Planet Nilknarf

December 2013

Welcome to Planet Nilknarf

Our fiscal year since the release of the 5th anniversary issue has been off to a busy and exciting start. On Friday, October 25th, my husband Dave and I went to Cha ters !oo" #tore at the Oshawa Centre to get his co y of !obby Orr$s latest boo" autogra hed by the hoc"ey legend himself% &he lace was '(C)*D% *+*,-O.* from Oshawa must have been there. It was shortly after /011 when we arrived. 2ost of the eo le ahead of us in line must have been waiting all day% Cheers filled the building at 3011 when !obby Orr arrived on the scene. 4owever at around 3051 my husband decided to go home. 4e$d been wor"ing, on his feet all day and still had to wor" on #aturday. It would be at least two or three hours until we made it to the front of the line. #o I decided to be a brave troo er and hold fort for him. &he line6u sna"ed in and out, bac" and forth through every noo" and cranny of one side of the store where I stood in line for at least two more hours. One thing about boo" signings is they "now how to give you the I6want6this6I6want6that$s% 'eo le standing in these ridiculously long lineu s are a ca tive audience. 7e$re basically FO,C*D to browse% !y the time we$ve reached our destination we$ve seen every boo" and article of merchandise on the shelf% I saw so many great boo"s and gift ideas% I "now exactly what I$ll be buying when I do my Christmas sho ing%% !ut I didn$t last either. !y 8051 my feet and my bac" hurt li"e hell and I was both hungry and feeling li"e I had to go to the bathroom very badly. .ot only that but I was disa ointed to find that I$d still only come half way. Once we assed the bac" door leading to the ar"ing lot, the line continued 9ust as long on the O&4*, side and I robably would have been there for yet (.O&4*, two or three hours. I can$t believe I did this over a decade ago when :ene #immons was signing boo"s at the Cha ters store in &oronto near where the old City &+ studio used to be. (t least Dave understood. 4e 9o"ed that we must be the only eo le in Oshawa who own a co y of !obby Orr$s boo" that 4(#.$& been signed by him but I doubt that very much. (fter Dave left the father and son in front of us also decided to ;call it a :eorge.< (t least before I went u stairs I managed to ta"e a cou le ictures of !obby Orr. &hey both turned out

blurry, unfortunately, but this one$s the lesser of two evils. On #aturday, October 2/th, Dave$s Dad and 2arnie too" us out to a :ree" restaurant for Dave$s birthday su er. &his was our favorite art of the meal0 htt>v?F7@3/&v'5A*Bfeature? I don$t remember what it$s called but they our some "ind of liCueur over a wedge of cheese and set it on fire. &he flame only lasts a moment leaving the cheese soft and s readable on the inside and cris y golden on the outside. It is served with warm ita bread. Dave had the or" souvla"i and I had some dish made with s inach and articho"es to cheesy mashed otato. ed with

&he dessert 2arnie and I had some long name with about sixteen letters starting with ;gala< and was basically a creme6brulee ty e custard wra ed in layers of filo astry and driDDled with a strawberry sauce. Dave had a :ree"6style um "in ie dessert and &ed had yogurt with nuts and honey. I also had a 2argarita. #ervice was incredibly slow in this lace and staff couldn$t wal" behind me without bum ing me. #unday, October 23th was Dave$s actual birthday, but we also celebrated his (unt )athy$s 31th birthday at &odd and Cheryl$s lace. &heir "ids have grown so much since the last time I saw them. &hey live in this big, fancy house out in the country that they had custom built for them and Dave couldn$t get over how many electrical outlets they all had% Our house was built in the 51$s and we retty much have only one outlet in each room. 7e ma"e the ower6bar manufacturers very ha y%

Great Christmas Giveaway: F ND F!"FF#$$$$

Fluffy #ays0 Hello readers! You probably know me already from previous issues of Planet Nilknarf as the faithful companion to Margaret's best friend, anette !ansley" #ver the years $ have seen and done a lot and had many ama%ing adventures with those two and our entourage of other creatures including &addle and the !ravelling 'olls" (ack in )pril $ celebrated my *+th birthday ,left-and the year before that we had a blast on our last Niagara trip" !his is me and &addle getting hammered at Margaritaville! ,right!sk.tsk! &hat an e/ample we have set!!!! )nyway""""Margaret has hidden me in one of her latest works of art and the first 0121N readers who find me will each win a 3411 carousel horse 5hristmas tree ornament! )ll you have to do is email her at nil"narf/AEsym with your snail.mail address and tell her where you see me! Hint6 !hese two pictures above don't count and the colours of my antennae usually change with the season""" (e sure to include to put 73ind 3luffy8 in your email sub9ect line! :ood luck and have a very Merry 5hristmas, Happy New Year, Happy Hanukah or whatever it is you celebrate this time of year!

%&''# (%)"( W NN*% )F (+* ,)N(+$$$

&his message has gone viral on the Internet and it ma"es my blood absolutely !OI@%%% &he bitch who$s been utting these notes in "ids$ 4alloween treat bags instead of candy deserves more than 9ust a ,aDDy &rout (ward% 4aving been a fat "id myself I "now that if I$d received such a thing in my 4alloween bag I would want to lot revenge. In fact I wish I could go there ,I:4& .O7 and not only egg this bitch$s house and &.' it, I 7(.& &O #4I& O. 4*, FFC)I.: DOO,#&*'%% 4ow can you even &*@@ if a "id is overweight if they$re wearing a bul"y costume and what fuc"ing business is it of yours anyway% I wish we could organiDe a flash mob, find out who this evil, wic"ed horrible erson is and all egg her house together. #he may thin" she means well but she has made enemies as a result of her action. 7e don$t give a shit about your o inion% &han"s for ruining 4alloween for "ids all over and adults who still suffer from the un leasant memories of being discriminated against because of our weight%%

O"ay, I$ve read the rest of your letter here0 htt tric"ortreaters=6=8535//G=2231GG8G=6=H2muf lD=6=index.html> utmIsource?hootsuiteButmImedium?faceboo"ButmIcam aign?wisnJ2!H2J2!news !ut it still doesn$t ma"e me any less angry%%% If ;it ta"es a village to raise a child<,a self6righteous CF.& li"e you is what I call the +I@@(:* IDIO&%% Children aren$t always fat from eating too much candy or 9un" food. I$ve read so much about this so6 called obesity e idemic lately and it ma"es me mad because when I was a "id my arents .*+*,

too" me to 2cDonald$s. In fact we almost .*+*, went out for dinner. 2y mother always coo"ed wholesome, nutritious meals, yet I$ve (@7(-# been fat. #he thought it could be because she sto ed breastfeeding me too soon when I was a baby. #he sto ed when I was seven months old, if that means anything. It could also be hereditary. #he wasn$t thin either. O"ay, I realiDe I wasn$t the most active erson on earth either. I 9ust wasn$t into s orts. I hated gym class. 2om tried to ma"e me get exercise by having me ta"e ballet classes but even that wasn$t good enough. #he literally had to &*(C4 me how to 9um ro e so I could lay with the other "ids at recess. I remember being out in front of our townhouse with her turning one end of the ro e and the other end tied to the lam ost in front of our "itchen window. #till, I s ent most of my recess trying to hide from bullies and I ,(. home every day. ( arently running because you$re being chased home by bullies doesn$t burn (.- calories% O"ay, so maybe I ate out of frustration. #ometimes I still do. If I$m still angry about this when it$s time to go to bed tonight you can bet I$ll robably be s oo"ing around in the "itchen at midnight downing yet another fuc"ing bowl of cereal%%% &hat$s what I do when I$m issed off at the world. I went through a de ression that lasted almost the rest of the month after my last visit to !obcaygeon because I was struggling with anger over Kean criticiDing me about my weight and ma"ing 9udgments about my health several times throughout the wee"end. *s ecially the art about weight limits on carousels. #he had me feeling so fat, ugly and de ressed I almost DID.$& 7(.& to go to this year$s carousel convention% &hese feelings of anger and frustration went away when Dave rayed for me the night before my tri . 2aybe I should 9ust stay off the Internet. In fact I should avoid screens all together. @ately I see a lot of things on &+ that ma"e me angry too but that$s another story%% If I were the arent of the oor "id who received this message in his or her 4alloween treat bag we would !O&4 be going bac" to that .aDi bitch$s house together, utting a flaming bag of oo on her doorste and elting her with water6balloons full of '** when she answers the door. I thought it over and eggs, even rotten ones sim ly aren$t good enough% &hat whole ost 9ust sent so many ainful memories flooding bac" to me, from my horrible teachers at Dublin 'ublic #chool who gas ed in horror at the sight of me eating a small chocolate bar as if I were #.O,&I.: COC(I.* in front of them to the bitch who a roached me at Fairview 2all when I was about six years old and as"ed me why I was fat. If I could have gone bac" in time I wouldn$t have been so olite. I wish I$d actually called her a bitch and told her to fuc" off and if she continued to nag me I should have bloody well "ic"ed her in the shin and ran off screaming at the to of my lungs for all I was worth% &hat would have taught her to mind her own fuc"ing business once and for all%%

Dear ,om an- Da#unday, .ovember 5rd, 21H5 Dear 2om and Dad 4ello% 4ow$s everything in heaven> :uess who dro ed by yesterday%%% 'hil was here to dro off a bag of Christmas resents from my aunts. It was a wonderful sur rise to see him even though I hadn$t even &4OF:4& about Christmas sho ing yet. I invited him in for a coffee and showed him my latest art ro9ects and we had a nice chat. 7e tal"ed mostly about you, mom. @ast time 'hil saw you in the hos ital you were still fully conscious and full of life, very chi er and ositive and confident that you were going to be o"ay and coming home soon. Luite the different story from how you were last time I saw you. 'hil was going to see you the very next day but that night he had a hone call from 2argaret

across the street who said you$d already assed away. -ou wouldn$t recogniDe your house. 'hil says it loo"s so different now. It already loo"ed Cuite different when we drove ast there bac" in #e tember. &here is a huge, sliding glass door where the "itchen window used to be, where we used to sit at the table and en9oy watching the birds at their feeder. I am going bac" to school on Friday. I wanted to ta"e the grade H2 com uter course but again they$re not offering it until 2ay when it$s too bloody hot% &hat is #O .O& F(I,%% &here really weren$t any other classes I was interested in but I will be re eating the art class 9ust for something fun to do to "ee me busy and rovide me with the wor"sho s ace I need 9ust to ma"e a cou le more a ier6mache carousel animals for the u coming art show. I want to ma"e the ele hant and the &iger !unny% I am already saving em ty toilet a er rolls to bring to class for the a ier6mache ro9ects. I wonder if they$ll have another craft sale before Christmas. If so I ho e we$ll get an even bigger turnout. @ast time there was only a wee" to re are for it and not enough time to adeCuately advertise the event. #till I did Cuite well anyway. (ll my carousel horses were at the art gallery at the time so I was able to whi u a cou le doDen new ones in the wee" leading u to the event. 7hen this class is over I will be ta"ing one on 7orld ,eligions for the term from February to ( ril. It should be Cuite interesting and a challenge to write an unbiased re ort on the sub9ect. (ll religions have a conce t of an afterlife. 2ost of them have their idea of heaven or hell, and some even believe in reincarnation. 'ersonally, I$m against it. 7hy would I want to come bac" 4*,*>>> &he world is getting noisier and uglier all the time and if I already feel li"e I$m having a hard time fitting in now, I shudder to thin" how much harder it will be to try to fit in the next time around. &hat was one of my biggest fears during my manic e isode. 2y life literally was flashing right before my eyes so I really did thin" that I was actually going to die. (nd I thought I was going to be reincarnated. I "e t having visions of cells and being bac" in the womb so I was thin"ing ;Oh .OOOOO% .O& again%< I don$t want to be a "id again. I don$t want to start over and be a teenager and go through all the olitics of dating and I am actually glad to finally be old enough not to have eriods anymore% 4aving ex erienced this, I ho e that when it finally really I# time for me to 9oin you they will s are me the ;movie of my life< a second time around%%% Or at least show me a different version with s ecial behind6the6scenes footage...whatever.... #aturday, .ovember 8th (nyway, it$s hard to believe that yet another year has already come and gone and Christmas is 9ust around the corner. I started my first day of school yesterday and I$m retty excited. &he hallway was retty frenetic when I was signing in and ic"ing u my timetable but other than that it was a eaceful, drama6free morning. I will robably go to Luilting !ee after school on 2onday but before that I ho e to go downtown, get my ban"ing done and mail (unt (nne her Christmas resents. Dave ic"ed out a little something she$s more than welcome to o en early% MN 7hich reminds me, I ic"ed out a lovely resent for Dave. I ho e it arrives in the mail soon. &he .ational Carousel (ssociation age on Faceboo" rovided a lin" to something I really wanted to get and when I chec"ed out the web age I found something I thin" Dave and I will both en9oy. I bought myself an e isode of a show called ;( #lice of @ife<. &he e isode aired nearly 21 years ago and is one of the best rograms ever created about my favorite sub9ect% 7hile I was loo"ing at this I saw another D+D available about ,oute //. It loo"s li"e it$s going to be a fascinating show. (nyway, that$s all the news I have for now. 4ave a 2erry Christmas. I miss you very much. 4ugs, 2argaret

Caro.sel )f Frien-shi/ 0.ilts Pro1ect
4ere we are. I am almost finished the &4I,D row of the ;7ild (bout Kungle Cats< Cuilt.

&he to row of the ;'ositive *nergy< Cuilt will be animals from .ederland, Colorado$s Carousel of 4a iness. I$ve got two done so far0

&he :orilla #eat OleftN is one of two wheelchair6accessible seats on the Carousel of 4a iness. (lthough the sCuare shows the girl sitting next to the gorilla on a continuous bench, in reality there is an em ty s ace which, when it is not holding a wheelchair, contains an ordinary "itchen chair lie the one my friend Kim #hulman is sitting on in this icture on the right. I had my icture ta"en sitting in this chair too but didn$t li"e the way I loo"ed so I deleted it% I must say I had a lot of fun embroidering this sCuare because I en9oyed ta"ing liberties with the girl$s clothing and adding a few extra details of my own% MN &he other one I$ve done so far is their al aca. &he artist was ins ired by the way al acas move when

they are frolic"ing. 7hen they lea u into the air they bring their feet together and it loo"s li"e they$re doing ballet, hence the sli ers. 7hen an eleven6year6old girl on a school field tri to the Carousel of 4a iness saw this she exclaimed ;4ey% It$s the !allet @lama%%<

&he al aca is a second6row figure, standing next to the ele hant. (s you can see I 9ust did mine from memory so mine has a red saddle and bridle instead of green. I used the curly, "notted stitch I use when I embroider my shee or the middle of daisies and sunflowers when I did the al aca$s coat. Of course, seeing ictures of my Cuilt bloc"s on the Internet does .O& do them 9ustice so I really ho e you will all come out and visit my big show in !obcaygeon next s ring% 2y Cuilts will be on dis lay at the !oyd :allery on 2H Canal #treet in !obcaygeon during the entire months of 2ay and Kune, 21HA. I ho e to have both these Cuilts com leted by then as well as the one I am lanning to ma"e for my summative ro9ect in school. &his one will be a sur rise%

2hockin3 (r.ths an- )/inions
7e s end too much time staring at screens and it$s ma"ing us stu ider% -es, I realiDe this does sound hy ocritical because here I am sitting in front of my com uter screen to ty e this and there you are more than li"ely sitting in front of yours to read it% Fnless you are reading this on your tablet or smart6 hone, which is also still a screen. Face it, screens are ubiCuitous. &here$s no getting away from them% !efore the advent of com uters we already had &+$s. It$s something I$ve been thin"ing about a lot lately. -ou can$t even go out for dinner at a restaurant without the news channel blaring away in the bac"ground. 2any years ago I heard an interesting ex ression. #omeone called &+ ;Chewing :um for the eyes.< &hat$s because it$s always in the bac"ground while we are doing other things, commanding our attention whether we want it or not.

&he trouble with screens, be they &+ or Internet, is that most of the content is stuff other eo le want you to see, the way &4*- want you to see it. *veryone is out to brainwash you. 7hat ma"es me sad is that I recently read in a boo" about arenting that the &+ set has re laced the lay en. 7hen I was a baby I was erfectly content to be left in a lay en with ordinary stuffed toys that didn$t DO anything. !ac" in those days "ids used their I2(:I.(&IO.% .ow they are being conditioned to want fancy electronic gadgets that either brea" down or cause them to become Cuic"ly bored so that arents will rush out and s end money on the next big thing. (nd all those commercials ma"e them want it. 7hile a baby is ar"ed in front of a &+ set, he or she doesn$t "now what they are really loo"ing at. &he child is transfixed by ra idly moving images arading across a colourful field of vision that is always changing and roviding continuous stimuli. &a"e that "id away from the screen and ut him in the crib with good old6fashioned stuffed toys that don$t do anything and he$s cran"y and demanding attention. I saw a meme on Faceboo" once that said it all ;I 7ent Outside Once. &he :ra hics 7ere &errible.< 7hich brings us to the next sub9ect. +ideo games. &oo many eo le are addicted to them. 2y ex was a rime exam le. 4e lost several 9obs because he$d rather stay home and lay video games than go to wor". In fact I dated another guy before then who was nearly as bad when it came to wasting a beautiful day in front of the com uter. (nd now, sadly, I have become the very thing I des ise even though lately I try to limit my time on the com uter to no more than an hour or two each day. #ocial media sites "ee us +elcroed to our seats% &ime goes a lot faster beyond that allotted hour I intended to set for myself. !ac" when I lived alone in my first a artment bac" in @indsay I didn$t have cable but I had to have a colour &+. In @indsay, if you didn$t have cable, you only got one channel, C4*P channel H2 in 'eterborough. I 9ust wanted something to hoo" u my +C, to so my friends and I could watch movies. &here was nothing we li"ed better on a #aturday night than to see how many of us we could cram into my tiny lace and gather together over nachos or iDDa to watch a favorite movie from my collection or rent one from downtown. (nd in recent times I$ve come to thin" it$s robably much better to wait for my favorite movies to come out on D+D so I can buy them rather than watch them on &+ because &4*,* (,* &OO 2(.D(2.*D CO22*,CI(@#% (nd it$s getting 7O,#*% &hese days there are so many commercials that sometimes I forget what I$m watching. For every two minutes of movie or show there are ten more minutes of commercials%% (nd if I don$t forget what I$m watching I get frustrated and give u on the movie I$m watching because my brain gets tired watching these greed6mongers hoc" their cheesy wares and hitting the 2F&* button for entire brea"s to avoid the ones I hate most% 2ost of the time nowadays I 2F&* commercials because several of them have annoying noises% I es ecially hate the ones for 'am ers and Infant &ylenol because I hate the sound of crying babies to begin with and I hate being startled by sudden loud noises% &hey come on without any warning so I mute entire commercial brea"s 9ust to be on the safe side. Kust as bad are commercials for weight6loss roducts. I find most of them atroniDing and misogynistic at best and I es ecially hate the ones for 4erbal 2agic and .utri6#ystem because they are #O !@OOD- @O.:%% (nd muting them isn$t enough% I change the channel because I don$t want to #** those images%

(nd although not as irritatingly long, there used to be this 7eight 7atchers commercial I found es ecially annoying because it went li"e this0 ( woman goes to this olice station=lost and found de artment, whatever and shows the co or whoever it is her wedding icture and says ;I$ve lost myself% 4ave you seen me> &his is the last time I$ve seen myself.< 4*@@O> Kust because someone has gotten fatter doesn$t mean she$s @O#& herself. In fact she may have found 2O,* of herself, unless she$s im lying that lost herself under all that fat which is com lete bullshit because I believe you are the same erson you always were no matter what sha e you are. Kust a different version of yourself, not necessarily better or worse but this is an entirely different to ic I could go on about for hours. I was tal"ing about screens. (nd commercials% (nd &he Internet%% *ven on the Internet we are bombarded by images that someone else wants us to loo" at. I thin" ads are made to be as annoying as ossible in order to 2()* us des erately 7(.& to u grade to a aid membershi for Deviant(rt or whatever site we use regularly. #ometimes hitting the ;refresh< button and yelling ;:O (7(-%< isn$t enough. For this reason I am boycotting Faceboo"$s @exulous game until they get rid of that annoying #lim6!and ad% 7ith my revious F! account I actually @I*D about my gender so I wouldn$t be bombarded with as many annoying weight6loss ads. (t least the smaller ones in the margin of the age are easier to get rid of by clic"ing on an ;x< and giving them the reasons why you don$t want to see them. #everal years ago, in fact robably when I was still living in &oronto I saw a Canadian &ire commercial that made me feel "ind of sad. It showed a family on a cam ing tri . &hey too" out a ortable D+D and watched a movie. &his made me feel sad because I grew u believing that the last thing you want to do on a cam ing tri is stare at another frigging screen. Cam ing is a time to be (7(- from &+. I$ve always thought of a cam ing tri as a chance for the family to bond and interact with one another, gather around the cam fire and sing songs, tell 9o"es and stories. &hose were some of the very best times of my childhood. (nd when we didn$t sit around the fire we used to hang out in our trailer after su er doing a big 9igsaw uDDle on the "itchen table while listening to the old time radio stories on C!C radio. &hey used to lay things li"e the @one ,anger and 4.: 7ells ;7ar of the 7orlds<. (dvertisements aren$t strictly limited to screens. #ometimes it wor"s the other way round% @ast year I went to a seminar about media and the s ea"er mentioned a man who was so sic" of seeing advertisements everywhere he actually made himself a s ecial air of glasses where the lenses were actually com uter screens that turned any advertisements he saw, whether they were billboards, osters in bus sto s, etc. into random images such as landsca es or animals, etc. &his made me thin" of a :oogle Chrome a called ;Fnbaby 2e<, for eo le on social media who are sic" of seeing baby ictures everywhere. I thought this was "ind of neat.. It turns baby ictures into ictures of animals, landsca es and other random images. (nything !F& babies. !ut I$m not about to re6install my browser 9ust for that. (s much as we have the choice of what we want to and don$t want to loo" at, things we don$t want to see are always being crammed down our throats. I hate to say it but I have .O I.&*.&IO. of owning an e6reader. Call me a techno hobe if you want to but I don$t care. I still have no intention of owning a cell6 hone either but that$s another "ettle of fish. &he reason I don$t want an e6reader is because between the com uter and the &+ I already loo" at enough screens. It may be lighter and more ortable than carrying around a stac" of boo"s, thus also saving on shelf s ace, but the idea almost seems li"e a sacrilege to me. !oo"s don$t need batteries. .othing can beat that new6boo"6smell. Or the feel of ages. !esides I wouldn$t feel comfortable about ta"ing an e6reader into the bathtub with me. Kanette s ends most of her day at wor" in front of a com uter screen. .o wonder she tries to s end

as little time as ossible in front of her la to when she gets home. !ac" in the day when I had only one channel, I often en9oyed relaxing evenings ainting or drawing and when I lived in &oronto I en9oyed racticing my music. I haven$t ainted in years, outside of school, nor have I had the ins iration to ma"e anymore music. !ut I believe that being able to entertain yourself without &+ or Internet is good for your soul. 7hen you have a hobby you$re never bored. !ac" in the summer of 2115 when we had that huge ower outage I actually "ind of en9oyed it. It was li"e an im rom tu cam ing tri suddenly forced u on our neighbourhood whether we wanted it or not. &rue, most of us didn$t li"e that it ha ened in the middle of a heat wave, but a nice breeDe came in through the bedroom window and I en9oyed the eace and Cuiet. &rue, I didn$t ave a com uter in those days either. I had an email account and had 9ust learned how to surf the net, but I went to the library. Fran"ly I$m glad those days are over and true, I would be retty issed off if the ower went off while I was in the middle of using my com uter. 7hen I am staying at a hotel, either by myself or with Kanette, we seldom watch any television. 7e$d usually rather na or read boo"s. 7hen and if we ever do turn on the &+ it$s usually to find out if there are any good movies. I found that whenever I$ve shared a room with my husband or my friend ,ichard, they always seem to have to have the &+ on no matter what$s on. I much refer the Cuiet. @ast time Kanette and I were at Kean$s on the wee"end of the Luilt #how she as"ed us if we wanted to watch the news while we ate brea"fast. !oth of us chorused a hearty ;.O%< ;-our mother was always very well6informed.< said Kean. ;I already get too much information.0 I sighed. Kean said this reminded her of a Cuote from a )atherine 4e burn movie. ;I don$t want to meet anymore new eo le. I already "now too many eo le%< (nyway, I thin" the thing that im resses me most about this too many screens debate is the idea that nothing we ever see on &+ or on the Internet could ever be as great as that which we actually go out to see in the real world. *ven a huge Imax film about the :rand Canyon or .iagara Falls could ever fully ca ture the ex erience of actually being there. #imulator rides may du licate the ex erience of flying through some im ressive landsca e or riding a roller coaster but they$ll never be as great as the real thing. I could loo" at thousands of magaDines or watch thousands of -ou&ube videos but I am really seeing what the erson who too" these ictures or videos wants me to see. 7hen you actually go somewhere for real you get to ex erience it the way you want to. ( video ta"en from the oint f view of somebody riding a carousel does little or no 9ustice to the ex erience of riding one for real, waving to your friends who are waiting on the side, feeling the motion, noticing all the colorful details. !ac" on the 2em his tri I was u set because I ran out of film. ;-ou can always buy ost cardsQ< &rue, but ost cards aren$t ictures of your own ersonal view. (nd even the ictures you share whether in boo"s or on the internet, don$t begin to fully ca ture the ex erience of actually !*I.: &4*,*%

4ack to 2chool
On Friday, .ovember G , I started bac" to school. I am ta"ing the same art class I too" bac" in the s ring of last year. &hat feels so long ago. *ven though I already have my credit, I am ta"ing this class again (. Kust because I en9oyed it so much before, !. I need something to get me out of the house and into a regular routine and C. It gives me the wor" s ace I need to create a ier6mache versions of my carousel animals.

For awhile there I thought that I wasn$t going to ma"e carousel animals this term after all, that I should do something different li"e maybe the :rum y Cat or &iger !unny. ( regular tiger bunny, that is, not a carousel animal. !ut then I realiDed I already have my dog and frog from my fourth Cuilt and I thin" that for next s ring$s big dis lay in !obcaygeon I would li"e to hang my Fourth Luilt on that s ace of wall above the counter where the Cuilt I sold hung before because it would loo" cool to have all the animals that a ear on this Cuilt to be standing in front of it.

4ere$s the Luilt and my first two creatures. In this class I also made soft6scul ture versions of Kanette$s ;4oneymoon 4orse< which were also for sale and dis lay at my show last December and


2y summative ro9ect for this class was my )I## carousel Cuilt.

I had it on dis lay at my show in !obcaygeon and bac" in #e tember I actually #O@D it%% .ow somebody in my class is interested in buying one. I also have someone in my class who ex ressed interest in a baby Cuilt, however she may have bal"ed at the idea that the )I## Cuilt went for R511. .evertheless, the idea for what I$m going to ut on this baby Cuilt came to me when I was wor"ing on this most recent sCuare for the Carousel of Friendshi %

&he image on the right is from the Carousel of 4a row animals on this latest Cuilt are from there.

iness in .ederland, Colorado. In fact all the to

&hey no longer have free colouring ictures anymore, however they do have a new colouring boo" for sale for R5.51 F#. htt 0==www.carouselofha"=

I thin" I will be ordering a co y sooner or later along with one of their atches or two. @ately, when it comes to carousel atches I tend to want to get two of everything so I can ut one on my .C( 9ac"et and the other on my famous technicolour dream coat. (t least I was able to loaderiDe and rint off the ictures that were there before they too" them off. In the meantime I$ve made more rogress on my Debra Cuilt0

(nd this is my next a ier6mache ro9ect0

(t first I thought I might do something other than a carousel animal 9ust to be different for a change but I "new that dee within my heart of hearts what I really wanted to do was continue my series of the animals that a ear on my Cuilts. .ow that I am familiar with the dis lay room at the !oyd :allery in !obcaygeon, I want to hang my

fourth Cuilt, ictured a few ages ago, on that same wall the Cuilt that sold was hung because there is a counter in front of it and I thin" it$ll loo" cool to have a row of all these animals on that counter in front of the Cuilt. 4ere$s how my ele hant has rogressed so far...

#ince this last icture was ta"en, I$ve a lied about two thirds of the rimer. I realiDed I forgot about the ele hant$s headdress and tassel so I will robably 9ust aint the headdress and buy a tassel from the dollar store. #ince I$ve already ta"en this class before and am therefore familiar with its curriculum, I already "now what I want to do for my other a ier6mache figure, my other ;beanie baby< ro9ect and my summative ro9ect. #tay tuned to next month$s issue to see my com leted wor"s and future wor"s in rogress% 7e are ho ing to have our !ig Christmas Craft #ale on Friday, December H5th% Details to follow.

(he 2econ- (alk
I "now I romised this article way bac" in Kune but admit to shying away from this to ic because I don$t want 'lanet .il"narf to be "nown as a cross between ;Carousel .ews< and ;&he +agina 2onologues.< #till I thin" it$s im ortant for readers who are almost my age to "now what to ex ect and not be afraid. #ometimes it seems li"e only yesterday when I was only ten years old, staying overnight at my friend 4ilda$s lace when she told me about eriods. (t first I thought she was 9ust ulling my leg. 4ow can something that gross ,*(@@- ha en to somebody any time, let alone *+*,- 2O.&4% It was shortly afterward my mom brought me the boo" ;'uberty B (dolescence< from the library and I learned even more on the sub9ect from Kudy !lume$s immortal novel, ;(re -ou &here :od, It$s 2e 2argaret.< 2ost of us remember where we were the first time it ha ened to them. Face it, your first eriod is retty much a cut6and6dried ex erience. 7hen you$ve got it you "now it. I was luc"y that for me it ha ened when I was home, in the evening, after su er. ( cou le months beforehand, my mom showed me a box of #tayfree 2axi6'ads that she saved in my dresser drawer 9ust in case. I didn$t have to snea" out and buy an emergency stash li"e 2argaret did in Kudy !lume$s boo"% It was also around that time they were teaching us about this at school. :rade #even 4ealth class. I thin" the best thing I remember learning was that there I# such a thing as 2*.O'(F#*% It meant I won$t be having this FO,*+*,%% It eventually #&O'#% #till, it was my miserable lot in life for at least the next 51 years and could always be guaranteed that I$d miss at least a day of school or wor" every month% !ut they never told us what to ex ect. Only that once we get to be in our forties and u , it eventually sto s. In recent years the aging demogra hic of baby6boomers has finally been ac"nowledged and commercials for 'oise brand ads started mentioning and roviding an Internet discussion grou about ;&he #econd &al"<. 7hy didn$t 7* have the second tal" with our own mothers> &he sad truth is that at the age our mothers were usually going through meno ause, we, their daughters and they were usually at loggerheads with one another, both age grou s struggling with hormonal issues of a different natureM teenagers struggling with sexual urges and self6esteem, wanting to be inde endent and our mothers worried sic" about us giving into our urges and getting regnant. (t this oint in our lives I did not have a boyfriend but I s ent so much time at my friend #harronSs house that my mom tended to resent it. &his was one of the main reasons we were always fighting. &eenage daughters and erimeno ausal mothers are (@7(-# FI:4&I.: about *+*,-&4I.:% It can be one of the worst times of our lives. In fact when I was loo"ing for a Faceboo" grou about the sub9ect of meno ause a cou le years ago the ma9ority of grou s I found were something to the effect of ;2y 2om$s going through 2eno ause and #he$s 2a"ing 2y @ife a @iving 4ell.< #o I started a grou called ;Facing 2eno ause &ogether<. I no longer have access to this grou because my old account was hac"ed but it served its ur ose for a season. 2eno ause isn$t as cut6and6dried as your First 'eriod. In my learnings I have discovered that only 5J of women who go through meno ause sim ly 9ust suddenly sto getting it never to have it again. &he ma9ority of us 9ust ta er off gradually, having it irregularly until it finally does sto and even then we may be without it for another year and suddenly have that one rogue eriod that comes out of nowhere% &he transition to meno ause and all the agony and issues caused by it can drag out for as long as fifteen years.

7hile my mom and I were going through this turbulent and frustrating time, she had to go and get a hysterectomy because she had an ovarian cyst. I was oblivious to the fact that in the midst of all this hullabaloo, she also had a bro"en toe. ,egular readers are robably all too familiar with my horrendous ordeal. (nd you$re robably familiar with the commercials where 2other .ature comes along to hand women their monthly gifts. 7ell, no more individual ac"ages for me% &hat bitch was FO@@O7I.: 2* (,OF.D 7I&4 ( FFC)I.: FO,)@IF&%%% &wo years in a row, starting with the Day that 2ichael Kac"son died, I had constant, heavy eriods that lasted two or three months each. It was one of the worst times of my life and a fate I wouldn$t wish on my worst enemy. Fran"ly I don$t "now what was worseM living with these endless eriods themselves or all the ic"y6sCuic"y ainful testing including bio sies and ultrasounds and all that waiting for results. &he only :OOD thing about that ordeal was that I was about as #O .O& regnant as anyone could ossibly be. &he roblem was I could not sto wondering what I had done to D*#*,+* this. I even thought :od was unishing me for choosing not to have children. !ut we "now that this is wrong because my mother told me that my grandmother went through this #(2* ordeal and she had at least .I.* children. 2y grandmother was given herbal tea. I as"ed my mom if it wor"ed but she said she didn$t "now. :randmother had a hysterectomy too. (ll through this ordeal eo le gave me advice, suggested various herbal remedies, etc. 2edication "e t it under control but surgery was the only o tion. I don$t doubt that my !artholin cyst and my bald s ot resulting from alo ecia O!O&4 the siDe of F,*()I.: :O@F !(@@#N were bi6 roducts of this condition, not to mention being so anemic that there was more blood in my urine sam le than there was in my blood test% (t least my gynecologist was very good about ma"ing sure I was as well6 re ared as ossible. #till it$s I2'O##I!@* to have a bio sy that doesn$t hurt li"e hell. I didn$t get a hysterectomy, I had something called a hysterosco y. ( tube is inserted inside the uterus with a small &+ camera and a hot wire. &he wire scra es away the uterine lining, and in my case not one but &7O fibroids. I am under anesthetic during the whole rocedure. 2y gynecologist said that 31J of women who have had this rocedure have been ha y with the results. I ho ed and rayed I wouldn$t be in the 51J who wasn$t. #he warned me of the things that could go wrong. ( small hose is inserted to flush me out with water. #ometimes atients don$t drain ro erly and the whole o eration has to be sto ed and rescheduled. I$m glad that didn$t ha en to me. I 9ust wanted this whole ordeal over and done with. I would have li"ed to have seen these fibroids but they tend to cho them u while they$re removing them. I didn$t get to ta"e them home in a 9ar. I have no idea what any of this shit loo"ed li"e. (t least than"s to this surgery it$s been well over two years since I$ve had an actual full6fledged eriod. &he inside of my uterus is su osed to be li"e &*F@O.% .othing stic"s to it. I$m not even su osed to be able to get regnant. .ot that I$d actually 7(.& to anyway. (nyway, most women going through meno ause tend to com lain about hot flashes. &his is something I am no stranger to, however my own hot6flashes have been nothing com ared to the way I used to sweat bac" in the summer of 211H when my doctor ut me on the antide ressant 'axil. It used to be so bad that when I got off the bus I$d ta"e my shoes off and leave sweaty foot rints on the sidewal". 2y bed would be soa"ed from ers iration% I$d have to get u in the night and change my sheets. 4ot flashes usually hit me in the evening anytime between G051 and H1011, usually when my husband and I are sitting in the living room watching &+. ;((((,:4% I$m so damned hot%< I will suddenly exclaim. ;It$s 9ust you.< says Dave. #till, I 2F#& turn the fan on, even in the 7I.&*,%% (t least I am seldom cold outside in the winter. 2ost of the time by the time I reach my destination my coat has

become li"e a 7(@)I.: #(F.(%% I could .*+*, wor" at +ictoria @aundry again and the com uter classroom at my school is out of the Cuestion because of its unbearable heat. I give off so much body heat that my husband says it hurts when I touch him. 7e haven$t sle t in the same bed since 211/ because he feels li"e he$s burning himself on me% #till, I$ve been luc"y so far that I$ve .*+*, been awa"ened in the night by hot flashes. &hat$s one thing my doctor as"ed me about and I$m glad I can say that$s never been a roblem. 4owever, when you sto getting eriods, it doesn$t mean you sto wearing ads. I am always wearing )otex Overnight ads, but for various different reasons. @i"e (my Farrah Fowler said on Big Bang Theory ;I don$t li"e to be sur rised.< (nd, li"e the 'oise commercials say, bladder control issues can be a roblem, es ecially if I$m laughing extra hard or have one of my annoying sneeDing fits, often after I$ve eaten. Dave says it$s because I eat too fast. I thin" it$s because some articles go down the wrong i e. &hen a coughing fit sometimes turns I.&O a sneeDing fit% (nd then of course, there$s still a blister from when my !artholin cyst was removed. *very now and then it tends to o o en and bleed. I should robably tell my doctor about this, however I$ve Cuietly learned to live with it because I "now of its source. Often the best thing for dealing with this sort of thing is a nice, hot, * som salt bath. (t least 2eno ause doesn$t scare me. I actually embrace this time of my life and loo" forward to it with great o timism. I am #O .O& one of these women who whine and cry about never being able to have children again. I never wanted them in the first lace. 2y body, my decision. I don$t feel li"e I$m missing anything by choosing not to have "ids. I en9oy the freedom to travel and do my own thing. (nd now that I no longer receive those annoying gifts from 2other .ature I can honestly say that I en9oy my freedom even ore now than ever%

Caro.sel of the ,onth
&he C.7. 'ar"er 2useum, @eavenworth, )ansas &his was the first carousel I got to ride at this year$s .C( conventionM a H8H5 C.7. 'ar"er carousel

On the right you will see a ortrait of C.7 'ar"er himself. 4ere$s me ta"ing a ride, and a row of three smaller horses0

I& also contains a air of these rare 'ar"er rabbits%

&he C.7 'ar"er museum is also home to this aluminum H851$s children$s carousel0

(nd this HG51$s rimitive hand6cran"ed machine for dis lay only0

F stairs and throughout the building, several horses are on dis lay from a number of carvers0 4ere is a DentDel rabbit and a *uro ean !ayol ig%

&here is also an amaDing variety of carnival and circus memorabilia0

2y favorite is this model of the wagon that brought the carousel from one location to the next0

&heir gift sho is full of amaDing things. 7hile I was there they had a dis lay of these miniature horses ainted by local merchants etc. for visitors to vote for0 htt>v?22x@dI4/dD2 &hey had four of these un ainted onies left over so I bought one. I still haven$t figured out how I$m going to aint it and I$ve yet to find someone who can drill a hole in it. It comes with the base and the ole but no hole to ut the ole through.

4eetlebomb5s 4ook Nook

&his month our literary ic"s are Shopaholic & Sister by #o hie )insella, Parenting Inc. by 'amela 'aul and Cataract City by Craig Davidson. Shopaholic & Sister is robably the enultimate boo" in #o hie )insella$s #ho aholic series, however I haven$t been reading them in chronological order. (fter a whirlwind ten6month honeymoon around the world, #o hie and her husband return home to discover that her best friend has found someone new to hang out with and ,ebecca has a long6lost half6sister she didn$t "now about until now. ,ebecca loo"s forward to sho ing excursions and laughing in front of the &+ watching chic" flic"s and eating e ermint creams with this new sister of hers but is disa ointed to discover that she and Kessica are as different as night and day and don$t seem to have (.-&4I.: in common%% In fact Kessica 4(&*# sho ing and does not understand ,ebecca$s frivolous s ending habits and obsessions such as collecting shoes. Kessica is more interested in hi"ing and collecting ,OC)#%%% 7ill these two find (.-&4I.: to agree u on> &his was the boo" that "e t me entertained during much of my )ansas tri and erha s one of the funniest arts was when ,ebecca went horsebac" riding and ended u ta"ing her horse #4O''I.: with her%% Parenting Inc. offers a fascinating account of an6ever6increasing demogra hic of our consumer culture. 'eo le are (@7(-# having babies so mar"eters might as well cash in on it to the max, even to the oint of ma"ing arents feel guilty about not having the latest technologies and the best available roducts for their offs ring. !aby and &oddler ex os have o ened u trade shows all over showing arents and arents6to6be the latest gadgets that are su osed to ma"e arenting easier and ma"e your "ids smarter faster. It$s all a big race to ma"e already worried arents even more worried that their "ids aren$t develo ing fast enough. @i"e touched u on in my revious rant, &+ screens have re laced lay ens. &here is no roof that staring at a &+ screen ma"es a child smarter any faster. &hey don$t "now what they are loo"ing at, they are 9ust staring at fast6 aced, colourful images moving around on a screen no matter what it is. &hey will stare at anything as long as it$s colourful and fast6 aced even if it$s violent, causing them to grow u desensitiDed. 7ith so many arents wor"ing and being out all the time, every moment is heavily scheduled. -ou can no longer 9ust bring your "id to the ar" in ho es of meeting other arents with "ids. 'eo le ay hundreds of dollars for "inder6gyms and mommy6and6me clubs. *verything is so structured. #ure structure is im ortant but it$s overdone these days. &he latest toys are high6tech gadgets that reCuire batteries and all have to ;DO< something. 'arents fret when a singing, tal"ing teddy bear is doing its thing in front of a "id who$s 9ust staring and not interacting with it. :ive it u % &he "id is 9ust a baby% 4e doesn$t even "now how to tal" yet. I wouldnSt be sur rised f the number of cases of autism are misdiagnosed because arents are fretting that their "ids aren$t develo ing fast enough and "ids are 9ust freeDing u because they$re ex ected to erform too soon%%% Cataract City tells the fascinating story of Duncan and Owen, two friends since childhood, growing u in .iagara Falls, otherwise "nown to locals as Cataract City. Our story o ens with Duncan getting out of 9ail and then goes from his childhood to tell how he eventually ended u there. &he cha ters often go between ast and resent and are told from the oint of view of either Dun" or Owe ans they have been called. &hese guys are a bit younger than me as they were H2 years old bac" in the early G1$s at

the height of the wrestling craDe during the time the !aby !lue movies used to be shown on City &+. (nyway, a tri to the local wrestling arena to see their favorite fighter, !ruiser 2ahoney ends u turning into an im rom tu cam ing tri when both their dads get into a dis ute and leave them with him. !ruiser drives them into the woods where he dies and leaves them fighting for survival. @ater, Duncan also finds two abandoned greyhound u ies in a garbage dum ster, "ee s one and gives the other to Owen. &his leads him to the exciting world of dog6racing and eventually dog fighting%%% Cataract City was a fascinating read from start to finish. I strongly recommend it.

Closin3 Wor-s for the ,onth

7ell, here it is the end of another issue. !etter late than ever. 7e here at 'lanet .il"narf ho e that 21H5 has been a good year for you and that 21HA will be even better%%% &hese last few days have been craDy, rushing around trying to get things done but often having to 9ust dro everything and ta"e a na . 7hile I am utting finishing touches on this issue Kanette has 9ust arrived for a visit and I$m ma"ing coffee and chatting with her while I ty e this u . 2y ele hant is finished but you won$t see it until next month$s issue% MN I have also 9ust started my tiger bunny and my summative ro9ect which you won$t see until then either. &here are two more boo"s I am loo"ing forward to reading and reviewing ho efully next month0 The Happy Neurotic by David :ranirer and Hard-wiring Happiness by ,ic" 4anson. I have been wanting The Happy Neurotic for at least the last two years, but u until recently it had been out of rint and all I could find were secondhand co ies that were going for 4F.D,*D# of dollars% I$ve ordered a co y from (maDon but it #&I@@ isn$t here. I believe I sent for it around the same time I sent for my carousel video. ,ic" 4anson tal"ed about Hard-wiring Happiness on the most recent e isode of Spark on C!C radio. 4e says that the human brain is hard6wired by default to focus on that which is negative and neuro lasticity can train us to remember that which is ositive. Our tendency toward negativity has been what has hel ed us to survive all these centuries. ( rime exam le would be ;Don$t touch the stove, it$s hot.< #o of course, if you burn your hand on a hot stove, you$re not as li"ely to do it again. ( more recent exam le would be last night when Dave and I were out wal"ing and we came to an icy

driveway. On the way home we remembered where this icy driveway was and were able to avoid it. 7e remember negative things for the sa"e of our safety, but other than that how does remembering negative things hel us> 2ore often than not it suc"s the 9oy out of an otherwise fun vacation, such as when my aunt yelled at me on the way to .orth !ay. 7hy is it so much harder to remember 'O#I&I+* ex eriences where we are rewarded with :OOD things> I$m afraid that the thing readers will robably remember most about this month$s issue is my angry rant to the :rinchess 7ho ,uined 4alloween. 7ell, &OF:4 &I&&I*#% I am .O& deleting it or changing it% I 4(&* !F@@I*# and I resent eo le who can$t acce t anyone who is different and try to ma"e eo le feel ashamed of the way they loo" and who they are%% (nyway, I 9ust made us coffee and Kanette has been sitting on the couch eating her lunch and we$re going to watch the &oronto #anta Claus arade this afternoon. Dave ta ed it when it was on last wee"end. It was on the day after we had ours here in Oshawa and it goes right ast our house. htt>v?Awhieit7!)" (nd since this is the end of the issue, you "now the old saying0 htt>v?P!G"GICvvb" 2eh, who are we "idding. I&$# O.@- &4* beginning%%%% 2erry Christmas and have a wonderful .ew -ear%%

,ay 2016 be (+* 4*2( #*&% *7*%$$$$$

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