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Showing posts from February, 2007

Only in America...

(Being The Story of a Tempest in a Pee-Pee-Pot)

Only in America would there be such an infernal uproar over a single word in an award-winning book.
I'm referring to the children's book The Higher Power of Lucky, by Susan Patron, judged the most worthy contribution to children's literature for last year by the American Library Association and thus awarded the Newbery Medal. This despite the word "scrotum" on the very! first! page! after a dog is snakebitten on the...uh...well, here's the quotum (sorry):

“Scrotum sounded to Lucky like something green that comes up when you have the flu and cough too much,” the book continues. “It sounded medical and secret, but also important.”

I like that imagery. I've had the flu and coughed so hard I'm pretty sure I did bring up a scrotum or two. Green, no less. Besides, I've always thought that was a weird, neat word. Say it with me, now: SCRO-TUM. Neat word.

How ironic that a book written by a public librarian is no…

Did I just read that? Holy sweet zombie, I did.

So I'm reading Hansard -- something I'll do every once in a while. I won't watch Question Period on CPAC, ever, mostly because I'd have to throw a brick through the television and my wife would then pick up the brick and throw it at me. And probably hit me and make me even more "special" than I already am. But in text, the petty panderings, platitudes, and pantomimes of Parliament seem ever so slighly less asinine, somehow. Maybe it's because Hansard omits all the stomping and screaming that goes on in the background all through Question Period. Personally, I'd use duct tape.

There's a real brouhaha brewing over Stephen Harper's proposed method of appointing judges, to wit: he wants police input. For this, Harper has been attacked at every turn, just as he is every time he tries to get tough on crime in any meaningful way. .

Harper is right to be suspicious of judges. I'm sure many Canadians share his suspicions. The Liberal Party, though, h…

Change is afoot

The history book on the shelf
Is always repeating itself...
---Abba, "Waterloo"

Ten years ago almost to the day, my life took one of those sudden screeching turns I've always dreaded. My boss, a real bitch-monster, had left the scene not long before. She had been replaced by a gentleman named Mike, whom we all learned to call Mac. At the time I couldn't imagine a better manager, and not just in comparison with Jo, either.
With practically no warning, certainly with no rhyme or reason, just as Mac was growing into his role and our team was meshing, he was transferred to another 7-Eleven on the other end of town.
Viewed from north Waterloo, Doon was seven kinds of paradise. I had subbed in there often enough to know. The sports bar in the same plaza rarely disgorged drunks, and almost no student drunks. Used to the frantic, frenetic pace of store 25067, I was stunned to discover that at Doon I had time to read a newspaper on the night shift. The atmosphere, even before Mac…

The Battle of the Bulge

Last year, on a low-carb diet, I managed to lose just over thirty pounds. I had more energy, much less stomach irritation, and just all around felt better.
So why'd it all come back?
Several reasons, really. Although I had found low-carb foods I enjoyed, there was the not-so-insignificant matter of all those other high-carb foods I enjoyed. Because I wasn't having them, I convinced myself I enjoyed those high-carb foods more. Didn't take much convincing, either.
Then there's the matter of price. I've discovered that no matter what road to healthy eating you may take, your wallet is forced to diet right along with you. It's perhaps understandable in the case of a low-carb diet, which goes against most prevailing dietary wisdom (eat steak, cheese, eggs, and cream...and lose weight? Yeah, right!) There's no denying it worked for me...until the money situation tightened a few notches. Then my belt loosened a few notches.
But never mind low-carb: even a diet infuse…
I really must apologize for my snarkery lately. I must be off my meds or something...little things are annoying me beyond all reason. The slightest poke sends me off into a rant: at least most of the time I'm able to keep it silent.
I sat down tonight to watch the Toronto Maple Leafs play Nashville. The Leafs have been playing above their heads lately, and they came to earth with a thud tonight against the best team in the league. I should have known this was going to happen: the anthem singers in Nashville performed O Canada as if it was some kind of funeral dirge, out of tune, and with little grace notes that grated on the ear. Ugh.
Of course, over on the Leaf forum, the whole reason we lost the game was because of the refs. Now, I'll admit the officiating in the NHL is wildly uneven, and tonight's game wasn't the best-reffed game I've seen by any stretch, but the fact is the Leafs were outclassed, penalties or not, and they deserved to lose. But try telling the pe…

G-g-g-lobal warming

Boy, it's a good thing global warming is now an undisputed reality. Otherwise I'd be a Kensicle right about now.
Temperature: -17, a shade above zero on the old scale. Windchill is currently -27 and it'll get colder overnight.
For you Nunavutians and Saskatoonies this sort of thing is referred to as "balmy". Here in Southern Ontario, not so much. There are blizzard warnings a couple of hours north of us, snowsquall warnings all around us, but we just have this wind chill warning. For once, Environment Canada's warnings are justified: the news tells me snowplows have been taken off the road up north on account of their operators can't even see their own plow blades.
A watermain on our street broke today...the second time in about eight weeks. Along came a plow and sloshed all that water into the snow at the bottom of our driveway. I was out there almost immediately to shovel, but almost immediately was far too late: by some weird alchemy the snow had turned …

Prude booed nude dude: "lewd, rude"

Now that's more typical of a Sun headline.
I love reading letters to the editor. Whenever I open a paper, they're the first things I turn to...especially if a provocative article appeared in that particular paper the day before. "Well, I couldn't have said that better myself", I'll muse, or "what planet is this wackjob from?"
One of those latter moments occurred yesterday as I perused the National Post. Regrettably, in my haste to vacate work--bad day, yesterday--I forgot to port the paper along with me. And the online Post doesn't link to letters, other than today's. Still...
On the front page of the Post a couple of days back was a little blurb about Daniel Radcliffe, known the world over as Harry Potter. Seems young Daniel (he's 17) is taking steps to avoid being typecast as a bespectacled wizard the rest of his life. His first step is to appear in the West End revival of a Tony-award winning play called Equus. Some first-rate Hollywood …