January 29, 2010

A magazine called The Beaver... and it's not dirty?

I know what you're thinking, and it's true: I have zero zip zilch interest in a magazine called The Beaver, which when I hear the name, I automatically assume to be of the Bob Guccione Penthouse variety. Like the dirtiest parts of that oh so classy publication (is it still around?).

Canada has a magazine called The Beaver, and it is very old and very stereotypically Canadian... it's kinda quiet and classy and historical and intellectual and... yep the Bob Guccione one would have more pizzazz.

According to cbc news, The Beaver is an iconic Canadian history magazine that has been around since 1920. And now they are changing their name to... wait for it... drumroll please... here it comes... Canada's History.


Why the name change? Exactly the salacious reasons we all thought. The publishers have decided that the old name is no longer appropriate --- some people thought it was a nature magazine, others thought it was XXX adults only, so online was being grouped with porn, and their emails were being spam-filtered out.

I'm all for the name change, but really calling it Canada's History? Why not just call it Required Reading? Prerequisite? Nothing New? Bob Guccione Presents Private Parts? Canadian Beaver?

Or seriously... Maple Leaf? Northwest Passage?

Okay, now that we have fixed this magazine thing and changed it from porn to boring, let's move on... there is a town in Newfoundland called "Dildo", what the hell are we going to do about that?

January 28, 2010

Husband. Partner. Spouse.

Four months from this weekend, K and I will be married. Very exciting, and good to know the wedding is pretty much planned (Sunday brunch at a beautiful historic hotel, about 50 people, informal and, we hope, elegant).

As K and I go forward, planning our wedding, marriage, house, honeymoon, merging the canine kids, deciding who's popcorn machine gets to stay, adjusting to in-law's, etc., we are going through pretty much the same process as any straight couple would be. Except for one big exception --- what they hell do we call each other?

Like it or not, the world consists of us labelling each other. Mr. Mrs. Doctor. Colonel. Bride. Judge. Rabbi. In-law. Father. Academy-Award Winner. Felon. President. First Lady. Son. Husband. Wife.

So when a married couple is not a husband and wife, and is two guys, do you go with husband and husband? Or is that, well, weird?

For some people not an issue. Ellen and Portia call each other wife and wife very matter-of-factly. So do Wanda Sykes and her wife. And why shouldn't they, as two women who are legally married to each other?

Husband? Partner? Spouse?

Putting aside those who believe that we will burn in hell for being gay -- that's you, Rush Limbaugh, Mr on your fourth wedding while out there protecting the virtues of 'traditional marriage' --- getting married is getting married. And getting married is about building a family, for the emotional and social significance, and the legal protection (look at A Single Man, where a guy loses his partner of 16years and the family blocks him from attending the funeral, and even keeps their dog).

Shortly after K and I decided to get married, we walked into a meeting with the architect designing our house, and K introduced me as his fiance. I was startled for a brief second (yikes, hope I hid that one); not in a bad way, just in a "hmm, I hadn't thought of that label" kind of way.

Now some time has passed and I am all over the fiance label. I use it, I like it, it feels romantic and significant and long-lasting. What's next?

Once we are married (countdown four months), what do we call each other? Husband and husband?

My fiance (see, using that one!) is going to use 'husband'. And me? Over the last 18 months I have gone from calling him my boyfriend to calling him my partner. Okay, actually I have gone from calling him 'some guy' to 'that cute guy' to my boyfriend to my partner. So what's next?

I had planned on using 'partner'. But that inclination has faded as the wedding approaches, as it won't be new or deeper somehow; I use 'partner' to refer to K now, and truth be told may have used it in other relationships before, so what is different about being married?

In addition to wanting a new and weightier label, and one that I have never used before as this is my first and only marriage (take that, Limbaugh), I am proud to be an out gay man getting married in a place where I can be fully and legally married (take that, Banderson Booper and the state of California). So for personal and political reasons, I don't think the label 'partner' is enough, and 'husband' it will be...

January 26, 2010

Gotta love Cindy McCain!

Okay, I have to admit that I never thought I would write the words "gotta love Cindy McCain".

Mrs. McCain has been on my radar no more than Alaskan mute Todd Palin, so pretty much not at all, or no more than guilty by association, ie guilty by marriage, to right-wing homophobic conservative gun-loving politicians.

Except Cindy McCain was also guilty by association to her cool modern journalist daughter. Though still off my radar.

Then last week Mrs McCain blasts out of this rich white republican landscape with this ad -- she jumped on board the fabulous "No H8" campaign.

McCain has broken rank with her husband and her party. I love a woman with balls!

(okay, actually I don't literally love a woman with balls, so totally not my thing, but if you do, hey, to each his own, who am I to judge...)

"No H8" features real folks and celebs in a silent photography campaign, all opposed to California's draconian proposition 8 which repealed the legality of same-sex marriage. The photos are by Adam Bouska and are amazing.

Hey, right wing freaks - it wasn't that long ago that black Americans couldn't marry, or that white and black Americans couldn't marry each other. Marriage isn't traditional, people, it's progressive.

So I am saying it again... gotta love Cindy McCain!

Learn more @ http://www.noh8campaign.com/

January 25, 2010

Creepy Monday: human hot water bottles

To start your week off on a creepy unsettling note...

Several locations of the Holiday Inn in London are offering a free 'bed warming' service, where a staff member dressed in a fleece head-to-toe outfit that looks like a KKK snowsuit, will on request get into your bed and move around to generate heat and make the sheets less chilly. The hotel describes it as akin to having a really big hot water bottle in your bed.

This takes the idea of inviting a stranger into your hotel bed a whole lot less exciting. Then again, it is the Holiday Inn.

Sure, good intentions here, but what if the white-suited employee falls asleep in my bed? Or I get there early and we startle each other? Do they change clothes as they bed hop? Do they charge for this service?

This whole thing is just creepy. I would rather have the gigantic hot water bottle.

January 23, 2010

New Rules for Business Travel

Business travel blows.

Don't get me wrong, I like the people I am travelling to see, and like to think I am making a valuable contribution in a healthy and positive way (well, most days).

But the travel part? The actual getting from here to there part? Totally blows.

This week my business excursion was a one-day trip from Edmonton to Winnipeg, work the day there, then come home that night. Pretty straightforward in concept, not so much so in execution.

Yes, crappy weather had something to do with it, making my expected 16-hour day magically morph into a 19-hour day. Ever get stuck on the runway during a run of 'freezing fog'? Not fun.

Weather is out of everyone's control. Tons of other crap isn't. So here's a few suggestions for new rules for travel:

1- Start at the beginning: have enough parking at the airport, dammit. And make sure there is plentiful and logical signage, it really and truly is better for us all if I can find my car again.

2- Yes, security issues are huge, and I will submit to a full body scan, be frisked, cavity searched, whatever; your end of the deal is to hire enough people to work the effing security area. Having a village worth of travellers snaking through the line to go through just two security checkpoints, while the other checkpoints sit unmanned and unused, just don't cut it.

3- Have enough seats at the gate area. This is not rocket science, just do the math: if the plane holds 200 people, 40 seats will not be enough.

4- Have enough bathrooms. Do the math, and then visualize the down side if you get this one wrong.

5- Be consistent with patrolling the carry-on baggage. Some people follow the rules, some try to work around the rules, and then there's the douchebag dude in front of me wheeling on more crap than most people checked through. More crap than some of us own. Make the jerk check it.

6- On the plane itself, well I know you aren't going to make the seats any wider or plusher back here in steerage, so can I at least ask that the audio system work properly? I want to hear the soundtrack as I watch those Three's Company repeats while I sit on the runway getting older.

7- "Bits and Bites" do not fall into any food group.

8- Ensure the flight attendants know where the hell we are going. Really. Hearing them ask a coworker does not inspire confidence.

9- Back on the ground, people get stuck at airports for long periods of time, especially in winter areas. Have food options beyond crappy donuts. That's you, Winnipeg.

10- After a long flight we are cranky, tired, and smell like recycled air and bad cheese. Get the luggage out faster. By the way... where the hell does it go between the plane and the carousel?

More rules to come. Ideas, anyone?

For the airlines and airports... you're welcome.

January 22, 2010

Gotta love Bette Midler!

"Well, enough about me. Let's talk about you. What do you think about me?"

- Bette Midler

January 21, 2010

Did Beyonce sell her soul?

So what did you do on New Year's Eve?

Pop star Beyonce spent New Year's collecting $2 million for a private concert. This is not unusual, as celebrities do highly-paid appearances at private functions all the time --- according to abc.com, you can hire Jessica Simpson for $75,000, or Usher for $175,000, or Mariah Carey for $3 million, or apparently, Beyonce for $2 million.

So what was newsworthy about Ms Knowles' private concert? Well, first of all, holy crap, she makes two million bucks to sing five songs? I so chose the wrong line of work. Secondly, and most importantly, she was performing at a private party thrown by Hannibal Gaddafi, son of the Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, so you know where the two million bucks came from.

Does that make it wrong? What should she have done? Should she take the high moral road and decline the gig? That may be a stance with honour and value, it also means that the evil dictator's family has two million more dollars.

When challenged by the press, Beyonce's spineless PR hack gave a non-answer, pointing out that Beyonce is not alone in the 'dancing for dictators' club: pop tart Keesha performed for Zimbabgwe's dictator Robert Mugabe, Chris Brown has performed for Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, Eminem is working for Eritrea's military dictator, blah, blah, blah... Yeah, so, if they all jumped off a bridge, would you?

Back to Beyonce on New Year's Eve... so, is it wrong? I like Beyonce, have one of her albums, the first one, it was a gift, and yeah it's pretty good. About this mini-controversy I am of two minds; Hey, I am a Gemini, it happens a lot, deal with it. First, I am a democrat and capitalist, so Beyonce is entitled to make choices and make money, and hey she is taking it from the bad guys. On the other hand, what the fuck was she thinking? How do you get up there in spandex and sequins and shake it for families of terrorists?

What should she do now? Well, Ms. Beyonce, you did the show and you took the money. Now give the two million bucks to orphans or AIDS research or breast cancer care or Haiti relief or any other good cause. Just give it away --- you don't need it, and it's dirty.

January 19, 2010

An open letter to Pat Robertson

Dear Mr. Robertson -

I initially began this letter "Dear Homophobic Bigot" and then realized how judgemental that is, and that such labelling had the potential to start our new friendship off on the wrong foot, and we wouldn't want that, now would we?

So, new friend, there you are in the news again this week. As the world wept and rallied with the death and devastation in Haiti, you made news with comments that a pact with the devil by Haiti's voodoo doctors was what brought on the earthquake in Haiti... uh-huh. Soooo you think that makes sense, do ya?

Of course, I shouldn't really be surprised when you blame this tragedy on the Haitians, as you have always been so media friendly and quotable, in a terrifying hateful right-wing zealot sort of way. Like when you called for the assassination of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, or when you said that Islam is not a religion, that Hurricane Katrina was the fault of abortionists, that karate enthusiasts inhale a demon spirit, and that 9/11 was due to pagans, lesbians, feminists and gays.

Actually, gotta admit, I sort of expected that last one, as I know you pretty much blame everything on those feminists, ever since you called them witches who are going to kill their children and become lesbians.

I will give you this -- man, you were oddly fun to google. Beats the crap out of watching sitcoms, and way funnier, or at least would be if you weren't so damn scary. There's evil bigoted Pat Robertson quotes everywhere. My favourite quote might be when you compared liberal America to Nazi Germany, where you said the bigotry against Christians today is worse than any discrimination against any minority in history. Well, friend, quite the stretch if I do say so myself, but there are so many crazy-ass hateful things you have said, I am not sure I can choose just one.

As for our new friendship? Well optimistic as I am, truth be told am not holding out much hope seeing as you don't much like my kind (gay, Jewish, pro-choice, Canadian, pacifist) and I clearly don't care all that much for you. Still, there should be some common ground here, no?

Then again, I am not sure what the common ground would be... wait, I got one! We both have not yet attended "gay days" at Disney World. Then again, I have not gone because it's a long commute from where I live, and pretty much every ride from a twirling tea cup to Space Mountain makes me vomit, and you have not gone because in your own words, gay days at Disney World "will bring about the destruction of your nation, it'll bring about terrorist bombs, it'll bring earthquakes, tornadoes, and possibly a meteor..." okey-dokey, maybe there is no common ground.

Okay, enough about the past, and enough about Mickey Mouse in chaps, let's look forward and focus on what is happening now, the tragedy in Haiti.

So Mr Robertson, or may I call you Pat: my question is this... what the fuck? The world worries and mourns about Haiti and you spew blame and hate? How about, let's help them recover from this tragedy and then work to move them forward. Blame the victims... really? Blamed it on voodoo and the devil... really? This killer earthquake being a "blessing in disguise"... really?

Mr Robertson, it's time to step up and show compassion. Speak kindly. Maybe cut a cheque to Doctors Without Borders for the recovery effort. Oh, and one more thing --- on second thought, I don't think we can be friends. You're a douchebag.

January 18, 2010

A dysfunctional Jewish family lets loose in "This Is Where I Leave You"

I am guessing this will be one of my favourite reads of 2010, and yes I realise it's only January and no, I am not one of those idiot movie reviewers from Asswipe Indiana who proclaims that Police Academy 12 is "the best movie this year!" just to be quoted in the ads. This book is that good.

This Is Where I Leave You is an always smart, sometimes sad, very funny novel about a dysfunctional Jewish family dealing with trust and communication issues as they come together for seven days and are forced to deal with some of their baggage. Wow, nothing there I can relate to at all, let's give that a read, shall we?

This is where I leave you starts when Judd Foxman finds his wife banging his boss, thereby losing both his house and his job, and then learning that his father has died. And then things start to go wonky.

Although the family does't really follow their faith, after the father's funeral (where the gravedigger happens to be a fat bearded guy in a red suit), the family learns his last wish was for them all to follow the tradition of sitting "Shiva" for seven days. Unfamiliar with the concept? Think a Jewish wake, with less booze and more food, with mourners squeezed into kiddie chairs designed to fit Ewoks, and everyone they have ever met coming by to visit. The reason for filling the shiva house with visitors is, according to Judd, to prevent the mourners from tearing each other from limb to limb.

The family kicks the week off with a lunch where one of the grand kids sends poop flying, and Judd says "it is utterly inconceivable that we will survive seven days together here... but as metaphors go, you can't do much better than shit on the good china."

Judd is a wry and glum narrator, dealing with the loss of his father, his wife, and his job. He is forced to spend a week confined with quirky siblings and their Joan Collins-esque mother. On the agenda? Love, marriage, divorce, food, booze, mourning, adultery, infertility, parenthood, old age, old girlfriends, baseball, late-in-life lesbianism, sibling rivalry, old grudges, fist fights, ice skating, a rabbi named Boner, and the bonds of family whether we want them or not.

I like Judd because he is smart and trying to figure stuff out as it all spins out of control. And he is starting over at ground zero: "I am depressed, unemployed, unloved, basement-dwelling, and bereaved."

And I like the book because it is wise and funny with great characters like youngest brother Philip who "is the Paul McCartney of our family: better-looking than the rest of us, always facing a different direction in pictures, and occasionally rumored to be dead."

George Burns famously said that happiness is having a large and loving family in another city. We all know that every family has their quirks (aka their wacky crazy stressful shit). As Judd Foxman works his way through his worst time, he gains some insight and grows up after the destruction of his marriage, which ends "the way these things do, with paramedics and cheesecake."

January 16, 2010

The aliens are coming, the aliens are coming!

I want to believe... (cue spooky theme music)... or do I?

Despite my all-encompassing love for everything TV, movies, and pop culture, I have never watched The X-Files.

Why? It's science fiction, it's dark, it never got my attention and once you aren't hooked at the beginning, how many people really make the effort to immerse themselves? Stupid comedies, which I love dearly, are easy to jump into midstream, but a serial of any kind? Less likely. I also haven't ever watched Lost, for pretty much the same reasons - missed the start, don't want to jump into a long story arc midway, and don't really want to invest the time.

Although I haven't watched the show. I do have a story about the X-files: one day while chewing tobacco and hitchhiking outside the trailer park, I saw a large flying saucer slowly hover down on a nearby field. Okay totally lying, that never happened... or did it?

About fifteen years ago, when I was living in Vancouver, I was walking home from work, bouncing along to the music in my headphones. As I turned onto my street, my little Jewish heart froze --- holy crap, there was a phalanx of uniformed Nazis doing the march step right in front of my apartment building! This cannot be good. So remove sunglasses, pull off earphones, rub eyes, look again --- yep, them be Nazis! I soon figured out was the X Files from the signs and film crew vans, filming some flashback episode. So I waited for the Nazis to stop blocking my doorway and I went home.

Still didn't watch the the damn show, though always mildly curious to see that Nazi episode.

So many years later, and the X-Files has come and gone (it ran from 1993 to 2002), as have two movies, endless conspiracy theories, and what really become a cult-ish pop culture movement. And I skipped the whole damn thing.

Skip ahead to now (yes, think time travel, you science fiction geeks), and I still haven't watched X-Files, and am engaged to K who loves the series. So last weekend when we were renting a couple of movies, we included X-Files: I Want to Believe, the most recent movie, from 2008.

We watched the flick last night, and holy shit there was a huge surprise --- I liked it! Yep it was dark, and waaaay too gory for my taste, and still it was suspenseful and smart and visually terrific.

I don't know if I 'believe' or not, I think am more of the questioning Scully than the believer Mulder (yikes, I am using geek speak). Guess there are like 897 episodes of the show out there to watch and think about it...

January 14, 2010

National Delurker Day

Now that I am almost, sort of, kind of, a real official blogger, I am gonna do all the fancy jet set international swanky things that real official bloggers do.... uh, what the hell is that again?

Oh yeah.. here's a good one!

Are you new? A 'lurker' is someone who reads, and reads regularly, without signing up to follow, or subscribe, or leave comments. Don't get me wrong - am thrilled you are here. That being said, love your comments, and want them especially today!

Today is blogger's delurking day. For every comment you leave on this blog today and tomorrow (Thursday and Friday), I will donate $1 to relief in Haiti. Great cause, so spend my money big time and show alfredliveshere some luuuv!

January 13, 2010

Parking for Morons

As a public service, here are ten rules for parking in underground parking lots.

Please note that this is not aimed at or inspired by anyone, but if you are the 20-something teenage criminal driving the large black pickup truck with hero tires in an unnamed underground downtown Edmonton parking lot at approximately 1:47 yesterday afternoon, read on...

1- When in line up to enter the lot, the cars behind you are happy to wait, so take your time, be sure to comb through your handbag and apply lipstick before getting a ticket from machine.

2- Drive v-e-r-y slowly through the lot, letting a serpentine line form behind you, as you don't want to miss a tiny space for your big damn truck.

3- When driving through the lot, ignore those painted lanes; they're optional if you are playing rap music really loud with open windows.

4- Park your large 8-cylinder pick-up truck in two spots marked "small cars only".

5- Never slow down for speed bumps.

6- If you see a driver backing out of their spot, creep up really slowly and really close so the other driver has to pull back in to let you pass.

7- Communication is a good thing. Text while driving.

8- Never pay attention to directional signs. They are intended for people who don't know what they are doing.

9- The first parking space you see will be the only parking space you see. Get it!

10 - When in doubt, accelerate.

As for that moron in the black pick-up truck, do me a favour and get yourself a damn bike, you drive worse than Mr Bean on crack.

January 11, 2010

Mall walking with weirdos

Sunday was a work day for me (yep my life is that exciting). It was a quiet day, which blows as I like it busy, so I took a break and walked through the mall across the street.

The mall was quiet too. It is plus five degrees Celsius here (like 40 Fahrenheit), unseasonably warm. And as the news keeps trumpeting, warmer than Orlando Florida. Woo hoo!

And when I say 'mall walk', I mean 'mall walk' as in grab a Starbucks and amble alone through the shopping centre to see the sights and pass the time, not 'mall walk' as in meet my seniors group at 8 AM in matching t-shirts and magenta headbands to march robustly while swinging our arms in sync, burning calories while we boast about our grandchildren in law school. People in uniformed packs freak me out.

Where did I go during my mall walk? The usual haunts. I hit the book store, the music store, the department store to see if the kitchen gadgets we want are on sale (nope, those bastards).

Who did I see and hear? The woman licking a chocolate bar wrapper. The dude sitting in one of those ten-minute massage chair clipping his nails. The kid yelling at his father at the Cookies by George counter. The health food store employee coming back from a smoke break. Some guy wearing shorts talking on two cell phones at the same time. A confused looking man who looks like Apu from The Simpsons. And...

Then there was my personal favourite, the bedazzled elderly couple in the bookstore reading aloud to each other from the Kuma Sutra. Yes I listened, and apparently they are adventurous. Ick.

Next time I am skipping the break and staying in my office...

January 9, 2010

I just watched the worst movie of 2009. And I liked it!

The plan for the night was simple -- date night! --- finish up at work, head home to feed and walk the dogs, change into casual clothes, and head out to an early movie. We are way behind on the big Oscar bait movies and have some serious catching up to do (and yes that is important to me, I am gay).

Our choice was Up In the Air, and by the time we got there the hugely overcrowded parking lot, with mountains of snow, herds of extended pick-up trucks, and little cars squeezed in at weird angles, should have been the giveaway. After circling, we finally found parking at the far end of the world, and hiked in the freezing cold to the theatre to find crowds spilling out the front door.

We stood in line very briefly, then K asked if I wanted to leave, and we took off like Glenn Beck running from a sane thought.

The back-up plan? Stop at blockbuster to rent a video, make vast amounts of popcorn at home, have a fireplace date night.

We rented The Ugly Truth, a romantic comedy starring Katherine Heigl, the whiny yet talented blond from Knocked Up and Grey's Anatomy, and Gerard Butler, the abs dude from 300.

As is often the case with rentals, where your instinct is to contrast a flick's entertainment value with Wheel of Fortune and eHarmony commercials, we were entertained. Not changed forever, but entertained. The set-up: she is uptight brainy television producer in ratings trouble, he is rough chauvinist relationship guru brought in to jack up ratings. They initially hate each other, yet there is chemistry, and as they spar they come to appreciate.... yawn, okay as I write this the plot is 100% predictable, you know where it is going, and it goes there.

I think the producers are trying for a raunchier spin on Doris Day Rock Hudson type comedies about office rivals who hate each other and then realize the attraction beneath their dislike. And it is hit and miss here. Okay so the downside is lack of originality. The upside? The leads are both charming, the flick zips along, and there are lines like his insight to his fellow men: "Men are incapable of change, growth and progress. For men self improvement ends at toilet training."

So the day after The Ugly Truth I am reading Entertainment Weekly, and in their year end review section the list the best and worst of 2009. Best movies of the year? Up in the Air and The Hurt Locker. Worst movie of the year? The Ugly Truth, which they describe as an awful chick flick that shows contempt for its audience. Really? Contempt? It's a fluff movie, turn off the brain and enjoy. I'm not saying it's a classic by any means, but worst movie? What about caveman comedy Year One? Jennifer's Body? Old Dogs? The latest Halloween remake? Anything with Nicholas Cage or Jennifer Aniston?

Entertainment Weekly lists the five worst movies of the year, and I have seen another two of them -- All About Steve and Away We Go -- both of which I enjoyed. Hmmmm... I like what they don't... guess I gotta rent the other two 'worst' movies. Oh, and still gotta see Up In The Air.

January 8, 2010

Gotta love Cher!

"I think that the longer I look good, the better gay men feel."
- Cher

January 6, 2010

Fat Tuesday... and pass those damn jellybeans over here!

Three things happened Tuesday that got me thinking about being fat, none of them directly linked to my already vanished non-committal non-resolutions for 2010. (And not that it matters, I have been chubby, I have been skinny, and I am currently somewhere around 'average' whatever the hell that means).

1- I cleared my schedule and announced was going to the gym that evening (and by cleared my schedule I mean that I loudly proclaimed to my partner that I would not be spending the evening comatose on the sofa watching NCIS).

2- In the news (and by in the news I mean in blogs online) I read an article about that obnoxious website beautiful.com kicking out like 5,000 members for chubbing out over the holidays. I have read about these jerks before (and by I have read I mean watched their reality TV show about coming to Canada), and as I understand it you have to apply (and by apply I mean turn off your brain and grovel), and then all their skinny superficial snobby stupid Paris Hilton wanna-be members vote you in or out based on your world vision and spiritual awareness (and by world vision and spiritual awareness I mean your picture).

3- Later that night I watched the premiere episode of Drop Dead Diva (and by premiere episode I mean yes the first ever, which is a couple of years old, but I live in another damn time zone where apparently television runs two years behind) about a vain blonde actress who dies and comes back as a smart successful fat lawyer chick. You gotta LOVE her.

And I didn't even bother to count those endless Jenny Craig commercials. I mean I love Valerie Bertinelli, but really, go the fuck away already!

So... three separate fat things in one day; is it total coincidence, or is the universe trying to tell me something? Like... hey you, put down the laptop, put down the curried cashews, put down the jellybeans, push aside the canine, and go get your butt on a treadmill?

So... going beyond moi, I am thinking holy crap, are so many of us focused so much on weight? Is our society so obsessed over weight? And is this somehow Oprah's fault? And on a totally unrelated subject, what the hell is wrong with my fancy shmancy suits that they have been slowly shrinking over the past six months?

I am like lots of people, gotta move it more and worry about it less. Life is good, why focus on this? Oh, and I never got to the gym on Tuesday... was on the phone with my friend G hearing about the new guy in her life (tell me everything) and then played with Alfie. And yes was a pretty good episode of NCIS. I am so getting fat...

January 5, 2010

Mondays Blow

Let's all put on a happy face, because here's five reasons why chances are next Monday will be better than this Monday:

1- Chances are, I will not wake up to find my partner (lovingly) ask me at 7 AM Monday did I realize that I had left the interior light of my car on? Nope I did not realize that. And apparently yes had been on. Since Saturday afternoon. You gotta know that's not good for a car battery or my peace of mind on a cold winter day.

2- Chances are, after scrambling and scurrying to get to work on time, I will not be surprised, sidelined, and pissed off by the fact that when I go to put on my shiny new brown brogue shoes for the first time, the left one is a size 8, which is a size too small. The right one is a size 9 and fits just fine, thank you very much.

3- Chances are, I will not come back to work after a peaceful four days off to find a 'passionate' customer complaint that on closer inspection is NOT EVEN FROM ONE OF MY CUSTOMERS, it is from across the country!

4- Chances are, later that Monday evening when I am catching up on email and writing a brilliant and witty blog posting, I will not accidentally turn off the wireless connection to my laptop. And if by some remote chance I take my stupid pills and do this (again), I will not waste time patting down the computer for a secret button or toggle, or searching the online user's guide for the secret answer (and yes searching the online user's guide is quite the task when you have no connection). Four frustrating hours (okay was 25 minutes, seemed longer), I now know how to reset the damn thing.

5- Chances are, as I am scraping the snow off my car during yet another cold snowy winter night, I will not slip and fall on my ass, leaving me with, yes, a sore ass.

Ahhh, gotta love Mondays....!

January 3, 2010

Oh Crap, I Already Broke My New Year's Resolutions!

Okay truth is I didn't really formalize my resolutions. I did have two top of mind though, which were to eat better and exercise more. I know, I know, what bold and innovative concepts for resolutions. Whatever.

And so, armed with this new healthy outlook, how did I spend January 1st? Big fancy brunch out with mountain ranges of delicious food, watching three movies on dvd, napping with K and the dogs, very possibly eating pizza-shaped chocolate. No exercise unless you count getting up to change the dvd. Which is like three steps from the sofa.

Any way you slice it, and even without set resolutions, yep I blew them.

The truly surprising part here is that I don't have a themed, alphabetized, printed and laminated set of resolutions. I love lists, in a sick obsessive kind of way, like Tiger Woods loves trashy cocktail waitresses, like Britney loves lip syncing, like Angelina loves collecting kids from third world countries. Loooove.

Then a couple of years ago I gave up resolutions cold turkey. I like goals, I really like achieving things and crossing them off the universal list of stuff I gotta do, and then life gets crazy busy and you don't achieve what you set out to achieve, and bottom line is I hate failing at crap. Solution? No list, no failure to achieve said list.

Self improvement is more than a good idea, it's vital, and the New Year is a logical time to start. But let's face it - for the next few weeks, the gyms will be busier, houses will be cleaner, the recycling blue boxes will be used more, people will say 'fuck' less often, people may be nicer, and then... everything will revert to the way it was. Temporary improvements seem to be the norm.

The truth is we all have a few things about ourselves we want to work on. And this is not only the beginning of a new year, it's the beginning of a new decade. Holy crap, that is too much to think about. A year at a time is good for me. So I do want a road map of some kind, though maybe not a firm list.

This is a big year -- we are getting married, building a house, and getting dog number three --- okay that last one is still under negotiation, but stay tuned for a standard schnauzer named Sherlock. Or Maclaine. Launching our new family, without getting buried in the workings of details and budgets, is priority number one for 2010.

As for resolutions? I want to do more and do better and learn new stuff at work, and do more and do better and learn new stuff with this blog. I am gonna eat better and exercise more. And I think I am even going to make a list...

January 1, 2010

My Year in Review, 2009

I have been writing this blog for only a few months now, so this is my first New Year's as a blogger. Which makes this a milestone. And marks my first annual year-end summary o' crap:

1- What did you do in 2009 that you had never done before?
Lots of stuff - got engaged, started process of custom building a house, started this blog, went to Hawaii.

2- Did you keep your New Year's Resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Didn't make any this year, have some ideas percolating now for 2010 -- that may become another post, or they may conveniently self-destruct and mysteriously disappear into the sky.

3- Did anyone close to you give birth?

4- Did anyone close to you die?

5- What would you like to have next year that you missed this year?
A regular exercise plan. Okay I had an exercise plan this year, I just fell off the wagon. Repeatedly. Frequently. For 2010 I need to live it.

6- What countries did you visit?
Only the USA this year - Hawaii, Connecticut, New York.

7- What from this year will remain etched in your memory?
With K - getting engaged, planning our lives, house, wedding, jewellery that goes with said wedding.
And on a much less personal scale --- Obama being sworn in, Kanye West being a douchebag, the USA debates over gay marriage, the media frenzy over the sad end of Michael Jackson, Lindsay Lohan destroying the legacy of fashion house Ungaro, the Tiger Woods scandal, the homophobic uproar over Adam Lambert's AMA performance.

8- What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Not sure - something touching and all-encompassing about surviving in what has been a difficult economy and difficult year for everyone? Letting down my guard and working on those issues and proactively becoming part of a lifetime couple? Eating more Licorice Allsorts than anyone else in the western world?

9- What was your biggest failure?
Falling off the exercise wagon - both running, which I love, and going to the gym, which I don't love, slipped dramatically this year especially the latter half of the year. In a totally unrelated bit of trivia, my suits have also failed by mysteriously shrinking.

10- Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing serious.

12- What was the best thing you bought?
Kindle. New laptop. Green Etro manbag. Prada bag for K. Yes I like stuff.

13- What was your best secret guilty pleasure this year?
Can't think of a real secret here -- the guilty pleasures are crappy tv, crappy magazines, more crappy tv, pizza, more pizza.

14- Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Glenn Beck because he is a freak and a homophobe. Sarah Palin because she is a hypocrite. Tiger Woods because he is a skank. David Letterman because he banged women who worked for him. Courtney Love because she is Courtney Love.

15- Where did most of your money go?
No f'ing idea, it just seems to vanish... copious amounts of Coke Zero. Dog toys. CDs. Popcorn. Planning house and wedding.

16- What did you get really really excited about?
Love, marriage, new house, Alfie the world's cutest havanese. Oh, and the election of Barack Obama, until that turned out to be all hope and hype and no progress.

17- What song will always remind you of 2009?
So many, as music is such a part of my everyday life. First thoughts --- "My Life Would Suck Without You" by Kelly Clarkson, "It Happens" by Sugarland, "I Look to You" by Whitney Houston, "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga, "For Your Entertainment" by Adam Lambert.

18- What celebrity did you fancy or admire the most?
Tina Fey because she is smart and funny and seemingly unaffected by fame. Whoopi Goldberg because she is sane and compassionate and doesn't put up with crap. Kathy Griffin because she has a good heart wrapped up in a bitter funny judgmental package.

19- What political issue stirred you the most?
Same-sex marriage. Never said I was objective, people. It's a basic civil right, and I am tired of liars, bigots, adulterers, and 4-times-married Rush Limbaugh talking about protecting traditional marriage from those of us who want a legally acknowledged truthful loving respected lasting union.

20- Who do you want to shake?
While I don't believe in outing people, I do so wish gay celebrities would strap on their balls and come out, showing people the positive role models that we never had as kids. And don't wait until you are 130 years old like Richard Chamberlain. And no, I am not thinking of anyone in particular. And it certainly doesn't rhyme with Banderson Booper.

21- Who do you want to never hear about again?
Anyone and everyone named Gosselin. And anyone and everyone they have ever banged.

22- Who was the best new person you met?
I would have to say all the blogosphere people I have met online these last few months - this is a whole new world for me, and I am meeting smart and funny and warm and opinionated people who are amazing. Keep it coming!

Like the questions? Me too. Not mine, most were pinched liberally from a faaantastic blog called http://www.mommywantsvodka.com/.

Happy New Year!