Saturday, July 31, 2004

Review: Shakespeare in the Park

An evening of Old English and Ridiculous fun

Yesterday was the first time Shakespeare has ever been performed in Spencer Smith Park. A momentous occasion to be sure! They modernized it a bit with costumes and musical numbers, but kept Billy Shake's language the same. This might make my sound uncultured but I find Shakespearean language about as difficult to understand as French: I get it, but it takes a bit of concentration, and it's definitely not English. My german grandmother did not get it. When asked if she enjoyed the play she replied: "It's nice to be in the fresh air."

The play was a midsummer night's dream, one of the ones with lots of ridiculous fun. The actors appeared to have lots of ridiculous fun performing and the audience had lots of ridiculous fun watching.

There's another performance tonight and I urge all the Burlington peeps to go see it (she says as if anyone really reads her blog). It's pay as you go (they suggest 12 bucks a person but you can put five cents in the bag and noone will be the wiser). Plus they have a draw for free dinner tickets (I know Becca is lucky about that kind of thing).


Review: The Stepford Wives

Either the women of Stepford are androids or they have chips in their heads. Make up your mind! If they are women with chips in their heads they would not be able to operate like an ATM, and you wouldn't need a duplicate Nicole Kidman body. If they are androids, how would it be possible to change them back at the end (oops, spoiler).

I was torn as to what rating to give this movie. It has good comedic value with lots of good one-liners. Fave line, when all the android/chip-in-the-head wives are talking about what kind of decorations you can make with pinecones Bette Midler says: "And I'm going to attach a pinecone to my vibrator and have a really merry Christmas."

However, a great cast and hillarious one-liners is not enough for a sci-fi nut like me to ignore the most gigantic plot hole I've seen yet.


BTW: One of these days I'll see the original. I want to see how it compares.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Dante: The Dog Who Saved Toronto

I love when the newspaper has good news. And pictures of doggies. - City's best friend? Dante

Also, note Dante is a pound puppy. Proof positive that pound puppies are better than pure breds.


Yesterday I told Adam that he is just like Dinomir only not purple. Adam is not a former french immersion student, however, so he went "who?" So today I went on a mission to find I picture of Dinomir to show him (no small task since I'd forgotten how it's spelled).

After some searching I found this:
Dinomir va au zoo de Lille

It's in French but if you aren't a frenchie like me you can still look at the pictures and appreciate how this big friendly giant is just like my husband to be.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Review: Hellboy

Adam bought Hellboy on DVD.  I had not seen it because I thought it looked like a movie about a man in full body red paint running around saying "Aw, crap".

My little sister (I should stop calling her my little sister since she is 20 and has a son) took offence to my fiancé's purchase, loudly proclaiming: "That is the stupidest movie ever! It's about a little devil boy that was raised to be good! Totally stupid."  I thought that premise sounded kind of neat, actually, and Rob (the sister) thinks that Star Trek is boring, so all her opinions are suspect.

So I watched the flick with Adam.  It is indeed a movie about a man in full body red paint running around saying "Aw, crap" but once you get past that it's pretty good.  It has all the overdone special effects and predictability that you'd expect and love in any super hero movie.  Plus it's got big ugly monsters!  My favourite character is the psychic fishman that sounds like Niles.

One problem: when one dies, two shall rise.  So how does killing them all help in any way?  


Tuesday, July 27, 2004

It turned out okay (see previous entry)

I apologized to Hunter but he was already over it and Mom didn't make a fuss about my outburst which, for my mom, is the same thing as apologizing to me—neither of us were acting like grown-ups, eh?

Anyway, I had tastey ribs and a tastey salad (to negate the unhealthiness of the ribs).   For dessert my brother and sister and I had each had a different dessert and everyone tried everyone else's.  We all agreed mine was the best.  I am the best dessert picker ever!  Hunter had fun eating Kraft Dinner and playing Connect Four (the rules of which are considerably different when you're three). 

I should have changed my underwear too.

Said FU to my Mom in front of my Grandmother

I was eating out with the family (brother, sister, mom, dad, grandmother, nephew) and my three-year-old nephew happened to sit down right across from me where the server had just placed a large glass of beer.  Hunter (the nephew) proclaimed "I don't like beer" and pushed the glass over, getting the beer all over my lap. 

I don't think I yelled, but I might have because I was really ticked off! There's nothing quite as uncomfortable as an entire pint of ice cold beer in your lap. Anyway my mother was making fun of me, the way she loves to do (because everyone knows I am her least favourite daughter).  When I said "Could you guys get me some napkins?  I need lots of them!"  Mom said in a snotty voice: "I need napkins. Get me napkins." 

I said: "FU alright? It's not all over you!!"  Only I didn't use initials.  Those of you that know me, know that I NEVER swear, especially in front of old ladies and children so you can tell how super ticked off I was.

I'm just home now to change my pants and am blogging to let off steam.  I'm going to apologize to Hunter for yelling (he didn't mean to spill the beer) but the rest of them can go to that mythical place underground where the devil lives.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Art Centre Kids

I started my second week of volunteering at the Burlington Art Centre today.  This time I'm helping in the kinderart class.  There are eight kids aged four to seven.  Guess what: I remember all their names again!  I am a name remembering Genius.  You guys will have to take my word for it though.  I can list the teenagers names no prob, but with little kids you have to at least pretend to be net savy.  (People who run kiddie porn sites probably got started by putting little kids names in their blogs).

Anyway, the kids were great and the teacher, Deb (she's old enough to have her name in here) was really great.  The class was only half a day long and she already covered everything I learned in first year university: primary colours, still life, landscape, painting and drawing.   By the end of the week they should give these kids a BA!  (Although I doubt there'll be any art history).

Sunday, July 25, 2004

This is how we know what love is: Jesus gave us ice cream!

I woke up this morning and my leg was asleep.  I hate that.

Anyway, here is  the second digi pic I have decided to post.  It is slightly out of focus (my camera sucks) but you can still read the card.   Back while I was at Nip the Christian Club was giving out free sundaes.  While I'm not too fond of organized religion, I do love ice cream.  Of course Christians aren't Christians unless they are trying to convert you—all those Christians out there know I'm kidding right?—so they also gave out business cards with a preachy bible quote on them.   I wasn't sure what ice cream had to do with Jesus, but I thought it was funny so I put the card in the empty bowl and took a picture.

So here it is:

This seems like a good time to link to my favourite atheist message board.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Google Search for Adam and Jen

I did an image search for "Adam and Jen".  It's amazing how many people there are named Jen, whose significant other is named Adam.  It made me feel quite average actually.  Amazingly enough, I found a picture of myself and it didn't have Adam in it. I don't usually find myself when I do searchs so I wonder why this particular pic showed up on this particular search.  The Google elves amaze me.

Anyway here's a weird picture that I also found when I searched for "Adam and Jen":
I can only assume that the knight with the suggestive sheild is Adam.  Jen must be one of the ants.  Or both of the ants (since it is such a common name).  Jen could be the flies too, but they don't seem very feminine.

Hot Hot Hot: Hopefully the First of Many Photos

I was inspired by a young man in Joe's photo class to put some of my photos on the internet.  Since I got my digi, I've been randomly taking pictures of things, signs and such, that I think are cool.  (Unfortunately many of them are out of focus, but that's okay because that's how myopic people like me see the world.) I always had the intention of putting them on-line but like many things I have the intention of doing I didn't end up finis...

Anyway here is a picture I took of a hotdog vendor in Toronto, in July, when Adam and I went to see the indi car race.  It is entitled:

Hot Hot Hot 


Thursday, July 22, 2004

Covert Operations

Craig* and I broke into Adam**'s house so that Craig could burn a DVD.  While he was doing that, I snuck around the house doing sneaky things like feeding Cody*** and putting him outside.  Boy was Adam angry**** when he came home and saw the state of his affairs! 

*My brother
**My fiancé
***Adam's dog
**** By angry, I of course mean not even slightly surprised or upset.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Review: Raising Helen

My brother didn't like it.

It was a bit schmarmy.

It had the guy from My Big Fat Greek Wedding in it.  And Joan Cusack (I like her). And Kate Hudson (blech).  And mini-Bruce Willis (you know, the kid from The Kid)

No better or worse than you'd expect.


Review: The Day After Tomorrow

Yesterday me and Adam finally saw The Day After Tomorrow.  Adam had seen it before but he said he "wouldn't mind seeing it again"  so we went.    It was a disaster movie à la Armageddon, The Core, or Deep Impact.  Lots of special effects and what not.  Almost everyone on Earth dies but almost all the main characters survive.  That sort of thing.

If you haven't seen it SEE IT NOW while it is still in theatres. 
This is the type of movie that you're buddy will exclaim to you:
"You haven't seen THAT MOVIE? Oh my GOD! You HAVE to see it!"
so he will rent the DVD and you will watch it together and you will say: "That's lame"
and he will reply "Well, you should have seen it on the BIG SCREEN. It kicked butt on the BIG SCREEN."

Not that it was the best movie in the history of time or anything, I just don't think it would be that good on a tiny TV.  Worth seeing.  *** or **** (out of *****).

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Stuff I did today.

Today was my first day volunteering at the Art Centre.  I'm helping in a teen photography class (who would've thought my uni photo class would ever be useful), instructed by a guy named Joe.  Joe has a sense of humour so I like him.
The class has eight kids in it: Emily, Jenna, Nate, Cameron, Jay, Leia, Laura, and Amy.  I am impressed with myself for remembering that.  Amy has a learning disability so I was called in to volunteer so Joe wouldn't have to spend all his time with her.  Unfortunately, Amy had an orthodontist appointment and didn't come until lunch.  She couldn't develop the film or anything because at the Art Centre they turn off the lights instead of using black bags, so everyone has to do the same thing at the same time or bust.  I helped her make some photograms (just chucking stuff on photo paper and exposing it) but you could tell she wasn't pleased about not being able to develop her negatives.  That's what you get for having crooked teeth I guess.
I made a photogram of my face that turned out pretty neat and then it was 3:30 and it was time to go. 

When I got home there was a message for me from a recruiter who wanted to interview me for a management training position at a car rental company.  It's always been my dream to manage a rental car companyYeah that's it
Anyway, this recruiter must have read my last blog entry. That's the only explanation.  He said he saw my résumé on Workopolis but he was probably too embarrassed to admit he recruits people by reading their blogs. 
So anyway he asks me a whole bunch of questions about my retail experience and how I deal with difficult people and about my leadership strategy (yeah, because I totally have a leadership strategy).  I told him I would be a good leader because I'm a good listener or some BS.
Hopefully I'll get a job at this place, make a few bucks, and then land my dream job doing something creative.  Like winning the 649.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Dad has a new job.

For those of you who don't know (as if anyone reads this blog) my Dad's been out of work for almost a year.  He got layed off from evil Royal Bank. Well today he got a job right here in Burlington, making pretty much what he used to make when he worked for Satan.  Eat your heart out Royal demons!
This seems like a dream come true, but of course Daddy actually has to work there for a bit before he can decide if this is a fab job, or a bad job.
While we're on the subject of jobs, is there anyone out there in internetland who wants to hire me?  I'm really very intelligent.  I'm good at art and writing (even got a University degree in those two things) and I'm good with people.  No, really.  I know everyone says they're good with people, but I am.  Even scary people who won't pay their late fines (I worked at Blockbuster Video for 2 years).  One time my manager even said that he's "never seen anything like it" refering to how I "remain pleasant and professional even with difficult customers".  I'm just very friendly. If you're interested in seeing my resumé (because all job recruiting is done by reading blogs) then e-mail me and I'll send it to you.
Okay I'm not serious, I know noone is reading this blog who has any hiring power. 
No actually I am serious, hire me!

Review: The Neanderthal Paralax

Adam and I just finished reading the Neanderthal Paralax, a trilogy by Robert J. Sawyer which includes Hominids, Humans, and Hybrids.  The story is about a portal accidentally opening between our world and a parallel universe inhabited by Neanderthals.  This sounds like an episode of Sliders, but Sawyer's in depth descriptions of real scientific theory lends realism to the novels (keeps them from being Hokey).  Sawyer has a good sense of humour in his writing, too.  Plus, the bulk of the trilogy is set in Sudbury, Ontario.  Très cool.
I do have a beef about Hybrids (the 3rd book) and it concerns the character of Mary Vaughan, a geneticist who experiences a brutal rape, and later falls in love with Ponter Boddit, a neanderthal physicist who loves Coca Cola.  For one of the world's foremost geneticists, Mary is a bit of a nimrod.  I constantly want to shake her as she takes pages and pages to figure out stuff that the reader (that's me) gets after one sentence.    Her idiocy can be explained away in the first book because she is distracted by having just been raped, by the third it is no longer an excuse.  She's supposed to be an überintelligent geneticist who gets published in all the prestigious journals.  Sawyer mentions all these papers she's published, and her prestige around the world,  then turns around and hints that the only reason she got a York University tenure position is because of affirmative action hiring practices.  What's up with that, Rob?
Nevertheless, I highly recommend the trilogy to anyone who likes science fiction.  Adam liked it too.   

Sunday, July 18, 2004

The neat thing about the banner ads

The neat thing about the banner ads on this blog is that they actually seem to be paying attention to what I write. When I wrote about Glycolic Peel there was an ad for it. Now there's an ad for engagement rings because of my ring adventures.

Here is a test of this magic banner ad system: Star Trek. Subaru. Oldsmobile. Teeth Whitening. Penis Enlargement. Lose Weight Now! George Clooney. Wonder Woman. Keannu Reeves. Orlando Bloom. Curveside Prophet.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

It's back!

Thank Kahless.

Glycolic Peel

This is supposed to be relaxing.  I think anyone who is relaxed by a stranger pinching their blackheads is seriously disturbed.  But it is making my blackheads go away and I think that being slightly prettier is very relaxing.  Not that I'm vain or anything.  I just want to be pretty.

I want my ring back

For those of you who don't know, I have the most beautiful engagement ring in the history of the universe.  A diamond solitaire with a thick yellow-gold band.  Best of all, it is engraved with the phrase qamuSHa'qu which means "I love you very much" in klingon.  Or should I say I had a beautiful engraved ring.  It is currently being held hostage at the jewelry store.   Why?  Well it turns out that Barry's Jewelers the diamond super store doesn't do gold all that well. 
The story:
Friday July 9
I took my ring to Barry's because there was a tiny crack in it - right at the S in qamuSHa'qu (where they sized it).  There, I show it to a middle-aged woman with bleached blond hair and an unidentified European accent.  Blondie took my beloved ring to the back to converse briefly with the mole people (I assume) during which time three people ask if I'm "being taken care of".
She returns. "It is broken" (duh) "You probably banged it somewhere."
This thing has been on my finger 24/7 since April so yeah, I probably banged it somewhere, but is this not supposed to be a high-quality piece of jewlery that will last me 50 years?
Blondie says that fixing the crack is no charge but I have to pay 10 bucks to have it re-inscribed.  "Fine." 
I have to write my name, phone number, and qamuSHa'qu on a slip of carbon paper.  Blondie says the ring is guaranteed to be ready next friday (the 16th) and but she will call if it is ready before then.
Naturally, surrendering my ring depresses me so much I have to buy a girl action figure (I collect girl action figures).  The girl I choose is this creepy woman called Angelique whose scalp has been partially peeled showing her skull.  The scalp is being tied to her shoulders with wires.  Poor Angelique, but at least you didn't have to surrender your engagement ring.

Thursday, July 15
The week drags by.  I miss my ring terribly.  I try wearing the giant ruby ring my grandmother gave me; I try wearing a mood ring.  Nothing fills the void.  My family and fiancé all agree that it is hideously unfair for me to have to pay 10 dollars for something that is obviously their fault.
I ask my fiancé to call Barry's and lay the heavy on them.  Apparently the girl he talks to agrees that I should not pay a cent, but can't tell him if my ring is ready without the lot number.
I dig up the slip of carbon paper which (apparently) has the magic number on it and call myself.  "Is my ring ready yet?"
"Lot number?"
I start reading out the most obvious number on the slip of carbon paper.
"Not that number, silly" (she didn't actually call me silly but it was in the tone).
I examine the paper and find the number 28 scribbled on the top. "Um, 28?"
"Your name please."
"Jen McNicoll."
"And what was the item?"
"An engagement ring." Honestly, how many lot 28s do they have?
She holds the phone away from her head so she can pretend to check for me (I assume).
"Unfortunately we are so swamped that we can't get anything done even a bit early."
"But it will be ready by tommorrow?"
"Rest assured that if it was promised for tommorrow then it will be ready."
"What time?"
"Any time tommorrow will be fine."

So, the ring isn't ready late Thursday but it will be ready any time on Friday?  Unless they are soldering and engraving at 1 am, this seems highly unlikely.  They must mean "anytime they feel like it."
Friday, July 16th
I go over to my fiancé's house early so we can go to Barry's together before he has to work.  (I figure if he's with me they're less likely to treat me like a quibbling moron).   The store doesn't open 'till ten so I have an hour an a half before I can even call to check on my ring.  Adam makes me a yummy breakfast.
Adam calls the idiot store at 10 am on the dot and asks if my ring is ready yet.  "Lot 28....a solitaire engagement ring....under the name Jen McNicoll....okay, okay, okay....and when will it be ready?...ok, thank you."
Report: the ring is fixed but it isn't engraved yet.  The engraver doesn't come in until 12 (lazy) so I have to wait until 2pm to pick up my ring.
It turns out Adam's work doesn't need him so we hang out and do fiancé and fiancée stuff until 2 (we play Rummykub).  Finally it's 2pm and we go to the Mapleview mall to Barry's Jewelers and talk to a skinny guy with a blue suit and a bushy mustache.
"We're here to pick up lot 28, a solitaire engagment ring under the name Jen McNicoll."
Bushystache retrieves my ring from the mole people.
We told Bushystache about all the people who thought that paying ten bucks was hideously unfair.
"So you're not going to pay this ten dollars?"
"No, we're not."
Bushystache gives me a look as if I am the cheapest girl in the history of time but he surrenders my ring without the randsom money.  
I'm happy until I see the inscription.
First of all it's all off to the side instead of centred.  Second of all it says qamuSHa'gu instead of quamuSHa'qu!  We show Bushystache and goes to ask the mole person to take the tail off the g.  He even shows me the letters "q" and "g" so that I can see that qs are just gs without tails. After the kindergarten lesson is over Bushystache gives me back my ring with a big dent where the tail used to be. 
"Okay, now get rid of the dent."
"What dent?"  Bushystache puts the ring in a contraption so we can watch the ring on tv.  The dent is even more huge and obvious.
"THAT DENT" (duh).
Bushystache shows the ring to the mole people.  He returns.  "This is not an easy fix.  We have to add gold and redo the inscription."
"So long as you're doing that could you centre it please."
"Ok pickypants." (He didn't actually say pickypants but it was in the tone).
My fiancé pretends that we have an "event" to go to on Sunday and must have the ring before then. Good thinking Adam!
"We are so swamped here I don't know if it will be possible you should wait until after the event."
"No just do it now."  The only reason they are swamped is because their rings are all cracked and dented with mispelled inscriptions. Idiots.
He writes Saturday?? on the carbon paper in big letters, as well as centre it please.  I'm sure there's still something else they can screw up.
I want my ring back!!!

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