August 31, 2011

Square Off - Wednesday

The ten year anniversary of 9/11 has unleashed an unfathomable bunch of crap into the market place. A t-shirt for your dog? Check. Vile mouse pad? Check. Ridiculous racist colouring book? Check. My personal favourite? Fabric. Yep. Fabric.

Join us at 5:30 on CHCH 11.

August 29, 2011

Square Off - Monday

Is there anything more painful than watching our Prime Minister pretending to be one of the great unwashed? Whether it's a dorky western vest, a native headdress or a turban - this guy really needs to get a clue, and get a smile on his face.

Join me at CHCH in the final segment. Mark and I love to argue.

August 26, 2011

Square Off - Friday

Tune in to CHCH 11 at 5:30.

Will Carrie Fisher once again done the hot Princess Leia gold bikini? And why do women who go on diets think a bikini is the measure of success? I think Carrie is kidding. I think Kirstie Alley was not. And look how that turned out.

August 25, 2011

Oh, Aunty Em

I shouldn't be here at my computer; I should be out back picking up branches and walnuts and debris from my littered yard. Actually, it's the greenest my lawn has looked in 6 weeks, all those leaves on it.

Stormy enough weather for ya? The other day in the middle of the afternoon, my phone rang. It was Roz. She was outside of her house, freaking out. She said her house had swayed and she bolted. She called me. My first question was "you're positive your house had a seizure? You're sure you didn't?". Cruel, maybe, but I often leap to medical conclusion rather than natural disastery ones. Of course it was the earthquake. Roz is fine.

I was out last night when she called my cell phone. She never calls my cell phone. "Did you know there are tornado warnings all over the place? I tried to call your house. The boys are just shrugging!" she said. I shrugged. Okay, okay, not really. I knew it was windy (I'd been along the shores of Lake Erie much of the day, and it was windy). I told her not to worry, the boys knew what to do, and I'd be home shortly.

As I drove home, I realized (with a healthy assist from 680 News) just how crazy it was. I called Christer, and yelling into the bluetooth crazy things like "get into the basement! There's a warning over the house RIGHT THIS MINUTE!". I didn't know *exactly* where the warning was, but with Christer, it's best to just yell things in an alarming way and hope for the best. He said Ari was already in the basement - that's where his computer is. I told him to pull the awning in. His reply? "I'm not going out there! There's all kinds of crap blowing around!". So I yelled to get in the basement. Apparently, it was bad enough to prevent him preventing an expensive awning from blowing away, but not bad enough to run for cover like zoo animals who have telekinetic weather paws and know when bad things are going to happen.

As I drove home believing I was recreating that Twister movie (I'd take the Helen Hunt role; we kinda look alike anyway), I came over the unlit Skyway Bridge. Traffic lights were out, and huge branches had parts of roads closed. I hopped out and took a pic of one huge tree that was down. Sirens wailed; I prayed my dear sons would be safe. I fell in the front door, thrilled we still had power. Christopher looked up. "Oh, hi. You got any food with you? Maggie grabbed some of my pizza and tugged it onto the floor, so I didn't want to eat it after she'd licked it. I'm still hungry."


August 18, 2011

It's that time, again...

Return of Ranty Bitch.

Oh, go on. You all love it. I've been pretty happy-go-lucky lately (::cough::) but today has tipped me over to the dark side. I won't go into details, but suffice to say two hours at the DMV with a son who has apparently NOT done the online prep test for his G1 has left me....bitter. And whiny.

I've been saving stuff up. And so in no particular order, shall we get to it?

My hydro bill. I am aware, dear sons, that I am frequently gone. I am aware that when that happens, you might *sometimes* override the thermostat setting and jack up (down?) the air conditioning. Regardless of how often I tell you, you never seem to understand that older houses, unlike old fridges, do not get frosty upstairs. Duct work is old; hot air rises. Do the physics, you little twits, and stop setting the thermostat fifteen degrees less than I do. I won't know until the bill comes in. But the bill just came in. You're both on rations.

I adore my readers. See? Starting on a positive note. But my email will pretty much kick out: junk, spam, anything with an attachment, anything with too many other recipients. It is set that way to protect my computer from Bad Stuff. So. If you're going to send me a snarky email beginning with "I realize you are too important to reply to my emails, as you ignored the last one, but I'm writing anyway...", please go back and read that fourth sentence. I probably didn't get it. I actually answer my mail. I try to answer ALL of it. I answer it even if it's a few weeks late; sometimes I answer it immediately, and scare people and they fall off their chairs. I answer it on the road, typing madly (and badly) on an iPhone. I try. I do. If you are reasonably polite, I answer. I'm totally cool if you don't like me, as long as you find a unique way to tell me to p*ss off. But if I didn't answer, chances are good that it got caught up in the wheels, and I apologize.

I adore my readers, Part 2: I'm sorry if you got ripped off by a dealer. I can't do anything about it. I wish I could. I'm sorry if your mechanic misdiagnosed your A/C problem and you think you got ripped off. I'm sorry if your insurance is too high, and your agent ripped you off. I'm sorry if you were overcharged on a rental, if your warranty expired 2 days before the bushings went, or if you gouged at the end of your lease. Even if nobody admits it, this crap happens to all of us in this industry, and if we can't fix it for ourselves, we can't do much for you. What we can do is keep writing and investigating and poking and prodding and warning consumers to be wary and alert. We can let you know about industry changes that affect you, about our personal experiences that could hold a lesson, and to try to be a resource for you. There are people who can tackle individual problems - it's just not me.

If you want me to Link You In on LinkedIn (hahahahahaaha) you might have to give me something to go on. If your name or industry isn't a gimme, gimme a clue. I'm really not that precious, but neither am I psychic. It's a work site, and if I don't see the connection, you may just be sitting there in my little pile of 'huhs?'.

I need a new dimmer switch installed in my kitchen. It's sitting on the counter. It's making me nuts. I need a new set of taps installed in the bathroom. They're sitting on the counter. YES. I do know how to do both of these things, I just don't have time. YES. I should be able to tell either son to do it, and I have and they should. Though I'm doubtful Christer could do either without electrocuting himself. He starts his philosophy studies in a few weeks. Need I say more?

My neck is wrecked from a summer of traveling/airplanes/RVs/seadoos/driving at the track/hunching over a computer. I need a massage, but I'm (probably ridiculously) peeved at my RMT. He's great at his job, but he forwarded me a stupid racist email and I'm angry at him. It's one of those thinly veiled rants - you know the ones - that purport to be about loving your country, but are actually just saying they want to see an end to immigration and Bad People who aren't Just Like Them. I hate these. They're vile. They're ignorant. And I can't stand people who forward them to me, believing that their prejudices are mine. Note to the wise: don't forward that crap in a business capacity, despite how strongly you feel I might be One Of You. I'm not; and now I'm looking for a new RMT.

I announced a couple of days ago that I'll be home for the next two weeks. Nobody looked happy except the cats. Well, really only Maggie. JoJo doesn't even know who I am.

My dryer is making all kinds of something-is-trapped-in-here-and-you-won't-know-what-it-is-until-the-repair-is-$300 kind of noise.

I buy these Peak Freans (which I call Peek Freak) cookies that are called LifeStyle sometimes. I only want one, but I know they won't go to waste because the boys will eat them. I opened a box today and they were stale. I asked Ari why they were stale; he said because nobody likes those 'adult' cookies.

I ordered a bunch of shoes and they were delivered. I loooooooooooove that. Couple of clicks, and the next day or so, an Aldo box flops at my door. Magic. Except they didn't fit. Could we have a little consistency here, Aldo??? I spend a fortune with you, and I am the size I am. It should be the same across the board. But noooooo. And one friend snagged one pair, and one took another, but now I'm stuck with a pair I will have to either bundle up and mail back, or take to the ::shudder:: mall and return. I hate returning stuff. I hate it. If I buy things and they end up not fitting (I rarely try things on. I hate shopping), I just give them to my sister or Christopher's girlfriend Pam, or somebody. I don't do returns.

Oh! Someone has to tell me what to do with my crappy TV service. The main TV in the rec room gets all the channels, and has that ugly box thing on it. The TV in my bedroom has another stupid box, but only gets channels up to 100. WTF? And my little TV in the kitchen has now cut out all except a handful of channels. Granted, it doesn't have a crappy little box on it, but there is no room. Cogeco gets a king's ransom from me every month, and the service is crap. Anyone know why 3 TVs have all different receptions? And if you're just gonna say I shouldn't have 3 TVs, you're right. You win a prize. Go away.

I think I might be all bitched out. Feel free to pile on....

August 15, 2011

Keith Richards was at my cottage

Ari, mid jump

I think I've finally dialed in the perfect combination.

I took Ari and a couple of his friends to the cottage for 4 days. I actually love being up there with the kids - they have a great time, nobody gets up before noon, and I get the dock to myself for ages. The only time it gets a little squirrelly is in the evenings: it's not that I'm not up for hours and hours of poker and silly teenager games, it's just that....I'm not.

We have tons of VHS movies up there. Over a hundred, I believe. But because the TV and VCR are out in the main room, which is all open concept with the kitchen, it's impossible to sit and watch anything without being in the middle of it. Until now. I hauled up one of those combination TV/VCRs that were so popular years ago. Remember them? They looked kind of dorky, and the screens were necessarily small, so they really occupied a niche market. My bedroom at the cottage just became the perfect niche.

I plopped it on the dresser, and yay! Movies! Perfect picture, nothing to do but plug it in, and I could pretend I couldn't hear the music and laughter in the next room. That went on till 2am. Even though I yelled. Several times. And kept coming out to play poker.

Anyway. My movie list? Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Awesome, awesome movie. Fargo. Ditto. Apollo 13. Cheesy but I cried anyway. And, helloooooooo Ed Harris, I've missed you, baby. The Buddy Holly Story. If you've seen it, it's probably been awhile. Best thing Gary Busey ever did, I believe, and makes seeing him all banged up on that ridiculous Dr. Drew show even worse. Say Anything - reminded me to add John Cusack to the bench that Ed is sitting on.

Oh, and I also read the Keith Richards book. Whole thing, and it's massive. What a blast - whether you're a Stones fan or not, this book is a hoot. I learned a ton about guitar playing, too, even though I will never play one. But if I do, I'll be ready. First, I'll have to pile on the black eyeliner, run over my face with a tank, and talk like a pirate. Just like Keef.*

*Fact I Did Not Know: 'Keef' is not a slang for 'Keith'. When he was young, all his cousins (and he has a huge family) used to call him Cousin Beef. And that got shortened to Keef. Aren't you glad you checked in today?

August 6, 2011

2012 Mercedes SLK Edition One

Gorgeous edition with matte paint. I really liked it.

August 4, 2011


Good. This guy makes me puke.

Any community that sacrifices its children to predators like this should be eradicated.

Lady Mondogreens

You know what that means, even if you think you don't. It's the proper name for when you totally hear the lyrics of a song wrong. It's much better if you've gone decades singing it wrong, of course, and more points if you sing it out loud.

Read the link for more info, but 'Lady Mondogreen' was actually 'laid him on the green'. Easy to see how that happened. When I was a teenager, it was that Manfred Mann song with the line 'wrapped up like a douche' that we would sing at the top of our lungs. The girls used to get embarrassed. Too bad the lyrics were actually 'revved up like a deuce'. A car. Who knew?

I have a point. I just came in and had to ask Christopher to decipher a song for me. That Killers song (it's pretty bad, which is unfortunate; I like the Killers) but they're singing "are we human, or are we denser?:. I did not understand that. So I asked Christopher what the words were. He cocked an eyebrow and said "you mean the one 'are we human, or are we dancer?'" I learned just now that a whole debate raged over this, as it is grammatically incorrect and came from a Hunter S. Thompson line and I'm sorry, but that means it's allowed to be.

Or something like that.

I've still never forgotten a book I read (and re-read) as a kid where Ramona Quimby thinks the line in the American national anthem is not 'the dawn's early light', but instead, 'the donzer lee light'. She was picturing a lamp. I don't blame her.

I've never done karaoke (see? someone's prayers have been answered, so far), but I would imagine this should have gone a long way to sorting out the busted lyrics of a lot of songs. Isn't Creedance Clearwater a karaoke staple? We used to wail away to Bad Moon Rising, singing that there was a bathroom on the right. What? A bad moon on the rise? I like the mondogreen better.

So...what have you been getting wrong all these years?