Les Semaines


what I'm thinking and doing § what I'm listening to § what I'm reading
what I'm writing § retrospective: The Phonosnout


The Rules and Regulations of the Furry Mouse Toss

It has been a bad week and work ate my brain. Truly. I came home and was a complete vegetable, barely able to remember to rouse myself enough to wander downstairs to bed when the time was right. Now I remember how I dread Orientation so much. And next week is the first week of classes. Nearly as dreadful. Maybe more so. I'll let you know how they compare next week.

And then I came across this slipped in our mailbox in an envelope of significantly official appearance:

The Rules and Regulations of the Furry Mouse Toss

An anonymous complaint has brought to our attention the fact that members of your household are not following the correct procedures with regard to the Furry Mouse Toss.

Furry Mouse Tossing is not an activity to be undertaken lightly; humans must have adequate training in this regard and must promise faithfully to offer the task the proper attention and devotion.

Furthermore, the following rules must be strictly adhered to:

I. Supply of Furry Mice

  • The Furry Mouse Drawer must be kept well-stocked at all times, and there must be no delay due to unopened packages for fresh Mice. When a fresh mouse is required, it is required immediately.
  • The Furry Mouse Drawer must not be opened without intent; therefore it is best not to store anything but Furry Mice in The Furry Mouse Drawer.
  • Gray and white mice are preferred to two-tone black and white mice; versimiltude rules. The two-tone black and white mice will only do in lieu of other mice, as better a duotone Furry Mouse than no Furry Mouse at all.
  • Oversized mice are excellent toys but are not to be confused with those Mice devoted to the Furry Mouse Toss. Do not forget this. Any tossing of oversized mice may spark initial interest but will be treated with disdain. As will tossing of other Furry things. Or other non-Furry things. Don't waste our time.
  • Locating Furry Mice is an important part of the Furry Mouse toss. You never know where they might be lurking. Remember frequently to:
    • search under and in couches and bookcases,
    • in corners,
    • under appliances,
    • in shoes,
    • in all closets,
    • in every room.
  • If the Furry Mouse chaser alerts you to the presence of a Furry Mouse under, in, behind, on top of any place she cannot reach, you must instantly retrieve the Mouse indicated. Do not doubt the Mouse's presence and above all Do Not Make the Furry Mouse chaser wait! Her patience is impressive but must not be abused.
  • Be always alert, for Furry Mice are crafty and devious of hiding place, lurking everywhere, attempting to stay beyond the reach of the chaser of Furry Mice; you are responsible for their recovery. Pay attention!
II. Attention to Furry Mice
  • A Furry Mouse being tossed by the chaser of Furry mice must Not Be Touched, for you never know if you are interfering with an athletic event or the just punishment for the evil deeds of a Furry Mouse. Remember, you are not wise enough to judge these situations.
  • Always bow to the wisdow of the Furry Mouse Chaser.
  • A Furry Mouse deposited near you must never go untossed.
  • Furry Mice are a top priority item and must never be ignored.
  • Furry Mice may try to blend in with the carpet. That doesn't mean They Aren't There.
  • Pay attention! There's a Furry Mouse at your feet!
III. Lifting of Furry Mice
  • Furry Mice may be lifted in any manner: by hand, foot, teeth, or paw
  • We prefer that you lift Furry Mice either:
    • Damn Quickly; or
    • Slowly with Great Ceremony.
  • Decide how you are lifting before you lift One! Do not change your mind mid-lift.
  • The tail is the useful handle, but the Furry body will suffice.
IV. Tossing of Furry Mice
  • Never toss more than one Furry Mouse at a time; only the foolish think that if one is good two is better.
  • Furry Mice must be tossed with significant vigour, be ye not languorous of toss.
  • It is preferable that Furry Mice be tossed with a charming arc or a deliberate straight speed.
  • Furry Mice must be tossed a reasonable distance; a short toss will be considered a foul, and you must give the Furry Mouse a penalty toss.
  • Bank shots are welcome.
  • Be sure to consider the ricochet angle and its impact.
  • Ricocheting the mouse downstairs or along the hallway into another room is an admirable toss and will be appreciated.
  • Do not even in play toss the Furry Mouse at the unappreciative non-Furry-Mouse-chaser cat. The appreciative Furry-Mouse-chasing cat will not appreciate that and you will suffer the consequences.
  • Furry Mouse tossed over furniture are appreciated as it gives the chaser of Furry Mice the challenge of running over or past the furniture obstacle, giving added spice to the chase.
  • Never throw an unwatched Furry Mouse. Furry Mice must be watched at all times due to their devious natures.
If the regulations contained hereabove are not followed forthwith in an adequate manner you will be penalized appropriately. Do not ask for details--you do not want to know. This is your first and only warning.


          Felines Concerned About Correct Tossing of Furry Mice (FCACTOFM)

So if you'll excuse me, I'm about to pay attention to the Furry Mouse at my feet. Unless of course, I am the Furry Mouse. Sometimes you toss the Furry Mouse and sometimes the Furry Mouse tosses you.

last week's thinking and doing § next week's thinking and doing


New discs by Thea Gilmore, The Lipstick Conspiracies, Kathryn Williams, Little Black Numbers, and Bellatrix, It's all true.

The Lipstick Conspiracies reminds me very much of Thea Gilmore's first album that I also quite liked, Burning Dorothy. They're very in the angry woman contemporary folk mode that so many artists are working in now, but there's something fresh about Thea Gilmore that I really like. It's the combination: her tunes and lyrics and her voice are strong and she manages to make them edgy without being strident. A breath of fresh air.

Little Black Numbers is a wispy collection of jazz-touched folk/pop songs with hints of Stina Nordenstam and Beth Orton. So far I quite like it, though I'm not often in the mood for something quite so quiet, and quiet things don't always catch me but this does. I think because of the nice production touches. Definitely a disc I need to know better.

It's all true is a disappointment, a confirmation of what the recent ep and singles were warning me: that Bellatrix has smoothed their wild edges and gone mainstream. Alas! No more wild shrieking, horrendously loud guitars, weird vocalizations and strange song structures. Now were are pop. Sigh.

last week's listening § next week's listening


David Almond's young adult novel, Kit's Wilderness, is a wonderful, bright/dark magical tale, reminiscent of two of my favourite authors, Alan Garner and William Mayne. This is the tale of a boy whose family has returned to his ancestral home to look after his dying grandfather. There he finds a group of students, led by an odd boy, are playing a game of Death that Kit finds strangely compelling. He's torn between the odd boy and a delightful good-bad girl, and haunted by the Game of Death, and the abandoned coal pits that surround and undermine the town. I really liked this.

Thomas Green's A Witness To Life is the story of a dying man as he looks back on his life and the mistakes me made in it. He was Irish, and the child of immigrants in early twentieth-century Toronto, at a time when opportunities for the Irish were limited. His greatest regret is related to his abandonment of his teenage children shortly after his first wife dies, but his story goes back and relates his youth, his marriage, his wife's death, and the subsequent events, painting a clear picture of what life was like in those days for those of his socio-economic level. A pleasant and quick read which I found interesting but not compelling.

Welcome to Temptation is Jennifer Crusie's latest novel, and it is very like her other two (commented on in my September 3rd entry. A charming and quick read--almost a guilty pleasure, it was exactly the right thing for me in the midst of my exhausting work week. It took me right out of myself into the lives of a young woman, Sophie [heh]. She and her sister (and her brother, who shows up later) are the youngest generation in a family of con artists. She and her sister made a legitimate living videotaping weddings, but now her younger sister has brought her into the conservation Ohio town of Temptation to videotape a movie of an actress trying to jumpstart a comeback. Worrying about the effects of all this, and his attraction to Sophie, is the town's young mayor, the most recent in a line of Temptation mayors and trying to deal with the small town politics of his political rival. Really, it was fun, though I probably read it a little to close in time to the previous two to fully enjoy it.

I liked Isobelle Carmody's The Farseekers better than its predecessor, Obernewtyn (commented on in my November 7th, 1999 entry) which I had found a little thin. Maybe because I was familiar with the story and characters, or maybe I simply found the plot a little more interesting, but I enjoyed The Farseekers. Warning: Here be spoilers for the first book. In this the heroine of the previous book must lead an expedition out of into the world that despises all her kind, the Misfits, little knowing the power that they have. I found her expedition interesting in itself, I like that the Misfits have created a little outpost of sanity in their crazy post-apocalyptic world, and that not all the people in the world are against them. This seems much less black and white than the first volume.

last week's reading § next week's reading


Well, so much for not letting work get in the way of writing. This was a horrendous week at work and I didn't do more than open the current chapter and look at it. Work took everything out of me this week. Ugh.

I even skipped a poetry workshop because I was so exhausted and I hadn't finished the longish poem I've been working on.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: The Phonosnout

About the Phonosnout

October 1977

862. So nice

Paul came over last night to ask for prayer about a situation. He's getting older and the Lord is doing very good things in his life. It's kind of exciting, good that we are now friends after a lot of hate and pain. Thank you, Lord, for sending him when i needed him and oh i needed something so badly. A kick in the pants is what i needed most. Beginning to talk again, getting ready to walk. Tired of too much wandering, dreaming around, falling in and out of love.

863. Mixup Mix-up

[Quotes from two different sappy Christian rock songs omitted.] Tim's wedding last weekend--Vancouver this weekend. Running away (from who? from someone). Going to see Brenda [1]. It will be nice. I might stay (I'm wood [crazy]). Reading too much Chaucer--yreadde [read].

864. Chaucer

Yes, I am redding too much Chaucer. Couplets in Prologue, Wife of Bath's tale, Pardoner's tale, Miller's Tale. A bit risqué, mind now. Gross, if you must say (i must). Rowdy. Very like today (the times, i mean, not today. I just woke up. On the same day that hit me.) Boy, i get off-track. Chaucer.

865. I could run

I could run. I could go and not come back. (That could be nice!) Vancouver would be a good chance. (I'm too much of a Jam Tart.) Yes, yes i am, i am a jam. Oh well, my mind runs in poetry, it works in song, I can't think without line breaks. (Not punctuation, line breaks, Y'got it? Prob'ly not.)
Oh well.

866. Writing what where

Why do i write Phono in Psychology?
Why do i write letters in Sociology?
Why do i write poetry (well, excuses for poetry) in my room?
Why do i write essays in the library?

867. Not interesting questions

Those are not the most interesting questions in the world. Mind you, i've hit very few interesting questions lately. Yes, i've got one--how does J. Michael Yates get the interjections in italics to fit into his poems so beautifully? I want to learn that. I need my italics to work (they don't, they don't!) Which poem am i going to ready for tomorrow?

868. Run out

I wonder if i'll ever run out of titles. I wonder how many times i've repeated titles. (I could excuse myself with a whimper.) Harold told me about his summer morning whimpering and his night whimpering. I've never been that tired but there are moments when i think i run a close second (garbage, miles away). What was i talking about? Oh yes, titles. I must be in a Phono-babbling mood.

869. Selfhood

constant presence of body. Yes, wherever i go, there goes Phono. I don't believe in astral projection, i.e., me going somewhere without Phono. Even if i don't have the book with me, there is Phono, watching, waiting. G.G. (Good Grief.)

870. Vancouver ho!

Terrific Weekend. Went to a different place, V.S.T. [2] with brenda, row dying around. Went to a dance, a party, a dinner, shopping, pizza, talks in her room. Had fun. I like rowdying around. It's very nice, very enjoyable. Rah! Vancouver ho!

871. Mundane Mourning

It's mundane mourning. (da da, dada dada.) Here i am, awake (well, relatively). Let's all run away! (Nothing better to do.)
Hi, Cliff
Gôd Morgan B.P. Welcome to the B.L. Club. Let's not run, let's just get bored.
We already are!


1. I had met Brenda at a Christian Young Peoples Group and she was also in the English class I mostly skipped the previous spring. We got to be quite good friends, but she transferred to the University of British Columbia in Vancouver to do pre-Med. We're still in touch--she's my only fundamentalist Christian friend I'm still in touch with. She did become a doctor, and married a chemistry professor and has four children. She's still an interesting person, though I don't see her often or stay in that good touch with her. We still exchange Christmas and birthday presents.

2. Vancouver School of Theology, on the University of British Columbia campus, which had residences where Brenda lived.

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