• [Happy Holidays]

  • [Songs from a Big Place]

    Front cover of Songs from Big Place CD

    As part of a “Secret Santa” project in my research group, we were asked to purchase generic gifts for people. As I’m the only Canadian amongst mostly Mexican and British researchers, I opted to make a Canadian mix collection expressing some things quintessionally Canadian and Ein. The actual CD features an artistically produced booklet on peach banana-fiber paper with original artwork. I’ve included the liner notes accompanying the songs below the list.

    Back cover of Songs from Big Place CD

    1. Ride Forever by Paul Gross on the album Due South
    2. The Last Saskachewan Pirate by The Arrogant Worms on the album Semi-Conducted
    3. River Valley by Moxy Früvous on the album Bargainville
    4. North Country by The Rankin Family on the album Collection
    5. Canadian Railroad Trilogy by Gordon Lightfoot on the album Complete Greatest Hits
    6. Song For A Winter’s Night by Sarah McLachlan on the album Women & Songs: Christmas
    7. Go Go Round by Blue Rodeo on the album Beautiful: A Tribute to Gordon Lightfoot
    8. Go For Soda by Kim Mitchell on the album Oh What A Feeling 2 (Disc 3)
    9. Fly at Night by Chilliwack on the album Greatest Hits
    10. We’re Here For A Good Time (Not A Long Time) by Trooper on the album Oh What A Feeling 2 (Disc 2)
    11. Hina Na Ho (Celebration) by Susan Aglukark on the album This Child
    12. I Can See Clearly Now by Holly Cole Trio on the album Don’t Smoke in Bed
    13. Raised on Robbery by Joni Mitchell on the album Court and Spark
    14. Moorlough Shore by Caroline Lavelle on the album Spirit
    15. Boston and St. John’s by Great Big Sea on the album Road Rage
    16. Water From the Moon by Corey Hart on the album Boy in the Box
    17. Be As by Prozzäk on the album Saturday People
    18. Thin Red Line by Glass Tiger on the album The Thin Red Line
    19. Lovers in a Dangerous Time (remix) by Barenaked Ladies on the album Time 100 – Volume 2 (Disc 2)

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • [Trees in the Toilet]

    Last night I dreamt of toilets, toilets and toilets and it’s all Eingang’s fault.

    Some time back, bemoaning the lack of trees in our neighborhood, we adopted a couple of stray Christmas trees and lured them back to the flat. (They were lost on the street and it was either that or take them to a shelter or, well, firewood.) Luckily they came with their own pots full of dirt.

    These Christmas trees relate to toilets in a way you just don’t want to know. Hang in there.

    One of the trees blossomed under our loving care but the other sadly was losing its lust for life. We thought perhaps it had been affected by salty ocean spray. You see, when I found it, it was taking a not-so-thoughtful sojourn to the sea-side.

    The Ein had a cunning plan. We would wash the tree. Not only would we wash the needles, but we’d, um, wash the dirt and rocks in the pot. And to make the poor distressed tree even happier, we’d kick his brother out of his nice pot where he was happily thriving and trade pots.

    “You’ll kill both trees and plug up our septic system,” I pointed out. I had my doubts about the ‘cunning’ in the cunning plan.

    “Maybe everything will be OK, ” she beamed, “and we’ll have lovely, lush trees!”


    Well, we washed the tree, the pot, the roots. Despite our best intentions most of the dirt and crap seemed to disappear out of the tub. And now the toilet makes funny noises every time we flush.
    You see, our toilet, being a late installation doesn’t flush down. It flushes up. A little pump valiantly lifts all the water and stuff over the wall. Normally it goes “whirrr whirrr whirrrr” combined with a satisfying “grump grump grump” of stuff being pushed up and over.
    Recently it started going “whirrr whirrr whirrr” with not so satisfying addition of more “whirrr whirrr whirrr” followed usually by “whirrr whirrr whirrr”

    Whirrr Whirrr
    Whirrr Whirrr Whirrr
    Whirrr Whirrr Whirrr Whirrr
    Whirrr Whirr
    Whirrr Whirrr Whirrr
    Whirrr Whirr Whirrr Whirrr Whirrr Whirrr
    Whirrr Whirr Whirrr Whirr
    Whirrr Whirrr
    Whirrr Whirrr Whirrr Whirr Whirr Whirr Whirr Whirr

    “Perhaps we could suggest to the landlord that the pump isn’t working so well anymore”, Michelle suggested last night.

    The last tenants who did this had the pump taken apart and it was found to be clogged with several hundred condoms! We’re not quite certain how he explained this. “Condoms? I have no idea how all those condoms got there! What kind of guy would flush a condom?”

    I have visions of the pump being opened up and us having to explain how it came to be covered in pine needles.

    “Maybe it wouldn’t be covered in pine needles,” Michelle suggested optimistically, “Maybe it’s covered in rocks!”

    “Pine needles and rocks?, ” we would say, “in our pump? No we haven’t been flushing dirt and rocks down our toilet. Of course not. What kind of idiot puts dirt and rocks in the toilet. And we, of course, haven’t been washing Christmas trees or anything like that in the toilet. That’s just silly. They would go round and around when you flushed.”

    Of course, if they asked us if we were dumping rocks and needles down our bathtub we’d have to ‘fess up and it would be the end for the adventuring S&M.

    The dream? Oh, of course. After a conversation about this right before bed I proceeded to spend the night dreaming about an airplane flight where each window seat had its own toilet conveniently placed at about elbow height into the wall. The toilets were used as a kind of messaging and transportation system. You shoved an object into the back of the toilet next to your seat (at convenient elbow height) and it would be magically transported to one of the other toilets for retrieval. A very classy airline.

    I was debugging Michelle’s toilet and was having trouble getting the Hot Wheels car suitably in the back of the toilet. It was clogged with thick mud, rocks and shit. So to speak. As I was up to my elbow into the muck, trying to place my Hot Wheels car, it occurred to me this transportation system may not be too popular with the ladies. Just another crappy airline.