Saturday, December 13, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Secret

Who came up with this 'Secret Santa' crap? I really want to know.

I'm sure everyone is familiar with this inane tradition in the workplace: You are forced to draw a name and purchase a cheap gift for someone you wouldn't cross the street to spit on if they were on fire.

These people are, more often than not, just co-workers. They aren't your friends. You don't know anything about them other than the fact that they cannot spell, or they don't know how to walk with a cup of coffee without spilling it across the entire office floor. Not really great criteria for gift purchasing. And, to make matters worse, you get stuck with something stupid and useless that you have to thank someone else you hardly know for. I'm sure there are those that would love a tissue box cover that looks like a koala bear. I'm not one of them. Take this stupid thing back and leave me alone.



This is one of the stupidest things about this overblown religious-cum-retail holiday. Useless gifts from strangers. Ugh.

Luckily, there are others that feel the same way I do.

Behold.




Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Music of Your Life


For those of you who know me, you know that there is rarely a time that I'm not listening to music. It's just one of those things. I need music in order to function...

Lately, I rediscovered Last.FM - and I'm enjoying it immensely. I had created an account with them years ago but forgot all about it. Now I am using it even as we speak.

This wonderful site allows you to program your own radio station, playing only the artists you choose - or, if you prefer, choose a group/artist you enjoy and let Last select other artists similar to that one for you. Last FM can be used directly through itunes, Winamp, Mediaplayer and several other applications. It is as versatile as it is wonderful.

You can also find friends according to musical tastes and check out what they're listening to as well. The site is international and it furthers the belief that music is the universal language. It is both strange and wonderful to know that people in the Ukraine, Iceland, Spain and the Hawaiian Islands all share my love of Steely Dan.

I have had the pleasure of being added to a few friends lists and have been introduced to some very good music - by artists I had been previously unaware of.

If, like me, you love music and have the desire to expand your library or are looking for music that you haven't heard since you were knee high to a duck, I strongly recommend Last.FM.

Check it out - you won't be sorry.

Incidentally, if you want to see what I listen to - add me to your friends list...I'm listed under Cordyn (of course).

A caveat, however; my musical tastes are far from mainstream and run the gamut between Bach and Black Sabbath.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Emergency?

Websters International Dictionary defines Emergency thusly: a sudden, urgent, usually unexpected occurrence or occasion requiring immediate action.

The Man did an ass-plant the other day in the parking lot outside of his place of employment. As amusing as that may have been to witness (I missed it - but heard about it), it left him with an incredibly sore hip and the inability to walk, sit or stand up without an accompanying 'Yeeeaaaarrrrrrrgghhhh' sound. He came home from work this morning at around 11:00 AM as he was no longer able to sit in his chair at his desk due to intense pain in his lower back.

Being employed by corporate slavers, leaving early requires a certificate from a doctor stating that you left to seek out medical attention. Without said certification, pay is docked and suspicion is roused - thus labeling one a 'liar' or 'layabout'.

SO...off to the hospital emergency room we go for proof of medical consultation, and hopefully an x-ray or two.

That was at noon. It is now 6:55 PM - and I have come home to 1) let the cats in, 2) take medication and pick up my husband's meds to take back to him and 3) vent.

Seven freakin' hours...and he hasn't even seen a doctor yet!!!!!!

Free health care may be a wondrous thing where there are plenty of health care professionals - but holy-mother-of-cheese...! There are others in the emergency waiting room who had been there long before The Man and I arrived. They too are still sitting there...waiting.

There are doctors in the hospital - it's not like there aren't. However, the two doctors that are on call today are idiots and boobs and I wouldn't trust either of them to know a pimple from a pot hole. Still, all The Man needs is an x-ray and a note saying that he'd been there...and still, we wait.

I'm so angry...~grrrr~. No. Make that ~GRRRRRRRRRR~.

Many people came through the emergency room doors, took a quick look around and left. Smart. No doubt they drove the half hour to a neighbouring town such as Renfrew or Deep River to seek medical attention. Had I thought The Man could stand the drive, I'd have done the same.

Unfortunately, the Renfrew hospital and the Deep River health care service don't particularly care for people coming from out of town to frequent their hospitals because it throws off their statistics. Understandable - but so is the predicament of those of us subjected to the ridiculous wait times and incompetence of our own hospital staff.

Okay...enough of this.

I have to get back to The Man before he kills someone out of frustration. I also need eight more dollars for parking at that infernal hell hole. Don't even get me started on that...

If I am not jailed for inciting a riot, I will be back to finish this.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Lego My Xmas Present

Okay...

I never ask for anything for Christmas because I really don't care about it.

Usually if someone asks me what I want for Christmas I say 'world peace'. Of course, they roll their eyes and say ' sorry...anything else?'...to which I reply 'nope'.

BUT - I found something today that really caught my attention and tickled my fancy.

Silly, frivolous and childish...and absolutely perfect.

Check it out:



How cool is this? Lego jewelry!

Eat your heart out, Barbie! You can have your dream home, your horses, your pink sports car, your glittery dresses and your day-spa....they don't make Lego jewelry in your size. Hahahahaha....

~ahem~ Santa...if you're reading this...see above picture.

Monday, December 1, 2008

World AIDS Day

Support World AIDS Day

It's World Aids Day.

Living where I do, the AIDS epidemic is something I only hear about on the news. I'm sure there are people in my city and community with the disease - it would be foolish to think that there aren't. But it isn't something I am confronted with daily.

However, when I lived in Toronto it was different. I knew people with the disease...all of whom are gone now. Good people...compassionate, caring people. Gone. Some were former intravenous drug users, others were gay...some were straight. But they all had one thing in common; an incurable disease that eventually took their lives.

The statistics on AIDS/HIV are frightening...staggering, even. Is it lack of knowledge or apathy on the part of the general public that allows this nightmare to run rampant?

Here in Ontario, I know that the public school system makes learning about HIV, AIDS, and other STD's a part of the regular curriculum. This, in my opinion, is a good thing.

I remember when I was in high school some parents were up in arms that they were teaching sexual health classes in the school - and that condoms were provided for the asking by the health care nurse. Seems foolish to me to be upset, seeing as the consequences of not having the knowledge and the ability to protect oneself can result in pregnancy, sickness and yes, even death (although not instantaneous).

If you are a parent and your child is of an age to learn about such things, find out if your child's school provides health classes that will cover these subjects. If they do not, there is a multitude of resources at your disposal to provide you with all the knowledge and tools to teach them yourself - the internet being among the best. Yes...it's not just for porn anymore.

There are many, many organizations and foundations in support of AIDS research. Surely you can find the time and the strength of character to help them out somehow. Donate money, time, or provisions...

Open your heart and your mind.

The future depends on it.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Five Years

November 30th.

Five years to the day since my Mother departed this goodly earth.

The Man and I went to Mom's grave today...just because I had to. It's something I need to do every so often.

We've had a lot of snow lately, as you can see. I had to dig to find the stone - and even then, I found it iced over. Not that her stone reveals any great truths to me or anything...I just wanted to see it...see her name. Sadly, I couldn't get all the ice off it as I only had my keys to work with, and I feared scratching the marble surface.





I guess it was about five years ago today that I started despising Christmas. The yuletide season was always my mother's favourite. She wanted the tree up, the lights on the house and garland on the banisters the minute the jack-o-lantern was gone.

It seems strange that this time of 'giving and generosity' took from me one of the best things in my life.

Christmas sucks.

So does cancer.

I miss you, Mom.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hello, My Name Is...



I was informed yesterday that a friend of a friend of mine recently gave birth to a baby girl (as opposed to a litter of puppies....which wouldn't have shocked me as much as one would think)

She and her husband named the child ~ahem~ Madagascar Delaray. Anyone else want to help me beat these people to death with a garden weasel? And yes, Delaray is the middle name - not the surname. To protect the idiotic, I will leave that out....for now.

I realize that people want their child to be unique. Giving them a name like that isn't going to make them unique, it's going to make them a freakin' target! I think they should take the poor little thing right now and get a nice white and red ringed tattoo put on her forehead.

Names, I know, come and go with time. Not a lot of Berthas, Ednas, Agathas or Hazels running around these days. I believe that is because most of them are in the nursing home.

Nowadays, we are inundated with Tiffanys, Cheyennes, Ambers, Caitlins, Ashleys, Ariels, Courtneys, Whitneys...and all of the many, many spellings thereof.

And speaking of spelling - why is it that names traditionally spelled with y's are suddenly all ending in i's?

Kathi, Nanci, Judi, Kerri, Juli....this is absurd! Next thing you know it will be: "Hi, my name is Heatheri...the i is silent."

I'm not even going to go into the names celebrities give their offspring - although Gwyneth Paltrow, lovely thing that she is (with a great name, too) should be drawn and quartered for naming her daughter Apple and her son Moses. If she and her husband had any brains or biblical knowledge, they should have named their son Adam...that would have at least been funny instead of just moronic. Apple, indeed. What's next? "...and these are my children, Baklava, Parfait, and the twins, Peanut-Butter and Jelly"??

Shakespeare wrote: "What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet."

Obviously, Shakespeare didn't have to deal with the names of today - because most of the trendy, cutesy names out there just plain stink.

Madagascar...

Ugh.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Blech



Ugh.

I'm sick.

I've been fighting a bug for a few days now...telling myself it's just a cold and not to be such a big baby.

Now I have a fever.

I feel dizzy and I'm hearing voices...although they don't speak English, so I can't be sure what they're saying.

Everything tastes like glue, and my tongue feels like it's wearing a sweater.

~sniffle~

I hate feeling like this.

Anyone want to make me soup?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Purse-moot of Happiness

Okay, so obviously I have a hang-up with my key chain.

Many of you have emailed me or messaged me to tell me that I do, indeed have a problem and that I should seek help.

One kind soul was brave enough to suggest that the problem may lie deeper than my key rings, and that I should perhaps look to my purse.

Oh god...

My purse (or, the black hole as The Man calls it) is a frightening thing. It holds more mysteries than a Masonic Temple ledger. Not secrets of wisdom and wonder, but more along the lines of 'what the bloody hell is that doing in here?'

So, it is with more than a little trepidation that I present to you, my friends and readers of this nonsense, the contents of said accoutrement.

First, the bag itself:



Nothing out of the ordinary, right? Simple black leather.

Now...the hard part.

The contents:




Wow! Where do I begin here...

Well, let's do it this way:

Here is what any functional, right-thinking woman would carry in her purse (give or take maybe two or three sundry items)



Wallet, glasses, hair brush, lipstick case (2 lipstick), perfume, calculator, compact mirror, address book, sunglasses, parking change (that's the small velvet bag). You will note that I do not have a cell phone. Don't ask why...trust me.

These are the items that should be in my purse - and they are. Along with all this other crap...



All right...let's see here...um...

One hair band, one barrette, three hair elastics
Eight more lipsticks, three lip liners, one eyebrow pencil, one tube of highlighter cream, one tube of mascara, one lip gloss
Two bottles of perfume
One bottle of hairspray
A jar of assorted D&D dice (never know when you may need 2 d12)
One bottle of black shoe polish
One pair of scissors
A glue stick
Two CD's (I've been wondering where that Refreshments CD was!)
One deck of cards
Three ball-point pens - two blue, one green
One paperback novel - Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins (excellent book, btw)
One worry stone
Two double A batteries
A large, pointy screw (ah...shaddap!)
One roll of cellophane tape
An acorn (I have no idea...)
Three more packs of gum
Two butane lighters
One pack of matches
A flask (doesn't everyone carry a flask?)
One bottle of silver sparkle nail polish
Two more pair of sunglasses
A pack of shoelaces
Four bottles of medication (actually, they probably belong in the necessities group)
A packet of DayQuil cold medication
Two more key chains - woo hoo!
One wine bottle cork (honestly, officer...I haven't the slightest idea how that got there)
One Japanese good luck coin
One container of hand cream
One toothbrush
One spool of dental floss
One pair of gold earrings (I've been looking for those, too)
One silver heart necklace

Yikes.

My purse is now much lighter - and much emptier.
But I feel better...

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Keys to My Undoing

I dropped my keys this afternoon.

I think I broke my toe.

Seriously.

If there is such a thing as a contest for the most crap on a keyring, I believe I could be a contender. It's ridiculous, I tell you. The fact that I can still manage to lose my keys is baffling to me...

I have all of nine keys...that's it. The rest of this conglomeration is assorted junk.

Red baubles, The Horde symbol, a fob from the local radio station (I used to work for them), lip gloss, a brass egg, a jar of sand from Cuba, a glow-in-the-dark spiky ball, a War-Amps tag....

There must be some kind of therapy for this.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Redundant (see: Redundant)

Redundancies annoy me.

Here are a few that I have seen recently while perusing the net:


Total Abstinence

Subject Matter

Honest Truth (no, really!)

Join Together

General Public

Harbinger of Things To Come

New Initiative

Audible Gasp (because a silent gasp is just a breath)

Advance Warning

Execution-Style Killing

Future Plans

Gather Together

Jewish Synagogue (as opposed to what, exactly?)

Lag Behind

Manual Dexterity

Occasional Irregularity (don't give me that crap)

Basic Fundamentals

First Time Ever

Shrug One's Shoulders (what else are you gonna shrug...hmmm?)

And then...then there is Redundancy in action!

Behold and be amazed.

Friday, November 21, 2008

To Be or Not

Below you will find a clip from the movie Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. This is possibly my favourite movie of all time. I know many of you are not Shakespeare fans - but you don't have to be to appreciate the simple genius of the words spoken.

This particular clip is a parody on Hamlet's 'To Be or Not To Be' soliloquy...only it is far better in my opinion.

If you haven't seen the movie - do yourself a favor. It is incredibly funny, intelligent, and has a phenomenal cast including Gary Oldman, Tim Roth and Richard Dreyfuss.




"Whatever became of the moment when one
first knew about death?

There must have been one - a moment.
As a child; when it first
occurred to you
that you don’t go on forever.
It must have been
shattering...
stamped into one’s memory -
and yet, I can’t remember it.

It never occurred to me at all.

We must be born with an intuition of mortality -
before we know the
word for it.
Before we know that there are words...
Out we come,
bloodied and squalling;
with the knowledge that for all
the points on the
compass, there is only one direction -
and time is its only measure."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Chili Weather

I made chili for supper tonight.

I love chili, especially on days like this. It's cold and snowing - and chili is warm and satisfying.

More often than not when I make chili, I will buy bread bowls to serve it in. Less dishes, and yummy bread to boot. However, I didn't have a vehicle today - so no bread bowls.

I decided to make beer muffins with cheese and bacon instead. They are absolutely delicious, and go exceptionally well with chili. Not only that - they are the easiest thing in the world to make.

Trust me - people will think you're a frickin' kitchen genius with these babies.

Check it out:

Three cups all-purpose flour
Five teaspoons baking powder
Three quarters of a teaspoon of salt

Four tablespoons of white sugar

One half cup of cooked, crumbled
bacon
One cup grated cheddar cheese

One bottle of beer

Two tablespoons melted butter


Preheat oven to 350F and grease muffin tins.

Measure dry ingredients into bowl.
Stir in bacon and cheese
and pour beer over top, stirring to blend.
Spoon into pans & brush tops with melted butter.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until tops are golden brown.

Makes 9 lg muffins.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The KY Incident

Because Jen was kind enough to mention it in her comment on yesterday's post - I will relate to you the KY Incident. (it's not as bad as you think...or maybe it is...ah well)

Before The Man and I got married, he was determined to find out just how much he could embarrass me before I'd either 1) leave him or 2) kill him. He never thought for even a moment that I could hold my own against him.

Anyway...

It was Hell Thursday (the day before Good Friday) and we were in one of our city's largest pharmacies, purchasing Laura Secord chocolate eggs for my niece and nephew (and myself, of course). Now, being the day before the chocolate holiday, the place was packed with people as this was one of the few places in town to carry the best quality goodies. To say the lines at the check-outs were long would be a tremendous understatement.

So, standing in line, I turned to say something to The Man, only to realize he'd disappeared. Nothing new, really...men have a tendency to wander off when bored, right?

Suddenly, above the noise of the people, the cash registers, the crying children, I hear my soon-to-be husband's usually subdued voice bellow from across the store: "Hey Honey...THIS ONE???"

Looking over the heads of the people behind me in line, I see The Man standing in the middle of the store holding over his head the biggest damned tube of KY Jelly I have ever seen! Honestly, this thing was HUGE! Needless to say, his outburst and his choice of product attracted the attention of most of the patrons and employees in the store.

All eyes turned from him to me...

My first thought was 'you son-of-a-so-and-so...I'm gonna kill you'. But then, from the beneath the waves of embarrassment and seething rage came a calm voice...the voice of revenge.

I fixed The Man with a vengeful stare and shouted back "Noooo....That's not the flavour you like!!"

Laughter erupted around me and indeed, the entire store. The Man disappeared down an aisle like his butt was on fire.

When he reappeared he was sans lube and his ears were almost purple (that's how he blushes).

Walking by me as he made his way quickly out of the store, he leaned in to whisper to me "...good one."

He's never tried anything like that since.

He knows better.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Shopping Shenanigans


Finding myself in need of certain household necessities (garbage bags, dish washing soap, etc) I made a foray into the local hell that is Walmart.

This time of year, I like to avoid shopping all together - especially places such as Walmart. There is Christmas music, trees, ornaments, lights, candles, cards, and all the poofery that goes along with this overblown holiday.

The toy department has grown exponentially in the past week to take over a good quarter of the damned store - and everywhere there are whiny, sniveling children begging their blank-staring parents for every single thing on the shelves.

I hate Christmas. Bah-freakin'-humbug!

It is a joy, however, to shop with The Man in times such as these.

Being neither a parent, nor sympathetic to their plight, he takes great pleasure in grabbing whatever toy some poor, bedraggled mother has ripped from her child's hand after saying 'NO' for the fortieth time, and putting it in our cart...while making Nyaaaa faces at the child who then loses his mind completely. Of course, I dump the toy out on the next aisle - and The Man moves on to his next taunting victim.

Another place he likes to do this is in the grocery store. The cereal aisle being the best place for this sort of thing. Usually, the child is trapped in the cart - facing backward so that he or she can see The Man do a little victory dance as he puts the Cocoa Puffs, Cap'n Crunch or whatever into our cart - again with the child throwing a small conniption fit...and the mother is none-the-wiser.

My favourite game whilst shopping is to throw random things in other people's carts. Not big things, mind you. A Twenty kilo bag of dog chow is liable to arouse suspicion. Just small things...condoms, corn pads, flea collars...that kinda thing. Of course, I don't do it often - and I usually reserve this for people I know. Usually...

So...as much as I loathe shopping, at least there are these small glimmers of glee.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

In Your Facebook!

Facebook sucks.

There. I said it.

I used to have a facebook account.

I got tired of stupid, unsolicited emails, getting poked, pinched or whatever the newest thing was at the time, and I really hated people wanting me to join this group or that group.

Don't care what you're into...leave me out of it. So you like fuzzy bunny slippers - big deal. Doesn't mean I want to join your fuzzy bunny slipper group just because I happen to know who you are. And do I really know who you are? You and I met once (I think) at a friend of a friend's 30th birthday party. Weren't you the one throwing up in the begonias?

And please...for the love of all that is holy - stop with the wall-writing thing. Electronic graffiti has none of the risk or artistic merit of actual graffiti. Besides, it's not like you can actually spray paint YOUR HOCKEY TEAM SUCKS ROCKS on someone's facebook page now is it?

Instead of Facebook, I offer the following. I think it would be a much better use of people's time, effort and creativity.

Hell, I'd belong to this.


You would too...and you know it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

November Rain



It's Saturday...and it's raining.

Could be worse, I suppose. Considering the date, it could be snowing. I guess I can take comfort in the rain. At least I don't have to shovel that.

Days like this always make me want to just stay put. Laze around the house, read a good book and enjoy the sound of the rain. Warmer days and summer rains require a walk around the marina or maybe the local park - but at this time of year, that's just asking for pneumonia.

I had plans today - but I can feel them falling apart as I type this.

There is always tomorrow...at least in theory.

If ever there was a day to listen to this, it is today. I'm not the biggest GnR fan - but I always found this particular song to be haunting and somewhat mesmerizing. I think I'll put it on an endless loop, take my book, my cats and my coffee cup and curl up on the couch.

November Rain - Guns and Roses

When I look into your eyes
I can see a love restrained
But darlin' when I hold you
Don't you know I feel the same

Nothin' lasts forever
And we both know hearts can change
And it's hard to hold a candle
In the cold November rain

We've been through this such a long long time
Just tryin' to kill the pain

But lovers always come and lovers always go
An no one's really sure who's lettin' go today
Walking away

If we could take the time
to lay it on the line
I could rest my head
Just knowin' that you were mine
All mine
So if you want to love me
then darlin' don't refrain
Or I'll just end up walkin'
In the cold November rain

Do you need some time...on your own
Do you need some time...all alone
Everybody needs some time...
on their own
Don't you know you need some time...all alone

I know it's hard to keep an open heart
When even friends seem out to harm you
But if you could heal a broken heart
Wouldn't time be out to charm you

Sometimes I need some time...on my
own
Sometimes I need some time...all alone
Everybody needs some time...
on their own
Don't you know you need some time...all alone

And when your fears subside
And shadows still remain
I know that you can love me
When there's no one left to blame
So never mind the darkness
We still can find a way
Nothin' lasts forever
Even cold November rain

Don't ya think that you need somebody
Don't ya think that you need someone
Everybody needs somebody
You're not the only one

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Name Game

I wonder sometimes where we get the names of things.

I have a physical condition which requires me to take medication for pain. These medications are referred to by my doctor and pharmacist as 'pain pills'. Doesn't that sound like they cause pain? I already have pain...I want relief pills.

The same can be said about the Fire Department. Sounds like they set fires, doesn't it? It should be called the Extinguishing Department. The Bomb Squad sounds like a terrorist organization to me.

Don't even get me started on things like 'wrinkle cream'...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remember This


November 11th is Remembrance Day, or Veterans' Day to our southerly neighbours.

Today, we set aside a moment from our day-to-day lives to remember those who gave theirs in order that we might be able to live as we do.

A solemn occasion, and yet a celebration as well.

I live a stone's throw from the largest Military Base in Canada, CFB Petawawa. In my time, I have seen and taken part in many Remembrance Day ceremonies.

All across the country, cenotaphs and war memorials will be packed with War Vets, government officials, military brigades and scads of civilians. Wreaths will be laid, moving speeches will be said, the bagpipes will play. It's very emotional.

Eventually, the poem In Flanders Fields will be read - usually by some middle school-aged child who will read it like he/she was reading Old Mother Hubbard.

Yes, it's a poem. Yes, it's written in rondeau form. Doesn't mean it was meant to be read that way. This is one of the most beautiful, stark and moving pieces of prose ever written. It wrenches my heart whenever I read it - and it makes my blood boil when I hear it orally presented with all the emotion of a weather report.

For your consideration, allow me to print the poem as I believe it should be read. Perhaps then you will understand what I mean. Take note of punctuation - it makes all the difference in the world.

In Flanders field the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row, that mark our place;
And in the sky, the lark, still bravely singing
Fly scarce heard amidst the guns below

We are the dead.
Short days ago we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset's glow;
Loved, and were loved.
And now we lie in Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe!
To you, from failing hands we throw the torch;
Be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die -
We shall not sleep;
Though poppies grow
In Flanders Field

-Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

Monday, November 10, 2008

Battitude



There are phrases that people use everyday that just don't seem to make a lot of sense to me. Common usage makes them acceptable and ordinary - but sometimes, they just strike a strange chord with me. And that makes my mind wonder...and wander.

I was talking to The Man yesterday. He was telling me about some guy who nearly killed him on his way home from work because the guy blew through a four-way stop intersection going 'like a bat out of Hell'.

How do we know how fast a bat would leave Hell? He might fly really slow. In fact, why should we assume that a bat would even want to leave Hell? Maybe he likes it there. Perhaps Hell is just right for a bat. Maybe it's bat Heaven!

And while we're on the subject - how do we know there are bats in Hell in the first place? What would a bat be doing in Hell? Bats are usually in the belfry, aren't they? Why would they want to split their time between two places?

Then again, maybe that's why he's in such a hurry to get out of Hell...he's due back at the belfry.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Prick...er...Price is Right

The Home Shopping networks are a true evil in society today.

Never before has such crap been available to so many people in the comfort of their own homes.

Crystal-encrusted teapots, cashmere lampshades, talking fridge magnets...you name it, you can get it. (not that you want it - but you can get it)

Personally, I cannot abide home shopping channels. Not even rampant insomnia can force me to watch them. But every so often, I find things like this - and I wonder what I have been missing.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Aw...Puck.


Checking the hockey schedule today, I see that my beloved NY Islanders are playing the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Ugh.

Bad enough they are on the bottom of the Eastern Conference and the entire NHL standings at the moment - but now they get to battle the Penguins and the mighty Crosby.

Would someone just shoot me, please?

Although the Isles have done poorly in the past, I believe that this year's early slump is a downward slide that seems unstoppable. Garth Snow (GM) and Scott Gordon (Head Coach) made some poor choices in the off-season; trading away some of the better depth players - I can only assume for financial reasons.

It's painful to watch them now.

The fact that they won the other night only makes me more frustrated as it gives me a spark of hope...one that will be quickly doused, I'm sure.

I'm actually torn as to whether I want to watch the game tonight or not. I probably won't - but will listen to it via the net. That way, I can take out my frustrations on some poor innocent Scrabble opponent.

Maybe I should join The Man and cheer for the Maple Leafs. Hahahaha...!

I'm depressed...but I'm not stupid.

At least the Isles have won 4 cups in a row...in MY lifetime!!!

Yes...at the moment (and probably for the remainder of the season), the Islanders suck canal water. But at least they aren't the Maple Leafs. 1967, kids. That's the last time Lord Stanley's trophy made it to Toronto.

I feel better now.

November 9: We lost...surprise, surprise.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Cereal Killer


I'm not much of a breakfast person.

Coffee.
More coffee.
That's breakfast.
(it's usually snack, lunch and often supper, too)

I have been trying harder of late to change my eating habits. When I do eat breakfast, it's normally something terribly good for me - like an Oh Henry bar or a handful of Oreos - along with the mandatory coffee, of course.

So, I bought a few different kinds of cereal the other day - variety being the key, so I've been told.
Special K, Corn Flakes, Harvest Crunch and Shreddies. There are Fruit Loops, but they aren't mine - they belong to The Man. I wouldn't dream of eating them anyway...they look like some kind of nightmarish mardi gras necklace exploded. Someday I'll tell you about my "Fruit Loops are the Food of the Antichrist" theory...but not now.

Anyway - coffee happily perking away, I armed myself with the required implements for a healthy breakfast; that being a bowl, a spoon and the milk jug. I looked into the pantry cupboard at my four cardboard-encased choices. They all looked equally unappealing. I grabbed the closest one to me. Shreddies. Diamond Shreddies at that. (don't even get me started...)

I turned the box on its side - "100% Whole Grain Wheat!". I turned it over to the French side of the box. "Blé Entier de Grain!"

Blé.

Yup...that sounds delicious.

Oreos, anyone?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Many Faces of Insanity

Yes, yes...it's time for one more introduction to yet another of my WoW companions.

This is Totemmaster.


He's a shaman. He's also insane. But I love him.

Known as Andrew when he's not at the computer - which is rarely. Like me, I'm sure that even in real life he has learned to answer to his characters' names.
(I still get called Cord...and I still answer to it)



Another alternate junkie, I first met Totemmaster, or Tote, as I call him, on his sexy-beast rogue known as Oradis. I was just a young and impressionable warrior then....level 20 something I believe. We were introduced in a place known as Scarlet Monastery. A great place to earn gear and materials for advancement.

Oradis ruled the battlegrounds for ages at level 29, until one fateful night...when he leveled without wanting to. I can only imagine that he now terrorizes the Alliance at level 39.


I personally spent days on end farming a Gnome pit for a particular pair of leggings for Oradis - because it was essential that he have the best gear. The things I do ...honestly.

Anyway, Andrew also started a rogue to level to 70 with the strange name of Cuddlesworth. Nothing like being pwned (yes...I said pwned - cut me some slack) by someone with a name like that. Cuddles is now level 70 and terrorizing everything while mounted on his netherwing drake.



Cuddles and I tore up Outlands together. I was leveling a hunter at the time, known as Idun. We had great adventures...getting squashed by the fel reaver...bombing the crap out of things...good times, good times.

I have heard that there is a female warrior amongst his alts now...(I would like to say I had something to do with that...but I can't). She is probably just as crazy/ballsy/mouthy as the rest of Andrew's toons...and I wouldn't want it any other way.

Andrew is a great player, a fun guy to hang with, and a great friend...he's also an artist. Not just on the battlegrounds either...I mean a real-live artist!! How sweet is that?

Someday, I'm going back to Azeroth...because I miss hanging out with Tote and the gang. Not only that - he has all my money!

Monday, November 3, 2008

High School Confidential


Recently, I ran into someone I knew in high school. Not a friend per se, as I didn't have many of those; but someone I had shared several classes with over my four years in hell.

She asked me why I had chosen not to attend the recent high school reunion. Of the boundless and valid answers I could have given, I simply shrugged and said I didn't feel like it.

This wasn't a lie. I truly had no desire to see people whom I didn't particularly like then gloating and preening with their accordion-fold picture collections of their prize-winning children.

Bitter, you say?

Not in the least.
As much as they were choosy in who they accepted into their midst, I was just as choosy about who I hung with...although not for the same reasons.

Twenty years doesn't really change people all that much in the long run. Most of the girls who excluded me from their circles in high school would most certainly exclude me from their country clubs, charity drives and church groups today. I'd like to say I'm choked up about that...but I'd be lying.

My small but close-knit group of odd and outcast friends has pretty much stayed intact over the years. We keep in touch, though we are spread all over the country now. We aren't fastidious about contact - but we do communicate - thanks to the internet. There are a few who have fallen out of sight...one or two who have fallen all together.

I need no organized event to remind me of who I was - and who others were as well. Nor do I need to attempt to validate my existence and accomplishments to those who did and still do practice one-upmanship as a sport.

High school.
Bad enough the first time around, I think.
Why waste 15 years of therapy just to get a t-shirt and a whole new complex?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

It All Adds Up

I play Scrabble.

A lot.

Competitive Scrabble, that is.

If you are looking for a friendly game, I am not your girl. I play to keep my mind occupied, my vocabulary honed, and the opportunity to be chastised and berated by strangers. What can I say? I'm a strange string bean.

Often, to amuse myself while waiting for my opponent to take their turn, I will look at words and mentally add up their point value. Not words on the board...just words in general. Words on the nearby newspaper(16 points) for example(18 points).

Anyway..
(15 points)

I was playing against some supposed wunderkind yesterday and was getting more than a little frustrated at his use of small words which clutter the board and box things in. A fine strategy near the end of the game, but a pain in the posterior in the opening few rounds.

Muttering to myself, I called him an asshole, which was unladylike, but it's not like he could hear me.

Then it hit me...!

Asshole: A (1) S(1) S(1) H(4) O(1) L(1) E(1) = 10 pts...!!!

How sweet is that???

I can now call anyone I want an asshole without being one myself. I just have to tell them they are a perfect 10! They think I've given them a compliment, and I get the smug self-satisfaction of cleverly insulting them.

I need a new hobby.

I guess I really am a 10...

..

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

After a Fashion

Today's weather forecast is cold and damp. I try to dress for the weather these days as I am more concerned with being warm than with looking 'cool'.

Most mornings like this, I step out of the shower, blow-dry my hair to make it look a little less like the firestorm it tends to resemble, don a pair of jeans and my hoodie.

Thus, my problem begins.

The very word 'hoodie' makes me wince. It makes me think of cute teenagers with perfect and pert little bodies in their oh-so-trendy togs. I feel like a reupholstered impostor. A cougar in sheep's clothing, if you will. I try to kid myself by calling it a sweatshirt...with a hood. It is not a hoodie. The fact that it has a rhino and the Ecko logo emblazoned on it really doesn't help me with my self-delusion, mores the pity.


Being 39, I fear that I am beyond a large percentage of contemporary fashion. This is a good thing, for the most part. Trust me - no one wants to see this body in clingy cashmere or, god forbid, a cinch belt.

The catalogs that show up weekly in my mailbox cause me to roll my eyes and chuckle heartily. Welcome back to 1984, folks. Had I known back then that this crap would come back in style...well, I probably would have thrown it all out anyway. It didn't look good on me the first time around - and my body didn't get any better with age.
A fine wine I am not.
I'm more of a rootbeer float.

I now have to consider what is 'age-appropriate' as far as clothing. There are some obvious choices I don't even have to worry about; hipsters and baby-doll tees, for example. Even when I was the right age for that kind of thing (somewhere between 9 and 11), I wouldn't have been caught dead in them. Yet I do see women my age and older pouring their wrinkles and cellulite into skin tight low-rider jeans and and cropped sweaters.
Icky.
I mean, I admire their moxie... but fear for their sanity.

I also need not worry about carrying a micro-purse, cellphone charms, shoe jewelry or a miniscule dog. Some fashion trends are just plain stupid no matter how old you are.

Don't get me wrong - I hate the self-appointed Fashion Police - and I am yet to view a television program or read an interview with any of these Style Nazis that would make me trust them enough to tie my running shoes, let alone pick out an outfit for me. Most, if not all of them look like starving kittens with sprayed on tans wearing more labels than my grandmother's canning cupboard...and they're vacuous to boot.

I guess it all comes down to what you feel comfortable in and what looks good on you.

Maybe Goldie Hawn can still look fabulous walking the red carpet in a strapless white dress with sequins and fringe at the age of sixty-two. Then again, she can still stop traffic just by flashing her legs. I could probably stop traffic with my legs too...if I cut them off and tossed them into the street. However, horrific and fabulous don't quite compare.

So...back to my sweatshirt with the hood.
Yes, it's trendy...and yes, I'm probably far too old to enjoy it or wear it as much as I do. But at least I'm not showing off thong strings, navel rings and other age-inappropriate attire. If anything, I'm covering a multitude of sins...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Collecting My Thoughts

My best friend Jen recently posted on her blog about her collection of scissors. As an avid cross-stitcher, this seems like a fairly reasonable thing to collect.

Most of the people I know collect something. The Man collects hats. Not baseball caps, mind. Hats. Expensive ones. He also collects swords. My mother collected angels. Another friend of mine collects dragonflies, my aunt collects key chains...you get the idea. It seems that we all grow attached to some things and decide for some reason or other to collect them.

Personally, I collect a few different things. My house is filled with dragons. I have collected dragons and all things dragon-like for a long time. I also collect gargoyles, bats, turtles and run a wild-life game preserve for dust-bunnies...but that is more of a hobby.

The collection I am most known for though, is my collection of watches. I love watches. I have 72 watches - and it is not enough. I do not believe there is such a thing as too many watches.

Why watches, you ask? Well, one year for my birthday I was asked what I would like. I informed those that inquired that I would like a watch. On the day of my birthday, I received nine watches. I was thrilled - and an obsession was born.

Recently, I went through my watches to replace batteries in those that needed changing. Below, you will find pictures of said timepieces. This isn't quite half of my collection.

The Man says that my jewelry box (which stands just over 4 feet high) sounds like a nest of crickets. Of course, it doesn't help that my jewelry box is on his side of the room. (heh heh)

Behold.




Sunday, October 19, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

October Offerings


I love October.

The days are cool, clear and bright - the nights chilly and crisp. There's leaves everywhere and the bare trees make a beautifully stark silhouette against the autumn moon.

But most of all, I like October because it is the best time of year for fruit. Apples, pumpkins, concord grapes and pears are in every grocery store at more than reasonable prices. Of course, this means one thing to me: Baking.

I have been baking a lot lately. Besides the pies that I made for Thanksgiving, I have baked a few apple crisp, a dozen pumpkin loaves, pumpkin cookies, apple coffee cake, and today have plans for a pumpkin cheesecake. I also have a few dozen pears sitting on my counter that I have not yet decided the fate of. I may poach them in brandy...or more likely, just slice them and eat them with homemade caramel sauce for dessert tonight.

There's just something about this time of year that makes baking more enjoyable. The heavy scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger fill my home - all mingling well with the ever-present smell of brewing coffee.

The only drawback to all this baking is that I need to rearrange my freezer. Blah. Looks like I'll be creating leftover masterpieces for a while. Ah well, small price to pay in the long run.

If you're in the area, stop in for coffee - and something warm and yummy.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Holier Than Thou

cue music~

*lights*

Yes, welcome one and all to another exciting episode of Meet The Horde!!

Today, I introduce to you the often-mentioned Drachma. His Grace; Demi-god of the Undead, Priest of Prestige and Power, Hallowed Healer, Battle Ground Master and just plain good friend.

His Grace and I met way back when...like waaay back when. I was a fairly new member of The Broken and was working my way through the hellish zone known as Arathi. I had to kill a rock giant known as Fozruk - and desperately needed help. Group quests are always a pain in the butt - and this one was no exception.

Drachma was the first to answer my plea for help from within the guild. Others came, including the guild master and his good lady wife - but to have a healer come to your aid without having to be cajoled is always a big bonus.

And thus, a friendship was born.

I have spent many sleepless nights questing, chatting and joking with His Grace. Wise beyond his years, he is more than quick-witted and keeps me on my bloody toes - and is far too ready to 'pun' me into submission should I step out of line. Drachma is also a cake aficionado...a big plus in my books.

Being an avid player, Drachma has many alternate characters including a kick-ass Tauren Druid named Xiphoss, Indubiously - a well-named Blood Elf Paladin, and a Hunter known as DNR, also of the Blood Elf race. I have had the distinct pleasure of questing and funning about with all of these characters. But of the many faces he wears, Drachma, the undead priest, will forever be my favourite.

I try to keep in touch with His Grace on a semi-regular basis. University student that he is, I don't like to disturb him too much for fear of interrupting his studies (or his endless pursuit of fame and glory on the battlegrounds.)

I offer my thanks to the greater powers who saw it fit to bless me with such a good friend, and thanks be to Googletalk for the ability to stay in the loop with him.


The Man.


The Legend.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Celebration Time!!


~ahem~

JEN PASSED HER TEST!!!!

Woo-freakin'-hooo!!!

Drinks are on me!
Actually, they are...I spilled my coffee when she told me. Note to self: do not dance while holding hot beverages.

Anyone in need of a good Real Estate Appraiser, let me know...I'll give you Jen's number.

(she's cute too, by the way...in case there's anything else you'd like appraised)


Way to go, Jen!

I knew you could do it.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Musically Yours

Recently, I have been exchanging music with my friends. New music, old music...a little bit of everything. Thanks to the wonders of Google Talk, passing music and photo files back and forth is an absolute breeze. Seriously, if you haven't downloaded this program - do yourself a favor and get it.

Anyway.

To me, music is one of the most important things in existence. It enhances every joy and fills every emotional void in my life. Music speaks for me when I haven't the words to express myself, and as is often the case, a song or segment thereof can say it better than I ever could.

When I was in college, I had an amazing Psychology professor who gave us what at first appeared to be a simple assignment: What Song Describes You Best?

I say it sounded simple - but after going through the hundreds and hundreds of songs that I could identify with, I found myself torn. There were a few songs that truly seemed as though they had been written just for me...and for the way I viewed myself.

It came down to two.

At Seventeen, by Janis Ian and Man in the Wilderness, by Styx

There were many others whose lyrics were fitting in many ways...but these were the two that I felt had me pegged.

After much deliberation and hours of listening to scads of music, I went with Man in the Wilderness. It's lyrics are beautifully depressing, but it's melody keeps it from the depths of despair it describes. If you don't know it, check it out. You'll probably learn a little more about me in the process. Yes, the lyrics say 'man' in the wilderness - but we are all of the race of man, after all.

So, my friends, I pose to you the same question: What song describes YOU best? I ask because I'm truly interested - and I want to know.

MAN IN THE WILDERNESS (Styx, Grand Illusion, 1977)

Another year has passed me by, still I look at myself and cry
What kind of man have I become
All of the years I've spent in search of myself
But I'm still in the dark because I
Can't seem to find the light alone

Sometimes I feel like a man in the wilderness
I'm a lonely soldier off to war
Sent away to die...never quite knowing why
Sometimes it makes no sense at all

Ten thousand people look my way, but they can't see the way that I feel
Nobody even cares to try
I spend my life and sell my soul on the road
but I'm still in the dark because I
Can't seem to find the light alone

Sometimes I feel like a man in the wilderness
I'm a lonely sailor lost at sea
Tipping with the tide...and never quite knowing why
Sometimes it makes no sense at all

(I'm Alive!)
Looking for love, I'm a man with emotion
(My heart's on fire!)
I'm dying of thirst in the middle of the ocean
(I'm Alive.....)

Sometimes I feel like a man in the wilderness
I'm a lonely soldier off to war
Sent away to die...never quite knowing why
Sometimes it makes no sense at all
It makes no sense at all
Can't find the meaning of it all

Saturday, October 11, 2008

There Goes the Neighbourhood

The house across the street from ours has been for sale for over a year. Harry, The elderly gentleman who lived there previously, fell ill and has since become a resident of a local nursing home. I miss Harry - he was a wonderful man. The house was subsequently put on the real estate market, and since then, I have watched a steady train of people inspect it every weekend.

This particular home has been well-maintained over its many years. It is built of sturdy brick, has a spacious, treed yard, and the house is covered in virginia creeper ivy - giving it that Olde English look. Like most of the houses in my neighbourhood, it was built some time in the early nineteen-hundreds. Our house is over one hundred years old itself.

I noticed the other day that the 'For Sale' sign had been removed from the front lawn. This is nothing new around here as people change real estate companies frequently. But a new sign didn't appear - and soon, moving trucks began to arrive.

Load after load of furniture was taken into the house. Tasteful furniture at that. I admired what looked very much like an antique cherry wood dining set as it was carried through the door by the not-so-bad-looking movers. (hey...just because I'm chained to the porch, doesn't mean I can't bark at the cars!) From what I could glean, our new neighbours seemed to have taste and culture.

Looking out the window later in the afternoon, I was suddenly taken aback by a complete incongruity. There was something dreadfully wrong about the way Harry's house looked now. (it will always be Harry's house to me.)

Over the old art-deco door of the garage (a 1960's addition, no doubt) was an eyesore that made me want to weep.

A basketball net.

So much for taste and culture.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Turkey Time


It's Friday.

Not only that - it's the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend for we folks of the True North Strong and Free.

Turkeys, sweet potatoes, and sugar beets are on sale in every grocery store. The liquor store is packed to the rafters with dark and heavy beers, luscious vintage wines (suitable for poultry faire), and the bakeries are overflowing with pumpkin pies and their ilk.

I love Thanksgiving. It's like Christmas - without the credit card bills.

Yes, I know that this time of year we are reminded to count our blessings and all the good things we have in life. I personally am thankful for the internet, and for the ability to keep in touch with those who are far from me. You know who you are...and you know I love you.

But for me, the holidays are first and foremost about FOOD.

There is nothing more satisfying in my opinion, than a full roasted turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Turkey, golden brown and succulent. Savory stuffing with celery, onions and pecans...rich gravy...homemade cranberry sauce...mashed potatoes...sweet potatoes...fresh corn...cauliflower and/or broccoli...freshly baked crusty rolls. Desserts of delicious pumpkin pie...apple cobbler...classic cheesecake with berries and caramel...rich coffee and liqueur...

....and a shit load of damned dishes. (I hate when reality kicks in, don't you?)

Sadly, the man and I are having none of the above this year. He has to work over the holiday, and although I would love to do the full turkey thing, I have no desire to go to that much trouble for just the two of us. A meal like that is meant to be shared...and this year, there is no one to share it with.

So, it looks like we'll be having turkey of a different sort.
Flakes of turkey.
Mmm mm good.

I did, however, make pies.

To my Canadian friends, I bid you all a Happy Thanksgiving. And to my American friends, I wish you a happy weekend.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Who's That Girl?

Yes, it's another exciting episode of Meet the Horde.

Today, I introduce to you a very good friend. She is known to many, although no one can say for certain just how many characters this girl has.

An Alternate Toon addict, she is always trying something new - or, more truthfully, always looking for more bank space.

I am, of course, speaking of Aesdestina: (aka Aes/Nood or more rightly, Sabrina). Mighty and magestic blood-elf hunter, owner of the much-coveted spirit wolf.

Aesdestina and I got to know each other shortly after I joined my former guild - The Broken. She helped me out quite a bit with some of my quests and was always willing to offer advice and dungeon runs for much-needed gear.

When I formed Facta Non Verba with DD (another person I hope to introduce some day), Aes was the first to come over and take up residence with us. We were happy to have her as she had something neither DD or I did; leadership experience.

Sabrina has been playing WoW as long as anyone I know. Like me, she has played for both factions and prefers Horde. (like any person with a brain) She is an awesome player on all of her toons. She has many, as previously mentioned, but usually sticks to her Hunter, or her Warlock, Mirarose.

Aes taught me how to be a better warrior, how to be an effective hunter, and we even tore up a lot of evil trolls in Stranglethorn Vale when Mirarose was a lowbie and so was my priest. (yes, I was an alternate junkie too...)

When I gave up leadership of Facta, Aesdestina was the obvious choice for Guildmaster. She was almost always available, she was knowledgeable on most things, and she was always willing to lend a hand. She made a much better leader than I ever did, and Facta was better for it.

I keep in touch with Sabrina on an almost daily basis. She's a great friend and is always willing to chat about whatever. Her daughter is an endless source of amusement, and Sabrina often tells me of the joys and frustrations of being a mother.

Hanging out with Aes/Mira was always fun - and we usually just sat around talking or throwing copious snowballs around Orgrimmar. I miss that...but I am very pleased to still have Sabrina in my life, even if only in the 'real world'.




For your consideration, I give you Sabrina/Aesdestina/Mirarose

Monday, October 6, 2008

What Are You Doing Here

My hit counter amazes me.

Almost 400 hits...

Who Are You People? And for the love of cheese...what are you doing here?




(yay for Dr.Who and Asperger's Syndrome!!)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Cake-ophony

Cake.

Is there anything more perfect? I don't think so.

Of all the comestibles one can create, only cake is so perfect that people will find any excuse to celebrate in order to partake of its goodness. Birthday cake, wedding cake, anniversary cake, christening cake...the list goes on and on.

I have often been invited to parties and get-togethers for this reason or that, and usually only have one question. Will There Be Cake? If the answer is yes, more often than not, I'll make an appearance. I mean, after all...free cake!

I baked not one but two cakes this passed weekend. One mocha-pecan number with rich chocolate icing, and a caramel apple coffee cake. Both of which are delicious and disappearing rapidly.

Cake. Comfort food of the gods.

Marie Antoinette may have been misunderstood when she said 'Let them eat cake'...but I take her words to heart. I do eat cake. Often.

The comic below was sent to me some time ago by His Grace, Drachma. It's from Penny Arcade Comics (one of the best web-comics out there) It's nice to be understood by friends. =)

Happy Sunday, everyone. Shall we celebrate with Cake?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Flaked Out


I was freezing last night as I sat watching TV with The Man.

Being loathe to close the windows and admit that summer is indeed over, I huddled under a blanket and sipped hot chocolate, trying desperately to convince myself that I wasn't cold.

Finally, my extremities could take it no longer. I closed and sealed the windows and turned on the furnace. The smell of dust came up the vents as usual when the heat is turned on for the first time in months. The Man sneezed and complained.

I glanced out the window as I walked back to my chair in the living room.

It started to snow outside.

Damn.

I wonder if I had just put on another sweater, would it still have snowed?

These are the thoughts that keep me up at night.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Reality Checks and Balances

I was in an interesting store the other day.

Large displays of intricate calligraphy sets, scrimshaw artwork, handmade candles laced with gold dust. The kind of store that makes me wish I had actual money. I wandered about, looking at this and that...it was all very beautiful.

I picked up a book from a display table because the title caught my attention:
How To Live Forever or Die Trying by Brian Appleyard. This is what the back cover said:

"I want to live for ever" sang the Kids from Fame, and they are not alone: the search for immortality has been a constant human refrain throughout history. But medical science has improved at an exponential rate in recent decades and there are those who believe that the ability to cheat death will soon be within our reach: the first person to live to be 1,000 years old has, they say, already been born. What has happened to get people so excited about the prospect of eternal life? And if they are right, what would it mean for us as human beings? If death became negotiable, would we still fall in love or have children? Would we still, in fact, be human? HOW TO LIVE FOREVER OR DIE TRYING tackles these and myriad other questions with dazzling skill. Funny, thought-provoking and often profound, it manages to grapple with the big issues of existence without blinding the reader with science, and sheds new light on why we are the way we are.


I put the book down and, upon turning around, came face to face (so to speak) with a six foot tall watch display case and this watch:



I smiled and left the store, confident that all was right with the world.