Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Me, My TV and the Month of November

The Documentary Channel is free for the entire month of November!  I'm watching a documentary right now!

I won't be hurt if you don't share my enthusiasm--I understand that I watch TV in a way that is entirely different from the vast majority of the TV viewing public.  I have never watched an entire episode of Survivor, American Idol, Two-and-a-half Men, Jersey Shore, Dancing with the (so-called) Stars, Big Bang Theory or anything that resembles "The Real (blank) of (blank)".  I know!  It's like I live under a rock or something!

The truth is, I need to feel engaged with what I'm watching.  And by "engaged" I mean "educated", "stimulated", and "not entirely disgusted with humanity".  Generally speaking, the only way I can achieve that is through documentaries.

Does this make me a TV snob?  Maybe.  I don't care--I refuse to consume a steady diet of trash TV, much the way I refuse to eat a steady diet of trash food.  Does that mean I don't have my "guilty pleasures?"  Of course I do!  I am strangely addicted to Say "Yes" to the Dress, despite never ever wanting to wear a wedding dress; I try really hard not to miss an episode of Fashion Police (it's pretty much the only reason I know who half our current "celebrities" are); I'm addicted to House Hunters and pretty much anything related to interior design or real estate.

But the vast majority of what I watch is found on PBS, National Geographic Channel or CBC with the occasional Discovery Channel or History Channel thrown in.  To have an entire month of unfettered access to the Documentary Channel?  Let's just say I'll be spending a lot of quality time with my couch and TV for the next four weeks.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

O Blogger, Where Art Thou?

Hello? Is anybody there?  If a blogger posts after an 8 month absence, does anybody hear?

I wouldn't blame you for abandoning me--I have been MIA for a very long time, but to paraphrase Mark Twain, the rumours of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.

I had to leave the blogosphere altogether.  I not only stopped blogging, but I stopped reading other blogs--I needed to attend to my real-life relationships and let the on-line ones slide for a while.  In returning, I have paired down my blogroll significantly in an effort to achieve a better balance between my online activity and my real-life activity.  If I once followed you and now do not, please don't be offended--I might yet return one day and you're all bookmarked in my "Favourites" so I'm sure I'll still drop in from time to time.

My ongoing efforts to remain well-rounded have led me in some unexpected directions.  I recently taught myself how to knit and I have completed 4 scarves and am exploring moving on to an easy sweater pattern, although I'm probably going to wait until the new year to tackle that challenge.  I promised scarves to all my family members for Christmas so I'll be occupied with those right up to the 24th I imagine.

Even more unexpectedly, in the late summer I was asked by a former co-worker to be in a play she had written.  As an actor.  ON STAGE.  Of course I said yes, probably because I was under the affluence of incohol at the time and figured I'd never hear from her again.  Astonishingly I did hear from her several weeks later and now I'm knee-deep in rehearsals until the big day on December 4th.

So, If you're in the K-W area on December 4th and want to see a bizarre play called The Waiting Room that's kinda like Waiting for Godot but with more anger, then swing by the Chrysalids Theatre.  I'll be the one knitting.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I Got Nothing

I know I've been MIA lately, but I really haven't had anything to put out there.  Don't worry--all is well, nothing to see here.  Since I have nothing exciting going on, I'll attempt to win your attention by posting adorable pics of my puppy I took this morning:

Wook at dat cute widdle face!  Aw, who's a cute poopy woopy?  You are!

Gimme a break, you know you talk to your pet/baby this way too.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Dog vs Food

I have no qualms about feeing Jacques "people food" since the dog food I do feed him is full of human-grade ingredients.  But just like with humans, it's important for the food to be healthy.  So today I decided to give him a chunk of broccoli stem.  I don't eat this part of the plant anyway and I figured it would be the perfect toughness for him to chew while still being edible and not full of fats and crap.  Turns out he loved it.  Here's some photographic proof:

I kinda hoped this would keep him occupied for a while, but it only took him about 10 minutes to completely demolish it--not a speck remains.  In fact he sniffed around for any he might have missed for another minute before giving up and coming to me for more!  Maybe tomorrow, my friend.

Also in dog-related news, Jacques has now learned to go do "his business" outside.  He's had far fewer accidents since learning to go outside and this has allowed me to let him move more-or-less freely within the apartment.  He still isn't allowed in the bedroom or My Honey's office, but he's too busy chasing the cat around the kitchen and living room to notice.  I still restrict him to the bathroom and hall when I'm not at home because there's just too much for him to get into when not supervised, but having him follow me around has been fun and we're bonding even more.  I was worried he'd be chewing on everything in sight, but that hasn't been the case at all.  He's being very well behaved and having enough naps that the cat isn't too put-out by having to share the space.  Fingers crossed, we seem to be moving in the right direction.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Welcome to 2011 CRTC

I love my country, but I'm always astonished at how good our citizens are at adopting and embracing new technologies while at the same time our governing bodies are absolutely terrible at it.  Canadians rely on debit cards more than any other country; our internet usage per capita is among the highest anywhere.  42% of Canadians have a Facebook profile.  But strangely our governing body for telecommunications, the CRTC, is on the verge of deciding that metered internet billing is a good idea.

Everyone knows the TV in it's traditional role as provider of programing over the airwaves/cablewaves is on the way out--the Internet is the way of the future.  Despite this, the CRTC might allow Bell and Rogers (who conveniently have a HUGE stake in driving consumers back to traditional TV) to bill Internet users additionally for "overages" in their data consumption.  This means when you go to the National Film Board and download free content from filmakers across Canada you will likely be paying extra on your Internet bill.  How about Netflix?  Streaming content on You Tube?  Yep, they'll cost you extra too.

So what can be done about this?  Probably not a whole lot, but I chose to sign an online petition to express my disappointment in the lack of foresight shown by the CRTC and perhaps you might want to as well.  Follow this link to join the over 40 thousand others who have signed the petition.

Get a clue CRTC.  Don't leave us in the dark-ages because Big Business can't figure out a way to make money in the new Internet reality without resorting to billing practices that have no place in 2011.


Sadly, this ended up being a case of too little, too late.  The CRTC has decided to allow the major players to adopt metered billing, which means the small providers who buy bandwidth from Bell will have to stop offering unlimited downloading which will severely limit competition in Canada's already more-or-less monopolized Internet provider market.  A small bone was thrown to the consumer in the way of a reduction in the cost of basic service, but it's little consolation.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

One Year

It's hard to believe it's been an entire year.

It seems like only yesterday we coloured your hair pink, but in comparison it feels like it has been forever since I felt one of your hugs.  So much has happened in the year since you died, so many times I wanted to call you and tell you about my day.  It is an impulse that will always be there; you were always the first person I told about everything.

I still tell you, I just don't need a phone to do it.

I miss you, but you are always with me.  I channel you more and more as each day goes by--when I laugh, it is your laughter I hear; when I chat up the person next to me in line at the grocery store, it is you who is being friendly to a stranger; when one of my customers flirts with me on the phone it is you they are flirting with.

There have been some dark days this past year--it's been a tough road for this family--but we have made it through.  I know you would have been proud of me, of all of us.  We've lost so much, but gained a stronger bond with each other.  I know you'd want to be there to comfort us, but we find strength somehow just in the knowing.

Is it strange I still want to be a better person for you?  A better daughter, sister, niece, partner, friend.  I still strive to make you proud of me, even though you're no longer here to see my efforts.  I want to be that person you always believed I could be.

It's a work in progress.

Maybe it always will be.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sad Day

I found out today that, 1) friends of mine had a miscarriage, 2) my brother's dog had a seizure and is in the doggie hospital and, 3) my friend Katie has pneumonia which is aggravated by her downstairs neighbour who won't stop smoking indoors which likely means Katie will have to move out of her new apartment (which would really suck because she just moved in and she loves that apartment.)

I'm done with today.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Jacques Gets a Taste for Parquet

I came across my puppy the other morning in the throes of ecstasy.  No, not that--he's still too young--something much more disturbing.  And amusing.  I particularly enjoy the snorting!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year! And I Mean That

Well hello 2011!  My, you're looking swell.  Did you do something with your hair?  Lose some weight?  Well whatever it is, it's really working for you.  Perhaps it's just me--you see, I'm so happy to see the back of 2010 that you just look wonderful to me.

The last year has been pretty shitty, not just for me but for many close to me.  We've suffered losses, faced challenges.  But one thing that keeps me going is finding balance in all this:  friends have drifted a way, but new ones have taken their place; loved ones have passed away, but friends have been blessed with a new life and I share in their joy.  It's a timeless and endless cycle--just when we think we've taken all we can, new hope appears and sustains us.

This year has been surprisingly fruitful for me in some unexpected ways--I have seen success and growth in my job; my talent in photography has allowed me to share some treasured images with friends and family; my new companion, Jacques, has been a joy and a challenge but I wouldn't have it any other way; friendships and family ties have been deepened and strengthened.  Most of all, I've grown up a lot--I have met the challenges of the last couple of years head-on and I made it through a better friend, sister, daughter and partner.

I want to thank all of you for the tremendous support you have provided me over the last year.  Your words of encouragement and your unwavering belief in me have been the light in the darkness--I don't know if I could have done it without you.  My New Year's resolution to you is to not let you down--your faith has not been misplaced.  I've been battered and bruised but this is another year and another opportunity to make my own happiness.

"Often daunted, never defeated."
                    -- Vicky Gabereau, Canadian radio and television personality