Thursday, July 31, 2008

The National Do Not Call List

Well there you go, Canada has finally decided to join the 21st - make that 20th - century by starting a National do not call list. It will be available in September and you will have to register every three years...

From the website:

Telemarketers will not be allowed to call you, and as a result, you should receive fewer unsolicited calls. Calls made on behalf of organizations or made for certain purposes as listed below, are exempt from the National DNCL rules:

- registered charities;
- political parties;
- nomination contestants, leadership contestants or candidates of a political party;
- opinion polling firms or market research firms conducting surveys when the call does not involve the sale of a product or service;
- general circulation newspapers calling for the purpose of selling a subscription;
- to a consumer who has an existing business relationship with the organization; and to business consumers.

Now is it just me or is this going to change pretty much nothing at all? Because I don't know about you folks, but I don't usually get many calls from John Doe who wants to wash my carpets. Or even the guy with the great investment opportunity.

Most of the really annoying telemarketing calss I get are from - you guessed it - newspapers, polling firms and organizations with whom I already have a busines relationship, i.e. phone service, internet and cable providers as well as the bank who all find various wonderful reasons to call me at supper to offer me these incredible deals on services I neither have nor want.

"Because ma'am you really really need this service!!!!!!"

I'm thinkin' probably not. Most of the time when I really really need something, I can figure it out for myself.

Maybe I'm just being deliberately cynical, but I don't think the calls will diminish all that much.

Of course I will register, just to see how efficient this list is.

I'll get back to you on that.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The thing about summer....

It’s been a bitch of a summer so far.

It seems as though the only thing I have time for this summer is working or worrying about all the work to do and cursing the CFH along the way.

My love and my light, Mr. Jazz is having a hard time of it too, with his job driving him insane these days. And above anything I hate to see him unhappy.

It seems like a lot of my friends are having a hard time of it.

The planet is going to hell, the weather has sucked majorly so far.

People are dying left right and centre.

And basically, I’m feeling somewhat overwhelmed. And sad. And heavy and dark. And totally off kilter. And it annoys the living hell out of me because I know I have no reason to feel bad about things since I have it really good, and thus I get frustrated which only adds to the whole freaking mess. Aaaaaarrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhh!

So, in an effort to realign my chakras (or whatever the hell that new age mumbo jumbo is) and stave off the urge to bludgeon an innocent passerby (well, maybe no so innocent, but that’s a whole other kettle of fish), here are some things that make me happy...

Big trees:


Glass winged butterflies (yes, they are for real, their wings really are transparent)

Clover. Preferably the four leaf kind, but I'll settle for three as I never ever in my 47 years found a four leaf clover

The cry of a nighthawk in the dark - though it can sound a little sad too. And yes, I know, I posted this pic yesterday. Deal with it...

The area around Palm Springs, where I haven't yet been, but soon will with my love.

The Sonora Desert

The ocean

Happy dogs

The open road - it's infinitely hopeful


Monday, July 28, 2008

Things I've been thinking about lately...

Obviously the tradition of heavily scented flowers when someone dies began in order to mask the smell of putrefaction.

How many people have died since the beginning of humankind? Looking at things, I can't help but wonder if we really have evolved.

Had you told me 20 years ago that I'd spend 20+ (happy) years with the same person I would've laughed in your face.

I don't think I can consider myself a nice person. Or a good daughter.

Why is rosé a summer wine, whereas we drink white year round?

With my headset I can answer the phone away from my desk - which means just one more thing to add to the list of things I do at once. Multitasking, schmultitasking. I asked for the headset - what the hell was I thinking?

I need to clone myself and use myself to replace the CFH. Between me and me we'd have this place nailed down.

The Road (by Cormac McCarthy) is miserably depressing but unputdownable. Horror at it's most horrific (spoilers in the Wikipedia article).

Speaking of (horror not wikipedia), I still have nightmares about Frank (Suave! Goddamn you're one suave fucker! ) in Blue Velvet .

I envy people who are able to just pick up and leave their lives behind to go start a new one. I don't think I'd have the guts, or the recklessness to do so.

I have another plant that seems to be dying. No, it doesn't seem to, it definitely is. It was given to me a month or so ago. Depressing.

I think I'm having a mid-life crisis. Again. Or I'm continuing from the last bout. But I don't want a sports car, nor do I want to trade in the spouse for a younger model. I just don't want to be approaching 50. I don't want to be old and decrepit. This too will pass.

4:30 am is a weird hour. All quiet except for the neighbourhood nighthawk. And the background hum you have in a city. Have you ever noticed that there's always a hum in the background in a city? It's never really quiet even when it's totally quiet. Then you get to the country and realize what quiet really is.

So, 4:30, weird hour. Lying in bed awake, alone with your thoughts - which are sort of muddled as you just woke up from a dream where you were alone in Bali and had been robbed - or thought you had. And the dream Bali had nothing to to with the real Bali and you really don't care because you just want to get back to sleep already damnit.

Why am I incapable of spelling weird right the first time I write it down? Ever?

It must be great to be a bird and just fly. And eat bugs. Or roadkill... Meh...

I sometimes have very graphic fantasies of bludgeoning people to death. Nasty, but I suppose it takes the edge off.

I hate being whiney and out of sorts.

I think I'll shut up now.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Just sayin'

So here I was, trying to post the last two awards to my sidebar (along with another three I never got around to doing) and Blogger and Photofuckit refuse to put up the pics. They're probably just trying to save me from the deadly sin of Pride. Not that it'll help, I'm guilty of all the others anyway.

Since I'm doomed in any case, I want to be doomed with my awards up, dammnit!

Monday, July 21, 2008

They're Baaaaaaaaaaaack!


It seems awards season is back; I've been awarded two of them in the past week. That's like... a lot.

The first came to me from Ian (rather too cutesly looking for my taste, so I know Ian didn't design it, but then these awards tend to the cutesy):

This one I'm supposed to award to people whose blogs I think are fun to read. Which, all things considered is sort of bizarre, isn't it? I mean, if I read these people, obviously I think what they have to say is highly entertaining. After all, I wouldn't read a blog just because it's there. I have standards you know. So, here are two men and two women among all those in my blogroll. Check out the others too, they all deserve it.

Urban Animal - A good friend of mine who I actually met online (proof that the internet is not overrun with psychos, ok, well she is a little psycho now and then but that part of her charm). She's relatively new to blogging, but caught on really quick. Her blog is a mixture of informative articles on Toronto, updates on her adventures in running as well as her adventures with creepy crawly critters (check that alliteration!)

Furiousball - Discovered a while back, his is a blog about his work, his life as a single dad and his general trials and tribulations. He has a wicked sense of humour, and that list of links at the end of each post - I dunno where he finds that stuff... Besides his blog, I basically stalk him around the internet for his brilliantly funny comments.

Tai - A funny, articulate lady is Tai. Unfortunately, since the end of June she's been having too much fun to blog. I'm hoping she'll tire of having fun soon and she'll be back amoung us.

Dorky Dad never fails to get a chuckle from me. His take on fatherhood and his sardonic wit are brilliant. So are his graphics. I've choked on my tea reading his blog more often than anyone elses... That is high praise indeed, though it's hell on my nazal passages.

The next award was bestowed upon my by Violet Sky. I discovered her quite recently and she quickly became a favourite. I'm supposed to give this one out to 7 people who have brilliant blogs. Seven no less! This is turning into a looooonnnnnngggggggg exercise. So here, in no particular order:

Jocelyn - I've been following her for a long time now. Her posts always have me in stitches. She's a writer/mother/teacher buried somewhere in the midwest (Duluth?). Anyway, it's almost a frigid there as here in Quebec so I feel for her. We seem to keep warm pretty much the same way in winter - by drinking buckets of wine.

Geewtits - She is a strange woman, and I mean this as a compliment of the highest order. Another blogger I have met in person (again, a great experience). She's sort of like god in that her mind works in mysterious ways. Her thought process is a highly entertaining mystery.

XUP - An ex blogger who just couldn't stay away, XUP hails from Ottawa. She used to be the Urban Pedestrian, hence her current name. Again, funny, incisive and highly entertaining. I think maybe VioletSky has alread nominated her, but I couldn't pass her up.

Big Brother - To my real big brother because, well hell, I like his blog (and not just because he'll beat me up if I say otherwise). Despite the fact that he's been pootling around Ireland for the past few weeks while I've been stuck working my butt off and hasn't been blogging enough to keep me entertained, I still give him this award because... ok, beause he'll beat me up if I don't. Old habits die hard.

Citizen of the World - Another blog I wouldn't miss for the world. Always entertaining, always thoughtful, always good. Her blog celebrates the little things. Plus she often posts lovely pictures of food, which keeps me happy...

The other side of Paris - Dumdad (so named by his son Brainbox) is a stay at home Dad and journalist living out near Versailles on the other side of Paris with the Frog Queen (his wife), Princess Perfect (his daughter) the aforementioned Brainbox and Scabby the cat. The most recent addition to the family is a siberian hamster, whose life, with Scabby around, is defintely on the line. Check out Dumdad for more adventures in Paris... oops on the other side of Paris.

Ian - Of course this wouldn't be complete without an award to Ian, who must have been my twin in another lifetime. He's the curmudgeon to my... curmudgeonette??? Sometimes I think this guy can actually root around in my brain, his train of thought is so similar. Except for potlucks. He destests potlucks. Me, I like 'em... Anyway, besides, if I give him this award he'll be annoyed 'cause he'll feel honour-bound to pass it on. Gotcha!

Now all I have to do is let all these people know. Got to get to it...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sir Paul

Paul McCartney will be doing his thing in a free show in Quebec city this weekend for the city's 400th anniversary celebrations.

And feelings are hurt.

Many Quebec singers, including Michel Rivard, and actor/politician (yeah, another one of those) Pierre Curzi are really put out at this. Why?

Because it's a Quebec party and they've invited an Englishman (the enemy) to sing at the party, rather than one of their own. Basically they feel cheated because people have the chance of seeing an international star for free rather than one of them - who, let's admit it we can see anytime. These people will be at the Francofolies festival, the Strawberry festival the cute little pig festival, the potato festival... they're all over the place all the freaking time. It's festival time in Quebec and they'll be haunting each and every one.

Including the 400th.

But they're annoyed because the headliner will be McCartney. Someone who has had a major international impact on the music of the 20th century will be there. Michel Rivard and Co. are not the be all and end all of music, they only think they are.
Funny enough, they're not bitching because Pascale Picard* will be opening for him. She hails from Quebec City, but - oh horror!!! - she sings in English. Which isn't her language. The paradox is interesting.

These people, who are closed to everything not francophone quebecer want a country? It's a scary thought.

They really need to get over themselves.
*She's really very good, I love her CD

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Of baby pics and class

Brangelina have sold pics of their twins for $11 million

Jessica Alba has sold pics of her kid for $1.5 million (she's obviously just minor royalty).

I can't help but find it distasteful to sell pictures of your kids to the tabloids. The whole making tons of money off them thing... ewww.

Of course I know that yes, the tabloids will find a way to get pictures anyway, so it makes some twisted sense to just go ahead and control what they get.

That the whole celebrity "market" has come to this shows just how fucked up society is. I know celebrities expose themselves to this type of thing by virtue of being celebrities, but it seems to me that when it gets to the point that even their children are exposed to this, there is something deeply wrong.

Thoughts anyone?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008



Monica wants me to be her friend on MySpace.

Or so the email I just received claims.

I don't know a Monica, and as far as I know I don't have a MySpace page. Unless maybe I opened one years ago when I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

And in that case, why would Monica want to be my friend? I haven't been there in years.

Is she that desperate? Maybe she should just leave MySpace and find friends in the real world.

Just a thought.


A commericial on the radio this morning for a restaurant called Il Bordello in Laval (a burb north of Montreal). Children under 12 eat free on weeknights - or they get discounted prices, I really didn't catch it because I was wondering about the name.

Am I just not awake enough this morning or is Il Bordello a strange name for a restaurant?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Things they don't tell you...

There are loads of things they don't tell you about life.Luckily for you, Virus Comix has rounded up all those life lessons in one great package. Check it out here.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Next Season on Survivor...

For all you Survivor fans, here is a heads up on what will take place in the next season*.

Six married men will be dropped on an island with one car and three kids each for six weeks.

Each kid will play two sports and either take music or dance lessons.

There is no fast food.

Each man must take care of this three kids; keep his assigned house clean, correct all homework and complete science projects, cook, do laundry and pay a list of “pretend” bills with not enough money.

In addition, each man will have to budget in money for groceries each week.

Each man must remember the birthdays of all their friends and relatives, and send cards out on time – no emailing.

Each man must also take each child to a doctor’s appointment, a dentist appointment and a haircut appointment.

He must make one unscheduled and inconvenient visit per child to Urgent Care. He must also make cookies or cupcakes for a social function.

Each man will be responsible for decorating his own assigned house, planting flowers outside and keeping it presentable at all times.

The men will only have access to television when the kids are asleep and all chores are done.

The men must shave their legs, wear makeup daily, adorn themselves with jewellery, wear uncomfortable yet stylish shoes, keep fingernails polished and eyebrows groomed.

During one of the six weeks, the men will have to endure severe abdominal cramps, back aches and have extreme unexplained mood swings but never once complain or slow down from other duties. The must attend weekly school meetings, church and find time at least once to spend the afternoon in a park or a similar setting.

They will need to read a book to the kids each night and in the morning, feed them, dress them, brush their teeth and comb their hair by 7:00am.

A test will be given at the end of the six weeks, and each father will be required to know all of the following information: each child’s birthday, height, weight, shoe size, clothes size and doctor’s name, as well as the child’s weight at birth, length, time of birth and length of labour, each child’s favourite colour, middle name, favourite snack, favourite song, favourite drink, favourite toy, biggest fear and what they want to be when they grow up.

The kids vote them off the island based on performance. The last man wins only if… he still has enough energy to be intimate with his spouse at a moment’s notice.

If the last man does win, he can play the game over and over and over again for the next 18-25 years eventually earning the right to be called Mom!

*I have no idea who wrote this, but whoever she is, kudos to her!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

And so it goes...

Well, the appeal verdict is in Vincent Lacroix of Norbourg scandal fame (the biggiest financial scandal in Québec history) has won - in a manner of speaking. His sentence has been reduced from 12 to 8.5 years.

Since his is a non-violent crime, he will probably be out after only 1/6th of his sentence, meaning that he could be free in about a year.

The appeals judge noted that his original sentence had been too harsh.

True, this was a "victimless" crime. No one was physically harmed. What's the big deal if lots of people lost their life's savings and had to come out of retirement and go to work again. It's not like anyone was hurt. After all, it's good to be productive!

Honestly, I really wonder about the justice system in this country. I'm not sure whether the scandal is the swindle or the sentence.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Monday, July 07, 2008

Tragedy in Quebec


Disclaimer - Dumdad's comment made me realize that this post might come across as me not giving a damn at all. He's right, it is a tragedy to the families of these people, and I didn't mean to imply it wasn't.

Apparently the weekend here was tragic. Tragic no less.

Or so they were telling me on the radio this morning. Eleven deaths over the weekend. Eight in car accidents. Three by drowning.

Of the car accidents, most all were caused by excessive speed and alcohol (a motorcyclist's bike ended up 800 meters from where the accident happened - that, my friends, is speed).

Three men drowned when they decided to go swimming in a prohibited area that involves rapids and big rocks.

There are 7,000,000 people in Quebec. Eleven just died because of gross stupidity for the most part. It's unfortunate, but nowhere near tragic, despite what they might be saying in the news. This isn't anywhere near the scale of tragic.

Yeah, I know, the switch is stuck on bitch this morning.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Friday mind boggle

I don't know if it's my age or feminism or what, but this site, Miss Bimbo (sent to me by Choochoo) makes me feel really uncomfortable.

Not the game as such. Girls have always played fashion games (of which Barbie was the star).

I admit to knowing next to nothing about this game, except what I was told by Choochoo - I'm not about to register to play. However, among other things you have to feed your bimbo every day so she doesn't die (?!?), you get her a job, buy her clothes... It's a far cry from World of Warcraft (which I know next to nothing about either)

The whole point of this game is to be a bimbo. A BIMBO!!! As if that's a good thing!

For chrissake, they are selling teenage girls to themselves as Bimbos! How goddamn fucked is that? As if they didn't have enough self esteem issues, now it's cool to be dumb.

Become the hottest, coolest most intelligent and talented bimbo the world has ever known!

Welcome to Miss Bimbo. Enter the exciting world of the first ever, virtual fashion game!Become the most famous, beautiful, talented, independent and charming bimbo across the globe!

Find your own cool place to live.

Find a fun challenging job to pay for your needs - all the clothes an independent Bimbo could possibly want a nice pad and nights out with friends.

Shop for the latest fashions and become the trendsetting bimbo in town!

Become a socialite and skyrocket to the top of fame and popularity.

Date that famous handsome man you've had your eye on and show the Bimbo world the social starlet you are!

Challenge other bimbos and see whose bimbo is most popular - as voted by other players!

Do all you can to make it to the top of Bimbo world!

Tackle your 104 tasks as quick as possible to become the rising star bimbo!!

Are you ready to become Queen of the Bimbos!?!

You know you're getting old when you start wondering what the world is coming to, and why we actually bothered to fight for women's rights.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

They'll be the death of me yet...

I'm babysitting cats again.

Not the same ones; no psycho killer cat this time. Just two lovely cats barely out of adolescence. Adorable. Sweet.


As indoor cats, and they seem endlessly fascinated by the outdoors (i.e. our third floor balcony). So much so that they managed to get through the screen of the patio door the other day.

I blocked their access to the screen and left the door open, after all it's Montreal in the summer. What harm could there be in letting some air in?

Last night as Mr. Jazz and I were watching a DVD, he turns and says, "Is she outside?"

Yep. Sure enough, there was Gala perched on the window ledge outside my living room window. Said window ledge is three inches wide and three stories up. She had managed to squeeze in between the screen and the block and decided a good place to paly would be on the window sill.

Now, any cat worth its salt can deal with a three inch window ledge three stories up any day.

But there she was... chasing the moths that were attracted by the light in the window. Jumping. Up and down. On the three inch ledge.

My heart? It stopped.

I don't care that she probably still has all her nine lives intact, the thought that went instantly roaring through my head? How do I explain to a 7 year old girl that her adored cat fell to its demise and splattered itself three floors down on my watch?

A colleague said, "well, it would teach her that life's a bitch". That's cynical even by my extremely loose standards.

I opened the window screen sloooooooooooowly and coaxed her in. And she looked at me and I swear she smiled an evil little pussycat smile, she did. She was most definitely laughing at me. Indeed she was.

I should have wrung her cute little neck - but that would have been even harder to explain to the kid than a three storey fall.