Archive for July, 2009|Monthly archive page

If you injure one…

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

Holy shit. Torchwood Children of Earth was amazing.

I’ve never understood those people who think that “sci fi” is less than great stories, and this mini-series proves my point.



The Scottish play

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Sue and I went to our first Stratford production this year: known as The Scottish play.

We picked this one partly because of Colm, since as we all know, all things Colm are good. (And IMDB says that his first name is pronounced “Column”, but that just sounds wrong, so I will continue to pronounce it “Comb” or “Sexy Comb”, as is customary).

This production was directed by Des McAnuff, who is known for a bit of the (melo)drama, and that came through in the delivery, and more particularly the blocking and big booms and flashy stuff, but more on that later.


Things to do in the bush

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Attended the family reunion on the weekend. When your mother’s family is 13 kids, your father’s is 7 and they all grew up together, only thing that’s for sure is that you don’t know what will happen.

This year was at my mother’s house in Muskoka. It’s unusual to get all the kids, and even more unusual to get all the cousins and the grandkids, but there was a respectable showing (I’m gonna guess around 60).

There was a zip line between 2 trees for the kids – basically a disk on a string and you sit on the disk. Once the first kid tried it, then they were all willing to give it a go. But by about 5pm or so, once the beer coolers had started to reach the half-empty stage, the average age of the zip-liners started to go up. We’re like “Oh wait, was that Uncle G??”

Some water balloons also came into play later in the afternoon, and the fortuitous proximity of the chalet deck to the driveway below (where many were congregated) made for a new game called, “How fast can Uncle B jump?” Then there was a counter-attack with some water hoses from the 20-somethings, which ended in some soggy Aunts and an enforced truce.

My father and I tried to get a fire going but the wood was young and wet, so it devolved into a smoker (to keep away the mosquitos) and/or interesting place to try burning various bits of foliage that we found in the bush.

Speaking of which, walking a Great Dane in the bush? Interesting. Gilbert is usually a pretty sedate guy, but once he was out in the wilderness, he definitely “took the lead”, and at well over 100 pounds, I couldn’t really argue that much. I just kept giggling at the juxtaposition of this honking-sized dog trying to prance daintily over the bushes to get to the next smell.

The party later migrated to my brother’s house where there was a proper fire and more beer, and scotch! My brother had a new set of scotch glasses he was wanting to christen, and I was happy to oblige. We also learned a very useful hex for smoke in your eyes from my cousin’s fiance, named (obviously) the “FU, white rabbit!” hex. It’s a native Canadian tradition of long standing, or so I’m told ;)

In and amongst the catching up and the laughing at dogs and people and chats, I did get to spend some time with my new nephew who’s almost 9 months old now. He’s at that great age when he still likes to cuddle but he’s got enough mischief to keep life interesting.

My family: good value for your entertainment dollars.

I pooped on my head

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Yes, this is the second post in a row about poop. One of the great gifts to literature is Who Pooped On My Head? Plot is pretty simple: it’s a mole, with poop on his head, and he wants to know who did it. If you’re really good, you can also collect them in different languages – I have a copy in Hungarian!

Interesting. The current official title is The Story of the Little Mole in Search of Whodunit according to Amazon (Why? What person doesn’t like to say the word “poop”?)

Okay, I went looking for a picture of the Who Pooped on My Head? cover and there all The Story of the Little Mole in Search of Whodunit. OMG, maybe this is like 1984, and they’re revising history and sanitizing the language! I’m appalled. Just google “Werner Holzwarth” for images and you’ll see what I mean. Or maybe I dreamed the fact that it was ever called Who Pooped on My Head? Oooh. Maybe it’s like The Crying of Lot 49, and I actually saw an ersatz copy of the book which reveals a underground society of mole enthusiast mail carriers.

Who Pooped on My Head?

Who Pooped on My Head?

Anyway, that is all by way of explanation because I have found a critter who poops on its OWN head. It’s actually in my garden eatin’ mai asiatic lilies. I present the “Lily Leaf Beetle”:

courtesy of Odonals Nurseries

courtesy of Odonal's Nurseries

See that black crap on the larvae on the left? That’s its POOP. Which it carries on its HEAD. Apparently, it’s a defense mechanism. I have to say that if I were a larvae-eating wasp, I’d have second thoughts.

In case you wondering how to get rid of the poop-beetle, the experts seem to think that Neem Oil will do the trick. I will let you know if it works.

Little bastards.

Do moths poop?

Friday, July 10th, 2009

I was walking into the house and I felt something sudden and wet on my foot. I looked down in time to see a moth of some sort flying away from the scene of the crime.

The “substance” was kind of wet yellow-ish. Could this be moth poop? I asked google, and apparently this guy got pooped on by a moth, and it looks suspiciously similar.

I guess if something goes in, it must come out …somewhere. Foot wash – check.

“keep on the watch!”

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

Literally minutes after I published my last post, I went outside and noticed this in my mailbox (despite my NO FLYERS sign)…

Whom are they waving goodbye to?

Whom are they waving goodbye to?

Apocalypse pR0n – if things were different

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

So I was reading Mark Morford’s latest post, “Your imminent apocalyptic death” and he got me to thinking (and yes, he is still delectably lickable). He talks about our latest pandemic, and the some news that Mt St Helens is possibly a supervolcano (of the hide the sun and bury us all in pointy volcanic ash variety).

The spirit of all this, says Morford, is that our extreme shit luck to be here and in this time is a type of precarious life that blasts through meaningless to profound. And furthermore, that we kinda hanker to bring it on a little faster:

We can hardly wait. I mean that quite literally. So fascinated are we with such potentially lethal phenomena that we often seem to invite them in, offer up our wrists to the universe, somewhere subconsciously hoping, craving to accelerate the whole shebang. It’s just so mesmerizing.

It’s not just the fundamentalists from the South who are gleefully supporting “military events” in the hopes of triggering the events of Armageddon (which Morford doesn’t touch on, but is surely familiar with via the recent Bush administration), but all those bucks we spent on Armageddon. Look no further Discovery’s popular imminent death shows.

So here’s my theory: apocalypse as permission to be someone else – the hero, the plucky survivor. No cubicle hell, no soccer schedule for the kids. Some kind of new “freedom” where your main jobs in life are to forage for food and find creative ways to deal with your environment. Because we’re in the day and age of extremism, the only way we can achieve it is through some karmic intervention of a meteor. It’s an acceptable excuse to chuck your quotidien existence.

It would also the perfect opportunity to hook up with someone that otherwise wouldn’t have been hook-upable. Just sayin’. Plus, it’s a great excuse to blow things up real good in the movies (bring on 2012 – bonus nutters!)

Let’s assume there’s an element of wish fulfillment at work here – there’s some reason why we want to watch this stuff. Then, I’m wondering what it says about us if our utopia is some kind of a dystopia?