Thursday, January 31, 2013

On This, The Last Day of January...

For the last ten days I've been malingering. Every night I go to sleep expecting to wake up with a full-on head cold, but that never happens. Instead I'm stagnating, feeling run down and ache-y, but not so much that I can justify opting out of chores, school or activities. This partly explains why I thought today was Friday.

Now apropo of nothing...

Our freezer is almost completely empty. I'm ridiculously happy about this, because my daily mission for January was to use up two items from the freezer or the pantry. We did really well and all that's left is a few bags of fruits, vegetables and french fries, 6 jars of honey (the honey is my husband's and I have no idea why he stores it in there), a pork roast and some soup bones for Fogo. That's it. Mind you we've had some strange meals (ie reheated curried turkey sausage soup with french fries, perogies and peas) and some brilliant ones (ie Bo Kho, a Vietnamese Beef Stew with Tomato, Star Anise and Lemongrass with rice). Our grocery bill was comfortingly small for January, though I suspect it will be a doozy for February.

But we've got a goal in mind to help keep us motivated to scrimp and save: Costa Rica. Mr Señor Wrath has been before and is keen to return.  I'm in as long as we get to see whales or turtles. The boys are using R.E.A.L. Homeschool Spanish and are excited to  use their lessons.

Anyone else want to come with us?



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I Blame Oprah. Again.

My goal for last week was to clean out and paint the guest room. I did not get this done. The room is cleaned emptied, but not painted. The hang up was that Mr Wrath and I took the opportunity to further purge our possessions. He very bravely weeded his collection of erudite books, including Robertson Davies, Margaret Atwood, Margaret Laurence and Mordecai Richler. We're down to a mere 30 cds, from the 350 we owned until last December. I sent some sewing and craft supplies and furniture to the thrift store.

The only thing I truly accomplished was watching Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love




SPOILER ALERT!

YOU MIGHT WANT TO LOOK AWAY BECAUSE I'M GOING TO MENTION DETAILS THAT COULD RUIN YOUR ENJOYMENT OF THIS MOVIE.

FOR EXAMPLE, I'M GOING TO WRITE ABOUT THE HEROINE FINDING LOVE AT THE END OF THE FILM. 

BUT BEFORE THAT SHE GOES TO ITALY AND EATS ITALIAN FOOD NECESSITATING THE PURCHASE OF SOME FAT LADY PANTS. 

ITALIAN FAT LADY PANTS!!! 

ALSO SHE DOES SOME PRAYING. 

THIS OCCURS IN INDIA AND ALL THE CLOTHES THERE ARE VERY LOOSE FITTING AND FAT LADY PANTS ARE NOT PURCHASED IN THAT COUNTRY.

For those of you still with me...

This film is awful. The only reason I watched it was because netflix reassured me that based upon my viewing history, I would enjoy it. Stupid algorithm LIED to me.

Granted not everything about the movie is bad. For one thing it's really beautiful to look at. The scenery is amazing. Unfortunately too often the vistas are blighted by insufferable, emotionally stunted, self-indulgent people saying stupid stuff that supposedly moves the "plot" along. Thanks be to heaven for the mute button.

When Julia/Liz is in India she meets a guy named Not James Taylor. Well, that's not the character's actual name, but I can't remember the guys name and I'm too lazy to look it up. Steve? Peter? Raul? Anyway -- Julia/Liz does mention that he looks like James Taylor so let's go with that pseudonym. There's a very moving scene where Not James Taylor talks about his personal demons. The most amazing part is that the director focuses upon N.J.T for several long minutes in a tight single shot with no edits AND Julia is not facing the camera. You only see the back of her head and you get to focus entirely on Not James Taylor. Oooh. I bet Julia was pissed at the director when she saw that all her emoting was for naught.

This scene however did not make me like Not James Taylor, who refers to Julia/Liz by the nickname Groceries and is an all around blowhard.

Another good thing: there's a very brief appearance by Sophie Thompson, aka Emma Thompson's sister, aka the second Bride from Four Weddings and A Funeral. That, by the way, is a much better movie than this one.

Now on to things that I did not like about Eat Pray Love.


I was shocked to see that Billy Crudup (aka The Very Dull Husband Who Won't Give Julia/Liz A Divorce Because He Believes in Commitment) has stolen the hair off a Lego Mini Figure:


I also fear that Billy is suffering from chapped lips. Obviously he needs some lip balm, or some gloss:



Furthermore, this film is completely devoid of cynicism or irony. It's so freakin' earnest I wanted to scream.  But I did not. Instead I brewed some tea:


Not this tea, which is one of over 400 Eat Pray Love branded items sold upon the movie's release. I just had normal tea and that made me feel better. But not nearly as good as I would feel if I'd made a few million smackers selling merchandise to Eat Pray Love fangirls.

I assume writers and directors of movies starring Julia Roberts actually write "Here Julia will throw back her head and laugh in the manner of a titian-haired donkey like she has done in every single movie since Pretty Woman" into the scripts.


Fear not, she does it several times. Julia/Liz also does yoga. And James Franco.

But in the last 30 minutes of the move she finds "true" "love" with Javier Bardem's emotionally needy and clingy businessman. Like Liz/Julia, he is damaged by divorce and shares her high tolerance for pseudo-spiritual platitudes. I was pissed off that this year long journey of self-discovering ended with the heroine falling back into the same trap that she was supposedly trying to escape. What was the point?

I'm still mad at the Netflix algorithm. And Julia/Liz. I wish there was Eat Pray Love vodka.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Period Details.

It's my husband's fault that I haven't blogged in a week. He had time off work and it turns out being around another adult (especially one that I love) with whom I can have coherent, prolonged, face-to-face conversations, means I don't need to reach out to my imaginary friends who live in my computer.

No offence, imaginary friends.

Mr Wrath's big project was renovating the basement stairwell. Have you ever heard the idiom "everything old is new again?" Since buying this house in 2003, we've been hoping that cedar deck railing INSIDE a house would come back in fashion, thereby making our kitchen right on trend. Too late we realize that cedar deck railing as an interior feature was NEVER in style so it this was never going to be anything other than ugly:



Here's the after shot:


Awesome, right? You'll notice I bid farewell to that red wall, aka my homage to Frank from Trading Spaces.

Okay. I'm fibbing. But you'll have to wait a few weeks till the mudding is done and the paint cured before we do the big "reveal."




Monday, January 21, 2013

Random Monday.

I am never, ever, ever getting over Ben Johnson.

Translation: I am not really surprised by Lance Armstrong's confession of being a lying, doping, greedy asshole. I assume that is the case with all professional athletes.


• • • • • • • • • 


Sex and the City was a tv show for 6 seasons. It was the premise of two movies AND now there's a reboot of the series in production. Yet there has never been a big-budget movie produced about the Night Witches, Russia's World War II all-female bomber squads. That's so depressing.


• • • • • • • • • 


I made doughnuts this weekend. Or did I make donuts. Is it donuts or doughnuts? I'm not sure which is correct. And by correct I mean "which is Canadian," obviously.

I did tweak the recipe a little. I used butter instead of shortening and I changed the order that I combined the ingredients.


• • • • • • • • • 


I hate my KitchenAid stand mixer. It looks pretty, but it doesn't have the muscle I need. It's the Zac Efron of home appliances.

• • • • • • • • •

For the past month I've been watching the early seasons of How I Met Your Mother on netflix while I workout. On Sunday I watched a few of the more recent episodes. They're awful. Knowing this makes me sad and also disinclined to continue watching earlier seasons because I know the horror that is to come. 

• • • • • • • • •

My husband has this week off work and I feel like this:


• • • • • • • • • 

For more Monday randomness, visit Deb's blog. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Warp Speed Wednesday: Survey Says...


Your response to the following advertisement is:

a. BRILLIANT! This sounds like a lot of fun. Nan, you should call this guy and tell him about your awesome Next Generation costume,

b. This is the stuff of nightmares and will, no doubt, soon be known as "Exhibit A" in a murder trial,

c. It's really infuriating because it perpetuates many unfortunate stereotypes about Trekkies. Also: totally fucked. Kirk is an awesome captain!, or

d. I hope this is a sociological experiment conducted by grad students at the University of Alberta.


[click to see a larger version of the ad]

"Nothing weird is going to happen" -- riiiiiiiight.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

How the Ghost of Steve Jobs Made Me Cry.

For Christmas, Zarf and Klaxon1 each received an iPod nano.  Zarf wanted one so he could listen to audiobooks constantly. Klaxon wanted the freedom to play soundtracks composed by John Williams while drawing.

When I went to charge the iPods on Christmas Day, I realized we needed to upgrade to iTunes 10.7.

To get iTunes 10.7, we needed to upgrade to Mac OS X 10.8.2.

To get to Mac OS X 10.8.2, we needed to download the App Store App.

To get the App Store App, we needed to be running  Mac OS X 10.6.8.

To get Mac OS X 10.6.8, we needed to install Mac OS X 10.6.3.

To get  Mac OS X 10.6.3, we had to buy a disc and have it couriered to us, because it's no longer available for download.

But before we could install Mac OS X 10.6.3, we needed to upgrade the computer's memory.

Meaning that nothing could happen until the local computer store ordered in the memory for our antiquated (translation: bought in 2009) computer and installed it.

Which is why today -- 20 days after opening their stockings -- Zarf and Klaxon finally got to use their iPods. During the entire time, they did not once complain that I -- with  a great deal of help from the greedy assholes at Apple -- made them wait.  I want to acknowledge who deserves the credit for their emotional maturity and compassion: their father. Praise be to god that my temper is not genetic, but simply a personal failing borne of self absorption and a love of instant gratification.

This morning I suggested the boys try making me feel guilty then promise to forgive me if I bought some music off iTunes. They initially declined.

WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?! Why are they more mature than ME?!

Ultimately Zarf agreed I could buy him a 39 Clues audiobook. Klaxon picked out the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets soundtrack.

Merry freakin' Christmas.


• • • • • • • • • •

1 Klaxon and Zarf are aliases. Only a fool would give these "names" to real people. Don' t be a fool: give your children real names that won't limit their career options. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Let's use our imaginations...

Pretend that one morning a reality tv star wakes up and decides she no longer wants her personal life discussed, debated and mocked by internet users. Instead of withdrawing from the public eye by choosing a less visible career, our reality tv star decides to silence her critics by attacking the websites hosting the offending comments. The websites' owners, contributors and readers aren't breaking any laws in America (where the reality tv star and the websites are based) so she has no legal recourse.

Rather she bands together with other equally testy reality tv stars and contacts the company that supplies ads to websites. She cajoles, threatens or negotiates with the company to withdraw their services in order to cut off the websites' revenue sources, forcing them to shutdown thereby silencing her critics.

She's a WINNER! She can continue to whore out the private details of her life for huge financial gains and not worry about people negatively judging, no matter how egregious her behaviour.


• • • • • • • • • • •

This scenario seems far-fetched, right? No. A similar scenario has played out this week with Get Off My Internets, a website dedicated to discussing,mocking and analyzing blogs. Federated Media, an agency supplying advertisements to websites, sent them a letter stating that
 "…a number of our advertising partners have requested that we no longer source demand (i.e., digital advertising) to the site, getoffmyinternets.net. In transparent response, I wanted to let you know that we’re going to have to cease serving ads to this site in direct response to these requests from our demand partners." 

Now kindly go back and reread the start of this post but substitute "high-profile, monetized-to-the-eyeballs blogger who has cast herself and her family in the internet version of reality television show" for the term "reality tv star."

• • • • • • • • • • •

I would be pissed off to learn that Kim Kardashian, the Duggars, Honey Boo Boo, Kody Brown's hostages Sister Wives, Kendra Wilkinson, or the Real Botoxed Housewives of Miami attempted to shutdown Television Without Pity, Oh No They Didn't, Free Jinger, Reddit, Pink is the New Blog, Celebitchy, Go Fug Yourself, the Daily Mail, Jezebel, or any other celebrity gossip website because their feelings were hurt. This is no different.  High-profile bloggers who make money from their sites are celebrities.

But unlike celebrities in other media, many bloggers are unwilling to accept that not everyone is going to be a fan. I average 60 readers a day but even I accept that some of those people consider me a "hate-read." That's what I signed on for by having a public blog.

If bloggers (especially those who make money by revealing intimate details about their family) don't want to be discussed they need to change their blogging style, or get off eveyone's internets.

• • • • • • • • • • •

It appears that GOMI users donated money to cover the immediate costs of maintaining and upgrading the website's hardware and software. The owner is exploring alternative funding options.

Sorry, paranoid, thin-skinned bloggers who don't have the courage to publicly own up to this gambit: you lose at muzzling the internet.  

• • • • • • • • • • •

I'm not defending everything that happens on GOMI. The posts and the forum can be brutal and offensive. But censorship is more brutal and that offends me more.


• • • • • • • • • • •

These are a few of my favourite GOMI posts:

(This was my introduction to GOMI and it still pisses me off)




Some lucky polygamous family can now buy Dooce's house! It has 9 bedrooms! 9 bathrooms! Two laundry rooms! It's only 1.5 million dollars.  QUICK! Call Kody Brown and his hostages sister wives.
(Also: Wow. That's a whole lot of photos of her dog sitting with stuff balanced on his nose.)


Friday, January 11, 2013

More half-assed opinions and predictions about the Oscars..

Part 1 of my completely random, poorly researched, utterly biased predictions and analysis of Oscar nominees is here.

• • • • • • • • • •  

Hollywood loves hookers.  It is with this fact in mind, that I selected my winner for this category:


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams, “The Master” 
Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables” 
Sally Field, “Lincoln” 
Helen Hunt, “The Sessions” 
Jacki Weaver, “Silver Linings Playbook”

In addition to playing a prostitute, Anne cut her hair and lost 25-pounds. This kind of dedication makes the Academy salivate so she's an easy in. 

Like a good hooker should be.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Alan Arkin, “Argo” 
Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained”
Philip Seymour Hoffman, “The Master” 
Robert De Niro, “Silver Linings Playbook” 
Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln”

None of these men are hot so I am unable to consult my loins for their opinion. I was inclined to vote for Christoph Waltz (the only who had not previously won an Oscar), but "Django Unchained" appears to be both violent and humourless.  I'd rather ignore it completely.

I picked the only one of the five I'd like to be seated next to on a long plane trip.


BEST DIRECTOR
Ang Lee, "Life of Pi" 
David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook” 
Behn Zeitlin, "Beast of the Southern Wild" 
Michael Haneke, “Amour” 
Steven Spielberg, “Lincoln”

It will be either Russell, Lee or Spielberg. I'm playing my Canadian Patriotic Zeal trump card again.

See previous post for explanation.


BEST FILM EDITING
“Argo” 
“Life of Pi” 
“Lincoln” 
“Silver Linings Playbook” 
“Zero Dark Thirty”


"Argo " will also win the "Playing Fast and Loose with Facts" Award. This award doesn't exist but it needs to be invented.


BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
“Amour” 
“Django Unchained” 
“Flight” 
“Moonrise Kingdom” 
“Zero Dark Thirty”

Dear Denzel Washington, 
I think you are swell, and I'm picking your film just to get in your good books. 
Love,
Nan.

PS -- A passenger plane could not fly upside down like that. Just wanted to make sure you knew that. 

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
“Argo” 
“Beasts of the Southern Wild” 
“Life of Pi” 
“Lincoln” 
“Silver Linings Playbook”

I chose the only one I'd read. Also probably the only one I'm going to try and see. 


We're in the home stretch, but I think we need to pause and look at some pretty scenery:





(This is where we had our wedding!)








Ah. That mental sorbet was just what I needed.  Going through this list is making me nostalgic for my university days. I always made a point of seeing all the nominees for Best Picture. My equally-movie-mad friends and I would get together and watch the award show. We'd dress-up like characters from the nominated films and lip synch to the song nominees. It was fun. 


Let's muscle through.

BEST ACTOR
Bradley Cooper, “Silver Linings Playbook” 
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln” 
Denzel Washington, “Flight” 
Hugh Jackman, “Les Miserables” 
Joaquin Phoenix, "The Master"

I watched the trailer for "Silver Linings Playbook" and I found myself attracted to Bradley Cooper. His acting was so powerful I forgot that he is really a beautiful, not-smart Golden Retriever who greets all women by goosing them with his nose. 


But it was a fleeting crotch tingle that is nothing compared to my reaction to Hugh Jackman. 


ZING! Oh, yes. In my book Hugh wins every night. No. Really. Every night I compose Wolverine fan fiction in scribbler I keep between my mattress and box spring. Hugh wins. Every night. Every which way.



BEST ACTRESS
Emmanuelle Riva, “Amour” 
Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook” 
Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty” 
Naomi Watts, “The Impossible” 
Quvenzhané Wallis, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

I don't have very strong opinions about any of these actress. Except for Quvenzhané Wallis. She is a adorable. However, there are not enough vowels in her name and I have no idea how to say it. I fear if she wins either her real name or her character name (Hushpuppy?!) will become popular. I do not want this to happen.


In the end I chose based upon who will wear a fantastic dress. 


And finally...


 BEST PICTURE
Amour 
Argo 
Beasts of the Southern Wild 
Django Unchained 
Les Miserables 
Life of Pi 
Lincoln 
Silver Linings Playbook 
Zero Dark Thirty

I have taken the liberty of crossing out the titles that have zero chance.  But my snark reserves are depleted. Anyone want to do this one for me? 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

My belief that the Oscars are irrelevant will not deter me from blogging about the nominees.

I have only seen one film nominated for the 2013 Academy Awards. But I'm not going to let that trivial detail keep me from having opinions and predicting the winners about this year's Oscars.

I'll start with the boring categories that no one really cares about because the nominees aren't particularly famous or glamourous.



BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
“Brave” 
“Frankenweenie” 
“ParaNorman” 
“The Pirates! Band of Misfits” 
“Wreck-It Ralph”

Mr Wrath gave me "Brave" for Christmas and it's really fun. It gets my vote. 

BEST SOUND EDITING 
“Argo”
 “Django Unchained” 
“Life of Pi” 
“Skyfall” 
“Zero Dark Thirty”

BEST SOUND MIXING 
“Argo” 
“Les Miserables" 
“Life of Pi” 
“Lincoln” 
“Skyfall"

I will not even pretend to understand how these categories are different or what differentiates good editing/mixing from not-so-good editing/mixing. The actors' lips move in synch to the dialogue is my guess. Or You can hear the water lapping against the raft which is great because there's not a whole lot else going on in this scene. Whatever. 

Canadians are keenly aware of things that are Canadian and like to point out things that have a Canadian connection, even if it's minute or trivial.  This is why I'm predicting that  "Life of Pi" -- based on a novel by Canadian Yann Martel -- will win.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
“5 Broken Cameras” 
“The Gatekeepers” 
“How to Survive a Plague” 
“The Invisible War” 
“Searching for Sugar Man”

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
“Inocente” 
“Kings Point” 
“Mondays at Racine” 
“Open Heart” 
“Redemption”

I enjoy documentaries so long as they are not depressing. But I believe that depressing is the key criteria for winning an Oscar in these categories. I have chosen the two films whose names are bleakest.



BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
“Amour” 
“A Royal Affair” 
“No” 
“Kon-Tiki” 
“War Witch”

Foreign Language Film is Academy code for "Films Where the Actors Don't Speak our Language -- That's so Cute." I'm not a fan of films with subtitles (even when the language is Klingon) so I really don't care about this category, unless it's presented by a very handsome actor, or a woman with a pretty dress I can imagine wearing. For this category I employed my "IT'S A CANADIAN [insert noun here] -- OUR NATION IS AWESOME!" selection method.




BEST COSTUME DESIGN
“Anna Karenina” 
“Les Miserables” 
“Lincoln” 
“Mirror Mirror” 
“Snow White and the Huntsman”

As noted earlier, I have not seen ANY of these movies. But I did my due diligence: I watched all the trailers. Much to my surprise, "Mirror Mirror" looks like it's a pretty fun film and the costumes are beautiful. It appears that Chris Hemsworth keeps his shirt on for all of "Snow White and the Huntsman" -- BAD MOVE ON YOUR PART, COSTUME DESIGNERS! "Lincoln" is all bonnets and uniforms and earth tones. Ho hum. "Les Miserables" -- I dunno...everyone is so...dirty. I'll just go with "Anna Karenina."


BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN 
“Anna Karenina” 
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” 
“Les Miserables” 
Life of Pi” 
“Lincoln”

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
“Hitchcock” 
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” 
“Les Miserables”

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS 
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” 
“Life of Pi” 
“Marvel's The Avengers” 
“Prometheus” 
“Snow White and the Huntsman”

My children are making me listen to the audiobook of The Hobbit for the second time in less than a month. It's 12 hours of orcs, necromancers, dwarves, Smaugs and I don't know what. I'm trying to tune it all out while I go about with my house-drudgery, but it's seeped into my brain and making me select The Hobbit for these three categories. 

(Side note: the audiobook is really top drawer, and my boys are enthralled, it's just not my cup of tea vodka.)



BEST ANIMATED SHORT 
“Adam and Dog” 
“Fresh Guacamole” 
“Head Over Heels” 
“Maggie Simpson in 'The Longest Daycare'” 
“Paperman”

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT 
“Asad” 
“Buzkashi Boys" 
“Curfew” 
“Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw)” 
“Henry”

I'm hungry. I'd love some guacamole right now. Hence my chose in the first category. My selection for the second category is because it's -- you guessed it -- CANADIAN! "Henry" is also Canadian but it's not nearly as much fun to say as "Buzkashi Boys."



BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
“Anna Karenina" 
“Django Unchained” 
“Life of Pi” 
“Lincoln” 
“Skyfall”

Not until today did I learn that "Django Unchained" is not about the life and times of Django Reinhardt. This is a great disappointment, but does explain why Jamie Foxx is the lead actor. I don't really know good cinematography from bad, so I chose my winner based upon the novelty of their appearance.

That's it for now. I'm tired. We'll get to the categories people care about tomorrow. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Warp Speed Wednesdays. Web Surfing.


I love when people tweet or email me links to Star Trek. It's nice to know that people think about me when they see Star Trek stuff.

Here are two stories that Chris (from Fairly Odd Mother) told me about:
"The Greatest Conversations To Ever Happen On Twitter Between Real Astronauts And The Cast of Star Trek
"Thank you, r/Star Trek" is about JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof reaching out to Trekkie Daniel Craft after his diagnosis with terminal cancer. 

The first one will make you smile. The second will make you cry. No, really. I'm getting teary-eyed just thinking about how much I love being a Trekkie.

Deb (from Not Inadequate) directed me to this image:



And now a little something for the non-nerds in the audience:


HA! Got you -- this is SUPER NERDY!

Lazily Sick or Sickly Lazy. I Can't Decide.

Today I got up at 6:30 (IN THE MORNING!) and vacuumed the house while Mr Wrath took Fogo for her first walk of the day.

It was the peak of my energy for the day, evidently. I haven't accomplished much since. I don't feel quite right. I'm either getting a cold or I'm developing a case of Sudden Onset Laziness Syndrome.

Yesterday, however, was much better.

In the morning several local homeschool families got together for Backpack Presentations. This is a fantastic get-to-know-you activity suggested by one of the moms who use to teach elementary school. Everyone brought three items in a backpack (hence the name) that represented something about their personality or interests. It was a quick, casual, fun way to stimulate conversation.

Since you are dying to know, I'll tell you what I brought:

• a Star Trek combadge because I love Star Trek,
• my new apron because I love to cook AND I'm very messy, and
• a running shoe because I enjoy being physically active

The boys got haircuts.

I made a delicious stew for dinner.

In the morning I did my usual 40 minutes on the elliptical trainer. I took Fogo on a 25-minute walk at noon, then went out with her later for a 45-minute snowshoe hike. In the early evening Mr Wrath and I accompanied the boys for a 60-minute X-country ski lesson.

I ended the day by learning that it's never a good idea to smush your face up against the window of a car in a dark parking lot. Because there's a very real possibility that the person in that parked car is NOT (as you initially assumed) a friend, but a complete stranger who bears only a passing resemblance to the aforementioned friend. Awkward.

Upon further reflection, it's no wonder I'm tired today. Exercise and humiliation are exhausting.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Point Form Friday! Fifteen minutes worth of random thoughts.

• I need to get a new tagline for my blog. Zarf read it aloud last night -- by the way, why did no one warn me that teaching my children to be literate would mean they'd start reading my blog? -- and asked "what does 'I put the ass in smartass' mean?" Erm. "It means I'm smart. And I look like a donkey," was the only reply I could come up with.

Remind me of this the next time I brag about being good in a crisis and/or excellent at improv.

• The sexiest thing I read all week was a post called Little Legs in Nectar from Town Farm. I joked on twitter that I was using it as inspiration for my next round of Sherlock Holmes fan-fiction erotica. Yes. That's right. I was joking. I am most certainly not writing a novella about how Molly Hooper (after helping Sherlock fake his death at the end of season 2) quits her job and opens up a market garden stall where she enacts Lady Chatterly Lover-like scenarios with her beloved Sherlock. THAT would be crazy. Why would I write about Sherlock zagging Molly?

Mrs Hudson is the only woman for Sherlock.

All kidding aside: whoever wrote that post is a fantastic writer.

All kidding aside: "zag" as a verb pertaining to sexual reproduction? Is brilliant.

• I predict that Kim Cardassian Kardashian and Kanye West will give their new attention-seeking enterprise (aka a human baby) a name that:
-is a colour, OR
-starts with a -K. 
If it's the former I think it will probably a shade of purple or blue. Maybe pink, even. Looking over the Crayola crayon colour palette I'm going to nominate: Cerise, Amethyst, Lapis Lazuli, Magenta, Periwinkle, Indigo, or Plum. If they run with the -K trend, then I think they should hire Deb as a consultant.

• we started back to school on January 2nd. The boys didn't object. I think they were as bored as me. Our lessons have been very light; only math and the writing of thank you letters. I'm very big on thank you letters. I keep a mental list of people who have not sent me thank you cards for wedding gifts. Admittedly, I'm not a stickler when it comes to thank you cards for baby gifts because I firmly believe that new moms have better things to do.

• After a brilliant start in the first part of season 1, I never took to Downton Abbey. I feel like I'm disappointing my peers with this admission.

• we need to upgrade our computer memory and in anticipation I've been cleaning off the hard drive. I intended to erase a lot of things, instead I'm spending way to much time uploading ridiculous photos to Pinterest. Because you never know when -- for example -- this graphic will be germane to a heated debate that could change the course of world history:



Plus it would be wrong to keep this to myself:


 I found that last one today. I needed a graphic to use in a document for my son's speed skating club. After careful consideration I decided that even if I could digitally erase/minimize Mr Colbert's crotch bulge, it really was NOT the image the club should project.

But it's still awesome.

TIME'S UP!


Thursday, January 3, 2013

It's 2013 -- Suck On That, Long-Dead Creator of the Mayan Calendar. You were WRONG.

True or false: doing something twice makes it a tradition?

Let's go with true, just so I can say that I am completing my traditional year in review post1.

In 2012, what was the...

 …most beautiful post (on your blog)?

There are two ways to interpret this question:
1. the post that made me feel sincere feelings because it was raw and honest, or
2. the post saturated with the greatest number of attractive men.

If we go with the parameters set out in the former, than the posts I wrote about my now-dead dog would qualify: Love Letter and Falafel Forever. I can't even read them without getting teary-eyed.

STUPID FEELINGS!!!!!

If we use the latter as our working definition, than it's got to be True North Strong and Sexy.

 …most popular post (on your blog)?

By far the most popular post remains Tattoos are the New Mom Jeans. I wrote it in August 2011 but it gets at least one visit a day.

The second most popular post is one I wrote this year about Rosalind Rubik's Cube Arusha Arkadina Altalune Nes Gadol Hayah Sham Florence Thurman-Busson.

 …most controversial post (on your blog)?

If you are going to make a joke about the mail-order bride industry, remember that the punch line is always about the type of man who resorts to using these (often suspect and unsavoury) services. It is NEVER funny or clever or acceptable to make light of human trafficking or portray the "brides" as desperate trollops available for casual sex. I wrote about this issue in March after learning about a radio contest being run by Q104 in Halifax.

After getting my fill of half-assed, uninformed, overly-emotional "activism" on Twitter, I defended the commercial seal hunt in Canada in The Ugly Side of Cute.

 …most helpful post (on your blog)?

At the request of a reader, July marked the debut of The New Adventures of Hallux, the Toe of Doom. Using my first hand experience and employing my knowledge as a quack with no medical training, I gave advice to anyone trying to regrow a damaged toenail.

 …post whose success surprised you?

The rumour that Tommy Davis is ALLEGEDLY Suri Cruise's biological father explains the popularity of a post I ALLEGEDLY wrote in July following Katie Holmes' ALLEGED escape from Tom Cruise. ALLEGEDLY. Nonetheless, ALLEGEDLY there seems to be a great deal of speculation about the ALLEGED ALLEGATIONS and with that puff piece, I  ALLEGEDLY accidentally fell into an SEO gold mine. Oops. Or so some would ALLEGE.

Please don't sue me, Xenu.

 …post that you didn't feel got the attention it deserved?

Is there anyway to answer this that doesn't come across as a whiney plea for attention and validation? Probably not, so I'll just run with it...

My Warp Speed Wednesdays posts are the ones that take me the longest to compose and usually get the least number of comments or traffic. But I do enjoy writing them and I REALLY appreciate when my usual readers (most of whom are NOT Trekkies) comment. Thanks, everyone, for throwing me a bone!

Here's a bit of Trekkie eye candy:

Benedict Cumberbatch: Yes. You. In the back. Do you have a question that is NOT about Bilbo Baggins? NO? Well, piss off. Anyone else?
JJ Abrams: Hello! Hi. Oh, what? Wait? I thought we were waving, guys? No? It's pointing? We're going with pointing? Okay, I can point. Maybe. Erm. Or not.
Chris Pine: I think we can all agree that the answer to the age old question of "Can anyone make a corduory jacket with suede elbow patches look sexy?" is a yes. Am I right? OR AMIRITE? HA! Who wants to come back to the room with me? There's a mini bar. I'll let you touch the patches. 

What was I writing about? Oh, yes...

 …post that made you most proud?

I'm pretty pleased with myself for chatting to "Starbuck" in the elevator at the Calgary Fairmont Hotel.  The post I wrote about that encounter is very amusing. At least to me.

Happy 2013. I hope you've all recovered from my brilliant New Year's Eve party! I'm still cleaning confetti and Muppet roughage (hehehe!) out of the hot tub filters.

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  1 -- the only other time I completed this New Fangled Traditional Post was last year in January. If Elf on Shelf can be a tradition, so can this meme. DAMMIT.