Friday, August 29, 2008

I love you, you love me....

Last night we were at S&M's for dinner. Friends of ours, not a kinky restaurant where waiters are dressed in bondage gear. It's not their fault those are their initials. I could call them M&S, but it just wouldn't have the same "je ne sais quoi" now would it?

During dinner, S mentioned wanting to see Obama's speech. We turned on the TV and we were confronted with Barney, who with all his Barneyness couldn't help but end up on YouTube an hour later.

This morning I searched for him and after a couple of purple dinosaur videos (scary stuff that - how did that oversized purple stuffed toy become so popular?), there he was in all his glory: Barney Smith.

The ex-republican from the heartland. The one with the checked short sleeved shirt buttoned to the neck (whoever dressed the guy really did a good job at the republican hick look). The one who has decided it's time for a change (I guess he wants to be able to buy a house on one salary again, poor deluded Barney). The walking cliché. Even the name: Barney Smith?? If he's for real, good on you Barney, for speaking up there; how did you get the gig?

Them spin doctors? They're good. Cynical? Me??

So without further ado, ladies and gentlemen! I bring you Barney Smith and his 15 minutes of fame.

As for Barak - the man has brilliant speech writers and despite my cynicism, I hope he does win the election - if ever there is an election... I'm beginning to think we're all in the twilight zone where it'll be American election time forever more. A sort of American Election Groundhog Day starring Barak Obama and John McCain.

I don't know how much change Barak can actually bring about but in last night's immortal words: Eight Is Enough!

And I have to admit, he chose well for his vice-p running mate. The fact that he has an old white man as sidekick might reassure all those who are a bit squeamish about voting for a black president. I think he would have tanked if he had run with Hillary. That's just too much change for the Barneys of the world. The pasty old white guy with the reassuring head of grey hair and the blindingly white teeth could do wonders for him.

Go Barak!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My political post of the day

How long has this latest American election drama been going on? Years? Decades? Centuries?

It seems more and more likely (or so informed rumour has it) that Harper, our PM will be calling an election.

For this fall.

The election should be called around September 5.

The election itself would be held around mid-October.

A little over a month.

Only a month's worth of asinine promises and people trying to make me believe they actually have my best interests at heart.

That's how to carry out an election. A month of bullshit is more than enough.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Correspondence

Dear lady on the street,

The auburn hair and the short ruffled skirt do not fool us. You are pushing 80. Hard. Deal with it. I'm not a proponent of dressing frumpy, but there is such a thing as age appropriate. With your mini skirt and your low cut T, which shows off tons of saggy wrinkled cleavage you look like the female equivalent of a really bad comb-over. And we all know all comb-overs are bad, eh?

Seriously, you could be a really good looking old lady (because, ma'am, you are old), but the way you dress makes you look even older and more faded.

Not a good look. Denial is obviously not just a river in Egypt.




Dear teenager on the subway,

Guess what? Sticking your back pack between the doors to stop them from closing, thus keeping the train in the station is not funny.

It's stupid, it's annoying for everyone on the train, it's moronic, it's anything but funny.

And if you don't stop, I might have to tear you limb from limb.

Really kid, you don't want to face a 47 year old woman in the throes of both PMS and a perimenopausal mood swing.

Because you will lose. I guarantee it. You think I'm an old bag, but I can take you down in a nano-second... and stomp on your i-Pod just to piss you off.

Kid, you will not win, so smarten up.




Dear cashier,

Fuck you too.




Dear Artist,

No you are not an artist. I don't care what you say, you are in no way an artist. A wannabe, maybe, but not an artist.

And when you say things like how you're an artist and thus very creative and because of your creativity, unlike people who aren't artists and are not creative, you are very good at problem solving I want to strangle you because I've had to solve problems you very creatively caused.

And when you say that as an artist you are so much more sensitive than the rest of us, I want to tear you a new one, because you're no more sensitve than the rest of us schmoes, you just use it as an excuse to not deal with life. Guess what, we're sensitive too, we just put it on a back burner and deal with the assholes.

And the creative dressing? Um, c'mon that's just plain "you need an intervention" ugly. Seriously, even if you're plump, you can dress creatively without looking like a pumpkin - unless of course that's the look you're going for.... Ever heard of the concept of an accent colour?

You are insane and you annoy the fuck out of everyone around you. Get the hell over yourself.




Dear clothing manufacturer,

I do not look like this (especially with the Charlie Brown dress).

I have an ass. I have shoulders. I have a real body ferchrissake. Just because I have an ass and shoulders does not mean I am built like a refrigerator, straight up and down.

Just because I have curves does not mean I have boobs the size of Pamela Anderson. Just who the hell do you think wears your clothes?

Newsflash for you! The people who wear your clothes are neither models nor Pam Anderson. They're real women with real bodies.


Well there you go. Neither Pam Anderson, nor the models, nor those perfect plastic people will buy clothes from you, you're simply not at their level. They pay more for a bottle of nail polish than the cost of one of your suits.

Deal with it. We're real people, we have money to spend and we want clothes that fit even vaguely. It would be a nice change.

Sartorially (squared)


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Of Blogging and Friendship

Disclaimer: Much mush ahead. Proceed at your own risk. It could get ugly

I've been blogging for a couple of years now and what has surpised me most about blogging, and to a lesser degree forums, is the friendships I've developed.

Friends I've met
Friends I've talked to on the phone
Friends I've never done anything but chat and email with
Others who I only know through their blogs and who have let me into their lives that way

That aspect of blogging caught me unawares. I never imagined, when I began, that a sense of community would be part of the package. And, to a large extent, that sense of community is no doubt what keeps me coming back. I'd venture to say I've made more friends through blogging and the cyber community in the past couple of years than in real life.

It's strange that way.

Last week I found out - after wondering why I hadn't heard from her in a week and where she'd disappeared to - that a dear friend had been in a bad car accident. A drunk driver hit her car head on as she was coming home from work. We're talking jaws of life accident. We're talking almost an hour to get her out of the car accident. We're talking at first they thought they might have to amputate her foot accident. She almost died.

My friend, she's like that. She never does stuff half way. And for the record, she's still very beat up, but on the mend. It's going to be a long haul.

When I heard (through a forum we frequent) my heart stopped. Fear, sadness, anger and guilt at not having known sooner hit me. And even now, a week later, when I think of it I just want to cry.


This person I never met and who I've only talked to on the phone a handful of times, she has become one of my best friends. We connected through the Net and I'm a better person for knowing her.

Through the internet. You know that horrible invention that bypasses all human contact, that nasty thing that is killing all sense of community?

I beg to differ.

So to all those people I've "met" through the evil Web, all of you who touched my life with your stories, your advice, your humour, you all have a part in making me who I am today whether I have met you in person or not. Thank you.

And thanks to the Divine Ms. M with whom I had dinner last night and who inspired this post.

Monday, August 18, 2008

At 47 I still kick ass...

.... I just do it in more expensive shoes.

And I have the proof, since Urban Animal has seen fit to bestow the following award upon me...

Kick Ass Blogger Award

See, it says right there: You are looking at a kick ass blogger. Awards never lie... do they?

So thanks Animal for thinking I'm kick ass and giving me something to blog about on what otherwise would have been a blogless Monday morning in August.

And because there are rules - and unlike Geewits I feel obliged to go by the rules (I really need to take flaunt**-the-rules lessons from her), I bring you - drumroll please:


- Choose 5 bloggers that you feel are "Kick Ass Bloggers"

- Let 'em know in your post or via email, twitter (what the hell is twitter?) or blog comments that they've received an award

- Share the love and link back to both the person who awarded you and back to Mammadawg

- Hop on back to the Kick Ass Blogger Club HQ to sign Mr. Linky then pass it on!

As an aside, have you ever stopped to think that eventually these awards should make their way to every blogger in the universe, if every person actually does pass it on to five more? Doesn't that seem sort of pointless? Just sayin'

I sort of hate doing this though, since, if I'm actually reading a blog, it's a kick ass blog. I wouldn't read drivel now would I? So you can consider anyone on my blogroll as a kick ass blogger...

Anyway, as I must follow the rools, here are my five choices:

First off Suzan Buckner , aka the Thrifty Collage Artist. I discovered her blog a couple of months back and we developed a friendship beyond the blog. She posts her art journal pages which I love and which keep me going back (can you spell addiction anyone? Obviously I can). Besides, I just won one of her paintings so I owe her.

ChooChoo - Another blogger I became friends with. Yeah, so I'm biased in my choices, sue me. She seems to have decided to blog again after a summer off. It was way overdue. Choochoo is funny, caustic and her adventures with her dog (Pooch) and Bergerac (her brain) never fail to make me laugh.

Ticknart - I've been following his blog for a long time now. I have no idea how I even found it, but there you go (my own "Bergerac" seems to be spending more and more time on vacation). I like his take on the joys of civil service in California.

BB - Because if I don't give him a award once in a while he'll beat me up. He would you know. Y'all think he's such a nice guy, but I'm his baby sis, so I know.

Jonah at Gefilte Fish Blues. I just recently found his blog and the guy is hilarious. The neuroses of a Jewish lawyer. He's brilliant. Unfortunately he doesn't seem to blog that often. His last post, dated August 5, is titled Good Things Come to Those Who Wait. We're still waiting Jonah!

And because I have to break the rules to some extent, I'll pass it on to Ian too, because a) I like to complicate his life and b) he'll pass it on to several people I would give it to if I could give it to my whole blogroll.

** Edited to add: Damn, I knew that was wrong! It's FLOUT! Flout the rules, as Ian pointed out in his blog of today. In a rant. Where I was not named. But I picked up on it, I did. I won't make the mistake again Ian, I promise!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Damn, I Love The Onion!

Many thanks to ChooChoo who's too busy being bored to post in her own blog, for hooking me up with this blog food:

Today Now!: How To Pretend You Give A Shit About The Election

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Quote of the day

Traditions are group efforts to keep the unexpected from happening. - Barbara Tober

I saw this quote on my Google page and it really struck me. I'd never thought of it before, but tradition is, to a certain extent an exercise in control.

Of course, traditions aren't all bad, they can help maintain stability.

The most obvious traditions are the family traditions, most especially - in my case anyway - at Christmas time. Most people have Christmas traditions from when the tree must go up and come down to what food will be served, who will be there, etc. Traditions which are hard to break and cause much angst and stress for everyone involved.

The most annoying tradition I'm regularly confronted with is the election of a liberal in our riding no matter what the election or how moronic the candidate is. I'm quite sure the Liberal party thinks this is a wonderful tradition. Me, not so much.

The best traditions, in my opinion, are those that serendipitously (is that even a word?) develop with your loved ones. Mr. Jazz and I have a few that I won't go into here; you know, those stupid little traditions/rituals that nobody but us can understand and which make the daily grind that much easier to get through.

Somehow, I seem to be having major problems articulating my thoughts on this. Help me out people. Personal tradtions, family traditions, societal traditions. What do you think of them? Are they good or bad? Comforting or constraining?

Or just incredibly stupid?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My Own Olympic Rant

For the past few days we've been olympicized non stop. I used to be a big fan of the Olympics back in those days when I was young and impressionable. Now I'm an old cynic, so not so much.

Except maybe for the swimmers. The male swimmers. They have such exquisite bodies. I am still mightily impressed. Oh my...

Moving on.

Speaking of male swimmers, Mr. Jazz sent me the link to this blog by Patrick Lagacé (a favourite of mine) on Cyberpresse.

It struck me when I read the post that today's athletes are indeed more machine than human, and perhaps that has contributed to dulling the appeal of the games.

Compare Phelps:

To Mark Spitz

(Photos were poached shamelessly from Lagacé's post. But they had to be translated into English 'cause y'all speak just English for the most part, so would you have gone into the post to check? Yeah, you would've, but hell, a post looks so much better with pictures, and putting them here makes it that much easier for all involved and yet again I digress. As usual.)

In 30-some years the change is amazing. Mark Spitz looked like a human - well except for the 'stache. And the speedo with the well placed stars....

Yep, the change is amazing. But mostly scary.

If I want to watch machines compete, I'll go see a Formula 1 race.

The records broken today couldn't even have been reached 30 years ago. And I can't believe it's all because of nutrition and training methods. That's a load of crap.

Athletes are doing things beyond what it seems a human should be capable of. All those drugs are showing big time - they might just catch 50 or so athletes at it because someone has to be made an example of, but pretty much all of the star athletes must be on some kind of performance enhancing drug. And we're not talking Vitamin A, C or E.

Some minor athletes end up taking the fall in order to put up a show, but really, who are we kidding.

What's the point of pretending it's not going on? What's the point of pretending to try and stop it? Because of the money involved, I'm not sure that the organizations really care to stop the drugs. It does make for a good show after all.

So why not just legalize the damn stuff since everyone is doing it - some more successfully than others.

Why not just stop the hypocrisy and say, yep, the athletes are all drugged up which gives their performance a boost, thus giving y'all those superhuman records and a chance to cheer insanely for your favourites.

At least spectators will know exactly what they are getting.

Meanwhile in Canada, the media are starting to grumble because we haven't managed to grab a medal yet. There are two schools of thought:

- We're doing good because we're in the top 6 or 7


- We're paying for medals not for top 10.

Seriously people, what freaking difference does it make?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

August blues

As beautiful as trees are when they've turned in the autumn, those first red leaves in early August are completely depressing. Yeah, we get the first red leaves, those with the early death wish, the suicidal ones, in August. Just as a reminder that it's all over soon.

Not that there was much to get over this summer, the weather was remarkably stable. It rained and rained and rained some more. I can't help thinking the idea was to keep BB thinking he was still in Ireland. It's probably working, hell I think I'm in Ireland what with the pictures he's posted. Go check them out. Go on, I'll wait. Scoot.

There's something about this time of year. Those last couple of weeks before the kids start school. For the longest time after I was done with school I had this hankering to get back to it at the end of the summer.

Now the end of summer just means more of the same with endless cold to look forward to.

Funny enough, even though the weather pretty much sucked, summer few by in the blink of an eye. It's scary that we're already almost in mid-August and it seems the last time I looked we were in early May. What the hell is up with that? The older I get, the quicker time goes by (even when I'm not having fun). At this rate I'll be 85 by the end of the month.

Honestly people, these days it kind of freaks me out.

But I'll get over it.

When I'm 85.


Friday, August 08, 2008

A few things you might not know about me...

I have a mild phobia about lakes. Every time I'm "swimming" in a lake I feel sort of nervous because somwhere in the back of my mind I picture something coming up from the bottom and pulling me down. I read too many Stephen King novels. Oh, and the muck in the bottom is disgusting too. Standing in a lake up to your ankles in muck is gross. Who knows what's in there besides fish shit. Give me a nice clean clear pool any day. I like to see where my feet are.

Although I find lakes somewhat loathesome, I love being in the ocean. It doesn't bother me that I can't see my feet in the ocean. It just feels ever so much cleaner I guess. The ocean appeals to me in ways a lake never can.

I put swimming in quotation marks, because I never learned to swim properly. As a child I was in the water whenever I could. I loved it. Then I took a swimming class and flunked because I couldn't tread water long enough. The teacher (who was probably a 14 year old kid) humiliated me by saying "Well everyone passes except Jazz because she can't even tread water for a whole minute". I never took another swimming class. But I still love the water.

I love collage. With a passion. I lurk on several collage blogs like El Collage, Daily Collage Project, Papiers collés (this woman does incredible stuff), and Charles Farrell. I've tried making collages. They're really really bad. Seriously. I have no artistic talent whatsoever.

I don't really see the point to potted plants. Which is probably why they mostly die when they come into contact with me. I just killed one a couple of weeks ago. I had had it about a month. I haven't yet managed to kill the mutant Lucky Bamboo. It refuses to die. It just keeps getting bigger and bigger. It thrives on neglect. I've had to repot the thing twice so far. And these things usually never grow. Go figure.

I can't be bothered to find any illustrations to go with this post.

I am obsessed by writing instruments. I love pens, especially fountain pens. I own several.

Though I love to write, I never for an instant actually thought of writing a book. I love reading novels, but actually writing one doesn't appeal to me in the least. That Nanowri... whatever thing where you're supposed to write a whole novel in November never struck my fancy. Kudos to those who do it - I'm just too damn lazy.

I have a thing for Scandinavian crime fiction (remember when they were called detective noves or murder mysteries?). Henning Mankell, Stieg Larson, Karin Fossum, Jo Nesbo and some guy from Iceland called Arnaldur Indridason (or something like that). Scandinavians write kickass crime fiction. Maybe it's those dark winter months.

Many many years ago, when I was in university getting my degree in translation, I pictured myself translating novels in a house by the sea. I never really did much translation (other than freelance) because it bores me to tears. I have no idea where that fantasy came from, because had I actually become a translator, I would no doubt be working in a govenment office translating reports on the ins and outs of pig shit disposal.

It never ceases to amaze me how 26 little squiggles can be assembled in so many ways to end up as a seemingly infinite number of words and portray so many emotions. It's pretty awesome when you think about it.

I wonder if anyone has ever calculated the number of possible different combinations of the alphabet into words. I guess it would be pretty much impossible wouldn't it, seeing the variables, like how many letters per word, how many vowels you need per number of consonents, etc. Stil, it would be interesting.

Why do I think of these things?

I have a passion for crows and ravens. They are definitely my favourite birds.

I've pretty much developed a sort of radar that allows me to walk down the street while reading a book without walking into lampposts or other people. I kind of always figured it was the norm until people asked me how the hell I manage it. Unfortunately, that seems to be my only talent.

Mr. Jazz and I have been officially married for 20 years since Wednesday. Time flies. There was no frilly dress, there are maybe three snapshots, the idea behind the wedding was free travel for me. But still, 20 years. The mind boggles. JazzSis has been married almost 30 years and BB, well BB has been married forever (over 30 I think). We do longevity in our family.

I'm aiming for 20 more, which should be a piece of cake considering the past 20.

When I was a kid, for some reason I loved rainy Fridays. As an adult, not so much... she says as the rain falls yet again. I'm so sick of this summer. Had I wanted non-stop rain, I would be living inVancouver. That way at least I wouldn't have to deal with winter.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

New Greenpeace ad

This is the new Greenpeace Come Together for Forests Ad. I thought you might get a kick out of it. Oh, and if you're at work keep the sound low... It's sorta naughty.

Thanks Mr. Jazz

(Loaded from YouTube)


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Dribs and drabs....

couldn't believe it's not a joke. Apparently it isn't. There is an organization called The Flat Earth Society. They believe the earth is flat. Truly...

Bringing trolldom to new heights. Mr. Jazz sent me the link to this - long - article in the New York Times magazine. Some people are truly strange.


I just finished a book called "The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History" (by Katherine Ashenburg) which looks at the history of cleanliness from Antiquity to the 21st century. An eye opener to say the least. I highly recommend it. Puts a whole new spin on our obsession with cleanliness and sanitization.


On the way home from the cottage Sunday, I noticed that 95 % of roadkill is always on the side of the highway. Why is that? You'd think they'd be in the middle of the highway, seeing as presumably that's where they're killed. Unless people see a cute little animal sitting on the side of the road waiting to cross and sweve to hit it. Not that I'd put that past some people, but I have difficulty believing it's the norm...


Sometimes I think shows like "What Not to Wear" are fixed. That they use actors to play people who don't know how to dress. Then I see things like I saw in the subway yesterday. A young woman - can you say portly for a woman? - wearing:

- Gold gladiator sandals
- Lace printed black leggings
- A snake skin print sleeveless, cleavage baring, tight tight top
- A 4 inch wide gold studded belt
- A leopard print bag - with a print of a leopard face on the front (including beaded whiskers) and gold leather and studs.

No, I' m not making this up! Even I can't make this up. The What Not to Wear people really need to do an intervention on this girl. It was scary.