Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Rain and governments

It's been raining for three straight days in Montreal with more to come today. Seen on the way to work? A sprinkler system "watering" a lawn. Drowning a lawn perhaps? Can anyone spell waste? OK, so it's on some timer system. Fine. But TURN THE DAMN TIMER OFF when it's been raining non-stop for days. Geez....


And it seems to be official, the Conservative government (who has a surplus of 13 billion - yep that's BILLION - through no fault of their own obviously since they just came to power, though they will no doubt crow as if it were) will be giving Canadians a 1% cut on the sales tax. Nice of 'em. Course, since here in Quebec the Quebec Sales Tax (QST) is tacked on to the Federeal tax*, they stand to lose. I'm betting within a few months an annoucement will be made that the QST is being increased.

As for the surplus, why not simply dump the whole thing (or at least a huge portion of it) on the debt, pay the thing down? But what the hell do I know, I'm just a stupid taxpayer on a tight buget whose job it is to get screwed whichever way I turn.

And where the hell do they get a 13 billion surplus anyway. Don't they have accountants and such who actually calculate how much is coming in? Seems a government shouldn't be a for profit organization. They should have, basically, a 0 balance, shouldn't they? But what the hell do I know, I'm just a stupid tapayer on a tight buget whose job it is to get screwed whichever way I turn.

The older I get, the more it pisses me off. THAT IS MY FUCKING MONEY YOU ASSHATS!

*yep, you read right, Quebec taxes the Federal sales tax, God love 'em.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Silver and Marjorie

I had to post this link because this is a great blog for anyone who likes altered books and such. BluePoppy, you'll like this, I'm sure. Altered Silver posts his pages, but also tells how he does them. It's a great "how-to" of altering. I'm working my way through this blog and absolutely loving it.

On another note, since it's Friday, and Fridays are supposed to be fun, ladies and gentlemen, I bring to you today the poetry of Marjorie V. Weber*


Everyone talks about things.
What are things?

Things are flowers,bees
And birds in the trees.
Those are things.

Along with jewels
Trinkets and ting-a-lings

Blues, greens and colors
For painting
These are things.

I could go on and on
But as
You may of guessed
Almost anything can be a thing!


There once was a frog
Named Boyd

He had a friend who
Was known as Lloyd
Boyd and Lloyd
And Floyd
A friend

Met with no good end
When Boyd and Floyd

Found out that Lloyd
Was no friend!

*Perhaps the worst self-published poet in the world. I came across her poetry though Mr. Jazz’s cousin who then lived in Tucson (where I also fell in love with Tucson - the desert out there is awesome - in the real sense of the word). He turned me on to Marjorie and I’ve never looked back.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Struttin' my stuff

Coming back from lunch today I was walking along, minding my own business, thrilled at the sunshine and heat that have finally hit Montreal, when I hear, “Madame, Madame.”

I stopped and this guy, actually not a bad looking guy, French (from la belle France from his obvious accent ), mid to late 30s said to me*: “I’m doing a survey, may I ask you a couple of questions?”

“Of course”, I answered, though I did notice he had no clipboard of questions or anything, but good mood, sunshine, heat and all made me uncharacteristically non-snarky, dontcha know.

Said the gentleman, “I’m doing a survey on the most beautiful women in Montreal, and you are obviously way up there, I’d like to get to know you”.

Now had I been myself (i.e., without the benefit of the sunshine and heat which sorta screws up my reflexes because it’s so new), I would no doubt have had a whip quick comeback (or, more likely, I would’ve had it later on, while brushing my teeth like I usually do, but hope springs eternal, so actually, truth be told, I'd probably have ended up staring at him with my mouth open going duh, which would have sent him packing in a hurry), but as it is I simply laughed and said, “Well thanks, that's flattering, but no thanks. Besides, I’m on my way back to work and I’m sort of in a hurry” (all the while thinking, "Well, well, not bad looking Frenchman, at least you’re original, how many people have you tried that line on today?")

He replied that it wasn't a problem, that we could make an appointment and get to know each other – as friends of course. To which the Jazzer replied, “Oh, that’s great, Mr. Jazz loves new friends.”

He smiled and said goodbye. Had I been single, I probably would’ve given the guy half a chance. As it is, I walked back to work with my head held a little higher and a bit of a strut in my walk. Hey, you take it where you can get it; at my age, these types of incidents are very few and far between. Mr. Jazz thinks I’m the cat’s meow, but when it’s a complete stranger... well it’s nice, maybe because it’s the type of thing that doesn’t happen to me.

* I give to you here the benefit of my outstanding translation skills…

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Plane rides...

Mr. Jazz and I have a friend who will be turning 50 soon. Actually, he already has (in March) and is throwing himself a big birthday bash for the first weekend in May. Perfect timing, we have two weeks vacation coming up.

So, though we've said we can't make it, we're going to surprise him by turning up. Thing is he's in PARIS!!!! Not Paris, Ontario, not Paris Texas, Paris the real one. I'm leaving on a jet plane in a couple of weeks! Yippi.

I haven't been to Paris in ages, probably 3-4 years, and going in spring will be awesome. I hate using that word. It has become so much less than it should be. Today everything is awesome, from a peanut butter sandwich to a tv show. Awesome should be reserved for really awesome things like going to Paris in the springtime! But I digress.

Gotta love international friendships and spouses who work for airlines ...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Tempest in a Quebec Teapot

The Quebec political scene has been all aflutter these past few days.

Michel Tremblay, Quebec’s playwright extraordiary (he IS very very good) and long time separatist has come out and said that, well, separatism? Not so much anymore. He has (gasp!) changed his mind.

A separatist ex-premier of Quebec (Bernard Landry) came out and said that he would no longer buy anything authored by Tremblay or see any more of his plays.
Another playwright (Victor-Lévy Beaulieu) came out and called him an asshole.

And it goes on.

Personally, I say Kudos Mr. Tremblay for having the guts to say what you really think, knowing the backlash you’d face.

What I find most amusing (and scary), is that these are the people who want to make Quebec a country. Seems very, “we love you as long as you think exactly like we do” as attitudes go.

Really looking tolerant as future countries go, isn’t it?

Gotta love Quebec. *le sigh*

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

TMI and language alert

Have a happy period. What fucking moron at Always came up with that nugget of stupidity for their ads? No seriously, I ask you! Not a woman, that's for sure. No woman has a "happy period". Only a guy could seriously try to sell pads to a woman with a line like that.

I'm sure he never had his period start with a gush several days early on a bus where there was NO possiblility of "fixing things"

He never had to wear a pad the size of a small Carribean island 24/7 for a week.

He never had to wander around with a string hanging out of his cootchie.

He never had to deal with PMS and all the hormonal bullshit that goes with having a "happy" period.

And no, the fact that he as to shave each day does not make up for it.

Happy period indeed. Asshat.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Who knew?

Poached from Toast's blog....

You Are 66% Evil

You are very evil. And you're too evil to care.
Those who love you probably also fear you. A lot.


All hell has broken loose in Nepal. People are being killed left right and center. It breaks my heart.

I’ve been to Nepal twice and both times I was impressed by the generosity, helpfulness and just plain “niceness” of the people there. And now this.

Now you have the king on one side who has come to the decision that, opposition be damned, he’s the king and what he wants goes. On the other side you have the opposition and Maoists who have joined forces. Admittedly, this is a very simplified version of what's going on. Nevertheless, the whole country is on strike, there are demonstrations, tear gas bombs and, of course, the deaths of innocent protesters.


I haven’t really had the time, inspiration or inclination to blog recently. This morning, reading Danny Gregory's blog I got to thinking/wondering about why I do this. It used to be that journaling was basically something one did for oneself. You either eventually destroyed the journals, or some descendent pulled them out on a boring rainy day (thank god I didn’t reproduce, it would simply have made a boring day that much more boring in my case).

Blogging is different. Blogging is putting yourself out there to the whole of cyberspace. Question is why? Navel gazing? The feeling that your little life is interesting enough to publish? In this era of stupid memoirs à la “A Million Little Pieces”* and show-all reality TV (i.e. people eating each other’s tonsils and more on the latest Quebec RTV show Loft Story), what pushes us to “publish” our day to day minutiae on the web? What makes us think that this stuff is actually interesting?

For my part, I don’t really know. I know my brother and sister and a couple of other people read this. I know there are several bloggers I read daily, and mostly I love the minutiae of their lives, to the point that I am disappointed when they disappear for a while. (Aside: To all you people who live in my computer** – I need my fix dammit! Entertain me!)

As Gregory says:
“Our culture has also become increasingly about individual achievement: the star athlete, the maverick CEO, the non-aligned President, etc. Despite a brief window of collective focus after 9/11, it’s not about community any more; instead it’s about self-absorption.”

It’s about self absorption… In that light blogging seems a bit, well, tawdry (I never thought I’d manage to use that word in a post!).

One thing I have noticed since I started this: I take more notice of what's happening around me, of overheard conversations, of things I see etc. I seem to be more interested in the world in general – which never happened when I simply journaled, probably because my written journal is really all about me and my whiney little self (again, a good argument against reproduction in my case). Often as I walk down the street I end up seeing something that prompts me to write an entry in my head – I have become much more aware. Perhaps that’s reason enough to do this.

*Which turned out to be nothing but a big lie or at any rate a highly exaggerated and imaginative version of what did happen.

** An expression I admit (again) to stealing from

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Porn and philanthropy

I saw a really interesting half hour documentary last night on a guy named Phil Harvey. Mr. Harvey is the owner of a business called Adam & Eve, which is one of the biggest porn businesses in the US. They make movies, and sell them along with all sorts of sex toys, etc on the internet.

What makes Mr. Harvey different – and particularly interesting in my opinion – is that he is heavily involved in bringing contraception and contraception clinics to the third world where they have little or no access to this stuff. He even funds mobile clinics to get to far off areas. Half his company’s profits (millions) go to this work.

The man is a major philanthropist – and not many people know it (and I don’t think a 20 minute segment in a Quebec TV show will propel him to philanthropy stardom). Apparently, he has many detractors however, because of the way he chooses to make the money he spends on philanthropy. Funny enough, the doctors working with him in India have no problem at all with where the money comes from, so long as people are being helped.

Interesting that he is a big part of what many people find to be a morally offensive business, but he does more good in a year than lots of rich, upstanding, morally inoffensive citizens in their lifetime.