Not My Blog
Thursday, August 28, 2008
What happens when you are NOT a control freak: Today the work kiddies were having an early Labour day festivity: a barbecued burger contest. Last week we were arranged into teams and set loose to come up with our own hamburger concoctions. I sent out an e-mail or two to my teammates with recipe and presentation suggestions, then paused to reflect: was I doing it again? Being a control freak? The hellish kitchen bitch no one wants to cook with? Because if so, I must back off. Turns out the teammates were happy to let me find a toothsome recipe, make up shopping and to-do lists, and spout all the suggestions I wanted. However: I vowed to myself that I wasn't going to be the boss, no no no.
I decided to make hamburger buns from scratch for that "fuck off" factor, but my teammates volunteered to shop for the ingredients for burgers with goat cheese and portobello mushrooms.
And so I backed off, only fidgeting over the buns and the sauteed portobellos, and letting the others grill the meat and assemble the judging plates.
Of course, if I had insisted on grilling the hamburgers, which I came so very close to doing, we would have had burgers that weren't bloody raw in the middle. Not everybody tests a sample burger for doneness, you see. No, we didn't win. Yes, we had the most leftovers of all the teams. Too bad--I ate half a burger and was astounded at how delicious the mushrooms and goat cheese were. I just left the red meat on the plate. [Ooh! And the one who grilled the burgers tartare never noticed anything wrong! Dammit.]
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Change or Change Not. A woman meets her realtor in the Starborgs parking lot. Possibly overstimulated by caffeine and the prospect of house-hunting, she leaves her Toyota Rav in neutral, not park, and hops into her realtor's car. After they drive off, her Rav slowly rolls backward into the already narrowish driving lane of the lot. Enter Jane in the Mazdad. Who the FRACK parks like this? No one in the adjacent gas station. I stomp into the Starborgs and ask the same question. The baristas are swamped and no other customer responds, but the man behind me says "I think it's in neutral."
The old me would have just shrugged and let it go--probably wouldn't even have alerted the baristas about it. Changed Jane stomps back out into parking lot, pushes Rav out of traffic lane, asks a new mother to rest her hip against the Rav to prevent another rollback, finds and picks up large chunk of concrete from road shoulder, wedges same under Rav tire. Janie fix. Thanks, new mom.
Unchanged Jane: She is trying to enjoy her free venti dark roast (thanks, baristas!) and the ruination of yet another sock-knit, but there's a very loud Bible study going on at an adjacent table. Yes, yes, He is Bold and Strong and Mighty. Now, shut the hell up.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
We haff changed, Ch. IV: On the way to work I made the usual 180-degree turn on the big avenue leading to the bridge underpass. What's this? Flashing lights? Uh oh. I have my window rolled down when the police officer walks up. "Good morning, sir!" he announces. "Uh . . . I'm a woman," I respond, pushing out the thorax ever so slightly. Jane makes cop blush! He apologizes, we chuckle, then he hands me a ticket for $172 for making an illegal turnaround. As he explains my payment options, we are passed by car after car, probably half of which have just completed the same manoeuvre.
The ticket bothers me not at all. I can't stop smiling about that young, red-faced pleeceman. This is indeed a change.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Happy happy joy joy . . . A start was made at last on the improvement of daily livink. The only problem, and one which I knew was going to happen, is that making a start results in immediate chaos. The type of chaos that would cause a New Delhi nun to say, "Oh, fuck it." But, you know . . . I am not a N.D. nun. No! What I am is a bewilderingly sentimental nutcase at times. Yep, my mom sat on that couch. That doesn't mean it isn't 20 years past needing a good torching and burial. Apparently if I'd had children I wouldn't find myself distracted by such trivia. Right. Why is that big steel dumpster in our driveway, Mommy? Oh, Mommy's stepped on your Barbie guitar for the last time, dearest. Smooches!
Friday, August 22, 2008
Really couldn't have said it any better myself. Re: beach volleyball at the Olympics, according to Anthony Lane at the New Yorker:
". . . [the] beach equivalent . . . is to proper volleyball what Elvis’s movies were to Elvis’s music."Abso-goddamn-lutely. I expect the broadcasting wizards were going after the Spike vote, i.e., 12- to 30-yr-old males, in an effort to boost ratings. It doesn't matter that classic Olympian sports were being contested, or centuries of cross-border conflicts were being relived through badminton matches or the hammer throw. Screw that noise! Fit women in skimpy bikinis--sorry, two-piece athletic outfits--are bouncing in sand! The fact that male beach vb'ers are able to wear singlets and proper shorts is utterly unfair. I mean, if women are required to wear high-cut shorts and minimal sports bras, why can't we stipulate bum-flossers for the men? Or go really classical and make them play buck-nekkid. I mean, if we're after ratings and all.
I utterly, utterly beg my reading friends to read the rest of the Anthony Lane article, found here (free sign-up may be required). Here's a sample that made me asphyxiate on a mouthful of coffee:
Nobody will ever surpass the mathematical majesty of [opening] night in Beijing, and, in retrospect, that may be a good thing.Oh, and if I haven't sent this to everyone already, here is the funniest thing I've seen all week. Ahh . . . them crazy Frenchies.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Life's weather report: Currently shitty to fair. I managed to avoid hitting the brain donor who walked right in front of the Mazdad during yesterday's commute, and more amazingly, I was not creamed by the huge truck behind me. The jaywalker was a businessy type, not talking on a cellphone, not taking any notice of the "Don't Walk, Assface" signs. Just not plugged in. Of course I recognized a kindred soul, but that didn't keep me from hollering at him.
"Shitty" because I haven't made a start yet. A start on something that could better my day-to-day living. I repeat: what the hell is wrong with me?
Monday, August 18, 2008
The Gutless Wonder. Oh, hello, me. Yep, there I was last night, driving down that secondary highway when the car ahead of me braked suddenly. Because there was a wild-looking woman in a summer dress on a connecting intersection, waving her arms. Behind this woman was a truck, driving slowly.The driver in front of me, who I later drove past and found to be a lone woman, didn't stop. I didn't either. What the hell is wrong with me?
Here's what the local constabulary recommends, bonehead, so you may actually act like a human being next time: phone the cops on your cell phone and tell them where the distressed person is and any other pertinent details. Unless you are absolutely sure that the situation is safe, do not get out of your car if you are alone (and if you are with another adult, you should still exercise extreme caution).
I don't want to let myself off the hook too quickly, though. I chickened last night and I'm ashamed.
Hey, Togo! Bite our ass! Friday night I was at dins with Vin, Schmuke and Grant, and we were chatting about the Olympics. For the record, Canadians are pretty well used to their athletes not stockpiling the Olympic medals. But dammit, when even Togo starts getting medals before we do, well . . . time to get the hell on with things. Our poetic discourse, we feel, had a cosmic effect that carried over to Beijing. Over the next 24 hours Canadian athletes proceeded to collect 7 medals. This, for us, is a huge haul. Yeah, sorry about that, Togo. Wienies.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Turns out that for the last eight years I have been lawn bowling completely incorrectly. I hold the bowl feebly, I don't aim it properly, and I throw it haphazardly. I could have told you that, toots. McDoom and I spent a good part of Saturday getting tutored by a professional lawn bowler from New South Wales, a lovely perma-tanned man named David Milliard. He simplified the mechanics of throwing the bowl--which, yes, does involve a tad more than 'put bowl in hand, throw bowl.' In fact, though the first 30 minutes of practising the new technique were exasperating, after a bit we noticed the emergence of something new and unexpected. Something we'll call "accuracy." Holy. What was even more surprising was how much freaking fun I was having. I could have stayed there all afternoon, chucking bowl after bowl in the blazing sunshine. Tonight I plan to drop in on the seniors at our club and see if I can practise some more.
I love the Olympics. And I'm not sorry. Ever since 1972 I've been a keen follower of the Olympics, so when I was at a new friend's place on the weekend, I asked if we could watch a bit of the swimming competition. Only to be told, nay, lectured, that all the athletes were cheats, the Olympics sucked billions of dollars that could be used to feed the poor, and that it was all merely a global advertising stunt. Perhaps, before I die, I will learn that there is no point in debating with certain people. Indeed, my counter argument, that perhaps New Friend would say that any money spent on arts and culture was likewise wasted because there were still homeless folks, illiterate children, etc., didn't serve to change the subject. Okay, fine, I'll turn off the TV, I can watch the games at my own place. No, no, you've already turned the TV on, why bother turning it off.
Passive aggression of this sort is not going to nurture a friendship, you know. I decided to enjoy the swimming coverage unashamedly, then left for home not too much later. I think I just caught the new friend at a bad time, really. I cheered up by watching the diving on the French Canadian channel, where the sportscasters are delightfully supportive of all competitors. A diver could land practically flat in the water and the worst the commentators would say would be "Ah, malheureusement..." ("Unfortunately..."). It's SO much better than some of the reedy, nasal squawking of English-speaking commentators, who first focus on the negatives. Oh, and no, Canada has not won any medals so far, but oh well.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Things We Have Learned, August 2008.
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