August 2004 Archives

Monkey with a tin cup

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This month's monkey - "Tell us something weird about yourself that involves music." Ah, where do I begin?

As many monkeyers have confessed, I too find myself tormented by songs that are not necessarily on my top 100, shall we say. For instance, last week's radio-in-my-brain song was I Think I Love You by the Partridge Family.

But here's the weird part - not only are these RIMB songs more often than not terrible, terrible songs, they are also incomplete.

I find this particularly annoying because I usually have a really good ear for lyrics, so I can listen to a song once or twice and then sing along loudly- but correctly - each and every time the song is played on the radio (not the brain radio). But the RIMB songs, the ones I don't actually like, are not songs I've really listened to, given that I don't like them. So last week, for instance, my brain radio played the following:

I think I love you
So what am I so afraid of


da da da, a love there is no cure... for(?)


I think I love you



My other musical confession* is that I like pop and disco. Abba. Blondie. Shania. Now, granted, I'm sure there are plenty of closet pop fans out there - but beat this:

In college, I had a friend who I used to invite over so we could dance. Just the two of us. To Madonna's Immaculate Collection. Get into the groove, boy.

I knew it was wrong. I even planned our rendezvous around my then-boyfriend's schedule, to ensure we were never discovered. Oh, the shame.

*Spanish Inquisition - the Musical!

Good morning

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Two more medals to start your day.


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Six gmail invites up for grabs, if anyone's interested.

Are you there, God? It's me, Maggie.

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Please get the following out of my head:

I think I love you
So what am I so afraid of?
I'm afraid that I'm not sure of
A love there is no cure for
I think I love you
Isn't that what life is made of?
Though it worries me to say
I've never felt this way

It's been several days now, and I'm thisclose to getting on ebay to find a David Cassidy poster. Help!

Go canada.gif!

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Athens is not going to be a landmark Olympics for us, but we're chugging along, with seven medals so far, and more to come.

Perdita Felicien, after running so well in the preliminary and semi-finals, fell in the final of the women's 100m hurdles. Felicien was expected to win, so the miss is heartbreaking - but the outpouring of support for Perdita is beautiful, and makes me a thousand times more proud than the medal would have.

Back at work (or something like it)

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First day of school. Three classes, each the usual first-day abbreviated version. I know, I know, it's a rough life, but some one has to shape the leaders of tomorrow - or at least their speechwriters.

Highlight of the day: I made everyone in my second-year course explain why they chose this course (Canadian Women Writers). One student said "because everyone said you're an awesome teacher."

And everyone must be right - there are 10 students in that class who are with me for the second or third time. So either there is an interestingly high number of masochists in our student body, or they like me, they really like me.



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Kyle Shewfelt has just won Canada's first ever medal in men's gymnastics.

Update: Montrealer Chantal Petitclerc has also won gold, setting an Olympic record in the 800-metre wheelchair race. The medal doesn't count toward the Canadian tally, because the race is a demonstration event. But woohoo!! nonetheless!

We're on a roll

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Medal number three.

Our male trampoliner, on the other hand, is not doing so well, and is not likely to make the finals.

Update: As predicted, Mathieu Turgeon has been eliminated from the trampoline finals.

Yay Canada!!

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She just had it stuffed

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Lisa has posted a picture of her beaver.


Happy Hibiscus

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This morning there were nine open flowers on this hibiscus
The tree is gone, and the garden is happy

Always time for a quickie

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Some very brief reviews based on this summer's reading:

Tricky Business (Dave Barry)
This is Barry's second work of fiction (the first was Big Trouble, which I have not read). Dr. T and I are big fans of his non-fiction, as our bathroom library attests. Tricky Business was good, and felt very much like a Barry book - but the violence was often gratuitous and occasionally way too graphic.

The Devil Wears Prada (Lauren Weisberger)
This was the first of two paperbacks that I preordered, then waited for ages to finally get my hands on. This one was not worth the wait - while it definitely struck a chord in terms of working for an unreasonable, self-absorbed crazy woman, the writing is not as good as one would expect. The repetitious dialogue, in which the author conveys nervousness by starting every sentence with "um," was particularly annoying.

The Murder Room (P.D. James)
The second pre-order - this one was worth the wait. James still manages to create a golden age detective story while convincingly incorporating modern elements - the cell phone in the trunk is particularly eerie - and she manages to trick the reader. It's not who you think it is... and that's all I'll reveal. As for Dalgliesh, James does address the issue of his personal life, but it does not overwhelm the plot of the mystery.

England, England (Julian Barnes)
Barnes has a vicious sense of humour and a good sense of history, as I originally discovered in his History of the World in Ten and a Half Chapters. This time he tackles the sceptered isle and its historical, literary, mythological import, and the result is funny, although it tends to focus more on the interoffice politics than on the satirical observation of the nation as a whole.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Agatha Christie)
Inspired by the course I taught this spring in Detective Fiction, I picked this up second-hand, and I'm glad I did. Christie is a great mystery writer, and while this book features neither Poirot nor Miss Marple, the narrator is likeable, the plot well laid out, and the solution twisted.

Olive leaf, my a**

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When it comes to things like the Olympics, I am a total sucker. I absolutely buy the whole shebang. The athletes are heroes. The organizers altruistic. The world is a happy, fit, peaceful place to live. Sigh.

I watched every minute of the opening ceremonies, and felt a vicarious thrill for each and every one of the 202 competing nations, whether they had one athlete or hundreds. I am aware that in the grand scheme of things, whether or not some one can dive without a splash or toss a javelin way far is, frankly, irrelevant. But still. There's something about the Olympics that makes me care that we have athletes like Alexandre Despatie, Emilie Heymans, Ian Millar, and Maryse Turcotte.

Having said that, the cynic in me insists on pointing out that the Olympic flame is, I'm sorry, a giant flaming penis.

This post has nothing to do with NOLA

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Anyone familiar with Movabletype 3?

I've been having significant problems with comment spam, and I get the impression that it's easier to control with MT 3. On the other hand, I'm not convinced it's worth the hassle, if there is one, of upgrading.

Is anyone using MT3? Has anyone used it and given up? Or does anyone have other suggestions for dealing with the spamming?

Eating in New Orleans

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We ate really well in New Orleans – and we managed to avoid places like Popeye’s and Wendy’s. We relied on Samantha Cook’s Rough Guide to New Orleans to steer us in the right direction, although the book is out of date (September 2001) and in at least one instance, wrong. Generally, we were extremely impressed with Cook’s recommendations.

I've spent the morning reliving our culinary treats, just in case you find yourself in New Orleans with a growly tummy:

New Orleans

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The Photos

Mouse-over for commentary.

Jazz and Voodoo

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There is live music on the street at all hours of the day, food, food, food, and t-shirts as far as the eye can see, usually 5 for $20. Best one so far - "Shuck me, suck me, eat me raw." With the logo of a New Orleans oyster bar.

A fellow Scrabble widow and I toured the St. Louis cemetery yesterday. This is the tomb of Marie Laveau, reputed to be a voodoo priestess.


People leave offerings year-round, although our guide claims that at the "high holidays" the offerings often form a much, much bigger pile. Yesterday, the offerings included everything from roses and candles to a half-eaten apple and a calculator.

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