November 29, 2012

Puppy Swallows Earring....

There is never a dull moment with a puppy in the house!

The cute little guy in the picture is Alfie's new little brother, Anderson Quinn, who we brought home two weekends ago at the ripe old age of ten weeks.

Anderson is lovable, spirited, curious as hell, unclear on where the bathroom actually resides, sweet and fun. Follows Alfie around. Love to play, loves to eat, loves to chew... especially loves to chew.

On Saturday night, yes six days after we brought the little dude home, we had out first outing with him... to the 24-hour emergency animal hospital.

We were getting ready to head out to a friend's birthday party (Happy 40th, not that we are supposed to mention that). K was cuddling with Anderson, and the little guy went into explore/chew/discover mode and swallowed K's earring. Whole. Oops.

K called the animal hospital who said bring him in. So the four of us trekked there. Stressful...  will he be ok? Can he puke or poop this out? Will the earring do damage to his insides? Holy crap will we have to do surgery on such a young puppy? I thought we were really good pet parents and this happened in week one?  Yikes we are in for a lifetime of adventures and misadventures with Mr Beagle...

Got to hospital, doc was great, they were going to induce vomiting and took Anderson to the back room. We hard him squeal, which it turns out was for the rubbing alcohol dabbed onto his leg, cuz it was chilly. Awww... Wimp.

So they used a needle to induce vomiting, and every fucking thing came out, including his dinner and the notorious earring. YAY puke.

Here are 5 thoughts from our Saturday night adventure:

1- We love the little guy already, is family and would have felt the same if it have been six years here rather than six days.

2-  The doctor warned us the little dude would be sleepy for hours due to the sedative... didn't happen. He was his energetic self by the time we got home... Anderson's energy level is so high, traditional sedatives do not work on him. Oops.

3- He is a walking chewing garburator, hello Christmas ornaments hanging low on the tree...

4- After poop all day and pee all day, we then pay someone to make him puke... what is weird with this picture?

5- Nothing - NOTHING - slows down this guy's appetite....

November 27, 2012

So wrong, and yet so funny...

Gotta love the crap (errr, quality goods...) you can find online!!!

November 24, 2012

Just Because Dolly Parton Is A Woman...

For work this week I took a long road trip through the mountains, so there was lousy radio reception, except of course for the right-wing redneck talk radio which always manages to find me.

As I have done this route before, I pulled CDs from the basement to toss in my bag; I decided to take stuff I hadn't listened to in ages, so Streisand, Fleetwood Mac, Pink's early stuff... and I pulled out the Dolly Parton tribute album Just Because I'm A Woman.

I am a Dolly fan because she is talented and joyful and big-hearted and witty and fabulously  fake... but I don't know her music that well, beyond the staples like 9 to 5 and Jolene.

This album changed all that. It has talented female artists covering Dolly's songs, and it is amazing.

Just Because I'm a Woman: Songs of Dolly Parton is a various-artists tribute album to Parton released in 2003. It is named after a song Parton wrote and recorded in 1968; she re-recorded the song for this album.

The album has 13 tracks, and there really isn't a weak link among them. Performers include Melissa Etheridge (a rougher, smoky I Will Always Love You), Joan Osborne, Norah Jones, Emmylou Harris, and a surprisingly effective Shania Twain, in a duet with Allison Krauss on Coat Of Many Colors.

The best tracks are Allison Krauss's slowed-down bluegrass 9 to 5, Me'Shell N'Degeocello's funky take on Two Doors Down, and especially Sinead O'Connor's Dagger Through The Heart, a steely heartbreak song I was not familiar with but which I cannot get out of my head. Breathtaking.

The best thing about the album is the songs themselves; they show the talent and range of Parton as a songwriter. It is a great listen for Parton fans and newbies alike... find it.

November 21, 2012

Happy World Television Day!

Today is World Television Day... and yes I am accepting presents for this important holiday. In December 1996 the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 November as World Television Day, commemorating the first World Television Forum in 1996.

...the United Nations cannot achieve its purposes unless the peoples of the world are fully informed of its aims and activities... Recognizing the increasing impact that television has on decision-making by alerting world attention to conflicts and threats to peace and security and its potential role in sharpening the focus on other major issues, including economic and social issues..

Okay so that is a pretty highbrow mandate for the medium that brings us Honey Boo Boo... however it is true that television has helped along democracy as it has opened up the world; studies show that as TV spreads, so does equality for women and access to education.

As a gay man, I think back to the 70s when there were rarely any gay characters on TV, and the rare one I did see was a swishy stereotype or a hate crime victim.

Now in the post Will and Grace era we have gay characters on Glee, The Good Wife, The New Normal, Partners, Revenge, and many other prime-time series, plus out gay TV stars like Ellen Degeneres, Jim Parsons and Anderson Cooper.

And while yes there is tons of crap out there, there are some shows I adore and follow. My current TV favourites are The Big Bang Theory, The Good Wife, Elementary, Kitchen Cousins and The Voice... what are yours?

November 18, 2012

Anderson Lives Here...

Introducing Alfred's new little brother, Anderson Quinn, who we call Andy... born September 4th, brought home November 18th, this ten week old beagle is the newest addition to our family!

Over the last few months Alfie has gotten used to being the only dog in the house, so he has some adjusting to do, but is off to a pretty good start we think.... dogs are pack animals, and Anderson is so darn sweet we know they will become brothers.

Here is Alfie checking out the new arrival:

Love these dogs!!!

November 17, 2012

Keep Calm And... part 2:

My favourite Keep Calm And... logo is of course the Alfie one I did which is now my twitter pic and which I wrote about here.

But I have a may new favourite, which I saw on Facebook.... this is brilliant!

What's your fave?

November 14, 2012

The End Of Your Life Book Club...

I read about The End Of Your Life Book Club online and downloaded it right away. This was a smart decision, as I loved - LOVED - this literate, heartfelt, touching book. I laughed a little, I cried a little, I could not put the damn thing down.

In 2007, Mary Anne Schwalbe discovered that she had Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. She lived for two more years. During that time, she and her son Will spent many hours together as she received chemotherapy. In The End of Your Life Book Club, Will uses their conversations as a starting point for an affectionate memoir of his mother and their relationship. The two had always exchanged books and recommended readings to each other,  and at Mary Anne’s first chemotherapy session, they decided to form “a book club of two.”

So yes, this memoir is about cancer and death but more than that is about life. And books. And family, both blood and chosen.  
I read this book on my iPad, and flipped frequently to add to my reading list with all the books they were talking about; their reading choices tend to be literary and prize-winning, mine tend to be comical tales of gay hookers who solve mysteries on the side... so I may learn something here, as his conversations with his mother provide hints that make me want to explore their titles further. 

The author's mother was a teacher and fundraiser who travelled to Burma, Afghanistan and Sierre Leone, to work with orphans and lepers and refugees. She was an amazing woman, and it is heartbreaking and somehow inspiring to see her hit with pancreatic cancer which is not curable but treatable, so it is a long decline.

I identified a lot with the author -- cynical, artsy, gay, 40s, sometimes outside observer of life, thinks he is pretty smart; on more than one occasion I found myself up in the middle of the night, thinking about life, reading, as I read about Will Schwalbe up sleepless in the middle of the night, thinking about life,  reading as a way of coping.

Blended in with the life and death of this story are smart observation on everyday things, from insomnia to flying to high society. And I especially like how how the author's gayness is presented matter-of-factly and is not a vital plot point.

This is of course not really a book club or at least how we typically think of one; it is two people who share books and talk about them as a way of talking about life and death. He writes:
“No matter where Mom and I were on our individual journeys, we could still share books, and while reading those books, we wouldn’t be the sick person and the well person; we would simply be a mother and a son entering new worlds together.”  

This book made me think about cancer, death, family, joy, reading, refugees, doing more in the world, violence against women, and my own troubled relationship with my family. And it is not nearly as heavy or depressing as you would think.

The End Of Your Life Book Club is a warm reminder why we read and what our reading says about us, and the different ways we connect with others. Read it.

November 11, 2012

Bond James Bond, Streisand, Obama.......

Last week was a crazy one for so many of us, from our first major blast of winter here in the great white north (a crazy 25 cm of snow)... to the frenzy over the US election (to quote Beyonce, Take that, Mitches)... and yet there is always my escape to pop culture world...

Here are some my faves from last week:

I am always happy when there is a new Streisand album, and this one is really special because while the album is new the music is not; Release Me is a collection of unreleased tracks from 1967 to 2011 which perfectionist Streisand never let the public hear before now. The whole album shines, and my favourite is Being Good Isn't Good Enough.

Saw this on Facebook and loved it... so true!

Best Bond ever? Holy crap, super hot and typically glum Daniel Craig was everywhere this week, and was actually smiling in some of the press he did for the new Bond flick...  Bond... James Bond... must see Skyfall....

I love, as they are smart and snarky without crossing into nasty. Or not crossing into nasty too often. And this one made me laugh, because is funny and is true.

  Go away redneck misogynist bigots, YAY Obama...

This book by Richard Cohen, author of the terrific Multiple Sclerosis memoir Blindsided, is fast, fun and kind of mean. Grinch-ish Cohen doesn't like dogs, his wife TV journalist Meredith Viera keeps bringing them home and spoiling them. I love Viera, and Cohen comes across as curmudgeonly but fun. A fun read on a winter's night with Alfie curled up beside me.

My lifelong Sherlock Holmes obsession continues with the fab new TV show Elementary, a good find in a season of truly crappy TV. Holmes is in modern day New York, fresh out of rehab, assigned a strong-willed female caregiver (and former doctor) who happens to be named Watson, and the duo helps the local police solve crimes. Love this show.

I discovered the Facebook "name that tune" game SongPop on election night and played for hours. And got my ass kicked... quite humbling to this self-proclaimed 80s aficionado actually. Total addiction by the end of the night.

What pop culture faves are you loving these days?

November 8, 2012

Pop Star Pink On Gay Marriage...

I love pop star Pink... she is super talented, both tough and tender-hearted, and writes smart snappy songs like her current Blow Me (One Last Kiss), Raise Your Glass and the awesome Stupid Girls.

Her songs are about life, love, girl power, bullying, rebellion, humour, and social issues. Pink has taken on the vapid starlets and the bullies and has loudly stood up for equal rights for gay people. 

Forbes listed Pink as the 27th most powerful celebrity in the world because she not only sells records, she inspires and influences people.

If you have not heard her 2006 song with the Indigo Girls,  Dear Mr President, an open letter to President Bush, go find it right now...

Dear Mr. President,
Were you a lonely boy?
Are you a lonely boy?
Are you a lonely boy?
How can you say
No child is left behind?
We're not dumb and we're not blind.
They're all sitting in your cells
While you pave the road to hell.

What kind of father would take his own daughter's rights away?
And what kind of father might hate his own daughter if she were gay?
I can only imagine what the first lady has to say
You've come a long way from whiskey and cocaine.

 All hail Pink!

November 6, 2012


... and my favourite shot from the lines of voters exercising their right to vote:

Voting Day USA...

Okay, okay you cannot really vote for Alfie for US President -- because he was born in Saskatchewan, Canada (even though I did nominate him here), however if you are American you should get out and vote today... it's important, people!

As actress Kerry Washington recently said, "You may not be thinking about politics, but politics is thinking about you."  

I am happy election day is finally here, mostly because it will finally be the end of the brigade of those annoying nasty commercials for local politicians I have never ever heard of, and all of whom I am now convinced are all lying douchebags.

While I don't have a dog in this race (horrible expression, but it works), I am an Obama fan for lots of reasons, so get out and vote, and vote Hillary! Errr... vote Obama!

I'm not sure who this guy is, but he sure looks like has spent time in 
the library of congress researching all the issues!

As Bill Maher says: 
"If it's Obama, America wins. If it's Romney, comedy wins..."

November 4, 2012

I'm Cher and I approve this message...

As a lifelong Canuck I don't get to vote in this week's US presidential election, but if you do be sure to get out and vote. There are huge social and economic stakes at play here...

So as I do with all major decisions, let's turn to the experts here... presenting Cher and Kathy Griffin on turning back time and the presidential election!

I love both these women, and as Griffin proclaims: This is Cher, bitches, do what she says...  and make sure you watch all the way to the end to get all of Griffin's Cher hair toss and song title references!

November 2, 2012

Best Welcome Mat Ever...

... best welcome mat ever! Except maybe for this one...

okay or maybe this one....

okay I think like this one best...

I love the crap we find on the interweb! These are from here if you want to see more.