February 27, 2010

Queer by any other name...

The other night I took part in a focus group of professional gay men, as part of the building process of a new organization of, well, professional gay people. There were about a dozen of us, different careers, different demographics. We were there to offer input on what the organization should be (networking, social advocacy, etc) and what it should be called.

The working title is EQP, Edmonton Queer Professionals. And yes there were supposed to be women there too, none of them showed up (there was a hockey game on tv).

From the discussion... the word professional is controversial - does that make it sound like exclusively lawyers and doctors? Is it welcoming or intimidating? And the word gay wasn't used, queer was. Also controversial - is that word derogatory? Is it old-fashioned? It can be both I think, and is also efficient and concise, better than the unwieldy LGBTQXYZ or whatever we are currently using. Should the word business be in there? Is that our purpose?

Should the name be out and loud, and super obviously gay like The Gay Men's Business Association? Or more subtle like The Association?

The word Queer is growing on me. Yes it was an ugly name meaning odd or broken, and I think since then we have taken it back with Queer Nation, Queer as Folk, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Queer Duck, and Ryan Seacrest. It works, it's strong and clear...I think.

And don't get me started on some guy's list of potential Latin names, that is wrong in twelve different ways. Might as well call it Elitist Over-educated Fruits in Suits. In ancient Greek.

February 25, 2010

Gotta love Rita Rudner, part deux...

"My husband and I are either going to buy a dog or have a child. We can't decide whether to ruin our carpet our ruin our lives."
- Rita Rudner

February 24, 2010

C'mon, Get Happy: reading The Happiness Project

So how are you all today? Are you feeling happy? Would you feel happier if you sang out loud at breakfast, read Aristotle, started a book club, volunteered more, and were nicer to your spouse?

Last summer when this blog was just a toddler, I wrote about what is happiness to me, in terms of my not liking to do what other people like to do (I'm right, they're wrong), and mentioned a blog called The Happiness Project and how its author defined happiness.

Well that blog is now a book, released last month, and holy crap it is a huge bestseller! I am so happy for Gretchen, whose blog I still stalk, and who has commented here (thanks Gretchen!).

I have been loving this book as I read it on my beloved Kindle, an act which it turns out is actually a step towards being happy. I love to read, I heart gadgets especially my Kindle, and structuring my time to carve out time to read on the Kindle is one of the elements of how I can be happy.

The Happiness Project -- book, and blog, and movement if you want to call it that -- has Gretchen spending a year researching, writing, rethinking and reworking her life to discover what makes her happy, and then making it happen. This isn't about being depressed or even unhappy, as she was happy and successful already, it is a memoir about understanding and appreciating what makes her happy, and then doing more of it.

What does it take? Sometimes it is time management, sometimes it is staying in your comfort zone, and sometimes it is challenging yourself. There is doing good for yourself, and doing good for others, and also thoughts about doing stuff that may not be so much fun now and will then make you happy long term.

What is happiness? The secret is to want to be happy, and to work to make other people happy, and to have a plan of specific measurable actions. The author takes on a resolution each month, and reports on her successes and failures. She is brutally honesty about her marriage, family, friends, and work, and I totally related to her real-life adventures. In a sane and grounded way she finds out what makes her happy -- one of her priorities is Be Gretchen -- and she goes for it.

The Happiness Project reminded me of two other books I enjoyed, Eat, Pray, Love and The Year of Living Biblically -- it is a fun light personal read, and also thoughtful and substantial. Check it out!

February 23, 2010

In honour of Andy Warhol...

In honour of Andrew Warhola, better known as Andy Warhol, the American artist, filmmaker, and printmaker, who was a leader of the "pop art" movement and who helped evolve accessible enjoyable art for so many people, here is... Alfie Warhol-ized!

Yesterday Feb 22nd was the anniversary of Warhol's death. He left his fortune to a foundation to celebrate the arts, which is to this day one of the largest grant-giving visual arts foundations in the US.

Warhol celebrated celebrity and took silk screens of such mainstream objects as soup cans and Elvis prints to new glamorous ends, and he also coined the expression "15 minutes of fame", though he of course had way more than fifteen minutes - 23 years after his death, he is as famous and appreciated as ever. His art has sold for up to, yes, $100 million US. Holy crap, that is big bucks!

February 22, 2010

Let's get physical with the sexiest songs of all time...

Earlier this month, music bible Billboard magazine listed their 50 sexiest songs of all time.

Some of their choices are surprising to me, and here is likely why -- Billboard defines the terms as the sexiest songs are songs about sex, no romance or foreplay at Billboard apparently, and they are ranked based on their performance on the Billboard Hot 100 chart which ranks by radio airplay and sales.

So these really aren't the best sex songs, or necessarily the sexiest songs, they are the most successful songs about sex.

Here is the top ten: Olivia Newton John - Physical, Rod Stewart - Tonight's The Night, Boyz II Men - I'll Make Love To You, Next - Too Close, Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On, Donna Summer - Hot Stuff, Captain and Tennille - Do That To Me One More Time, Madonna - Like A Virgin, Exile - Kiss You All Over, and Rod Stewart - Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?

There is some good stuff on here, like the two Rod Stewart songs, and some I would not have thought of and I think are terrific, like Captain and Tennille (what, no Muskrat Love...).

There are also wonky choices, for example Madonna has sexier songs, like Justify My Love, but I guess Like a Virgin was the bigger hit. Both are about sex, unlike Material Girl, which is pretty much about being a whore. Which is ok with me (the song, not being a whore) because it is fun and danceable and had a glamorous video.

One mystery to me in the top ten ---what the hell is Too Close by Next?

Surprises? These songs in the Top 50 that I would have guessed to rank higher: I Want Your Sex, Dim All the Lights, Slow Hand, Feel Like Makin Love, Pour Some Sugar On Me, Love to Love You Baby. Oh, and 50 Cent's Candy Shop (ick).

And yes boys and girls it apparenly counts as sex when you are all by your lonesome, as there are two songs about self-lovin' on the list, Cyndi Lauper's She Bop and Toni Braxton's You're Makin' Me High. What, no I Touch Myself from the Divinyls?

Also on the list is Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer, which until now I actually did not realise was about sex. Yep, I am that dumb. Or am I just that pure and innocent?

As for Physical, yes I like the song, and love Olivia (hey, my GPS is named Olivia, but that is another story), but is it the sexiest song? This is the restriction of this list. It is her biggest sex hit, and was the top single of the 80s, and yet I think her follow-up single Make A Move On Me was flirtier and sexier, and in terms of just sex, she later did Culture Shock about a threesome, and Tied Up about, well, you know...

You can see the full list at http://www.billboard.com/.

February 19, 2010

Holy crap, the internet says I'm dying!

The other day I did something downright clumsy -- I was walking and talking and enthusiastically whooshing my hands around and whomp, I walked straight into a glass table. Ouch.

The next day I did something downright stupid - I went on http://www.webmd.com/ and used their symptom checker to look up the bruising and discolouration on my bumped leg.

Now here is the context - I readily confess to being both an internet geek and a hypochondriac, so you know that whatever the web md says, be she a real doctor or underage child with a high-speed connection and a cruel streak, is gonna freak me out.

The process is easy -- you answer a few questions, type in your symptoms, and pronto, the website gives you its version of a diagnosis by listing the conditions associated with your symptoms.

So I entered in my symptoms --- bruising, tender to touch, etc. Nothing extreme or long lasting. And then - the effing results FREAKED ME OUT. Yep, the internet says I am dying.

It listed eleven, yes ELEVEN, possible conditions for my everyday non-fatal leg scrape: hematoma, dislocated knee, a posterior cruciate ligament injury, and so on. Scared the crap out of me, I as I read the list and looked up each scary-sounding Latin symptom, it became instantly clear - yes, that must be what I have!

There are all kinds of legalese disclaimers with this information, which I ignored, and true it probably is better that they over-communicate what could be wrong with you. More information is better. Knowledge is power. Blah Blah Blah. But not for me...

Where is the website that says "You're fine, don't worry about it." Bruised leg? You're fine, don't worry about it. Weird sore? You're fine, don't worry about it. Bleeding gash? Pop some codeine, get some sleep, eat some jellybeans, you'll be fine, don't worry about it.

I am not going back to webmd.com anytime soon. I am gonna look for the jellybeans and popcorn will solve your health issues site... any ideas where that is?

February 18, 2010

Hit the snooze button: The Time Traveler's Wife

The other day I wrote about movies that I like to watch over and over. Suffice it to say that our latest rental will not become one of that group. It is neither good enough nor bad enough to revisit.

Our latest DVD was The Time Traveler's Wife. It's a love story between a time-jumping guy, and the lovestruck girl who waits for him.

The time traveler Henry has a genetic disorder that causes him to jump through time, and every so often he arrives naked in some random time and place, past or future. During one jump he comes across a six year old girl who will be his future wife, feels the cosmic universal magical non-creepy connection (she is six), and continues to visit her, eventually marrying her, occasionally vanishing to then turn up in random places, steal clothes, fix the lottery, and find his way back home.

I gotta wonder how many Hollywood suits came together to screw this one up. This movie has a lot going for it -- it's based on a popular and well-reviewed bestseller, it has talented and beautiful actress Rachel McAdams, it has handsome and talented and often shirtless actor Eric Bana, and it has an interesting original twist where his time travel is treated like a disease or chronic condition rather than a superhero's power, to all come together in what should be a great sappy touching melodramatic love story a la The Notebook or Bridges of Madison Country.

What's wrong with The Time Traveler's Wife? Like the main character, the movie jumps around randomly from major life event to major life event with no small moments to understand the characters' bond. She is whiny. He is uninteresting. Their friends are bland. The only really interesting characters are minor ones, notably his father and the couple's future daughter. And not a single Captain Kirk "beam me up Scotty" joke to be found...

So is it worth renting? The Time Traveler's Wife isn't a bad movie, and it certainly isn't as boring and tedious as the nap-inducing Amelia, it just should have been so much better. Rent Jane Campion's Bright Star instead - it's smarter, sweeter, and waaaay more romantic.

February 17, 2010

February 16, 2010

Totally random things that annoy the crap out of me, part three

1- Heidi Montag: I am not sure who the hell she is, however her plastic blond self has been all over the news (and by news I mean the internet and crappy magazines) because she is 23 and has had like twelve plastic surgeries. That is twisted. Go away.

2- Joe Jackson (father of Michael Jackson): whether you are after his money, his kids, his fame, or all of the above, he was troubled, you are creepy and incoherent and surely somehow to blame for his lonely life. Go away.

3- The lack of press coverage over the 'outing' of Canadian Conservative member of parliament John Baird: Mr Tough Guy brawler went into hiding when a fellow Conservative listed him as openly gay, and the blip in the press vanished; true or not, it's a story, and silence speaks volumes, especially when you are a mover and shaker in a right-leaning seemingly anti-gay ruling party.

4- John Mayer, whiny racist homophobic misogynistic pop star: shut up and sing. Or just shut up.

5- The one-view uproar over John Mayer's latest verbal diarrhea in a Playboy interview: yep it's good there's an uproar over his racist language, and why no similar uproar over his homophobic slur?

6- Jay Leno whining about how none of the NBC mess was his fault: firstly, I kind of think it was, and secondly, don't care, don't watch your show in any time slot.

7- Lousy movies with Jennifer Anniston. Love Happens, really?

8- The very long opening credits to CTV's Olympic coverage: I have had headaches that don't last this long, and must you play it every hour?

9- The network programmers who continually pre-empt and move around the few shows I follow; hey, I want to watch your crappy shows, I really do, so make it a bit easier for me. Except The Bachelor, that one just sucks.

10- That Doug Fieger, lead singer of The Knack, died this week while still in his 50s. And that we all seem to have forgotten about The Knack, a fun pop rock band best known for My Sharona, and yet we still care about Lindsay Lohan.

Okay that's it for now. More bitching to come...

February 15, 2010

Rerun city: Films I watch over and over and over and over and...

While I was channel-surfing and trying to nimbly avoid all things Tea Party, John Mayer, and John Edwards, I came across back-to-back showings of the 2003 film Something's Gotta Give. I watched the tail end of the current showing and then watched the whole damn thing start to end. You so don't want to know how often I have seen this flick.

I love Something's Gotta Give, it is a sweet, charming and wise romance for adults, and includes the classic line, spoken by Jack Nicholson:"Schmucks are people too, you know."

Why do I enjoy this flick so much, and so often? What about it works for me? There are lots of movies out there, some fantastic, some mediocre, and many that are just plain lousy.

How many times have I seen Something's Gotta Give? Not telling. Some movies stand up better on repeat viewings, like this one, and some don't, like Traffic. It's not necessarily the best ones I want to watch again; yep, Sophie's Choice was brilliant, but I have seen Sophie and suffered through her drama, I know what her damn choice was, and now we are done.

Then there are those movies that I happily watch whenever and wherever I stumble across them: Chariots of Fire, Psycho, the Bourne movies, the Star Wars trilogy, Finding Nemo, Gone with the Wind, Dr Zhivago, Down with Love, Rebecca, Longime Companion, Private Benjamin, anything Mel Brooks, and my all time favourite Laura.

Of course, musicals are easy to watch over and over, and there are lots I love and have seen multiple times - West Side Story, Grease, Moulin Rouge, Hairspray, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Mamma Mia, Xanadu (yes, really).

So what makes a movie rerun-able? What do these movies have in common?

1- They are all really good, except possibly Xanadu, which I love because is utterly craptastic (and has music by ELO!).

2- They are fun and uplifting, or at least not depressing or overly violent or war-like; I mean, Saving Private Ryan, was great, but really, watch it again? Not gonna happen.

3- They tend to be funny, or have really great visuals. Few serious pics here, although I might add Ordinary People to this list, and it is sad as hell.

4- None of them are directed by Oliver Stone. May or may not mean anything. I'm just saying...

5- They all have a certain unique charm, a "je ne sais quoi" or as Simon Cowell would call it the X-factor. They stand out, except again maybe Xanadu, which yes I have come out of the closet and admit to loving.

Okay so this is not yet a cohesive or comprehensive film thesis. I will ponder and revisit.

As for Something's Gotta Give, I am still not gonna tell you how often I have seen it. Let's just say a lot. And if you haven't, what the eff are you waiting for... see it!

February 13, 2010

Valentine's Day is for Douchebags

February 14th...

Valentine's Day. A financial bonanza for greeting card makers, jewellers, and Victoria's Secret... and then what the hell about the rest of us?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not bitter (this year). This will be a really nice Valentine's; it is my second with K, we have come a long way since last year, and we are now planning our wedding. The day will start off with breakfast and then a meeting with the architect designing our house, and end with a beautiful dinner at a luxe restaurant. Ok, come to think of it, not sure what the hell will do with the seven or so hours between meeting and dinner... crap, gotta think of something...

What is Valentine's Day about?

- Spending time with your loved one. I already do that.

- Buying a pink and red card? Yep can do that -- and by the way, Hallmark is missing a big gay opportunity there for same-sex Valentines (homophobic pricks).

- Giving a great gift? He is getting an effing awesome one.

- Buying red roses at jacked-up prices? Not so much a fan.

- Taking time to ensure your loved one feels special and appreciated? Always a good thing, which yes I try to do more of (and so should all of you).

Truth be told, until now I have never been a huge fan of Valentine's Day. I have had many years as a single Valentine, a couple of years with guys who I probably should not have been with, and a time or two with assholes.

Being single on Valentine's Day was not fun. You want to be happy for your paired-up friends, those lucky bastards, while numbing yourself with stuffed-crust pizza and cough syrup. It was like being the only Jew at Christmas - you all get a friggin holiday and I am not invited?

I am in a terrific relationship, so why whine about Valentine's Day? Seems like a douchebag gloating to those people who want relationships and don't have them. We should already have an anniversary as "our day", why should we all get Feb 14th as a secondary anniversary? We eat too much chocolate already, and a cheesy card is not going to get you married or get you laid.

This year, I am going to be a happy-in-a-relationship-ha-ha-ha douchebag and enjoy Valentine's Day if for no other reason that it prompted us to take a break from our busy lives and schedule a dinner out just the two of us. K and I will have a nice Valentine's Day because we always enjoy our time together. The gift is a practical one, and I think something that he really wants, and it is impressively huge (not that size matters).

I have someone great in my life, and should celebrate him everyday. For those who don't, they may have hurt feelings and feel bitter and left out. That is not a holiday model that works. I will work harder to show my love and affection everyday, and then we can come up with something new and better to celebrate every February.

And then once we fix this, let's tackle Labour Day...

February 11, 2010

RIP Lee Alexander McQueen

Like many other art and fashion followers, I woke up this morning to the sad news that superstar designer Alexander McQueen had taken his own life.

I love fashion, and love art, and this guy had amazing talent. And he was young - to take your own life at any time is so scary, how bad must things be for that to feel like your best option?

In Night Falls Fast, psychiatry professor Kay Redfield Jamison says there is a suicide every 17 minutes in the USA, and that it is a preventable medical and social disorder often tied to depression, manic depression, and certain medications. Bottom line, the whole thing is just lonely and sad. And preventable.

Whereas some designers are re-imaging classic stuff, and others are charlatans selling snake oil, McQueen was a true artist, a daring original who was willing to show his fears and his demons in his sometimes wacky and disturbing designs. His influence went beyond his own lines, to other designers' collections, film and music videos, art and museums.

To the establishment of fashion he was a rebel and a hooligan. To those of us who admired him we said "what the fuck" as often as we said "wowza", and love it or hate it, we were always eager to see what was next.

McQueen was, and I say this with respect and admiration, a creative wackjob, who mixed up flowers with skulls, silks with leather, trends with past classics, tossing in a tartan or garbage (literally) or something from his dreams. Think Lady Gaga and Madonna, who were passionate admirers.

We don't know what demons haunted Mr McQueen, and probably never will. It may not matter anymore. Rest in peace.

Gotta love Jon Stewart!

Why can't they have gay people in the army?

Personally, I think they are just afraid of a thousand guys with M-16s going, "Who'd you call faggot?"

- Jon Stewart

February 10, 2010

The bitch is back... Alexis for Alexis!

Time to rejoice Dynasty fans, 80s nerds, shoulder pad fetishists, gay men, and fashionistas everywhere...

Joan Collins has returned!

The erstwhile Alexis Carrington Colby Whatever (weren't there like 8 husbands) is the new face of Alexis Bittar jewelry.

New York designer Bittar makes gorgeous big clunky colourful upscale fashion jewelry - and when we say 'fashion' as opposed to 'fine' jewelry, we mean fabulous pieces in lucite, enamel, turquoise, crystals, etc, as opposed to pricey gems - which is very 80s inspired and perfect for the eternal diva.

According to the press release, which you know must be the gospel truth, Collins was quoted in the media as saying she loves the jewelry, and then got a call from the designer himself, and poof, an advertising campaign was born.

See the collection and the diva at http://www.alexisbittar.com/.

Me, I'm waiting for the Krystle Carrington collection....

February 8, 2010

Kreativ Blogger Award: I'd like to thank the academy...

You like me, you really like me....

Muchos gracias to Stan @ http://understandingstan.blogspot.com/, who has nominated me for the Grammy Award for "best hip hop performance slash motivational speaker slash kvetch about the snow" performance... oh no, that's not it, it was a Kreativ Blogger award, including the totally cool graphic above.

And then hey as I was writing this looong post (keep reading, it's worth it), I got another one of these cool things from a blogger I follow - check out Ticklebear @ http://defyingthestereotypes.blogspot.com/, it is a colourful fun gay gay gay 'full frontal' blog that I admire for its brutal honesty and crazy out there graphics.

What's needed to qualify? Seems like you have to (1) have a blog, (2) be creative enough condone the spelling of the word "kreativ", and (3) have someone who really really likes your blog... so ka-ching, we are there!

How does this work? I share seven things about myself that people might find interesting, and then I share the luuuv by nominating seven blogs I follow, and post links to them so you can discover them as well (and post comments on their blogs to let them know about their new whirlwind of fame). Essentially it is blog-orific chain letter to give kudos to blogs you like, which is all good with me.

Now I cannot be held responsible for what you find interesting, so disclaimer aside here are seven things about me that may or may not be interesting (and take note, nothing here about Alfie or upcoming wedding, as I blog about those already):

1- I love board games, especially Scrabble, and would play them way more often if I could tear myself away from the computer-kindle-TV vortex of blinding light.

2- Pizza is my favourite food, every meal every day.

3- I have degrees in history and journalism, and don't really use either, though I think the arduous process of getting them helped shaped who I have become. Or all that effort and stress and work was a total effing waste of time.

4- Gadgets are my crack --- from the Iphone to the kindle to every kitchen gizmo ever produced, I love them in a stalking sick obsessive lustful way.

5- Not only do I love books, I love bookstores, and could spend hours and hours in them. And I have, until they kick my ass out.

6- Running is my meditation and my therapy... and yes I should do it more so calmer and happier.

7- I truly believe Diet Coke and Coke Zero constitute a food group. The best food group. My favourite food group.

And here are seven fab blogs for you to check out...

1- http://www.pajamasandcoffee.com/ - smart and funny, and sure doesn't need a plug here, that being said she is effing awesome, I read her everyday and have learned about blogging from MaryMac.

2- http://michael-rivers.blogspot.com/ - positive, funny, with great stories and amazing quotes.

3- http://garythedog.blogspot.com/ - Florida Clare's life and opinions as seen through the eyes of Gary her dog (he's not as cute as Alfie, though he is darn adorable).

4-http://injaynesworld.blogspot.com/ - smart and funny opinions, mixed in with some personal stories. I love her.

5-http://www.lifewithoutpants.com/ - smart stuff on blogging and branding, written in a sharp and breezy way. Good stuff that makes me think.

6-http://baumhausltd.blogspot.com/ - the adventures of Anne, sassy opinionated brainiac who moved from London to the British countryside. And often features tales of her dog Naughty George.

7-http://thegaywhitenorth.blogspot.com/ - smart news and opinions from somewhere even further north than where I live, which is sort of like a snow-covered mythical Oz, as in, really? there are places further north than here? geez...

And one more for good measure - let's call this "favourite newcomer" like at the daytime emmy's (don't ask how I know that)... http://beinbalance.wordpress.com/ - a promising shiny new blog from an intelligent kind handsome total stranger who I am sleeping with... and marrying. Yep, nepotism in my blog, sue me this ain't a democracy.

And now to end this loooong post, thanks again Stan and Ticklebear, it's about damn time someone acknowledged the fabulousness of Alfred!

February 6, 2010

I watched Food, Inc. and I think I'm gonna puke, inc.

Forget Halloween, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, or anything with Jennifer Aniston --- this is one scary movie.

Food Inc. is the true horror film of where our food comes from, and the villains are big business, big government, and corn.

When I walk through the supermarket I don't really think about where the food comes from. Food, Inc. is about the source of our food, and folks, I gotta tell you... eww... it ain't pretty. The film talks about the big business of food, about the what's behind the 47,000 products in the average American supermarket. It's big oil, or Wall Street. With livestock.

The food we eat is totally different than what our grandparents ate, even when it looks the same. Because the big companies want it to look the same. But truth is, as you hold that shrink-wrapped boneless skinless plumped up chicken breast in your hands, if you were to follow the food chain back to origin, it goes to a factory not a farm, and to a chicken hopped up on antibiotics so it grows twice the size in half the time, a chicken that never sees sunlight, a chicken that lives a short brutal life, because we want everything faster and cheaper.

Yep, totally gross. And I eat chicken regularly. Not so happy about that now.

Who's to blame? Well I blame Glenn Beck. Okay, not really. Our fast food culture is to blame, specifically the Walmartization of our culture, where we want everything bigger, faster, cheaper, where a small number of very big companies influence how things are made and how government policy is written.

Why is the government to blame? Due to government subsidies on corn, wheat, and soy, that make them so profitable, junk food is cheaper than real food.

Why is big business to blame? A few number of companies control the whole food system from seed to supermarket, and make billions. These big companies do not want farmers talking, do not want this story told - there is a food world deliberately hidden from us, and it is no Candyland. As told in the most disturbing part of Food, Inc., where we see the chickens as mass merchandise and not live beings, in the 1930s fast food changed the world of food when McDonald's brought the factory system to back of the restaurant, when the kitchen became a production line of uniformity and cheapness.

When McDonald's is the largest purchaser of beef and potatoes in the US and one of the biggest purchasers of chicken, pork, and tomatoes, they determine how food is made. Even if you don't eat at McDonald's, you are eating food made to their specifications: chickens raised in 48 days rather than 70, twice the size, fattened up with gallons of antibiotics so have more white meat, all to produce more, faster, cheaper. The birds are a production line, they never see sunlight, they all need to be the same size --- all to produce a lot of food on a smaller piece of land at an affordable price.

Our food supply is scary stuff, and this film is scary stuff. It presents the food industry as cutthroat and sadistic, and backs up its claims with facts.

Distressful as the movie is, it's not really depressing --- okay, okay, it is a little, and you're gonna put down the chocolate-dipped triple stuff Oreo as you watch. Food, Inc. does a great job as it also looks forward and tells what we each can do eat better (eat organic, eat local, eat unprocessed).

Rent it. Watch it while you enjoy a large milkshake, party-size Chicken McNuggets, and supersized fries...

February 5, 2010

Oh no! Sarah Palin is stalking me!

Okay, okay, technically speaking Mrs Palin isn't stalking me... but she is getting way the hell closer!

According to the Calgary Herald, the former governor, former VP nominee, bestselling fiction author, and current right-wing poster girl, is coming to Calgary, a city very close to where I live... which leads me to ask, uh, why, gawd, why?

I think this is one of those standard celeb for hire speeches, where we have seen retired politicians like Bill Clinton, Colin Powell, and George W Bush traipse thru town, speak for a few hours, collect hundreds of thousands of dollars, and take off.

Still gotta ask... why, gawd, why?

What does Palin have in common with Alberta? Northern, oil and gas business, cowboy hats, right-wing tendencies, we can see Russia from our house (no, not really).

Do we need a small-town right-wing egocentric moron with a microphone spouting off her craziness? We have plenty of those, this is western Canada. Why do we have to import clueless right wing nut jobs?

Will people pay big bucks to see Palin? You betcha.

So I am not going to see Mrs Palin, and she likely isn't coming to see me... no stalking yet... however, if Tina Fey wants to stalk me, I am all for that, bring it on!

February 3, 2010

Superbowl Sunday: I'm skipping the whole damn thing

This coming Sunday, February 7th, is the Super Bowl... and I will not be among the billion people watching. I always work on Super Bowl Sunday. At the store, we take turns, each working about one Sunday per month, and this is the one everyone else, aka all the straight guys and some sports-interested women, requests off. So I work it, which is not a big deal -- it's not like it's Oscar Sunday or the season premiere of Desperate Housewives or some other major must-see event.

People luuuuv the Super Bowl game, and the half-time show, and the commercials. According to Nielsen, 51 percent of viewers prefer the Super Bowl commercials to the game itself.

The Super Bowl is a network and advertiser's wet dream, as it has a gigantic audience and they charge millions of dollars per minute to run a commercial. The big game is on CBS, and in this economy where multi-million dollar advertisers like GM are dropping this expense faster than John Edwards fleeing a paternity test, there is opportunity for newer advertisers to step in.

Who are the new wannabe advertisers? Not just your usual beer and bimbos football crowd. CBS has accepted an anti-abortion ad from Focus on the Family, and refused a gay dating ad from website Mancrunch.com; both are advocacy ads, one on the right and one on the left, so what is going on with CBS?

CBS looks bad here, the worst press a TV network has gotten since, uh, NBC two weeks ago with the whole Conan vs Jay thing. This is being written about everywhere from The Huffington Post to Larry King to Tuesday's episode of The View to the evening news, pretty much everywhere except Glenn Beck's daily dose of insanity.

Hmmm... I wonder what Anderson Cooper thinks of Mancrunch...

The anti-abortion ad is being kept under wraps until the big day; the mancrunch ad is viral everywhere, and it has two guys in football gear watching the game, accidentally touching hands in the potato chip bowl, and then reaching/lunging for each other, and cuts away before they even kiss. The ad is not at all explicit, though is certainly clear they are gay gay gay, in case you didn't get that from the name "mancrunch" .

So what the hell is going on with CBS here?? Homophobia, hypocrisy, and a hateful right wing agenda? You either take advocacy ads or you don't, whether they be conservative or liberal. I don't think either of these ads should be in the Super Bowl, it is a family show and should avoid anything that may be considered inflammatory or polarizing, and that being said, if you are going to represent the right, you gotta give face time to the left also.

So let's stop these incendiary ads and go back to the Super Bowl's traditional family-friendly commercials for beer, gas-guzzling SUV's, Viagra, horror films and feminine pads!

February 1, 2010

Clive Owen and my Freebie Five...

This weekend K and I were renting DVDs and chose Food Inc (aka the one we felt we should see) and The Boys Are Back (aka the light fluffy one that looked sweet and fun).

Why The Boys Are Back? New on DVD, good reviews, sweet film based on a true story, and stars Clive Owen. The Clive Owen factor was waaaay bigger for me than K, who seemed intrigued by this, and then casually asked if Mr Owen would be on my list of five.

What is the list of five? In case you haven't heard of it, the "freebie five" is a list of five celebrities so attractive that your significant other must let you sleep with them, consequence-free, should that unbelievable opportunity ever arise.

The idea was popularized in an episode of "Friends" when each character listed their five, Ross named Isabella Rossellini, and then literally bumped into her... and fumbled it.

Awesome as she is, Isabella Rosselini is not on my list. Who is? Who would be on your list?

K's list? I have not asked who would be on it, and I suspect would include Hugh Jackman and Howie Mandel. Yes, really.

My list, in no particular order, and with a very clearly stated, very devoted preference for my fiance....

1- Clive Owen

2- Eric Bana

3- John Barrowman

4- Greg Louganis

5- Rahm Emanuel

I think my choices are brilliant... and yep I am bracing for the feedback... bring it on!

And so how was the movie The Boys Are Back? Sweet, touching, intermittently funny, kind of slow, very predictable. Is it worth renting? Well, did I mention it stars Clive Owen?