS keen on hearing more about this, but the speech jumped immediately and haphazardly to aboriginal employment opportunities up north; I'm really starting to notice that this speech isn't written all that well. I mean, it's really all over the place. There's precious little cohesion to be found, and if I'd handed in something this scattershot my professors would have been justified in shooting me.

6:33 PM

"Jack Layton tells CBC News he will not support the speech." Well, that didn't take long! No surprise, of course, but still -- wouldn't you at least bother to stick around and hear the whole thing? Does anybody stay in their seat to hear the whole thing?

6:37 PM

"It is now widely understood that (...) Canada's emissions cannot be brought down to the levels within the Kyoto Protocol". Oh, snap! No you di-in't!

6:40 PM

See, now they just jumped straight from talking about environmental regulation to talking about Chinese imports. Weak segue, you guys. Who edited this thing? Is she reading this off the cocktail napkins they scribbled the speech on this morning?

6:42 PM

The speech finally ends; Mansbridge clocks the speech at thirty-nine minutes, which--hey, that does match my clock! Good to know I'm keeping up to date on these things.

Interview with Duceppe; the first words out of his mouth are "I cannot support this speech". Duceppe says pretty much everything you would expect, but he does make a good point -- not a lot was actually said about what actions are actually going to be taken about things. And he immediately shoots down the platform for federal-provincial relations, which is kind of funny because it was specifically supposed to appeal to Quebec.

6:45 PM

Interview with Layton immediately afterwards; Layton says pretty much everything you would expect, too. I like his quick soundbyte that "Harper is taking this country in entirely the wrong direction"; not a lot of ambiguity in that one!

"We're the only party that has voted against the government on every confidence vote so far." Yeah, Jack, but you kind of don't count. That's like me boasting I've never voted for the Bloc Quebecois.

6:48 PM

Oh, boy, Ignatieff. Yeah, now my night is complete.

He just tried to form some metaphor about a menu at a restaurant, but I seriously -- I'm not being cute with this -- I genuinely had no idea what he was talking about, because he trailed off halfway through it and only phrased it properly when he returned to it at the end of his interview.

Wow, you know what? Ignatieff is actually pretty brutal on the mic. How did we not notice this before? With his strained monotone and his long pauses to stop for a tense shrug, Ignatieff is only seconds away from actually being a Eugene Levy character. He's certainly got the eyebrows for it.

6:52 PM




God, I love Don Newman. "Mapping Arctic waters is not going to drive Canadians to the polls." True enough.

6:57 PM

Hey, wait a minute! Where the hell is Rex Murphy in all of this? I could have sworn they promised me Rex Murphy when I caught him on Newsworld last night. Dang, that's disappointing.

7:00 PM

Peter outlines what's next on the networks, signs off, and that's that. Dang. No Rex Murphy fix.

Well, that's the speech; we have to wait and see what amendments the Liberals pledge, and for that matter we'll have to wait to even get any comments out of Dion about the speech at all. Way to show leadership, dude. Going mute for twelve to twenty-four hours in the face of something you might disagree with doesn't exactly scream 'confident go-getter'.

There was enough inflammatory phrasing in this evening's speech that I can't imagine the Liberals playing along with it; I suspect they'll probably try and amend just about everything, which almost defeats the purpose of proposing amendments at all. that

Ignatieff is now sucking up all the screen time on Newsworld, and Dion remains nowhere to be seen; I don't know who benefits from the deputy leader conducting all the interviews while the actual leader plots behind the scenes, but let 'em have their fun.

I know much is made of the concept of election fatigue, but truthfully? I never get tired of elections, and given the nature of confidence motions (especially that all-encompassing crime bill; hoo, boy, that one won't float) we can never safely say that one isn't in the cards. We might have to have one of these things every six or nine months, until somebody finally does so badly that somebody else gets to run the show. I don't know about you, but I'll enjoy it!

Canadian politics! Whoo!

Can't Keep Me Away From This

There have been, I'm told, shenanigans and goings-on regarding the ongoing refurbishment of the hardwood floors. Miscommunications about the types of sander and stain (what) and complications arising from sanding against the grain (whaaaaaaaat) mean that the original idea of returning home on Wednesday night lies broken and exposed as the lie it was.

Right now we're cooped up in my grandmother's apartment while she's away, which is the third different place I've stayed in over the past three nights. And I was initially told about the extent of these renovations twenty minutes before we had to clear out of the house, so I had time only to throw some (at the time unwashed) work clothes into a small bag; as it stands I'm doing laundry every second day and figuring that maybe nobody will notice I'm wearing the same black shirt to work three times in a five day work week.

And there still has never been any sign of my missing cat. You cannot imagine the ceaseless torrent of fun and satisfaction that my life is right now.

As you can see, however, I am online; there was a laptop left here, and it has dial-up internet on its 56.6k modem (say whaaaaaat holy crow what century am I living in), so here I am.

So! Since I'm cut off from most everything else, might as well take my fun where I can get it. Which brings me to tomorrow afternoon.

The thought occured to me that I should check my records, in case I've any minor milestones coming up, and sure enough -- this coming Thursday will be the first anniversary of Slurpees and Murder. But I don't have anything specifically planned for that day, for what should be obvious reasons. (With the new setbacks, Thursday might be the night I get to sleep in my own bed. If I'm lucky.)

So, as must be done sometimes with commemorative commitments, I'm going to bump the blog's birthday a couple of days ahead and celebrate the occasion tomorrow. With what, you wonder aloud? Why, what else -- with the Speech from the Throne, of course!

You may have forgotten over the past few months that I'm deeply entertained by federal politics; I haven't done much of anything about federal politics lately, but then again nobody actually in federal politics has done much of anything either. And tomorrow, through some crazy star alignments or plot contrivances, will be the first time that I have a computer near a television when something will be happening that I can probably draw some glee from laughing at talking about.

I've never tried liveblogging anything before, which is precisely why I want to try it -- and what better test subject than something nobody else is going to be watching anyway? The possibility exists that something important might emerge from this speech, but it probably won't; either way, I figure I'll get at least some low-level jollies out of it. And if it gets really slow, I guess I'll just start firing off bald jokes about Peter Mansbridge. Like I said, I take my fun where I can get it!

The Speech from the Throne is set for tomorrow evening at 5:30; join me, won't you?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Temporary Interruption of Service (Again)

I've just found out, upon getting home from work, that extensive work is being done on the first floor of this house to the point that it will be completely uninhabitable until Wednesday. At the earliest.

I dearly would have loved to hear about this previously, and by 'previously' I mean 'even this morning'.

Alas. Updates to resume whenever I get to come back.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Not Encouraging Signs

I have a Lost Cat ad in the Free Press, right now; I got a call from somebody near St. Vital Park letting me know that a friendly black cat had been around the neighbourhood for the last few days. So I drove down there, searched for it, tracked it a bit, picked it up when it cheerfully came over to me, thanked the callers for their help, and took it out to the Humane Society to be checked on.

Naturally this wasn't my cat, of course, after all of that. Quite a similar cat, yes, but I'm not lucky enough for things to work out that easily. It did have a tattoo, and it's already safe and sound at the Humane Society, so its owners will have no trouble finding it -- and I guess it's nice to know I can at least find other people's cats and get them returned home safely. Lucky me!

I take my meager comforts and my silver linings where I can get them, I guess. A man's got to keep his morale up somehow. Which must be why this Free Press article made me chuckle a little.

My Double Honours was in History and Political Studies, as you'll recall; if you wait long enough, just about anything eventually falls under one or both of these categories. And I always enjoy thinking about how people in the future will look back on us folk here in the present day; for example, they will probably assume we as a generation had no taste in music whatsoever. (And they'll probably be right to think so, depending on what songs are eventually held up as defining the decade.)

One game that can be played in this exercise, and one I never seem to get tired of, is considering how our leaders or icons of today will be remembered in the tomorrows to come. I bring this up because of that article. Because years from now, when people look back on Sam Katz and his tenure as Mayor, this is something they will genuinely and truthfully be able to say:

"It was after people started stabbing each other in the neck downtown in broad daylight that Mayor Katz promised better police coverage for the area, not by hiring more cops, but by making the small crop of existing cops work harder."

Boy are we ever going to get laughed at by future generations.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

You Get What You Pay For

They say that money can't buy you happiness. This is actually a bald-faced lie, most of the time. (I can specifically think of at least a good half a dozen ways I would be personally happier if I had a bit more money on my hands, and that's just right now off the top of my head.) But every so often a situation will arise where the expression holds true, and I found myself in just such a situation recently.

Can money buy you happiness? If you know what you're after, sure. But if all you have is five cents and you are either hungry or in need of intellectual stimulation, you are completely out of luck. Five cents will neither buy you nutrition nor entertainment; in fact, your purchase will only make you fatter -- and dumber.

Plus it magically turns your mother into Flattop Jones from Dick Tracy. I'm not sure what the deal is with that.

Dubble Bubble was originally invented in 1928, allegedly by accident; the comics that became a staple of the brand began print inside the wrappers two years later. According to this page, where you have to squint really hard to look at any of the images, the original stars of the comic were two twins named 'Dub' and 'Bub' -- completely spherical twin brothers in Mickey Mouse pants who could not possibly have been entertaining in the slightest. The character Pud is believed to have first appeared in 1950 as the comics' protagonist, and as such that would make fifty-seven years and counting of him being one of the most stunningly unfunny signature characters ever established.

I mean, granted, the standards are insanely low for these; he doesn't technically exist as an 'advertising' character, because you don't read his tiny inset comic without first having already bought the product. Since there's nothing actually left to advertise after that, his main selling point seems to be merely that he exists; the sales pitch is that the gum comes with a comic, and so the writers (or cartoonists, or soulless corporate automatons, or whoever actually makes these) only have to come up with something vaguely recognizable as a comic to have kept their word and maintained the trust of the consumer.

But even with these hauntingly low expectations, I can actually say with no hesitation in my voice that these are five cents spent that I wish I had back. Because I bought the gum, and I opened the wrapper, and out came this:



Okay, I think I've got it. The gag here is that he crapped himself.

Yes, seriously. That is genuinely the only explanation I can offer with any certainty. Wow that's awful.

Panel one, he's upside down and a speech bubble of exclusively exclamation points appears, not from his head, but from his pants; I'd be willing to accept this as a necessary stylistic oversight and not a plot point if the second panel didn't prominently feature flies circling him. So unless the 'bully repellent' he invented was a pig's head on a stick as an offering to the Beast -- because he is about that age, after all -- or unless Pud is actually the physical manifestation of Beelzebub himself, the flies have been drawn around him specifically to cement the otherwise unspoken assertion that he fouled himself under duress.

And now he's proud of himself for doing it! Which is ostensibly why he hasn't cleaned himself at all, instead walking all the way home and around the house still encrusted in his own filth and surrounded by his newfound fly friends. Oh, the ceaseless cavalcade of mirth and satisfaction it must be for this woman to have raised such a child. I can only imagine the joy she must feel to be the talk of the neighbourhood.

And this is aimed at children! Under no circumstances should children be taught that bullies will leave you alone if you just shit yourself and hope they go away! I guarantee you this will not serve as an effective deterrent!

If I were beating on some dude in a fight and he lost control of his bowels, would he expect me to feel bad about it and stop? And would he expect his dignity to spontaneously rematerialize? Heck, I would feel pretty badass after doing that to a guy! More badass than usual, even!

So needless to say, this is absolutely horrible by any reasonable standard and everybody involved ought to be ashamed of themselves. I did not fork out my hard earned nickel to have my faith in humanity trampled!

Then again, it's not as though any of us are unaccustomed to people making massive piles of shit and claiming they've created something helpful.

And we've established previously how I register bursts of intense disappointment in humanity, so:

"You have brought nothing but dishonour and misery to our family since day one. Nobody is amused by your antics, least of all your long-suffering mother. You are wasting our time, you are wasting your life, and you just tracked feces footprints across the same carpet that your mother just finished vacuuming. Go to your room. And die there."

God, I hate Dubble Bubble comics. Lesson learned, I guess. That'll teach me not to fritter my money away so frivolously.

Yes, I'm willing to acknowledge the possibility that I get myself a little too worked up over one of the absolute lowest examples of mass media 'entertainment', but come on! If I wanted to laugh at people fearfully crapping themselves in the face of an increasingly unfortunate situation, I'd watch our local truck drivers continually crashing into bridges!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

If It Isn't One Thing, It's Another







Friday, October 05, 2007

Not Settled In

Good evening morning. A few things are different now than they were the last time I talked to you, but you had probably gathered that from before.

I've mostly moved back into my old place, I'm slowly acclimating myself to my new job, a new hockey season has begun, and I've re-aimed my sights once again towards what should be a positive direction. (Remind me to tell you about that later.)

That's nice, you might say, probably patronizing me when you do. Sounds like good times, you add. And I'm sure they must be, but despite these things it has not exactly been a good week.

Far from it, in fact. I've spent the past week anxious and miserable and pissed off all at once, and this combination may not be coming apart for a while yet.

This is my cat, Maceo. He is a black cat with yellow-green eyes and a distinctively low call; his fur is far smoother than you would expect, and since he is made of solid muscle he is substantially heavier than he initially appears.

He is about a year and a half old, he is neutered, and the tattoo in his ear reads SA3317. He has been missing for a week now, and there is nothing that I could have done about this.

None of my former roommates have owned up to doing it, but damn sure somebody put him outside; I don't know what kind of contemptible shithead lets an indoor cat out two days before its owner has to pack up and move away, but sure enough somebody did just that a week ago and nobody has seen my cat since.

This is astoundingly similar to how my last black cat disappeared. At the time I was eleven years old, and I had owned her since I was two and a half; eventually she turned up after several months and immediately died of feline leukemia. I took this about as well as any eleven year old does in these circumstances.

You can imagine why I've not been blogging away, as late. I've tried phoning every outlet available (the Dead Animal Pickup has no records matching the descriptions, so there's hope yet); I've called from the windows and hilltops; I've lapped that neighbourhood who knows how many times now. The Humane Society only holds on to adult cats for four days, so I'll be launching myself on regular sortees out to Transcona. And with a week having now passed I'm going to be scaling up to posters, handbills, increasingly furious searches, and a progressively worse mood.

If you're in the southern tip of Winnipeg, in neighbourhoods along Pembina and just north of the Perimeter, please keep an eye out for any black cats; if one walks up to you (and I don't doubt that he might), check his ear for tattoos or lift him to see if he's deceptively hefty. Turn him in to the Humane Society or your nearest veterinarian, or contact me directly at the email address given above; whatever the case, I'm sure I can scrape together some kind of reward for whoever might find him.

And until I find out what's happened to him one way or the other, I reserve the right to be taciturn and dangerous; I'm very much an animal person, and since nobody has yet confessed to their having taken an animal of mine away from me at the worst possible time, I've decided that I'm not too keen on people right now. (And I was never much of a social butterfly to begin with.) Please do not take it personally if you approach me about some unrelated or trivial matter and I burn straight through you with the heat and fury of a thousand suns and a thousand wrathful gods.

Such is my mindset right now. My apologies in advance.

Broder Daniel - Dark Heart (Broder Daniel Forever, 1998)
[info | myspace | official... forum? | somehow this album is completely unavailable anywhere]

Deckard - Nothing More (Dreams of Dynamite and Divinity, 2004)
[buy | site]

Okkervil River - No Key No Plan (Black Sheep Boy Appendix, 2005)
[buy definitive edition | site | myspace]

Zombina and the Skeletones - Nobody Likes You (When You're Dead) (Taste the Blood of Zombina and the Skeletones, 2002)
[site | myspace | for the life of me there is nowhere to buy this album]

I'll make an effort to keep writing about whatever and the usual and etcetera, but you'll probably be able to tell that my heart isn't really in it. Granted, I'm out of town for most of this weekend (it's already Thanksgiving, somehow; I don't know how that happened), but I'll come up with something soon.

Man, I miss my cat.