July 27, 2009

I'm No Joan Rivers...

I didn't really think I was going to be blogging to fill the void while Lorraine was away. I didn't want to be Joan Rivers to her Johnny Carson (yeah, I'm that old), but I'll be damned if those purple Docs are going to sitting there for a week.

But the question is, what to write about.

Despite having similar personalities, I don't have the creative blog writing skill Lorraine has. And by 'creative blog writing skill', I mean the ability to ramble on about snippets of sunshine she finds on the Internet. I'm certainly not political at all, and I really don't have enough material to create another 'Things You Didn't Know...' list. Celebrity gossip has been done and there's nothing I could really add on the death of MJ that Nancy Grace hasn't already regurgitated.

Talking about the weather seems a little melodramatic. We all know it sucks.

I've looked through the headlines of odd stories at Lorraine's 'inspiration' sites and found nothing, except for maybe this one. Holy Didgeridoo, can't you wait 5 minutes for your grilled cheese? Or how about this guy? Those Aussies are wacky!

I won't go near sensitive subjects like religion... or PC vs. Mac. Just don't get me started.

Seems kinda self serving to talk about me, my likes and dislikes. Besides, Lorraine already said enough about me last year, and you just won't let it go! Just like I won't let go of harassing her for all the free crap she gets via her associations. You'd think some of it would dribble on to me, but no. I don't get the free camera, I just get my ass hauled out to Cayuga to take pictures with the free camera. Pictures of her riding around on a motorcycle like a bullet, for free. Have you ever tried to take a picture of a motorcycle going 230km/hr?

Anybody else get those telemarketer calls about lowering your credit card interest rates? The ones with the option to press 3 to receive 'no further notice' except when you press 3, nothing happens? And when you speak with a live 'service representative' to get the company name so you can complain to the do not call list you're suppose to be on, they just hang up on you? Or is it just me?

So as much as Lorraine would like me to be Joan Rivers, I can't afford the plastic surgery she's had and I just don't know what to write about.

July 25, 2009

My New Boots

Ari said they look retarded.
Christer is still shaking his head.
I think they're darling.

From North to Norther...

Back from the cottage yesterday afternoon - the washing machine hasn't stopped since. That's Ari as the last surviving Pirate - his triumphant paddle-waving victory yell was abruptly interrupted by the 'losers' taking their revenge.

I'll be on a flight at 8am to Whitehorse, for an adventure I'm sure I'm not remotely prepared for. I realized last night my hiking boots are all pooched, so ran out to buy some. Purple Doc Martens. They make me very happy. Probably a good enough warning for anyone who doesn't know me yet, too.

So, I know what you're thinking. I'm told to bring hiking boots, because we'll will be doing hiking. And I'm wearing NEW hiking boots. Don't even say it. I know.

I've talked to my partner-in-Yukon-Adventure, Melissa Weber. Miss and I have known each other over 20 years, and when I was told I could bring someone along, I knew it would be a great chance to finally spend some time with her. She lives in Michigan now, and we don't see each other often enough. After a week with me in an RV, I'm thinking she will be realizing she's good for the next 20 years.

We were going over the itinerary and packing list last night. Let me be blunt: any packing list that includes "sense of humour" should tell you what you're in for. Roz asked if I'd talked to Malicious (that's what she calls her) - I said we were all ready. Which we're not. But trips like these, I would do with no notice and no luggage. I mean, as long as I have my purple boots.

We will be trekking along the Alaska Highway, through Dawson City, raft float trips and the Top of The World Highway. The weather is supposed to be spectacular.

I just spent a week with 7 males. I am switching to a week with one female. I am predicting less laundry, more talking, less beer, more wine, less protein, more tears, less cliff jumping, more girl music, less playing pirates, and more dry towels. But that's just a guess.

I see you've all tried unsuccessfully to push Webgod into action. Or Roz. Or Gilly. I'm surprised Arlene wasn't in there. I don't think I'll have access, but if I do I'll blog when I'm away. In the mean time, carry on talking behind my back.

I don't care. I have new purple boots.

July 16, 2009

Webgod Jeff

I know I'm been posting like a maniac...trying to gauge your withdrawal, sweety darlings...(if you don't know Absolutely Fabulous, now's the time to find it).

All I can offer after today is for all of you to beg Webgod Jeff to post in my absence.
He did this last year, and was awesome. He's a hell of a guy (showed up at the Cayuga track last week with little notice to take the snaps for me losing my lunch, and my dignity, on the superbike). He has the codes to my site; this means I trust him with everything, come to think of it. Think of all he could say with me unable to check :0)

We're off Saturday, tomorrow is devoted to figuring out how much 6 kids can eat, what they want to watch, and who is old enough to drink. And then of course, keeping them from falling in the lake with their shoes on.

No network up north. I've been filing columns like crazy - there's only a day of turn around before I head to the Yukon - so it's probably a couple of weeks of radio silence. Which may be welcome. I entertain grand delusions about my career.

In the mean time, however, for the kinder among you, hit the sites in my linked section. They're my favourites (that I'll admit to), and when I get back, there will be new material galore.

But Jeff. You really need to do this for me. Last year was awesome.

Work on him, folks.


Gail Collins & Sonia Sotomayor

While you might be excused from believing that American politics have turned into something of a clown car - one arsehole after another just tumbling out of the ether - it would behoove you to clue in, if only for a moment, to the hearings currently unfolding around Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

See, this dusty, stodgy group of creaking right-wing entitled one-cell-phone-snap-away-from-losing-their-job/marriage/reputation lawyers (for the most part; I'm sure there are some noble souls toiling away in there, but W. did his damn best to stack the deck) is being infringed upon by a gasp woman. Can't have that now. And why does this matter to you, Charlie and Carla Canuck? Because as goes much of the States, so goes us. It's inevitable. We think they have their sh*t together more than we do, though everyone knows we're really kinder, more generous and more likely to appraise a situation before we, you know, jump right in with guns blazing. Plus, we'd only use the occasional rifle, used only to hunt varmints on the farm. Most of us are more lethal with a slingshot. Actually, I tried to explain to an American friend that yeah, we're a little more polite, with a little less ego, but piss us off, and stand back. Long wick, no appeal.

My point. Gail Collins in the NYT (I know, I know, I'll just start my own fan club), but her column on the hearings is hysterical. Man, how I love this woman. She's totally blown Maureen Dowd off the page.

Read it; trust me.

Shorts for Summer

Well, I've been trying to find some great summer fiction to post for you. This is the time of year when many magazines publish some wonderful reads.

I thought I'd hit on a promising find in Esquire, where they've published a new Stephen King short. I'll link it, but frankly, I think it's a piece of crap. There. How's that for succinct? It's shallow. It pretends to raise all kind of moral questions I don't think it does. Have at it, maybe I'm wrong.

Hoping The Walrus would serve up some better stuff, I came across one I still haven't made up my mind on. Which probably isn't a good sign. Here. It's a quirky little piece that ordinarily I would enjoy, but something's missing. Hell, maybe it's just me.

The New Yorker will surely be my saving grace. I haven't got to the latest, but I guarantee it'll be worth the trek. Here's the fiction link; let me know for when I get back.

101 Uses for.....Everybody!

You and your Dearly Beloved (no, not the dog) can take turns reading this out to each other.

101 Uses for a Man, 101 Uses for a Woman.

Some of them are really funny. Some of them made me scratch my head in puzzlement. I do not recall ever having 'fished outrageously for a compliment'. Heatedly, perhaps, though never outrageously. I will cop to putting CDs in the wrong cases, I frequently wear the Poor Sod's clothes, and I do know when the sheets need changing.

Some of the Man ones are sweet - yes, my father brought my mother a cup of tea in bed every morning as long as I can remember. And most do try to compare labour pains to something stupid, though number 22 is a bit of a reach :)

I do prefer a boy take out dead mice should there be dead mice that require transport, I am aware they rarely call when they say they will, but they do order the stuff like fries and desserts that you want, but refuse to order for yourself.

They'll make you smile.

No News Is, Well, No News....

The dog days of summer bring Stupid News. Let's peruse what has made headlines this morning...

As the G&M scrapes for a story, they end up on the bottom of shoe. Well, not quite, but the bottom of a foot, certainly.

Apparently, at least for all two people they talked to, going barefoot is the way to go. Um, ewwwww.

I run around my house and cottage barefoot all the time. Even when the temperature dips. But we don't have a dog, and nobody is allowed to pee on the lawn. The worst thing I've stepped in is a little bunny poop, and come on, even the words are cute. Bunny poop.

But there are diehards who insist traveling the sidewalks of our major cities is best enjoyed with bare naked pedies. I can still remember the first time I saw a guy spit on the sidewalk. I recoiled in horror as my mother pulled me along and told me not to look. Who couldn't look? Damned disgusting ball of crud glistening the sunlight. Spitting is gross. And gentlemen? You do not 'have' to do it. Last time I checked with my medical professional, men do not give birth to any more lugies than anyone else. And we women manage.

The Star wants us to know that TripAdvisor, one of those on-line travel things that features testaments to the quality of resort from outside posters has been using fake testimonials. To which I really need to add my own resounding, "duh".

The Timesonline would like to inform us that Jamie Neale, the idiot who got lost in the Australian outback for 12 days sparking a ridiculously expensive search for whatever the kangaroos hadn't made off with has not only been found, but he has already signed a celebrity deal.

That's it. The next trip I take, I am going without a map. Or verifiable accommodations. Or shoes.

July 14, 2009

Summertime, and the Living is Queasy....

There. Little earworm for you this morning.

We're headed north for a week soon. I told the boys to each bring a friend. Christer is bringing three. The Poor Sod and I, and 6 teenage boys. For a week. In a little cottage. Pray for me.

They're lovely kids, but they're boys. What it probably would have cost for a week on a beach in February will now be used just for food. And they're the large sort of boys where you walk in a room and just see long legs and broad shoulders kind of draped all over, like ivy gone mad.

I'm about to start madly chopping and cooking - it occurred to me that making a huge batch of spaghetti sauce and two huge lasagnas to freeze would let me escape thinking up dinner for at least two nights. The rest of the time? Even I know you can throw hunks of raw meat at a male near a BBQ, and it will turn out reasonably edible.

I'm counting on them sleeping till noon. I know it's gonna smell like a locker room. I know I will be wading through shoes, and there will be towels hung along the deck like flags at a UN convention. I know they will bonk their heads in the smallish shower stall, and I know every movie we watch will be written by Judd Apatow.

I also know I'm really looking forward to it. And when we get back, I have a day to do laundry and fill up the fridge before heading to the Yukon on a press trip. Well, I'm calling it my recovery trip. And when the boys ask why I'm smiling, I just say it's the cottage I'm looking forward to.

But today, I cook.

July 11, 2009

Does a Vet Have Client/Patient Confidentiality?

Ah, Gail Collins. Columnist for the NYT just keeps getting better. She makes me miss the late, great Molly Ivins just a little bit less.

Though you've probably burned out on Republican politicians screwing everyone except the person they put a ring on, the current knob-du-jour is a dandy. Senator John Ensign actually has played every card right in a very wrong hand. He boffed close to home, by selecting the wife of his Chief of Staff. Gives that title a whole new meaning, eh? He 'fessed up, but to a doctor/minister friend - Ensign is a vet, so between the two of them, they apparently have client/patient confidentiality. Wait right here while I go try to discover what conversations my cat has been having with her vet, that have cost me 90 bucks an hour and I know nothing about.

Ensign had his Daddy pay off not just the boffee, but her husband and children. He didn't put a ring on it, but he somehow put a price on it. $96,000. American dollars. Hell, I need a new deck and bathroom. And we all know I've put out for far less...

Ahem. I think there should be a Politican's Guidebook. Seriously. Before they run for school trustee or dog catcher or wherever they begin their dubious odyssey, they should be told a few home truths: yank open your own closet, and sort through those skeletons before you buy your first pair of sensible shoes to start going door-to-door.

If you're a drinker, make that your campaign policy. "Who's more fun than a drunk monkey?" you might emblazon on a poster. If you smoked dope in college, begin your first speech with "My degree is written on a rolling paper, and I have the ethics of a stoner," which would actually be okay, because most stoners I know are quite calm and lovable.

If you can't keep it in your pants, remind everyone that cuckoldry was the sport of kings. Or was that falconry? No matter. Everyone will be busy pondering the fact that you participate in something that is old- timey and British, which is sure to give you a pass. I mean, who doesn't resort to quotes by Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde when they want to prove something? The Brits get away with everything, nearly as much as the French and the Italians.

If Mr. Bean can be a national icon, a philandering, helmet-haired politician with a shit-eating grin can be a hero.

July 10, 2009

As My (Air) Guitar Gently Weeps....

Those who invented this wondrous language of ours must be rolling over in their collective graves. That's not an earthquake; it's the rumble of the masters.

You may have noticed a couple of weeks back when the millionth word was officially added to the English language. Oh, you missed it? Shame. It was 'Web 2.0'. Yeah, how depressing, eh? That's not even a word.

It gets worse. The crap they're adding at warp speed sounds like an excerpt from an episode of one of those shows with all the high school kids in it. The Hills, or Prep School Perverts, or Joanie Loves Chachi or Spencer Loves Heidi or something inane like that. 'Frenemy'? Really? I'll have to call my BFF and ask if that's okay with her...

So how do they decide? Well, according to the linked article, they try to make sure something just isn't a fad. It took them 50 years to decide 'sock puppet' was here to stay. It only took me until his second term as President to realize he wasn't going anywhere.

They are very careful, it seems, with things like sock puppet. But explain to me how 'staycation' and 'webisode' make the leap in about 20 seconds. If I go through, will I find Betamax? VHS? Legwarmer? Doubt it...but they think 'staycation' is here to stay. Sure it is. But just until everyone gets back to maxing out their credit cards on the Junglebook room at Disneyworld.

'Web 2.0' is just depressing. It's not a word; it's jargon. It's an advertisement. It's lingo. It's a dork in a bad suit giving a pep talk to a boardroom full of people who are pissed that someone ate the last apple danish and the coffee is cold.

'Frenemy' is even worse. Let's see how Churchill would have used that word. "You have frenemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." How about John F. Kennedy letting it roll off his sterling tongue? "Forgive your frenemies, but never forget their names." Forget it. It only works for the humourists, like Oscar Wilde: "Always forgive your frenemies; nothing annoys them more."

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm sick of LOLing. I do not want to CUL8R. I am sick of this glorious language hemorrhaging for the sake of a soundbite or an ad campaign.

And yes, I am aware I am writing this on my blog, but I still refuse to believe that's a real word, either.

July 7, 2009

Wanna Laugh?

Click on here to watch 30 second bunny comics of your favourite movies.

Webgod Jeff, if this is an old site that I've only now just found, shut up. It's still funny.

Slow Boil

I love Christopher Plummer. Really. I think he's awesome. I could watch him act in anything, anytime, anywhere. He could pretend to be anything at all, and I would no doubt be enraptured.

Unlike Mr. Plummer, however, Garth Drabinsky isn't an actor. He wasn't supposed to be pretending anything. Like pretending his public company was clicking along so deep in the black that investors should rush to throw money at him. Half a billion dollars worth of belief in those pretend documents, in fact. And his staff became his main cast, performing improv with the books, making sure this giant could keep bringing theatre starved hordes their newest, bravest shows.

Like most house of cards charades, this one fell down. And ripped off a lot of people. But in the best sense of Canadian good-heartedness, letters from the stars are pouring in, urging the court to go easy on Mr. Drabinsky. After all, it's not like he benefited from his little financial hiccups. He was practically performing charity work - and should be swatted on the hand and told not to do it again.

Really? Read this piece from Bruce Weber in the New York Times, from 1998. Drabinsky was hauling in 1.5 million bucks a year. And you couldn't turn around without smacking something he had his hand in. But now all this crybaby nonsense that he didn't hurt anyone?

He has trashed the reputations of anyone who worked for him. He has lived a decadent life on the backs of investors who were fed fraudulent information. And now, he has all the backing of the arts community, begging for him to be let off? Bet none of them invested a nickel with him. Easy to be generous when you lay low enough for the thresher to miss you.

But he's in debt! He's having to sell his artwork to survive! This, this pisses me off. When rich folk moan and whine that they have to unload expensive indulgences just to survive. Wish I could sell all the boys' fridge artwork to pay the bills.

He is a crook. Period. I don't care if he entertained me. I really don't. We all have dreams, and most of us don't scam people to live them out. To knowingly perpetrate a mass fraud, waste millions of tax dollars to have it proven, and to weep before the court for leniency is vile. And to stand up for this is to tell me you really believe there should be one set of laws for some of us, and another for the rest.

Dim the lights, and drop the curtain. It really doesn't matter how much lipstick you smear on this one.

July 4, 2009

This Just In...

I have on CNN, which I rarely do, because they are to news what Arby's is to roast beef. Which is awful.

But with Sarah Palin's backyard news conference, and a serial killer on the loose in South Carolina, I had to turn somewhere fast for a drive-thru news bite.

Well, you an certainly tell when it's a national holiday on newscasts. They bowl in their third stringers, and the guy on CNN is painful. Even Ari looked up from assembling his sandwich, and asked "what's wrong with that guy?".

Because Michael Jackson is the first person in the world, ever, to die, he has captivated and overwhelmed all news broadcasts. California, which is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy as it is mired in billions and billions of dollars of debt, now has to fund the 'final goodbye of a superstar'. No money for teachers, Arnie has thrown up his hands in surrender, but every single nickel will somehow be found for an estimated 1.2 million people to wave. Somebody explain this to me. I know people that skip funerals for their own families.

So. CNN. The news anchor (Holidayman) has a cop on to interview. Slow news day - I'm sure the janitor will be on next. Anyway, the cop is going over crowd control problems, the logistics of directing crowds, trying to keep control of what the police hope will be a peaceful mob. Holidayman, grasping the fact that from his podium he could possibly help with this by asking people to stay home and wave at their TVs instead, makes sure he gets the most from the interview.

"So, I've heard that Jennifer Hudson will be singing. Did you hear that?" he asked the cop. Who hardly missed a beat, before replying that he was there to talk crowd logistics. Poor bastard probably didn't know who Jennifer Hudson was.

On to the serial killer. Some looney tune is running around shooting people at random in a small town. 5 dead. Holidayman watches the remote reporter show some redneck with a passel of guns saying 'bring 'em on!' as he poses with a dead raccoon (okay, I made up the dead raccoon), and some little kid that insists on sleeping with his parents. Holidayman chuckles - yes, chuckles - that some people seem really, really prepared for this serial killer.

They haven't got to Palin yet. Something tells me Holidayman is going to make her look really, really intelligent.

July 1, 2009

Karl Malden 1912-2009

Karl Malden has passed away suddenly, at the age of 97.

The entertainment world has been thrown into deep, unexpected mourning at his passing. Often referred to as the King Of Pop, for having played more father figures than any other actor born on March 22, 1912, in real life Malden had two daughters.

It is being widely speculated that the courts may now demand DNA tests be performed on his daughters, to determine their paternity. His wife of 71 years (they married in 1938) has reportedly exclaimed that the word 'surrogate' hadn't even been invented when the girls were born, but Perez Hilton is apparently demanding stronger evidence be presented.

While he won an Oscar for his work in A Streetcar Named Desire, it is feared he may best be remembered as the spokesman for American Express, or worse yet, his penultimate movie, Nuts.

His Streets of San Fransisco costar Michael Douglas is said to be inconsolable. "I've just moved up to the position of oldest man in Hollywood," he sobbed, "how do you think I'm feeling?".

Funeral arrangements to be announced.

Oh, Canada....

If you're sitting around waiting to crack the first beer, consider for a moment what you like best about Canada.

I gave this a think just now, as I read this piece from the New York Times. They asked a bunch of Canadian ex-pats - from actors, to writers, to comedians - what they missed the most. It's a nice read.

What do I miss when I'm away? Depends on where I am. We have such a European influence here that a lot of places don't seem too foreign, even if the language is. In Buenos Aires, I missed traffic lights. And traffic laws. In Sweden, the food is a little freaky, no matter how open minded you are. In much of the U.S., I miss our smoking by-laws - you have no idea how nice it is to eat dinner without smoke wafting into your meal until you sit in the middle of a smoky restaurant. Gagging.

When I'm away, I miss not knowing how much gas is costing. I can't do the gallons conversion, and in some parts you have to pay before you gas up (I visit some really nice neighbourhoods, obviously). It still cracks me up that here we still buy peppers and beans by the pound. And I still convert degrees into Fahrenheit.

I know I would miss having seasons. I couldn't live somewhere where you didn't store one season's worth of clothes in your suitcases, then swapped them out a few months later. I mean, that's what suitcases are for, right?

I would miss having strawberries and corn and asparagus and cherries only in season. Imported isn't as good, I don't care what anyone says.

I like bitching about our politicians, but mostly that they don't do scandal very well. How come Harper can't have a soul mate in Argentina? Why isn't Flaherty toe tapping in some airport washroom? Why doesn't Rona Ambrose have a sex tape? Wait. Maybe she does. Maybe that's where she's been.

What's the best part of being Canadian? The snow? Healthcare? The garbage pickup? Hatchbacks (we more more per capita than anywhere else, I'm told)? CanLit? Wine? Women? Song?

Have at it.