Thursday, December 20, 2007

A last little post before Christmas...

...ooops. The Holidays isn't it? Cause it's all wrong and shit to say Christmas, because someone who doesn't actually celebrate Christmas might be insulted that we mention it. Which is a load of crap. I'm sure it's not the buddhists and hindus and muslims who are find Christmas insulting (other than as the orgy of consumerism it has become and which I find pretty damn distastful myself), it's the do gooder idjits who, in the spirit of not insulting anyone about anything evah are willing to wipe out all cultural differences and render the planet a horrible and boring place... But, this wasn't to be a rant. Besides, I'm not big on Christmas anyway so what the hell is my problem.

Aw what the hell, let's rant a little. After all this is probably my last post of the year seeing as I'll be on vacation until the new year... OMG, can we call it the new year? It's not the new year for the Chinese! Nor will it be 2008 for those of the jewish or islamic faiths. I won't be back until the day after the day before.... or something.

So. How's about a bit of correspondence?


Dear Lotto Quebec,

You have definitely risen to new heights in stupidty this time. Putting out a press release or something along those lines telling people not to give children lottery tickets for Christmas because it might make turn them into gamblers because of their impressionable young minds.

Well Duh!

Why would you give a kid a lottery ticket anyway? Children are simple beings. Their greedy little eyes do not light up at the sight of a lottery ticket. They'll be thrilled with nothing less than a Wii (whatever the hell that is - though apparently people like Wiis, but I'm a dinosaur so what do I know).

Actually I guess I'm not so much annoyed at you guys as at this whole societal thing we have going on now, where everyone is telling people how to raise their children.

"Don't give children lottery tickets."
"Even though it's the holidays put them to bed early, they still need to sleep."
"Don't let them drink enough that they won't be able to drive you home, especially if they're almost too short to reach the pedals." (ok, I made up that last one, but the two first were for real)

For good or ill, parents do still exist. Parenting is their job. Not yours. Shut up.




Dear Quebec Government,

Cigarettes. The evil evil cigarettes. According to the new law, cigarettes will have to be hidden under the counter in convenience stores and wherever else they are sold. People will not be allowed to point out the ciggies they want, they'll have to ask for them by name. And when the counter guy/girl/drone opens said drawer, the contents will have to be hidden from the consumer.

Now tell me, which brainiac civil servant had this bright idea? Seriously, I want to know which idiot is behind this.

I'm not a smoker but c'mon now, how stupid is that? Do you really think people will stop smoking if they can't see the cigarettes? If you do, you're stupider than even I, from the lofty heights of my utter cyncism, thought.

But what do I know. I'm just the idiot who pays you (speaking of stupidity).




Dear People who decorate their yards,

Those blow up lighted snowmen and Santas and other assorted nitwittitudes? So lame. As ornaments go, they were stupid at Halloween, they are still stupid now.

I shouldn't have to be subjected to that. Really. I'm thinking I might have to wander around with a knife.

Undecoratedly and grinchily,



Dear Vegetarians,

Veggie smoked meat. SMOKED! MEAT! Ferchrissake!!!!

I need you to help me out here. If you are a vegetarian, it seems to me that you would want to steer (stupid pun intended) clear of meat products. No?

Then why in the name of every bit of food that has ever had parents are you (or at any rate enough of you to sustain a whole industry) pretending to eat meat? Why are you looking for food that tastes like meat? Veggie sausage, Tofurkey, etc*...

Could it be because secretly, somewhere deep inside you actually miss the evil old carnivorousness (I know it's not a word but it should be) the rest of us know and love?

Get over yourselves. I'll buy you a steak.



Text reads: And tell your friends it isn't mad cow disease anymore. It's Beyond-Pissed-Off-Make-A-Fucking-Salad-And-Leave-Us-The-Fuck-Alone Disease! Got it?


Dear Rush Limbaugh

You are an idiot. You have raised idiocy to a whole art form. You are the idiot to end all idiots. You make the most stupid yahoo in the world look like Einstein. You make Cletus the Slack- Jawed Yokel** look good.

Thank you for making me feel perhaps more intelligent than I actually am.



* Though I will grant you veggie burgers. I love me a good veggie burger. My life is a search for the perfect veggie burger - but they don't try to taste like meat so that's ok.

** Thank you Matt Groening.


Picture Meme

Rachel over at Lessons Learned posted this meme and since I'm needing blog food right now, I thought I'd do it... Join in, it's lots of fun. You'll be amazed by the photos you find (For the record, it has to be a pic on the first page of google pics - or so saith Jocelyn, who also did it, but with different questions).

How old will you be on your next birthday?

(I particularly like the image of the number on a trash can... sort of appeals to my innate sense of cynicism)

What is the name of a place you would like to visit?

One day I'll make it there. I've been to Oz before, I'm going again in April if all goes well. Maybe this time is the right time. Even if it's not, I know I'll be there one day. Because this definitely isn't my last time in Oz.

What is your favorite place?


It's a toss up. A comfortable bed. The cottage. Probably the former in the latter would be the best of all worlds.

What are your favorite things?

Well, duh!

What is your favorite food?

In case you don't recognize it, it's Vietnamese. I love Vietnamse food with a passion. I could eat pho (sorry, I don't have all the accents for the "o" - no vietnamese keyboard) every day of the week.

What is your favorite color?

That pretty much covers it. And everything with a tint of red in it. From peach and salmon to orange and wine and strawberry to deep purples... Red attracts me to no end - and i just realized most of those colours are foods... strange. And I had the best salmon yesterday for dinner. Mr. Jazz so rocks in the kitchen. But I digress.

What is your nickname?

Any others are not to be posted for public consumption.

Where were you born?

Yep, despite hating winter, I was born north of the north. Go figure... Actually I left there when I was two months old. I've never been there again and truth be told, I wouldn't be able to find North Bay, Ontario on a map if my life depended on it. Is that sort of pathetic?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Cool 360...

This "bubble" picture appeared on CyberPresse (the electronic version of La Presse, a newspaper in Montreal).

Once the picture is loaded click on it and move your mouse to see Gilford Street in Montreal yesterday, sky to ground, 36o degrees....

Ok, I've been playing with yesterday's number game and I've pretty much understood how it works. Basically you isolate your number for them. You pick your number. Then, in another question you pick the colour of the number and later the "house" in which the number is found. Of course, there is only one number of each colour in any given house, so you give them your number quite openly. Then of course they throw in a couple of questions that are not at all related. However, I still haven't figured out the last thing. The number behind the door. Anyone have any idea how that works?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Dribs and drabs

I forgot another good thing about winter. A real one no less: Sunsets. For some reason, around here we don't get great sunsets. Except in winter. Dunno why, no doubt there is a perfectly scientific reason, but damn, we've had some spectactular sunsets up at the cottage this winter.


Oh, and speaking of winter.... Montreal has had 110 cm (43 inches) of snow since November 28, and it isnt' even technically winter. This obviously isn't so unusual. We are, after all in Montreal, land of ice and snow. Funny enough we seem to forget about winter once it's over. Wipe it from the slate of our collective minds. Every year it's a surprise. And yes, I admit that's totally moronic.

I'm the first to rant about winter. I know I live in Montreal. I know winter if a fact of life here. I know I should build a bridge and get the hell over it. However, I will point out that at least I never ever bitch about summer. I figure you can be annoyed with one season or the other, but you have no right to bitch about both.

Besides, I am beginning to adapt. I am being dragged kicking and screaming into winter, but I'm sorta, maybe getting there. Hope springs eternal and all that.


This guy has been taking pictures of himself every day for the past eight years. It's an awesome video. Watch it. It would be cool if he kept doing it until he was 70 or so...


And then there's this. I'm sure you simply isolate the number for them by your choices, but it's still way cool when you're looking for easy amusement.


Breaking news: Pamela Anderson, she of the boobs who arrive 10 minutes before she does (Note to the NBA, she's the one who stole those balls), is divorcing from whoever her current husband is. After a couple of months of marriage. Why do these people even bother? And more to the point, why was I told this on the news this morning?
Those boobs are mesemerizing... Damn, cow udders overflowing with milk are smaller ferchrissake.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Winter Wonderland - Redux

Well. Hmmm. Montreal just got another celestial dump. Another 30+ cm of the white crap. Yep. With another 5 to 10 to come on Wednesday. Um-hm...

But I have decided to be resolutely Pollyanna-ish about this one. I will be chipper. I will be Little Miss Sunshine. Winter Wonderland. Yay (and no, BB, I will not go skiing with you. Don't even contemplate the thought. Besides, you're probably having a snow day, eh? I hate you... oops. OK now. Chipper, happy, positive).

Yes. So. The good side of another 30 cm. There are good sides. Somewhere. No doubt...

Let's see. (note to self: Smile Jazz, smile! Don't grimace...)

1) Dogs. It's really quite a hoot to watch dogs in the snow. The way they run around in excitment, snuffling around in there like drug dogs around luggage. I don't quite see where running around with your head buried in the snow is fun, but judging from the copious tail wagging from dogs with no visible heads I've been seeing, snowstorms are canine heaven. Go figure.

2) Exercise. Shoveling snow that has drifted and packed itself thigh high. And then doing it again a few hours later. Rinse, repeat and all that. Good aerobic workout. As is digging out a car that has been 3/4 plowed under at 7:00 in the morning. Yep, good workout. Workouts are fun. Provided you don't dig out the wrong car. That would just be annoying. Good thing Mr. Jazz and I (ok, mostly Mr. J, we had only one shovel) were digging in the right place. Exercise is good for... Mr. Jazz. Yay exercise. Fun winter exercise!!!

3) Looking forward to the "winter wonderland" at the cottage. Knowing that there will be thigh high drifted snow on each and every one of the 42 stairs up to the cottage door. And knowing that the trees will wait until you're shoveling the stairs right under them to teasingly dump a load of snow on your head. Because they can. And do. It's always good to have things to look forward to.

4) Sitting in front of the fire, drinking one of Mr. Jazz's evil margaritas while thawing out frostbitten extremities. The margaritas are good for killing the pain of the thawing. Pain itself is good because it builds character and all that.

5) Contributing tons of money to the coffers of Hydro-Quebec to heat the appartment. Making a contribution to the well being of the governement always makes me cry um... positively gleeful.

6) White Festivus. People dream about white for chistmas. This I blame on Bing Crosby and his "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" ditty. Before him, people were no doubt dreaming of sunshine and palm trees for Christmas, and... positve Jazz, positive..... And I'm simply thrilled that so many here in Canada and the northeastern US will have their white christmas.

Well, there, I managed over five positive things about more winter. Toldya I could do it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Winter Wonderland...

I want to know which moron came up with that particular phrase?

I mean seriously, winter wonderland?Perhaps in Tahiti or Arizona, but Montreal? Not so much...

I could understand spring wonderland with all those leaves popping out, or summer wonderland with the heat and the greenery and long evenings on the patio. I can even get fall wonderland, with the leaves turning and all.

But winter wonderland? Nope.

What is so wondelandish about winter? It's all brown and grey and white, not to mention slushy. OK, granted there are those blue shadows mixed into the snow drifts and the sky, when it's sunny (and thus really cold, another point against it), is quite an amazing blue, but blue shadows and sky do not a wonderland make.

It's cold, it's frigid. There's no moisture in the air and you dry out like an old husk of corn (ok, wonderland maybe for moisturizer companies). Your fingers freeze, your toes freeze, your damn brain freezes when you stand on the corner of St. Catherine and Greene waiting for the light.

Dressing to go outside is a pain, what with the boots and the hats and the coats and the gloves and the numerous layers.

And to add insult to injury, don't ask me why, but washrooms in most Montreal restaurants are glacial. For some reason they don't seem to be heated. Baring one's ass in there is scary. How do you explain a frostbitten ass?

The only good thing I can see about it is that the birds are much easier to see.

Jack Frost nipping at my nose doesn't do much for me.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Friday afternoon. 4:30. I stumbled out of Excel class, my brain reduced to a dry husk rattling around in the bottom of my skull. Thank god for weekends and the rehydrating powers of good wine. Yep....

After lots of hard work on the wine, I managed reboot the cerebrum and was finally able to recapture the correspondence I had stored in my head.


Dear Bus Division of the STM*,

Thursday I waited 45 minutes for a bus that should pass every six minutes or less. And when the bus finally did come, it was so packed it didn't stop. I know you'll tell me that it's all the fault of snow removal, but that doesn't fly because a) the storm was Monday and b) René-Lévesque Blvd. was already cleared of snow.

So, rather than wait another 40 minutes and risk death from exposure - cause dudes, it was frigid on Thursday, I figured I'd take the subway and get closer to home and take another bus from there. Did that work? Well, the subway did, but we waited another 20+ minutes for a bus. Three busses arrived and just stayed there, dark and dead. Out of service. THREE. FUCKIN'. BUSSES!!!!

Were bus drivers on pseudo strike? 'Cause we do know they're gearing up for yet another strike. Again. I mean what's a year in Montreal without at least one transit strike? When it's not the drivers it's the mechanics, or the cleaning staff or guy who washes checks to see how worn out the tires are. Fix the damn problem already!

We are getting no service to speak of from you people and yet you have the gall to increase fares again in January! We're getting no service and yet you try to convince us that public transport is the way to go. The ecological way. Well, you're right on that point anyway, busses that aren't running can't pollute.

All bussed outedly,



Dear People in Excel Class,

Several of you should not be doing advanced excel. The fact that you've made totals in an Excel spreadsheet does not qualify as being advanced. You need to be in a beginners or at the very most intermediate class. Because you have no idea what it is you're doing and you're slowing down those of us who have at least a vague notion what's going on. You are irritating me to no end. I dislike being irrtated by idiots who simply want to be able to say they did advanced Excel, though they'll hardly be able to use what they learned because they don't have any of the intermediate notions.

You have just wasted a helluva lot of money by coming here.

Just sayin'



Dear Subway Division of the STM,

Art in the subway is a cool idea I think. But there is such a thing as taking it too far.

Friday morning I wandered into surreality with you guys. The subway car was papered with deep blue faux wood panelling. The ceiling of the car was black. The only thing missing was orange shag carpet (Jocelyn has something on her basement stairs you might be able to borrow) for the perfect 70s basement look.

The windows of the car had pictures stuck to them of the waterfall-with-several-legs-sticking-out variety.

I would venture to say that the idea of pale coloured walls and ceilings in a subway car makes eminent sense to me now, because entering a dark cave at 7:30 in the morning is pretty much highly overrated as experiences go. Can you spell depressing?

What really pushed the experience over the top was the soundtrack. 'Cause, yep there was a soundtrack. At irregular intervals the speakers belched inane conversations or monologues - probably stuff overheard and recorded in the subways. But ya know? Sound quality on subway speakers? Not so good. So we were having conversations about how to best paint a room screeched down at us at a deafening volume.

It was surreal. Which I suppose was the point. But surreal performance art at 7:30 in the morning in the subway? Not so much thanks.

And I'm guessing, from the eye rolling and the "can't they shut that thing up"s I overheard, that I wasn't the only one feeling aggressive when I left that car. It's only a matter of time before someone goes postal in that car.

What were you thinking? How 'bout next time you plant a couple of statues near the turnstiles or something?

* Société de Transport de Montréal, our transit commission

Friday, December 07, 2007

Excel classes

I've been taking an excel class since yesterday. Advanced excel.

My brain hurts.

There is a rant coming, but unfortunately, I have no time to write it...

Next week I suppose.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The thing about global warming

I remember last year when winter arrived in mid-January. That had me believing that global warming was an immediate danger - like, this is my winters from here on... YAY.... oops... Damn that is horrendous!!!.

In my defense, it's hard to think of global warming as a disaster when you spend six months out of the year freezing*. This year we had our first snowstorm Monday, and it's been snowing non-stop ever since. So much for global warming. It was nice while it lasted.

This being said we all know the real reasons for global warming have nothing to do with humans. It's all about cow farts. If cows didn't fart we could pollute as much as we damn well please and there would be no consequences at all.

And yet...

That was, if not a downright lie, at least a subtle twisting of the truth. Because there are two human activities which cause global warming: refrigerating beer and divorce .

So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, your tax dollars at work. Global warming is not about the limitless pollution created by heavy industry. It's all about beer guzzling divorcés who go into fields and picnic while watching the cows fart.

*Please don't throw rocks at me for valuing my comfort over the wellbeing of millions, I'm not really that clueless. At least most of the time.

PS - Speaking of global warming, Big Brother has an interesting post up on the carbon footprint of the Bali conference. I guess cynicism runs in the family.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Puppy dogs and snow

I rarely speak of my job here. Because, I figure, what can be less intersting to the blogosphere than the petty world of my job.

But now something must be said.

I have inherited a puppy dog at work. Not a cute little lab pup. A new colleague. The one replacing the one who replaced my long time companion colleague who retired. She's a nice enough woman I suppose but she has this "a puppy so enthusiastic it keeps peeing on the floor" thing going. Metaphorically of course. I hope.

This is a good place, a really good place to work. I've been here 14 years and 90% of the time I really like it. So yeah, she's right about it's nice. But hell, it's nice, it's not the most extraordinary locale in the universe! That would be Paris or Bali.

So, 50 times a day I get : It's so great here, I love it, I'm never gonna leave...

Stay! fine, stay! But shut the fuck up about it already!!!

We know you love it now. A million times you've told us! Chill fer chrissake!

And yes, we know you're wonderful at organizing things. And you want to reorganize the whole place. The filing system, the library, the archives. Um. Dude, it's been organized for well on 35 years now. It works fine. If it ain't broke don't freaking fix it!

If she keeps this up, I just might have to shoot her.

Or thow her in front of the snow plows that are starting to pick up those 30+ cm of snow* we're getting today.

It finally dawned on me as I struggled through snowbanks that, um... nope, winter is not gonna just disappear this year. It never does. Le sigh

* To you Americans, you need only know 30 cm is a whole damn lot. I'm not gonna convert it for you.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Degrees of Consumerism

'Tis the season to be jolly... until of course you receive your Visa bill in January. Not that this has anything to do with today's post.

Yesterday I discovered something new.

You used to have your consumer. Of course you still do have Average Joe Consumer. Mr. Jones who goes shopping for the holidays (do I dare say who goes Christmas shopping?) and buys the idiot proof digital camera for his wife. That, for instance could be Mr. Jazz finding a camera for me. We recently bought one and it pretty much had to be idiot proof. Me and technology? We don't get on too well. I find it excessively complicated to simplify my life.

Now there's another market segment (one that no doubt has been around for ages, but I just found out about), the prosumer* (from professional consumer). This would be Non Average Joe Consumer who knows all about the digital camera and would collapse in a fit of hysterical laughter at my camera. This is the guy who's gotta have the most expensive high end digital camera, even if he doesn't necessarily know how to use it to its full advantage.

So does that make Average Joe and avsumer and Mr. Anti-consumerism a nonsumer? (not that they'd have a name for him 'cause he's basically useless to marketers).

The mind, again, boggles. It doesn't take much to boggle my mind these days...

(For the record, it's qute an elastic word though which can also have other meanings, but those hold no interest to me at this point)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

What were they thinking?

Every morning Mr. Jazz and I trudge to the car and head out to work. We cross Mount Royal, Montreal's own little mountain/parc - designed by the way by Olmstead, the same guy who did Central Park in New York. But that has nothing to do with anything.

The "mountain" (more of a big hill actually) is smack dab in the middle of the city. Every day we cross it to get from Outremont (which translates roughly as "the other side of the mountain" where we live) to Westmount (you don't need any translation here, obviously) where we both work.

Yesterday, I noticed that they had repainted the yellow lines on the road across the mountain. In itself, this is good as they had faded away to nothing.

But (of course there has to be a but doesn't there...)

But there has been snow in Montreal, it's winter after all. And when you say snow on the mountain, you say sanding. It's the first road to be sanded because it's a nasty ass hill. So what did our wonderful muncipality do? Yep, they painted over all that sand - they even painted over snow and ice in some places. Because they were scheduled to paint the lines on November 20 and that is what they did. Why not wait until spring? It's not as if people don't realize we drive on the right. Montreal drivers are maniacs, granted, but not such stupid maniacs they drive on the wrong side of the road. We're maniacs in our own lanes. Why waste my money doing this? Because evidently they can...

Obviously, lots of cars use this road, and cars displace sand. So now the whole centre of the damn road is bright yellow. And eventually the rain will wash all this yellow sand away, which will leave the lines extremely, well, unliney. Not to mention the fact that all that sand will be washed into the earth and I'm thinking that ain't very environmentally friendly.

But what do I know? I'm just a stupid taxpayer.

The mind, it boggles.


In other news, I don't know what's been happening with this blog, but over the past couple of weeks I've been getting comments from tons of new people. I don't know how you found your way here, but welcome over.

They only problem with this is all these new interesting blogs I've discovered. I can't keep up! I'm reduced to reading the boys one day and the girls the next.

I need to stop working to earn a living and spend all my time blogging and reading blogs. Yep. That sounds like a plan.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Q&A #7

I'm almost done with the questions. Only two left. Next time I'll do Jocelyn's question on my favourite teacher but today I'll go for Rachel.

Rachel over at Lessons Learned asked:

"My question for you: I've only recently discovered your blog, so I don't know you much at all. Why did you start blogging in the first place, and what has changed since then, causing your funk?"

Well, first off, lets start with the funk. The funk was caused by November. November means one thing: winter is almost here. It's dark, it's grey and it depresses the hell out of me. At that point in the year the whole idea of doing anything other than sitting on the couch eating peanut M&Ms or Turtles (the chocolate variety - evil though I may be I don't go around making turtle soup) is more than I can deal with. As you'll learn Rachel, I hate winter. I loathe winter with a vengence and unfortunately, being in Canada I can't move to anywhere southern to get away from it. Thus the funk. Besides, this blogging thing is cyclic, at least for me. There are always periods when I can't find anything to say - and so I use the handy "ask me" format to get me out of my periods of inspirationlessness.

As for why I started in the first place, I discovered the medium after reading Danny Gregory's book "Everyday Matters". At the end of the book there was a link to his website/blog. I loved it. Through his blogroll I discovered other blogs and through those still others both good and bad and I really liked the concept. And I figured, hey, I can do that.

So I wandered around the net and ended up in a place called Open Diary (how cheesy is that name? The place was sort of cheesy too). And eventually, wandering around the blogosphere I found Blogger. And Wordpress and others, but I'm to cheap to pay for blogging so, Blogger it was and remains.

I've been keeping a journal since I was 12 and I love to write, so the whole blogging thing is, I think, sort of an extension of that. Not that my blog is anything like my journal. I decided early on to not be too personal on my blog - I don't want to write about what I ate for dinner or the colour of my new PJs any more than anyone wants to read it. And lets face it, it's not like my personal life is all that scintillating.

As to why I blog? It's grown on me. I find I'm filling journals much more quickly since I began blogging. I like the comments, I like reading the other blogs and I really like the aspect that most detractors of blogging hate: the minutae of other people's lives; even if you aren't blogging about the colour of your pyjamas, a lot of your life comes through. It's all in the details. Besides, it helps me realize I'm not the only one with a terribly average life.

I notice much more of the world around me since I started blogging. I'm constantly thinking, "There's a blog in that". I think that's the most noticeable effect that blogging has had on me, this observation of what's going on around me. Granted, it's the idiocy that mostly makes it into here, because, hell, I'm me and snarkiness is who I am. Is life without snark even worth living? There's a question...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Like the March Hare

I'm late, I'm late, I'm late... or at any rate busy, busy, busy. The annual shareholders meeting is looming and I'm drowing in paperwork.

However, ever thoughtful that I am, I figured you shouldn't be too long without your dose of Jazzy imbecility so....

It should be noted that it is highly annoying to live in a one way street sometimes. Like the early morning you leave for work and an ambulance is sitting right in the middle of the street. Right beside your car. Placed so that there's no way you can squeeze out in front of it. And of course there's no one in the ambulance to move it out of the way. Besides, one surmises they are busy saving a life or something.

This is when Mr. Jazz becomes a hero. He managed to back out of a parallel parking spot by driving onto the sidewalk, putting the car pretty much perpendicular to the street (there are times when I think a Smart Car would be a wise investment) and managing to squeeze out between the ambulance and the car behind us with a hairsbreadth to spare. Then jiggling the car around some more until it's facing in the right direction (without scratching any other cars) and backing up the street to the alleyway. The man, I say, is a genius. Me, I would've been obliged to sit there and fume and repeat a mantra of "Die, whoever you are; die quickly so they leave. Die, die, die..." I'm evil that way.

And under the "Only in Montreal" heading:

Chez Parée, one of Montreal's best known strip clubs is advertising a free buffet on evenings the Habs play home games. With a giant screen. I mean, what better way to spend an evening than watching strippers and a hockey game? But wouldn't you lose track of one or the other somewhere along the way?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

It's Thanksgiving South of the Border

Today is that most special of holidays down there in the good ole US of A, Thanksgiving.

That holiday more important than Christmas. The holiday of stuffing one's face and watching football.

'Course Canadian Thanksgiving follows pretty much the same agenda, except, I think on a much smaller scale - here in Quebec at any rate. And I'm not sure about the football thing. I'm never sure of anything having to do with football since it's totally off my radar. Except real football (i.e. soccer). England was just eliminated from the qualification race for this summer's Euro. They didn't qualify!! But I digress don't I?

The most important aspect of the holdiay for me is a day off. And unfortunately since we celebrate T-day on a Monday, it makes for only one day off instead of the two most Americans get since they had the brilliant idea of doing it on a Thursday. That, in my book, was a stroke of genius.

Of course, here in Canada T-day is celebrated a month and a half earlier; surprisingly perhaps, at harvest time. Go figure.

The most bizarre aspect of the whole Thanksgiving circus for me is the presidential pardon. I mean seriously, what the fuck is with that? Who gets to choose the turkey? What are the criteria? Why this turkey rather than the next, and more to the point, what are they being pardoned for?

Isn't a presidential pardon granted to someone who is guilty of something? Aren't turkeys too damn dumb to be guilty of anything except being edible - which isn't their fault at all actually.

And isn't the irony of one turkey pardoning another just a bit too much? Will they pardon Dubbya next T-day?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

More Q&A - #s 5 and 6

Jill asked: Peanut M&Ms or plain?

"Now there's a question to ponder", thought Jazz, scratching her head and munching on her M&Ms.

Because you see, there's a lot riding on this question. It is a question of coming down squarely on one side or the other. One can't just make it up as one goes along. There are so many pros and cons.

Plain M&Ms:

  • They can be quickly chewed and then you can suck all the chocolate out of them before eating the yummy candy coating.

  • Or, you can just let them melt down to nothing, creamy goodness for long lovely minutes.

  • On the other hand, though they say chocolate is good for you, I'm pretty sure they're not talking M&M grade chocolate. Plain M&Ms are junk, pure and simple.

  • Junk however is good for the soul now and then, not to mention life saving when I'm PMSing and it calms me right down, thus saving everyone around me from the wrath of Jazz. It goes without saying that PMS wrath is deserved by all those upon whom it is visited. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Peanut M&Ms

  • Not so great to let melt in your mouth. The whole peanut thing, dontcha know. How long would it take a peanut to melt? I'd rather not think about it, the very concept somehow disturbs me to a great extent.

  • On the other hand, such a satisfying crunch to the eating of a peanut M&M

  • And then there's the blend of chocolate/candy/peanut to consider. Though I loathe peanut butter and chocolate - it has got to be the most repulsive mix known to mankind - a nice crunchy peanut in chocolate is simply sublime.

  • And of course, there's the nutrition factor. Peanuts aren't junk food, they're chock full of good things, ergo peanut M&Ms are healthy... they're health food even.
Thus, for all the above reasons, I must come down squarely on the side of the Peanut M&Ms. Nutrition and junk all rollled up in one perfect colourful package.

Ticknart asked: How much of The Silmarillion did you actually read?

With his question, Tick seems to doubt that I actually did read the whole thing. Hmmph.

However, I did. I read it. Yes I did.

Lo these many many years ago (eons ago if we must be honest about it - yes, I am that old), after my first reading of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, someone told me about the Simarillion. About how it explains any questions I might have about the other books. About how everything would be explained!

I figured I must read it.

And read it I did. From one end to the other. For some reason I thought it would actually get more interesting after the first 30 pages.

Newsflash: It doesn't.

It was a long long slog through norse myth. A slog through unpronouncable names of people I really didn't give a damn about. And yet I kept with it. I was slogging through quicksand, it was dragging me down and yet I did eventually make it to the end. At some point it stopped being just a book and became a nemesis, it wanted my sanity. It almost got it. But Jazz prevailed.

Perhaps had I had questions to anwer, it would have been more interesting. Thing is, there weren't any questions. That book did teach me though, that if I wasn't into a book after 50-100 pages, it simply wasn't gonna happen and that I should maybe just cut my losses already.

I still can't quite comprehend how the author of my favourite book of all time, LOTR (which I've read at least 10-11 times), can have written that particular piece of boredom.

But I do have a cool bit of trivia for you. Marillion (that favourite, oh so wonderful band - shameless plug) was named Simarillion at the beginning of time, twenty odd years ago. Then the Tolkien family said: Cease and desist using that oh so sacred name. And they became Marillion. Voilà.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

First snow of the season...

The white plague has fallen on Montreal. And not a lot of it at that. Drivers, however, are carrying on like it's the first time they've ever driven in snow. Selective amnesia no doubt. Do you not remember last April?

"Holy shit! What is this? It's cold, it's slippery! I'd better slow down to a maximum of 10 km/hr and snarl up traffic for the rest of the day."


As if it weren't snarled enough already. As if we didn't live in a country where road conditions suck for half the year. How is it that you're taken by surprise people?! It's nearing the end of November! What did you expect fer chrissake? (Insert heavy sigh, eye rolling and shaking of froggy Jazz head)

And speaking of cars, the Quebec press is having a field day. Or maybe field week, or two? Julie Boulet, the Quebec transport minister is in the middle of a "speeding scandal" , which is sort of ironic when you know that she just introduced a bill to crack down on speeding in Quebec.

The Journal de Montréal clocked her limo doing 132 km on the highway, when the speed limit is 100 (60 mph). The excuse? She was sleeping. Of course.

Who takes the fall? Her driver. Of course. Ultimately, she's the one giving her driver orders, but hey someone's gotta pay, it can't be the minister.

What I find most funny about this situation (other than the irony of her being caught when she's presenting her bill - I suppose it's only natural that the press try and catch her now, though) is how, all of a sudden the media and the population have become so holier-than-thou about speeding. As if they actually drove at a sedate 100km/hr. As if they ever will drive at a sedate 100 klicks.

C'mon, who're we kidding here? I can't remember the last time I drove at 100 on the highway except if there was lots of traffic. Maybe what, 1 person in 5000 consistently drives at the limit?
So this whole "scandal"? It's bullshit. It's not news. Get the hell over it.

PS: There are still a few questions to be answered which I'll get to soon. Looking at this weather is not very blog inspiring, dontcha know.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

It's Friday, we all need a laugh...

... so today I'll break from answering questions and post this most amazing and hilarious nugget.

Rachel of Lessons Learned, bless her, posted a link in this blog, a link to Scalzi's report of his visit to the creationist museum. It's a long post but oh so worth taking the time to read.

Scalzi made his way to my favourites list with that one post. That museum seems positively surreal and his description of it is great. Check out both their blogs, it'll give you something to do while you're pretending to work.

And a new Viagra commercial... "See a doctor if your erection lasts more than 4 hours"! If a guy was poking at me with a woody for more than four hours, I can guarantee he'd also be seeing a doctor for a black eye... and probably a broken bone - and yes, it might just be that one.

Poor Elvis. (If for any reason the link doesn't work, look up Viva Viagra on YouTube).

Q&A #4

I really have to thank everybody for their questions. It's helping me out big time, 'cause right now there's nothing to blog about, except perhaps whining about how much November sucks.

From Geewits - You speak English so well, so I want to ask: Do you ever think or dream in English?

Actually despite my "frenchness" I learned both languages pretty much at the same time. Dad was in the air forde and I spent my early childhood in Nova Scotia. Mom has told me that when I started going outside to play I'd periodically come in and ask whether such and such a word was English or French.

Both my siblings and I are pretty much completely bilingual today because when we were at home unlike lots of parents, ours refused to answer us if we spoke English. We were ignored. Of course, because of this, Mom never did learn to speak very good English. She was able to get by, but was never really comfortable with it. Which is too bad for her but ensured that we would speak both languages.

Together my brother, sister and I spoke a sort of Frenglish. Sentences would be started in French finished in English, questions asked in one language and answered in the other. To this day, if a word doesn't come to mind immediately in one language I'll substitute the other. It made for interesting encounters when my siblings' boy/girlfriends would come over for dinner the first time and we'd start talking like that without realizing it. The blank looks were priceless.

I think of the three of us, I'm probably the one most comfortable in French, as I came to Quebec the youngest. They came here in high school, and finished that level in English. This of course was way before Bill 101 (for you Americans, a French language law in Quebec). I was in elementary school when we got here, which I fininshed in English. Then my evil parents stuck me in French shool for high school (in retrospect: Thank you Mom!), I did my Cegep (a sort of weird junior collge you have here which is basically the last year of high school and first of Uni elsewhere) in English and went to university in French.

So I'm as bilingual as a person can be I think... and I have totally not answered Geewits' question.

Actually I think interchangeably in both languages, depending on who I'm with and the context. Often I decide not to think at all because then I'd have to actually use my brain, which is sometimes more than I can handle...

As for dreaming, I honestly don't know. I'm not big on rembering my dreams, and when I do, I'll pretty much only remember what went on, without actually talking.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Q&A #3

While I was blogged out last week I received several questions, 'cause I guess people are nice that way about helping me out. Although more probably they gave me the questions to shut up my whining already.

Rhea over at The Boomer Chronicles asked me: "What is your favourite yoga position?"

That would be it right there*, presupposing of course that I had enough flexibility to actually do yoga without shattering into a million shiny shards.

'Cause pretty much that's what would happen. I would pretzelize myself and explode.

I've been thinking of doing trying muddling my way into yoga for some months now. Actually since my friend S came back from San Francisco. She and her man are avid yoga-ers. I'm told it's good for relaxation and to focus your mind (that's an interesting concept right there, actually being focused).It's good for flexibility (as proof : that girl there who is so not me). Besides, I'd have the perfect excuse to buy a really cool, expensive and apparently wonderfully comfortable pair (of the I'll-never-take-these-off-again-so-don't-even-try-to-get-me-out-of-them-because-I'd-have-to-hurt-you-real-bad variety) of Lululemon yoga pants. That alone might get me into the yoga thing. How very shallow of me, yep.

I'm not sure how I'd do with yoga though, for several reasons.

As I mentioned, flexibility is not my strong suit. At. All. I'm probably a touch less flexible than a steel bar, so sitting on a mat downward dogging, saluting the sun, cameling, full one-legged king pigeoning, scorpioning like that girl there, and generally tying my legs in knots behind my head would not be among the most relaxing activities for me. The names of the poses are a cool though, especially the "full one-legged king pigeon"...

Then of course there's the meditation aspect of yoga. I've tried to meditate. You know the whole, "gently push your thoughts away as the float through your mind" thing. My thoughts don't float through, they jump in like kids dive bombing in a pool, sink to the bottom and float up again. I found myself screaming "go away, I'm trying to gently push you out and you won't leave!! Go before I have to hurt you!!!" inside my head and metaphorically going after my thoughts with a machete, trying to hack them to bits. I believe that sort of defeats the purpose, right?

The last time I took up an physical activity in order to relax it was Tai Chi. Interesting experience. All those slow choreographed movements. By the end of the class I wanted to run screaming from the room in frustration. Damn, it should take only about 10 seconds to do those ridiculous little dances rather than over a minute each. As though the whole point was to waste as much time as possible. I dropped out. I think I must've been negatively vibing the class. And I felt guilty at not feeling super relaxed like the rest of them claimed to be by the end of class. This said, I'm sure several of them were lying through their teeth. Probably even the teacher.

And yet, despite my frustration with "lets-all-be-mindful-and-zen-and-new-agey-and-drink-weird-ass-teas-rather-than-the real-black-stuff-with-caffeine" activites, I'm not outside running around and playing basketball. Nope I'm probably the laziest person on the face of the planet. Go figure.

Um, yeah, so ... yoga. Sorry Rhea, I haven't quite gotten to yoga yet. I seem to have had a bit of trouble focusing on your question there. Oops.

* I seem to be going all black and white pics these days. I'm getting artsy in my old age...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Q&A #2

Ian over at Or So I Thought asked me this question:

A political question: How do you regard the late nicotine and booze addicted, but formerly brilliant journalist and war correspondent, Rene Levesque? I really don't know how Rene is regarded in the Quebec of aujourd hui.Personally, I admire him both as a jouralist and because he hated Trudeau's guts -- and for good reason.

Sheesh.. Politics. But at least this one is an intersting question. Because the whole dog and pony show of politics usually bores me to tears. Or sends me into paroxysms of hilarity. Rarely anything else.

René Lévesque. There's a subject...

First off, I've never been a separatist. I can understand why people would be, most of my friends are or have been including Mr. Jazz. That does not make them wrong, nor does it make them idiots (as a federalist colleague of mine once said). I happen to believe - even as a French Quebecer ('cause despite my angloness, I am first and foremost French) - that Quebec can make it as an integral part of Canada.

Which puts me squarely on the opposite side of Lévesque.

Actually though, contrary to many federalists, I've never considered him the bad guy . Nope, he was not the antichrist. I really liked him and always thought he was a brilliant man. Granted, sometimes he annoyed the hell out of me, but a lot of peole annoy me now and then.

René Lévesque was that oh so rare bird in politics. The exception that confirms the rule. He had integrity. He really believed in what he was trying to do, not as an opportunist who figures there's money to be made, there's power to be had, but as a man who really believed the only way for Quebec was through separation. (I can just hear some people I know saying "how did she live to that age and still be so damn naive") I sometimes think, looking back that he must have found the burden of Premiership and PQ party icon really hard to shoulder - he doesn't strike me as having been that kind of person. Obviously he was ambitious, you don't get into politics if you're not, but he seemed to truly be an idealist.

He had charisma galore, though not the Trudeaumania intellectual "it boy" charisma. He appealed to ordinary people because he was one of them. He appealed to those who actually worked hard to scrape by, people exactly like he was; he wasn't from a rich background. And this, much to the gall of the establishment, who, lets face it, sees the "unwashed masses" as, well, basically nothing important.

When he lost the first referendum I felt really bad for him, even though I had voted against.

And the PQ then started its time honoured tradition of taking out its leaders and quarreling in pubic. He must have been devastated when they turned against him and forced him out of the party he founded...

Which brings us to another point. René Lévesque was obviously crushed when he lost the first referendum, but he was never petty. He said well, it didn't work. Next time maybe. He didn't blame - in the infamous words of Jacques Parizeau after the second referendum - "money and the ethnic vote". He respected that people could think differently from him, he was never mean-sprited about the defeat - at least in public.

And I don't think he would ever have accepted presenting a projet proposing a Quebec citizenship while Quebec was still part of Canada. For me that's totally unacceptable - but that's another blog (besides, BB said it really well in this blog).

And there you have it. Hope I answered your question Ian.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Friday... damn, no alliteration comes to mind.

It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor. - Neil Gaiman

For the record, the caption to that pic is: "Hey look, the company president is butt naked!"

And to answer BB's question:

Blogged out, you... you of all people, prolific manipulator of language that you are. What hope then for us poor mortals toiling in the mundane groves of academia, trying forlornly to instill a modicum of light in the vast echoing Stygian halls of ignorance and sloth?

Short answer: None.

Though for the record that sentence made me laugh out loud. Reminded me of Don Petzel.

I'm done.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

All Blogged Out

Bleh. I'm in a huge funk right now.

Plus I have nothing to say, which may have to do with being in a funk. I think I might not be the only one, seems a lot of regular bloggers are slacking off these days.

Must be November.

So, how's about we do an "Ask Me".

Ask me questions, any questions, about me, about bubble gum, about the cross-eyed blue bellied tamacrout, about the answer to the question of Life, the Universe and Everything. Naw, forget that one, we all know the answer to that question - and if you don't, it's "42".

Help me out here, gimme some blog food.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Politics and trivia

Last night on my way home from work I noticed that election posters are going up in our Montreal borough. Again. Damn. Some posters from the federal by-election are still up here and there, and last week's school board election - do they really think these posters will entice me to vote for them? That I vote for a fake smile on a poster?

Nevertheless, our borough is now gearing up for a municipal by-election. Our borough mayor was obliged to resign amid much huffing and puffing and rightous indignation by, well, basically everyone who wasn't him.

You see, while he was mayor he misspent our money. Big surprise eh? It's never been done before, right? But him? He spent it on booze. Oh my! I'm thinking there's a bit of envy involved since most people didn't have access to the Glenffidich single malt.

According to media reports, the receipts reveal Outremont spent between $6,500 and $7,500 from January to June 2007, including more than $1,000 on 12-year old Glenfiddich Highland scotch single malt.
That would make the borough's alcohol budget the highest among all city boroughs, even though Outremont is the smallest and least populous on the island, according to Montreal newspaper La Presse.

The alcohol was allegedly consumed by Outremont's borough council and invited guests in a private lounge on the second floor of the council's headquarters.

Borough director Pierre Beaudet told the CBC's French language service that comparing Outremont's spending on booze with other municipalities is misleading because the others include the cost of alcohol in their catering budgets.

And so, Harbour had to resign and now pays for his Glenfiddich himself. Personally, though I dislike the taste of scotch, the smell is nice and I'd go for Lagavuline or Cragganmore.

And so, we have another election coming up. Hopefully the new mayor will be more discrete about his or her spending, or at any rate make sure it gets buried in the budget. Cause I can't take many more of these elections.


In other news, a ton of things you probably never wanted to know about your body:

  • Your body has more bacteria than cells.
  • In one day, a human sheds 10 billion skin flakes. This amounts to approximately two kilograms in a year.
  • Every square inch of the human body has about 19,000,000 skin cells.
  • Every hour one billion cells in the body must be replaced.
  • The human body makes anywhere from 1 to 3 pints of saliva every 24 hours.
  • The human body has approximately 37,000 miles of capillaries.
  • The adult human body requires about 88 pounds of oxygen daily.
  • The width of your armspan stretched out is the length of your whole body.
  • There are as many hairs per square inch on your body as a chimpanzee. You don't see all of them because most are too fine and light to be noticed.
  • The ashes of the average cremated person weigh 9 pounds
  • The human body can survive longer without food than without sleep. While starvation takes a few weeks you would die after about 10 days without sleep.
  • The human heart creates enough pressure to squirt blood 30 feet.
  • You blink about 84 million times in a year.

"Sometimes the appropriate response to reality is to go insane" Philip K. Dick

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Correspondence is a Dying Art

So I thought I'd do my part to keep it alive:

Dear Pfizer:

Ah the ubiquitous Viagra. The pill that has created more wood than a rain forest....

Maybe you should distribute some free to your ad agency, or whoever the hell actually approves your commercials, 'cause really? They suck.

The "Good Morning" ad with the people dancing in the streets singing was cute there for a while (much less so after 50,000 viewings - can so many men really not get it up?). At least it made me smile the first 5-10 times I saw it.

But the speaking in tongues one? What the hell is the point to that? The only thing I can see is that Viagra makes you so stupid you forget how to talk coherently. Nice.. That's just what I want after doing the horizontal boogie. Conversation with someone totally incoherent because the little blue pill makes him stupid. Am I missing something here? Is it because the blood is extremely tardy in leaving the nether regions to get back to the head? After all as Robin Williams once famously quipped: A man has enough blood to run his head and his penis, but not both at the same time. But if that's the case, and the next day at the bowling alley you're still speaking in tongues, well hell, that has to be painful.

How much, exactly did you pay for these spots? Money wasted. Just sayin' 'n all.



(For our American friends, Zellers is a store that can be situated somewhere between Target and Kmart I suppose. Not as good as the first but better than that latter.)

Dear Zellers:

A couple of weeks ago you decided to give us a break because of the new value of the Canadian dollar. How good of you. Items in your stores will be priced downwards 5% to 20%. How very thoughtful of you. How wonderfully forward thinking.

Fifty items in your stores will be priced down. Fifty! What proportion of the products you carry would that actually be? How many thousands of products do you carry exactly? What did you mark down? Bobby pins and thread?

Do you really think we're that stupid? Ok, you're right, most people probably are dumb enough to think you're really helping us out. As of today the Loonie is worth $1.08 US. Make a real effort why dontcha...




Dear Lotto Quebec:

Your latest radio commercial completely sucks. There seems to be a lot of that going around today. Let me remind you what it's about:

A phone rings, a voice mail comes on. A person starts talking: Hello John. Nice to talk to you. You've always been an idiot John, you've always been mean and dismissive. You've never wanted to join us in our Lotto pool. Well guess what John, we won the grand prize. (several other voices join in) Have a good day at work John!

Now granted it's funny in a stick-it-to-John sorta way. We all have Johns in our lives (ok, that sounds totally wrong but I won't change his name). But why did no one ever tell John he was a prick to his face?

Selling lottery tickets on the premise that it'll allow you say fuck you to people just seems somehow wrong. Appealing to people's baser nature so blatently sticks in my thoat. There's gotta be a more subtle way. Especially from people who have spots on TV all the time about getting help for gambling...




Dear Brunet Pharmacy,

Call Lotto Quebec. Send them a copy of your latest commercial. It is somewhat along the same lines. But it is funny funny funny. Let me remind you which one I'm talking about:

A beautiful bountifully bouncily boobed blonde (now that is alliteration!) says "I do"; cut to her soon to be husband who is about 105 and probably takes Viagra by the bottleful. He leers and says "I do".

Cut to an orphanage in Africa. The nun looks at the other nun and exclaims "$34 million!?" Second nun: "It was left to us by Ocar Poulin!!!" First nun "Who is Oscar Poulin?" Second nun shrugs. First nun: "Oscar Poulin!!! $34 million!! Thank you Oscar Poulin!"

Cut to happily ginning bride. Voice over says: The most important thing is that you have your health...

End commercial.

Now that is how you appeal to people's bitchy instincts.




Dear Municipal and Provincial Governments,

On Halloween the Federal government announced tax cuts and a 1% decrease of the sales tax, due to all the money they have lying around. I can't help but wonder why they didn't announce they were paying down some of the country's debt with all that surplus, but I'll have to write them directly about that. 'Cause me, if I have both surplus and debt, the equation isn't all that hard to resolve. And it's not like I'm some sort of math genius or anything; hell, I still sometimes count on my fingers.

We couldn't help but wonder how you guys were going to manage to get those few dollars to fly from our pocket into yours. 'Cause what one god giveth, the other taketh away, gods being the greedy fuckers they are.

Well, it seems there's a plan to create a new 1% tax in Montreal on everything we buy which will go to repairing the infrastructures. Is this true or not? Who knows. Will it happen? If it doesn't it'll be something else. I have not become a cynic without reason.

I don't dispute that Montreal infrastructures are falling apart. Hell, overpasses are morphing into underpasses on a disturbingly regular basis. But damn, can't you just once give us a break? We are taxed to the gills as it is. Quebec is one of, if not the most, taxed places in both Americas. This being said: Where the fuck does our money go? How is this province being managed? Why does it cost us so much more? And they want a country... lordy, they can't even manage a damn province. But that too is a rant for another day.

Can't we please please please just keep those few pennies in our pocket? Just this once?




Dear Pfizer again:

Maybe you should learn from the spoofs your product has engendered and do something really funny like this*:

* Gotta love google images. In case Blogger pulls the image it's from and I thank them on bended knee for finding this. It made my day.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

What a way to celebrate 300 posts

Ian tagged me on this one so what can I do besides answer… Plus I'm beginning to suffer from blog fatigue, so an easy meme is just the ticket today.

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night?
Mr. Jazz. We had friends over and actually I don’t remember the why of it, but it was really really funny.

2. What were you doing at 0800?
At 0800 this morning? I was reading Dorky Dad's blog and voting on the best tagline.

3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
That would be 8:00 am so reading DD’s blog.

4. What happened to you in 2006?
No doubt lots of things. Unfortunately nothing really stands out. How pathetic is that. I know we travelled, but for the life of me I can’t remember where we went last year. Europe I think. I was diagnosed with asthma (but even that is no biggie, I just get it when I have a cold). All in all I suppose 2006 was rather a routine year. Unless I won the lottery but I have Alzheimers and don’t know it and that particular bit of information, along with everything else that happened was sucked into the black hole that has become my brain. Come to think of it, even without Alzheimers my head is pretty much a black pit of nothingness.

5. What was the last thing you said out loud?
“I love you, have a good day” – or words to that effect – when Mr. Jazz when he dropped me off at work. (This no longer holds true as I started this early this morning and didn't manage to finish it till now)

6. How many beverages did you have today?
So far a glass of water and a big glass of orange juice. I’m gearing up to go make myself a cup of tea. It’s early morning, it’s not like I’ve had time to drink that much. But I have eaten an apple!

7. What color is your hairbrush?
Honestly, I don’t even have a hairbrush. My hair is short I wash it, fluff it while drying it and go. I haven’t combed my hair per se in years and years. Low maintenance is my creed.

8. What was the last thing you paid for?
Sex? Na, much more prosaic. That would be lunch yesterday and a yummy lunch it was, made even yummier by the fact that I unexpectedly met a friend I hadn’t seen in forever, and it turns out that though she’s been working from home, her company asked her to come in one day a week – and she works 10 minutes from me!

9.Where were you last night?
I was home, having dinner with friends and in the immortal words of Urban Pedestrian: “some intoxicating grown-up conversation and clever wine”

10. What color is your front door?
Black, nicely highlighted by street dust. At the cottage it’s white. I think. Or is it beige? No. White. Yes. Definitely white. I’ll get back to you about this one Monday…

11. Where do you keep your change?
In my wallet of course, which is in my huge bag, which you might laugh at if you’re a male, because really, who needs to carry around so much shit. But I’ll have you know that if we face nuclear (or as Dubbya likes to say – nuculur) holocaust, I can survive on what’s in this bag. Can you say as much about that wallet in you back pocket? I thought not. So be nice to me, your life might depend on it.

12. What’s the weather like today?
Rainy, windy, chilly. Typical November weather. (Though as I post this it's now sunny, windy chilly)

13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor?
I can’t narrow it down to just one. But if I can choose two, and I can because I’m the one doing this meme, it would have to be Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia and Haagen Dasz (stupid brand name that, as if we don’t know it’s 100% American with extra fat added in, but I digress), so HD Mayan Chocolate. That touch of cinnamon? Oh yeah! But if I had to eat only one kind of ice cream ever again, it would be Cherry Garcia. Always and forever.

14. What excites you?
Excite me in what way? As Ian said, let’s not state the obvious. Other than that, books. Even after all these years the “excitement factor” of books is still through the roof for me. Also, food. Well, meals with people I love, actually. Be they family or friends – though actually I consider most of my friends family – nothing revs me up like the thought of a lovely meal.

15. Do you want to cut your hair?
Like, today? No. I get it cut every three months or so and my hair is short so basically it's something I do regularly. And what kind of dumb question is this? This being said, I don’t have issues with hair other than that I find it sort of annoying. If it were an option, I’d shave my head, but I don’t work in the type of environment where that would go over too well unfortunately.

16. Are you over the age of 25?
Way to over. But at the same time I’d never ever want to go back there. The very though throws me into paroxysms of panic and horror.

17. Do you talk a lot?
No more or less than anyone else I suppose. I’m terribly average dontcha know. Obviously, it depends who I’m with, but I do have a tendancy to be more of a listener than a talker in most situations. I tend to ask questions to get people talking, that way I’m spared entertaining them.

18. Do you watch the O.C.?
No. I watched the first season – or was it the second? – but lost interest rather quickly, because a lot of the time I felt like slapping the characters silly and yelling at them to grow the fuck up even though they were supposed to be teenagers.

19. Do you know anyone named Steven?
Yes, but he writes it Stephen, and I know (slightly) a Stefan, and how about a Stephanie – do they count?

20. Do you make up your own words?
Yes, sometimes. Actually I did that yesterday and one Mr. M. thought it was quite funny. And he totally got what it meant. I usually do it when my brain shorts out and the word I need doesn’t come popping up. So I make one up. Much easier than actually thinking.

21. Are you a jealous person?
God no! I think it’s a total waste of energy. Besides what’s the point of being jealous if, for instance Mr. Jazz is flirting with someone else. It’s not like jealousy will stop him from cheating on me if he wants to. So there’s no point to it really. Like Ian, I’m also not much for envy.

22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’.
I don’t think I have any, but I have a friend whose name starts with E – Erin. Damn I love that name.

23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’.
Karine. A relatively new friend – she’s a good friend’s girlfriend. And looks like she’s gonna be around for a looong time. Thank god, because she’s perfect for him. And she’s an absolute sweetheart who I really should get to know better.

24. Who’s the first person on your received call list?
What’s a received call list? Does that go with a cell phone? If so, I don’t have one, and if not I still have no idea what it is. I’m such a hopeless techno-idjit

25. What does the last text message you received say?
As if I would say! But, um, see above question, no phone, no text.

26. Do you chew on your straw?

27. Do you have curly hair?
No – at least not when it’s short. It gets wavy if it’s longer though

28. Where’s the next place you’re going to?
The loo? Home after work? And if you mean travel, Australia again in March probably.

29. Who’s the rudest person in your life?
An ex. But he’s not really in my life anymore so it’s moot. Otherwise, the people I know are actually pretty well behaved, considering. (why that last word? Considering what? My brain is getting stupid here...)

30. What was the last thing you ate?
Beef teriyaki

31. Will you get married in the future?
I’m sure Mr. Jazz wouldn’t be too amused if I got married, especially since I’ve been married to him for forever.

32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks?
Am I supposed to have seen 15 movies in the past couple of weeks? This said, it would be “Sauf le respect que je vous dois”. A really good French movie. And Monday I saw what is the worst movie I’ve seen in a really long time: “Belle Toujours” a follow-up to Bunuel’s “Belle de jour”. 38 years later the charaters meet up again. Even Michel Piccoli can’t save this movie. Thank god it was only 70 minutes, or I would have had to kill myself. Of course the director was 98 when he did it – so he might’ve been somewhat gaga – but damn…. Nope, even gagaism is no excuse for that.

33. Is there anyone you like right now?
What type of question is that? I like lots of people. You have a problem with that?

34. When was the last time you did the dishes?
Yesterday evening.

35. Are you currently depressed?
No. I’m not PMSing so I’m fine. I’m actually quite a happy person all things considered. I take things in stride and don’t obsess over things I can’t change. Besides when I do get depressed I usually annoy the fuck out of myself within a day, two at most. The annoyance takes precedence over the depression and since I can’t stand myself, I get over myself pretty quickly.

36. Did you cry today?
Was this written for teenage girls? Is there anyone you like? Will you get married? Are you depressed? What colour is your hairbrush? Do you want to cut your hair? Oy gevalt!!! No I didn’t cry today. See above answer. The same can be applied to snivelling.

37. Why did you answer and post this?
Because Ian tagged me. Because I do as I’m told. Mostly because I didn’t want Ian to feel crushed that I hadn’t taken him up on it. If he could live through it, so could I. I felt like I'd been dared. Besides, had he been crushed he would have killed himself and I would have felt responsible for five minutes which would probably have been better spent staring vapidly off into space.

As to the five I’m supposed to tag… It took me so long to complete this, I can’t force my brain to think of anything more. The brain, it is on strike. Do it if you want. And Ian, for the record I began to hate you half way through... Damn this is long.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Dear little ghouls and ghosties,

I'm all happy for you that it's halloween an' shit. The day where you can actually have candy with the blessing of your moms and dads . Well, actually, seeing the size of many of you little pumpkins, you have their blessing most of the time, eh? A word of advice, just be careful they don't steal the best of your haul to eat behind the wheel of their giant SUVs on the way to and from work.

Now, I'm sure you'll be all excited to get dressed up, and you'll be cute and adorable as Holly the Hooker, Peter the Pimp, Greg the Gangsta and Carole the Crackhead, but sorry, I'm not playing.

I'm Scrooging Halloween. That's right, I've decided to dress up as Scrooge this year. Bah, Humbug!

See, I live in a triplex, on the top floor. With my door way down there at the bottom. There is no way in hell that I'm going to be trotting up and down three flights of stairs all evening distributing candy to help fatten you up some more for the Evil Witch of Diabetes to snatch you up and haul you away.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, it's Halloween after all. And no, I don't have anything against Halloween and candy and the whole fun evening. I simply cannot be bothered. Besides I have people coming to dinner. Real people (ok, that was uncalled for, but it's staying). Actually, adult people with whom I can have an interesting conversation (remember munchkins, never end a sentence in a preposition - it's not 'who I can have an interesting conversation with' - Maybe I should dress up as a grammar whore).

Sorry, but interesting conversation, a good meal and good wine beat the hell out of distributing treats any day of the week. Especially Wednesday.

Unless of course you all would like a nice glass of cabernet to go to with those snickers?

It'll take the edge of the whole "get to the door first for the best candy" competition. I promise.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Maudlin Alert

OK, total change in gears here. That title was up there because I had written - and posted - a completely sappy blog about the fact that Mr. Jazz and I have been together 20 years now. But once it was up, there was no way I could leave it there. I don't much do goo unless I'm drunk out of my mind. And since it's Monday morning and I'm not, it just had to go.

Suffice it to say, Mr. Jazz is the best thing to happen to me in the longest time (over 20 years now) and he also loves Trailer Park Boys , probably one of the most profane, adolescent male friendly shows on TV. It is hilarious. A pseudo reality show filmed in a trailer park. And it's Canajun, eh? From Nova Scotia more precisely.

Anyone who loves TPB, well, what can I say, my heart is his.

In other news, a Monday rant...

When, exactly did food become medicine?

Yes, I understand all those lovely antioxydants and probiotics and stuff. Thing is, they've always been in the food we eat, haven't they? If you're eating a variety of foods (and this is no problem in North America, although the way some people live at McDonald's you'd think that's the case) you're getting all those antioxydants and stuff from the get go.

But now... Now the agri-food industry has jumped onto the bandwagon. At first it was little things. But now it seems like every second food is being marketed as medicine. You have your probiotic yogurts, you have your antioxydant juices and now Catelli has this new revolutionary pasta.

It contains 300% (?!) more fibre than regular pasta (how it can contain more than 100% more is something I need explained to me).

Newsflash Catelli? There has been pasta around for years and years that contained lots of fibre. It's called whole wheat pasta! It seems sorta stupid to me to refine every nutrient out of flour to make pasta with it and then add a whack of fibre back to it. But what the hell do I know.

Yes, I know, you're not the only people doing it, they're doing it with white bread too.

But what the hell is the point? Whole grains are a good thing! How about you let them do their thing rather than putting what you took out of the grain right back in and packaging it as somehow better?

Oh! because people are stupid enough to buy into it? Because they're willing to pay more if it's marketed as healthier?

Well, in that case, more power to you.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

School Daze

The end of last week was spent on the school bench - a place I haven't been in a long long time. As when I was there for real, a part of the time was spent daydreaming and scribbling and writing notes. And correspondence.

Dear Teacher,

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is a database course. If we aren't going to be linking web pages to our databases because of security issues, why are you spending so much time on this. Why are you going on and on and on about VBA (VPA? - see how intersted I am?) language programming if we're not going use it. Why are you wasting my time????




Dear Teacher,

On second thought, thanks for wasting my time; this way I don't feel guilty about all the wasted time. It's your fault.




Dear Idiot in Class,

Please stop asking really really stupid questions. The teacher just explained that in detail. In much detail. In excruciating detail. In detail beyond any detail I have ever seen. Get with the program.

A word of advice: Stop answering your gmail and LISTEN!

If not, I will be obliged to slap you.




Dear Colleague of Mine,

You are in a class. Shut your damn cell phone. Do not let it ring. And if you've forgotten to turn it off, do so the moment it rings. Do not answer and start whispering. I don't care if it's your spouse. Spouse can take care of things until you're on break. You have a message box, use it. Your behaviour is incredibly rude and annoying for the rest of us.

Keep it up and I might have to slap you too.

On edgedly,



Dear Cafeteria Cash Register Lady,

Yes, this is a book on my tray. I put it there so I could pull out my wallet. No you do not sell books, you only sell food, you are, after all, working in a cafeteria. If I had put my shoe on the tray would you have looked for a price? (All things considered, probably).

You work in a University cafeteria. Do you never see people with books here? What planet are you from?

Mind boggledly,


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Book Game

As I'm still totally inspirationless - everthing just seems to have come to a screeching halt - I decided to play this game that I poached from Ticknart . Of course, being anal like I am, I sorted the titles into alphabetical order.

From this list of books you must:
  • Bold those you've read.
  • Add an asterisk* to those you have read more than once.
  • Italicize books you have started but couldn't finish. (I've also bolded 'cause I can't help but comment and comments are in italics)
  • Underline those on your To Be Read list. (I don't seem to have underline on my toolbar and I don't know the HTML code so I'll just make it teal - oh and if someone knows the code - Ticknart obviously does - please let me know, pull me out of this cesspool of HTML ignorance)

1984 *

A Clockwork Orange

A Confederacy of Dunces *

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (I had to read it for class, lordy how I hated that book. And by extension James Joyce. Stream of conciousness and I don't do well together. It's bad enough my own brain is all over the place, I don't need to read a book that's all over the place too.)

A Short History of Nearly Everything (Pretty much the only book of Bill Bryson's I haven't read yet. It's on my shelf. It's waiting patiently)

A Tale of Two Cities

American Gods (I'm discovering Neil Gaiman, love him)

Anansi Boys

Angela's Ashes (But honestly, I didn't see what all the fuss was about)

Angels & Demons (Did the Da Vinci Code thing, good thriller, but not enough to get me reading all his other stuff)

Atlas Shrugged (I'm not so big on Ayn Rand either)


Brave New World *

Catch-22 *

Cloud Atlas

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

Crime and Punishment


David Copperfield

Don Quixote

Dracula *

Dubliners (It's Joyce. I want nothing to do with it!)


Eats, Shoots & Leaves


Foucault's Pendulum



Gravity's Rainbow

Great Expectations

Gulliver's Travels

Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies

In Cold Blood

Jane Eyre

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (I have it on my shelf, I'm just waiting for the "right" moment)

Les Misérables *

Life of Pi: A Novel (Everyone has told me this is a great book, I've tried five - count 'em FIVE - times I can't get past page 30 or so. Perhaps one day I'll give it another go)


Love in the Time of Cholera

Madame Bovary

Mansfield Park

Memoirs of a Geisha (again, on the shelf, twiddling it's literary thumbs)



Moby Dick

Mrs. Dalloway

Neverwhere (this book is how I discovered Neil Gaiman)

Northanger Abbey

Oliver Twist

On the Road

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (does it count as extra reads if you've seen the movie 6 or 7 times?)

One Hundred Years of Solitude

Oryx and Crake (I love Atwood)

Persuasion (this one should be half bold. I'm pretty sure I read it but I'm not quite certain)

Pride and Prejudice


Reading Lolita in Tehran

Sense and Sensibility


Tess of the D'Urbervilles *

The Aeneid (I much preferred Homer's Odessey and Illiad - and Dan Simmons' Ilium and Olympos)

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

The Blind Assassin (shelf)

The Brothers Karamazov * (one of my all time favourites)

The Canterbury Tales

The Catcher in the Rye *

The Confusion

The Corrections (This book made me laugh out loud more than once)

The Count of Monte Cristo ('Cause the count? He was a Dude! I had such a crush on that character...)

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Briliant book this is, I picked it up because the cover was cool... my criteria for reading a book are not necessarily logical, but mostly they work...)

The Fountainhead (Ayn again...)

The God of Small Things

The Grapes of Wrath (Love me some Steinbeck)

The Historian (Finally, a vampire book where the vampire is not a romantic tortured soul, but a complete monster like Stoker meant them to be. I almost missed out on this one because I figured it would be another Rice-ish vampire. Lestat was cool, by the tenth book it was a bit annoying)

The Hobbit * (How can Lord of the Rings not be on this list????)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Iliad

The Inferno

The Kite Runner

The Mists of Avalon

The Name of the Rose

The Odyssey

The Once and Future King

The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Poisonwood Bible

The Prince

The Satanic Verses

The Scarlet Letter

The Silmarillion

The Sound and the Fury (I flipped through Faulkner's As I Lay Dying once. One of the chapters read: My mother is a fish. Then on to the next chapter. I guess I should give him a chance...)

The Three Musketeers

The Time Traveller's Wife

The Unbearable Lightness of Being (I obviously seem to like book titles that begin with "The")

To the Lighthouse

Treasure Island

Ulysses (Joyce again *shudder*)

Vanity Fair

War and Peace

Watership Down

White Teeth

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (I just read Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister. My first Maguire. All his others, including Wicked, are on the shelf)

Wuthering Heights

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance