Dave Duncan

"Eat Well, Stay Fit, Die Anyway"

Archive for February, 2007

This is What it All Boils Down To…

Boils. Well, more accurately furuncles. That’s apparently what’s been plaguing my leg for the last week or so, not bites. Apparently these furuncles are easily diagnosed and treated, which means that my weekend of waiting at the clinic near Dundas and Bay to be told they were nothing was a waste. Don’t go there. Go elsewhere.

The treatment is to soak a rag in hot saline solution and then press the rag on the furuncles to draw out the pus and infection. Not to get TOO graphic, but there are few things weirder than lying on your bed with warm, wet, salty rags pressed to your bare ass and thighs. Don’t believe me? Go home and try it! Fortunately, it appears to be working, and even the bad infection is starting to clear up.

Sadly, all this ridiculousness has meant that my contribution to SilentTalkie this week was pretty minimal. Just the Top Ten and the poll. Next week will be pretty sweet though. Just enjoy this issue in the meantime.

Yo momma
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‘Come Thou Long Expected Jesus’

So some experts claim that the ossuaries found in Israel in the 80s are the burial boxes of Jesus of Nazareth (His name, and one that no article I’ve read thus far has referenced) and His wife Mary Magdalene. They also claim that their son Judah is in there too. Many other experts disagree. They say that the names are quite common for the time, and that the ossuary markings are obscure at best. Both are using scientific analysis and archaeological determination.

Then (as in the heated days of “The DaVinci Code” hubub), there are the religious and atheistic fanatics who are chiming in with their two cents worth without understanding the situation at all. Based on their various backgrounds, they’ve just got their blinders on and are screaming “It can’t be! It can’t be!” or “There! You see? You were wrong all along”.

I, for one, am a little skeptical about all this. In part because of these ossuaries’ association with the James Ossuary (a now proven hoax), and partly because of the different stories of the origin of the ossuaries from nearly all the experts involved. Still, I’m looking forward to the open public dialogue on the ‘historical Jesus’ that will no doubt follow. Yes, I realize that even reputable news organizations will interview crackpots for sensationalist points of view, but is talking about faith openly ever wrong?

I read a crazy article debating Christ’s ascension after the resurrection (when he ascended into heaven, promising to return). The debate is important to the issue of the ossuaries because of the differing viewpoints of the ascension. In one, Christ ascends into heaven as a living human being… body and spirit. This is integral to most Christians, as the importance of the death and resurrection of Christ lies in that He is still alive and has broken the rule of death. In the other, Christ’s spirit ascended into heaven, leaving His physical body here on earth (presumably to be buried in an ossuary).

I suppose in the ossuary debate, the hotter point is the marriage to Mary Magdelene and paternity of a child, which will no doubt inflame a lot of beliefs. I guess it’s time to sit back and watch.


Bittersweet Weekend… A ‘Bittersweekend’? No.

I’ve really got to stop inventing words first thing in the morning.  It’s not good for me, and it’s certainly not good for you.  Shall I commence with the rounding up of the weekend?  I believe I shall.

Friday: I wasn’t feeling so hot after work, but was excited to head to a FANTASTIC dinner at Dan and Sue’s place.  After some wonderful roast pork with the fixin’s, we played with Kato (the serviette-eating dog) and then headed off downtown to celebrate Andrew’s birthday with him, Ericka, Luke and Laura.  This is where I started feeling much less well.

Saturday: I overslept after deciding to get up early and head to a drop-in clinic. You see, last week some ‘bites’ appeared on my left upper thigh, left butt cheek and belly.  They’re kind of like REALLY bad mosquito bites.  One of the marks on my thigh seems to be badly infected, and I wanted some meds.  I headed to a clinic at Bay and Dundas in the early afternoon to be told that they weren’t taking new patients.  Fair enough. They sent me to a clinic at Bay and College, which was closed… something I wished they’d told me before I walked up there with an infection in my leg (ow).

Pissed off, I headed to Canadian Tire for some ‘Purchase Therapy’.  They had a sale on cordless drills and jigsaw blades, so I can get to work building a Trojan Horse in our yard.

Danielle came over that night (as did Marty) and we all watched “The DaVinci Code” on Rogers On Demand.  It was a better movie than I was expecting (after trying to read Dan Brown’s terrible writing), and I really don’t see what all the hubub was about.

Rainn Wilson and Arcade Fire on SNL.  Awesome.

Sunday: I fully intended to wake up by 9:30 and get to the Bay/Dundas clinic for 10:00.  Sadly, I slept through my alarm and Danielle called to wake me up at 10:40.  Eek.  I raced off to the clinic and was given number 24.

One doctor.  One measly doctor.  I sat and read almost all of Douglas Coupland’s book ‘Jpod’ (not about iPods, by the way) while the day dwindled away with me in a waiting room.  I finally got to see the doctor after more than 5 hours.

Not shingles (which is comforting) but he couldn’t tell me what kind of bites they were, nor how to treat the bites themselves.  He wondered if maybe I’d been bitten by a dog or cat (not in the realm of possibility if you’ve seen the bites).  Then he wondered if I’d accidentally punctured myself (in 5 places on various parts of my body) without noticing.  He recommended a tetanus shot, which I took because my last one was over 10 years ago, and gave me a prescription for an anti-biotic to treat the infection.

After 5 hours, I was no wiser as to what caused the problem than I was a week ago.  At least I got to read a book in a room filled with sickly, diseased and downright weird people (one guy was stealing the free hand-sanitizer provided by the office.  he squeezed about a half litre into an empty Pepsi bottle).

I spent the rest of the night continuing to feel ill on the couch while watching former Oscar-winning movies on TV and avoiding watching this year’s awards like the plague.

Monday: I’m feeling a little better today, but my infectious leg is really starting to get ugly.  Once the antibiotics kick in, I hope I’ll feel better.

I was secretly hoping that I’d get snowed-in at home today, and I’m still hoping we get a record snowfall that we’ll tell our kids about.  That would be rad.

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My Last Day as a Commoner

I’m a cubicle dweller.  I dwell in a cubicle.  It’s an existence to which I resigned myself many years ago, and since that fateful day, I’ve come to revel in the small victories afforded to us ‘box-people’.  Scamming an extra pen tray for your desk drawer, scoring a spare document filer for your desk top, or mounting a mirror so you can see who’s sneaking up on you to read over your shoulder.

At the end of the day today, I’m making a giant leap in the world of cubicles by moving to a window seat.  Oh yeah, baby.  Long time readers may recall that I had a window seat many years ago (complete with a view of creepy billboard people who watched me work all day).  This view isn’t nearly as grand, but in an office, any real light that touches your actual skin is both rare and precious.

This also means that I can finally have plants on my desk at work without fear of them wilting and dying from the lack of natural light that makes me feel like wilting and dying too.  I’m thinking about growing something edible so I can snack on it during the day.  Any suggestions?


A Toronto Moment; This One is NOT Sponsored by Lululemon

This morning, while walking to work in the blowing wet snow, I saw something that made my head hurt.  Near a fancy loft condo, there was a woman walking her dog.  I’m going to describe each of them in turn:

The Woman:  Early thirties, maybe.  Well-dressed in VERY high heels, a short skirt (‘professional’ short, not ‘stripper’ short) and a light tweed blazer (low-cut on top, and barely to her waist) over a thin blouse.  She was talking on a cellphone and smoking what could only have been a menthol, and she was shivering so much, she looked like she was dancing.

Her Dog: A Chocolate Lab.  Not a puppy, but not big enough to be full grown (although he could have been a cross-breed of some sort… I’m not very good at spotting breeds).  He appeared to be in perfect health and was quite active, but also well-behaved.  He was clad [sigh] in a doggy toque, doggy jacket (it looked like heavy wool… much like a Hudson’s Bay quilt), and heavy duty doggy booties.

It was as though the dog took the time to get himself all bundled up for the weather, and grabbed his master on the way out the door, leaving her no time to prepare.  Alas, I know it was the other way around… so she took the time to dress her dog up for the inclement weather (which he is naturally impervious to, with his fur and all) and yet didn’t bother to put on a pair of boots and a decent jacket herself.

This is what it’s like to live in Toronto.


Jared is a Mouse-killer

So I’m in my room last night (editing articles for a certain online arts magazine), when Jared calls up from the kitchen wondering if I want to see a dead mouse.  Yawn.  In my 28 (very nearly 29) years I’ve seen A LOT of dead mice, so I was tempted to pass.  Jared was adamant (which is strange for Jared), so I trudged down the stairs.  As I neared the kitchen, I asked if the mouse was still in the mousetrap under the sink.

“No.  It didn’t die in the mousetraip” he responded.
“So it ate some of the poison seed we put out, then?”
“I cornered him in the sink and jabbed him with a wooden spoon.”

When I turned the corner into the kitchen, sure enough, there was a pretty large (probably a momma) dead woodmouse in our sink.  Kudos to Jared for following his hunter instincts to rid our home of vermin.

So long as we’re on the topic of ‘awesome’, Issue Two of SilentTalkie went live this morning.  Check it out!

Still the one!

It Beats Working for a Living (Unless You Starve)

I’ve often wondered what life as a novelist would look like.  I could just sit at home writing and editing my own words, then send them off to an editor who would slice and dice them until I barely recognize them.  Finally, what’s left of my words would be splattered on flattened bits of trees, put on shelves and purchased by the general public.

Yes, I realize that’s an oversimplification, but this has been a dream of mine for a long time, and there are so many questions about the life of a novelist that remain unanswered.  How many books would I need to sell in order to keep from starving?  How do I find a literary agent who won’t scam me out of what little money I make to keep from starving?  How (and where) do I find a wealthy benefactor who will continue to pay my salary after I quit this job to write a novel (and will that benefactor keep me from starving)?

Unlike many careers, becoming a novelist doesn’t have a set career path that will lead you to where you want to go.  There’s no education that’s required (although I’m sure having a little bit helps), no necessary work or life experience (although I’m sure having a little bit helps), and it’s not like you need to have x number of stories published before you make the jump into noveldom (although I’m sure having a few helps).

So aside from actually finding the time to write, what else is there to do?

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The Weekend is Over… and You Know What Comes Next

Friday: After a quick dinner (and a quicker nap) at home, Danielle and I met up and went to see The Last King of Scotland.  It’s not really a ‘feel good’ story, but it was compelling and well-told.  If you go to see it, be prepared for a pretty graphically violent scene towards the end that had most of our theatre squirming.  8/10.

Saturday: Some serious house cleaning went down and I had a music practice for church in the afternoon, but I raced home to help Danielle prep for a dinner party we hosted that evening.  About a dozen people showed up for a fine meal of roast beast with all the trimmings and we sat and chatted by candlelight into the wee hours of the morning.  Thanks to our guests for coming and bringing food and wine, and thanks to Jared for playing some piano.

Sunday: Some office work at home, some Wii tennis and then church.

I’ve got to start leaving some relaxation time in my weekends.  Aside from our trip to Winterlude, it feels like 2007 has been the year of running around like crazy.  On the plus side, my fridge is full of leftovers and my liquor cabinet is full of wine.  Maybe being a host isn’t all that bad after all.


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