Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Auld Lang Syne!

This was the year I turned 31 years old. As with every year, it was packed full of excitement:

Space Shuttle Columbia
Invasion of Iraq
West Nile Virus
SARS and SARSstock
The War on Terror
Mad Cow Disease
Toronto Blackout
BC Forest Fires
Legalization of Same Sex Marriage
Saddam Hussein's capture
FBI suspects Almanacs Users are terrorists

NEW HANGOUT: Hooters, West Edmonton Mall.

BEST GIFTS: I was spoiled this year. I got great books for Christmas - Salam Pax's The Baghdad Blog, Lou Paget's 365 Days of Sensational Sex and Mitch Album's The Five People You Meet in Heaven. I also had a great birthday as well!

FAVORITE SONG: Fallen, by Sarah McLachlan

BEST BOOK READ: Jennifer Lauck's Blackbird and Still Waters

NEW HOBBY: Blogging! And Digital Photography!

BEST MOVIE: Without a doubt, The Return of the King. Also, Master and Commander, Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions, Finding Nemo, The Last Samurai, Kill Bill Vol 1, and X2.

BEST DVD:"The Adventures of Indiana Jones"

BEST VIDEO GAME: Knights of the Old Republic.

BIGGEST CHANGE: I became engaged!

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Moving to Edmonton

BEST JOKE: When George Bush said "Bring 'em on" daring Iraqi terrorists to attack American troops. Oh wait, that wasn't a joke...

BIGGEST BLESSING OF THE YEAR: My children's wonderful report cards (almost all A's) and their repeated excellent academic performance that earned them both awards of Distinction from their new school.

MOST STIRRING POLITICAL ISSUE: Same Sex Marriage/Equal Rights and The Invasion of Iraq.

LOOKING FORWARD TO: Schindler's List on DVD, our wedding, and a honeymoon!!!

PREDICTIONS FOR 2004: Stupid Bush will likely get re-elected. Where's a good regime change when you need it?

Here's Wishing my Friends, Family and Reading Audience all the best for a safe, happy and prosperous New Year. Here's hoping that in 2004 we learn to be a more peaceful and less greedy species.

Let me be a channel of peace,
that where there is hatred, I may bring love;
that where there is wrong, I may bring the
spirit of forgiveness;
that where there is discord, I may bring harmony;
that where there is error, I may bring truth;
that where there is doubt, I may bring faith;
that where there is despair, I may bring hope;
that where there are shadows, I may bring light;
that where there is sadness, I may bring joy.
may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted;
to understand, than to be understood;
to love, than to be loved.
for it is by self-forgetting that one finds.
by forgiving that one is forgiven.


Monday, December 29, 2003

It's all about taking it easy

This is what I see most on my TV lately. It's a game that I got Duncan for Christmas, Need for Speed Underground. Very good. He is enjoying it immensely, and I am enjoying watching it.

We enjoyed having Duncan's Dad visit after Christmas. We went to see The Last Samurai (which I really enjoyed) and he took us out for lunch! Never mind the not dressed up state, we are on holidays!

I have also been enjoying reading. Yes Kim, the 365 Days of Sensational Sex is very good. Lou Paget is one of my favourite authors (on the subject) and I highly recommend this one to anyone looking to expand a long term relationship sexually. I may write more about it later.

Oh, and Quynn - where are you????

Thursday, December 25, 2003

A Christmas Gallery

Duncan commanding his Counter Terrorism Squad in Rainbow Six 3 RavenShield

Wesley trying out his new TV, Game Cube and various games

Raven's favourite gift was her Game Boy Advance SP, and Pokemon Pinball

Zoe was so excited about her gifts she even opened hers before everyone woke up

I was spoiled this Christmas! I am excited about getting to some reading (Notice I was given Salam's book - first blog in paperback) and enjoying my other gifts

I am going to take a mini blog hiatus for the holidays, just a couple of days, but I hope these pictures will tide you over. Take care everyone, I am happy that you visit; the pleasure is all mine!

Hope all is well with you, best wishes for the Season and a safe, happy and prosperous New Year!

Merry Christmas Everyone

May peace and blessings be upon you!

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Dear Santa

I have been a very good girl this year, and I thank you for the continued years of happiness and joy you have brought me.

For this Christmas I want to ask for something special. A small Christmas miracle by your standards. I want everyone to be at peace. I want everyone to feel safe, even if just for one day. To have every little kid in the world wake up and not worry about dying this day – and everyone to have enough food and water, and time to smile.

Oh yeah, and Santa? If its not too much trouble, my own island would make me very happy as well!


Santa's on his way!

Santa Claus began his annual trip around the world on Wednesday morning, taking off from the North Pole, and heading for the international date line, Norad reported. The North American Aerospace Defence Command's radar and satellites began tracking the sleigh and its nine reindeer as they flew over northern Canada and the United States.

Bloggers who want to track Santa's journey can find regular updates at NORAD.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

My Favourite Christmas Memory

Christmas for me is all about that magic you feel in your heart before you get old enough to know better. I still feel it, but I rarely admit to it in order to avoid the skeptical stares from judgmental grown ups. But yeah, Christmas and me go a long way back. In the midst of a troubled childhood, my most treasured memories settle in around Christmas, Santa and that glimmer of Magic. Little miracles can go a long way.

I was a pretty smart kid, and the Christmas that I was four years old I thought I had it all figured out. Mom and Dad were actually Santa, and when I went to bed (early, under pain of Santa not coming) they put the presents under the tree, expecting me to believe they were placed there by Santa Claus. So I concocted a plan to reveal this vile adult plan for what it was: I was going to get up after my parents went to bed and check under the tree.

I barely ever slept, so I don't remember it being hard to wait up. My parents went to bed and I waited until they were finally snoring (I remember they both sounded like bears when they snored) and ventured slowly out into the darkness. Checked baby brother, still sleeping (I didn't want to get caught out of bed if he were to wake everyone up), and double checked parents room to ensure they were actually sleeping. I crept down the stairs, slowly. I remember debating with myself what I might do if I did run into this Santa, cause everything I had ever been told was that he wouldn't come if there were kids awake in the house. I decided to be quicker.

Into the living room I bolted, it was lit only by the lights from the tree. I immediatley noticed there were no presents under that tree. Not even one. I went to the fireplace, where the embers had almost all died out, and checked each stocking... empty. I looked out the window. It was dark. There were no cars on a normally busy road. It was very late. I looked behind the couch for presents, in the hall closet and in the kitchen. Where could they be, I wondered... I went back to bed, perplexed slightly, but intrigued.

I slept a while, and woke up when I heard my baby brother making some manner of complaint. He wasn't loud enough to wake anyone else and eventually he went back to sleep. I snuck into my parents room to carefully inspect each adult as sleeping in the bed. Yep, still snoring. I snuck out of the room and down into the livingroom once more. The sight that beheld my eyes I will remember for all times.

The tree was filled with presents. There were even little presents in the branches! I crept forward, holding my breath, and reached out to touch them, wondering at the packages that would be for me (despite my previous doubting of the Santa Claus). I spun around to make sure I wasn't being watched, and my attention was drawn to my stocking - which was also full. I ran over to it and grabbed it down from the fireplace and cradled it in my arms. I knew I was allowed to open my stocking gifts as soon as I got up no matter when, but I sat down first to survey the room.

Everything seemed perfect. Santa's milk was gone, the empty glass sat beside a plate that sported a few crumbs left behind from the cookies I had placed there earlier. I inspected closer - there was a ring of milk under the glass that was still fresh. I looked out of the window and wonder began to fill me. I looked into the skies and wondered if it was possible... but doubt nagged at the edge of my brain and I realized that "Santa" always left a gift at the end of the bed and I hadn't seen anything there when I had woken up. I ran up the stairs, still clutching my stocking, sure that I had caught them in the act - and turned on the light as I burst into my room.

There on my bed was one of the biggest wrapped boxes I had ever seen. Almost too big for me to stretch out fully on my bed - how could I possibly have missed that? Holding my breath, I backed out of my room slowly, into the hallway where I could listen to the measured breathing and snoring coming from my parents room. Yep, still asleep. My ears strained for the slightest noise anywhere in the house. Nothing.

It slowly dawned upon me... Santa MUST be real. While I was downstairs peeking under the tree with excitement, he left this present here on my bed, even knowing that I wasn't in it. He must have been in the house the same time I was awake! And I didn't hear a thing! Not only was Santa real, he was magic too!

As I sat on my bed that morning opening each gift I knew that in trying to prove that Mom and Dad were tricking me into believing in Santa that I had proven to myself that Santa was real. I was filled with a warmth that would last me many Christmas's, and even to this day I know that Santa and Christmas is more then what we banter around in the commercial, corporate sense. And I love seeing that mirrored in the eyes of my own children!

And Santa, I still believe in you!

This post is part of a Photojunkie Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2003

My Holiday Favourites

Favorite Holiday Decoration:

My Stocking! I have had my stocking since I was a baby, when it was lovingly made by a family friend, just for me. It has always been very special to me, and perhaps began my prediliction with Rudolph the Red nose Reindeer. I always smile when I see it full of little surprises waiting for me on Christmas morning.

Favorite Holiday Song:

Old Toy Trains – sung by Nana Mouskori. The song itself speaks to me of that magic on Christmas Eve when a parent and a Child search the heavens for a sign, any sign, that Santa was drawing near. It's one of my favourite times of the season when my children stand with me and stare into the night, looking, searching, believing. I still believe in Santa Claus! When I was young (very very young) we had this on 8 track, but my parents old 8 track was completely broken so I could no longer listen. One Christmas, for some reason, I turned that old machine on, plunked in the Nana Mouskori 8 Track and to my surprise, it played that song. Nothing else, just that song. For an eight track that was some stroke of luck - and to this day that has been one of my Christmas Miracles.

Favorite Holiday Tradition:

In our home, each Christmas Eve Santa leaves gifts on the end of everyone’s bed. They are meant to be opened as soon as you wake up, and usually occupy everyone until we are all ready to gather around the tree and open the rest. Almost every year of my life I have awoken Christmas morning to a gift on the end of my bed. One year when I was a little kid I woke up and couldn't find a present anywhere. I was perplexed, knowing for sure I had been a pretty good girl, I thought maybe Santa had just forgotten, until I found out my brother had his gift at the end of his bed. I looked everywhere. I even cried. My parents followed me around in expectation, until finally my search brought me to the basement where a tiny little kitten was waiting for me.

Tomorrow I will write about my Favourite Christmas Memory! I hope all is well with all of you!

Thanks Quynn!

Lookey what I learnt to do with my new digital camera! It's using the "cross filter" option on the camera itself!

I've been spoiled already and it's not even Christmas yet!

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Why I love Christmas Holidays

Imagination Play!

Raven has been reading the Black Stallion Series with a fervour on her days off. I loved the same series when I was a girl, so I was happy to introduce her to them.


Wesley has more time for his creations with Lego. I love the way he can spend hours building, playing and being quiet. That's almost the best part!

Zoe the cat. Hear her roar.

Wesley has just "prepared" his stocking for Christmas Eve, brushing it and primping it, only to have Zoe decide it be the softest place for her next nap.


More time for Duncan and I to play Civ III PTW together. Games can get pretty long but we are always eager to see how the world will turn out. I have so much fun playing Civ III with Duncan, it's like a board game but better!

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

From the Editorial Page of The New York Sun, written by Francis P. Church, September 21, 1897. Church’s editorial, “Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” became one of the most famous editorials ever written. From 1897 until 1949, when the New York Sun folded, the editorial was reprinted annually.

Dear Editor

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, 'If you see it in The Sun, it's so.' Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O'Hanlon
115 West Ninety-fifth Street

Virginia, your little friends are wrong.

They have been affected by the scepticism of a sceptical age. They do not believe except what they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no child-like faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and un-seeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Friday, December 19, 2003

I always have a great Christmas!

Jingle Bells
You are 'Jingle Bells'! Full of enthusiasm and good cheer, you are excited by the first appearances of Christmas decorations in shops and have been heard singing along to the piped music. Your attitude to Christmas is one of childlike delight - with a slightly mercenary streak. You definitely believe in Santa (you get more presents that way) and will put up your Christmas tree as early as possible. You really like carolling, and presents, and mince pies, and pudding, and will insist on getting everyone up at dawn to open presents immediately. So long as the food and presents are good, you will have a great Christmas.

What Christmas Carol are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Hey Duncan, notice it said insist on getting everyone up at DAWN... not 430 AM - like last year when you woke up and bounced up and down on our bed claiming "It's Christmas morning, It's Christmas morning!"

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Today is a new day

My world is different today then it was yesterday.

Yet it seems strangely the same.

The story is complete!

Return of the King was amazing. I think the Lord of the Rings triology is the most beautiful story I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. I can't wait to see all three movies together.

Thanks to Quynn for taking us to RoTK as an early Christmas present. We were doubley blessed.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Burninating the countryside...

Disturbing dreams last night. They are getting harder to remember - as I become more awake the details slip from me. Essentially, we were nuked. (Twice - for good measure - of course, as any city over 100,000 should be. Especially one with a large military base and the seat of government). But it wasn't just Edmonton in the dreams, Canada was nuked, and then invaded, by Muslims. I only knew they were Muslims because of conversations I had with the men in my dreams. I was pregnant (twin girls) and made to justify the lives of my children, including the unborn ones (that religious study degree came in handy then!). I spent most of the time in the dreams making sure my family survived the blasts and then was able to find safety afterwards.

I suspect the actual details themselves may be meaningless, but I can't shake the feeling like my brain is trying to tell me something and I am just not getting the message.

I am a child of the Cold War Era. When I was a pre teen, I often had nightmares of Nuclear War. In those dreams I was always the only survivor. There were times in my childhood where I went to bed, or woke up, thinking "Will this be the day?" It seemed so inevitatable at times. The geo political scene appeared so unstable, even to me as a child. I spent hours in the library learning more about how to survive that which haunted my dreams. 'Know your enemy,' I thought, and you can be successful. My study did offer me confidence, but it also entrenched within my mind an external enemy, and an enemy that in a way wasn't really "my" enemy.

In the Army we trained against an enemy that was nuclear capable and ready, an enemy understood to be "Communism." Eventually, with the end of the Cold War, this was changed to the "Fantasia Army" as our "enemies" became our "allies," but in my mind Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Warfare training was still a result of the realities of the Cold War, created by the two super powers.

When the Cold War ended, the americans lost their enemy. Years upon years of foriegn policy was based on harrassing and containing this enemy, but with this enemy suddenly no longer a threat, what were they to do? With no purpose and no focus what would a huge force like the US do with themselves? It only took them a little while to look around and find their new target.


The transition was almost flawless in my mind. Exit communism, enter Islam. One enemy replaced with another.

My dreams last night reflect this new reality, but perhaps even something more. In a world culture based on fear, somehow it is being managed that I (and by I, I mean We) am to believe Islam is my enemy, and if I fear that I will fight that, or support that which fights that. It's how psycholgical propaganda works. We are being brainwashed.

Or maybe I am just playing too much Civ III.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

International law? Well, let me call my Lawyer... oh wait.

"We demand a fair and legal trial, not one held by the governing council, which was appointed by the occupier," said Raghad Saddam Hussein, on arabic TV along with her sisters Rana and Hala. "The truth is that I am proud this person is my father... We all know the intention of the way he was displayed. Where is the democracy? Where is the immunity that state leaders are granted?" she also said.

The americans currently hold Saddam in a secret location, while he is being "interrogated," although I am not sure international conventions allow for this type of behaviour. His family says he should have a lawyer, and they are right. I for one would like to see a public trial, by an international tribune, so the whole story can come out.

Is anyone really that worried that this guy might be found not be guilty? We all know he is guilty, lets give him a fair trial and let justice be done.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Saddam returns to the arms of america

"Ladies and gentlemen, we got him." What a crass, yet typically american, way to announce the capture of Saddam Hussein.

I have to say it. It’s about bloody time. I will also add that I am fairly un-impressed, to be honest. What are they so proud of? The biggest armed forces in the world, the biggest security and intelligence agencies in the world, the most intense man hunt in history, the most money (ever) being thrown at this effort (and a 25 million USD reward), and the most (reputation, re-election, justification, etc) riding on it… and it takes them almost 10 months to find a 66 year old man who was only a few kilometers from his hometown? A man who was obviously waiting to be found? Where the heck were they looking in the first place? What took them so long?

What’s to be proud of in all these celebrations? Is it a “triumph?” Not likely. The manner with which the americans are carrying on about this capture is embarrassing.

“Got him?” He was pretty much right where you left him.

I am happy with the long overdue capture though, although it would be correct to say I am skeptical that justice will be served. It is a good thing that Mr. Hussein may now be made to answer the charges for crimes he has committed against humanity, if this is actually the case. Parts of me really don’t care if he is treated fairly, but then other parts just want it to be done right. Saddam should be tried in an international tribunal rather than an Iraqi Governing Council tribunal.

However, it is improbable that Saddam will stand trial in an internationally recognized court as undoubtedly the evidence presented in his defence would be embarrassing for the americans. I predict they leave him with Iraq and hope they kill him as soon as possible.

Bush said he had a message for the Iraqi people. He said they “will not have to fear the rule of Saddam Hussein ever again.” Nope. Now all they have to fear is Bush.

Final thoughts… finding Saddam does not lessen the need for regime change in the US.

Let he who is without sin throw the first stone…

We should not let the celebrations and successive propaganda-like-rhetoric blind us from the underlying reasons and conditions that brought Saddam Hussein to power, kept him there all these years, and further enabled him to commit these crimes we would now hold him accountable for. Where are we so eagerly pointing our fingers? Things are not always as they seem.

Iranian Government spokesman Abdollah Ramazanzadeh was right when he said an international court "should determine who equipped this dictator to disrupt our region." The reference, of course, is indicative of the support that Saddam enjoyed from the West, mainly the americans, and it is apparent that some in the world have not conveniently forgotten. Iran will emphasise the american role in backing Saddam during the (Iran/Iraq) war, establishing his power and strengthening his hold on Iraq as well, and rightfully so. If Saddam deserves to be on trial, some would suggest the americans should also be tried as accomplices in his war crimes.

Rumsfield and Saddam (1980's picture).

For what it’s worth, my advice to Saddam

My name is Saddam Hussein, I am the president of Iraq, and I want to negotiate.”

From my military training in counter terrorism: Never negotiate with your captors.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

I don't know what to say...

Life went on about as normal today as possible, even though Saddam Hussein was caught. I certainly didn't notice much difference. Civ III was still played, I still went shopping, I updated Yahoo Pictures, and we lounged around like any Sunday should be spent.

I will think more of what to say tomorrow.

Friday, December 12, 2003

Rock, Scissors, Blog

It's been a long week! It certainly is a busy season! I took Duncan out to Hooters for Beer and Wings, and he bonused a cute orange balloon from the Hooters girl... or was it an orange balloon from the cute Hooters girl...?

I am happy that we have found ourselves at the weekend. I am happy that we can stay up late to finish our Civ III game and sleep in tomorrow. I am happy that we are about to consume the bottle of Baja Rosa I just brought home...

I found this in my inbox a couple of minutes ago...

From : Duncan Wojtaszek
Sent : December 12, 2003 8:39:14 PM
To : Allie Smyth
Subject : Re: tonight

Listen baby.

I lvoe you . YOu are the best. My vewry favourite girl.


PS: I am drunk. But I think I could type better if I tried. Maybe.

Happy Sigh. You can't always get what you want, but if you try real hard, you just might get what you need...

Bring on the weekend

Thursday, December 11, 2003

I defy convention

You are a Galaxy-class Explorer, a top of the line luxury-liner with teeth. You prefer refinement and appreciate beauty. You're well-apt at diplomacy and are trusted to handle crises. Despite a changing world, you still have a reputation for unparalleled excellence.

Which Class of Federation Starship are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I won't miss him

"I will miss many things," said Jean Chrétien, who added "I will observe from home, and as I promised, with no comment. If they go too far to the left, I will say nothing. If they go too far to the right I'll say nothing. It's not my business."

We can only hope.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Nothing is harder to bring to light than that which is hidden in plain sight...

I didn't realize it at the time, but once upon a time, I fell in love with my best friend, who was at that time, a married man.

I do remember that it felt like my love for him had no beggining, almost as if he was there before I knew him, there before even I knew myself, it seemed. Trying to understand how I felt was like trying to understand a new meaning of forever. Until that moment I had no idea that love could be so beautiful, so rewarding, so simple, so unconditional and yet so very, very complex. Very complex!

He spent a summer by my side, we were inseparable, just doing the things that best friends did… listening to music, talking, riding bikes, sharing our thoughts, bonding. As I came to know how terribly unhappy he was with his decaying marriage I realized that I believed strongly that he deserved much better, that he deserved the world, and I felt sad that he didn't have that. I did not know that he felt the same way about me that I felt for him. I enjoyed being with him and just having him in my world and I didn't want to endanger that. Everything was brighter, more beautiful, more intense because of him. Nothing was wrong, and everything was right. I was smiling all the time.

It took me a long time to admit how I was feeling. My girl friends all teased me like I was some kind of blind and daft girl who couldn't see the obvious in front of her face. There it was in plain site, Allie was in love, and everyone saw it except me. Or maybe, looking back, it would be more fair to say I didn't think I was allowed see it and feel it, given the circumstances, so I tried to see it as something else instead.

Nothing is harder to bring to light than that which is hidden in plain sight...

It seemed to me then that I had lived so many lives, and yet had not really lived until that moment. I had been lost in a dark place for who knows how long, and when I stretched out my hand, he was there to take it, and he didn’t let go. I had been found.

Eventually I learned that he did love me in return. That long ago day was three years ago, today, Dec 9 2000. The day my world both fell apart and was reborn. The day I became who I was meant to be.

It’s funny that we use the term “falling” when we talk about "falling in love." The "falling" actually occurs once you realize that you are already in love. The falling is an intimate invitation, permission for another person to see your most extreme vulnerabilities in a state of pure trust. It’s a falling into another person, of two becoming one, a spiral into each other that is delirious and mysterious, passionate and consuming, scary and yet ultimately comforting. It’s like finding a safe place where only the two of you can be, a place that can only be with the two of you there together.

Duncan is the only person that, when I look into his eyes, I see myself. And I know I belong there.

So, today is our three year Anniversary. How does it differ from all the rest? Well, we are together now, we are engaged, we are looking towards our future with excitment and anticipation, and we are warm at night.

Duncan, Sweetheart, I love you with every fibre of myself. Thank you for being part of my world, for choosing to share your path with me, for holding my hand on our adventure together. You deserve to be loved unconditionally; you deserve to be cherished as the gift you are; you deserve to be worshipped like a god; and I thank you for letting me have the chance to show you that. You are amazing in every way, my best friend, my lover, my confidant , my support, my correlative.

I love you!

Monday, December 08, 2003

Lame Blogger Excuse #279

I meant to blog this weekend, really, I did.

We were VERY busy. We had TONNES of fun. We went to two parties, Duncan took me to breakfast AND we played CIV III. I will blog more later, but right now it is 2:12 am, and I wanna go bed.

Friday, December 05, 2003

You have to try this!

Go to GOOGLE, type in "miserable failure" into the search window, and then hit the "I'm Feeling Lucky" Button.

Words preserved between the quotation marks...

Quotes. Almost always memorable, whether they bear truth, wisdom or falsehood - and they have always fascinated me. Ever since I was old enough to write I have been scrawling down statements and sayings that have touched me in some way. All a quote has to do to get my attention is have an impact on me in some fashion and I am recording it for prosperity.

My online quote collection is only a partial attempt at putting together this collection (click BACK TO QUOTES to see the main menu). With 6 billion people on the planet, people are saying things everyday that strike me as important, shock me or make me angry. I almost can't keep up.

I have reams of quotes I keep meaning to add, and today I have determined that I should get around to it - but don't quote me on that.

What is your favourite quote(s)?

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Sex is good for you!

Top 5 reasons sex is good for you! (Shamelessly procurred from Bweezy's blog)

1. It's a great workout! Sex three times a week for one year burns the same number of calories (about 7,500) that running 75 miles would. I get sex 3 - 6 times a week, on average... and for each half hour of sex, it burns about 150 calories! This is the best calorie counter activity I can think of!

2. People who have sex 1 -2 times a week enjoy higher levels of Immunoglobin A, the antibody that helps fend of illness. So, [safe] sex keeps you healthy as well!

3. Sex makes you happy (well, duh)! Women who regularly come into contact with semen are significantly less prone to depression than those who don't get a dose of those potent sex hormones and naturally occurring opiates. MmmMMmm, opiates!

4. It reduces Stress. Orgasms are relaxing, and help you sleep better at night, or if your a boy, whenever.

5. Regular Sex with your partner helps you live longer - and LOOK YOUNGER! Hmmm, maybe this is why I keep getting ID'd at bars. Anyways, a British study has shown that men who enjoy at least 2 orgasms a week had half the death rate of those who did not. I am helping Duncan work towards his goal of living forever!

So, if you needed any prompting for reasons to go out and have sex beyond the obvious, here you go. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

"A study of plastic and Hallmark in conifer form."

As Jon pointed out in his comments, our tree is a "theme tree." Well, sort of. It is correct to say that it has a theme, as last year we bought all blue and silver decorations for it to match my angel. Shopping for decorations together was fun, and the tree itself came home with Duncan and Wesley one day last December as a welcome addition to the experience that was Allie and Duncan's first Christmas together.

But the tree is also an amalgamation of our respective Christmas's Past; my ornaments from when I was a child (even a 30 year old Snow White ball from when they were still made out of silk), my kids collections, ornaments they have made, Duncan's collection (there is a funny story there that maybe I will write about in another post) and stuff his Grandma gave us last Boxing Day from her tree. The tree is a history of ourselves that induces many memories. And there is lots. Eventually we will have to get a bigger tree!

All of these together means that there is a good representation of figures, from Rudolph and Santa, to Jedi Knights, Barbie, and Elvis. Heck, we even have Gordie Howe hanging on the tree (Jon, don't ask, just google). And ofcourse, the ornament that Duncan bought me last year to celebrate our first Christmas of actually living together.

Now I can't wait to fill that space under the tree!

The words we all want to hear...

Click here for some instant Flattery.

And know that I appreciate you to!

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

"Thou tree most fair and lovely"

A long time ago, people believed that evergreen trees were magical, as they always stayed green and healthy looking even in the dead of winter when everything else was brown. As such, the evergreen tree became a symbol of life. Candles were used to represnt the light of spring triumphing over the darkness of winter.

The modern tradition of indoor Christmas Trees was begun by Martin Luther in Germany, ages ago. The custom spread from there to the rest of the world, and tonight, into our living room. The rest, as they say, is history.

So, it's Officially Christmas in Edmonton, Alberta. Let it snow!

Take the red pill...

Where does your food come from?

For Christmas I want a new job

Preferably one that provides me with some personal satisfaction as well as the opportunity to affect change in a meaningful and helpful way.

I want a challenging job in a professional, yet fun and casual work environment, where the hours are flexible and realistic, the pay is good and my input is always appreciated, acknowledged, rewarded and encouraged.

I want to work with educated, intelligent and creative people, who are inspirational, happy, confident and part of a cheerfully productive team while also being able to do their own jobs free of dependance on others.

I want a supervisor who is understanding, encouraging, proficient in training/teaching new approaches for my work ethic/regime and is also capable of providing a safe learning opportunity to develop my current skill set while exploring myself and my potential to develop myself further for the benefit of an organization and my own future accomplishments.

I desire the possibilty to move upwards within an organization or into the respective field itself at some appropriate time, or even in a completely different direction.

I want to enjoy my work life. I want to grow, both personally and professionally, within my work environment, as equally as I want to contribute to said environment.

Oh yeah, and it has to be in Edmonton, Alberta.

Is that too much to ask?

Monday, December 01, 2003

Advances in the Pharmaceutical Treatment of Humour...

I thought I was done posting for the day, but then a friend sent me these jokes via email. I just had to pass them on... laughter being the best medicine ofcourse!

A woman walks into a pharmacy, strolls over to the counter, and catches the pharmacist's attention. "Can I please get some arsenic?" she asks. "Arsenic? What do you want arsenic for?" asks the pharmacist. "It's for my husband," she states. "Your husband!?!" exclaims the pharmacist. "I hope you don't mean what I think you mean!" She just nods. "Well, lady," he replies, "I'm an honest man. I can't sell you arsenic, and I wouldn't even if I could, and I don't know what made you think you could just stroll into a respectable store and expect me me to sell you arsenic!"

Not saying a word, she reaches into her purse, fishes out a photograph, and hands it across the counter.

It is a picture of her husband, in bed with the pharmacist's wife. Slowly the pharmacist looks up, over the counter, and then straight at her.

"Lady," he says, "why didn't you tell me you had a prescription?"


A girl asks her boyfriend to come over Friday night and have dinner with her parents. Since this is such a big event, the girl announces to her boyfriend that after dinner, she would like to go out and make love for the first time.
* * * * * * * * * *
Well, the boy is ecstatic, but he has never had sex before, so he takes a trip to the pharmacist to get some condoms. The pharmacist helps the boy for about an hour. He tells the boy everything there is to know about condoms and sex.
* * * * * * * * * *
At the register, the pharmacist asks the boy how many condoms he'd like to buy, a 3-pack, 10-pack, or family pack. The boy insists on the family pack because he thinks he will be rather busy, it being his first time and all.
* * * * * * * * * *
That night, the boy shows up at the girl's parents house and meets his girlfriend at the door. "Oh, I'm so excited for you to meet my parents, come on in!"
* * * * * * * * * *
The boy goes inside and is taken to the dinner table where the girl's parents are seated. The boy quickly offers to say grace and bows his head.
* * * * * * * * * *
A minute passes, and the boy is still deep in prayer, with his head down.
* * * * * * * * * *
10 minutes pass, and still no movement from the boy.
* * * * * * * * * *
Finally, after 20 minutes with his head down, the girlfriend leans over and whispers to the boyfriend, "I had no idea you were this religious."
* * * * * * * * * *
The boy turns, and whispers back, "I had no idea your father was a pharmacist."

Above all else, I believe in Love...

It's December 1st today. In just one short month, 2003 will end with the humble beginning's of 2004. Our December is packed full of partying, celebrations, food, gifts, anticipation, time spent together and happy memories. It really does have to be that way, in our darkest month at the coldest time of the year, we need love, hope and family/friends around us.

December is more than just the last month of 2003 for me. December this year is the month of our third year anniversary together. It's hard to believe that three short years ago we became a couple, and then on the other hand it seems like it has always been this way.

The year 2000 was the year my first marriage ended. It had, as all dying relationships have, been breaking down bit by bit for quite some time, but nearing the end of that year, I realized that I had fallen in love with another man, another married man even. A man I thought I couldn't even dream of having, a man I thought I would have to be content having as my best friend, a man I loved like I had never loved anyone else, albeit unrequited... or so I thought.

It was December 9th of that turmoilish and dynamic year, when I found out that he felt the same way about me. At that moment, I was reborn, my life completely changed, a new journey embarked upon, a new person to share the adventure with. The world was more beautiful then I had ever dared to imagine it could be. As they said in the movie When Harry Met Sally, "when you find that person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you want that life to start right away."

Although it would be somewhat revisionist history to let it seem like it was all that easy (because it was actually pretty difficult at times), it was a time of my life bourne of hope, trust, faith (in love, myself, Duncan and in the truth of "us") and in patience I awaited this new beginning to occur, always knowing it would, because that was the only thing that made sense to me.

That is what December means to me. It's not dark or cold at all, and if it is an ending of any sorts, then it is most definatly the beginning of a new year in the life that I am to share with Duncan, a new opportunity to show him how much he is loved and appreciated. And even more, this next year in particular will be the year that we get married, after three and a half years together, and begin the lifetime we plan to share with each other, our family, and our friends.

As Great Big Sea sang:

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."

I hope that everyone's December, holiday season and New Years is full of peace, promise, hope, and above all... Love!

Sunday, November 30, 2003

I love weekends!

As the day draws to an end, so does our 12 plus hour game of Civ III, played on the laptop due to computer "issues." Regardless, it's been a fun game, and a great weekend. We did other stuff as well, but I can't talk about it here!

In other news, we have a destination or two for our honeymoon. Florida and the Bahamas, and then perhaps Halifax. I am getting excited - but first, Christmas!

Gotta go, it's my turn!

Saturday, November 29, 2003

Drunk is good...

Was taking out to dinner tonight and treated like a princess. am slightly drunk. Drunk is good. But maybe you shouldn't blog when drunk.

Friday, November 28, 2003

Keep em guessing!

My friend Quynn just sent me this quote via email. He thought I might enjoy it, and he was right! Thanks Quynn!

"The genius of you Americans is that you never make clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them we are missing."

- Gamel Abdel Nasser

Buy Nothing Day

Give it a rest... Nov 28th is BUY NOTHING DAY.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Media Carta Manifesto

Know the media
Change the media
Be the media

Be citizens, not spectators. Pre-order some kick ass sneakers.

Your politics stink, Sir

Alliance Leader Stephen Harper has fired MP Larry Spencer (family issues critic). Spencer, a 61 year old U.S. born former Baptist minister, has "resigned" from caucus. Good riddance.

Spencer had said homosexuality is part of a "well orchestrated conspiracy that should be outlawed." He further said homosexuals can transform themselves into heterosexuals.

Well at least Mr Harper did the right thing by immediately getting rid of this terrible source of bigotry. Too bad we can't send him back to the U.S.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

The Medium is the Message

Anyone who actually knows me likely understands that my interests in the media, flow of information, advertising, propaganda and marketing are really all rolled up into one big fascination that drives how I define, critique and understand the popular culture around me.

Like most Generation Xr’s, I grew up around TV, maybe even partially raised by it. Assailed daily with large amounts of information, I came to understand and appreciate the influence that media, and the message as delivered, could have – both personally and en masse. I came to believe that I would need to understand this phenomenon more if I was to escape, albeit only partly, a complete consumption of myself within it.

The first add I ever really totally remember was a Budweiser Beer commercial in the 70’s. At the time Budweiser had these beer commercials that featured a big rig with their slogan trademark on the side that would drive around and the air horn sounded like “BUD! BUD!” You may even remember this. Also at this time, Rainer Beer had some commercials where they had replaced the gearing up of a fast motorcycle with the sounds of “Raaaaaaiiii – nnnnneeeeerrrr – beeeeeerrrr”. This particular commercial I am referring too, started out like a typical Rainer Beer commercial, but as the motorbike rounded the corner, you heard “BUD! BUD!,” a crash, and then the big Bud Truck drove around the bend into view. It was brilliant! It made a huge impact on me. The commercial only aired a couple of times before complaints had it taken down, but I remember it even to this day. I appreciated the ingenuity, the cleverness, the risk and overall, the influence. I never ever drank Rainer Beer.

Today I was watching a commercial that Trite had posted on his site, and it made me remember how much I like the ideas and processes behind the marketing of a product or idea via commercials. If you regularily read my site, you have seen me post some of my more favourite commercials as I come across them. The Cat Herders, the dancing Bacardi Cat, the brilliant UnBrand America July 4th spot. I could write an entire thesis, or book on this topic… (thinking)… But, I digress…

So this media/TV/radio motivated era has endowed us with a plethora of references, little ditties and taglines stuck not only in our heads, but also firmly implanted within our pop-cultural consciousness – where they have stealthily infiltrated and exist, in some instances, even beyond the actual product or original message that accompanied them.

I thought it might be fun to take a little quiz, which I have prepared below for you to share with me. You will find the answers in my comments, in case you can’t remember what they are from. If you are like me, some of these trips down memory lane will make you smile, although for the life of me I don’t really know why.

AND I have the Purina Meox Mix song in my head and can’t get it out. Sigh.

1. “Everyone knows it’s slinky”

2. "Where’s the Beef?”

3. "I can't believe I ate the WHOLE thing."

4. “Kills bugs dead”

5. "Gotcha... four across"

6. "Im a pepper, you're a pepper, wouldn't you like to be a pepper too."

7. "My bologna has a first name it's O-S-C-A-R, my bologna has a second name it's M-A-Y-E-R, Ooh, I love to eat it everyday and if you ask me why I'll say, cause Oscar Mayer has a way with B-O-L-O-G-N-A."

8. “Take me away”

9. "I don't wanna grow up, I'm a Toys R' Us kid. A million toys to choose from, that I can play with. From bikes to trikes and video games, its the biggest toy stor there is. GEE WIZ! I don't wanna grow up, cuz baby if I did....I wouldn't be a toys r' us kid!"

10. "Milk. It Does A Body Good."

11. “It keeps going, and going, and going…”

12. “Catch the Wave”

13. “Pardon me, might you have some grey poupon?”

14. "I've fallen, and I can't get up!"

15. “Give it to Mikey. He eats anything”

16. "Pizza! Pizza!"

17. "Priceless."

18. "Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids!"

19. “'New York CITY?”

So what did I miss?

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

"When I think about you, I touch myself!"

Your Ultimate Purity Score Is...
CategoryYour Score Average
When I think about you - or anyone - I touch myself
It takes a couple of drinks
Sex Drive 63.2%
A fool for love, but not always
Knows the other body type like a map
Gayness 75%
Repressed, are we?
Fucking Sick70.8%
Dipped into depravity
You are 51.41% pure
Average Score: 72.6%

How do you...

Smuggle daydream's into reality?

I try to take one day at a time, but today several days have attacked me all at once

"My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being, hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint."

- Erma Bombeck

Monday, November 24, 2003

Go Pokemon!

:: how nintendo are you? ::

I loved my NES. Those were the days. Ofcourse, gaming has come a long way since then, a long, long way. I might laugh at the old graphics when I see them again, but boy do I remember the humble beginnings and memories that they produced!

Life is too short not to play. What are you doing right now?

I'm bored too...

I'm Bored

my father thinks I am: the next Prime Minister
My mother thinks I am: rich
my ex-boyfriend husband thinks I am: a good Mom
you get embarrassed when: Duncan teases me
makes you happy: Duncan, my children, eating sushi and chocolate, sex, music, Hockey
upsets you: George Bush
you keep a diary: Forever and always, all the good, bad and juicy bits as they happen
you like to cook: I love to cook, but I enjoy being cooked for as well!
you have a secret you have not shared with anyone: No secrets from Duncan. Its absolutely refreshing to trust someone so completely that you can tell them every last deep dark secret, and they still love you, even though
you're in love: Yes I am…
you set your watch a few minutes ahead: Watch? What Watch? Time is only relevant to the situation at hand
you bite your fingernails: Sadly, yes – I try very hard sometimes though not to
you believe in love: completely
the cutest female you know: I got a thing for my friend that looks like Drew Barrymore. I know, it’s shameful, but man is she cute!
the weirdest person you know: Joel
the Loudest Person you Know: My kids
the Sexiest Person you Know: Yummy Duncan
Your close friends: Duncan, Dawn, Cathy, Michele, Elizabeth, Kerry, Renee, Joel
Most Boring Teacher: Hard to say – after a few years of University there is too many. I only remember the good ones
your most overused phrase on IM: LOL or LMAO
the last image/thought you go to sleep with: Duncan
your best feature: my breasts, tongue, legs, maybe my hair
Inside joke: That *I* am the Evil One (laughs)
take a shower everyday: Baths preferably. I like to be clean, hairless and smelling delicious
have a(any) crush(es): yah... But they are all on girls and therefore relatively harmless
think you know you've been in love: You only know you have been in love when you actually discover that you are in love, for real – and then it is unquestionably obvious -and yes, I am in love!
want to get married: at least twice! (yet another inside joke?)
have any tattoos/where?: thought about it, a lot actually, no tattoo yet
piercing/where?: soon to have a pierced tongue
get motion sickness: no
think you're a health freak: sometimes
get along with your parents: as long as there is distance between us
thunderstorms: incredible – I love being in them, so much raw power

Hat Tip: Found this at Chimerical Dreams.

The Force fights with me!

:: how jedi are you? ::

Hmmmm. Jedi Master. I try, so hard to be good, but so often its sooooo tempting to be a bad Mo'fo. The dark side is tempting. Too tempting as my Knights of the Old Republic character will demonstrate. It's a dark path that Jedi walks, even when try to be good he does!

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Is nothing sacred? What about manners?

Is there nothing that George Bush and his goons won't destroy?

"Palace staff said they had never seen the Queen so angry as when she saw how her perfectly-mantained lawns had been churned up after being turned into helipads with three giant H landing markings for the Bush visit. The rotors of the President's Marine Force One helicopter and two support Black Hawks damaged trees and shrubs that had survived since Queen Victoria's reign. And Bush's army of clod-hopping security service men trampled more precious and exotic plants... The Palace's head gardener, Mark Lane, was reported to be in tears when he saw the scale of the damage."

Reportedly, the Queen's Flamingos may be too traumatized to ever return.


The things we do for those we love...

Since Duncan decided to sell his PS2 I thought it would be sweet of me to rent him the newest Final Fantasy game for him to play. It's been a super big hit. It's a great game, big, gorgeous graphics, and yay, I am the perfect fiance!

However, I neglected to maybe think of the potential consequences of being so sweet and perfect.

I now have to resort to playing pokemon on my game boy, until the TV is free once again!

Funniest wedding dress site ever

These dresses are U-G-L-Y.

I think those feathers might be a little too much...

I used to think that every bride was beautiful, no matter what. I used to think how could any one screw up looking beautiful on a day like their own wedding? Isn't it a gaureenteed day when everyone thinks the best of you?

Then I found this wedding dress site.

There are no words for how terribly misled some brides would have to be to wear some of these... ummmm... dresses. Don't they have friends to stop them? Oh well, maybe they can work it out in therapy.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Hockey Night in Canada

The first ever outdoor regular season NHL game was played today, in EDMONTON ALBERTA! And it was an awesome game! Well played, exciting, emotional. It was a hockey game right down to the last second.

In honor of the occasion tonight we drank Hot Chocolate out of our Heritage Classic Travel Mugs, a hold over from yesterdays practise. It seemed appropriate, and neither of us was willing to go out to get beer.

It was apparently -28°C (with the windchill) on the ice when the game started. I can only imagine that it got a little colder as the night progressed. We enjoyed the game from the comfort of +18°C, although, I would admit, that being offered tickets I would have gladly frozen my ass off to see those games rink side. I might even have offerred a digit or two for the appeasement of the hockey gods.

I couldn't help but wonder as I watched, if we had lost something in modern day Hockey, some tradition found in the frozen pond beginnings of the game. It was a different experience yesterday standing in the cold watching hockey heros skate on an outside rink. It felt right. It was inspiring. It was like standing in a cathedral of the truest religion in Canada - Hockey.

The winters in Canada are long. In a frozen world it makes sense to turn vast expanses of ice into a passionate game that warms you from inside. In the frenzy of the moment, between cheering the play and encouraging your team onwards, no one really has time to be cold.

"And these are the sounds of a village in the lonely heart of winter."

It's the Good Ol' Hockey Game!

The Heritage Classic... what can one say?

Hearing the commentators use names like Gretzky, McSorley, Coffey, Tikkanen, and LaFleur together, it was exciting. It was like listening to the old commentaries on my Hockey Music CD's. I had to remind myself that this was happening now, today, here.

At Wesley's hockey game this morning, I was thinking alot about Hockey. I can't imagine a world without hockey, and if I could, it would be an empty world. Hockey is everywhere!

Hockey has certainly dominated my life more than almost anything else, and so many good memories are focused around it. I was born in 1972, just in time for the Canada-Russia Summit Series, and have oft mused that Hockey is the reason god sent me to live in Canada. I watched hockey on TV for years until I attended my first NHL game when I moved to Calgary, eight years ago, and I was amazed by the way the game gripped me even more so in person. Four years or so ago, Duncan and I attended one of our first games together, and since then Hockey has been a big part of the life we have shared. The first and second times I saw and touched the Stanley Cup, Duncan was there. The first time I ever saw Dominik Hasek, he was there with me. Our first date was at a hockey game, and he has surprised me on our second anniversary with a Hockey game... He wasn't at the party where I watched the Mens Gold Medal win in 2002, but we certainly celebrated the win that afternoon and into the evening, and it was glorious (thats when he bought me my Game Boy Advance). We watched Hasek and the Wings win the Stanley Cup in 2002, right before he moved in with me. We have developed a habit of Hockey Night in Canada at our local Hooters, especially when the Oilers play the Flames. We watched Wayne Gretzky skate, in person, for the first time in public since he retired. We watched (at home in the warmth) the historic Heritage Classic game together and are about to watch the next game as well.

It is difficult to define sometimes how much hockey can penetrate a life. It may be harder still for someone to understand if they don't hold hockey as important. I thank gods that my best friend and partner shares my love of hockey with me, with us, as a family. We live hockey. Hockey is life. And yes, we are Canadian.

Now drop that puck!

Current Conditions in Edmonton, Alberta...

-26°C and CLEAR.


Friday, November 21, 2003


It's friday today. Anything can happen, you just got to get up and out the door, right?

This morning when I got up it was a daunting -25 degrees outside. So I bundled up, took Duncans hand and we headed downtown. With over a foot of snow on the ground, some of which was blowing up and around our heads, and ice where there used to be water, we were mostly kept warm by our excitement... It was so cold, even the air was frozen, little tiny particles floating around waiting to be inhaled. We stopped briefly on our trip for hot chocolate, and then - when we finally did reach our destination, we proceeded to stand in -20 (it warmed up a bit) weather for the next three hours. And it was damn cold.

So, what on this earth could possibly made us happily expose ourselves to this kind of experience?

Wayne Gretzky.

Thats right. I said Wayne Gretzky. And we watched him skate, for the first time publically since his last NHL game, today at the outdoor ice at Commonwealth Stadium. It was the practise for tomorrow's Heritage Classic Hockey Game, so we saw others too, like Guy LaFleur, Larry Robinson, Paul Coffey, Jari Kurri, Dave Semenko, Esa Tikkanen, Kevin Lowe, Lee Fogolin, Grant Fuhr, Marty McSorley and Mark Messier; but it was Wayne Gretzky that I was there for. It was exciting to watch him skate today. A man behind us said to his freezing kids (who were on the border of complaint) "This is history, right here, today."

He's right. Here, in the heartland of Hockey, Canada, history is being made. And it's our history to make.

In Canada, hockey is life/life is hockey. From roadways, to frozen ponds, to outdoor/indoor community arenas, kids all over Canada have played their hearts and dreams out on the ice, in this game that IS Canadian.

I AM Canadian!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2003

My article is up.

Appearing in todays GATEWAY NEWSPAPER, my Bill 43 Protest Story, in all it's glory. Well, maybe no glory, but front page nonetheless.

News you won't find on CNN

Professor George A. Akerlof, co-winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in economic sciences, is interviewed in this article by Der Spiegel (Online). He speaks of the impact of the Bush Administration's policies. Here are some choice excerpts:

Akerlof: "The government is not really telling the truth to the American people... What we have here is a form of looting." "I think this is the worst government the US has ever had in its more than 200 years of history. It has engaged in extraordinarily irresponsible policies not only in foreign and economic but also in social and environmental policy. This is not normal government policy. Now is the time for people to engage in civil disobedience."

Spiegel Online: "Of what kind?"

Akerlof: "I don't know yet. But I think it's time to protest - as much as possible."

Amen to that. A citizenry who is not interested in defending it's own democracy will find itself removed of its civil liberties and freedoms, and eventually its so called democracy. A citizenry not allowed to question its own government (You're either with us or against us) is being denied its ability to defend it's own democratic process.

Far be it from me to suggest (out loud even) that americans should engage in civil disobedience to defend their own freedoms. But if I may make a suggestion, you DON'T HAVE TO VOTE FOR THE IDIOT again. Just let this unfortunate time pass into history and start picking up the pieces.

And another quote that comes to mind, that may or may not be related to the current situation (you decide):

"Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." - Hermann Goering

Yes. It apparently does.

Hat Tip for todays topic goes to TRITE REMARKS. Yes, I was inspired. Kudos to Trite.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Why do bad things happen?

Bridges shouldn't fall. Ships shouldn't sink. Planes shouldn't crash.

But they do.

I guess if nothing bad ever happened we would be unable to appreciate the goodness around us. I have a lot of good around me, I should remember to appreciate it more.

Strong and beautiful... yep thats me!

You are Trinity-
You are Trinity, from "The Matrix."
Strong, beautiful- you epitomize the ultimate

What Matrix Persona Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Monday, November 17, 2003

Have you been naughty or nice?

What do you want for Christmas?

Sunday, November 16, 2003

We have an Officiant for our Wedding!

Just found out that our family friend, Honourable Murray Smith, MLA and Alberta Minister of Energy, has said he would be delighted to marry us. Brilliant!

Everything seems to be falling into place nicely with regards to the wedding! Just, ummm, well... yah, everything else to go...

So call me crazy, but today I took 5 kids to Galaxyland, and we all had a blast! Duncan and our friend Quynn also came, as did one of the other kids parents, but she didn't want to ride any rides... MY NEW FAVOURITE RIDE IS THE SPACE SHOT. What a blast! Duncan and I went on it twice... we didn't even get out of our seats, I just yelled "We're going again!". I think that the Upside Down Ship was much more enjoyable the second time on it, and the Roller Coaster as always was most exciting! Yay Roller Coasters! The kids had smiles on their faces the whole time, which in my books was more then worth it.

We had a short turn over time from getting all the kids fed and home to when we had to be back at the mall for MASTER and COMMANDER. An amazing movie... of epic proportions. I liked it, not quite as much as Duncan, but I was more then happy with the experience. The movie itself was a treat from Quynn, who took all of us to see it (THANK YOU QUYNN!).

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Santa Claus is Coming to town!

We have started an extremly busy weekend with a special crepe breakfast at the mall (I had a strawberry custard crepe... mmmmm). We ate just in time to see Santa Claus arrive at West Edmonton Mall. It was great, a big parade, amazing Christmas decor, and enough excitement to get any one caught up in the Christmas Spirit! I love Christmas, and I still believe in Santa Claus!

Duncan and I enjoyed Hockey Night in Canada from the comfort of (whats quickly becoming our favourite bar haunt) Hooters, the game made more enjoyable by the wanton consumption of Big Rock's Honey Brown Beer and Snow Crab legs. The night could only have been more perfect if the Fames had actually won!

Even better news is we brought our computer home yesterday. Finally out of the shop with all its brand spangled new parts. This means I can now get all my updates done to my web pages! Oh yeah, and I got a bunch of Christmas shopping done as well, which always makes me happy. Did I mention I love Christmas???

Friday, November 14, 2003

Copping an Atitude

What does 50,000 volts of electricity and Autism have in common? Nothing really, and it's likely the two should never go together. Police in Camrose, Alberta however seem to disagree. The officers felt it neccessary to subdue a young Autistic Boy with their Taser. The boy, apparently obviously Handicapped, had managed to wander away from his Group Home and found himself in the very wrong place at the worst possible time.

Police said the tasering occurred because the man made "abnormal movements."

I guess had the officer's not had possesion of this "stunning" new weapon it is possible they might have just shot the boy instead. What ever happened to talking to someone to find out what is going on for them or how you can help them? I guess it is Taser first, ask questions later.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Is this Reverse Psychology?

Those boys at PENNY ARCADE are some talented, alright, but I don't know about a career in marketing...

Go... see the rest of the Alaska adds....

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Seattle does need to relax!

Like I have said before, sometimes I am a feminist, and sometimes feminists really piss me off. Here is a really good example of those times where "feminists" piss me off.

A Sushi resturant in Seattle has been offering naked Sushi, Japanese style. In a sensual preformance, a female model, wearing only a thong, lays still on a table while the chef serves sushi onto her midriff.

The model claims the experience to be relaxing, sensual and meditative. "It's ridiculous to comment on it without experiencing it", she says.

Women's groups opposing this preformance insist that the model has only "internalized her oppression."

Pardon me?

Maybe it is because I am a sexually confident, mature woman who is deliriously happy with her own sexuality. Maybe it is because I think that a womans body is a beautiful thing and people should be honored when it is shared with them. Maybe it is because I love the arts and their expression, and despise censorship - or perhaps because I love Sushi so much? Or maybe it is just because I believe in a womans right to express herself as she sees fit.

To all those so called feminists out there, I ask, where is the true oppression here? What gives you the right to tell a woman what she can or can't do? What gives you the right to assert that a woman's body is something to be ashamed of, or hidden? Why don't you get about the business of advocating for a woman's right to empower herself through expression, rather then trying to demolish it?

Powerful. Intimidating. Trivia Nazi. President Bartlet is all of these and more. A super-nerd who's into chess, National Parks, and rambling off things in Latin, POTUS is the 'real thing.' Not being completely upfront with the American people may cause him re-election headaches, though...

:: Which West Wing character are you? ::

Hmmm. President of the United States. Good at chess I might be, but POTUS? Hmmmm. It is my favourite character though, so go figure. Oh and about that election... since when did honesty win political campaigns? It's about the economy, Stupid...

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

The larks, still bravely singing, fly...

Today, as we all stood together as a family at the Remembrance Day Ceremonies, many different things were going through my mind, too many to blog about even.

But most of all I thought about my Poppy.

My Poppy was my Dad's Dad. He lied about his age to fight in World War I - he was 13.5 years old... Later, and some years older, he also fought in World War II. He did what he could, he did his best - and he survived.

Poppy died when I was quite young, around 4 years old, although I don't remember exactly. What I remember of him was magical, and the memories always bring a smile to my face. He is, perhaps, the grandparent I miss the most, yet knew the least. He is someone I regret not having the chance to introduce to Duncan, and my children.

Poppy died before I knew, or could understand, the sacrifices he made for his family, and country. He died before I could say thank you.

Thank you Poppy, for everything you did, for me.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Out of the Mouth's of Babes

Kid's say the darndest things sometimes. Wesley complained about having a substitute teacher today at school, so I asked him where his teacher had gone today. He said "Oh, she had time in the Loo".

Isn't she precious?

This morning, on my way out to work (and running a little bit behind), Raven asked me to wait. When I went into the kitchen to see what she needed she handed me Ziploc bags full of tea bags, sugar and a Tupperware thing of milk. "So you can have tea at work this morning", she said. What more could someone ask for?

I didn't want to go either...

This morning the alarm goes off. Duncan, half asleep, grabs me, holding me close. "I don't want you to go," he says, "Push the snooze button."

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Lunar Eclipse! Now Showing!

An evening spent under the stars, and a couple of planets, a great lunar eclipse and sliding down the snowy hills admist laughter and mini science lectures with avid learners.

I am going to spend the rest of the night snuggled up warm with Duncan playing video games and perhaps even watching a movie... oh yeah, and daydreaming of a wedding!

Friday, November 07, 2003

Dear Santa...

Today, at our house, a big colourful Toys R Us Christmas Catalogue arrived. Hoping to spur some insight into Christmas hopes for potential gift giving ideas, I left it in the middle of the living room floor, right where it was bound to be noticed.

I just found the results, albeit not quite what I expected, but after Duncan and I had laughed our way through it, my thought was that I had to blog about it, for prosperity sakes. It might be worth noting that I don't know what half this stuff is... So, without further adieu, here is the letter I found with the book:

To Santa

This is all the things I would like Just pick one or two.

1. Game Boy Advance SP- Red *
2. Pokemon Pinball *
3. Finding Nemo *
4. gooey louie
5. K Nex
6. McFlurry Maker
7. the Real cotton candy machine *
8. Easy Bake Oven *
9. Polly Pocket set
10. Bratz boys and girls
11. My Scene
12. Barbie Swan Lake
13. ello
14. clikits
15. Pixter
16. 19" Dot
17. 38" Floppy bear
18. Tye Dye Unicorn
19. Puppies - assorted breeds
20. Snubbies dog den
21. Snubbies snuggable Plush
22. Big head first puppy
23. the dog
24. you and me
25. go go walking pup
26. Nail Polish
27. $75.99 *
28. flexible Barbie
29. ice cream
30. tickets for Galaxyland *

* I want these ones espeshly.

From Raven

Damn Revisionist History

Just did a school reading/comprehension project with Wesley. Today he read me a story about how great Christopher Columbus was, and how interesting he found the culture of the Arawak people, and basically, what a great time they all had together. When he was done I was a little shocked, and he said to me "Wow, did Christopher Columbus really do all that?" No, I said, he did much more. Then I shared with him the real story of Mr Columbus.

Christopher Columbus was a Bastard. He was a genocidal mass murderer who killed perhaps as many as 3 million Arawak people, or all of them, to be exact.

Etymologically, the politically charged word GENOCIDE means the killing of an entire gens, or of a whole people. At the hands of Christopher Columbus, the entire gens, the whole people of the native americans of the Arawak/Taino people were wiped out. Hunted for sport. Raped. Tortured. Murdered. Enslaved. Driven to suicide. Gone. By 1555, not a single Arawak person was left.

And that doesn't even touch the more then 12 million natives who were killed by the Europeans that followed.

I wrote a note to Wesley's teacher explaining my discomfort at the presentation of Christopher Columbus, but I am not sure what else to do. I can only imagine the uproar if this had been a feel good story of Hitler and the Jews of Europe.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

The IMAX Revoultion

"Why do you persist?" "Because I choose to."

My Matrix experience was pretty in my face, and I liked it. Third row center IMAX made me feel like part of the movie. And I really liked it. I thought it was amazing. I am still reeling from the depth of the imagery and mythology utilized by the director. I will think about this film for a while. And to all it's detractors I thumb my nose at you, if you don't get it, well there is always "Bill and Ted", "BATS", or that "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen."

"Did you always know?" "No, but I believed."

Day after Addition: We were spotted! It is interesting to know that people can recognize us in real life where we previously only existed in the virtual life!

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

ALMOST 5000!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am so excited. Let me know if you are the 5000th visitor to my blog! Look under my blogroll and thinking space to see!

You will recieve much recognition and maybe even a prize.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Lest we forget

Born long after the end of the two World Wars and Korea, I was nonetheless raised in a family culture that imparted a significant amount of importance onto Remembrance Day and the activities that surround it. The importance of passing this down through my own children, and thus for generations to come, was well ingrained - considered a duty, even.

And one I never really thought to question.

Personally, the day itself invokes many emotions for me: pride; sadness; honour; guilt; thankfulness; and a sense of historical unity, all messed up in one really undefined jumble, packed together over years of reinforcement.

Yesterday, my fiancé, one of the smartest people I know, a historian of the World War's and a man whose opinion I respect highly, dealt me a blow. I was surprised how angry it made me.

He simply said that he doesn't celebrate November 11th. That he never has attended a ceremony outside of school assembly, ever, and none since leaving high school. Further, he said that he thought it was a misdirected ritual that holds no true meaning and he didn't really want to ever have a part in it.


The problem is, aside from a bunch of irrational anger, and senseless rebuffs of "because it's important", I really didn't have an answer to his claim. It saddens me to admit this, but I have been struggling ever since to find a suitable response. Could he be right?

And what does Remembrance Day really mean, to Me?

Why do I wear a poppy on my shirt and religiously read Flanders Fields to my children? Why do I brave usually uncomfortable weather to stand in attendance at a memorial believing my presence honours all too few remaining veterans? Why do I tear up when the haunting sounds of Taps signal the end to the moment of silence? And most infuriatingly, why don't I instantly know the answer to these questions? Have I lapsed into dereliction and committed the immortal sin of "forgetting"? And if so, what is to become of us?

If I dare to sort through the layers of superficiality in order to deconstruct my own belief structure, I think I can find an answer.

For starters, people died in these wars, and a lot of them died wearing a Canadian uniform. The very same uniform I myself wore, with pride, years later in a more peaceful time. That uniform displayed honours presented to my unit for their conduct and success in these battles. That means something to me. True or not, I believe that those who fought in that uniform, did so knowing that they were likely to die, if necessary, for the cause and for Canada. I believe that maybe what helped them face that reality was the thought that their families would be kept safe against the greatest evils they had come to know, and that generations of their families to come would live in a freer world because of their sacrifice.

But, however valid, that is too easy an answer, and one most likely told to make ourselves feel better with minimal emotional investment.

I do believe that the horrors of war must be remembered, entrenched for future generations, or, as creatures of habit, we are destined to repeat them. I would be willing to admit that, as war can only ever really be known by someone who has experienced it, that Remembrance Day remains our best opportunity to attempt to comprehend it ourselves.

War is not easy, romantic, or safe. How easy we seem to forget, our false security shrouded within the complacency of many years of 'peace' and short wars fought far away from our homeland. How easily we seem to have become de-sensitized to... well, everything.

Einstein was trying to tell us something when he warned that world war four would be fought with sticks and stones.

I once saw a Veteran, with tears in his eyes, give his poppy to a small girl who had lost hers. He simply and gently said "Here, you can have mine."

So, in part, my answer is, 'because'.

Because of that look I saw in that same Veteran's eyes, because of what he wanted to hide from me, what he wanted me to never have to know, and because some people say it doesn't matter, anymore. Because it is bigger than me, and bigger then I can imagine, and because I don't want my children to be bombed, asked to pick up a rifle or be tracked through concentration camps... Because too many people already died to learn this lesson...

All of this together, is why I remember, and is why I want my children to remember.

In the end, I think really, what Remembrance Day is all about, is remembering why we remember.

"To you from failing hands we throw, the torch..."

Saturday, November 01, 2003

Just my luck.

Sigh. Most everyone in the western world knows that I am a Dominik Hasek fan. Recently, in my own private musings I have wondered what Hasek has been getting up to while Detroit has been playing Joesph in net...

Well, today I found out.

Yes. That is a picture of Mr Hasek at West Edmonton Mall, yesterday.

The very same mall that I live less then two blocks away from; the very same mall that I was AT trick or treating last night with my kids...

You go, Girlfriends!

Rudy Susanto, a man described by authorities as a known sexual predator who would regularily expose himself to teenage girls, was chased through the streets by an angry crowd of Catholic high school girls on Thursday. I guess they had finally decided they had had enough!

"The girls came and started kicking him and punching him, so I wasn't going to stop them," said neighbor Robert Lemons.

I wouldn't have stopped them either.

Hat tip to Bweezy for finding this story.

Friday, October 31, 2003


Wow are my kids excited... Wesley was a soldier and Raven was a witch with green hair. The weather was amazing! Its only about -5 out there! The kids got the Mother Load at West Edmonton Mall - enough that they could barely carry it all home, and then there were homes on the way too! This must be a dentists dream!

I bought myself a movie to watch tonight - Rocky Horror Picture Show, and with some Malibu and pineapple juice, Duncan and I are going to celebrate Samhain in style, when the kids go to bed tonight. This holiday brings out my inner Wiccan, and I am going to indulge it. What spells can I get up to tonight???

I spent most of the day today heavily indulged in self reflection. Kim and I are working on lists for our blogs (mine is done, hers isn't), you know, the 100 or so things about Allie you always wanted to know. Although my trip down memory lane netted me a list of 200 things, always have been an over achiever! It was an interesting excercise, I recommend it if you have a couple of hours to spare it. I will publish mine soon, in a little pop up window you will find underneath The THE GIRL BEHIND THE BLOG pop up window.

Happy and safe Samhain, everyone!

Merry meet, and merry part, and merry meet again.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Dancing Spirits...

QUICK! Go look in the sky. I'd say look mostly north, but the Northern Lights are so great tonight, they actually spread all across the sky. Beautiful.

A romantic concept regarding the Northern Lights comes from Danish folklore. It was believed that two swans had flown too far north and become frozen in the ice. As they struggled to free themselves, reflections from their wings created the Northern Lights.

I blame my ancestors for not taking better advantage of evolution

Ah, the joys of cut and paste. I share with you here a conversation I just had with my friend on msn. Only half of my readership will understand this post. But what are girlfriends for, if not sympathy?

Elizard the Great says: aunt flo visitin?

Allie's got the best life ever says: yep. I keep telling her not to come back...

Elizard the Great says: you may have to get nasty with her

Allie's got the best life ever says: I keep trying to flush her down the toilet. How much more nasty can you get?

Elizard the Great says: ick

Allie's got the best life ever says: She just doesn't take a hint

All I want for Christmas...

I heard this rumor that Bush is going to announce a return trip to the Moon in order to celebrate the Kitty Hawk centenary of flight...

Do you think they can leave him there?

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Live and Let Live...

Reading the Edmonton Sun paper yesterday, I was graced with an opinion article by Mindelle Jacobs entitled "Time to let Terri Schiavo die with dignity".

What does dying with dignity entail? And who defines dignity?

Jacobs' argument, albeit an opinion piece, neglects to acknowledge any potential value in an existence alternative to her own. But it is her definition of dignity that concerns me.

Terri Schiavo lives her life in a vegetative condition and is fed through a tube. She is not on life support. Neither is Schiavo the only human to live in this state.

Jacobs has bought into the line of thinking that since Schiavo is completely vegetative she can not be actually "living". Jacobs rejects Schiavo's parents' claims that she has responded to attention over the years (even though they present video taped evidence of her laughing, smiling and even crying) dismissing them as wishful thinking on their part, or even merely "reflexes" that one might come to expect of someone with this condition.

Some doctors suggest that Schiavo has no consciousness and therefore can not actually experience these reactions or emotions. But even doctors have been known to be wrong, on occasion.

In the past we have also been told that babies can't smile, little boys feel no pain when having their foreskins removed, people in a coma don't retain memories of their comatose experience, and that people under anesthetic can't hear what is being said around them. But we have all heard instances that evidence the contrary.

We are creatures notorious for assuming we know all about something to only be surprised by different facts at a later date.

For Jacobs to suggest that Schiavo should "be allowed to die with dignity" as she is "bereft of the qualities that makes us human," is to suggest that the definition of both humanity and dignity be based on an able bodied and able minded premise. Her argument therefore suggests there is no right, or point, to life beyond that basis. What would this type of conclusion mean for the differently-abled of our world... or for that matter, how about the severely disabled? Are these people not as human as you and I?

It is true that Schiavo won't ever emerge from the physical state that her body has found itself in, but I don't know if I feel comfortable, or qualified enough, to judge whether she could be experiencing a life that is satisfying to her or not. Just because her life is different from mine doesn't mean I can't believe there is worth in it.

One thing is for sure, if she really isn't present in any form, or is unable to respond to any stimulation, then she isn't losing anything by remaining alive. And remember, it's a feeding tube, not life support. She slowly starves to death if they remove it. And then she is dead. There is no "going to a better place" as Jacobs words it.

But - if she even remotely hears her parents or visitors and knows that she is loved, even on a "primitive level" isn't that enough to suggest her life could be worth something? If she does respond, if anything at all makes her smile and laugh, might that not suggest an enjoyment of at least part of her life?

And who gets to decide?

Thankfully enough, it's not Mindelle Jacobs.