Sunday, June 08, 2008

we've moved!

You can now find us at:

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

these boots were made for...

I was Windows shopping recently (what a sad day it will be when I update to Vista and have to retire that joke) and I ran across this:

It's the Women's Nike Glencoe boot.

Nike is clearly branching out from sports to warfare, and about time, I say.

As a Campbell whose own ancestors may have been among those who perpetrated the Glencoe Massacre of 1692, I welcome the appearance of a boot commemorating a time when we were known for more than soup.

A boot whose EVA midsole provides "excellent shock protection," the sort of protection you need when you rise in the middle of the night in the castle where you've been an honored guest for a month, creep down the hall, and stab your host in his sleep!

And yes, I know the whole Campbell-MacDonald rivalry thing was just spin (or at least, I do now, having just Googled it, although I have to admit that everything I knew about the Glencoe Massacre up to now was based on a song, and you really shouldn't trust history that RHYMES) but the fact remains, there was a massacre. People died. (38 people, to be exact, I think there've been more impressive death tolls at Who concerts, but whatever).

They died so that we could have "rugged outdoor shoes with casual flair."

And don't you forget it.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

...and we're back

So, as I was saying... I took the entire month of July off and went home and and forced my way into every photo taken so as to avoid a repeat of the "replacement" nonsense from last summer when I stayed in Prague and my place in the sibling photo was taken by crouching man, clutching beer bottle. (Above: Find me in the photo. Hint: I'm under the raft.)

That's my excuse for July, as for August, I seem to have spent it as an intern in a Seattle hospital, and what a crazy time that was. Gosh, between saving people and accidentally scraping their hearts with my fingernail (God I hate when that happens! It's not like I can afford to LIVE at the nail salon!) and sleeping with the boss and performing unsanctioned autopsies and hiding my demented mother from EVERYONE and just generally trying to be sweet and above all CAUCASIAN to balance out all the cranky Asians and bossy black women on staff, I was EXHAUSTED. I think I'm going to go back to being a rock 'n roll undertaker from Los Angeles this fall. At least then the dead people are dead when you get them and there's no chance of relatives pointing their fingers at you and saying, "Hey, if you had paid attention in defibrillator class instead of writing 'Mrs. Dr. McDreamy' over and over again in your scribbler, you could have saved my father!"

Actually, I might try to get out of the death/illness game altogether. It starts to wear on you. Especially in Seattle, where people die of the darnedest things. I thought the most exotic cause of death there was caffeine overdose, or grunge, but apparently it's not unusual in a single day in a Seattle hospital to come across a 120-pound tumor AND a case of Munchausen syndrome. It must be the climate.

I'm thinking of returning to the viewing of my childhood, back when we only had two channels and one, I seem to recall, often showed nothing but the test pattern. I may spend the winter as Nick Adonidas, a beachcomber in British Columbia -- searching for stray logs in my trusty old boat, the Persephone, celebrating my Greek heritage, and counting the days until I get to leave this life behind and go on to host Celebrity Chefs (or what passes for a celebrity chef in Canada -- "And today, we'll be making rice pilaf with the national chairperson of the Council of Canadians, Maude Barlow!")

Or maybe I'll just read a book.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

looking back

News of the demise of Kurt Waldheim is making me oddly nostalgic for simpler, less invasive times, when one could become secretary general of the United Nations without anyone discovering one's Nazi past.

That wouldn't happen today. Today, someone on the UN hiring committee (in the UN HR department? at the headhunting company that supplies the UN with potential secretaries general? I'm a little fuzzy on process here) would google "Kurt Waldheim" and discover his MySpace page, replete with swastikas and glowing reviews of Mein Kampf and "I HEART Hitler" buttons and it would be game over.

Everything was simpler in my day (please don't ask me define exactly when "my day" was, it varies according to my mood - sometimes I'll swear it was the mid-70s glory years of the Montreal Canadiens). Take Maggie Thatcher's invasion of the Falklands. Now there was a war. No "shock and awe" tactics, no precision bombing, no invasion-justifying whoppers about weapons of mass destruction - just Maggie, smacking Argentinians into submission with her handbag. And when it was over, it was over - no counter-insurgents, no suicide sheep bombers, no nothing. I know she was a little long in the tooth for active duty at the time, but I kind of wish they'd dusted her off and sent her into Iraq. (Of course, she and Saddam would probably have gotten along like a house afire and all thoughts of regime change would have been abandoned in favor of a crackdown on the real enemy - the unions.)

But such times are past, gone the way of rotary dial telephones and glass milk bottles and privacy (other things about which I could wax nostalgic, but won't), and it's probably better to embrace the complications of modern existence than to continually bash one's head against them. So I'm going to google "UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon" and I'm telling you right now, I'd better like what I see.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

long time no blog

This morning was a sour milk morning - you know, when you take the time to make coffee rather than paying 40,000 kc for a cup at Java Java Java* but then you add the milk and it curdles because long-life milk lasts until June 2011 only when UNOPENED.

So you drink what's left in the coffee pot black because you don't have time to go to the store for more milk because you have to clean the kitty litter box. The "kitties" in question are busy leaving little black paw prints all over your tub and sink and you can't help but ask yourself "What have they ever done for me?" and the answer is, of course, "Nothing." Nor are they ever likely to do anything. Not like that Golden Retriever you heard about on the BBC the other night, the one who basically gave his owner the Heimlich maneuver when she choked on a piece of food. The dog jumped on her chest until the food was dislodged. My cats wouldn't do that. My cats would polish off my dinner then go live with the neighbors. (Above: My cats, dreaming of a life without me.)

As you may have noticed, it has been a month since I posted and I'm still on about my cats, so you clearly haven't been missing anything. Other than an addiction to the Gilmore Girls, a terrifying new Facebook membership, and an unsuccessful attempt to tidy my house and KEEP IT THAT WAY, there's not much to report.

*Some of the names in this post have been changed so I can bitch freely.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

museum piece(s)

A friend who just left town (call him "Pan Shlay," the taxi driver did) has left me his reading lamp and an alarm clock. This is convenient, as the bulb just burned out in my reading lamp and the battery in my alarm clock died sometime before Christmas (I've been using my mobile phone to wake up in the mornings).

Instead of buying a light bulb and a battery, I've replaced the lamp and the clock. I feel like Gabor Zsa Zsa. (I don't actually know if she was extravagant, although I believe her character on Green Acres was, I just wanted to write her name in the correct Hungarian way because it amuses me. Had I not gone to Budapest last weekend, I'd probably be comparing myself to Ivana Trumpova, which is the correct Czech way to write her last name, and which also amuses me. Amusing me, in case you haven't realized it, is the name of the game in any language.)

Pan Shlay's clock and lamp are just the latest additions to my Museum of Modern Expats. Other exhibits include: the bureaus, desk, and clothes rack (Marguerite), the coffee tables (Paul and Casey), the couches (Kat, Willy, Titi), the wall map (Nathan), the standing lamp (Titi), the end table/wine rack (John and Flanders), the folding chair (Allison), the boom box (Lynn), the television (Steve and Camille), the feather duster (Monica), and one of the cats (DJ Assbot, who also left me the "I spell relief F-A-R-T" button).

The monitor I'm sitting in front of belongs to Martha, the speakers were Kat's, the tower was once the property of a screaming asshole from Poland, and the DVD drive belonged to Johnny - the person, not the chihuahua - who also used to own the DVD player.

This doesn't even begin to tally the books belonging to other people that I have "acquired" over the years (I quieten my conscience, which admittedly is never very noisy, with the thought of all the books I've "lost" over the years. I think they about balance out.)

You may think the resulting image - me on Kat's couch under Titi's light next to John and Flanders' table watching Pan Shlay's DVD of Six Feet Under with Assbot's cat wearing the "I spell relief F-A-R-T" pin - is downright tacky (and yeah, the fart pin probably is). But I prefer to think of it as a living tribute to some fine people.

And for the record, I BOUGHT the STARBUCKS coffee mug.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

mystic buddha

My old office has become a Thai spa/beauty salon called "Mystic Buddha."

All I can think is that Buddhists must have some equivalent to the Native American sweet grass ceremony or the Catholic Church's exorcism rite, because there would have been some crazy spirits to evict from that place before anyone could start relaxing and rejuvenating. I imagine people going in for a massage and coming out screaming, like me going to lunch in the old days. (below right: me, in the old days.)

The bosses - a husband and wife team I always thought of as Boris and Natasha - once sent around a list of office regulations. A coworker and I spent a happy hour scoffing (scoffing was a regular pastime at my old office) and rewriting the list to include the regulations they would have added had they any idea what went on the office while they were off in Beijing "not seeing any dissidents" or even sitting in their windowed office (affectionately known as the terrarium):

1. Don't drink vodka out of teacups at your desks during working hours.
2. Don't use the office as a coat check when planning to spend the night at the dance club down the street.
3. Don't have sex on the couch in the waiting area. (Actually, I didn't know this had happened, but my coworker assured me it had and she was from Nova Scotia so I believe her.)
4. Don't root through the CFO's garbage to find out how much certain of your coworkers are paid.
5. Don't tell everyone in the office how much certain of your coworkers are paid and you know it's true because you found it written on a piece of paper in the CFO's garbage.
6. Don't knock over the office Christmas tree during an after-hours chair race.
7. Don't make a bong out of a plastic, two-liter Pepsi bottle for in-office use and store it in the kitchen cupboard next to the herbal teas.
8. Don't scratch "NAZIS" into the metal security door installed (rumor had it) to protect the owners from Hungarian loan sharks.
9. Don't continue to check your email on an office computer for two years after you've been fired.
10. Don't sleep under your desk.

I may have to book a massage, just to see if I come out feeling like a new me or like me circa 1998.