Monday, March 28, 2011

Geraldine Ferraro

Former Vice-Presidental Candidate (the first woman to be one) Geraldine Ferraro died on Saturday around 10 am in Boston. She was 75. I do not plan to speak much about her accomplishments or her later decline in politics as you can Wikipedia her.

I did however want to bring it to the attention of anyone following this blog that she has in fact died (of pneumonia/bone cancer) because she was truly a pioneer in terms of women and the U.S. presidency. Her candidacy predated Hilary Clinton's run for President and Sarah Palin's run for the Vice Presidency (1st Republican and only 2nd VP run after Ferraro) by more than 25 years!

One thing I do want to note is that in addition to having her campaign as VP implode because of family scandals and later runs for lesser office in New York State be unsuccessful she didn't do herself a great deal of good as far as leaving a glowing legacy when she, as first female to run for VP, called out Obama as basically only being a credible candidate because of his race.

While I would like to acknowledge her for her accomplishment at being the one deemed worthy of that historic first by her running mate Walter Mondale I am disappointed in the race thing. Even though she was a strong (obviously, considering the Obama comment) Hillary Clinton supporter, the comment doesn't reflect well on her at all.

I myself was left at the end of the primaries in 2008 wishing that Clinton would have been the victor (the favored choice of an abundance of riches choice) but I'd like to think I was still happy for Obama. After all, I was also excited for his candidacy even when up against Hillary. The fact he bested her may have to do with history. After all, the 1st Supreme Court woman came after the black. By about 20 years!

So, I'll end by saying in spite of it all, congratulations Ms. Ferraro on your accomplishment regardless of what happened during the campaign and beyond. I'm sure everyone can agree that we can rarely predict what will happen.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Huguette Clark

Being that my last post was about a 103 year old who just died I thought now would be the perfect time to mention a story I read about quite some time ago about a woman who, if she is still alive (it is a matter of some debate/mystery) would be 105.

Her name is/was Huguette Clark and so far as it is known she seems to still be alive. I say seems to be as she has for about 60 years or so been extremely reclusive. She is the daughter of former U.S Senator William A. Clark, a railroad robber baron.

As such, she also shares in common with yesterdays subject Dorothy Young that she is/was an extremely wealthy woman. Her estimated wealth is somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 million just in property. Mind you she is/was trying to sell some finally so she may be cash-poor. LOL.

Cash poor with $200 million or so in property. Oh to have the problems of the rich and famous. In all seriousness though, she is a rather sad figure. According to the authors who have looked into her mysterious life (particularly her later life) she became reclusive after a bad divorce.

She was only married once while still fairly young and the author of the story I read seemed to think the shame of her failed marriage and her grief at losing her only full sibling was the cause of her retreat into her own narrow little world.

I only mean to give a slight retelling of her story as if you google Huguette Clark you will be able to read about her in much more detail as she has an entry on Wikipedia as well as a lengthy piece by a man who originally went in search of details of her because of a rather wacky reason.

It seems of all this property she has (including about $100 million of it on Fifth Avenue in New York alone) she rarely spent any time in many of these many multi-millions of dollar homes. One home that she bought and spent no time whatsoever in cost almost $25 million.


Dorothy Young

One of Harry Houdini's final "assistant's" has died at the ripe old age of 103. She got her start as a dancer in the background of Houdini's shows. He noticed her and brought her to the forefront. This was shortly before his death and she actually left the show a few months before he died.

In and of itself this is mildly interesting that someone who was a part of this illusionist's history was still alive after all these years. What makes it more so is that she seemed to have been a person who went on, in some small way anyways, to achieve even more.

In the obituary I read, it stated that in addition to her time with Houdini and being a dancer, she was also a author of at least some small acclaim. It didn't go into great detail on that so the other thing that was interesting is likely to have been something attributable to her family (I'm guessing here).

She managed to leave $14 million to her alma mater. Now that is some legacy. The connection to Houdini is one thing but I am incredibly curious as to whether or not it was her own doing or family money that contributed to such a bequest. That's something we'll probably never know.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

The King's Speech

I took my mom to see this movie. As you surely know, it just won an Oscar for both Best Picture and Best Actor. This isn't why we went to see it.

Mom had expressed an interest in seeing it and since I like to take her to the few theatre movies she actually shows an interest in I had planned to take her for awhile now. The thing is though, I really wasn't expecting to like it much myself.

Even though I was a huge fan of royalty as a kid, I thought that this movie would be the height of boring. Surprisingly, it wasn't. I can't point to many specific things that made it more interesting than I would originally have guessed.

I will say though that while I probably didn't like it as much as The Social Network (which I was also unsure about oddly enough) it definitely is worth going to see I think.


A Man Of Mystery, A Woman Forlorn

The tail-end of this post may admittedly be a little bit lame but I wanted a catchy title and the first part is kind of funny. I think so anyway. LOL. It all started with my friend from my time at Xentel, Debbie. We were talking on the phone after not talking in several weeks.

She told me she had recently quit. We also talked a bit about the other staff. Gossip basically. LOL. Anyway, she told me about a co-worker who she was quite close to going to jail and probably not for a short time.

Even though I had heard previously from her about some things that would suggest this wasn't improbable, it was still a shock to me. She also told me about another worker there who she oddly enough, for a reason I won't mention, lives in the same building as her moving ... to another (higher) floor.

Like me, she joked that it would mean a longer commute. LOL. The thing that was really funny though was when, in saying that she couldn't understand why I thought so highly of the person she lived in the same building with and another coworker who is quite close to that person workwise, she made a joke.

She said something along the lines that this person, who I am quite fond of, is "a bigger mystery to her than the Cadbury secret." The crazier thing is she claims to know the Cadbury secret so, this person may not be so mysterious after all.

 So that's the "Man Of Mystery". As for the "Woman Forlorn" that is simply me. She also told me that the other person that she wasn't sure why I liked so much thought of me as far as giving me a nice gift of a freebie from our former workplace when she was still working there & I had called her there.

They realized (too late) that I was on the phone & had planned to offer me something. That I didn't get the freebie/gift is not so much the source of my being "forlorn" but rather the fact that that person didn't find out I found out and realize how much I appreciate the thought.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor Won't Be Tweeting Anymore

Well Elizabeth Taylor has died. Even though she was in really poor health for some time I wasn't expecting her to die before Zsa Zsa Gabor who was in seemingly even worse health.

She wasn't my favorite old time movie star. in general because of the movies I had seen and in specific because of her seeming attitude toward both Debbie Reynolds and Sybil Burton at the time she had affairs with and then married their former husbands.

I still think it is a sad day for the movie world as the number of big name old time movie stars that were around as far back as the 1940's is dwindling down to almost nothing not surprisingly considering it is now 2011. One thing I will say for her is she did stick by her friends.

Of course I'm talking about both Rock Hudson and Michael Jackson. Remember that in 1985 when she took on AIDS as a cause because of her friend Hudson it was much more controversial. Of course, one could say that with her career basically finished.

Also she was a multi-millionaire (she was the first female actress to get a million for a movie for Cleopatra I believe) several times over and her general devil may care attitude it was less of a personal risk. Nevertheless, being a famous actress for so long one would think that there is a certain amount of ego.

It was also courageous (or at least showing an perhaps admirable loyalty depending on your view of his would be guilt or innocence) to support Michael Jackson even after all the hits he took for seemingly being a child abuser because she herself believed in his innocence.

Not to mention that Debbie Reynolds could forgive Taylor might say something about Taylor (it definitely says something about Reynolds) and her ability to get people on her side. After all, Reynolds was quoted as saying not only did men love her (as she pointed out, her husband included - nice touch - lol) but that women liked her.

I personally wouldn't have likely been so forgiving considering they were actually friends when she did it and worse Taylor actually babysat Reynolds kids all the while cheating with her husband! I definitely don't think I could be nearly so forgiving as Debbie Reynolds. I'd be curious what specifically lead her to forgive and forget.

Finally, the other laudable thing about Elizabeth Taylor was her sense of humor. You may have read yourselves already but she left instructions that her funeral was to start 15 minutes after the stated start time so that it could be announced that she was late for her own funeral. LOL.

Oh and I guess I forgot that anyone who loved jewelry the way she did obviously lived up to the ideal of what a star is supposed to embody. Maybe that isn't such a good thing as she also was known to party with people like arms dealers in her time but she definitely had star power.

As for movies that I would recommend to "see her out" as I have with other celebrities that have left us recently I won't name three as I had for three other stars/celebrities that had died in short order that I did that for but I will suggest one. A probably hard to find one.

There was a movie from probably the 50's called Scent of A Mystery that also starred the late Denholm Elliott that was a novelty of sorts. It was the first movie,and probably last as well, that was filmed and shown originally in Smell-O-Vision.

At certain points in the movie select theatres were rigged up to release smells that corresponded to the action on the screen. Obviously, if you could come across this likely hard-to-find film it wouldn't have the gimmick it would still be interesting to see how they put a solid story into it.

Oh, I almost forgot. As for the irreverent title of this post, she was an older star who actually to her credit took to Twitter. This was a thought I immediately had. I wasn't the only one though. When I was looking at on line articles about the death a commenter on one said much the same thing.


Brown Makes News, Internet Funster Makes Joke

Just thought I would share the following rather funny little story I found on Yahoo. As I'm sure you may have heard, the rapper and abusive boyfriend Chris Brown went nuts in a studio after a interview where he was yet again asked about his previous bad behavior re: the girlfriend abuse.

What was funny was that in the article it referred to makeup and hair people on the set being scared by his behavior in a bit of an aside. In the comments after the article one of the comments was that not to lessen what he did but that makeup and hair artists scare easily. LOL.

It seems I wasn't the only one who found this funny. There were about 14 or 16 sub-comments for that comment (I later added one too!) and most of the people sub-posting wrote to say they found it quite funny. One person who identified themselves as a makeup person even found it funny.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Watermelon Wilts, Strasberries Suffer

So I am back to bitching about my Cityville/Farmville "losses". This time it was totally my fault. I planted crops and forgot the timing.

When you plant crops in both games I think the rules on timing before wilting are the same. The amount of time that a crop takes to mature is halved and that is the leeway time you have after they mature before they wilt on you. Crops are anywhere from 1 hour to over 2 days.

By over 2 days I mean they give times like 1.8 and 2.6 days. On Cityville I planted watermelon. I think that matured in 4 hours. For Cityville that is a mid-time crop. On Farmville, where I planted the strasberries (whose timing I don't remember) the times tend to be a lot longer before a crop matures.

Yet I still missed harvesting them. Now I have to rely on my neighbors to "unwhither" my crops for me. That could take awhile since each neighbor can only do 5 plots per day. I increased the size of my farm in Cityville and in Farmville because Farmville is more about crops its much bigger still.

Finally, I just want to share a funny thing a FB friendwho I met working at a now defunct internet cafe in the city had said when I asked him if he played any FB games. He is a professional comedian who is also the worlds fattest contortionist. He can actually put his feet to his cheeks and he weighs about 400 pounds!

Anyway,he said no. I told him about the farming on both Cityville and Farmville. Then he said to me, "Oh, it's like Grand Theft Auto ... with carrots!" I guess it kind of is. LOL.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Disaster Strikes/Museum Mishap

So I'm playing Cityville. I'm collecting coins hand over fist. I buy myself a museum. It costs 8000 coins! Then I decide to add a small piece of road mostly for aesthetics. But it looks funny where I thought it would look good. I notice this after I insert just one 10 coin road.

So I decide to delete the road. 10 coins for the road plus 1 coin to delete doesn't seem to much of a loss so I delete it. After that I click on my museum to check on what I need to make it useable. For anyone who plays you know that means ribbons, marble, etc, etc, etc.

Well the second I click on the museum - it disappears! All 8000 coins and 5 builds gone! Turns out I neglected to toggle off the delete button. WTF. I say WTF because even though I forgot to toggle it off, it shouldn't have mattered.

I say that because when I was getting rid of my 10 coin roadway for a 1 coin deletion cost it made a big deal out of asking me if I was sure. So where the hell was the are you sure prompt when 8000 coins are at stake. As I said before, WTF.

I'm sure it seems a little silly bitching about a virtual museum but geez. I guess I really am getting into this Cityville. The one good thing is that I seem to have reached a point where the coins are coming fast and furious so the 8000 coins don't really matter as much as they could.

Well, I guess that's all I really wanted to say for the most part. That and why so many permits to add land. Every time I expand my land the cost in coins goes up & the number of permits I need increases. God, just like the "real world". Someone sees you want something, up goes the price!


Another Award! Yay, Me.

Today was the day I gave my first speech at the Kossowan Toastmasters Club. It was, as a first speech in the first manual, a icebreaker speech. So the topic was to be something that told a bit about my self, my job, my hobbies or something of that kind.

I decided to do it as a humorous speech about my new "addiction" to playing Cityville and Farmville. I titled it "My Name Is Carmen ... And I Am A Zyngaholic." Zynga being the company that created both Facebook games as well as many others like Cafeworld, etc.

I didn't really know what I wanted to say when it came time to do my first speech as I knew from experience the last time around at Toastmasters that it always seems as though there is nothing to say but when you do pick something it always ends up way to long.

For me, anyway. Sure enough, the Zyngaholic topic I picked because I wasn't sure how to talk about some other aspect of myself in a 4 to 6 minute window oddly seemed to flow right out of me when I did my "draft". In fact, I didn't even have to re-write it or even make many changes to it.

And it was written quite quickly, in one sitting no less. The only thing was I knew from using a not very accurate watch (I don't yet own a digital stopwatch) but one that did at least have a second hand that I would be a "little" (about a minute was my guess) over time.

For me, from past experience, that was nothing short of a miraculously good job. So since the material came so easily I decided that I wasn't going to "jinx" it and make any changes that would reduce the time to hit the 4 to 6 minute mark better.

As it turned out, I was correct about the time pretty much. My final time was 7 minutes 12 seconds. So all in all, not too bad I don't think. If I didn't also decide that I was going to stand behind the lectern and use my notes I would have reduced the time as notes save time.

Regarding the speech it self, there were several points where there were humorous elements (in addition to the topic in and of itself) but there were also parts (some were the aforementioned "humorous" parts) that were kind of risque or as I referred to them in the speech - tawdry!

All in all, it went over quite well. So well in fact that although the first speaker - there were two of us - was the very accomplished and can-be-funny-even-in-serious-speeches Fred Sawka, I managed to win the better speaker award for my speech.

My first speech since re-joining. It's been a long time so I really don't know for sure but I really don't think it's likely I ever won a better speaker award during all my time (abt 10 to 15 years!) @ the Norwood/N'orators clubs.

Maybe it's possible that in all that time I won once or twice but I don't recall it. My speeches were for the most part "patchwork" and mostly over-long so I don't think I'm being self-effacing when I say it was less than likely that I won often if ever.

So it's nice that I am starting out with a fairly strong first outing. In fairness, though, but without taking anything away from this speech and the fact that I did win the award because I am very proud of the my presentation and it's reception,

I think I had a better chance because mine was humorous. That is why I titled my post this way. I decided that while I've written a lately about blog awards and Toastmaster awards (for Table Topics) today's being for being a prepared speaker was extra special and was worthy of really crowing about!


Friday, March 18, 2011

Cotton Candy & The Avon Lady

Yesterday I wrote a post about a neighbor and fellow church member of my mothers that I had the good fortune to know a little bit who died recently. That got me to thinking about the neighborhood that they (and I used to) live in.

One of the more fun things I remember getting the chance to do in that neighborhood happened shortly before I moved out. It was about a year or so before leaving that there was a carnival at the local community league.

That year I had taken on (somewhat stupidly considering my lack of appropriate skills) the role of secretary on the community league board. It was through working at the community league that I knew about a community festival that they were having that year. It was my good fortune to help out at this event.

I don't recall if I had an assigned job originally. In fact, I really don't think I did. When I got there, it turned out that they needed 2 people to run the cotton candy machine! Yay! Fun. Well, yes in fact it was. An awful lot of fun in fact.

I wasn't the best at it (you need to swirl the paper cone pretty fast to do the best job of it) but I did a credible job. And did I tell you how much fun it was. Oh yeah. I guess I did! LOL. Seriously though, it was so much fun.

So much that even though doing that job all afternoon meant missing out on getting a free caricature portrait of myself done I would say it was still worth it. I do still feel bad about missing out on the portrait but I can pay for that some other time.

When else however am I ever going to get a chance to be the cotton candy girl. I even got to make it in more than one color. Ooh. I bet that makes you all really, really jealous now doesn't it. Well, it makes me feel a little special and that's what counts, right. LOL.

So there you have it. That is my recollection of one of my times in the sun. The other time I felt just a little bit special (I know, I know I am a sad, sad person. LOL) was when during my teen years I sold Avon. You might be wondering what is so special about selling overpriced junk door-to-door.

Well, the biggest thing that I remember from the time I sold Avon were the kids. When I would go on my "rounds" door-to-door in a area of about 6 to 9 blocks immediately closest to my house I would be toting a tell-tale bag. The Avon Lady bag.

Well, on at least one occasion as I was walking to the next house I heard little voices in excited tones saying... It's the Avon Lady! Yes, it doesn't take much to impress little kids apparently nor for that matter it seems does it take very much to impress me.

Call me crazy but at that moment I felt like the Queen of England. LOL. Well that's my little reminicenses for the day. I'll go hang my head in shame now at being a total attention seeking geek who revels and basks in having the quirky job (the cotton candy girl) or the impresses the four year old's job (the Avon Lady). .


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Walter Megley

Recently a church member at my mom's church died. I mention this because this very nice older man was also someone I knew from years back when I was doing the volunteer job of Zone Captain for the Alberta Lung Association for a few years.

I started out as a canvasser and eventually they asked me to do a Zone. It was when I took it on that I met Mr Megley. This was probably about 10 or 15 years ago already. At this time he was already older (he was just a few years - about 5 actually - older than my mom).

Because of his age and some health problems he eventually had to retire from service to the Lung Association. However, while he was a canvasser, he was not just one of the best he was the best. Inevitably people would cancel on me at the last minute, but not Mr. Megley.

In fact, I could always count on him until the end to take a second route to help me out with the drop outs. Not only that but he also was the one canvasser that I could count on to bring in a good amount of donations. It was hard to get donations for most, but he had a special touch.

Not only was he someone I could count on with the annual canvas but as I found out at his memorial service he had a number of interesting hobbies that kept him busy. He apparently kept bees at one time & was a fisherman who even wrote a lengthy, interesting poem about it.

I will miss his smiling face and pleasant greetings when I go to the occasional event at my mom's church where I used to see him and his equally nice wife. Actually, it has been awhile since I and others were able to experience this as he had a incapacitating stroke months before his death.

Fortunately for those who knew him both well or like me in small part he lived a good long life managing to live to the ripe old age of 89. Most of that time thankfully he was healthy and quite active as evidenced by his helping me out. Goodbye Mr. Megley.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

150th Post

Today I was going to do something about history, ie. what might have been going on on March 15th, 1861.

Then I found out that it was the American Civil War. That dampened my enthusiasm for the historical angle a bit. When I typed the date Wednesday, March 15th in though, before I got to the 1861 part something mildly interesting and some would say historical came up. It seems in 2006 that was the day Starbucks coffee shops chose to give away free coffee. How's that for historical, huh? LOL.

The dates seem to change from year to year but the event which does in fact seem to be yearly appears to always happen in March.


P.S. Just a note on the "short and sweet" nature of this post. Leave it to me to have a number of huge posts on lesser things and a mini post on history.

P.P.S. One that ends up being on Starbucks no less! And no I am not being compensated. LOL.

The C.A.T.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ruby Tuesday(s)

Well, as you can see I am stretching a little for a topic "tue"day. I tried (very briefly) searching for historical information on Tuesday March 15th. Didn't come up with anything that interested me. So yahoo listed Ruby Tuesday's restaurants among the Tuesday "listings". I thought, why not? LOL.

One thing you should know right off the bat. In Canada, as far as I know we have no Ruby Tuesday's. Certainly not in Edmonton anyway. So first thing I did was to take a look at their website. It's got a good basic layout and has some really nice shots of their food. Definitely makes it look like a place I'd like to try if given the chance someday.

One thing that was surprising to me though was in the "our story" tab/page I believe it was, they seemed to liken themselves to a five-star restaurant when to me it just seems like an upscale family restaurant. Like Appleby's. Maybe I'm wrong about that. Who knows. I'm just a Canadian after all. LOL.

The salad that they show on their site is absolutely gorgeously photographed. So much so that even though it seems to involve a lot of broccoli, it still looks good. Maybe it's the plating in part. They are on nice heavy, square all-white dishes. Also, they have a good sized "portion" of grapes on the plate. An "awful" lot for a garnish. And a pretty elaborate garnish at that.

One thing that put me off a bit but that has a positive side is the size of their portions. The steak and shrimp plate seemed to be quite small. The size of the steak, the amount of shrimp and even the dollop of creamed mashed potatoes seemed smaller than most places. That is probably a good thing as many places offer way too much according to nutritionists.

The only thing about the size of the portions that isn't so good is that I suspect that considering that they mention themselves in the same breath as five-star restaurants their pricing probably doesn't reflect the smaller portion sizes. It figures. Then again I'm really just guessing. But I doubt that I'm wrong about that.

Finally, they list on their website their charitable endeavors. Principally their involvement with a program called Feeding America (formerly called America's Second Harvest). They sell gourmet cookies in "mini-bulk" - a half dozen whereby 10% then goes to the charity. I'd be curious as to how popular these cookies are and how expensive. Nice thought though as it's year round.


P.S. One funny thing is that they have a take-out option that they amusingly call (even writing it on the take-out boxes) Ruby's Tue Go. LOL.

P.P.S. So to my American readers and anyone else who has one of these restaurants in their area or has ever eaten there - how was it?

The C.A.T.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Jumping The Gun And A Few Surprises

Starting off a Monday, the beginning of the week with my 150th post! Nope! I thought that this was going to be my 150th post until luckily I caught sight of the counter a second time.

Turns out that when I first set out my draft posts I had two posts sandwiched in before this post that I counted because I was closing in on 150. But then I moved them to future dates for the sake of order and forgot about the "new" numbering. Well, at least I caught it before I wrote my "150th post" and had to correct myself later.

Speaking of my 150th post though as it is in only two posts I'd like to give you a little hint of what it will be about. I will simply say this - I plan to make it "historical".

Now that I've mentioned how I jumped the gun I'll mention what I referred to in the title as "a few surprises. My Social Vibe gadget had been stagnating at the same number in the low to mid 50's until, in what was a surprise to me, I noticed it jumped to 68. Thank you to whoever used it. As you should know, it does benefit charity. Feel free to do it again. And again. And again.

The second surprise I noticed at the same time which was during my near daily checks of the stats and changes (like the fridge magnet gadget) on my sidebar.

I noticed that there was one "sharing" of my blog with either Facebook or Twitter - it doesn't specify which. To whomever did that, I'd also like to thank you. Feel free to do that again too. LOL. I really wish I knew which readers did these two things. I do have my theories. I think it might be the same person. Whoever you are, do leave a comment that it was you if you'd like.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Now That's Young!

Another FYI: This is also a backdated story that I read about at the same basic time as the "out of hand parties". It was actually reported a few days after this post's "byline".

It seems that there is a new youngest grandma in the world now. She is a gypsy woman from Romania named Rifca Stanescu. She is 23. It seems she was 12 when she had her daughter - not named in the article - and her daughter was 11 Rifca, had hoped her daughter wouldn't be as young but said that's gypsy life.

No worries though. They were both married when they had the babies as apparently that is also the gypsy way of life. LOL.

My source for this is the Huffington Post. It also claims that the previous oldest grandmother or grandparent was a British woman who wasn't named either who was 26. I don't recall it saying where in Britain or if the authorities got involved in either the mother or daughter's case.

In double checking my facts for this post I noticed another article from Yahoo Answers that cited Ripley's Believe It or Not as their source for saying that the youngest grandma was a Nigerian woman named Mum-Zi (pretty cool name especially considering - lol) who was part of a harem of a chief.

It seems, as hard as it may be to believe, that she was only 8 years and 4 months old when she had a (again) unnamed daughter who was also 8 when she had her baby. It didn't say how many months past 8 the daughter may have been but listed Mum-Zi as being the youngest at 17.

And there you have it folks, another strange story from my travels over the internet. So much more interesting than the local tv news usually. LOL.


A "Real' Party In The U.S.A.

FYI: I am writing this as a backdated post so the story I am about to tell actually happened a few days after this "byline".

There was a story on yahoo about a girl who I believe was turning 15 who was going to have a birthday party where she invited people through Facebook or MySpace. She said that the people who RSVP'ed could "bring a friend".

Apparently she had an "open profile" and the invitation got "hijacked" by some joker who posted it somewhere(s) else in such a way that she ended up getting 20,000 people RSVPing to her birthday party. LOLOL.

Needless to say, it had to be cancelled. Not only that but police apparently were contacted and the mother of the girl went postal on her threatening not to even give her a birthday card over the mishap. What an ass! Again, LOLOL.

Only goes to show you just how powerful "social networking" can be. And also just how crazy life can be sometimes.


P.S. Apparently an Australian girl who was turning 16 had a similar and even more extreme experience with about 200,000 people RSVPing.

The C.A.T.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Octomom On Oprah

Octomom On Oprah. Oooh. LOL. On Friday's Oprah show (which wasn't it supposed to end at the end of last year!), the Octomom, Nadya Suleman will be on with Oprah financial guru Suze Orman who is supposed to be advising her.

Apparently, Orman really takes a strip out of Suleman according to pre-show reports. She is even said to call her a liar to her face I believe! That doesn't sound like advice so much as it sounds like an inquisition. I have to say, stupidity aside I can't help feel sorry for Suleman.

Even she now admits that having all those kids was a mistake but she is nevertheless bound to be trying her hardest to be a good mom anyway. After all, the misdirected desire to have all those kids hopefully shows that she does at least really want them.

I don't know about all of you but I think if Orman is too hard on her, maybe, just maybe people will be forced to have some sympathy for her. After all, I would hope that people are more forgiving of even the most stupid of mistakes than they are of a self-righteous scold.

So if I remember to watch (as I've said before - even shows I like a lot I don't always make a special effort to watch) I will be sure to update you with the highlights (or lowlights, such as the case may be). Will you be watching?


Apprentice Premiere

I had other things I wanted to write about so this piece about the premiere of Survivor last Sunday is just now being posted. Oddly, I put Survivor Premiere as the title by mistake at first. I say oddly because other than just being a mistake in general, it is quite the mistake since I really haven't watched Survivor since the first season and only periodically then.

I can't say I am a "must-see t.v." viewer of The Apprentice either but I was interested enough that I did watch the much of first year on dvd and that was the plain old Apprentice. I have to say the celebrity version is definitely something that I would plan around watching if I gave t.v. that much thought anymore. I don't even do that with my favorite, The Big Bang Theory.

I just want to say that in watching the first episode this year I was really hoping that David Cassidy would stick around for awhile. Naturally, he was the first to go. LOL. It was really quite sad the way they (and perhaps even he himself) made him look bad (sad really). He definitely has aged since the 70's - I guess not surprisingly as it is like 40 years. But really, he seems to have shrunk. Even 40 years doesn't have to do that!

If I had to pick a favorite from just one showing I would say of the women the ex-anchorwoman Star Jones or the (ex)-model Niki Taylor. If it were to be a man since it can't be Cassidy then I would probably pick the former baseball player Jose Canseco who seemed to take a liking (or at least have an affinity for the underdog) to Cassidy as well.

I think I will try to make more of an effort to watch at least a majority of this season. It occurs to me that my preliminary picks for favorites are based on having seen very little of the stars in question in action. Things change. I have learned that from past Apprentice seasons. Another thing I hope to see is Trump advisor George Ross on occasionally since the Trump kids are the main advisors to "The Donald" now.

What do you think? Or is Celebrity Apprentice even something you bother watching it at all?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


In my blog travels I came across an interesting phenomenon. Apparently there is an event every year and has been for just over a decade where the common person tries to write a novel. Not necessarily a good novel. But a novel nevertheless. The idea is to write it over the course of just one month. The thinking is that to do it quickly will free the writer to just do it.

The event in question is called by an acronym of sorts - NaNoWriMo. This stands for National Novel Writing Month. It has gone viral in a big way. It is now truly an international "phenomenon". Edmonton's is called EdmoWriMo or something similar. The month set for this is November so this post is in no way especially timely. I am just mentioning it shortly after coming across it.

The idea has kind of dazzled me. Got me to thinking, "Could I do it?". "Would I do it?". The only "rules" are that it has to be done in 1 month only -November, and it should be 50,000 words. When you are done. You submit it before the deadline to the website and they put it through a word counting mechanism. If it "checks out" then you get a certificate acknowledging the feat.

The idea according to the site is not to try to write a great novel. Or even a very good novel. The idea is just to write. And write. 50,000 words in 30 days. Throw something at the wall and see what will stick. Even though the originators of this contest say to continue even if you think what you are writing is atrocious, it has had its share of success.

I believe the website said that there were something like 13 novels that were some past "winners" that have been professionally published! Remember to "win" means simply meeting the basic but not necessarily easy criteria. One that was specifically mentioned by name was a book that has been turned into soon to be out movie.

That book/movie is "Water for Elephants". I have not read the book myself so I can not attest to it being any good in terms of theme (from my standpoint anyway). But I do intend to see it. The film stars Reese Witherspoon, who is an actress that while I wouldn't call her a favorite is certainly someone who I enjoy in the average romantic comedy. I hope this falls in that category.

I just checked out the trailer for the movie and while Witherspoon's costar is Robert Pattinson(!) and I can't say I'm a fan it actually looks quite good. He even grew on me a bit in the trailer. The trailer itself is not one that "tells all". It's all a little obscure. It is basically a wordless 2-1/2 min. telling a story that seems to involve higher education, the circus, destiny & cruel love. Whew.

If you get a chance go and check out On the site there is a very detailed ... and very interesting telling of each of the first ten or so years of the event. I'd call it a summary but that denotes brevity. As I said each years telling is very detailed. Well worth reading though. I found it extremely interesting. Basically, the anatomy of the event.

Also, something to note is that NaNoWriMo has branched out to include a month in which people do the same type of thing with movie/t.v. scripts. The reason I mention this is because this makes this story a little more timely as the month set aside for script writing just so happens to be April. I think it even gives pointers on the site on how to do it or how to find out how.

So have I interested anyone in this event. Did I neglect to mention it "went viral" because it became the "darling" the the education set. Schools do it. Elementary's. Junior High's. Senior High's. College's. Literacy groups. Based on how the site describes it, it caught on like wildfire and just spread and spread. So who is going to join me this November (or possibly even April!).


Blog Fodder

Doing a lot of reading (both on the internet and through the library both in the library itself reading non-circulating current & "in-house" magazines and free magazines to take home.

Also have taken out a number of books to read at home including the "New Yorker" magazine writer and best-selling book author Malcolm Gladwell's (The Tipping Point) What The Dog Saw.

Another book I'm reading is Google Blogger for Dummies. LOL. That is actually what inspired the change to the new background template and possibly even attempt the music player.

Hopefully in the coming weeks and months you will see the product of my prodigious reading. For now though, I have some things already planned, for better or for worse. Most are short.

When I am done with the Gladwell book, I may very well do a review of it. I read his book The Tipping Point a number of years ago (bought it actually) but though I liked it, it wasn't "sticky".

That is to say I don't remember after all this time really anything about it other than the fact that it popularized the "Broken Windows" theory of crime prevention that was in vogue once.

Well, that's what's on the agenda in the near future. But before I sign off I want to ask you the reader, "What is it that you have been reading/watching (mostly reading) lately?".


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tangerine Dream

As you can see I have a new template. This is new template number 2 (3rd template total since starting). I call it C.A.T. Stuff 3.0. LOL.

I also have a new music player at the very bottom of the blog (due to its size!). It is jam packed with music. Most people with auto-players have 5-10 songs on it. Mine has close to 100.

The crazier thing about the auto-player is that I'm not done yet. Not nearly done. By the time I get through with adding all the (mostly) 80's songs who knows how many there will be. LOLOL.

But back to the template. I spent a lot of time looking through -all- the choices of free basic blogger templates. Most were variations on the same things but two were decidedly different.

Only one (this one!) was something I would want though. I have to say that considering this was really only one of two really different ones and the only one I really liked, I truly do like it. A lot.

I can see myself keeping this one for a lot longer than the couple days to a week that I had the blue one. Basically, I feel confident saying this one is for keeps.

It comes at just the right time too, as I have made some arrangements to have my blog informally reviewed by fellow bloggers who I will return the favor for in the near future.

If there is any really good stuff mentioned (since these reviews aren't on each others blogs but in the blogger forum) I will tell you about it. Basically by good stuff I mean interesting or funny.

So, what are your first thoughts on the template. I personally think the paisley design is reminiscent of the 1960's and that is when I was born. So it is somewhat appropriate. LOL.

Oh, and if you hate the autoplayer then there is a mute "button" on it. If that doesn't work (it should) then just turn down the sound on your computer. Personally, I love the 80's. :)


The Oscars and The End of an Era

I generally don't post on the weekends and I had personal award information to share yesterday in my two posts so I left my Sunday stuff that w/h/b posted Monday for today (Tuesday). I watched the Academy Awards for the first time in a long time on Sunday. Or I should say most of them as I started watching about 1-1/2 into the show.

It occurred to me as I was watching that there is a reason that I generally don't bother. There wasn't anything all that interesting to report. But then maybe I missed all the good parts. LOL. Anne Hathway and James Franco as co-hosts had back-to-back commercials for their most recent movies during the ceremony was the one thing that I thought was kind of interesting.

There is one thing I do like to take note of in the annual Oscars broadcast and that is the memorial tribute. Susannah York was listed in the memorial tribute. I don't recall seeing any of her movies but I had heard of her. I believe she was in Tom Jones. I was surprised to hear she had died as I hadn't thought her that old. She was in her early 70's.

Apparently, upon googling her, I came across a stupid protest she made upon herself being nominated in the late 60's/early 70's. She lost to Goldie Hawn for Cactus Flower. Basically, despite attending the event she supposedly was said to be offended that she wasn't asked if she wanted to be nominated. Then she attends anyway. What a twit.

The other reason I decided to check out this years show was I was hoping for either Jesse Eisenberg or The Social Network to win in Best Actor and Best Picture. Considering this would have been over Colin Firth and The Kings Speech but I wasn't holding my breath. Good thing!

Even though I missed the first 1-1/2 hours of the show and so I missed the Best Supporting Actor and Actress awards I figured out by the closing song the Supporting Actress award. I will have to google the best supporting actor if I want to know that as I didn't see any of the nominees on stage for the final song so I could figure that out too.

Now to the end of an era. There was a theatre in the West End of the city that closed after about 50 years. That was where I was coming back from when I missed the beginning of the Oscars. I went with a local FB friend that I met through a former local FB friend that I was closer to. We saw the Adam Sandler/Jennifer Aniston movie called Just Go With It.

I was pleasantly surprised. I always like Adam Sandler even though his movies often are not as funny as I'd hope for them to be. Nonetheless I am a diehard fan. This one was a little different. Although Jennifer Aniston routinely gets lambasted for being in crap movies I like her movies well enough for the most part.

As a result, I think putting the two of them in the movie was a case of the sum being greater than the whole of it's parts as they say. Neither always has a "strong" costar. I really enjoyed this and I can't really point to any one scene (not that I'd want to give anything away even if I was able to point to a special scene or two).

I will say that it had Nicole Kidman in a small role as a old "frenemy" of the Aniston character. I will also say that they had a "hula-off" competition that involved a guy & a coconut. LOLOL. Got not one but two free tickets to an Empire theatre (the only one I think is the downtown one) but did pay $12 for the ticket to the final show. Maybe that's why they are out of business!

So if it is the end of an era then maybe a better era, I can be glad that it isn't the end of the cheap theatre era (at least not yet with one of the original three in the city still surviving).


My Second Toastmasters Award

This should hopefully be a brief post. Just a little bragging is in order. I won my second Table Topics Award since joining the Kossowan Communicators a little over a month ago.

Oddly, the topic was, or at least what I turned it into was, Chinese New Years. This is something I was just talking about in passing in my last post that mostly had to do with entering contests.

My topic was supposed to center around goals and targets. I manuevered it to the fact that each year I do a three strikes New Year's resolution. First the regular, then Ukrainian, then Chinese.

I guess the novelty of the approach was what won the day so to speak. I plan to keep a running total of when I win the award and see if I can get it 5 times in this Toastmaster year.

I'm sure this seems a little lame, but such is life in my little world. I live for little things like this. I can't tell you how happy it makes me when I hear that I've won even something little.

And at the Kossowan club, winning 5 times in the year might not even be such a little thing since the competition is definitely there and the topics aren't always easy. So wish me luck!


My First Two Journal Contests

Maybe I am scrapping the bottom of the barrel here and with my last few and next few planned posts but in this post I am going to mention what passes for exciting news in my world. LOL.

Today, before Toastmasters, I went to the public library to do some photocopying of some belated Valentines that I gave out to my fellow club members. It was a little more than a page of cute saying about love by little kids that I may have mentioned already on the actual date.

Only two people stuck around to receive their "valentines" from me on the actual Valentine's Day though (the meeting was actually on Feb 14th). So I gave them out at Xentel and planned to make new copies for today (last week's meeting was cancelled for Family Day) which I did.

It was after doing this that I did the highly exciting thing I was talking about at the beginning. I entered a contest. Well, two actually. I almost missed out on them completely due to my bubble-headedness. The only reason I remembered, literally just under the wire was due to...

... sheer luck. The second of the two contests I had heard about on the same day (Saturday) in the Edmonton Journal was for a local restaurant week. It was only because I happened to be passing a participating restaurant on the way to the library that I remembered to enter.

The closing date/time on both contests (the first one was for approximately $115 worth of jewelry) was Monday (today) at noon. My Toastmaster meeting starts at noon. I left the house shortly before ten. I had the valentines to do. So you can see how close I cut it.

More so because, you had to register with some participating site that runs the Journals contests and send an email to them. As usual, I got that "pop file" or whatever nonsense and because it was a library computer I couldn't send it directly anyway.

So I had to print out the address and go back to my email. Extra steps when I was short of time as it was. The prizes were certainly worth it however. As mentioned the first contest was for $115 in jewelry - a necklace and bracelet set.

The second, was for either one of two $25 coupons for specific local restaurants or a third coupon for $40 at a restaurant in the Hotel MacDonald. The good part - the $25 coupons were the basic price (not including tax or tip) of the set price lunch meal for this "restaurant week" promotion.

The $40 one didn't quite cover the $50 set price of dinner but still wasn't too shabby. It was for the Hotel MacDonald after all. Not a place that I would generally think of going to on an "average outing". So $10 plus tax and tip isn't so bad if you are lucky enough to win.

So what makes this worthy of a post. Well, if any of you remember, I did talk about my Chinese New Years resolutions back around Chinese New Years. One of them, if I am not mistaken, was to emulate my grandmother on my mom's side who was a veritable contest maven.

Now two contests do not a modern day maven make but it is a start. Also, it should be a lot easier to just knock out the entries now that I'm registered. Not that you can enter more than once per contest. But anything that makes it easier to do it last minute is appreciated.

I intend to keep my eyes posted for any more Journal contests (specifically in the Saturday Style section where I found these one after the other). But I'm also on the lookout for any and all contests to enter, especially local ones. So fellow Edmontonians, pass the word when you see one.

Wish me luck and more to the point wish me follow through that I continue keeping my eye out because this is probably one of the easier resolutions I made in that 50 item laundry list of Things To Try To Do in The Year Of The Rabbit.


Friday, March 4, 2011

My Second Blogging Award

The other day I talked briefly about winning my first blogging award - a "blogger to blogger" award called the Versatile Blogger. I was so excited to win that award. So much so that I did something unheard of for me. I followed the rules. LOL.

I'll get back to those rules in a minute but first I want to say that you may recall from the comments section of that post that I may have came off as a bit of an ingrate or at the very least a little presumptuous by mentioning another award that I really wanted to get as well.

Turns out that my mentioning that other award, which is also another "blogger to blogger" award that I was doing a good thing by myself - putting it out to the universe just what exactly I would wish for most ardently. Two days later, and voila, a wish comes true.

The person who gave me the second award is the same person who gave me the first. I hope that doesn't mean that she is the only person that likes my blog enough to give it awards but rather that that is just the way it came about. She on the other hand got them from 2 places.

The second award, is called the Stylish Blogger Award. If I was doing what I had planned to do with the first one, before I had the trouble copying it the second time for the actual post vs. the new award section of my blog I would place it immediately following this paragraph.

I decided, for now anyway, to be lazy, and not try to copy either that other award into the post as an after thing or try it here now since I didn't do it there. So to see them you will continue to have to consult the awards tab/page.

Speaking of being lazy, that brings me back to me following the rules (or not!). With this second award I am no less appreciative or grateful. I am however less willing (able?) to follow the rules that go along with the award. Namely, the naming of fifteen worthy blogs to pass it on to.

The seven I gave had to pass the award on to the first time took some time and thought as it was. Also, I would like to pass this award on to different bloggers so that it spreads around the "love" a bit. So I am going to change the rules a bit, but not altogether ignore them.

My Stylish Blogger Award is from 7ladybugz too whose blog address is and I will try to come up with the (still) seven new things about myself that is asked. However, I will put off (for now only) the naming of the fifteen new blogs that I am passing it on to.

I will do some blog surfing in the next little while, especially now that I have, through the blogger coffee shop, come across a number of "newbies" that might be heartened to receive some praise for their blogs in their early stages if it turns out there is something good there.

As I find and decide who I should pass this on to, newbies or otherwise, I will add them to a list at the bottom of this post that will continue to increase in size until I hit the magic number of fifteen awardees. So periodically check back on this post [if only to keep me honest :) ].

Here are the seven (new) things about me...

  1. I just recently started to play Cityville on Facebook.
  2. I have in a very short time surpassed the person who got me playing.
  3. In starting the above game I went back to playing Farmville after a l-o-n-g hiatus.
  4. Before I figured out that I had blocked Farmville inadvertently not lost it through inactivity I managed to sign myself up for a Japanese version by mistake. LOL.
  5. I am so boring a person that I am almost exclusively making this about FB apps.
  6. To mix it up a bit I will say that I have nothing to say about Twitter. LOL.
  7. Are we done yet! :)

Now for the fifteen blogs that I am passing the Stylish Blogger on to...

  1. -----
  2. -----
  3. -----
  4. -----
  5. -----
  6. -----
  7. -----
  8. -----
  9. -----
  10. -----
  11. -----
  12. -----
  13. -----
  14. -----
  15. -----


Thursday, March 3, 2011

The CBC Doesn't Always Stink - Who Knew?

Just something quick. For two weeks over the course of several more weeks I have listened to CBC One on the radio. While I wasn't so impressed that I have anything to really quote here I would like to say, for the record, that CBC doesn't appear to be as boring as I thought it was.

The thing that they could change is that lame "ticker-tape" music they use between shows. It seems dated or "CBCish" (probably what I meant by thinking that CBC was so boring). The shows I have listened to are on in the early afternoon on Saturdays.

The one I most remember dealt with several different authors of various types of books. They speak to each author separately in different segments of probably about twenty minutes each. One of the most interesting dealt with a man who was both the son and grandson of scientists.

I urge you all, if you live in Canada or if you get the CBC internationally to check out the programming on Saturday afternoons at the very least. If nothing else you may find one or two books that you write down to look for during your next trip to the library.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My First Blogging Award

Well, I just got through telling everybody yesterday about how my blog went from pink to blue. Now, as I logged in tonight to do some posting, you can imagine my surprise when I found out I had gotten an award! Yes, that's right. My first blogger to blogger award.

Now the award itself is green so I guess I no longer have to be green with envy that everybody but me has been given a blogging award. Before I go any further, to give thanks where they are due... A special thank you goes to 7ladybugz at her blog for thinking of me.

Also, in a six degrees of separation kind of way, I would like to thank "Marty", the person who gave ladybugz the award which she in turn passed on to me amongst others. Speaking of which, I should tell you the rules I am to follow to properly claim this honor.

First let me show you the award, which is called (I love this!) The Versatile Blogger Award...

My computer is not letting me copy the award here. More specifically it is letting me copy but not paste! I had already copied and pasted it to a page/tab entitled awards (cause I expect them to come rolling in now - lol). So look for it there until I can figure out what the hell is wrong here.

Now on to the rules I was mentioning before. Recipients of this award are to list 7 things about themselves and then pass the award on to 7 other bloggers with the same rules passed on. I am curious who first came up with the award. Maybe me, ladybugz, Marty and so forth could do a little "forensic review" to see who initiated it. I'd like to thank them too. Since getting this award, I'm so full of love. LOL.

Anyway, here goes...

  1. I'm seriously bummed out that I wasn't able to copy & paste my award here yet.

  2. I really hope I can find out who the originator of this award was/is to say thanks.

  3. Just like ladybugz I want to create my own award to give out when I figure out how.

  4. I love copying pictures of "lol cats" to my computer. I have a "bazillion" so far! LOL.

  5. The file names I use on my pictures are bizarrely long. Don't even ask me why.

  6. As soon as I am done this post, I am going to the blogger coffee shop forum to brag.

  7. This kind of makes up for recently losing one follower. But I still want them back!

Now for the 7 bloggers that I want to give this to.


To the seven of you, because I wasn't able to copy the award onto this post, you will have to go to my awards page to copy it. Do not be put off by the size of it. It is the only award I have received so I used the large size option that I was given when I placed it down with the paste button. I am sure you can reduce it to normal sized like most normal people would. LOL. If not then go to the 7ladybugz site (listed above at the top of my post) and copy it from there. Enjoy.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Blue Skies Forever

Just a short post this time I think. As you can see, I have a new template. I was experimenting the other day for two reasons. First, I was using the computer at the library when I was away from home on the weekend and the pink background (very large pink background I might add!) was also a v-e-r-y pink background on that computer. A seriously shocking pick.

So I had to seriously consider a new background based on that alone. I mean if anyone else saw my baby like that I'm sure they might have run screaming in the other direction. It was the visual version of listening to a little kid scream at the top of their lungs. The second reason just cinched my decision to change it.

I had taken someone up on a tit for tat review of each of our blogs. I reviewed hers, so she reviewed mine. One of the things she pointed out (that I was actually willing to change - lol) was that my template was one of the very first ones that blogger/blogspot started with and that people were probably tired of it.

When I went to try out different backgrounds/templates I started with the one I ended up with. I didn't see a lot of fanciness in any of the basic ones and this one was both tasteful and not too bright as well as having the added benefit of having a sidebar that actually fully accommodates my fridge magnet gadget. Also, once I changed it I found the old one was no longer an option!

So, with going back to my very bright background because of it's familiarity (I had it for over a year - the whole of my blog's lifespan till now) not an option, I am slowly getting used to the new background. As for all of you, my loyal readers and any stray newbies that pass by, what do you think. I trust that this background doesn't scream it's "blueness".

Finally, some sad (blog) news. I seem to have lost a new follower. I'm not quite sure what happened. After all, for a change, I think I actually know who it is that is gone. It's a newbie! Since they just joined, I would assume that they aren't disillusioned this early so I'm hoping it's one of the blogger "follower loss glitches" I've heard about in the blogger coffee shop forum.


P.S. You may also have noticed that my titles are in grey and my archives titles are oddly colored. This is a problem with the new template. Hopefully, it's fixable... (crosses fingers!)