Archive for September, 2010


I would write more about the riff-raff I know and meet except that I believe, in my heart, that I *am* riff-raff, often enough, anyway, and: “I won’t write about you if you don’t write about me.” (Same goes for photographs.)

I dream about etymologies, and woke up last night because I couldn’t suss out the etymology for “riff-raff.” I was so glad I got out of bed, because the etymology is perfect, coming from the French, meaning several things at once: “one and everybody” as well as “people regarded as disreputable or worthless.” Made sense to this lapsed Catholic: catholic and Catholic.

September Eleventh

Most of the world marks this day because of what happened nine years ago. I mark that day as well, and call it what the rest of the world does: “9/11,” leaving “September Eleventh” to mean what it has meant all my life, the day my parents, Maureen and George, got married, in 1954. The above photo was taken in Montreal, sometime between now and then. My parents have always done all they could to support the endeavors of their children and their grandchildren.


Under the pseudonym “ellyvon” I’ve started posting public-transit stories on the vantransient.CA blog, which was started by “barefootwriter,” the first friend I’ve ever made via Twitter. I’m taking the buses and trains out to Kwantlen’s Langley, Surrey, and Richmond campuses this semester, so I will be happily collecting lots of material.

Fall semester

This semester is going to be the busiest one in my teaching career: four classes, three “preps,” new duties as the department’s chair. I’m looking forward to developing my latent organizational skills. Two of my classes will have significant social media components; I’ll post links to those once there’s a bunch of content. Here‘s some of what my students will be addressing this semester.

Facebook Birthday

I am a big fan of Facebook for a lot of reasons. I like becoming friends with people I wish I knew better back in the day, I like being able to confirm friendships with old good friends (“you can’t make new old friends”), and I like, so very much, all the birthday greetings. I’m 51 today.