Wednesday, August 30, 2006

What happens in a polygamous cult, stays in a polygamous cult

Warren Steed Jeffs is finally caught in Las Vegas.
He apparently led The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ, and is accused of arranging polygamous marriages between older men and underage girls.

Pimpin' for Jesus, evidently.

"But his life on the lam ended Monday on a dark stretch of highway north of Las Vegas, thanks to a routine traffic stop and a vigilant Nevada Highway Patrol trooper who thought things didn't quite add up."

"Trooper Dutchover had been patrolling the stretch of northbound Interstate 15 near Apex the night before when he came up behind a new red Cadillac Escalade with no visible license plate. Dutchover pulled over the vehicle about 9 p.m. and almost immediately knew something was amiss."

Well, Warren knows what kind of ride he needs to be a pimp, huh?

There is nothing more despicable to me than sociopaths who use religion to exploit others. Specifically children and women.

I hope he's passed around like a bitch in prison, if not for punishment, then just to teach him empathy for those he exploited.
The punishment is ok with me too, though.

In the article they make a comparison to a man who shot his estranged wife and mother back in 2003.
I suspect that this case is not the same.
I imagine what it's like to see the person you love suffer.
And to suffer knowing what life would be without them.
You're 80 years old, and you've lived most of your life with a person that you love.
You're gripped with grief.
They're going to a long term care facility, which means that they're going to be kept alive to die.
There have been many cases like this, and I choke when I read about them.


A few years ago I was driving to work and heard a news report about an elderly Downsview couple. The wife had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and the two of them chose suicide over the suffering of one, before death and the lonliness of the other without them.

Is it totally bizarre of me to understand and to sympathize?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

North America's Insecure Girlfriend

"A travel magazine says Toronto doesn't stand out as a travel destination, behind Montreal, Quebec City, Vancouver and Victoria"

All this incessant whining about Toronto not being on some travel magazines list of cities that are worth visiting makes me laugh.

It's a great's a beautiful city in many ways, but does it have beautiful architecture?
Ummm, not really.
City planners are in love with tearing down the old and putting up new glass structures with no character.
Oh sure, they'll keep some little, schmeezly piece of facing or something to keep the historical society off City Councils' back, but they'll just bulldoze down beautiful old buildings rather than restore them.
In the end, they're cutting out the heart of our history as a city.
Old architecture and history is what makes every great city great.
It's one of the reasons that NYC is great.
It's one of the reasons that Quebec City, and Montreal are great.

Toronto is decidedly functional.
Toronto means business...and then when some article comes out saying the city isn't in the same catagory as some others where beauty is concerned, everyone freaks out like an insecure girlfriend who gets told she's got to dress up a little, put on some make up or something.

I think that perhaps city council needs to start looking at this seriously.
And stop tearing down every beautiful old building because it's just too expensive to restore to it's former glory.

There's only so many skyscrapers that are impressive, after, it's just another glass structure that birds can fly into and knock themselves dead on.

TTC Getting "Bossy"?

It seems that you just can't win.
Apparently, the TTC is posting signs all over the place reminding people to mind their manners.

What a terrible initiative!

"We are speaking of the apparent outbreak of control-freaky adhesive orders now posted on subway doors urging riders to mind our manners — edicts rivalling any explosion of laneway graffiti in their viral spread and approaching the Ten Commandments in the extensiveness of their Shalts and Shalt Nots.

"Be Safe and Considerate." "Do Not Charge or Hold Doors." "Do Not Lean Against Doors." "Mind the Gap.""

It's been years since I've had to take the TTC regularly, and I've got to tell you, when I do...I long for the comfort and fresh scent of my car.
I think this is a good remind people, often people who have no manners at consider others.

Yes, A pregnant lady needs a seat more than your gym bag does.

I thought you rode a bike as a mode of transportation...why are you jabbing people in a crowded subway or bus at rush hour with it?

Spitting is disgusting. Spitting on the subway floor is revolting.

You know that small child you're carrying on your back disguised as a backpack?
Take it off when you get on the train, so you don't knock someone unconcious with it when you decide to turn around.

Moving your entire house? Save up for a cab next time! Or wait until rush hour is over.

Should it be surprising that a city the size of Toronto has many mannerless oafs travelling on Public Transit?
It shouldn't be, and whether the signs make a big difference or not, the effort to remind people is there.

Image: Toronto Views and Landscapes

Monday, August 28, 2006

And now for something completely different....KUNG FU BABY!

Swing that Pendulum

Teacher's gender affects how well kids learn, study suggests

"Washington — For all the differences between the sexes, here's one that might stir up debate in the teacher's lounge: Boys learn more from men and girls learn more from women.

That's the upshot of a provocative study by Thomas Dee, an associate professor of economics at Swarthmore College and visiting scholar at Stanford University. His study was to appear Monday in Education Next, a quarterly journal published by the Hoover Institution".

Says Ben Feller for The Globe and Mail

Well, I guess the answer is obvious.
I'm not sure if it's a good idea, but it would surely slow down the hoochie train in middle school and high school.
Mind you...when I was in high school, those Catholic School girls were wilder than any of my public school, I'd still like to see some of these teen girls stuffed into a uniform, with less of an opportunity to show their inner 'hoe.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Check out my recipe for Cheese Straws on my new visual recipes blog Papamo

Bullshit is as Bullshit Does

The other weekend, The Mister and I were in a high end furniture store.
We saw a chair exactly like chairs we bought a year ago at Costco.
In this high end furniture store, one chair was double the price that we paid for two.
Our conversation went like this:

Me: "It's the exact same chair"
Him:"Maybe it's because the leather is better quality"
Me "It's not any softer than ours, I can't see the difference"
Him: "Maybe it's because the legs are made of better wood"
Me: "Maybe it's because this is a rip off"

This kind of thing drives me nuts.
People think that because they buy something from a high end store that it's better quality, which isn't necessarily the case.
Many people are swayed by the name, and then can say that they bought something at a swanky store.
But, I looked this chair over from top to bottom, and it was even made in Czechoslovakia, just like ours were.
I can't be convinced that this $495.00 chair isn't the same chair we got for $125.00.

Buyer beware.

Sunday CLiCk Around

Square America is a site with found or bought vintage pictures of strangers. I'm fascinated by these kinds of sites because when I look at pictures like that, I imagine people's lives by clues I find in the photos.
I know. I should have better things to do, and I do...but I still like doing it.

In the same vein, I found Stripper audition polaroids from the '60's and '70's over at Cynical-C.
Some of the ladies look pretty roughed up, but then it wasn't really a time for "natural" make up and hair either.
Still, the photos are intriguing.

Fluid Effect is another photo site that has some great before/after touch up photos. Some of celebrities and some of ads. There is a copyright policy that you must agree to before you can view the portfolio.
It's worth looking at.

While we're slightly touching the topic of celebrities, Movie Cliches has a list of things that always happen in the movies. Some of the these are amusing.
While we're on the topic of cliches, do you have trouble finding the right cliche?
Cliche Finder can help you find the right cliche for the moment.

Here are the results from my Personal DNA Test. I was pretty impressed. They did a relatively good job as far as online personality tests go.
I found this over at Getting On.

Panoramas dk has panoramic views that you can navigate with your mouse. I've chosen The Eiffel Tower, but there are many views to choose from. From Times Square from the top to a cremation in Bali to a Mosque in Istanbul.
It's really a pretty cool site.

And then, last but not least, I happened onto National Center for Missing & Exploited Children website, and spent quite a bit of time pouring over pictures of missing children and runaway teens.
It's thoroughly depressing to read the circumstances under which many of these children went missing.
Many from their own homes, in their pj's and no shoes.
Parent abductions, and abductions under suspicious circumstances.
The teen runaways are especially sad. 14 year old girls "may be in the company of an adult male", and in some cases photos of the wanted adult male.
So many of the missing runaways are "in the company of their infant daughter" or son.
Fourteen year olds running away with their infants.
The descriptions of many of the children make me sad. Twelve year olds with body piercings and tattoos, and children of their own, running away "in the company of" 26 to 30 year old men.
There are so many children neglected, and in circumstances of life that you, and I will never comprehend, but they endure.
Children forced to be adults by their lack of fortune.
What a downer I am, huh?

But, should have a look, and see the proof that we're close to Armageddon.
Life is cheap.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

A German report on a common problem afflicting Neo-Nazis.

Hilarity from John at Shatnerian

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Tat and Me
(personal and sentimental, if you're not adverse, keep reading...if you are, check out Mr Anchovy where I've been guest blogging with *(Asterisk) this week)

There is a 14 year age difference between my cousin Tatijana and me.
It's hard to believe that she's caught up to me...and it's true that what we did and what we said a hundred years ago means something to someone.

When Tat was a little girl, I was already on the cusp of adulthood.
I was in school and living in a flat around the corner from my Uja's store.
I had dinner there every night, and then I would go home to study.
Uja could see into my kitchen from his back terrace whenever he wanted to make sure I was studying.
Today, Tat is a busy woman, with a busy life, and we don't get a lot of time to just "hang".
We've been trying to get together for over a month, and today she stopped by my office to have a coffee with me and drop off a birthday gift she's been trying to give me.
When I opened the gift, and held the card in my hand...she said, "read it later".
Oh, what a Milinkov she is...while it runs in the family to be quite soft hearted and emotional, we really don't do the whole "I loooooove you sooooo much" thing. Probably because we are ....Hard heads with soft hearts.

When I got home, I pulled the card out.
It's small, and both sides are covered in miniscule writing.
She mentioned Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time", and memories she had that I had almost forgotten.
Forcing her and her sister to listen to me read The Narnia Chronicles because no one read to me as a child, and I knew her parents didn't read to them.
I, at that time had what was considered "ecclectic" taste in clothes and style. Hey, it was the '80's, and my wardrobe consisted of vintage dresses, and bright red lipstick. My hair changed constantly, and I was off the beaten path.

I did things with Tat, and her sister that I wished an older sister or cousin could have done with me. I grew up alone, with no cousins my age, and no siblings.
So, we made gingerbread houses at Christmas time, and coloured eggs at Easter.
We went to The Planetarium, Art Galleries, the Museum and to the movies. All things that I wanted done with me when I was her age.
Things that busy and pragmatic immigrant parents don't have time for.
Blowing bubble gum bubbles, and trying all kinds of different foods. Tat and her sister Deja would spend hours "doing my hair", and Tat would go through my purse everytime I set it down.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that you never really comprehend what touch you have on people, and while I was busy living what I felt I missed out on, but playing a different role (the older cousin and not the child), she was absorbing that.
And it meant something.
To both of us.
I know that Tat reads this blog often enough, and she knows that I love her.
When Uja was in the hospital, Tat and I were talking, and I said to her: "When they go Tat, we only have each other, me and Deja...", and it shouldn't take a crisis to realize that.
It doesn't hurt to celebrate family.
Especially when you don't have much of one.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

"John Ball, retiring president of the International Mathematical Union, said he had travelled to St Petersburg, Russia to meet Perelman in person to try to understand his reasons for declining the award.

Professor Ball said he had spoken to Perelman of personal experiences with the mathematical community during his career that had caused him to remain at a distance.

"However, I am unable to disclose these comments in public," he said, adding: "He has a different psychological make up, which makes him see life differently."

Manuel de Leon, chairman of the ICM, said: "The reason Perelman gave me is that he feels isolated from the mathematical community and therefore has no wish to appear as one of its leaders.""

Rough Translation:

"Fack YU, yu exklusiff akedemik preeks! Keep yu effin' maney and buljshet priz, and keez mai ess, Mit da cherry in da krek."

Link via: Neatorama

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

"We dont need no education.
We dont need no thought control.
No dark sarcasm in the classroom.
Teacher, leave those kids alone".

I was listening to CBC's The Contrarians Radio Program this morning.
Jesse Brown was interviewing David Horowitz.
I'm not familiar with David Horowitz's politics, but in this interview I agreed with many things that David said.

Which is scary since he's "a faithful Republican, an enemy to the Left, and a personal friend to George W. Bush.".

But he said a few things that make a lot of sense to me.
One thing he said was that there has been war, hate, racism, corruption, and unfairness for millennia, and there will continue to be these things until the earth is a cinder.
He said that leftists refuse to believe that these things cannot be changed by public policy, and while many conservatives have religion to fall back on, a higher being to believe in that will make life better in a different "frame", leftists have made public policy their religion.
Listening to him rant with such passion made me think of myself and Serbs I know who almost have an aneurysm trying to explain the Balkan situation to people who don't even care to understand.
To his interviewer, he clearly sounded angry. Jesse Brown kept inferring that he was too "passionate" in his rant..while to me, he sounded frustrated...frustrated that people couldn't see the obvious.

Mr. Horowitz discussed the dangers of University and College Professors with radical political beliefs pushing their own politcal agendas in the classroom, and why this is wrong.
He pointed out that "Women's Studies" is really a platform for the Radical Feminist Agenda, and that someone like Camille Paglia would not be allowed to teach her theory of feminism within that frame, while in reality...students should be allowed the contrast to decide for themselves what to believe.

I agree.

Higher education is a time to explore, and to come to your own beliefs about society, ethics, politics and lifestyle choices. Students should be exposed to as many theories as possible. As time goes by, their own experiences will build on that base.
It infuriates me when I hear that a teacher has been pushing their agenda in the classroom. During teachers strikes in this city, it was quite common for some teachers to teach children about their unions grievance with the School Board.
My Stepson's class was taken to a union rally when he was in high school.
This is fucking ridiculous, and shouldn't be allowed to happen.
But it does, because agendas become so powerful, that individuals are powerless to stop them from corrupting the growing minds of students.

While many students would cry, "OH, we're not that stupid...we can think for ourselves..." don't even realize that their own thinking is streamlined if they're not exposed to many different theories and ideas.

Anyhow, I'm rambling now...but here are some links to David Horowitz, and come to your own conclusions:

FrontPage Mag
Most Dangerous Academics in America
The Leftist Campaign to Shape America's Young Minds

So while I'm a little disturbed that I agree with some of his neo-conservative theories, he's worth reading, or hearing...take what you want, and debate the rest.

That's what students should be allowed to do.

Schadenfreude Watch.

This blog which is dedicated to all things Jolie, commenting on rumours of Angelina's sucky, smothering chick rumours:

"It's important to note that Angelina always appeared to be confident and self reliant while living as a single mom with Maddox."

Confident women don't have to have a baby five minutes into that relationship in order to "seal" the deal. Angelina's pregnancy within months of publicly announcing their affair screams to me that she had to make it clear to the world that they were "serious" serious as Hollywood can get I guess.
Kind of like pissing on Jennifer Anistons lawn to mark her territory.
Besides, beautiful women are often more insecure than the rest of us average looking chicks.
I think it has something to do with never getting enough attention, and needing to be reassured constantly that they're really beautiful...and then there's that whole getting older thing....
Really, you know that arrogant, bitch or bastard that is so full of themselves?
They're not that way because they really believe it.
They're that way because they need to convince themselves, and you... is so ironical.

Read what Technorati has to say about Brangelina.

Just for fun, here are a few Angelina Quotes:

"I don't believe in guilt, I believe in living on impulse as long as you never intentionally hurt another person, and don't judge people in your life. I think you should live completely free".

"I'm happy being myself, which I've never been before. "

I've told Billy if I ever caught him cheating, I wouldn't kill him because I love his children and they need a dad. But I would beat him up. I know where all of his sports injuries are. "

"When other little girls wanted to be ballet dancers I kind of wanted to be a vampire. "

"Where ever I am I always find myself looking out the window wishing I was somewhere else. "

Yeah, yeah, yeah...I know...she's an easy target, and I'm just a hatr, 'cause she's hot, and rich.

But hey...She's not afraid of my perception of her.
"If I make a fool of myself, who cares? I'm not frightened by anyone's perception of me. ",
she said it herself.

Geez, I'm disappointed in myself...tsk, tsk.... that these two should bug me so much...I really need to get a life...I said it, so you don't have to.

Photo: Defamer


I don't usually do movie reviews, but anyone who has read me for any period of time knows that I love Bollywood movies.
Besides Bollywood, I also love Deepa Mehta movies.
Deepa Mehta is no Bollywood movie writer, Director and producer.
She's much more angry, passionate, and darkly humourous.
Her movies are beautiful to watch, and she's Canadian.
I'm deeply proud of that.
She is a personification of immigrant freedom.
Able to speak her mind, and expose her own birth culture to criticsm.

When I go to my Indian Flute Salon, hairdresser and esthetician and I talk about Indian movies. When I told her that I saw Water one of Deepa Mehta's forbidden trilogy, she said: "They chased Deepa out of India for making this movie...they chased her out because she spoke the truth, she had to film it in Sri Lanka".

Water is about widows in an Ashram in India in the late 1930's when Ghandi just begins to gain followers.
Chuyia, a strong willed child is widowed at the age of 8 or 9 and sent to an Ashram.
The film is full of rich characters. Strong women forced by their fate to endure a life of purity, and sacrifice...but at the same time a life of concealed contradictions.

Didi, the Mother of the Ashram is a tyrant whose rules for the widows do not apply to her. She eats well (unlike her sisters), smokes marijuana brought to her by The Eunich Galabi, who also aids her in selling her most beautiful young widow Kalyani, to wealthy Brahmen for sex. Kalyani is allowed to keep her long hair for this reason. All other widows are shaved bald.

Patiraji, an old widow who longs for sweets is brought a ladoo one time before she dies by Chuyia who uses the money given to her by a young girl outside the temple where the widows beg. Chuyia does this to give "auntie" what she longs for.
The contrast of fates between Chuyia and the young girl outside the temple is stark, and anger inducing. For a child to have to endure this life in our world is unthinkable, yet in other cultures common and accepted.
Which is shocking, indeed.

Patiraji eats the ladoo, and remembers when she was a young girl at her own wedding. Long before she knew what lot awaited her.
She often laments on how painful life is. And when she dies, we rejoice in her freedom.

Shakuntala is the character I most empathized with...her quiet, enduring faith, and determination to do the right thing. Her struggle with her destiny, and her characters honesty and resignation made me sad...but her strength in the end redeemed her trust in the human race...even though she still remained in her own sad circumstances.
If she was lucky. She gave everything to do the right thing...INAT (whatever the consequences)

Narayan, the son of a wealthy Brahman and follower of Ghandi, falls in love with the beautiful Kalyani (Lisa Ray), and wants to marry her...which is forbidden.
I'm not going to go into how that plays out.
That's up to you.
It's worth seeing, believe me.

Deepa exposes the hypocrasy of religion and faith.
In a scene with Shakuntala and Narayan, Shakuntala askes why widows must endure what they do, and Narayan tells her:
"One less mouth to feed.
4 less saris,
one less bed, a corner of the house saved
...there is no other reason.
Disguised as religion, it's just about money".
Tell me that organized religion isn't all the same...

Deepa's Mehta's forbidden triolgy: Fire, Earth and Water, I think are worth watching.
I haven't seen Earth yet, but Fire was excellent.
Go out and rent them...or buy them like I did.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Will it go round in circles...

This morning I was in a local Laundromat drying camp kids t-shirts like I do every Monday (Don't ask).
The Laudromat was busy, and everyone was either folding or loading their washing when one young man waiting for his clothes to dry changed the channel to CNN.
Bush was making a speech and everyone was listening, while folding or separating...two people, a young woman, and the young man that had turned on CNN were watching and listening intently.

Then Bush said:

"...and we will continue to fight to bring democracy to the world..."

The whole Laundromat stopped, and collectively groaned.
I've never been a party to something like that before, where a room full of strangers all react, the same way, at the same time...spontaneously.

The young woman who was watching intently said, "What a stupid man"...someone else said "Gimme a break", another said, "That's right...force democracy down peoples throats, that'll work!".

Somebody get him out of office before he gets us all killed.

"LOS ANGELES — John Mark Karr, the suspect in the killing of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey, arrived late Sunday after a 15-hour flight from Thailand on which he sipped champagne, dined on fried king prawns and roast duck, and exchanged what he described as ``small talk” with law enforcement escorts".

Am I the only one who thinks that this case, which started as bizarre...just continues to get more outré?
He travelled business class.So?
..ok...I can't see him in coach...can you?

Is he just an attention whore?
Is he nuts? Because he seems kinda extra nutty to me, not just your average crazed pedophile.
Is he really the killer?

And how about those kiddy beauty pageants?
Are they not the most freakish kind of self-esteem building exercise for your kid?
I still can't look at some of the pictures of JonBenet without thinking "WTF...she was 6 years old...SIX YEARS OLD".
Six year olds have no business looking like that.
Not that this has anything to do with the just disresses me whenever I see pictures of her.

I think that there should be an age barrier for beauty 14 or something.
The subculture is decidedly peculiar....anyhow, that's neither here nor there...but this John David Karr character is extra hiding stuff in his basement freezer kind of creepy.

This guy is going to cost American taxpayers millions in legal fees and special prison "for his own protection" features.

It's times like this that I wish he were being tried in Singapore.
They're frugal with their inmate money over there...if you know what I mean...

I LOVE this movie...

And I LOVE this one was required viewing by Mama...along with Dr. Zivago...

I totally have the album...

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Angelina paranoid?

I read This today and chuckled.
It doesn't matter how "hot" you are.
A betraying cheater is a betraying cheater...and there are women just like her out there who don't respect other women's relationships.

She knows this, and deep down knows that she's susceptible to the same end as the woman she usurped.

I'll find this quite amusing, if it's true.

Doesn't matter how "hot" you are, hooking up with a man who can publically humiliate a woman he claimed to love, is still a man who is capable of doing the same to you.

Women are stupid in this way.

But, a person who will act on base wants without thinking of how they're affecting others will not exclude you from this fate.
I'll enjoy watching this play out.
Call it schadenfreude.

I don't care.

Sunday CLick ArouNd

So, since we're winding down the turbo part of the wedding season, I thought I'd link to a couple of interesting wedding sites...."Nooooooooooooooo!" You cry...but it's ok.
I'm not a big poofy wedding fan myself. Ask my Sister in Law. She had a Wedding Binder while she planned her wedding. Every time I saw that burgundy binder, I could feel myself slipping into a coma.
For those that know me, they know that our wedding was small. Our annual BBQ is about 3 times bigger than our wedding was. What can I tell you?...I didn't have the fantasy when I was a little girl.
I just might have been a guy in my last life or something.

Anyhow, Vintage Weddings shows a nice progression from normal "I'm getting married" garb to current psycho "I paid 5 grand for my dress...this better be perfect, bitch!". It goes up to the 1970's. I suppose that's when that psycho-Bride trend really started to take off.
A wedding can turn a normal woman into a crazy lady.

World Wedding Traditions covers a lot of different "ethnic" traditions...a lot of them, but not Serbian (natch), so here are the links from a while ago that I took from American for Hire.
They cover the traditions of Serbian Weddings from the The Grooms House to the Brides House.

Old People are Funny is a collection of nutty things old people have done that has been reported in the news. Some of the stuff is pretty crazy, but I guess no crazier than some of the stuff I've read about that younger people do. I suppose those whacky youngsters grow up to be loony oldsters.

The Mister and I were out at lunch yesterday and got to talking about old Kung Fu movies.
I got stuck on a particular actor that was in a lot of them. I couldn't remember his name...and because I'm an OCD freak, this bothered me until The Mister remembered that his name was Jim Kelly, along with his partner in those movies, John Saxon.
That got us talking about old Blaxploitation films from the 1960's and '70's.
The other day, he vetoed my purchase of Cleopatra Jones.
I know that those movies were exploitative, and were negative stereotypes...but at the time, they were super cool! They were the "Gangsta" movies of that time. And now, the fashion statement can't be beat. When we look back at the outrageous styles of the '70's, we totally look back to those movies.
The women were pretty hot, I mean, that can't be denied...Tamara Dobson? Pam Grier?

Dolemite was co-written by Rudy Ray Moore, who ran with the character as a stand up comedian long after the movies stopped being popular.
In the spirit of Rudy Ray's sense of humour and ability to poke fun at his character, here's The Pimp Builder. You can dress your own little pimp...but you need shockwave to do it.

Do you need to know the time in another country, right now? Click here.

Quiz Section:
Burn some time playing Trivia Challenge like I did.
A lot of time, actually.
Because it was pretty easy, and I like the self-esteem boost.
I've done this Colour Quiz a number of times and it's kind of interesting.
Here's another colour quiz it's also kind of interesting.
This quiz is called "Photos you like better" and is supposed to tell something about your personality by the photos you choose. It said that I was a guy...which might explain the wedding thing... However, you'll get Carpal Tunnel before you get any answers.

Are you worried that the way that you lace your shoes has become boring and trite?
Then check out 31 ways to lace your shoes, and break out of your humdrum, boring lace routine.

That's all guys...

Oh yeah, I'm guest hosting at Mr. Anchovy while The Anchovies are in Calgary this week...I'm guesting along with *(Asterisk).
You should check him out too.

That's all.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

What signifies the end of summer for you?

All Torontonians will agree that when the C.N.E. (Canadian National Exhibition) opens, it's the beginning of the end.

The fair is a summer staple.
I grew up walking distance from the "Ex" and spent many end of summers either with rolled newspaper at the end of a driveway waving potential parkers onto our lawn, or working at the fair.

My first job was at the "Ex", and you'd be hard pressed to find someone who grew up in Parkdale, the west end... who didn't work there at least one summer.

The "Ex" was my window to the world.
When I was in my teens, my world was very small, as most kids worlds are. Confined to your neighbourhood, and to your school.
At the "Ex" kids came from all over the city to work, and I made friends from areas of the city I had never even seen.

If you talk to a Torontonian, there are certain things that they remember about the "Ex" could be something as obscure as the guy on the Midway who used to shout "DOGGIE, DOGGIEEEEEEE!!!" over and over.
Or it could be (for those who liked to dance), standing in front of the Hymalaya because it was the ride that played the best music.

It could be the ice cream waffle sandwiches, or the tiny doughnuts at the food building. Or it could be the concerts at the Grandstand that brought some of the most famous bands to Toronto.

Is it The Alpine Way? which was a way to get back to the main gates from the Princess Gates.
Once you had walked the whole fair, you could take the Alpine Way, and ride above the crowd all the way back to the Dufferin Gates.

The real glam days of the Exhibition are gone, and the last time that The Mister and me went down to The "Ex", it seemed so much smaller and less exciting than it used to be.
Part of that is because we're adults, but part of it is also what urban planners have done to the fair grounds.

dismantled important elements of what made the C.N.E. special and great to make room for conference buildings, and additions to current buildings for the trade show industry.
I understand that the C.N.E. cannot stand empty, and unusable for the sake of a mere three weeks at the end of the summer, but what the planners have done is taken a part of the feeling of this city, and made it just another roadside attraction.

"Bring back The Alpine Way!", I say.

Monday, August 14, 2006

How important is bonding where children are concerned?

I've talked to many people who immigrated to Canada, but were left behind with family in their home countries, and brought over when their parents were "settled".

The Mister was left with family by his mother.
He was 18, and his sister was 9, when they were reunited with their mother, at that time... she brought them to Canada.
I was left behind with my grandparents, and brought to my parents who returned to Europe from Canada and were waiting in Germany, for me to be brought by an uncle so that we could make our way to Canada together.

My parents and my grandparents generation didn't believe in discussing things with children. Everything was on a need to know basis. This was a reoccurring theme in my life, and I am confident that it was like that because they felt they were protecting me.
Shielding us from the confusion of adult decisions, and changes.

When I was a little girl, I was told over and over that my mother was "chak leko, leko" (far, far away), and when she came for me, she would bring me a big doll.
Just like the doll that sat on my grandmothers high bed with her skirt all spread out around her.
The doll I was never allowed to play with or touch.
The doll that was as big as I was.

Yesterday, while the sister-in-law and I were just sitting around in the backyard passing time and talking, we were discussing this subject.
She doesn't remember reuniting with her mother either.

My mother tells the story, and says how she cried and cried trying to convince me that she was my mother.
Mama says that all I kept repeating was that she was not my mother, and that my mother was far, far away (chak leko leko).
Our time away from each lost forever.

My bond was with my grandparents, and as much as I love my mother...I don't think we ever recovered from that separation.
Don't get what I'm saying wrong...I'm just saying that when people talk about the "parental bond", it's a real thing.
It's not something that you can hold in your hand, but it's something that is held in your head.

I'm just sayin'
No life changing decision comes without consequences and sacrifice.

Perhaps this is why I get so pissed off with illegal immigrants who feel that they can just jump the queue, and demand that they get amnesty...and get to stay without going through the legal channels to become citizens.
Right now, at this in this city, there is a mother who is working hard to bring her children here. Sending barrels home, with toys and clothes and photos so that her children don't forget what she looks like.
Saving money, filling out forms and going to immigration hearings in order to reunite with her children legally.

I'm not saying that it shouldn't be the other way around.
What I am saying is that it is what it is, and people should not be allowed to manipulate the system while others are following the rules.
Valuing the law, and abiding by it.
These are the citizens I think are worthy of citizenship.

Speed up the process in both respects.
Help families reunite sooner...before that time is lost to a parent and child forever.
Deport those that don't respect our laws sooner, and make them do it legally...or change immigration laws to favour families.

But don't allow the manipulation to continue.
It's a slap in the face to those of us who made the sacrifice.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Fainéant Generation

This morning while reading The Glob & Mail , I came across a full "strategic council poll" on lifestyles and attitudes of generations from pre-Boomer age to The Echo generation...which is what the current 20-29 age group is called (apparently. It's here in the left hand column, if you're interested in going over statistics by generation.

So here are the demographics:
Echo (Age 20 – 29)
Gen X (Age 30 – 39)
Younger Boomers (Age 40 – 49)
Older Boomers (Age 50 – 59)
Total Boomers (Age 40 – 59)
Pre Boomers (Age 60+)

I found this portion of the poll interesting:

"Though they are often still living with their parents, a care-free echo generation is anticipating a very bright financial future.
The echo generation is living life to its fullest. Compared with other generations they are more likely to exercise (73% exercise 3 or more times a week vs. 62% of the general population), go out for dinner (23% vs. 13%), have sex (46% vs. 28%) and smoke marijuana (7% vs. 3%). Often still living with their parents (36%), many (35%) acknowledge they may be working fewer hours than their parents did at their age.
Overall, this generation is satisfied with life, and is very optimistic that it will get even better.
Half (50%) report they are very satisfied with their lives, with 43% saying they are somewhat satisfied.
Almost 9 in 10 (87%) say they expect life to improve greatly (52%) or somewhat (35%) in the next 10 years.
They have few concerns for their financial futures. In comparison to other generations, they tend to be confident in their financial security in old age (46% very confident), and expect their standard of life to increase following retirement (39%). And, not only are they expecting inheritances to help them out (54%), they fully intend to have the wealth required to leave one for their children (92% of those with children)."

Isn't that special.

So, let me translate for you:
"Though they are often still living with their parents, the care-free echo generation is anticipating a very bright financial future.
The echo generation is living life to its fullest on their parents backs. Compared with other generations they are more likely to exercise,(because they have a lot more free time on their hands, since mommy is cooking and doing their laundry for them) go out for dinner (because they have more expendable income thanks to not having to pay rent), have sex (in their parents basement) and smoke marijuana (hey...they can afford it). Often still living with their parents (36%), many (35%) acknowledge they may be working fewer hours than their parents did at their age ('cause hey, I'm entitled, and working is tiring).
Overall, this generation is satisfied with life, and is very optimistic that it will get even better, after their parents die and they inherit everything their parents broke their backs to make.
Half (50%) report they are very satisfied with their lives, with 43% saying they are somewhat satisfied, but only because their parents won't spring for that vacation they feel they're entitled to because they exist.
Almost 9 in 10 (87%) say they expect life to improve greatly (52% - parents will have left me everything) or somewhat (35% - parents will still be alive) in the next 10 years.
They have few concerns for their financial futures, any why should they? In comparison to other generations, they tend to be confident in their financial security in old age (46% very confident), and expect their standard of life to increase following retirement (39%). And, not only are they expecting inheritances to help them out (54%), they fully intend to have the wealth required to leave one for their children (92% of those with children)."

That last line kills me.

I know that it's a few generations away, but I don't think that members of the echo generation are going to provide for their children what their own parents provided for them.
It's a selfish generation, and I think that we're going to do a full swing back to kicking your kids out at 18 to fend for themselves.
This last generation isn't going to tolerate from their children what their parents tolerated from them.
They're far too self-revolved.
And I'll tell you what....I'll bet most will blow what their parents built and have very little to leave their children.

Yeah...harsh, eh?
But listen,...I'm not talking about everyone am I?
I will tell you that I'm watching the change and shift in the way in which many younger people view themselves, and what they see as their expectations from their parents.
It's only going to get harder for the generations to come.
The "echo" generation is not nearly as generous as the generation before them has been.

But, that's just one opinion.
This is coming from someone who is watching Gen X'ers run to fix everything for their kids which will only serve to make them weak, and unable to cope with the difficult situations life will surely bring.
Many GenXer's I know depend heavily on their parents to help with raising their own tell me.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Tell me you don't want to get up and dance...

I thought I'd get in the mood...this weekend is our annual BBQ, so I'm home this week preparing for our fete on Saturday night.

I heard this song, and thought I'd look him up...Here's some info on Desmond Dekker.
He recently passed away.
R.I.P. Ska King.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Passion of Love Turns the Brain Soft

This morning, on the street where I work, there were signs pasted all over poles, and fences.
Someone took a long time to post all of these signs on bright yellow paper.
I was sure that someone had lost a pet.
I focused on one of the signs, and read what was on it.
There was a picture of a young attractive woman, and underneath the photocopied photo, were these words:
"DO YOU KNOW (the girls name)?
She's the Argentinean whore that stole my husband.
Tell her to send that "idiot" back to his FAMILY"
Now, a few questions ran through my head after reading this.

If your husband leaves you for an "Argentinean whore", why do you want him back?... and if she's a whore, and he left you for her...what would that make you?
And where's the picture of him?
He's the one who ran off on his family.
Why would you post your business out on every pole down a street?
Because if they know her, then they know him, and if they know him, then they know YOU... you stupid moron.

Truly, love can make people soft in the head.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Almost Monday Click Around

Here's a link called Crazy Weddings. The photos are not all that crazy, but I guess if you're talking seeing them in a wedding album, they would be crazy. They look more like outakes.

Ever think about freaking your guests out with food?
Well then, feel free to take this recipe and make a Meat Cake. Yes. A meat cake made with meatloaf, ketchup and mashed potatoes for icing. I wouldn't leave it out too long though.

Chav Scum is dedicated to all things Chav. Here's a little documentary on the Chav in his/her natural habitat. We call them Hosers (ok...they're not exactly Hosers...), Americans call them Trailer Trash, Brits call them Chavs.

I'm not a fan of
Jackson Pollock. Sorry. For those of you who think he's a genius...whatever.
Create your very own Jackson Pollock here, and voila! You're an artist too!

I took this "Are you a good eyewitness" quiz.
Ehrmmm, let's just say that you'd better hope that I'm not a witness to any crime.
I suck.

50 Years of World Press Photos is someplace I spent a lot of time. It chronicles 50 years worth of "Photo of the Year" award winners.

I know a few people who could ace Guess Which Movie, but I'm not one of them. Almost every movie they featured in this test was not seen by moi.
See how well you do, and if you do well...don't tell me about it.

Speaking of movies, if you want to see a trailer of an upcoming movie, go to Trailers and watch them. There are a few I'm interested in seeing, but probably not at the theatre. We recently saw Miami Vice and let me just say that I was convinced that Foxx and Farrell forgot how to act. Seriously, they should be paying YOU to go see it.

Do you think you're a poet?
Language is a Virus has a Poetry Generator just for you (plus some ads with jiggly chicks on the sidebar).

That's all for now, guys...

Friday, August 04, 2006


My Uja is a sensitive man.
Outwardly, looking at would never know it.
Talking to him when he's would never know it.
Being on the end of his would never think it.

But he is.

He tries to keep that hard shell showing, but the soft center peeks out every so often.
His store is on Queen Street, and there is no shortage of vangrants, homeless, and those that we generally don't want to deal with wandering into his shop.

A few years ago, I worked in his store on weekends, and while I spent many years above his shop as a youth, I've grown unaccustomed to the regulars on the street.
Dishevelled winos would come into his store, and he would drop them a fin or a twoonie.
He'd call them "Chief", and "Boss", and they would go on their way, thanking him on the way out.

One afternoon, after one particularly filthy frequenter left, I said to him: "Why do you do that? They just keep coming back..."

Uja smiled sadly and said to me "Haney...vee all jast van tragedy from da street..."

And then he went on to tell me the stories of those that have passed through his door.
People who had jobs, and lives, who fell.
Something happened, and they never recovered.

He reminded me that "Vee hev to stay human...",
...and to never forget that it could happen to anyone.