Diocletian in Edmonton

This is an account of my days and ways, of my life here in Edmonton.

Friday, June 17, 2005


Fancy title, eh?

Anyway, I didn't get the job. My friend Des is back and has had a wonderful three weeks, even meeting folks like Noam Chomsky and Michael Albert (a very nice man apparently, though I still think that Parecon is dreadful). She'll bring a lot of information and stories back with her. She's also met a man she loves, and also had many happy love affairs (she is quite openly polyamorous) while away. It's good to see that life has been good to her. I am envious.

I'm not in a garrulous mood right now.

I'll post something that I wrote for an acquaintance though, a couple days ago. You'll probably find it a bit dull. It's my 'blog, though, and I thought it was funny. It's good exercise for me in any event.

The horror of that day I shan't soon forget. I felt odd and out of sorts for most of today. Work went well, but I still felt weird. Even my nap didn't make me feel better. Myexistential quandaries, my long dark tea time of the human heart, myown little death (and not in the French sense) of the soul.

All right, I exaggerate and I digress. I pour forth a pitcher of saltwater when, in truth, a damp eye and a half sigh might suffice. I am the man-queen of drama and hyperbolic excess.

Anyway, after my nap I shuffled over to my machine. I had things to do. It made me feel sad. I was screwed, thought I.I was informed that, while napping, a chequehad been left for me. I still felt sad. So I wrote an announcement, felt better. I went and medicated myself with food (ice cream). I felt even better. I put on Alanis Morrissette's third CD (not counting her short teen career as Alanis) and set to workcatching up on the emails that I needed to send, the articles that Ineed to write, and making necessary telephone calls. Me and Alanisgot a lot done, let me tell you. Alanis made me feel so happy,Jessie. It was like having... Well anyway, I felt a lot better.

The sun was also coming out. Everything started seeming brighter.Alanis even got kind of cheerful, as the CD progressed. So the CD ended (so sad!), and I polished off the article. It was around quarter to 8pm.

I went for a walk to Saskatchewan Drive, to amble along the edge ofthe River Valley. The sun was streaming. It was illuminating thetrees. I stopped periodically to smell the odd lilac bush that wasstill flowering. I wandered over to my favourite place to sit andtake in the view, and ponder my life. I thought about a lot ofthings, mulled them over. I thought about you. I heard a dog andowner walking toward me. I kind of felt annoyed. I like dogs, but I didn't want to be distracted. So, as I turn my head to see the sourceof my interruption, it was Raj Pannu and his miniature poodle. I said a rather subdued hello, he responded in kind, peering over the wooden railing. I got up and peered over the railing too, kind of hopingthat he'd leave, since I didn't know what to say. He didn't seem toknow either. It must be hard, seeing a big name like me on a random stroll. KQM always wants me to sign something, for her partner. Des and Nick always do the same thing, and my housemates. It's embarrassing. I'm sure you know what I mean, too, since you probably get that as well, gentle reader.

Or maybe Raj thought that I was Matthew Broderick, wearing a beard like.

Anyway, I gave up waiting, and walked past him. His dog followed afew feet, said hi to me and I petted it. It was a dirt under the fingernails poodle. Pannu may be a manicured man, but his dog tellsme he's a working class guy at heart. Raj continued looking stoicallyinto the Valley. I grinned, and left.

So onward my walk went. I stopped and picked a daisy, twirling it in my hands. I felt guilty, because it's a living thing, and very beautiful.

I walked to the other side of the bridge, then turned around andwalked back. It was then that I met...


Goliath was a fine fellow, a pit bull off his leash. He decided tovisit me. He had a big waggeldy tail, and was oscillating between saying hi and growling at me. Deciding that of valour discretion is the better part, I hung back from him. Tail still wagging, he growled more. His owners came on the scene, calling for him. He bounded off. He was having a great time, and nobody was putting him back on the leash. He ran up to someone else and said hello. This guy was probably more scared than I was (he hid his hands in his shirt), but he ran up sniffed him and then ran back, eluding his owners. He ran up to me again, more friendly. I put out my hand and he ran up to it,sniffed me, and licked my hand. When I offered to pet him, he ran away.

Eventually, the owners convinced him to come, and got him back on the leash. They apologized but, really, it was no problem.

I do have strong feelings about keeping dogs like pit bulls on a leashat all times (they're often nice dogs, but they have powerful jaws),and even muzzling them in public, but he was a friendly dog.

So that was the end of my encounter with Goliath. I almost got lostfinding the staircase again, but came back up, walking along and stopping periodically to look at new ways the landscape was being transformed by light.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Empress of the World...

...as in Fortune, for all you folks who didn't know: Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi. Fortune Empress of the World.

Anyway, how have I been, O gentle readers? I have been all right, I suppose.

That fellow who robbed me has been sentenced to a long spell in a juvenile correction facility. It isn't exactly what I would like to see, but the parole official who called me mentioned that he had committed similar robberies a number of times before, and that other times he has been given non-jail sentences that he's only skipped out on.

Work's been getting me down periodically. Perhaps I'm too soft hearted to be a survey machine? Perhaps I'm not as glib as I could be? Perhaps I don't believe in the Statscan mission fervently enough to pass on its urgency to the misfortunate farmers and ranchers whom I'm usually calling?

I've applied to a position at an organisation that I've volunteered at for a number of years. It would be a good way out to something better, except that a Certain Person, who shall remain nameless, is trying to deepsix it in favour of someone else. I just hate being screwed because of a stupid old boys'/girls' club. That organisation in particular is very bad for that, in spite of any good qualities that it may have.

(the above was a large rant, but I have to be careful who sees what, so it was heavily re-edited. Ask me if you want more details/a rant.)

In other matters of my life... My housemates seem well, as do my parents and my sister's family. I have been drawn into a couple of other, rather personal, concerns, which have led to me putting some of my IWW and co-op stuff on the back burner.

Romatically, there have been a lot of... things. I don't know where things are going, really, since I don't really know where the other person wants to go, and I don't think that she necessarily knows. All I can say is that the heart is a multi-chambered organ. I don't want to push too hard, because she's got a lot to adjust to, coming back to Canada, and I think that she's got some concerns, too (and maybe she's just that into me?). On the other hand, I don't want to seem too uninterested, either. On the bright side, I will be able to meet this person soon, Fortune willing. That's very exciting. I pray the anticipation will be worth it, but I'm also quite apprehensive.

I really hope that her trip home goes well.

Ah, and I've taken walks. One walk in particular:

In a meditative mood I trudged along, following my nose. I felt melancholy that evening, and wanted to somehow cheer myself up. I wantedsome new thing, some new beauty. The evening, with the world slowlyturning orange and pink, perfumed by the heavy scent of lilac, seemed a surfeit of beauty, but I didn't need too much, I needed way too much.

Feeling the dampness of evening on the air, I went south instead of myusual north. I turned west. Critically, I chose not to loop north again but meander south instead, and...I encountered a whole new world, a whole area of the river valley which I had not yet visited. I crossed the road, strode along the grass, and came upon the edge of the valley, which was so steep that it seemed like a cliff. The trees had been cleared away for a short space, and it reminded me of the toboggan hills when I was a kid. I walked along the edge of thevalley further, enjoying other views, and came across a staircase leading down. Out of curiosity (there are lots such in Edmonton, of course), I descended. It seemed a more woody area of the Valley, and I liked it. It seemed thick and really intense. One could smell the forest, I wandered up close to the river....The staircase went down a long way. I looked around for a bit, then cameback up. It felt like the walk up was infinite, that I had descended from and was now returning to a different world.

An old guy on motorblades whizzed past the bicycle path when I got up, assuring me that there was lots of room.I went back north, and stumbled across the loveliest park bench overlooking the valley. There are lots of such park benches in Edmonton, but this seemed special. It was a bit more secluded, and the way the waning sunlight coloured the bridge it overlooked, and the trees, was wonderful. It looked out over a lot of trees and growth. I almost forgot that I was at the edge of a city. I felt at home somehow. I pondered alot of things in my life, mulling over my future, my past. I felt melancholy and elated at the same time.The sun was turning the bridge pink, the river purple. I wanted to stay longer, but I had to get up for work (and to call someone) and besides it was getting dark. The bench was dedicated to a young man by his family who died at an early age. There were lots of dogs being walked that evening, mostly big dogs, but some small ones too.

It was a beautiful night.

Over and out, fellow cybernauts!