Thursday, September 30, 2010

Boy Howdy: A Happy Creature

There has been enough of drab and dreary material lately, so today I have a complete smile creator.

It is no secret that the Newf and I have no children. It isn't that we don'twant any, it just hasn't felt right yet. That doesn't mean I don't fawn over adorable babies like any other clock-ticking clod.

In my Facebook stalking I found something that my friend created. With no other little ones in the extended family I have found my resident baby, if you will (I think everyone should have at least one). This little guy always puts a smile on my face:


I could eat him whole, just like he's killing these blueberries. They didn't have a hope.


My lady friend has told me that Mr. Emerson is a very happy baby. He eats just about anything his mom puts in front of him and is at seven months weighs just less than twenty-four pounds.

Folks, this little family just makes me happier than anything. They may not be clad in Gucci and driving a Mercedes but they are oh, so happy.

We should all wish to be so lucky.

Bubbling with berries,


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Why Do I Have To Be Such A GIRL?

This morning while pumping it hard at the gym I burst into tears. I don't know why. Maybe it was the endorphins (or the pain searing through my thighs) but as I was bouncing around on the elliptical I looked up into the mirror and saw a very sad, very timid set of eyes looking back at me.

It was too much and I let it go. The room was empty and I was already soaked, so a little more salty moisture didn't seem all that bad. In fact, it felt so good. So there I sat, alone, exercising, and crying.

That is, until the woman next to me (where she came from I still do not know) tapped me on the shoulder, pulled out my earbud and asked if I was okay. Now, normally I would have been offended at her brash method of questioning - the gym was empty, there were tons of free ellipticals (that weren't next to me) and she pulled the plug on my music. Never touch my music.

I was stuck. I couldn't deny the crying, nor did I want to give this odd woman my life story.

"Oh, yes, thank you," I said, wiping my face. "It's just, it's just, [big pause] I just had a nasty breakup. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to ruin the atmosphere," I responded.

I lied and I was feeling really bad about it until this perfectly weird woman huffed: "MEN! You can't live with them and you can't live without them! They are all demons! I caught mine with a clown and honey, I mean a clown! You think you have problems, WELL!"

Normally I would have had to stifle a laugh but this woman was so angry (and dreadfully serious) that you could tell her hurt was still fresh. All I wanted to do was give her a hug. Alas, I was all sweaty.

Instead, I took her out for a cookie. I came clean, we chatted about our demons and I made a new friend.

A fun-filled morning of estrogen; I hate crying and I hate demons but I love cookies.

Debating my demons,


Monday, September 27, 2010

Music Monday: I Smell Smoke (There Must be a Fire)

Good morning!

After a very productive Sunday it is time to go back to work. People, I have been slacking in a very big way.

To celebrate my short-lived freedom I have such a fabulous song. Let's get to it, we've got "Smoking in the Boys Room" by Brownsville Station:

This song was originally recorded by Brownsville station in 1973 only to be ripped off covered by Motley Crue in 1985. Lots of bands do covers, sure, but these boneheads waited twelve years to completely copy the song, the look and the style of the band.

Maybe I've got something to learn about covers and the music world, but for now, it's Brownsville all the way baby.

Sure I've been smoking (something) but it hasn't been in the boys room. While I have kinda left you lovelies hanging, it has been a fabulous break from everything electronic.

I hope to catch you all in the new week! What do you have planned??

Loving life (and actually starting to live it),


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Let's Talk About Sex: Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Daddy always said I avoid speaking about politics and religion. Well, this may be political, it may be religious but above all else it is sexual.

Recently the "don't ask, don't tell" policy entered into the news, the Canadian news. It's a cold day when (you hit the Canadian news).

Well, here is my two cents about the matter.

First, I think that gays have as much of a right to fight for their country than anyone else. Gay, straight, bisexual, who cares? It does not matter to me, nor should it matter to anyone else.

Second, I do not agree with the policy as it currently stands. Sexual orientation, like an individual's sex, should not play a role in one's employment. One should not fear being found out (unless they are touting cocaine across a border, or something of the same).

Third, I agree with the statement, "don't ask, don't tell" in its raw state, free of the bill currently on the table. This statement needs to apply to all.

Currently, in the Canadian military one is not permitted to have a relationship of any sexual substance while deployed. This applies to any type of sexual relationship, regardless of orientation.

Whether deployed or not, why does one have to advertise their sexual orientation? Is this not gauche? A man who walks up to me, all muscles and attitude, coyly mumbling, "Hey baby, I'd like a ride on your gravy train!" gets as much attention as some woman telling me what "wonderful tits" I have.

Unless I am actively searching for a sexual partner, and a quick one at that, any type of advances from any individual are unneeded. If you know me well your advances are even less likely to be desired (as I am currently married to the Newf and he doesn't take well to competition).

So, while in the military I do not see the reason why any one individual would ever have to discuss their sexual orientation. I cannot think of an instance where saying "Oh, by the way, I'm gay/hetero/bi." is going to improve the combative situation, or further, a tense work environment. Your orientation isn't going to pull that trigger faster.

If your flashy mannerisms express your sexuality, hetero or homo, they should be toned down. One needs to be aware of their actions and how they affect others. Sexual advances or connotations are not always desired and they can constitute harassment.

Are you in favour of a "don't ask, don't tell" policy? Do you have your own view of an appropriate policy? Do you think I'm completely out to lunch with my idea?


Armed and dangerous,


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Traditional Thursday: The White Why Behind Labor Day

Labour day has come and gone, summer is dwindling and fall is upon us. Many are clearing their closet of their summer clothes, making way for their chunky knits, coats and gorgeous cashmeres.

There is an infamous rule that you are not to wear white after Labour Day. Many cry out against the tradition of banning white from their wardrobe, stating they will not fall victim to silly fashion rules. The fact that these same individuals are found prowling the malls searching for the newest trend at the cheapest price never seems to dawn on anyone.

No matter, what is the elusive reasoning behind the "Wicked White" rule? Why must we ban our crisp white linen suits and lovely leather handbags? I believe it comes down to pure symbolism.

Many suggest logical reasons for the white wardrobe rule:

We all know that white is literally, a cool colour. Ask anyone wearing a black t-shirt in the middle of July if they feel the sun and they will almost always answer with a dogged and dried up, "Yes". Surrounded by our air conditioning, fans and exposed shoulders a simple colour choice may not seem important but to those without these luxuries I bet you buttons to dollars you would be wearing white too. Let's face it, when this rule was created there was no such thing as halter tops and spaghetti straps.

Also let's not forget the effect of the rainy season (directly pre and post summer) on that lovely crisp white shirt. Again, when this rule was created a nipplely wet "mistake" was not an option. There are modern rules for such a sight but those are for another day.

Like most rules of etiquette, I believe this is all about the symbolism:

Back in the day it was chic to "summer" in various neighbourhoods and at specific resorts. This was a luxury only affordable to the affluent, as they would flock from their places of work to their treasured summer locals. Work was certainly to be avoided and was replaced by parties, beaches and more socializing than you can imagine. One wore airy white clothing while sipping drinks at a luxury resort; dark coloured clothing was reserved for times of labour and hardship.

For example, black, grey and purple are colours of mourning. White is associated with weddings, celebration and purity. If you look back at pictures of the early twentieth century, the fun-loving summer clothing consisted of seersucker cottons, white linens and Panama hats. White clothing signified a time of light hearted fun.

At the the summer's end, the affluent would move back to their permanent address and their dark wardrobes. Similar pictures of people scuttling about in the city show dark suits and coats. Fall was and still is, considered a season of new beginnings (odd, seeing as everything is dying). It may not be vocalized but many, especially in the Western World, begin school and revamp wardrobes in the fall season. Throughout the summer the retail spending is painfully slow but things pick up again with the "Back to School Season".

To the upper crust, the group that made the rules, white clothing was packed away with the fancy drinks and summer parties. Seeing as everyone wanted to be viewed as "polite society" the easy way to fake having two wardrobes was simply to avoid wearing white. With Labour Day came a new round of work and a new beginning; an opportunity to straighten up.

I will point out that this topic is largely debated but I think there is some serious merit to this argument.

Will you be wearing white after Labor Day? Have you heard of any reasoning for banning white?

Whether you wear white after Labor Day or stick to cream, off white or beige enjoy your new beginning! There is no harm in breaking the rule if you are ready to own it. Personally, I avoid white after Labor Day; as I do the entire year, it washes me out.

Strictly suppressing white (for now),


Credit Where Credit Is Due: Social Media Buttons (that rock my world)

Have you heard of deviantART? It is a wicked art-oriented website that allows you to post your art, view others works and even purchase prints of the stuff you really like.

From time to time I'll Tweet my favourite works after a night of art surfing (it's better than window shopping, ladies). Well, last night I stumbled upon an interesting gentleman and his oddly amusing sense of humour.

If you are the cookies-and-milk type of person (verses the vodka and OJ breed) you may want to steer clear. On the other hand, you may not. This guy has drawn perhaps the coolest social media buttons I've seen in a long time. There is no shiny glass effect, nothing overly busy or complicated about them. These buttons are just really cool. I'm sporting them to the right of this post but you can also view his whole collection (and download them for yourself) here. You can also check out his Tumblr page here.

This guy has put his artwork up, free of charge and any kind of advertisement. That is pretty cool folks; he is even taking suggestions for a new round of hand-drawn icons. You know he does what he loves when.

That is all for now.

Art surfing and admiring,


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Dumpster Dog Chronicles: Something Smells Fishy

The Dumpster Dog Chronicles: Something Smells Fishy

As you may recall, Dumpster Dog recently spent the week at my home while my sister was in Cuba. Dumpster Dog and I have a love-hate relationship; she loves to find trouble and I hate waking up to find it.

Well, this hound dog was home less than a week before she was stirring up trouble. She's just that good folks.

It was early morning as my mother, home for a brief break, rose and started a pot of coffee. She popped her bread in the toaster and opened the jar of peanut butter. it was then, with the scrape of her knife meeting toast that Dumpster Dog (with her superego senses) came barrelling down the stairs.

If I hadn't you didn't know any better you'd think her ears were leading the way but no, it was her nose. You'd be amazed as to what smells good to a dog.

"Out, damn Dumpster Dog, out!" my mother exclaimed propelling the hot dog out the patio door. The door was left open a crack and Dumpster Dog was left to her own devices in the garden.

Approximately two hours passed and it was discovered that Dumpster Dog is nowhere to be found. The yard is fenced in, the only gate is secured by two heavy duty bolts; this is not the first time the bitch's nose has led her astray. The family dispersed, searching in vain for the hound, she is nowhere to be found.

Fast forward a couple of hours. My mother and sister are shopping. My father is enjoying a house free of estrogen.

Then comes a knock at the door.

On the other side is an old lady, her face tight with some emotion that can only be described as bad. This lady is my grandmother; this lady has broken her foot.

As it turns out, the determined 75 year old was attempting to stake a piece of rebar next to a tree. The tree was crooked, you see, and you'd hate to waste a good tree (being Dutch has nothing to do with it). As Granny teetered atop a step ladder, sledge hammer in one hand, rebar in the other she took a tumble and her old ankle was unable to support her weight.

Not being one to waste time or mince words, the tough old broad promptly drove to the hospital, confirmed her foot was broken, made arrangements to have a pin put in and drove back to my parents' home.

I never asked how many pain killers were involved; I don't want to know. I can tell you, with assurance, that we country type are a tough breed..

My father deposited my grandmother in a chair and called my mother to suggest it best if she come home (this is my maternal grandmother after all). His silence infiltrated by a woman, Dad waited in defeat.

It was at that moment that a familiar "AAAAAHHROUUUUUUUUU" is heard through the house. It is Dumpster Dog, but where is she??!? My father searched the house and yard (with suggestion from my out-of-commission grandmother, I'm sure) and no dog is found. The thing is still howling away but there is no ball of fur and bits to match it.

Where was the mini-beast? Well, it turns out she had nosed her way into the trap door of the compost bin, following the delicious smell of week old fish. I have no idea what happened then (or why the fish was in the compost). It is assumed, after her scrumptious breakfast of rotten fish, Dumpster Dog took an extended nap. People, this is the dog that was found in a garbage can as a pup - she does not like enclosed spaces.

Needless to say, my father's afternoon went from an empty house to one filled with three women, the oldest of which was loaded on pills and bitter she hadn't gotten the rebar staked before she broke her foot. There was also a dog, a Dumpster Dog who wreaked of fish and needed a bath.

I think he finished the morning with vodka. Can you blame him?

Finding fish funny,


Monday, September 13, 2010

Welcome Home: My Name is Earl

Yesterday I spoke to the Parentals. It appears they have returned from their sailing adventures for a brief break. Last weekend a big storm hit Nova Scotia and last week my parents were holding on for dear life in, you've got it, Nova Scotia. I imagine they are slightly battered and bruised from their battle with Hurricane Earl.

The Parentals (like everyone else in my family) have fallen off their rocker. They are older and wiser than the rest of us so they have hit the floor that much harder. About ten years ago they took up sailing: it's posh, athletic and got them away from a house full of teenagers. Then a little more than five years ago they decided it would be a good idea to sell everything (their businesses, the house, cars, everything.) to become full-time sailors.

Now they live on their boat, touring the world.

Most of the time it is pretty cool. Last weekend it was a little too windy.

They were touring the Maritimes on their way to Sint Maarten. As sailors they are well equipped with radios and get the weather reports daily. Their weather reports are slightly better than ours (and I'm not bitter) because they live by it. They got news on Thursday that Earl was slated to hit on Saturday.

They have a big tough boat and have weathered many storms but the Parentals have never been through a hurricane. They were unable to find space at a dock so they did what any other crazy sailor type would: they tied their boat to a mooring ball.

For those of you who aren't up with the lingo (and you should know I check mine with the Newf regularly) a mooring ball is essentially a floating beach ball chained to an immovable object at the bottom of the lake/ocean/pond/whatever wetness you are in. You attach your boat to the ball and the idea is to stay put. It is more secure than an anchor.

I love my parents but at times they can be daft. Most people learned the lesson with the Titanic. The unsinkable sank. The Parentals tied themselves up to a floating marker and insisted they were unmovable. Silly old people.

About half way through the storm they got a little nervous about the whole immovable thing. Go figure.

They were fine and the boat didn't move but I do think their chains were a little rattled (pun fully intended). My point? My father blogs about his experiences.

Here are his videos. Yep, those are my parents, floating around.

Here is his journal of Hurricane Tropical Storm Earl. FYI: My mother has been dubbed "The Budget Committee". She is thrifty and so it fits (I love you mom).

My dad blogs about his travels which have spanned the East Coast, Caribbean and beyond. They have been boarded by men with guns in two countries (semi-automatics in Cuba), had a friend eaten by an alligator (or a crocodile, I can never keep them straight) and viewed more than enough boat accidents. You may want to skip over the sailing details and get right to the best part - the places, people and things they meet.

Glad you are home guys. I figured you'd make it - it was just a little bit of wind and you seem to have connections with the wolf.

Lucky to be on land,


Music Monday: A Triple Header

Darling readers,

How was your weekend? Was it full of play and song or was it one best not to be remembered?

Here in the Land of Linnie we are sick. Our brains are working at half capacity and we were thankful to have a couple of days together to sleep. That was our only job, and kids, we killed it.

Alas, it is now time for the week to start all over again and we need something to drag our behinds out of bed. Somehow I don't think our employers would be fond of us sleeping until six o'clock. The beast gets a little antsy too; we don't have a doggie door and there is only so long he can hold it.

To help smack us back into reality I have a triple header loaded; I hope you like the nineties!

First up, a Dutch Eurodance act and their 1991 single. This song is perhaps the most played opening song for arena-based sporting events. Turn the volume up for 2 Unlimited's only Billboard Top 40 hit, "Get Ready for This".

The above song is being sent out to my hurting (and very Dutch) granny. If you ain't Dutch, you ain't much (and man, can that woman bake an apple pie)!

Second in line, we have another European based music project that brought us the first house hit to break into mainstream American music. Pretty damn cool, if you ask me. The Belgian based group was formed by Jo Bogaert (also known as Thomas DeQuincey) and was not Mr. Bogaert's first musical success. This song began as an instrumental and lyrics were added by an actual vocalist, Ya Kid K.

This bad boy reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and was later certified triple platinum. For the pleasure of your ears, I present, "Pump Up the Jam" by Technotronic.

ZING! If you weren't pumped up before, I hope the lasers took care of that! Also, no more worries about your hair - if you aren't sporting the nineties blow out you aren't doing half bad.

Finally, the only American hit for today is courtesy of a boy born Marvin Young. Now, he was technically born in England and raised in Queens, New York but I'm not about to split hairs.

This boy has an interesting story - at a very young age this kid had trouble remembering his rhymes. He used to read them, carrying the whole lot around in a plastic bag. One night a shootout broke out at a block party and he was forced to flee, sans lyrics. The next day young Marvin was able to retrieve his bag of lyrics but the lesson was learned: memorize the lyrics you are planning to perform.

I strongly suggest you check out Marvin Young's story; he was a remarkable young man. In the meantime, get up and get ready for Young MC and his hit "Bust a Move".

I hope you hit that track. I can't help but get my swagger on while listening to it.

That's all for now. Time to get some work done

Have a good week!

Dutch and delighted,


Friday, September 10, 2010

It's Looking Grey: Avoiding Overheating the Engine

Good evening,

A quick note to you, my lovelies, to advise you that I am taking a small hiatus.  Unfortunately, the blog part of my brain is barren - all my juices are flowing, just to a different project.  Most of my blogging work this week will be undercover.

I only have so much horsepower (and most of the horses are out to pasture).

I will be back full force next week, I promise!  Hopefully then, I will have some exciting work to share with you!  

Until then, enjoy some of the things I have lined up - they may not be written by me but I guarantee they will be fabulous.

Low on grey matter,


Monday, September 6, 2010

Music Monday: Music at Work

It is Monday, already!

Thank goodness it is a loooooong weekend, I'm spent (and I assure you I have done nothing to exert myself).

Boys and girls, today I include a personal favourite video, a shootout to all who have to work today, tomorrow and the day after that.

This song makes me smile.

Back in high school I spent two summers working at an onion factory.  I worked shifts, alternating between days and nights, making sure those little pearl onions got all the way from the truck to a barrel full of brine or a box to be shipped.  

That job was a huge learning experience, an eye opener and to this day the smell of sautéing onions reminds me of showering after a shift.  My grannie loved that job: she missed the scent but gained pounds upon pounds of the little white onions, pickled in brine.

Night shifts were always my personal favourite, there were no big headed bosses around and Bert the forklift driver would be working.  Bert was a darling little man, perhaps 75 and a lonely widower.  He worked the seasonal job to pass his time and keep him busy.  Throughout the summer he taught me to drive forklift and by the end he was able to take his leave in the lunch room while I drove around happy as a clam (this was before the introduction of the required forklift license).  

This onion factory was situated directly beside a drag strip (I suppose onion and fuel counteract each other).  On the long weekends a Canadian band would fill the night with music as race-goers camped out of their cars.  

So there you have it, my long weekends were spent bopping around on a forklift, listening to The Tragically Hip and 54-40.  Sure, I reeked of onion, my clothes were ruined and I cried for an hour straight (the onion smell people).  The water fountain never worked and the pay was all but non-existent.  But that didn't really matter, I had Bert and Bert had a nap.  We all had good music.

Take a listen to the lyrics in this Canadian hit, "My Music at Work" by The Tragically Hip.

Did you catch the chorus?

Everything is bleak.
It's the middle of the night.
You're all alone and
the dummies might be right.
Outside, the darkness lurks.
My music at work.
My music at work.  

How fitting.

To all of you ladies and gentlemen working on this long weekend, have a good day and have a better night.  To anyone starting school, work or watching someone start school (perhaps the most nervous position of all), good luck.

Sleepy and satisfied,

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Traditional Thursday: Know When to Call It a Night

Oh dear, I was to post an etiquette tip.

My friends, that just isn't going to happen tonight.

You see, I was dancing around to The Rolling Stone's The Bridges to Babylon album (one of my rainy day favourites) when Mick Jagger had what seemed like imparting wisdom: " . . . might as well get juiced!" he sang to me.

I took his advice.

Now, seeing as I am three sheets to the wind, I fear I would be a rather big hypocrite if I was to offer you advice.  

It seems I am more in the mood to take it tonight; especially when it is coming from Mick Jagger.

I hope you aren't too disappointed (one less rule to follow)!  

Stylishly sloshed,


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wicked Wednesday: How Dated Are You?

On Monday I promised you something fabulous, provided you liked the Music Monday feature, Right Here, Right Now by Fatboy Slim.

Well, here is a video that I cannot get enough of.  It ramps me up and winds me down, all at the same time.  The music is the same Fatboy song but the video is completely different.

It was actually presented at Sony's annual meeting a couple of years ago.  It knocked my socks of.

This is not for those who puff themselves up with feigned importance.

Turn the volume up and give this bad boy a full size screen.  It is worth it.

Now, keep in mind this video is a couple years old.  

How small do you feel?  

Typically small equates to insignificant but that isn't how I feel after watching this.  Instead I feel invigorated and ready for the world.  Ready to show everyone how cool I really am.

I hope you feel the same way.

What are your thoughts?  Do tell!

Corporations aren't all bad, I suppose.  Well, we'll see.

Pensive and pretty,


The Dumpster Dog Chronicles: Welcome to Toronto

On Saturday my sister dropped her dog off at my house.  The dog is to remain here for a week and a half.  A week and a half.

Now people, I live in what is technically a studio apartment in Toronto.  It has lots of space and would be a one bedroom if the bedroom had a wall (and maybe a door).  Point being, I cannot close the bed and get away from what is in my apartment with me.  I have to share and I don't always like to share.

Being as they had just taken care of the Beast for two weeks while I was in Newfoundland I could hardly say no.  In fact, I tried to say no but it didn't fly.

This dog, she is lovely but we don't always see eye to eye.  You may remember her wreaking havoc one weekend (which you can read about here) and our relationship never really recovered.

Now I am stuck with her, in a small space, shared by the Beast and the Newf (who is really a cat guy).

This dog, better known as Dumpster Dog, was literally found in a dumpster (I'm not that mean - and my sister reads this, I think).  The poor thing was only three weeks old and howling as loud as her little basset hound vocal chords would let her.

Here she is as a cute little thing:

Dumpster Dog (just over four weeks old) and my sister

Now she has grown into her female figure and seems to have the beast under a spell.  He just cannot get enough.

The same pair, in the same position.  Dumpster Dog still rules (my sister's iron fist).

Some things to know about Dumpster Dog:
  • She is not well trained.  Basset hounds are notorious for following their nose (and their stomach) and this one is no different.  
  • She is always happy.  You'll note in the above picture her tail is wagging.  It never stops.  How do you stay mad at a creature that is always happy?
  • She is under the rule of my sister.  While Hilary (think a mix of Clinton and the girl on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air) fancies herself tough as nails she is a  big ol'softie.  Hillary does not rule the house, Dumpster Dog rules the house.
  • She is a rescue pup.  As I mentioned this dog had a rough start.  She and her siblings were dumped in a garbage can and left for dead before they even had spots.  Two of the four pups died.  Dumpster Dog survived and is understandably scarred as a result.

Well, we have had the pup for four days now.  Better known as "Dumpster Dog's Bootcamp" we have been butting heads the entire time.

See, at my house I really don't care how cute you are, I still expect you to pee in the proper receptacle.  At this point I cannot walk both the Beast (120 pounds of excitement) and Dumpster Dog (nose to the ground and looking for squirrels) at the same time.  I tried, the reactions received were somewhere between rolling laughter and disgust (so is Toronto).

It hasn't helped that I have been battling a nasty head cold.  

For the first three days my face leaked from every hole available.

For the first three days Dumpster Dog leaked on my floor every chance she got.

I guess we do have something in common.  

Miss Dumpster is whining at the door as we speak.  I best not wait.  More to come in the Dumpster Dog Chronicles.

Simply leaky (and sick of fluids),