Mrs. Maisel on wanting a big life

May 26, 2023 | Blog

I want a big life. I want to experience everything. I want to break every single rule there is. They say ambition is an unattractive trait in a woman. Maybe. But you know what’s really unattractive? Waiting around for something to happen. Staring out a window, thinking the life you should be living is out there somewhere but not being willing to open the door and go get it. Even if someone tells you you can’t. Being a coward is only cute in The Wizard of Oz.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Four Minutes (S05E09)

Her entire 4 minute set was superb, and the lead in adds more context, but this is the meat of it. A superb finale. Excellent advice all around.


This Be The Verse

May 25, 2023 | Blog

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.

They may not mean to, but they do.   

They fill you with the faults they had

And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn

By fools in old-style hats and coats,   

Who half the time were soppy-stern

And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.

It deepens like a coastal shelf.

Get out as early as you can,

And don’t have any kids yourself.

Philip Larkin

I was watching Ted Lasso (S03E11) last night, and Mae recited this poem to Ted, as he was clearly having trouble dealing with his mommy issues. I hadn’t heard it before, and thought it was kind of great.

The Poetry Foundation has more on Philip Larkin.


Rebecca Welton on personal progress

May 19, 2023 | Blog

You’re just so convinced that you don’t deserve anything good in your life, that you’d rather eat a bowl of shit soup and then complain about the portions. Get out of your own way, man. Cause this whole “woe is me” thing you’ve got going on is just fucking ponderous.

Rebecca Welton, Ted Lasso – La Locker Room Aux Folles (S03E09)

Good advice all round. And an excellent use of the word ponderous.


Douglas Adams on being skeptical

April 24, 2023 | Blog

Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?

Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Rereading the Guide, and was reminded of this excellent observation.


Pigs can fly!

April 23, 2023 | Blog

Watercolour drawing of a pig driving a futuristic flying vehicle.
Vroom, vroom.

This little piggy is living it’s best life. I’m so jealous.

So the last few weeks have brought many changes. The snow is gone, replaced by rain and a couple of unusually hot days for April, but mostly rain. The trees are budding, the grass is greening. The birds are loudly proclaiming their availability to make more birds, I assume. The union is striking.

We took the kids downtown on Friday evening to see some art at the Ottawa Art Gallery. It is an excellent gallery, and I left full of inspiration. I highly recommend you go, when in town. We followed that up with a bite to eat at the Rideau Centre food court, because apparently I needed a reminder why we never eat at the Rideau Centre food court. Let me never forget that again.

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Easter cat

April 7, 2023 | Blog

Watercolour drawing of a cat wearing Easter bunny ears.
Cluck, cluck.

If you aren’t dressing up your cat for Easter, I don’t know why you have a cat

It’s that time of year again, when I get very anxious for winter to end, and anything else to begin, but winter’s like “Nah, I’m good.”

Hybrid work started last week for my department, which for me means I’ll be commuting to the office on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. But then by some stroke of meteorological good luck, an ice storm happened, which I swear I had nothing to do with (unless my emotions control the weather?), and we were told to work at home on Wednesday. So I guess hybrid work starts next week, unless we get more inclement weather, which seems like a fairly significant loop-hole to hybrid work, if we could figure out how to control it. I’m absolutely not doing an inclement-weather-on-Wednesdays-dance over here, so stop spreading rumours and hand me my rain stick. Cha-cha-cha!

Apparently some folks lost power, especially in Quebec, so that’s not great. But it was nothing like the ice storm of 1998, which Lizzy assures me some internet people are comparing it to. If you were in Ottawa during the 1998 ice storm you wouldn’t be making that comparison, but this is the internet so reality has no place here.

Garden update!

I got off my rump and started some seeds indoors:

  • Jalapeño
  • Bell pepper (mix)
  • Chili pepper
  • Manitoba tomatoes
  • Monster tomatoes
  • Tarragon
  • Kohl rabi (white and purple)
  • Broccoli

Jalapeño seeds are from a pepper bought at a grocery store, so it may not sprout. I’ve had mixed results with growing seeds from store bought peppers, but it’s free and a fun experiment. I think it has to do with the maturity of the seeds, but I’m not entirely sure. Tarragon I’m going to keep inside. First seeds to sprout after only a few days was broccoli. That was a pleasant surprise. Monster tomatoes followed, then Kohl rabi and the Manitoba tomatoes.

So spring has sprung – indoors at least.

Happy Easter, bunnies!

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Future Tense

March 25, 2023 | Comics

Future Tense - thumbnail

It’s a lunchtime emergency!

Just when the crows think lunchtime can’t get any worse, Death tells them a horrifying tale of his future retirement plans.

Read the comic!


Hawaiian penguin

March 23, 2023 | Blog

Watercolour drawing of a penguin in sunglasses and a Hawaiian shirt.
Dress for the job you want.

It’s still winter here, but sunny days are ahead. I mean, probably. After the freezing rain, and 10 cm of snow. This penguin is clearly ready, as are we all.

On the bright side, we found kohlrabi seeds at Walmart of all places, so it will be a season of veggie experimentation after all. The Farmer’s Almanac says the last frost for Ottawa is May 13 this year, so I’ll be starting some seeds inside soon.

The 9 Ways to Draw a Person video from the other day still has me inspired. I have some writing to do, but I want to do some simple animation to go along with it.


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9 Ways To Draw a Person

March 20, 2023 | Blog

Director, artist, and animator Sasha Svirsky’s 9 Ways To Draw a Person rolled through my feed today, and I found it inspiring. Visually and audibly exciting.

With a rhythmic and kinetic style, Svirksy addresses numerous ways to capture a person’s likeness through association, abstraction, and obfuscation. Drawing from the Dada art movement, he mixes abstract and figurative images into ever changing color schemes, designs and animated mediums (photo collage, ink paintings, and computer tablet drawings) in order to address the idea of Art in a spontaneous and imaginative way. 

Svirsky described is as “improvisational animation”, and I think that’s perfect.

More here:


Talk less, listen more

March 19, 2023 | Blog

Author Dan Lyons had a bit on CBS Sunday Morning about talking less and listening more. He explained how social media interactions force over-talking and promote the belief that success is measured by attracting attention. Truly successful and powerful people talk less but with more intent, and listen more.

Watch it here:

It made me think of the old saying:

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.

Maurice Switzer, Mrs. Goose, Her Book

I’m going to shut up now.