Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving to our Neighbours to the South

And enjoy this special turkey video.

Because you can always use more butter.

thanks to Nathan Bransford for the link

Why, this is exactly what it's like in our house when we all get together to bake a juicy turkey. Spooky.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


My good friend kc dyer wrote about Movember month. It's when ordinary citizens, mostly men, grow a mustache in support of prostate cancer research. Mustache in November = Movember.

Here is my son.

I think he looks like a spy from a cheesy 40s spy movie. At least it's for a good cause.

And presumably he'll be shaving it off come December 1st.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Party like it's the '70s

My youngest sister, nicknamed Yutha, turned 50 this past October. To start the celebrations off with a bang, she and I and our other sister Brink went to Vegas together.

Then Yutha and her hubby and daughter (who turned 16) went on a luxury cruise (penthouse suite with its own kitchen.)

Then her childhood friends threw her a party which included a roast beef dinner and pie, not cake, pie. (She's a pie girl.)

Then her husband decided to throw her a party, which took place last Saturday night (although technically one might say it also took place through to Sunday morning.) The party consisted of people from different parts of their life - ski club, work, neighbours, school etc. plus all the friends my sister has had since childhood - and mixed them all together like a big, alcohol-fueled slumgullion. The food was truly awesome like squeaky fresh shrimp so big we dubbed them "three biters" and sliders with blue cheese and caramelized onions. For those of you who don't know what sliders are, they're eensy beensy hamburgers. They seem to be the appetizer du jour. There were also duck brochettes, sweet potato pancakes, smoked salmon rolls, beef tenderloin slices, grilled cheese (with four cheeses!) and avocado sandwiches and more...oh, it was fantastic.

Altogether, I think there were about eight school friends of my sister's there, and of course I know most of them as well since for one year, all three of us sisters attended high school at the same time. There was a lot of old boyfriend talk and catching up.

I don't normally drink much if at all, but I get a teensy bit of social anxiety when there is a big cocktail party and I have to make small talk. I suck at small talk. I can do BIG talk. But small talk with complete strangers freaks me out. So I had a glass of champagne, or "Faery Fizz" as we called it. On an empty stomach. Then I had another. And maybe another one or two more. Hey, there was fruit in it and Cassis so it was like drinking a smoothy, right?

Then I discovered a lovely bottle of Glenmorangie Nectar D'Or aged in a Sauternes cask and I thought I'd just have a wee taste and ooolala, that proved to be my undoing.

We stayed up laughing and talking until 3 a.m. Then we had a breakfast at 8 a.m.

It wasn't pretty.

I saw this video today and had to share it. Welcome to 1973, my friends.

If you make it to the whistle solo without peeing your pants, I salute you.

Hint - it comes after the heavy metal yodeling, the strangulated high notes and seizure face, what sounds like alien chatter, and a flute solo.

thanks to Maggie for the link!

Happy Birthday Yutha! Hold back my invitation to the next party. I think another one might just kill me.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Something Fun

Still trying to figure out holidays plans. Who knew planning for a holiday could be so stressful?

Speaking of which, turns out NaNoWriMo is not for me after all. I'm more of a plodding along (plotting along?) kinda gal.

I'm currently at The Palace (my little sister's beeyoutiful house north of Toronto) for a big party this weekend, so pray the snow they're forecasting stays away so I can drive myself home again after it's all over.

Enjoy the cast of Harry Potter as they learn to "speak American."

thanks to Lainey for the link!

And speaking of accents, how do YOU say eleven?

thank you Kathy Down the Road!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Where would you go?

If you had a week's worth of vacation time in early March.

You're leaving from Montreal.

You could go anywhere, keeping in mind that you're leaving from Montreal so your travel time factors in (so not Australia or Japan, however much you might want to go there.)

You would probably want somewhere warm and sunny. If you've spent a winter in Montreal you would automatically know this.

You don't know anything about any destinations in the Caribbean except that St. Lucia was recently wiped clean by a hurricane and Mexico is not exactly safe these days (crime + natural gas explosions = not going there.) I don't know from Barbados from Bahamas from Bermuda. Except Bermuda is supposed to be cold.

You've been to London and Paris many times, but not Italy. However Italy in March might be cold and wet.

You'd be willing to try scuba diving. You know there is no scuba diving in Italy.

You don't care about night life. Your disco days are so over.

You've never been on a cruise and have no desire to go on one but might be talked into one if you heard a convincing enough argument. An onboard casino is not a convincing argument.

You've never been on a sun filled holiday except for Hawaii last year (which was business related) and Florida twenty+ years ago (also business related/throw in pregnant.) Vegas doesn't count. There is sun in Vegas but no one goes under it on purpose. It is sent from the gods to punish you for gambling all your money away on penny slots.

Be specific. Tell me where and what hotels if you know of a fabulous spot.


I can't stay home for another holiday week and paint the bathroom or clean out the garage.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Salute to a Brave and Modest Nation

Tomorrow marks another Remembrance Day in Canada, a day where we honour our veterans.

I posted this back in 2008 and it bears repeating. It's by Kevin Myers, an Irish Journalist. This article has appeared in the National Post, the Sunday Telegraph and elsewhere on the net.

LONDON - Until the deaths last week of four Canadian soldiers accidentally killed by a U.S. warplane in Afghanistan, probably almost no one outside their home country had been aware that Canadian troops were deployed in the region. And as always, Canada will now bury its dead, just as the rest of the world as always will forget its sacrifice, just as it always forgets nearly everything Canada ever does.

It seems that Canada's historic mission is to come to the selfless aid both of its friends and of complete strangers, and then, once the crisis is over, to be well and truly ignored. Canada is the perpetual wallflower that stands on the edge of the hall, waiting for someone to come and ask her for a dance....go here to read the rest.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cat As A Hat

For all you cat owners out there, it won't come as a surprise to know we are the ones who are owned by our cats not the other way around. And they are nothing if not creatures of routine. They want what they want when they want it.

Boris is a prime example. He has his favourite napping spots - behind my head on my reading chair, or beside me on the leather couch if I'm watching TV, or under the lawn chair on the back porch.

Never wavers.

When he is hungry, he always waits until Kicia eats first. He could easily squash her like a bug, since she weighs a third of what he weighs. And yet he sits patiently for her to finish and move aside. If he happens to be there first and she jumps up behind him, he'll move. He knows if he doesn't, she'll bite him in the arse, but he won't retaliate.

He never retaliates.

He has a bad rap in the neighbourhood because he's a big black tomcat with a tough name (not his fault) who is more stupidly stubborn than aggressive and he'll hold his ground and protect his turf from any interlopers. He has a doppelganger who lives nearby, and that is the real culprit behind all the cat fights.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Boris comes in every night when I whistle for him, and he runs upstairs right under my feet when I go up to bed. He follows me in the bathroom and flops on the bathmat at my feet. Despite his advancing years, as evidenced by his increasing gray fur and one white-tipped ear, he is still playful and will jump on my foot if I wiggle it under the thin cotton. He never uses his claws, but you can feel the strength in those giant padded paws, powerful enough to take down gray squirrels when he wants fresh meat. He likes to drink out of the dripping faucet. Doesn't matter how fresh the water in the bowl happens to be, he won't touch it. So he'll hop up and sit on the counter and wait for me to finish brushing my teeth before he dips his head under the faucet and takes delicate sips.

However he will occasionally drink out of the toilet bowl and has fallen in a few times, so we keep the lid closed. It also helps him climb up to the counter because his legs fail him sometimes and he misses and falls to the floor.

I had to laugh when my sister sent me this video.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Toyota Bumper Sticker

I recently read about a bumper sticker on a Toyota truck:

"Have you driven over a Ford lately?"

I used to drive a Ford Taurus.

Or as we called it, the Taurus-saurus Rex.

Or as my mechanic called it, The Retirement Fund.

Don't get me wrong. I don't think and I'm not saying all Ford products are bad. Just my old car. It was the bad seed, the black sheep from a good family.

Whenever I'd stop at a stop sign (which is highly unusual here in Quebec) it would just die on the spot. It used to break down so regularly on the way to driving my kids to pre-school that the other moms would look for us on the side of the road and pick us up enroute. I once had to tell one of those moms that after we all shared her car, one of my kids (and then a second) was diagnosed with whooping cough. That mom never picked me up after that, but others took pity.

Forget hopping into the car in a coat thrown over pajamas. Wearing warm boots and snowsuits for the 10 minute drive was standard form, because we never knew when we'd be getting out in sub-zero weather to stand in the snow waiting for a good Samaritan to happen by. Why didn't we get rid of this car right away? Because I had faith.

Faith in my brother-in-law who sold us the car and swore it worked just fine for him. Faith in my husband who said just hold on, hold on until Spring when we will get a van for our growing brood. Faith in our mechanic, a gentle and kind man who finally had to admit that as much as this car was his bread and butter, we had to do the right thing and put it out of its misery.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Some laughs

To lead us into the weekend...a few laughs.

This site is devoted to amusing iPhone auto corrects. Pretty funny stuff.

And this site has a video with Ellen's best celebrity scares. Sick, isn't she? We used to "pull this kind of stunt" (to quote my mother) all the time when we were kids. It's a wonder we didn't kill our parents.

Bon weekend everyone!

There is snow at the lake! Whoo hoo!

I haven't been up to see for myself. These are from previous years.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Love is all around us

YES, I know it's shameless marketing and YES, I know my heartstrings are being shamelessly massaged by a master manipulator but this got to me.

Yes, I was caught up in the drama.

Yes, I cried at the end.

If you want to see how British people greet each other at the airport, go HERE.

I'm such a sucker for people at the airport.

Remember that scene at the beginning of LOVE ACTUALLY?

They got it right.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

To all my twisted knitter sistahs

You have to knit to really appreciate the silliness of this video. It uses dubbed computer voices to your text, which only adds to its quirky charm.

Dedicated to that particular member of the family (you know who you are) who knits something for practically everyone on her Christmas list.

"Yes, green."

Kills me.

from The Panopticon, a wonderful knitting blog

And in other news....

NoNoWriMo continues. I hated it this morning. Couldn't get going, didn't want to write. Wanted to stomp on its head. Had no ideas. Ideas that did surface sucked. Got discouraged, especially when I read a rant on another blog about how NaNoWriMo is a bad idea because it encourages crappy writing, makes you a slave to word count and therefore you end up with something that can't be fixed no matter how much time you put into editing the hell out of it. In other words, a complete waste of time.

Well, yes and no. I wanted to see if having a deadline would push me to write more. More words, more often, more consistently. I will think of a million excuses not to write. But what happens when I'm forced to write (in my case, I don't know about anyone else) is that in the act of writing, certain creative doors just pop open. I sit back and look inside and think, "well what do you know about that?" It's not enough to just sit around and think about ideas, or even to write an outline. It's the act of doing it that reveals all kinds of stuff.

Today a character popped up out of nowhere. It was supposed to be a creepy old man. It turned out to be a tattooed, pierced, charming young woman. And having this girl there suddenly created a new and welcome twist in the plot. Hm. Not sure I would have thought of her had I just outlined, or stared at the clouds.

I'm exercising my creative muscles. I don't know if I'll end up with something usable or not. But when I lift weights, I'm not aiming for the Olympics. I just know I'll be in better shape than when I started. That's all I want out it. Maybe I'm just being too Canadian.

The last point in this other blog was that writing is supposed to be enjoyable, not done "with a gun to your head." Well, some of us need more motivation than others. If not a gun to the head, maybe a kick in the butt. NaNoWriMo is my kick in the butt.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a tattooed lady to attend to.

Monday, November 1, 2010

And now, a little break from Nanowrimo

Behold! The 100 best signs at the recent rally to restore sanity and/or fear in America (courtesy of buzzfeed.)

Seriously. Some of these are a hoot, others downright weird, but all are entertaining. If you are easily offended by juicy language, don't go there. Just don't. Well, maybe go and check out a few. I particularly liked #20, #35 and #43 (can't you see the hand to the forehead?) Also #76 and #77 and #78 (I guess the 70s were pretty cool after all) also #87 and #89. Oh, just go see for yourself and vote for your favourites in the comments.


Take the leap HERE.

Day one of Nanowrimo

Oh man, I had no idea what I was signing up for.

I stressed last night. I fretted, I whinged, I went through my old notebooks as I tried to figure out which of many story lines I was going to use for Nanowrimo.

I had several that were a little further along in the story, but the goal is to let loose with something new and fresh, to let the mind wander naked and free and see what happens during the process.

So I decided to go with a more "out there" concept, more flyé, as we say here in Quebec.

I've written more than I thought I would. Let's see how it goes when I get to "the soggy middle" sometime in mid-November.