Saturday, December 30, 2006

Seven Thoughts for 07

2007 will not be a year, it will be a dimension. It will be the dividing line between my career as a moderately successful writer to a journeyman hound-pounder and puppy-poker, to wit, an angry old blogger, the old flea with an erection, floating down the old Suez canal and demanding they raise the drawbridge.

One has had a terrible bang in this up-and-down year of 2006.
I had found out, finally, that to seek a high literary prize, one must have pedigree, high academic credentials and a sizeable body of distinguished work in another field, like medicine, say, or politics.. One must also have connections.

What is especially puzzling is that I had some of these things in my thirties--independently wealthy, a sexy job as head of creative writing at Seneca College, and award-winning columnist for the now-defunct TOPIC Magazine, a great "in" with the TORONTO SUN, fearless psychic researcher for the Nationl Enquirer, top-drawer humourist for The Globe and Mail. I also had a book out, whose name was The Black Icon.

The last few years have not been entirely sweet, but what a ride!

Whereas most authors seeking the Giller prize were extremely versatile and established people, I was being Ferdinand the Bull, afraid, I suppose, of success, sleeping in laudromats, writing great sprawling novels atop dumpster ledges, the poet in the gutter, which, as any cad knows, is hellishly attractive to women. As in that old Skiffle song, "he was dirty and lousy, and full of fleas,
But he had his women by twos and threes."

Flat broke? No job? Low on the self-esteem scale?
That's when the women come. Trust me.

My friend says, "You know, most of us when we leave one spouse, we go to another and the relationship becomes parmanent. With you, it's seven permanent relationships. You're right off the scale, buddy."

A bohemian lifestyle like this does not bode well for you as a tenured teacher, or, for that matter, a Giller prize winner. I had repeatedly tried for tenure or some important literary prize. They pretty well laughed in my face and slapped my back. But every time they "uncontracted" me, the other teacher was not up to his/her job and I would be hired again. When you publish, you don't perish and I'd publish a lot, even from the bars and the garbage cans.

It all came from a rent in The Important Relationship.

In the course of one year, I had earned an advanced degree, gotten my novel published, was making scads of money at the college--and I was all but insufferable. I would begin to lecture my wife over the dinner table, about oysters having eyes, feet, elaborate digestive systems. I would sally forth on any subject with convincing authority, whether I knew anything about the matter or not.
Everything was feeding ones ego and it is small wonder that the poor wife enrolled in the local nunnery they call a university, took women's studies and well, and well.

I was suddenly reduced from Top Dog to Huckleberry Hound.

"Out, damn Spot."

Fido on the front lawn.

Hit the road, Jack.

Which, I must confess, I was happy to do.
I was a duffer at dates in high school, the guy eliminated on ElimiDate, awkward with girls and now was the time fo all good men to come to the aid of the party.
Thirty years on the edge. Thirty years a dreamer with a practical bent.
Thirty years a sex maniac.

Well. This is Gillar Prize material?


So it should have been no surprise to me, that when, in my own sneaky way I tried for the Giller, I was turned down flat and pretty well called a prick.

But one can not take this lying down.
In the past I used to be pretty good at rolling with the punches, doing the old psychic karate each time to colleges and universities fired me, lying low until rehired because of some splash I'd make with the Toronto Star or the local slick magazine.

This time, this year, I'm not going to roll with the punches.
This time I'm going to be Teflon. I shall be Mylar.

And so, with the arrogance of a young fool of 68, I propose the following seven thoughts for 2007:

1) No matter how many affairs one has had, one is-- in one's own head anyway--undivorced and undivorceable.
I am carrying a torch that would gut the innards of a GO-bus and sear the ass off any suitor.

2)There comes a time to stand and fight. Set yourself up so you can write, not just blog, but write.

3) Take the professional attitude you once had about your career and stop clowning around.

4) This is the year of the promotion of the foreigner.(I thought I had this covered, being multicultural and all, but
Prime Minister Trudea is dead.) The huns are surely at the gates and the native son as achiever is reduced to a colourful oddity.

5) Our civilization is dying and only a kook, a Frank Zappa can save it. I qualify as kook.

6) This will be the year to appreciate other people's abilities--like two ladies who visit this blog, and one old pro of a writer and he knows who he is. I stand in awe of the bastard.

7) All things the medical-industrial complex deems bad for you is good for you. Drink and smoke your brains out.
Goose liver, wine and cigarettes are good for you.

So, a happy and ambitious New Year!


EA Monroe said...

Dear Ivan, I am with you all the way. Go for the Gusto. And if anyone says otherwise, hit them with your Tiki Stick.

Good Luck, Good Fortune, Good Hunting, and Good Sticking.


Josie said...

Go for it, Ivan. You have definitely got it...! I'm not a writer but I'm a reader, and I love reading your stuff. You really have a way of expressing yourself that's colorful but also hits home.

And, I don't smoke, but bring on the goose liver pate and wine. Yum.

All the best(!) in 2007.


ivan said...

Barammm! Barammm! Baraamm! with my Tiki stick!
Thanks, dear Liza.

ivan said...

Yeah, Josie,
Hang the politically correct crowd.
I could really handle goose liver and wine.
I know for sure you've had caviar.
Slight disappointment, no?
It's the way I eat seafood late at night.
Then end up pole-vaulting all morning.
Never mind Viagra. Seafood will do it.

Josie said...

Ivan, TMI... Hah. Yes, I've had caviar and yes, it was disappointing. It was real Russian caviar that some Russian sailors brought over, together with some Russian vodka. The vodka was better.


ivan said...


Bill-Muskoka said...


2007 will be another year, another lot of ridiculous crap, and give us both more reasons to go Bah Humbug!

SSDD I say.

But, regardless, Happy New Year!

Remember the Daisy Air Rifle sign 'Helping Keep Kids Off Your Lawn Since 1866' LOL

Jaye Wells said...

You're like a general leading the troops with a cigarrette hanging from your lips and a quill in your raised right hand. The rest of us shall lumber after you with our flasks of whisky and our laptops. Tally ho, my friend. Tally ho.

ivan said...

Bill Muskoka.
Well Faith and Begorra!
So nice to have you "around" again.
What happened over at Antonia Zerbisias' blog at the Star?
The life seems to have gone right out of that extremely popular blog.
She just doesn't seem to want to web-host any more.
She explained to me what happened.
She was quite anatomically descriptive of some of her commentators. You were not one of them.
Yeh, the good ole Red Ryder Daisy.
We'd be plinking things all over and nobody ever lost an eye. Just never happened.
Kept the woodchucks at bay as well.

Over here, we all think we're as clever as all-get-out, but wait until we get a load of bill-muskoka.
From what I've read of you over at Antonia's blog, you are devastating!
Happy New Year to you as well, Bill.
One day somebody's going to get a handle on Canada.
Like "truncated historical abortion"?
And smoke-free!

ivan said...

The hunt is on.
Men,women and children, splattered in mud, but we chase the fox all the same.
The moor is polluted with them.

Sela Carsen said...

Go for it, Ivan! Kick Canada into gear with you!

ivan said...

Thanks. You make me want to sing.
I will try to find your fiction entry in DREAMS & DESIRES, from Freya's Bower. So happy you were able to successfully contribute.
I found your novelette, NOT QUITE DEAD, by googling like a madman.
I shall google some more to find, uh, dreams and desires.

ivan said...

Natasha is gone and she took the vodka too! No one to pull plough!
Come back, Natasha.
And bring Elizaveta with you.
Better with two- in -hand.


ivan said...

I forgot one creditor at the shank end of this year.
Scrooge come to collect.

Bailiff will whack my pee-pee.

Gotta leave the house for a bit.


Josie said...

Ivan, I'm off visiting friends for the weekend. I just popped by to wish you a Happy New Year. Stay out of trouble (hah). See you Monday or Tuesday.


ivan said...

Gonna chew your slippers all weekend.

H.E.Eigler said...

Another fantastic post from the prof.
All the best for 2007, I hope you accomplish everything you set out to. Happy New Year!!!

ivan said...

Thanks, Heather.
And the best New Year to you.

EA Monroe said...

Happy New Year, Ivan.

ivan said...

Thanks, dear.
And I know a year ringing with promise for you.

Erik Ivan James said...

Over the many years, we've fed from the same garbage cans and dumpsters, you and I. You always leave behind a morsal for me.

Happy New Year, Ivan!

ivan said...

Yep, Erik. Thanks.
Still hight this morning, I'm yelling to all the girls, "Stick out your cans, here come the garbage man!"

Bill-Muskoka said...


"What happened over at Antonia Zerbisias' blog at the Star?"

As near as I can figure she went Super-Nova and flamed out! Perhaps you can drop me an email via my blog email and share what she gave as the reason?

Thanks for the compliment. It seems blogs go white hot, then die. Like MyBlahg which has lost many, myself included.

I also have gone on a blogging was consuming my time and energies. Hence, I started my own so the topics could stay in the arena of intelligent thought, rather than the snarking, snipping exchanges too many have become.

Well, here we are in the New Year of 2007. Like Nostradamus, the prophets of doom and glory abound.

May your days and years be joyful and fulfilling.

ivan said...

Thank you, Bill Muskoka.
I might jeopardize my slim relationship with Antonia if I pass her email along.
Basically, she just said she got tired of "all the assholes", present company excluded, of course.
I had no idea that she may have flamed out.
But her tightroping between the neocons and dippers must have surely been a strain on her.

Antonia has great judgment and she always uses it, but what with
red-hot Zionists and equally charged Muslims all screaming in maddeningly through comments--it is small wonder that the poor girl may have gone wa-wa.

Got a new post up, pal.
Don't know if you're into music, but I spend a lot of time watching Eric Clapton.


ivan said...

p.s. to bill-muskoka:
How can I find your blog?
Can you highlight?


Sela Carsen said...

Found Bill's blog for you, Ivan. Enjoy!

ivan said...

Thank you, darlin'

Bill-Muskoka said...


Itried posting as a logged in Blogger and it got all screwy...Ah, electronics are so wonderful.

Yes, Antonia sure contended with all the nutbars, again, present company excluded, but I sense she had too many horrific family matters happening as well. She was wise to choose to reduce her stress levels...that will kill you literally!

I like many forms of music, per your inquiry, and the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Il Divo, and good upbeat symphonic, as well as Blues and old style jazz rank way up there on my list. Then for the more sedate contemplative moods I adore Clannad...must be the Druid/Celtic in my blood.

No trees were killed in the transmission of this message but, several million electrons were inconvenienced.

ivan said...

Having some hair-of-the-dog this morning.
Get back atcha when I'm less zonked.


Bill-Muskoka said...


Hair of the Dog is a main ingredient in Champaigne you know? LOL

It's like Chardonnay with an Alka-Seltzer to my pallette. LOL

Be well! May you head be as a hairless Chiuahua! LOL

ivan said...

My head is fast becoming as hairless as a chihuahuha.
...And my penis droops.

Bill-Muskoka said...



You need ancient medicine...Deer Penis...That will help you 'Buck Up!'

There is always Buckley's which could add hair to a bronze Buddha! LOL

Just finished watching the video of Sodumb Insane Dropping In for a Reality Check

Wonderful reality. Makes one hope that all corrupt politicians will dream of such an end.

ivan said...

Funny thing.
There was a time Richard Nixon described out late Prime Minister Trudeau as "an asshole".
Trudeau, visiting Japan at the time, swore he heard the premier of that country also say "Ah So."
Something should happen three times to establish it as a fact?

Deer dong.
Never mind. I've been in an out of extramarital and marital affairs so much that I've got more horns on me than a stag. Some well-hung construction worker is always stealing my women.
Never mind. I ended up getting a job in construction myself. The transformation was amazing. There was something coming off me in the night club. Stress, adrenaline, sweat. I got past a lady to make a phone call; she raised both legs to wrap around my neck and I could hardly get past the angel at the gate, let alone complete the phone call.
I'll check out your video, though lately, as I say, my browser has been lazy as hell.

Bill-Muskoka said...


"Something should happen three times to establish it as a fact?"

Okay, Sodumb's two sons are next up for the vertical walk...Does that count? LOL

Man, you have got to stay away from those club scenes...dangerous they are!

Claim insanity for welfare instead. You have a dependant who is out of work 90% of the time, in the hole the other 10%, and supports two other dependents that are both NUTS!

ivan said...

Pretty neat about that vertical ascent!
I did mention somewhere that my next book will be titled "Bowling for Welfare".
Highest score gets first cheque gratis.
Tale out of school: Prissy Ukrainian lady visits Yorkville in 1969. "You never see a good Ukrainian boy down there with the hippies."
To which I answer, "Shcho?"

ivan said...

The video:
That is freaking evil!

Bill-Muskoka said...


"That is freaking evil!"

Yes, the one with the noose around his neck certainly WAS! Love the past tense.

Beautiful day, eh? Sun shining and not too cold, and no snow...yet!

Speaking of Ukrainians...Have you ever seen the magnificient Ukrainian Famine Memorial in Edmonton? SIlver hands reaching out from a black rock.

One of the most moving memorials I have ever seen. One does not even need to know the history to get the message.

ivan said...

Some Madrechingador stole a $40,000 bronze statue of Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko, right from the front lawn of an Oakville museum.
I know the People's Republic needs copper, but this is ridiculous!

Bill-Muskoka said...


Watch your house may be next! LOL They have been scarfing copper pipe and wiring from construction sites for years.

Yes, I read that and am trying to figure out how the hell someone walks off with a heavy statute and no one sees it? Imagine some pickup going down the road with it?

Bronze is only part copper, so it would take a lot to even reclaim the copper. Maybe someone is planning on making hockey medals, eh?

What's next? The CN Tower?

BTW, employees at Chicago O'Hare International saw a UFO hovering over the airport. Maybe 'they' took it, eh? We have some MP's and MPP's they can have as well.

Like the saying goes...Lawyers are better for lab experiments because they have no feelings and no one ever gets emotionally attached to one...unlike rats!

ivan said...

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

ivan said...

We are rapidly being archived on this particual post.
You can write to the new posting, da big novel chapter I have just put up.
Don't know if you're into novels.
I do get political sometimes, but basically, Creative Writing is about, uh...

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