Friday, February 29, 2008

New Beginnings

It is funny you know, you meet all kinds of people in your life, some become permanent fixtures, others are simply funny anecdotes. I have been lucky in my life to have been surrounded by really good people. Funny, talented, loving, generous people who have all taught me something about who I am, and who I want to be.

Growing up I moved all over the Rock, and then to the Big Land, then back to the Rock, and then off it, and back again, and off once more. The only constants in my life were my family, and my childhood bestest bud Maddy. We grew up together as little kids and when I moved away, we would see each other on summer holidays and the odd Christmas. We would always pick up where we left off. Quickly, easily, effortlessly. And eventually, when my family moved back to the Rock we soldiered through high school together, we were inseparable.

We grew apart a little during university, and I think it was hard for us both. Life took us by the hand and lead us in seperate directions. Cripes, at one point she was up North, and I was in South Korea. Before I knew it, ten years had gone by. I think of how often something was going on in my life, and I had the urge to pick up the phone and call her. But I didn't. Too proud.

A few years ago I heard she had moved to Ontario, and I called her. And in the years since we have talked a bit, trying to pick up where we left off. It is not as easy as it was when we were children, we both live far apart, we both have jobs and families, and a gulf of lost years we need to bridge. But the foundation is good, and I know it is just a matter of time.

Maddy is getting married today. She invited me a few weeks back, and I was so hoping I could come. But the weather out there is not co-operating. It is a bitch to get from Durham to Brampton during rush hour as it is, but in the slush, ice and snow it is dangerous on top of it. These mainlanders cannot drive in the winter I tell ya. And so this is an event I will miss.

And I hate it.

I know she will make a stunning Bride- Maddy has a face and smile that brightens a room. I just wish I could be there to see her for myself. Tell her that for myself.

Maddy & Geoff: I am holding your wedding gift hostage until we finally get together.

My love to you both.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I read the news today oh boy

A couple of articles had me doing double takes today.

The first, 'Doomsday' vault opens its doors, had me wondering if this group of scientists are optimists or pessimists. The Norwegian vault is protecting close to 300,000 different seed samples from around the world and plans store more than two billion seeds. Doing nothing to avoid the stereotype, Canada’s main contribution was barley, 3,777 different lines of barley to be exact. It appears a new world order would hardly be worth starting without beer.

The other article that had me doing a double take: NASA Takes Aim at Moon with Double Sledgehammer. Scientists are priming two spacecraft to slam into the moon's South Pole to see if the Earth’s pale sister reveals hidden water ice.

"I think that people are apprehensive about it because it seems violent or crude, but it's very economical," said Tony Colaprete, the principal investigator for the mission at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.

Plus it will be really cool to explode stuff right guys?

Methinks these fellas need a girlfriend, or a hobby that does not involve explosives. Yeah, yeah, I am all for science and progress, but this plan comes from the same group who sent the Mars Climate Orbiter on a suicide mission because they did not know if they were supposed to be using english units or metric. So allowing the b’yes to send what amounts to giant fiery missiles at the moon doesn’t seem like an incredibly prudent idea to me. Stick with the rovers and a probe kids, please.

Speaking of probes: the headline Que. Crown ponders charges after woman dies during sadomasochistic sex was a bit of an attention getter. I understand it is news, but I think what two consenting adults, crotchless chaps, anal plugs, breathing apparatus, and small furless animals do in their own home is really none of my business. Or yours, for that matter. So to release the names of the couple involved was not right. If charges are laid, well fine, but until they are let’s leave their names out of the papers, if only for the sake of the people left to mourn. The last thing little Johnny needs to deal with on top of his mom’s death is the fact that she died while engaging in "uncommon sex practices using very particular accessories."

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Newfoundland Comic in New Fox Series

Burlington, Newfoundland native, Shaun Majumder has got a new gig. Known to many for his work on This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Just for Laughs. Cendric the Entertainer Presents, and a short acting stint on Fox's 24, Majumder returns to FOX with another series, Unhitched.
He plays Dr. Freddy Sahgal, a successful surgeon who doesn't quite know a thing about women. After his divorce, he finds being alone difficult, thus turning to his three friends who also have separated from their life partners. How convenient.

While the show's premise is hardly new or inventive, Shaun can make almost anything appealing. After all, this is the man who somehow makes the sweaty, horny, Indian Raj Binder quite entertaining. So give this one a go, if for no other reason than the main character is playing for the home team. Unhitched premieres 9:30 p.m. ET, Sunday, March 2nd.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

New Blog Heading

Thank-You Karen! What a beautiful new banner you have given the blog! Really smartens the place up.

Ok, now for your next project: I was thinking about doing a series of greeting cards....

Friday, February 22, 2008

Well my camera is dead.

And I am a little broken up about it. I loved that thing; it was practically a part of the family. We took it with us on our trips back home, took it camping, on company retreats, parties, heck, it even went into the delivery room with us. Now it is just another piece of technological gadgetry that will sit in a junk drawer until the next manic urge to purge useless crap from my home overtakes me.


Since I have a little guy you know I can’t go too long without a new one, lest the multitudes of aunts, grandparents, and cousins rise up in anger and beat me with my own limbs.

So now we are looking for a new digital camera, one that is fast can record movie files, and is not going to cost me my first born. Is this within the realm of possibility or is this kind of like Hilary asking Bill to stay away from the interns on the campaign trail? Any suggestions?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Goodnight, moon

Wednesday night North Americans will witness the astronomical beauty of a total eclipse of the moon. The shadow of the Earth will loom over the full moon transmuting the pale orb into a sore red eye in the sky. That is of course, providing the weather is good and the skies are clear. Since I live 40 minutes outside Toronto, a clear sky is not a given.

The cosmic performance gets under way around 8:40 p.m. EST with the total eclipse by 10:00 And if you are late for the show there won't be another one visible from Canada for nearly three years - Dec. 20, 2010. Get your binoculars or telescope and get out there- grab your thermal undies too; it is damn cold out there.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Black History Month

To the kids who told me I was racist because I asked him to remove his hat in school:

  • Learn something about racism
  • Learn about the people who fought for all the freedom you take for granted
  • Learn what racism really is and stop using the word as a free pass. To do so is an insult to all those who came before you. People who really suffered, people who really understood the word racist. People who were crushed under the weight and reality of that word.

The lesson starts here:

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A thought on Valentine's Day

My colleagues were teasing me yesterday because they found out that I was married on Valentine’s Day. Make that, married 10 years (Holy crap) today. I don’t exactly come across as a sentimental person at work so I took quite the ribbing.

“How sweet, I never knew all this time you were such a softie!” Ugh.
“So I guess you have big plans for the day?” They wondered.
“I don’t know, I guess I will shave my legs for something a little different.” Came my reply.

While it amazes me that ten years have past, it does not surprise me that we are still together. We have had our moments to be sure, but somehow I have always known we would make it. I don’t know how I know that is so, I just do. He has got my back, and I have his.

Among other parts.

But I digress.

I get annoyed when I hear people talking negatively about marriage; referring to the wife as the old ball and chain or to the husband a useless tit. But what really makes me mad is the term “Starter Marriage” Oh man does that ever boil my boot! It completely negates the importance of a marriage- it becomes just something you do, property you acquire, something you can upgrade or trade in for a newer model.

It makes me mad, yes, but under that is a little sadness.

This is a crazy world, and in many ways an unfriendly one. I think it is important that the person you choose to share your life with is someone who will worry about you when you are driving on a wintry highway slick with ice; someone who understands you in a way that is intuitive and clear; someone who will tell you when you are being an ass; someone who will hold the bucket for you when you are sick (see, I told ya I am not all warm and fuzzy!). If you don’t have that in your marriage I feel for you.

Think back: what made you fall in love with your significant other? What was it about them that set them apart from all the rest? Has that really changed? People make mistakes, sometimes big ones, sometimes it is the same one over and over again, but I think you can work through it- and come out stronger for each other. It is a commitment, it is work, and it is not easy.

But it is worth it.

Happy Anniversary Buddy; thank-you for holding the bucket for me.

Monday, February 11, 2008

February's Newfoundlandisms

Here is this month's entry for Newfoundland phrases:

"Done it brown" You overdid something, the allusion is to burnt bread.

"Don't cut tails" Don't be too particular. Fish tails were cut as a mark.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Pan Cake Day Traditions

We had friends over yesterday for pancakes, as it was Shrove Tuesday. Because the friends who came over were mainlanders we did not put any money in our pancakes; we did not want any trips to emergency.

It is a tradition in Newfoundland to put money or other trinkets into pancake batter. My Aunt told me once that each trinket was symbolic of the future. As a kid, I always wanted the money and that is usually what we got, but as kids my Aunts and Uncles might have received:

  • A penny, to symbolize tight times ahead
  • A nickel, to symbolize money coming to you in the future
  • A string, to symbolize becoming a fisherman if a boy got the string, if a girl did she would marry a fisherman.
  • A ring, to symbolize that you would marry soon
  • A button, to symbolize that you would never marry
  • A nail, to symbolize that you would soon pass away (well yeah, if there are nails in your food I can see how that might happen)

Does anyone still do this? What sorts of things did you get in your pancakes as a kid? Did anyone get any money in their pancakes yesterday?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Local Politics from a Distance

Because I don’t live home anymore, I hesitate to comment too much on local politics. You can follow it from afar but it is not the same when you don’t live it. So this might explain why the current curfluffle with St. John's Mayor Andy Wells and his new job with the Public Utilites Board is really beyond me.

“Pick a job!” Cry the Liberals.

“I don't particularly care what the Liberals say … they count for nothing," Retorts Andy, in his usual diplomatic fashion.

“Cut Wells’s salary in half!” Suggests councillor Colbert

“Yeah!” Puddister puts in. “It's impossible for Wells to do both jobs completely.”

“I am doing this for you, for the citizens of this great land” Says Wells, as a small tear trickles down his face. "If I can save the citizens of St. John's a half-million bucks, you know, I will…”

Aww, shucks Andy. I think I am going to cry a little myself. It is so selfless of you to stay on as Mayor, just so that a byelection need not be called, thereby saving St. John’s big money.

So you will forgive me Wells, but I do have a couple of questions:

1) As I said, I am not home anymore, so it is likely I may have missed something, but did someone shoot Dennis O’Keefe? You know, the Deputy Mayor? Just what does a Deputy Mayor do anyway? Why is it we have one of those again? If Andy were to be hit by a snow plough, what would Dennis O’Keefe do? Has anyone asked him?

2) Does anyone know where Danny Williams is? After all he appointed Wells to lead the PUB. He has been a little quiet on this topic. Surely our great leader has something to say? Surely there is something Danny Almighty can do, a hidden obsure clause in the Statutes of Newfoundland and Labrador that he can dig up? Maybe he can postpone Andy’s new job for just a couple of months until we get things sorted out?

There must be something that can be done, we cannot allow Andy to suffer and toil under 16 hour work days, he has already done so much for us…just think of Mile One.