Thursday, September 29, 2005

How you uh, how you comin' on that novel you're working on? Huh?

The inimitable Stewie from the Family Guy:

How you uh, how you comin' on that novel you're working on? Huh? Gotta a big, uh, big stack of papers there? Gotta, gotta nice little story you're working on there? Your big novel you've been working on for 3 years? Huh? Gotta, gotta compelling protaganist? Yeah? Gotta obstacle for him to overcome? Huh? Gotta story brewing there? Working on, working on that for quite some time? Huh? (voice getting higher pitched) Yea, talking about that 3 years ago. Been working on that the whole time? Nice little narrative? Beginning, middle, and end? Some friends become enemies, some enemies become friends? At the end your main character is richer from the experience? Yeah? Yeah? (voice returns to normal) No, no, you deserve some time off.

Monday, September 26, 2005

"I think Little Richard is creepy as hell" -- hey, me too!

Check out Post Secret. It's delightful, disturbing, and always interesting. Updated every Sunday.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

"not only will hurricane victims be taken care of, they'll all get a pony and some whipped cream"

From Bob The Angry Flower (a favourite!):

Kurt Vonnegut on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart:

Vonnegut: I want to say something in defense of the president. He is not the dumbest man at the White House. The Secretary of Defense is the dumbest man in the White House. He is so dumb he thought he could take over a country of 25 million people, Muslims, and their oil, with 200,000 American soldiers who didn't even know how to say "Hello" in Arabic... And we're supposed to be giving them democracy. Well, democracy means that after a hundred years you have to give up your slaves. And after a hundred and fifty years, you have to let your women vote. And during the early period all kinds of genocide and ethnic cleansing are quite all right. So that's what we've got over there.

Stewart: It's sad to see you lose your edge.

Monday, September 19, 2005

you can't win this one

I did the Terry Fox Run yesterday.

When I was eight years old and Terry Fox was running, it was the first time I really learned about and started to understand cancer.

Even though were weren't religious, I knew about praying and had some idea of how it was done. Every night without my parents knowing I would get on my knees next to my bed or lie there tucked in and fervently pray to God that the cancer wouldn't kill him. When Terry Fox died anyway, I felt like I understood cancer better than God.

(Yes, add me to the list of trillions who have been sorely disappointed by not getting what they prayed for. "Like, hellooooo, God? Remember me and all the things I want? No? Fine! What are you good for anyway besides creating sunsets and babies and chocolate and arctic flowers and the tide and belly laughs? I'm outta here!") (But against all that there's war and stupid fights and cancer and land mines and "the incredibly flawed design of the human knee which proves that God cannot exist" according to a friend of mine. But I digress.)

Anyway, my not-so-secret thought when read that $350 million for cancer research has been raised in Terry Fox's name and I see all these people out for the run remembering lost ones, running or walking for cancer survivors and people battling cancer now, it strikes this wistful ambivalent agnostic that maybe God did have a plan of some kind.

The whole atmosphere of the run is different from other athletic events. There are no timers or bibs. You can run with the mob or on your own. You can drop by sometime during the hours it's on with any size donation, without having registered, and just go do it, or you can spend weeks before collecting money and make a big fundraising project out of it. Without a clear goal other than doing what you can and what you like (there are no clock-timed winners in the run), it makes it a very personal and a very public thing all at once. You can think about people you miss and just how lucky you are to be outside, or daydream, or chat with strangers as you make your way along as far of the route as you feel comfortable doing. It's wonderful.

Friday, September 09, 2005

"how he might, um, entertain himself"

Antonia Zerbisias has a very excellent blog that my friend The Dude pointed out to me today. I'll be reading it regularly, and have added a link on the right. Here's a good entry. And it links to this other good blog entry, entitled "Questions for Dick".

Thursday, September 08, 2005

what was it mother used to say?

I just did a search for this book title: "Open Kimono" by Seymour Hare... and to my dismay it seems to be a joke I share with prank-joke shopping sites and maybe a few adult entertainment pages. You know how a joke depends on context? Well sitting around giggling with my sister and my mom, it's really funny. Accidentally discovering it's on a triple-x site, it's not really so funny.

I was also depressed to learn not long ago that calling someone a "sucker" is short for something much ruder, something which, turns out, is a homophobic slur. I always thought it meant more like "you're a baby" (and therefore, um, a loser of some kind, because you know how babies are losers). In my mind it vaguely conjured up an image of a lollipop, and how someone who was losing out would need the soothing power of candy to suck on. I'm not kidding.

While I'm at it, exposing my ignorance/innocence, I also did my first tequila shots the other night. In my early thirties. No one believed me, they thought I was trying to pull off some deadpan ironic joke.

Actually, now that I think about it, I may have done one when I was 19, but it was so long ago, I can't actually remember if I did one, or if it was just that some of the people I was with did them. Point is, either it was my first time, or it had been so long, I didn't even know what order to do the salt and the lemon.

Speaking of salt, this Kids in the Hall sketch will never stop being funny, even if it winds up on a porn site:

Man at a conference, his contact lenses are bothering him, he rubs his eyes. He suddenly spots the salt shaker on the table. He tries to remember what his mother used to say... a wobbly memory bubble appears over his head and we see/hear his mother saying in a soothing voice "Never put salt in your eyes... NEVER put salt in your eyes... put salt in your eyes... ALWAYS put salt in your eyes..." Satisfied that he's remembered it correctly, he picks up the shaker and pours salt in his eyes, and falls to the ground screaming.

You tell me: do transcripts kill jokes?

I used to have a WAV file of the "salt in your eyes" sketch. If I could find it I'd post it or link to it. I listened to it whenever my old psycho boss (a few jobs ago) gave me something extremely pointless to do, or signed me up for a ridiculous deadline without consulting me on the resources required. Always put salt in your eyes.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Canadian billet offered

Is there any way I can just have a family or two from New Orleans come and stay with me? I would feed them good food and they could have as much water as they want to drink. I would even give them a little bit of tasty bourbon if they so wished; hell, anything they want.

Open letter to people of New Orleans and the rest of the devastated Gulf coast area:

I have a nice house with a garden and you could just come and sit a while, maybe go for a walk under the green trees and try to take your mind of your troubles. Help yourself to anything in the fridge, I will try to keep it stocked with stuff you like. Also, let's rent some movies, ones that make you laugh. Anything you need.

This may sound dorky and trite but I mean it with all my heart.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

we are distressed

Maybe I wasn't paying perfect attention, but I thought Paul Martin's message of support to the US was a bit slow and understated. I suppose when terrible things happen to rich neighbours we hold back a bit with the super-mega financial donations, but surely the words of condolences could have been sooner coming and broadcast a little louder. I know Canadians are helping and we are sending assistance in many forms, but it's nowhere near the big post-tsunami aid dollars, I suppose understandably given it is a different scope? The US is supposed to have the infrastructure and resources to deal with a disaster; Sri Lanka does not.

Still, it's impossible to not do anything. There is no way to measure human misery. It all breaks your heart. It all demands as generous a response as we can muster.

I suppose the US is arguably a bit stretched on the military front. I read that they are only sending 100 military guards to the Superdome in New Orleans to help manage the 25 000 people (some of whom are evacuated inmates from local prisons) stranded there in desperate conditions. The guy coordinating the evacuation reportedly said that 100 was nowhere near enough to do the job.

There's still chaos in most of Iraq and civilians there aren't feeling remotely safe yet, but I would hope that sending a few troops to help out fellow countrymen -- where there is no significant cultural, ideological, economic, linguistic or political difference to contend with -- and where they would be unquestioningly welcome by the majority of people -- would be a little more successful.

On top of that, I am wondering where the big donations are from America's wealthiest. When are the culturally ubiquitous Hiltons and Trumps, for example, going to pony up some dough?

Maybe they already have, but have done it discreetly, anonymously, (in the spirit of true philanthropy, giving generously without drawing attention or accolades to oneself). But it's hard to believe that these spotlight-hogging self-promoting folks would suddenly modify their style now and be so humble.

Many of the people who lost everything were already below the poverty line, and living on drained swampland, the cheapest places to build and live. Maybe Martha is too busy rebuilding her post-prison empire and redecorating the ranch to send money to buy more cots for the gym where tens of thousands of refugees will be living for the next few months?

If you want to make a donation, try Canada Helps. It's fast and easy.