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Showing posts from January, 2007


Wow, did the stupid stars align this past weekend or what?
At the box office, the epic movie, um, Epic Movie beat out the competition, raking in $19.2 million dollars. This despite not being pre-screened for reviewers. Don't people know by now that studios don't bother to pre-screen movies they know are absolute dreck? I'd hate to think that nearly ten million people are so ignorant as to go to a movie they know ahead of time is going to suck.
But then, given the level of stupidity about to be revealed, I shouldn't be surprised.

I used to toboggan as a kid. Yup: overprotected, sheltered, mollycoddled ol' me spent many a winter hour sledding down a hill. Actually, the preferred activity at my school was to slide down an icy incline standing up--which strikes me as perhaps even more dangerous. And yes, I took my fair share of spills. I've broken my nose three times, and I'm pretty sure one of those times was when I reached the bottom of the hill and just kept go…

Tales from aisle 10 (II)

The behaviour of grocery shoppers never ceases to amaze me. Not a day goes by when I don't wonder whether I should switch careers, not out of any great hatred for my job (I enjoy it, even with its frustrations) but because Mental Sarcastic Bastard's getting harder and harder to keep in check. Bilious thoughts bubble up out of the muck on a daily basis:
My God, the things people will do for other people's tap water. I am STILL having trouble even comprehending the madness that descends upon an entire city whenever bottled water goes on sale. Even granting that our city's tap water is barely fit for human consumption (it's the only water I've ever tasted that makes me thirstier the more I drink!), there are so many more cost-effective options. Tap water plus any sort of filter plus reusable plastic jug: roughly one-hundredth the cost, per liter, of even the cheapest bottled water. For those, like me, who wish Brita containers came in reasonable sizes, there are th…

To Myself (I)

Everybody's busy lately! You'd think it was Christmas or friend hasn't blogged in six weeks, another--who tends to be a thrice-a-week girl--has gone a near-unprecedented six days. I'm one to talk--five days slithered by while I wasn't looking, or, rather, while I was looking everywhere but at this computer. Various blog topics suggested themselves. The Pickton trial? Nah--too depressing. The one-year anniversary of Conservative government in Canada? Blah. People either don't care or they care entirely too much. Work? It's just work--boring if you don't work where I do, and, for that matter, twice as boring if you do. I think it's fair to say I've got a mild case of writer's block.
Enter Marcus Aurelius.
If you haven't read his Meditations (actually titled "To Himself"), do yourself a favour and get hold of them. They are available online in several translations, not all of them eminently readable to even a moderat…


Off to bed Wednesday night at the usual time: 8:45 p.m. I leafed through Along I-75 for fifteen or twenty minutes: I'm starting to have portions of this book memorized. I can't remember who first suggested we should buy the thing, but I'd like to shout out a thank you to him or her, along with the many people who have echoed the sentiment...and we haven't even made the trip yet. If there is even the slightest possibility of your ever driving to Florida from Ontario or the Midwestern U.S., you owe it to yourself to get this book first. It details everything: all the exits, all the gas, food and lodging available at each; the common radar traps; speed limits; best places to stay and to eat; location of hospitals, vet clinics, and mechanics in case you, your pet, or your car becomes ill en route; and I've barely scratched the asphalt. Most importantly, from this non-driving navigator's point of view, the book tells you exactly when you should move into another lan…

Winter Rambles, Set To Music...

They closed all the schools in Waterloo Region today.
Including the two universities.
I'm not sure why.
Of course, this first taste of winter was hyped to the high heavens last night, complete with 'Snowfall Warning'...that still cracks me up. 'Warning! Snow will fall! Danger, Will Robinson!"
When I awoke shortly after five this morning, I discovered all the snow they had forecast had materialized in the form of freezing rain. But I'm making that sound a lot worse than it really was. Ice pellets and very fine-grained snow was mixed in, giving a sugary, confectionery texture to everything. The roads were slick, but not skating-rink slick.
Sargeant Cam Woolley was on 680 News this morning cautioning drivers. Sgt. Cam is the same guy who's on the radio every holiday weekend, detailing highway hijinks that boggle the brain. Like the woman driving along the road, knitting. "Pull over!" says the cop, several times, with no effect. Finally she unrolls her …

Nothing happening around here

Just got back from a library trip.
A ritual precedes every library trip I make these days, a pointless ritual of research. The night before, I scour Internet lists for the 'best of' whatever genre I'm in the mood for, with the Waterloo Public Library catalogue open in another window so I can determine every so often that no, they don't stock that book either. Or maybe they do, but there are umpty-dozen holds on it and it won't be in until long after I'm dust. Every so often I discover, miracle of miracles, an interesting-looking book which the catalogue informs me is actually ON THE SHELVES. Then, almost without fail, I'll make my way to the library and find a dozen things that weren't on my list in the first place.
Such was the case today. Only one Neil Gaiman on offer, and I just read it a couple of months ago. A couple of books from this edition of The List that, on closer inspection, didn't appeal as much as I thought they might.
WPL has a "F…

What if God was...all of us?

I promised an entry on the 'seven deadly sins' early in the new year and now find myself asking, 'is March still considered early in the new year'? For life has taken a turn for the harried lately, sleep is hard to come by, and the topic, now that I get a look at it from this side of a blank screen, is daunting, to say the least.
For before I even begin to express my thoughts on those seven deadlies, I must first attempt some definition of 'sin'. And before I can do that, since the concept of sin is so intertwined with the concept of 'god', it seems I must attempt to define 'god'--something I find difficult to do using mere words.
Oh, I can tell you what god is not, at least not to me. God is not some heavenly Father sitting on a cloud someplace, listening to an endless litany of prayers and saying 'yes' to some, 'no' to others, and 'maybe, but not yet' to still others. In short, god is most definitely not a celestial Magic…

How Harper Still Might Get His Majority

If you believe the media reports, not to mention the polls, the Harper experiment will come to an end shortly with the rightful restoration of Canada's 'Natural Governing Party' under the aegis of Stephane Dion.
Don't be so sure.
Oh, count on an election. In fact, I'm somewhat surprised the writ hasn't dropped yet, as it's a favourite political ploy of Prime Ministers of all stripes to call elections when the opposition is least ready for them. And Dion, being a new leader of a still fractious party, is a long way from ready to fight a campaign.
If Harper hasn't contrived to dissolve Parliament yet, he must have a good reason: he's a methodical cuss, is Stephen Harper, and he never does anything without at least three good (to him) reasons. His fans call this prudent and cautious governance. Others call it Machiavellian. Whatever you call it, it's worked for him: written off at every turn, he's rode it all the way to 24 Sussex. And he's le…

Relapse and Prolapse

For the first week, our little Georgia was the epitome of good girl, sleeping (mostly) the night through and catching on remarkably quickly to the intricacies of duty-doing.
Not so this week.
Our dog can bark five times in one second and rattle off 218 barks seemingly without taking a breath. I know this: I counted. From my snug bed, and her downstairs in her crate, I counted.
After a couple of hours of unrelenting din and sleep nowhere on the horizon, my wife climbed out of bed, went down and retreived the puppy and fell asleep in the recliner, Georgia cradled in her arms.
I told her not to. I told her it was the worst thing she could possibly do, that Georgia would very quickly expect this sort of thing and bark until she got it. Besides, we haven't been married near long enough to be sleeping in separate beds, on separate stories of the house. But she needed her sleep more than I did--she's just recovered from a nasty bout of pneumonia--and that practical imperative overruled.

To: Double-Oh-Seven

These are the plans. Ensuing events may complicate them. As usual.

1) Try very hard not to kill anyone this year, unless they deserve it.

2) Try even harder to expose hypocrisy both in the world and in yourself.

3) Confront your 'Destiny in Florida. Navigate your wife down the shoals and shallows of I-75 without getting lost once. Shop 'til you flop, gathering unto yourself all those products denied you in Canada: wide variety of Splenda-infused foodstuffs, for instance.

4) Install new patio and guest bedroom. Keep swearing to minimum.

5) Open up 'Breadbin' blog, put request for topics out there.

6) Did we mention not to kill anybody?

7) NO MATTER WHAT, make it a good year.