Tuesday, September 30, 2008

To Everything There Is A Season

Looking out my window, I gaze at the sea of fallen leaves that covers my lawn; the squirrels running back and forth, clipping the last of the wild grape from the vines along the fence. Geese gather in huge gaggles on the river, resting up for their long flight south. The raccoons feast on the frost-bitten apples still clinging to the trees. The call of the Winter's herald is heard on the night wind.

It's that time of the year again.

That time when every Canadian rummages through their closets and dressers for that one sweater. The sweater that not only keeps them warm - but announces to all and sundry who they are and what they stand for.

That's right.


Sunday, September 28, 2008


I recorded Aftermath: Population Zero the other night, and watched it this afternoon.

A very interesting documentary, I must say.

(from the NG Website)

What would happen if every single person on Earth simply disappeared? Gone. Not dead, just gone. This is the astounding story of a world we will never see. A world without people, where city streets are still populated by cars, but without drivers. Nobody to fix bridges, repair buildings or maintain power plants. After being controlled by humanity for millennia, nature reclaims the earth. But how would that work? How long would skyscrapers, nuclear power plants, and our homes last if abandoned? How would wild and domestic animals fare without us? Will the Eiffel Tower outlast the Statue of Liberty? Aftermath: Population Zero gives us a chance to see the impact of human beings by seeing how Earth would adapt without us.

I really enjoyed this program. I sat cheering on Nature as she reclaimed her bruised and beaten body from the ravages humanity placed upon her.

If you haven't seen it, check it out.

Caveat, however. The last line in the program is trite. Very trite.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Musical Glares

There is a reason that I am out of touch with today's music.

It sucks.
(my blog, my opinion...so nyaaa!)

Whilst driving my car to the dreaded Walmart this afternoon, I decided to listen to the news. I had forgotten to check the weather report - and from what I could see in the distance, we were in for a nasty storm.

So, on went the radio.

The DJ was blathering on about the radio station's contest to win tickets for the upcoming Madonna concert. (oh, be still my retching stomach) Then he said the words I was waiting to hear: "News and weather coming up."

His next statement made me wince..."But first, the latest from Kid Rock".

I considered changing stations, but couldn't be arsed. I figured I was strong enough to take it.

What I heard coming through my speakers was like a security blanket being wrapped around me. The opening piano riff from one of my all-time favourite songs, Werewolves of London. I was glad the DJ had erred on the side of taste.

Suddenly, my ears were assaulted with Kid Rock's grating voice singing (badly) about his youth and the follies thereof. The security blanket had not only been wrenched from my body, it had also taken several layers of skin with it. Then - horror of horrors - another classic song was thrown into this blender of blasphemy, Sweet Home Alabama! My ears began to bleed and my speakers wept.

I shut the radio off and considered ripping the stereo from my dashboard. I felt sick...and I saw red.

Kid Rock.
This DaVinci of Douchebaggery has, in my opinion, committed the ultimate musical rape of not one, but TWO classic songs.

There is no punishment too severe for this treachery.

I say we hunt him down, force-feed him Abba CDs until he chokes, then beat him to death with his own guitars.

Warren Zevon and Ronnie Van Zant must be avenged!!!

Who's with me???

Friday, September 26, 2008

September 26th

Today is my mother's birthday.

She would have been 64 years old.

It's been almost 4 years since she died...and September 26th's don't seem to get any easier.

There isn't a day goes by that I don't want to pick up the phone to call her. Sometimes I do without thinking - and I end up having staccato conversation with my father, or worse - his wife.

Today is one of those days.

Today would have been a day for lunch and laughter...backgammon and hot gingerbread (Mom always loved my hot gingerbread). And of course, I would have sent her anthuriums - her favourite flowers. Being tropical, they had to be ordered months in advance. I had a standing order with the best florist in town for years. At least he doesn't call me anymore to confirm the delivery address.

If you have lost your Mother, as I know some of you have, then I take this opportunity to share a common sorrow.

If your Mother is still a part of your life, then I ask that you do me a favor. Call her if she is far from you - hug her if she is close...and give her one from me too.


Out through the fields and the woods
And over the walls I have wended;
I have climbed the hills of view
And looked at the world and descended;
I have come by the highway home,
And lo, it is ended.

The leaves are all dead on the ground,
Save those that the oak is keeping
To ravel them one by one
And let them go scraping and creeping
Out over the crusted snow,
When others are sleeping.

And the dead leaves lie huddled and still,
No longer blown hither and thither;
The last lone aster is gone;
The flowers of the witch-hazel wither;
The heart is still aching to seek,
But the feet question 'Whither?'

Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?

Robert Frost

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Every door that closes opens a chat window



I have been forever banished from Azeroth thanks to my computer having some sort of embolism and not wanting to run the game anymore. No more does the mighty Orc Warrior, Cordyn - perched proudly on her indigo talbuk gallop through the streets of Orgrimmar shouting 'Reth! Reth! Reth!'.

After a year and a half of playing almost every day (sometimes for hours on end), it came as quite a shock. I suffered withdrawal symptoms and became the 'bitch from hell' according to my husband.

I realized after about three or four days that it wasn't the game I missed so much as the friends I had made through the game. Friendly guild chat, silly banter and just 'hanging out' with my friends. THAT was what I was missing.

Thanks to the wonders of Google Talk, my withdrawal pangs have been washed away.

I can now keep in touch with most of my WoW friends on a daily basis - joy and bliss!

Eventually, I will post about all my WoW friends - much to the dismay and boredom of all my non-WoW friends.

This particular post is about:


Although, I first knew him as Llort.

Llort was introduced to me through the all-powerful, all-wise, mighty and mystical priest known as His Grace, Drachma. [heretofor known as His Grace or HG]
(Drachma will be featured here another time, I hope)

Llort is a female troll shaman - and a kick-ass one at that. Why guys feel the need to play female characters is anyone's guess, and I choose not to think about it too much.

Anyway, I assisted Llort occasionally as he/she moved up in level and rank within our Guild (Facta non Verba). We became fast friends as he had a very quick and dry sense of humor, much like his benefactor, HG.

Once pushed from the game by forces beyond my understanding or control, Matt was one of the first people to get in touch with me. It was good to hear from a friend within the game. Someone who would keep me abreast of the goings on and whatnot.

Matt is currently in his first year of college studying Business, and smoking cigars. (don't ask)
We talk on an almost daily basis about many things...music, books, movies, food, D&D, etc. It is amazing how well we get along considering Matt is eighteen - and I am older than dirt. He has incredible taste in music, and has introduced me to some new groups as well. He also shares my passion for stupid t-shirts.

I recently sent Matt a 'care package' seeing as he is living in residence as a starving college student. Nothing too weird, mind. Teddy Grahams, assorted candy bars, the aforementioned t-shirts, novels, condoms...the basics, ya know? What every college student needs.

It was Matt's idea that I write about him and how 'cool he is'. (that's a direct quote)

But he's right. He is cool. And so are all my other WoW friends. I hope to introduce you all to them soon.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Stress Test

My best friend Jennifer is taking her Real Estate Appraiser's Exam tomorrow.

Jennifer may not be aware of just how proud I am of her, or of the amount of time and effort she has put into bettering herself and preparing for a lucrative future in the real estate market.

She is nervous - and rightly so. This test is apparently very difficult and lasts almost 8 hours, I believe.

I have talked to Jen many times over the passed two weeks or so. Listened to her as she fretted over sums and figures, her infernal calculator, distractions (of which I, sadly, am one), and countless other things. I have little advice to offer, and even less assistance as I am terrible with math. After all, I was a journalism major...and my only real talent is that I can make more varieties of fudge than anyone I know.

Still, I have faith in Jen's knowledge and dedication. As a Leo, she is headstrong and stubborn; and once she gets her teeth into something, it's not likely that she will let go until she has either conquered it, or torn it to ribbons.

My thoughts and best wishes go out to Jen.
May they bring her peace and confidence.

Bonne Chance, ma soeur-amie!
Je t'aime.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Indifferent Strokes

I will be the first to admit that I am not the most observant bunny in the woods and that I am often indifferent to my surroundings.

It took me four days to notice that a building I drove by almost every day had been completely demolished. Longer still to notice that many things in the refrigerator are not only passed their best before date, but that some have evolved into new life forms.

Miriam-Webster's International Dictionary describes indifferent as the following:

: marked by impartiality : unbiased
2 a: that does not matter one way or the other:
b:of no importance or value one way or the other

Perusing YouTube today (as I am wont to do when I should be doing meaningful things), I found a short but amusing video that illustrates Indifference perfectly.

Watch This

Now, I understand not paying much attention to someone pushing a shopping cart; it's dull and something you see everyday.

BUT this is not a person...it appears to be half a person (the bottom half at that) and...AND...
it's On Frickin' Fire!!!

And yet, people seem to go about their business like nothing out of the ordinary is going on. La de da de da...

This is not outside of a methadone clinic or mental institution; it's on a city sidewalk.

What on earth could be of such importance in your head that you would not stop and gape in awe and fear, or at the very least do a double-take??

Watch the video.

Tell me I'm wrong. Go ahead.

I am indifferent.
(but amazed at that video all the same)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I Mispronounce You, Man and Wife

The telephone is ringing.
I glance at the call display screen.

Riiiiiiiight...not an unusual number at all.

Against my better judgment I pick up the phone.


Ah...yes...Could I speak to um...uh...Mizzzz ELLE Ar...Ar....Arsco?


Beg pardon?

I wish to speak with Mizzzz EL Arsco.

Sorry, no EL Arsco here.


My husband Terre looks at me over his book, doing that crooked eyebrow thing he does so well. "Arsco?", he says.

I laugh and lay him ten to one odds the guy calls back looking for Mister Teeeee Arsco.

I lose.

Honestly though, how hard is it to pronounce Arscott? It is spelled just as it sounds.
R-Scott. Doesn't get much simpler than that. I mean, I can understand one silent T
- but two side by side??

Now, I realize that most of the people who do cold-call telephone sales usually don't have English listed as their mother tongue. But even in the most basic phonetic pronunciation, Arscott should still be pronounced Arscott. I can understand the emphasis on the wrong syllable maybe...but come on!

Sadly, there have been no more calls for the Arsco's.

However, Capital One (the annoying bastards) seem to think that someone by the name of Terse lives here.

They have no idea how right they are. =)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Great Light Has Gone Out

It grieved me full sore to learn of the passing of Richard Wright.
(July 28, 1943 - September 15, 2008)

Such a great musician. So influential...so timeless.

Anyone unfamiliar with his name might be more familiar with
the name of the band to which he belonged: Pink Floyd.

Richly textured keyboard playing as well as his song writing
talent made him an integral part of one of the most well-known
psychedelic/progressive rock bands in the world.

The world has grown another shade darker.


Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.

Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town

Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.

You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking

Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you're older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over,

Thought I'd something more to say.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

perfection times two

Thanks in part to my post about my nervousness, I found myself talking online (thank you googletalk) with my best friend Jen. As always, her words were insightful and helpful as she offered me affirmations and grounding exercises.

One thing in particular she said, and I quote:
"...always be willing .... willing to love, to receive and it will come to you. The most important thing right now ... is to heal. To ground and balance yourself. To learn to let go."

This pearl of wisdom brought something else to mind; Desiderata.

Desiderata was always my mother's favourite poem - and I learned to recite it from memory. Beautiful and inspiring in its simplicity, it offers advice and counsel without flowery words straining at rhyme.

I sat and recited it to myself...something I hadn't done aloud in years. As I did so, a wonderful idea formed in my mind.

Jen had sent me a truly perfect picture she had taken of her daughter, Meg. I had commented to Jen upon seeing it that it looked like it belonged on a calendar - so exquisite was it in shadow and light. Suddenly, I knew what that picture was for!

Behold the marriage of beautiful things!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I've noticed that I am becoming more nervous.

I don't get much sleep lately, which could be part of the problem.

Also, I live on caffeine - which I'm sure doesn't really help matters. Caffeine isn't new to me or my diet - but I have been drinking a little more coffee than usual.

While I was doing the dishes this evening, my husband came up behind me and said something to me. I have no idea what he said, because I was too busy screaming.

I literally jumped about two feet in the air, and screamed like he'd poked me with a cattle prod!

Of course, his reaction to MY reaction was to clutch his chest and stagger backwards.

I swear that someday, the two of us are going to keel over that way. He's going to startle me so badly that I go straight up and break my head open on something, and he's going to be so frightened by my doing so that he will have a heart attack and collapse.

I honestly don't know what has gotten into me lately.

All I do know is that the slightest noise or movement that I'm not expecting can send me bolting like a terrified rabbit. Considering my current physical condition, this is not a good thing.

So what do I do? Give up caffeine?
Hahahaha...hahahaha....~wheeze~...hahahaaha.....no. Giving up oxygen would probably be easier for me...and less hazardous to others.

Get more sleep?
I suppose I could try.
But working graveyard shifts for a year and a half has kind of skewed my internal clock.

Take tranquilizers?
A good plan - but I really don't need another addiction at the moment...although I do have space for one now that I can no longer play WoW. ~sigh~

Anyway...any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Just be sure that you email them to me rather than showing up at my door when I'm not expecting visitors...the consequences could be dire for both parties.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Book 'em

I share books.

I loan books to friends and acquaintances all the time.

Reading is a joy for me, and I like nothing better than to share some of the literary gems I have found with like-minded people.

This passed Saturday, I had the pleasure of visiting with John, a very dear friend that I had not seen in quite some time. We discussed many things, as we always do. The topic soon turned to movies and then to books. One book in particular: The Color of Light by William Goldman. (he wrote The Princess Bride, too!)

John informed me that he had been unable to find this book for some time and was always searching for it whenever and wherever he could. I sympathized. It truly is a hard book to find as it is out of print. A novel of such beauty and intensity should NOT be allowed to be out of print.

Anyway, I happened to have a copy which I found at a second-hand bookstore in Kingston. Although this copy (one of many I have had over the years) was well-worn and slightly yellowed, it was intact, and I knew that John of all people could be trusted to care for it and return it.

John was thrilled to again have this book in his possession. I understood completely...and it pleased me well to know that I had given him something that would bring him joy.

Other books were passed on to John and his good lady over the course of the afternoon. The Cider House Rules by John Irving and Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi. I have loaned these books out to many others as well - and replaced them several times for my own collection when they failed to be returned.

Loaning a book often means you will never see it again. It's a chance worth taking if you value your friends and wish to share something beautiful with them. Sometimes, you can search and scour every dingy second-hand bookstore, yard sale and library clearing for a book that failed to come home and never find another copy.

Then, there are days like today.

The Book Bank (a wonderful second hand bookshop) wasn't really on my route today as I went about my errands - but something told me to stop in. I didn't really have the time or money for book shopping, but I went anyway.

The young man who works at the Book Bank looked up from his tattered paperback copy of The Godfather, smiled, and greeted me warmly. He asked if I was looking for something in particular.

I was.

"The Color of Light", I told him. "It's by..."
"William Goldman," he finished my sentence.

I stared at the twenty-something child, somewhat stupefied.

"You've read it?", I asked incredulously. He nodded and smiled again as he came out from behind the counter to rummage through the haphazard shelves.

"A-ha!", he said as he stood up and dusted off his knees. "Here we are." He held up the novel for me to see. I looked at its familiar white cover, silver-lettered title. I could have hugged him.

"Anything else I can help you find?" he inquired cheerfully.
"...Ummm...Ursula Hegi?"

Again the young man smiled. "You're probably looking for The Worst Thing I've Done which is a very good book...but have you ever read Stones from the River?" I felt light-headed.
"Actually, that's what I'm looking for" I said, still not believing this conversation was taking place.

"Well, you're in luck then. We happen to have two copies of it - one in hard cover if you like."
"No, no...paperback will be fine." I took the book from him and tucked it under my arm with the other novel.

"Anything else today?"
"I'm just going to look around for a bit, I think".
"No trouble at all. Let me know if I can be of further help," he said as he returned to the counter and to The Godfather (a fine book itself).

I poked around a bit...looking, wanting. I found a new copy of Redwall by Brian Jaques and scooped it up with my other books. It will make a fine present for my niece.

Finally, I headed for the counter. I needed to be elsewhere and this stop had been unscheduled.

The young man punched in the book codes on the till and announced "Eight dollars and seventy-five cents, please." A pittance for such treasures. I opted to pay in cash rather than use the bank card.

While rummaging through my purse for my billfold, I happened to glance down at a box of books which had been dropped in front of the counter. On the top of the box was another familiar cover. The Cider House Rules. What are the odds? (no, really! what are they?!?")

I bent down and came back up with the novel in my hand. "How much for this one?"

The familiar grin appeared on his face. "Great book!" he said. "Ummm...how's three dollars?"

Eleven dollars and seventy-five cents to buy happiness. Not a bad deal at all.

Not only that, but now John can keep the books that I loaned to him, saving him the responsibility of returning my books to me.

Karma, it seems, is kind to people who share books.

I highly recommend it.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Starch - it's what's for dinner!

I'll be the first to admit it; I'm a Pastafarian of the highest order.

Pasta is the food of the gods, and I'll smack anyone in the face with a bottle of marinara sauce who says otherwise.

Such a perfect food and yet, so maligned by the popularity police and their diet-tribe.

When did pasta, rice, potatoes, bread and anything else vaguely resembling an adequate side-dish become evil? I really want to know!

Did Atkins put people up to this? If so, I'm very glad the man is dead.

Incidentally, he died with his lower intestine clogged with meat.
He did.
Good riddance.

Carbohydrates are NOT the enemy - they never were. Like all things, the secret to a healthy diet is moderation.

Eating nothing but meat is far from moderate - it's closer to moronic.

But I digress...

Pasta is high in complex carbohydrates which provide 'time-release' energy. It keeps you going, in other words.

The Department of Food and Agriculture recommends we eat six to 11 servings of complex carbohydrates daily. Consuming pasta a minimum of three times a week is an easy way to help meet that goal. A typical serving of cooked spaghetti will probably provide two or three of your recommended servings of complex carbohydrates.

Pasta is also high in Folic Acid which is an important B Vitamin. Folic acid, also known as folate and folacin, plays an important role in the body's central nervous system. FDA has determined that diets adequate in folic acid may reduce a woman's risk of having a child with brain or spinal cord defects. A 2 oz. serving of dry pasta will supply the equivalent of about 100 micrograms a day of folic acid or 25% of the recommended daily intake.

Besides the health benefits of pasta, let's talk about it's cost efficiency.

Pasta is cheap.
Dirt cheap.

If you have a limited food budget (and who doesn't), then pasta is what you want to be buying.

It's versatile, easy to prepare, comes in a myriad of shapes and colours - and it's damned tasty to boot.

You can teach any 6 year old how to cook pasta.

Try doing that with bacon.
You'll be in the emergency room with a screaming child and an empty stomach in no time.

Don't get me wrong.
I like meat.
I eat meat.

I also eat fruits and vegetables, complex sugars and far too much fat.

But carbohydrates are an essential part of my meals - and I think I am healthier for it.

Pastafarians, rise and unite!

Be proud, be strong, and beat the crap out of the Atkins-addled idiots for extended periods of time. With all that slow-release energy, we are bound to outlast them all!