March 31, 2010

Gotta love... Miley Cyrus?

"I believe there are no mistakes because God is the only one who can judge us.

That's the reason I deleted my Twitter account because I said on there that I believed in gay marriage because everyone should have the right to love each other, and I got such hate mail about my being a bad person."

- Miley Cyrus

March 30, 2010

Those bastards at Disney just ripped me off...

We just watched Disney's much-hyped nature documentary Earth, and boy do we feel screwed over.

Earth features eye-popping film of animals from around the globe, beautiful breathtaking astounding images... THAT I HAVE EFFING SEEN BEFORE in the fantastic BBC documentary series Planet Earth.

While Disney does acknowledge the BBC in the credits, I sure didn't see them acknowledge that they took eleven hours of TV documentary and edited it down to 90 minutes of movie documentary with nothing new but a voice-over by James Earl Jones. We sat through the flick going, seen that, seen that, yep Victoria Falls sure is beautiful and haven't we seen that before, oh look it is the same elephants being hunted at night shot we sure have seen that...

Part two of this series, Oceans, opens in theatres on April 22, Earth Day. I will not be there, as am guessing that yes I have already seen that...

March 29, 2010

Ricky Martin comes out...

From the quelle shockeur files, Ricky Martin officially came out of the closet today. Sure, we've all know for a decade, and sure, he is past his super duper mega star sex symbol peak, but I think it's still a brave thing to do.

The 38-year-old Martin posted a heartfelt and personal message on his website that includes a statement I love, "I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am."

You can see the whole thing at

I first saw this headline on (hey, it's my day off, I can waste my time), and the first reader comment was "So sad... he will stand before God and be judged for the sinful life he has chosen. Those poor kids". Nice tolerant compassion, people...

Overall most of the comments are positive and not very surprised. I mean, really, surprised? Still, hate is hate and how do people write crap like that?

Sex surrogate, work surrogate, life surrogate...

This weekend we watched the science fiction thriller Surrogates, which takes place when science has advanced to the point where people can sit home all day in plush la-z-boy recliners while living their lives through remote control android twins.

The upside? Everyone is beautiful and acne-free, crime and disease are virtually nonexistent. People seem happy and airbrushed.

This is a Hollywood film, so it has Bruce Willis as a cop, and of course mayhem, chase scenes, and explosions ensue, as the rebel faction tries to restore humanity before the world explodes. The movie is not especially attention worthy. The questions it raises are...

Is a constructed person a real person (that's you, Pamela Anderson)? If everyone can remake themselves, what is real (that's you, Joan Rivers)? If a life is truly lived in the heart and mind, does it matter if the body is real? Is it cheating if your double bangs someone else's double? Is it murder if your double whacks Glenn Beck's double?

If the Surrogates technology become available, I might be tempted to give it a try, if only for a bungee jump and an adventure or two. I want the clone me to be about fifteen pounds lighter with big biceps and a long flowing Fabio-like mane... uh, ok maybe not...

March 27, 2010

Silly Billy at the Fancy Shmancy Hotel...

I was away at a conference this week, encompassing three nights in what I gotta admit is a really nice upscale (fancy shmancy) luxury hotel.

As I was arriving, I reached into my wallet to get the credit card to pay the taxi, and holy crap, where the hell is my driver's license? Inside I ransack my clothes and belongings and then panic just a little. No driver's license! I had used it as ID to board the plane, and apparently since then furry little aliens snuck in and stole the damn thing. Or I dropped it as I absentmindedly thought I was properly putting it back in my wallet.

I call the airline and airport, we open a case file for my missing driver's license, the hotel concierge uses their contacts, nada zip zero. My driver's license is never to be seen again...

Yes, I can replace it once I get home (granted, after driving home from the airport license-free). But getting on the airplane to return home without photo ID will be a bit of a problem, no?

So my fiance rushes me my passport, by the mucho expensive overnight Priority Post. All good, no?

The next day I go back to the hotel after my conference, and ask for the courier pack that came for me. Mr Young Friendly Super-Formal Desk Clerk Dude shuffles off to fetch it for me, and comes back all smiles with courier pack in hand...

Me: Oh great you found it...

Desk Clerk Dude: Yes sir I did, just as you expected...

Me: That's great, do I need to sign for it?

Desk Clerk Dude: Actually sir as this was registered and we had to sign for it, we will require photo identification for sign off...

Me: Okay, that is sorta funny, as you are holding my photo ID in that very envelope...

Desk Clerk Dude: You're right, sir, that is funny. Do you have other photo ID?

Me: Well, I have several credit cards and my business card, but no, I don't have other photo ID, because if I did, my fiance would not have had to rush to the post office and pay to express this envelope across the country overnight...

Desk Clerk Dude: I understand, sir, and we do need photo ID as we signed for this envelope...

Me: Well all I have is my company ID card, but I gotta tell you it kind of looks like I made it in my office, because I pretty much did...

Desk Clerk Dude (looking at my magenta coloured company card): Let me ask sir, this doesn't look what we usually require...

Me: So as I understand it you require government issue photo ID in order to claim my only existing government issue photo ID, right...

Desk Clerk Dude: Well I guess that does sound confusing. Let me ask someone...

Me: No, not confusing, just silly. Look, I appreciate your earnestness here, but this is starting to sound like the keystone cops do hotel security. The photo ID you require is literally in your hand, and this is getting frustrating. Can we just open the envelope please...

Desk Clerk Dude (after checking with Desk Clerk Dudette): Sorry to keep you waiting sir, here is your envelope, I know it is unorthodox but can I ask to see the ID after you open the courieur pack?

Me: Yes! Yes you can! That is why the I had the envelope rushed here...


March 25, 2010

Quotable Coco Chanel...

"As long as you know most men are like children, you know everything."
- Coco Chanel

March 22, 2010

Dog Property Laws...

I saw this somewhere and totally loved it...
Here are the top ten dog property laws:

1- If I like it, it's mine.

2- If it's in my mouth, it's mine.

3- If I can take it from you, it's mine.

4- If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.

5- If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.

6- If I'm chewing something up, all the pieces are mine.

7- If it just looks like mine, it's mine.

8- If I saw it first, it's mine.

9- If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine.

10- If it's broken, it's yours...

March 20, 2010

Schlemiel, Schlemazel... We're gonna make our dreams come true!

On an otherwise forgettable episode of Parks and Recreation this week, a character said `Schlemiel, Schlemazel` in an obvious Laverne and Shirley reference, which got me thinking, LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY, WOO HOO!

And then it got me thinking, we have been hearing that damn theme song for thirty years -- Give us any chance we'll take it, give us any rule we'll break it, blah, blah, blah, Schlemiel, Schlemazel, blah blah blah..." -- so what the hell do those words mean?

So according the the always reliable and factually correct google search, here it is:

: originally Yiddish, a schlemiel is a dolt who is a habitual bungler. I think I remember my grandfather using this one. I hope to hell he wasn't referring to me.

: also Yiddish, is an extremely unlucky or inept person, a habitual failure. Have not heard this one outside of sitcom land. Makes me think of karnatzel, therefore makes me totally hungry.

Okay, so they are both Yiddish and they are both about losers by their own fault or just dumb luck. Hmmm.

So all of a sudden the happy song seems less fun. Or, taken in the context of Laverne and Shirley and an optimistic view in general, I guess it is about them getting over their misfortunes and going forward and being happy... having fun and adventures and bad hair and Lenny and Squiggy and crappy jobs and good friendships and tacky L`s on you clothes and as the song says, We're gonna make our dreams come true. Doin' it our way.

So the moral of the story is you fall down, you stand up and dust yourself off and go forward arm in arm with your friends and make your dreams come true and it is all good news!

Uh, wait, potential itty bitty little glitch here... the song goes, Schlemiel, Schlemezal, Hasenpfeffer Incorporated! And when I looked it up, a hasenpfeffer is a peppery rabbit stew of German origin... that does not fit at all, so yep, I have no effing idea what that all adds up to...

We`re gonna make our dreams come true, doing it our way, with Jewish bumpkins and rabbit stew...

March 19, 2010

Is the blogosphere a man's world?

There is an interesting -- and by interesting, I mean stupid and uninformed -- column in Thursday's Globe and Mail newspaper.

In "Why are bloggers male?" columnist Margaret Wente says she doesn't blog for the same reason she doesn't do extreme sports, because "It's more of a guy thing." She says guys have an urge to blog because we have a need to verbally joust as we compete to go faster and bigger than all the other dudes. Guys want to out-argue. Guys want to win.

Really? Women aren't competitive and opinionated? Has she been online?

I actually like opinionated and competitive, from men or women, as long as is smart and funny. And veers towards the left. And hates Glenn Beck.

And yes, I have an urge to blog because I sense the world wants and needs more of my rambling unfiltered opinions. Am I the only one?

Sure, I am a guy and I write a blog, and yet I have no overwhelming urge to jump out of an airplane of bungee jump off the Golden Gate Bridge. And lots of women blog, lots of 'em, and many of my favourite blogs are written by women. The Huffington Post was started by a woman, mommy blogs and sex blogs are everywhere, Pajamas and Coffee is one of my favourite blogs, and so on...

So this journalist is wrong. And taking her own wacky views to a sweeping over-generalization on the world of men and women. And is she an example that women can be sexist too?

She is wrong, I am right, this jousting match of opinions is over and I win. But that is just my opinion...

March 18, 2010

Quotable Madonna...

"I'm tough, I'm ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay."
- Madonna

March 16, 2010

Vile crap beneath the snow...

Yesterday was a beautiful day here, far better weather than is typical for this time of year - warm, sunny, what little snow we have left is quickly melting.

The ugly part of a beautiful spring is the boat load of fossilized crap that becomes visible as the snow melts. And yes, boys and girls, that is when we see the proof positive that people are pigs.

While I was walking Alfie yesterday afternoon, this is what we saw, in addition to the frequently appearing dog poop (scoop it, people) and fast food wrappers (there is a garbage can right there, what is so hard, people):
- cigarette butts
- a cigarette pack
- a half-used pack of chewing gum
- a blue leather belt
- a piece of a plastic DVD case (looked like a cartoon dinosaur)
- multiple Tim Horton's coffee cups
- four elastic bands
- a Safeway receipt
- a pumpkin carcass
- an empty Haagen Dazs container
- the plastic belt thing from a six-pack
- enough beer and pop cans to fill a six-pack
- a dark jacket
- a green bic lighter
- what looks like the partial remains of a bird
- a harmonica
- and some weird orange plastic tube thing. Not sure what that was, and pretty sure I don't want to know.

Pick up your crap, people, it is gross, and I am walking with a four-legged garburator who is awfully close to the ground, and I worry what he is going to drag back to this house I am trying to sell... Ick. Puke. Barf.

March 15, 2010

Edmonton says "There's an app for that..."

So apparently I live in a pretty cool city. Yes, cool as in cold, this is the Canadian north (we are the northernmost city with population over a million in North America), and also cool as in modern and tech friendly. Who knew?

Our city government just announced they are launching a CityWatch iPhone app in April, where residents can report problems to 311 (our city services direct dial, think 911 for potholes or garbage pick-up). You can send in photos direct from your iPhone and it uses your GPS to locate the issues. Pretty cool I think, and granted not objective here as I heart all things iPhone.

The city is also launching an Apps4Edmonton contest, with $50,000 in prizes, to encourage local super geeks to come up with other apps for Edmonton.

What should they develop? I want trackers for showing where traffic is blocked, where snow removal is good or bad, who is not picking up their dog poop, where the parking meter ticket dudes are, and a locator for the closest available parking spot.

I want a car finder that works in parking lots, an app that tells me when Betty White is on tv or if I am about to miss Cougar Town, an app that shows me routes to avoid the slow walkers on sidewalks, and an app that tells me which Starbucks has the shortest line. And that is just off the top of my head...

March 13, 2010

Will plastic money still grow on trees?

This week the Canadian government announced that to reduce costs and battle counterfeiters, the Bank of Canada will start issuing polymer $10 and $20 bills later this year. So they will be more plastic-based, as opposed to our current cotton-based paper. Wait -- our paper is cotton, like Kleenex? Who knew? Gross. Ick.

This plastic-type money is currently used in several other countries, including Mexico. And we all know how strong their currency is...

Actually this sounds like a good idea. The new plastic money will be harder to counterfeit as can embed better security, and will be less grubby as the plastic will not absorb oil, sweat, or anything else. Ick. Swiss researchers have found that flu viruses can survive in paper money for 17 days. Ick.

I don't like thinking about money, because I don't know where it has been and how truly gross that coloured paper may be. So yes I am totally on side with the idea of cleaner more germ-free money.

So the important questions are: what will the new money look like? Are there changes to our loonies and toonies ($1 and $2 coins)? Will the plastic money be shinier or slippier? Can we recycle it?

And now that the cotton/paper money will be gone, will we have to stop making old-school Vaudeville jokes about money growing on trees? Can we come up with some 'made in a lab' jokes? Some sly reference to The Graduate and plastics? And what about burning through money? Won't plastic money melt rather than burn?

Oy, this sarcasm thing is hard work....

March 11, 2010

Gotta love Rita Rudner, part three

"I don't plan to grow old gracefully. I plan to have face-lifts until my ears meet."
- Rita Rudner

March 10, 2010

Come out, come out, wherever you are...

Okay, put on your surprised face... Sean Hayes, the Emmy-winning actor who played super-gay Jack on Will and Grace, has come out of the closet in an interview with The Advocate. Hayes comes out in a reluctant half-assed lame kind of way, and yet he does it. Too little, too late?

When challenged on why he didn't come out when he was on top of the TV world, Hayes gets defensive... did he owe it to anyone to come out earlier, when it would have real impact?

Do celebrities have an obligation to come out? Richard Chamberlain came out recently, after waiting until he was like 140 years old and thirty years past The Thorn Birds. Does anyone care now? What would have happened if he came out when he was on Dynasty and being touted as Hollywood's premiere bachelor?

Out magazine has featured Jodie Foster and Anderson Cooper on its cover, challenging them to come out. Both looked away and did nothing. What is the morality here, and what are the career and financial repercussions? Putting aside the hate and potential violence, coming out can cost a career -- in 2000 Barbara Walters challenged Ricky Martin about his sexuality, and though he didn't directly respond, we were all left with the same impression (gay gay gay) and Walters now says she regrets it as she thinks it killed his career.

Research shows that when someone knows a gay person, they are more in favour of gay civil rights. So when tens of millions of people know you, your coming out will advance the cause of civil rights. So is that obligation or opportunity?

When I was a kid growing up in the 70s, the only gay role models were Paul Lynde, random guests on the Donahue show, and the florist who did my Bar Mitzvah. Would life have been easier with role models? I think so.

Sean Hayes is gay and seems bitter about being labeled gay. Ricky Martin's career may have been hurt. Jodie Foster has always dodged the question. Ellen DeGeneres, Elton John, Adam Lambert, Rufus Wainright are all out with successful careers.

CNN's popular Anderson Cooper, long assumed to be gay, is rumored to be replacing Katie Couric as the next anchor of CBS news; will he use his ever-growing profile to step up and come out? Should he?

March 8, 2010

If Matthew Perry and Dr Phil had a baby...

If Matthew Perry and Dr Phil had a baby, and you tossed in some Joe Montana, Hal Sparks, and Russell Crowe, you would have... moi?

This is from a fun site called, where you upload your photo and they use some voodoo evil magic scanner thing to recognize celebrity faces closest to yours.

So..... Dr Phil, really?

March 7, 2010

The Gay Super Bowl...

It's the biggest day of the year for my people! No, not Rosh Hashanah, my other people. No, not Canada Day, my other people... it's (drumroll please) the Gay Super Bowl, The Academy Awards!

It's the day we eat obscenely over-indulgent amounts of popcorn and watch four hours plus of semi-entertaining television... ok, ok, that could be any Sunday.

With Steve Martin and Alex Baldwin hosting, this year has potential to be funny as hell.

Who's gonna win? I haven't seen The Hurt Locker, and thought Avatar was stunningly beautiful though plot is basically Pocahontas in space. I loved Up in the Air, it would get my vote. Also thought Up was terrific. Also I haven't seen Precious, which intrigues me.

For actor, Jeff Bridges seems to be a lock, and I haven't seen the movie so no opinion there. Although Colin Firth may sneak in there. I think Meryl Streep should get it for Julie and Julia, a movie I loved and where I totally forgot I was watching Meryl act --- she becomes Julia Child. Although Sandra Bullock may sneak in there.

For supporting roles, Mo'Nique and that Inglorious Basterds dude both seem like locks to win.

For director I hope Kathryn Bigelow gets it --- she would be the first woman to win, which is astonishing, and it is about damn time.

I am looking forward to Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin. And the clothes. And some surprises. And some drunk or stoned or overly nervous starving starlet slipping up and going off script and giving us an unforgettable moment, good or bad...

Now where's that effing popcorn?

March 6, 2010

Gotta love George Clooney!

"At some point in our lifetime, gay marriage won't be an issue, and everyone who stood against this civil right will look as outdated as George Wallace standing on the school steps keeping James Hood from entering the University of Alabama because he was black."
- George Clooney

March 5, 2010

A doggie woggie by any other name...

Last night I was taking Alfred for his pre-bedtime walk around 10 PM. Lovely winter evening, other people out on the street, all is well with the world, and Alfie gets all excited as we meet a young woman with her cute little yappy shitzu-esque furball dog.

And then she refers to the pooch as her doggie woggie. And then her baby waby. And then, yes, her honey bunny. Ick. Puke. Barf.

Now I hate to judge fellow dog lovers, as Alfie is such a light in my life, but really, people? And this from someone who is known to look randomly at my dog and pronounce him to be the cutest dog in the world to anyone in hearing distance.

So what do I call Alfred besides Alfie? Alfredo. Cutest dog ever. Little dude. Havanese. The Cuban. Furball. The little pee machine (thankfully those days have passed, except when he sees a suitcase)...

I have never called him my baby waby. Please gawd I have never called him my baby waby...

March 3, 2010

My fiance is trying to kill me with expired salad dressing...

Yesterday I tossed out a container of what used to be cottage cheese. It looked like an alien invasion was happening in there. And it was well past the expiry date. If it was just a couple of days past its expiry date and looked and smelled fine, I would have tossed it anyway. Is that wrong?

Shortly after K and I started dating two summers ago, we had a BBQ at his house. In addition to the burgers and usual stuff, we had salad. In a show of great hosting especially to someone you are newly dating, he pulled out like eight salad dressings.

As he was preparing the food, I was hoping my dog wouldn't embarrass me by knocking something over as he cavorted around like he had a firecracker up his ass, and so to distract myself I casually looked through the labels of the foodstuff on the table, specifically the salad dressing. Yes, some of this looks interesting, some unusual flavours here, and then holy crap, this one is two years old, and so is that one, and another one. This stuff is months to years beyond their printed expiry dates - is he effing try to kill me?

Beyond all this stuff, there was more salad dressing in the house. A lot more. K is a planner and if there is ever a nuclear holocaust, his house is where you want to hide out - there is enough frozen food, salad dressing, canned salmon, and dry cereal to take you though the lengthy rebirth of the human race. My house has trace amounts of apples, diet Coke, and frozen organic edamame.

A recent article on challenges the food industry on expiry dates, saying that they pretty much don't mean anything. They are valid in terms of fresh food's optimal date of freshness for taste and healthful impact, not in terms of food safety. Packaged food can last months beyond its expiry date, canned food years beyond. Food deteriorates from the moment it is picked, killed, created or processed, and then its validity depends on how is packaged and cared for: is it in too hot or too cold storage? Is it properly wrapped and sealed? If it is refrigerated, how cold is that exact corner of the fridge?

Except for baby food, 'sell by' or expiry dates are not regulated. How the food is cared for - packaging, cleanliness, and temperature - determines how long it will be good.

The bottom line? Food goes bad. The food industry wants you to toss out that box of Ritz crackers from 1997 and buy new ones. And yes, some food is good well beyond its expiry date. I think this is probably a case by case thing. Fresh stuff looks and smells bad when it is bad. Microwave popcorn and Oreo cookies will outlast your grandchildren. And that damn salad dressing hasn't killed me. Yet.

March 2, 2010

Harry Potter and the Homophobic Haters...

Kudos to Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe for standing tall and brave!

According to and other media outlets, the young actor has just filmed a public service announcement for The Trevor Project, the leading organization working on suicide prevention efforts among gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered youth.

Radcliffe grew up knowing lots of gay people, and it wasn't until he was older that he even heard of homophobia. "I have always hated anybody who is not tolerant of gay men or lesbians or bisexuals," he says. "Now I am in the very fortunate position where I can actually help or do something about it... The fact that I am straight makes not a difference, but it shows that straight people are incredibly interested and care a lot about this as well."

March 1, 2010

That health club treadmill is a lying bastard...

While I was getting ready for work (aka puttering around not getting ready for work), there was an interesting piece of serious hard-hitting journalism on Good Morning America.

They did an investigative piece on the accuracy of the treadmills, stationary bikes, stair climbers, and elliptical thing-a-majigs at health clubs to see if their calorie counters were telling you the truth.

The outcome? Those machines are total lying bastards. They over-estimate your calories burned by an AVERAGE of 19%. So if you are trying to measure and balance your calories in and calories out, ie how long do I have to climb those hell stairs to nowhere in order to burn off that supersized barrel of deep-fried Oreo cookies in chocolate sauce, you will be wrong. They estimate this costs your average machine-user ten pounds a year.

This is a war crime, people. What are we gonna do about it? I say let's never use them again. That'll teach 'em! Sure, we will get fatter and crankier, and they will remain new and pristine, still there is a message there somewhere!

Or we could just work out more....