Monday, March 27, 2006

Circa 1970 or '71

Coming over the American border at Thousand Islands after a fishing trip with family members, the following exchange was had between my Uncle Velemir and a Customs Officer:

Customs Officer:
"Did you purchase anything?"
Uncle Velemir:
"No Perch, no Bass....No NOTHING!"

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Sunday click around, and some other stuff...

Listen, I'm not sure what ????? ?????? is, other than a collection of photos by some Russian guy (judging from the number of photos of naked chicks) but, it's kind of interesting, in a kind of "I don't know what he's on about.." way.

I found this collection of boner parking skills which is kind of amusing.

And then, yesterday...while me and The Mister were out and about...I looked across the room and our eyes locked. I knew that we had to be together...The Mister rolled his eyes...but we were meant to be together.

And last but not least...I am an avid new recipe trier (if that's a word).
On occasion I will be sharing this experience with you. Often, recipes I try, tank.
That's because many people who publish recipe books obviously suck at cooking, and only
think they can cook. The recipes are hit and miss and there are very few reliable sources. One reliable source for good recipes is LCBO Food & Drink Magazine (I've posted the link before), and another is Canadian Living.
So, every so often, I will photograph a newly tried recipe and fill you in on whether it worked or not and why.

The following is last nights try from some old Good Housekeeping recipe book I've had since The Mister and I got serious, and I realized I was going to have to expand my horizons in the area of cooking if we both weren't going to die of culinary boredom.
I was attracted to the name: "Spicy Pepper Cookies", and they turned out pretty well.
Only next time I'll add pecans or walnuts.
If you like Biscotti, and you like ginger cookies, you'll like these.
They're bite sized, and cute.

Spicy Pepper Cookies

1 3/4 cups of flour, 1 cup packed light brown sugar, 1/2 stick butter (4 tbsp), 1 large egg, 1/4 teaspoon each of: baking soda, cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger, white pepper. Preheat oven to 375F, combine ingredients and with mixer at low speed, beat ingredients until well blended.

The mixture will be crumbly; add 3 tsps of water and with your hands kneed until the mixture holds together. Yes. That's right, I wear gloves while I'm handling food.

Shape dough into a ball, and then using measuring spoon, pinch off 1/2 tsp at a time and roll into ball, placing 1/2 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for about 7 minutes or until cookies are a little golden. Let them cool on the sheets and store in an airtight container.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

If I was your girlfriend...

Can you get all of your friends in a room and be confident that they'd all like each other?
Have you ever told someone, "Oh, you would looooove Mygirly McGirlfriend..." only to be disappointed when they don't get on?

Once, my girlfriend Donna described a woman to me that she told me I would love.
"You're so similar!"
"You'd get along perfectly!"
She was so hyped up to me, that I was looking forward to meeting her.
When we were finally introduced, girlfriend said, "Oh Radmila...Croatian right?", "No. Serb" said I.
Her face dropped as though I had said, "No. Turd", and then she composed herself and said, "Oh, it doesn't matter..", which of course said to me that it did.
To her.
She and I had some polite small talk until it felt ok to disengage without being rude, and we didn't speak again for the evening.
I felt sorry for my friend, who was totally convinced that we'd get on like a house on fire, and was disappointed.

Another time, I decided I would get a bunch of women I loved together to see an art exhibit, thinking that this was an excellent idea.
Six women I love, (albeit for different reasons) + beautiful art + lunch = a fantastic time, right?

I was surprised, but looking back...I shouldn't have been.
Out of the six women, only two hit it off and became friends outside of their relationships with me.
And believe me when I say that it wasn't the two that I thought it would be.

It just goes to show that every friend we have compliments a small side of ourselves that doesn't necessarily compliment another side...if you get my meaning.

And some of those sides are best kept to ourselves.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Dee at Things that Bang posted about feeding ducks from her back terrace, and how she thought that she might have a hard time getting rid of them now.
I commented that Canadian geese tour around the lakeshore here in Toronto like gangs of thugs.
Because so many people feed them, many no longer bother to fly south for the winter and instead, they beg food from pedestrians in the winter and picnickers in the summer.
The last time I was down by the lake at Sunnyside, the shore was covered in goose shit, and the noise from the geese was ridiculous.
You can't unwrap a sandwich on a park bench without attracting swarms of thuglike geese demanding your lunch.

There are signs up telling people "DO NOT feed the geese" with a long environmental explanation, but people still do.
It's just wrong.
These geese shouldn't be so urbanized.
The other day I was down there, and I could have sworn I saw one smoking a butt while sucking on a Starbucks cup, and adjusting his iPod.

But, still...
when a mama goose crosses Lakeshore Boulevard with her chicks in a line behind her, and all the cars stop to let them kinda forgive them..

Tales From the Driveway.

This morning while getting ready to leave for work, my neighbour Pardeep was getting out of his car with his youngest son Daniel.

Pardeep: "OY! Radmila! Will you let me make decisions for you?"
Me: "Huh?", and then realizing that he's got a message to get out to his son.
Me: "No, Pardeep"
Daniel is standing on the front stoop, holding the screen door and rolling his eyes.
Pardeep: "Can you make decisions for me?"
Me: "No. I have enough responsibilty, thank you."
Pardeep: "Looking forward to going to work today, nuh?"
Me: "Doesn't matter. I have to go"

Pardeep winks at me and laughs a satisfied laugh, and the screen door slams as Daniel makes his point.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

You know what slays me?

I get numerous hits from people looking for Prince's address on the Bridal Path here in Toronto.
Me and Prince. We're tight.
You know what's even funnier?
Now that I've done this post, I'll disappoint twice as many people.

Schadenfreude, leedvermaak, skadefryd, vahingonilo, zlo...whatever you want to call it.
A message to you numerous Prince sleuths:
If you honestly think you're going to find Princes' address on the internet, you truly need to get out more.

Tales of the Irrational...
Have you ever had a driver in front of you or behind you that you just wanted to get away from, but wanted to teach a lesson to first?

The tailgater I had this morning reminded me of the impatient person in line at the bank who keeps poking their head out, and fidgeting, and making sighing noises that just serves to irritate and doesn't get them any further ahead.
I kept feeling her impatience behind me.
The problem was that it was heavy traffic, and getting past me wouldn't have changed that for her.

So, what did I do?
Why, I stopped her from passing me, of course!
Everytime she changed her lane to pass, I would speed up, and parked cars would force her back behind me.

Why did I do this, you ask?
Because I hate drivers like her, that's why.
Speeding, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic at higher speeds than the flow...yet never any further ahead than the rest of us.
I pass their frustrated asses over and over again.

They are the nervous, and irritating Chihuahuas of the road, and I hate them.
(I don't hate Chihuahuas though...don't send venomous e-mail on behalf of The Peoples Front of Chihuahuas..)

Monday, March 20, 2006

Five Reasons Why I Didn't Like "The History of Violence"

We watched two rented movies this weekend.
One was The History of Violence, the Cronenburg film, and Murderball , a documentary about the Canadian and US Olympic Quad Rugby Team members.

The two things that can really ruin a film for me and the mister are continuity and lack of logical sense in the storyline.

1. If we are to believe the tale that unfolds, why would Tom allow the media to photograph him and splash his face over newspapers accross the country?
If we're to believe his character, and he's not an why?

2. Why so much media coverage for the vigilante act, but none when he brutally wipes out 3 mafia guys on his own property?

3. Gratuitous, and pointless sex scene that goes on and on. Tom's wife puts on a cheerleaders outfit and they go at it. It's not even particularly hot, it just goes on and on. Even The Mister was looking at his watch.

4. William Hurt as a mafia kigpin.
C'mon.... No really.... Gimme a break.
He comes off as kind of strange and eccentric, but sinister, scary mafia guy he is not. And he was nominated for an Oscar for this role. Pickin's must have been slim.

5. The film abruptly ends. Not so much as a by your leave. And leaves the audience (the mister and me) saying: "WTF? That's the end?"

As always, for me anyway, Cronenburg's films are interesting to watch, but don't generally make a lot of logical sense. I see clearly that he's got some sort of abstract message; besides "violence is all around us" and "people aren't who you think they are", that he's awkwardly trying to get out and doesn't quite do it for me.
If this movie was just a statement on violence and an opportunity to show gross violence, then it succeeded.
This movie was ok, but I wouldn't have bothered to rent it... if I hadn't fallen for the hype.

Murderball , on the other hand, was fantastic.
Quad Rugby looks like a brutally demanding sport, and the young men in this documentary are angry, heartbreaking, courageous, and real.
The personal stories are compelling and really drive home the facts about spinal cord injury.

I rented this one simply on the fly.
I went looking for The History of Violence.
Sometimes the spontaneous decision works out to be the better one.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Point-Counterpoint: Seal Hunting

I found THIS really amusing.
You have to admit, Canadians have a sense of humour, and since our Senators, (unlike American Senators) basically sit around grand offices pretending that they actually do something other than get paid...
our Senator had time to respond to an average American family that e-mailed her to complain about the seal hunt.

The Relentless Quest to be Loved

I just spent the last half hour crying.
I was watching CBC News: Sunday's documentary on Dejan Kocevski, a 30 year old man who revisits Cape Girardeau, Missouri to confront and help him come to terms with his past.
Starved, beaten and locked up in the basement, the then-7-year-old Dejan nearly died in a house fire 23 years ago that helped authorities discover the abuse and led to the arrest of his mother and her boyfriend on child abuse charges.
Firstly, when it comes to child abuse... I, like any normal human become emotional.
This story hit me harder because Dejan is Yugoslavian, and it hits me in a different way.
The film footage of Dejan as a child is heartbreaking.
His resilience, his eagerness to please...his affectionate nature as he revisits the people who saved him, his cling to the small little details of his interactions with people, and their memories of him and what happened, his need to come to terms with himself and make connections...and his face...his features so familiar to me.
He could be my cousin, my nephew, my brother...

These kinds of stories always devestate me, but the Serb in me wants to kick the ever loving shit out of his mother, Olga....23 years later.
Dejan was reclaimed by his father at 8 and moved to Germany...within a month, his father shipped him off to his grandfather in Yugoslavia.
Now, Dejan lives in Toronto and is re-establishing a relationship with his mother who is remarried and has an eight year old.

The human spirit mystifies me.
The relentless quest Dejan has to understand why he wasn't loved enough by his mother to be protected by her. Wasn't loved enough by his father to be kept by him...

While his mother claims that she was abused and suffered "Battered Wife Syndrome", although that syndrome hadn't been invented yet...and far be it from me to understand the inner workings of being a battered wife...but I would have thought that if you hate yourself enough to take the abuse, understood.
But, the abuse of your own child should have catapulted you into action to save your son.
What also dumbfounds me, and makes me speechless, is the ability of people like Olga to get salvation from life.

I wish Dejan peace from his demons.
It won't come easy, if at all.

Last night I was tight on finding something quick to bake for dessert.
The Mister suggested Lemon Cake, but I had no lemons.
I substituted tangerine. Any citrus fruit will do for this recipe.

Tangerine Cake
You'll need: 1/2 cup butter, 1 cup white sugar, 2 eggs, 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 tsp baking powder, pinch of salt, rind of one tangerine, 1/2 cup milk, 2 tbsp white sugar, juice of one tangerine.

Zest the skin off of one tangerine, and set aside.
Mix juice of whole tangerine with 2 tbsps of sugar
and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350F

In a separate bowl, blend together the flour,
rind, salt and baking powder.
Cream butter with sugar. Gradually beat in eggs.
Add the flour mixture alternately with milk.

Beat until light and fluffy. Pour into pan evenly.
The batter is quite thick.
Bake until golden brown, and knife comes out clean

Cool cake for 5 minutes, take out of pan and score holes
with a toothpick all over the top.
Pour tangerine juice evenly over the top.

You can decorate it with tangerine pieces and drizzle
with melted chocolate, but I was lazy, and this was a
quick after dinner decision...since the mister has to have
"afters" thanks to his mother the ex-caterer to the Guyanese Parliament.
But, in fairness...she taught me more about cooking than my own mother did.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

"Some time ago I thought
You had run out of fools...
But I was so wrong
You got one that you'll never lose..."

I read this article about romance fraud.
Do these Lotharios and Philanderettes get away with murder?
It doesn't sound like Tracy Lynn Sargent got what she deserved.

But then, I imagine that with romance fraud, it's a little harder to pin down since the victim gives of their own free will, through love.

Sociopaths like Sargent are all over the place, like love landmines.

A colleague of mine was taken a couple of years ago by a smooth talking Nigerian man who lived in Germany. They met online and had an online/telephone/vacation relationship for over three years.
When he moved in with her during the fourth year, it didn't take long for her to figure out that something was wrong.
When he showed up with a new car, but with no job, and no apparent source of income other than her...she started her own investigation.
Within two months she had unravelled his ball of lies and found that he was stringing at least four other women along and taking money from them.
Was he punished by law?
She was embarrassed to be taken as a fool, and he slithered under some other rock of a woman/women who fell in love with his smooth talkin' ways.
This site is a listing of known scammers (male & female), and it's pretty much like a turbo version of Don't Date Him Girl, the difference being that the first sites' scammers are known to police.
Don't Date Him Girl is about angry women warning each other
Here's another site that Combats romance fraud by decribing a POTT (Person On The Take), and the warning signs.

It seems like an epidemic that is thriving with the internet, but people are also getting caught through the internet.
The whole double edged sword thing...

Either way, it's a con with ostensibly few repercussions.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Kids are Mean

When I was a kid, people used to have nicknames that stuck.
Mean nicknames.

"Jarhead" for a boy whose last name was Jarman and was skinny with the disproportionate big head of pre-teen body growth.

"Bunga" given to a very dark skinned black boy by his West Indian friends.

"Hooked on Phonics" to a boy who stuttered badly.

"Schnitzel" to a chubby kid who lived on Roncesvalles.

I had one boy who followed me around for ages calling me "Molly".
I'm not sure why.
But he did.
It didn't so much bother me as puzzle me.

Do you remember any nicknames?

**Photo taken from TrekLens

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Life is Beautiful

As I was dragging some mid to end week grocery needs into the house from my trunk tonight at about quarter to eight, my neighbour Pardeep was coming home dragging his own bags in at the same time.

From his driveway Pardeep said to me, "Ahhhhh, coming home late, nuh?..."

"Yes, as usual..", said I.

"Oh, it's a beautiful life, nuh?...", said Pardeep

My interactions with Pardeep, along with the irony and humour of them makes me almost believe what my uncle believes...and that is that slavs are decedents of East Indian gypsies...

I'm officially a crusty, irascible, cantankerous old person full of stubborn ideas.

My Uja said that it would happen, but I never believed him.

I've been listening to this debate and argument about tuition fees and students freaking out because the cap has been lifted and tuition fees will be going up this year.
I've been hearing that students can barely survive as it is, and it's virtually impossible to pay for tuition, school fees and books...and so on.

I'm not sure about that.
The students that I have contact with are sportin' iPods and laptops, and most of them are having their tuitions paid by their parents while they live at home with them.
Boo fucking Hoo if they have to get a part-time job and study too.

I had to go to school at night, work a full time AND part-time job, AND pay rent and bills. It took me twice as long to get an education as it should have, and I respected my time and classes.
It mattered to me if I failed because I was paying for it.

Some of the students I've met party hard, and know that if they fail, mummy and daddy will fork over the cash for them to do the classes over again.
Or other students who can afford to waffle back and forth from program to program...I want to be a Doctor....NO....I want to be an Engineer...NO...flipping back and forth while they drain their parents bank account and end up staying home until they're 40.

We're raising soft-centered pussies who are whining because they have study AND work part-time.

Boo Fucking Hoo.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Sunday Click-O-Round

Here are just a few interesting links I've looked at this week.
Gum Blondes which is art by Jason Kronenwald.
A Toronto artist whose art is done in chewed gum.
Yes. You read that right. Jason chews lots of gum and then sticks it on plywood to make portraits.
They're really pretty impressive once you get past the chewed gum thing.
Yesterdays Faces Today is a blog dedicated to taking movies, music, and TV shows and finding "then and now" pictures of the actors.

The Mockery Machine - Gothic Tards is a site dedicated finding pictures and crap about Goths. I have to say that "tard" is a good moniker for this. The funny thing about so many Goths is that they really seem to take themselves awfully seriously.
I find this really humourous.

Geeks Gone Wild is via Candygenius and is self-explanatory.

Back by personal obsession is Bombay TV.
C'mon people, make a movie for me...wouldja?

I'm not sure what Buddy Lee Guidance Counsellor is about. If you can figure it out, clue me.

And last, but not least...for the Oscar hooha, a little game called Name That Nominee