Thursday, June 30, 2005

Happy Canada Day!

I'm off to the Vegas of Canada - Niagara Falls - to celebrate my friend's bachelorette, so I won't be posting for a while. I highly doubt there will be any debauchery, as many of my friends are good sober virginal Christians (myself excluded), but I'll make sure to leave all the titilating details of the giggling and sipping wine spritzers that will surely ensue. And possibly the head-bashing drunkeness the not-so good-sober-virginal non-Christians the rest of us will partake in.

Happy Maple Leaf/Beer/Hockey/Toques Day!
Long live the Beaver!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Episode Three, second viewing

I watched ROTS again with the family, as I predicted. And I maintain my first reaction: muh.

Admittedly, my initial expectations were so low I had nothing to look forward to, and nothing to even hope for. So the second time around wasn't a stretch either. At least it all went by much more quickly this time - I reserved all the washroom breaks for moments when Padme & Anakin were on screen, talking and mooning and griping. That saved me a lot of grief, I think.

The parents seemed pretty muh about it too - you'd think a couple who literally went to the movies maybe once a year would enjoy ANYTHING they saw. No, not really. And that either speaks for the crapiness of the film or the crapiness of my parents' lives.

So the second time around was pretty much as enjoyable as the first time around, and not a total waste. Still, I gotta say that I'm vastly disappointed by the sheer lack of nerds in the audience. I thought there'd be that one sweaty creepy guy in the show who'd seen it three times a week since it opened. I mean, there were more nerds at the symphony! THE SYMPHONY!! Fully-dressed everyone: Vader, Chewbacca, Stormtroopers, various miscellaneous Imperial guards and officers, Boba and Jango Fett, X-Wing pilots, Jedi Kinghts, Luke, Padme, Shmi... I think pretty much the whole freakin' cast. At the symphony. With the strings and brass and tuxedos.

Oh nerdom, I'm so disappointed in you...

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Star Wars Symphony in a word:


There's nothing quite like live music, and there's absolutely NOTHING like hearing the 20th Century Fox theme crashing in your eardrums just before the theme opening that goes: BA! DA-DA-DUM!! DUM-DUM DUM-DUM DUM-DUM-DUM DUM DUM DUM DUM DUM STAAAAR WARS! EMPIRE STRIIIIIIIKES BACK! RETURN OF THE JEEEEE-DI! BA-DA-DA-DUM!!!!

Most amazing of all is the amount of work a musician will do to add to the sound. I watched the harpist plucking away at the opening theme and couldn't hear her for the life of me, yet I knew she was adding an incredible amount of depth to the tune. Watching the strings sawing away made me really wish I had been a good Chinese girl and taken up the violin, and hearing the Princess Leia theme played on the flute made me wish I had kept on with it (and then one time in band camp...)

John Williams is god. I never realized how much of the orchestra he utilizes in his work - he seems to make sure every instrument gets its time in the spotlight.

Anyhoo, more gibbering and salivating later. John wants to watch the Daily Show now.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

More unhappy bowel stories - be forewarned

There's nothing quite as shocking or upsetting as going to the bathroom and finding something you don't expect emerge from you. Especially if it comes with pain and extreme discomfort.

In my case, I started peeing blood a couple of days ago.

Horrible, horrible, horrible.

I hadn't been feeling well most of the afternoon, and I knew something funky was going on down there, and by late in the evening it was obvious.

I called Telehealth and they recommended I see a doctor right away, even if it meant going to the emergency room, which I really wasn't going to do since my sister's experience a couple of months back.

I went to Mount Sinai in the morning, was there for about two and a half hours, and it was pretty much what everyone suspected: urinary tract infection. Eeew. I was still peeing bits of blood clots here and there, and I was plenty uncomfortable, so they gave me some FANTASTIC painkillers and an antibiotic. The painkillers look just like mini brown M & Ms and turn my pee orange, while the antibiotics are black and yellow capsules that turn my pee brown. So now I've got funky coloured pee and I'm all tripped out on these FANTASTIC painkillers that make me dizzy and headachey and generally very floaty. Wheee!

I should mention the Mount Sinai emergency room was much nicer and cleaner than Toronto Western Hospital's emergency ward. I've been told that Toronto General Hospital has a brand-spanking new ER, so the next time one of the So family has to go to, that's where we'll head. That should be in about, oh, two, three months.

The weirdest thing about Mt. Sinai: the emergency ward is named the Schwartz/Reisman ER, after the power couple Gerry and Heather. The sick thing: there's a mini-Indigo inside the hospital! It's called Indigo! Spirit and sells flowers, best selling books, stuffed animals, and the kind of stuff that you'd get in your usual hospital gift shop. So how do you think the two agreed to make the "charitable" donation to build the ER? "Oh we'll fund the renovation, but in return, we want to put a store we can make money with inside...."


Friday, June 24, 2005

My new job, week 1 summary

I am loving this!

A few quick pros to this place that I've discovered in the first three days I've been here:

1. Manager's pot luck where all the senior level staff brought food for the whole company to nosh.
2. Awesomely stocked kitchen - not just tea, but 8 differents kinds of tea! Including iced tea!
3. An unending supply of little things of cream and milk. I'm not keen on the sheer amount of packaging, but cream! AND milk!
4. A combo coffeemaker/hot water spout thingy. No need to stand and watch the water kettle boil!
5. Washroom outside of office in corridor, cleaned by building staff and not by me!
6. We're going on a boat cruise in August! The whole company! Cruising! On a boat! In Lake Ontario! On a work day! How crazy is that?
7. A clear delegation of responsibilities! Hooray!
8. Comforting silence!

Wow, I could go on, but I think I'd make people jealous!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Nerd it up, fuzzball

Oh Jo-oooohn....

Stars Warz - Improv Comedy.

Can we go? Huh huh huh? I know I've already dragged you to One Man Lord of the Rings, One Man Star Wars, the Lord of the Rings Symphony, the Star Wars Symphony, but can we go to see this too? Huh huh huh, can we can we can we? PLEEEEEEAAAASSE?

Jeebus, am I ever a nerd...

Saturday, June 18, 2005

More MP3 Player Truths

I was on my way to the gym, having awoken from a great night's sleep after a smashing time with my old co-workers, and what two songs does it play for me in sequence?

Free Bird
Lynyrd Skynyrd

If I leave here tomorrow
Would you still remember me?
For I must be travelling on, now,
There's too many places I haven't seen
And if I stayed here with you, now
Things just wouldn't be the same
Well I'm as free as a bird now,
And a bird you can not change.
And a bird you can not change.
And a bird you can not change.
Lord knows I can't change

Bye, bye, its been a sweet love.
And though this feeling I can't change.
Please don't take it badly,
The Lord knows I'm to blame.
And, if I stayed here with you now
Things just wouldn't be the same.
For I'm as free as a bird now,
And this bird you'll never change.
And the bird you can not change.
And the bird you can not change.
Lord knows, I can't change.
Lord help me, I can't change.

And then:

Goodbye to You
Michelle Branch

Of all the things I've believed in
I just want to get it over with
Tears form behind my eyes
But I do not cry
Counting the days that pass me by

I've been searching deep down in my soul
Words that I'm hearing are starting to get old
It feels like I'm starting all over again
The last three years were just pretend
And I said,

Goodbye to you
Goodbye to everything that I knew
You were the one I loved
The one thing that I tried to hold on to
The one thing that I tried to hold on to

I still get lost in your eyes
And it seems that I can't live a day without you
Closing my eyes and you chase my thoughts away
To a place where I am blinded by the light
But it's not right


And it hurts to want everything and nothing at the same time
I want what's yours and I want what's mine
I want you
But I'm not giving in this time

[Chorus x2]

And when the stars fall
I will lie awake
You're my shooting star

I feel like I'm awakening from a dream about being in horribly abusive relationship, but still want to be in it for some perverse reason. Oh wait, I think that must be it...

I swear I just downloaded these songs too, not even really knowing what the lyrics were or anything. I just liked the way they sounded, having heard them on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Yup, that's where I source all my music downloads. So I'm a nerd. Deal with it.

The Emperor is coming here? To a scratch contest?

DJ scratching The Imperial March.

Friday, June 17, 2005



Today (Friday) was my last day at my bizarro job! I'm off to greener pastures, bluer skies, bigger bank accounts, etc.

There are no words to express the joy!!! (Yeah yeah, all of you new readers who I've worked with, I'll miss y'all.)

It was a great day. I was practically euphoric. Of course, the day couldn't have been longer.

Have I mentioned how much I love my MP3 player? I think it's magic - like it only tells the truth or something. I just downloaded some Aimee Mann songs including one that started up as I left the house:

Calling It Quits
Aimee Mann

He’s a serious mister
Shake his hand and he’ll twist your arm
With monopoly money
We’ll be buying the funny farm
So I’ll do flips,
And get paid in chips
From a diamond as big as the ritz--
Then I’m calling it quits

Eyes the color of candy
Lies to cover the handicap
Though your slippers are ruby
You’ll be led to the booby trap
And there’s no prize,
Just a smaller size
So I’m wearing the shoe til it fits--
Then I’m calling it quits

Now he’s numbering himself among the masterminds
Cause he’s hit upon the leverage of valentines
Lifting dialogue from judy garland storylines
Where get-tough girls turn into goldmines

But oh, those polaroid babies
Taking chances with rabies
Happy to tear me to bits--
Well, I’m calling it quits
Yes, I’m calling it quits.

Creepy chilltacularness. I have to buy this CD now.

So guess what my MP3 player played as I was going home?:


(George Weiss / Bob Thiele)

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

The colours of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shakin' hands, sayin' "How do you do?"
They're really saying "I love you"

I hear babies cryin', I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than I'll ever know
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world
Yes, I think to myself, what a wonderful world

Oh yeah

Oh, and for all of you who know about my boss:

I toilet papered his office this morning.
Pictures to come.

Monday, June 13, 2005

I sense a great disturbance in the Force...

That's no moon. It's a MEGA theatre.

Cineplex Galaxy buys Famous Players

Cineplex Galaxy LP raised the curtain on a blockbuster deal today, confirming its long-rumoured acquisition of larger rival Famous Players for $500 million.

The deal will create a film-screening juggernaut with 132 locations and more than 1,300 screens across Canada and a combined box-office market share of about 61 per cent.
And you SOOOOOO know this is a move by an EVIL corporation because of the way the CEO speaks:
"This transaction is a major transforming event for Cineplex Galaxy," CEO Ellis Jacob told investors during a conference call.

"It allows us to capitalize on the many synergies between the two companies."
Dude, like, could you say that in, um, non-businessese?
I've got a bad feeling about this. Thank god I've already gone to see Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Star Wars. Oh wait, those weren't THAT good. Anyhow, I don't know if I can afford to go to the theatres anymore if prices go up, even if they promise otherwise:
Industry observers said the deal was unlikely to result in higher box-office prices.

"The trend in pricing has been down," said Jeff Tkachuk an analyst with BMO Nesbitt Burns.

"I don't suspect that consumers would react favourably to a ticket price increase and I'm pretty sure that Cineplex realizes that also."

Absolutely, said Pat Marshall, Cineplex Galaxy's vice-president of communications and investor relations:

"Our philosophy has always been to keep ticket prices as low as possible to encourage people to visit with more frequency," Marshall said.
Wait, I've heard this before...

Lando: "You said the princess and the Wookiee would be handed over to me! And that movie tickets would be cheap! We had a deal!"

Vader: "I am altering that deal. And I'm raising the price of popcorn. Pray I don't alter it further."

Can we PLEASE get back to real life now?

MJ's not guilty.

Well, thank god that's over. Now to predict tomorrow's headlines, as written by hacks who think they're soooooo smart:

Toronto Star:

Globe & Mail:
THRILLER! The Man in the Mirror acquited on all charges

National Post:
BAD! Black child molester innocent on all counts

Toronto Sun:

Ooh, I'm soooooo getting in trouble for this one...

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Will Serenity's star shoot to the top?

John's already covered this base, but I thought I'd pass it along to my readers (boy, does that ever sound egotistic...).

Serenity, the new film by Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel creator Joss Whedon, is slated to hit the theatres this September. The idea started as the fabulous but entirely too short-lived TV series Firefly, which aired on Fox's Friday Night death slot and which was subsequently cancelled after 22 episodes.

Basically, it's cowboys in space, only it's not like Star Trek where there are lots of space battles. In fact, the ship has no guns whatsoever. It's much more gritty, and is character-based rather than techno-mumbo-jumbo based. There aren't really any aliens to speak of either. Just the frontier colonization of a handful of planets, the question of faith, the struggle for independence, the fight for truth, justice, and an easy buck or two, etc.

If anything, I pray that this movie will prove you don't need big-name Hollywood stars to carry a film. Joss Whedon is one of the best writers around, and has penned his unique quippiness in Toy Story, Titan A.E., Roseanne, Alien Resurrection, and of course, his two babies, Angel and Buffy. His stuff is worth watching for the script and characters alone. (Okay, maybe not Aliens 4, but I blame Hollywood on that mess.)

Want proof I'm not a geek? Read pre-release reviews here, here, and a less positive one here.

Meanwhile, I HIGHLY recommend you rent (or buy!) the Firefly DVDs and watch them.


Saturday, June 11, 2005

If it's on a T-shirt, it must be true!

Babies are made of meat!

John: I'd like the women's tank top. I'm a medium.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Summer heat means summer feet

While it's not officially summer, my feet have declared that it has begun early.

And how, you ask, do my feet relay this notice?

For starters, the skin on my heels starts looking like a 3-D map of Earth's plate tectonics, complete with the shale-like lifting of large, crusty scales of callous.
This seems to be a genetic problem in my family - no matter how much attention we put on our feet with nightly exfoliation, regular scrubbing, and fanatic moisturizing, we all get these crunchy summer feet. Still I refuse to give up sandals: my feet set themselves on fire otherwise.

Secondly, they start to smell like something awful - not quite offal, but getting there - even while wearing sandals. I had my ankle crossed over my knee today and I smelled something that seemed like a mix of bad soup, metal, and damp towels and realized to my horror that it was my slightly moist foot in emitting this foul odour within my oversized kids' sandal.

There's an old adage that goes, "bare feet don't stink." But I think someone must have gotten that wrong somewhere down the line. It must be, "bear feet don't stink." As coined by Jeremy "Lucky Man" Lyons who was attacked by a grizzly who stood on his face for an hour before accepting he was finally dead. Lucky Man Lyons probably crawled back to town and uttered these, his dying words.*

*No, there's no such person as Jeremy "Lucky Man" Lyons, but I encourage you to spread that lie to your children and pass it off as real history. Like Paul Bunyan, Johnny Appleseed, or Richard Nixon.

Monday, June 06, 2005

On a blogging role

John's been absorbed doing crosswords lately and I've just realized that I've been neglecting my blog, so I'm making up for lost time.

On the omnipresent topic of Karla Holmolka's iminent departure from jail: well, whatever. They made a bargain with her, and the last thing the justice system should do is renege on it. Sure, she's a horrible psychopath who should have her eyeballs replaced with cameras so we know where she is every minute of the day, but think about it: if the justice system can just take away a bargain like that, what's to say they don't do it to someone who's completely innocent?

On a completely different topic: what do you say to someone who is mutually divorcing their long-time spouse? Congratulations? Sorry to hear that? My condolences? I had this conversation with a co-worker on the bus today, and the woman beside me burst out laughing, heartily agreeing with our assessment of this awkward situation.

There should probably be a whole new vocabulary and category of communication to deal with this. Maybe saying, "My condolulations," followed by some kind of handshake and consoling pat-on-the-shoulder-combination. Or how about "That's bacheloresque, my friend, can I buy you a drink to mollify your joy?" followed by imbibing of the modest kind (enough to get you tipsy, but not enough to get you messed.)

Someone out there help me: I'm sure other people have run into this/will run into it.


I've been offered a job with a company that makes trade publications for IT professionals as a Marketing Communications Specialist. I've accepted!


Gave my notice today, and got the whole gamut of reactions, from "What the hell???" to "I'm going to miss you waaahhh!!!" to "FUCKING WHORE!!"

That last one's my favourite.

The next two weeks are going to be sheer joy...

I start June 22, after a brief hiatus so I can decompress.

Yay for me!

Bookie book bookeroo!

John did it to me again!

This time, the game is:

How many books do you own?
Ugh, too many, yet not quite enough. It probably numbers around 100 books, but I don't know where most of them have gotten to, having lent out so many. A lot of those are graphic novels. And yes, they do count, you snobby bookist literature-lover, so don't knock 'em til you've tried 'em.

Most recent book I bought:
Neverwhere, Stardust, and American Gods, all by Neil Gaiman. I thought, y'know, it's time I owned those books, so I traded in a bunch of duds for used copies I found at Willow Books, this great new/used bookstore that just opened up on Bathurst near Bloor. Tell your friends!

Most recent book read:
I'm currently reading a crappy book based on a video game I really enjoyed - Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers. It was an old Sierra video game that I finished playing a while back, and it's totally awesome as a game, but the translation in the book is horrible. Not to disparage Jane Jensen's writing abilities - she's a good writer, but I guess since I already know exactly what's going to happen, it's not a terribly scintillating gothic horror murder-mystery.

Five books that mean a lot to me:
1) Kingdom Come - yeah, it's a graphic novel, but this is the story that ruined me for comic books. The Alex Ross is God.
2) Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass) - this is an awesome young adult series by an extrodinarily gifted author about oh-so-many things. Mainly, it's based on Milton's Paradise Lost, and talks about a war between the Kingdom of Heaven and Earth. Brilliant, and hardly for kids. Suck on that, Judy Blume.
3) The Chronicles of Narnia - another great children's classic. I just realized that even with all the Christian symbolism in the last three books I've mentioned, it's a wonder I haven't been converted.
4) 1984 - Orwell's dystopia, the Ministry of Truth, double-plus ungood... how can you not love it?
5) Atlas Shrugged - I read this while I was in Hong Kong for a month in 2000. Ayn Rand was almost as crazy a right-wing nut-job as Ann Coulter is, but at least she wrote decent books and was educated.

Now I infect The Red Fork and Flocons de Mais.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Canada needs its own automobile industry

During a dinner conversation last night, John said that in ten years or so we'll all be driving cars from China. Not that it'd harm the non-existent Canadian car industry. It occured to me then that what Canada really needs is its own car manufacturer and signature car to sompete in the global market. I mean, The US has Ford, Japan has Honda, Suzuki, Toyota etc.; Germany has BMW, and Korea has Kia.

So what should Canada have? I couldn't think of a company name off the top of my head, but the car name came like lightning from the gods. It was so obvious. It's the perfect symbol of Canadian craftsmanship, our industrious nature, our hearty upbringing, and reliability....

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you...


All-leather interior!
Lots of cup holders!
Power steering!
Smooth stick-shifting!
Room for 5, or more!
Note its spacious capacity!
Plenty of room for junk in your trunk!
You can jam just about anything in the Beaver!

(Air freshener sold separately.)