Monthly Archives: April 2006

Movie You Should Rent Right Now!!

I am always amazed at some of the great movies out there that no one seems to rent/know about. I have yet to figure out the hollywood machine, what makes some movies hits even if they suck, while other movies don’t even make waves, but they are really good! I guess it has to do with the marketing and who the mucky-mucks are buddy buddy with. So, in an attempt to turn the tides, here is the first installment in an on-going feature: “Movie You Should Rent Right Now!”

Equilibrium (2002) – starring Christian Bale, Taye Diggs, Emily Watson

I have Heidi to thank for this one, she mentioned it to me one day and I had never heard of it, so I went out and rented it and then I went out and bought it. Equilibrium is about a future where emotions are outlawed. Anything that may cause human emotion is contraband: art, literature, music. Christian Bale plays John Preston, a cleric, whose job it is to track down emotional offenders and contraband and dispose of them/it. The entire society takes daily doses of Prozium (hmmm, I wonder what that’s supposed to stand in for. . . ) to keep their emotions in check. This is the price that society decided to pay to rid themselves of war, crime, etc. When Preston’s partner turns out to be an offender, and he terminates him, it starts Preston on a journey toward finding out whether the price society is paying is worth it. Great action scenes, great dialogue, and great twists in the plot to keep it going. If you like your sci-fi with a bit of brains, this one is for you! Plus Sean Bean is in the opening section of the film and I am such a Sean Bean fan!! Why is he not in more blockbusters!!

I’ll try to bring ya more good movies!!


Chuckle Worthy moments . . .

So here are a few of the things that made me chuckle this week:

Thursday morning I burnt my neck with the curling iron, dropped it two minutes later and biffed myself in the face with it while trying to catch it, giving myself a really cute fat lip. I then tripped on my way out of the bathroom. But then on the way to work, a busload of highschool guys gave me the thumbs up and waved madly at me. So I must be hot stuff after all . . . . at least I hope they were in high school. Did ya notice that the older you get the harder it is to tell the junior highs from the high schools?

My nephew had to have a minor medical procedure done and proclaimed that the laughing gas smelled like his brother’s feet. Two days later and I’m still laughing out loud at this.

I was trolling knitting pattern sites and somebody has gone to all the trouble (psychotic trouble no less) to make a fuschia representation of the female reproductive system. No joke. Check it out.

So I was sick on Wednesday and stayed home and I committed the ultimate mortal sin. I watched Maury Povich. It’s been 5 years since the last time I saw Maury and nothing has changed. Freakishly loud and rude people are arguing on his show about whether or not some lame-a$$ punk with no prospects is the father of some baby. The women always proclaim they are 1000% sure he’s the daddy (who’s your daddy?) despite the fact that they were, ahem, friendly with several gentlemen around the time in question. And then this guy proclaimed he couldn’t be the dad because he had GREEN eyes and the baby had BROWN eyes.

Okay. It’s time to go back to Biology 10/20 and pay attention this time. Better yet, let’s go back to ‘Health’ class (aka Sex ed – which was covered in religion class at my Catholic Junior high. HA!) and review a few concepts.

But it still couldn’t beat the episode I saw with Donna 5 years ago when some young punk declared he was “One hundred and fiddy percent sure he wannunt the faddah of dat baby!” and then he told his sobbing ex to get his name outta her ‘mouf’ (I kid you not! He yelled “Get my name outta your MOUF.”) Maury, Maury, Maury. Stay at home, raise the kids and leave the newscasting to Connie. At least I can take her partially seriously.

Okay I can’t take her seriously either, but there has got to be someone else we can find to fill this time slot!


The Flip Side

My whole life, I’ve been pretty good at anything I’ve tried. I’m smart, a quick study and able to pull of pretty much most of the stuff I’ve done by the seat of my pants. Case in point, Engineering class on circuits. I sucked at that class, it was at 8 in the morning and I nearly fell asleep almost every day. I studied here and there, did my assignments, got by and woke up two hours before the final, crammed and passed. Exhibit B: Physics 269 – optics. I was so lost I didn’t even know what the class was really about. I got a tutor, learned how to derive my own formulas and got my C-minus (required to take the next level).

I can count pretty quickly the times I’ve absolutely bombed something (PMAT 451 the first time around – Got an F. Take two I got a C, but by PMAT 453 I pulled off an A minus). I came thisclose to bombing PMAT 491 but since the rest of the class was sitting at an D average, the prof said whatever we got on the final would be our final grade. Despite the fact that he put two concepts we had never taken in class on the test, I got a B (it was an open book test and I was able to teach myself out of the textbook and get the gist of it).

But all this leaves me with a paralyzing fear of failure. I don’t mean to come off as a jerk saying that I’m good at stuff, what I’m saying is, I’ve always been able to pull it out of the fire (as my mum says). Consequently, I absolutely fear failure. I don’t know what to do with it. A by-product of this is that, now that I’m older, I rarely try new things. Knowing that the coin I’ve been tossing has been pretty consistent in coming up heads, I’m sure that there are a number of Tails with my name on it. I’m a math major, for crying out loud. I know the stats.

So what’s a type A squirrelly girl to do? I’m trying to embrace the failure. In baby steps. So I have been working on my issues s-l-o-w-l-y. I’ve purchased a new pattern for knitting, and while you’re thinking this does not exactly sound like bungee jumping, for me, it’s been a learning process. I’ve started and pulled it apart 10 times now. It’s been VERY FRUSTRATING! Knitting is supposed to be relaxing but right now I can feel my blood pressure skyrocket as soon as I pick up the needles. My head bent over, my shoulders hunched, I’ve GOT TO KEEP TRYING! No matter how many times I fail. It’s getting better. I may not even have to rip out the stitches this time. We’ll see. But the urge to toss it aside and declare it MORONIC is overwhelming!

So, it may not seem like much to you, but to me, this is the first lesson in Failure 101: How to fail and move on. We’ll see if I can get back on the Roller-blades this summer. I haven’t fallen yet, so I know that there is a massive wipe out with my name on it. There’s got to be, I’m a total klutz.

I wasn’t always like this. As a kid I used to ride my bike super fast and then hard brake on gravel. I would ride it all over the place with my friends and never gave a thought to getting hurt, but two massive wipe outs has me fearful of gravel ever since. I have some lovely scars on my knees that are still purple to prove it, and they are over 20 yrs old now.

So I guess I have to try and find the girl that used to jump down 6 stairs at a time, despite being told it was dangerous. And if I fall, I’m just gonna have to get back up.


Looking for the Cheese. . . .

You know, most days, we’re too busy to stop and think about what we’re doing. You get up, you eat breakfast, you get ready for work, you go to work, you work, you eat lunch, you work, you drive home, you eat dinner, you space out in front of the telly for a few hours and you go to bed, you get up, you eat breakfast. . . .

I was on the treadmill the other night and I suddenly realized how symbolic the treadmill was of my life. I’m going at an okay clip, not as fast as I could go or I’d be uncomfortable, not as slow as I’d like since it really wouldn’t be worth it, but I’m not really going anywhere. I ended up exactly where I started. Was this a metaphor for my life? For all our lives?

Sure, there are people out there that are living it up, loving every moment, carpe diem and all that, but aren’t most of us just mice on a really big treadmill? We’re putting it out there, but where are we going? Are we even going anywhere? Aren’t we all just looking for the cheese?

But what’s the cheese?

I’m saving for my retirement, which while financially a sound idea, seems ludicrous at times. While I work, I save for when I won’t have to work. I save so I can do all the things I want to do, but I don’t get to do all those things now, because that wouldn’t pay the bills. Is my whole life transferring imaginary money on Scotiabank? Is retirement my cheese? That seems dumb because I may get hit by a bus tommorrow, or be too old to enjoy it. Retirement is old cheddar, you have to wait for it.

Is vacation the cheese? Those two weeks you take off work to go someplace, see something, do something? But vacation goes by so fast, and you never get enough. Vacation must be cheese fondu.

Is family the cheese? I’m not married, I may not ever get married, and I don’t really see myself having kids so if family is the cheese then it’s my blue cheese, some people think it’s great and others just pass it by.

But is any of that my cheese? They say life is a journey, not a destination, so does that mean that looking for the cheese is the cheese?

It’s too deep for me! I don’t have time to sit around and figure out what the cheese is! And isn’t that the whole problem? And your cheese is probably not my cheese so even if you figure it out, you can’t tell me.

So, I guess it’s back on the mouse treadmill tomorrow.

photo from Flickr


The Art of the Nap

Why do we shamefully hide the fact that we are creatures who require sleep? Why do people brag about being able to get by on only four hours a night? The hold it up to your face like a badge of honor that they can fully function on minimal quantities of sleep, while you are left to feel shamed and guilty because you cannot function on such little rest.

Why do we lie if someone catches us sleeping?

Ring-ring, the phone intrudes on your slumber, you groggily grasp for it and hit the ‘talk’ button while faking your best, “Nope, been up for hours” voice.
“Did I wake you?” They ask, feigning politeness but underneath it all, there is that oh-so-snarky tone.
“Nope. I couldn’t find the phone.”

I gave up lying like this years ago. Anyone who knows me knows that sleeping is my favourite thing. I love crawling into bed at night, sliding under my pile of blakets, arranging my pillows, snuggling down, and then with a sigh, I close my eyes. When you call me and I answer the phone with a slurred voice, I am not drunk. It wasn’t that I couldn’t find the phone. It’s that you woke me up! I don’t care if it is 11 am on a Saturday. I get up with Portia and Rocky at 6.30 for them to have breakfast and a pee break and once doggy bellies are full and bladders empty, it’s back to snooze land I go!

I also try to nap at least one day on the weekend. It’s my not-so-guilty-pleasure. For those of you who don’t nap, you are missing out. It’s the highlight of my day. Here is my guide to the nap.

Start off earlier in the day if you can, to avoid disrupting your nighttime sleep. Although, I require so much sleep, I can generally nap for three hours and it won’t affect me. Not even if I chug a latte right before bed.

Turn off the phone.

Make your room dark.

Let your roommate know you are napping (Jenge knows that when I am napping, someone better be crying or dying before she wakes me.)

Never nap for less than 45 minutes. Whenever I read those books that say have a 20 minute nap, I snort. C’mon! It takes me that long to go through my left-side, right-side, left-side routine to get comfy. Nap at least 45 min, but keep it under 3 hrs or you start to feel too groggy when you wake up.

Now, some of you might be saying, I can’t nap! I have kids! I have housework! I have yardwork! I have to do my taxes! Go grocery shopping!

To which I say: Sucks to be you. Thems the breaks. I don’t have kids, the housework can wait, the yardwork can wait, my taxes are done, and I’d rather have no food in the house than forgo the joy of napping.

Bonus tip: Get an electric blanket! So great to crawl into a warm bed on chilly days!


Choose Your Hell

Mes enfants! Yes, I took a brief sojourn for a few days but I am back!

So, when Jenge and I are bored, staring at a blank TV, with nothing else to say to one another (I mean, when you live with your sister, there is only so much new news. After that it’s all,”Did I tell you about. . “, ‘Yes, yes you did, twice.” “Oh, What about .. . ?” “Yes, that too.”) we have this game we play called Choose Your Hell. Choose your Hell was born on a bus in Greece when we were the only two english speaking people on a tour arranged for us by our Aunt Freida (who doesn’t really speak English and so the fact that we asked if the tour was in English somehow got a little lost in the translation). Hours after hours on a bus in the middle of the Greek countryside, we never knew where we were going, how long it would take or what we were doing when we got there. So we used to play this game.

The object of Choose Your Hell is to present two equally unappealing things to the other person and they must choose. There are good points to each choice but there are bad points. Case example:

Marry a guy with only one eyebrow
Marry a guy with no eyebrows

And then the questions can start:
When you say one eyebrow do you mean monobrow?
Nope. Only one eyebrow, on one side of the face.
Left side or right side?
Um. Let’s say left side.
Can he pencil one in?
Nope. He refuses to. He is totally content with his one eyebrow and that’s that!
Does he have dark hair or light hair?
Jet black. It’s totally noticeable.
Hmmm. It’s just that people with no eyebrows always look so surprised. But I’m a big fan of symmetry. ummm. . . .

And eventually you will have to make a choice. Now, over the years, I have tried to pass on this game to other people and so far VERY FEW people understand that Choose Your Hell is not about grossing the other person out and it’s not about picking two horrific things for the other person to choose between, it’s about giving them two things that are both kinda undersirable, but ultimately, you COULD live with if you had to. Like one day I gave Jenge the choice between P. Diddy or Jay Z. These are both wealthy music moguls, attractive in their own right, but we don’t find either one of them particularly attractive. So who do you pick? I believe Jenge and I both voted for P. Diddy because he has more money.

But most people I tell this game to always go for the ultimate gross out. They think they are being sooooooooo funny and isn’t it terrible that you have to choose??

I generally give them a blank stare, play along for a few minutes and then try never to bring it up again.

Donna and Jenn M (my peeps!) both understand the subtlety of choose your hell. The best one lately was when Jenn M propsed “Guy with no toenails, guy missing a finger” The debate went on for a full twenty minutes. . .
Does he wear socks all the time?
Nope, open toed sandles. He has no shame about his missing toenails.
Which finger?
Pointer finger.
Which hand?
Right hand.
Is he left or right handed?
Right handed. And he’s a hand talker. It’s always waving in your face.
Is it the whole finger?
No, just the top digit. He still uses it to point at stuff all the time.

And just when I was thisclose to choosing the guy with no finger, Jenn M goes. “Wait! Wait!” and then she knuckled over one of her fingers and leaned in and pretended to brush something off my face, mimicking the no finger guy! I squealed like a nine year old girl, “No toenails! No toenails!!”

She however, has a severe fear of feet so she had to choose no finger guy.

So there you have it. Choose Your Hell. The ultimate bordem buster.


Craft is Whack!!

Yes, it’s true, I am a craft junkie. It came as quite a surprise to me. I started out flipping through Ann’s stuff and then she leaned over one day and said, “Maybe you should stamp. You could make your own cards.”

Hmmm, my own cards. So I bought some stamps from Stampin’ Up (Ann had a friend, Shelley, who sold Stampin up).

Soon, I was churning out my own Christmas cards. Card after card of shimmery trees and happy hedgehogs, all with a personalized touch.

And then Ann leaned over one day and said, “You should try scrapbooking.”

Hmmm. Scrapbooking. I didn’t have any scrapworthy photos, I thought. But there was the Come as You Aren’t Party and that was a good photo op. I would scrapbook that.

And then I started scrapbooking Portia. Who, quite frankly, is very photogenic.

A couple of months ago, Jengie wanted in on arts and crafts too, so she decided to take up knitting.

Hmmm. Knitting. I could make a scarf!!

Jenge jettisoned it after a week, I am happily knitting away. And I just bought a book to teach me how to crochet.

I’m a CRAFT HO!!

This last couple of months, here is what my chequing account had to say to me:
Latest purchase of stamps – $150.00
Latest purchase of paper – $80.00
Yarn to make cape – $24.00
Yarn because it was 30% off – $25.00
Specialty yarn bought online along with bamboo needles and pattern – $90.00 USD
Yarn because it was pretty and fun to touch – $30.00

It starts off with people lending you stuff, kinda like – Hey the first hit is free! Now, Ann and Shelley is are my dealers. We meet secretely and speak in code: Have you seen the new Basic Grey? I just got Urban Couture, and there’s a coupon this week! If you go to Technique Tuesday, you can get acrylics. Scrapshotz is having a sale on MM!! I’m almost out of Crystal Glaze, and pop ups.

I joined an online knitting group and they are feeding my yarn fetish. Yarn stores online I never knew about!! Patterns for things I didn’t even know you could make!! They too have a code: DK, Alpaca, Mohair, Yarn Over, Chunky weight.

The craft world is the seedy underbelly of suburbia. Women meeting in out of the way coffee shops to show off their treasures and gab about life. You lie about how much you spend, you lie that the stuff you bought was on sale, you tell your non-crafty friends that it’s really an investment, because you’ll have it for years. You spend the day thinking about what you will do when you get home. Will it be knitting? Crochet? Scrapping? Stamping? You jones all day long for your next fix!! You go on weekend benders with the girls to ranches in the middle of no where to scrap (yes, such places exist and you have to book ahead 10 months, they are so busy! – But if you need the number – call me!). You proudly parade your creations in front of anyone who will listen (and even those who won’t) all the while knowing that while they may appreciate the effort, they do not feel the certain je ne sais quoi about it that you do. They don’t realize that this is the last time you can use Basic Grey Black Tie because it has been discontinued, or that your yarn was a steel considering it’s mohair.

Sniff. The life of a junkie. No one but your enablers understands you!!


Wake up and smell the anti-reality!

Yes, I watch soap operas, and yes I enjoy them greatly. I love the crazy plot lines, the over the top dialogue and that one great holy grail of it all – soap opera hair! Where else can you see coma patients that look better than you do after an hour of trying to do your hair and makeup? Where else do women wear fashionable short sleeves and tank tops in the middle of winter with outrageous high heels? You couldn’t even get into your car with those heels but they wear them to catch serial killers.

So what’s my beef? Well, on All My Children, recently, Erica Kane found out that the pregnancy she terminated in the 70’s was not terminated. Her embryo was transplanted to another woman and she has a son she never knew about! The Scandal! The Outrage! The fabulous hair tosses!

But the soap opera community is in an UPROAR. When Erica had her abortion in the 70’s it was even more taboo than it is today. And she had it because she wanted to be a STAR! And she didn’t want to be saddled with a kid! She had dreams!! Ambitions!! And the soap opera fans are complaining because:
1. This apparently takes away from her Womens’ lib choice
2. This procedure is not even medically possible
3. TPTB (The Powers that BE) have decided to rewrite history!

Ummmm.. . . Did y’all forget that you are watching a soap? Just off the top of my head, here are some things that the soap opera fans have not been in uproar about in the past. . . (from a bunch of different shows)
1. People who have come back from the dead or presumed-dead: AMC – Tad, Dixie, Zach Slater(although we didn’t know him when he was dead, lol), Miranda. ATWT – Holden, James Stenbeck, Paul. GH- Luke, Laura, Lucky, Stavros Cassidine, Helena Cassidine, Carly. OLTL – Todd, Nikki Smith, Cristian, Mitch Lawrence, Victor Lord, Margaret Cochrane. B and B – Taylor (TWICE!!). DAYS – Don’t even get me started!!
2. People who have been kidnapped/held hostage/terrorized more than once: AMC – Greenlee, Kendall, Lily, Dixie, Little Adam, Bianca, Miranda, Babe, Brooke, Krystal, Adam, Opal. ATWT – At last count I believe Lily had been kidnapped at least 7 times! OLTL – Nora, Natalie, Evangeline, Marcie, Blair. GH- Carly
3. People who had dramatic face lifts, came back to town and no one recognized them: AMC – Janet Green/Dillon. OLTL – Todd Manning. DAYS – John Black/Roman Brady.
4. Had a doppleganger or secret twin: DAYS – Marlena/Samantha, Marlena/Hattie and Bo/Evil Bo., Kristen DiMera/Susan Blake/Sister Mary/Penelope (Yes there were FOUR of them!). OLTL: Bo and Faux Bo (I kid you not! That’s what he was called!), Colin/Troy. ATWT: Lily/Rose. Sunset Beach – Derek/Ben. Santa Barbara – Robert/Quinn. GH – Connor/Nicolas, Lorenzo/Luis. YR – Katherine Chandler/Poor Waitress. AMC – Maggie/Frankie, Stuart/Adam, Anna Devane/Alex Devane. Passions – Grace/Faith
5. Had Amnesia (Curable or Not): GH – Jason Quartermaine. ATWT – Holden Snyder. B and B – Stephanie Forrester. AMC – Tad Martin. DAYS – John Black, Marlena. OLTL – Cristian Vega. Passions – Grace.
6. Slept with someone and later found out they may/maynot be related to you (through DNA): Passions – Chad and Whitney (so far, they are half siblings – ew!). Y and R – Cole and Victoria (verdict – Not related). ATWT – Holden and Lily (verdict – related by marriage and adoption, not by DNA). GH – Lucky and Liz (verdict – related by marriage, not DNA). OLTL – Tina and David (not related, but they still did the deed when they thought they were!).
7. Slept with someone who later turns out is married to/involved with a relative (or slept with someone you knew was married to/involved with a relative): GH – Sam and Sonny. OLTL – Lindsay and Bo. Days – Sami, Austin, Lucas, Carrie. Y and R – Cole, Victoria, Nikki. AMC – Tad the Cad Martin, Liza, Marian. Kendall, Zach, Ethan, Michael.

I could go on and on. . . .
Don’t panic, I don’t watch all these
soaps, but I do keep up to date with my Soap Opera Digest 😉

Clearly, we are not dealing with reality here, people!! If they have to bend the rules of space, time and physics so that I can be mindlessly entertained for an hour (or so), I’m okay with that!! Why aren’t you??


Rob Thomas, you rock my world!

Donna and I went to Rob Thomas tonight and it was AWESOME! Thanks to Donna getting pre-notification for tix (because she goes to all those Motley Crue concerts) we had awesome seats, 9th row from the front. We could see the whites of his eyes!

It was a great show. His opening act was Anna Nalick (whose music is available at iTunes) and she was really good. She had a great voice and her music was fabulous and she had on the cutest pair of shoes I have ever seen. You totally need to download her album from iTunes, ‘Wreck of the Day.’

And then it was on to Mr. Rob Thomas. He has an amazing voice and it’s even better in person than it is on his records. He did alot from his new album, ‘Something to Be’ and some of his Matchbox Twenty stuff, and even a cover of David Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’ which totally made me get up outta my seat and shake my bootie, and I’m rather shy about my bootie shaking so you KNOW it was good if I got up and got my groove on. His band was super! And the lights were so great! It was such a good show, totally worth any price. I normally think concerts are a great idea until I get there and it’s too loud and there’s so many people (They don’t call me squirrelly girly for nothin’) but I hardly noticed because it was such a terrific show.

I’m running out of adjectives to tell you how much I loved it! Great music, great sound – you could actually make out the lyrics unlike some other concerts where all you hear is ‘Whanh whanh whanh – drum solo – whanh whanh whanh.’ And my ears are hardly ringing, which is a first for me.

So, Rob Thomas, if you’re out there in cyberspace and you happen upon my blog, your show was simply marvy!! THANKS!!


The Perils of being Female. . .

As a woman, I am well aware every day of the dangers that I face. Walk alone late at night? No, thank you! Go to FutureShop to buy a computer? Um, no, not unless I want to walk out the door with a thousand dollars of stuff I don’t need and a warranty that will expire a mere two days before my hard drive crashes. Go to the mechanics? Nope. Prefer to wait until the entire thing blows apart in pieces while doing 100 clicks and hour.

But, last night I faced the most treacherous part of being a girl . . .

I was waiting for Grey’s Anatomy to come on (which CTV had said was going to be on a 10pm due to the Junos. Fascist liars!!) so I figured I had time for a bath and a quick pedi. After getting the water just right I added my moisturizing bubble bath. As I soaked, I used my moisturizing body scrub and then my moisturizing foot rub (I live in Calgary, okay! It’s very dry here!). About 15 minutes into my Calgon moment, Jenge yelled upstairs that Grey’s Anatomy was on and I was missing it! Stupid CTV didn’t stick to their schedule! I have a very firm bedtime of 10 pm (due to my tendancy to fall asleep in my car) which I had decided to forgo, but if there was a chance I could still make it, I knew I had to hustle.

And then came the dangerous part. . .

Trying to haul my very soapy body and soapy feet out of a tub full of moisturizing product. I nearly died!! I could have been killed!! Thank GOD for the handle on the wall of my tub. Seriously! I need a valet to help me out in times like this!! There was sloshing and a heart stopping moment when I nearly lost it, but I prevailed, upright and unscathed.

I get the chills just thinkin’ about. It’s dangerous work being a girly girl. NOT for the faint of heart!