Wednesday, April 26, 2006

the perfect painting soundtrack

...has always remained elusive for e-L...until now. Yes, there is painting going on in the 'ouse right now - we're redoing (actually "doing" is a better term, since we've not "done" anything to it before) the back bedroom, affectionately known as "The Library" since it houses a futon/couch and bookshelf. We also call it Carly's room cos she's about the only one who makes use of it as a bedroom anymore, and just wait 'til you see it girlfriend - it rocks. So yeah, some serious paint action, and I actually took the day off work to get the job done. The morning was spent attending Charles' core English class "Poetry Cafe" - a very, very cool event organized by the English teacher. Coffee and goodies, two dads playing acoustic guitar when we came in, and then the kids at the front of the class in spotlight, sitting on a stool with a mic, reciting the poems they'd written. SO cool, and I jokingly called it a poetry slam while talking with some of the other parents, a comment that sadly fell way flat. Sigh...my pop and sub culture references are completely wasted in this neighbourhood, I swear. So anyway, Charles was awesome, and man I felt sorry for their homeroom teacher who had them for the rest of they day as they were all hopped up on muffins and brownies.

So. Back to the soundtrack. Now I've done my share of painting and decorating over the years, and always, always am I looking for something to listen to. I've tried the radio on several occasions - both commercial and non-commercial - and that works for a time, but then I need something else. So I've experimented with various musical styles and none have really worked exactly as I wanted them to, so while they're albums I love and can listen to a lot, they just don't do it for me as the backdrop to the task at hand. But...this past weekend, when we really got started with the majority of the work I browsed the CD collection, and was drawn to Outskirts by Blue Rodeo - and I will never go back to anything else. It's been a long time since I've really listened to this album, and I'd honestly forgotten how brilliant it is. From the opening lines of Heart Like Mine to the intensely emotional keyboard solo at the end of Floating, I was completely taken in and transported. (do I sound like a crappy Hollywood reviewer yet? "I laughed, I cried!") I have this album on vinyl too, they've been a part of my life for that long. And checking the dates on the CD, it was originally released in 1987. Wow. Nearly 20 years ago, and yet I felt it was just as fresh and exciting as the day I first put it on the turntable. The lyrics are timeless (there I go sounding all gushy again) and are some of the best out there, evoking despair and hope simultaneously. And, of course nobody shares lead vocal responsibilities better than Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor (big sigh that Viv will understand lol). So there you have it, my review of the best music to paint by. If you still need some convincing, I leave you with the opening lines from Floating:

These late night conversations
Leave a strange taste
Like French cigarettes
And these coloured drinks
That you keep on throwin' at me
Just keep on reminding me
That I came to forget
So now every night
You insist on reminding me
Of my lost possibilities
And the stains on the wall
Well, I don't mean to complain
Still, it hurts just the same
And both of us know
The leaves will fall on their own

Saturday, April 22, 2006

fourplay

Jenn tagged me with the meme of four and I'm it - so here ya go Jenn - and everyone else interested in the minutiae of e-L's life - rock on:

four jobs I've had in my life:
1 - historical interpreter @Whitehern Historical House in Hamilton
2 - sales rep @The Body Shop
3 - musician in the HMCS Star band
4 - corporate librarian @Stelco

four nicknames I've been given:
1 - bissy/bis
2 - e-L
3 - lb (you're not allowed to ask, haha)
4 - mummy (I think that counts?)

four movies I would watch over and over again: (oh my gosh, only 4??)
1 - Singin' in the Rain
2 - The Party
3 - This is Spinal Tap
4 - Some Like it Hot

four places I have lived: (okay, I hope summer living counts cos mostly I've only ever lived in Hamilton, but anyway)
1 - Hamilton, ON
2 - Halifax, NS (for several summers)
3 - Esquimalt, BC (for another summer)
4 - Quebec City, QC (for part of another summer)

four tv shows I love to watch: (again, only 4??)
1 - Corner Gas
2 - What Not to Wear
3 - My Name is Earl
4 - The Simpsons

four places I have been on vacation:
1 - Ireland (ah, to be sure....)
2 - England (London & Kent and various other points)
3 - Bermuda
4 - Daytona Beach, FL

four websites I visit daily:
1 - weightwatchers.ca
2 - bloglines.com
3 - boingboing.net
4 - mcsweeneys.net

four things I could not live without:
1 - my boys
2 - my friends
3 - yoga
4 - wine

four of my favourite foods:
1 - chick peas
2 - sushi
3 - cheese
4 - bagels

four places I would rather be right now:
1 - the cottage
2 - pub in Ireland
3 - a Who concert
4 - in bed (lol)

four friends who I think will respond:
uh - I guess I haven't really tagged anyone via email or anything, so I'd like to hear from:
1 - Viv
2 - Ann
3 - Carly
4 - anyone else who reads this blog - although I don't actually think there is anyone else - sad but true

Friday, April 21, 2006

whose land is it, anyway?

Come ON people, it's not rocket science - it's very, very simple to determine who owns a section of land, and yet building developers continue to either a) do the research and look the other way or b) not do any of the research and just start building crappy cookie cutter houses wherever they want cos they're big important white people. Hmmm...actually, I'm pretty sure that b is the answer. Now what happens? Native leaders figure out what's up and try to let the developers know that hey, this isn't your land to bulldoze and build on. And yet they wind up looking like the bad guys. It's sick-making. CBC has some coverage of it here.

Thanks to my sister-in-law I was pointed to this fab blog (seriously, it's some pretty addictive reading) and the petition to nominate Stephen Lewis for the Nobel Prize for 2007. Now, everyone who reads my blog must know by now my feelings for Mr. Lewis. He's one of only a handful of people who, if they were to ask me to do something - anything - I would do it, in a heartbeat, no questions asked. So go ahead and sign the petition, please. The man is beyond worthy for this award.

[ah, and who are the others, these people for whom I would do anything? oh yes, you think I can't - but I can - I can hear you all wondering - well, that's for another post...]

Saturday, April 15, 2006

that easter thang

I'm not a huge fan of the holiday - although the chocolate portion of it is ok in e-L's books, and I rather like being off on Friday. But it used to be that all the great messiah-related movies were shown this time of year, and what happened?? Okay sure, Charlton Heston's classic chest shots are all over CityTV tonight in the Ten Commandments - yawn. But what about the BEST Jesus movies? Jesus of Montreal! The Last Temptation of Christ! Jesus Christ Superstar! (how can you not love singing Jesus?) and Tommy! (my all-time favourite messiah - and oh yes he is indeed the messiah - and I ought to know, I've followed a few...) see there? A line from another great Jesus movie - The Life of Brian! It saddens me to think that so many of the networks are wasting their time with Lord of the Rings marathons this weekend. They're totally missing the point. For people like me who get their churchin' through film, it's really a shame. So, sing it with me now: "What's the buzz, tell me what's a happenin', what's the buzz, tell me what's a happenin'... - k I feel better now.

Happy Easter, and don't forget to getcher peeps on!
Check out A Life Less Ordinary for more fun!
Also, this flickr set of pics with peeps is very cool. And for the record, that purple peeps bra? Not as comfortable as it looks....


haha - that's really not me... as if there was any doubt...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

i'm in eqao hell

Not only does it mean homework for Charles on top of the mounds he already brings home, but I tell you it also puts me to the test - this stuff is hard! Okay, not *all* of it - but there is a good amount that takes me a couple of minutes longer than it should !! to decipher and figure out - the math stuff especially. And - uh - yeah this is grade 3. Fortunately the boy is a whiz, so he doesn't need a lot of help. I'm still not sure how I feel about EQAO anyway. I mean, wasn't it brought in by a former anti-teacher government to show how badly teachers were doing? So that they could justify forcing teachers to go back to school? And then somehow on top of that give more funding to the schools that score high, and less to the ones that score low? And in the process, cut programs and staffing? Hmmmm. So I haven't had a chance to talk to Charles' teacher and get her take on it, but I think I might. It's still optional (I think) but Charles is keen - he's smart and he likes to show how smart he is. So he'll participate and be ok.

Charles is also going through the "did you know" phase. Of course, because it's Charles it's more like "didyouknow??" - it must be said extremely quickly and urgently, demanding instant attention. Some examples from earlier this evening:

Didyouknow Canada comes from a native language word "kanata" that means village? (yes)
Didyouknow all the first letters of the Great Lakes spell "homes"? (actually hadn't really thought about that one - so, cool)
Didyouknow our grade 4 checkers team won first place and the grade 5 team won second? (there's a checkers team? who knew?)
Didyouknow there's a marble stuck in my belly button? (uhhh....no comment)

Didn't I tell you he was smart?

We got the marble out, thanks for asking.

And hey, how do you like this? Oh those resourceful U of W students! Gotta love exam time...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

weekend masters, prayer and stuff

Oh it's a pot-pourri of stuff on e-L's amazing journey today. First off, while MuchMusic did their VJ search (it's truly nothing that I'm overly excited about) I would just like to give a shout out to *my* favourite Vijay... yeah, he didn't win, but he's very cool anyway. This was the first year I watched the Masters since my dad died. It was a thing with us, and it's been hard to see since he's been gone. But for some reason I wanted to watch this year. And I'm glad I did. I like to yell at the TV "getintheholegetintheholegetinthehole" and "oooooh bad case of the yips, huh??" just like Herb. It makes me happy.

So the Ayn Rand institute is shocked by the news that prayer doesn't help. Well, duh. I do like the letter though, especially this from the opening paragraph: "It is not shocking that prayer has no medical effects--what's shocking is that scientists at Harvard Medical School are wasting their time studying the medical effects of prayer." heh...

Lastly, an iPod safety section on e-L's blog tonight. No, sadly I still do not own an iPod - I just covet those that I see - but there were some news stories about the iPod this week that I thought I would share. First, Apple puts a volume limiter on the iPod - all you iPodders, you be safe out there - even if it does go to 11... In other iPod news (doesn't that make me sound like I actually own an iPod? sigh...) another safety tip - be careful what you sing along to in a taxi - Oy vey. I think I'd rather turn in those Shania listeners, wouldn't you??
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