July 6, 2000

The Unfortunate Beldar Incident



Here are a few of my favorite online haunts:
[This is the site I visit to fantasize about living in Toronto again, which is almost every single day during the winter]

Jonathan Cainer's Zodiac Forecasts
[This is where I visit in the morning, when I need a positive spin on things past, present and future.]

Living Local
[This is where I go to see what Canadians are up to, sometimes I even buy things from the businesses listed there.]

Environment Canada Weather
[This is the site I visit every morning, and before every road trip during the winter]

Almost everybody has them; people with whom you are connected through no choice of your own. People you would not spend five minutes with unless compelled by some imagined or real ethical obligation. Sometimes it is a mother-in-law, sometimes it is an evil cousin, sometimes it is a neighbor, all variations on an endless theme.

My personal challenge is Beldar.

He lives on a cozy little planet reserved for people just like him, a well padded wallet keeps him insulated from the rabble. He smiles a lot. He is always laughing, at his own witticisms. He has a past full to the brim with extremely important people like lawyers and podiatrists and someone who was related to Leanord Cohen. There is no evidence of those esteemed colleagues in his life today.

He had an affair with a woman over two decades younger than himself during his midlife crises. Being a college teacher, he waited until she graduated to pursue the relationship. Propriety was respected, professional sanctions avoided. His betrayal was unexpectedly discovered by his wife, who was his childhood sweetheart and the mother of his three grown sons. He became a free man.

Having a comfortable income and a future pension fatter than most double incomes, he snagged that ambitious young love and married her. They had two children of their own. Now he is retired and "young at heart". He assures us that he is not like those other "old farts"; you know the ones, with wives old enough to be their wives and children who are pushing baby carriages of their own. Not a real man among them it seems.

Beldar loves to talk. Beldar loves to boast.

Beldar finds the poor depressing and the unemployed to have bad attitudes. Upon comfortable retirement, he moved away from the city that employed him all his life. It was hit hard by an economic downturn that resulted in massive layoffs and unemployment.

"The malls were full of all those depressed unemployed people, it was no fun I tell you," he told us.

"All the best restaurants closed," he said, "we had to leave."

Beldar now lives in a good neighborhood, in a wealthier city, in another country; and his new kids go to a superior school and they all live on the good ship lollipop. All the good people do. Beldar will tell you.

Who cares, Beldar, who cares?

It is a small world Beldar, a very small world.

It is your world too Beldar.

And he was in my house this morning.

And he sat at my dining room table and drank my coffee and never shut up.

Beldar has gone home.

Goodbye Beldar, goodbye.

Stay home, Beldar.


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Worldly Distractions

In The Grass

Beside the Easy Chair
Original Sin by P.D. James

Erroneous Thought
I do what I can, when I can; that is not very much or very often.

Tonight's Menu
MacDonalds and thou...

Page by Page: A Woman's Journal
by Maggie Turner

Canadian Maggie Turner writes and publishes poetry, photography, and a personal journal online. Her work reflects the current way of life in Canada, embracing Canada's past, present, and future in a unique portrayal of everyday life. Maggie's voice is one of the many that actively depict the rich diversity of Canadian culture.

Photography: "a term which comes from the Greek words photos (light) and graphos (drawing). A photograph is made with a camera by exposing film to light in order to create a negative. The negative is then used in the darkroom to print a photograph (positive) onto light-sensitive paper.
Source: University of Arizona Glossary

Poetry: "a form of speech or writing that harmonizes the music of its language with its subject. To read a great poem is to bring out the perfect marriage of its sound and thought in a silent or voiced performance. At least from the time of Aristotle's Poetics, drama was conceived of as a species of poetry."
Source: Creative Studios

Journal: " "Though a journal may be many things - a treasury, a storehouse, a jewelry box, a laboratory, a drafting board, a collector's cabinet, a snapshot album, a history, a travelogue..., a letter to oneself - it has some definable characteristics. It is a record, an entry-book, kept regularly, though not necessarily daily.... Some (entries) will be nearly illegible, written in the dark in the middle of the night.... Not only is it a record for oneself, but of oneself. Every memorable journal, any successful journal, is honest. Nothing sham, phony, false...." (Dorothy Lambert from Ken Macrorie's book, Writing to be Read )
A journal is a way to keep track of your thoughts about what you read... as well as what you did on any given day."
Source: Journal Writing

A Blog is an online journal created by server side software, often hosted by a commercial interest.

"The term "weblog" was coined by Jorn Barger[4] on 17 December 1997. The short form, "blog," was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog in April or May 1999.[5][6][7] Shortly thereafter, Evan Williams at Pyra Labs used "blog" as both a noun and verb ("to blog," meaning "to edit one's weblog or to post to one's weblog") and devised the term "blogger" in connection with Pyra Labs' Blogger product, leading to the popularization of the terms."

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