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Friday, February 29, 2008
My Buddhist name is Great Teacher Light All Seal. What's yours?
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
82 words


Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Oooh, Danyon, you lucky bugger. My favourite mad comedy troupe, Spymonkey, is coming back to Canada. But are they coming to Calgary, the city that knows and loves them? Hell naw. They're going to be at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, though, from March 5-14, aren't they? And then back overseas for a month-plus engagement in the Netherlands. Anyway, get a ticket, Danyon. You owe it to your synapses. And I hope my seething envy sweetens your enjoyment.
Insane Skin Chronicles. Turns out my hide is peevish because I am middle-aged. The burning/blistering effect has been puzzling the dermatologists, but I have things in common with the very small group of like complainants: I'm white, female, and in my forties. So anyway: anti-inflammatories are still recommended since they get the nerve endings to keep it down, even if only temporarily. Other experimental treatments include capsaicin (peppers! yum!), massage, and some doodah called "gabapentin," but nothing really works yet. Anyway, it's not an allergy, although I should really stay away from sunlight, temperature extremes, perfumes and scratching. Pretty luxurious to have only this to complain about, healthwise.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Tough night. My Oscar summary is here. The Best Actress category was the toughest in recent memory, but I'm still glad Marion Cotillard won. Jon Stewart, in a word: class. The Best Song Oscar actually, finally, went to the best song. I cannot count: I thought I was right on 12 picks, but in fact it was 13. The Competitive Death Clapping segment: mercifully short, probably because so many agents and studio execs were featured, evoking a "Huh?" response from most of us. Wow factor: the 98-year-old Robert Boyle's acceptance speech for the honorary Oscar for his art direction work.
But here's my suggestion for a better show: skid the flashbacks and give each award recipient a turn at the mike. Sheesh.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
In which we are justified, modestly so. Vinnie La Vin has been campaigning hard to get me to try downhill skiing. After all, she reasons, I have lived only an hour away from the Canadian Rockies for over 23 years, gravity is on my side, and there are such things as bunny hills. I have used the only two arguments I have: skiing costs a lot of money that I can't really spare, and no one ever gets just a little bit hurt when they ski and fall. And we know I would be skiing and falling. Vinnie points out that she is the original Safety Chicken, and sticks to the gentle slopes, which she would be pleased to ski most safely with me. I begin to hum-haw to myself.
On the long weekend, Vinnie skied herself into three titanium posts reattaching parts of her tibia to each other. She insists she was "over-skiing" her abilities. Yeah: you've been skiing most of your life and this is what happens to you. No skiing for Janey. Repeat: no skiing. And get them thar bones knitted together soon, Vin.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Pleonasm du jour: "To learn more about how [Product] improves your [business]..." As always, the Jane Flag goes up. "Too many words," I scrawl politely on the paper, "s/be either 'To learn how Product improves your biz," or 'To learn more about Product and how it improves your biz'--or possibly 'Learn how Product improves your biz..."
Boring outcome du jour: "Stet." I'm right, and I lose again.
Leukocytically speaking, I RULE. It may have been Family Day in my province yesterday, but that didn't include the platelet-siphoning staff at Canadian Blood Services. Apparently, if I donate platelets four times between Feb. 1 and Apr. 1, I get an umbrella. I lose umbrellas like springtime cats lose hair, so yeah, I'm up for the challenge. The clinic has a bunch of spiffy new leukopheresis (platelet-sucking) machines, which kept me fascinated during the donation. Occasionally the nurses and technician would check on me, making sure all was okay, then: "Wow. Guys, c'mere and look at this platelet band." One nurse was peering intently into the collection chamber. The others gathered around. "Holy cow. I've never seen one that big." "She's going to be done in, like, 35 minutes." "Really? That's a record."
I've always had a high platelet count, something I attribute to divine protection for the accident-prone, so that I heal quickly. But apparently I topped the charts yesterday. I overheard one of the nurses wondering whether she should consult with a doctor as to my high count. Why on earth....oh....high white blood cell count, Farries....or should I say, LEUKEMIA? No, no. NO. You panic junkie, you. Get a grip.
So, yeah: anyone out there need platelets? You know who to call.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Beel is back, and lo, I steal from him. That'd be Bill Barol, one of the wittiest writers and bloggers out there. Today he posted this Martin Scorsese gem:
Iz brillyunt.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Pointless to rant. Sometimes, in creative studio life, we run up against the following:
  • "It may be wrong, but we printed it that way the last three times, so..."
  • "I don't care if it's grammatically correct, it sounds wrong. I'd say it the other way."
Yes, well...that is why you are an overpaid account exec., and I am the modestly waged Grammar Bitch. Incidentally, here's the offending item: "A limited number of event tickets IS available." It was written by another Karo writer, too, but with the all-too-common mistake: "A limited number of event tickets ARE available." Nope, wrong. Sentence subject is "a number." It's singular, so it demands the singular verb conjugation, "is." If you insist on having the "are" conjugation, you will have to change the sentence to "Limited event tickets are available" [although what the "limited event" is, I can't say], or "Event tickets are available, but limited..."
...gott in himmel, Fran Lebowitz was right. I'm going to be under arrest for being boring. Granted, she said that about poets who are still alive, but I think it applies to grammar-obsessed bloggers, too.
Friday, February 08, 2008
Better than I hoped: I knew I was going to like "Rescue Me," the TV show about New York firemen, starring and occasionally cowritten by Denis Leary, because I am a huge Denis Leary fan. What I didn't expect was to brim over a couple of times. Sometimes the show blatantly goes for the sentimental rabbit punch, but it's the quieter stuff that gave me "sweaty eyeballs," as Jemaine and Bret (Flight of the Conchords) might say.
Every bit as brilliant as ever: "Elizabeth R," with Glenda Jackson as Her Maj.
When the mercury drops, the suckbutts stay home. Calgarians are being forced to wear real winter clothes today, a development which flusters so many of them that the incidence of work-skiving goes astronomic. And I bet the people who promised so very, very faithfully to help out at the community seminar tomorrow have some sort of disastrous occurrence which prevents their attendance (and phoned excuse).
Thought for the last 90-ish seconds in the deserted office: if you really wanted this outcome, you'd make the effort. If you're not going to make the effort, you've made your decision, whether you choose to acknowledge it or not.
Your Majesty is like a stream of speedskater's pi--er, I merely meant, your Majesty, that you shine bright gold when everything around you is dark. Yeah, funny funny. Anyway, in this clumsy tribute to Python, I'm trying to note that I've applied to be a doping control chaperone for the speedskating events at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Just heard that my application is "being considered." Good to know.
Thursday, February 07, 2008
To Mine Own Self Being True: I have often said that I wouldn't have problems going to church, despite the feeling of being a fraud and, well, not being religious, really, if I weren't constantly required to touch strangers. Some of us like fellowship on our own terms, that's all. So despite already being well out of my comfort zone by joining a choir affiliated with a damned philharmonic orchestra, last night I am further discomfited when our conductor orders us to give each other shoulder and neck massages.
It should be noted that the conductor, who possesses a strikingly clear soprano voice and who has several musical degrees, is also a church minister. Hence her repertoire of vocal exercises that are based on interaction. Turn to your neighbour and say "Hello" in your most squeaky, nasal voice! Now sing her name like an operatic duchess! Now order her to leave in outraged duchess tones!
I sit out the massage interlude. I choose the ceiling as my neighbour. Leeeaave, ceiling, at once!
Another alto, I notice, is distancing herself from the band camp frolics. Our eyes meet. We know.
In defense of the fellowship-addicted conductor: she's chosen some of the most rocking African call and response songs for our first recital. Yeah, they're religious, but who cares?
Monday, February 04, 2008
Open-minded, short-fused, that's what I am. Here's hoping it's not a contradiction in terms. I have a new acquaintance in the community service world. She's about my age and is quite shy and pleasant. She's also in chronic pain, and currently has a numb right arm and pain radiating from her neck to her lower back. I ask if she's had it checked out. "Well, I've been going to my chiropractor twice a week these days instead of just once," she says. So many flags shoot up in my head that, were it suddenly visible, it'd look like Samurai battledress. Has she had x-rays? No. MRI? No. "He says I've got degenerative disc disease," she tells me. And he's continuing to manipulate her neck and back? And she has no problems with this?
By now you've probably figured out that I am deeply suspicious of chiropractors who diagnose conditions without any hard evidence. Here's where the open mind becomes so damned annoying, and why I'm so much closer to blowing my top than staying objective. Chiropracty is like religion in that you've got just as many people arguing for it as against it, and most become very angry while doing so. Most arguments are based on personal experience. Common pro-chiro statement: "Organized medicine doesn't have all the answers!" I don't think there are many doctors who would argue against that. Common medical opinion: "Chiropractors want to treat you, not cure you, which is why their clients keep going back time after time." Well, some conditions are chronic, defying medical science as well.
But holy sweet flying frack: you don't tell someone she has degenerative disc disease and then continue to manipulate her cervical vertebrae even after she's come back with a numb arm. Not unless you're going to have an MRI, or at least an X-Ray (interpreted by a radiologist, not a chiropractor, please), to get a better view of what's wrong. Ever heard of these little strings called nerves? Or that jellied elastic band called the spinal cord?
Open mind, the goddamn thing. Means I can only ask if the new acquaintance might consider getting a more in-depth examination. And, you know...maybe mind my own business. Ouch.