Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Dishwasher Door

In salute to Harvey.

This Sunday my 13-year-old piled her camp-bound luggage in the kitchen, and buzzed around like a hummingbird in anticipation of her pick-up. This is her first summer camp experience. I had mixed feelings about it all, of course, but mostly I was happy for her.

I was clearing out the dishwasher. There's a screw on the dishwasher door that I ritually check: if it gets loose, the door unhinges on one side and it's a pain to reattach. This partial stripping is the result of an accident that occurred six or seven years ago, shortly after I installed the dishwasher. It was late in a weekday, and my wife had just got home from work. The girls saw her and started skipping around. My wife came in the door, and my daughter (six-years-old, then) skipped backwards, right onto the open dishwasher door.

The whole damn thing ripped right out of its mounts, right out of the floor, the wall, the counter. There was my daughter with a baffled look on her face, sitting inside a dishwasher rack. I can't remember if I had other frustrations from the day contributing to my reaction, but I was furious. I clenched my teeth and very quietly asked everyone to please please please just go outside. My wife gently collected the girls, and out they went.

I doubt it took any longer than an hour to get everything more or less back where it belonged. I had cooled down a bit, but probably not enough. The dishwasher door was never going to be the same.

Back in the here and now, I was looking at the door and musing over how little I cared about its permanently flawed state. In fact, looking at that door I had a crystal clear vision of my six-year-old girl in her white shirt and blue jean skirt, happily skipping backwards in bare feet, arms waving, thrilled to have her mother back from work. If she hadn't collided with the dishwasher — and if I hadn't taken it so personally — I wouldn't have that lovely vision to meditate on.

It's funny how your mind sometimes works.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Krull-Inspired Desperation

It should surprise no-one if I admit that I was one of the original contributors to the meager box-office pot of 1983's galling sci-fi/fantasy mash-up stinker Krull (i).

Youngsters who have been raised in this golden era of Peter Jackson's Lord Of The Rings and Ron Moore's Battlestar Galactica might find this difficult to believe, but 20 years ago the pickings for fans of either genre were so slim, we happily joined the queue. And when the movie was over, we marched over to the video arcade to play the game -- our desperation was just that great.

Having said that, I don't believe even I would have been so desperate as to willingly give myself away in a Krull Wedding promotional stunt. Unbelievable, but true (via boing-boing).

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Whither Canuckle-head Critical Culture?

André Alexis takes the back pages of The Walrus to bemoan the decline of Canadian Critical Culture here. I'm not altogether sure what I make of the piece, but he's definitely got me meditating on it. Alexis' mention of Stan Persky and Jay Scott reminded me that there was a time, in the late 80s/early 90s, when I saved and savored the Globe's weekend "review" section. I'd almost forgotten how much fun it was to take in those voices, and aspire to similar flights of public persuasion.

Anyhow, when my mulling makes the transition to early vintage, the post will be duly served.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Progress, Continued

When last we glanced at the back yard, it looked like this and this.

This morning it looks like this:

A closer look at the deck:

A closer look at the concrete walk leading to the mud-room:

Alright, that's this week's blog. I apologize for being slow to post, but between getting other things done and attempting family vacations that is unlikely to change for the next week or two. Typically for this time of year there are one or two larger posts on the back-burner. I'll continue stirring and adding ingredients to those dishes. In the meantime, CP is diggin' on Grace Potter (plus a few others).