Wednesday, April 30, 2008

5 things I think are odd today.

Gum. It has about 30 seconds of flavor and then it’s just a rubbery blob. I don’t get the whole gum thing. People chewing gum where I can hear or see them makes me gag – literally. I have to move away.

Brenda Martin. the Canadian chick who moved to Mexico and then committed a crime and went to jail and has been whining and crying about it for so long and so loud that Canada is sending an MP down to bring her home. Now she’s apparently worried about her mother’s health if she has to see her daughter finish her sentence in Canada. Huh?

Germany/Austria. What the hell are they putting in the drinking water over there? First Armin Meiwes, then Natasha Kampusch, now Josef Fritzl.

Mayor Larry giving Councillor Clive Doucet some sage advice : "You can't listen to the public if you are on your own political high horse in terms of your own personal agenda.”

People standing on escalators. Makes me cuckoo. You’re walking along. You come to some stairs. You step on. And then you stand there waiting for them to take you for a ride. They’re stairs, not a carnival ride! Walk up and/or down them. Or if that’s too much of an effort at least get the frig over to one side so normal people can get by.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Unexpected Encounters of the Celebrity Kind

Ev, over at Nowhere, IL was recently reminded of her close personal relationship with Paul McCartney by reading all about Feral Mom’s Beatles reminiscences. So, of course I felt I had to share my close-personal-relationship-with-a-celebrity story, too.

It all started after a night of carousing in downtown Toronto. I was struttin’ from bar to bar with my posse late, late when I was accosted by a scruffy, urine/muscatel-soaked gentleman attempting to sell me week-old newspapers.

No, this wasn’t the celebrity. However, this fragrant fellow got rather aggressive and grabbed me by the arm, which caused me to pull away rather abruptly, making me spin backwards and smack into Elton John. (Before he was a Sir and before he was even gay.)

I said “holy shit”. He smiled and walked on with his two poncey friends. That’s it. My only brush with fame, not including anyone I might have seen or hounded for an autograph at concerts, literary readings, sporting or other events. (The only time those things count are when you make it into the groupie pool. Which reminds me – once when I worked at an Arts Centre, the secretary for our section made it into the Burton Cummings groupie pool, but she had an unfair advantage because she was working at the venue he came to play at.)

What are your most unusual celebrity encounters?

Monday, April 28, 2008

From the Scary File

George & Steve after their date at the North American Leaders Summit dinner in New Orleans.

Best TV Ever

The New York Post has compiled a list of what they call the 35 Best Shows on TV Ever. Here’s the list, though you can read the whole article if you want to see their rationale for the shows they’ve picked.

Their choices make sense for the most part, I suppose, but I do cringe at Oprah and American Idol being on this list. They seem to be on it just because they have a huge following. That doesn’t make them good.

I love that Twin Peaks is on the list – a highly under-rated and much maligned show and probably the best thing that was ever on TV, in my opinion. Of course, maybe if I saw it now I’d change my mind.

Seinfeld, way down on the list, is still good, though I often can’t help thinking how different the show would have been if they’d had cell phones. So much of the show is dependant on not being able to communicate for various reasons.

SNL, Laugh-in, Mission Impossible, Law & Order – all among my faves. And the Dick Van Dyke Show! My goal in life when I was a kid was to work as a writer on the Allan Brady Show with Rob, Sally and Buddy. Instead I ended up working somewhere much more hilarious.

Did they miss any really good shows? I think maybe Bewitched and Tales of the Wells Fargo should have been on the list.

All in the Family
American Idol
West Wing
Mary Tyler Moore Show
Twin Peaks
Sesame Street
Tonight Show with Johnny Carson
60 Minutes
Ed Sullivan Show
I Love Lucy
Law & Order
Monty Python’s Flying Circus
Carol Burnett Show
Sex & the City
Miami Vice
Rown & Martin’s Laugh-in
Hill Street Blues
Star Trek
Dick Van Dyke Show
Saturday Night Live
Mission Impossible
Cosby Show
General Hospital

Friday, April 25, 2008


When I was a teenager (back in the halcyon days of sex and drugs and rock & roll – when those things were still fun and not necessarily deadly) life was simple.

School was a place we went to meet our friends, skip from and attend dances at. Our parents gave us a place to live, fed us when we were home and pretty much left us alone. Life was about socializing and making a few bucks so you could have fun.

Sure, we had normal melodramatic anxieties that go along with burgeoning adulthood and hormonal flux, but there was very little that couldn’t be put right by a good house party filled with Southern Comfort, sensimilla and Pink Floyd.

Now, by a strange twist of fate, I find I’m the parent of a teenager. Life is definitely not simple anymore for teenagers. I feel obligated to be on her all the time about buckling down, getting good grades, doing her music lessons, getting volunteer work experience under her belt, participating in sports and other school activities.

These are the keys to success in the 21st Century. I hate it. I hate nagging her about it all the time. I feel sorry for her. I want her to have fun and spend her youth enjoying life. But then, with all the competition out there, she won’t get into university, which will limit her future and we’d all end up on Dr. Phil one day.

There are decades of slog ahead, why can’t she have these paltry few years of young adulthood to be free from all this pressure?

The only consolation is the hope that working hard now will give her the opportunity and freedom to spend the rest of her life doing something she enjoys rather than just something she has to do for 7.5 hours every day to keep herself in groceries.

I try to tell her (and myself) that, but it doesn’t seem to cut much ice when the heady rush of teenagehood is on her now.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

While I Was Out

Some things I did during the past 5 months while I wasn't blogging (in no particular order)
  • drank a lot of wine (not in a wino sort of way)
  • finished my PR certification (the dizzying heights to which this piece of paper is going to take my career are nothing short of dizzying... stay tuned for regular updates)
  • found a better route to take to walk to work
  • spent 5 1/2 hours at the emergency at CHEO (a dumbfounding experience)
  • skated on the canal for the first time
  • wrote a book (first draft)
  • read a bunch of books about and/or set in France
  • visited blogs randomly
  • thought of lots of stuff I wanted to blog about, but now I can't remember any of it
  • did about 40 loads of laundry


Everyone I know seems to be getting a dog or a cat or ducks or something and blogging furiously about them, so now I'm thinking maybe I should get a dog, too. Not just because everyone else is doing it or because I want to blog about it necessarily, just because it seems like something I'd like to do.

I went through a "must get a dog" phase a couple of years ago and ended up getting a cat. The cat could use some company.

I'd get a shelter dog, of course, not a puppy. Something small, but not one of those twig dogs that break really easily. It has to be bigger than the cat at least.

Something not too young and not too old. Happy to spend the day with just the cat while we're out. Lively enough to enjoy a couple of hearty walks every day, but mellow enough not to tear the house apart when we're not watching.

I'm thinking a Schnauzer, since they seem to crop up quite frequently on the shelter lists or some kind of poodle or terrier mix.

Advice/suggestions/warnings/leads/etc. appreciated.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day

So there’s this guy – James Howard Kunstler – who writes about the future of gas-guzzling nations (in a nutshell). There was a special article in Saturday’s Ottawa Citizen by Kunstler entitled,” Farewell to Suburbia” and I had to come out of semi-retirement to blog about it because it's an awesome article.

It’s kind of a summary of all the stuff I used to write about – how our obsession with the motor vehicle informs almost everything in our lives.

Kunstler thinks our current way of life is going to change dramatically in the very near future – that the whole automobile-dependent infrastructure is no longer sustainable and is in the process of self-destructing.

So for Earth Day why not read the article and/or his book(s): The Long Emergency and World Made By Hand. Or if that doesn’t turn your crankshaft, heed Sir Paul McCartney’s wisdom and go vegetarian.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Testing the Waters

I've been taking a little blogging vacation, but I've been faithfully reading blogs I like and sometimes commenting. That was fun, but I'm starting to feel like if I don't have a blog of my own then I have no business sticking my nose into other people's blogs.

Bloggers seem to get very tight with each other... lots of cross-commenting... lots of inside ribbing and joshing. So, I'm feeling out of the loop, even though I do read blogs. But now I don't even seem to enjoy reading them as much anymore because I'm not part of the blogging group.

Very tentatively, therefore, I'm posting this to see how it feels and maybe I'll get back into blogging on a regular basis. I don't know. I'm not sure I have that much to say or if anyone cares about what I have to say. We'll see.