Tag Archives: video

May These Gates Never Be Closed

Canada, like the rest of the world, is in the midst of serious Olympic fever. I’ve personally contributed to that fever by watching so much Olympics coverage that I now know the minutiae about things that never occurred to me to matter before now, such as the proper landing positions for the triple axel and the triple lutz, and the difference between the skeleton and the luge. Really, Canada has every right to be uncharacteristically* Canadian during the 16 days that Vancouver is hosting the Olympics; they have every right to be filled with glowing hearts. They are doing a fabulous job of managing the expectations of the world, even without snow…at the WINTER Olympics, to be sure.

There has been article after article, show after show, and video after video about the Games, but it wasn’t until I saw^ the video Tom Brokaw produced for NBC that I really took notice. The video apparently aired in British Columbia just prior to the start of the Games as an “education” piece about Canada for Americans. God knows we need it, too. Watching this video made my heart well up with pride and my eyes with tears for *both* of my countries — the one in which I was born and the one in which I choose to live. A better piece of journalism has never been produced, imho!

Now do you see why I love Canada? Swoon!
* By which I mean allowed to go crazy and show their passionate pride for their country, something that actually took urging from their Prime Minister! Those crazy Canucks.

^ I actually found it because it was trending on Twitter.


Filed under Canada

New York State Of Mind

Can’t blog. On my way to the best city on the face of the planet, by which I mean New York City (!), to see some art, watch some contemporary dance, gallavant around Central Park, do serious damage to my credit card, and gawk at the holidayed-up shop windows! Also, to birthday-celebrate. 🙂


Filed under Travel

Holidays On Ice (Day 22)

The holidays have officially arrived! This Thursday is US Thanksgiving and, for this American girl, signals the kick-off to the official holiday season and the beginning of the countdown to Christmas. Which, of course, can also mean only one thing — it’s time, once again, to read my most favourite holiday book. What’s that, you ask? Is it “Twas the Night Before Christmas? No. A Christmas Carol, perhaps? Prognosis negative. The classic How The Grinch Stole Christmas? No, although I’m sure all the Who’s down in Who-ville would disagree. Nope — none of those come close, actually.

The book I look forward to reading every single year is David SedarisHolidays On Ice, his superlatively hilarious tales of working as an elf at Macy’s New York. The “SantaLand Diaries” first debuted in 1992 as an essay on NPR’s Morning Edition and was so popular that it essentially launched him into stardom. The book contains other stories in addition to the SantaLand Diaries, including my personal favourite “Dinah, The Christmas Whore”. Every page of this book is so positively hilarious that I usually end up with buckets of tears rolling down my face from laughing so hard. The best part? The book is dedicated to Ira Glass. I’m sure I would be able to think of one or two things that might be better than this pairing if I put my mind to it, but at this particular moment, I cannot. That’s pretty much as good as it gets — David Sedaris and Ira Glass. A Christmas classic, indeed.

While perusing YouTube today, I found an audio clip of Mr. Sedaris reading the audio verison of Holidays On Ice aloud. I’m embedding Part I here for your listening pleasure, so turn on your Christmas lights, grab a cuppa hot chocolate and your snuggie, and prepare your rib cage for some serious chest-shaking guffaws. You’re welcome. 😉

1 Shockingly, I found it on sale in hardback at Chapters for $5.99, so for those of you in Canada, fire up your snowmobiles and get over there — pronto!

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Video Sweet Video

As you know, I’m forever on the cutting edge just behind the technology curve. I am somewhat of a technofailure, but at least I try — ten points for me! I recently got an iPhone 3GS (oh, you know you’re so jealous!) which, for those of you who don’t know, has a video recording function. Freakin’ sweet! So, I decided to put it to good use by recording a little video of my slice of Toronto heaven. The good part is, of course, that I can’t actually see your eye-rolling, so it doesn’t hurt as much. 😉

[So, after I posted my vid essentially advertising my exact location to the world (since it’s kind of a landmark-y area) , I woke up in a total sweat. Although my building is as secure as Fort Knox — I am not kidding in any way…it’s actually a little ridic — I remembered that John Lennon didn’t get shot *inside* his building, but *outside*!  So I’ve redacted the video from public view here, as well as on YouTube, but if you’d like to see my soon-to-be Oscar-nominated video, feel free to email me privately and I’ll be happy to send it to you.]

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Filed under Canada, video

There’s No Health Without The Care

I received a flyer in my mailbox this week that I found sufficiently interesting and felt should be shared. It stood out amongst the (very few) pieces of mailbox candy I usually receive because of the recent, and incessant, barrage of U.S. healthcare drama that has essentially turned the good ol’ United States of America into a complete and utter gong show. Also, it stood out because the photo is the worst I’ve ever seen. And, being the marketing maven and professional consumer I am, I’ve seen some pretty bad images, so I know one when I see one. I would offer that Mr. Ignatieff’s minions take a quick perusal through iStockPhoto.com, or similar stock photo purchasing website. They’re cheap and have a plethora of direct mail-appropriate images. Of course, if the aim, Mr. Ignatieff, was to garner attention by displaying a lack of relevant imagery, you succeeded. Anyway.

What I’ve gathered from the flyer (because I can read real good) is that the opposition party in Canada, which happens to be the Liberals, (one of three major Canadian parties, for those of you who don’t know) and led by Michael Ignatieff (who has been living in the U.S. for 30 years, and who will, of course, be the closest Canadians will ever come to fulfilling their lifelong dream of having an American run their country ;-)) is using the furor over the U.S. healthcare debate to scare Canadian citizens into voting for their party. The Liberals apparently need some support against Prime Minister Harper‘s Conservatives and the Conservatives’ apparent “inactivity” and “non-strengthening” where the Canadian healthcare system is concerned.  Which won’t at all be a problem once the Liberals are in office since they’re, well, liberal, and because Ignatieff has *so* much experience with the system, what with his 30 years in the U.S. and all. 😉

Ignatieff 2

Oddly enough, it seems that the Democrats in the U.S. (by which I mean the “pro-universal care contingent”) are using Canada as a utopian example of how universal healthcare works, and succeeds, on behalf of its citizens (seen Sicko, anyone?), whereas the Republicans (by which I mean the “con-universal care contingent”), are engaging actual Canadian citizens who’ve been wronged by the system in one way or another to dispute the validity of the universal plan.

I can hardly keep up anymore.  It’s all enough to make your head explode, really, and just proves that the proverbial grass is truly always greener. It just needs a little mowing from time to time.  So I say that, in this time of conflict, we should take pause and watch this lovely video that I think sums everything up ever so nicely:

Fortunately for me, and unlike most of the talking heads, I’ve actually lived both systems, so I think I’m entitled to an opinion. Also, because I’m the boss here, yo.  I can honestly see the pros and cons of both systems, and, although my actual care was better in Texas (just like most things there), it sure is nice not having $20 co-pays, long waits to see a specialist and access to $2 prescriptions.  I pay $2 for a three month supply of medicine in Ontario, where the same exact thing cost me $45 when I lived in Texas. As you can imagine, this savings is beneficial on many fronts, such as when I’m old and need lots of medicine, and also when I need to support my local shoe merchants — it’s most excellent for the economies. 😉

So, my message to my fellow Americans is this: just pass the bill already. Enough with the fist-fighting and death paneling and doctored-up images of President Obama as Hitler. Seriously people, come on!  Hitler killed six million people, for Christ sake — SIX MILLION PEOPLE — and nearly took out an entire race. I hardly think trying to secure decent healthcare for our fellow citizens who don’t have it, like small business owners or the elderly for example, is quite the same as the Holocaust (read: you’re making us look like giant, howling monkey brigade imbeciles). I mean, think of all the money you’ll save.  And when it all goes awry, you can just blame Canada. 😉


Filed under Canada

In Six Words or Less

My day today: threaten self to get out of bed NOW…or else.  Pour copious amounts of caffeine down esophagus, just for the taste of it. Speed to work. Curse at idiots good citizens of Toronto driving slowly in the left lane. Don’t they know?? Then work. And work. Eat lunch. And work some more. Speed back downtown as quickly as humanly possible. Breathe easier when CN Tower comes into view. Almost home now. Check for mail candy. Jump up and down, smile, and clap quickly — Coraline DVD has arrived. Power on laptop with the broken back. Check email. Open Google Reader. Check backtype (yeah, right. It hurts, but I can take it.) Consume leftovers. Put on Coraline, but become distracted by websites and blogs and sanguine vids. Vids like TO in 6 Words (posted below for your viewing pleasure) that make me swoon and coo and fall head-over-heels in love with my city all over again.  Because I effin’ *love* my city.  It really is the *best* city, yo.  Even when it’s cold 11.5 months a year (damn “wintersummer” of 2009).  Even when the plethora of downtown construction causes my streetcar to go on unnecessary half-hour long wild goose chases.  Even when I want to be anywhere but here, my city always manages to inspire me. Even then. And so I post, because what I feel for my lovely city starts with an l and ends with an o-v-e.  But I digress.  Then, put on pajamas and keep nightly date with heavenly bed. Set alarm for an hour far too early por moi. And rinse and repeat. 🙂

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