Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Secret Diary of Frazzee1

Dear Dairy,

I'm being followed by a tomato in Twitter.

The tomato doesn't do anything. It never posts an entry. I mean I suppose nobody really cares how things are going in the vegetable garden, but still you'd think it would make an effort. Post a new recipe for chicken cacciatore or something.

The tomato found me. I didn't follow it first, I swear, although I might have if I had known about it. I mean If there had been a vegetable category when I first started browsing through Twitter looking for interesting people to follow, maybe I would have picked the tomato over say, the bean sprout.

Not that there is a lack of things to admire, but sometimes I wonder what is it about me that is so attractive to the tomato. Given my gene pool, if it had been a potato or a haddock following me around I could understand. But a tomato? I'm at a loss.

It's kind of creepy knowing this big, red blobby thing is in my personal cyberspace. Watching. Well maybe tomatoes don't actually watch. But they can hear. Remember the earmuffs in "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes"? Or was that in "Killer Tomatoes Eat Paris"? Hard to remember, so many good movies.

I guess I shouldn't go to Twitter alone at night, diary, but I can't help myself. I need to keep up with things. I'd even miss those two weirdoes who keep trying to sell me naked pictures of themselves.

You are the only one who knows about the tomato and I trust you not to tell.

Until next time, dear diary, I remain your intrepid,


Monday, April 26, 2010

Beam Those Socks Up, William Shatner!

My whole outlook on the future of Canadian politics was changed because I decided to search through my coloured sock drawer this morning.

To be politically correct, I suppose I should call it my 'socks of colour' drawer. Anyway I had a half baked idea that I would do something about finding last year's summer clothes. Don't ask why I was looking at socks, I know we don't wear socks in the summer. It just happened that way, okay?

One of my favourite pink socks was waiting for me when I opened the drawer. It had obviously squirmed to the top of the pile overnight. A grim reminder that its mate went AWOL last year and I have been waiting far too long for its return. I was wracked with indecision. When do you actually give up on a lost sock and put the other one down? How long do you wait? I poked at the drawer while I contemplated the question and to my horror I found four more socks without mates!

I did what everyone of us would do in such a dire situation - I googled 'lost socks'.

Not much help out there, but I learned that the Americans actually have a Bureau of Missing Socks. It was a government agency formed on August 1, 1861 during their Civil War. It was run by a man named Joseph Smithson who was terrible at being a soldier but very good at finding socks. He was the first person to document the 'lost sock' phenomena, noting that most soldiers lost only one sock at a time.

The Bureau of Missing Socks passed to civilian control at the end of that war and to this day is still deeply involved in the study of missing socks. They consider all theories from extraterrestrial thievery of socks to... well, ...extraterrestrial thievery of socks.

Hey, at least they are doing something about it, and I think it's time we Canadians stepped up to the laundry basket too.

I feel so strongly about this that I have given up my former goal of finding a home grown monarch for Canada and am now officially on the William Shatner for Governor General Bandwagon. If the Yanks are right then we'll need someone at the helm who has experience dealing with extraterrestrials. And my money is on Shatner. Rick Hanson is a hero, a modest and genuinely nice man who has done much as a goodwill ambassador for Canada, never mind the money he has raised for spinal cord injury research, but can he force evil aliens to return our socks? I think not.

To my mind there is only one man for the job of Governor General of Canada, Canada, and that man is Captain Kirk!

Oh Sh-t. Did I say Captain Kirk? I meant to say William Shatner. Maybe nobody will notice...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sex, Trees and Dalton McGinty

Boy that was fast. My mind's ability to process things is a lot slower than Dalton McGinty's ability to change policy I'm sad to say.

I'm sure he didn't ask a teacher before he flip flopped on sex ed in grade three and that is a shame because even I could have told him how to introduce the topic to the primary grades. You don't teach about human reproduction. Not at all. You teach the life cycle of the lascivious pine tree.

The first and for some reason, the only time I was called upon to teach the life cycle of the pine tree was at the beginning of my teaching career. It was long before sex ed was introduced into the curriculum. The raunchy behaviour in the staff room ceased the moment the door opened to the rest of the school - no lap dances by teachers in the gym in those days, and certainly n the classroom no attention was given to hormones and changing bodies.

I was teaching grade four. When I first read the notes from the unit on pine trees I was surprised they didn't come in a plain brown envelope. Now thirty years later and after having taught sex ed for years to older kids who probably knew more than I did, I just think it is sweet.

I don't know if I remember all of the details correctly but written for a primary student the story might go like something like this:

Where Baby Pine Trees Come From
You see, children, there are two types of pine cones on every pine tree. The boy pine cones are at the top of the tree and the girl pine cones are at the bottom. When they are old enough the boy pine cones release pollen which is also known as sperm. When the girl pine cones are old enough they open up and release a sticky substance to catch the sperm. If the sperm is caught by the sticky stuff, a long tube is formed inside that section of the girl pine cone. It leads to a special cell deep inside of her called an ovum or egg. The sperm starts a long journey of a year or so as it slowly travels down the tube in search of the egg. When the sperm meets the egg they join together and a seed is formed. This seed is called an embryo. The embryo falls to the ground and if conditions are right, that is, if it finds itself in good soil where there is water and sunlight, a baby pine tree will begin to grow.

And that is just one very charming way to introduce the miracle of life to little kids, Mr. McGinty.

You should ask a teacher next time, okay?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Pardon For Karla?

I didn't know that people who had committed manslaughter could seek a pardon after a certain length of time.

However, now that I know it, I can tell you that I don't care if Karla Homolka receives a pardon. She's been hounded out of the country with little chance of ever being able to return to live a normal life here, she's pushing forty and raising a son who will one day find out what his mother did. Her day of reckoning will come.

I do care about people who might find themselves through happenstance, in the horrific situation of having been the cause of someone else's death. It could happen to any one of us.

The dictionary definition of manslaughter according to the Gage Canadian dictionary is "the unlawful killing of another humn being accidentally or without malice or premeditation." As it stands now the law doesn't seem unreasonable to me, if anything it is an example of the compassionate society Canadians have built and I would not like to see this law changed because one woman got away with murder.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

By This Umlaut Ye Shall Conquer

Apparently Queen Elizabeth II of England is arriving in Canada on June 28.

No doubt she read my January, "Queen of (Seal) Hearts" blog, and is trying to reëstablish her sovereignty. Personally I think it is too little, too late. However we do need to tread carefully here. We don't want the Brits to get cranky with us because there is nothing they like better than a good invasion now and then. That's when they get all lean and noble like Alec Guinness or David Niven say things to each other like, "Damn those colonials all to hell, old chap." Which is very intimidating.

Michaëlle Jean's tenure as Governor General ends in September. Rumours are aswirl that Elizabeth II may appoint a new GG while she is here. We need to politely decline the English Queen's appointment and get on with our future as a constitutional monarchy with our own monarch.

In my January blog I presented all of the reasons why Michaëlle Jean should replace Elizabeth II and become our Queen, i.e., the wardrobe, the contacts, the goofy husband, the daughter, etc., but not being aware of it at the time, I unwittingly left out the key argument, which is of course - her umlaut! How regal is that? I spotted in on the official GG website this week. Very impressive. Definitely a sign from heaven that this was meant to be, sort of like Constantine's, " in this sign ye shall conquer".

So here's the thing. We need to coördinate and double our efforts. We must continue our letter writing campaign to every MP and MPP, except maybe Helena Guergis. Letters are important and they work, they really do, but we need something even more powerful to muster the troops.

Think umlaut, my friends. As a show of solidarity with our future queen, I think Canadians should revert to using the umlaut which evidently hasn't been seen here since the 1940s. It disappeared about the same time as the last timber rattle snake was seen in Niagara.

It is very easy to figure out when to use one. Whenever two vowels that are usually a digraph, (i.e., make one sound, example: ea makes the ee sound), but are not a digraph because each vowel makes a different sound, the umlaut goes over the second vowel. For example cooperation which to a new reader of English probably looks like it must be a type of chicken farm, would be spelled coöperation.

It is a little more difficult figuring out how to get them. You need to go to accessories, then system tools, then use the character map.  Unfortunately there is a lot of cutting and pasting and I haven't figured out how to get the font right yet - but the cause is just!

Time is short and there is much to be done. To arms!

Oops...I mean:

To Umlauts, Canada!

Monday, April 12, 2010


When "Body Works", the collection of posed plasticised human bodies, first hit the Ontario Science Centre a few years ago, it made me uncomfortable although it was carefully marketed as a science exhibit. To me it looked like an art show. At the time though it wouldn't have occurred to me to question the Science Centre.

But now the science/art line has been crossed and I think we need to think about it. A similar show of plasticized human bodies is coming to Niagara. This time it is being advertised as "artistic, entertaining...also educational" and a real money maker for the area.

A more truthful marketing ploy, I suppose, but still very disquieting because it is literally an art exhibit of soulless humans.

Suppose a local sculptor managed to find a number of dying people and offered to pay them for the use of their bodies after death. Suppose the people were in need of the money and so agreed. Suppose the sculptor draped their naked, dead bodies across frames that made them seem as if they were engaged in an activity of some kind so that we could see the miraculous way the skin works to cover our internal organs and muscles. It isn't likely that many of us would go and see this art show. Because we might have known one of the people? Because it smelled? Actually it doesn't matter because the police would close it down.

I believe the adage that art reflects society. We've become so desensitized to death, especially death that happens far away to people we don't know, that we too are in danger of losing our souls.

Pretty and sanitized as it may be, this art show smells.

Actually it reeks to high heaven.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Good, The Bad and the Only Too Human

I know the last thing the free world needs is another comment about Tiger Woods, but I just can't resist it.

Is he a good man? A bad man?

A good man is a protector of women and children and sometimes the sole provider in a family, particularly when the children are young. A man who is particularly successful at these things is likely financially secure, intelligent and healthy, jam packed with just the kind of genes the female of the species is hard wired to want to pass on.

Tiger Woods is a very successful man who people clearly identified as 'a good man' and because of his success and 'goodness', women were drawn to him. The problem? It seems he took advantage of several women he had no intention of providing for or protecting and somebody, I'm guessing one of the women, told his wife. Women don't take that sort of thing, if you'll pardon the terrible way I'm going to put it, lying down anymore.

But Tiger Woods didn't kill, maim or mutilate anyone. It doesn't seem that he fathered any unwanted children.

His being good or bad is moot. Few of us will ever meet him and find out. What we know for sure is that he's human and he erred. So have we all.

Go play golf, Tiger.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Honk if You Love General Motors

Before I retired, I needed a vehicle that would get me out of the driveway during a snowstorm if the farmer down the road didn't arrive with his tractor on time.

Not being a large person, I asked the local car dealer to show me the smallest four wheel drive he had. He took me over to see the only Jimmy on the lot. It was love at first sight. I knew the Jimmy was a keeper when I took it for a test drive. I felt safer in that vehicle than in any other car that I have driven. And it had so much power I was sure there were testicles hanging between its back two wheels.

So I was in a good mood when I arrived at work the Monday after I bought the Jimmy, eager to get to the staff room to brag about my new mode of transportation. I parked, turned off the vehicle and pulled the visor down.

No mirror.

Now you might not think this is a major defect in a car. It will likely depend on your sex. Most women will probably understand my feeling - that GM should announce an immediate recall.

I leaned over and checked the passenger seat visor. There was a mirror. It slowly dawned on me then - this wasn't a manufacturing defect, my poor Jimmy was made that way on purpose. There wasn't a mirror on the driver's side, because GM didn't think that women ever needed four wheel drive and men evidently don't worry whether or not they have a piece of their breakfast hanging off a front tooth.

I wasn't happy about it, but I learned to live with my Jimmy's one defect. My cranky attitude towards GM did get me thinking about some of the other things that bug me about cars though.

For example, I would like a selection of pleasant noises that I could use to communicate with someone who is not in the car with me. I hate being limited to the 'F--- you' sound of my present horn. I would like a polite little beep that I could use if I needed to get another driver's attention. I would like a cheery "Hi,how ya doing" chirp that I could use if I saw someone I knew walking down the street. A friendly ' see ya later' sound would be nice, too.

And what about my purse? It goes everywhere I go. It is my most important possession and yet there is no place to store it safely in my car. I need my purse close at hand but up off the floor away from pedals and dirt. Putting it on the passenger seat is sometimes okay if I have no passenger, but too many times my purse has gone flying if I've had to make a quick stop and if I haven't closed it I have to spend half an hour picking up lipstick, coins, keys, cards etc from the floor.

I could go on, but in the interest of brevity I'll only mention one other thing. In my whole life, absolutely no one, and I must stress this point - no one has ever asked me how many revs my car engine makes. So why is the gas gauge, which is REALLY important to me, such a tiny little Tinkerbelle sized window that I have to squint to see while the dial that shows the number of engine revs is the size of the porthole to the whale aquarium at Marine land?

Well, I don't have the Jimmy anymore. If there is a snowstorm I have the luxury of staying home and besides that, the payments were killing me. I went back to my GM dealer because I'm a loyal customer but I don't know if I would have if somebody else offered a girl friendly vehicle at a reasonable price.

Are you listening GM?

Women buy a lot of cars. You need to sell more cars.

Safe, affordable, practical, friendly, attractive .

You can do it.