Monthly Archives: April 2006

Movie You Should Rent Right Now!

Persuasion (1995) staring Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds

8 years prior to the opening sequence, Anne was persuaded by a close friend to turn down the offer of marriage from Captain Frederick Wentworth. At the time, Wentworth had no prospects and poor family connections and despite the fact that Anne loved him she allowed herself to be persuaded to decline his offer of marriage.

Now, 8 years later, Wentworth is a Captain in the Royal Navy and quite distinguished. Anne, is still the quiet, overlooked memeber of her family. Will she have to stand by and watch as Wentworth courts another woman? Will she herself be courted by her cousin William? What are Williams motives, if any? Could he love Anne? Does Captain Wentworth despise her for her rejection? Did she make the biggest mistake of her life? Is it too late?

Persuasion is like Pride and Prejudice’s forgotten step-sibling. Just as good, if not better at times, but consistently overlooked. It’s a great movie for curing up in front of the TV on a gloomy day. Sit with your favourite blanket, a fire in the fireplace, a cup of coffee and get lost in another era. You’ve got all the Jane Austen staples – lovers thwarted, nefarious scoundrels, poor families tossed out of their house, annoying family members all mixed up and trying to get by under society’s strict rules of propriety. It’s totally worth viewing.

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Satan has a new one-stop shop!

Hello my lovelies! I am here to corrupt your bodies with sugary goodness. Tommorrow is Jenge’s birthday and ever since I brought her her first cupcake from Crave we have been obsessed with it. So sweet. So dense. So irrestible. Jenge decided to get her birthday cake from Crave and I picked it up this morning. The box was nice and heavy, the way you want cake to be because then you know it will be dense with TONS of icing. I took a peek and saw mounds of pink fluffy icing, yum! We got cupcakes for Easter Dinner too. These cupcakes are so good. They must have LSD in them because I think I’m having a flashback right now! Walking into the store, inhaling and getting a snootful of cake, happy little cupcakes lined up on display. Little food is alwasy cute (that’s why hors d’oeuvres are always such a big hit) and as a minature cake, cup cakes are no exception. Crave even has mini cupcakes (which I guess technically would be a mini mini cake!). Now, I have heard some people say that these cupcakes are too pricey. Well to those I say, “Shut your cake hole and go by a dozen cookies at Costco if you want. I want my cupcake!”

Self-Declared Martyrdom


What’s with my generation? [BTW, I consider anyone from the ages of 25-40 to be in my generation. . . we’re the kids of MTV, Atari and Hair Bands]. Have you noticed how everyone wants to be the martyr? You know what I’m talking about. They are the people who always have a bad day, bad job, bad kids, bad husband, bad pets, aching back, aching head, troublesome inlaws, and black sheep family members. No one suffers like them! Yet they tarry on bravely! [So they tell you]. Suffering in not-so-silent silence.

Think carefully and I’m sure you have a self-declared martyr in your social circle. Now, think even more carefully. When was the last time this person was fun? If ever?

What self-declared martyrs don’t get are a couple of things I’m going to point out:
1. You are buzz-kills. You are the wet paper bags of the social scene. Hanging out with you is akin to going to work. I know I should, but I’d rather be shopping.
2. Everyone [with the selection of a tiny minority – of which you are not a member] has it as ‘rough’ as you. We all have to do stuff we don’t wanna do. We all get headaches, we all get sick, we all have days where we want to stay in our pyjamas and pretend that the bills will just magically disappear. Who is this select minority who does have it rougher than you? Well, off the top of my head: Low income single mothers who are working three jobs just to buy bread, people who were tragically injured by drunk drivers, people who have ALS, children trapped by abusive parents . . . the list goes on. Think about how silly you sound compared to that!
3. You cannot crown yourself anything, martyr being the least of them. Let’s take a quick look at two people who crowned themselves: Micheal Jackson – self crowned King of Pop – you don’t want to end up like that. Napoleon Bonaparte – self crowned emperor of France – exiled.
4. Martyrs are only martyrs after they are killed for what they believe in. In order for you to be a martyr, I would have to kill you.
5. Do I want to be supportive to you? Yes. Do I want every bad thing that happened to me to get trumped by something worse that happened to you? No.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that life can be crappy and I’m not saying you don’t have the right to beeyatch. But let’s get a little perspective here! It can’t be that bad! And the other people in your life need some sympathy too!

If you think you may be a self-declared martyr here’s my solution: Find five minutes for youself [STOP IT! You can so find five minutes! Don’t give me that martyr crap that you are too busy! You had time to read this!] . . .where was I? Oh, yes. Five minutes. If it is sunny and not too windy [as I hate the wind] go outside and stand in the sun, with your eyes closed and feel how nice it is. Breathe deep. And sigh. Mmmmm toasty warm! If it is windy or not sunny, pour yourself a cup of coffee/cup of tea/glass of water and look out the window and think how lucky you are to be inside on a yucky day with your hot cup of coffee/hot cup of tea/water that is safe to drink from the tap – or – water you had enough money to buy bottled. Breathe deep. Sigh. Safe as houses.

Leave martyrdom to the likes of third world human rights activists who are trapped in a country that will kill them for speaking their mind. They deserve it more than you.

Growing up is hard to do!

I remember when I was a girl and I would buy a wallet with the allowance money I had saved, or mum and dad would take me shopping and I would beg to have a purse. I would take the wallet home and fill out that dorky card that comes with it with my name and address, and keep all the fake paper cards that said CREDIT CARD on them in the slots. Dreaming of the day when I would have cards to fill those glorious slots.

Air Miles, Mastercard, Visa, BankCard, Driver’s License, Shoppers Optimum, Doctor’s Card, Dentist’s Card, Nail Tech’s card, Sears, Blockbuster, Esso, Blue Cross. . . . It’s gotten to the point where I turn down savings offers at tills because I don’t have room for the cards!

Do you remember when being grown up seemed like the best plan in the world? You were gonna have your own place, get that dog you were begging for, stay up all night and order pizza when you felt like it! The fridge would have all your favourite goodies and you would read all your books in the bathtub, soggy pages be damned!!

But there were a few things they forgot to tell you about being a grown up. Oh yes, my little friends, there is always a down side and you must never forget the small print. Here are some things I bet we all figured out the hard way. . . .

1. If you don’t take the garbage out, no one else will.
2. If you don’t vaccuum, no one else will.
3. When your dog gets worms, there is no one but you to bleach the entire house and take her to the vet.
4. That funky smell from your kitchen is a potato forgotten in the drawer under the oven. They will rot, it will take months, but they will rot.
5. If you don’t change the furnace filter, no one else will.
6. If you don’t mow the lawn, no one else will.
7. You can’t stay up all night eating bon bons and watching bad tv unless you want to be fat and out of a job.
8. A steady diet of your favourite foods will also make you fat.
9. If you don’t buy milk, no one else will.
10. Friends from high school may lose touch with you, you can forget to go to the dentist for 5 years, you can put of your yearly physical for ages, but Visa will always find you.
11. When the drain is plugged, you either have to buy Drano or take it apart and clean it out (EW! – I shed like a long haired dog – it was awful) but if you don’t do it, that’s right! No one else will.
12. Scary sounds in the middle of the night must be investigated by you if you want to sleep. And sure, it usually turns out that a piece of paper is too close to the air vent, and it’s making a ruckus, but you won’t sleep until you know for sure!
13. When a light goes on on your dashboard, or your car is making funny sounds, you will be the one that has to a) figure it out and take it to the mechanic, paying for it with your first born or b)you will have to take it to the mechanic, make the sound for them [because the car will refuse to be broken then] they will figure it out and you will be paying for it with your first born.
14. Dog pees, throws up, eats shoes, eats tub of margarine . . . it doesn’t really matter. It’s all you!
15. You will start to care about things like taxes, elections, politics, oil prices, hard winters, dry summers, frozen pipes, retirement plans, interest rates, mortgage rates, market values, leaky basements and crime in your city. They are all boring and no fun. It doesn’t matter. You still have to care.

They always say youth is wasted on the young [who are ‘they’ and how do ‘they’ know so much!]. Youth isn’t wasted on the young. If someone made you 10 again tomorrow and took your memory away, you wouldn’t do it any differently. You couldn’t. You would still be dreaming of filling your wallet with cards and vowing that when you grew up, there was gonna be pizza every night. You wouldn’t be thinking, “Thank God I don’t have to pay Income Tax! Visa kiss my A$$!’ You’d be saying to yourself, “Mum and Dad totally don’t understand me! When I grow up, I’m gonna ride my bike anywhere I want. I’m gonna be the only boss of me. And there will always be Double Stuffed Oreos in the house and if don’t want to eat veggies, I won’t!”

And really, would you want it any other way?

Blocked!

So I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to blog about for the last couple of days and I can’t find anything that I genuinely want to rant about. Have I finally run out of things to say? Impossible! Or is it just that I suffer from the biggest plague on my generation, apathy? My other problem is the political incorrectness of alot of my opinions. Now, normally, I would not shy away from these things and blog about them anyway but I’m becoming increasingly aware that I am insanely hard to please and easily irritated, and if I keep blogging about what pisses me off I will eventually ostracize everyone I know. My lifestyle is already dangerously similar to that of a hermit crab, I’ve no need to help it along!

Woo-Woo World

What is it about the human condition that makes most of us closet paranormal junkies? You know what I’m talkin’ about. You secretly read your horoscope in the magazines you buy, telling yourself that you don’t really believe it but always finding something in your life to match it up to. Even though most of us would scoff at superstition if our friends asked us, we still chalk up unlucky events to the fact that it’s Friday the 13th, or ponder our seven years bad luck when we accidentally break a mirror.

Jenge went to the psychic this weekend and I must admit, I was dying to know what she was told. She came home and regaled me with stories about all the stuff the psychic knew. And sure, some of it could just be good guessing, but how did that woman know that of Jenge’s two sisters, one took after the Greek side like her (Ann) and one was more fair, like mum’s side (me)? Or that I’m a writer, but I keep most of my stuff hidden away. Or that Ann is crafty? It makes ya wonder. . . .

And I’m totally a paranormal/psychic junkie! Most of the fiction I read has some sort of woo-woo (that’s the scientific term for freakishly paranormal stuff) in it. The stories I write are choc full of crazy paranormal stuff. I always read my horoscope even though I know that due to the drift of the stars over time, the zodiac is a couple of signs off. I’m fascinated by Mayan culture and prophecies, I’ve watched more than one special on Nostradamus and Edgar Cayce. Although, I do pepper my superstitious beliefs with handy dandy factual evidence. I know alot of superstitious grew out of perfectly logical roots. A way for our ancestors to explain things that they did not have the tools to yet explain. And alot of it was, ahem, fostered by the Catholic Church as a way of driving out paganism – making formerly paganistic icons and rituals bad luck or bad omens.

So, is our lack of understanding about the paranormal mojo simply that we have not advanced enough in our science to comprehend it? And if so, why are so many people so ready to dismiss it or scoff at it? Why, when you tell someone about a dream you had that then came true, they are so ready to burst your psychic bubble? But when hockey players wear the same socks for the entire playoff series and don’t shave, these are reasonable actions? Why are so many people ready to shut our woo-woo/mojo door? What are you afraid of? I don’t have a clue about quantam physics or string theory other than a vague understanding of the principles but I don’t dismiss it as junk. So if you don’t know frak all about palmistry or tarot cards or iridology, why are you ignoring it? Gravity worked for a long time before Newton wrote about it, and E=mc2 ages before Einstein figured it out. So who’s to say that the same won’t apply to the woo-woo?


Blog Dog: A Post by Portia

Seeing as my mother, Mummy Margarita sees fit to put my dirty laundry up on the web (mmmmmmm dirty landry) I thought it was high time I had a post of my own to tell you how things really are around here.

You see what I’m lying on in this picture? This is Mummy’s bed. Look how comfy! How cozy! She has six pillows and a heated blanket! Do I get a queen size bed like this? NO! I’m forced to share with her, getting only a small corner of the bed, unless I take my sleeping elsewhere. In which case I either have to sleep on the couch (yes, sad but true!) or sometimes even the hard floor (although the hardwood does get warmed up by the sun and sometimes you can find a nice hot spot and zone out for hours).

Mummy treats herself once a week to McDonald’s but am I allowed to order anything? NO! I have to wait for the bag to be emptied when Rocky and I get to share the fries that fell out of their carton. Imagine, sharing with the Sock! Oh, the humiliation.

And while I’m on the subject of food, it’s kibble for breakfast, kibble for dinner, kibble for a treat. Do I ever get a nice T-Bone steak? Okay, once at my grandparents house I got a bone, but I had to eat it outside. Grandma said I was fine out there as it was 20 degrees and sunny, but let me tell you! Eating outside is for savages!

Mummy drinks coffee every morning. I only get water. And sure, she cleans the water bowl every day to make sure it’s fresh but nothing tastes as good as a beverage that isn’t yours. Which is why I drink exclusively from Rocky’s bowl. I don’t even care when Mummy puts ice cubes in my bowl for a treat. It’s the Sock’s bowl or BUST!

She makes me pose for ridiculous pictures which she then takes and does something called ‘scrapbooking.’ I had to pretend to read a magazine once and then she thought it would be funny if I looked like I was drinking Starbucks coffee. But I’ll let you in on the dirty little secret! The cup was empty! I only got to lick the milk bubbles.

And once I got a hold of some yummy smelling yarn and I got in trouble! I mean, it was lying around on the counter, not doing anything. How was I to know she was making a blanket with it?

And the time I ate the remote, well I was only trying to turn the tv on. They leave it off when they go out. What’s a dog to do to pass the time?

She tells everyone stories about me. Embellishing them to make her sound like the hero. I was feeling under the weather a couple of times, and she took me to the vet. Big deal. If I could drive a car, I woulda taken myself! She says she cleans up after me, but really, it’s the other way around. She leaves things lying on the counter all the time and it’s my job to jump up and get it. To show her how messy she is. I will then rip it to pieces to teach her a lesson. You can’t just leave your stuff out!

I mean, I guess she’s okay. Sometimes she buys me special bones. And with her long nails, no one gives a back scratch like her. Or sometimes I will stand next to her, because I am feeling lonely, and she will pat my head and tell me I’m a good dog, scratching that one place behind my ears that I can’t reach.

But if she puts another sweater on me, I’m outta here!


Get a real haircut and get a real job! Well, 1 outta 2 ain’t bad!
It’s been far to long since I have blogged about a dog, so I thought I would put up this picture of The Sock, who looks oh-so-snazzy after getting his hair done on Monday. Rocky’s hairdresser specializes in Shelties and is harder to get into than my own hairdresser, and costs about as much. But as you can see, it’s clearly worth it as he struts around for the whole week after a fur cut shaking his tail and bowing to you (contrary to popular believe, dogs are not always stretching when they put their two front paws out and bend down. In the dog world, this is also known as a bow or an invitation to play.)

For those of you looking for a Portia nose update, it’s still pink, but several people have informed me that they know of someone this has happened to so I should not be worried. We’re prolly gonna go back to the vet in a week or so to see what’s what.

BTW, she has been very snotty since Rocky got his haircut. She is quite jealous I think.

Where have all the good bands gone?

As I listen to the radio these days, I’m forced to ask, where have all the good bands gone? Who is the next U2? I don’t like the Rolling Stones but I can appreciate that they have stood the test of time and have legions upon legions of fans. Let’s face it, Keith Richards prolly made a deal with the devil for them to keep on going. How else do you explain the fact that he is still alive?

But I digress. The radio these days are full of catchy pop tunes and bands churn out a couple of good hits but none of them really have any staying power. I thought Matchbox 20 was gonna be the next U2 but then Rob Thomas went solo (although, Mr. Thomas if you’re reading this, you are a STAR!! Love your record).

But what’s with all the thirtysomething bands singing teenage looser songs? Sum 41, Blink 182, Simple Plan. . . There is only so long you can go on bee-atching about how mum and dad don’t understand you and school sucks before your fans will realize that you are 35, making millions off them and didn’t actually have an angst filled adolescence. But they prance around in front of the mike in their short pants and whine that no one understands them. Short pants, by the way are how you tell guys who are stuck in the teens vs guys who finally grew up. Men wear shorts, boys pretending to be grown up are wearing capris. I know that boys don’t call them capris, they call them board shorts (I think – I’m kinda out of the teen loop) but I’m sorry, honey, they are capris. If I would wear them with a pair of strappy sandles and a cute purse, it means they are capris.

I have some good bands I listen to, but I don’t know if any of them have the staying power I’m looking for. If you want to make a long term committment to a band these days, your choices are pretty slim. If you ask me, Green Day has the best chance. Dookie was a smash hit and after some good follow ups, they released American Idiot which I think has the most staying power. Don’t get me wrong, I like the guys of Green Day, but they are not U2. They are a poor man’s U2. A substitute for a U2-less generation.

So who do I listen to despite the fact that they don’t have legions of followers? Well, I’m a big My Chemical Romance fan right now, I like James Blunt (but he’s not rocking enough to be a rock band), I love Rob Thomas, I like Garbage (despite the fact that they have been in a popularity decline as of late). I miss Econoline Crush in their Sparkle and Shine days – Trevor Hurst where have you gone! Sob. And we’ll have to wait for the next Maroon 5 album to see what the verdict is. I like my Michael Buble and The Killers, but once again, we have to wait a couple years to see what’s gonna happen with them. And I miss my early 90’s Depeche Mode. Sniff.

Maybe I’m too outta touch with the music world. For all I know, there are millions of people out there ready to rip my throat out because I just trashed Blink-182. And don’t even get me started on Coldplay. Yes they are good, but they aren’t as good as everyone is telling you they are. Now they are just overexposed.

So I’ll keep trolling iTunes for the next band to keep me going.

For Sale: Mint condition Uterus! Never been used!

So I was on Heidi’s blog today (Completely Barking Mad,) and she had a link to another blog called Nine Pound Dictator. Sounded like a good title, and I’m a sucker for a good title so I decided to check it out. I only made it to the post titled Mommies Rule before I had to stop.

What’s that sound you ask? Well, that’s me having an aneurysm. In the article, she says that people look at her differently now that she’s a mother. It’s the respect, she claims. Respect for her, and her respect for life. She also claims that women are nicer to her when they find out she’s a mother, she’s no longer the Competition, apparently.

You know what? You know what!!?? (the Double ‘You know what?’ from me is a sign that you have just unleased Evil Margarita. She doesn’t get to come out and play very often, generally because I’m left to apologize for whatever she does while she’s out, but I’m letting her out this time because she has a point)

(continuation of Evil Margarita’s tirade . . . ) Just because I haven’t pushed a nine pound human being out of my uterus does not mean that my life is a total waste of time. I’m tired of being constantly informed by the media and anyone else who has a baby that I just don’t understand the meaning of life. You know what? I don’t understand the meaning of life, but I doubt that having a baby will make everything crystal clear for me. Some of us aren’t wired that way. Some of us don’t have a burning desire to procreate. And just because you have procreated, you do not instantly deserve my undying respect.

Don’t get me wrong, I think motherhood is a great thing, and if you choose to be a mom and that makes you happy, then I’m happy for you. My sister is a great mum to two beautiful boys and she works hard to be a good mum to them. It’s a hard job. The pay is lousy, the hours worse, and nine times out of ten, you have to be the bad guy.

But for those women out there that have a baby and then instantly start propogating the urban legend that the rest of us childless freaks are missing out really irritates me. I actually had to give myself a cooling off period before I could even write this blog. I know alot of women who don’t have kids. Some don’t want kids, some just haven’t had them yet, some aren’t in a position to have them, but none of them feel like they are missing the boat on life because they don’t have mini-me’s running around.

What about the woman who can’t ever have kids? Is she less deserving of my respect because she is incapable of having children? What about the women who choose definitively not to have kids? Should I disrespect them for their heinous choice? Or what about the women who knowingly have unsafe sex with no regard for the consequences and get unexpectedly pregnant? This is instantly deserving of respect? I think not.

I tell you what I do respect. I respect people who make the right choices for themselves. I respect anyone who chooses to live their life in the manner which suits them. I respect people who live their lives every day making a conscious effort to be good people. They pay their taxes, they are nice to the coffee barista, they are kind to their friends and they love their family. Some of them have kids, some of them don’t. If they have kids, they are working hard to make those kids good people too. That is worthy of respect. However, you can have a child and be raising him or her to be a royal pain in the a$$ to the entire world. Chances are, you’re a pain in the a$$ too. And you don’t get my respect for that. You get my ire.

I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade. I’m just tired of getting my child free parade washed out. Live your life, I’ll live mine. Neither one of us has to like the other’s, but don’t tell me that you are instantly a better person because you procreated. Or that I can’t possibly understand what it’s like to be a mum. I don’t have to know. It’s not your job in life to show me the way.

Evil Margarita has left the building.