Strong like Bull When I was younger, like in my twenties, I would complain about my lack of upper body strength. Because I'm mostly vain, I've actually developed a rather nice upper body if only to stave off the effects of gravity. The unexpected by-product of this vanity is that I now have the biceps of a pudgy sixteen year-old boy and the ability to dig my car out of any snow drift. Bring it on!


Revealing/Revelling In/ My Inner Self This explains so much (thanks to everyone who's already blogged about this quiz): avantegarde
You're Avante Garde Indie. You listen to abstract
music like free-jazz and Krautrock. You drink
too much coffee and you scare the fuck out of
the rest of us. We're afraid to call you
pretentious because we know that we all just
don't get it. There are few of you out there,
and most of you will probably die soon.

You Know Yer Indie. Let's Sub-Categorize.
brought to you by Quizilla
Someone sent me Belgian chocolates (real ones, from Belgium). I've eaten half the box. I feel sick in a fun, tingly, light-headed kind of way.
What You Say? My ears are still ringing from the David Bowie concert on Saturday. About three-quarters of the way through the show, I realized that I had done some damage to my eardrums when I couldn't hear the vocals anymore. Anyhoo, it was well worth it. From behind, Mr. Bowie still looked like the skinny ass dude he was 30 years ago. From the front, he looked fabulous and reminded me that you're never too old to wear really tight jeans. You may be too round, mind you, but you're never too old. My favourite song? "All the Young Dudes", made famous by the incomparable Mott the Hoople. Before the concert, had drinks at le Germain, a difficult to find boutique hotel on Mansfield with the best lychee martinis I've ever had. One review boasts that its restaurant "offers magnificent panorama views of rue Président-Kennedy". Since when is President-Kennedy a "view"? Regardless, the hotel is charming, but their sign is far too subtle--several of my friends walked right by it thinking that it was merely a swish office building lobby. In the meantime, if you see me, please shout very loudly and talk distinctly.


www.Buy-me-some shoes.com is available. Inspiration? Click here.
Finally! An Internet Dating Club that Understands Me!


"Person" - Is this your entitlement? I found the above scrawled on my Beetle this morning. Judging from the handwriting (fingerwriting?), I think it's the same person who kindly left me the VW Manifesto (see posting for November 17). What's up with this "person" trying to teach me a lesson about consumerism. I buy. I work. I appreciate fun design. I recycle. I give to charities. I eat organic whenever possible. I am aware that malaria kills more children in a day than is holy. I am painfully aware that I could have been living in a shotgun shack. I am not a capitalist running dog pig exploiting the masses. I just drive a Beetle. So fuck off. Incensed...


Ah, Xmas! I'm a sucker for Christmas. It helps that shopping is second nature to me--in fact, most of my gift buying is done. Other than the excuse to purchase or make gifts for the people in my life, I love that I seem to slow down a bit during the season. Last night I went to hear the Orpheus Singers do another fine few hours of choral music. This time, they chose lots of sacred music perfect for the human voice. There is little more uplifting--even if you're an atheist like me--than voices harmoniously filling that space between your ears and blocking out everything else. Next week: Handel's Messiah.


Why I Should Be Head of Merchandising at Target Spent the last few days in and around Boston with my friend L to celebrate American Thanksgiving and get in a ton of shopping. No trip to America is complete without a trip to Target, the upscale-WalMart-without-the-mandatory-employee-drug-tests retail giant. With clothes by designer Issac Mizrahi and household items designed by Michael Graves, Target appeals to the side of me that likes to scour church sales for something really cool for very little money. I know that Target and I go well together because I've anticipated many of their merchandising decisions well before I actually saw them in the store. Proof 1: For the past three years, I have been looking for a fake silver Christmas tree. No one makes them anymore. I need one to go with my ultra-cool Christmas tree stand, which is basically a brushed steel drum with several coloured lights in it. The drum rotates. It begs for a silver tree. The one that I've been using for the past few Christmases is a cheap green one I spray painted silver. This year, Target finally had real silver Christmas trees. In two sizes. They were really cheap. I bought both sizes. Proof 2: Target has recently offered a line of furniture made from plywood. I have just completed making my own furniture from plywood. We did this unbeknowst to one another. Spooky. I'm not sure, but I think this is a sign that I'm on the cutting edge of retail kitsch.


Demi and Me It's good to know that Demi and I have so much in common. Exploring this whole site made me feel much better about my (minor) imperfections.


VW Manifesto man·i·fes·to n. pl. man·i·fes·toes or man·i·fes··tos A public declaration of principles, policies, or intentions, especially of a political nature New Beetles aren't unusual sites in Montreal. Nonetheless, it's not uncommon for very little children to point at my car as I drive by and for me to offer a wide smile and a wave. Kids love Beetles. It was with some confusion, then, that I found a little piece of paper under my windshield wiper last week entitled "V.W. Manifesto". Here is the "manifesto": Did you know ... 1. V.W. is a very popular car but not everyone can afford one 2. V.W. Is a stylish, well-engineered car but the drivers are often snobs 3. V.W.s are cheap for what you get, but are expensive considering they are a "people's" car 4. V.W. advertises their cars being driven by sucessful people, implying that the poor are sub-human novolkswagons@yahoo.com First of all, the email address (which I'm hoping will be picked up by some crawling spam thing) misspells "Volkswagen". Second, as a "call to arms", I'm not quite sure what I should do? Should I ... 1. Correct the writer's misspelling? 2. Point out that radicchio is a very expensive salad item but not everyone can afford it. 3. Underline the last point by saying that anyone who eats radicchio is a bit of a ponce. 4. Mention that although radicchio is a member of the lowly chicory family, it's really quite expensive for what it is. 5. Chastise the radicchio marketing board for promoting this salad item, which implies that anyone who eats iceberg lettuce is pond-sucking scum. Confused...and hurt.


Delta Shoe Sponge Of all the many, many things in my office, which include... a life-size cutout of Boba Fett a Britney Spears doll that sings "Hit Me Baby One More Time" when you press her tummy a Barbie size Volkswagen Beetle more Hello Kitties than a grown woman should have a collection of stuffed monkeys ...and so much more ...guests to my office seem to be facinated by the shoe sponge I got during my last stay at a Delta hotel. It looks something like this, except it's blue and has the fetching Delta logo on it: shoe polisher They pick it up thinking it might be a blue cookie. The fun happens when they open it up and the little sponge inside exapands. I've seen people open and close this thing countless times, much like Eeyore played with the broken baloon in the hunny pot. What's up with this?


I really wanted to be Trinity, but I ended up being... You are the Oracle-
You are The Oracle, from "The Matrix."
Wise, kind, honest- is there anything slightly
negative about you? You are genuinely
supportive of others. Careful not to let people
take advantage of you, though.
What Matrix Persona Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
I Want My Dystopia **Warning: Spoilers** Saw Matrix: Revolutions last night. While I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, I also thoroughly hated it at the same time. The Wachowski brothers had such an opportunity to really play with the narrative, and they totally failed to do so, instead giving us a happy ending with a nod to Christ's crucifiction. I wanted dystopia! I wanted the ending to confirm that that there was no escape from the matrix. I wanted a completely fabricated revolution, concocted to give the still jacked in humans the impression of liberation. Instead, I got some saviour shit with absolutely no tinge of irony. What a waste of such a promising concept. Another thing that struck me this time as the relationship between Neo and Trinity continued, and as the one between Naobie and Morpheus bloomed, is that this world is so heterosexual it hurts. Some boy on boy or girl on girl action would have been most welcome. Its lack underpins its fundamentally Christian focus. Blech!. That said, the movie goes at a clip, the effects (my speciality) are wonderful and I loved all the strong gals in this version. Rumour has it that Andy Wachowski has ditched his wife, has taken up with a dominatrix, and is now seeking a sex change operation. It seems that his facination with the darker sider of female-ness (or is it the fun side?) gives birth to women who love hard and fight hard. Ironically, Andy also once said, "We think movies are fairly boring and predictable. We want to screw with audience's expectations." I wanted to be screwed, but all I got was ripped off.


My Halloween Costume Problem Solved? hello, kitty Check out all the pics from the premiere of Party Monster. Warning: Graphic Cosmetic Surgery Content.


Meet the Red Strips Make your own band here. I served as impressario for the "Red Strips" a boy-girl group consisting of a boy drummer and a girl guitarist. It's minimalist mimicry at its best!


"Minnelli got her unusual strength from drinking vodka" Weird. Just plain sad and weird.


What's Furry, Short, and Pink All Over? For Halloween, I am trying to build a costume around a pink marabou feather bomber jacket I bought some years ago, thinking that I'd wear it every day. I've actually never worn it, but a costume party seems like a good venue for this type of apparel. I can't figure out what to go as. So far i've thought of: - home insulation - a jet-puff marshmallow - a marabou, but they are neither pink nor fluffy -- even the jehovah witnesses despise them some other suggestions have been cotton candy, a pink flamingo, and a muppet... help!
Furby Mod If I had to choose between an eccentric, an artist, or a geek, I'd choose the geek. How can you not love someone who marries a Furby to a motherboard? (Hint: Check out V3.)


Make Me Over During the broadcast of What Not To Wear, my friend A called and left two messages about the show. She had to leave two messages because I was too busy watching the show to answer the phone. This episode centred around late thirties-something Gina and her penchant for clothes that reminded me far too much of what I have in my own closet. I was second-guessing the amount of pleather, fish net, and maribou feather any girl really needs in her wardrobe. I think what got to A the most--hence, the second message--was that the "fashion victim" is not only nominated by her friends for a fashion makeover, but is secretly videotaped for an entire two weeks. The victim is then forced to watch herself, cellulite, bulges and all on always unflattering videotape. A managed to switch to another station, whereas I watched the whole thing. She saw cruel intentions, whereas I saw a Cinderella story. Shame on me! Pass me my over-the-knee boots and mini skirt: we're going out on the town!


Fun with Duct Tape, Power Tools and Goose Down It must be the cooler weather: I've been "feathering my nest" over the past two weekends mostly by insulating things. Insulating the house: Already mentioned in my previous blog, I've been spending far too much time in the basement (a crawl space, really) wrapping water pipes in foam and pink stuff and going through several rolls of duct tape. Did you know that you can get duct tape in several designer colours? -- although I thought silver *was* the new brown. Anyway, my last, and I think final, purchase was two heating coils for my basement and first floor water pipes, which I'll use when (if) the temperature dips to and stops at -18 for an extended period. Insulating the plants: I bought so may lovely geraniums and brugmansia's this summer that it's a shame to let them die outside. I've constructed a series of shelves that sit right in front of my windows so that they get maximum sun exposure throughout the winter. My favourite is a shelf I built for my bedroom window, enabling me, for the first time, to have live plants in my bedroom. The kick for me is that I bought a cheap piece of pine and some wooden shelf brackets and used my handy jigsaw to cut some more-or-less even rounded edges. The whole thing is stained and varnished a lovely honey colour. Right now, a fuscia geranium is still in bloom on my newly extended window sill and it looks smashing. Insulating me: Two years ago, I invested in a feather bed, after experiencing them for the first time in a hotel in San Jose. Last year, I invested in a 100% goose down duvet, which keeps me absolutely toasty warm. Last weekend, I completed my little nest with two 100% goose down pillows. What's fabulous about them is that they don't get smushed, so your neck is always supported, but your cheek always has something soft and cushiony against it. My bed may now conceivabley be the most comfortable bed in the world.


The Men in My Basement I'm working from home today because there are two men in my basement installing a brand new natural gas furnace. Touted to be 92% efficient, I'm hoping that this, plus the insulation I've done, will enable me to both eat *and* heat my home this winter. Last winter, my heating bills were the highest I've ever had in the eight years I've been in this house. Gas bills in the summer are about 40.00$, which is for hot water consumption--I like hot showers and consider the dishwasher the greatest labour-saving device of the 20th century. So, sue me. Gas bills in the winter went up to 400.00+$, double what they had been the previous winter. The sustained extreme cold coupled with the forgotten open basement widow coupled with a no-longer-efficient-25-year-old furnace equalled a very expensive winter. There was some worry that the new furnace wouldn't fit through the tiny trap door that leads to the basement. After sawing part of my floor away, the furnace wiggled its way through the opening and is now being attached to the existing ducts system. I'm hoping to wallow in tropical heat this weekend.


Nemo Found C'mon, kid, eat your sushi or you won't get dessert! nemo found


Q: What Else has Arnie Been Hiding From Us? A: An income from a string of Japanese ads for noodles and caffeine-laden drinks.


The Darker Side of Me I just ordered Atonement and Against Love: A Polemic. I also ordered extra strength moisturizer from my favourite cosmetic cop. Am I settling in for a long, dry winter?


Back to YulBlog Met up with fellow yulbloggers last night at La Cabane for the first time since the Spring. I met lightspeedchick for the first time in person. I think you're great, too, M-Jo! Also great to see were blasts from (my) blog past Dandruff and ni.vu.ni.connu. Joining us was Idle Words, who's lastest entry on John Titor had me Googling for more information on this bizarre story of a self-proclaimed time traveller who reveals his identuty in a series of posts to an IRC chat room. His most memorable prediction? Everyone will be able to do multiplication and division in their head. If you spend any amount of time browsing the hits Google returns, you'll discover Pamela and Darby, who battle over whether Mr. Titor is fact or fiction. There's a story in there somewhere that involves IP addresses, lost videotapes, and parents names Pamela and Darby Titor, who, in 1998, give birth to a boy they call "John"...a suivre...


10 Minute Story Written in 10 minutes during my fiction writing workshop last night. I wanted coffee. Twelve of us sat around the conference room table. We argued about budgets, strategies, and deadlines and were getting nowhere. Our boss, who had previously told us to arrive at this all-day session without cel phones or laptops, was adamant about sticking to a strict schedule that included short and structured break periods. I didn't need to pee. I didn't need to return a phone call or check phone messsgaes. I just wanted a coffee. I knew that his administrative assistant had brought a tall coffee urn and left it outside the meeting room door. I knew that she had also left donuts, bagels, and a selection of fresh fruits, but these didn't interest me. I wanted the coffee. I could smell it. It would take me less than fifteen seconds to pour a cup and return to the meeting. Instead of following the conversation, I debated whether I should defy my boss. "Where are you going?" he'd say. "Just coffee. Won't be a minute," I'd reply. "We'll waste too much time. Everyone will want a cup. We'll lose focus." "Why don't we break now?" I'd ask, looking for approval among my colleagues. They would keep their eyes focussed on the conference room table, unwilling to unite with me against my time-tyrant boss. "Union" would be the word I would write on the copy of the PowerPoint presentation in front of me and I would leap up onto the table in honour of my favourite movie heroine, Norma Rae. Somewhat stunned, my colleagues would... * * * * * * What would Maggie's colleague's do?


Showers It rarely fails: I always feel better after I step out of the shower. I'm not a morning person. I need coffee and, most of the time, breakfast, within minutes of waking up. Waking up consists of letting the cats outside and sitting cross-legged on the couch eating breakfast and reading the paper. It also includes a session of Pilates. Despite the exercise, only when I get out of the shower do I feel truly awake. Or, maybe it's that nummy Fig body scrub I bought at Bath & Body Works, which smells like a cookie that's been lightly dusted in your Mom's perfume.


Mommy Has Too Much Disposable Income After brunch yesterday, my friend L and I went to the new pet store on St-Laurent just above Duluth. After cooing at the adorable kittens in the front window and wondering whether Punkin would play with the several-dead-mice-on-springs toy, we wandered to the back and found even more adorable kittens asleep in a cat hammock. "Hey! I wonder how much those are?" Thirty-five dollars later, I'm the proud owner of a cat hammock and a several-dead-mice-on-springs toy. When I got home, I called the kitties in and excitedly/proudly/expectantly plopped the new purchases on the floor. Confused, they simply wandered over to their food dishes. I rubbed cat nip on the new purchases. They licked it all off. I put their favourite toy in the hammock (as if that would clue them in). They swatted the cat toy out of the hammock. I put one of my best, but unlaundered t-shirts in the hammock. They demanded to go outside. Despairing that I'd have to donate the purchases to my parent's church bazaar, I discovered Nomar sleeping in the cat hammock this morning. They were just toying with me. cat hammock (This isn't Nomar, but you get the idea.)


I'm Baaaaaaaack After a summer free of blog entries, I'm ready to start re-recording the twists and turns of my life. Thanks to those of you who wondered why I had fallen off the face of the earth. I'm fine. Really. Pig Tails My furnace has "given up the ghost". The Gaz Metropolitain serviceman who came to give my 25-year old forced air furnace a fall tune-up told me that four burners needed replacing (whatever they are), the motor was working too hard, and that I would likely die of carbon monoxide poisoning sometime this winter. "What would you like to do, madame," he asked. This morning, a GazMet representative showed up at my house to show me the different new furnace options. Running a bit late, I decided to forgo a full shower, meaning that I didn't bother washing my hair (those hotel shower caps are wonderful!). Rushing to get dressed before the door bell rang, I put my hair in pig tails in an attempt to provide some style to my bed head. My hair hasn't actually been long enough to tie back until recently, and I haven't worn pig tails since Fall 2000. Thanks to my failing furnace and the GazMet rep, I've discovered the advantages of wearing pig tails. You don't have to wash and style your hair, and people tell you that you look cute all the time. I may never wash my hair again.


Paintball and Poker for Peace I've found that if I don't really plan to do something on the weekend, I end up doing the most unusual things. I *did* plan to go play paintball Saturday morning. Eleven of us woke up exceptionally early that morning to arrive at Arnold Paintball, a fine establishment about an hour from Montreal. Outfitted in some fetching camouflage overalls, masks, and gloves, we played several games--urban warfare, jungle skirmish, post-apocalyptic shootout--until we ran out of very expensive paintball pellets. By the way, the pellets hurt, especially if you get hit in the breast, which I did, despite being furnished with a breastplate. Arriving home, I found a message on my machine inviting me to dinner with a group of artists who had just attended a performance at Oboro commemorating John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Peace-in in Montreal. Cool, I thought. The artists, who played John and Yoko and spent several hours in a bed in the middle of the gallery, would be there too. Double-cool. An evening of deep intellectual stimulation and general political left-winged-ness. Well, it was that, but so much more. After finishing dinner at SenSala, that fun Brazilian restaurant on Bernard, we went back to my friend L's house for cake, coffee, and tea (herbal, natch) and played Poker. Games with names like "Woolworths", "Snake", and "Follow the Queen". How strange, I thought. How completely normal we are, I concluded.


Hello, My Name Is...My Name Is...My Name Is... Paige!


Rosemary Brown Dies at 72 I met Rosemary Brown once, through my friend Leila, who has been working on a film about her and her own mother. Rosemary was grandmother to Leila's nephew Jackson, to whom the film is dedicated. Leila, her mother Ruth, Ruth's partner, Rosemary and our mutual friend R passed an incredible evening together with Rosemary telling slightly ribald tales of being a student at McGill in the 50s and generally impressing us with her humour and incredible vitality. I'm so glad to have met her. Rest in peace, Rosemary.


Why I Love My Girlfriends Today, I changed my MSN Messenger name to all girl, all the time, which prompted this email exchange between me and my gal pal A. ___________________________________ From: "A" To: Maggie Kathwaroon Maggie Did you really mean to adopt an online nickname that sounds like a porn flick? Just curious... ___________________________________ From: "Maggie Kathwaroon" To: "A" ummm...yeah...wanna make something of it? ___________________________________ From: "A" To: Maggie Kathwaroon nope it's good that after over 15 years of friendship i can still see new sides to you. ___________________________________ From: "Maggie Kathwaroon" To: "A" i think the moniker is due to a) the weather b) the weather c) compliments on my hair this morning (apparently it was big n' bold) d) various guys smiling at me in the tim horton's now that i'm not wearing a heavy winter coat e) the weather ___________________________________ From: "A" To: Maggie Kathwaroon Big hair, shedding of clothes such as winter coat...like I said, a porn flick. My girlfriends are so clever!


606 takes later Animators and geeks will be facinated by this Honda ad called Cog. Read a behind-the-scenes article here--no computer graphics were harmed in the making of this car ad.


Oxy-moron! Somebody's searching my blog for a "Hello Kitty dog bed". I mean, really!


Twenty Questions A bunch of us at work have been playing with this example of AI. We've tried to stump it by making it guess things like monkey, picture frame, vibrator, dead horse, and tooth filling. It's addictive. It learns. It's a bit scary....
If Fox Television Picked a New Iraqi Leader So very plausible....
A Tribute to Great Design For Easter, my Dad presented me with an Hello Kitty I-Zone camera. It takes incredibly small, cute, but clear, Polaroid photos, and it was a hit during Easter Monday dinner at my house. These little cameras are an example of great design: - they're easy to load - they're easy to handle--there are indentations in all the right places - they're easy to use--they automatically turn off after each picture so you don't waste the batteries; plus, this forces you to choose the right flash setting each time - the individual pictures are colour-coded, so if junior can't count, at least she knows that yellow means the film is almost finished - they provide instant gratification - they're somewhat eco-friendly--i discovered that the case that stores the film transforms into a storage box for my little photos Now that I have my camera, I think I'm going to save my pennies for this.


Yes, Everything Can be a Double-entendre I scoffed at this notion when my friend A brought it up over the weekend as we were painting one of the rooms in my house. Then, I received this description in an email (in reference to an "assert" in our software): A bad case of a dangling process that didn't release some dlls. ~snigger~ dangling process ~snigger~


Random Thing About Me: 1 My ideal man is probably a cross between a Tetley Tea Man and a misunderstood genius.


New York Stories Just back from four enjoyable days in New York City. Rain on the first day forced us to choose indoor events, so we saw the Matthew Barney show at the Guggenheim and then spent a couple of hours trawling Century 21 for bargains. The cinema accross from ou hotel beckoned, and we caught Laurel Canyon . First day verdict: The Barney show was well worth it, but (gasp!) I appreciate him as a craftsman more than anything; all his stuff (props, really) are so well made. I was constantly reminded of Joseph Beuys, as Barney likes to use pseudo-primary materials in his sculptures--"self-lubricating" plastic, vaseline, honey comb, etc.--akin to Beuy's felt and fat. Century 21 offered a couple of new summer trousers and a stylin' new backpack. Laurel Canyon was great: Frances McDormand was superb and Christian Bale was surprisingly unsexy, meaning that he truly is a great actor (Newsies aside), because Christian Bale *is* sexy. Days two, three, and four were spent wandering around Soho, the Village, and Chelsea (where we stayed). Memorable were: Lunch at Tea and Sympathy, the Staten Island Ferry, and Jo Baer at the Dia Foundation. Wheels of Commerce New York would be nothing without wheels. Everyone and everything is on wheels. Apart from the obvious wheels of the subway and ubiquitous yellow cabs, everyone has a small wheeled suitcase or backpack that they use to negotiate the distances between multiple destinations. Children in particular are well-endowed with wheels: strollers now have small platforms behind them that parents place older siblings on. Two children can now be steered safely down busy 5th Avenue by busy mums and dads. Dog Days Everyone has a dog in New York. Frequently people have two. Servicing our canine friends are millions and millions of chi-chi pet boutiques that ocassionally stock the odd cat toy. Dog spas, dog walkers, dog groomers, dog delis. It must be great to be a New York dog. We didn't see any cats. Not anywhere. "I Don't Do the Vagina Thing" It was likely the area we were staying in, but I got the distinct impression that pretty much all the men we passed in the street and met casually in shops and restaurants were gay, except of course any young male between the ages of 16-18 wearing baggy pants and Nikes. I hope no one takes offense to this remark--I'm simply alerting a number of my friends that Chelsea seems to be the place to stay and play.


What Empowered Female Artist Am I? Take with a grain on irony.

You are Ani Difranco!
Self-obsessed and self-possessed, you are a strong woman with a social conscience,
who centers her life around her art. You pour your life experience and passion
into your art, presenting ideas that resonate deep in the souls of others.

Take the "Which Empowered Female Artist Are You" Quiz
Haunted Doll


Why Can't Everyday be Saturday? With no peace march to attend, some pals 'n I decided to check out the brunch at Reservoir before checking out the butterflies at the Botanical Gardens. The kitchen staff at Reservoir ably handled our poached eggs: they were perfectly cooked and lay on a nummy bed of fried pancetta and sweet baby asparagus. The lattes wer excellent. The four of us sat around and talked about the value and nature of forgiveness. For the record, while I don't suffer fools gladly, I'd like to think that I don't hold visceral grudges and that I do grant second chances. Granting second chances would surely be made simpler if everyone visited with the butterflies at the Montreal Botanical Gardens. My friend A and I arrived about 30 minutes before closing. Although we were told there was a bit of a lineup, we didn't mind walking through the greenhouses. This is the time of year when cactii and succulents are in bloom, so there were some pretty spectacular showings of prickly things with tufts of colour coming out everywhere. When we finally reached the butterfly greenhouse, I must admit that I got a little teary-eyed. The first thing I saw, through the fake cement porticos, was three montrously beautiful white butterflies just doing elegant butterfly things. Breathtaking. Seriously breathtaking. We spent the next hour or so watching them fly about and land in trees, examining the differences between the top and undersides of their wings, wondering how the cats would feel about a few free-flying ones in the house, comparing and contrasting the truly monstrously beautiful moths, and hoping that one would land on us. Later, a gay pal tried to fix me up with pretty much anything male that moved at Copa's. I tried to gently explain that Copa's ridiculously cheap liquor was perhaps colouring his judgement of suitable mates for me. Regardless, he kept asking "What about him? No? Well, what about him?". Bless him. It was a purr-fect day.


Fashion Update Checking referring URLs to this blog, midst the searches for "hello kitty vibrators" and "hello kitty patio lights" and "the sound of music", I noticed a bunch of searches on Google and Yahoo looking for t-shirts with the slogan "Bombing for peace is like fucking for virginity". Does this herald the beginning of merchandising the U.S.-Iraqi war? Crikey! It's not even a day old yet. My advise? Make your own.
The Fashionable Revolutionary I have a feeling I'm going to be demonstrating *every* Saturday until this freakin' war is over, which means that I won't get much shopping done. On the plus side, the weather is improving, just in time to start thinking about fashion for the peace marches ahead. Last week I saw some some stylin' ladies who had wrapped white tulle around their necks. I like tulle. I like it *a lot*. I think I'm going to buy yards of it to accessorize with: a fun hat one week, a cute skirt the next, and a daring top when things get really warm. Add some white ribbon, a placard with a witty slogan on it, and oh-so sensible shoes and I'll be stylin' for the revolution, too.


Puzzled I've never understood why my name is associated with this paper. See the "References" section.
Saturday's Peace March Starting points for the march were staggered this time around, with corteges forming in the east and in the west. Starting from the west, as we descended the hills of Rene-Levesque, we were stunned to see hordes of people marching up from the other direction. Even more stunning? Seeing how many people were still marching behind us as we made our way to Complexe-Guy Favreau. Favourite sign: "Bombing for peace is like fucking for virginity". I'm ashamed to say that I've been following stock market analysts as I try to make sense of a market that's rallied under the impression that--finally--there will be a war and it won't last long. Apparently the market hates uncertainty.


Make Love, Not War East meets west this Saturday as the Peace March starts from two locations this Saturday. I'll be there. Will you?


Adventures in Soyland (hold the red peppers) The chalet I stayed in at Mont Trembalnt last week was shared by 6 other people, one of whom was a vegetarian. We had all decided to volunteer to cook one evening meal each, which meant that we all needed to either do a vegetarian dish, or adapt a meat dish to a meatless one. I chose the latter. I decided to make my tried-and-true Coq au Vin. I made the regular version using chicken, and a smaller version using tofu. I can confirm that you can flambee tofu and cook it in wine. It was definitely not bad. Inspired by this adaption, I've been experimenting with some of my other favourite dishes. My comfort/white trash dish is chicken cooked in Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup. I sautee the chicken first, then sautee onions, garlic and additional mushrooms. I'll ocassionally add red peppers. Last night, I made a tofu version of the recipe, which was highly successful, except for the addition of red peppers--which I love. I've been suspecting that I've developed difficulties digesting red peppers, and the way I felt last night and the way I feel right now, after eating the leftovers for lunch, confirm that I should stay away from red peppers for the rest of my life. I've already had to give up legumes, which I can't digest at all, and now red peppers. What's next?


I've been lamenting to friends recently that I need a wife. You know, the old-fashioned kind of partner who tended the home, called and waited for service people, took the cats to the vet for their regular check up, tended the garden, organized the bills into "past due" and "way past due" piles, went grocery shopping, returned videos.... I'll not hold my breath whilst waiting for the (wo)man of my (domestic)dreams. I am, however, trying to find ways to simplify my life. So far, I've resisted hiring a cleaning lady and other service people to help me maintain the house and garden. This resistance has started me contemplating selling my house and moving to a smaller, easier to maintain residence. The drawback to moving is that my four kitties are used to exploring the outoors in the summer, so any new home would have to continue providing them with squirrels and trees and fences to climb. Anyone know a good cleaning lady?


Is this possible? I'm wearing a light pink extra small t-shirt today with my black jeans (instead of my usual black, brown, or grey t) and I think it makes my breasts look too big? Est-ce-que c'est possible?


I didn't realize how tired I was until I spent four blissful days in Mont Tremblant last week. February was, of course, birthday month for me. It was also an intense party month, with work-related visitors from overseas tempting me to close various bars around town. It was also an intense month emotionally--I went to Toronto to support my niece and sister as the former testified against a man who sexually assaulted her late last year. Trivial in comparison, I developed an allergy to vitamin E which made my eyes look old and tired. Four days of sleep, sunshine, friends, more sleep, and snow remind me that even I have limits.



My Birthday Week Started celebrating my birthday (February 4) last Saturday, with a lovely cream and butter-filled dinner at Le Caveau, a favourite resto in our family. Mum and Dad gave me a gift certificate to Simons, so Sunday was spent shopping aimlessly all afternoon, culminating in a trip to Paragraph's, a quick snack at Le Commensal, and a bit of practice with my band's bassist. Tuesday was my actual birthday, but some bad news that day kinda took the wind out of it. Still, had a lovely birthday lunch at Mazurka's and dinner later. We wanted go to Basilisk, a fab fondue restaurant on Duluth, but it was closed. So, we went for Greek, and then almost closed down Reservoir drinking port and smoking cigars. Wednesday, I had to miss yulblog to practice with my bandmates for my upcoming birthday party, which this Saturday. I have *no* idea what to wear. Suggestions greatly appreciated.


I'm hooked on CSI, CBS's hit show (now in two locations with two hot casts) that gives a new face to intelligent gore--where else can you see an entire family in the graphic aftermath of its slaughter or a coroner lovingly handling the remains of a burn victim? I am totally in lust with the character Gil Grissom, whose biography reads in part, "Grissom began riding his bike out to the beach every day to collect dead seagulls, opossums, and anything else he could find. He would bring the remains home to conduct autopsies." He's hot. He's eccentric. He drinks jimson weed tea to test its effects. He's just this side of a serial killer, far more so than that other hottie, Vincent d'Onofrio from Law & Order: Criminal Intent. You can rent the entire first season of CSI on DVD, an excellent way to pass an afternoon. Catch CSI:Miami tonight and CSI on Thursday.


My Tummy Hurts Far too Much My stomach is currently full of cheesies. It seems to take well over 24 hours to fully digest my very favourite carbo-laden snack food. The occasion for downing nearly half a bag was the Super Bowl, which I watched on my friend's 54-inch fully-connected HDTV-ready TV. Not a fan of football, I watched for the ads, which were non-too-spectacular (kinda like the game) except for Reebok's "Terry Tate, Office Linebacker", which had us in stitches--watch for the guy playing solitaire getting his just desserts. Catch them all here. Before heading over to watch the game, I went toboganning on Mont-Royal, renting one of those super-cool inner tubes. My screams of delight ensured that everyone stayed out of my way. The night before, I made dinner for eight, cooking up some Grouper Provencal, which was essentially grouper baked with shrimps, fresh tomatoes, garlic, and herbes de Provence. It became exceptionally delicious when I reduced the cooking liquids and added 35% cream. Served with green beans. Num! The night before that, I stayed up far too late talking about death and eating hamburgers at Bistro Duluth. Finally, the night before that, I played music with my mates, ate far too many spare ribs (I bet the cow didn't consider them "spare"), and drank far too much chewy Portuguese wine.


A Real Friend (Sent to me today by my friend L.) Are you tired of all those mushy "friends" poems that always sound good, but never actually come close to reality? Getting testy with those neurotic people who think you should have to mail back those saccharine sweet little nothings dripping with kittens, hearts and smiles just to prove you're their friend? Again, and again, and again? Well, here is a "friendship" poem that really speaks to true friendship and truth itself! Friend... When you are sad ...I will get you drunk and help you plot revenge against the sorry ass who made you sad. When you are blue ... I'll try to dislodge whatever is choking you. When you smile ... I'll know you finally got laid. When you are scared ...I will rag on you about it every chance I get. When you are worried ...I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be and to quit your stupid whining. When you are confused ....I will use little words to explain it to your dumbass. When you are sick ... stay away from me until you're well again. I don't want whatever you have. When you fall ....I will point and laugh myself silly. This is my oath ...I pledge 'till the end. Why you may ask? Because you're my friend! P.S. A friend will help you move.... A really good friend will help you move a body.


Random Acts Today, two people treated me with more kindness than I deserved. This makes me momentarily humble and introspective. Enjoy it while it lasts!


What Is Bliss? Bliss is getting a back rub while discussing behaviorial simulation with a Neural Scientist.
You Don't Need an Invitation to the Revolution i have no mouth and i must scream Being among the 20,000 or so at the peace march on Saturday was amazing. Stuck somewhere between the Brazilian Bongoers for Peace and the Cypriot Citizens for Disarmament, six cold women linked arms, laughed, shouted, and kept each other as warm as possible on the slow walk down Ste-Catherine, past the American Embassy, to Complexe Guy-Favreau. On the way, a pit stop in a Presse Cafe to warm cold toes between warm hands and an altercation between a visiting American and a man carrying a picture of an upside-down American flag. "Get back to the strip club", we shouted. He was outnumbered, and we suspect he was also eager to return to the dim and the flesh. Here's hoping this, among the many worldwide marches that day, keeps ignorance in the strip clubs and something approaching enlightenment in the cool daylight.


My pipes froze yesterday. I normally shut off the heat when I'm not home and the house rarely gets colder than about 15 degrees. However, yesterday the indoor thermostat read 10 and I had absolutely no water coming out of any tap anywhere. I quick call to the neighbour confirmed that the situation was localized to my house. I had just come from an after-work drink at Else's, had changed into my pajamas, and was ready to prepare myself something to eat. Waterless, I became slightly panicked, visions of myself lying parched in the kitchen, unable to wash dishes, and--worse--unable to shower for work in the morning. Unsure as to what to do, I called my friend A. who was sure to know about these types of things having run his own business for years. As I stood there pathetically in my pajamas, A. explained that it may take some time for the water to come back on and there was some risk of a burst pipe. I guess hunger, fear, and thirst were apparent in my voice as I asked him a whole bunch of questions. A. kindly offered to whisk me away to l'Express for something to eat and a place to sleep so that I could shower in the morning. It took me two seconds to pack a small overnight bag, make sure the cats were okay and head back up to the Plateau. This morning, I was clean and relaxed. The pipes finally unfroze at about noon today and the cats are happy that the house will be kept a little warmer from now on.


Tell me, was his orange? Reservoir, formally Nantha's Kitchen, is quickly becoming my favourite Friday night hangout: the beer is good and inexpensive, the crowd is eclectic and unpretentious, and the snack foods are exceptionally good. On Friday, the usual suspects and me headed out for sushi at Sakata's at around 7:00 p.m. and then over to Reservoir for about 9:30. We were all giddy from being back together again after a two-week hiatus from work. Or maybe that was just me. Finding a table upstairs, I discovered a distinctly house-party atmosphere. Already becoming a favourite among some of my other acquaintances, I mingled a bit among the tables and the bar, saying 'hello' and passing around New Year's greetings to the people I knew. Did I already say that I was giddy? One of my colleagues brought some friends along and I got along particularly well with one of his guests. At around 1:00 a.m., as I was about to leave, this charming young man asked if I wanted a nightcap at his place (conveniently two blocks from Reservoir), and I consented after making him list the contents of what I hoped was a fairly well-stocked liquor cabinet. There was no single-malt scotch, but the thought of Pastis with lots and lots and lots of ice sounded particularly appealing. Happily, his apartment was large and airy and comfortable and clean, unlike some bachelor pads I've stumbled into (is that pile of clothes moving or is your cat just happy to see me?). Armed with Pastis with lots and lots and lots of ice, I got a tour of the apartment, which, in the end, included an extended visit in his very orange bedroom. Remember the orange bedroom, as it's key to the rest of the story. (Skip the bits between the asterisks if you want to jump to the punch line.) **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** I left at around 1:30 p.m.and walked to my car, which was parked near Softimage. I'm good at finding free parking, but that means that the Bug is never parked in the same place twice, and I sometimes have to force myself to remember exactly where it is. I walked to the corner of Clark and Prince Arthur to find that my car wasn't there. As the panic rose and as my cheeks flushed, I forced myself to think, think, think. I remembered moving it from that spot after discovering I was in a residential parking zone. I just couldn't remember where I had moved it to. Jeanne-Mance? Ste-Famille? Milton! It's on Milton! I got home to find the Gazette still there, but that someone had snitched the Globe & Mail, deeply marring my wish to curl up on the couch and read the Globe's Style and Book sections cover to cover. With extra time on my hands, I decided to take care of my bills and logged on--or tried to--only to discover that my internet banking service no longer recognized either my userid or my password. I hauled out my banking card and placed it against the screen and double-checked that each and every digit was the same. They seemed to be. I called the bank in another panic, with thoughts of some hacker having gotten in and changing my password and transferring my meagre funds to some untraceable bank account. Their tech support guy told me to check some security settings and try again. I did. I even logged off and on again. I reentered my number. When I entered the number, it looked bigger. It was taking up more space in the entry box. Poof! I was logged in. Duh! **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** I went to meet friends at an opening at Oboro (this was on Saturday for those of you who skipped on down here), an artist-run space renowned not only for quality shows but a damn fine buffet. Three of my gal pals and I recounted what we had gotten up to the night before; two of us had gotten lucky. I started listing my charming young man's statistics. His name is "___". He's 28. He's a programmer. He lives in the Plateau. My friend J. stopped me and said, "You know I've been corresponding with a 28-year old programmer named "___" who lives in the Plateau through this internet dating service. Does he have a cat?" "Yes, he does." "Is his bedroom orange?" "Yes, it is." At this point the four of us whoop in unison, drawing the attention of everyone in the gallery, as we realized that we had to be talking about exactly the same person. J. has never actually met "___", their contact to this point being solely via e-mail. Between the two (three?) of us, we've put a whole new twist on never messing with someone one of your friends is interested in. There just isn't any girlz dating book in the world that covers this scenario. This situation also highlights something that many yulbloggers have blogged about from time to time: just how small the Montreal anglo community can be and how everyone is typically separated by one--not seven or six or five--degrees. Blork posted this in 2001 and yulblog newcomer Westexpressway posted this very recently. Did I mention I was giddy?


More Birthday Gift Ideas 4. A month's worth of home cooked meals. 5. Full year's worth of house cleaning. 6. A modest trust fund. 7. Stereo receiver and speakers. 8. Those cool earrings I lost on the 51 bus twenty years ago.


Happy Birthday to ME! Since I still can't get over that the season of gift receiving is really finished, I'm going to start posting a list of things that I would like to receive for my upcoming birthday. 1. A Hello Kitty toaster. 2. Two new hubcaps for my New Beetle. 3. A set of mag wheels for said Beetle. That's all that's coming off the top of my little blonde head today. More "wants" tomorrow.


Moving slowly into the new year. A la prochaine!