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Wednesday, September 26, 2007
So I have to buy bananas. I rarely ever buy the stanky ratbastards. But they are a fairly crucial ingredient of "Banana Coffee Cake with Chocolate Chip Streusel," the epicurious recipe that gets pretty good reviews from family and friends who've et it. And buying bananas ad hoc means that I always take my garbage out the same day as baking the cake. So another good reason. Also, the corner store by my office has a basket full of overripe bananas needing to be sold. A good deed with a bad grass seed (which is all a banana really is).
Would Mam'zelle like to tinkle in this plastic verre? Merci! Yep, doping control struck again on the weekend, up at the Olympic Oval, this time for short track speedskaters. In Canada, short track speedskating is a particularly Quebecois specialty, but even so there were a couple of Alberta, B.C., Manitoba and Ontario skaters. All of them tough as hell and very friendly. I brought out the dusty francais when meeting my skater: Bonjour, préfèrez-vous anglais ou francais? This resulted in the usual, oh, I speak English, but thanks. Nice kids, all of 'em. I watched quite a few races, and found myself getting dizzy as the skaters came around, one-two, around, Changing positions is a split-second thing and responsible for quite a few multi-skater slams into the mats. Skaters with razor-edged blades. Yikes. Short-track is still seen as the wrong-side-of-town relative of long-track speedskating, but I have to say, it's a blast to watch.
The grace of humans.I attended the funeral for my friend Karyn's mother on Saturday afternoon in the small town of Three Hills. Karyn's parents were missionaries in India for many years, returning to Canada at last in 1999. I found out on Saturday that Karyn's mother had been born in India, and had dedicated her life to service when she was 13. I think I had dedicated my life to the Bay City Rollers when I was 13. Anyway, Karyn's mother also had a passion for music, and over the two hours of her memorial, we sang and heard many of her favourite hymns. Karyn's father also sang, as did Karyn and her siblings. The church, which was the largest in Three Hills, was packed to overflowing. Not surprising, really. And though, as I always do when I'm in a church, I felt like a bit of a fraud, I have to say that I was greatly moved by the service. What a good human being Pat was.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Hallelujah. My name is Jane, and I am an introvert. And no, I'm not just reading a book because I have nobody to talk to.
Irritating: Being in the wrong (and being caught at it). Note: "Go F77K yourself" is hardly a stellar defense.
Undeserved: I dragged my crabby self off to bed last night, and was up and down for the next six hours. Then, less than two hours before the usual hideously early wakeup time, I had an intricately detailed dream of creativity, and the desire to make something new. Writing a university thesis about the seeds of fascism in "Hamlet." Searching libraries for Goebbel's autobiography. Seeing utter beauty in academic discovery. Decision: I must go to bed cranky more often.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Better Late than Never: Yeah, I'm not really one for picking up current trends, watching TV shows when they're new, seeing all the first release films. So, no surprise, it is only now that I am TOTALLY FRIGGIN' ADDICTED to "Arrested Development," at least the first season episodes I watched last night. That'd be, what, three or four years since the show began? No matter. Man, that kid, that Michael Cera, who's also in "Superbad"? That is one talented kid. I hope he's got better survival instincts than his peers.
Friday Punch in the Face goes to... Safeway! For your persistent replay of the "Every Ingredient But the Main One" one-act farce, especially the added fillip of "You've Bought that Item Here Many Times Before, But None of Us Remembers Ever Stocking It." And it's not as though I was looking for something all that rare--okay, edamame beans, maybe they're not in the Kraft Dinner echelon, but people do eat them.
All in aid of the Myrmidon "Yeah, We Sucked in the Playoffs" memorial barbecue tomorrow night. To balance the meal, which was originally Meat, Cooked, and Meat, Reheated, I am bringing a meatless salad and hors d'oeuvre (and mad auntie Barbecue Sauce). Vinnie and Schmuke are hosting. Brave of them.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Cursed. I am cursed. Sure, kept me waiting for 6 months for a DVD, but what the hell, they're usually good. So off goes another order for books and a CD. I wait. I wait. I finally check with The web page says the package was successfully delivered. Uh-oh. This means I have to deal with


Canada Post

oh dearie me.
When I've had mail troubles in the past, I've usually sorted them at my local post office. It was there that I learned how the actual mail delivery service has been contracted to another company. A company that has no problems about leaving large and oh-so-stealable packages outside my door, rather than leaving a pickup notice in my mailbox. They'll leave anything outside, even packages clearly marked "Do Not Store below Freezing" in minus-35 temperature. You can imagine my optimism about the Amazon package.
Fuggit, I'll phone Canada Post. I expect nothing but aggravating bureaucracy, but instead I chat with an extremely pleasant rep who takes all the relevant details and gives me a realistic assessment of how long I'll have to wait. Apparently I may have to sign some legal form that says I promise I'm not lying about the package not being delivered, so please,, could you give me a refund?
Amazon, my Amazon! This time it's not your fault. But when oh when will our former love return, where I order stuff and actually get it?
UPDATE! Well, well. We get home and what do we see? A delivery notice from Canada Post. It's one day later and we've just returned from the posties with our lovely Amazon box of goodness. Phew. Note to self: don't flap for at least 4 days after the package has supposedly been delivered.
I deeply love Bill Maher. From the latest Real Time:
And finally, New Rule: If you want to bring Jesus to the unbelievers, you can't be surprised if you get the same reception he did. This past weekend, the Taliban in Afghanistan finally released 19 South Korean missionaries after weeks of negotiations, a $20 million ransom and several warnings to "buy something or get out!" Now, here's a little tip for missionaries: if you want to get people to believe in your god, make sure he can do something really impressive like not let you get kidnapped! Because, Muslim extremists are generally a) Muslim, and b) extremists!

No matter how many times you ask a Jihadi, "What would Jesus do," his answer is always, "Convert."

Seven Year Bitch. Last week marked the 7th anniversary of getting this blog. Today I decided to send a bit o' cash to der Splorpmann for domain renewal. Because, y'know, this blogging thing has become a bit of a habit. As all four of my readers know.
And yesterday marked the 6th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. I remember exactly where I was when I heard the first news: in bed in the old apartment. I spent the next 2 hours and change in my living room, standing, watching CNN. I do remember not being able to sit down. I also remember the floods of retarded e-mail forwards that I received over the next couple of weeks, in particular the photo of Calgary's skyline with the WTC Photoshopped into it. That still makes my teeth clench for its unparalleled idiocy.
I was in favour of getting rid of Saddam Hussein. I think the right time for it was in 1991, during the first Gulf War. I think it might have worked in 2003 if there was a sensible replacement for Hussein already in evidence. But fuggit, to me, a "holy war" is every bit as moronic a term as a "war on terror." Let's just call it a war on al Qaeda and the Taleban, and admit that neither is possible to win without extreme bloodshed. Like all wars.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
We're in! We're...well...out. Myrmidons get bludgeoned in their first play-off game on Saturday. We were carrion by the second of five ends, but played on. McDoom and Kreg, clad in kilts, decided the only fitting consolation was to stay until well past dark, dosing themselves with various tinctures all the while. They eventually lurched into cabs and called it a night, after establishing the Myrmidons' diehard reputation.
Sunday, where we are confused by speedskating. I attended the barbecue at the Olympic Oval for the speedskating volunteers, and happily got into a very nerdy chat with the long-time officials and timekeepers. There's been a change to the false start rule that has rattled my noggin. Here's how it used to be: Skaters A and B are at the starting line and have received starting orders. The starter fires his gun, then fires again, signalling a false start. Replays deem Skater B to be guilty. The skaters line up again, the gun goes off, and bang, another false start. If it's Skater B's fault again, out he goes. If it's Skater A, then they line up again, only this time both A and B are under threat of disqualification if either false-starts again.
Now, if Skater B gets the first false start, and Skater A gets the second false start, Skater A is disqualified. So as soon as one skater gets charged with a false start, both are under sudden death disqualification. I don't get it! How does this help? Anyone?
Well, despite not having the grey matter to understand the new rule, I am thinking about training to be a speedskating official. Apparently Canada is desperate for female officials. To train, I'll probably have to rejoin the speedskating club, despite the high-ish cost. I have said many times that I am famous for taking the speed out of speedskating, but maybe I'll just stay in the beginner's group. What the hell.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Another thing that's true about us monkey brainers: Everybody thinks his/her taste in music is better than everyone else's. I've had my music choices scorned and disparaged by friends, and I must say it's quite irritating when it comes from friends I otherwise respect and adore. But then if you were to tell me you love love LOVED Chris DeBurgh, it'd be about all I could do to keep from spitting a mouthful of coffee all over you. So I am just as rude as everybody else who decides to share his/her highly refined taste.
Anyway, if you can't stand Neil Finn and you can't believe I think he's talented, well, no thanks for sharing, and I hope those intestinal parasites you must have won't kill you too quickly.
My people like music. Vinnie says the demographic at Crowded House concerts is "middle-aged women in boots." Yep, many were there, even those this middleager wore Keen sandals. Anyway, my appreciation for Neil Finn goes much deeper than the non-stop gushing of the geeky girls behind us. There's something about watching a profoundly gifted musician who also is just a damned nice guy that makes me all peaceful like. Even when shambling in step to the music, goony as ever. Thanks again, Vinnie.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
U.K. establishes air superiority over El Condo Non Grande: Today's apparently the last day that six Tornado GR4 fighter jets will be zipping through Calgary skies, particularly the bit that is directly over my condo. Now, I admit to absolutely loving jets of all kinds, and have been fascinated by the occasional close formation flying of two or three of the Tornadoes. But holy sweet flying frack are those things loud. These training flights are getting pilots ready for Afghanistan, so I just want to warn any condo-dwelling Afghanis out there not to set their coffee cups too close to the edge of the table under which is a fast-asleep idiot dog. 'Cause when those jets come over, the cups will go flying, too.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Ridiculous fun. That is what I and the nutty mutts had on Sunday. We scooted up to Jean and Tyke's place, arriving to see Jean and Tyke in the middle of clearing a cross-country driving course for their various horses. Rather than continue on with fairly back-breaking work, Jean decided she and I should go riding, which we did for the next couple of hours. I pledged that my current riding nerves are too boring to be allowed to continue, and so I gave Honey her head and galloped along with Jean, forcing myself to sit up straight, sit up straight, that's right. A much better time was had by horse and Jane as a result. The day ended with a mighty barbecuing of ribs, a visit with Jean's brother and dad, and a riotous barrel race with cart and horse. Jean's miniature horse, Chester, to be precise. That little bugger can really move, and responds pretty much to voice commands (except "Slow Down," which he was more or less deaf to). Then we resumed sitting around the campfire, listening to Hank Williams Sr. and telling terrible jokes. Wonderful.
The next day the dogs were so completely thrashed that they kept to a walk each time we went out, and as soon as we came back home, they'd collapse, snoring before their heads hit the rug. I tried to knit an Andean peasant hat, and woe betide the Andean peasant who has to jam this thing on his head.
Sting-a-ling-a-ding-dong. Yep, honey harvest time. For two hours this afternoon I was up on the office roof with Rudy, helping collect about 200 pounds of honeycomb. I was wearing the veil and gauntlets, but two really determined bees still managed to sting me on the arm and the stomach. Rudy's going to winter the bees out at his farm in Central Alberta, so another day of hive moving is on the books. But oh! the honey! Honey abounds! I can't wait.