Wednesday, September 30, 2009


In this case the American Thanksgiving. You know the one at the end of November ('cause it would seem they harvest so much later than we do here in the GWN*). The one where people stuff themselves to bursting and get up ungodly hours to line up in front of the Walmart doors to be the first to stock up on all that Black Friday schlock. After all, exercise is good after such a hearty meal.

And what's up with a holiday on a Thursday. Holidays (other than Christmas and New Years) should always fall on a Monday or Friday. Thursday is sorta whacked. Just sayin'.

But I digress.

So, Suldog just posted about seeing Christmas displays in the stores. In his words:

If you believe, as I do, that Thanksgiving should play out before Christmas; that Christmas carols should not be heard on the radio before at least Thanksgiving evening; that advertisers who dare to encroach upon Thanksgiving - or, God help us, Halloween - with their hideous advertisements should be told in no uncertain terms that you will not shop at their establishments; that malls who put Santa Claus on display before Veterans Day should be made ashamed of themselves; then please consider doing what I'm going to ask of you.

Should you be as incensed as I am concerning Christmas schlock, please post a "
Thanksgiving Comes First" entry on your blog. Write from the heart. Everybody who visits your blog will know how you feel. Perhaps they'll also write about it, and so will their friends, and so on. I hope that, if enough of us do this, we might make some small impact.

Personally, I think Sully is a dreamer. But hey I saw my first Christmas display in AUGUST ferchrissake. That is beyond ridiculous! Atheist that I am, I really don't give a damn about the christian "little jesus born" aspect of Christmas. I like Christmas for the week of vacation I get. And the presents. Yeah, I'm shallow that way. In all honesty we could skip the whole damn thing (except for the weeks vacation, 'cause really, if I want a present I can buy it for myself) and I would be a happy camper. Christmas has become more of an obligation/annoyance than anything else.

But damn, I saw my first Christmas display in AUGUST! Granted, it wasn't a hot summer and someone might have mistaken it for fall - I'm ready to give them the benefit of the doubt, though I don't see why I should - but doesn't anyone flip the calendar anymore?

So: AMERICAN Thanksgiving comes first!!! Ours being on October 12, it wouldn't make much sense, and this post would have to be titled A Month After Halloween Comes First and it wouldn't make much of an impact at all, would it?

You have to wonder how retailers think. Do they honestly believe that people want Christmas junk this far before? I don't know anyone who will be buying twinkly little LED lights in August and early September when you can still be getting their greedy little hands on summer stuff for a quarter of the price. And let's face it, with the winters we get, the last thing I want to think about in September is Christmas and all it implies about winter and snow and slush and.... excuse me while I go hit my head against the wall now.

I have no problem with Christmas and it's place in the economy. Retailers love it. It saves some of them. But I fail to see how Christmas displays in September will entice people to buy more crap. But then I often underestimate the stupidity of the average consumer.

And so, I'm having my idealistic moment of the year (my one and only, and I reserved it for Suldog - he'd better be grateful). Perhaps if enough people do bitch about it they'll begin doing Christmas in November again. A woman can dream...

And Sully would see that it is good. And Sully would take a day of rest. And see that it was good. And pretty much shut the hell up.

OK, that won't ever happen in our lifetimes**. So much for my idealistic moment.

And thus, I reiterate:


* Great White North
** Which is pretty much why so many of us are his devoted fans.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Waddaya Gonna Do

Newsweek recently had a good article on the cost of health care and the choices that will need to be made in the very near future. Actually, they need to be made right now. And though this article centres on the US, the same thing applies here in Canada, home of free health care.

'Cause it isn't free, not by any stretch of the imagination. I just have to look at my paycheck - over 30% of it goes to the government. So yeah, we do pay for that free health care. And I'm not begrudging the paying. At all. It's just part of the package you know?

But the cost of health care is spiraling out of control. People are living much longer, having less children and in a few years there will be more elderly than there are young people to pay for their care. Old age is extremely costly to the system, and something will have to give somewhere.

Something along the lines of who do you treat? Whose life is more valuable? A 20-year old battling cancer or an 80 year old at the end of his life? Who gets the bucks? Do you spend the money on youth and pull the plug on the elderly? When do you stop treatment?

After all, they're at the end of their lives and however much you spend on curing them, they will die - sooner rather than later. Do you forget about treatment and just keep them as comfortable as possible?

But what about when your loved one is the 80 year old. Or yourself. Despite thinking, on a logical level, yeah, let the old go, when it's your own mom or dad things might feel a little different. Nevertheless, the line will have to be drawn somewhere. Maybe the Soylent Green system of um.. doing away with people at a certain age makes a certain kind of twisted sense*. Will it come to that?

I obviously have no answers, I never do. But what do you think?

* But not eating them as green wafers though. That's just... nasty.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Inane conversation OR I'd do well on Twitter

You don't necessarily realize how bizarre a conversation is until you have it on IM. And it's saved. And you can read it again.

She - Patience, grasshopper

Me - Why grasshopper?

She - Why not? "patience, seaweed!" doesn't make any sense

Me - Well all things considered, nor does grasshopper

She - Makes more sense than monkey

Me - How so? It seems a monkey would be much more prone to impatience.

She - Alright, alright. Patience, monkey. Even better - patience, monkeyhopper!

Me - Monkeyhopper?

She - Mhm. I used both, see. Cause monkeys hop

Me - Patience, monkey.... patience, grasshopper. Grasshopper sounds better. Besides monkeys don't hop. They scamper.

She - Grassmonkey? Patience, grassmonkey.

Me - Crows hop. On the ground.

She - Grass-scamper. that's hard to fit into one word. Cause you need to use a - or say grasscamper, in which case it sounds like grass camper, which is just silly

So many of my conversations seem to end up sounding this way. Is this my conversational norm?

It's a scary thought.

Edit: I forgot to add that "she" is the infamous Choochoo

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cotttage Vignettes Redux

I searched long and hard for a picture to go with this one, but nothing is... shall we say, appropriate for general viewing*. Thus it remains illustrationless. That, I think is a good thing.

One of the most wonderful things about cottage technology is the septic tank. Oh yeah, you gotta luuuuuuuve the septic tank.

Accumulator of all things nasty, the whole idea behind it is that the town has no need to pay for installation and upkeep of sewers. Instead you have your own personal little sewer system right next to the house. How cool is that? Yeah, not particularly.

Of course, unlike your municipal sewers, the septic system must be emptied now and again.

Last weekend was now.

You've all seen pictures of our lovely cottage perched on its hill. Well, the septic tank is perched on the hill too. Waaaay up there on the hill. About 70 feet up, 130 feet from the nice shiny poop vacuuming truck.

The driver and poop vacuuming operator wasn't thrilled at the idea of hauling his vacuum hose up 70 feet of hill. So he called into his boss "Hey, is there a truck around with two guys who could take this one?"

Answer: "Nope, you're stuck doing it."

Poop vacuumer: "You owe me" He listens a bit, laughs and hangs up. Then says, "He said, Yeah, I know, I did that place once and swore never again".

Nice to know my reputation precedes me. I can't help but wonder if there will come a time when they will refuse to do this job for me - and if that is the case, what will I be reduced to... He breaks into my philosophical reflection saying, "Well. You up to helping me get the hose up there?"

Never one to refuse a challenge (I really gotta think long and hard about that life rule, I do), I said sure.

Now it's not like I was the one hauling the hose up the hill. All I had to do was unroll the thing. And lordy that's a lot of heavy ass hose to unroll. A lot of huge damn hose. The thing is probably 5-6 inches in diameter. Of course, considering what flows through it... well, let's not consider that, shall we?

So all in all it was very interesting. I learned it takes a while to vacuum a septic tank, quite a while. I learned the trucks cost around half a million bucks - though why you'd get into the poop business in the first place is beyond me. Public service I guess. Very lucrative public service.

As he worked, I learned he'd been doing this for 25 years. "A damn good argument for higher education", he noted.

Interesting argument, but I beg to differ.

After all, Choochoo has a masters degree and her specialty is poop bugs. Hell, the woman could make a field trip to study my septic tank!

I guess it only goes to prove that whatever your level of edumacation, it's all about... well, never mind you get the picture.

* read : disgusting pics of septic tanks.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Amazing Home Remedies

1. Avoid cutting yourself when slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold the vegetables while you chop.

2. Avoid arguments with the females about lifting the toilet seat by using the sink. (Though, isn't it as easy for us to put it down as it is for them to put it up??)

3. For high blood pressure sufferers - simply cut yourself and bleed fro a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure on your veins. Remember to use a timer

4. A mouse trap placed on top of your alarm clock will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.

5. If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives. Then you'll be afraid to cough.

6. You only need two tools in life - WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and should, use WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.

7. If you can's fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Mind Boggles

Damn I'm glad I'm Canadian...


I thought I'd add this one Rice posted yesterday as a look at the other side. 'Cause all these people who are all rightous and don't give a damn about those who don't, they really should see what can (and does) happen with the insurance companies.

And as Rachel states in her blog post here, people brandish the specter of evil socialism and communism without knowing what socialism actually is:

"I’m really sick of health care opponents throwing the word “socialism!” around like it’s a bad thing. I’m also really sick of people cringing from that word in blind fear without at least understanding what that word really means. To put it in simplistic terms, socialism is public property or services paid for by taxes. The post office is socialist. The library is socialist. The police and fire departments are socialist, as are the water and sewage treatment plants. Social security, medicare, highways, prisons and the military, all are socialist. The public schools are socialist. The very foundations of our society, upon which we live and breathe and depend on every day, are socialist!"

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ze links

Last week, at Jocelyn's request, I posted the story of my beginnings with Mr. Jazz . In the comments, Ian noted that it would be fun to ask for people's stories. We did and as promised I've linked to them below. If you posted and I forgot you, please let me know and I'll add a link to your story.

You'll find BB's story here

Ian's is here

Here is Jeaux's

Pouty Lips wrote about it here

Geewits did it a while back, years actually, this is hers

And here is Birdies story, via Jeaux

And Birdie just pointed out that Big Island Jeep Guy also played. How cool, I didn't even know this blog existed until now...

A couple were posted directly in the comments:

Expat from Hell

Standing in the middle of the gymnasium floor, a mutual friend introduces me to a girl from Texas (a novelty in Southern California). "What do you have there?", he asks. "Waah, theez are maah tennis shoooz", she replies in that drawn out Southern slang. I was smitten on the spot - forever. I remain so 35 years later.


I discovered he was married. That was a helluva turn-off. Never been quite that turned off in my whole, entire life, really.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Geography Lesson


The geography of a woman

Between 18 and 22, a woman is like Africa - half discovered, half wild, fertile and naturally beautiful!

Between 23 and 30, a woman is like Europe - well developed and open to trade, especially for someone of real value.

Between 31 and 35, a woman is like Spain - very hot, relaxed and convinced of her own beauty.

Between 36 and 40, a woman is like Greece - gently aging but still a warm and desirable place to visit.

Between 41 and 50, a woman is like Great Britain - with a glorious and all conquering past.

Between 51 and 60, a woman is like Israel - has been through war, doesn't make the same mistakes twice, takes care of business.

Between 61 and 70, a woman is like Canada - self-preserving, but open to meeting new people.

After 70, she becomes Tibet - wildly beautiful, with a mysterious past and the wisdom of the ages, an adventurous spirit and a thirst for spiritual knowledge.

The geography of a man

Between 1 and 80, a man is like Iran - ruled by nuts.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Back to Reality

Labour Day weekend has come and gone. It's fun and sort of sad all at once. Let down and anticipation. The end of play and the beginning of work.

Unlike Ian, I always loved going back to school. There was a wonderful anticipation, the buying of supplies, the new notebooks an pencils, pulling out my pencil case (a leather one which my mother bought me in first grade and which I used until the end of university and still have today), the new clothes - and later the new uniform (bleh), it was all such fun. And I'm sure my mom was overjoyed too, as mothers are no doubt wont to be after a summe spent with the kids.

By the end of summer I was somewhat bored (though I'd never ever have admitted it) and school was a welcome distraction - if only for all the new books I'd get to read. I couldn't wait for the first visit to the library in the school year. Yes I was one of those nerdy kids who loved school and thrived in that environment. Even the fact of having to sit still for hours was overwhelmed by the sheer joy of learning.

For years after having finished school, and into my working life September still meant back to school, albeit in a nostalgic way. I'd wake up one morning with the anticipation of a new year, just to realize that, damn, it was just another work day at the office.

Now back to school means a whole different thing.

Back to school means my favourite lunch spots overrun with screeching teenagers. With boys in pants seven times too big hanging below (yes, BELOW) their butts. A couple of years ago, they'd just hang low on their hips so you could see their skivvies, now, they're under their butts, yep, they are. How the hell they stay up is a mystery I'll no doubt never solve (unless someone out there knows and can share with me?). And they don't even have good butts to show off for the most part. And I can't wait to see someone lose them sometime. But I digress yet again.

And the simpering teenage girls with their too tight clothes - how is it that female clothes seem to shrink proportionally to the "enbiggening" of male attire? If we go back to early 90s huge tunics and such, will mens fashion shrink again? The girls who shriek and holler even louder than the boys and have the added interest of way too much perfume and underwear hanging out?

So yeah, sharing my favourite lunch spots with a bunch of screeching teenagers, and the bus home with another batch of them. I'm sure I was no better at that age (though I was a nerd, so perhaps I was marginally better, the nerds seem to be) relatively speaking, but I'm my age now dammit and I've earned the right to bitch about the lack of manners and general bad attitude of the young'uns, yes I have. They're a bunch of uncivilized heathens they are.

And people, I have to admit I loathe them with a vengeance these days, they drive me fucking insane. I don't hate individual kids - well not most of them at any rate, though some deserve to be hated. Individually, they're usually quite entertaining, but as a group - damn they're annoying. If there is a civilizing influence in their lives, I shudder to think what they would be without it.

And so, I contemplate another 10 months of hellish lunch hours. Or of brown bagging it - I dunno which is the worst alternative. I imagine that I'll eventually get used to them again, it's either that or I'll have to jam my plastic fork up my nose and pull out my brains.

Friday, September 04, 2009

A game...

My buddy and fellow blogger Ian left an interesting comment on my last post:

"Here's an idea. We should ask fellow bloggers who wouldn't object to sharing, how they met their significant other and what was it that turned them on, aside from anything obvious. What think you?"

I think it's a splendid idea, so, here's the thing.

We'd love to hear your stories (I mean, c'mon people, who doesn't that type of story?). So post your story, leave a comment here that you did and I'll do another post with all the links.

And just to get things started....

You know all about the meeting of... uhem... minds, now let me tell you what else turned me on about the boy - and still does over 20 years later.

  • He's funny. He has me laughing all the time. If you can't sit around laughing with your spouse, what's the point, eh?
  • Those blue eyes...
  • His intelligence - he's wicked smart my boy is and that is a helluva turn-on. Eye candy is all well and nice, but when there's nothing to talk about it gets stale real fast.
  • The fact that he gives me space to be. When I was with the Ex (insert ominous drumroll again), I'd come to a party and people would ask, "How's Ex?" With Mr. Jazz, I'd go to the "same" party with the same people and be asked, "Hi Jazz, how are you!" . It was terribly bizarre at first. He never did anything per se, but the dynamics just totally shifted. And because of that I came out of my shell. The first time I was told, "wow, you're so funny!" I was flabbergasted. I had become a person and not an appendage. It was extremely liberating. And turn on-ing.
  • The fact that all these years later I'm still discovering stuff about him. He's still a mystery. In a good way, not in a "witholding asshole" way. I love how there's always something more. I'd be bored out of my skull if I thought I knew him so well there was nothing new to discover.
I could, if I dug deep into my tired little brain, find numerous other things to add to the list, but now, OVER TO YOU!

Please play.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

For Jocelyn

As you know, I'm sorta tapped out these days, and I figure the best way to not stop blogging is to force myself to write. Because, all things considered I don't want to stop. Jocelyn asked for the story of my meeting with Mr. Jazz. It's not a romantic story, but it is very us. So this one's for you Joce.


Once upon a time, many many years ago, I moved to Montreal. Because I had to. Because Quebec city... well not so much. But since that is in no way germane to our story lets move along.

In Montreal I had many lovely adventures. And met this guy. The eventually to be vilified ex (insert ominous drumroll here).

He had some redeeming qualities I guess, despite the fact that my family unanimously hated him because they immediately pegged him as an asshole - and rightly so. After all, he, like Mr. Jazz fed me. But again, that information has nothing to do with Mr. Jazz so lets move on.

One of the good things about the ex is that he introduced me to a circle of "friends" with whom he regularly partied. One of those was Mr. Jazz.

The first time I met him, though, was at a concert. We (and he) had tickets to see a Genesis cover band. Now, despite the fact that I'm a girl, I love Genesis. To the point where I know (or at any rate, those many years ago - knew) the lyrics to their songs. The real songs from the real Genesis, not the pop band they morphed into under Collins. Don't get me started on the dreck Genesis became. But back then...


I later learned that Mr. Jazz, he was impressed. Cause being a boy, well he had the whole Genesis thing down. And he didn't know of many creatures of the female persuasion who did. And as a girl you have to love a show where there's no lineup for the women's loo - and there is one for the boys. Maybe that's why I've always been a fan of prog rock.

This, however was a couple of years before we ever got to the point of... um... exchanging bodily fluids. He was with someone, I was with someone (though to this day I wonder what the hell I was thinking) so we were all in happyish coupledom. We saw each other regularly at parties - which were held pretty much every week somewhere or another. And we talked to be polite but there was no inkling on the part of either of us of what was to come. Honestly, on my part there was no attraction. He was Mr. Not-Yet-Jazz, friend of the boyfriend.

And then.

And then the STBE* got a job. In Toronto. Temporarily. He was going, I was staying end of discussion, well on his side at any rate. I suppose he was doing the man-of-the-house-who-makes-the-decisions-while-the-submissive-little-woman-just-says-yes-dear thing. We'd been living together a year by then. WHAT was he thinking!?!

In hindsight thank god, 'cause I might still be living in the "Mistake by the Lake" today. In a suburb. In a house with three kids and an in ground pool. And soccer/hockey/baseball games. WHOA!!! Without him no doubt because I would eventually have come to my senses, yes I would. Yet, the very thought of babies/suburbs scares the living bejesus outta me.

This of course was the perfect excuse for a party. Perhaps also for a "we're well rid of him" party. That I don't know. They would've been polite enough not to tell me. Suffice it to say, in short order a send-off party was organized.

The beer and wine flowed in copious amounts - come to think of it they still do - and of course the type of conversation that shouldn't ensue... well it did. It sorta went like this:

STBE - Hey, Not-Quite-Mr. Jazz, while I'm gone, take care of Jazz.

Mr. Jazz - ....

STBE - You'll see, she's real good in bed**

Mr. Jazz - !!!!

And then he just walked away. Which was a good thing indeed because the STBE really didn't need anyone to witness me tearing him a new one, even though he already was one.


Cut to a few weeks later.

I'm at home and the phone rings. It's Mr. Jazz asking what I'm doing the next evening. I'm free so we decide to meet for drinks. (How sophisticated that sounds! Meeting for drinks. There's a certain Noel Coward-ness to it, even though at that age it meant a pitcher of cheap beer or sangria.)

And for the record, though I was still officially with the STBE (I was extricating myself - but damned if I had any compunctions about "cheating"), I had found out between the ill fated party and that call that his girlfriend was now his ex - to the surprise of many. They'd been together four years, which in your mid-20s is like, for-EVAH, dude!

On the evening of the "date" I came home to a phone message cancelling. He said he'd call back. Right. Any woman who hasn't heard that particular line, please raise your hand.

I'm waiting...

Yeah, didn't think so.

And yet, he called the next evening and we rescheduled though I swore I wouldn't, that his chance had passed. And for the record, he had a very good reason for cancelling.

We went to a Greek bar which, surprisingly for Montreal, still exists after all these years (Au Près de Ma Blonde). We used to spend a lot of time there, all of us, back then. I shudder to think how many gallons of alcohol the lot of us consumed there over the years. We probably kept them afloat during the lean times.

Ah Kanellos ( the owner). They just don't make 'em like that anymore. Over 20 years ago, he was already pickled. The man was always drunk. Always. At best he was very drunk. At worse... let's not go there. In all those years I never once saw him sober. I'm sure if he was cremated when he died, he must still be burning.

So there we sat, nursing our sangria when along comes Kanellos with a glass full of brandy which he dumps into our pitcher, claiming:

"You watch, special sangria! Good sangria, good sex!"

Again with the sex! Were people seeing something we weren't?

Dear old Kanellos, he was right, bless his pickled heart.

The next morning, to my dismay I had to go clean the carpets to my new apartment. The extrication proceeded apace.


And there, Jocelyn, is the story of our first and pretty much only date. Cause we basically moved in together right there, spending pretty much every night together from then on (22 years later we still do) though I figured he was my transition guy and I was his transition goil and when we got over the exes we'd go on with our lives.

Either we were deep in denial or we both have extreme transition periods.

*Soon to be Ex

** Whether I was or not is totally immaterial here, because after all, BB will probably read this and that is perhaps TMI for a big brother.