Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Farewell And Adieu To Ye Fair Ones.

So, the ladies are gone. Kristin, Hisako, Stephanie, and Donna Seamone were here for a visit from Friday night to Sunday morning. They arrived in a hail of junebugs on a warm May night.

Check out our busy Saturday: We left the house by 10:30ish, did a short, looping walking tour of old Charlottetown and left for Kensington, home of Frosty Treat, Frosty Treat, place so nice you say it twice. Stephanie impressed us all by finishing two soft-serve cones, one with chocolate dip. It was raining, windy and cold in Kensington, but it was pleasant again when we arrived at Cape Tryon (see pic below), which has breathtaking views, but difficult to track down.

From there we went to Cavendish, where I regurgitated a lot of Parks Canada propaganda/information and tried to do a slipshod bivalve shell tour. (No, no periwinkles, therefore, no univalves. Get off my back. Gah.) From Cavendish beach, we went to the Green Gables house, where we snuck in through the exit. The girls were not all that interested in GG, but they wanted trinkets for friends. I think it was Edward Bruner who said the next best thing to being in a place is knowing someone who was. M.A. thesis, represent!

We then drove around Rustico Bay to the Brackley Beach area, but time was getting on, so we stopped in at the Dunes to see what they had and to visit Hannah Jones, who let us go up the tower even though it wasn't yet open to the public. (Sweet 2005: 72-76)

We booted it home in time for a huge feed which my Mum put together. Salads, lobster, mussels, veg burgers and turkey medallions, with rhubarb and blurberry pie with ice cream for dessert. My guts hurt for quite some time after that.

We went to the Gahan House for drinks afterwards, but we were all too full to get our drink on. Lisa, her Chris, Carolyn and Jackie met us all there. 'Twas fine, but I was feeling the effects of a food OD, so I was pretty out of it.

The ladies left the next morning, and caught the ferry back to NS, where they flew home from Halifax later in the day.

It was really nice to see them all, because sometimes when you say goodbye to friends from a specific time in your life, there's a suspicion that you might never see them again, and that's what I was afraid might happen with these folks. Hisako and Kristin are going to Japan for the autumn, Stephanie is moving back to Saskatchewan, and Donna will start teaching at Acadia in September, so it was good timing for a visit.

New movie review.

Don't Get Mad; Don't Be Mean.

Nelly is so insanely hot in her new video, the hook is so tight, I have a crush on Timbaland, and there's even a cameo by JT. Still, there's something I don't like about her new release, "Promiscuous." It might be because it's better but still similar to a lot of the other Rhianna/Ciara/popping airhead/heavily sampled music on the airwaves. Furtado was always sexy in a very unique way, but now it's a little bandwagony.

I think it might become my Happy Summer Song '06 despite all these reservations.

And damn: I always thought Timbaland shopped in the husky boys aisle, but no: he's hugely stacked! Brick shithouse! He should take his shirts off more often!

Prom: The Sequal.

After a busy few days, I got to go to that party with Anders and his family. I got all gussied up, and Anders looked amazing in a dashing new summery madras tie. It really was like Prom: The Sequal. I didn't take as much advantage of the open bar as I would have liked, but the in-laws were there and I didn't want to be too embarassing. Salmon and cheesecake for supper, and then Anders' uncle and late aunt were inducted into the Junior Achievement PEI Business Hall of Fame with a nice tribute and bio video. It was a swank affair, and I was glad to be invited.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

All Roads Lead To Jorm.

I had a short burst of activity last week when I went to Halifax and the Annapolis Valley, and then returned to the usual level of dormancy. Every day I tried to think of something interesting to post to keep my e-pitchfork-wielding readers from busting down my e-gate. Every day I failed.

I'll try.

Point One: Three of my ex-classmates and an ex-TA prof from Hamilton are coming to visit me this weekend. There's a conference at Acadia this week, and then on Friday and Saturday, they'll come play on my Island. I'm pretty stoked, because I haven't seen them since September, and I get to show them my home. I think only one of them had ever been to Prince Edward Island, so it should be fun. Frosty Treat, Frosty Treat (the place so nice you say it twice), here we come!

Point Two: I love the Annapolis Valley. The apple blossoms were about to burst, and everywhere, there was an air of fertility. We stopped into a road-side market, and there are a lot. There were fresh fiddleheads, asparagus, oatcakes, honey, sauerkraut, and, of course, apples. There were walls of McIntosh and Cortlands, $5 for a half bushel. I just wanted to stand there and breathe in the air all day long. It smelled so fresh. I think now, this autumn, I'll move down to the Valley and work at Henniger's or Avery's stand until the last apple falls.

Point Three: I seemed to have guilted my prom date with my last post. He said he was sorry for ruining my entire prom, which is so far from the truth. I don't look back on my prom as ruined - not in the least. In fact, I think I had the most well-rounded prom experience I could have, despite not getting drunk or knocked up.

The upshot is, my dear prom date (And how cool is it that this guy is part of my life's history now? I am very lucky because some of my girlfriends had jerks or weirdos for dates.) is taking me out to make it up to me. His uncle and late aunt are being inducted into some sort of hall of fame, and I'm going with him to the swanky dinner and hopefully dancing thing! I love dancing! I like getting dressed up, too. Well, when I have something to wear. I'ma get sloppy and dance on a table.

Point Four: Compare this terrible song and accompanying video (beware: nasty content) to this terrible song and accompanying video (beware: comic nasty content). You should all now appreciate the Lonely Island as much as I do. Now bow down and thank me for introducing you to the Lonely Island boys (and, by extension, Jem, who introduced it to me).

Shall I give you a short intro to the boys? Ok: two of these guys went through film school (Andy and Akiva) and one did theatre school (Jorma, the one Marianne has a huge crush on, and rightly so), and when they graduated couldn't find suitable artistic outlets, so they made their own videos and posted them online under the name that they named their apartment: The Lonely Island. They became popular with their send-up of "The OC," which they set in Malibu and called "The 'Bu." (It's art.) Also, please take the time to watch their longer episodes, which are savvy to breeds of films and pop culture.

Huh. I guess I did have stuff to post about.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

It's Raining On Prom Night.

Ok, I don't want to post this because I don't want to be one of those bloggers, but what up with Grey's Anatomy last night? A prom? For real? Why didn't they just have Shepherd water-ski over a shark?!? Does the Chief really wield that kind of power? And are we really meant to believe that they all just had formalwear already hanging in their closets? And Izzie's dress? Really? And there were two others that she couldn't decide between? What, were the other two too heavy with Swarovski crystals?

I am sad about the outcome. Yeah, here's a spoiler. I wasn't always warm to the Cajun, but in the end I really liked him, and hey, now he's dead. (Who else was watching his adam's apple, though; just willing it to twitch?) And are Izzie's boobs really all that big? Blonde, I'll give ya, but big boobs? I've seen bigger.

Um, and George is awesome.

This is the part where people who don't watch this show lose interest. Sorry, hosers. I'll treat you to my prom night.

My prom night was darn ok. It was not a negative experience at all, in hindsight. I went with a guy who remains a great friend, even though I didn't thank him in my ackowledgements page of my MA thesis, an oversight he never lets me forget. He got his Dad's Jag (no shit) for the 5-minute drive there, and we danced a lot. At one point when we were dancing (to Unchained Melody, no less), he felt the need to tell me that he had two boxes of film in his pocket. I realise now that I should have been insulted. I mean, my dress was pretty low-cut!

Then we went to a barn (no shit times two) up on the North Shore for a party, where he spent the night avoiding me and getting drunk. I admit, I was a strange teatotaler at that point in my life. I lost track of him after I found him and tried to be a total buzzkill. Then I was driven home by another friend. The next morning I went to the North Shore to find him, where I thought he was camping, couldn't find him, went home to find one of his friends in his bed, so I hung out with him for a while. Good times.

I'd never want to go to a prom again. I mean, wouldn't my next prom logically be my wedding? Maybe this is why I balk at the idea of having a wedding. I hate the obligation and spectacle of it.

It's so done.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Curse Thee, Normative Radio Format!

GO!, one of my favourite shows on CBC Radio One, will soon be doing a feature on long songs. They asked for submissions, and, as usual, chomping at the bit to contribute to CBC, I nominated three songs. How often do I have to write them before they just hire me outright? Gah!

Epic Song Hall of Fame Nominations

"White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)" (7:26) Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel
This long song might not be my all-time favourite song evah, but everyone's gonna vote for "Bohemian Rhapsody," so I'll nominate Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel's "White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)." I was introduced to this song when it was featured in one of my favourite movies: Shaun of the Dead (2004). This 1983/84 single doesn't feature Flash's scratching, but that perpetual bass line and fantastic lyrics make this a perfect track to represent the best of rap from its era. "White Lines" is a cautionary tale of personal, economic and social ruin involved in cocaine addiction. Who knew an addiction to blow could be so catchy?

"Won't Get Fooled Again" (8:32) The Who
Oh, that scream. That's a rock and roll scream supreme, my friends. (7:44) "Won't Get Fooled Again" is also an excellent example of The Who's use of synthesiser along with conventional rock instruments. It's a song that sounds like it should be on a Cameron Crowe movie soundtrack. Besides its forward thinking and experimental technique, it's a damn catchy song! Do I regret that I didn't hear this song live? Nah – I could do without the chronic tinnitus and bleeding ears, so I'll listen in the comfort of my home, thank you very much.

"Paradise By the Dashboard Light" (8:29) Meat Loaf
A love song it ain't. "Paradise By the Dashboard Light" is really three songs strung together to tell a story. Still, I have a feeling Gordon Lightfoot wouldn't approve. It introduces the setting and situation of Meat Loaf (ugh) and an incongruently prudish chick watching the submarine races down at the lake. This part sounds a like typical Loaf: heavily influenced 50s-era rock, complete with background singers. (Can you just picture him rolling up on that hog in Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)?) There's a strange interval with a voyeuristic sports announcer describing the action to the listeners at home, when suddenly the girl interrupts and insists Loaf pledges loyalty forever. He does, and then spends the third part of the song begging for the end of time so he could get out of his promise. Aww – isn't it romantic? Amazing vocals and a place in the Epic Song Hall of Fame does not excuse the fact that the terrible DJ thought this would be an appropriate song for my entire family to enjoy at my sister's wedding dance.

Monday, May 08, 2006

I've Got Blisters On My Fingers!

Ok. Not my fingers. My heel. I've got one blister on my heel. But it's big. And gnarly. And sore. Flip flops for the rest of the week. Gross.

Things are getting back to near-ok in the Sweet household. There are little empty spots where an orange furball used to terrorize us, but the sadness is turning into fond memories. I was talking to Marilyn today for the first time since Simon left us, and we were reminiscing about all the weird and wonderful things that Beaster did. It didn't make everything all right, but it made it better. Dad is less quiet, even though Mum is still solemn. My face still leaks from time to time, but I think that's reasonable.

I wanted to post again so my downer news would no longer be at the top of the page. Bah.

New movie review.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Simon Says Be Sad.

As much as I teased the beast and groused about cleaning up after him, I miss him already. Yesterday, the Sweets decided to put down Simon, a.k.a. Simon-Cat, Sea-Moan-Pussy-Cat, Beaster, Pizzacat, Thunderpuss (alternately Thunderpuss E. Cat). We knew that it might be an inevitability for quite some time. That sucked all the more, because we had to wait for it to happen, watching him be alive. We got second opinions at the Atlantic Venerinary College, but they said they really didn't know why he'd been so sick.

Simon has never been a friendly cat. Or not constantly friendly, anyway. This isn’t about him not being friendly. Don’t think that we’re terrible people who buy a cat and expect it to stay cute and fluffy and kitteny for the rest of its days. We’re not. In fact, if we cared about how he looked, we’d have been pimpin’ him out to cat modelling agencies or something, because he was a very handsome cat. He wasn’t a disposable pet. We had him for ten years. If he was simply unfriendly and aloof and left it at that, we could have lived with it, but he was unpredictable and sometimes aggressive and dangerous. Several people, including me, bear scars courtesy of Simon.

He’s also been unwell. My last summer in Hamilton, he was vomiting two or three times a day, was losing weight and his fur was shedding at an incredible rate. My sister and Dad took him to the vet and they thought it was a thyroid problem, so they gave him food that helped him gain weight and stop barfing. He never really re-gained all the weight, and lately he’d been barfing and shedding again.

For the last four weeks (!) we have had painters downstairs, sanding, plastering, priming, and painting, and because Simon has been unpredictable around strangers, we locked him in my parent’s bedroom from 8-5. I hate to think that his last days were spent cloistered in that room. Last Thursday, though, we didn’t lock him away early enough and he screeched and snarled at one of the painters in the morning, and chased the poor dude out into the garage. Later that night, he growled at both Mum and me.

Dad has always especially loved Simon. He chased him around the house and was fascinated with all his movements. Dad doesn’t do a lot to occupy his time outside of work, so I think it must have been a very hard decision for him and Mum to make. I was upset that Dad was the one that had to take him for his final ride, because I didn’t want to make Dad do that. It seems cruel in an Old Yeller kind of way.

I’m a little agitated at myself for being upset about the end of the cat’s days. It’s just a cat, and I am not a fan of owning pets. Basically, you’re feeding something to clean up its poop and pee, which seems like a very humiliating self-fulfilling prophesy. (I also consider it to be like a small-scale zoo, and I think zoos are cruel.) Still, the Beaster has been around the house for ten years. I’d grown accustomed to his face. I don’t think I could have been kinder to him over the years. He always let me hold him longer than anyone else, maybe because I put him down the moment he squirmed. I do regret putting that new-sock sticker on his back that Christmas, though. It was funny as hell, but it probably did register on the cruel-meter. I won’t ever do that again.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Gushue They Ain't.

My dream last night was an alternate version of the Black Eyed Peas’ video for “Pump It.” I’m not saying it needs revision because the original version is AWE-some, but here below is mine.

The Peas were at a curling rink. I know – supafly. This one part I remember was shot from above, and when the song goes, “Pump it (louder!), pump it (louder!),” etc., Will I. Am. was doing a one-legged hop thing and on the beat, kicking the boundary of the ice inwards, so when he was finished, the outer boards touched either side of the eight-foot. Then, in the descending “Oh, oh, oh, oh,” etc., that creepy Taboo guy threw a stone, and it bopped into other stones along the way (not past the hog line, but I don't think this was a regulation game, so they were left in play) like it was a pinball game, also to the beat of the music.

So how I made this video change from a gang fight in a parking garage (which features some cool Capoeria-like moves) to a bizarre twist of time and space on a curling rink, I’ll never know.