Sunday, February 29, 2004

In a recent survey of web logs from deserters of the Great White North currently living way, way Down Under in Kiwi Land, it has come to the attention that certain so-called bloggers have declined to add a Comments option to their web log, but don't mind taking advantage of this option on other blogs. Perhaps such bloggers are lathered in too much sun block and/or have been drenched in too many rain storms to consider their readers' wants/needs/desires.

Just a random thought from a random, snow-blogged Shanadian.

Saturday, February 28, 2004

Apologies for numerous typos of previous and future web log entries...

Forgive disjointedness of this particular web log...I plead cabin fever.

Well, that's it for apologies.

TGITEOF...Thank God It's the End of February. Yes, admittedly, my affection and tolerance for the cold, white stuff is beginning to wane, in direct correlation to the number of cancelled appointments and missed trivia nights caused by hazardous driving conditions. While I don't mind missing a visit to the doc, the opportunity to win a bar tab or Greco party pizza, and demonstrate savvy as trivia whiz..well, that is irreplacable (OK..admittedly it's all Matt in the whiz department....but I do provide plenty of the entertainment).

OK, well seems this blog entry is going to have a (mostly) 'Pop Culture' theme, so in keeping with promise to try and be slightly informative, I've added a link to Rotten Tomatoes, a fab movie review site. Speaking of movies...rotten or ripe..there seem to be plethora of potentially good pics coming out over the next few weeks including Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, Starsky & Hutch and Hilagio (sp?). (See below my commentary on Academy Awards..saved it for the last, not because it is best, rather due to its 'rantish' qualities)

I place the weather wholely responsible for my additional television watching. Yep, that's addition to American Idol and Scrubs, I've added yet another two shows to my High Priority list (i.e., cannot be missed unless there is dinner invite that involves Thai food or potential job offer). OK, so I'm back to watching's not new to me.. just missed most of the last season while traipsing around Europe. Now there's only one show left - last night Rachel announced that she's been offered a new job....and it's in Paris. Ooooooohhhhhh, what a cliffhanger, they're really churning out the curveballs now aren't they? Whew, don't know if I can stand the suspense....but suppose I'll have to, because I'm sure they'll take forever to air the finale.

As for the other show..again, I am slightly embarrassed to confess that I watch this show so please don't make it any worse (ie - no comments svp). Right, so the show is called The Apprentice, and is basically a Survivor show for white-collars. 18 men & women, from all sorts of backgrounds vying to be sole Conniver so they can become President of one of Donald Trump's company's for a whole year.

Oooh..actually there's a third it's not on the 'Must Watch List' yet..but it's hilarious. 'Puppets Who Kill' airs on the Comedy Network every Friday at 11.00, hence it not being on 'must-see' list, but still, when you're snowed in, there's nothing better than snuggling up and watching as Cuddles becomes possessed by some creature from below, or Buttons tries to marry an old lady so he can swindle her out of $25 M..and yes, the title is very fitting...

Well, I got a great gift last week (for what occassion I'm not sure, but I don't ask questions when gifts are involved), a book entitled '50 Things You're Not Supposed to Know' It's a good read, I'm suspicious about just how much of it is accurate..but here are some of the things we're not supposed to know.....oh shite...actually, have just checked and would be copyright enfringement to list them here..and, being the law-abiding citizen I am, will have to just follow the rules...but if you're even slightly interested check out the Disinformation Company website.

Tonight is international potlach (or potluck as most people liike to spell it) night w/friends...what a treat! Will be a Thai/ Syrian/ Indian/ Irish/Canadian/Swiss night. The Irish and Swiss parts are my donation - soda bread and chocolate fondue..yum! And you know..speaking of food (a favorite past time..even though I am in CAA), Charlottetown has come a far way in terms of restaurant fare over the past few years ..the food and service around town used ot be pretty mediocre, and as for variety..well that was synomous with choosing whether you wanted fries or a baked potato with your dish. Some new restaurants that are worth checking out (so I hear) include: Out of Africa, Cafe Interlude, Cedar's (an oldie but goodie), Churchhill Arms and the Harbour House. Right, so eat, drink and be merry. On a slightly less enthusiastic note...they still don't have any place that compares to Ottawa's 'Oh so Good Desserts'..perhaps I will have to take initiative in this area.

The 76th Academy Awards air on Sunday (almost) live from Hollywood. The network's thrown in a 5-second delay, in case the award winners or some other nutter decides to do something off the streak across the stage (the goood ol' 70's) or use profanity in their acceptance (I'd like to thank the f*cking Academy and my s**thead agent for getting me here..Yeah, very plausible) I'm skeptical though..they say it won't be used to block out any political statements (aka Michael Moore's 'Shame on You Mr. Bush' speech of last year), but they say a lot and they are so very reactive, I just have my doubts...

Yes, apparently the charades of Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake cannot be overlooked..they were in such serious contradiction to the usual standard of televsion viewing offered by CBS, or any of the other networks for that matter(except maybe Fox, because, let's face it, no one expects much in the way of standards from Fox.) Yep, the network producers were as shocked and appalled at the breast incident they've decided nothing can be broadcast live anymore (OK..that may not be true, but hey it'd be good news for President Bush, given that it's an election year and he'll be expected to participate in some 'live'debates. Hey, maybe his friends at NBC and CNN and CBS and Fox will edit the debates so he can prove he was really there and he really did carry out his duties as de-baitor).

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Happy Shrove Tuesday and Mardi Gras!

Pancakes & Syrup or Beads & Baring it choose. Either way, enjoy.
Where to begin? Well, I suppose the beginning is just as good a place to begin as any, given that I'm the type that prefers simple chronology over more complicated filing systems such as autobiographical or alphabetical, which really don't work well given the forum and content anyway.

In an amazing turn of events, life on PEI became slightly exciting over past few days. The frontpage headline in Friday's paper read 'Brutal blizzard batters PEI'. And while the Guardian's sophisticaetd use of alliteration is enough to make heads turn, indeed 'White Juan' was the to talk of the Maritimes.

It all started innocently enough sometime during Wednesday night, following my return from the flcik Calendar Girls. BTW - Excellent movie and even more interesting audience demographics - droves of 'mature ' women, a few reluctant husbands, and the odd young person (that's me..youngish & oddish) By Thursday morning it was a bona fide blizzard, a heavy blanket of snow had already fallen and it wasn't showing any sign of relenting. Spent the day cozied up by woodstove. Mid-afternoon saw first devastation of mammoth proportions, when phone (and thus Internet) unexpectedly went dead.

Friday, with the blizzard pretty much on its way to wreak havoc somewhere else and the sun peeping out, it almost seemed like things were back tom normal. Save for the five foot drifts across the road and our own inpassable driveway.

Yes, it was brutal enough for the authorities to declare a 'Stae of Emergency'. Now I wasn't sure what exactly they meant by 'state of Emergency', but I was pretty sure it was more serious than my Shannon State of Emergency critera which include one or more of the following: missing glove/purse/keys/CD/item of clothing/etc., ready to go out and then discover empty bottle of hair gel, exploding/fizzy bottle of Pepsi in workstation area with expensive laptop computer, missing computer disk with shanified documents on it.

Well, as it turns out State of Emergency basically means 'don't go out unless it is absolutey essential (e.g. having a baby, wife is having a baby and its the first, are delivering a baby). It's not that 'essential' equated with ' I just have to get out of here....I'm going crazy with boredom.' So..another day at home..another day with no phone.

Saturday saw first semblance of normal life return with jaunt into town for aerobics class and grocery shopping. It was also my first opoortuntiy to make contac with outside I did what anyone in my place would have done, I called Keri. We made tentative plans to go out to the Olde Dublin that night (and yes, is just as good as any Irish pub I've been to.. save for the lack of interesting males..on the upside - no smoke and cheap beer) Am going to skip a whole lot of details here as they are of no consequence to the story, but suffice to say, I am now certain that Keri is a true friend :)

Things are pretty much back to normal. For now. Who knows what March will bring us..aside from lots of green beer, the 'official' beginning of spring, and multiple panic attacks related to meeting deadlines, doing income taxes and looking into the future.

Well, I guess that about wraps up this edition of 'Stormwatch 2004'. And ya know what, for all the inconveniences that this blizzard brought with it and all the havoc it created...I'm reminded of two things:

1. It really is great to be a Canadian and have four seasons. There isn't any other place I'd rather be right now (I have a feeling this sentimentality won't last too long).

2. Mother Nature really does have the greater power. We humans just have to hunker down, batten the hatches and learn to deal with it as best we can. There's no outsmarting nature.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

I still have not figured out what a 'shill' is. After three months back in Canada Irish-speak eludes me. Back to the good 'ol Islander talk, which is completely indecipherable according to my Haligonian sister. I'd have to agree though, Island speak is the equivalent of someone mumbling and muttering at high speed, with the occassional injection of a pitch change that generally infers a question is being asked My advice: just roll with the punches 'yep, yep, sure-seems-dat way-dese days, dere eh? well, gotta-go-pick-up-The Wife dere now, yep, yep. Boys-sure-do-look-like-we'll-be-getting-dat-weder-dere.Big-storm-hedin-dis-way.'

I was born into a family of non-Islanders, so am lacking the signature accent that sets us apart from 'dee oders' (it also helps that I grew up between S'side & Ch'town). On the other hand..I've been told on more than one occassion that I have a sing-song way of talking/a lilt to my voice and that I speak a wee bit fast. As a result, I've discovered that the only people who never have any trouble understanding what I am saying are Newfies.

Speaking slower and in a monotone voice - just two of my ambitious goals for the 2004 calendar year
Happy Happy Joy Joy! I've recovered from Michael Jackson syndrome in a big way, no more one-gloved days for me!

For some inexplicable reason most people tend to consider me a very organized person who's good with details. I have absolutely no clue where they would get such an idea, but I've not been inclined to disagree with them given that it is most often advanatgeous to be perceived as such. But if you want to know the truth, I am an ENFJ according to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. We ENFJs are by no means the people you want looking after the inventory.

That being said, I know one day the foundation upon which this alter-presona has been built will crumble around me and people will discover that I am, in fact, lack any natural ability in the area of details management (except, oddly enough I have a damn good memory for numbers, names and such). Most disturbing to me is the utter lack of control I have over the whereabouts of personal belongings. Now, I know everyone loses something once in awhile, but I think I excel in the 'missing things' department, which brings me back to today's opening line. In the past two months I have lost (and eventually found) my black glove at least seven times. Each MIA resulted in a slight panic attack, mad search of all possible hiding places, vocally disturbing sounds likened to 'I give up', a second & third search through all possible hiding places and final victory! But the last time I saw my both my black gloves together was at the University, so when I left the campus and discovered only one glove on my person, I knew it was finally over. There was brief period of mourning in which I refused to wear any other hand apparel despite -20 weather, but I eventually came to accept my loss and moved on.

As of late I've been wearing pink & green knit mittens. Not my usual style, but I just couldn't bear to replace my black gloves with anything similar. Today, I left the house without my pink & green mittens, for I could not find one of them. They had a short, but fulfilling life with my hands. But wait, just when I thought I would have to endure the rest of the winter bare-handed (I couldn't bear to lose another pair of mitts or gloves..I figured I was a menace to these poor accessories who ahd no choice in who their owners would be) Lo and Behold I discover my black glove! Innocently sitting on the heater in the downstairs Kelley building computer lab. Yes, there is hope for me and for all hand apparel that accompanies me on my journeys through winter in Canada.

Sadly enough, this is as exciting as my day has been so far. I have been reduced to telling tales of my gloves. Winter cannot end soon enough.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Egads! Transatlantic discount airlines are popping up like groundhogs in Ottawa! Check out the latest airline, Zoom which offers flights between London and six Canadian cities. Good grief, it's likeWal-Mart has taken to the skies.

I finished Fast Food Nation. Great book. Will never eat a Happy Meal again. Anywho, one of the big winners at the Sundance Film Festival was Morgan Spurlock for his documentary Super Size Me. Looks like eating McDonald's food for one month straight isn't all that appetizing of a journey. Seriously though, why are all these geneticists trying to a find a fat gene? If there were a fat gene, wouldn't there have been a proportionate number of obese people throughout history? But there haven't been..and the number of fat people keeps on growing. I've said it before, I'll say it again - Pizza Hut gives you Pizza Butt.

And now a little free publicity for my friend Becky, who is living it up down under in the fair city of Auckland, NZ. I've made a link to her web log, it is hilarious. Even if you don't know this razzly-dazzly gal, it's damn good reading. And if you're having a bad day at work, well it certainly lifts your spirits when you read of Becky's adventures in filing and her slight difficulties understanding the accent on the phone.

So go forth to her web log. And I promise, I truly do, that mine will get more regular and (crossing fingers) more interesting once I head out on my next adventure, in the middle of May. Not that you should stop visiting my web log in the meantime, I want to company..oh, let's face it, I want the attention.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

From HouseKeeping Monthly , 13 May 1955.

The Good Wife's Guide

- Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work weary people.

- Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

- Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.

- Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

- Your goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.

- Don't greet him with complaints and problems.

- Don't complain if he's late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.

- Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.

- Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgement or integrity, Remember, he is teh master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. YOu have no right to question him.

- A good wife always knows her place.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Welcome to February, the length-challenged month of the year! Ah... but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality. What other month could be so bold as to celebrate LUV with Shoppers Drug Mart items (no offense Jen) such as chocolate, flowers and cards? Ahem..yes..maybe that is a little bit of bitterness you detect...but I've given up chocolate and am more than content to enjoy Singledom while my age still defines it as socially acceptable (ie. I am not a cougar). So when a day comes along in the middle of the winter to tempt my taste buds and remind me of the romance lacking in my life...well..(insert Shannon Sigh).

Anywho, on to less self-pitying and more interesting topics (note, I’ve suddenly become keen on the idea of actually providing useful information and excuse my usual lack of rambling)...

According to the British Economist - Vancouver, Sydney and Vienna ranked as the top cities in the world to live in. Yes, the West coast really is the Best coast! I will make it there someday...just not as soon as I had planned.

Wanderlusts, backpackers, students and anyone who thinks transcontinental airfares should be affordable to all. I invite you to check out these (relatively) new airlines Canadian Affair and Backpackers Xpress (this site isn’t up yet). They offer discount flights to and from the UK to Canada, and to and fro the UK and Australia respectively. And will not be strapped to the outside of the plane, or required to bring your own supply of jet fuel. Alas, if only I’d known about these options a year ago...

Miss your favorite T.V. show? Want the real scoop on what happened? Check out Television Without Pity .

OK - well I’ve broken my self-imposed television diet....given that the weather has tended to be in the -30 to -40 Celsius range, I think it is quite justifiable. What is not quite as easy to defend is my choice of shows. First up on my list of must sees - American Idol. Anyone that knows my distaste for Britney Spears, the BackStreet Boys, silicone, the marketing of karaoke-style music and the recycling of classic songs made real by true legends is likely to find my affection for Idol perplexing. What can I say? I do too. Next on my list is a much more tasteful, funny, original and quirky show , Scrubs .Despite an amazing ensemble cast, prime time slot, refreshing style of humour and excellent music tracks, this show seems to have flown under the radar of many viewers. Ah, but this week Mr. Michael J Fox is making a guest appearance - go Canada.

Well, that’s it from this side of the world - where Janet Jackson is now getting more exposure than her bro, and George Bush is still not getting the exposure he deserves.