Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Snow Makes Me Shovel (My Way Out of Snowbanks

Hi there all.
I've decided to enter another contest. I know, I know, I'm just a tad obsessive. Hey, you never know, perhaps one day I could win a couch, or unlimited toothbrushes, I'm not picky. This one looks like fun. I've been challenged to rewrite the words to Carole King's "You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman." Here's my version:

Lookin’ out at the falling snow,
I should be so inspired.
Many places have no where to go,
to ski, or sled, or buy snow tires.
But lately I’m so droopy,
can’t open up my eyes,
I just wish I didn’t live where snow flies.

‘Cause snow makes me shovel,
Snow makes me shovel,
snow makes me shovel my way out of snowbanks.

Driving home just the other day,
Dreaming of sweet Tahiti.
Passed a bus going the other way,
Made me skid and lose my peepee.
And now I sit and wonder,
how life is so unkind,
I’ll have to shovel with pee frozen to my behind!

‘Cause snow makes me shovel,
Snow makes me shovel,
snow makes me shovel my way out of snowbanks.

And now you’d think I’d be content at home,
sittin’ by a roarin’ fire,
sipping coca, talking on the phone,
while the snow drifts down ever higher.
But I can hear a rumbling,
see a blinking blue light,
Guess what I’ll be doing up before first light?

‘Cause snow makes me shovel,
Snow makes me shovel,
snow makes me shovel my way out of snowbanks.

If you like it and want to vote for me or even if you just want to rate the other entries go to:

or just click on the title of this post above for a direct link.

Next click on Nov.21 Song and vote for me!

It makes me feel so much better about the snow.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Funniest Ad of the Year?

Hey all,
Just a quick post while I adjust my bunny legs. I had them installed to keep up with the kiddies. Don't ask.

I was taking a brief search around the net and I found this:

Now, in my humble opinion, none of them are very funny. Yet, they are all competing in the "funniest ad of the year" category. So go ahead, peruse and tell me what you think. The Hydro Energy Train is the most funny ... if you can stop being scared of the train long enough to laugh. But perhaps that's just the mood I'm in.

Why Bunny legs? Alright, alright. Suffice it to say that one of them, who shall remain nameless, but was born as a twin and has always been, oh, a little adventuresome, is climbing ... all over. Mt.Vesuvius here we come! Yesterday I found her climbing over the back of her chair, standing on top of the piano bench, and stuffed inside the storage compartment of a bench (she had help for that one!) Not only that, but she locked herself in a dark room yesterday for about five minutes while I searched frantically for something to pop the lock. When she was finally released ... she was laughing. Yes, that's right. Laughing. She's only two years old folks. I should call Richard Branson and book her apprenticeship.
Bunny legs. See what I mean?

Monday, October 22, 2007

And now, for something completely different!

I'm directing "The Pirates of Penzance" by Gilbert and Sullivan for our local symphony this year. As I've been working my way through the various scenes and looking at what the history books say a few interesting things have occurred to me:

1. Gilbert is pretty funny. (Seeing as it is a comedy it should be an obvious conclusion, but have any of you seen an actual production?)
2.Late Victorians were modern day Hippies ... without the head bands.
3. Monty Python's "Brave Sir Robin" and "When the Foreman Bears His Steel (Tarantara, Tarantara)" are essentially the same song. Different words of course. But the same. I'm not sure even I can follow that.

Interesting. I never expected that I would reach those conclusions (especially the hippie part, given the corsets that was a real shocker), but now that I have they really fit. We like to think of the Victorians as terribly repressed and horribly backward but a lot of what we currently hold dear, our love of technology, our reverence for science, our championing of the underdog, equality for all, and even our concepts of love, rebellion and peace all come from that period. Talk about weird. Now I'll have to rethink everything I thought I knew about everything I thought I knew before.

Thanks a lot. "I say Nee! In your general direction", Gilbert. I know you'd appreciate it.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Attack of the Lucious Linens

Where are those people who get all their moving boxes unpacked in a week? You know who I’m talking about. You’ve probably heard of them too. I want their number. I’m even willing to pay commission.

It has been six years since we moved in, and while we have unpacked most of our boxes I am still putting pictures up on the wall and moving clumps of linen, nicknacks and “things I can’t let go” around the house. Sad, I know, but true. It’s like a grand scavenger hunt every time someone comes to visit. Oh, I’ve read all those articles on home organization. I’ve heard about deep storage. I’ve even clipped a story about a family who moved into their new home bearing one box of personal items each. That’s right. One box, folks. Call it a personal goal, if you will. Or a far of dream if you are more of a realist.

How on earth did all the nick nacks and linen get out of control? Why am I having so much trouble? They likely spend far too much time unsupervised. You know what I mean.

I would give up but I am afraid the whole mess will take over. It is only a matter of time before the linen and nicknacks team up with the take home school papers and then they will rule the world! I just can’t let that happen. True, it’s a small sacrifice but I like to do my part for human kind.

So, if you happen to run into any expert unpackers, super organizers or just someone with a lot of free time, feel free to send them my way. You never know, the safety of the world could be at stake.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Death of a Mime

If a mime falls on his death bed does anyone hear? I know most people can't stand mimes. After all, they usually stand on a street corner,performing inane things and unable to give proper directions! Those people also never saw Marcel Marceau perform. The man was truly amazing. He was able, through simple motion, to express the infinite. I had the pleasure of watching him on video in one of my acting classes. There we all were, struggling to look like we were drinking out of a mimed cup, with most of us just looking like we were chewing our fists. So many observations were needed. What is the right weight of the "cup"? How big? What was in it? Meanwhile Marcel the master of the craft was able to show the range of humanity, from birth to death, in a matter of ten minutes, all clearly. I got the feeling that he could give excellent directions too, if necessary. We were lucky to have one of his students teaching our class. He was truly amazing. The sheer athletic prowess was something to behold and the very fact that Marcel Marceau, in his twilight years, could continue to do moves that a twenty year old would weep from, was enough to endow him with super status!
At any rate, the artistic world has lost a great leader and mentor. Farewell sweet prince.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Favorite Actors and Actresses: Angelina Jolie

What? I can hear you say. Yes, it is true. I think she's great. sigh. I was so prepared to not like her. After all she looks as though she is just another young, pretty thing who does enough dangerous stuff that she manages to stay in the spot light. Admittedly with some pretty strange additions to that little formula. Clearly, she is not. Anyone who can take some of the vacuous scripts that she has been given and find nuance deserves to get an academy award. I'll admit she's been in a few decent movies too. Watch her closely, she never stops acting in the movies, she reacts to what the other actors are saying and finds detail and emotion in the smallest moments. Personally I would like to see her try something that would actually showcase her talents so that everyone could see it, but likely she will just keep doing more of the same. She's good, that's all I've got to say.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Favorite Actors and Actresses: Helena Bonham Carter

Ok, ok. I realise that this is another English actor, but I can't help it. She may be a little quirky but when she is on her game I really enjoy watching her. I first saw her during high school in the movie Lady Jane ... which for a very long time was my absolute favorite movie. Room with a View was next, a movie which I still do not understand but all the same is enjoyable (figure that one out), Howard's End was much better as the script gave her some interesting moments to play and finally Mel Gibson's Hamlet ... which she was brilliant in. She captured Ophelia in a way that I had never seen before and, I believe, her performance comes as close as it could to the truth of the matter. I have seen many of her later movies but, call it adolescent glow, these ones still reign in my heart.

Here's the link:

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Favorite Actors and Actresses: Ben Kingsley

I've been meaning to put up a post for a while. Finally, I've come up with a compromise ... instead of revealing my already addled brain and creating something that makes no sense whatsoever ... bunions ... I will just let you know some of my favorite actors and actresses. First of all Ben Kingsley:
I first came to appreciate him in theatre school. He made a stellar performance in "Playing Shakespeare" from the BBC television program. A number of the other male actors huffed and puffed their lines, but when he spoke I felt as though everything was very clear. It was strange, I didn't feel as though he was speaking Elizabethan English, but simply communicating the lines, the emotion, the character. It was really something. Sadly, not many of his movies have demonstrated his full artistry, however I really enjoy watching him just the same.

Here's a link for his movies, TV appearances and bio:

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Under the Eaves

Here is a short poem I wrote the other day. I hope you enjoy it:

Under the Eaves

If I sit long enough
I can hear
the rain dance on a thousand rooftops,
splish in fierce torrents under passing cars,
drip, a high ping from an eave to the ground.
And to this wild concert of sound
the tin pitched gush of the drainpipe,
the low murmer of the gutter,
I add my breath in soft circles
passing the sweet tang
of rain blessed air
into my world.

All is very quiet, All is still.
For who would be out here?
Watching the earth drink?
The heavens open?
You'd get soaked.

Ah, perhaps there is memory yet to be guided by
Little ears,
little toes,
little eyes
and I know
if we sit long enough
Magic still happens.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Cara Cleaner and the Forty Thieves

It's a sad comment on the state of our house lately ... well, ok, maybe not just lately. Alright, since I was old enough to fold laundry and shut a drawer ... Except for a brief period in University, when, my room was not only clean, but sported different phases, including pink (I mean entirely pink), blue and white and the infamous twinkie light from the ceiling phase. It was relatively clean, and relatively tidy, but then, I only had one room.

Anyway, as I was saying, sad comment. Thursday was the last day of school for my oldest and so Friday I celebrated by cleaning the counters of any and all paper. I don't know about you but it feels like the school sends home half a boreal forest full of paper every year, each one inscribed with a little love note, precious drawing, or ominous "important message" so that I am either too cutified or terrified to throw most of it out. It would be fine if I had a whole other house to load the paper into or even some sort of paper station that would sort, toss and properly archive each treeling as it arrived, but the international brain bank has yet to come up with a solution for me. As it is, my counter space has been rapidly eaten up by paper. Report card replies and mortgage forms conveniently lay by the coffee maker, stacks of magazines in the bread box, lovely and generous offers to "cruise the Bahamas" and "win one of five $1,000,000,000 homes" as well as a few dozen bills that I need to pay sit stacked in the middle of the table with the centerpiece, candle and all, perched on top so they won't run away, and five or six books are strewn around just for good measure. I knew it was getting bad when I couldn't find a spot to put my spoon down and had to balance it in my teeth!

So, getting back to the story at hand, Friday I cleaned. Wow, it looked good. I felt like a pioneer, clearing the brush off the last twenty acres. The counter top was mine, all mine. I could lay out a recipe book, take out a bowl, or make a five course meal! Well ... at least, I could open a can of fruit without sticking a "return to the principle" form permanently to the counter. In my frenzy I even cleaned the kitchen floor. After supper we all went out for a drive. When we arrived home my son looked into the kitchen with big round eyes. Ah, I thought, he must be admiring mama's work.

There was a curious glint in his eyes. "Wow," he said, "did someone break into our house?"

"What?" I said, quickly scanning the room behind him to see if there was anything missing. There wasn't. "No."

He looked amazed,"Well, someone must have come in and cleaned it." his eyes locked mine seriously.

Now, this would have been a good moment to teach my son about the fine art of domestic engineering, and a prime time to lecture him on the principles of appreciation and observance. Instead, I just sent him into the kitchen.

"Take a look," I said, "if you find them, give me their number."

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Englehart Derailment

I recently started doing some editing and writing for a company newsletter up here. I thought you might be interested in this story about some pretty heroic people. Who knew that civilians could also work as a first response team? Here it is:
Derailment Heroes

It could have been a disaster. A few months ago, terrifying pictures flashed across our TV screen and appeared on our front pages. A spill of sulphuric acid had occurred when an Ontario Northland train had jumped its tracks. The nation gasped. Englehart’s townspeople had been warned not to drink the water, or even use it for their livestock.

Out of the focus of the camera lenses, a brave and determined team from our site worked a marathon schedule in difficult conditions in order to make things right. “When there is a spill of our product in Canada, the closest site sends a team out right away,” says Perry Harvey, head of our team members during the cleanup. “It’s part of Xstrata’s ‘Responsible Care’ program. When a spill occurs, we are the first ones on site.” Timmins was given the call and leapt into action. Two key members of the HSMAT team were sent right away to assess the damage and begin planning, while the remaining members prepared to send eight more to battle the spill. When the team arrived, they discovered that fifteen S.A. tank rail cars, and seven box cars of zinc and copper, all our products, as well as sixteen other cars had derailed. A daunting 1.78 million pounds of acid needed to be transferred or otherwise dealt with, but this was no easy task as the terrain and the weather conditions were dangerous. The train had jumped the tracks far into the bush. If any member of the team were to become injured, it would take at least twenty minutes to get to where the ambulance was stationed. Since the acid had flowed into the Blanche River there was no potable water on site to maintain the emergency showers which would have to be used in case someone became contaminated. There were no roads into the area so all tools and supplies would have to be carefully planned. The team and their tools would need to be shipped down the rail directly to the site, and since the weather had fluctuated that weekend, the slope down to the river was treacherous.

Our team took it all in stride. Working with the utmost concern for safety and in extreme caution, they began by hosing down the area to dilute the acid so that the team could work on it. They also built safe working platforms and made a ramp and ladder to improve the footing on the slope. They were soon supplemented by the Sudbury crew who worked with them in gruelling twelve hour shifts, twenty four hours a day. Using a special pump to take the acid out of the overturned cars and into new cars, they laboured to save the product, and clean the area, all the while avoiding contamination. A few times they needed to cut new holes in the overturned tanks to retrieve the fluid. They also covered the acid laced ground with soda ash in order to neutralize it. The ash turned the acid into harmless water, heat, and carbon dioxide. Meetings took place every morning and evening to assess the progress.

It took six full days of painstaking work before the site could be declared clean and ready for the next set of workers to come in. Grateful Englehart citizens opened their stores and restaurants early and kept them open late every day just so they could serve these tired workers.
In the end our team had done an amazing job. They had transferred eleven tank cars of acid in rough terrain and poor weather conditions with no injuries and no exposures. The news was right, it could have been a disaster, but thanks in part to the work of our very own HSMAT team it was simply a job well done.

Thanks in acknowledgements section to:
Perry Harvey and Tim Miller for interview

Monday, June 25, 2007

Let's Go High Tech

Ah, the age of technology. Basking in the golden glow of the afternoon sun, eating a gourmet five course meal re hydrated moments before by my robot servant, sighing deeply as "work minute" arrives and I will have to push a button.

Ha! My robot appears to be late. My printer died last week. It was having communication problems with my hard drive and, instead of opting for therapy, it decided to crash and burn. Though not before printing off a ream of half of garble containing the mysterious message to wa---ch you-- bac---k.

The modern dream is hardly a reality. Hands up those of you who work longer than nine to five and spend half that time erasing email, printing copies of memos and rewriting important documents that disappeared in a "crash". You know what I'm talking about. So, now, I am attempting to get my new, oh so much faster printer to "talk" to my computer. Make friends, be buddy, buddy, at least exchange a curt "hello". No dice.

"I don't really need you," I threaten, "Shakespeare wrote lots of plays, really good ones, and all he had was parchment and a quill. If you won't cooperate I'm sure they still sell pencils at Staples."

Ominous silence.

The machines mock me. Ah, yes, there may be a day far, far off in the future where man and machine will live together in harmony, it working, me sipping a sweet soda, but not today. Today, they are in therapy.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Open Sesame!

Yes, as promised I am jotting down another crazy adventure here in diaper land. They can completely undress, that's right, snaps, buttons, velcro, even clips are not a problem for these girls. We often find them first thing in the morning looking like they are auditioning for the role of Pat Benatar, one arm out of their shirt and hair flying in all directions. And yes, we have even found them minus their diapers.

The first such morning I awoke to hear my husband shouting, "Oh, no you don't" Which was quickly followed by a "Get in here!" and a "This is the grossest thing I have ever seen in my life!" Our beloved daughter had not only discovered the wonders of taking her diaper off, she was enchanted by what was in her diaper!

The day then proceeded as follows:
"Don't take your pants off!" "Oh, no. Where's your diaper young lady?" Get out of that ... Where are your pants?" "Just leave them on!" "How is it possible to be tied to a chair and still get your pants off?"

Finally, after chasing our daughter around the house like an escaped convict, and watching me nearly fall over from exhaustion, my husband did the only sane thing possible at that moment. He threatened her. "Keep those pants on or we're going to use duct tape!"

I really didn't believe him, but the next time I went by the change table there he was placing the the bedtime diaper on our little wriggler, duct tape in hand.

"There," he said with delight as the silver tape gleamed in the glow of the setting sun, "you'll never get out of that!"

She was suspiciously quiet.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Toddlers 'R Us

They can chew through anything.
Yes, if you get low enough to the ground they may even eat you alive.
It's true. Don't let their cute little smiles lull you into false security.

Even so, I press on. This morning, serenaded by the tuneful calls of "Mommy, bottle!" I rose, traipsed out to the kitchen and filled two bottles for the hungry little nippers who were now so sweetly jumping up and down in their cribs. Now, as I gently explained to them the other day they are "so close to losing your bottles, so help me!" so keep that in mind for the following story...

An ordinary baby, when presented with a bottle after a long and hungry night would simply lie down and sip the sweet nectar, not these ladies. I reentered the room to find the first of the ladies merrily dumping said bottle on the wood floor. Not to be outdone by her sister the second of the ladies took a slurp of milk and promptly spit it on her bed sheets. "No,no, no!" I wailed, grabbing the bottles and attempting to stem the tide of flowing milk, which, had there been honey available, would have resembled Canaan, the land flowing with milk and well... you know. "This, ladies, is not what we do with our bottles."

Now. Clearly, these babies are smarter than they look. They may be all googly eyed and chubby cheeked, but fools they are not. "Bottle." said the first opening and shutting her pudgy little fist. "Bottle?" Said the second batting her cute little eyes.

"No way" I said,"I know what's going on. I know what you're going to do with it." A statement that was greeted with piteous wails all around.

"What's going on," My husband asked reaching toward the crib, "have you given them their bottles?"

"Not too close," I whispered, "they'll eat you alive."

It's true, they will.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Guilty, Guilty, Guilty

Yes, it is me. I have finally succumbed to the mountain of guilt that has been building since January. Yes, I have been peeking in every once and a while, watching my blog slowly die from neglect ... much like my cactus in university ... a plant that "they" said no one could kill. Ha, I say, Ha! While I realise that no one will probably read this post, still it alleviates a little of the guilt, and at the same time makes me laugh. Did anyone else notice how weird those google ads were getting? Most of the time the ads are pure entertainment value. Who knew that a post on Parental Olympics would bring up an ad about Hair Replacement? Just how did the computer figure out that one? A little scary. However, the with the last post being about smelly toots it should have been no surprise to see ad after ad of "female" problems. I don't even want to know. So here I am forced into action! I could not see my blog go down in a blanket of shame! So I will post again ....

I wonder, this time will I have the chutzpa to continue posting? Will I wait until the google ads are so bizarre that I am yet again forced into evasive action? Was Superman Returns really that bad of a movie or am I just bitter? After all, his hair stays in place while flying for crying out loud!
Stay tuned for further forays into the posting universe, where these and I am sure far less relevant questions will be asked and probably answered, irreverently of course ....

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Stupid Fairy

Many years ago I was visited by a fairy. “The man you will marry,” she said, “will be kind and loving, handsome and smart. He will help with the children, send you flowers, and not watch football all day. He will support your work, return movies before late fees, and lie convincingly about your weight.”

“Wow,” I said, “this sounds really great. But you’re a fairy so I’m sure there has to be a catch.”

“Just a small one,” she replied with a twinkle in her eye, “every night, after you have crawled into bed, just as you are saying a prayer of thankfulness for the man that God has given to you, you will be surrounded by the most hideous stench known to man.”

“Oh,” I said, “Just a smell.”

“No, no, a stench dear, stench.”

I shrugged, “Just for a minute, right?”

The twinkle turned into a gleam of delight, “No, no, dear . . . all night.”

“Well,” I said cheerfully, for my glass was half full, “How bad could it be?”

Now I know.

Every night the routine is the same. And every night I am the unwitting dupe at the scene of the crime. Yes, it’s true, all nights begin as fresh and clean as the last, for, as I have said, my glass is half full. The lights go out, I cuddle into my warm covers, and just as I lean over to kiss the man of my dreams a foul stench fills the air.

“Ugh! That’s awful!” I exclaim.

“What?” He asks innocently as though he could not imagine what was causing me such distress.

“What do you mean, what?” My rising indignation is only exceeded by my anger. In my mind, he who dealt it should therefore have smelt it.

Now he’s laughing. I cannot imagine what about this scene is so funny. Some light must be going on in an uncharted region of his male brain . . . likely the same part that watches W.W.F. in its underwear.

“It is bad, isn’t it?” Tears of joy are streaming down his cheeks. I know this, even in the dark because I can hear him laughing and wiping his nose.

This I just don’t understand, I am not having fun. I am writhing, trying desperately to put some distance between myself and the unseen cloud descending on my head. He, on the other hand, has not laughed this hard since someone invented pretend snot. We are breathing the same air, lying in, basically the same spot and yet what for me is a runner up for the elephant dung pile appears to be the source of my husband’s pride and joy. I did ask him, once, how he could be so pleased with himself. “I made it.” He said, with a face so full of childlike glee it was hard to be angry. But I was.

“Puleeze!” I said, “make a dresser or an armoire or a spoon rest. Share that with me I will gush with delight. Why, oh why, can you not use the bathroom? You were just there. We have a fan, an exhaust fan! It’s state of the art! Just a short trip down the hall and we could all sleep peacefully and dream of scented flower meadows. But no, instead you wait until there is no escape. I’m under the covers, my slippers are off, the floor is cold and I’m almost asleep. That’s right, sleep, because this is the bedroom! Why do you do it? Why? Why? Why?”

“I’m comfortable.” He says and rolls over, a smile on his face as he drifts into dreamland.

Stupid fairy.