Archive for October, 2010

The verdict is in: comedians have the biggest….

October 31, 2010

I’ve often said that comedians are now (maybe always?) the most courageous activists.

And they get to hide behind their activism by calling it comedy.

Watch this segment from Bill Maher’s show that aired last night.

I was blown away!


Obama and Stewart: a couple of really good men

October 29, 2010

With all the insanity that is American politics, it’s no wonder that even yours truly has tired of the nonsense of late. I’ve even found myself feeling sorry for the so-called conservatives whose values have been hijacked by the bat-shit bonkers. 

The rise of the Christian beauty-queen cum political soccer mom as a new symbol of power is particularly nasty and even an avid TV watcher must sometimes do the right thing and switch channels.

But this is a sad and serious time for our southern neighbours; I’m scared for them—and for the rest of us.

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s duelling rallies to be held this Saturday in Washington are surely political and hugely important.

Moderation and reason is considered by many Americans to be a sign of weakness; ideology is much more fun and, as ever, distracts us all from the god-awful process of getting anything done with such disingenuous opposition (found in both parties, it would appear).

Obama is now a wimp. Hell, millions of his initial followers began sniping and accusing shortly after his election.

Comments like “he sold out, he’s no different from Bush’s league, he needs to grow a pair, man-up, fight back dirty,” filled the liberal blogosphere. 

And I became so tired, and so angry and so sad.

I’ve never fully bought the idea that the PEOPLE are always getting screwed by the big, bad politicians (remember Hitler’s statement that leaders are so fortunate that the people don’t think?). In fact, I sort of like the idea that the people get the politicians they deserve. 

It is a choice to be reasonable; it might be boring and it certainly takes some work (in the form of READING mostly) but that is what adults do. They put away childish things like mud-slinging and absurd labels like communist, socialist, fascist (were we ever that young?) and ask themselves which guys are actually trying to improve things for the most people.

Last night, I sat semi-mesmerized watching two of my favourite politicos, Barack Obama and Jon Stewart, engage in a real conversation.

I must admit, at one point, I was about to scream at the TV if I heard Obama use the word “folks” one more time. Maybe he’s always used it but I lost count after the first five minutes. What next? Will we have to endure his dropping all his g’s as a way of reachin’ out to the folks! Yuck.

But when Stewart accused him, particularly on health care, of timidity, the great one dropped the folksy talk and defended himself in his real voice. I couldn’t help thinking that if Obama were to really let loose on Stewart, he’d say something like this:

Who the hell are you to call me timid? Do you have any idea what it takes to get anything done in this corrupt, divided country? You do great work, Jon; but it’s not the same as my job. I’d love to have your job!

But alas, he simply defended the hard work of his team and translated it into real life change for real life people. 

Defending Tim Geithner, Obama claimed that he’s done a “heckava’ job,” reminding us of Bush’s defense of the head of FEMA, Brownie, after Hurricane Katrina!

Realizing (with the help of Stewart) what he’d said, he looked at the audience and said “pun intended.” I wanted to reach into the set and hold his hand and say, “Please don’t talk like Bush–no matter what they try to make you do.”

I’ve suspected for some time that America wasn’t really ready for the likes of Obama. 

Instead of bringing the country together in common purpose, Obama’s election has shown the world just how racist and nasty America can be. 

But I still dare to hope. 

After watching the interview for the second time, I came away with this: Stewart and Obama are two immensely intelligent, well-meaning men. For me, they each represent what’s good about the US. 

Stewart claims his rally is not necessarily political. But no one’s really buying that.

Here’s hoping that The Rally to Restore Sanity and its ironic sister- rally to Keep Fear Alive will put some fire back into the movement to drag the US into the conversations of the 21st century.

I’m seriously rooting for them—in spite of that niggling inner voice that keeps working its way through the hope, whispering, be afraid, be very afraid.

Thanksgiving gravy: there’s nothing quite like it

October 12, 2010

Thank-you has pretty well been my only prayer, uttered to no one or nothing in particular.  

Mostly, it’s a feeling—a sense that, in spite of all heavy bruising my heart endures, I’ve been blessed. 

This weekend, I’m thankful for much:

Friends—the really good kind that don’t require much from you but when you manage to get together, there’s never enough time. These kinds of friendships can be rare; I think I have just enough of them to open a pie shop. 


Sisters. I have 3 of them. The four of us have fought and stumbled our way into adulthood only to find ourselves softer and more supportive than ever.



Kindness. Lately, I’ve been finding it everywhere. Sometimes, you do have to look for it; but it’s out there, every day, in so many strange forms.   

This weekend, I’m especially grateful for the people who care about me—for those who are consistently able to forgive me for being me, and even more so for those who’ve never had to. 

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.

I wish you gratitude and forgiveness, the dynamic duo of peace. 

But always remember to forgive yourself first.

And the rest is gravy.

On Coincidence and Crows

October 6, 2010

I’ve become obsessed with the beauty of crows.

Well, maybe it’s not beauty in the conventional sense but there’s something about those damn black birds that intrigues us.

In a store on Main Street, there were two wooden crow carvings that I admired for some time, hoping that the price would come down.

Two weeks ago, I stopped by the store and, sure enough, there was one left—and it was on sale. The owner told me that the crow is the most despised bird and yet people love them.

Today I was in a store on Main Street admiring some black crows painted on a box that you hang on your wall. Too expensive for me but not if I make them myself, right?

I confessed to the shop girl that I’d become obsessed with crows and she said, “are you East Van?”

I said, “I guess I am now.”

She said, “it’s an East Van girl thing.”


I’ve been wanting to find artwork with crows for my walls. After a bit of research on “how to make those painted boxes myself,” I came across the only storefront in Vancouver that specifically deals with wall tattoos; and sure enough, it’s 8 blocks away from me.

We’ve all had really eerie coincidences occur. And no one I know truly believes that there are NO coincidences. That’s just spiritual pabulum. But sometimes, you have to wonder, no?

I dated Mike for a short while in the 80s. I daydreamed that I told him my father’s name was Michael, only to be told his mother’s name was Anne. Sure enough, at Bino’s Restaurant, after midnight, we had that very conversation.

When I first met a particularly fabulous neighbour at our other life condo, I was telling her about an ex-boyfriend of mine whose 5-year-old daughter was killed on an ATV driven by his friend.

She said “that friend is my brother- in- law.”  

Not long ago, I agreed to drive an American neighbour to her new doctor; she was squeezed in through a strong plea from a friend (increasingly common these days in the search for a family doctor).

I asked her where we were going and she gave me the address. It was my doctor. 

Trying to creatively furnish this apartment has been an education, for sure. With little money left in my budget, I can now only afford a bamboo blind that will serve as the back of my wardrobe that is now a wall in my study.

It’s $15 and apparently, the guy lives nearby.

Now, all I have still to do is to go to the old condo and pick up some mail from our beloved former caretakers, Berend (an artist from Germany whose work will be featured on my wall) and Tim (an American who fled here  in search of a more tolerant society).

Ah, so tired! Still a little bit sad!—but only two more stops to make and then I can relax!

I contacted the guy who is selling the blind through Craigslist. 


It’s Tim!


Ain’t life grand?

And the dog people roll their eyes…

October 1, 2010

Nine years ago, a woman looked at me carrying the Sausage and she said, “that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen.”

Mind you,  I was carrying him in a  sort of doggie knapsack on my chest, complete with four holes for his little legs to hang through.

But still, it hurt; and, what’s more—she was wrong. 

Stop ignoring me! I have feelings, you know.

OKAY, okay—everybody on the planet knows that an animal is not a child. You’d have to be severely retarded not to know this.

So when people say that you shouldn’t anthropomorphize animals, I say try owning a dog first–especially one with a great personality and then advise us. Maybe even do some light reading on a fellow called Darwin.

But seriously. What you’re really doing when you tell someone to stop anthropomorphizing a dog is looking down your nose at, what for some is, an intense, loving connection.  

And in my book, that’s just rude! 

Here’s an interesting blurb from the New York Times on the personalities of gelada monkeys.

Which one are you?