Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Two things I learned tonight

1. Ware is back in Baghdad. Yay.

2. Joe Biden is a complete moron.

Matters of Life and Death

You ever notice how you can work day-in day-out for weeks and months and nothing shocking ever happens at the office.

Then you take 2 days off sick and yikes!

I came back to work today to learn that one of the men on my floor wasn't feeling well on Monday, so he left work early. He went home and promptly dropped dead of a massive heart attack. He was only 42.

Life is short, kids!

You know what's weird? People's reactions. When you say, did you hear so-and-so died? People say, what? Him? But he was so nice!!! Like nice people aren't supposed to die. If he had been a miserable rotter, it would've been okay? Why do we say such dumb things?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

RIP Death Watch

Don't be fooled. This death-watching biz is not all it's cracked up to be. Seeing Fidel and Hugo on the news just now, I'm forced to shelve the idea. Chalk it up to the healing powers of the comfortable sweatsuit.

I too am recovered, and will be returning to work (!) tomorrow.

All's well that ends well.

Save the Mushroom

Since I switched to new blogtastic blogger, our loyal correspondent Ms Mushrooms is unable to comment from her home computer. She's tried everything. Anyone have any suggestions as to what the problem might be?

We can't have a frustrated mushroom in our midst.

On Highway Robbery

Around this date every year I receive something in the mail which turns me into a Tex Avery character. My hair flips off and then lands back on my head; my eyes jump out like saucers whilst making a sproinggging noise; smoke pours out of my ears; my tongue grows ten feet and lands on the floor. Yep, it's the Montreal Municipal Tax Bill.

Holy crap!

For this year, it is a mere $60 more than last year. That I can handle. But the house's evaluation over the next 4 years is going up by 49.7%. Let me throw caution to the wind and say 50%. 50 PER CENT in the next four years. This means if I'm paying $3,000 this year (and I am!) by 2010 I'll be paying $4,500. Forty-five hundred dollars a year to the stinkin' City of Montreal and for what???

Could it be for the charm of our Third World Road Conditions? Last week I went through a pot hole (in LaSalle) and I swear the only thing that allowed me to emerge from it was the power of prayer. Last year Radio-Canada ran a story that said Montreal's streets were comparable to those of Dakar, Senegal. I fear Dakar has probably left us literally in the dirt by now.

Perhaps it's the pleasure of knowing if I flip my snow into the street, the City may fine me $60. Why not? They need the money.

Or the fact that you can't park for free anywhere on Sunday anymore, or weeknights after 7:00 p.m. It's all on the meter now. Thieves!!!!

The municipal records in 2010 will claim that I am living in a home evaluated at $294,000. Believe me, I am NOT living in a $294,000 house!! Wow. I love being rich ON PAPER. I am just so paperly rich. Wheee. This is absurd.

Monday, January 29, 2007


Where the hell is Michael Ware? Is he still in New York? Why isn't he back in Baghdad? His rabid fans await his return. There is still news happening there, you know, and he could, like, be reporting on it, maybe?

(Yes, I have regained some of my fightin' form.)

Nanuk Death Watch: Day 3

Ok, I exaggerate. But I'm still home sick. I do, however, see a light at the end of the tunnel. A dim, flickering light.

Yesterday, thanks to a timely phone call from J. (Thank you!) I arose from my sick bed long enough to pick up the message, return to bed and catch a very interesting hour-long radio interview with Smarty Amis on CBC.

Amis wasn't as arrogant as usual, but I do fear that among the excitable crowd, someone is not going to want to see the difference Smarty makes between Islam and Islamism. If, one day, the Smartster goes down in the street like Theo van Gogh, I won't be surprised. I'll be very angry, but not at all surprised.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

I want your pity

I'm sick at home with sniffles, watery eyes, volcanic coughs, squeaky bronchial wheeziness, and general miserableness. Boo hoo. Poor me.

In other news, blogger forced me over to the "new" blogger yesterday, so I don't know if this will affect how comments are posted. I don't think it should. At some point, I'll have to investigate what is new and improved about this so-called new and improved blogger. sigh.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Maher Arar

So. He got a $10.5 million settlement and an official apology from Big Stephen Harper on behalf of the government of Canada.

Can we stop hearing about him now?

Thank you very much.

On reading

How long does it take you to read a book? Let’s say a normal 300-page novel.

I’m embarrassed at how slow I am. There are a number of reasons for this:

1. I fall asleep when I read. This means that on a good night I might get through 6 pages, then my book falls on my face.

2. I feel guilty about reading. I feel like if I’m at home I should be doing something more productive. Cleaning up clutter is a whole other post.

3. I can’t read in a moving vehicle. Therefore bus and Metro are out.

4. I read all day at work, so lunch hour is out because I need to take a break from reading at mid-day.

My all-time slowness record is Ulysses. Which I took out of the library and had to renew for 7 months until I finally finished it. I know it’s not a regular novel, but still 7 months is ridiculous.

Right now I’m finishing up Pillars of the Earth. It’s taken forever. It’s about 950 pages and for the first 700 pages I was okay with it. I didn’t think it was great, but I made decent progress. Suddenly one day, I lost interest in the book. Completely. So for 2 weeks I didn’t pick it up. Then I thought, come on, I’ve invested the time into reading 700 pages, I have to finish this thing. So I’ve got about 40 pages left. Worst thing is, it won’t feel like an accomplishment when I finish it. I’ll just think “thank god that’s over.” But, at the same time, I can’t just drop it. I really don’t care what happens to the characters, but I’m stuck.

I remember when I was a kid seeing a MAD Magazine feature that showed a guy’s New Year’s Resolutions over a span of 10 or 20 years. The first year it said something like “Read 20 good books a year”, then it went to 10, then to 5, and in the last panel it said “Finish ‘Airport’”. I always thought that was funny. Now it's too close for comfort.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Whoa, slow down cowgirl!

Did you see this picture? Condi must be so pissed off.

You know, I want the Chimperor to have a wild affair with this aggressive Congresswoman. I want it splashed all over the news. Because the only thing that can get a US President impeached is a sex scandal. Go for it!

I think this is a plot. Most women long ago realized that in order to rid the world of the Bush blot one of us was going to have to take one for the team. You go, Michelle, lie back and think of democracy.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

In War News

The attack that killed 5 US troops in Karbala this week used a very scary new tactic: disguise. It means that the insurgents now have access to vehicles that look like US army vehicles and uniforms that look like US army uniforms. These insurgents are ruthlessly clever bastards.

In addition they speak enough English to “pass” for Americans at a checkpoint. Now this I have a problem believing. I’m more inclined to suspect that the checkpoint guards knew perfectly well that these attackers weren’t Americans and chose to look the other way, due either to intimidation or cooperation. But, if that is true and the checkpoint guards just let them through, then why bother copying US gear and vehicles. Who knows? Maybe to fool US air surveillance?

Regardless, this raises the war to a whole other level of deception. Isn’t it just a matter of time before there is an incident where American troops shoot other American troops because they will mistake them for insurgents in US Army disguises? I guess that’s the whole point.

What if, when the surge happens in Sadr City, the place is full of insurgents in American uniforms. What a mess.

What a difference 14 years make

If back in 1993, you had said to me
“Mark Wahlberg will be nominated for an Academy Award some day”,
I would’ve said:

a) "Who?"
b) "The underwear guy?"
c) "Are you on drugs?"

But not:

"Oh, definitely, and it’ll be well deserved too."

Good for him.

More Advice

In the Salon advice column today is a letter from a woman who can’t understand why she can’t find a man. Her letter makes her sounds incredibly stuck-up and arrogant, but perhaps she IS as perfect as she claims. Who am I to judge? There’s a slew of letters in response but this one made me laugh out loud, if only because I’ve thought the same thing on numerous occasions:

“I was watching 'The woman with half a body' on Discovery Channel. Nothing below the waist, walks on her hands. And the next scene is her being lifted into a guy's car. Her boyfriend. Woman with half a body has a boyfriend, and I don't?? I wept for days.”

I remember a similar experience at work when discussing one of our retirees who was 75 and juggling two boyfriends. “75? TWO?” I sputtered.

Miraculously, I still don’t have a drinking problem.

Happy Birthday, W!

It’s Mr. Mushrooms’ birthday!

Mr. Mushrooms: Fanatical soccer dad, loyal supporter of the perpetually losing Scottish team, archivist to the gods (or one god, anyway), lover of real jazz and not “Jazz Festival T-shirts”, Murakami reader, and devoted husband (I’ll leave that accolade to Ms. Mushrooms).

How do I remember the date? Why, it’s one year ago today that Big Steve-o became our Prime Minister. The two events are now permanently linked in my brain. Let us hope that in the coming year our PM will follow the advice of the much-admired John Locke, that is to say, he won’t screw ya.

Monday, January 22, 2007

What I learned this weekend

Basic training in the real army is just like in the movies. It’s chin-ups, sit-ups, burpees, and push-ups, repeat, repeat, until you are sick and/or until you are producing pools of sweat. My nephew survived his first weekend of basic, as an official member of the Reserves.

In Canada, you can swear your oath of loyalty on the Bible, the Koran, or nothing at all. We’re pretty flexible in this regard.

He threw up just once. This is an apparent achievement ‘cause some of the recruits (male and female) were sick a lot. He said: “A lot of them are pretty fat.”

And the sergeants yell at you a lot. When you do good, they are nice, but screw up and then yell at you. And swear at you.

Just like Full Metal Jacket.

They got long lectures on staying hydrated and drinking as much water as they can stand.

Just like Jarhead.

One kid got dehydrated, fainted, and was not seen again.

And then there are the showers. My nephew is a kid who spends 20 minutes showering, using up all the hot water in the house and getting yelled at by his mother (my sis). This weekend: 60 guys, 6 showers, 30 minutes. That’s 3 minutes each.

But he loved it all. When his parents picked him up he was beaming. He said: “I’ll never be the same again!” Then he asked them to stop at McDonald’s.

On Advice

I’m a big fan of advice columns. I love reading them. Does anyone have any on-line advice columns to recommend? I suspect there’s a gem or two or three out there I’m not familiar with.

There are three I read regularly: Dear Prudence at, Cary Tennis at and Dan Savage at

How many letters to advice columnists are fakes? It must be a big thrill to get your fake letter published and treated seriously, if you’re the kind of person who’s into that.

Last week, Prudence got a letter from a woman worried that her younger husband (who was in fact only one year younger than her (than she?)) looks much too young for her now that he’d gotten a new hairpiece. LOL! Prudence wisely pointed out that, a) he’s not really a younger man; and b) if he’s wearing a hairpiece he’s looks ridiculous and not young. I’m trying to understand the mind of a woman who thinks her husband’s wig can look that good. Love is blind.

Cary Tennis’s columns cover every subject under the sun, but, in his answers, he seems to spend an inordinate amount of energy fretting about the passage of time, his life and his own mortality. I can’t imagine why I can relate to that.

Dan Savage is usually funny and informative. Where else could I have learned that cuckolding is (apparently) really, really popular these days. This is disturbing. If the contemporary male gets a thrill out of knowing his wife is sleeping with someone else, I’d say we’ve got to do something to fix the contemporary male. Bring back jousting. Bare-knuckles boxing. No Marques of Queensbury rules. Fight Club. Whatever.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Never Trust a Eunuch

If you're a member of the Chinese Royal Family, you just can't have any secrets. The Imperial Palace has thousands of servants and everybody is on somebody else's team. Sneaky eunuchs, sneaky imperial doctors. The intrigue is endless.

I saw Curse of the Golden Flower. It's a pretty good, grandiose, very beautifully colourful melodrama. And I mean melodrama.

The cruel and evil Emperor is played by the one, the only, Chow Yun-Fat. And the moral of the story is the same one we all learned way back in the days of Hard Boiled: Never, ever, EVER mess with Chow Yun-Fat.

I expected him to be wielding two swords at the same time, but he never had to. He's that good.

1960's Weatherman Nostalgia

Percy at his peak. Flipping that chalk.

I love the blackboard.

I love his glasses. And the bowtie.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

I Confess

I admit that in the past I have been guilty of both "illicit snow activity" and "unlawful shovelling".

But I'm trying to be good. I swear. I was the very model of a modern upstanding citizen this week. Really. I couldn't risk to be slapped with a fine and rap sheet as an illegal shoveller. Oh the shame.

From The Gazette:
If it's your snow, live with it or melt it, but don't shovel it onto public property, the borough of Cote des Neiges/Notre Dame de Grace says.

The borough contends too many homeowners and apartment building owners are illegally pushing snow from their driveways and walkways onto city streets, where it blocks parking and annoys neighbours.

So the borough has announced it will dig into the problem by enforcing a long-standing bylaw that prohibits it.

Unlawful shovelling carries a fine of between $60 and $2,000.

Municipal inspectors delivered more than 360 warning notices this week to homes suspected of illicit snow activity, borough mayor Michael Applebaum said yesterday.

Friday, January 19, 2007

More Housekeeping

I added a link to Chris Kelly's blog at the Huffington Post. Why? Because Chris is both nasty and very funny.

You know, if I did as much housekeeping on my actual home as I do on my blog, my house would be....well...clean.

Fidel Death Watch: Day 4

Perhaps I was a bit hasty. Looks like he ain't going nowhere.

The medical world’s attention is focused on Fidel’s backside. What fun. Apparently, Fidel didn’t want a colostomy bag. Well, who can blame him. So he’s got some kind of artificial anus. Whatever.

It’s not every day that a news story brings to mind an amusing anal anecdote, but hey it’s Friday, and I’m not working hard, so here goes:

When my mother sold her house, she had a really wacky funny real estate agent named Jacques. He was a youngish guy in his 40s, but had had cancer and had a colostomy bag. But just prior to the closing on the house, he underwent a surgical procedure to remove the bag and “install” a new artificial anus. I kid you not.

So, the day of the closing, I’m sitting in the notary’s office with my mom and the purchaser and the notary, and we’re all waiting for Jacques.

He bursts into the room, and announces “Hey everybody, I’ve got a new rectum!”

You couldn’t help but laugh.

I think the odds of a similar thing ever occurring again are nil.

Tragic News of Epic Proportions

"NEW YORK -- Liza Minnelli and husband David Gest have patched things up to the point that they can now get divorced.

Legal disputes between the two ended Thursday when their lawyers filed court papers saying they had settled their differences and agreed to get divorced without fault."

Gosh, I really thought this relationship was going to last.

I ask you, if a wonderful couple like this cannot make things work, well, what hope is there? Matrimony is in a sorry, sorry state.

I only wish I could've found a photo of them sharing a passionate slurpy kiss. That would've perserved our collective memories of their doomed love. Sniff.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A little housekeeping

Added a few links.

One is to Jason's ExpoLounge, because everyone needs Montreal nostalgia now and again. I strongly suspect that Jason was not even born in 1967 (not even close!), and yet he knows everything about that time. It freaks me out.

Second, a link to my latest total obsession, Tetes a Claques. Unfortunately if you don't speak French (or more precisely if you don't speak Quebecois) you won't get the jokes. This breaks my heart because I love these videos and want to share them with the world.

Third, a link to Henry Rollins's site just because. Just because he's Henry, man.


Despite my efforts to be a patriotic CBC-watching Canuck, I just can't watch The Hour anymore because George S., well you know, he annoys the hell out of me. He's sooo annoying, but the other night he did a really terrific interview with my man, Henry Rollins.

What made the interview so great is that George asked a question and then that was it. He shut up and let Henry talk and talk and talk about all kinds of cool Henry stuff, like his trip to Tehran. And miraculously, George said next to nothing. Henry went close to 10 minutes talking non-stop, like it was a monologue, not an interview. It was great.

Henry is completely grey now. Jeezuz, when did that happen? It's that startling passage of time again, eh? How can he be grey? He's only 13 DAYS older than me.

If you care: and search for henry rollins

It's Official

The US 2008 Presidential race is now a swimsuit competition.

God help us.

I know Obama is my age and frankly he looks pretty good for a guy OUR age. And let's give him some credit, he's not wearing a Speedo.

But what if this means other candidates will feel the need to appear like this.

One shot of a half-naked John McCain emerging from the sea, and ....whoaaaaa my eyes, MY EYES!!

On Gossip

Here's a question for everyone who works in a small, medium or large company.

How bad is the gossip? I'm trying to determine if my workplace is standard or if it is as brutal a gossip pit as it appears to be, i.e. if a man and a woman are seen having lunch together, well, then of course they are sleeping together.

It's toxic.

Pooty-Poot = The New Uncle Joe Stalin

Just when I was feeling due for a round of Putin-hatin’, here was Don Murray with an interesting, terrifying profile of the new Russian media last night on The National. Among the alarming facts:

1. Russian t.v. is banned from criticizing Putin. Print and radio can still criticize him, but since Russians get 85% of their news from t.v., pretty well everyone is exposed only to pro-Putin stories.

2. The most popular movies made in Russia in the past year were financed by the Kremlin and have a pro-Putin slant.

3. Putin replaced the governors of all Russian states with hand-picked appointees, 2/3 of whom are former KGB pals. Murray said this is the equivalent of replacing the provincial premiers with government party members. Can you imagine Harper doing that? Wow.

4. Satirical shows have been banned from t.v. Movie and t.v. personalities who still dare speak out against Putin, are marginalized as members of an anti-Russian intelligentsia who always oppose the government.

5. 13 journalists who were critical of the Kremlin have been murdered over the past few years, and no-one has been arrested in any of the cases.

6. When something goes bad in government, the news reports show Putin dressing down the minister responsible, who has to stand there and get told off and insulted about his alleged incompetence.

7. Schoolchildren are encouraged to draw pictures of Putin in a variety of heroic guises. Don Murray said: This would be so open to satire, but satire isn’t permitted.

Jeez, this isn’t about making Russia great again. This is a cult of personality.

Quotable Quotes

In today's installment of Words of Wisdom from Lovable Old Queens, I proudly present Mr. Paul Lynde (applause):

Q. It is considered in bad taste to discuss two subjects at nudist camps.One is politics, what is the other?
A. Paul Lynde: Tape measures.

Q. It is the most abused and neglected part of your body, what is it?
A. Paul Lynde: Mine may be abused, but it certainly isn't neglected.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

That's Entertainment!

Actual quotes from a recent Little Richard concert in NYC.
(Thanks to Mr. Anonymous for the link to

·White ladies say 'Aaaaa!' Black ladies say 'Uuuuh!'

· I'm so sorry about my friend James [Brown]. He loved me so much. He said, 'Oh, you got some pretty skin.'

· It's so nice just sitting here, being beautiful. I feel so unnecessary.

·[After spotting digital cameras]: Nobody do no video. I ain't hired you. Ain't nothing going on unnoticed on this planet. The angels keep a record. You can take my money, but your child may get killed.

·Could I get two black ladies to dance? I'd like to have two fat white ladies, too. Juicy ones. And two Mexicans.

A Great Canadian

Iconic 1960s weatherman Percy Saltzman died yesterday. He was 91.

I flip my chalk in the air to salute you, sir.

Anyone who knows me knows I'm obsessed with the weather. I suspect this may have started in my childhood when I HAD to watch every weather report right to the end just to see Percy flip his chalk.

Saw a sign this morning

"Pimp your ski-doo".

Only in Canada!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Fidel Death Watch

Today is Day 1.

Golden Globes II

I didn't see much of the show (Darn snow shovelling!) but I thought of two of you in particular when Alec Baldwin won, though I knew Ms Mushrooms was not able to watch. Her loss, alas. He looked good.

As for Sasha Baron Cohen, that was the most genitally-oriented acceptance speech I've ever heard. I wondered how far he would push it, and it went pretty far, but it was funny.

Warren Beatty is a doddering old man. Clint, on the other hand, looked great.

Monday, January 15, 2007


The Golden Globes are on tonight, and I don't even know who's nominated. How did I fall so far out of the loop?

Do the GG's have loopy commentators talking about the gowns before the show? Like what's-his-name from Montreal, the Big Queen who had the kidney transplant? Cujo? Or whatever his name is. I may have to watch that.

Will Clive be there? So many questions....

On Mr. Amis

I’ve grown conflicted about Smarty. Has he changed, or have I?

I used to just plain love Smarty. I loved it all: His nastiness, his cruelty, his snobbery, his wit, and the fact that I found every single one of his novels fell apart in the final pages. I’d be reading along, chuckling nastily, and then suddenly, inevitably I’d lose the thread of the thing. Money was my favourite book for so long. And while I will always treasure my ragged SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR paperback edition, which Smarty autographed while wearing a gentle smile, I find the book just doesn’t hold up. It’s so 1980s. That’s disappointing.

I fear now, since 9/11, Smarty’s become a bit unhinged; like he’s following his drunken pal Hitchens down the sordid path of paranoid bigotry. I fear he may just be getting old.

I used to just plain love Smarty, and now I find myself enjoying hating him more than liking him.

And let’s not talk about Yellow Dog, shall we? (Crap.)

Today, in the Independent ( Smarty answers e-mail questions from the great unwashed readership.

My fave question: Why are you such a snob?

Smarty answers these questions with his usual aplomb. He takes pains to respond like the gentleman he is, but the undertone is hostile, and not in a fun way.

Here’s another goodie:
“The phrase ‘horrorism’, which you invented to describe 9/11, is unintentionally hilarious. Have you got any more?
Yes, I have. Here's a good one (though I can hardly claim it as my own): the phrase is ‘fuck off’.”

Ha Ha. That answer is incomplete, but the part I’ve quoted is the best bit.

All this being said, I’ll probably buy his new book, in paperback...eventually.

Weather Watch

The building where I work is situated on a deceptive hill. It doesn’t look that steep, in fact, it appears rather harmless, unless you work here and you have to walk up the darn thing to get to anywhere that matters on your lunch hour. Or to reach your bus stop, which I do.

Anyway, on days like this, there’s hardly any time for blogging because all my time-wasting is devoted to looking out the window at cars spinning and spinning and spinning their tires trying to make it up that sneaky hill. Looks like the big trucks are the ones having most “fun” today. I’m on the 8th floor and, just now as a type, I can hear someone's tires whirring and zzzzzzeeeeing.

Knock, knock

Me: Who's there?
Answer: Winter!
Me: I'm not opening the door!!

(I run away screaming and hide under the bed.)

Yep, it's here. 6 weeks late but as nasty as ever. Sigh.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Little Mosque

So I watched Little Mosque on the Prarie, and it turned out to be not so bad. It wasn't as politically correct as I feared it might be. There are both redneck whites and moronic Muslims. That surprised me.

The jokes are typically sit-com, but I've heard worse. I liked this one: "My parents never fasted during Ramadan...and they're huge." or "I don't think the Prophet had a telescope from CostCo." or "Let's log on to and let the starving begin." Okay, these are out of context, but they were okay.

I don't think these are offensive, but let's not forget the Mohammed cartoons.

It got great ratings, better than Corner Gas. Oh, it's battle of the Canadian sitcoms.

Author, Author

The Decider ended his speech last night by saying "We go forward with trust that the Author of Liberty will guide us through these trying hours."

When he said that, I kinda sat up and said: The who?

Who's the Author of Liberty? While I, of course, suspect it's God he's talking about here, this isn't a rhetorical question. I've never heard this term before, and I suspect it's an American one. Or maybe it's a Fundamentalist Protestant thing, which would explain why I'm not familiar with it.

I don't see why Chimpy would need to use a fundie "code" word for God since American Presidents have always signed off their speeches with references to God, but why this particular usage?

It reminds me of when Rastafarians refer to Haile Selassie as King of Kings, Lord of Lords, elect of God, conquering Lion of the tribe of Judah. You could throw Author of Liberty in there and nobody would notice.

And, not to be a stickler or anything, but isn't man the author of liberty? Man invented the concept of liberty, no?

Bush's Speech

Yeah, I watched and listened. Here's what I understood:

He's attacking Iran.

This is madness.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Debate Question

What is the youngest age at which a person can legitimately be described as being an asshole?

I figure it is well under the age of 10, but I haven't been able to pinpoint just how young one can be and have one's behaviour regarded as obnoxious and intentionally annoying.

Gastro Alert !

The top story on The National last night was the gastroenteritis outbreak throughout our fair land, and in particular, the fact that it has reached epidemic proportions in Montreal.

And the punch line was: it should be over by the end of March. March! That's a million years from now.

I must've washed my hands 10 times yesterday. I'm afraid of touching anything. I'm carrying a little bottle of Purell in my bag. And me, who takes public transit all the time, exposing myself to such vile germs. Oh, the humanity.

I caught that bug last February at my uncle's 70th Birthday party. It was the worst (the bug not the party).

My most vivid memory? Lying on the bathroom floor, thinking this is a really undignified way to die. I was convinced the end was near. Man, was I sick. (On the positive side, I lost 4 pounds.)

All this to say, I am terrified of catching it again this winter. But I learn from my mistakes. I have already stocked up in case of emergency. This week I bought a supply of ginger ale, chicken noodle soup packets and soda crackers. If I'm going to catch the bug, at least I'll be able to nurse myself back to health.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


The US launches an air strike against "Al Qaeda targets" in Somalia. The first US strikes there since the 1990s. And this happens the day before President Pretzel Boy's biggest speechiest speech ever announcing a troop escalation in Iraq, ' cause, well, you know, that place is full of terrorists! Al Qaeda terrorists!

Those darn Al Qaeda terrorists. They're everywhere!

What a coincidence.

Meanwhile, US troops in Iraq are engaged in some big battle bad guys. Again, it happens to be the day before the Chimperor announces he's sending more troops to fight against...Iraqi bad guys. This just shows how much these extra troops are needed. Who can argue against that?

There's tons of bad guys out there.

You know, I thought that the US mid-term election results indicated that the American people didn't wanna do this Iraqi war thing no more. Apparently, I misread the message. The President knows better. That massive rejection of Repubicans in Congress clearly meant: more troops to Iraq!!

Monday, January 08, 2007

This makes me ill

"The US embassy compound being built inside Baghdad’s Green Zone covers 104 acres, making it six times larger than the United Nations compound in New York. A city within a city for more than 1,000 people, it will have its own water, sewers and electricity, six apartment buildings, a Marine barracks, swimming pool, shops and some walls 15 feet thick."

What's the diff between this and one of Saddam's palaces?

A diplomat could serve a full four-year term and never have to a see a single Iraqi. Well done.

Hooray for global warming

I have now had 3 deliveries of heating oil this year, and my total bill is $140 less than this time last winter.


I can buy a lot of rock tumblers with that!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

In Hockey News

Now far be it from me to want to be a prophet of doom for the local team...heh heh.

But, right before Christmas I, not once but twice, heard commentators say "It smells like a Stanley Cup". (Trust me, this sounds better in French.) So, natch, I predicted that as soon as the media started planning the victory parade the team would start losing.

The result: Canadiens have lost 5 of their last 7.

I am vindicated.

Round Up of Mini Movie-Reviews

Because you're busy and I'm lazy.

Blood Diamond:
Diamonds bad; Africa scary; Leo good.

Fun and interesting. Recommended.

The Painted Veil:
If you enjoy Ed Norton being an asshole, this is the film for you.

Children of Men:
Effing grim, but Clive gorgeous.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Why didn't this exist when I was a kid?

Mirth alert!

The Gazette ran an article today about religious-based toys. There is an accompanying photo of an action figure that has black spots all over its arms and legs.

The caption reads: "An action figure of Job comes complete with boils."

I read that an hour ago and I'm still smiling.

In Corner Gas News

The Gazette has an article about Corner Gas today. Apparently, the show has been sold to 26 countries, including Australia (which will be old news to the loyal readers of this blog and its comments section), Finland (land of the Prime Minister who is a text-messaging bad boyfriend) and Iraq.


I'm pondering this. Let's say I'm an Iraqi and I get 4 hours of electricity per day. Am I going to spend 30 minutes of those precious 240 sitting in front of the tube watching Corner Gas? No offense to the show, but I think not.

On the other hand, perhaps Sunnis and Shiites could be united in their hatred of Lacey, the stuck-up Torontonian.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Ewan's thing

Was I not just talking about Ewan McGregor and little Ewan just a few scant days ago? Indeed. And I was correct. I think Ewan just isn't happy unless he's exposing himself to the movie-going public.

ITEM: Penis-baring Ewan McGregor on how his most famous body part almost made it into "Miss Potter": "I did try to get it in the film. They said, 'It's nice, Ewan, but we don't think it quite works with this movie.' They tried animating it: Putting Peter Rabbit's face on it and making it speak to Beatrix, but they didn't think it was tasteful enough in the end." (New York Magazine)

On the cutting edge of Muslim comedy

I see that CNN is reporting on the new Muslim comedy that the CBC is going to start running this month. It’s called Little Mosque on the Prarie. I will definitely give it a chance, but I’m afraid it’s one of those shows where they’ve used all the really funny lines in the commercials, and so the actual show will probably be disappointing. I hope it's not too preachy.

But you never know, it could be okay. It can’t be more small-town than Corner Gas and that’s pretty amusing some weeks.

You can tell from the CNN report that they think we are all cutting edge up here in that someone is daring to air a comedy with Muslims in it. If it was really out there, it would be a comedy about married gay, pot-smoking Muslims who vote Socialist.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

More bad news for the old home town

MONTREAL -- Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is ending tire production at its factory in Valleyfield, Que., affecting nearly 1,000 employees and adding to economic troubles in a province already suffering from forestry industry layoffs.

Softening the blow slightly, the Akron, Ohio-based company also said Thursday it will open a materials mixing centre at the location near Montreal, creating 200 jobs.

"The only thing we know is that there will be 200 employees left at Valleyfield, the rest of us will lose all our jobs," a worker told French-language channel LCN. "It's total uncertainty."

Damn those Ohio-based moguls!

It's hard to imagine Valleyfield without all those people working at "La Goodyear". Yep, that's what people call it "La Goodyear". Happy New Year.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

First Saddam Post of 2007 (and maybe the last)

(Warning: This post contains no mirth.)

I may have to kill myself.

I (gulp) find myself agreeing with that ass, Christopher Hitchens. This may lead me to some heavy drinking, as his own company apparently leads him to do.

The soused one says:

“The disgusting video of Saddam Hussein's last moments on the planet is more than a reminder of the inescapable barbarity of capital punishment and of the intelligible and conventional reasons why it should always be opposed. The zoolike scenes in that dank, filthy shed (it seems that those attending were not even asked to turn off their cell phones or forbidden to use them to record souvenir film) were more like a lynching than an execution. At one point, one of the attending magistrates can be heard appealing for decency and calm, but otherwise the fact must be faced: In spite of his mad invective against "the Persians" and other traitors, the only character with a rag of dignity in the whole scene is the father of all hangmen, Saddam Hussein himself.”

The pickled one then quotes Orwell:

“Properly speaking, there is no such thing as revenge. Revenge is an act which you want to commit when you are powerless and because you are powerless: as soon as the sense of impotence is removed, the desire evaporates also.”

Someone else this weekend wrote that when Saddam was hanged all the bodies of the thousands he murdered came back to life and danced in the streets of Baghdad. Pause. You mean they didn’t? Who could’ve known?

New Year's Search

I have put together my wish list for the ideal man.

He should be:

1. as compassionate as Stephen Lewis

2. as smart as David Suzuki
3. as environmentally conscious as Al Gore
4. not too tall (What’s Cannavaro? 5’9”? That’s perfect.)
5. able to cook like Anthony Bourdain
5a. but not smoke, do drugs or rob people like Anthony Bourdain
6. as adventurous as Michael Ware (accent optional)
7. as witty as (for local audience) Guy A. Lepage or (global audience) David Sedaris
8. as literate as Smarty Amis
8a. but not cranky or hateful like Smarty Amis
9. as kind to animals as…ummm…Dr. B., my handsome vet!
10. able to fix things around the house like…ummm…any of those guys on those home renovation shows. Jon Eakes?

How difficult can this be to find? Look, I’m not asking for handsome or athletic or rich. But if I was, well, I see Cannavaro’s name coming up again.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Operation Mirth: Day 2

If I can't be a crab, I have nothing to blog about. This is hard.

But I'm not complaining!! wheee

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year's Resolution 2007

I found my resolution. It comes courtesy of the McLaughlin Group and that eccentric old curmudgeon John McLaughlin. He said: Mirth is under-rated.

Therefore, like Mr. McLaughlin, I resolve to be more mirthful and perhaps even on occasion exuberant.

If you think that's gonna be easy for a pessimist like me, think again. I'm trying to crack a joyful smile right now and it's a strain.

And, yes, I've gone green for the new year!