08/01 Direct Link

Hey, kids! Here's a trick that will amaze your friends!

Equipment: A can of soda, a black top hat, and a magician's wand.

Preparation: Carefully cut a small hole at the bottom of an unopened soda can, then tape up the hole.

Execution: Tell your audience you will be changing the soda in the can (show) into a white rabbit. Secretly pull the tape off and drain the soda into the hat, and crumple up the can. (This, friends, is called, "Misdirection.")

Wave the wand over the hat, and transform the soda into a rabbit!

Then eat the rabbit!
08/02 Direct Link


Walkers Cove Road
Ceilidh Trail
Maximum 90
Ocean Frontage
Cristy's Look-off
Take my hand ... not my life - STRAIT AREA RIGHT TO LIFE
Chisolms Coastal Cottages
Mother Webb's Awesome Food
08/03 Direct Link

Well, I'm an old man now, in this now that spreads from the hills to the valleys to my apartment to my aged weedy body. I can see things distant, and my mind says, "Go there," but my legs, arms, back, say, "You never will."

I have to use both hands, fingertips and thumbtips touching, just to drink a goddam cup of goddam water.

What I wouldn't do to be able to smash a glass tabletop to shards using my bare fists and get blood all over the place just like I used to do in my middle age!
08/04 Direct Link

I woke up this morning with a strange stiffness in my neck. I simply could not move it. It was absolutely stuck. I wanted to rub it, but, oddly, my hand wouldn't move, not one bit. What was wrong with it? I wanted to look at my hand, but I just could not open my eyes. Something was very wrong here. I wanted to call Mary, but I couldn't utter a word. Then I realized I wasn't breathing. My lungs were still.

And I said to myself, "Is this death, or just a story about death?"
08/05 Direct Link
I have a great idea for a new children's breakfast cereal. It'll be called Fiddleheads. Fiddleheads are the extremely cute green uncurled fronds of young ferns. They resemble the scroll at the top of a fiddle. They're cute, they're babies themselves, and they'll appeal to kids. Plus they'll appeal to certain parents and teachers, to whom they will signify naturalism, environmentalism, and a respect for the great outdoors. I myself remember hunting for fiddleheads with my grandmother in New Brunswick.... Of course, they'll be mostly starch and sugar, with a dollop of chocolate flavouring and a hint of 'natural' mint.
08/06 Direct Link
"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to God, who is unseen. Then God, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

Oops. Years ago I zealously decided that I should pray so secretly, even God would be unaware that it was happening.

I guess it's back to the drawing board.
08/07 Direct Link
I thought it was all a myth.

I was walking up to the pizza place, which meant I had to walk by the park. There they were, six of them, participating in some kind of outdoor callisthenics programme. They bent down, they touched their toes, left left right right, several times over. Then they did some jumping jacks, counting to ten, and then ... and then ... and then I saw it, they did it. I didn't believe it until this very day, truly not more than five hours ago, today, the seventh of August 2007.

Girls run like girls.
08/08 Direct Link
So now you're gone and I don't know if we'll ever meet again, that's not exactly newsy,
But there's ssomething I want you to know right now, ssorry, I'm a bit boozy,
That though I'm no Romeo, I don't have a big car, an average bank account, or even a small jacuzzi,
I want you to know I don't say the following to just anyone, I'm surprisingly choosy,
But I'd really like more than much (hoping you don't answer back with a "Scusi?")
To run into you one night in a bar when both of us are feeling rather floozy.
08/09 Direct Link
I'm beginning to notice that there's a fatal flaw to this autobiography. I can easily put in all sorts of stuff that's not exactly true. It's really easy. But, it's a terribly one-sided form of false truth, isn't it? I mean, I would love to include the things other people think of me, you know, the false lies. After all, who am I to say which of the things I say are true and which are not? I don't know myself. The most perfect autobiography would be one in which all the lies--all the lies--about oneself were told.
08/10 Direct Link

To Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom, Canada and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, I here dedicate these scribblings offensive and inoffensive, controversial and noncontroversial, actionable and nonactionable, central and peripheral, hoping this dedication does not belittle Her Majesty, nor throw into doubt her August nature, nor make her regret ever getting involved in these few acres of snow, with these hands, this computer, this keyboard, this country,
I am ever in your debt and I am
Your humble servant,
John Adam Skaife,
08/11 Direct Link

Three days ago, I wrote a poem. It was somewhat inspired by a woman who was leaving where I work to go go work at an ad agency. Got that?

Today--Saturday--I went into work after my off-shifted weekend. She had left behind a card. It read:

"Dear Brian, Arthur, Bob, Silvia, Matt, Jeff, Cheryl, Kathryn, Trevor, Steve, Alex, Greg, Ally, Geoffrey, Susan and of course my fave preggers lady Sue!"

Good God! She mentioned everyone; everyone except me! She even correctly spelled Silvia and Kathryn!

It's a good thing poetry has nothing to do with the truth!
08/12 Direct Link
Of course, there were disagreements, slight, for the most part, between the people who lived in our shared house; I mean, who could live in such close quarters most of the time and not get a bit tense at certain times? In any case, for the most part we mostly got along, you hear? for the most part we mostly got along. Most of the disputes, anyway, centred around the kitchen, which dissipated the anger a lot; I mean, arguing about the kitchen? But then someone got a hold of a bomb and blew most of us six billion up.
08/13 Direct Link

I never truly knew the meaning of love,
Never knew the diff'rence 'tween "I will" and "I wanna"
Never knew the speech of the stars above
Until I gave birth to a baby iguana

The doctor, he said, "You really should kill it,
There's laws against such things in this town of Toronto,"
But I smiled and said, "This baby boy's mine,
This extra-special extra-special baby boy iguana."

And why are we so happy now?
So why are we so happy now?

We're so happy now
Living in a sauna
Cuddlin' and cooin'
Me and my iguana
08/14 Direct Link
A Literary Studies course I took was taught by someone from Women's Studies. There were not many men in the course.

Final essay. One woman talks about how she's going to relate Oroonoco to the time she was raped. She said it had to do with the letter O.

I thought of Yolanda, and said, "You've been raped?"

She said, "Yes."

"Whaddaya know, me too!"

"You've been raped?"

"Yeah. Her name was Yolanda."

"It's not the same thing. She forced you to...."

After a moment I said, "Naturally, it was with a kitchen knife. The handle, in case you're wondering."
08/15 Direct Link
Omigod I can't believe how absolutely perverse I acted! There's this totally hot guy in my department? and he was going off on vacation? and he stopped by my desk this aft and said stuff about being away for two weeks and so on, and he, like, put out his hand, y'know? like for a handshake? An' you know what I did? (I'm so disgusted with myself!) I ... shook ... his ... hand. Can you believe it? Isn't that, like, totally gross? God, what am I gonna say when he gets back? How am I gonna apologise? Like, how?
08/16 Direct Link
Buzz, buzz. Man, look at all these pretty flowers! What am I to do? They're all so delectable, so yummylooking, one and all! Check out the prim petunia, she needs it, I can tell.... Peonies, begonias, amaryllises! Oh, and snapdragons! It's a regular florist's out here! Do I dare to brush a rose, am I bee enough for a rose? No, maybe not. Oh look, there's a hot little marygold.... I'll sneak up on her.... Surprise her....

"Bug off, creep!"

Hey, bitch, if you warn't lookin' for a bee like me, then wuzzup wit' all the fuckin' pink and powder?
08/17 Direct Link
Instead of handing out money to beggars, I'm giving out postcards (pre-stamped) addressed to Ontario reading thus:

Dear province,
I am a beggar, maybe homeless, living on the streets of Toronto. I wish I could be something more, but I'm not. However, one of your employers, John Skaife, gave me this card to mail in lieu of a contribution to my wellbeing. If John was not so provincially taxed, he could have given me money liberally. However, since a great fraction of his income goes to bureaucrats, he can give me nothing.

And here the beggar writes his name.
08/18 Direct Link

"Man, another day, another ten ton stone."

"I hear you."

"They never let up."

"Their desires are not our desires."



"Are they trying to kill us?"

"Not really. They just want to get the most out of us for the lowest price."

"I cost the Pharoah seven copper coins."

"Well, aren't we special."

"Don't be my enemy."


"We've gotta stick together."


"Oh well. All this labour that's being piled onto us, you know, it makes me feel like a bottom-ring worker for an MSM corporation in the early 21st century."
08/19 Direct Link
I was walking down the street and a silver car passed me. A silver car. I said to myself, "Jesus, what's the world all about, and what's it coming to? People driving around in silver cars, of all things! Whatever happened to shame, whatever happened to hiding your virtue under a bush? Nowadays, everyone's showing off, showing off, showing off, making spectacles of themselves, really. Maybe radio and television are to blame. Everybody's speaking the same dialect, the dialect of money. Ahh, I just don't understand anything any more. I mean, what's next? A gold car?"

And so it was.
08/20 Direct Link
I've got an idea.

Why don't we all celebrate deathdays as well as birthdays?

I know, I know: How is anyone supposed to annually celebrate a day that hasn't come yet?

Well, of course you can't be accurate about it. I think that the day half a year after a birthday should be celebrate as a deathday. The symmetry and symbolism is especially appealing. Sun, Moon, Day, Night, Summer, Winter, White, Black. It all fits together like that, see?

A deathday would be celebrated exactly like a birthday. Same presents, same parties, and same relatives.

Oh, wait. I hate birthdays.
08/21 Direct Link
Hi, can I have a moment of your time, can you spare a moment? Yeah, I'm looking for a donation, yes, but there's more to it than that, more to it than that; you see, I'm in an organization, and we're dedicated to ending pain.... Yes.... Yes, all pain, all pain everywhere.... Yeah, thanks, it's a good sign, under the Universal No I like how the nail isn't quite in contact with the hand.... Don't you want, don't you want to tell your grandchildren that you.... It's strange, yes, but, hopfully, we're raising awareness.

08/22 Direct Link
You can dance
You can dive
Having the time of your life
See that girl
Watch that scene
On a submarine

D-day morn and the lights are low
Boogie down that English sho'
Where they play the Jew music, list'ning to the Swing
Let's surface and look for the King
Anybody could be that guy
Morning's here on the Dover shore
Lyrics high and the music's high
Beep the sonar beepin', Englishmen we'll find
You in the mood for dance?
Nautic, take the chance

Dancing queen
Diving queen
Dancing queen

You are a dancing queen
Only seventeen
On a submarine
08/23 Direct Link
BOB, sitar in hand, goes down into the basement. Someone is down there, drowning kittens.

BOB: David Suzuki?

SUZUKI: Hi, Bob!

BOB: Why are you drowning my kittens?

SUZUKI: Did you know that the average housecat contributes forty tons of greenhouse gases through its entire lifespan?

BOB: I didn't know that.

SUZUKI: And then there's the methane.

BOB sniffs.

SUZUKI: No worries, Bob.

BOB: (enlightened) So with each lifeform I exterminate...

SUZUKI: The better you save the planet!

MONTAGE of Bob shooting his wife in the face, shooting his children in the face.

08/24 Direct Link
Hello? Is this nine one one? Oh how silly, of course it is, how silly of me. Tell me, can you send an ambulance, is that possible? My husband--oh, I'm always caught up on that, because we're not married, but, oh.... we're quite dedicated to one another.... Stop, let me speak.... We've not been married but we're close to it, does that matter? Oh, yes, we're at the Bala Hy cottages, I think we're in the Ivy Cottage, though I'm not sure right now... in Bala.... Please come soon; bacause he had suffered, or is suffering, a heart attack.
08/25 Direct Link

A place must have co-ordinates.

For it must have been bt co-ordination (or divination?) that the ducks found us.

Two of them, eating grasses in the shallows between the rocks.

One stands on the rock. It has deep purple bands under its wings.

Both are in the water again.

And there goes a heron, fwooshing by, wingspan something over three feet.

Only one duck in sight now....

Heading away....

Nearly out of sight....

Oh! when one disappeared, the other re-appeared!

Following the other one....

And now both are gone, following a new set of co-ordinates....

Goodbye, you two ducks!
08/26 Direct Link

Somewhere around holiday_1, Mary and I found a plaque in a park near Niagara Falls. The plaque was dedicated to the memory of Nicolai Testa. He had some doings with the hydroelectricity generated above the falls.

Just before holiday_4, I started reading Against the Day. One page 102, Dr. Tesla says, "In the office."

Now, here, now and here, we are in Bala, Ontario. I bought some beer yesterday, a beer I'd never heard of before, called James Ready. This morning I looked at one of the cans.

Made in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Ghosts build their presences via signification.
08/27 Direct Link


Two years ago I heard of it: from whom, I'm not sure:

"There is another lake, past the lake."

I looked on MapQuest some time ago. There it was: south of Long Lake, a lake called Bear Lake.

Canoe down to the southwest point of Long Lake. There's a tiny creek there, and someone left a life preserver to mark the spot.

There's a path, sometimes obscured, going to Bear Lake. The path leads out onto a cape.

No-one's there. No cottages. Nothing.

Strip naked and swim.

I'm going to go masturbate now, thinking of you swimming naked.
08/28 Direct Link

Overnight, a water lily bloomed.

It wasn't there yesterday; at least, I don't think so.

They have a lot of petals, those water lilies.

It's a hot day. The papers said there was going to be rain, but there hasn't been any since Saturday.

The club soda is tepid. It's been out in the sun, but, still, ah, it's still refreshing.

The water's starting to dry out. In a couple months it'll be completely dry. Some people will call it "ice."

There's a nice breeze coming in off the lake.

Water lily,

The Bala Bay Inn's gone downhill foodwise.
08/29 Direct Link


staying in one place is the best place to stay.

Blue, green, brown, stone, white, sock-puce.

first beer of the day.

That duck just refuses to quit quacking!

When will the next ice age be, where will it be?

Look, a good-looking dragonfly. Get a good look.

A woman carrying a white bowl and a metal spoon just passed me by.

Dan and Shawn are in the cottage next door. They're from Aurora.

I like my iPod. There are 2549 songs on it. Wow!

Now playing: Hangar 84, System 7.

2549, 84, 7.
08/30 Direct Link

David Smookler and I have come up with a new coinage: nerdcore.

It means exactly what you think it means: the most nerdy stuff possible.

In literature, I think it's safe to say that Thomas Pynchon novels are nerdcore.

I'd consider the refurbishment of Atari systems circa Asteroids--and Asteroids in general--nerdcore.

As for television, a love for The Prisoner is nerdcore.

Peter Greenaway films, especially The Falls, is certainly nerdcore.

I'm glad I don't have access to the internet right now; otherwise I'd find it already used in a hundred thousand ways.

P.S.: It's used 1,830,000 times.
08/31 Direct Link

1. Rick, Nick and Jim together.

Rick: It's a good idea, it fleshes out her character.

Nick: 'Twould play well overseas.

Jim: But why 80?

2. Same.

Rick: Our inter-title gimmick!

Nick: It's its own vignette. Godard etc.

Jim: Cool! What's the inter-title?

3. Ginny's peeking through the door.

Rick: 'Around the World, 80 Men In.'

Nick: Genius, man. Multiracial cast, natch.

Jim: You know, that Ginny, after she does this scene, she'll be the talk of Sundance!

4. Ginny's in. The three are alarmed. There are exclamation marks over their heads.

Rick: It fits your character!