Friday, June 29, 2007

Naomi Watts, Angel of Doom

I just received this forward:
GUARDIAN ANGEL
Forward this message the same day you received it

It may sound ridiculous, but it is right on time

We believe that something is about to happen. Angels exist, only sometimes they haven't got wings and we call them friends; you are one of them.

Something wonderful is about to happen to you and your friends.

Tomorrow at 9:12 AM somebody will address you and tell you something you have been waiting to hear.

Please do not break this chain. Send it to at least 7 of your friends.

So if I understand correctly, tomorrow at precisely 9:12 AM, Naomi Watts is going to descend upon me dressed as a righteous angel to bestow wonderful tidings. Who needs happy pills when I have a celebrity as a guardian angel*?

This would all be slightly erotic if she weren't brandishing a sword and looking really pissed off. What did I ever do to you, Naomi Watts?

Naomi Watts, Angel Thug.

* which, by the way, I've decided not to take. More on that later.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Meme: Five Things

I got tagged by Reality Faker:

What were you doing 10 years ago?

I was in University, holding down a couple of jobs. I had just been through a bad break up. My dad had also just remarried and all eight kids were living in the same house for the first time. I was so stressed that my new stepsibs knew me only as the volatile person who growled and slammed a lot of doors.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
I was sitting right here. Doing virtually the same thing. Only I think I weighed less and I was newly engaged.

5 snacks you enjoy
  • Graber brand olives. Oh god, how I love these so much. I’d divorce Trevor if they asked me to marry them. Yes, I’d marry olives.
  • Triscuit (their Cracked Pepper and Olive Oil flavour is the new crack)
  • Popcorn sprinkled with nutritional yeast
  • Yogurt
  • Pickled Beets (not kidding)
5 songs you know all the words to
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Summertime
  • Row-row-row-your-boat
  • Happy Birthday
  • Oh Canada
5 things you would do if you were a millionaire
  • Sock away 10%
  • Invest 10%, possibly in Graber olives
  • Travel a bit
  • Buy or build a top of the line, eco-friendly, off-the-grid house
  • Renew my Audible.com membership. I desperately miss my audiobooks. The housecleaning has never been more forsaken.
5 bad habits
Okay, but ‘bad’ is subjective. I like to think of these as just habits:
  • Napping for three hours straight on my days off.
  • I can rather messy. And destructive. We have no glass tumblers left.
  • Complaining. Okay, I concede that’s kind of bad. But it’s not my faaaaauuult!
  • I come up with a million great ideas that will “Make Our Lives So Much Better” and ditch them just as quickly.
  • I eat way too fast.
5 things you like doing
  • Walking really hard on the treadmill. There is such a thing as a hard walk. Trevor calls it the “Working Walk”. It’s a bit… aggressive.
  • Holding a Dance Party For One Plus Dog in the middle of my workday
  • Finding a new novel from one of my favourite writers has just come out
  • Going to a movie with my Trevor
  • Going home to visit
5 things you would never wear again
See, this is a trick question. I once swore against bellbottoms but look what happened. Oh sure, you can call them ‘flares’ but it’s a fine line.
  • Hammer pants. Mine were black.
  • Exclamation perfume. It brings up crazy memories.
  • Green faux-leather ankle boots, a la 1950’s Robin Hood
  • Size 6 acid wash jeans. They were too tight then, they’d near kill me now.
  • Diapers, god willing.
5 favourite toys when you were a kid
  • My doll Carla whose eyelashes I pulled out because they scared me. I was one.
  • My red two-wheeler bike.
  • Dress-up clothes from the Blue Mantel charity shop
  • My Sharon, Lois and Bram records
  • Too many books to name
Now, the instructions are very precise about what to do with this but few people I know keep blogs.

So, I tag the following blogs:
Notional Past
James Whittingham
Glacia

Sisters M and S, I tag you by email.

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Link: Bleaching Your Pearly Whites? Consider This.

I knew there was something up with those teeth whitening kits. I tried to bleach my teeth for my wedding and it hurt like hell. Story.

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Out of Control

Did I mention that I spend my days talking to people about their debt?

According to my highly UNscientific research, everyone has plasma TV’s, new computers, leather furniture and brand new appliances. It’s true; a lot of houses I visit are what I would have called ‘rich people’s homes’ when I was a kid.

It has a significant cost. Remember when you were a kid and you went to birthday parties and fought for the piece of cake with the most icing (the coveted corner pieces or, holy cow, the one with the sugar flower) and then shoved cake into your mouth as fast as possible? Plus two hotdogs and three plastic tumblers worth of pop?

And then you went and bounced on the trampoline?

Y’know, I don’t think it’s about keeping up with the Jones’ anymore. Only one family out of hundreds admitted that was the case. It really is more as an addiction, now, the pursuit of the next little piece of happiness. Or boredom spending. Suddenly we're having that uncomfortable conversation that results in, "we need help."

There is a stage of debt recovery, right at the beginning, which I like to call the Throwing-Up Stage. It’s when you find out how bad it really is and what it’s going to take to recover. Trevor and I have been there and it really is a visceral reaction. The cake doesn't look so good anymore.

It also passes and it’s not so bad in the end.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Rabbi Harold Kushner

"When you have persuaded yourself that there is only one thing that will make you happy, winning the Nobel Prize, playing in the Super Bowl, marrying a wealthy man or a handsome man or whatever it is, that's the one thing that will make you happy, you don't get it. You have condemned yourself to unhappiness."

"You suggest the more you aspire to in life, the bigger the dream is, the more you yearn for it, the more scars you are going to accumulate along the way, guaranteed. Now, call me chicken, but I'd be very tempted to dream less and hurt less."

"And you'd be making a big mistake, Mary. You'd be missing out on the real satisfactions of life because you're afraid it will hurt. There's a story in the Talmud about a man who's walking through the fields feeling very hungry, sees a beehive, sticks his hand into the beehive looking for honey, is stung by the bees, and walks away muttering 'I can do without the honey and without the stings.'

And a couple of years ago there was an Israeli songwriter who wrote a song about that that became a very popular hit in Israel where she says the opposite, she says, 'no. I want the honey. I want to taste the sweetness of life. I want to yearn, I want to love, I want to risk, I want to reach for the stars and if in the process I end up losing and being hurt, I can take the sting along with the honey.' Trust yourself to be resilient enough to get over what happens."
Excerpt from Mary Hines' interview with Rabbi Harold Kushner on CBC Radio One's Tapestry, available on podcast.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Therapy

My impulse is to say that everything is better and ha ha, wasn’t that strange? So glad it’s over.

It’s not really over. But I do feel good today. And I felt good yesterday.

I spent the whole first session of therapy just giving biographical information. Just the facts. Mom estranged, Dad checked out, the woes of a complicated stepfamily. Oh, I suppose the inclusion of certain facts, the omission of others means I have a somewhat skewed perspective anyway.

Thing is, I think I wanted the therapist to judge my parents harshly. She reacted accordingly; lots of pursed lips and headshaking. Lots of note taking. I know she’s putting me on pills because of my family history. Because who could live through that and not be depressed?

The thing is, I don’t think that’s really the problem. I forgave, I created boundaries, I broke out of a mould or two and moved on, quite literally. What happened is that the remaining blank slate scared the shit out of me and I turtled.

The parents thing is a convenient excuse for when I want a professional to pat my hand and say there, there, here are some pills. Those mean people can't hurt you anymore.

I sense my higher self is getting impatient to the point of pissed off. So today I may give up the excuses, face myself in the mirror and admit my falsehoods.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Flight of the Conchords- Business Time

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Update

I haven’t updated in a few days (way to state the obvious). My life is full of pressure these days; work pressure, sinus pressure. The pressure of oppressive humidity.

“I can always tell what’s going on inside by how you look on the outside,” a very good friend said to me on the phone today. I think he agrees that I’ve never looked worse. “I can hear it in your voice,” he said, “you aren’t yourself. You haven’t been for a long time.”

Okay. It’s true. I tried not to cry.

“I got your email. You don’t want to hear what I think," he said.
“I want to hear what you think. Of course I do.”
“I don’t agree the answer is in a pill. I think you need to come home. Shake yourself out of this pattern. Get back to your roots. I think that’s what you really need.”

Maybe, maybe not. Home is not what it used to be.

We agreed that it’s a turning point that I’ve finally gone back to the gym. I went to a cardio kickboxing class and caught sight of my reflection, bouncing around with all of those extra pounds.
“I knew instantly that it wasn’t me,” I said, “but I was somewhere in there.”

I feel deep inside a faint thread of strength and energy. A familiar thing, though I haven’t seen it in a long, long time. Now, if ony I can catch the end of it and hold on….

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Russell Peters

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Argh

Who Killed The Electric Car is another doc that made me gnash my teeth. Hydrogen fuel cell technology is a farce. We had something that worked. Now our vehicles are on average LESS efficient than they were 20 years ago?!

How did we get ourselves into this state? Where do we go from here?

Well, this seems promising. And this guy is my new hero.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Once


Maybe it's just been awhile since I've seen a good movie. But Once dug right into my guts and sang in my soul.

Had I not had to pee for 2/3 of the movie, it would have been one of those perfect movie experiences.

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My Cousin The Poet


My cousin has a new book out! It's so nice to have a published author in the family.
Link.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Link: Grow Up

Seriously, I'm in. Where do I sign?
The SkyFarm project is the design for a 58-floor tower that would produce as much food as a 420-hectare farm. The building would be 238-metres tall and contain 750,000-square metres of hydroponic growing area, with products ranging from soybeans to strawberries to high-rise fields of lettuce. A service core at the back of the tower would include irrigation and electrical systems, and an isolated lower area would house chickens bred for both eggs and meat.
Link.
Via Torontoist.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Summer

It's better today with the breeze. But yesterday was typical Toronto summer day. How humid? So humid:

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Energy Without Oil

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Rufus Wainwright


I was filling in last minute for J., who couldn’t make it. J. called me with the meeting-up details and I said, “I don’t really know much about Rufus Wainwright.”
“Wow,” he said, “You’re really jumping in with both feet.”

He was right.

I met the three ladies at a local pub, Dora Keogh. They were all wearing scarves with stars and sparkly brooches. “It’s a Rufus thing,” C. said. One of the girls came all the way from Manhattan, the other from London, UK, just to see Rufus.
“How many of his concerts have you been to?” I asked C..
“Fifteen or so?” She replied, “Not as many as the others.” In fact, they’d seen the show the night before and were following Rufus to Montreal where he's playing later in the week.

We made our way into the Danforth Music Hall and found our seats. "L. gets far left,” C. instructed. There was a plan, a Rufus viewing seating arrangement. It left me in the far right seat, front row centre. I know. Wow. I looked around me. Stars and sparklies everywhere.

The band emerged in blindingly striped suites and sparkling brooches. Then came Rufus, taller and slimmer than I’d imagined. When he started to sing I realized I’d heard his voice all over the place. “Oh that guy!”

Happy songs, sad songs, songs that made me want to bounce off the walls. I developed a crush on the trumpeter. I must have a thing for guys with pork pie hats and good lips.

At intermission, my Rufus friends buzzed about the intricate differences in the show, and lamented the couple behind us who wouldn’t shut up during the songs. When the lights dimmed and the first song of the set faded, J. turned around and said in her Liverpudlian accent, “Look, I’ve come all the way from London to see this concert. Please stop talking.” They did.
“Toronto people can be rude at concerts, I’ve noticed,” C. said. At movies, too, I thought, remembering the turn-and-glare maneuver Trevor has refined over the years.

The encore was something else. I can’t do it justice, only to say that I’m jealous that Rufus can pull off a pair of seamed stockings and heels better than I ever will. I also feel for the band who had to dance their balls off in the now hot, humid, stale air of the Music Hall.

As the lights came up, my Rufus friends dashed to the stage (not difficult since it was two feet away) and still just barely snagged a set list. They were going to wait outside the stage door for Rufus. C. once got to give Rufus a brooch, sparkling in two shades of pink, and he wore it the next night on stage.

I hugged them, wished them luck in Montreal, and walked home through the silent streets of Riverdale, still vibrating from the last big number.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Link: Good Post Re Facebook

And of course, who's secretly obsessed with the past, constantly reliving and redoing it in their imaginations, turning tiny humiliations into gigantic victories, and releasing the unbearable psychic pressure of all the irredeemable but inconsequential mistakes they've ever made? Who's with me on this one?
Link.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Link: If Fox News Had Been Around Through History

Link.

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Link: Does Recycling Really Work?

Link.

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How To Get Test Results Sooner

The wall states firmly, “THE TECHNOLOGIST CANNOT DISCUSS TEST RESULTS WITH PATIENTS. RESULTS WILL BE SENT TO YOUR DOCTOR.”
“Can I see the pictures?” I ask.
“Okay. But you won’t understand them,” she says, spinning the screen towards me.
“Wowwwww,” I lean in and scan the fuzzy picture. “That’s my ovary.”
“That’s it.”
“That’s the other one.”
“Yup.”
I pause, thinking. “And that’s a really big cyst.”
She looks up from the paperwork and frowns, “cyst?” she squints towards the screen, “Oh, no. No cysts. That’s a follicle. Perfectly normal.”
Ha. Gotcha.

I did the same thing to the x-ray tech last week:
"Wow, my tail bone looks perfectly healthy."
"Oh, I wouldn't say that."
"You mean that thing?" I say, pointing to a clearly normal looking vertebrae.
"No, but maybe here."

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Marital Conversations

“I woke up with another headache.”
“Again? Are you broken? Did I break you?”
“I think you did. Maybe whilst we were sleeping.”
"I’m a sleeping misogynist?”
“Could be.”

* * *

“I don’t know if I want to take you for a walk now, Charlie.”
“Look at that face! Her heart just broke into pieces.”
“Maybe we’ll go, maybe we won’t.”
“Face it. You’re a walk tease.”

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Link: NY Times Article on Facebook

I suspect this woman cares way too much what her cheeky daughter thinks.

As a teenager on CBC said, "if you're an old dude, just be an old dude." At least you're authentic.

So go on the Facebook and have the fun, all of my fellow old dudes*.

Link.

via Tertia

*anyone over 30, right?

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Link: The Other Things Kids Need To Learn

Never mind the kids - I'm still learning these things! Link.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Link: Happiness in Knocked Up

While all I did was announce "great movie!" as we left the theatre, obviously I totally meant what she says:
Link.

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Whine

I’m going to whine a whole bunch in this post. If you can’t abide whining, please skip this post. In other words, Husband, you might want to skip this post.

I’m tired of having a sore ass (due to broken tailbone. Just thought I'd clarify).

I’m pissed that it’s 7:30 AM and I already have a smog headache.

I’m pissed that the Toronto Public Library’s free audio books don’t work on anything related to Mac.

And, um, what else? Hm. I’m pissed thaaaaaat….

Okay, I thought I had more concrete things to whine about. I mean, if you're going to whine, at least have a reason.

I’m fat! I’m a terrible housekeeper! I haven’t written a word all week! (I mean, obviously I’m writing this but you know what I mean)

Whine-whine-whine-whine-WHINE!!!

I’m done.

WHINE!

Kay, now I’m done.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Link: Water

In the American Journal of Physiology (2002), Heinz Valtin does a complete and utter debunking of the "8x8 myth". He also goes on to question the need for a high water intake at all, and states that caffeinated and alcoholic beverages do indeed count toward daily water intake.
Good points well made. Link.

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Group Effort


I can handle them as pets in cages. But I greatly dislike wild mice running around my house. I don't handle it well.

I had my cup of coffee in one hand, was checking the morning emails with the other. Metro Morning blaring from the kitchen. Kiwi and Boomer were all lazy and lounging from their night of up-to-no-good.

Suddenly, both went into Hunt Mode. That sound, that scratchy sound. Under the fridge.

I let them do their work, hoping it'd be quick. Boomer is still young and while she has the posture and stealth down, she struck way too quickly. Kiwi looked seriously annoyed.

Boomer wandered off. Kiwi gave it the patience that comes with experience. It also helps that he's black and blends into the dark runner at the base of the cupboards.

Suddenly that distinctive sound of fur smacking into appliance. Gawd, how I hate that sound.

Kiwi brought the thing to his Killing Rug (which also serves as his Sleeping Rug and Fighting Rug). I decided to go to other parts of the house while he did his business.

But when I came upstairs again, Kiwi was lounging and Boomer was very effectively NOT killing the mouse, which was running around in disoriented circles.
"Why can't you ever just KILL the bloody things?" I yelled at them.

I also did what anyone in my position might do; I climbed onto my swivel chair and started throwing things. The mouse made for the dark interior of my camera bag and I freaked out because I have to film later today.

In a flash of brilliance, I let Charlie in. Her nose went straight to the mouse. She picked it up gently in her mouth.
“Good girl! Outside!” I yelled with maniacal enthusiasm.
She promptly dropped the mouse and went for her leash.
“No, no, no, no, take the mouse!!” I shrieked.
She went back for it.
“Now take it outside,” I said.
She did.
“Okay! Go play!” I said.
And, she did. A few seconds later I was able to dispose of the rather soggy and thoroughly deceased mouse.

Boomer's still looking for it.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Excerpt: Andrew Harvey

The Divine is both creative and destructive and destroys to create. And I believe the deepest meaning of our crisis, this apocalyptic crisis we are in, is that it looks like a total annihilation.

But in fact, when you look at it with the eyes of deeper understanding you see that it is a birth. And the great death of this time and the great birth of this time are interdependent.

So there is this destruction of old forms, old ways of acting, old ways of being, old ways of doing, that is very dramatic, very painful and that is causing immense fear to every being on the planet. But for those of us who have lived through what mystics call the dark night of the soul, this destruction is not the end, just as the crucifixion of Jesus was not the end.

This destruction in fact prepares a tremendous calm, extraordinary birth of a wholly different kind of consciousness, of a wholly different kind of being and doing.
Andrew Harvey on Tapestry podcast, June 5th, 2007

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One of the craziest things I've ever seen


Count about 10 cars back from the overturned truck and that's approximately where I was. No major injuries were reported; a miracle considering he slid overturned and sideways across five lanes of traffic.

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Link: Truth About Food

I've been digging this site lately. Short, well produced videos that provide for an interesting coffee break.

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Finally, Some Luck!

Oh, what a lovely weekend.

First, Glacia and Lawrence hosted us for a lovely dinner. Steamed muscles (ha! I mean mussels), Thai curry, Corrie themed fortune cookies, which I wish I'd kept; delicious mojitos and apple pie! With cheese! Not to mention excellent conversation.

Then, a housewarming party with Trev's co-workers. Two kinds of brownies, a fire show and a pinata filled with condoms and pop rocks! Not to be used together, presumably. Though....

On the way home we got into a conversation about Buddhism with two strangers at the bus stop. Then I chatted over the fence with the neighbours well into the night.

But the best part of all was this discovery:
Now available in Toronto's fine convenience stores. I had them for breakfast.

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Friday, June 01, 2007

Link: Plastic

Moore has sailed Alguita back to the Garbage Patch several times. On each trip, the volume of plastic has grown alarmingly. The area in which it accumulates is now twice the size of Texas.
And there’s growing—and disturbing—proof that we’re ingesting plastic toxins constantly, and that even slight doses of these substances can severely disrupt gene activity. “Every one of us has this huge body burden,” Moore says. “You could take your serum to a lab now, and they’d find at least 100 industrial chemicals that weren’t around in 1950.”
Link.

Via Mimi Smartypants. She's right; it's the kind of article that makes you want to curl up in a ball. Is there any hope or are we too stupid to live?

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CURRENT MOON