Not My Blog
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Please Edit, Please? Edit? Please. Actual conversation between one of the friendlier ad execs and me:
Me: Why did you put "stet" on this edit? You can't say "Please R.S.V.P." It's redundant.Aieeee. "Please R.S.V.P." it is, despite my eloquent protestations.
I become famous in the third person. The Little Company That Could made the top 10 of "Canada's Best Workplaces" for a second consecutive year, so we had a bit of a shindig yesterday to celebrate. This included each of us getting a nifty water canteen, Swiss made, steel, none of your Bisphenol-A-ridden plastic crap, and a copy of the Best Workplaces article in that most businesslike of newspapers, the Globe and Mail. But I achieve fame in the company's press release, oh yes!
"With offices in Calgary and Vancouver, [The Little Company That Could] is Western Canada’s leading interdisciplinary branding agency and is committed to making its 79 employees the primary focus.From sad R.S.V.P.s to happy, happy bees...work continues to be oddly endearing most days.
Monday, April 28, 2008
And so...the CONCERT. Now known as "Concert No. One," since the second concert that I didn't know about is still a couple of weeks away. Saturday we rehearsed with the St. Andrews choir, some of whom also sing in the philharmonic chorus. This is not yer average group of warblers. My choir, ReVoice, had a rehearsal that sounded mainly like this:
[Choirleader]: (one, two, three!) WAIT--gentlemennnn. Watch the hand (motioning in 3/4 time).Yesterday, about an hour before the concert, we had a quick run-through of the same song. The tenors and basses ripped through it yet again. Although I don't expect ReVoice will ever be an auditioned choir, we may have some sort of counting competency instituted. The phenomenally patient choirleader walked the gents through it again--and so to the concert! Where the boys ripped through their solo again! A half beat ahead of the accompanyist! Good thing it was a modern piece. That cacophony? We meant to do that.
So it was great fun, and I managed to hornswoggle Vinnie La Vin and SuperBeryl, her luminous ma, into attending. That's friendship, let me tell ya.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Damn, she's off AGAIN... Back on top of the soapbox, ranting away...
The latest trigger: another friend in deep, chronic back pain. Has he been to the doctor? Well, his chiropractor has doubled his appointments over the next month. So: no, in other words. I wish I'd been able to quote the following from memory:
Look, it's not rocket science. You can’t cure an inflamed gallbladder or a pulmonary embolism by adjusting the spine. You can’t actually adjust the spine either because, while I am second to none in admiration for the typical chiromancer’s knowledge of spinal anatomy, all of those ligaments and muscles that they rattle off prevent the kind of movements that they claim to induce. Hell, in my line of work we call chiropractic “spinal adjustment” by its correct term, “trauma,” and it is only the inability of most chiromancers to generate motor vehicle collision-type forces that keeps them from hurting more patients than they actually do.For the record: I don't have too much of a problem with chiropractors who stick to massage and flexion to help their clients--and more importantly, who suggest that their patients go to an M.D. if their pain isn't eased. Also for the record: four years of chiropracty school does NOT make you a doctor. Premed, then four years of med school, passing your boards, then surviving your residency: that's what makes you a doctor. Taking a course on radiology that involves simply looking at x-rays does NOT make you as adept at interpreting them as a radiologist (or an x-ray tech, for that matter).
Finally: all the people I know (including two or three friends) who use chiropractors have two things in common: they've been seeing them regularly, sometimes bi-weekly, for years, and their conditions are never cured.
Oh, you see, there I go. There's something about alternative medicine that spells "snake oil" to me and makes me absurdly impatient, albeit quietly, with its adherents. It's not *my* back/neck/knee/etc. after all.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Vignettes of the weekend past: Snow. Wind. Another of my socks gets eaten. Go, Canadiens! Oh. Well, good game, anyway. Go, Calgary, I guess...yep, you go'ed. A toddler's supreme meltdown in the Stupeystore: bring back spankings. O Snow, You are So Huge... And now, 1940s-vintage crossword puzzles. Howdy, racism. My moonboots draw giggles.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Hey, Joe, where you going with that Stanley Cup in your hands? I love that Joe Sakic. I love him and Stevie Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan and Paul Kariya and Mats Naslund and Larry Robinson and Bobby Orr....you know, the hockey players who play(ed) as part of a team. I love their counterparts in other sports, too--like Cal Ripken, Jr. And that is why, I predict fearlessly, that the Calgary Flames will not win the Cup this year: because they've got too many attention-seekers. They've got too many players who want to be the hero who gets the goal. As a result, they keep throwing their brilliant goalie, Miikka Kiprusoff, under the bus. The Flames won't win another Cup until they trim a few egos, says I. You know, 'cause I'm such a cheenyus and so athletic and all that.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
The new Dad legend: Call it poetic justice, a karmic snoutwhack, or just pure dee highlarious. Mad Melvin is not a man who's all that patient with people making mistakes. His dad was the same. I know I have precious little patience with the slip-ups of others, so I'm carrying the gift forward. Anyway: Dad came to Alberta with a cooler full of ocean treasures: packages of prawns, salmon and cod, all for our soon-to-be-doomed family feast (see below). Anyway, my sister-in-law is a supremely gifted cook and makes fish chowder that Mad Melvin adores. He says he's brought the cod *especially* so Alayne can use it in her chowder. Whereupon Alayne gets everything together for the making of same. Gets the package of cod and opens it to find--
--cod? Not quite. A pile of fish skeletons with heads and tails attached. Presumably Dad kept them in the freezer for eventual use in his crab traps, not out of sentiment. Anyhow: the thought of the mad dad proudly chauffeuring fish detritus from Vancouver Island to central Alberta makes me chuckle every time I think of it. Now to come up with some way of twitting him about this at least, oh, five times.
Incidentally, other Dad legends involve a hatchet, a camp table and an oven broiler. Perhaps one day I will share.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Good God, I really AM mellowing. Friday, April 11th: the date of a rare Farries family reunion dinner in Red Deer, as the Mad Dad has driven over from Vancouver Island to see his offspring, especially the second editions, the grandchildren. Naturally there was the usual Melvinism: he and L. are coming to Calgary, but really need to get together with Uncle Jim and L.'s sister and family, and they really want to get to Red Deer early, but if I had an hour or two free, maybe...? I respond that since they're pretty busy already, let's just keep to the Red Deer plan. Sign of Mellowness: check.
Friday turns out to be pretty grand, as I take a flex day from the office and head up to Jean's farm with the beasts. We go for a 6-mile bike ride (or 10km-ish for the metreheads) in brilliant sunlight, then do some sittin' and yakkin' before I leave the dogs with her and head into Red Deer.
The Plan: Stop at a car wash, give the Mazdad a quick grooming (so the Mad Dad will know I'm taking good care of the Mazdad, really), then pick up dessert as discussed earlier with Alayne, beloved sister-in-law, before heading over to house. So far, so good. And now, point-form recap begins:
The task being this: I bought a new television. Back in October 2007. An oldstyle (not yer plasmatic kind) 27-inch teevee. Weight: about 180 pounds. Getting it upstairs from the garage was why I kept putting off enjoying my new roommate. Anyhoo! Jane strong, strong. Smart, not so much. After much puffing and straining, not to mention hip-checking the TV one step up at a time, I plugged it in. It works. Now to wait until an unsuspecting guest comes by to be shanghaied into helping heave it on top of the entertainment shelf. This morning, my back and legs? Definite reverse-mellow.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Snow was falling, snow on snow on snow on snow on snow.... Thank you, Kipper Family, for the most appropriate lyrics for Calgary's weather. We're having a rare megadump of snow today. Last time I saw one of this magnitude was back in 1986, again during the Stanley Cup playoffs, but in late May, of all times. I was out with the dogs at 6:00 a.m. when it was snowing lightly but stickily. Came back home, indulged in a post-brekkers nap, and awoke to HOLY KADOODLE A FOOT OF SNOW ON TOP OF MY CAR! A FOOT! The dogs gave up on the usual romp during their before work walk--the snow was up to Piper's chest and both dogs were having a time of it just getting anywhere. Then. The Drive. Actually not so bad! Because a lot of people just stayed home until the snow stopped, which it has yet to do. SNOW.
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
The Meme Decade. Finally! A Meme for Jane! In fact, I confess, I am tagging myself. I read about this on another site and thought, yep, I'm agonna'. So here goes:
BOOK MEMENow to spread the love: Vin, Grant, and me old Nik.
Monday, April 07, 2008
Repeat until Dead:
Relation: Do "Z."
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Things is all. The mad dad arrives in the province next week, and I'll be driving up to Red Deer to carouse with him, the brothers, and the Narsty Nine, a.k.a. the nieces and nephews. There is some dance competition going on that afternoon, and if you want to see some nifty steps, watch as the Mad Auntie dances her way out of spending three hours watching 11-yr-olds dressed as spangly streetwalkers interpret such classics as "G.N.O." by Miley Cyrus (yes, I had to Google it).
Dogs to the rescue: Pipes and Riv are CNG (canes non grates)/unwelcome at the Red Deer bro's house, so I get to drop them at Jean's farm first. This should only take an extra three or four hours, meaning I'll just get back to town in time for family dinner. As Jeeves said, one gets these premonitions.
The Maple Leaf forever: Canada, having run out of things to argue about, has decided to have a controversy over flying the flag at half-mast. The opposition party in Parliament (the Libs) say that the flags on Parliament Hill should be lowered to half-mast each time a Canadian soldier is killed. Polls on the subject spring up in every newspaper, site and broadcast. The rule for the Parliament Hill flag is that it's only at half-mast for the death of a queen/king/governor-general. There are few exceptions and I'm not going to Google them right now.
I say no to the half-mast for every soldier killed, simply because repetition would kill the significance. I don't ever want to get used to such occurrences. Then I will take the advantage of my encroaching dotage and remind people that we didn't put the flag at half-mast for each soldier killed in WWI, WWII or the Korean War. Remembrance Day has already become just another day off work, and students who can recite "In Flanders Fields" are rare--even rarer if they know where Flanders is. Right, next door to the Simpsons. According to the Globe and Mail poll, conducted across Canada, I'm in the minority--most people want the flag lowered. Will it matter in another 100 years? Doubtful.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
They Got Me. That classic Ceeb radio show, As It Happens, last night had a report about the upcoming Canadian $3 coin, which will come out in August '08. The radio hosts solicited listeners to send in their suggestions for a coin name and design. Well! I was off to the den of word mavens, Vinnie's and Schmuke's house, and we had an enjoyable evening of watching the game and thinking about coin names that would go with Canada's existing loonie and twoonie coins. I came up with the "Threebie" or "ThreeBob," with profiles of Bobby Orr, Bobby Hull and Bob Gainey on the coin. Or a bison, beaver and badger, for the "Threefer." Vinnie came up with the "Stanley" (with the Stanley Cup on it, natch), the "Biscuit" and others.
If only I'd checked the calendar. What an idiot.
In Keeping with Latest Revelation of My Stoopidity:
Your Score: Pooh
You scored 13 Ego, 12 Anxiety, and 16 Agency!
"What do you like doing best in the world, Pooh?"
"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best?" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called.
You scored as Pooh!
ABOUT POOH: Pooh is a bear of Very Little Brain but quite a lot of heart. He enjoys the simple things in life, like visiting friends (in time for lunch), counting honey pots, and going for nice walks. He is a steadfast and loyal friend, and is often much brighter than he thinks he is.
WHAT THIS SAYS ABOUT YOU: You are a positive and calm sort of person, and you tend to go with the flow. When things go wrong, you generally find the most practical solution and put things right, with very little worry or fuss. You are a rock that your friends can lean on in times of trouble.
Your attitude towards life is very Zen. You appreciate the small things in life, while still managing not to sweat the small stuff. Your biggest flaw is your tendency to underestimate yourself. You are actually much smarter and more capable than you think you are.
Jane, Jane, of very little brain. Repeat...
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
The Two in the Back are the Alpha Bitches, They'll Have You Know:
Picture taken on Easter Sunday, 2008, at Jean and Tyke's farm. From left to right: Diesel, Piper, Doc, Jean (Alpha Bitch #1), Peggy, Riven, Jane (A.B. #2), Hamish. I love how the dogs' eyes gleam: the bright amber eyes of Piper and Peggy, the limpid blue of Doc and Riv, and the dark brown of Diesel and Hamish. They're happy mutts, all of 'em.
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All blandishments herein are property of the proprietor. There you go.