Sunday, January 31, 2010

Guilty as charged

This article is scary - apparently, since 2008, our use of social networking sites has increased 82%, and people in several countries (the US, Australia, UK, and several other European countries) spend about 5.5 hours a day, 7 days a week, on social networking sites. While Canada isn't listed here (ignored again, sigh...) I bet the numbers aren't all that different for us.
I got on Facebook a little over a year ago - giving in to the fact that it was one of the easier ways to stay in touch with friends I didn't see any more, friends who were still in Ottawa, or traveling elsewhere (like Japan, where one of my dearest friends is living and posting all her photos from her travels to Facebook). Since then, I have to say that I've gotten pretty hooked, more hooked than I'd like to admit - although I think I fall well shy of the 5.5 hours this survey claims people spend daily.
While I might be "logged in" to my account almost all the time, I'm rarely actually sitting at my computer browsing through ... I know this frustrates the heck out of a lot of my friends, who start a chat with me, only to discover that my status is misleading, and that I'm only "online" in theory.
Still, a number like this wakes you up. It's hard to say how much of my FB time is a waste, and how much I really get something out of. I feel a lot more connected with some of my friends than I have in years, and when we do get to chat, I catch up with people I really miss, but I also miss that old fashioned device - the telephone. More talk, less text, I say. Now let's see if I'm all talk.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

So *that's* why this is happening...

I should probably just rename this blog "the Scott Feschuk fan page". The guy is just so hilarious, and his columns in MacLeans magazine are too ridiculously funny not to share with the rest of the world. The newest MacLeans includes his explanation for our fabulous Prime Minister Harper's reasons for proroguing parliament (American friends, ignore this: your country may be mired in all sorts of other messes, but I'm pretty sure if your president ever tried to just "suspend" your houses of government for a few months, there would be a revolution. Unlike here, where we all politely complain about it and go on our merry ways shoveling our driveways and eating beavertails - what's that you say? No snow to shovel this winter? They're going to have to fake the snow in Whistler for the Olympic skiing and snowboarding events? Oh relax, I'm sure that has nothing to do with the ever changing climate and warming temperatures that our government so obviously didn't care about at the Copenhagen climate change summit a few months back! Now now, you're being too paranoid about this whole thing. Relax, enjoy the mild weather).
Oh yes, this was supposed to be a light post. I will leave you to Scott Feschuk's much more entertaining perspective on our country's messed-upedness.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Good News Everybody! (She said with a sarcastic laugh)

Guess what! Canadians are fatter and less fit now than we were 20 years ago... I think we all already knew this, but now we have a study to back us up. The Stats Can Survey, which is the first one completed since 1981, shows that almost two-thirds of adults and one-quarter of children in Canada are overweight.
These are scary numbers people. Scary numbers that wouldn't happen in poorer countries because they have so much less to eat. But it makes me wonder. I watched this clip for a documentary called FoodMatters, and one of the guys in it said, "a quarter of what you eat keeps you alive and three-quarters of what you eat keeps your doctor alive". I really do think that as a society, we've lost sight of the reason we eat. We've made food more a social thing or an emotional thing, and so much less something we do to nourish our bodies. So far, I've been making good on my new year's resolutions about food and exercise: I just got back from the gym; I haven't put a single bite of anything made with processed sugar or flour in my mouth since Jan 3rd. My plan is to keep this up for at least a month and then revisit - but the crazy thing is that, even though it seemed like it would be impossible to eat this way before I started, it's really not that hard. Habits just need changing is all, and I think we as country need to make those changes. And soon.
p.s. I've bought Food Inc. Now I just need to find the time to watch it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Snuggie Temptation...

When I sit down to watch tv or a movie, I like a blanket to keep me warm, especially if I'm tired or sleep-deprived. So when the snuggie came out last year, I have to admit that I was very very tempted to get one.
Have you seen the commercials? Insanely corny and ridiculous:

Better yet, have you seen the spoofs:

They should be a total reason not to get the thing, right? But I actually want it even more now... I mean, a blanket with sleeves - how awesome is that? and I love tv or commercials that fall into the "so bad they're good" category. Don't get me wrong, if I buy the thing, I won't be out and about in public with it, or wear it on an airplane like in the commercial (sorry, too embarrassing), but something for the couch or the desk sounds good...
Thus far, I haven't caved, but the moment may come soon. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Little Angel Bonding Time

I have had the pleasure and joy of seeing Baby Angela two days in a row this week: last night, my sis and brother-in-law were over for dinner, and of course brought the tiny little bundle of adorability with them, which allowed for much cuddling time. Today, I babysat her for a couple of hours after work. Baby Angela is still only 3 and a half months old, so me describing to you in excruciating detail what she does is really not interesting unless you're one of her doting relatives, you kind of have to see it yourself. But let me just say that up close, this little girl is spunky and has a lot personality. When she's lying on her back on the ground, she raises her hands and legs in the air and circles her legs as though she's riding a bicycle. I think she's just inspired a new exercise method!
Also, the mohawk: Baby Angela has a mohawk right now. Not a real one, but an "I'm semi-bald and when my hat comes off the hair in the middle of my head makes a bee-line for the cieling" kind of mohawk. So cute. She rocks the look like the little punk that she is...
In other Little Angel news, a hilarious story from my Dubai Little Angel, who is turning three in a few months. Apparently, his mother took his teddy bear "Bobbo" from him one day in order to wash it a while back. She told him Bobbo was taking a bath and put him in the laundry.
A few days later, my other sister (Baby Angela's mom) reports over-hearing this conversation while on the phone with her:
Mother: "Little Angel, how many times have I told you, take your foot out of the washing machine".
Little Angel: "But I want to take a bath".
Ha! From the mouths of babes, indeed.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

World Juniors Craziness

In honour of tonight's finals between Canada and the US in the international Under 20 Hockey World Championships, here is a hilarious list of the golden rules of broadcasting for the World Juniors from Chris Selley at the National Post. My favourite:

Though this is easily the second-most compelling annual competition in the sport (after the Stanley Cup playoffs), the most important thing at any given moment in any given game is which NHL team drafted each player on the ice and what he might in future do for that team, or where undrafted players may go in forthcoming drafts. The eight Nashville Predators fans watching must be kept informed!
Despite the silliness, I probably will be following on TSN despite their ridiculous commentary. I love this tournament and it's been far too long since I watched - even if watching tonight actually means putting the laptop on the counter and glancing over while I cook. Enjoy the list. It's a Canadian tradition to get obnoxious when it comes to hockey. and enjoy the game. Go Boys!

Monday, January 04, 2010

New Years Resolutions

I write New Years Resolutions the way I dream, throwing in a variety of plans and hopes, from the immediate and practical to the out-there and wishful. So... let me try to write some things I can actually accomplish, just to keep myself from getting discouraged, and then let me write somethings that are less likely to keep it interesting and more motivating, and then - just for the heck of it - I'll add some thing(s) that are more 'Life Resolution' than 'New Years Resolution', just to remind me that I still want to get to them at some point.

  1. Read a Tariq Ramadan book or two. This man is a genius and I just heard him speak at a conference last week. He has such great ideas and is so good at articulating them that I'm constantly buying his books with the intention to read them, but I have a hard time with long non-fiction books (articles -good, books - not so good) and they're quite academic at the start that I can't get past that. But I must this year. Even if I start in the middle of one of the books to get over the dreaded "first chapter curse", I'll do it.
  2. Write more. My good friend Jen over at UticaAvenue and my sister and I have started a little "weekly writing circle" virtually, seeing as we're all in different locations. It's a start, but I need to dedicate more time to writing. I actually would like to start submitting writing to magazines and journals and see what happens. This is my realistic goal...
  3. My unrealistic one? Write a novel/novella... I've tried this before but it's never amounted to anything. I think I can do it, with more time and focus, neither of which I currently have. Still, I would love to walk into a store one day and see my name on something. Ultimate dream.
  4. Exercise more, eat better. This one is on-going and needs constant reminding. Working on it. This entire month is going to be an exercise in conscious, healthier eating. Will keep you posted.
  5. Stay in touch with family/friends who aren't living nearby. I am really really awful at this, as all my friends/family who aren't in Montreal know. Case in point: my friends in Ottawa thought we'd be seeing each other constantly the whole year and a half I was commuting and living there 2 nights a week. I saw a few of them once or twice. That was it.
  6. Join a community garden - another far-away one. there are so few gardens with so few spaces that even if I got on a waiting list now, it would take 3 or 4 years before I was actually allotted a spot, so next best thing....
  7. Start buying organic. This one IS doable, and I hope to be doing it soon. The more reading I do about this, the more convinced I am that our food system is so messed up, and so tied in with disease, not to mention water wastage, fossil fuels, carbon emissions, that it's worth changing my personal approach to it.
  8. Bike to work in the summer. If you live anywhere in Eastern Canada, you know that it's not very easy to bike in the winter. I could do it if I really tried, but it involves a LOT of risk with the way drivers in this city drive, along with the snow and ice and all. But now that I'm living so close to my office, it should be doable when the snow is gone.

and that's what I'd like to do, this month, this year, this life...