February 27, 2011


Best Bad Movie

With JoJo cramming herself into the small of my back as I work (she really is a wonderful heating pad), I took a break from word toil and flipped around the stations.

Score. Roadhouse. If there is a better bad movie in the world, I haven't seen it. I loooove this movie. The dialogue is horrendous; the music is worse; the acting is abysmal. I love it. Actually, Sam Elliott is in it, so I just watch him. He couldn't be bad. Not in anything. Remember Lifeguard? Sigh. I really, really like Sam Elliott. I was so peeved at True Grit for only putting him in a brief scene where he's standing at the top of the stairs outside the courtroom. I thought, 'awesome! Sam is here!'. But no, that was it. Sigh.

Anyway. Oh, sorry. Patrick Swayze just twisted a bad guy's foot at right angles. That must hurt. I can't wait till he pulls the heart out of the chest thing. This is cinematic magic, folks. Oscar always, always, always gets it wrong. But I guess we'll find that out tonight.

What goes best with bad movies? Terrible advertisements. I just saw one that puts all the antibiotic yogurts to shame. Or microbiotic. Whatever. This one is telling you that there is better living through science, which I admit to finding quite ponderable. But get this: they tell you they can add this thing to your diet that will go into your system and make you all spanky new and regular; clean your pipes, so to speak.

I actually believe in the science of this, because I already do it. It's the same as when we add this stuff to our septic tank at the cottage to make it work better.

Maggie just plunked on my lap. One cat in front, one behind. Roadhouse on. Fresh pot of tea, and I can sit here on my own personal cloud all day...

February 25, 2011


Back, Sorta. (Like 'Love, Actually'. But Different)

You know when spring finally arrives and that last snowbank finally melts and you find the leather glove you dropped, or the granola bar box that blew out of the blue bin, or your insurance pink slip the fell out of the car and you yelled at your kid for losing?

This year when that last blob of snow goes, you will find me lying in the sodden grass with a footprint across my arse and a Nutty Buddy wrapper stuck to my face.

I have been busy. All in a good way, but there is not time for all the things I would like to do, like blog every day to scream at the world for messing up so much, to cheer for people who get it right, to have little quiet moments because we all need them, and sometimes, just to find out how regular people are absorbing all the things that are going on.

I hopped off a snowmobile and landed at the Toronto Autoshow. From there I headed to Quebec City to tear around in a brand new spanky red Explorer. Quebec City is gorgeous. Just, gorgeous. Explorer was not so bad either. Heh. You can just yell a thousand voice commands at it. No, you can't say that at it. I tried. You knew I would.

We live in a beautiful country. I've said it before, and I'll keep saying it. I love it from top to bottom, side to side, and in all seasons. Two hours north, and I'm barreling along spectacular trails and gasping at the beauty of the French River; downtown Toronto on a glittery Thursday night, and I'm hopping in a cab to go to a howdy doody dress up car event - the cab is to save me from my 5" heels. In Quebec City, I'm wearing longjohns, a hat with ear flaps*, and my sensible boots stuffed with hotshots as we cluster in the Ice Hotel, sipping vodka from a tumbler made from solid ice.

I'm aware it's not usual to do all of these things in one week, but the point is that we can all do some of them, at some point. Ontario is right here. Quebec is right next door. Every province is worth the trek. Not always long plane rides, especially if you love road trips, plenty close to home and most of the fun is reasonable. All the adventure you could want, all right here. Wow. Look at that. I'm getting all nostalgic for a place I haven't left, but nor have I finished discovering it.

When you are grabbing your news in snippets (yeah, Twitter may have a purpose), it's not until you get home and to a proper paper or computer that you realize what you've missed. Our world has changed more in the past two weeks then in the two years before that, I swear.

Back to Word. That's a computer joke. I am bursting at the seams with work, which means my day will be 100% chance of laundry with the likelihood of columns, followed by a severe squall later this afternoon when I head to the TV studios to tape Behind the Story with Richard Landau. And then of course, more writing and editing as I tell my sons it may be Friday night for them, but I'll be busy poring over photos and thinking 'did I really do all of this in the last ten days?'

*You know those furry hats with the ear flaps? Well, around here we call them something else. In the movie Christmas Vacation (stop lying; everyone has seen it) Randy Quaid's character shows up in a battered old motorhome and is dumping the tanks into the city sewer. He's wearing one of those hats, flaps proudly flapping as a cigar hangs out of his mouth. When Clark Griswold looks at him, he indicates the steam rising from the hose (we call it a thunder hose when we RV, because of the noise it makes) and says 'the sh*tter was full'. It's a stellar moment in cinematic history. And ever since, we have called those hats 'sh*tter hats'. It is rude. But, there you have it.

February 16, 2011


The Ultimate Dream Job?

Well, things like this don't land in my mail every day.

"Endras BMW, one of Canada’s most innovative BMW retailers, has launched a world-wide search for the Ultimate Blogger.

What is the Ultimate Blogger? It’s an in-house social media gig that pays the chosen candidate $65K a year to drive a brand-new BMW, attend BMW events around the world, find the latest BMW news, and blog, Tweet and Facebook about it all. If these responsibilities aren’t enough to pique interest, the job also comes with a downtown Toronto condo for the Ultimate Blogger to call home for the duration of his or her contract."


You can check out the website(www.endrasbmw.com/ultimateblogger), but beware: they don't just want a car fan or a blogger: they want the Ultimate Blogger to be 'obsessed'. Take a look at this Youtube piece.

Dunno about that 'obsessed' part, but it's going to be fun to watch this play out. Best of luck to whomever lands this - and call me when you're somewhere good - we'll go for lunch, on BMW.

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February 13, 2011


Yabbering

I admit it. I'm wasting time today. I mean, I'm working, and doing laundry, but I'm watching a steady diet of the barrel-scraping television that I love to make fun of. I'm only listening with one ear - I have a little TV in the kitchen. But the only thing I've recalled all day is the commercials.

There is a subset of channels - you know the ones; they run marathons of scary things that make you peek through your fingers - houses overrun by rats, people puking on camera, 3- year- olds dressed up like hookers and women willing to spend 10K on a wedding dress. Yeah, that TV. Anyway. The only thing I've paid attention to today is the ads.

I have seen several today that are for some new and improved drug. Because the American Commerical People make them list all the side effects (affects? whatever), they show someone smiling and wearing gentle colours and being productive, a little voice races through the downside: you may become dizzy or depressed or die; you might succumb to kidney disease or kill yourself; you might experience blurred vision or bowleggedness. Or perhaps start collecting rats or dressing your 3-year-old like a hooker.

The problem is that it takes 30 seconds to show the woman ballroom dancing or the man swinging his kid in the air all happy-like. Then it takes 90 seconds for them to fast talk their way through the oops part of the drug. It's like a little movie. And one that doesn't end well.

I suppose there are worse ads; if I see Russell Oliver once more yelling at me (I'm sure he spits on the lens), I'm just going to call him up myownself and tell him to buy some hair.

I also hate internet/cell phone/cable ads. Regardless of what is advertised, it is always, always, always my company, and a better deal than I just got suckered into. I hate you, technology. And I hate you useless companies who are only hankering for the next customer, instead of taking care of the ones you have. I've danced with you before - and I've caught you looking over my shoulder at another girl. Pffffft.

I am spooked by LinkedIn, or however you spell it. I am a little unsettled that you suggest I 'link' in with people who are in my address book, but not in my work world. I do not like this; I don't. Zappos and Aldo shoe sites do the same thing, but for some reason I am less disturbed when pictures of darling boots keep popping up in my size. That is helpful; LinkedIn is creepy.

I am becoming increasingly worried that our Prime Minister is running this country like his own private little kingdom. I am worried that nobody seems to care that decisions are being made that will affect us for decades, and he is doing it like the Wizard of Oz. I saw that movie just yesterday. I am terrified that there is no Toto to yank down the curtain on this cretin, and that nobody cares. We are sheep; we are assholes; we are being scared into lurching toward a government from which there will be little chance of recovery in my lifetime. This is not the Conservative party we grew up knowing. This is the Reform Party. Do not doubt that for a moment. Tell me where the revolution is going to take place. And, let's do it in the summer. It took Egypt 18 days. I'm sure we could do it in 18 hours, and then go for a latte.

My Wheels column yesterday was hating on those mommy-with-kids parking spots. Not a single negative email. I'm shocked. I thought I'd hear from the brigade who think their ovaries merit them speshul treatment. Nope. Not even my sister, who I KNOW used those spots, because I used to make fun of her. Hi, Gilly!

Now, I have to go BBQ and figure out which channel is PBS around here. Any Human Heart starts tonight. Absolutely one of the best books, ever, and it's been adapted for a miniseries by the original author, William Boyd. I hope it's as great as the book. I hope I can find PBS. I hope I can put on fresh flannel sheets and got to bed with wine and a cat and ignore the boys.

I'm off tomorrow to the Great White North. Grabbing a Nissan Murano and heading to Parry Sound. I am now a snowmobiler. Apparently.

February 10, 2011


Sigh

Ari has breakfast every morning. It's usually toast, or a bagel. He rarely finishes it, so he puts his plate on the counter with half a whatever on it, slugs back his orange juice and heads off to school. Because the extra 8 inches to move that plate all the way into the dishwasher is just soul-crushingly impossible. Today, he had crumpets. Well, 1 and a half crumpets. The half sat on the counter, and I decided it would sit there until he gets home.

As I was working, Maggie the cat decided to take a stroll over to the crumpet. She is not allowed on the counter, but I am a lax parent. We all know that. Anyway. She proceeded to test out the crumpet, see if it might be preferable to the food in her bowl. Yup. Apparently so. I ignored her as she licked all the butter off the crumpet, left it on the plate, then daintily jumped down and went to have a nap.

Christopher came down an hour later. The plate was still on the counter, because I am still making my point.

"Is that still hot?" he asked me. Maggie is not the only scavenger in the family.
"Maggie just licked it all over," I informed him.
"Yeah, but is it still hot?"

If you're ever invited here for dinner, I totally understand if you turn us down.

February 9, 2011


Running Around Like an Idiot...

Back from Ajax. BMW has been kind enough to loan Marcia, the lady I wrote about back in November, a gorgeous 7 Series Hybrid. We went to pick it up. Thank you, BMW. You have done a good thing for a very deserving lady.

Been readingreadingreading this in the New Yorker. You'll need some time, but it's the Paul Haggis story about Scientology. Haggis, Canadian writer of Crash and stuff, was a 34 year member of Scientology. He publicly broke up with them last year over Prop 8 in California, because Scientologists don't like gay people. Which is cool, cuz neither do John Travolta or Tom Cruise. Right?

Anyhoo. Terrific read. But a long one. But be glad that there are no keys needed to get to it, like the piece I sent you to last week.

Vanity Fair put Justin Beiber on the cover this month. Sigh. I'm sure he's a lovely boy, and I'm glad he's making buckets of money while keeping his clothes on, but please, Vanity Fair, your target demographic is not 16. Not even close. Stop going all Tiger Beat on me, and stick to grownups. There is an interesting article about Arianna Huffington in the same issue. Couldn't you have just ironed her face and used her for the cover? Actually, the Huffington article is a hoot. Two guys are arguing, a la Facebook, that they invented the Huffington Post, and she didn't properly credit them. Or shower them with money. The funny? They waited 6 years to draw this to her attention. 6 years. Sure. Let me know how that turns out.

You've probably read that Amazon.com did a poll and named Guelph, Ontario as the most romantic city in Ontario. I think they used dodgy stats - they counted how many relationship books, romance novels and Michael Buble CDs were sold. All this tells me is how many women are all moony-faced in Guelph. And I'm not judging - my own city came in at number ten. But seriously? Men do not buy relationship books. They do not buy romance novels. And nobody has ever seen a man buy a Michael Buble CD, unless it's hidden under his Glee CD. So, nice try, Amazon, but you'd probably find a closer correlation between romance and purchases if you go to a Shopper's Drug Mart that sells flowers in cellophane beside the condom section.

I keep hearing ads for 'Valentine's Weekend'. Huh? The 14th is Monday. Valentine's is a stupid hose-the-fool holiday. And they're trying to stretch it out? I'll be in Parry Sound with my frozen arse on a snowmobile. That's plenty romantic enough for me. Though I guess I should be heading to Guelph, instead.

The next couple of weeks are crazy. Snowmobile, auto show, Quebec City...though tomorrow, I finally get to see True Grit! Commenter jmd and I will report back with our review!

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February 5, 2011


Just Another Day Away From the Conversation...

I Skype with a group of friends from all over the place. One of them brought a task to the group yesterday.
Good friends of hers, two lesbians, are searching for sperm donor in order to have a child ‘Lisa’ is 1/2 Vietnamese and 1/2 French Canadian. ‘Heather’ is English/Native American and "something else that's white." They are both around 5'8." I told Lisa I was going to leave it to the "Skype Ladies"... and she said "NICE!" ("no major crazy allergies, those are a pain in the ass"... she says cancer happens everywhere, so that's not a factor. All of the anonymous ones are out. She wants the kids to have the info if they want it.
And so the Skypers went to work..... I was not home, but came home to read the following conversation:
Skype K: I don't want to know what "available washed inventory" means. ::shudder::
Skype S: O god these are fascinating.
Skype K: 7724 sounds perfect. Chinese (50%), Norwegian, German, Irish, Native American: jackpot.
Skype S: You click on the pdf and get their own personal profile
Skype K: Yeah, 6'1", 236
Skype S: Lisa will be the egg person, so she brings the Asian
Skype K: "exotic fruit allergy" I don't think that would carry over and it's treated OTC = they don't DIE
Skype S: read the impressions documents
Skype K:” Co1: began drug and alcohol abuse in high school due to ridicule because of undiagnosed dyslexia; Co2: drug abuse began in military, is still currently using, estranged from family”... sperm donor fail...back to the chart
Skype S: Yup it's crazy...this is a great project
Skype K: Studies Sanskrit in his spare time....I reject anyone who categorizes themselves as 1/64th native American...I’m 1/13th Maori (finger)
Skype S: Lisa is happy you're helping
Skype K: I feel like the sperm whisperer
Skype M enters the room: What kind of job is Personal Attendant? Oh, and why are you surfing sperm donors?
Skype K: We're helping lesbians create life...personal attendant = professional ball washer
Skype M: Did said lesbians ask for our help, or are you starting some kind of public service?
Skype K: Said lesbians asked. I would never presume
Skype K: Okay - here's my first choice...I went through all of them...I vote for the chef (of course)
Skype M: You most certainly would presume... you're presumptuous as hell :)
Skype K: Well, yeah... but I like to make people think it was their own idea.
Skype K: I got up this morning and thought - I’d like to help lesbians choose a sperm donor. I called it out to the universe and the universe answered, "F*ck yeah!"
Skype S: Lisa wants help
Skype K: This is my second choice: he describes his personality as a mix of Harry Truman and Eeyore. I’d totally hit that.
Skype M: I prefer to think that Skype K’s doing random acts of sperm
Skype K: It is my custom.
Skype S: Damn... 5264 said ‘no’ on identity release program
Skype K: Those are the two best though. Booooooooooooooo . I mean, how can you not love this guy? "One of my hobbies that I am very passionate about is road cycling. (Yes, the dorks who wear very tight, obnoxiously-colored spandex.)"
Skype K: One has a little Asian in there and the other has a little Native American. Well, really it's the lesbians that would have a little Asian in there, but I digress.
Skpye M: His hobby is his passion for cycling? That sounds faintly obscene
Skype S: Lisa brings the Vietnamese with her eggs
Skype K: My hobby is a passion for free yogurt. Put that on a sperm donor chart. Let us re-examine.
Skype S: I knew you'd love this! Heeeeee
Skype S: Lisa says "Skype K has to play by the rules"
Skype K: OK. So we're looking for Native American not Asian. I was looking for both and identity is a must
Skype K: Ask Lisa on a scale of 1-10 how important having Native American is vs. Identity
Skype S: You can't have everything...I think Native American is negligible
Skype S: I found one!
Skpye K: there's no Indian in there! And he DESCRIBES himself as an ENTP: ::shudder:: ... you want a non-judgmental extrovert running around???? (puke)
Skpye S: Just think how different siblings are...I don't think those things are hereditary
Skype K: You wanna meet my two INFJ brothers that I wasn't raised with? That’s less than 3% of the population...rarest type....not that I believe in that shit, but I still vote for my guy
Skype K: 6 foot tall and 137. If it's a girl, she'd be skinny as hell... bless that kid with a 6 foot 137 lb dad AND HE HAS DIMPLES. Dimples, oh. my. gawd.
Skype K: My guy: "I am extremely interested in fashion and design. I design and sew clothing and accessories. I also crochet hats."!!!! Come on now!
Skype S: brb
Skype K: Hurry up. We have a baby to father
Skype K: ”Everyone deserves to have children, to impart their values, beliefs, and knowledge to a younger generation. It was really important to me that this sperm bank catered to all including lesbian couples and single mothers by choice. It feels good to know that I am helping a family grow.” That's why he's going to be a sperm donor...isn't that precious?
Skype K: Oh, I’d feel so weird discussing this for real.
Skype J enters the room: What about all those craigslist guys with the big dongs?...Aside from their questionable taste in shower curtains
Skype K: ::gasp:: nevah! They are NOT good enough for my newfound lesbian friends!
Skype K: In 17 minutes - free Coffeemate on Facebook. I'm just sayin'
Skype S: I’m going to meet Lisa in a few minutes, then we'll walk downtown for Thai
Skype K: See if there are any good looking charitable guys there...ask for a Dixie cup
Skype E enters the room: I leave y'all alone for three hours and you start talking sperm
Skype S: After reading a bunch of those things, I think you should hang around a sperm bank for a potential guy. Read the pdfs. One is family history and a Q and A. The other is the staff assessment of the dude. They say things like "looks like Lyle Lovett"; "has big ears"....great screening for any man need
Skype E: I can do my own screening...and fertility is pretty low on my list of things to look for in a guy
Skype S: Just read the shit they say about themselves...it's hilarious
Skype E: I trust Skype K culled the best ones
Skype K: I did indeed

February 2, 2011


Wish I'd Seen This One Happen

Go check out the snow carnage on Gizmodo...makes you never want to drive again.

Well, maybe.


Objects Outside Your Window...


...are heavier than they appear. Really. That snow weighs a ton. No, those trees aren't here. That's James Bay last week.

So. If they call that a Big Storm, I wonder what words they're going to have to resort to when it gets big enough to say, call in the army? Remember Mel Lastman? Of course you do. Who could forget a Toronto Mayor who didn't know the difference between governing and making ads for his appliance stores? He made the Carvel Ice Cream guy look like an Oscar winner.

I just came in. It's very pretty out, but it's not that snowy, and it's not all that cold. Granted I still have James Bay memories in my noggin, but I was digging in for a good blizzard. The Spectator actually used that word yesterday - blizzard - and got my hopes up. I have a group of friends all sprinkled around the U.S., and one of them in Dallas was whining. They had an Ice Pellet Day. That's like our Snow Day, but for wussies. She had to scrape her windshield. Awwwwwwww.

Of course L.A. and Jacksonville are reporting in their balmy temperatures to me; the only who is on my side is New Hampshire, who has so much snow she can't get out of her front door. I'm waiting for Philadelphia to weigh in.

I'm about to throw things at my sons' heads. There are driveways to be cleared, and they will be doing the clearing. I always wondered why ol' Mel called out the army to clear snow: you close the high schools, there's your army. Easy.

My internal struggle today is what to do after I clear off my work. Do I go back to bed? Or go out and build something in the snow?