Friday, November 30, 2007

and now, the end is near...

Today is the last day of NaBloPoMo. And I made it! So now that this challenge is over, it's on to the next one. Canada Reads is an annual event in which 5 Canadians make the case for why the Canadian book they chose should be voted the best. So this year's 5 books were announced today. Since I don't read a lot, but really want to, I thought this would be a great way to get into reading. So my goal is to read all 5 books before February 25 when the 5 panelists get the chance to tell Canada why the book they are supporting should be selected as the best. I'd like to be able to make an educated choice. So wish me luck. I've got a lot of reading to do!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

joy to the world...

No, this is not a Christmas related post.

It is about the Joy T-Shirt project. Here's the explanation direct from the website.

"Joy apparel is a socially conscious T-shirt company created to promote peace and equality on a global scale. Opposed to all forms of discrimination, every face found on the website has been inspired by a real person. Upon selecting a face, you then customize your own shirt, choosing from a variety of styles, sizes and colours. When you wear your shirt, you are encouraged to think about that person and how your everyday actions can affect others and the world we live in.

After purchasing a shirt, you may then participate in this global project by submitting a photo of your own visage, which will then be drawn by hand and posted on the website for the rest of the world to wear.

Wearing a Joy T-shirt is about taking an active stance against racism and discrimination. It is about loving your neighbor, because in someway or another we are all connected!"

How cool is that? In addition, 5% of the net profit of each shirt is donated to a different charity each month. I've narrowed it down to a few favourites and will be ordering my shirt right after I finish this blog post.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

early one morning...

The following article appeared in the Globe and Mail yesterday. (I have included the text below since the Globe cuts off access to non-members after a number of days.) For those who did not grow up in Canada, The Friendly Giant was a wonderful children's program that ran on the CBC from 1958-1985. I have very fond memories of this show and can still see Bob Homme's (The Friendly Giant) smiling face. There was something warm and comforting about the Giant and his faithful puppet companions Rusty and Jerome. These clips I found on You Tube will give you the general idea of what this show was all about. I had nostalgic tears in my eyes watching them. (Although the commercials for Fraggle Rock and The Beachcombers that begin the first clip did make me laugh my ass off.)

I was pretty disappointed when I read this article. Not in the CBC. The only thing the CBC did wrong was not ask for permission to use the puppets. But come on people! Doesn't anyone have a sense of humour anymore?

EDIT: Just found the offending clip on You Tube. Judge for yourself.

Rusty and Jerome will live happily ever - after the CBC
From Tuesday's Globe and Mail
November 27, 2007 at 1:04 AM EST

Two of the most enduring characters in the history of Canadian children's programming, Rusty the Rooster and Jerome the Giraffe, are about to quit the building. The children of actor and Friendly Giant creator Bob Homme, angered by the CBC's recent treatment of the loveable puppets, are removing them from a museum at the public broadcaster, their home since the iconic program debuted in Canada in 1958.

In an e-mail to The Globe and Mail, Mr. Homme's daughter, Ann, asked for assistance tracking down a video of the recent Gemini Awards, which included a skit showing Rusty, Jerome and other stuffed stars now living in a retirement home after their shows were cancelled.

From friends, Ms. Homme had heard about her dad's puppets appearing in the mock clip, where a narrator described them as sitting around, drinking, smoking and having sex.

Rusty and Jerome were not shown engaging in any salacious behaviour.

“The appearance of the puppets, alone, shocked me, as the CBC is required to get our permission to use them in any way… This is the last straw (a big one) and I feel I have to address it,” Ms. Homme wrote.

“Until recently, we were contacted by the people at the CBC museum, where the puppets are on loan, by a very conscientious woman who seemed to guard the Friendly Giant display with her life. Recently, she was let go, and replaced by someone who seems to think our permission is unnecessary. Needless to say, I am going to remove the Friendly Giant props and puppets as soon as possible.”

Ms. Homme and a brother plan to remove Rusty, Jerome and other Friendly Giant paraphernalia from the CBC Museum Tuesday.

Monday, in an internal memo, the CBC communications group invited staff to “say goodbye to Rusty and Jerome in style,” at a midafternoon ceremony at the Graham Spry Theatre, where milk and cookies were served while classic episodes of Friendly Giant ran on a continuous loop.

“While you may have bid farewell to Friendly when you left your childhood behind, this afternoon, you'll have an opportunity to say goodbye to the real Rusty and Jerome,” the memo said. “After a lengthy stay with us here in the Broadcasting Centre, these iconic creations and other Friendly artifacts, which have been on loan to the CBC museum for many years, will be going home – at the request of the family of the man who made them famous,” the memo said.

None of Mr. Homme's family attended.

For 26 years, young viewers were greeted by the tune Early One Morning as Friendly (played by Mr. Homme) lowered the drawbridge on the miniature castle. He would invite them to have a seat: “One little chair for one of you, and a bigger chair for two to curl up in, and for someone who likes to rock, a rocking chair in the middle.”

Then: “Look up, look wa-a-ay up …” and there was Friendly, soon joined by Rusty, a guitar-playing rooster who lived in a book bag hung on the castle wall, and Jerome, a giraffe with blue spots who stuck his head through a nearby window. The two principal puppets were manipulated by CBC radio veteran Rod Coneybeare.

Mr. Homme produced more than 3,000 episodes before the show was cancelled in 1985 after deep cuts to the CBC budget. Mr. Homme was made a member of the Order of Canada in 1998. He died on May 2, 2000, of prostate cancer, at the age of 81.

In her e-mail to The Globe, Ms. Homme called her father “a truly gentle man” who “never caused much of a fuss.”

“But I can assure you,” she wrote, referring to the Geminis, “that he would be very angry about this breach of trust.”

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

it's all right here in my boxset...

I recently picked up the new Barenaked Ladies concert DVD, Talk to the Hand Live in Michigan. I honestly don't know why I buy concert DVDs. I never watch them more than once. But since BNL is one of my favourite bands, I just had to. Plus, I'm a sucker for the bonus features. So here's my review.

The concert portion of the DVD features 15 songs offering a good cross section of tunes from the early hit If I Had $1000000 to tracks from the latest album. Highlights include the acoustic versions of Be My Yoko Ono and For You and Ed & Steve ribbing the women in the front row for talking on her cell phone. I especially love the fact that they included Powder Blue, a fantastic song that unfortunately, has not made it on to any of their studio albums. Basically, these guys just rock live. They are excellent musicians and performers and this concert is just as good as every time I have seen them live. Very entertaining.

There are 3 bonus features. The first is an interview with the whole band that runs about 12 minutes. Since I've been a die hard fan since the Yellow Tape it's nothing I haven't heard before with the exception of a few tour stories (especially the very amusing "ass-head" story). But it's still great to see them interact in this setting. The next feature is the band in sound check, rehearsing Angry People, including the hilarious dance sequence. Last is a great photo montage of rehearsal and concert pictures.

The band is committed to lessening their impact on the environment and this DVD is no exception. Not only is the packaging 100% recyclable and made from 80% post consumer content, but the DVD tray, usually made from plastic, is 100% biodegradable because it's made from potatoes. How cool is that!

So if you're Christmas shopping list includes a Barenaked Ladies fan, pick up the DVD. It's a great addition to the BNL library.

Monday, November 26, 2007

wrapped up in you...

My knitting has been sporadic lately but I did just finish a new scarf for my husband.

The Reversible Cabled Scarf is made from Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick. It's 80% acrylic and 20% wool. Very soft and cozy. The pattern is available for free at the Lion Brand website. You do have to create a login to access the free patterns. It knits up very quickly, perfect for my short attention span.

My favourite thing about this pattern is that it is reversible, as the name suggests. So it doesn't matter how you wrap it around your neck, both sides are the front! Scarves that are not reversible kind of drive me nuts. I guess it's the Virgo in me demanding balance and order.

Steve models his new scarf.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

you make me wanna cry...

We just finished watching the Grey Cup game between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Sadly, my beloved Bombers lost. But it was a great game. I love the CFL and don't understand why Canadians don't support their own football league. I'm not knocking the NFL but the CFL has some fantastic talent and the games are usually very exciting. I just don't get why the CFL doesn't have a larger fan base.

It's been a busy weekend so that's all for today's post. Only 5 more NaBloPoMo posts left!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

it's not easy being green...

I just listened to a fantastic edition of the CBC's Listener's Choice podcast. It's an interview with Michael Pollan, an award winning writer of books and articles on "places where the human and natural worlds intersect: food, agriculture, gardens, drugs, and architecture. " (Quote taken directly from his bio.) In this particular interview he speaks about the organic food industry. I found him absolutely riveting. It's obvious that this guy knows his stuff and he's able to deliver the findings of his research in a calm, rational, seemingly unbiased way. If you have any interest at all in organic food I urge you to listen to this podcast. (It is the November 23rd edition.) It certainly cleared up a few misconceptions for me and further reiterated the fact that we as consumers have the power to influence what happens in the food industry.

Note: I have cross-posted this entry to my other blog, Pure and Green.

Friday, November 23, 2007

what a drag it is getting old...

I have mentioned in a previous post that I am currently overweight. I say currently because I am working to change that. I finally started a regular exercise routine in the spring and I have seen results. My body shape is changing and I'm feeling stronger physically. But the pounds aren't coming off like I would like them to. I've tried a number of diets but this week I decided to go back to the one that I have had most success with. Weight Watchers. Since Monday I have been counting my points and carefully planning my meals and I've done very well. But I've been worrying about keeping up the momentum. Will I get bored in a couple of weeks and start to cheat? Will I give up before I get to my goal weight and end up gaining it all back?

Well tonight gave me the motivation I need. It involved a trip to the Emergency Room with a relative. Don't worry, nothing life threatening. But the few hours in the hospital waiting room, watching the patients stream in an out was fascinating. I'd say that over 80% of the patients coming into Emergency were overweight if not obese. We know that heavy people have greater risks of developing a myriad of different ailments & diseases. So why do we let ourselves get to this state? I understand that for some people there are genetic issues that predispose them to obesity but for most of us, it's completely controllable. But it's much easier to overindulge in yummy food then to have the smaller portion or ask for a salad instead of fries. And it's far more enjoyable to sleep in on a Saturday morning than to get up at 7am for a 5km run. On the other hand, we know what's good for us and we know what we have to do to keep ourselves healthy. But so many people don't start taking care of themselves until it's too late.

I am 35 years old. With the exception of my weight, I am a very healthy person and I want to keep it that way for a very long time. Weight Watchers and kickboxing are helping me achieve this goal. And the pictures etched in my mind of that hospital waiting room are definitely helping.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

change the world...

I'm loving the new ad from the World Wildlife Fund Canada!

I think it's excellent. It's a great reminder of the the things that we used to do that we now know are not safe. It really gets you thinking about the effect our actions have not only on ourselves but the entire planet. The print ads are great too. And the WWF website is full of great information and suggestions on what we as individuals can do to help. I don't want to get too political here but seriously, we screwed up the planet. Shouldn't we be fixing it?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

you make me so very happy...

Hello. My name is Vivian. I am an Apple addict.

I love my MacBook. I love my iPod. I love iTunes. If it's an Apple product it's pretty much a guarantee that I will love it. Well Apple is putting out the best little video podcast, the Apple Quick Tip of The Week. It's also available straight off their website. Each segment is only a minute of two in length but includes a great tip on how to use your Mac more efficiently. I've learned a lot of shortcuts that I didn't know existed. And this makes me love Apple even more.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

so tired...

This may just be my lamest post of NaBloPoMo. It's just after 7:30pm as I begin to write this and I predict I will be in bed by 8pm. These days, I just can't seem to get enough sleep. I am exhausted all the time. So as I haul my sorry ass to bed, be comforted by promises of a quality blog posts in the near future.

Nighty, night.

Monday, November 19, 2007

it's enough to drive you crazy if you let it...

I'm not sure how I feel about this.

Dolly Parton to debut 9 to 5 musical.

I love musicals and I have huge respect for Dolly Parton. But 9 to 5 as a musical? I'm just not feeling it. I hope to be pleasantly surprised.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

soul with a capital S

A few weeks ago on a Saturday evening, we were making dinner and settling in for a quiet night at home. I was feeling pretty cozy in my track pants and t-shirt, hair in a pony tail and no makeup. At 6:15pm the phone rang. Our friend Kevin had 4 tickets for the sold out Tower of Power show at the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts at 8pm that night. Now Steve had already seen them perform twice that week but I had not, so we jumped at the chance. If you haven't heard of the Tower of Power they are a soul/funk band consisting of a singer, rhythm section (guitar, keyboards/organ, bass & drums) and 5 horns (3 saxes, 2 trumpets, one of whom doubles on trombone). They have been together for almost 40 years. Seriously, 40 YEARS! Obviously, the personnel has changed many times during their history, but 2 of the original members have been in the band the entire time and 2 have come back after some time away. They are fun, energetic and incredible musicians. And they put on an amazing live show. Needless to say, we had a fantastic time. And did I bring my camera? Oh yeah!

Most of Tower of Power are in this picture. Just missing Roger Smith on keyboards.

Larry Braggs. Holy crap, this guy can sing!

Emilio Castillo, founding member of TOP.

Stephen "Doc" Kupka, the legendary baritone sax player and David Garibaldi the equally legendary drummer.

One hell of a saxophone section, Doc Kupka, Tom Politzer and Emilio Castillo plus David Garibaldi on drums and Rocco Prestia on bass.

Iron Mike Bogart. Awesome trumpet (and trombone) player.

The brilliant Rocco Prestia signing autographs after the show. This man survived a liver transplant in 2002. One of the best bass players ever.

Trumpet player Mike Bogart, Steve and I after the show.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

let me get it back...

As you may have been able to tell from the name of this blog, I am a Led Zeppelin fan. There was a time in my life when I listened to them non-stop. In my youth, I went through phases where I would get so obsessed with a particular band that I wouldn't listen to anything else for weeks on end. It was a little obsessive, but I guess it was my way of really getting to know the music.

This past week, the complete recordings of this Led Zeppelin were released digitally via iTunes. Even though I own a couple of albums on CD, I downloaded Mothership, the new 24-track "best of", as well as some of my favourite tunes not included on the new collection. Consequently, I spent a lot of time this week listening to Led Zeppelin and I was reminded just how incredible this band was. Each song is a finely crafted work of art with its own interesting combination of melody, harmony, textures and colours performed by four phenomenally talented musicians. While they definitely had their own distinct sound, the songs don't all sound the same. They each stand on their own as timeless classics. And they sound as fresh now as they did 30 years ago. I'm very happy to be rediscovering this music.

Now if only they would turn their upcoming reunion show into a world tour. *sigh*

Friday, November 16, 2007

comedy tonight

I'm off to an evening with the girls tonight so rather than a proper post, here's some more comedy for you. Tim Minchin is an Australian comedian, musician ,actor, writer, all-around hysterical guy. My blogfriend Pel introduced me to him (thanks Pel!) and I have spent many hours on You Tube watching Tim and laughing my ass off. Here are a couple of samples for you.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

'cause I live and breathe this Philadelphia freedom...

One of my best friends from my University days now lives in Philadelphia. Michelle moved there for work, met an awesome guy, got married and now lives there with Dave and their beautiful boys. Michelle and I lost touch for a couple of years. Life just got in the way, you know how it is. Just before last Christmas we got back in touch and have seen each other twice this year. Her mom has a cottage just an hour from ours, so we got to spend a lovely evening together along with our friends Sarah & Curtis, in the summer. We decided that a trip to Philadelphia was long overdue so Steve and I visited them for a weekend in October. We flew down on a Friday morning and came home on a Sunday night giving us a nice chunk of time to spend with them. Outside of going to the Spoon concert on the Friday night (which was excellent!) we didn't have any plans except just to hang out. We did some sight-seeing, hitting the Italian Market, Reading Terminal Market, Chinatown & South Street, but mostly we just relaxed, played with the kids, and got caught up. I find it incredible that after years of no communication, Michelle and I can just fall into the same pattern. It was as if no time had passed since we saw each other last, like we were back at school more than 10 years ago. I guess that's the power of true friendship. No matter how busy we get with our daily lives, we always know that we are in each others thoughts and that we can count on each other when the shit hits the fan. I'm thankful for friends like these and feel blessed to know that I have a few of these. People that I know I can turn to when I need the support and that I can share the best times of my life with.

Here are a few snapshots from the trip. More on flickr.

Dylan helps Steve with the giant pumpkin.

Holden shows me the love.

Steve, Michelle, Dave hamming it up in the Italian Market.

A glimpse of South Street.

Crab at Reading Terminal Market. I think I'll call him "lunch".

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

...but the tune is so infectious...

I love musical theatre. Always have. Especially the comedies. To me there is something magical about spending two hours in a darkened theatre being transported to a completely unrealistic world. About a month ago, Steve, Christine, Stewart and I went to see The Drowsy Chaperone at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto. This show, that had its start in Toronto's Fringe Festival, went on to Broadway and won multiple Tony Awards in 2006. I was happy to hear that it was coming back to Toronto, especially when one of my co-workers, who was playing in the pit orchestra for the show, said that he "busted a nut" laughing. That's high praise coming from him so I knew I had to see it.

I can honestly say that this is one of the best live theatre productions that I have ever experienced. From the moment the show began I had a smile on my face that didn't fade until hours after the show was over. I laughed my ass off! They were able to produce a perfect specimen of the musical theatre genre while making fun of it at the same time. Everything about it was fantastic, from the performances to the costumes, from the story to the set. If you have the opportunity to see The Drowsy Chaperone, please do! I really hope that it comes back to Toronto, because I will definitely see it again.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

my lyrics are bottomless...

Yes I am behind the times but in the past few days, I have seen several references to Flight of the Conchords. These guys are FUNNY!!! Business Time seems to be their big hit and it rocks, but the following video really made me laugh. Enjoy!

Monday, November 12, 2007

putting it together...

Well over a year ago, we bought a bench and shelf from IKEA for our front hall. For over a year these two items have been sitting in their boxes in the garage. We already had a bench in our front hall, but it was a bit too big and just became a place for us to pile crap. As a result our front hall was always a disaster. Every couple of weeks, I would remember the boxes in the garage and think to myself that this is the weekend I would put them together. This past weekend, I finally got around to it (mostly because my parents took the ill-fitting bench off our hands) and Steve helped by hanging the shelf on the wall. Order has been restored to our front hall and the Virgo in me couldn't be happier. Now I just have to change the floor tiles, paint the boring white wall and hang some pictures on the big, blank wall across from the bench and it will be perfect! Ahh, the joys of home ownership. The renovations are never done.

I love IKEA! Even though my father is a carpenter who has built me a ton of beautiful furniture (thanks Dad!) IKEA just has some great, practical pieces that I can't do without. As far as I'm concerned, IKEA is Swedish for "hell ya!"

Sunday, November 11, 2007

why wear a poppy

Today is Remembrance Day here in Canada and other countries around the world. It is the one day each year when we remember the men and women who serve and have served our country in times of war and peace. I don't understand war and probably never will. I'm not sure our troops should be in Afghanistan or anywhere else for that matter. But I've always been proud of Canada's peacekeeping role and one thing I am quite sure of is that we should honour the individuals who gave their lives in an effort to bring peace to our world. That's why I wear a poppy and why I will every year. In an ideal world we would not need to kill each other to work out our differences. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't honour the people who have made sacrifices in the name of freedom.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

i can feel it...

I can listen to almost any style of music as long as the musicians have talent. I love hearing a band live that sounds exactly like they do on their records. It just proves that there wasn't a lot of "doctoring" in the recording studio and that the musicians actually know how to play the instruments and can carry a tune. I wouldn't run out and buy a Celine Dion album but I do respect that she is a an incredible vocalist. Britney Spears on the other hand, all personal issues aside, is completely talentless. She lip syncs her "live" performances! The fact that she has made a crap load of money as a musician when other worthy talents are struggling is mind boggling. But that's a subject for another post.

Thanks to the magic of the Facebook Funwall, I found this clip on my friend Jeff's profile. From the first note, I was riveted. Nothing is more impressive to me musically, than a group of people who can pull off an a capella vocal performance. And these guys totally rock it. What kills me is how most of the people witnessing this moment of musical brilliance can just stand there. I was dancing in my chair while sitting at my computer. At one point I did get on my feet to dance and I'm proud of it. This is the kind of stuff that makes me feel good to be alive. Good music, good friends, good washes all of life's other crap away. Get on your feet people!

And thank you Naturally 7! This totally made my day.

Friday, November 9, 2007

i love you red hooded sweatshirt...

It's actually a sweater rather than a sweatshirt, but I do love it.

I picked it up at the Gap yesterday. They were strategically placed at the front of the store. The moment I touched it, I knew it had to be mine. This may be the softest sweater I have ever owned. It's made of 45% Acrylic, 37% polyester, 15% wool & 3% spandex giving it the perfect combination of softness and stretch. I perused the array of colours from the brilliant green to the practical black, thinking seriously about each before deciding on the one that caught my eye in the first place. Red is my absolute favourite colour and luckily it works well with my skin tone. And with the Gap gift card I received from my awesome mother-in-law last Christmas burning a whole in my pocket, that sweater didn't stand a chance.

Turns out, it was a great purchase. I received many compliments on it today at work. And my co-workers humoured me as I made them rub the sleeve to feel the cozy softness. Nothing like a little retail therapy to boost the self esteem!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

baby love the radio

I love the CBC. Especially CBC radio. We are very lucky in this country to have such an excellent national radio station. Having said that, I don't often get to listen to the programs I enjoy simply because of the time of day that they are on. Podcasting has completely changed that. And thankfully, the CBC has jumped on the podcast bandwagon. I am able to download highlights from some of my favourite CBC programs like Sounds Like Canada and Definitely Not the Opera. It makes up for not being able to hear the entire shows when they are actually on.

Recently, CBC added two new programs that I am totally digging. Search Engine delves into how the internet is changing the world we live in. It's not a show about technology, but rather how technology, specifically the world wide web, is affecting all aspects of society from politics to the arts. One of my favourite things about the show is the audience interaction. The listeners are encouraged to participate not only on the show's blog but by contributing to the show's content by pitching story ideas and submitting audio segments.

Spark is another great new show that looks at new trends and technology and their application the world we live in. Both programs show that the CBC is listening to their audience and addressing the interests of younger listeners by adding these hip new shows to their lineup. It's all about building the audience and the CBC appears to know what they are doing.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

at the theatre with me

It was well over a month ago now, but for our 7th wedding anniversary, Steve and I headed west to Stratford, Ontario. Neither of us had seen a play at the Stratford Festival for a few years, so we decided to take in last season's production of Merchant of Venice starring one of Canada's greatest actors', Graham Greene. The show and Greene's interpretation of Shylock had received mixed reviews but since I love both the play and the actor, I had to see for myself.

This production was very well done. The acting, staging and set were all great although some of the actors could have been louder. We were in the back row on the main floor and we had to struggle to hear some of the dialogue, which is usually not a problem in the Festival Theatre. Graham Greene's Shylock was excellent. He played the part with just the right combination of bitterness, courage, strength and weakness. Scott Wentworth's Antonio was also fantastic although he was one of the actors who just wasn't loud enough. I suspected that he was suffering from a cold based on the quality and strength of his voice. By far the best part of the production were the costumes. From the main characters down to the servants and maids the costumes were perfectly representative and simply stunning to look at. All in all, we enjoyed the performance.

Before the show, we walked around the downtown area and had a fantastic lunch at Bentley's. This is a great pub with fantastic decor and wonderful food. (Thanks for the tip Elizabeth!) I had an excellent forest mushroom pizza with a lovely glass of Ontario Chardonnay. After the show, we took a quick stroll along the Avon River, home to dozens of ducks and swans. And oh, look! I had my camera with me. :)

The Bard himself, in front of the Festival Theatre

Crocuses in the garden in front of the Festival Theatre.

Supper time!

These ducks are pretty tame. We were right up next to them and they didn't even flinch.

Stratford is famous for its swans.

These things can move! Nice wake!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

don't leave me high, don't leave me dry...

You may have heard that Radiohead recently released a new recording. Currently, it is only available as a download from their website. This is no longer a new concept but what is unusual is that the price is up to the consumer. It's up to you to choose not only how much you're willing to pay but if you want to pay all. When I first heard about this I thought it was a pretty cool idea. Probably because if I was going to buy the download, I would be willing to spend a few bucks on it. I have never understood the mentality that music should be free. The artists spend money producing the recording, shouldn't they be able to make a little something from it?

I was very disappointed to read in a CBC article that 62% of people who downloaded Radiohead's In Rainbows choose to pay nothing for it. Seriously? Would these people have downloaded it if it wasn't free? Are they Radiohead fans? Do these people have any respect for working musicians? This figure really pisses me off on so many levels but mostly because it shows that our society in general has little respect for artists. I can only hope that when Radiohead releases the physical CD in December, that those freeloaders shell out the cash that the band deserves for their work.

Monday, November 5, 2007

everyday I write the book...

I don't read nearly as much as I would like to (or should) but I've always been a huge fan of Douglas Coupland. He is the brilliant Canadian author of Generation X among many others. His latest book, The Gum Thief, was released on September 25 and was promoted via You Tube. What, you say? He used a video sharing site to promote his book? Oh yeah! Coupland released 9 videos over a 3 week period that feature him reading clips from his book set to video. Did it work? Who knows? I, for one, did not find out about the campaign until a month after the book was released and only thanks to a news article on CBC. While the videos are a clever promotion, I wonder if they actually helped drum up any sales that the book would not have received through traditional advertising means.

Here are all of the videos squished into one, for your viewing pleasure.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

these boots are made for walkin'...

On the way home from Huntsville, we stopped at the Cookstown Manufacturers' Outlet Mall. I'm not big into the outlet mall. I shop with a purpose. I usually don't head to the mall unless I actually need something. I'm not a browser. But this particular mall has a great selection of stores with fabulous prices and since we're not usually in the neighbourhood, we stopped in.

So of course, I bought footwear.

These gorgeous black leather boots were only $79.99, down from $180.00 at the Rockport Outlet. And I was in need of new boots so the timing was perfect. (The shading is a little whacky in the picture, they are actually all just one shade of black. )

Hooray for new boots!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

dance the night away

Last night I participated in one of my favourite forms of therapy.

I danced my ass off!

I attend this music educator's conference every year. For the past 4 years, one of the companies who displays at this conference put together a killer R&B band, made up mostly of their staff, and throw a great party. The band is made up saxophones, trumpets, trombones, guitar, piano, bass, drums and congas. Steve is one of the trombonists. They play some fantastic music including tunes by Chicago, Stevie Wonder, Joe Cocker - basically a ton of classic R&B and funk tunes. It's upbeat & fun and the band is awesome.

So the past few months have been very busy and stressful. We've been working really hard and other than a great weekend trip to Philadelphia a couple of weeks ago, we haven't had much chance to relax. Something about the music and the atmosphere last night was exactly what I needed to let loose. I danced for 3 hours solid! At one point I looked around the room at all of the smiling faces grooving to the music and I could feel my body relax. No matter how stressed and tired I have been feeling, my life is pretty darn good. I'm healthy, I have great friends & family and a roof over my head. Some days are overwhelming, others frustrating but that's life. Nothing is ever perfect and I don't want it to be. I'm just thankful for what I have and so happy to recognize how lucky I am.

And check out my Steve playing the trombone. He rocks my world.

Friday, November 2, 2007

true patriot love...

A picture post today from beautiful Deerhurst.

Just one reason why I love Canada.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

you might think I'm crazy

So I have decided to take up the challenge and join NaBloPoMo. The idea behind National Blog Posting Month is to blog everyday for the entire month of November. I thought it might be a good kick in the pants as my blogging has been rather sporadic lately. But honestly, I've wanted to do it since before I was blogging. Elizabeth participated last year and did a fantastic job. Seeing her succeed in this challenge is what inspired me to start blogging in the first place. I've been looking forward to November since I started blogging, in hopes that NaBloPoMo would happen again.

So this first blog post of November comes to you from beautiful Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, Ontario. Huntsville is about 250 kms north of Toronto in Ontario's cottage country. Deerhurst is a gorgeous resort set on Peninsula Lake and surrounded by forest. It's pretty much perfect except for the fact that it is famous for launching Shania Twain's performance career. But we won't hold that against them.

Steve and I are here for a few days attending a conference. I didn't have to be here until this afternoon but since Steve had to be here for first thing this morning we drove up last night after work. I decided to take advantage of my morning off and hit the spa. Deerhurst has an Aveda spa that is in the midst of a renovation. Unfortunately, they don't have their full range of services available but I was able to get a facial and manicure. Both were excellent and the estheticians were so nice. There's nothing like a little bit of spa time to wind down.

Since my coworker won't be here for a few more hours I'm off to check out the hiking trail. And yes, I did bring my camera so be warned. There will be pictures.