Sunday, March 30, 2008

Travel Haiku

Thirty sleepless hours
Some baggage lost in transit
I'm too old for this

Three hundred humans
In a flimsy metal tube
I'm glad it's so safe.....

Things you think about after travelling almost 30 hours:

  • How bizarre that we think it totally normal to be hurtling through the air along with 300 others at 35,000 feet and 800 km/h in a metal tube...
  • "In the unlikely event of a landing over water", taking the brace position and knowing that your life vest is under your seat is really no help since falling into water from 30,000 feet will pretty much be like slamming into a brick wall at 800km/hr. Why not actually be honest about it?
  • Economy passengers should NOT have to walk past the executive class passengers in their little pods with seats that lie down flat. Unless of course I got a standby seat in executive. Then I just don't care*. I'll even toast those in the cattle car with my glass of champagne. Because otherwise, having to see how the other half lives when you're embarking on a 15 hour flight is just cruel and unusual punishment.
  • Whoever said "familiarity breeds contempt" probably spent hours cooped up with other people on a long long flight.
  • Turning right into the far lane freaks me right the hell out, seeing that logically it should get me killed by oncoming traffic. There is something inherently wrong about right side driving. So very very wrong.
  • Lucky we didn't have to rent a car on arrival
  • Seeing parrots fly around an roost in the tree right in front of you is really strange.
  • Plastic bills are really cool.
  • Vegemite is not. I still haven't found a reason for its existence, despite Mr. Jazz's love of the stuff.

How cool is it that C has internet at home? I'll be talking to y'all!

PS: they found our luggage, we'll have it tonight, YAY!

*Of course I care. If you made Executive, do you really want to have to look into the eyes of the rabble?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Just a quckie...

Kanasas City is offering Bombardier $40M a year in tax credits for 22 years in order to build their new plane there.

Most of that money will be used to pay salaries (up to 80% of salaries for the first three years).

I surmise the money being offered is taxpayers money eh?

Which logically means that the Bombardier employees will be paying their own salaraies?

I'm all for incentives, but isn't this getting a little bit ridiculous?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Counting Down

Tuesday. Only two more days to go and I'm off to Australia...

Until then, I'm so damn busy I don't know if I'm coming or going - although most obviously it's going.

Three weeks of no snow, of the ocean, of pure unadulterated bliss. Going to the end of the world for the ultimate luxury - doing what I want when and if I want.

If I don't make it back here before I go, have yourselves a good April.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Who knew?

(Reproduced from the March 2008 issue of Chatelaine magazine)

"It turns out that feminist can be a dirty word - in a good way.
Researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey surveyed 500 men and women and fournd that women who identify themselves as feminists are more likely to be satisfied with their sex lives. They're also more likely to be dating or married, and to be happier in thier marriages. And what about men? The ones who date feminists reported being happier and more satisfied in the bedroom than those with non-feminst partners."

I love statistics that validate me!

Image by Turkish artist Hale Gungor

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I was doing a way overdue cleanup of my bookmarks and figured I'd share some of my favourites - things that aren't necessarily in my blogroll (which is also in serious need of updating). No comments on the blogs/websites, they stand perfectly on their own.

Favourite art blogs and websites (in no particular order). Can you tell I love collage?

Maggie Taylor

Papiers collés

Thrifty Collage

El Collage

Charles Farrell Collage

Misty Mawn

Paris Daily Photo

Daily Collage Project

Ilka's Attic

Exploring Art

Mind's eye Collage

This is the place I'd sell my soul to go to if I had a soul to sell. I will not discuss whether this is because I've never had a soul or because it's already sold - moot point. Seriously though:

Sqwam ARt Worshops

Other websites:

Smart bitches


What not to knit

What not to crochet


Show me yours!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Easy Friday Blogging

This I poached from Ian cause it seemed like a quick blog. Ha... Anyway...

1. What time did you get up this morning?
6:45 a.m.

2. Diamonds or pearls?
Pearls if I must choose one. I'm not much on stones, though technically pearls aren't stones at all, since they're organic but I won't bore you with the particulars of the oyster snot that goes into the making of pearls.

3. Last movie you saw in the theater?
"Dialogues avec mon jardiner" (Dialogues with my Gardener) - the story of two middle aged men, a painter and a gardener who knew each other as children and rekindle their friendship despite their totally different paths in life. French movie, so of course it doesn't end well. On the plus side, it stars two of my all time favourite actors: Daniel Auteuil and Jean-Pierre Dussolier .

4.What is/are your favorite TV shows?
Lost, Survivor, Amazing Race, Tout sur moi (a pseudo reality show where the actors play themselves but which is completley off the wall - Quebec's answer to Seinfeld as Mr. Jazz calls it). My televisual tastes definitely tend towards the lowbrow.

5. What do you usually have for breakfast?
OJ, Nature's Path Heritage Bite cereal (and no they're not paying me to plug their cereal, they should though, they have great organic cereal)

6. What is your middle name?
I guess the name I use. Being a good Quebecer of my generation, my first name is Mary (every little girl is Mary, every boy is Joseph) then Lilian.

7. What food do you dislike?
Liver. But I love foie gras. Go figure.

8. What is your favorite CD at the moment?
Porcupine Tree's Fear of a Blank Planet

9. What kind of car do you drive?
Toyota Matrix - but I prefer to be driven

10. Favorite sandwich?
Smoked meat (which I rarely have) or Tomato/Mayo/Cheddar on toasted bread

11. What characteristics do you despise?
Greed and avarice

12. Favorite item of clothing?
Meh... Jeans?

13. If you could go anywhere in the world for a vacation, where would you go?
Back to Vietnam I think.

14. What color is your bathroom?
At home: bright yellow, with white tile and a dark blue tile here and there. At the cottage: Yellow also, come to think of it. At first I put down green, ok, the tile is a pretty ugly green, the paint is a greeney yellow. It was like that when we bought it. I have to repaint eventually. But then I've had to repaint the appartment in town for the past several years and haven't done it yet.

15. Favorite brand of clothing?
Whatever more or less fits

16. Where would you want to retire?
The desert. Or the beach. Somewhere where I'll no longer have to deal with these shit winters.

17. Most memorable birthday?
40th. I jumped out of a plane to celebrate. Was I subconciously hoping to end it all? Dunno, but it was a huge thrill.

18. Favorite sport to watch?
Soccer. Always. Forever. And this summer is the Euro! Yay!

19. Furthest place you are sending this to?
Um... Cyberspace?

20. Who do you expect to respond?
Respond? As in comment? The usual suspects I suppose. If they actually make it far enough. This is daaaaaaaaaaaamn long...

21. Person you expect to respond first?
First commenter? Who the hell knows. What, am I omniscient? Do I see the future?

22. Favorite saying?
Don't know as I have one. Carpe diem?

23. When is your birthday?

24. Are you a morning person or a night person?
Night, though with my schedule I don't really get to be. I have early mornings forced upon me and I hate them with a passion.

25. What is your shoe size?
8.5 - 9 What kind of stupid question is that. I should've finished Josie's Proust questionnaire and posted that instead. It will come. Eventually

26. Pets?
Not any more. Except the cats I babysit for what seems the whole world.

27. What did you want to be when you were little?
A doctor, a pharmacist (I seem to have had a thing for drugs), chemist, a pilot and... get this: A NUN!!!!!!!!!! Needless to say I got over that particular folly really quickly. Bride of god? Not so much. The sex would be sorely lacking.

28. What are you today?
An overworked, thankfully not underpaid secretary. Oops, Administrative Assistant. Oops again, apparently that is now Administrative Professional. However you call it, I am the one who knows all - or so they seem to think. And who does NOT order your lunch for you. Get used to it.

29. What is your favorite candy?
It changes considerably from one day to the next. This week, Dolfin pink peppercorn dark chocolate has my vote. As well as their Cinnamon milk chocolate.

30. Your favorite flower?
Two: Anthuriums (aka flamingo lilies I think) and Birds of Paradise. Sorry for the links instead of pics, but I just can't face the idea of the download to Photofuckit and the upload back to here... Bleh. Anyway, my flowers, I like 'em exotic.

31.What is a day on the calendar you are really looking forward to?
March 28 when I'm off to Australia. On vacation. Three weeks of no work and mostly NO OVERTIME!!!!!

32. What are you listening to right now?
The annoyingly loud ventilation system.

33. What was the last thing you ate?
A Granny Smith apple I "borrowed" from the fridge at work. I asked around, it belonged to nobody, it became mine. Of course there aren't that many people in yet, so... But it's been there a week.... I guess I'll leave a note on the kitchen fridge saying I'll replace it if it was someone's... Of course, I might have forgotten it in the fridge myself, in which case I poached my own apple, can that be considered stealing then? So, on top of question 33, you got a fascinating glimpse into how my brain works (or doesn't) at this time of day, i.e. early morning.

34. Do you wish on stars?
Whatever for? Like it would work? And if it does it's because whatever you got was somehow in the works anyway. I'm neither romantic nor superstitious, so wishing on stars seems like a monumental waste of time. They're pretty though.

35. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Bright crimson if I could choose. Muddy brown is more probably though.

36. What is your pet peeve?
Deliberate stupidity. Some people, I swear, are stupid on purpose. I always have an almost irresistable urge to tear their heads off and thus put them our of their misery - and rid the world of another idiot for the rest of us. Luckily I don't give into the urge. I let them live. I'm nice like that.

37. Last person you spoke to on the phone?
Someone who called the office thinking it was the medical clinic. We get about 5 of these calls a day because one of our lines is just one number off from theirs. I swear, one day I'm going to tell them all that a place just opened up if they can rush to the clinic. Check your number people, it's not a tough concept to grasp! (see previous answer re deliberate stupidity)

38. Do you like the person/people you are sending this on to?
The only place it's being sent is Blogger. And Blogger hates me. So I hate it back. Except when it works

39. Favorite soft drink?
Does that mean soda or just no alcohol? Get back to me on that and I'll let you know

40. Favorite restaurant?
Don't really have one anymore. We hardly go to the restaurant since we bought the cottage 6 years ago. I guess Au Petit Resto would still have my vote. They make a kick ass salmon lasagna. Which I'm going to have next Thursday. Yum. Barring that, I'd say any decent Vietnamese restaurant has my vote.

41. Hair Color?
Salt and pepper (stupid expression, but I guess better than "getting pretty grey with stills some of the original dark colour mixed in"), rather more salty in front than in back. I keep wondering whether I should start dyeing it again but the thought of the upkeep just makes we want to sleep. Besides, I'm sure all those chemicals were leaching into my brain for years and years, which accounts for my becoming the cynical nasty person I am today. Ok, maybe not, I was born cynical, but it's the explanation I use when people ask me why I stopped dyeing my hair. They never know whether they should believe me or not. And I let them wonder. `Cause I'm cynical and nasty dontcha know.

42. Favorite day of the year?
Any day I'm not working does it for me

43. What was your favorite toy as a child?
I have no idea. I do remember a yellow plastic boat with blue wheels that BB used to torture me with. Other than that, I remember I loved to draw. Until I realized just how abysmally bad I am at it. I don't draw anymore. A stick man is about the extent of my talent, and even that is pushing it. I'm much better with words.

44. Summer or winter?
Summer. I guess that's no surprise.

45. Hugs or kisses?
Copying Ian's response on this: Both and then some.

46. Chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate - but are we talking ice cream? 'Cause if so, any company that can't make a great vanilla ice cream can't make a great anything else ice cream. End of story.

47. Do you want your blog friends to carry this on?
If they want. If they're willing to spend the time - this is taking much longer than I thought it would.

48. When was the last time you cried?
When I saw Moday's "of course it didn't end well" French movie

49. What is under your bed?
Not quite sure. There are a couple of boxes of junk stored under there, but other than that I don't want to know.

50. Who is the friend you've had the longest?
Mr. Jazz's friends. Until I met them (many of them lifelong friends of his) the longest I had knows someone was five years. I found it incredibly bizarre to know people for 20 years other than family. Such is the life of the Air Force brat. This being said, it made me independant. I don't need friends, though they're nice to have, and I'm sure Air Force Bratitude helped me develop my lifelong love of reading. Books don't move.

51. What did you do last night?
Not a whole helluva lot. Worked late, got home 8ish, whined and collaged in my journal.

53. What are you afraid of?
Going blind

54. How many keys on your key ring?
No clue. Lots. Though I don't know what at least 3 or 4 of them open. And I have not the slightest idea why I keep them there. I also have 2-3 keyrings attached to my keyring. Maybe I should see a shrink about my keyring issues. Among other things.

55. How many years at your current job?
Over 14. It freaks me right the fuck out that I can stay in a job so long. Is it pure inertia or is it that I actually like it? I don't know which option is more terrifying.

56. Favorite day of the week?
Friday. Well obviously, who's going to say Monday?

57. How many states have you lived in?
None, I'm Canajian eh? 3 provinces

58. Do you make friends easily?
Superficially, yes. In reality no, not at all. I have lots of acquaintances I like a lot but very few people I really consider friends.

59. How many folks will you send this to?
No folks, Blogger will be the sole recipient if Blogger accepts and doesn't eat this.

60. Have the good things outweighed the bad in your life?

Have a gerat weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A weekend at the cottage....

Before the storm:

During the storm:

After the storm - That railing, bottom left is waist high:

And this feeder? I'm 5'6", during the summer I have to stretch to reach it, now it's stuck in the snow:

And now, non depressing things I see on Saturday mornings at the cottage...

May I introduce Red:

And one of the Pine Grosbeaks, a male:

Little birdie tracks on the balcony:

And a few of the oodles of voracious redpolls at the feeders (you know, when they talk about eating like a bird? Them cute little birdies, they NEVER. STOP. EATING. EVER!

My favourite tea mug from 1001 Pots last summer:

And, of course my cast iron teapot - cause what's a Saturday without it? I love me my teapot.

Tomatos for breakfast - with kick ass olive oil from a bottle also purchased at 1001 pots:

And oranges and yummy grapefruit:

The fireplace (which isn't crooked in real life):

The fire:

A girl's got to get her sunshine somewhere - even if it's fake....

And back in town on Sunday afternoon, my "book room" - I really need to get these books into some semblance of order...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Could I have let this go?

Spitzer of course.

I will not say a thing on the morality of his seeing a prostitute. None of my business

I can't help but wonder though, however, how he could think he would actually get away with it?

We live in a world where a celebrity burps and it's in the news. Conrad Black takes a shower in prison? Front page news.

How could he actually believe that this would not eventually come out? What the fuck was he thinking? Every time something like this happens, I can't help but wonder, "How the hell could he/she/it expect to actually hide this forever?"

And his wife. What the hell was she doing on the podium when he made his speech? Girl, he was caught up in a prostitution scandal? There are limits to standing by your man even for a political wife.

The whole situtation is humiliating enough, but being there beside him on the podium? Gimme a break!

PS: Is it just me or does she look like an older Jennifer Anniston? Just me, huh? OK

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

21st Century Sin

If the Vatican hasn't been in the news much lately, it's because they've been brainstorming out there in Italy. They thunk and thunk and added new sins to the already interminable list of proscribed behaviours.

'Cause this is the 21st century dude and we're just becoming eviler and eviler...

So, whereas before taking or trafficking drugs would land you in prison, now it lands you in hell too! Kill two birds with one stone so to speak. Drug traffickers will think twice now before selling drugs as it makes going to hell just that much easier when some other asshole shoots 'em in the head. Ya think?

Pollution is now as sin(be careful of your garbage people, it could land you in the brimstone fires of hell), as are social and economic injustice and genetic manipulation.

Because last week social and economic injustice was just fine and dandy??

Much as I despise catholicism (and organized religion in general), I have to love the Vatican for making me laugh this morning. And handing me a post on a silver platter. Because the "weekend at the cottage picture post"? I have the pictures, they're on one of those little thingys you plug into your computer but this computer says, "Nope, I've decided its boy bits are incompatible with my girl bits."

So no go. I'm such a techno-idjit. Le sigh.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I got no title

I have pictures of the storm up at the cottage. In my camera. At home. Thus my post of today is sort of screwed up.

I'll try to do it this week.

Suffice it to say, if this keeps up, I'm going to have to kill myself. But I'll have to get creative because thowing myself off the balcony won't cut it. I'd fall on too much snow.

So, instead of a picture post, how about lets talk politics, mmmkay?Pauline Marois, head of the Parti Québecois*, or at any rate her "people-who-think-up-the-bright-ideas", has come up with a new and different concept.

OK, first off, Pauline isn't too big on the separation thing right now. She wants to be premier and thus does not want to go into an election campaign preaching sovereinty and another referendum. At any one time there are probably about 40% of people in Quebec who want to separate. Not 40% die-hard separatists, but people who would be willing to go for it if it came up. That's simply not enough.

Life is good in Quebec right now so a lot of people figure what's the point.

So, new concept? Pauline is plugging a "National Conversation" where we can all sit down and talk about our feelings about separation, about our identity as Quebecers about how wonderful being a country would be, I suppose. A National Conversation to reach some sort of consensus I imagine.

I like Pauline, but this has got to be one of the most ridiculous ideas in recent political history. It sounds like Mommy sitting the kids down for a time out. Gimme a break. You can nationally conversate me to death, personally I don't see the point to separating.

One thing's for sure, I wouldn't like to be in her shoes, what with the Parti Québecois' nasty little habit of washing its dirty laundry in public and ex party leaders bitching in the media about what the current boss is doing. It's actually quite cringe inducing. Though it makes for good copy in the papers, no doubt. C'mon people, you're all adults, professors, lawyers and the like, stop acting like adolescents in a schoolyard.

I have to admit it has been good for a laugh, at any rate. The media have been having a field day. Well, at least until this weekend's storm. Since then they've been talking snow...

Then you have the other buffoon, Mario Dumont. He's the boss of the Action Démocratique, the Quebec "Right". Though really, in Quebec, whether you're to the right or left there really isn't much of a difference.
So yeah, Mario. As an aside, honestly, the guy creeps me out. Look at him and tell me he's not a creepy sonofabitch. Looks like some sort of pod person... But I digress.

A big thing these days in Quebec is how French is spoken less and less. Well, in Montreal at least. I'm not sure if you go to Rouyn-Noranda, Chicoutimi or even Quebec city, you'll be hearing much of the dreaded evil English.

Montreal, of course, attracts most of the immigrants so obviously French will be spoken less here. Is that so hard to understand?

Now Mario, he thinks we're letting waaaaaaaay too many immigrants into Quebec. Thing is you see, Quebecers have stopped churning out dozens of babies per family; immigration fills the gap and makes for some damn fine cuisine besides.

Mario's solution to cutting immigration and saving French in one fell swoop?

A natality policy. So Quebecers start making babies and shit.

'Cause everyone knows that people have babies for political reasons, to save the language. C'mon, admit it, all of you who had children did so to save your language eh?

Someone needs to sit down with Mario and have a national conversation with him.

French will survive in Quebec if Quebecers want it to survive. I think they do.

And I also think that not speaking English in Quebec, when you're surrounded by millions of anglos is economic suicide. And that Quebec becoming a country would change nothing at all to that fact. There are 7 million of us. There are 300+ million of you. Do the math. And if French has survived until now, I'm thinking chances are it will continue to survive.

But what the hell do I know, I'm not a politician...

*the separatist party in Quebec

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Please make it stop!!!!

So far this year Montreal has had 413 cm of snow.

That's 163 inches people, 13.6 FEET!!!

And we're expecting another 25-30 cm (10-12 inches give or take) this weekend, and possibly another storm next Wednesday - which I prefer to ignore, after all, they're always wrong about the good weather, maybe this time they'll be wrong about the bad stuff too...

When I hear about daffodils blooming in Vancouver, my gut reaction is to slit my wrists.

And yes, I know I'm whining, but,


Six degrees of separation...

You know that theory that postulates that you are at most six degrees from anyone on the planet?

Remember that lost firefighter I mentioned a couple of posts back (as being news as opposed to Conrad Black's shower)?

Turns out he was a cousin's nephew. He was 26. He had a child a few months old. Somtimes life really sucks.

Strange, I had no idea he existed until a couple of days ago, and it turns out I'm two degrees of separation from him.

Which would make you all three degrees...

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Awards season isn't over it seems...

From Ian, I got this yesterday (damn, I'm sounding like a Montreal Italian here).

It's an honour to be chosen by him, one of my favourite bloggers ever. At the same time I have to wonder a bit about his sanity after his long month of report writing (I can relate Ian, I really can), because considering me a mentor in any way shape or form seems quite, well insane really.

Nevertheless, one grabs one's kudos where one can, so I'll grab this one and hug it tightly to my little black heart.

Now, five people to award this to. I've always found it funny how these things always go to five people or more. If you look at it exponentially, each of these awards should make it to everyone in the blogosphere within a few months. Which pretty much detracts from the exclusivity. But exclusivity isn't the idea, discovering new blogs is, and that, my friends is the bane of my existence. I hate awards because I feel obliged to check out the blogs people give awards to and damned if I don't get sucked in by at least a couple. I need to become independantly wealthy in order to read blogs full time.

But I digress.

And you all know most people I'm going to give this to, so I'm being nice by not forcing you to check out new blogs. I'm good that way, so....

Big Brother - I guess this first one is not so much a blogging mentor award ('cause after all, I got him blogging) as simply a mentoring award. BB has made me what I am today. He taught me cynicism, he tauught me irony, he taught me to duck when I'm punched and go for the balls. He also inadvertently taught me how easy it is to wrap a male around your little finger, and once they're wrapped up, they're done, they're lost, they're yours. 'Cause gruff and curmudgeonly as the BB pretends he is, I'm still his baby sister and he loves me dearly. OK, 'nuff with the saccharine. Besides, he's feeling old now as a new Grandaddy, this should cheer him up.

Geewits - Hers is one of the first blogs I started reading. She is funny, irreverent and says what she thinks. I love me my wacky Texan. Yeah, she lives in Texas where it's WARM!!! Well, except in her last post, but hell, anything warmer than here gets my vote.

Jocelyn - I'm sure Jocelyn has received this award a million times already. She is an excellent and hysterically funny writer. I can only wish I could write like that! The woman is brilliant.

Furiousball - I discovered him not so long ago. His blog is different from what I usually read, in that he does a lot of "this was my day" stuff. I like how he can spin a post out of the most unlikely things.

Susan - I love this blog. Susan is a mixed-media artist, photographer and mom living in Maine. Her blog is beautiful. I love the art she posts, and I so envy her talent. If you like art blogs, check her out.

OK, well that was interesting, and like Ian, every time I put someone down here I thought of lots of others. But there you go. It's the nature of the beast.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

In the news today

Another 15 cm of snow overnight plus another 5-10 tomorrow mixed with freezing rain and ice pellets.

We need this? I think not. We've already broken the record for amount of snow in a winter. We get it. Global warming does not mean less snow.

Give us a break now, please. I can't take much more of this without going postal.


And Conrad Black was in the news. Apparently he took a shower in prison, and had supper with his fellow inmates.

This is news?

No, this is gossip mag fare. Not even gossip mag fare since, I venture, most avid readers of the National Enquirer or Star (is that even a mag title?) don't even know who Conrad Black is.

This is not something that should be in a serious newspaper, nor on the radio or TV news, especially when the local story is that a firefighter in Varennes is missing after a fire.

Who the fuck cares if Conrad Black has showers or not? OK, he's in prison, now let it the hell go!!!