Sunday, November 30, 2008

On Friday I went with Cathy to her hairdresser's, who now works in the basement of his own home. His wife, a colourist, also works with him. As Cathy had her hair done, I looked at hairdressing magazines and came to realize very forcefully the lengths to which many women will go to have attractive hair. I just go to a barber as rarely as possible and, like, most balding men, have even abandoned combing what little hair I have left. But even when I had hair, I spent as little effort on it as possible. To a woman, however, her hair can be an alterable extension of her appeal. Now, I think that a lot of a woman's care over her appearance is actually for other women. Most women I know do not need to attract a mate. They already have one as well as quite a few male admirers that they don't really need anymore. My theory is that women want to look presentable in front of other women. Conversely, men are encouraged not to care what other men think about their appearance. It's like the old thing of putting all men into similar dinner jackets while encouraging women to wear the fanciest gowns and adornment. Where men and women are more similar is when we look in the mirror. We want to be content with what we see.
I have just reread what I have written and I am strongly tempted not to publish it. However I throw it down as a gauntlet before my women readers. I challenge you to haul me up by my bootstraps and say, "No Marc, what sexist nonsense"!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tamara de Lempicka


It seems that a University in Saudi Arabia is having a computer built for them in The United States that will be as powerful as a million desktops. Whether they will let women use it, remains to be seen..... The Saudi Arabians apparently have one quarter of the world's oil reserves. Deficits must seem as abstract to them as hyper super dooper computers do to us. I was going to post a learned article on this by copying it from another source, but my primitive laptop won't copy that for some reason. The dog is hungry, the cat malcontent and the wyf missing. Almost adult children are milling round me asking plaintively,"where's Mummy, Dad?". And so we leave Balham, gateway to the South. If anyone knows what the hell I mean by that, let him show himself, or let her show herself.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The giraffes in the background are like the paper ones we once had

I went back and back on those questions, (see previous post), to Kat who did not say where she found them. What surprised me about many respondents was that they had met a famous person and called in sick when they weren't. No one had held a praying mantis. Now two have. I watched one for such a long time I convinced myself that I had seen her eat her mate.
I saw this on High Desert Diva's blog. (Shall I add stuff). Anyway, no time now. I will fill it out later.

Bold the activities you have done.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child (a cat and a dog...but no humans)
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

18. Grown your own vegetables (does a salsa garden count?)
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community.
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
41. Sung kareoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar

72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London "Guard")
77. Broken a bone

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (fish, mussels, clams)
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day
101. Seen more than 5 movies in one day
102. Spent a night in jail

103. Ridden a unicycle (briefly)
104. Slept on the floor

105. Passed out drunk
106. Cheated a railway company
107. Lied about my age

108. Been South of the Equator
109. Been baptised
110. Been to Japan

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I have a secret ambition. I want to be the first person to post a comment to what I think is the best blog in the whole blogosphere. That is Life at Willow Manor. Trouble is, the moment willow posts, there are already twenty comments in the first twenty minutes. So I will have to content myself with this declaration of admiration. Willow is also a prolific commentator on other people's blogs. She must type very fast and devote hours a day to this wondrous pursuit. It is to her that I owe my small circle of readers. Others must owe her a similar debt. God bless willow of Willow Manor.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday again. Tomorrow we are off with William to the family Christmas party where there will be about sixty of Cathy's mother's descendants more than half of which I will not be able to name, although they can all name me, the eccentric English man. I will try to sit with a group of mainly women, as the men intimidate me with their talk of sports and cars.

I just took Cathy's car in to the dealership to be spruced up for the winter and the depth of my ignorance is embarrassing. Still Paul at the service desk there knows me well and fully cooperates with my ignorance of all things engine or car.

Sunday I will go to the fitness club again, not to feel superficial in the Pilates class, but just to use the machines when there are mercifully fewer perfect bodies about. Sadly the steam room has been out of order since my first visit, however the sauna alone is worth the price of membership and the luxury showers with sprinkler heads the size of dinner plates. My rosacia/ psoriasis is a lot better with all that sweating and there is also a cold room if I want to be truly Scandinavian about the sauna process. No sprigs of laurel leaves as yet.

JS at work asked me if I had seen The Seventh Seal. That incredibly boring film about chess and death, I said, just to offend him, because, of course, he thought it was a film of great philosophical content. I looked it up and, in fact, had fond memories of it and even fonder memories of Wild Strawberries and Summer with Monika.

Back then I was discovering that there were some very good films as well as the hundreds of mediocre films I had seen as a teenager. I went to films four or five times a week, as if I were returning to the womb in those dark rooms of London.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Now that I can use the computer in the kitchen or another one in our upstairs family room and hear the TV from either place, I have given up watching TV almost completely. I watch Desperate Housewives as this is a sort of book end to the week end and one show every Thursday, tonight. 30 Rock is so fast and funny, I usually watch it twice, catching the free repeat on Roger's at some point over the weekend. Otherwise I am picking up more and more of my children's attitude, which is to find commercial TV despicable.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

This is so addictive, I have no time left for blogging

"menu,about,view max mode" for a larger view.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Woa! I got jam on my jalaba

Friday night once more. The Qantum of Solace and the renewed art gallery of Ontario open this week end. On Sunday the Santa Claus parade will tie up the whole of downtown. The lovely fall leaves are mainly wet on the ground. Each year I am yet again astonished by the size of some maple leaves. My mother used to press leaves in books and we were quite likely to find a long since dried out leaf in one of her books. These maple leaves would not fit into any book except maybe an atlas. As often on the week ends I get to relax in my jalaba , which my dear brother got for me in Oman.

I watched a wonderful feature length documentary by Sidney Pollack, (his last film), about Frank Ghery. I think this was scheduled because of the AGO opening. What I particularly liked was the way it was a film of Pollack making a film, so that you got to discover the work of two artists.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I think one of these would be my daemon. If you know what I am talking about, what do you think your's might be?

This is a lot like Mama Mia. The Greek Islands may have permanently lost their charm for me because of this one film, although I have not seen it. I read several reviews and even wanted to see it, but Cathy has not been in the mood to go out to the cinema recently and I could not persuade any other friend to see it with me.

I broke our weighing machine last night. Not by being too heavy. By being too wet, I think. A sweet man at Sears sold me a replacement battery and I asked him about my watch, which is going on five years without a battery change. He said it was quite common and would simply refuse to glow in the dark towards the end. I've already had to replace the strap.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I've been kind of blog blocked. Sunday was my birthday, (63), and Cathy got good tickets for The Sound of Musak. I am not a fan of the film, but this version of the show was about perfect. Maria was the right age, the children were adorable without sentimentality, all the adults were very well cast and believable. In a musical, this is essential. I cried three times, laughed and just gave in to wonderful music. I was reminded of The King and I and even South Pacific. Afterwards we were joined by half our children for a steak dinner at The Keg, a birthday tradition in our family.

Saturday I joined my best friend to see a film I had not been able to see at the film festival. I thought it was brilliant and spent most of Sunday and Monday remembering the people I felt I had known in the film. There was hardly any story although the main conflict is pivotal. If it comes your way, do not fail to see it.
Il y a longtemps que je t'aimes, English title, I've Loved you so long. Truffaut, talking to Hitchcock, said something like "films are about beautiful women doing interesting things". Both sisters were played by good actresses, but Kirstin Scott Thomas did that fashionably brave thing of allowing her character to have some very unpleasant aspects. Like all of us, she did not always behave in a way which we might not later regret. She is lovely, but allowed herself to be quite ugly. She has long been one of my favourites, so I was delighted also to see some very fine acting. If it were an American film, I feel sure she would be nominated for an Oscar.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I found this quite useful and was relieved to find that I did not have to pay for it and that it was part of a serious study. I also find the advice helpful.

Your score is
33 out of a possible 100

Below Average Procrastinator

You rank between the bottom 10% and 25% in terms of procrastination. That is, when it comes to putting things off, you only occasionally do so even though you know you shouldn’t. Likely, you are a fairly conscientious and self-disciplined person. You probably still have few irrational or distracting impulses, but have some knowledge about how to control them. Consequently, you likely perform better than others while also experiencing less stress. Still, you may want to eliminate or reduce what procrastination you do commit.

for when I have 25 minutes. Perhaps I can put it off for a while....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

If the election had gone differently you could always have heeded this public service announcement

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I've been tagged by Fancy French to let drop 6 random things about myself and then tag six other bloggers.
1)I too had an imaginary friend, actually until I was old enough for him to tell me that I would have too give him up until I was very old. His name was Jorgus. I could always reach him on an imaginary phone and he was very wise.
2) I love cats. Dogs seem to like me well enough, but I am suspicious of their affection. I find it sucky and ingratiating, whereas I respect a cat's disdain for me.
3) I am an addict. I am no longer addicted to tobacco and I'm just lucky not to be addicted to drugs or alcohol. I am addicted to food, especially sweet food.
4) I attended two "Institutes of Higher Learning", both worthy of being capitalised. I did not, however, graduate from either of them.
5) For twenty years I was an actor. I guess I still am, but I just haven't 'worked' for a while; a very long while.
6) I used to be very good at balance. The one thing I could do better than my genius brother was to walk along the top of a fence balancing an umbrella on my index finger.
And now I'm going to tag:

Colt Coeur
High Desert Diva
Fred C

Marie Reed
Full rools: Link to the person who tagged you. Post the rules on your blog. Write 6 random things about yourself. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them. Let each person you have tagged know by leaving a comment on their blog. Let the tagger know when your entry is posted...

Monday, November 3, 2008

My oldest son would say that there was no point in going to University unless it inspired you to do something really useful. So how about these two students, who came up with the idea of sidewalks and roads which create electricity? Pads in the paving depress ever so slightly with every step and every advance of vehicles. Electricity is produced much as a dynamo does. I'd love to see Union Station or Dundas Square rigged that way.

With the clocks falling back, I came home, of course, with the sunset. No one told me that, when you live in the suburbs, you see much broader sunsets. Our next home, I intend to be on the eastern edge of a lake.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The morning turned out to be great. Did not sleep in as usual, but got up and surfed the net, blogged a bit and finished my book.

Then we went out and drove along the lake to Oakville, which is a lot richer than our end of Etobicoke. But along with the luxury stores, we got excellent coffee and patisseries. We went there specifically to get ecloths. I had read about them on the net and asked the English manufacturers where we could buy them here. If you are interested, they clean steel surfaces and glass without soap. While at the shop, I bought an egg boiler, which I had also read about on the net. I say read, but actually geekbrief, (, told me about both of them. Spending money is such fun. I "retired" when I was in my early thirties and for years lived quite happily spending as little as possible, so now feel positively rich. However my theory, ahem, my theory about house ownership, as opposed to renting, is that it has made me much more likely to want to"keep up with the Jones's". For real "rich" look at some of the houses in Oakville or the little toy here below:

"To keep some millionaires employed".