Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Here come the judge

Supreme Ciurt nominee Justice Marshall Rothstein, was "grilled" yesterday by a panel of MPs. At the beginning of the proceedings co-chair Peter Hogg, Osgoode Hall Law School dean and a non-MP, stated that Rothstein would not be able to answer any questions about "controversial subjects" so no one could ask about abortion, same-sex marriage or secession. After three hours of this foolishness, we now await Harper's decision on whether or not he will appoint this judge to the Supreme Court. Now, Harper nominated him and the MP panel who questioned the nominee has no say on whether or not he gets to the Supreme Court so the whole process was the equivalent to watching me bash my head against a wall for three hours (although I think my head bashing would be more entertaining if just because it would be weird after a while--will she pass out or not?). I guess Bush and Cheney might be happy with it, though, because we are looking more like them every day: lots of hoopla, pomp and circumstance but nothing actually going on except whatever the guy at the top wants.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Maybe I ain't so old after all

Stolen from John Feltham, a list of signs you have grown up. And since I am hitting a major milestone this year, I thought I should answer them myself.

25 SIGNS YOU HAVE GROWN UP:

1. Your houseplants are alive, and you can't smoke any of them.
Have no houselplants. They all die.

2. Having sex in a twin bed is out of the question.
I don't rule out having sex anywhere.

3. You keep more food than beer in the fridge.
True, but I'm more of a wine girl and my wine rack looks good

4. 6:00 AM is when you get up, not when you go to bed.
I don't get up at 6:00 AM if I can help

5. You hear your favorite song in an elevator.
Is Mr. Brightside on the elevator already?

6. You watch the Weather Channel.
I live in Newfoundland. Don't we all watch that?

7. Your friends marry and divorce instead of "hook up" and "break up."
True.

8. You go from 130 days of vacation time to 14.
Not really

9. Jeans and a sweater no longer qualify as "dressed up."
If I'm outta my PJs, I'm dressed up.

10. You're the one calling the police because those %&@# kids next door won't turn down the stereo.
Not yet but that could happen

11. Older relatives feel comfortable telling sex jokes around you.
Ewww, I hope that never happens.

12. You don't know what time Taco Bell closes anymore.
N/A here unless the one in the movie theatre counts.

13. Your car insurance goes down and your car payments go up.
Nope.

14. You feed your dog Science Diet instead of McDonald's leftovers.
My dog would eat me if I laid off the Mickey Dee's for him.

15. Sleeping on the couch makes your back hurt.
Probably. Thankfully, hubby lets me sleep in the bed.

16. You take naps.
Can't nap.

17. Dinner and a movie is the whole date instead of the beginning of one.
Rarely get dinner AND a movie anymore.

18. Eating a basket of chicken wings at 3 AM would severely upset, rather than settle, your stomach.
True

19. You go to the drug store for ibuprofen and antacid, not condoms and pregnancy tests.
I go for all of them, actually.

20. A $4.00 bottle of wine is no longer "pretty good stuff."
True! Ack! Cough! Spit!

21. You actually eat breakfast food at breakfast time.
True.

22. "I just can't drink the way I used to" replaces "I'm never going to drink that much again."
True.

23. 90% of the time you spend in front of a computer is for real work.
Nope. Not with blogs (and online soduku) around.

24. You drink at home to save money before going to a bar.
I always did that. That's a student's trick.

25. When you find out your friend is pregnant you congratulate them instead of asking "Oh S*$# what the hell happened?"
Could go either way. Depends on the friend and her situation.

Bonus:: You read this entire list looking desperately for one sign that doesn't apply to you and can't find one to save your sorry old ass.
No. Now, that makes me happy.

New blog

I don't usually point out new blogs, especially since Stephen Eli Harris has the NL Blog Roll so we can all catch up with most of the local ones, but this one caught my interest.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Crash


Just have to say something about the movie Crash, which I saw recently. Brilliant! I gasped out loud a couple of times, talked to the screen, talked to myself (thankfully I was alone), and found myself crying from time to time because it was just so powerful. And the weird thing is that I didn't see most of it coming. I totally thought I had the thing figured out in the first little bit. Knew everything, I did. I knew nothing. I was surprised all over the place. It's intense. I stopped watching it at least once cause I needed a break and it smacks you in the face with racism, prejudice, anger, beauty, violence, indifference, and the reality that there are different sides to everyone. If you try and pinpoint someone, label them, examine them, make them into who you think they are or should be, you'll be wrong. If you think you know what's coming, you'll be surprised.

So, the question is: what did you think of it?

Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Golden Boys

The entire front page of the Telegram says it all. The boys rock! And Mark Nichols is freakin' superman.

Friday, February 24, 2006

I'm a Fozzie who's a little weird

Nancy Burden, who knows bloody well that I cannot resist these things, posted another online personality test and I bit, of course.

You Are Fozzie Bear

"Wocka! Wocka!"
You're the life of the party, and you love making people crack up.
If only your routine didn't always bomb!
You may find more groans than laughs, but always keep the jokes coming.


Trouble is that I kept on doing these personlaity tests that were listed on the sidebar when I went to the site. I'll spare you which Simpson I am, my seduction style and my inner blood type but I can tell you that when it comes to weird, I am:

You Are 30% Weird

Not enough to scare other people...
But sometimes you scare yourself.


Many would beg to differ.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Going for Gold

In the coolest move ever, Education Minister Joan Burke has announced that all school children in the province will have a half holiday tomorrow. This is to let students watch the Gold Medal Curling Game featuring the Brad Gushue Rink. School will end during the lunch hour. I know it might be a pain in the ass for parents to have to leave and get their kids duing the lunch hour but let's face it, the productivity level in Newfoundland and Labrador will go down to about 4% tomorrow afternoon so what the hell, take the afternoon off.

Olympic spirit (or lack thereof)

In a 2004 newsletter, olympian George Karrys talks about how great the Canadian Olympic Committee website is at helping athletes get jobs. Danielle Goyette, player on the gold medal winning Canadian Women's Hocky team, works a job at Home Depot along with fellow Olympian Steve Elms. They, like so many other Canadian olympians, work their asses off at one, two and even three jobs all while practicing their sport several hours a day. They do it with passion, desire, hope, love for their sport, and smiles, pure olympic spirit. It is what it is all about. And they are doing an amazing job, giving us our best Olympic results ever.

Then there is Canada's Men's Olympic Hockey team. Professional hockey players paid exorbitant salaries to play the game they work at full time. The guys who went on strike to make sure people didn't cap their ability to make oodles of money off the sport that is their job (their passion, I don't know). I would never fault anyone for losing as long as they tried their best, as long as they gave it their all but with the lot of them shifting around on the ice aimlessly and being shut out in three separate games, these guys deserve a good boot. It's not just that they lost, it's the pathetic display of sportmanship that I saw. It was the moping around talking about how much pressure was on them and how hard it was to have all that pressure, how jet-lagged they were, how lawsuits and gambling investigations were tough on their morale. Awwwwww. You are professional hocky players. Pressure is part of your job. You get paid richly for it. Shut up whining and say that you sucked and you need to try harder. Have some shred of the olympic spirit in you, for God's sake. To not do so is a disgrace to all the athletes who are doing this for the love of the sport and for the ability to represent our country and stand at the podium listening to the our Candian anthem. Anything less than that, especially when the practicing and playing comes so easy for you, is shameful.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

North Carolina on my mind

Hmmm. I heard a story on CBC Radio's the Morning Show with Jeff Gilhooly this morning that there is a print ad for North Carolina tourism that looks remarkably similar to the tv ad for Newfoundland and Labrador tourism. I have to go by memory here because I have been unable to find the ad or the story online (will post it lare if I find it) but the NC ad has a picture of a clothesline with homemade quilts on it and a tagline that says something like around here not all works of art hang in a museum. The NL ad is the one where you see some homemade quilts and mittens hanging on a clothesline and the voiceover then says "around here not every work of art hangs on a wall" (see it here).

The liberal leader, Gerry Reid was on Jeff's show bemoaning it since these high-priced ads by Target Marketing were supposed to be unique. Minister of Tourism Tom Hedderson then came on and said they were not the same because one was print and one was on TV (duh). I think Hedderson should have said that "it's all been done before". There is nothing new in the world of creativity, not movies, films, ads, books, none of it. It's all been done before and sometimes your great idea is the same as someone else's. So I think it is possible that it is a coincidence, I think it is not necessary for tourism marketers to be required to search every single tourism ad, brochure, tagline and commercial for similarities to their own. I also think that the whole NC tourism ad campaign feels a lot like ours (more their print and online stuff than the TV stuff). Things that make you go hmmm.

If you can't make Oprah's Book Club

Well, if the big O doesn't choose your book for her reading spotlight, you can always try to get your book on a mysterious television show. Seems that when Flann O'Brien's novel, The Third Policeman, showed up for a mere second on the screen in an episode of Lost that aired recently in the UK (the cover was shown while one of the characters put it in his napsack), demand for the novel has tripled. Just the announcement that the book was going to be in the show (shortly before it first aired in the US and Canada this past October) saw the publisher, Dalkey Archive Press, sell 8000 copies in two days . Lost fans have also been searching through Watership Down by Richard Adams and Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time which were both shown being read on the show. I like Lost but I'm not that into finding clues (you could spend all day reading theories about the show online on forums like ABC's Lost boards, The Fuselage.com forums, and The Lost Forum, to name but a few). Still, I think anything that gets more people reading is a good thing.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Air Canada helping with outmigration

Wanna job in Alberta but don't want to be bothered with long stopovers and complicated flights? Air Canada is starting a new St. John's to Fort McMurray express just for you. It, my friends, does not bode well. Air Canada boasts that the new flights "offer the fastest and easiest way for Atlantic Canadians living and working in Fort McMurray to travel to Newfoundland and Labrador". I guess the demand is there, sadly. I know about twenty people who have left for Alberta in the past six months, without even having to search my old and muddled brain. Just be grateful that we can't beam anyone around yet, a la Star Trek, or we'd be a fine small crowd here indeed. She's sinking, b'ys, and Air Canada is throwing us an anchor.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Child porn arrest

The guy who plays the Scot in the ucky looking sweater in the Alexander Keith's commercials has been arrested on child pornography charges. Police say that some of the images involve children as young as a year old. If he is guilty, I can only hope a big angry man in jail has a little "talk" with him. I don't have any sympathy for such people, not one for one second.

Speaking of that disgusting topic, when are we going to see the arrests in the local "child sex ring"?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Dumbass moves can be good

See, even an idiotic thing can turn out good when you're a celebrity.

Poster mom for child safety

Sure b'y, remember all those people who stopped baby-dangling off of balconies after that whole thing with Michael Jackson.

Oh, the lessons Britney can teach us.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The “oh shit” heard round the world

I don’t think it’s that big a deal that Dick Cheney shot one of his hunting buddies. Yes, he is a NRA favourite, pro-gun kind of guy, and yes he did shoot a lawyer (not bad), but the man has had so many heart attacks that a medical team travels with him at all times so that was an advantage. Shit happens but can you imagine when it first happened. I just wish I had a dollar for every expletive uttered by the Republicans while hearing the news and trying to figure out how to tell the public about it (wait 18 hours).

But is this shooting just “wagging the dog”? On Thursday evening and Friday, stories started running that “Vice President Dick Cheney directed his aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby to use classified material to discredit a critic of the Bush administration's Iraq war effort”. Now, I’m not suggesting Cheney shot Harry Whittington just to divert attention away from this not-so-new looming scandal but I have to wonder if da b’ys didn’t go from “oh shit” to “ohhhhhhh shit, let’s milk this”. After all, the Houston Chronicle reports that Whittington was “bruised more than bloodied” and a witness of the incident said, of Whittington, “I think his pride was hurt more than anything else." But you ask most anyone around the water cooler today “did you hear the news about Cheney?” and I bet you won’t hear the name Scooter Libby.

Wag, wag, wag.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

I'm a secretive, sloppy, anxious, smartass, martyr

Eeek! Now everyone who knows me will recognize that it is me writing this blog.

Big Five Word Test Results
Extroversion (38%) moderately low which suggests you are reclusive, quiet, unassertive, and secretive.
Sure b'y, ya think?
Accommodation (61%) moderately high which suggests you are, at times, overly kind natured, trusting, and helpful at the expense of your own individual development (martyr complex).
Me, a martyr? Would you like some of my blood? It's okay if I die because of it, as long as you're okay.
Orderliness (32%) moderately low which suggests you are, at times, overly flexible, random, improvised, and fun seeking at the expense of structure, reliability, work ethic, and long term accomplishment.
Bingo!
Emotional Stability (12%) very low which suggests you are extremely worrying, insecure, emotional, and anxious.
'Scuse me while I bite the nubs where my nails used to be
Inquisitiveness (75%) high which suggests you are very intellectual, curious, imaginative but possibly not very practical.
Oh yeah, that's me.
Take Free Big Five Word Choice Test
personality tests by similarminds.com


With thanks to Magicfirefly

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Whore

Remember when Belinda Stronach crossed the house for a cabinet position? Recall the names thrown around at the time? She was called a whore, a protitute, and a dipstick.

Now David Emerson does the same thing a couple of weeks after he was elected as a Liberal. He didn't even get to cross the house. He hasn't sat in the damned place since the election. People voted for him as a Liberal at a time when everyone pretty much knew that would mean he would not be in the government so they were voting either because they liked the Liberal platforms, liked Emerson, or didn't want the conservatives to win. Um. That's pretty much shot now, isn't it? Even if you liked Emerson, it would be pretty hard to like him now.He's a hypocritical opportunist who opened his legs for the Conservative party when the money was right. But you won't hear him called anything like what the Conservatives called Belinda and if the Liberals had a deputy-leader I bet you wouldn't find him crying in a potato patch.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Want to hurt yourself? Let us help.

I am not a big fan of harm reduction. I accept giving clean needles to people who are addicted, but I don’t like the whole controlled drinking and drug use that is becoming popular with addictions professionals and treatment centers (like the treatment program I recently saw on TV where you can get a free drink of moonshine every hour, provided by the treatment center). Now the Sunday Times tells us that nurses in Britain (if the idea catches on there, it will eventually get here) will soon be voting on “Safe self-harm”. Some nurses want to give “self-harm” patients--patients who cut themselves regularly as a means of releasing tension or other problems--sterile blades and clean packets of bandages. Now, maybe this is not a lot more different than clean needles—both involve helping people hurt themselves in safe ways—but this just seems very, oh, what’s the word I’m looking for, ewwwwwww, to me.

The question is what’s next? Will we provide a safe area for people to kill themselves so they don’t land on anyone else when they jump off the bridge? Free hookers, complete with condoms and regular HIV tests, for sex addicts? I think needle exchange programs are important although they still make me feel uncomfortable. They save people from serious diseases and also prevent the spread of those diseases. I have worked with people who engaged in self-harm activities. I just can’t imagine handing one of them a clean blade, knowing what will happen. Jesus, I can barely even type it without the heeby-jeebies. But I’m curious. What do you think?

Monday, February 06, 2006

How It May Have Happened: Cartoonish

Sometimes I find myself wondering how things went down. I wonder when something big happens and maybe people didn't see it coming, how exactly it all started out. From time to time, in this blog, I am going to imagine how such things may have played out (at least in my silly mind and in a truly fictional way).

From inside the daily publication meeting in the offices of Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten:


Editor: “We had better get some big news soon or this paper is sunk.

Cartoonist: “What about those cartoons we printed last year. That got a stir. Maybe we could do something like that.”

Reporter: “Nah. It wasn’t that big a deal. The international press didn’t even really pick it up.”

Pee-on who brings coffee and donuts to the meeting: “Then get them to run the cartoons”. He chuckles.

Editor (snapping fingers): “I know what we can do. We’ll get our fellow papers to reprint it and… hmmmm, how can we make this a new story?”

Pee-on (oblivious to the fact the editor has even heard his idea): “You know, get them to say it’s all about the freedom of the press. That gets everyone going.”

Editor: “I’ve got it. This is all about freedom of the press. People are being prevented from using their God-given right to make fun of religion. Jesus Christ, this is a brilliant idea. I’m so happy I came up with it.”

Reporter: “What are you talking about? The coffee guy came up with it.”

Editor: “What?. You can't undermine me like that. You’re fired.”

Reporter: “What about the freedom of the press? What about my right to free express…”

Editor: “Shut up. We’ve all got a lot of work to do. Except you.”

(This was all in Danish, mind you)

*I hope no one else gets hurt (and am very sorry that anyone has been hurt) in the terrible anger that came out of the cartoons printed in Denmark and reprinted across Europe. I believe in freedom of the press but, as a great cartoon character once said, "with great power comes great responsibility".

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Wanda Young case

MUN is getting a lot of flack lately and Craig Welsh is discussing it and the lack of response from other blogs. Nancy Burden has also added to the discussion today. The truth is, I’ve had drafts of blog entries on my computer about Wanda Young’s case since the day she won her victory against MUN in the Supreme Court of Canada. The reason I haven’t posted about it until now is that I was waiting to see more details, to try to give the benefit of the doubt to MUN. This is not because I am a MUN grad, and not because I don’t feel for Wanda Young. In fact, my heart goes out to her and I actually gave a little hoot out loud when I heard on the news she had won her case. She has had a very difficult road and has not given in against MUN once. She kept going and I admire her tremendously for that.

The reason I keep waiting for more information on this case is that I have worked in an area where we learned about child protection laws. I remember being told by a cop, who did a workshop with us, that if we had any belief a child was being hurt by anyone, we were obligated by the law to report it. Nothing is more important than child safety, we were told, and if we knew of any form of child abuse and did not report it, we could be charged with a crime ourselves (I think the charge is under the Child Protection Act but those details are fuzzy). So the prof at MUN who reported her concerns about Wanda Young was doing the right thing, wasn’t she? What would we have said if it was discovered that a MUN prof had read a first hand account of someone abusing a child and did not report it (especially if it came out that the writer was indeed an abuser). That is my sticky what-if that keeps me from shaking my fist in the air against MUN (on this issue).

The Supreme Court says that the “university professors acted on conjecture and speculation which fell short of the required “reasonable cause” to make a report to CPS” and they have all the facts so they should know. Again, I am very sorry for what Ms. Young went through and I am pleased she has been vindicated. She was an innocent, caught up in a terrible situation. Still, I would prefer anyone who thinks a child is being abused, make the report in error rather than the abuse continue.

I am also quite concerned by a quote in the CBC piece that says “Young found herself on an RCMP list of suspected child abusers even though no charges were ever laid against her.” From my reading of the Supreme Court judegement, Child Protection Services quickly decided that Wanda Young was not an abuser and dismissed the concerns raised by the prof. So, how did Wanda Young end up on that list and exactly what is the criteria to get on such a list? I think that needs to be addressed as well.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Another NL writer nominated for an award

Michael Crummey's wonderful novel, The Wreckage, has been nominated for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Geez, it's getting kinda hard to keep up with all these literary prize nominations for Newfoundlanders. But I shall keep trying and never complain as the job continues to get harder. Congratulations Michael.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Random Passage wins Best Book contest

The winner of Paul Butler's Best Book in Newfoundland and Labrador contest on his online forum about NL books is Bernice Morgan's Random Passage. I think it's a fair representation of NL books by a great writer. Congrats to her and to Paul for a great idea in creating the forum and the contest.