Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Frost On The Pumpkins.

I went out to the front porch today to get the paper and lingered just to take in the beautiful morning. The title of this post is not very true-to-life. It's unusually warm here this morning, but the air still has a damp chill to it. It felt... Scottish. You know: that kind of rising cold damp that gets into your bones.

Every fall the maple by the hedge we share with our good neighbours the MacDonalds bursts into the most surprisingly bright orange. We've caught people taking pictures of it! Today, a gust of wind blew through that tree and I got to watch a shower of those leaves fly over the yard. The burning bush is also alight. It keeps its leaves much longer, and its colour is magnified because it's right next to the glossy green of the holly bush.

The Town is installing town water, so the street is just healing up from all the digging. It meant that when I arrived home there were gashes of bright red clay on the margins of my street. They've since all been covered over with new sods.

Roadworks are a major problem on PEI. Our asphalt shifts and heaves every spring. The Island doesn't have much bedrock to speak of. It's mostly sandstone, which is basically just compressed sand. That means that it's easily broken and shifted by water that freezes down in the cracks. So, in the spring when all the ice melts, the ground is closer to sand than stone and it dances around under the roadworks, dragging it around with it. Potholes are so common, we don't even blink here. In fact, PEIslanders laugh when we drive off the Island and we encounter a bump sign on a road. Usually, we can barely feel it!

Right. I'm off topic. Maybe I never had one.

The Island is wonderful in the fall. Sure, the cold wind whips over the hill that UPEI is sat on something wicked, but it's all worth it. Too bad the tourists don't stay to see this.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bold Move.

Kids, I've been thinking about my Husband List (tm).

Ages ago, and with some wise councel, I decided that there's nothing wrong with including gay men on my List. After all, I'm missing the point if I don't understand that it's not the specific men on my list that I wish to marry, but rather their collective features of wit, skill, personal compatibility, and, risking shallowness, attractiveness.

So, what I decided was: I can allow myself one gay member of my HL. For years now the sitting member of the Gay Council on my Husband List has been Neil Patrick Harris.

I've been doing some soul searching about this. NPH is fantastic. Fabulous, one might say. He is incredibly talented, funny, well-spoken, and an attractive young man, if you like that buffed and waxed sort. Plus, he does magic.

Still, for a long-term relationship, I don't think "toothsome" would get through to my old age. Mentally formidable would. I think I'd rather sit down with Stephen Fry and eschew the chance to perfect ballroom routines with Neil.

Stephen Fry makes me want to write more. And write better. Be more thoughtful and artful with words.

Maybe NPH will have to take a back seat until I change my mind again (which I inevitably will).

Last year, when Craig Ferguson decided to experiment with the format of regular late-night talk shows, he invited Fry to be his one guest for the evening, absolutely without an audience. It was a little like Charlie Rose, and a little like Tom Snyder in the '90s. It was also genius. Someone's kindly posted it on YouTube.

All this, and I'm not even mentioning Fry & Laurie.

Still, the video below that I happened upon this summer, proved to me that eloquence still exists in our world.

The Intelligence² Debate - Stephen Fry (Unedited)
Uploaded by Xrunner17. - Classic TV and last night's shows, online.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I'm in the market for a new iPod, and there's a nifty new generation out there that I've got my eye on.I have an old Nano. I got it for my birthday in 2007. It's almost 4 years old and it is a little creaky. It's a 2GB, which today is laughable. My toothbrush has more memory than that.

The new Nano is as much as $189 for 16GB! Say whaaaa? I'm sure my folks paid about that for my Flinstones model I've been using for three sets of earphones now.

I went on the Apple website to see what the poop was on these new ones. Once you select a colour (crazy kids!), the next page you see asks you what you want engraved on your brand-spankin' new iPod. Careful, it warns you in small print: double-check your spelling! Engraved iPods can't be returned!

Ahhh. Well played, Apple. Respect.

Up the chances that your customers will void return eligibility by making a vanity option free.


What would I have engraved? "Thug Life"? Is that your guess? Yeah, you're probably right.

Anyhow, since my old iPod is creaky but still works, I'm in no place to drop $200 on a new gadget. Even if I were gainfully employed, it's not in my nature.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Don't Force It.

Is anyone else over Glee?

I think last week's Britney Spears debacle was the nail in the coffin. Now I'm watching some superficial quick-and-tidy debate about spirituality and the hot guy who used to have a Mohawk is now singing "Only the Good Die Young" as some sort of argument that Judaism is "right?" I'm thoroughly exhausted by this quirky show, and it came on so quickly, I don't know why I didn't see it coming.

And I flipping love "Only the Good Die Young." And it is a great fit for the guy who knocked up the president of the Wait Until Marriage 'Cause God Sez So Club, but shoehorned into a debate over faith? Hm. I don't think so. It's a little too pat.

Now the atheist Curt's father is in a coma. I shudder to predict that the steadfast atheist is going to suddenly jump on the Jesus Train. I hope he sticks to it. (That being said, teenage faith is sometimes a fickle fellow.)

Finally, just to assure you all that it's not the roiling atheist in me getting her back up about this one ham-fisted episode of Glee, let me return once again to my lip-synching peeve. I am utterly at a loss as to why why WHY lip-synchers touch their tongues to their upper lip, outside their mouths, for the sound "l." It looks awful, it feels unnatural, and looks like ridiculous grandstanding.

Wow. Now she's singing Yentl.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


Where has this video been all my life?

Maybe NBC would have never let Conan do something like this...

I'm a little concerned that we in Eastern Canada aren't going to be able to see Conan's new show on TBS. I think I'll have to rely on downloading it in torrents. UPDATE: The Comedy Network will carry Conan's show starting in November. Rawk.

And, might I add, that I am thrilled Conan is keeping the beard. Is this news to anyone at all?

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Radio 2, I Love You.

Growing up, CBC Radio 2 was the lamest of all radio channels. It played classical music almost exclusively, and the only time I tuned in was if it happened to be Saturday morning and I really had a hankerin' for Vinyl Cafe.

A couple of years ago, there was a much-ballyhooed format change at Radio 2. Well, not a total format change, a la that of WKRP mythology.

It still plays classical through most of the day, but the big difference was the morning show and the afternoon/evening drive program. They program a mix of music like I've never heard. It's like there's no genre, but the only qualifier is that is has to be good. I've heard Shad to mambo to Cee Lo to Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson and then to Arcade Fire in one set.

This morning while I was in the shower, they played Joel Plaskett's "Through & Through & Through," a song that you don't hear enough on the radio. Bob Mackowycz, the morning host, said that if Tom Petty was from Nova Scotia, he would be called Joel Plaskett, and then described him as "a heartbreaker in a lobster bib." Come on! Who doesn't fall in love with a host who says things like that?

If that's not convincing enough, they've got Rich Terfry on the Radio 2 Drive show in the afternoons. He's just returning from a tour under his stage name, Buck 65. He was a radio host back in Nova Scotia, and is great.

I don't know if it's the hosts who are responsible for the programming of these shows, but the music mix is exceptional. Kudos.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Starry. Starry Night.

I got home to my folks' place last night at about midnight.

I stepped out of the car and looked up to see the Little Dipper, clear as I've ever seen it.

I know I wouldn't ever be able to say that about my place in Toronto.