That Canadian guy in England



You know, I don’t feel the sense of eviscerating panic that tends to come with failing to meet self-imposed goals.  This here outlet isn’t so much like a new, pressing project so much as it as a gentle gnawing on an old and familiar bone.  It’s here when I want it to be, but I’m in the market for something else, so it’s not about to induce fevered prostrations out of this guy any time soon.

For those who don’t know, I’m intent on getting my Masters degree in the next couple of years.  Now when I say “my Masters” I deliberately emphasize the my and leave the Masters part comfortably vague because to my mind it is strictly imperative that I possess the mythical document and not so much important what the details of said artifact wind up being in the end.

Okay, maybe that’s stretching it a bit.

The Masters of Public Administration/Policy is holding my attention in its jaws as it has for some time, dragging me up into a tree and away from the temptations of other degrees as it has.  If you’re curious as to what this is, that one site everybody goes to for information can likely explain it to you better than I can.  To my vanquished nervous system there it holds no strict definition, only a gestalt warmth and promise that Yes, little politics major, you can actually be of use to somebody if you go this way.

Problem is, my fearsome B+ average only just meets the minimum acceptable criteria for most of the good schools.

Sigh.  The existential bane of all students picking over the strange paper that is the puncuation at the end four years of study.  What does it do?  Did I do it right?  And why, for god’s sake, does this thing think I’m from Regina?

Oh, I guess it’s got the latin in there.  My blushes.


On Foot

Seven days have passed?  My god.

I did not think  on writing, but I felt it, I could feel its impression gilded lightly across my shoulder blades, present but definitively behind me, close by, for what apparently became one hundred and sixty eight hours.  This is peculiar, as though I had been walking briskly toward the sun confident that I could feel my own shadow warming my heels with every step, only to take the time to actually look backward for a moment and find the damn thing lagging fully a week behind me.  I mean, okay I wasn’t looking, but come on.  Someone somewhere give me a break, this man is clearly tottering into the dotage of his 23rd year with the paint peeling from his clattering earthly parts.

Speaking of which, let me tell you about my foot.

The left one, to be specific.  Somewhere in the vast expanse of time between musings I discovered an incredibly acute pain spotting through the skin of my heel, on the right side of this appendage, toward the back and not so low that I walk upon it usually.  Except this completely uninteresting span of foot didn’t look any different than the other spans which, gentlemanly in their compsure, did not hurt.  I scrutinized the thing for many a passing moment, its ruddy plate offering nothing by way of clues to its sudden and very unwelcome rebellion.  The poking and prodding did little to enhance my interrogation.

I presented the malfunctioning thing to my lovely girlfriend, who took the inner workings of my extremities as uniquely uninteresting (ho ho!) and kindly told me to get my gnarled hoof out of her face.  She has since gone home (I miss her so!), which is a frustration since the blighted part has finally yielded tangible evidence that yes, something is at least modestly untoward.

It has cracked.

This bothers me, since bodies do not, traditionally, crack with such ease or manners.  Moreover, even if the body could crack, like a stone will sometimes crack, it strikes me as supremely uncanny that it would crack, as it seems to have cracked, from the inside out.  I feel as though eldritch lines have been cast, an unnatural geometry written toward some unkind deed or intention, and through the process of some unearthly rounding error, a bit of black math has veered from  its hateful trajectory and taken up residence in my god damn foot.

My sweet girl has, perhaps rightly, ordered me to see a doctor.  I can’t help but counter that I should present myself to the sainted office of a cleric or witchdoctor because that is the sort of thing a rational person does when confronted with evidence we live in a cruel and monstrous universe.  And so the argument goes about.  We bicker like this sometimes, and she can’t fully come to grips with the enormous affection I hold for her afterward.  I try to explain, but it is a poor reflection of her grace at best.

Because when your one and only has the talent and good graces to sincerely tell you no, she doesn’t think there are any ancient gods in Lake Ontario to begin with, much less any with the propensity to gnaw through to the waking world by way of a political science major’s feet, you know she’ll love you no matter what.

When Amongst Nerds

Just a quick heads up for those who are at all curious: installing multiple, active anti-virus programs on your computer may sound like a shrewd exercise in redundant safety planning, and yet in reality it will transform your system from an incredibly sophisticated version of this…


Into this…


And when you bring this to me, and I start to cry, you have to understand it is because you are asking me to turn the latter back into the former and the entropic forces of the universe simply do  not work that way.

How the Blag was Done

Finding the right layout for this place has been an aggravation, not in the least because of my own self-imposed desire to deviate from the standard template that commands of the eye, “Look here!  This garbage is just like everything else! Say FIRST in my comment threads!  Click on my google ads!”

And, yeah, I’d like for that to be just subtly implied hereabouts, I don’t want to wantonly ruin my carefully pruned mystique.  And my google ads are coming soon, so I don’t even want to get into that until I’m banging on your door at 3am begging for clicks.  Gird your loins now.

One of the biggest draws for upgrading to a wordpress powered, paid-for domain is the much greater control afforded over the design and richness of the site.   I presently enjoy absolutely none of these advantages.  I was fairly pleased with my 3 column, magazine style ghoul for a couple of days there, it handled nicely.  And then a handful of my friends came upon it, and they were a-feared.  They turned their faces from it, and my body trembled with the sudden and terrible clarity that I had lashed myself to the eldritch geometry of a secret, radiant abomination.

It was not well liked.  That was the general consensus; a return to a more traditional layout has given me some respite, and I can now turn toward the knitting together of my immortal, shimmering soul.  The graphic above is not mine, you should know, but neither is it the default iconography that comes affixed to this free template as a default.  I count this as a spiritual victory, and maybe you like it too.  I was torn between the moody shot of a house, the moody shot of a chair with a long shadow at twilight, and the moody shot of a tree on a hill with the moon behind it.  You would not believe how hard it is to find a compelling depiction of a white hand shaking a black hand nowadays.  I mean, don’t even get me started.

Hmf!  I’m not quite content with this stylistic oasis, though it will do for now.  What I’d really like is to take up a design like this, this, or this.  This treads the line of good taste, but comes in just barely on the side of minimalism that appeals to me.  The opposite of this thing’s vector, I think, would be these, which are appalling.

I can just barely envision the sort of Californian grandmother hipster gardener socialite those themes are supposed to appeal to.  She has her bluetooth  headset voice-type her thoughts concerning the new Coldplay album into her pink Macbook while she has sketches out the plans for her organic zen garden on some vegetarian paper in henna.

Also her blog is much, much more popular than mine.

Next Thing’s First

There are three things I want to get done through this here blog.

1. Just write.  Every weekday at least, and the moment it strikes me.  This has always been the best part of keeping this site together, to have a tangible marker of my own committment to myself.  Getting through a week and seeing an unbroken chain of posts strung through the days is motivating, and it’s worth it to keep myself sharp and focused.

2. Plan my topics.  I want a clear sense of purpose every day, and to not resign myself to the ephemeral shamble of posts I’ve typically produced.  If this means splitting my output into multiple sites, so much the better.  If this means putting myself through the ringer of website design and CSS modifications so that I produce a more professional, multi-faceted rag, fantastic!

3. Move on.  I’m staking out temporary residence here, nothing more.  I want to raise the standard for my personal output every year I’m alive, as hyperbolic as that might appear.  In seriousness, it is easy and inspiring to have a concrete item of your own making be shared, measurable and thereby possible to improve.  Pushing myself to produce a better design and a better slate of writing is the next step I need to take for my own sake, and stabbing out at visibility could set me on some few new and enticing paths.

I mean like, pshaw.  Let’s do this.