June 29, 2010

All Hail the Queen... but why the hell am I paying her bills?

This week the Queen is coming to Canada. Not just any Queen, not a drag queen, not Queen Latifah... THE Q.U.E.E.N, the 84-year-old British Monarch, who also technically is the Canadian monarch. You know, the one played by Helen Mirren in that movie, The Queen.

I am skipping right over the really big question here, why the hell is the British monarchy still our monarch. And then I am gonna skim over the next question, why is she coming now. And then I am moving on to the next question. My big question...


According to canoe.ca, this trip is gonna cost about 4 million bucks for the Queen to pack up her handbag, fly over, watch some shows, shake some hands, wave just a little, and go home.

And don't get me started on the Queen's representative in Canada, our Governor General, who costs us about 30 million bucks a year to do pretty much nothing. Good thing we don't have any schools or hospitals or public transit organizations that could use that money.

According to www.macleans.ca, Canadians pay about 50 million dollars a year for the Queen and all of her representatives in Canada. More per capita than the Brits pay for the monarchy. Yes, we pay more for the British monarchy than the Brits do. What is wrong with this picture?

Replacing or tossing the royals would require unanimous agreement of Parliament and all ten provinces. These bozos have never agreed on anything. So the bottom line is that we Canadians will have the monarchy for a long long long time... so my simple little question is: why can't they pay for own damn travel?

June 28, 2010

Scissor Sisters' Not So Subtle New Album Cover...

The new album (are they still called albums?) from American pop glam rock disco group Scissor Sisters, Night Work, comes out tomorrow. The cover is above... hmm, subtle huh? What'cha think they are singing about on this one?

Night Work is the third album from the group; I loved the first, with songs like Filthy Gorgeous and Comfortably Numb, and then was semi-bored by the second. Then I saw a concert video which was fantastic and sort of revived my interest. What will they do next?

Although the group is not that huge in the USA, they are big here in Canada, in the UK, Australia. They have an out gay lead singer, have worked with Elton John and Kylie Minogue (see 'out gay singer'), tend to be political and sexual, and have been banned by Walmart for their coarse language.

According to lots of online stuff, this new album was pretty much written and recorded, then tossed out and redone from scratch because the band wasn't happy with it.

I for one am curious to check out Night Work.

Oh, and if you are wondering where their name came from because you aren't familiar with the term Scissor Sisters, google it like I did...

June 26, 2010

Brad Pitt on Gay Marriage...

When someone asked me why Angie and I don't get married, I replied, 'Maybe we'll get married when it's legal for everyone else.' I stand by that, although I took a lot of flak for saying it --- hate mail from religious groups.

I believe everyone should have the same rights. They say gay marriage ruins families and hurts kids. Well, I've had the privelige of seeing my gay friends being parents and watching their kids grow up in a loving environment.

- Brad Pitt in Parade magazine

June 23, 2010

Seventeen Very Very Very Important Factoids About Yours Truly...

First, three disclaimers...

The photo above is not me, is the adorable Alfred, who is smaller, cuter, and (slightly) hairier than I am.

An 'important factoid" is pretty much self-eliminating as can something be both important and a factoid? Hey, it's my blog and I will break grammar rules on a whim.

This blog idea is shamelessly stolen from super blogger Patty @ www.pattypunker.com, and from my husband Kevin @ http://beinbalance.wordpress.com/

And now on to the Very Very Very Important Factoids About Moi...

1- My favourite foods are pizza and popcorn. And apple pie and ice cream. And on a stressful day it may possibly be true that I would kill for a bag of licorice allsorts. Oh no wonder I struggle with weight...

2- I recently married my favourite human on the planet. And the surprising part to me is not only in some ways that two guys can legally marry in this country (holy shit, how cool is that...), but how much it really has changed things for me. It feels different.

3- I love board games, and we are building quite the collection of amazing wood and brass collectible versions - Scrabble, Monopoly, and just this month for my birthday an amazing 3D-like version of Clue.

4- My biggest struggle for my whole life has been with a speech impediment. I stutter, and it has always bugged me beyond belief, from being tormented as a kid to impacting my self image into my 20s. Years of speech therapy helped only a little. Once I turned 30 I accepted it and moved on. Mostly.

5- The other big struggle has been with my weight, where I have ranged from way too fat to way too thin. I have learned perspective and to not obsess about it, while accepting that for me there is no normal here, is always an issue.

6- I heart sarcasm. Yes there are those who say it is the lowest form of humour or whatever, screw off, maybe that is why I love it. Not too long ago I was making some rude comment, and an acquittance said "do you know how sarcastic you are?". I tried to look innocent and said "who, me? That is the first time I have ever heard that." Douchebag...

7- I have tried every sport, and the one that took was a surprise to me as well as everyone I know -- turns out I love running, have done a marathon and several other races. Is my solitude and therapy, with loud music blasting on my iPod. I should find the time more than I do.

8- Huge book geek. Always have several on the go. I heart my kindle.

9- I am not only a book geek, I am a gadget freak... kindle, iPhone, TV gizmos, cameras, kitchen gadgets, I love them all. The newer and flashier the better. And when I can justify it will get an iPad.

10- As social and outgoing as I am, I need total solo time on a regular basis -- to read, write, watch hours of HGTV, consume vast amounts of popcorn, whatever.... to rejuvenate.

11- I have seen every single episode of Sex and the City. And own the DVDs. Have even seen the two mediocre movies.

12- I love love love music, and have it playing all the time. All the time. Almost all music. As I write this I am listening to Linda Ronstadt. Throw on anything from current Top 40 to Elvis to Trisha Yearwood to ELO to Go-Gos to classical to whatever and I am one happy dude.

13- I get speeding tickets.

14- I promise to go camping each summer. Somehow we never find the time...

15- Scared to death of ceiling fans.

16- All-time favourite album is Rosanne Cash's The Wheel.

17- Yes is true, I love love love dogs, though allergic to many, and have the cutest doggie ever, and a pretty awesome step-dog as well. And looking forward to number three...

June 22, 2010

Did Queen Latifah just come out of the closet?

Did Oscar-nominated, Grammy winning, Weight Watchers spokeperson Queen Latifah just come out of the closet? Yes. No. Maybe. Sort of. A little. No. Yes and then she went back in. No of course not. WTF...?

The gay rumours have been swirling around Latifah forever.

What does she say in the current issue of Upscale magazine? "I don't have to explain anything. I don't have to confirm anything... I'm the one living it. You go ahead and speculate. I'll just live it."

So assuming by this she is gay, gay, gay, does it matter? Her career isnt built on romantic leading roles, would it hurt her to come out? Would it help the cause of equality, or would it damage her career, or both?

Hmmm, I wonder what a certain 40-something silver haired journalist would say about all this. And why have I never even heard of Upscale magazine. How the hell many magazines are there out there? How do they survive?

June 21, 2010

M*A*S*H star comes out of the closet...

No, it's not the little dude who played Radar. Hmmm, why were you thinking that?

David Ogden Stiers, the 60-something actor best know for playing snooty Charles Winchester on the classic sitcom M*A*S*H, recently came out of the closet.

The Emmy-nominated Stiers has been doing mostly family stuff like cartoon voice-overs since M*A*S*H ended in the 80s, and a bunch of Woody Allen movies and TV guest shots, and is also a symphony conductor.

I was a kid during the prime of M*A*S*H and didn't really watch it, though I have caught some since then, and it know what a force it was both culturally and commercially. How cool would it have been for him to come out then? Or would it have killed his career? Let's see what happens with Ricky Martin and Neil Patrick Harris.

Stiers says that he kept his private life quiet for career reasons. So why come out now? Stiers says because he wants to find a partner and love. Awww.....

June 19, 2010

Going to a Go-Go: Reading Belinda Carlisle...

My favourite Kindle vacation reading so far this year is Lips Unsealed, the new autobiography by Go Go's lead singer Belinda Carlisle.

I love love love 70s and 80s music. I saw a total of three concerts last year and two of them were Styx and Fleetwood Mac. And I luuuuved the Go Go's... Our Lips Are Sealed, We Got the Beat, Vacation, Cool Jerk, and so on, how could you not love that stuff? And when they split, I moved past my heartbreak and came to embrace lead singer Belinda Carlisle and her solo stuff, like Mad About You and Heaven is a Place on Earth. More recently, I thought she looked stylin' in Playboy, and forgave her for Dancing with the Stars.

Now the lead Go Go has unsealed her lips with her new autobiography, and it is fantastic. I expected tales of record company excess and stupidity, inside scoop on the punk and pop scene of the 80s, and some partying and drugging stuff. I got all that and way more.

In this modern Cinderella tale, our heroine goes from unhappy child in broken home to fame and fortune... and drugs, eating disorders, alcohol, blackouts, wacky money stuff, and more. Carlisle tells the inside story of the group and her solo stuff, with anecdotes of all the great songs, and some not so great ones; she also tells about record company shenanigans, her 30-year drug habit, her lifelong weight struggle and longtime eating disorder, her affairs with people like INXS singer Michael Hutchence before her long term marriage, scoop on other celebs she toured with (Robert Palmer was nasty, Rod Stewart was grouchy), and her son coming out to her when he was a teen, and how she is cool with it. Woo hoo!

The lady partied a lot and lived to tell, with a midlife coming sober and somewhat spiritual (don't worry, it's not all kumbayah). The book is smart and honest and dishy.... great summer reading!

Next up is Pat Benatar's new autobiography. I am so stuck in the 80s...

June 17, 2010

Here in the twilight zone... what if Elton John and Rush Limbaugh threw a wedding?

I have read a lot of online press and buzz last week over Elton John and Rush Limbaugh, two names you would not naturally put together; right wing ringleader Rush and colourful gay activist Elton teaming up for...?

Well they teamed up, so to speak, for Rush's fourth wedding, where Elton was hired as the entertainment, for an alleged cool million bucks.

The controversy is, should out gay man Elton John have taken a gig where he performed for one of the de facto leaders of the right-wing anti-gay social movement?

While Elton hasn't commented, his partner David Furnish is quoted on cnn.com as saying that Elton wants to bring the world together, build bridges, blah, blah, blah. Oh really? Or is it for the money, or the media controversy and attention? Let's face it, this is the most we have talked about Elton in quite awhile.

John famously performed with gay-baiter Eminem at the Grammys, probably for virtually no money, and allegedly just turned down $30 million to replace Simon Cowell on American Idol, so probably not just for the cash. So maybe he earns some integrity points there?

The wedding was performed by pastor Ken Hutcherson, a former NFL player who is rabidly anti-gay. Why be involved at all? Goodbye integrity points.

My first reaction to this one was: ewww... gross. On second thought (I am a Gemini), maybe is a good thing --- he took a million bucks from Limbaugh's pocket, got people talking at the wedding and beyond, and hey maybe he will give the million doll hairs to a great equality cause?

Elton John is uncharacteristically quiet on this one, here is to hoping he steps up and gives the moolah to a great cause. Let's wait and see...

June 15, 2010

Have dogs, will travel...

Alfie and Quinn in the car en route to Grandma and Grandpa's house, where they will be pampered endlessly while we are away for the weekend...

June 11, 2010

Oh no! I can't look away from trashy "True Beauty" TV show...

Stuck in a hotel room on a business trip this week, and still battling the remnants of the western world's worst flu, I crashed in my hotel room and spent a little bit of time -- hours and hours and hours -- channel surfing while enthusiastically exceeding the recommended dosage on my medication.

What caught my eye, sandwiched between the crap I will watch, like Two and Half Men, and the crap I won't watch, like infomercials for Victoria Principal's skincare line, was a show I had never seen before... the amazingly trashy if good-hearted True Beauty.

It was like an pile-up on the highway, I knew instantly I should look away and go forward, and yet I could not bring myself to action, I sat there for the balance of the hour watching this crap fest.

So what is the instant classic True Beauty? This is the second season of the reality show where beautiful young men and women live together on camera and compete to see who will be deemed the most beautiful, with one being eliminated and sent home each week. It is Survivor meets The Apprentice meets America's Next Top Model meets Paris Hilton meets Make Me A Supermodel meets Us Weekly meets something even fluffier and stupider that I can't think of. The prize is a hundred grand and being featured in People magazine's "Most Beautiful" issue.

So these guys and gals basically sit around looking pretty, talking about how pretty they are, and trashing everyone else for not being as pretty. There are some nominal tasks, which I totally forget already and I watched the damn show. I think they were challenged to stand around and look pretty.

The hook of the show -- the part that got me -- is that the pretty people are also being judged on inner beauty! And they all effing fail!

The three judges view not only the challenges, but also the secret footage of contestants being immature and selfish and bitchy, which they all are.

The two lowest-scoring pretty people in the finals this week - lets call them Whiny Blond and Hunky Moron -- were each taped being jerks. They then had a secret challenge where each was tested to see if were nice or caring or responsible citizens. Basically each was rushing to a (fake) photo shoot, and stumbled across a (fake) drunk guy getting into his car, and the contestants are being tested to see if they will help or intervene. Whiny Blond did try to help by asking the valet to stop him, Hunky Moron watch and snickered.

So Hunky Moron was sent home, and Whiny Blond stays to compete for another week.

The icing on this crapfest cake? After the judges decide to send home Hunky Moron, he is shown a montage of all of his selfish douchebag comments and actions. He watches, and then slowly says "that's not the real me...". Uh, yes, Einstein, I think that may very well be the real you, on that tape there.

And yes I am going to watch again... sign me up, abc, this is a perfect summer series!

June 4, 2010

Waterfalls of snot (aka I hate being sick)...

The mainstays of my diet for these days? Hot tea, iced tea, huge amounts of lozenges, assorted types of soup, vanilla ice cream, licorice allsorts, and jellybeans... so clearly a well-thought out blend of I am sick with the worst sore throat in the history of the world and I am stuck at home oh woe is me comfort food.

I hate being sick. Being sick blows. And this week it blows a sandpaper sore throat, pounding headaches, a fever, crazy nasal congestion, Tylenol cold medicine, Tylenol with codeine for the headaches, gooey cough medicine, a prescription nasal spray gizmo, and waterfalls of snot.

Plus my sunburn on my forehead is peeling... so yep i am a big mess.

I have been home for three days. I hate missing work because (a) the days are totally wasted when you are at home with the god of mischief pounding on your head, praying for death and (b) the work just waits for you anyway! And I can't talk without feeling scratchy and headachey, which is a huge problem for a talker like me. Oh just give me a mallet to the head and end this once and for all...

Yesterday K stayed home to take care of me -- drove me to the doctor, made sure I was eating stuff beyond lozenges and jellybeans, took care of the doggies. I resisted this at first, and then came to totally appreciate it.

I hate being sick. My first instinct when I am sick is I just want the whole world to go the eff away and let me suffer in silence while I watch daytime TV, bemoan my hideous fate, and self-medicate. Is that so wrong?

I hate being sick. Today I go back to work. There is stuff to do, people depending on me, and I am getting cabin fever. Drugs will be my friend.

I hate being sick. Someone needs to come up with a cure for the flu. Screw the oil companies and arms companies and their billions of profits - this is where there is money to be made!

I hate being sick. I am not scared of it, I just hate it. What is there to be scared of? You are going to get better, or not. It's not like it's ceiling fans... those are terrifying. And just wrong.

June 3, 2010

What Cindy Crawford, Captain Kirk, the Grinch and I have in common...

June 3... something is happening today... what was it again... oh yeah, it's my birthday...

I have mixed feelings about this one, ambivalence really --- this is not such a big deal, as is not a specific milestone like 13 (Bar Mitzvah), 21, 30 or 40 was, and we have so much other stuff going on this year that our birthdays seem less vital. But hey we are alive and well and still having birthdays, so all is good.

So as this day is no huge deal (um, for the record, still accepting gifts, people), let's turn to the expertise of google to learn more about the year I came into the world crying and screaming and drooling and waving my arms around maniacally... yep, some things never change...

Let's see, I'm turning 31, so that takes us back to... ok, not really...

What happened in 1966, the year I was born?

- Ronald Reagan became governor of California

- John Lennon met Yoko Ono

- Cindy Crawford, Adam Sandler, Mike Tyson and Halle Berry were born

- Walt Disney died (isn't he frozen somewhere...)

- A Man For All Seasons won the best picture Oscar (has been on tons of 'best of' lists and, oops, haven't seen it)

- How the Grinch Stole Christmas first appeared on television (love it, own it, seen it a billion times)

- Frank Sinatra's Strangers in the Night and the Beatles' Good Vibrations were the biggest hit songs of the year (really?)

- Batman debuted on TV (biff! boom! ka-pow!)

- The Flintstones ended (and yet goes on forever...)

- Valley of the Dolls was published (classic trash, loved it)

- Star Trek made its debut (and was re-invented yet again last year with a great new film)

So for my birthday, how am I spending the day? I am going to work and then we are going out for a nice birthday dinner and then maybe some ice cream or cake... make that ice cream and cake...

... and then one of these days I am gonna rent that damn movie A Man For All Seasons and see what all the fuss is about. I mean, have seen Star Wars like 130 times, and Weekend at Bernie's at least five times, so can squeeze the occasional classic in...