Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Little Blackie - In memoriam

A few days ago, my boyfriend and I were watching True Grit (the Cohen brothers' remake) and I noticed something peculiar. (Spoiler alert!) Towards the end of the movie, the young girl's horse is forced to run to the very end of its physical capabilities in order to save her life, collapses and is subsequently shot by Jeff Bridges' character. 

I was beside myself. I told my boyfriend they should have called this movie Little Blackie, after the horse. Then it dawned on me. I was more upset about animals being hurt than humans. Sure, a few criminals in the movie got shot and one guy had his fingers chopped off but hey, that's how it was in the wild, wild west.  

But aim a gun at a horse's head and I'm apoplectic. That is an outrage, I say, an outrage! How could he DO that! What is wrong with people!

It reminds me of those Humane Society commercials where they show all these sad, abandoned and/or abused animals. If I even catch a glimpse of one of those animals, tears well up in my eyes and a lump forms in my throat. 

One time, I actually watched a whole story on one of the animals they rescued - a sweet dog that had been neglected and abused. He didn't make it but in his final moments, he was surrounded by love. I lost my shit, people. I was reduced to a sobbing, blubbering mess.

Mistreatment or violence involving animals = instant fury and most probably tears. Mistreatment or violence involving humans = Meh. Depends who it is. Depends on the situation. Somehow that just doesn't seem right to me. Shouldn't I care more about humans than animals?

Maybe it's because animals are usually so much cuter than humans. They're furry and cuddly. Maybe it's because humans tend to piss me off. Animals, not so much. And who hasn't cried watching Old Yeller? Ok, I haven't actually seen the movie but I know what happens which is why I can't watch it.

I did cry when (spoiler alert!) Nate died on Six Feet Under. However, I suspect there was a much deeper, philosophical disturbance going on there due to the show's brilliant exploration of life and death and what it all means, and the fact that I had watched about six episodes consecutively. Damn you Alan Ball, and your crazy talent!

I also cried when (spoiler alert!) Buffy's mom died in Season 5 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In a show  littered with supernatural deaths, the passing of Buffy's mom of natural causes was in stark contrast to the show's usual fare and was portrayed so poignantly and realistically. Damn you Joss Whedon, and your crazy talent!

Huh. I guess I do care about humans, sometimes...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fun with CNN Souvenirs - Episode 6

If you're not familiar with this cutting edge series, you can catch up on earlier episodes before diving into this new one (it's a most excellent way to procrastinate if there's something you need to do but don't really want to. Just sayin'.):

**These episodes are solely a product of my own imagination. Any resemblance whatsoever to actual events is purely coincidental.

Soledad: This is far from over Sassy. 

Me: Is that a threat?

Soledad: You bet your ass it is, you bitch. You will suffer as I have suffered. Maybe even worse.

Me: I didn't realize the public ridicule would be so far reaching.

Soledad: Oh please. Don't play dumb with me. I Facebook creeped you. I know you leaked the fashion show fiasco story to anyone who would listen.

Me: You deserved it, blackmailing Anderson the way you did. You got beat at your own game and you didn't like it. It's not so much fun being on the other side, is it?

Soledad: Your problem is that you underestimate me. I never get beat. Never.

Me: Suck it up Princess. You didn't get the information you wanted from Sanjay and now I know what you so desperately tried to pry out of him using my husband. And I must say, I look f*cking fabulous after a few weeks on Sanjay's all-chocolate diet. Don't you think?

Soledad: So smug. I've done some research on you.

Me: Facebook stalking hardly qualifies as research.

Soledad: Oh, that was just the tip of the iceberg. I have contacts. People who owe me favours. And I found out a very interesting fact about you. You're deathly afraid of cats. 

Me (turning ashen): That's ridiculous.

Soledad: Is it? The colour seems to have drained from your face. I'd say I'm onto something.

Me: I'd say you're reading into things and are gravely mistaken. 

Soledad: Oh really. Well, why don't we put that theory to the test (Soledad reaches into a large tote bag and pulls out...)

Me (utterly frightened but trying to hide it)

Soledad: Would you like to hold her?

Me (hesitating): Sure. (Soledad places the cat on my lap.)

Soledad: Oooh, I think she likes you. That's good because I bought her for you. You can take her home with you.

Me: How... thoughtful of you. 

Soledad: I know. Now, don't be shy. You can pet her. 

Me (with beads of sweat forming at my brow, I slowly place my hand on the cat and begin stroking it)

Soledad: It's a match made in heaven.

Me: It sure is. I... I adore her. 

Soledad: Are you sure? You don't seem convinced.

Me: Of course I'm sure. 

Soledad: It's just that... you don't look so good. 

Me: I'm fine. Really. (Paralyzed with fear, I pass out.)

Soledad: Now I have you right where I want you. It's payback time bitch.

What will Soledad do to me? Will Anderson and Sanjay come to my rescue? Find out on the next episode of Fun with CNN Souvenirs.

Monday, July 18, 2011

I should be on A&E's "Intervention"

There are times when the sheer depth of my addiction to television is exposed and I am shamed, shamed to my core. 

Yesterday, we were invited by some close friends of ours to dinner and a movie. My immediate response: "Yeah, we're down for dinner but, um, there's a new episode of True Blood airing tonight so, I think we'll skip the movie." My boyfriend then gives me a look, and kindly points out that we get True Blood on demand and can watch said episode anytime after it airs.

Good point... So I tell our friends that yes, indeed, we will join them for dinner and a movie. Then, I hang up the phone and realize what a douchebag I've become. Really? True Blood over hangin' out with friends? I mean, REALLY? I immediately felt shame welling up from the deep recesses of my cold, cold heart. How could I even think that?

So, I surrendered to the fact that I would not see the newest episode of True Blood when it aired but rather at a later date of our choosing on our On Demand service, and we would have a social life instead. 

Our outing was great fun. We decided to go to a matinee and have dinner afterwards. We went to see the new Harry Potter movie (great if you've read the books, if not, meh. It may be confusing.) We were then joined by another good friend and proceeded to have a lovely dinner at a great restaurant.

However, towards the end of dinner, my boyfriend mentions that we have a window, albeit brief, in which to get home in time for True Blood. Whaaaaa? Did he realize what he had just set in motion? I then became obsessed with the time. We had about half an hour to get back to our car, which was about a ten to fifteen minute walk away, drive home, another say, 10 minutes, throw ourselves onto the couch and turn on the TV.

We were about halfway to the parking lot, when I looked back and saw our friends walking all romantic like and, well, SLOWLY. (We were all headed towards the same parking lot.) So, I turned to my boyfriend and said: "Let's say goodbye now and make a run for it. Otherwise, we'll never make it in time." I was really thinking of my friends and not wanting to intrude on their lovely, romantic evening stroll (said the addict to herself to rationalize the fact that she's an asshole).

We said our goodbyes and, luckily, our friends have a sense of humour and are very understanding. We then turned around and started running through downtown Ottawa. There I was, dashing across city streets in high heels, determined to make it home in time. 

When I finally sat down on our couch, True Blood's theme song was playing and I was in my happy place. Once the show was over, however, I couldn't help but ask myself if I was close to hitting rock bottom. I was chasing a high like a hooker on payday. It wasn't pretty. There is definitely something wrong with me. Normal people don't act this way.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Errant ramblings of an idle mind

Why is it that two Brits and one Canadian are judging contestants on America's Got Talent?

Why did some lame-brained studio executive agree to a remake of Dallas? It's a classic that shouldn't be tinkered with, and no cliffhanger will ever top the "Who shot J.R." storyline. Ever.

Miranda Kerr (Orlando Bloom's baby mama) states " I thought I would die giving birth." And people ask me why I don't want children.

Headline: "Mila Kunis in panties in GQ, talking sexism in Hollywood". Does anyone else see what's wrong with this statement?

Apparently, Katie Holmes would like to see Kate Middleton wear some pieces from her new Holmes & Yang clothing collection.

 Katie, if you want to dress the future Queen of England, learn how to dress yourself first.

That is all.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer = gluttonous IQ lowering reality TV watching

Well, it's that time of year again... summer. Which is synonymous with watching really bad (meaning really good) reality TV. 'Cause there ain't much on during the summer months. Except for True Blood (shiver of delight) and Weeds (which we don't get on our On Demand service which makes me crazy 'cause then we have to wait for the DVD to come out 'cause we don't like to watch it once it hits Canadian TV 'cause of all the freakin' commercials... but I digress.)

So, to fill in those prime time TV watching hours, my boyfriend, stepdaughter and I latch on to such distinctive fare as The Bachelorette, which will be followed by Bachelor Pad, Toddlers and Tiaras (it's child abuse, but we can't look away. Why, I ask, why?), Love in the Wild (a hybrid of Survivor and Bachelor/Bachelorette), Pregnant in Heels (about a "pregnancy concierge" servicing Manhattan's upper crust knocked up ladies, Say Yes to the Dress and Say Yes to the Dress - Big Bliss (Big Bliss = fat girls).

I know, you're amazed at the sheer quality of programming in which we indulge. So are we. We learn so much from these shows. For example, on The Bachelorette, we've learned that Ashley's instincts are total shit and she shouldn't listen to them. She immediately fell for this douchebag named Bentley. (Who names their kid after luggage?) 

That Ashley couldn't see past Bentley's smooth-talkin' bullshit was alarming. He even left the show voluntarily because he wasn't attracted to Ashley and had no interest in pursuing her. Of course, when he told her he was leaving, he lied about his true motives and said he needed to be with his daughter, but whatever, we were just happy to see him go.

Except it didn't end there. Ashley just couldn't let go of the possibility of hooking up with Bentley at some point because he had left things kind of "open" and it was tainting all her dates with the remaining guys, who are all pretty great, as far as we know. So, they brought Bentley back so Ashley could confront him once and for all. He still couldn't be honest with her but at least this time she gave him the boot. Hopefully, she'll stay on the straight and narrow and finally give the other guys a chance.

I've already expressed my views on Toddlers and Tiaras here. Nothing has changed. Except that I can't stop myself from watching this show, and that scares me.

Love in the Wild is just plain funny because it puts men and women who've just met in these crazy, jungle adventure situations where their patience and good humour is put to the test.  Following the day's wilderness exploits, each new couple has to spend the night together in a cabin. Bow-chicka-bow-bow.

Then, at elimination, the couple who won the jungle challenge is safe. They can choose to stay together or pick another partner. If they choose someone else, that person can't refuse. The other couples who came in second and beyond have the same choice, except they can be refused if they choose to switch partners, and if they are, must go to the "unmatched" area and hope someone else picks them. The last two remaining are eliminated. It's all very complex and sophisticated. 

Pregnant in Heels depicts the life of Rosie Pope, pregnancy concierge to well-off Manhattanites. I was expecting something a little more frivolous, a little more vain but this show has surprised me. Some of Rosie's clients are over the top, needing some serious parenting themselves but others have legitimate issues around pregnancy and becoming a mother, and Rosie helps them address their fears prior to the birth of their child. The best part of this show is Rosie's gay stylist. Any gayer than that, and you would burst into flames. He is awesome. 

Say Yes to the Dress reminds me that when people are planning a wedding, they're not in their right mind. It's a form of insanity. Obsessed with finding that "perfect" dress, spending thousands of dollars on a garment they'll wear for a few hours. Bringing their critical friends and family along. It makes no sense to me. It is, however, entertaining. Other people's nuttiness is truly captivating.

I'd say we'll be watching better TV in the fall, but who am I kidding? I think we're always subconsciously looking to lower the bar even further. 'Cause we're cool like that.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Royal Wedding Fever - Part Trois

Shortly after Wills and Kate tied the knot in jolly old England, we Canadian commoners found out that the Duke and Duchess would be making their first trip abroad to... wait for it.... Canada! And better yet, their first stop would be in.... Ottawa! Canada's Capital! And most importantly, WHERE I LIVE. Young, attractive British royalty in my 'hood yo!

Needless to say, I was deliriously happy with this news. I thought to myself: "We must prepare, prepare to Royal chase". That would mean some serious crowd surfing since the newlyweds would be in Ottawa on Canada Day, the only day of the year that Ottawa is a "hip" city and there's a huge street party downtown. And by huge, I mean tens of thousands of people show up. It then reverts back to its dull, civil servant laden self. Not that I don't love where I live, but I know Ottawa ain't one of the cool kids, if you get my drift...

Wills and Kate were scheduled to arrive at 2 pm on June 30 at the Ottawa airport, which happened without a hitch. Then they would make two public appearances in downtown Ottawa. However, I was stuck in a meeting all day. Imagine this, if you will. I was in an office building not 10 minutes away from their first public appearance at a war memorial. That hurts people. It cuts to the bone.

To add salt to the wound, my boyfriend and stepdaughter were free to go to the estate of the Governor General (the site of the Royals' next public appearance) where William would make his first speech to the Canadian people. Jealous much? You know it. My stepdaughter has photos, PHOTOS of William and Kate! And I was NOT THERE! Because I was WORKING! But I digress...

The next day, July 1st, was Canada Day, one of those rare days when Canadians get all patriotic and shit. We love our country but we have trouble showing it. Except on Canada Day. Then we're all like, "Hells ya! This country rocks!"

It's a national holiday so I was off for the day and free to hunt for a Royals sighting. We decided to head downtown for the noon show, an event William and Kate would be attending. We squeezed in a bit of shopping beforehand (what can I say, there's a mall on the way), then headed towards Parliament Hill around 11:45 am.

It was a mad house. There were people everywhere. It was a hot, sunny day. Sweat was beginning to form at my brow. We got down to business and dove into some serious crowd surfing. At this point, I would have been content to watch the show from the huge monitor set up for spectators on the street where we were located, just East of Parliament Hill. I assumed the Royals were already there.

But the closer we got to our intended destination, the more it dawned on me. We're walking along the street that Wills and Kate would have been traveling on, in an open carriage, on their way to the noon show. And they haven't come by yet. HOLY SHIT. Suddenly, there was a possibility we could see them IN PERSON. 

We walked a bit further, then staked out a spot behind a few rows of people. We couldn't see much except for the tops of people's heads and outstretched arms holding cameras. And this is why I have the best boyfriend in the world - he offered to hold me up on his back so I could get a better view. He is awesome. 

I did indeed get a much better visual. First, the security detail, a succession of sinister looking black cars with tinted windows came up the street. Hmm. Ok. That's cool. Then nothing. Then, more sinister looking black cars with tinted windows. Then nothing. I gave my boyfriend a break and jumped back down to my feet. Then, shortly thereafter, he tells me I'd better jump back on. Something big is coming. 

Sure enough, a legion of RCMP officers in official uniform on their horses turn the corner and come up the street, and then.... at first I only saw her red fascinator but I knew - I knew it was Kate. I lost all sense of decorum and started screaming: "Oh my God!". The horse driven carriage made its way up the street and at one point, Kate looked right at us as she smiled and waved and we cheered.

I don't have a photo since I cannot multitask. Fumbling with a camera while trying to seize the moment would have ended in disaster, I'm sure. We do however have my stepdaughter's photos and videos from the previous day to commemorate their visit. If I ask her nicely, maybe she'll share one with me and I can post it here.

I don't know why we're so fascinated with the British Royal Family but I was caught up in the excitement of it all, and to be in such close proximity of widely known people (celebrities, really) was a crazy rush. And just in case you were wondering, they look exactly as they do on TV and in print. Simply gorgeous. 


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