Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Literary musings

I have a problem with books. They cause me no end of frustration. A couple of months ago, I got rid of eight boxes of books, you know, those big boxes paper comes in for offices? You can stuff a good number of books in one of those.

Eight boxes. Yep. ‘Cause the Jazzer? She needed space on her shelves – which cover two walls of the front room, floor to ceiling. Lots of shelf space. Lots of full shelf space. So I emptied eight boxes worth. And I gotta tell you, if there is a hell, for me it will be spending all eternity getting rid of some of my books. In sub-zero temperatures. Naked.

The shelves? They’re overflowing again. Hence the frustration. I’m sure my books are fornicating and making baby books in the deep dark of night. (History + novel = historical novel) Or something. ‘Cause me? I dunno where they’re coming from. They mutliply like some evil mutant virus that will take over the world. Or at any rate my living space.

It has gotten to the point where I’ve decided to set them free. Soon as I finish one that I don’t feel compelled to keep, I leave it somewhere for someone else to pick up. Let them take over someone else's space for a change...

I left one at a food fair last week and the next day I saw someone in that same food fair reading it. So maybe this is working. Maybe I’ll be able to get rid of those spawns of literary fornication soon after they arrive. I mean, what else can I do, I can’t really go to the lake and drown them like kittens. I just don’t have the heart. Despite their evil mutant status.

Today is my last day before a well deserved vacation. Well I think so anyway; others might beg to differ but I don’t much care about that. Going out west for a week to see family in Seattle and Montana. I can’t wait!

Hopefully no books will smuggle themselves into my baggage on the way back.

Monday, September 25, 2006


As I did my weekly perusal of the brilliantly funny What not to knit blog, brought ot us by the same people responsible for What not to crochet, I came upon this link:

Mohair Knitter

This seriously begs the question, why, I ask, would you want to wear fuzzy mohair leggings, or shorts, or a mohair catsuit... or a fushia mohair balaclava that makes you look like nothing so much as Chewbacca with a bad dye job?

And then there's this:

This is a "Fuzzy Mohair Willy Warmer" I'm all for a warm willy, I would love for Mr. Jazz to be able to always keep his willy warm, but wouldn't this be terribly itchy on those delicate boy parts? Just sayin', ya know?

These items are for sale on Ebay. Do people actually buy them? As gifts, as jokes? I'm sure this has to be a joke... I mean, seriously, a willy warmer?

I guess I'm setting myself up for a nasty comment if the knitter in question googles herself, as happened here with Marjorie. But hey, you put stuff like that on the net, you expose yourself.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Obsevation and irritations


Over the past few months I’ve noticed** something while following links from blog to blog.

There are a lot of funny, intelligent blogs out there. Of those funny, intelligent blogs I’ve noticed that those belonging to men, tend to attract female commenters much more than other men. Hoards of female commenters. Perhaps simply because women are more comfortable commenting.

Come to think of it, the funny, intelligent blogs belonging to women also attract female commentors.

The interesting thing is the tone of the comments. Comments on women’s blogs, tend to sound "girlfriend to girlfriend-ish" (for want of a better term).

When women comment on the men’s blogs, however, the comments often have a whole different, almost fawning tone; very “highschool girlish”. It’s totally bizarre, as if they’re out to impress the boys and stroke their egos. Takes me waaaaaay back. Shudderingly far back.

It’s as if they're competing, jockeying for position, out to prove they are smarter and wittier than the others, and more worthy of attention.

This is especially stange when the same person comments on two different blogs, one written by a guy and one by a woman…

It’s a whole different world. Totally surreal.


For the record :
- you know it’s gonna be a bad day when you WAKE IUP with a tension headache.
- Christmas decorations have no freaking business in stores yet. It’s not even October for chrissake. I can almost understand Hallow’een stuff, but Christmas? Geez!

** ChooChoo and I were discussing this phenomenon just this morning.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Pre-dawn wakeup calls

Today, for the first time in four months, I went to the gym. I hadn’t stayed away out of boredom or the need to sleep that extra hour or so (well, maybe there was a bit of the sleep is nice thing), but rather because of health issues, namely that I developed asthma. Any shortness of breath led to a coughing fit that lasted a minimum of five minutes, not good when you actually like to breathe. Asthma. At middle age. What the hell is with that? Seriously, how do you develop asthma at this age? But I digress. Again. It seems like I spend half my time digressing from my chosen subject. But at least I can say: But I digress. I love that phrase. OK shaddap Jazz…

Moving on.

So this morning at the break of dawn (or before?), at any rate around 5:30, I rolled myself out of bed and stood up. Interesting feeling being vertical at that time of day (night?), well no, actually not that interesing, but different. Yep, definitely different. Notice I don’t say awake. Awake was so not part of the equation. At. All. I stumbled to the kitchen to mumble mornin’ to Mr. Jazz (or was that a hallucination?) and get a glass of juice. Torture seems a little less pointless if you have a tall glass of OJ first. Tropicana. And no, they're not paying me to plug their product. Not like the Sopranos where in one episode Tony and Carmela stood in the driveway arguing because she got Tropicana with (or was it without? who cares) pulp. That was so wrong, so very very obvious, so totally out of context and character... oops. Say it with me folks: BUT I DIGRESS!

After four months away from the gym, I realized I have lost everything I had gained in that place over the past 6-7 years of regular, if not religious attendance. Fitness-ly speaking I have become a blob. Blob doesn’t even begin to cover it, actually. What is even less fit than a blob?

It’s sad, but it’s gone. All gone. Any smidgeon of fitness has disappeared from my life. A corpse is probably fitter than me at this point.

After five minutes I was huffing, after 10 I was puffing, at 15, I basically would’ve loved to become the aforementioned corpse. After 30 minutes ellipticating I was a shaky, sweaty mess.

But there were no coughing fits. Damn, I love drugs!

You know....

... when you have absolutely nothing to say?

OK, well that about covers it for right now.

Friday, September 15, 2006


This is the coolest video!

Giant Puppet

Thursday, September 14, 2006

As I'm from Mtl - 3 guesses as to what this is about

By now everyone knows about the shooting at Dawson College in Montreal yesterday. I imagine 99.7% of Montreal bloggers have talked about it. Of course that’s all anyone is talking about today – at least in the area I work in which is a stone’s throw from Dawson. Never one to buck the trends, here’s my take on it, for what little it’s worth.

What has struck me the most about this whole thing is, of course, media coverage. Yes, I know I’m a cynic, but this is beyond cynicism. On the way home, I was listening to the news and I’d say 90% of it wasn’t news. It was gossip, it was speculation, it was let’s call people who were involved in the Polytechnique attack in 1989 and interview them… What the fuck? That they lived through something like this almost 20 years ago makes them experts on what was going through the killer’s head this time? And is it really necessary to dredge that up again?

Back home, on TV it was the same type of coverage. I was thinking that maybe it was because I was listening to talk radio, and talk radio being what it is, you can expect that kind of behaviour. The same images over and over again, nothing more to say, but let’s show the blood again, lets keep beating the dead dog, who knows, maybe it’ll get up and bite.

I’ve been feeling a distinct unease. The media coverage of “disasters” is always somewhat distasteful to me. I get the feeling that… I dunno, I can’t help but feel that the line between genuine interest and news is very quickly crossed into voyeurism, plain and simple. We need a story. Let’s get a story.

And this one will be milked for all it’s worth. And we’ll be hearing “news” that is much more detailed and gruesome than what anyone needs to know. But definitely not beyond what people want to know.

I realize the media are simply giving people what they want, but what people want is sick. Do they thrive on this type of thing as a sort of talisman against it happening to them?

Apparently the killer was of Sri Lankan descent, or maybe not. Anyway he was born here but his parents emigrated. Mark my words, within a few days you’ll have the whole You-let-these-immigrants-in-and-look-what-they-do debate. Actually from what Mr. Jazz overheard, it already has. Which is incredibly stupid, but there you go. Always look outside yourself for what’s wrong with the world.

On the bright side, we made it onto CNN, the network for which no world exists outside the US. I think that's pretty damn good of us... ok, well I can't not be cynical at ALL in a post. Gimme a break! I tried.

PS: I’m really not happy with this entry – things are still rather muddled in this old head. Give me your opinions on this please.

PPS: This also explains why I mostly ignore the news - unless it's totally impossible.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


One good thing to say for fall: Rick Mercer* is back to blogging! My day just got infinitely better.

Rick Mercer's blog/

* You might have to be Canadian to understand the bliss which is Mercer...

Monday, September 11, 2006

Tsk tsk Mr. Gore

Well, this is interesting. An article in yesterday's USA today denouncing Al Gore and his carbon-neutral lifestyle thing. He's really great at promoting his movie about the apocalyptic end of the world if we keep living like we do, but apparently, the man isn't big into practicing what he preaches. Not that I'm all that surprised.

Now, I'm not saying the's right or wrong about the global warming thing, but here's the USA today article and link...

I love when holier than thou politicians (which is bascially all of them) are exposed as the frauds they are - no matter what side of the political spectrum they are on...


Gore isn't quite as green as he's led the world to believe

Updated 8/10/2006 10:44 AM ET

By Peter Schweizer

Al Gore has spoken: The world must embrace a "carbon-neutral lifestyle." To do otherwise, he says, will result in a cataclysmic catastrophe. "Humanity is sitting on a ticking time bomb," warns the website for his film, An Inconvenient Truth. "We have just 10 years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet into a tailspin."

Graciously, Gore tells consumers how to change their lives to curb their carbon-gobbling ways: Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs, use a clothesline, drive a hybrid, use renewable energy, dramatically cut back on consumption. Better still, responsible global citizens can follow Gore's example, because, as he readily points out in his speeches, he lives a "carbon-neutral lifestyle." But if Al Gore is the world's role model for ecology, the planet is doomed.

For someone who says the sky is falling, he does very little. He says he recycles and drives a hybrid. And he claims he uses renewable energy credits to offset the pollution he produces when using a private jet to promote his film. (In reality, Paramount Classics, the film's distributor, pays this.)

Public records reveal that as Gore lectures Americans on excessive consumption, he and his wife Tipper live in two properties: a 10,000-square-foot, 20-room, eight-bathroom home in Nashville, and a 4,000-square-foot home in Arlington, Va. (He also has a third home in Carthage, Tenn.) For someone rallying the planet to pursue a path of extreme personal sacrifice, Gore requires little from himself.

Then there is the troubling matter of his energy use. In the Washington, D.C., area, utility companies offer wind energy as an alternative to traditional energy. In Nashville, similar programs exist. Utility customers must simply pay a few extra pennies per kilowatt hour, and they can continue living their carbon-neutral lifestyles knowing that they are supporting wind energy. Plenty of businesses and institutions have signed up. Even the Bush administration is using green energy for some federal office buildings, as are thousands of area residents.

But according to public records, there is no evidence that Gore has signed up to use green energy in either of his large residences. When contacted Wednesday, Gore's office confirmed as much but said the Gores were looking into making the switch at both homes. Talk about inconvenient truths.

Gore is not alone. Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean has said, "Global warming is happening, and it threatens our very existence." The DNC website applauds the fact that Gore has "tried to move people to act." Yet, astoundingly, Gore's persuasive powers have failed to convince his own party: The DNC has not signed up to pay an additional two pennies a kilowatt hour to go green. For that matter, neither has the Republican National Committee.

Maybe our very existence isn't threatened.

Gore has held these apocalyptic views about the environment for some time. So why, then, didn't Gore dump his family's large stock holdings in Occidental (Oxy) Petroleum? As executor of his family's trust, over the years Gore has controlled hundreds of thousands of dollars in Oxy stock. Oxy has been mired in controversy over oil drilling in ecologically sensitive areas.

Living carbon-neutral apparently doesn't mean living oil-stock free. Nor does it necessarily mean giving up a mining royalty either.

Humanity might be "sitting on a ticking time bomb," but Gore's home in Carthage is sitting on a zinc mine. Gore receives $20,000 a year in royalties from Pasminco Zinc, which operates a zinc concession on his property. Tennessee has cited the company for adding large quantities of barium, iron and zinc to the nearby Caney Fork River.

The issue here is not simply Gore's hypocrisy; it's a question of credibility. If he genuinely believes the apocalyptic vision he has put forth and calls for radical changes in the way other people live, why hasn't he made any radical change in his life? Giving up the zinc mine or one of his homes is not asking much, given that he wants the rest of us to radically change our lives.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Lunchtime observations

Wow, it’s actually really warm today. Summer warm and sunny. But they’re predicting crappy weather for the weekend. Good thing, ‘cause I don’t know if I could actually deal with a weekend of good weather after all this time.

A shrug is not a good piece of clothing at the best of times. How the shrug became a fad is totally beyond me. No one looks good in a shrug. It’s a sweater that was never completed. Now, when you’re wearing a shrug and your middle is bigger than your top and, to make things worse, you’re wearing a big studded belt around your middle just to emphasize it more, well, um, how to put this delicately… ok, it can’t be put delicately. It looks horrendous. Shrugs are evil. ‘Nuff said.

Why to teenagers screech? Well, teenage girls screech. Teenage boys scream at the top of their lungs. All of them. All. The.Time. What’s up with that?

Was I like that? All in all it’s a good thing I’m not a parent ‘cause most of the time I just wanna bitch slap ‘em and tell them to shut the fuck up already.

I know, I’m a bitch; what's more, I'm an intolerant bitch.

Blogging Meme

I found this on Toast's blog, and decided to become the next “victim”. Besides, it’s way easier than actually coming up with something on my own.

1) Are you happy/satisfied with your blog’s content and look?

I’m obviously ok with the he content, since I’m the one putting it there. It would be really dumb of me to blog about stuff I don’t like to blog about. As for the look, sure – again I chose it. I’m sure it would be different if I had my own URL – but I’m too cheap to pay to blog – but if I did have my own, my niece would be the designer. I would like to add more pics to it, but I’m just way too lazy (bringing pics to photoshop, linking them... besides I don't have a digital camera so that implies scanning – I simply can't be bothered).

2) Does your family know about your blog?

My sister and brother do, as do their kids I think. I even got my brother blogging (and get your ass moving on that big brother). Only problem is, now that I blog, my sister told me once that she feels she knows what’s going on with me on a daily basis, so I think we actually call each other less often (which is in great part my own damn fault, cause I hate phoning people).

3) Do you feel embarrassed to let your friends know about your blog? Do you consider it a private thing?

I have a journal for private stuff. I decided when I began to blog that I wouldn’t be sharing my life in detail – because a) it’s really not that interesting and b) I wouldn’t want stuff I might be embarrassed about floating around the Net.

I’m perfectly capable of totally embarrassing myself in front of my friends in real time, thank you very much.

4) Did blogging cause positive changes in your thoughts?

I’ve never thought about it. I find myself observing stuff more though, because things going on around me have become fodder for blogging.

5) Do you only open the blogs of those who comment on your blog or do you love to go and discover more by yourself?

I’m not one of those bloggers with a following. I know the people who comment and obviously I read their blogs. Comments from people I don’t know are few and far between. I love to follow links on blogs to other blogs and have discovered lots of really cool ones that way.

6) What does a visitor counter mean to you? Do you like having one on your blog?

I saw one on Toast’s blog and installed one, but it doesn’t really mean anything to me. I recently discovered that you can actually get statistics from them. But again, I don’t have a following and I don’t much care who visits and how often. You like reading it, fine. If you don’t it really makes no difference to me.

7) Did you try to imagine your fellow bloggers and give them real pictures?

Some of them. And funny enough when I see a picture and they’re not at all what I imagined, I just basically ignore the picture and stay with how I had seen them in my mind. I've never posted a picture of myself on my blog though.

8) Admit it. Do you think there is any real benefit in blogging?

Real benefit? There might be for some, but not for me.

One blog I read is by an illustrator and it's on her professional website, so for her it can be professionally beneficial. 'Course I suppose it also limits what she can say to a certain extent.

I guess blogging helps some people articulate stuff and keep in contact with friends and family.

For me… it amuses me. Sometimes it gets me thinking about stuff, reading other's blogs is interesting - I'm a voyeur that way. I guess the biggest benefit for me is that I’ve become more observant of the world around me, and I'm writing more.

9) Do you think that blogger’s society is isolated from the real world or interaction with events?

I have no idea. I would imagine it depends on the blogger. It doesn’t isolate me from the real world – gives me a break from it sometimes perhaps, but that’s about the extent of it.

I suppose it depends how seriously one takes one’s blogging.

10) Does criticism annoy you or do you feel it’s a normal thing?

I guess it might if the criticism was bitchy just for the sake of bitchiness. Nobody wants to be told that their blog sucks. But at the same time, whatever, you know? Criticism is absolutely normal to the extent that you are putting a blog out in cyberspace where millions of people can actually see it. You can't be all things to all people.

Early this week I had a comment on an old entry. The person in question was very pissed off about the comment I had made. This person had obviously googled her name to see what was out there about her. She didn’t like what I said about her book. If it’s public, whether it’s a book or a blog, it’s open to criticism, good or bad. If you let every little comment get to you, whether in life or on a blog, life is gonna be hard hard hard. It's just a blog, who cares what people think.

11) Do you fear some political blogs and avoid them?

No. I avoid political stuff in general, not just in the blogging world, not out of fear, but rather out of boredom.

12) Were you shocked by the arrest of some bloggers?

Bloggers were arrested?!?!?! What on earth for?!??

13) What do you think will happen to your blog after you die?

Um, it’ll die with me obviously, unless there is life after death and blogging is possible from there. And frankly, again, who cares. I won't be around to be bothered by it.

14) What song do you like to hear? What song would you like to link to on your blog?

No idea. Something by Marillion probably.

15) The next “victims”?

Whoever wants to do it… I dare ya!