Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sunglasses Cat, strange neighbours.

So. In the category of 'strange things in my neighbourhood', of which there are many, is this cat. He somehow appeared sometime last year, I think it was during the summer. At first, he just sat there, rain or shine. You can only really see him well if you drive down the road from one direction, because he kind of hides behind the foliage from the other direction. Weird how that works.

You're probably thinking "Does he/she always wear those cool aviators?". (query to more writerly types. Do i put a period there? how the hell do i punctuate that?) The answer is that no, he/she does not always wear those cool glasses. At Easter time, the cat had on bunny ears, and was somehow holding a basket. Or perhaps the basket was at the cat's feet. I don't really remember that well. At Christmas time, the cat was wearing a Santa hat. The type of people who actually have the initiative and the time to do things like that amaze me. How much time/money do they actually spend on that sort of thing? How much would a cement cat like that cost, in the first place?

I do appreciate the novelty of having a cat like this in my neighbourhood. It kind of says to the outside world that this is a cat friendly place. It also tells the world that we're kind of a weird place. That premise is borne out if you just travel a bit farther down the road, where Mr. and Mrs. Costanza live. Well, it's not really them, but it sure sounds like it. I wish i knew how to put a sound in this blog thing, so i could share with you the specialness that is that woman's bellow.

When my kids were younger, they thought that was their actual name. Of course, they also thought that picture of Marilyn Monroe was either myself, when I was younger, or the wife of Mr. Monroe, from a few houses down. I did not dissuade them from those thoughts. I loved that gullible stage. I used to tell them that the world was black and white, and during the making of the Wizard of Oz, the entire world turned colour. Then my brother in law ruined things by telling them the science of black and white and colour photography, totally destroying my credibility. Now, they hardly believe anything I say. I don't know why.

well. that's it, the sunglasses cat. Wish i had more, but, you know, what can i say?

Suck on that...

I done been tagged...

I interrupt the post about the cat wearing aviators to tell you this.

Mr. Paul Michael Murphy 'tagged me' on his website, with this really cool meme, one that really appealed to my inner liar. (You can read his response at that link) It's based on the seven deadly sins. He was tagged by Sarah Dooley, who's blog is really great. She's a wonderful writer, and a keen observer of the human condition.

The description of the delicious contest is this:

"Sometimes you can learn more about a person by what they don’t tell you. Sometimes you can learn a lot from the things they just make up. If you are tagged with this Meme, lie to me. Then tag 7 other folks (one for each deadly sin) and hope they can lie."

Pride: What is your biggest contribution to the world?

Well, let me say, that this was difficult. I thought for hours about the incredible contributions I have made, in virtually every area of life and the workings of the world. Firstly, just in my character, there is my incredible sense of humour, my style, my ‘joie de vie’. Then, in my deeds, I have solved the problem of world hunger (though I am thwarted by the powers that be, in putting this solution to use), I invented electricity and the telephone (even before my birth), and I have put together a solution for world peace that will have the entire world holding hands and singing ‘kum by ya’. So… I came to the conclusion that my biggest contribution to the world was simply my ‘being’. Thank you.

Envy: What do your coworkers have that you wish was yours?

I sometimes wish that I could travel through life, without people constantly falling on their knees and thanking me for my mere presence. So, if I must put it into words, I envy my co-workers their ordinariness, their plainness of thinking, their simple lives.

Gluttony: What did you eat last night?

Last night, I had my minions collect a million hummingbirds and prepare them ‘buffalo wing’ style. (with blue cheese dressing for dipping). I drank the dew that was collected from their feathers, which was purified through gauze made of the thread of silk worms.

Lust: What really lights your fire?

There are times when I see myself in the eyes of others. That puts me aflame.

Anger: What is the last thing that really pissed you off?

There were two feathers and a beak in last night’s dinner. I had the minion responsible prepared for my dessert. Flambe.

Greed: Name something you hoard and keep from others.

What people will never know about me is that all of my undergarments are made of threads that result from gold that is fed to spiders and spun as their webs. Of course, i keep this process a secret, i cannot have Paris Hilton knowing of this.

Sloth: What's the laziest thing you ever did?

Used my Persian cat to sweep the floor by tossing a ball slowly and allowing her belly fur to catch the lint.

I hereby tag the following people to extol their lack of virtue with this meme.

Lori (just cuz i think this contest will really tweak the actor in her

Mary Ellen (cuz she's my sis, and i want to prove that she's a bigger liar than i am)

Benjamin Esch (cuz he's a huge liar)

Robert Wiersema (because he should try to be not so serious)

Corey Redekop (oh just cuz)

Benjamin James Watson (as a present for my newest follower)

Barack Obama (cuz.. oh why the hell not)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Critical Monkey Contest

I'm doing my best not to make every blog about books and stuff. I'd like my blog to 'appeal to the masses', as it were, and, frankly, not every one out there is bookish. Even people who write books don't always like to read them. So, I promise, that the next few blogs will not be about books. Just give me this last one for a while.

I just read about a challenge on Corey Redekop's blog. Good reader, I know that there are some snobby readers out there. I sometimes try to pretend that I'm a literary snob, but I have to admit that there are times when nothing but a trashy romance will do. There was also that summer when I worked straight nights at the nursing home. I would read 4 Harlequin's a night. And do the work.

So, anyway. Mr. Redekop has a year long contest, to write seven reviews over the next year. Starting July 2, 2009, you can put links to your reviews in the comment section of his blog, and he'll collect the entries and announce a winner by July 2, 2010. Prizes to be announced.

Take a look, see what you think, and enter the freaking contest. (My next blog will be about the Cat Wearing Mirrored Aviators. Stay tuned)

And now, trying out my new tagline.

So, suck on that.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Trying to keep up to date. And shelf monkeys

Please excuse me for not updating sooner. I got a new laptop, and I can't get the hang of editing on it. I think i need to change my settings or something, and, frankly, i need some more nerdiness before i can do that.

So, on to the blogginess of it all.Well, holy cow. I have eight Followers. That's just crazy. I think that i can thank my friend Paul Michael Murphy (no relation) for most of them. He posted about my blog on his blog, and, well, you know what happens when blogs get together. It`s bloggariffic. It`s PMM`s goal to take over the webosphere. Frankly, he can have that goal. Mine is more simple, i just need an outlet for all of this thinking that I do.

So, thank you, Followers of mine. Including my sister, Mary Ellen. Special kudos to Big Plain V, who was not only my fifth follower, but made the fifth comment. For that, he gets a fifth of gin. Or Beethoven`s fifth. Or something like that. Check your mail, Big V. Shawn, thanks for following. I know you're probably thinking "when will she blog about the chick using the laptop in the middle of the main street?". I can only talk about the things i see, dude. Thank you to all of my followers. Again. I really appreciate your support. You'll get a list of your initiation tasks later. Don't worry, only a couple of them involve tattoos and piercings.

The title of this post includes the phrase "shelf monkeys", which probably requires a little explanation. There`s this Canadian author (cuz i`m all about canadians)Corey Redekop . He wrote a book called `Shelf Monkey`, which is also the name of his blog. Shelf Monkey is really, really good, you should definitely read it. I`m wondering if i should do a review of that book, but my reading of the book predates my blog... I think i will, anyway, but i need to look over it again to refresh my memory with the details.

Anyway. On Corey`s blog, he talked about his publisher ECW Press, giving away free books. (followers, please note, i`m always up for a free book)(just as an aside, i`m sitting with my back to a window, and there`s a bird in my eavestrough, tossing out debris. It`s kind of freaking me out. I don`t really like birds)

ok... back on track. ECW Press giving away free books. Yeah, they said they would, and they did. You just have to register as a shelf monkey, and promise to do some sort of review, either on Amazon, or other places, or on your own blog... So, this week, in the mail i received a copy of `Ìn Tongues of the Dead`, by Brad Kelln. I`m finishing up a book now (Fugitive Pieces, Anne Michaels), but i`ll get to this one after that. So many books, so little time.

Just some notes for people who aren't regular blog readers. In order to comment on my blog (please comment, i thrive on feedback), take note of the words at the bottom of my writing. It will say "0 comments" (or another number, depending on how many people have commented). Just click on that, and it will open up a thingy where you can make your comments. If you post as anonymous, just leave your first name after your post, that way i can answer you if you have any questions.

See you soon. (i should probably come up with some sort of witty catch phrase. I'll get on that)

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Order of Odd Fish, a review

First of all, I have to welcome my first follower, Kate. She found me here through facebook, and I actually know her in real life. Hopefully, she'll stick around, comment a bit, and actually enjoy what she reads here. I have to also welcome my first commenter, Clover, who is a friend of mine, we go way back, through Found Magazine. (note to readers. I've learned how to insert links. yay!!!)

I have to explain how it is I came to have this book. I am a follower of Murphblog, which is authored by Paul Michael Murphy (no relation, although we do share a love of parentheses). He ran a contest in April, which I entered. Imagine my surprise when i actually won the contest.Yay Me!! I wasn't announced as the winner for a while, though, as Mr. James Kennedy had a baby in the midst of the voting.Here's Lucy Momo Kennedy!! So, yeah, the prize for the contest was the book, personally signed by Mr. James Kennedy (take a gander at the title page, up there), a soundtrack for the book, and... the piece de resistance, Mr. Kennedy will read part of my Work In Progress. That's the best part, and I'm waiting on that, with bated breath.

"The Order of Odd Fish" is a wonderful book. If I had to compare it to something that's already out there, I'd have to say that there isn't anything quite like it. Although the Lemony Snicket series comes close. It's only vaguely Harry Potter-esque, in that the protagonist, Jo Larouche, is a young adolescent who didn't know she truly was for most of her life. (and i only mention Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling to send errant searchers my way. Also, TWILIGHT!! [that's apropos of nothing, by the way])

Mr. Paul Michael Murphy interviewed James Kennedy on his blog You can read the interview, and actually, read about the contest here as well. In that interview, James talks about the various things that influenced him as a writer. (basically, his entire, crazy life). He credits Madeline L'engle(amazon link here!), Isaac Asimov, Douglas Adams, and so on. He writes with a crazy abandon that is incredibly energetic. It almost bubbles with frenetic energy, but at the same time, you get to know the characters and what drives them. Yeah, and I think it has a bit of a Monty Python feel to it, as well. (however, if you're not a Python fan, don't let that drive you away from it)

Ok.. so far, this hasn't been much of an review. Frankly, I've never done a review before, so what do you expect? I just really, really liked this book. It's so well written, funny, moving, and exciting. There are cockroaches for butlers, bizarre weapons, a quest, a duel, a battle against good and evil, and an unlikely (and unwilling)hero. I think that it's meant for pre-teen to early teen, (I hate pigeonholing books into agegroups, but people seem to like that) However, in the same way that Harry Potter's taken off in every age group, I think that this book will take off in the same way.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

oysters, baseball and way too much beer.

Well, I am lucky enough to have an amazing boss, who happens to be a Jays fan. He took the whole crew of us out to the Jays-Royals game last night. (Jays won, 6-3)

I do like baseball. It's one of the only games that I can mostly understand, for one thing. I do get distracted easily, however, and I often have to ask the person beside me what the heck just happened. The trouble with watching a live game, is that stuff happens so quietly, and then all of a sudden people are going crazy.

There are lots of things that distract me. I'm addicted to people watching, for one thing. Also, by the time we got to the game, i had already had way too many beer. My best friend Bonnie took us to Rodney's Oyster Bar on King Street in Toronto. Now... for those of you who haven't yet had the chance to have oysters, let me tell you that they are not as slimy and gooey as you think they'd be. Most people i've heard tell you to just swallow them down, which is not the right technique at all. You've got to bite them, hold them in your mouth for a bit. It's not as gross as you'd think. We tried some east coast, Atlantic Ocean, and some west coast, Pacific Ocean ones. The clear winners were the East Coast ones. The West Coast had a more 'oceany' taste to them, they were smaller, and... well, just not as nice. I had a "dead guy" beer with them, which, apparently, is stored in the same casks that they age scotch in. Not together, separately, just FYI. It definitely gives the beer a 'scotchy' taste, which is really nice.

There was also an adventure, in which my friends Bonnie and Tim tried to get a jersey signed by one of the Jays, and where they ended up in places no fan should ever get to. But that's a story for another day. When i get details, you'll find out what happened.

We also had a rickshaw ride from a Irish guy, looked for Tim's camera which he had lost months before, at the Toronto Westin Harbourfront (Kodak Easyshare, have you seen it?) and shared a beer with a guy named Jay in the parking lot. He took a short cut, and made it back to his truck before they did. It was a strange night.

Best news of all, Scotty got us all home safe. After a couple of baby burgers and fries with salt and vinegar.

Anyway. Didn't get home till almost 3 am, which is not really what I do. I'm an 'in bed by 10' kind of girl, But hey, what's life for, if it's not living.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Decision made

Ok. I've decided that I need to have a blog. I've got way too many opinions about things, and not enough people know about them...
I know. What a travesty, you say.

Of course, now that I've made that decision, any opinion I've had about anything has completely left my head. And other things are coming into my head, like:
1. what if i offend people?
2. what if no one reads this?
3. what if people read, but, frankly, don't give a rats ass about my opinion.

all these things, and more, are what travel through the space between my ears.

So, maybe I'll just free associate......what to do, what to do.. oh yes, ok.. here goes.

Read in the news today that a decision has been made in the disposition of that Vincent Li case, out west. (he's the schizophrenic guy who murdered another passenger on the bus). He was found Not Criminally Responsible, and I guess that some people are up in arms about that. On the way to school this morning, #2 offspring and I were talking about this. While she understands that some people, especially the victim's family, are upset about this, she said to me "If it were me, I think that I'd be comforted that they've figured out why he did that, and he's going to a place where they'll try to fix that." It makes me wonder how a 17 yr old girl gets that, and so many other people don't. This guy is not getting a free ride. Secure mental hospitals are no joke. He's going to a secure hospital, where he'll receive treatment, which will address his issues of risk. Isn't that much better than punishing an obviously mentally ill man and not paying attention to the issues that caused the murder in the first place?

That's my opinion, anyway.

awaiting comments...........