Showing posts from July, 2006

A Weekend Miscellany

Having Dinner, Being Dinner . The weekend started early, Thursday evening, to be precise. I am not including it in the weekend because I took Friday off, but for the purposes of being at least mildly entertaining in this post. Ken and I went to dinner and after the kitchen obliterated my grilled salmon into a tiny, charcoaled mess, not only did I get another, perfectly prepared version, it was also free – I presume from the need to assuage the emotional damage and ensure positive PR. Which it certainly did. Go to The Keg on Lower Church Street. They make great food (99% of the time) and when they don’t, they fix it. Afterwards, we wandered through the sultry streets of Toronto and parked ourselves by a fountain for a chat. There, it later became obvious, I served as a buffet for a particularly finicky mosquito, which tasted a sip here and there (right knee, right index finger, right eyelid by the lashline – oh, so attractive – and right eyebrow), leaving just enough of

Random July

A belated shout-out to Diane of the comments and her mother, who toured Canada this summer. We met at the Market, had lunch and gabbed. Turns out, all three of us talk a lot, so naturally, we hit it off famously. I wish they lived closer. Why are there ads on the movies I rent or buy? One should think that part of the money you shell out for a DVD could go to eliminate ads. Drives me batty. Makes me feel ripped off. On tario has gotten itself a tartan ! Not bad. Apparently, there’ll be an annual Tartan Day and although I’m not Scottish, I do like the burr of the accent – and am nuts about the place itself – so I might go get something suitable to celebrate the day (when I find out when that is - I have a vague impression of sometime in April, but could be wrong). I’ve been looking for an alternative to my soap and because of the accursed asthma, it needed to be unscented. Which turns out to not be as easy to come by as you might think. I bought Dove unscented so

Books That Changed Who I Am

In September of 1973, I was 11 years old and admitted to the only rehab hospital in Denmark that handled kids with arthritis (and kids and adults with any other rehabilitation needs). To say that it was an awful place is an understatement, but there weren't any other options. I cried for weeks, wandering the halls dressed in the hospital-issued clothing – the ugliest workout gear seen on this earth. Then I learned that crying doesn’t change anything. I’d wear my anorak, too – it was armour from home, from normal, blocking the nightmare. Another part of the protective gear was a book by Nicholas Kalashnikof, called Prince: The Story of a Siberian Stallion (loosely translated from the Danish title). It was the story of the life of a Siberian stallion, lost from his owners, who experiences terrible things, then is found and comes home again. The first time I was in that hospital, I stayed for three months. My memories tell me that the book was always with me, either

Chasing the Sunset

p.s. No, this hasn't turned into a photoblog - I had a busy weekend. Words will return on Wednesday.

Mojo In Macro

The fuzzy feet are for Barbara or rather, for her Thomas , who also is somewhat hirsute around the paws...

Nasty Boys

This past week, I accidentally had myself a small film festival, the theme of which can best described as ‘Nasty Boys’. Something that delicious naturally deserves a review. The Matador . This is Pierce Brosnan ’s Anti-Bond, the exact opposite of suave, elegant, principled Good Guy. Brosnan plays a hitman, quickly on his way to a bad case of burnout, who strikes up an unlikely friendship with a businessman, played by Greg Kinnear . Visually, the movie is beautiful, the script is pretty good and it is clear that the two leads are having a blast (no review is complete without mentioning Brosnan's image-shattering strut through a hotel lobby, stomach hanging out, clad only in black Speedos and boots). And I did, too - have a blast, I mean. It was a fun way to spend a couple of hours and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the movie. The reason my praise is somewhat qualified has a lot to do with Brosnan and who he is. He is Pierce Brosnan and there is no getting away

Tight Squeeze


I'll Try To Keep It To A Minimum

In case you've missed it (I think I've only mentioned it once, maybe twice), Big Brother All-Stars has begun. This means that I have entered into my annual summer obsession with watching complete strangers, about whom I have strong opinions, locked in a hamster cage. A cage that this year looks like a 70s decorating nightmare. How obsessed am I? Glad you asked. Every year, after living and breathing the show for about 1½ months, I have a Big Brother dream. This year, I dreamt about them the night after the first episode. And no, I don’t care how pathetic that makes me sound. As I tend to talk (a lot) about my obsessions, it is quite likely that there might be the teensiest bit of spillover onto the blog. Much as I'm tempted to add a weekly BBAS post, discussing – in detail, naturally - everything happening in the Big Brother house, I really will try to keep it down to a dull roar. However! As this is the day after the first eviction, settle in for some

I Can See Clearly Now

I've been thinking about writing a post for a while. It was going to go something like this: I feel like I’m two people. One of me is working very hard to become positive, remain open to possibility and look at what I have instead of what I don't have - after all, the only way to change is by practicing, right? – but having a hard time because it’s constantly fighting the pull of the other part of me. The other me is lost in loss. My motto last year, after I started taking Enbrel, was 'it took a long time to get this fucked up, so it's going to take a long time to heal'. I was going to be patient, take it one step at a time, be all about the baby steps. And it was going pretty well, especially since initially, every day gave me a new thing that I could do again. Then it slowed down to a couple of times a week, then on a regular basis and then sometime last fall, after the whiplash thing happened, I stopped improving and started regressing. In

Reason #547 I Love Living Downtown

On Friday , I was sitting at my desk in front of the open window, enjoying the sounds of early evening - birds, laughing kids, the icecream truck - when I heard the sound of muffled drums. This is not a normal occurrence around here, so I looked out the window. Couldn't see anything, other than a girl running down the street, past my building. So I decided to go check out what surprise life had in store life, half thinking it might be a World Cup related activity, despite my neighbourhood not being overwhelmingly dominated by people from one of the remaining teams. I get down on the street and see a bunch of people down the road a bit. Naturally, I follow. It's a large crowd of young people - at least 50, likely more - many dressed in costumes, many with homemade wings on their back, beating drums, dancing, carrying a big banner (I never caught up enough to see what it said). Other neighbours streamed down the street to join the parade and one had asked what it was about. Rando

Say What?

The first time I tried a voice-activated program to write (dictating instead of typing) was years ago, when Ken - who consistently manages to solve my technological problems before I quite know I have them - gave me a program called VoiceXpress . Learning to use it was a bit of an uphill battle. At the end of one particularly intense training session, I went into my e-mail program to send Ken a message about my progress (naturally by dictating it). As I was a tad frustrated, when it came to the subject line I dictated 'damn'. The first indication that the training session had been less than successful was when the word 'Beirut' appeared in the subject line… Whether the program itself wasn't very good - this was in the early days of voice activated doodads - or my computer wasn’t good enough or whether the issue was that, as far as I could figure out, the training required typing when correcting, which seems to indicate that it was geared towards people

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

I’ve just finished reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (also available in paperback). I read the reviews quite a while ago and was looking forward to reading it, although a bit hesitant as it is almost 800 pages (which translates to over 36 hours in audio format) - that's a big investment of time. The book is about the renaissance of magic in England in the early 19th century, starting during the Napoleonic wars. Magic has left Britain long ago, leaving only the theoretical magicians who are unable to actually perform magic. However, a Mr. Norrell is enticed out of seclusion, demonstrates his ability to do quite spectacular magic, making statues talk and raising a woman from the dead. He subsequently hoards the magic, buying up all books about magic in England and blackmailing theoretical magicians into giving it up, leaving him the only magician in England. Some years later, he takes on a pupil - Jonathan Strange - with whom he later has a