Wednesday, June 30, 2010
So I'm going to Vegas in a few weeks.
So it will be hot.
So I bought a swimsuit today.
I haven't bought a bathing suit in probably 3 years, and even that one I think I've worn about twice.

This would be for several reasons:
a) I am not a sun-worshipper, in I am extreme in my avoidance of the sun and the heat - perhaps in direct sunlight I sparkle like a vampire, perhaps because my skin has not seen direct sunlight in years, perhaps because not only do I burn but I also am lucky enough that I am allergic and the sun gives me a rash.
b) I do not have a swimming pool, nor does anyone I know.
c) Even the very new, very large rec centre across the street from me does not have a pool.
d) I do not want to offend or cause blindness.

That being said, knowing that most of my time in Vegas will be (hopefully) in air-conditioned environs, and knowing that the friend I am going with is a sun-worshipper, and I do love the water, I know realistically we will spend some time poolside.  Hence the new swimsuit.

It wasn't as painful as it could have been, I think I may even have bought a smaller size than my last.  I went for the look rather than the function.  I think in it I am more Marilyn Monroe than big fat monster, so that's good.
So long as I can get down to the pool and not run back up to the room to get a long-sleeved hoodie..........
Retro Chic Bandeau w/Ruched Overlay

(and no, that sure as hell is NOT a picture of me, but at least it's not a size 2 in the photo...)
Monday, June 28, 2010

Since I am a dork and I catalogue, track and rate every book I read but tend not to write reviews, I have added a books page that pulls data from my LibraryThing account and shows what I am currently reading as well as the last 10 books I've read what I rated them as. 

In reviewing my catalogue which has data since 1998, it appears as though I hand out 3.5 and 4 stars freely and tend to hold back on 5's, 2's and 1's.  Examples of my ratings, because I know you care:

5 - The Stand, Stephen King (apparently the only book I have given a 5 to)

4.5 - Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole  -The Passage, Justin Cronin  -Eclipse, Stephenie Meyer  -Crosscut, Meg Gardiner

4 - Shades of Grey, Jasper Fforde  -Dante Valentine series, Lilith Saintcrow  -Harper Connelly series, Charlaine Harris  -Kitty Norville series, Carrie Vaughan  -Elvis Cole series, Robert Crais  -Jack Reacher series, Lee Child,  -a whole lotta Stephen King books

3.5 - In Death series, J.D. Robb  -Heartsick, Chelsea Cain  -JPod, Douglas Coupland  -a bunch of Sookie Stackhouse books, Charlaine Harris  -most of Richard Laymon's horror novels

3 - Generation Dead, Daniel Waters  -Under the Dome, Stephen King  -Velocity, Dean Koontz  -Strangers on a Train, Patricia Highsmith

2.5 - Jimi Hendrix Turns 80, Tim Sandlin  -Ash Wednesday, Ethan Hawke

2 - The Ruins, Scott Smith  -Shopgirl, Steve Martin  -The Beach, Alex Garland  -The Silence of the Lambs, Thomas Harris

1.5 - Hannibal, Thomas Harris  -Girl, Interrupted, Susanna Kaysen

1 - Danse Macabre, Laurell K. Hamilton  -Ticktock, Dean Koontz

I notice now that though I've read many classic novels and enjoyed some of them, I've never rated any of them.  I also notice that I obviously rate with my gut and not with any specific criteria held in mind, since I finish a book and rate it before moving on to the next book.  So there, on the day I finished Eclipse I felt it was a 4.5, The Ruins seemed like a 2 and on the day I finished Laurell Hamilton's Danse Macabre it felt like a 1, which means it must have pissed me off.
Friday, June 25, 2010

Ever since I was 12 (?) and read The Stand for the first time I have loved post-apocalyptic fiction.  The world as we know it will end people, it's just a matter of when and how.
Now, I could be a doomsdayer and actually pay attention to the news and the reality of the world and the environment, but that's just so depressing.  The oil spill sucks and is horribly destructive but I put it out of my mind because it makes me so angry to begin with, and then if I hear (blank number) of animals have died, suffocated, coverd in oil, well that will just make me cry.  So, me being me, I ignore it.

Instead the great scribes of our times will tell me how it ends, how I can prepare, how I can survive in the aftermath.  I find this to be much less depressing, and depending on the novel, even exciting.

Stephen King told me to read Justin Cronin's The Passage, so I did (and just in case you're wondering, no I don't hear Uncle Stevie's voice or anything, Stephen King doesn't actually talk to me - sometimes he writes a review, or mentions something worthwhile in his Entertainment Weekly column, okay?).  The Passage is straight-up post-apocalyptic fiction and I devoured it.  I pressed the "next" button on my e-book reader 828 times over 12 days blasting my way through it (list price $32.00, online price $18, ebook price $10 = space on bookshelf zero).  I don't like to get too detailed when writing about books, so I'll say the characters and the circumstances keep the reader guessing and engrossed, and the ending is a King-like ending, meaning it's not really an ending at all, meaning there could be another book or two to follow.  Normally, I would say - hey if there's 2 more books coming, wait on this one and read them all together, but in this case I say don't wait, the book can stand on its own and it's worth it - and it's not really one of those angering cliff hanger type endings where you are totally unsatisfied with the story thus far and just feel ripped off.

So do as Uncle Stevie did and just read the damn book.
4.5 stars
Thursday, June 17, 2010

My high school graduation was 15 years ago today, I'm officially old and there's no going back. 
Looking at some grad photos reminded me how much has changed - we didn't have digital cameras then, so some of the photos are either badly scanned in to the computer, or are just plain bad/out of focus.

I have a horrible memory, aside from basically not remembering any of my childhood, I don't even remember things I did or things that happened 15 years ago.  So here's a recap of 1995 events, some are sad, some are funny, some are just boring (though I omitted most of the boring stuff):

January 1 – The World Trade Organization (WTO) is established to replace the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).
January 11 – The WB Television Network is launched.
January 16 – The United Paramount Network (UPN) is launched.
January 29 – Super Bowl XXIX: The San Francisco 49ers become the first National Football League franchise to win 5 Super Bowls, as they defeat the San Diego Chargers at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, Florida.

February 13 – A United Nations tribunal on human rights violations in the Balkans charges 21 Bosnian Serb commanders with genocide and crimes against humanity.
February 23 - I turn 18.

March 1 – Yahoo! is founded in Santa Clara, California.
March 6 – On an episode of The Jenny Jones Show ("Same-Sex Crushes"), Scott Amedure reveals a crush on his heterosexual friend Jonathan Schmitz. Schmitz kills Amedure several days after the show.
March 27 – The 67th Academy Awards, hosted by David Letterman, are held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, with Forrest Gump winning Best Picture.

April 19 – Oklahoma City bombing: 168 people, including 8 Federal Marshals and 19 children, are killed at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. Timothy McVeigh and one of his accomplices, Terry Nichols, set off the bomb.

May 11 – More than 170 countries agree to extend the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty indefinitely and without conditions.
May 22 - Blossom, TV series ends
May 23 - Full Hose, TV series ends
May 25 – Egan v. Canada: The Supreme Court of Canada rules that discrimination based on sexual orientation is prohibited under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
May 27 – In Culpeper, Virginia, actor Christopher Reeve is paralyzed from the neck down after falling from his horse in a riding competition

June 15 – During his murder trial, O.J. Simpson puts on a pair of gloves that were presumably worn by the person who murdered his ex-wife and her friend Ron Goldman.
June 16 – My friends and I all go see Batman Forever on opening night
June 17 – My high school graduation
June 24 – The New Jersey Devils sweep the heavily favored Detroit Red Wings to win their first Stanley Cup in the lock-out shortened season.

July 4 – Bob Ross, American television painter dies (b. 1942)
July 13 – Dozens of cities, most notably Chicago and Milwaukee, set all-time record high temperatures. Hundreds in these and other cities die as the Chicago Heat Wave of 1995 reaches its peak.

August 9 - Jerry Garcia dies
August 13 – Mickey Mantle, baseball player dies (b. 1931)
August 24 – Microsoft releases Windows 95.

September – The DVD, an optical disc computer storage media format, is announced.
September 19 – Orville Redenbacher, American entrepreneur and businessman dies (b. 1907)

October 3 – O. J. Simpson is found not guilty of double murder for the deaths of former wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.  An estimated 150 million people watch as the not guilty verdict is read.
 October 21 – Shannon Hoon, American singer dies (b. 1967)
October 30 – Quebec independentists narrowly lose a referendum for a mandate to negotiate independence from Canada.

November 22 – The first ever full length computer animated feature film "Toy Story" was released by Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Pictures.

December 25 – Dean Martin, American actor and singer dies (b. 1917)


Billy Madison,
Leaving Las Vegas
Blue in the Face
Mighty Aphrodite
The Bridges of Madison County
The Net
The Quick and the Dead
The Crossing Guard
Dangerous Minds
Dead Man Walking
Strange Days
Tommy Boy
Four Rooms
Twelve Monkeys
Get Shorty
The Usual Suspects
The Ghost in the Shell

Record of the Year “Kiss From a Rose,” Seal
Album of the Year Jagged Little Pill, Alanis Morissette
Song of the Year “Kiss From a Rose,” Seal, songwriter
Best New Artist Hootie and the Blowfish
Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male “Kiss From a Rose,” Seal
Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female “No More `I Love You's,” Annie Lennox
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance “Duets II,” Frank Sinatra
Best Pop Instrumental Performance “Mariachi Suite,” Los Lobos
Best Pop Album Turbulent Indigo, Joni Mitchell (Reprise)
Best Rock Album Jagged Little Pill, Alanis Morissette
Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male “You Don't Know How It Feels,” Tom Petty
Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female “You Oughta Know,” Alanis Morissette
Best Rock Performance By a Duo or Group WVocal “Run-Around,” Blues Traveler
Best Hard Rock Performance “Spin the Black Circle,” Pearl Jam
Best Metal Performance “Happiness Is Slavery,” Nine Inch Nails
Best Alternative Music Performance MTV Unplugged in New York, Nirvana
Best Rap Album Poverty's Paradise, Naughty by Nature
Best Rap Solo Performance “Gangsta's Paradise,” Coolio

1. The Rainmaker, John Grisham
2. The Lost World, Michael Crichton
3. Five Days in Paris, Danielle Steel
4. The Christmas Box, Richard Paul Evans
5. Lightning, Danielle Steel
6. The Celestine Prophecy, James Redfield
7. Rose Madder, Stephen King
8. Silent Night, Mary Higgins Clark
9. Politically Correct Holiday Stories, James Finn Garner
10. The Horse Whisperer, Nicholas Evans
Thursday, June 10, 2010
I realized recently that I have an accidental past time - I collect father figures.

Not in an Electra kind of way.  In a purely innocent, put them on a pedestal, try to get their attention, try to please them kind of way.
I realize I have been doing it for years, long before my father actually died, and I have quite a collection.  Teachers, bosses, co-workers, friends' fathers....

I'm thinking none of them ever had any idea, and wondering if any of them ever thought I was a total psycho. Guessing that, since my father died a veritable stranger to me, I am now destined to continue collecting unsuspecting dads.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Have you ever remembered something good from your childhood and tried to re-live it only to discover it totally sucks now that you're an adult? Like old TV shows, or movies you flick one on and go holy crap this sucks ass!
Your childhood memories are ruined.
You wish you had left well enough alone so you could continue to believe that The Facts of Life was awesome.

For once, something I loved as a kid is the same as it was. 

Map-O-Spread.  Sweet sweet Map-O-Spread.
Smuckers Map-o-Spread Delicious maple flavour spread. Excellent on toast, pancakes, ice cream and cake icing. Do not refrigerate. Made in Quebec.  Just the Best!

I remember as kids, whenever someone was going back east (to Manitoba or Quebec), they would bring back Map-O-Spread for us and it was the best treat ever that never lasted long enough. 
Melting on toast with butter. 
Making bread your best friend.

My brother went to Montreal a few weeks ago, I had a revelation on the way to work and sent him a text while he was on his way to the airport:

Me - Try to pick up some Mapospread :)
Him - I'm going to get a case of it
We were on the same wavelength.

He was only able to find 6 (large) jars of it, not a whole case, and after he lugged them back from rural Quebec, I was the lucky recipient of 1/6 of his haul (he wasn't keeping the rest for himself, he wanted to share the secret with some of his friends).

It was everything I remembered.  It is as good with cream cheese on toast as it is with butter on toast.
Funny thing though, this maple treat, this Quebec delicacy, doesn't have any real maple in it at all (in fact it sort of doesn't have any real ingredients at all).
Still yummy though.
It's nice to see some things never change.
It's the little things that can make me smile.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
I was sent an email today that read:

Do you believe that the word God should stay in Canadian culture?

CBC this morning had a poll on this question. They had the highest Number of responses that they have ever had for one of their polls, and the Percentage was the same as this:

86% to keep the words “ God Keep our Land” in the National Anthem
14% against

That is a pretty 'commanding' public response.

I was asked to send this on if I agreed or delete if I didn't ..

Now it is your turn.  It is said that 86% of Canadians believe the word  “God” should stay......

Therefore, I have a very hard time understanding why there is such a mess about having the word “God” in the anthem

Why is the country catering to this 14%?
If you agree, pass this on , if not, simply delete.
From what I can see, the above isn't even in any way true.  The recent discussion around the Canadian anthem was about making it "gender neutral" to take out the word "sons", and I think the "god" issue came up but wasn't really ever on the table.   I could care less about making the anthem gender neutral, it it really that big a deal? 

Of course I didn't forward the email to anyone, because anyone who knows me will know my answer would of course be to get the "god" out already.  There's no need for it, it would be a simple single word substitute, nothing major, and removing it is less offensive than leaving it in.  But then again, I'm the one who says if I ever had to go to court and they asked me to put my hand on a bible and swear to tell the truth, I'd either do so gladly and then lie my ass off because putting my hand on a bible means nothing to me, or, I'd ask them to substitute the bible for a copy of The Stand because swearing to tell the truth by placing my hand on a Stephen King book would hold greater weight for me than putting my hand on a bible.