Sunday, February 26, 2006

Rick Mercer's Blog

Rick Mercer's Blog
Here's another comedian I really like. He's witty, clever and shamelessly nails all politicans. Oddly he also has a fair bit of respect for them too. Check out his photoshop contests ... they're really funny and his latest one has doctored photos of the leader of the Bloc.

Sunday Intellectual Question: Silly Puzzels con't

While I was thinking about the Caramilk question another one came to mind. I, seriously, cannot figure this one out! Although I know that I should not be devoting vast amounts of my remaining braincells to this endeavor(see: "Make Self Smartness" ) I can't help myself.

The question: What came first, the chicken or the egg?
Please tell me help is on the way!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Parenting Olympics: Winter

More terrifying than the hairs on your second grade teacher’s chin, more death defying than bungee jumping with a rope tied by your brother, more mentally challenging than the math test you took in grade nine, I give you … the Parenting Olympics!

Sleep Deprivation Slalom:  Athletes must navigate a predetermined course with only three hours sleep. Points will be given for artistic merit and style, with a focus on air speed, height and difficulty of jump, five point landings and creative language. Points deducted for breakages.

Breakfast Relay:  Athletes must correctly pour items into the appropriate containers. The athlete must be so sleep deprived that a mole in the sunlight could see better: coffee mugs must contain coffee, cereal bowls must contain cereal, and children’s lunch bags must be filled with nutritious, loving lunches … not orange juice, baby formula or Rover’s puppy chow.

School Sprint and Time Trials:  Athlete must prepare a kindergartener to catch the school bus. Kindergartner must have just consumed 3 pounds of chocolate and decided she doesn’t want to go to school.

Team Games
Sardines in a Van
Working in highly trained teams of two, this multidisciplinary sport involves both time and skill components. Each leg is timed and marked for accuracy.
Category 6 and under:
Leg 1:
  1. Each team must herd a group of no less than four children to the front door, including at least one infant. Athletes may not use sheep dogs or tazers or be heavily sedated. If they do not have four children of their own they are invited into the “Insanity Birthday Party” category.

  2. All children must be clothed in items with a 2lb per square cubic inch ratio. Clothing may include hats, scarves, and/or snow pants and must have at least five closing skills per item.

  3. Each child must insist on carrying one item that will not fit in diaper bag.

  4. The child wearing snow pants must be potty trained.

  5. Child #1 must be tired, Child #2 must be hopped up on sugar that he licked off the breakfast table and Child #3 must only respond to all commands with “NO!” The fourth child will be any combination of the above.

Leg 2:
Team must race to van and buckle in each child securely. Points deducted for any children left by the house, in a snow bank or on top of the van.

Leg 3:
Team must race to destination with the least commotion. Points deducted for screaming (parent or child), or driving off the road. Points added for the following skills: Juice reach, blankie toss, soother catapult, and tissue wipe. Bonus Points will be awarded for completely new verses to “Down by the Bay” involving imaginary animals, or any healthy food ingested by the children during car ride.

Leg 4:
For the final leg all team members must unbuckle and exit vehicle. Loss of children will lead to disqualification. Selling of children to strangers will lead to disqualification. Any dropped items will result in deduction of points. Points will be added for the number of children you can carry at once and for anyone exhibiting a pulse of 140 or lower. Unless, of course, you’re dead.

Category Ages 13-18:
Sardines in a Van: Time and Skill Relay
One teenage child, two parents. Points will be awarded to any parent who can get the child out of the bathroom by the time the event is over. Good luck.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Wednesday Story Con't.

So there you have it. How does a perfectly sane woman get caught up in an insane situation? Hormones. And that also explains my predicament. There I was, 9:59pm, a 37 year old woman shinnying down knotted bed sheets from my open second story bedroom window. Certifiably insane with hormones.
     I arrived breathless at his door...his back door, knocking frantically. “Let me in...Quick!”
     It took him a minute to answer and when he did it was with definite confusion. “What are you doing back here?”
     “Hard to explain.” I said “Please let me in?”
     He did, and I found myself standing in Barney’s mysterious home. It was not at all what I expected. I mean, he was a bachelor, but usually bachelors have a few comfy chairs...all in black. He had a table, with a beautiful lace table cloth and four chairs. Two at the table, one with assorted papers and another facing a small TV. That was about it. And it was very, very clean. I started to get nervous. What was I doing? What kind of bachelor has a small TV and no pizza boxes? Isn’t this exactly the kind of house that criminals or worse lived in? The kind of set that Abigail was probably watching right now on Lost? I slowly reached towards the door handle.

“You look lovely tonight, Elizabeth.”
     “Hmm?” I laughed nervously. Then I remembered my outfit, a shimmery blouse and dress pants that I had bought over a year ago, which had then been promptly consigned to my closet. Too revealing? “Well, I.... I am probably too dressed up. I’ll go change and be right back.”
     “It looks wonderful.” He smiled. Those eyes were something else.
     Really, I thought, how often in the grand scheme of things did kidnappings happen anyway? Just a few minutes and I’ll stay near a door.
     “Want to sit down? I’ll get you a drink. What would you like?” He opened the fridge. I reached for the door handle and held my breath hoping that the fridge was not cold storage for his victim’s severed heads. No. Hot dogs, a bowl of Kraft dinner, Orange Juice and Milk in a carton. So he was a bachelor after all. Just one who cleaned up. I released the doorknob.  
     “Orange Juice.” I said and sat down at the table, making sure I was out of sight of the kitchen window...just in case. He set the orange juice in front of me with a small smile. Was he nervous? His eyes looked gently into my own for a moment and then away.
     “I’m sorry Elisabeth. I wish I had more time.”
     “Um...Sorry about what?” Maybe I should have stayed near the door.
     “I hate having to do this to you. I really do like you but...”
     I stood up. “Do what? Maybe I had better go.” I turned to leave.
     He grabbed me by the arm. “Please, I need to show you something. It’s important.”
     Oh boy. By now I was frantic. He persistently pulled me towards the door that led from his kitchen to, presumably, his garage. I waved out the kitchen window and mouthed help.
     He stopped, and looked puzzled out the window, “What are you doing?”
     “Nothing!” Perhaps I could get away in a moment when we wasn’t looking. He opened the door and there, beyond was the dark garage.

     “Elizabeth! Elizabeth!” I could hear a voice through the darkness and a fuzzy white light. This was it! Now, was I supposed to go towards the light or what was...”Elisabeth!” My vision snapped back into focus. Barney Bean’s face was unbelievably close to mine and I was held tight in his arms. A strange warm sensation was rushing through my body.
     “What happened?” I mumbled.
     “Oh. Thank God.” he brushed the hair from my eyes. “I opened the garage door and you passed right out. I barely caught you before you hit the cement. Are you ok?”
     “Yeah, I...” I remembered. Was I already in his dungeon of doom? Did I miss my chance to escape because my method of dealing with conflict was losing all the blood in my head? I wriggled free of his arms and looked around. I was in his garage. It was well lit and extremely tidy. There was a bench where a number of tools, clean and sharp, were hanging and there in the middle of the room ... Oh! A beautiful old Cadillac. “What’s that?”
     “I wanted to show you. Isn’t she beautiful?”
     “Uh...” was all I could mumble out.
     “I’ve been working on it for years. Took me a while to find just the right model, paint color...”
     “It’s beautiful.”
     “Do you think so?” His eyes lit up like a child. “I really hope so. She’s not quite done...there’s the paint to touch up and a little more upholstery...well, it might not make it after all.”
     “It’s amazing. I never would have guessed that this was the reason you...” woops! A little too much information.
     “ just don’t seem the type.”
     “Yeah, really I’m not. Self taught you know. Too busy in school to take car shop. Want to sit down?”
     “I’d love to!” He opened the door and I glided easily on to the white leather seats. He sat down on the drivers’ side and rested his hands on the wheel.
     “Elly, can I call you Elly?”
     “Yeah, sure” I said, how strange to have another man call me that. A warm smile rose on my cheeks.
He looked sadly down at his hands on the wheel. “Could you tell me, please, is Harvey going to … is he dieing?”
He looked so sad.  I was sure they had never met. Sensitive man! “Yes, Barney. It looks like he is. He hasn’t been well for a while now. The doctor says he hopefully has one month, maybe two at the most. Nice of you to ask.”     
     Barney looked sadder still, “If I tell you something, will you promise not to tell? You got to keep it secret Elly, no matter what.”
     All kinds of terrible visions ran through my head. “Um, could you give me an idea … I mean, if it’s against the law, I don’t know … please don’t hurt me!”
     He laughed, “Elly you sure are funny! It’s just … well, personal.”
     Had I been out of the dating world a little too long! “Sure, sure.” I said, “Tell away!”
     There was a long sigh. “My father left us when I was nine.”
     “Oh I’m so sorry.”
     “Thanks, seems like ages ago now. I must have always known that he was going to go. You see, he was away a lot. Traveling salesman. He would drive up to the house in his beautiful white Cadillac, gleaming like a float on parade day. It always felt like parade day when he would come home.  I would run out the door to meet him and he would pick me up in his arms … he always smelled like pine, he sold cleaner, you see.  That was when I was young. By the time I was nine he visited less and less. I just kind of knew something was not quite right. Kids always know. He was somewhere else in between those visits, he had to be. Each visit my mom and dad argued more and more. The worst of it is that I hated my mom for being so mad at my dad. I thought she was making him stay away.  The last day I saw him they were arguing pretty bad. I ran out of the house to the car. I loved the way the car smelled, clean, and new. I loved to close my eyes and pretend I was driving far away where nothing was wrong. Well, that was the day I opened the glove box for the first time. There was a brown paper envelope and it was pretty heavy. I thought it was the match car I was hoping to have for my birthday so I peaked. Inside was a picture of a beautiful lady and a ring. A man’s wedding band. I knew then, I knew! My dad was living another life. Maybe he had another little boy with matchbox cars and baseball hats. Maybe he loved him more. Maybe he would never come back again. Most of all I was angry that another little boy would drive around with his daddy in the beautiful Cadillac, the only thing that didn’t seem to be a lie. I took my little pen knife and I cut all of his upholstery, each piece twice, one for me and one for my mom, long, thin strips of leather. Then I waited for him to come out. Finally the yelling stopped and he came out the door with his suitcase. He was so mad already but I didn’t care. I waited until he saw the car then I started to yell, “You lied to me! You lied! This is not your home!” over and over again. When he finally turned to face me there were tears in his eyes. “I never meant to hurt you,” he said. “You’re my boy, Barney, no matter what happens, you have to believe me.” He held me while I kicked him. He kissed me. Then he opened his door, sat on the ruined upholstery and left. That was the last time I saw him.”
     I didn’t know what to say. What do you say to someone with a story like that? Sorry really doesn’t cut it, but all other words seem sad and pitiful. “Sorry,” I said. “I really, really am.  You never found him? Did you find his other family? Is he still alive?”
     “Oh, I said I never saw him again. I’ve found him.”
     “Really! Well, that’s great … or not so great depending on how you feel about it. Um … are you going to visit him?”
     “Oh yes. You see Elly, I know where he is. I’ve known for a while … Elly … my dad … you take care of him. It’s Harvey.”

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Five Silly Lawsuits

The results of Five Silly Lawsuits That Made Me Laugh

1.Coffee Cup reading "Warning Contents may be hot". Don't we pay for it to be that way?
2. Bag full of metal nuts and bolts reading "warning: do not ingest"
3. My dance pad game which, on start up informs me that I should not use the pad in bare feet, with socks on or while wearing shoes...aqua fins anyone?
4. Any one of the many drug company ads where the side effects far out weigh the actual condition they are helping. Your acne will be cured, but you won't know because you’re dead.
5. Any wild ride that informs me I will be doing this at my own risk. If it is followed by an extra large legal carrier, I'm worried. If the ride has its own paramedics, I'm concerned. If the ride has its own team lawyers waiting at the entrance, something tells me no one tested the ride. Not even the guy that made it.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Sunday Intellectual Question

How did they put the caramel inside the Caramilk bar? Any suggestions?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Wednesday story con't

I thanked him and as I was fumbling in my purse I glanced up. There by the beans, stood a tall man, with graceful, strong features, and he was staring at me. I had a moment of panic. I must have toilet paper on my foot or bird poo in my hair. I checked, no, everything was alright and that man was still looking. He did look familiar, charming, and familiar, was Barney Bean. I quickly turned and ran. Perhaps he thought I looked through the curtains every night! I raced out the door around the corner and straight into a set of garbage cans. I went flying, cans went flying and the Scottish fish careened wildly into the air. I knew it, just as I was starting to pick the goopy plastic and banana off my coat, Barney Bean was standing right behind me. I took a deep breath in and turned around, pushing something stringy out of my hair and my eyes. Barney was smiling “I caught your fish.”
     “Uh, thank you.” I said trying hard to look casual.
     “Angus did say he was a fighter. I just didn’t think he still had it in him.”
     I tried to smile. “Thank you. Now, if you’ll excuse me I had better go.” He didn’t let go of the fish. “Look, I need to cook supper. Please give me the fish.”
     “A lady such as yourself shouldn’t have to wrestle a fish all the way home. Would you let me carry it?” His eyes sparkled. Did he ever ooze charm.
     “Ok.” I said before I realized what I was saying.
     We walked a block in silence. It was a combination of not knowing what to say and mentally reviewing all my body parts. Finally, I offered,
     “You live on the same block, I think?” Well, that was weak.
     “Yes, I’ve seen you. Strenburgers?”
     “Yes.” More Silence. I should just run. He probably knew all about Abigail. But he had my fish and man, up close he was really good looking. And not smelly at all.
     “We always go to the Lemon Fish on the same day. I’ve been meaning to talk to you for a while. I just never had an opening.”
     “Really? We do, I mean, you did...Really?” I closed my eyes, hoping he would stop looking. Now, this was why I was still single. And another good reason soon followed as I bumped into a low hanging branch and firmly fell on my butt.
     “Are you having a bad day or does this happen all the time?”
     “Yes. You should see my Monday body...covered in bruises. Friday body is usually fine.” I tried to pull myself up as gracefully as possible. Actually, there’s no graceful way to pull yourself off the sidewalk, but you might as well try.
     “You’re pretty funny you know. I wasn’t expecting that.” He smiled. I just stared at him in surprise as he leaned over to help me up. He had been thinking about me? I really hoped this wasn’t a set up, or worse pay back for Abigail’s peaking. It was nice to feel romance even if it was just for a second. I smiled. He smiled back. The world stopped. Actually, our feet must have moved for out of the corner of my eye I could see our street. I had to find a way to get the fish back before we got there. If Abigail saw me talking to him...I’d never hear the end of it. To my surprise it was Barney who stopped.
     “Here, Elisabeth. You’d better take this now.”
     “Oh, thank you.” I stared at the fish in my hands. That was remarkably easy. He paused.
     “I need to ask you something.” an urgent almost childlike look came over his face.
     “Anything!” I breathed. A second longer and I was going to fall into his arms like the cover of a Romance novel. Maybe a romance, fishing novel if there was such a thing. This had to end soon.
     “Please, tell me, how is Harvey? Is he going to get better?”
     I just stared at him. Like most of my romances this one appeared to be mostly in my head. But he was so earnest, and those eyes. Still it was obviously not me he was after... “No, Barney, he’s not. He has been going down hill for a while. I’m just there to see him through.”
     Those curious eyes fell, his voice grew quiet. “Then I must see you again.”
     What was that supposed to mean? Even if he didn’t like me it was cruelty to rub it in. “You don’t have to. I’ll be gone soon anyway.”
     “No.” He grasped my hand tightly. “I’ll need to see you. Tonight, could you get away tonight?”
     “I...I’ll try” I stuttered.
     “Please!” His eyes looked close to tears. Really, even if he did want me was it a good idea to get involved with someone possibly unstable?
     “I’ll try.” Who could resist. “Tonight at 10. Abigail watches Lost. I’ll sneak out.”
     “Thank you.” he said “Meet me at my door.”

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Brokeback to the Future on StupidVideos

Brokeback to the Future on StupidVideos
Check out this link for something really, truly funny! Someone recut the Back to the Future series to look like a trailer for Brokeback Mountain. Brilliant!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Sunday Question: Can we know all things?

My husband was telling me about some changes at McMaster University. Their old logo showed three books: two open and one closed. The open books symbolised the world that we can know and explore fully, (art and science I believe?) while the closed book demonstrated that there were somethings that man cannot with his own reason know. This logo has now changed to one open books. The leadership of the university is now declaring that we are capable of knowing all things. They may also be making a comment on all disciplines being the same. What do you think?

Friday, February 10, 2006

Fr�vous Dot Com � -- The Official Moxy Fruvous Website

Fr�vous Dot Com � -- The Official Moxy Fruvous Website

Here's another funny group who also happen to have great harmonies. I'm currently trying to find their version of Green Eggs and Ham for the kids ... and for me I must admit a good laugh would be welcome! This site has guitar tabs and lyrics too so it's worth a look.

SoundAmerica Weird Al Music


Hey there! This site has Weird Al songs to listen to. I think he's so funny. I was teaching the kids to sing the Lazagna song last night (a take off on La Bamba) for their dinner. I can just imagine them now at a restaurant singing for their supper. That's what I'm here for ... teaching them the essentials!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Wednesday Story continued

I go out Mondays and Fridays for groceries. Monday to Sobeys and Fridays to ALF: Alsburg’s Lemon Fish. The Lemon Fish was about as trendy as Alsburg got, and really the trend stopped at its name. In Toronto, with its plain store front, real chrome display cases and even a fat butcher in a slimy apron, the store would have topped the charts for real retro appeal, but here it was just Angus’s store and everyone knew that Angus’s outfit was not a uniform; it was his uni-wear. Secretly I hoped that Angus’s closet contained several plaid shirts and at least one clean apron, but this was merely wishful thinking. I loved his fish though and no one could argue that Angus did not love what he served and always tried to serve the best and the freshest he could find.  
     “Hey Angus.”
     “Elly! So it’s Friday already! Ho, Ho, Fry Day!” that joke never got old. “Cooking something for the boyfriend?”
     “Yeah” I squeezed out a wry smile. “You’re coming over aren’t you?”
     “You’re a smart one! Heaven knows I am a wee bit on the grey side for you lass, but if I’d been younger I would hop to it.”
     “Thanks, Angus. So what’s fresh?”
     “Besides you, you cheeky thing. Ah, let’s see, here’s a beauty!” He reached into the counter and pulled out a glistening pickerel holding it with all the reverence of the holy grail. His voice lowered to a whisper “Caught in our secret fishing hole.”
     “Hmm, where’s that?”
     Angus wagged one beefy finger “Tch, tch! Almost had me, but its secret! No, no, this one, he could fight! He pulled at that line as though the English were at his heels. We fought, him and me for nearly an hour, and finally when he broke the surface he took one look in me Scottish eyes and jumped in the boat. He knew a kinsman when he saw one.”
     “You’re not telling me that this fish is Scottish! Angus!”
     “It’s true, but for you I will price him as an Englishman!” Angus wrapped the fish up carefully and as he handed him over he whispered. “Don’t look now lass, you have an admirer. Over there … by the mixed beans. No one looks at beans that long.”
     I thanked him and as I was fumbling in my purse I glanced up. There by the beans, stood a tall man, with graceful, strong features, and he was staring at me. I had a moment of panic. I must have toilet paper on my foot or bird poo in my hair. I checked, no, everything was alright and that man was still looking. He did look familiar, charming, and familiar, was Barney Bean.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Sunday Question: Beauty in Art in the Modern World

This Sunday’s question comes from the world of art. Is there such a thing as beauty in the world of the modern? By that I mean all modern forms from design, visual art, music and to theatre, etcetera. I have seen “useful”, “practical”, and even “scary” all termed as beautiful because they are the extremes of their form, but is it true beauty? If part of art is about showing an ideal then what kind of ideal are we showing? What is perfection to the modern mind? What is beauty? If an artist could create an ideal modern art form what would it be?

Romancing the Clown

Some dreams are not meant to come true. At the age of fifteen I was obsessed with all things romantic. I had just seen “Dead Poets Society” and was convinced that poetry and romance should fill my life. Just picture a girl with enough candles to have a late night vigil, and you would see me. In this frame of mind I purchased, without even trying on, what I considered to be the perfect outfit, The Poet Shirt. It had puffy sleeves, a frilly neck and ... I was in love. Dashing home I immediately enshrined it in my room. Finally, the night of the school dance, the big moment had come. The evening was going to be perfect. I would enter the room, violins would swell, the lights would dim and all the previously unromantic adolescent boys would swoon and start speaking poetry. My plan was fool proof. Almost. I slipped the shirt on only to discover that my perfect outfit was not exactly perfect for me! The puffiness of the shirt and sleeves made my curves disappear, so that my torso resembled a droopy marshmallow, the neckline scooped so far off my neck that I would not be able to nod my head without revealing some serious cleavage, and to top it off, the frilly collar made me look like Bozo the Clown! I was not sure how such a beautiful outfit could be so wrong! Surely what was good enough for the poets would be good enough for me! So, I went to the dance in a less memorable outfit and the course of romantic literature went on without me.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Wednesday story continued

     A small tinkle cut through the cacophony. I set down my cup and quietly snuck off. Even though I was Harvey’s caregiver I rarely saw him alone. Abigail was constantly behind me re buttoning his shirt, cleaning invisible food from his mouth, or even finishing, and sometimes starting, his sentences. I liked Harvey though. He, as well as my dismal finances, kept me here, squarely under the thumb of Ms. Strenburger.
     “Elly,” his glittering eyes peered out from his shrinking features. “Water, please.” He always said please. I quickly poured him a glass and held it too his lips. It was the strangest thing but somehow, even with the water dripping down his chin, he reminded me of an elegant movie star. The man radiated charm.
     “Abigail?” he asked.
     “Discussing her project.”
     “Barney.” A strange sadness came over his face. He sighed. “Don’t be too hard on her, my dear. You don’t know...She’ll need you.”
     I grit my teeth and forced a smile. “Of course, Harvey.”
     He patted my hand then drifted back to sleep.
     “Elisabeth!” Abigail’s imperial voice severed the air from my lungs. She had that effect on people. Somehow, her small frame filled all the space in the doorway, a dazzling smile hung on her lips then quickly vanished.
     “Oh, he’s asleep again.” As though I had forced him into dream land.
     “Did he say anything?”
     “Asked for water.”
     “Uh...” I faltered, “Just water.”
     She gently brushed the hair off his face and ran her finger across his lips. I couldn’t help but watch.  How could such a crusty dragon could turn and look so sweet? I turned to leave and tripped slightly on the rug. Abigail glanced back and stood up with a start. She tucked him in fiercely. “No one does it quite like me.”