Saturday, August 30, 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sara Palin

I’m thinking I’m going to have a field day with the Republican Vice-Presidential nominee.

So, her kids are named:

Trig (like onometry?)
Track (and field? Or suit?)
Bristol (MyersSquibb)
Willow (whatever?) and
Piper (wait! That’s a near-normal name. Kid must’ve been adopted and arrived with a No-Name-Change-Allowed tag attached.)

And this woman will be in charge of the free world when McCain's rotted old carcass keels over? Putin’s wetting himself right now. I can hear his evil laughter from across the globe.

If McCain thinks he’s going to win over angry women who wanted Hillary in the race, he’s crazier than I thought. Women who support Hillary will not vote for a woman who is anti-choice. Insane. I’ll bet Pat Buchanan loves her, though. She had lots of babies. Yay for white American babies, even ones from Alaska!

Joe Biden must’ve already known this news last night, which would explain why he couldn’t stop grinning his massive toothy grin. Bring on the VP debate, he’s gonna slice, dice and julienne her hide and have it for breakfast. Chomp, chomp with his giant perfect teeth.

Barack's speech

The speech was pretty good. It didn’t have a lot of substance to it, I thought, just a lot of promises to do things that will never get done unless he has a big Dem majority in both Houses to push everything through. Can that happen? I dunno.

This morning I read some guy who described Obama as a "leftist" because he wants to tax the ultrarich. There is no such thing as a leftist in the United States. Silly.

But, man, what a beautiful speaker he is. He’s the best. After 8 years of suffering through the inarticulate babblings of a chimp who can’t string three words together coherently, don’t Americans want a President who won’t embarrass them on the world stage? Isn’t that reason enough to vote for Obama?

Best name for McCain I read today: Grampy McPlanecrasher. Heh heh.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


I've tuned in to watch Obama's speech.

But right now, Al Gore is on. I'm swooning. OH AL. (thud)

Not full of baloney

Someone just sent me the complete list of recalled meats from Maple Leaf.

Is there anything on Earth that sounds less appealing than "Bologna Chunks".

And I don't even dislike bologna! When I was a kid, bologna with french fries and lots of ketchup was one of my favourite treats. I confess it has even been an occasional comfort food right up until recently. But I'll be laying off the bologna for a good long time. Comfort food to be replaced by comfort wine. You never hear about wine killing anybody, right? right?

Back to work

It's another lovely day, and yet I am back at work. And busy! I need another mental health day. Fortunately I have 3 "sick days" I can still use between now and 31 December. And I fully intend to use them.

In car news. Last night, I drove my beloved old vehicle for the first time since the garage told me it is a Death Trap. It still drives perfectly. Now I'm wondering if I should go ahead and put the extra $1000 on it to keep it for a few more months. Decisions, decisions.

Speaking of driving. I went to the fancy IGA in LaSalle last night, and made the big mistake of going through Ville St. Pierre. Stupid effin' construction! Is there any street on the island that hasn't been dug up? I ended up in Lachine and had to get on the 20 to come back to LaSalle. In a Death Trap Car! Fortunately, IGA had some yummy curry chicken in stock which made it almost worth the detour. Is it crazy to drive 9 km just for curry chicken? I think not.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mental Health Day

I'm at home today. It's partly because it's a beautiful day that I want to enjoy, partly for a mental health break and primarily because I'm reading someone's dissertation and I have to get it back to him this week, and I don't have the energy to give it its due consideration when I get home in the evening, so I've left it a bit late.

I'm alertly, speedily motoring along on it today and will have it back to him tomorrow. Is it wrong to take a paid day off in order to do other paid work? So be it. I'm sure I'm not alone in doing this. On the good side, the dissertation is on work-related stuff and I'm learning a lot about our esteemed employer while reading this. So, in a way, it's still work-related.

Must go sit outside and proofread in the sun whilst working on my tan...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A bit of political news

Peter Potato Head is in Kandahar on a surprise visit. The "surprise", I think, is that he brought Jim Flaherty with him. Flaherty, no doubt, having been dragged onto an army transport plane screaming "but I'm only the freakin' Finance Minister. Why do I have to have my fast ass shot at in that hellhole?"

I smell an election a-comin'.

You know who Flaherty reminds me of. Only one person will get this (Ms. Mushrooms, I'm looking at you.) Flaherty is But Cort, the bond company stooge, in Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

"Who's this?"
"Him? He's the bond company stooge."

MEN! (Part 6553 in a series)

Men are crazy. Collectively and individually.

There's a guy at work. Let's use his real name. Mark. Mark is the bestest. I love Mark. He is smart, hilarious, a born story teller, never obnoxious, always helpful and pretty decent looking. (And married, of course. Don't even ask.)

Anyway, Mark's hair has been thinning ever since he's worked here. (Is there a connection? Perhaps?) And I've just heard that he has spent $3800 to get his first hair plug treatment.

Mark? I said. Our Mark? You've got to be kidding. I never would've imagined him to be vain.

In his typical fashion, he's not hiding it. He's going around the building telling everyone how thrilled he is and how great he feels.

What is wrong with the world, when nice, not crazy, not stuck-up guys like Mark feel the joy of hair plugs? I'm so discouraged about you guys. Embrace your outer Homer. No fake hair!

Sister Mary Agnes would not cut it

"being ugly is not a requirement for becoming a nun. "

I have been nudged toward the story of the priest in Italy who wants to run a beauty contest for nuns. I'm scanning the story right now, and it doesn't mention any age limit. It is hoped that at least 1000 nuns from around the world will enter the contest. It is held on-line.

Well, is there an age limit? If not, fine. If so, where are you going to find 1000 nuns under the age of, say, 30? Not in Canada, that's for sure.

This seems a bit of a dumb idea, but if the priest thinks it will interest more young people in the Church, well, then go ahead. No harm done.

I am reminded of my late uncle, who was a convert, having been born a Scots Presbyterian. Every time he saw a young nun, he would look sad, and say "what a waste". My aunt Therese, his wife, had thought of becoming a nun in her youth, but married him instead, at age 21. I always figured he imagined he bested God on that front. heh heh.

I remember a year ago when I saw the story about a calendar featuring young, handsome priests. Yes, I remember it well (despite my failing memory, I remember it very well.) I didn't really believe these guys were real priests, but what the heck. Anyone who has ever had a sexy priesty fantasy (and frankly who hasn't?) didn't care if the guys weren't real priests. But if they were.....well, sigh.

I tried to find a connection between the attractive nun story and the ugly-women-welcome in Queensland story, but I guess there isn't any. oh well.

Complain, complain

OK. I have only one complaint about my job today.

I'm too busy to blog !

This is nuts.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mad Men

I know most people aren't watching this, but I just have to quote:

It's Mozart!

I almost wet my pants over that. These guys are such idiots.

Go Peggy! She's gonna outDraper Draper.

Grind, grind

Boy, oh boy. It's turning out to be a lot harder to get over the disappointment of the London failure than I was anticipating it to be. I thought I'd bounce right back, but I ain't bouncin'.

I submitted another application to our overlords in NYC last Thursday, but it isn't a serious one. It's more like a rebound application. Just something to keep on trying. To prove to myself that I may be down but I'm not completely whipped yet.

I need a vacation, or a winning lottery ticket, or somethin'. Why can't I be one of those lucky people for whom alcohol actually works as a ticket to oblivion.

Where did it go? Where?

Septemer is next week. Back-to-school and all that jazz.
Where did the summer go?

I think I'll take a couple of days off this week. End-of-summer desperation days. There should be a provision for such things in any employment contract.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Putt, putt, pfffft

This certainly is turning into one helluva week.

My car, she be dead.

The mechanic says it will cost more to fix it than my baby is worth. He emphatically said: You cannot drive this car on the highway. So much for that.

I'm very sentimental about that car. I'm sad that its era is over.

I'm going to join a car sharing service. I don't need my own car (at least I think I don't) so I'm giving the car-share system a one-year trial. Another adventure.

I'm tired of adventures.

This is nice

A silver medal for Emilie Heymans in diving. I always thought she was a choker who couldn't perform at the big event. But not today. Good for her!

This is How to Celebrate

Funny details from Jamaica on how Bolt's hometown is celebrating:

Bolt family friend and member of the local municipal council, Phillip Service, told Reuters news agency that Falmouth town square was blocked by convoys of cars celebrating. "Some persons have placed desks in the road and placed a vast amount of liquor on them for everyone to drink and be merry. (BBC)

Vast amount of liquor = drink and be merry. So, that's how it's done!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Whale on the (South) Beach

I'm facing the grim fact of how much damage I've done during the uncertainty of the past few weeks and all the chip-eating I permitted myself to indulge in. Chips. And fries. And chocolate chip cookies. And wine. And wine.

I am a whale.

I have to get back on that dreaded Beach diet ASAP. sigh.

(Last week, JAW Fan's bestest friend, Ignatius, said that compared to other women he had met on-line, I was positively svelte, and that I should not call myself fat at all, and apparently, I don't know the meaning of the word compared to some liars he has met. Gee. I miss that man!)

Word of the Day: Showboat

So Bolt wins again, by a lot. I was reading the story in the G & M, but the best line was the last one, which referred to his win in the 100 m last weekend:

"He bettered his own world record in that race by winning in 9.69 seconds — despite slowing down over the final 20 metres to showboat."

I love the idea of factoring in showboating time. 80 metres of running hard + 20 metres for showboating.

As my niece commented last weekend, why is it only the 100-metre guys who do all these gestures and moves. You don't see swimmers or divers bustin' moves before they compete. It's just odd.

Also, what is with white sprinters who try to look black. Our man from PEI is especially guilty of this. Hey, kid, you're from Spud Island not Bed-stuy. Just be white already! Think Anne of Green Gables.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

No London for Me

Finally. I heard from the London people, and I am out. The waiting is over.

"After careful consideration by the panel"...etc etc. Of course, they didn't tell me WHY I'm out.

In a day or two I'll probably feel really depressed and disappointed, but for now I'm just relieved.

I told the cats they have dodged a bullet. The move would've been traumatizing for them. They don't seem to understand the magnitude of this news. Dumb kitties.

Olympic Update

Just want to advise JAW Fan that they will be re-running the men's 3-m diving tonight. We should see plenty of coverage of it since our lil Alex won a silver.

I realize that diving from the 3-m board does not cause the same impact when they hit the water as the 10-m event, and therefore does not afford the same opportunity to view speedos sliding down, but there may still be something worth watching.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Everybody's Best Friend

Here’s a true story just for JAW Fan’s amusement.

Last week on my unsuccessful date, Ignatius showed me his latest purchase, which was a copy of a book in a series about various classic albums called 33 1/3. Even with my failing memory, I recognized the series as being one that Mr. Anonymous and our Scholar Friend in Ottawa both had been interested in. So I told Ignatius that a couple of friends of mine had written submissions for this series.

His response: “You have very cool friends.”


You know what I love about today's news: the fact that Russia keeps announcing that it is withdrawing from Georgia, but isn't actually doing it. If anything, the Russians are going deeper into the country.

How many days can they keep this up? Saying, yes, yes, we're withdrawing and not doing it. And having no intention of doing it. Yeah, world, we'll be out in a minute. Just a sec. We're almost done. We're just about gone.

Russia is that guy at work. The one who says, I'm on it! but never gets around to doing anything. I hate that guy.

Another Aussie Winner

You know, Australia may seem like a nice place, but I dunno if I'd ever want to live there. For one thing, it seems like their elected leaders are all morons. The latest:

"John Molony, the mayor of the Australian outback mining town of Mount Isa, is a straight-talking Aussie bloke, the kind of man who calls a spade a bloody shovel.

But after suggesting that "beauty disadvantaged" women should move to his remote Queensland town, where men outnumber females five to one, he may think twice about being so forthright in the future. Under attack from angry locals, he is facing calls to resign.

Molony sparked outrage when he highlighted the shortage of women in the remote town in north Queensland (population 25,000) in an interview in his local newspaper. "May I suggest if there are five blokes to every girl, we should find out where there are beauty-disadvantaged women and ask them to proceed to Mount Isa," he said. "(Guardian)

They are so desperate for women, they'll even accept ugly ones. That is so generous. I don't even know what to say about this guy except I hope they throw him out of office and then out of town.

Tra La La

Big news: The Banana Splits are coming back. Will it be as druggy as the original? Will I care? I dunno. But I'm glad they haven't been forgotten.
Can H.R. Puf'n'Stuf be far behind?

Fall on your ass or fall on your face

I admit it. I'm much more interested in the failures than the successes.

Like that Chinese hurdler. Are he and his whole family off to the work camp now?

Last night, there was the Brazilian gymnast who fell on his ass. He was so disappointed, he was crying. It was sad.

This morning, there was the Swedish hurdler who crashed into the first hurdle and went splat on the ground. Then she cried. Oh, everybody cries at the Olympics. It's all so sad.

Why does anybody run hurdles? It seems like the most dangerous sport. Not to mention the most humbling when you land on your face.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

More Olympics

The best competition yesterday was the women's marathon. I thought the ending was amazing.

I watched the marathon while lying on the couch, eating Doritos. And I thought: there's something really wrong with this picture.

Most over-rated Olympian: Paula Radcliffe.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Finally some medals for Canada. We can all come out of hiding now. Remove the paper bags from our heads. Glad that embarrassing first week is over.

Phelps' victory in the 100 butterfly looked like a cheat. I dunno how they did it, but it looked wrong.

Bolt's victory in the 100 m was probably the most incredible thing most of us have seen in sport in the past few decades and for the next few years, for sure. It was amazing. So easy.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday a.m.

I'm home, waiting for the man who cleans the furnace. Isn't it fun to think about winter already? wah.

My date was unexciting. What I have learned about on-line dating:

1) Meet the person quickly before you talk to him too much on-line.
2) Meet him again a second time, as the second time will be different from the first.

Oh well. He's a good guy, but he just wasn't interesting to me. Not his fault; not my fault.

I did have a tasty blue martini, though. yum.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tummy Update

I have survived my gastroscopy. It went fast, fast, fast and was painless. If I had a scanner I could put pictures of my lovely stomach on the site for all to admire since it is, according to the doc, perfect! Aren't you glad I don't have a scanner.

But. There's always a but.

There's a red patch which he took a sample of to biopsy. As soon as I heard the word "biopsy" I started picking tunes for my funeral. I'm like that. I can't help it.

The doctor is certain it is nothing, and only took the biopsy because, well, I was there and why not check it to be sure. But he told me not to worry about it at all. So, I won't. Honestly. I believed him when he said it was nothing.

I'm still very dozey from the sedative. I'm going to bed now.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Olympic moment

Men's synchronized diving.

Is there anything gayer? Really? Anything?

At long last

Finally! Finally, tomorrow after 7 months I will be having a follow-up scope to confirm that I am completely recovered from surgery. I guess if I wasn't, I'd be dead by now.

Dr. McDreamy should get together with the people in London who still haven't contacted me about the interview. They could laugh about how much fun it is to make me wait. Such fun.

Later tomorrow it's "date" night with Ignatius. Stay tuned to find out if the scope turns out to be more fun than the "date".

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Who are we kidding?

The entire Western media are up in arms because it has been revealed that Chinese officials replaced a 9-year-old girl with a beautiful voice but crooked teeth with a prettier lip-synching girl in the opening ceremonies.

I'm not going to defend the Chinese jerks on this at all.


Everyone in Western media is obsessed with beauty and physical perfection. Does anyone really believe that the same thing wouldn't happen here? This would never happen in America, land of Child Beauty Pageants? Come on. What hypocrites.

The only difference is that here the child with crooked teeth wouldn't even have made it that far. Assuming there had been a nation-wide search for a performer, she would've been eliminated at the regional level.

Headline of the Day (Maybe of the Year)

Giant dog turd wreaks havoc at Swiss museum


Life is a Murakami Novel

I'm reproducing this whole story because I love the last paragraph:

TOKYO — Japanese police have arrested a 20-year-old man who attacked and robbed two people after they stared at his Winnie-the-Pooh costume.

Masayuki Ishikawa was hanging out on a Tokyo street corner after midnight last month while wearing the cuddly costume, accompanied by two friends dressed as a mouse and a panther, when he took offence at being stared at, police said.

“It's uncommon to see people dressed up like this, so the victims were watching them. Then the perpetrator came up and said ‘What are you staring at?'” a police spokesman said.

Mr. Ishikawa and his friends beat up the two victims and stole $160 from them, the spokesman said, adding the group had apparently donned the unusual garb because they had run out of clean clothes. (Reuters)

Doesn't this just happen all the time? You know, you wait too long to do laundry, and have to reach for the giant animal costume. I was a panda just last week.

Hey, what you lookin' at?

Our World = Stupid

To be successful one should always do what one does best.

That is why Putin is waging war while W slaps the asses of the US beach volleyball team.

There's no place to run and hide, is there?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Nice Weekend

I have a sunburn, the result of not one, but two, count 'em, two sunny weekend days. A minor miracle.

The only time it rained was about an hour ago. And where was I? Driving to Mr. & Mrs. Anonymi's house to feed their felines. Halfway there, it started to pour, and I do mean, pour. By the time I reached their house, I had to sit in the driveway for a spell because I knew I couldn't get out of the car, walk 5 paces to the front door, fiddle with the keys and enter, without getting drenched.

Timing is everything. It's always been my specialty.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

John Edwards

Ok. Nobody knows what goes on in somebody's else marriage, right?

He's admitted to an affair, but that kid is not my son, he sez. Eventually he'll own up to the whole thing. Imagine if he was the Democratic candidate? gawd. I hope Barack doesn't have wee ones hiding in the wings.

Back to Edwards: His wife has two small kids to look after and she has INOPERABLE cancer. Maybe she said to him: our sex life is over, I have INOPERABLE cancer and give you permission to go out and get some luvin' elsewhere. You have my blessing. Maybe that's what happened.

Or maybe he's just a scumbag.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Olympic question

I'm not going to talk in any detail about the opening ceremonies because Good Lord! that was the most spectacular thing I've ever seen.

My only question is why is it that for the first 20 or so countries that entered the stadium the music playing was Scotland the Brave? Were bagpipes invented in China? Like apparently everything else on earth that's of any use.

Okay, Jordan is now entering the stadium and they've gone back to playing Scotland the Brave. What the hell?

The Weather

If it doesn't stop raining soon, I'm going to cry.

Dear Powers-that-be,

Please send the rain to Australia. We don't need any more.

Your sincere soaking servant,
Nanuk of the damp, mouldy basement

Thursday, August 07, 2008

It's all chips, all the time

Stopped in at Provigo on the way home, looking for some new chips. I had discussed them with JAW Fan earlier in the day, and he had said "Look for the silver bag".

So I sauntered down the chip aisle, casually scanning the shelves. And then I saw them.

The silver bags.

I bought the ones called Buffalo Wings & Blue Cheese flavour.

They're hot. (As Paris might say.) I thought I wouldn't eat too many, but I am pig, and I kept eating. I ate too many. My lips are burning and swollen. This is not good. Drinking lemonade didn't take the sting away and that was probably the worst thing to be drinking, I suppose.

But does that mean I won't eat more of them tomorrow? Don't be silly. Of course I will.


How do you pronounce chipotle?

It's one of those words I've seen written many times, but have never discussed until today.

A (Detailed) Chip Review by our Correspondent JAW Fan

This past Saturday, after a moderate drinking binge, consisting of delicious white wine sangria (made with Triple Sec and a splash of rum) at a downtown Village bar, I made my way home...a slight gurgling in my stomach indicating I was in need of a quick snack fix. So, I reached into my pockets, thankful I had some loose change, and stopped into the local Couche Tard (the same one which had been in the news earlier this year, because some guy carrying a knife had gotten shot by the police) Without hesitation, I went to pick up a single size bag of delicious potato chips. Reaching for an Old-Fashioned BBQ, I headed for the cash, when my eyes were quickly drawn by a special display rack, offering this unsuspecting buyer a pleasant surprise: Lays' French Fries and Gravy chips. Obviously, the marketing people at this deliciously reputable company have been working overtime. Never one to shrug off a new taste experience, I immediately tossed my BBQ bag back into the if it were a zircon and I, Zsa Zsa Gabor. Eager and anxious to sample this fanciful flavour, I could not even wait out the two minute walk to my home. Like Charlie Sheen at a prostitute Blow-Out sale, I pounced on that salty snack sack. With anticipation busting my gut, I slipped a chip in between my lips. "Wowee, this actually tastes like gravy," I thought, a bounce now in my step. A couple more chips quickly penetrated my mouth hole. Mmmm!....But then something strangely mysterious happened, so unheard of, I felt a call to Fox Mulder was in order. For some incredibly odd reason, after the first few bites, the chips no longer had the same wondrous gravy taste...This is not to imply that the chip-eating experience was an unpleasant one, but it was if my taste buds were suddenly arrested by the flavour police. Was the fake gravy coating doing something to my tongue that no other chip had done before? Was it deliberately being de-sensitized? Had I stumbled into some Orwell-ian world where pleasure snacking was now prohibited? Or was some impish pixie playing a prank? If I were named Darren, certainly Endora could not be far away, laughing as she looked down upon me from atop the refrigerator. Five days later, I remain perplexed, confused, and bewildered. Needless to say, I will have to buy them again to see if this was a one-off, or whether something devilishly deceitful is happening in the snack industry. Until then, I would have to rate these chips as follows: A great and straight eight inches on the wang-o-meter that all too quickly shriveled into a flimsy and floppy four inches before delivering the goods.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

American Chip News

While in the USA, I picked up two bags of chips for nostalgia's sake. They are Wise. Or rather they were Wise since they didn't last too long in my house.

I got one bag of plain Wise because that is what we used to get on the shore in New Hampshire when I was a kid, so plain Wise are a must. I also picked up a bag of Wise Onion and Garlic flavoured chips. Those did not last long. They were really yummy.

I'm paying for all my foodie vacation sins by putting in extra hours at the gym this week. There's always a price to be paid for these indulgences.

In loosely related news, I'm watching Season One of Mad Men on the CTV web site since they stopped showing it on actual t.v. The other night, my girl Peggy had a date with a guy who had a delivery truck for Wise potato chips. Their date didn't work out, and I was angry at Peggy for messing up with this clearly top-notch man. He had a Wise run, for heaven's sake. What more do you want, Peggy? So he didn't like Manhattan. Who cares?! He had a Wise run!!

I wonder if our high school friend Mike still has his chip run? I should've stayed chummy with him.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Yawn: I am the most learned and creative person on Earth

In a recent paper in The Cambridge Journal of Education, researchers from East Anglia University in England reviewed decades of research and theory on boredom, and concluded that it’s time that boredom “be recognized as a legitimate human emotion that can be central to learning and creativity.” (NY Times)

That explains why this blog is soooo witty and clever during the weekday hours of 8:30 to 4:30.

Yawn, Weep

I'm sure this feeling will change but for now I have no interest in the Olympics. And I'm a Sinophile (is that the word? I mean, I like everything Chinese.) Every time, winter or summer, it's the same story. I'm not interested, and then it starts, and then I'm watching all the time.

Summer's too short to spend 2 weeks in front of the stupid t.v.

This year I'm afraid I'm still too distraught over the demise of Jules et Bertrand (aka Frank and Gordon). I was looking forward to a whole new series of goofy Olympic-themed beaver commercials and now they are gone. Wah!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Political news from Down Under

TROY Buswell says he was not pushed but has stepped down from the WA Liberal leadership to help his party win the coming election. Mr Buswell today announced he was quitting the leadership following reports that internal Liberal Party polling showed it could not win government while he remained at the helm.

He has been the subject of increasing pressure to stand down since he admitted sniffing a female staffer's chair. (Herald Sun)

If a man can't sniff a woman's chair and still remain leader of a major political party, well then, what's the world coming to? What's next: a total ban of bra-strap snapping? No more leering at cleavage? I bet a man can't even roam the halls of Parliament in a drunken stupor while wearing his secretary's panties on his head anymore.

Those bloody feminists!

The Aroma of Jersey

I don’t know how anybody can enjoy going to Giants Stadium or the Meadowlands on a regular basis. I’ve never seen such confusing, ridiculous traffic (and I'm from Montreal!) There’s no way to get there except by car, and when you’ve got 50,000 people leaving at the same time, it is a nightmare.

Also, what's up with tailgate parties? For god's sake, people, pack up your empty beer bottles. What kind of hooligans pull away from a parking space and leave a dozen beer bottles for other cars to run over?

But the worst was during a stretch while crawling away from the parking lot, where we were overcome by a smell. An indescribable odour. The kind of stink that New Jersey is infamous for. A combination of industrial waste and swampy grassy damp. I cannot describe the stench. I’ve never smelt anything as foul.

So now I can say I’ve been to New Jersey.

This trip helped me better understand American Car Culture. NJ is a state where you literally cannot walk to anything. There are no sidewalks and everything is so spread out, you have to drive everywhere. You have no choice. And the traffic is endless. There are big stinking trucks on every road. I can’t imagine living there.

Except for Princeton. We stopped in Princeton because my bro-in-law had great pizza there 5 years ago, so we had to go back. The town is lovely, green and wealthy, and the pizza was very good. It was a real Italiano pizza place and my sister kept expecting Paulie to walk in at any moment and blow away the guys at the next table.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

I miss the good old days

Another decapitation. This time in Greece. A guy decapitated his girlfriend and her dog (!) I have no doubt whatsoever that our grizzly Manitoba murder will lead to a string of copycat decaps around the world.

One thing that bothers me on the comments sections of news web sites: People who ask, why didn’t anyone on the bus stop the stabbing? As if they themselves would’ve done something. How ridiculous. Nobody, and I mean nobody, not even a cop, is going to be able to do anything to stop a guy who is stabbing somebody 50 or 60 times. The poor kid never had a chance.

But indulge me while I go down memory lane to merrier times in the chronicles of decapitations. I must thank LLJ for reminding me of the fun we had with decap news stories a few years back on Rattansifan’s (she who is missing in action) web site.

LLJ or susieq can correct me if I get the details wrong, but I believe all the fun started with a story about two drunken American yahoos who were driving home from a drunk. The drunken yahoo passenger stuck his head out the window, and his aforementioned head was promptly taken off by a passing telephone pole. The drunken yahoo driver was so drunk he never noticed, and drove home. And if I am not confusing two stories, I believe the driver got home, out of the car and went to bed, leaving his headless buddy in the car.

Now that was the golden age of hilarious decapitation stories.

But now? The recent news? There’s no jokes in this. It’s horrible, scary, disturbing and will make everyone paranoid. I don’t even want to take the city bus tomorrow morning.

A.C. 3 (wherein I realize that I grow old)

We were staying at the Tropicana, and on Thursday morning we went to one of its many restaurants to have breakfast.

As we were being served our scrambled eggs, we noted to the waitress that she seemed really busy. We were informed that this was because she's also the bartender.

At the Trop, the bar opens at 8:00 a.m. and, believe me, she had a few customers.

I must be getting old because when I was younger I would've found it cool to see a bar open at 8, and people getting their drinks. But I watched a couple of guys shuffle by with their scotches (it was around 10:30 a.m.) and it seemed sad to me. I had the same feeling when we walked through the lobby toward the restaurant and I looked at the half dozen white-haired ladies, cigarettes dangling from their lips, playing the slots first thing in the morning. This is fun?

A.C. 2

Atlantic City is a weird ass place.

You've got the beach and the ocean. mmmm. Nice. Then you've got the boardwalk. Lots of tourists, walking, jogging, cycling, having fun. And also along the boardwalk is the evidence of the rest of the Atlantic City, a substantial number of homeless and mentally ill people wandering about, throwing the "vacation experience" slightly off kilter.

Then you've got the resorts and their casinos. Bright lights, big noise, endless ding ding ding of the slot machines. Flashing, flashing, flashing lights. Like Vegas, it's Disneyland for adults.

Then there are the high-end shopping outlet stores. Tourists have endless amounts of money to spend in these stores. I watched a woman buy six $200 purses in one shot. It was surreal.

Then there's the rest of Atlantic City. Drab, rundown, dingy, recessiony, and scary, scary, scary. Nobody's carrying a $200 purse in the the rest of Atlantic City. You just want to drive fast through the town and get on the highway as quickly as possible.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


I have a lot to say about Atlantic City, but I don't know where to start. Here's a story that sums the place up for me.

The 440-pound New York City man said he was playing poker in an Atlantic City casino for 17 hours Tuesday and didn't have time to clean up. He understands why grossed-out gamblers complained about his body odor, but said he didn't deserve stinky treatment from the casino that asked him to leave. He said he told casino officials: "There's no question I stink. I'm not denying it. I do have an odor. I've been playing for 17 hours." (ABC News)

17 straight hours in a casino? The whole aura of addiction surrounding gambling is weird, foreign and creepy to me. More later.

New Jersey Mecca

My sis and I agree. This was our 10th Bruce concert. We scaled the heights, we reached the pinnacle of Springsteen mountain, and there's no place to go but down from here on in.

I don't even know what to say about seeing Bruce in New Jersey. It's Bruce! At home! In his own backyard. It was unlike any other Springsteen concert I'd been to.

We were in the very last row at the top of Giants Stadium. That is so high up! The place was full. There were 50,000 people and it still felt like a house party. The cement stadium was shaking and the stadium lights were swaying just a bit. That takes a lot of dancing feet. It was humid and sweltering hot.

He opened with Ain't No Cure for the Summertime Blues, then straight into 10th Ave. Freeze Out, and he did not stop for 3 and a quarter hours. Probably the longest show of his I've ever seen. He ended with Rosalita. I'm sure by then some people were crying. It was a show for people like us; people who remember the old songs off the first two albums. Ancient history!

Bruce plucked a sign out of the audience. It was a request for Incident on 57th Street and it said "for your old bald fans". He liked that.