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Call me Ishmael.

"There she blows!--there she blows!"

Small Fry

hamish the scuba dog



December 31st, 2011


hamish the scuba dog
One New Years Eve, years back, I ended up in the dark backyard of strangers, way down the eastern shore. Kinda wasted. There were like, old people, kids, dogs, allsorts.

And suddenly, an intricate wooden Viking ship moving along in some kind of solemn procession? About loveseat-sized. People were throwing effigies and carefully folded notes on the deck. I channelled my banal little regrets into a wad of rummy gum and threw it on as it sailed by.

After a gentle launch off the wharf, the ship was shot afire with a flaming dart. The crowd got real quiet watching it burn. It burned for a long, gorgeous time before pitching with a sizzle and sinking our troubles into the deep.

I'm nowhere near the sea this year. I am cozy by a woodstove with a sleeping babe on my lap and a grotesquely good book on the arm of the chair. This year has been so so god damn incredible- but I have a few grisly hauntings to chuck in the woodstove.

Fuck you, vaginal surgeries under tinkly wind-chimes. Fuck you, world, for the literally barking mad pedophile living behind our bedroom wall, until we moved. And fuck you, Wilford Brimley, yeah, I still hate choo.

Why hello, 2012!

July 14th, 2011

Mama had-a baby

hamish the scuba dog
Alexandra Clementine was born at just about 2 pm on April 24th, Easter Sunday, and weighed in at 9 pounds 1 ounce. She's the raddest baby in the whole world.

What a blur. I was already 6 cms dilated when I got to the hospital. A total barnyard animal, naked, eyes closed, nothing but the present. Breathing and bellowing, mostly on my tippytoes. And about six hours later a brand new chubby baby was looking into my eyes and chewing on my boob.

Being a mama is amazing. The world is new and weird every morning~ usually luxurious, sometimes tough. I am feeding a beautiful little tyrant and soaking in so much hazy summer. We're making our own hours and going for ice creams and we've got no time for anyone else's bullshit. We're in love and we don't care how cheesy.

I don't know how to talk about this new twist of life yet. D'oyyyyy. So for now I started a pretty little blog that doesn't require me to articulate: http://thewhiskerbiscuit.tumblr.com

April 15th, 2011

All Systems Go

hamish the scuba dog
Less than 2 weeks away from my "due date,"  I am bloated, hot, itchy, scarred, uncomfortable, exhausted, and totally over the novelty of this whole pregnancy thing. I'm like this obese, louse-infested sloth trapped in a hotdog sheath with a faceless roly-poly lump of elbows and knees.

I'm sick of all the unsolicited exclamations and advice from idle white guys at Sobeys, too.

I guess the sheer discomfort of having your body taken over from the inside is what gets you "ready" for motherhood. It outweighs any fear you might have about actually expelling an eight pounder from your whoohoo. An eight pounder who then keeps growing and changing and is both unimaginably yours and totally its own PERSON.

This giant bambino could come out tomorrow, or it could be a month from now. I'm not too sure either of us gets a say as to when. But, let it be known I am:


February 7th, 2011

I speak in cliches now

hamish the scuba dog
Pregnancy smugness is downright hormonal I think? I waddle like Drew Carey, I can't see my vagina, I grunt like a prolapsed wrestler and nearly pass out whenever I bend down to get my winter boots on, and my boobs are suddenly these giant sentient beings that need to be strapped down like uncooperative mental patients.

But I have to admit that I feel mostly amazing. This feat I am part of is frigging AMAZING.

I don't feel pressure to go to your house parties, or work overtime hours, or care about whether it is okay to leave the house without pants on. Hey, I am growing a human?!

A human who feels like a giant eel squirrelling around in my abdomen, A human who kicks me everywhere from ribs to colon. A human who soaks the calcium right out of my bones and impels me to the fridge naked at 3 am to chug chocolate soy milk. A human that is listening to an awful lot of R Kelly.

I'm huge. I'm lazy. I'm happy. And check out this fat smug grin. For the next three months or so probably....

January 3rd, 2011

20 out of 10

hamish the scuba dog
2010 was the year I didn't read as many books as I wanted to. I set a lofty goal of 40 and read barely half that. 

Some bizarro highlights were Secret Rendezvous by Kobo Abe, In Persuasion Nation by George Saunders, Mezzanine by Nicholson Baker, Honored Guest by Joy Williams, One Bloody Thing After Another by Joey Comeau (untoward ) and The Show that Smells by Derek McCormack.

But my lame tally was partly cos I got so busy doing new shit I'd never done before. Like, I:

got a tattoo
got deejay gigs
got a community supported fishery going
ran in a mud race
bought a car
went to montreal and northern ontario
got pregnant twice
lost a fallopian tube
moved into a little house.
In September, I went to the beach at night with a carload of my best homies. It was just after a hurricane, a new moon and dark as fuck! We stripped off and threw ourselves into the tepid ocean. It was too dark to know when the giant storm waves were coming at you. Midsentence, up to your knees maybe, you'd be boxed in the ear and knocked off your feet, upsidedown or rolling sideways, gritty with sand into the arms of your best friend up the beach. The only light came from an amazing bloom of bioluminescent zooplankton which danced around our flailing limbs in phosphorescent pinks, blues and greens. And we'd clamber back in to the black surf, again and again and again, scoured and bruised and laughing like maniacs.


October 20th, 2010


hamish the scuba dog
WTF, I am growing a human being inside of me! 

Being knocked up, I have to say, feels more sci-fi than rom-com. More Invasion of the Body Snatchers than Nine Months.

The other day, my doctor used this 'doppler machine' to look for a heartbeat. She was like, don't be nervous, it sometimes takes a few minutes to find. But then as soon as she put the sensor against my belly there was this thundering BOMBOM BOMBOM BOMBOM BOMBOM! She was like, 'oh my, well that's a strong heart beat.' And I was like, holy, what she really means is, that sounds like freaking Godzilla! 

It reminded both Peter and me of some scene from one of those horror movies where the parents miss the first warning sign of demon spawn. But, in a way where I felt kinda proud.

Hearing a galloping, healthy heart beat that is NOT yours echoing from inside of your body? It is a trip, man.

... I'm thinking I may have not yet absorbed the all-too Three Men and a Baby reality of what this could mean.

September 20th, 2010

Dirty Old Gym Rat

hamish the scuba dog
 A couple of month's ago I joined a gym just a block or so away from my house. It is the perfect gym for me... at a Senior's Assisted Living facility.

I wanted to go somewhere where I could try and get strong again without all the weirdo gym gawking and judging and lulu-lemon outfits. And I gotta admit, I feel damn fit at this gym.... walker-free, cancer-free, dementia-free.

The whole point at first was to be anonymous, invisible, and free to embarrass myself wrestling with weight machines and other hydraulic mystery contraptions. But these senior gym rats are awfully effusive and weird and friendly. So now I've got all of these hilarious, geriatric gym buddies with names like Ester, Dorothy, Leonardo... 

It is pretty cheesy to say that they inspire me with all of their bravery and fight, etc, but what really inspires me is how they all have such a great time saying and doing the dirtiest things to each other. Every morning.

I am getting stronger every day. I even ran in a 5 km race last month!  Plus, I'm learning some dirty jokes that'll wilt your earholes.

July 23rd, 2010

Needle in Your Eye

hamish the scuba dog
Sooo happy in my backyard with the sun my dog a pepperoni & an ice cream sandwich. And my little ipod dock blasting.


Our first fish delivery went amazing and I got to give leftover fresh, gorgeous fish away to my somehow wonderful crackhead neighbours and a korean family who cooked it up for us last night in a spicy soup and like 40 pounds to a soup kitchen and the fishermen seemed happy and I think this thing just might work...



July 8th, 2010

Change we can believe in

hamish the scuba dog
I saw this poem via Bookslut at the start of my day. This dude, Jim Behrle, he had a way of knowing kinda exactly how I was feeling as I sat down at my little desk this morning to try and face another earnest day in a world of shit. i hope he won't mind if I share it here:

The real fail whale


By Jim Behrle.

Just dump oil all over everything

Everywhere and get it over with

I lost my baby due to penalty kicks.

Hope has turned to cobalt goo

Change we can believe in the way

We believe in unicorns and Jedis.

It's too hot to be a free agent

Each atom is a poem with its

Own spinning agenda, which demands

[Line of poem drowned out by vuvuzelas].

Let me put my poems inside you with

A spatula and we'll ride across the grammar

To a whistle on the mortgage of a field

Speckled with dusky crickets who have

No regard for human life.

It's not Convex Mirror, it's Houseboat Days

And you're the sunburned, bearded captain

Drifting further out away from the cherry

Chocolate harbor.

I tried to climb the ladders but a gorilla

Was throwing barrels at me.

You'll need guide wires, a harness and a team

of Sherpas just to get through the day.

Here we go

The whale reminds us how much we have failed.

July 1st, 2010

Demolition Derby

hamish the scuba dog
Goddamn. What is sexier than a demolition crew working away on a little house on a hot sunny morning? Everyone is sweaty-dusty- topless and taking long, lazy smoke breaks and the building is falling to its knees all around them.  

I've been working my ass off day and night for the past month. I'm helping to create the most exciting CSF project with five fishermen. It is thrilling and terrifying to believe in this shit so hard and I want so badly for it to succeed. I Maybe you will see me on the National talking about it next week? I got to go halibut fishing!

Almost everything else in my life feels like some kind of overwrought Mountain Goats song. I'm losing myself a bit in my work but I'll come back to land eventually to deal with weird womb-betrayal feelings, my sick mom, my soul-sucking civil suit, and be a better support for my struggling friends with their own first-world growing pains.

Meet me at the wrecking ball?

May 30th, 2010

Outside the Box

hamish the scuba dog
I like this quote, from a Dean Young poem, which I think is partly about reading bad poems, but anyway: “Go down any road far enough and you'll come to a slaughterhouse, but keep going and you'll reach the sea.”

Two Monday nights ago I figured out I was pregnant. I didn’t tell very many people, but it was pretty exciting and pretty weird.

Last Monday night I had emergency surgery to have the baby removed, along with my right fallopian tube. The little thing was growing in the wrong place, see? In my friggin fallopian tube.

The doc said the cause was ‘bad luck’.

I was walking around with half a litre of blood just kind of pooling in different parts of my belly. I thought my dizzy feelings and abdominal pains were like, morning sickness?

I have four new scars on my belly now. And just one fallopian tube.

I had a cool New Waterford nurse named Myrna who was a tough little spark of life in the towering institution of paperwork and latin diagnoses. She would pull back my hospital-supplied gauze panties to “check out my poonani” every hour or two. She didn't try and stop me from crying. And she didn’t skimp on the morphine neither.

What is with the lighting in hospitals? You know they had me in the ward with all of the birthing and healthy newborns? All the cooing proud grandmas and glowing mothers taking their first stroll with baby by my open door.

The night after my surgery I lied in bed with Peter and watched a cam-version of Hot Tub Time Machine. This is when I had a revelation that life is strange, and also sometimes painfully stupid.

My horoscope this week suggested I think “outside the box.”

Today is Sunday. My body is healing now I think. I figure my mind will be hobbling along behind it for a while longer. But I'll be okay.

March 23rd, 2010

I've had this one last box of 'stuff' at my parent's house, and my mother has been after me to get rid of it for several years.

I had thought all that was really in it was my prized cow collection from elementary school. Yeah, I was really into Holsteins~ collected puppets, butter dishes, notepads, you name it, if it had black and white spots and a juicy udder, I had to have it. I thought all my other kind of "keepsakes and memories" had burned in the apartment fire.

Anyways this weekend I finally went down and went through the box and turns out it contained, ummm several dairy-cow-themed artifacts, but also all kinds of the most amazing detritus from my life:
  • Journals - especially 'dream journals', starting in 1990 (age 12), and stretching nearly unbroken to about 2000.
  • A (sarcastic!) pamphlet I designed for the Department of Justice as part of my shoplifting punishment.
  • Scads of letters, notes, poems and drawings from my pure, sweet, mad genius friends.
  • A death threat note  from a chick who wanted to slit my throat because I was listening to her favourite band (Tool.)
  • Copies of the masturbatory "student art and writing journal" that my friend and I were somehow allowed to publish.
  • A laminated grade six art project illustrating my desire to become a janitor when I grew up.
  • An entire box of love notes from my favourite high school boyfriend (and still one of my best pals.)
  • An article I ripped from the Chronicle Herald about Kurt Cobain's suicide.
  • A scribbler filled with insane notes from a mushroom trip where I was stuck in a womb, and Abe Lincoln was a secret ginger, which proved finally that he was my real father.
  • A majorly insane and pompous essay from first year university:"How The West Was Won and Where it Got us: The War Machine."
  • Angry songs I wrote for our high school all girl grunge band "Silicone."
Peeking into my old journals has been really kind of amazing.  I feel lucky to be able to look back - though I'm glad I waited this long. Even a few years ago I might have destroyed it in total humiliation. But now, being able to revisit how teen angst-y, boy crazy, stoned, and "wiccan" I was is hilarious and illuminating in unexpected ways. I sound completely berserk, but in a way I can still recognize as ME, you know? I have discovered, for example, that I have been making the same New Year's Resolutions for 15 years. And that it is generally the same shit that makes me happy or angry or excited.

I have become maybe slightly less flaky and self-involved? Oh probably not.

peekCollapse )

February 9th, 2010


hamish the scuba dog
Did you guys see that movie, Hunger? Did you like it?

I liked it. I didn't expect it to be so, pretty in a way? So arty, I guess. I thought it would be more of a Braveheart-starring-Daniel-Day-Lewis production.

I lived in Belfast for a little while, not far from one of many huge martyr-murals of Bobby Sands. (Also not far from a Kentucky Fried Chicken all decked out with paintings of uzzie-toting UFA soldiers.) On my days off, I used to go to the library just past the paramilitary KFC to read about the history of "The Troubles" and try to understand why our back alley was protected by jagged glass and layers of barbed wire.

Why those armoured vehicles were always circling around.  Why everyone asked so many questions about my surname, my background. Why one of our Northern Irish roommates disappeared without a trace. Why after a while I felt forced into identifying with a side of the struggle.

Oh man. There are so many stories from the short little six months I lived on Palestine Street, Belfast. Anyway, I am not sure but even if you have never been swept up in the Belfast vortex, maybe it would still be a good movie?

February 3rd, 2010


hamish the scuba dog

Now that she's all healed, I can't stop stroking the oral tendrils.

And I want more. Next one: stick and poke style.

February 2nd, 2010

I brought in 2010 deejaying for a whack of people from a balconey a whole floor up. I was kind of wasted, really, dancing recklessly around the equipment as I "spun" some nuttyass shit, um, from my ipod, till all hours? 50 Cent, Slim Harpo, Junk Culture, Lil Kim, even fuckin Robert Palmer. Pointing down at the sweating crowd. Earphones on one ear.

The hippies. They danced until they broke shit! They even chanted my name!!

And so I got invited to join an all ladies deejay crew! I can't tell if I am too old for this shit or not but I said yes, okay, it is a new year and I should try new things, and so far it is pretty fun. It is real amazing what jacked up art kids will dance to!

And now I am going to be "deejaying" at a club in a few weeks? Totally need a deejay name.

This year has been so odd and wonderful in all kinds of ways. Already!

Other new things I have done in 2010 so far:

*Got a tattoo!
*Got belligerently drunk at a staff party!
*Did a paint by number horsey?
*Touched the GZA!
*Cooked a whole chicken!
*Yo momma!

December 21st, 2009

The Quick and the Dead - Joy Williams
Haunted Hillbilly - Derek McCormack
Underworld - Don DeLillo
Survival in Auchwitz - Primo Levi
Log of the S.S. the Mrs. Unguentine - Stanley Crawford
Collected Stories of Amy Hempel - Amy Hempel
Metropole - Ferenc Karinthy
Dangerous - Fabio
Vacation - Deb Olin Unferth
The Joke - Milan Kundera

....................I catalogue my books like a nerd over on goodreads.


Bad Lieutenant
Rear Window (1954)
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Wendy and Lucy
Revolutionary Road
Seven Samurai
The Class
Down By Law

....................I like movies mostly. I'm not real discerning.


Romanian trains
Short stories
Duckdown duvets
Bruce Springsteen in Philadelphia
The Wire
Boat rides
Dark chocolate with chilies and salt
Double dutch
Forearm tattoos

....................The future is gloriously uncertain!

December 11th, 2009

This shitty attitude started with a research consulting contract I got in the summer. I don't know why but but my heart wasn't in it. I kept fantasizing about a part time job filleting fish at some plant on the south shore where I could "get out of my head."

I stopped gushing about the sublime beauty of nudibranchs. I stopped noticing the stories in fishermen's hands. The tenacious optimism of others trying to make the world a better place by working diligently and geekily for incremental changes really started getting on my nerves. Almost as much as their fleece vests and teva sandals.

I was maybe burnt out a little. I had started to adopt my awkward version of North End hip fatigue. Had I started to take myself seriously??

Phew though, this highschool-calibre ennui has finally dissolved! I kinda just woke up earnest again one morning, a few weeks back. I remembered why I wanted a jellyfish tattoo to curl around my left forearm. I don't care how trendy tattoos are these days. I made an appointment.

to get away from mormons and drunk eskimos...

November 11th, 2009

Caffeine before bed, Jung

hamish the scuba dog
There were plush dark wood floors and mouldings, but also these hairballs all over, big as tumbleweeds, human and animal hair mixed up with leaves and dryer lint and god only knows, and not just in the corners behind the shoddy furniture. Everywhere was piles of yellowed newspapers and nearly finished cups of tea and the smell of must and old man pee.

I remembered hazily how I had been drugged and left here. To get help. You know, because of the deep November dread I had fallen into. But I couldn’t find a nurse or doctor anywhere.

The house didn’t make structural sense. There were a patchwork of old staircases leading to half-floors or to dank alleys of nowhere and anyway I couldn’t figure out where I was going. Or the way out. Or why I was crawling.

Behind one heavy door I found a smiling doctor dressed in clean green scrubs. He was bent over four bloody naked bodies, covering them with white sheets. But the sheets were too small, and turning crimson, and blood was pooling darkly on the floor. There were all these big lethargic buzzing flies and this meaty smell. He shhh-ed and waved me away.

I saw some other strange things, too.

After a while I glimpsed some sky, and followed it up some stairs to a half-finished renovation. Out of nowhere was most of a gorgeous hemlock deck, with a dusky view of a hayfield and, just behind, some dark sleepy woods. It all smelled so fresh and new. But when I climbed out to enjoy it, this renaissance nerd in full black and copper jousting gear started racing towards me on a fierce black horse. He said get the fuck back in that house, you stupid little animal.


October 30th, 2009

Nun the Wiser

hamish the scuba dog
I've been drinking way too much coffee lately. I don't know what that's all about- its like I want to get as close to a panic attack as possible. I've been pushing the envelope as far as coffee goes. But one place I figured out where you don't want to be on the teetering edge of existential dread is the Halifax Shopping Centre.

Anyway, none of that is interesting news but the thing is, yesterday's mall odyssey was punctuated on either side by a nun happening! I've already laid out my top three nun happenings here. But this was number four.

It was a gorgeous day, and like I say, I was caffeined to the gills. So I'd sidled up to this old nun in the bus stop, looking to exchange pleasantries or whatever. But she was already engaged in conversation with another woman about how long they had been waiting.  "At least we're not waiting down at the Uniacke Square stop," remarked the seated woman. "Nothing but Boogaloos down there!"

My little nun seemed to take a moment to reflect on that. "These days," she said deliberately, shaking her head, "you can find Boogaloos most anywhere." Eventually the Number 7 Bus picked them up while I waited slackjawed for the 80. Boogaloos?!

a totally racist nun!

I walked back home from the mall to work off my dread and soak in some crisp fall air.

At the grocery store around the corner from my place, my last stop, there were all these young nuns peppered around. Must have been some kind of convention somewhere? Anyway this real ginger-headed teen nun with a huge forehead pimple and the loosest grey duds was behind me in the lineup. I was leafing through a Cosmopolitan in the lineup to find out about these newly invented hetero-normative sex positions. (By the way this month's is the Bad Girl Issue - "For Sexy Bitches Only".) I don't think she was reading over my shoulder when she fainted? 

She fell backwards, somehow really slowly, settling out like a dull grey puddle. Her zit was twinkling down there under the fluorescent lights. A batch of nuns came to her rescue, along with an awkward teenage Superstore Employee with a walkie-talkie and a soul patch. And anyway, she seemed fine after a few seconds.... Maybe she had seen a Boogaloo?

October 23rd, 2009

Looking Sharp

hamish the scuba dog
On Halloween I am going to crash your stupid hipster party.

I am going bust in all abrasive. I am going rub you the wrong way with my rough hoodie exterior, all steel wool, broom bristles and cheese graters. But then maybe I’ll want to roll over and offer you my warm belly? Because I am going to be so soft, so pink and so strokeable, lined up and down with velvet, silk and fur.

On Halloween I am going to take my inner hedgehog to the next level. (Or sea mouse?)

Yes I KNOW~ I am OLD now. But Halloween is still my favourite. Mushrooms, leaves, and jaunty jointed cardboard skeletons. Heading straight into the terrible abyss of November with fake blood in our mouths and pockets full of trick or treat. Also: candy!

October 6th, 2009

The Streets of Philadelpia

hamish the scuba dog
I can't believe I'm going to see The Boss in concert next week!

In 1978, the year that I was born, Bruce Springsteen was the hottest male specimen on the earth.

I just read that he's been playing full albums from the old days on this leg of the tour. See, its gonna be a long time, maybe even forever, until he tours with the E-Street Band again. He's played all of Born to Run a few times, and the full Born in the USA, and even my favourite album of all, Darkness on the Edge of Town, in the past few weeks. I am real excited about this.

Anyway, I'm driving all the way to Philadelphia with a few friends to see him. We're gonna stay three there nights in a sketchy hotel and eat the bread and peanut butter we pack.

I've never been to Philly! Actually I've never really been anywhere in the USA. Have you been there? So far I know I want to see a boxing match, some blues, and the Mütter Museum. I am also dying to take a side-trip to Atlantic City. What else should I do? Any hot tips? Keeping in mind that we are broke-ass....

October 4th, 2009

I could live on a boat, I think. I know the ocean ain't nothing to fuck with. But rocking and rolling over the awful depths gives me a deep steady calm I don't get other places. How did Ishmael put it... It is a way I have of driving off the spleen, and regulating the circulation.

Okay so we weren't out on the high seas exactly, but still.

We got to McNab's Island at dusk, after a ridiculous "sailor's delight" sunset over container ship terminals, grain elevators and cruise ships. We put our anchor down aways from the beach by Hangman's Point and piled in two shifts into a lonely little dory, holding the dog tight to keep her from jumping out.

On the Island, we walked in the dark under a misty moon, exploring old abandoned garrisons and underground tunnels, visiting a graveyard, keeping our eyes open for ghosts but seeing only the white tails of deer jumping through the tall grass.

Waiting on the beach for the dory, waves splashed the shore, buoy bells knocked in the distance, and the fog horn blarghed. A friend rowed back for us from the sailboat through the indistinct grey sea and sky, his back to us, invisible until the last minute.

Back on the boat we made pasta, played cards and drank whiskey into the night. We slept in the cradle of the sea's swell at the mouth of Halifax Harbour. I dreamt of balancing acts and jellyfish and um, Adrien Brody? Anyway everything is gonna be okay.

September 22nd, 2009

Sometimes those jangley feelings still come back. Mix those restless autumn blues with too much drinking and not enough exercise, I guess. Then throw in some lawyer conversations about your upcoming trial, and for good measure, watch a bunch of people trapped behind locked doors in a burning building on the big screen. It is stupid and embarrassing but there it is.

What I do when this happens bad, is first I make a mix CD. I take all those funny feelings and mix it into a sort of story in my head and then find songs that fit and flow.  (You can download the mix here (side A/ side B), for a little while.) Then I write out some kind of silly weird predictable story while I listen to it. I kind of can't help it.

This latest one is a sort of vampire story. I dunno why. Maybe because I've been watching True Blood, and it has been so disappointing, except for that lush and promising intro sequence. Maybe also because of a skeezy "Vampire Lust Erotic Fiction Contest" where you can win sex toys!

You can read it here, on this dark rec-room of the internet, part of a fun new secret project I am working on with my best pals. FUN.

... Happy First Day of Fall!

September 4th, 2009

Prom is a Special Time

hamish the scuba dog
I missed my prom. I spent that night learning new ways to get it on from a hot and dusky Costa Rican in a campground washroom. So in retrospect it was kind of a prom-night time, I guess? But I did go to the prom party the next year to see what I had missed.

This prom night, out in a gravel pit by Country Harbour Mines, was yet another special time in my teenaged life.

The prom queen was Rachael T.  She went on my schoolbus - something I spent three hours riding each school day.  Rachael used to spice up bus life by giving secret beejays under a bouncing jacket. But when she turned sixteen her mom let her drive to school with her little sister in a nice red Honda Civic. One time she passed the bus as we drove alongside Lochaber Lake. We were all catcalling and teasing the busdriver but then as we watched, the shiney red car flew right past us and into the lake! They got out okay- wet and cold but seemingly unshaken- and rode the bus with us the rest of the way to school. 

Anyway, one magic moment from the prom party will endure my whole life.  There's Rachael, a good 8 months pregnant. She's throwing tree-sized logs onto an already massive bonfire at the edge of the pit. In her teeth she's gripping a Gatorade bottle filled with Bailey's Irish Cream. Back lit by the huge flames I see her tumescent silhouette, looking efficient and unflappable, chucking logs with both arms, and throwing her head back to get the liquor down her throat.

September 1st, 2009

Tha mi gad ionndrainn

hamish the scuba dog
September's cool, clean smell has got me all restless. Already. And worse this year than usual. I am tossing and turning at night, trying to scheme a life in the woods with goats, raspberry bushes, and a woodpile... but how to make my $700/month student loan payments? And why can't I stay earnest and happy at my perfectly fine do-gooder job?

I have farm blood I guess? (Or is it the self-destructive blood from the other side of my family?) Oh and also dumb expensive degrees.

Speaking of the family farm -the weirdest thing! Saturday was a big hurricane-dregs rainstorm and I wanted to hear some lamenty music, so I ended up googling for gaelic tunes. And what the frig, the second page I clicked on had a bunch of mp3s of my dear departed Grampy singing! Some anthropology student recorded him along with a bunch of other old Inverness County farmers back in the eighties.

It is so weird and wonderful, hearing his trilling old voice coming out of the internets! I can't stop listening to him. He makes me so yearny and sad.

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