Monday, June 30, 2008

Quiet Monday

Ho hum. Another leisurely day at home. Picked up my fantasia programme and have been sitting in the sun reading it. Had to come inside because the sun is strong and was making me wonky.

My big decisions today involve how to fit the Johnnie To movies into my fantasia viewing.

I could get used to this not-working routine. ah.

Note to self: Buy lottery ticket. Do lucky dance.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Spaniards who blighted my life*

* see YouTube: Bing Crosby and Al Jolson.

Oh well. Seems like I didn't get a single prediction right in the whole tournament. So my fearless prediction for a German victory was doomed to failure.

I usually like Ballack, but I thought he was quite ungentlemanly today. He disappointed me.

Well done, Spain. A good team.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Cuteness of War

On the few occasions that I have watched CBS Evening News coverage of the Iraq war, I have often wondered how Lara Logan can wear a dorky army helmet that looks like a chamber pot and still manage to be so cute.

I would be thinking, that helmet is regulation ugh-ly and but she's still so cute in it.

Such cuteness will inevitably, in a war zone, make one a victim of....pursuit by a drunken Australian war correspondent.

Oh Lara. You couldn't resist Michael Ware, could you? Well, who could, sez I.

But Mick was just a bit playa in this story, as it appears cutie Lara was also an element in the break-up of some State Department guy's marriage.

It's the helmet. Guys can't resist a gal who's so cute in a helmet.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Hallelujah

Leonard Cohen was amazing. I’m so glad I went. Over the past 30 years I’ve thought of him as a songwriter and a poet, but not really as an entertainer. But he is. Very entertaining. Humble and charismatic.

Highlights. So many highlights. What wasn’t a highlight? For me, the big moment was Hallelujah. Not a song I’ve particularly been drawn to, but the way he performed it last night, with a really surprisingly strong voice, was awesome. You don’t have to be religious to be touched by the power of the word Hallelujah, sung in the right context. It was tremendously moving. Wow. Still can’t get over that.

Next for me was Suzanne. I never realized I’d been waiting 30 years to hear him sing that song in person, but I guess I was. It was amazing.

Also fantastic was Closing Time. What a great, great song. And it really rocked! I’m still singing it in my head. He had an absolutely great band backing him. One guy in particular, on sax and a variety of winds, was so good, I’d go see him on his own. And Lenny is very generous with the spotlight; everyone got lots of solos and he seemed enthralled listening to everyone’s else playing.

And he ran, on and off the stage. And he dropped to his knees and bounced back up. I can barely do that now; I can’t imagine doing it when I’m 70+. I kept thinking: Lenny, slow down, you’ll hurt yourself. He really looked like he could be anybody’s grandpa. Grandpa…with a lively past.

I’ve never much cared for Bird on the Wire, but it was really jazzed up and I liked that a lot too. What else? Take this Waltz. Great. Democracy. Great. Sisters of Mercy. Great. There wasn’t a dud in the whole night. A Thousand Kisses he just recited, didn’t sing, and, hey guess what, it’s a real poem. Gorgeous. I could go on and on and on.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Japanese Toilet Update

Remember how much I raved about the washroom at Narita airport? I still hold fond memories of that bathroom stall.

MSNBC has an article today about this fave topic of mine.

Japanese toilets. How I love ‘em.

“Japanese toilets can warm and wash one's bottom, whisk away odors with built-in fans and play water noises that drown out potty sounds. They play relaxation music, too. "Ave Maria" is a favorite.

“High-end toilets can also sense when someone enters or leaves the bathroom, raising or lowering their lids accordingly. Many models have a "learning mode," which allows them to memorize the lavatory schedules of household members.”

How I love the Japanese.

Here’s a weird fact: 23 to 30 percent of Japanese men now sit while urinating. They do so, the report said, for comfort and for "prevention of urine splash."

Japanese women urinate eight times a day, with an average on-seat time of 96 seconds.

On-seat time. Yo, what’s your on-seat time? I love this statistic.

Holy Pants, Batman

You know what I hate? Being spied on, and then gossiped about. Especially by someone I met once, over 10 years ago.

Background. A few months ago, I was on my usual morning bus ride. I was wearing a short jacket. Nothing much happened. When I got to my desk that morning, as I was sitting down, I felt that I had a piece of tape stuck to my bottom. (I'm wondering now why I never blogged about it, as it was quite funny at the time.) Anyway, I deduced at the time that I'd probably gotten off the bus with this tape on my ass and walked a block to work, again with this tape stuck to my ass, come up in the elevator etc etc. (The more I think about it, the funnier it gets this morning.)

So this a.m. JAW Fan calls and tells me that a friend of his who he no longer sees and who I met once over 10 years ago, saw me that fateful morning, with my piece of tape stuck to my backside, and thought I had ripppped my pants and my underwear was showing. All this was related by another friend, who I also met many years ago, maybe once. I'm not even asking why I was being talked about.

First of all, I can't remember what somebody looks like unless I've met them at least three times, and I certainly can't recognize someone I met once 10+ years ago. How can anyone recognize me in these circumstances? So, yeah, I feel like I was being spied on, and no, those were not my underpants I was exposing to the good folk on the morning commute.

You know how you come up with nicknames for people you see every day but don't actually know them. I guess I'm Underwear Woman or Holey Pants to several people on the bus. I guess it's better than Ms Stinky or Jungle Breath.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Happy St. Johnny B.

My Holiday so far....and it's only 9:03 a.m.

Today is our Fete Nationale. If you don't live here you may well ask how a "province" can have a "national" holiday. You may well ask. But that only proves you don't live here (lucky you). And at age 47, having spent the vast majority of those years in this province, I just can't be bothered to explain it. It's exhausting. Life is too short.

So...my day so far. My Holiday day.

At 6:50 a.m. I am sleeping soudly, but then I hear a loud noise, a tock tock tock tock noise. My street is tres peaceful so a loud noise like this is tres noticeable. I get up and look out the window. There's a cable guy across the street! At six effing fifty. Doesn't he know it's Fete? What is he? Some kind of federalist trouble-maker? I blame Harper for this.

He's pushing a long ladder up against a pole and as each step falls into place: tock, tock, tock, tock. argh. I go back to bed. But now, it's feline bed invasion, as dumb cats who cannot read a calendar properly just think it's Tuesday. They don't know it's Fete! They want breakfast. I shoo them away and after 10 minutes or so, they leave, hating me.

At 7:30 I haven't managed to go back to sleep, but I'm refusing to get up despite the return of the cats and some insistent paws in my face. "Get up, you lazy woman", the cats say, "we don't care that it's Fete. We're anglos and we're hungry." I pull the blanket over my head. And then...in the distance...

A lawn-mower. weep. Isn't there a by-law against noise before 8:00 a.m. I thought there was. Especially on Fete! I can tell it isn't on my street, but on the next street over. Then a second mower joins in. No rest, no Fete for Italian lawn contractors. I guess they're still annoyed about the penalty shoot-out and if they have to be miserable, why spare anyone else. Right.

So I get up at 7:50. Feed the cats. Do they thank me? They do not. By 8:03 I am dressed in my running clothes and sneakers and I'm off to the soccer field to run the perimeter a couple of times. Not joking. I did this. Thank you, cable guy, for waking me early. Thank you, Italian lawn mowing guys, for keeping me awake.

Now I am refreshed, drinking my coffee, and blogging off at the mouth. There's a load of laundry done. I have energy. I deserve a nap in the afternoon.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Enough of this

Another person I know died over the weekend. She was a work colleague who was in Russian class with me over a few years. We "studied" Russian over the lunch hour, but I never learned anything. I have a vocabulary of about 10 words.

Karandash = pencil. whoo hoo.

Anyway, she had cancer and didn't make it to 50.

This is the fourth person I know who has died in the past two months. Which leads me to ask:

What's with all this dyin' shit?

I'm fed up with it.

First my friend Linda, then a translator who worked on our floor, then my neighbour two doors down and now this. Enough. I've had enough.

Used to be, when I heard someone had died, it was somebody's parent. Now it's the people I know themselves. Frig.

Ha Ha

Thanks to a link from the PostPessimist, I found this great site of comics from Kate Beaton. A lot are history related, and some are just weird. But this one is close to my heart for obvious reasons.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sigh

I said it before, I say it again. I hate penalty shoot-outs. Bleh.

I knew they couldn't go far without Cannavaro. Oh well.

Go Russia.

Here we go again

The Azzurri face the music again today.

And, for a change, I'll be at home in front of the t.v. watching the thing unfold.

I can't stand it.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

More soccer

Wow. This Euro just keeps getting more exciting by the day.

I still can't believe the Dutch went down. Wow. Those plucky Russkies.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Folds

I've been searching the internet looking for the right expression to describe Croatia's performance today.

Folded like a cheap suit?
Folded like a concertina? (not bad)
Folded like a crash test dummy?
Folded like a cheap plastic chair?

They all work. I cannot get over the last 5 minutes of that match. And the penalty kicks. I hate the penalty kick shoot-out; I think teams should go to sudden death and just play until someone scores. But today's 3 out of 4 misses by the Crow-hats was unbelievable.

The Turks are an oddball force of nature.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Line of the Day: US Politics Edition

John McCain is so old when he talk about Iraq he calls it Babylon.

har har

Let's talk about feet

More specifically, the severed feet that keep washing up on our western coastline.

Two more just this week.

What is up with this?

I had assumed, when these little feeties started appearing on the news, that they were bare feet. But no. They are severed feet in socks and shoes.

Where are they coming from?

My theory, and I'm sticking to it, is that there is a mad serial killer/foot severer on the loose in Japan, and he throws the severed feet into the ocean and now they are showing up in BC. This theory is based solely on the fact that I have seen entirely too many Takashi Miike movies.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Hump Day Question

Here is the kind of question that could only come from JAW Fan. This is based on the comments posted earlier about JAW Fan admitting that, in a pinch, he’d lather up del Piero. Even though the latter is under age 50, and by definition, not desirable to the former.

Question is: what would you do for a friend? How far would you go for a friend's fun and pleasure?

It’s one thing to lather up del Piero for one’s own future…um…entanglements with him. But what if one was asked to do the lathering up for someone’s else pleasure? Would you do it?

Example: Is JAW Fan prepared to lather up del Piero so that I, Nanuk, can be the one to later….um…enjoy young Alessandro? i.e. there’s no pay-off for JAW Fan. (Well, that point can be argued.)

Or: Would I be prepared to do the lathering up of del P. so that JAW Fan can get the reward? (Probably not. It’s just too unfair.)

Seriously, using different friends and different scenarios, this is an interesting way to judge the closeness of friendships. Of course, if this goes on for too long, del Piero gets rubbed raw.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

There is joy in Nanukville

O, my beloved Azzurri. How wonderful you are.

How delightful that you live on, you will get to face Spain, and have your asses handed to you on a plate.

Afghanistan

This whole prison break story in Kandahar is unbelievable. The Taliban breached the prison walls using suicide bombers and sprang a whole bunch of guys. You almost have to think: cooool.

If this was a movie it would star Charles Bronson and Steve McQueen in beards.

Now everybody is in a panic because they think these sprung guys are planning to take over parts of Kandahar. Okay.

Sprung Talibaners: 350
NATO troops in A'stan: 65,000.

That's 185 NATO troops for every Talibaner. And the troops are panicky?

This is a movie, right? This can't be real.

Another High Tension Day

Mama Mia! What will happen to the Azzurri today?

Will the Dutch help them out by pounding the crap out of the Romanians?

Will they help themselves by actually winning?

I can't stand it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

File this under "Believe It Or Not"

On Saturday afternoon, yours truly, in the costume of an Italian tenor, including cape, gloves and fake beard made of felt, stood up and sang in front of 30 people, about half of whom were strangers. Yes, me, your humble blogger.

I still can’t believe I did that.

I had written a song parody for a friend’s birthday, and one thing led to another, and it turned into a mini-opera, with me as the soloist and the girls from work as my chorus.

Repeat: I still can’t believe I did that.

Given that a) I’m a total introvert and b) I’m tone deaf and have no voice at all, it was surreal and hilarious.

I volunteered to do this, and was totally calm about it, right up until I started singing. Then about two lines in, I had a panic attack. My hands started trembling, but I knew I had to keep going. A big voice inside my head screamed: What the f*** am I doing here?

And all I had before was 2 shandys. I wasn't even close to drunk.

But we all got through it, got huge screaming laughs, and a standing ovation from all present. And the birthday girl looked pretty pleased. And stunned.

I dunno what’s gotten into me lately.

Happy Bloomsday

Wouldn't it be better to be in Dublin, strolling the streets with a piece of soap in your pocket, than doing whatever it is you are doing right now?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Painful Victory

Yankees Lose Wang in Rout of Astros

Just one, though, apparently.

D-Day

Happy Father's Day to the dads out there. I know there's a couple of you reading.

As kids, we would always say to my father: what do you want for Father's Day?
Answer: Peace and quiet!*

Repeat joke, every Father's Day and birthday.

*He never got his wish, being outnumbered 3 to 1 on the female-to-male ratio.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Gasp-a, Gasp-a

The Azzurri aren't quite dead yet. They hang on valiantly. Operatically.

Fortunately, les bleus look pretty crappy, so I have great hope for Italy against France. (I know, now I've gone and done it. I've doomed them.)

And the Dutch look like they could win even without taking the field, so even if they use their B side they should still defeat Romania. I hope. Please.

Friday, June 13, 2008

There's no tomorrow

Get out your clich├ęs!

It's do or die for the Azzurri today. It's all or nothing.

Their lovely backs are up against the wall.

My heart is pained to operatic heights.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

South Beach Demise

I saw my doctor today and he shook his head, and tsked tsked me.

Seems South Beach is not the right diet for me. He said I can stay on it for 2 to 3 weeks, but then I gotta give up the red meat, cheese and eggs that are staples of the South Beach way of life.

This is a first. Being told not to diet. Well, he didn't actually say that. He's still demanding to see some serious weight loss by October or his patience will officially run out.

I told my sis and she called my doctor a quote killjoy unquote. Enuf said.

Euro News

Now I'm jinxing the Germans!

How do I do it?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

TV News

CTV has finally got around to airing Mad Men. I've been waiting forever for this show.

The first episode did not disappoint. It is as has been described: everybody smokes constantly. My sister kept saying "Did people smoke that much?" We can't remember the 60's and smoking, although both our parents smoked at the time. I do recall that.

Also, everyone (i.e the men) is drinking at the office. Love that. The anti-semitism is weirdly casual, and I doubt that black people even exist in this world.

Anyway the show looks great. I love the clothes and the hairstyles. And the amazingly sexist dialogue. At one point, a boss (male, of course) tells a secretary (female, of course) to go home and put her curlers on and relax. My sis said "Anyone who doesn't call herself a feminist should ask herself if THIS is what she wants to go back to."

All the characters seem pretty nasty and conniving. I'll keep watching because I love nastiness, but I think sis will tune out because the creeps on the show were giving her the creeps.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

O My Alessandro

As I fear my days of gazing upon the Azzurri are numbered, I just gotta post one lil picture.

What's Italian for "quel babe"?



On the Beach

It's Tuesday. I've been on the South Beach Diet for a whole 8 hours, and I haven't cheated yet.

This is an accomplishment of outstanding proportions.

How come my pants don't feel loose yet? What's taking so long?

Le Grand Prix

Catching up on late news.

If I'm ever at a red light and see Lewis Hamilton coming up behind me, I'm gonna hope my air bag is working. Dumb kid.

The Scottish Play

On the weekend in the Holy City, we did something we’ve never done before. We went to a play.

The National Theatre of Scotland was presenting its play on the Black Watch, and the regiment’s deployment to Iraq. In the spirit of the production, I have to say it was fucking fantastic. Even my army-lovin’ nephew liked it, and he confirmed that the lingo was authentically military, i.e. literally every second word was an “f” word or a “c” word.

The staging was excellent, but the place was sweltering hot. The performances were really really athletic as these guys did a tremendous amount of running, jumping and getting blown up.

The highlight for me was a segment where one guy recites the entire 300-year history of the regiment, while the other actors carry him around and dress and undress him in the evolving uniform. It was so cool, done so fast and so smoothly, I was impressed and not just because I got to watch a Scotsman getting dressed and undressed.

Here’s the YouTube clip of the promo.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=6j_DqmTXHP8

Monday, June 09, 2008

The Belmont

(I'm home from Toronto.)

If anyone needs a horse jinxed, just leave a comment at this site.

Apparently my horse jinxing skills are at their most powerful and awesome level ever.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Friday Rount-Up

1) I heard from the folks in London that my exam has been received there and is currently being corrected. This, at least, alleviates my fear that my papers fell into the Atlantic.

2) Seems to be lots of new news on our girl Julie and her boobs and her/their more recent connections to organized crime. Max still hasn’t surfaced. Where in the world in Max?

3) Euro2008 starts tomorrow. Ms. Mushrooms has a question for JAW Fan on this subject: How can he not be a fan of this veritable Man Fest? Any man-watcher worth her/his salt, has to watch soccer, especially Euro soccer. No?

4) Finally, out with the girls last night. In our group of seven (how Canadian), four were sober (including me, I had the car) and three got absolutely hammered. Seriously shit-faced. I then had to endure a drunken tirade from a good friend, about how “stoic” I always am, and how I never get drunk, and never “relax”. Oh, yes, I thought, that is so true. Never.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Over and over and over again

If you were like me as a child, you could listen to the same record many, many times in a row.

What is the song you think you've listened to the most times in your life? (Mr. Anonymous wants to know! Don't disappoint Mr. Anonymous.)

As a kid I must've listened to ABC by the Jackson 5 hundreds of times. I still like it.

Present day, as an ipod wearer, I had to think about what is the song on the ipod I'm most likely to just flip to while I'm the bus, just because I always feel like listening to it. This may be a surprise, but it's Sweet Child o' Mine. I don't think I've ever worn my ipod without listening to it at least once. It's such a great song.

Trousers Rolled

We are old. We got information on the demographics of our staff today.

Of the over 700 employees here, only 15 are in their 20's. 15 out of 700.

We have a mandatory retirement age of 60, but there are 33 people over 60 still working here. Does this make sense?

What happens to youthful enthusiasm and drive and innovation? I guess we say pfffft to that.

A huge chunk of people are in their 50's. Half the staff will be retiring in the next 10 years. It seems like nobody but me is alarmed about this looming mass exodus. It's like everybody is dreaming of their retirement and saying "apres moi, le deluge". Nobody cares.

What's even scarier is that one of the super-ambitious younger managers, the type that the future of the place is being built on, resigned this week. There are greener pastures for her out there. We are so screwed.

In Sport News

Ta-da! (Applause, applause, applesauce)

For the first time in my life, my fearless sport prediction has come true. Congratulations Red Wings.

I shall now continue to ride my wave of infallibility.

The Belmont: Big Brown wins. First Triple Crown winner since 1978.

Euro2008: My heart still bleeds Azzurri blue, but the Italians won't do it.
Winner will be: Germany.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

American Politics

It would be wrong to ignore the Obama story, so here goes. I'm happy. But I like Hillz and I would've been happy with her getting the nomination, too. So, there ya go. I'm happy. Go Barry!

I hope, when he's President, that he goes back to smoking in public. He's kind of a sexy smoker, and that's what the world needs now.

But who I really like is Michele Obama. Every time I hear her speak, I wanna say "You go, girl" and I've never, ever said "You go, girl" to anyone about anything in my entire life. So, there ya go...girl.

Diet Talk from Kingsley Amis

He said: “The first, indeed the only, requirement of a diet is that it should lose you weight without reducing your alcoholic intake by the smallest degree.”



Amis's three books on drinking have been reissued in a single volume. I'll drink to that.

Here I go again

Next Tuesday I plan to start the South Beach Diet. Why? Well, other than the obvious (I’m fat), I got the book for $2 at the book sale last week and thought, why not?

Why next Tuesday? Because I have a pig-out scheduled for tomorrow night, then I’m off to the Holy City on Saturday for my sis’s birthday on Sunday. (Hello, Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake.) I shall return on Monday to commence the diet on Tuesday.

I’ll be seeing the doctor on Thursday, where I’ll be able to say to him that I’ve been on a diet for 48 hours, can’t you tell?

Why are you getting a one-week warning about this? It provides ample time to find other blogs to read because I’m going to be a very crabby crab, a chipless crab, a pastaless crab, a carbless crab, while doing this, and it won’t be pretty. I might even write nasty things.

I’m giving it a 3-week try. It appears to work because I've lost a pound this week just thinking about starting it. That's pretty impressive.


Alas, if it doesn’t work, I’ll just find a homeless Japanese woman to come live in my closet and eat all my food while I’m out.

How could he not know?

This is one of those odd news stories that I just don’t get. I’m talking about the guy in Japan who found the woman living in his closet.

Homes in Japan are tiny. How can someone be living in your house and you don’t know it. I take it she never wore squeaky shoes. And his floorboards don’t creak. And he’s a heavy sleeper. I wake up if the cats make too much noise going downstairs.

Over the months, he noticed food disappearing from his house. But this wasn’t enough to do a thorough search of his house? Did he just shrug, and say, oh well, some food disappeared. How long did he wait? I’d be going nuts if food suddenly went missing (especially Pringles). I’d assume the cats had gotten into something and had learned how to open the fridge. They are diabolical.

Also, the first time she went in because the door was unlocked, but what about all the other times. Did the guy never lock his front door? Even after the food started disappearing? If he didn’t, he deserves to have a homeless woman living in his closet.

The guy is dumb. And he lives in Japan, home of Takashi Miike. Did he not realize the danger he was in. Freakish mutilation could have occurred, or at the very least, crazed schoolgirls might’ve chased him and loved him up. Hmmmm.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

RIP

To honour the memory of Fredric Baur, I bought a can of Pringles today. I felt obliged.

Good News

The Cloonster is single again.

The sun rises; the sun sets. And George dumps another waitress.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Today in shocking, scandalous chip news

Back on May 5th (you can look it up) I wrote the following: "At the risk of stating the obvious, my urn should be Pringles can. Sour Cream 'n' Onion, if available. Cheez'ums also acceptable in a pinch."

Today, via a loyal reader (you could all fit in one giant Pringles can, probably) comes this alarming news:

"Dr. Fredric J. Baur was so proud of having designed the container for Pringles potato crisps that he asked his family to bury him in one.

His children honored his request. Part of his remains was buried in a Pringles can - along with a regular urn containing the rest - in his grave at Arlington Memorial Gardens in Springfield Township." (Cincinnati.com)

Baur, that freakin' little so-and-so. How dare he steal my idea? Just 'cause he invented it? That's his reason? Harumph. Double harumph.

I'll wager he probably requested the traditional red can, and I'm still leaning toward the green SC and O, so I hope I still have that going for me. gawd. Is nothing sacred?

Today in Politics

Apparently in the Commons today the Opposition will be demanding an official inquiry into Julie, her boobs and her other boob.

I'm so relieved.

Even though it's been more than a week, I'm still enjoying this story. And I was worried it would start to fade away, that the media's interest might sag, so to speak. But no. This story has legs. Legs about boobs. So there ya go.

And if Stockwell Day is defending the government on this, well, even better. That's even more boob for our buck.

Isn't it about time Max the Moob surfaced? He can't stay in hiding forever.

Celeb Death Overload

What do Harvey Korman, Yves St. Laurent and Bo Diddley have in common?

They're all dead.

Don't look for a joke. There isn't any. I'm just keeping up to date on the news.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Benefits of Blogging

I'm doing a NY Times Crossword right now.

Clue for 9 Down: Natl. Poetry Mo.

Answer: (we all know it!) Apr.