Sunday, December 6, 2009

My Celebrity Playlist


I’m a big fan of iTunes Celebrity Playlists. One of the best ways to discover new music is through passionate and adamant recommendations; you can learn a lot about someone when you know what kind of songs really mess with them. Such is the beauty of a celebrity playlist. So when you ask a narcissistic, image-obsessed famous person to produce a list of their all-time favourite tracks, you’re bound to get some good (if not hilarious) stuff. Even if their publicists write the lists on their behalf, you know damn well that said publicist thought long and hard about what will make the celebrity look cool and smart, but not overly pretentious. Excellent musical knowledge is one way to convince people you’re relevant.

A good playlists may even endear you to a celebrity you once thought was a fool (which is exactly what the celebrities' labels want. I am a corporate cog). Case in point, when I saw Ashlee Simpson had a playlist, oh some, three years ago, I was ready to laugh at her embarrassing choices. But when she picked Cyndi Lauper’s cover of ‘When you were mine’, I couldn’t hate her anymore for a few days.

Also, celebrity playlists are educational. A few things I’ve learned from years of following the lists:
1. Celebrities think Wilco RULES
2. Famous people love Antony & the Johnsons – namely lead singer Antony Hegarty’s androgynous voice. There are lots of androgynous people in Hollywood. It makes sense.
3. Prince and/or Bob Dylan are on everyone’s list. It makes me think that Prince and Bob Dylan have a lot more clout in Hollywood than you’d think (okay fine, they’re just awesome, there’s probably nothing suspicious going on here they’ve gotten to me too).
4. The Beatles don’t appear anywhere, because if it ain’t sold on iTunes, it ain’t going on your list. Instead, you’ll notice an imbalance of songs from Paul McCartney & Wings, because people are clearly trying to make up for their inability to tell everyone how much they loved Rubber Soul.
5. I hated Sarah Silverman a little bit when she produced a lackluster effort. Was she trying to be funny? Or just didn’t care? Lack of effort and ambivalence are ugly.
6. Paul Rudd’s playlist features more than two of my favourite songs. We’re obviously meant to be.
7. Judging rich people is fun!

All right, time to get down from my ivory tower of musical superiority. I’m going to make my own playlist. All of the following songs are immensely special to me and I happen to think they are all really, really good. Of course, as soon as I hit publish on the blog, I’ll regret my choices and spend the rest of the day thinking about what I should have done instead. NO. It’s set in stone. These songs are the awesome. They come from different genres and might not mesh, but they’re my most favouritest ear worms.

Links provided for your listening pleasure. Headphones are recommended for maximum cerebral effect. Would love to know what you think and what you’d put on your own playlist, were you given the chance (here’s your chance).

1. Grizzly Bear – Two Weeks My favourite song of 2009. Seriously cannot stop listening….. go now!

2. Fiona Apple – Paper Bag. In university, when DKM and I broken up ( Sigh. Young, troubled love.) I used to get really drunk and sing this song to my roommate Cath. I’d pull her into my bedroom and serenade her until she got super uncomfortable and tried to leave. Then I’d sing it to her again. Then I’d play her Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights because it says “Cathy” in the lyrics. Paper Bag is probably my favourite song to sing out loud. I really miss Fiona Apple.

3. Neutral Milk Hotel – In an Aeroplane over the sea. I was always obsessed with this song (key track of a concept album dedicated to Anne Frank…..yep) but never knew where it came from. With no context, I just figured it was a sweet little jingle. I recently became even more obsessed when someone alerted me to this article about singer Jeff Magnum. After releasing this record, Magnum all but disappeared off the face of the earth. He’s been called ‘the JD Salinger of indie rock.” Awesome.

4. Nina Simone – I Got Life The ULTIMATE pump up song. So it might be about slavery, but just try and not feel good listening to it.
Publish Post
5. Sloan - The Lines you Amend. Let’s hear it for the Canadian contingent! Sloan isn’t one of my favourite bands, but this tune from ‘One Chord to Another’ gets me every time. It's upbeat, and catchy with a kick ass melody, but the lyrics are quite sad. I love a song that brings you up and down within three minutes. That’s powerful stuff.

6. Rufus Wainwright – Poses. This is what dreamy sounds like. Poses is the kind of tune that stays with you forever.

7. Hank Snow – A Fool Such as I Old Country. Not for everyone. Definitely for me.

8. The Cure – Lovesong The perfect pop song. Catchy and repetitive. Rolling drums. Robert Smith looks inappropriately plaintive in the video. It’s got everything.

9. Eddie Vedder – No Ceiling One minute and thirty-nine seconds of goodness. My only complaint? I wish it were longer. Oh but, Eddie, I can’t stay mad at you. Meow.

10. Frank Sinatra Witchcraft It’s hard to pick one Sinatra song, but Old Blue Eyes can’t be excluded from my list. He wouldn’t allow it. My earliest musical memories all involve Frank.

11. Radiohead – True Love Waits One for the lovers. I go through months-long phases where I play this song constantly. As hard as I try to kill it, it never goes away. That’s the mark of a truly great track.

12. Lauryn Hill – Ex-Factor Remember when Lauryn Hill was this good? Feels like forever ago.

13. Pink Martini – Hang on Little Tomato For times when you need to hear from a woman with a really beautiful voice

That was fun.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Catching Up

Eid Al Adha holidays are over. Five days off work in the private sector. That’s as good as it gets in Qatar. While it’s not my friend Cath's situation in Korea (on paid government sanctioned vacation from December 23-February 8 holy god I’m in the wrong country), I’ll take it. Five day weekend!! Over Eid, most residents leave town to visit exotic and/or historic locales for a few days. I stayed. The city was dead. No one was around and there was nothing to do. I barely left the house. I cooked lots. Slept in and read the newspaper. Also read brilliant essays. I strongly recommend you print these out and enjoy with a drink (Frank Sinatra, Vonnegut, Michelin star restaurants, Mike Tyson, disappearing in the digital age). Seriously, those links are gold. You'll actually learn things.

That's me, on vacation. It's a hermit crab. Was that sly reference lost on you? Go watch this disgusting yet completely mesmerizing starfish feeding frenzy and learn more about aquatic life.

I would have blogged but my brain was only interested in ingestion. Nothing good came out. When you buy six movies and the first one you watch is Paul Blart: Mall Cop, you’re in a pretty sorry state. My review of Paul Blart? That probably would have been useful to you eight months ago, but we’re not CNN Breaking News here. My review: it stinks. The movie has skateboarding robbers and “the 2007 internet sensation of the year” parkour, and I forget what else. Going in, there was hope that Paul Blart would be secretly hilarious like the surprise delight Role Models, but no. And whoever thought to cast Kevin James as a romantic(ish) lead was probably drunk. Or it was Kevin James himself. Either way, it didn't work. It's Not that I have anything against watching a fat person fall in love and make out with someone way out of his league. I’d just rather spend my 10 QAR (3 bucks, still not a bargain) on a more realitic movie. Like Star Trek. Disss.

Happy end of Movember! Do you have a Movember male in your life? If so, surely you understand that despite its 30 calendar days, November is the loooongest month of the year.

Have I ever mentioned how great it is to run with an hotelier crowd? Hotels just love giving other hotels free stuff. It’s crazy! For instance, the Hot Hoteliers Doha group (co-founded by DKM) meets every six weeks at one of Qatar’s finest hotels for an evening of free booze and noms and socializing. Last night the event was at the Ritz-Carlton. And the Ritz doesn't joke around. They’re the gold standard in hospitality. There was foie gras (yes, I hate the idea of it too but as an amateur foodie you have to admit it’s delicious) and crab cakes and spicy tuna on mini spoons and teeny desserts served my waiters who never disappeared. DKM also won a raffle prize – two day passes to the Ritz-Carlton beach. This is me at said beach:

Happy place. Responsible sun play. The book? Atonement. Sexy times. 

DKM gave me the passes because he’s going to watch the Rugby Sevens and train in Dubai for eight days. I’m taking Brenda. We asked for the passes before D even had a chance to offer, which he was going to do originally. We looked like jerks. Lesson? Always give someone at least five minutes to offer you a present before asking for it yourself.

So here’s one productive thing I have to show for my extended weekend – I put up a fake Christmas tree. When I opened the box a tiny bug came crawling out, and I was terrified to touch the 200 or so pieces inside. I had a cry on the living room floor while probably surrounded by bug-infested fake branches, before pulling myself together. Two hours later, a star was born.

Look at this fool, pretending she’s not frightened.

So there’s a short update for my friends who are mad I've been a bad pen pal. I’m behind on correspondence! Your accusatory messages are giving me the sads.

I have some thoughts on Tiger Woods that need to be punched out. Will write about something other than my immediate surroundings soon. Promise.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Can anyone tell me what this is?

See original Hack the Bone post here:

And this
weird bit of Internet is from something I found on a blog called Boys Games…..

I’m frightened. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Kids these days: or wherein I favour optimism over another Sarah Palin-related post


Kids these days. Everything bad they do – I blame on Miley Cyrus. Everything good must be a direct result of Taylor Swift. If there’s a kid with an unnatural obsession with a love interest, I chalk it up to Twilight.

Clearly, I’m alienated from the young peoples. This distance is probably the reason I find the younger generation so fascinating.

What’s intriguing about them? For starters, it’s boggling to think that people exist who don’t know a life before the Internet. Today’s thirteen year olds watched Blues Clues DVDs on their parents’ laptops and learned how to spell and type while surfing Yahoo! for kids. ICQ was a dinosaur long before they cut their teeth on Facebook chat.

I like to think that these kids, the ones who grew up video blogging their diaries have a good grasp of the idea of the global community. A better grasp than my friends and I had at their age, at least. Kids these days learn from a really young age that we’re just a tiny speck among the oceans of people trying to be heard.There’s hardly a better way for a young kid to learn about life outside their bedroom than by logging on to a news site and reading comments from people halfway around the world. They can discover for themselves the opinions of smarter, dumber, more racist and better looking people. Thanks to and because of the sheer volume of the Internet, they understand just how crazy big our planet is.

As such, it seems that today’s youth have an incredible appreciation for those moments when two strangers crash together in wonderfully random and unexpected situations. A gross generalization? Definitely maybe, as this argument is based almost completely on my experience with the site My Life is Average. After reading MLIA for a few weeks, and rejoicing in the site's friendly attitude towards thought, it’s clear to me that young people today possess the rare gift of seeing the magical in the mundane. This I love.

Here are a few typical entries from MLIA:

One day I received a call from an 800 number. Expecting it to be a telemarketer I answered with a sigh and a hello. The response was "Hi there, I'm an annoying telemarketer that's not going to try to sell you something I already know you don't want... how's the weather?" A minute later I heard his boss behind him ask what he was doing followed by a click. Best telemarketer experience ever. MLIA

Today was Halloween and I was passing out candy at my house. The old man (about 85) who lives down the street from me said trick or treat when he came to my door. He wasn't dressed in a costume so I asked him what he was. His reply, "I'm Benjamin Button. I'm 7, but I look a lot older." I gave him extra candy. MLIA

Yesterday for trick-or-treat me and my bf went as Harry and Ginny. We went up to a house and an old lady answered dressed up as Hermione. She looked at us hugged both of us then screames, "Ron, Harry and Ginny came to visit us." Then her husband comes to the door dressed as Ron and gave us both a big hug. I love old people. MLIA

A little while ago, I went to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince with my sister, mom, and dad. When the movie characters raised their wands at the end to remember Dumbledore, my dad slowly raised his drinking straw, and was followed by the entire filled IMAX theater. MLIA

Delightful. The best entries from MLIA describe an unexpected connection between strangers- the special moment that happens when a shared interest brings strangers together, if only for a second. Moments in time. Observing what’s vivid. Presentation, not reference.

MLIA resides in the corner of the Internet we go to forget about the Levi Johnstons and Jon Gosselins of the world. MLIA is where we honour the best of the every day and celebrates the good in people. Knowing that its submissions are written largely by school kids fills me with hope for what’s to come.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Are you tired of this woman yet?


I bet you aren't.

The Sarah Palin media blitz is beginning. I’d say I missed the thrilla from Wasilla in the months since Obama’s victory, but Palin hasn’t really gone anywhere. That's not to say she didn’t try. For the better part of 2009, Palin abandoned her abbreviation-happy twitter account (her ham radio to the world), rarely gave press interviews and spoke only at events where the media weren’t allowed to tread.

Even if Palin herself stayed quiet, curious onlookers were given plenty of ammunition to rifle through. The public learned a lot more about Palin from the hangers on who were willing to speak on her, than we ever learned from the Governor herself. And hangers on there were many. Countless people, near to and far from Palin willing to talk about her at length. No issue was left untouched. Literally. Articles were published on her e-mail etiquette, her alleged marriage problems with Todd and exactly how long it took her to drop that pesky baby weight .

With so many speaking about her, it was easy to forget that Palin herself was trying to keep her head down until the release of her hastily produced memoir, Going Rogue.

But now, as the book’s debut nears, it looks as if the relative quiet from the Palin camp is over. Her hugely-anticipated Oprah interview airs tomorrow, followed by a “politically-fueled” 20/20 interview with Baba WaWa. We’re in store for an exhaustive PR blitz. This morning, I counted 45 articles on my Google Reader about Going Rogue. Critics have gotten their hands on advance copies, and the scathing reviews are pouring in. Journalists everywhere are jostling to be the first to identify any errors and lies that may lie within. It's a journalistic blood sport out there - whoever serves up Palin's head on a platter wins.

The world is watching Sarah Palin this week.

And why?

Most people have figured out that Palin’s presidential chances have all but disappeared with the $150,000 wardrobe she sported on the campaign trail.

Obviously nothing is certain, but I’m willing to bet on this- Palin isn’t going to be president. Maybe she goes on to host a chat show on FOX News, and spends her best years shouting at Obama from behind the soap box and high fiving Glenn Beck between takes. Surely since she quit her post as Governor her chances at this becoming her reality have increased tenfold. If Sarah Palin leaves politics for good and turns into the right-wing Oprah, when is the public going to stop paying attention?

At what point do we stop caring about Sarah Palin?

I wish I knew the answer.

The scary thing is, I’m not sure I’ll ever stop caring. Judging by the level of articles I’ve read on Palin and her relationships in the past year and a half, I will always be fascinated. Shudder the thought.

This is kind of sad and hard to admit, but I read everything about the woman I can get my hands on. The nastier the article better. And I don’t stop at third party writing - I delight in Palin’s indecipherable tweets and rambling Facebook essays (with seventeen footnotes….ibid ibid ibid). I’ve watched the YouTube video of Sarah’s greatest mishaps more than twice. And the Tina Fey sketches? I practically have them memorized.

I read every article that picks apart her speeches and her dialect and her hypocrisy. I loved it when FOX News actually fact checked and called her out on a blatant error. Loved it.

Clearly, I’m not gunning for this woman to succeed and yet, I’m obsessed with her. I’d rather spend an afternoon with Going Rogue, desperately searching for an error the Huffington Post hasn’t caught yet, than embiggen (The Simpsons made it a real word) myself with the biography of someone whose life is actually worthy of such intense fascination.

What does that say about me? What does it say about anyone who feels the same?

We need to do something better with our lives.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I’ve been wrong before

Yes, the Levi Johnston twitter account is fake. It’s so fake, in fact, that Levi is trying to sue twitter for allowing such a brazen impersonation to occur. Let’s get this straight – Levi is upset someone compromised the reputation he’s worked so hard to sculpt? Homeboy is an idiot. On another note, I can’t wait for his Playgirl spread. I think there'll be moose involved.

Here are other things I’ve been wrong about:

1. There may be more to the Letterman-Drew Barrymore relationship than intellect and repartee.

2. This cat not being a cheeseburger:

I think that’s everything. Let’s move on.

Next!

Self-promotion:  the project I’ve been slaving over lately culminated yesterday in a successful event and comparable media coverage.  A client actually HUGGED me (if you work in an agency you know that’s special). It was a very good day professionally. Also, Hack the Bone was named one of Qatar’s Best Blogs by qatarvisitor.com. Hack the Bone – “read for lighthearted posts.” I’m very happy to be mentioned (even happier Hack the Bone hasn’t gotten me deported) but there is nothing lighthearted about Michael Phelps’ face (or as I like to call it, proof that pobody’s nerfect).

Next!

What’s the best way to make your face redder than Santa’s at the Boxing Day staff party? Boot camp.

There’s no reason to mention boot camp, other than the fact that I want everyone to know I’m exercising and at the same time, to try out that Santa joke. It was hilarious, so mission accomplished.

Next!

It’s fall/winter in Doha so there are things to do besides sit around talking about the heat and looking at pictures of camels. The England and Brazil national football teams are playing a friendly on the weekend. Brazil and England in Qatar?


Why, you ask?  Come on, people. For the monies! Apparently the players are already in town, sans Beckham. Whatever Beckham, that’s cool. I would rather bump into Rooney anyway. He seems nice. Big ears, not much cauliflowering.

It feels as if everyone in the country has tickets to the game – our softball match is even cancelled so people can attend conflict free (softball update - we won 25-6 last week in a game I missed because I can’t say no to Risk and champagne, long story, but yes I am kind of pissed the team won so handily without me, a girl just wants to feel needed you know, read that aloud in one breath it'll improve your wind pipes).

There will be no booze served at the game, not that it matters to most people. Do I talk about drinking too much? Question asked, question answered. Anyway. Officials were worried things would get too rowdy for the conservative Qatari crowd, so one of the British papers ran an article pleading fans not to get drunk and paint their half-naked bodies. In other words, there will be few sauced and overweight Brits with flags painted on their bellies screaming out the words to the Wayne Rooney song.
  In even more other words, the atmosphere is going to suck.

The equestrian championships are happening on the same night in another arena. Another Doha planning FAIL. We choose football, but it was hard to say no to the horsies.

Speaking of beautiful creatures – Federer has confirmed he’s playing in Doha in January 2010.

Speaking of impending beauty in Doha - Jimmy Choo's H&M line is coming to town next Thursday and it's bringing this dress: 


Mine?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

When idiots attack


Ohhh shoot! Levi Johnston (you know, the kid who knocked up Sarah Palin’s daughter and is posing for Playboy next month) has a twitter feed and it’s the greatest thing ever! He only has 3,000 followers right now, so check it out before a responsible adult makes him delete the account.

Levi can’t spell and he’s racist and sexist and talks about drug use and his decision to pose naked. Someone get this kid a muzzle. Levi Johnston in his own words (if I find out this is fake, I’ma be crushed) is a prime example of why I love twitter so. As soon as you let public figures (and I use that term loosely here) speak for themselves, everything their long-suffering publicists work for goes to the dogs.

Did you read that Vanity Fair story that took one of his interviews and turned it into a readable and widely entertaining piece on the Palin family? If you missed it, the online link is here. You have to feel sorry for the journalist whose job it was to spin Levi’s ramblings into something decipherable.

Have I mentioned before that I love the Internet?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

You again

I haven’t posted much of substance lately. Thanks to an ever-increasing workload  (wah wah) and abundance of fun things to do in Qatar (not joking), I’ve ignored all  blog accountability. I had a strategy though - after posting that video of Ovechkin, I figured you’d all be sufficiently grossed out and not visit for a while. Please come back now.

So Tribeca’s been pretty sweet. In a drastic change of character, Doha felt like a bustling city this past weekend. Tennis, Film Festivals, CHER - there was a lot going on.  On Thursday, we wormed our way into the VIP opening night party. It was aiiiight (boozy). I got so drunk that I smoked in front of DKM’s mother. Then I invited a bunch of relative strangers over for an after party, only to serenade them with Carly Simon’s you’re so vain and get offended when no one joined in.

The next morning I was all, “those people were such duds last night.” And everyone else was like, “no, you were ridiculous and embarrassing. You probably should apologize.”

And that’s how that went. I’m starting boot camp tonight as punishment for jerky behaviour.  


What was I talking about? Right, Tribeca. There were movies too. Thanks to an unnamed source, we had press accreditation through the festival. Press accreditation = free tickets. So what if the tickets were 10 riyal (three dollars) without a press badge? We got to wear neat badges with our photos on them and pretend we are important.

I watched three movies – The September Issue (hilarious), An Education (effectively ruined my Peter Saaaarsgaaard crush but was sooo good, sigh) and Sin Nombre (violent and mean). DKM saw the Spike Lee joint Kobe Doing Work because he’s a sucker. You know I love sports but there’s no chance in hell I was sitting through one and a half hours of Spike Lee fellating Kobe Bryant, whose personality always left something to be desired, in my nuanced opinion. But get this - Kobe Doing Work is a documentary about one game of basketball. One game! And it’s not even a playoff game. Spike Lee made a feature length film from probably two hours of footage? Sounds like he phoned that one in. Pass.


Sin Nombre is one of those artsy, hard-to-watch but “really good” movies that had everyone in the audience clapping through the credits.  It’s about gangs and emigration in Honduras. Violence and unhappiness prevails. Everyone said they loved it because they’re probably scared someone might tell them they’re stupid if they don’t.  I would have rather spent that time looking at rainbows and smiling. I prefer things that are happy and fuzzy and that you can pet. There’s nothing pettable in that movie.

Happy Halloween everyone. For the first time, I didn’t dress up. Not because I’m mature or above it, but because there are decency dress codes at the clubs now that don’t vibe with my kind of Halloween. Last year, I pulled a Spike Lee and wore a Blondie “costume” that lacked effort and imagination. The Blondie costume came to when I was walking up Queen St. W on my way home from work. Peep my inner monologue: “I can’t believe my work is making me dress up. I have two jobs, damnit, and it’s cold. There’s no time to find something skanky enough to work at a sports bar. Maybe I can just repeat my devil costume from last year. I was the perfect Halloween tramp! Tight red dress, gloves, fishnets, horns and tail. Perfect. What in the hell am I going to wear this year!? Something baggy? Haha yeah right, I’m hilarious. Oh hey here’s that store that sells band t-shirts. That cranky hipster shopkeeper be damned, I’m going in. Oh there’s Blondie.  Grab it fast before shopkeeper with the thrift store glasses (probably fake prescriptions, bastard) judges you any longer. Do you think he knows I’m only shopping here because it’s Halloween? My stars, his hair looks smelly. Is he serious with the man bangs? Aaaand exit. Wouldn’t you know it, band t-shirt store is two doors down from an American Apparel. They sell fugly shiny leggings and headbands. I have big hair. Perfect. I am Blondie. Do you think Debbie Harry would wear a t-shirt with her face on it? Ohhh damnit.”


Elisha clearly went for the skanky-dress-with-some-sort-of-headpiece look. I should have copied. Next year, I’ll do something really awesome. I owe it to myself.

Things I love right now:

1.)
  
GLEE! So proud of myself for jumping on the Glee bandwagon. I've been patting my own back for days. That show is DELIGHTFUL.

2.)
  
Mylifeisaverage.com  Excellent stuff. Am I really behind the fray on this? Probably. The 13 year-olds who contribute to this site are hilarious. MLIA is soooo much better than FML and TFLN but fall behind far behind LOLCats. Acronym party.

3.)
 
The bruise on my hand that I got from a softball. It looks so cool and I get to tell people that I sort of injured myself playing team sports. We’ve played four games now and it’s great fun.
 DKM’s one of the best players on the team, which I’m thankful for because his skill justifies my presence. Week by week, I’m transforming my noodle arm from tenderized to al dente to hard as a frock. When you only play catcher, you get a lot of throwing practice.

Ed Note - I'm still having trouble formatting my blog in Google Chrome (no I'm not switching to Firefox, I will stay true to the Chromium), so apologies if this reads wonky. It might be because you're viewing this on Internet Explorer, and if you are, please stop trying to kill the Internet. Otherwise, let me know if you're having trouble viewing pages and I'll take it up with Blogger. K bai!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lyrics game

**UPDATE** 
Answers are posted in the comments section. Thanks for playing!


Who doesn’t love song lyrics? There are good ones and great ones and bad ones.  Some are obscure, some are well-thought out, and some just make no damn sense.

Probably the BEST lyrics are the ones you sing incorrectly for years, only to have blissful ignorance snatched away by some know-it-all d-bag in at a bar. 



You know, it’s actually, “Who will dance on the floor in the round?”

Usually I’m that d-bag. It’s a wonder I’ve got any friends at all.

So yea. Lyrics. They’re the best.

Are you feeling musical now? Good. Let’s play the lyrics game.

Below, you’ll find a selection of words put to song. Here’s a hint – they can all be found on my iTunes (ha?) No artist or band is repeated. There’s a song for every letter of the alphabet. See how many you can identify WITHOUT using Google (or Bing or Yahoo or Altavista… Ask Jeeves?). Really, don’t cheat. The Internet makes people dishonest. Have some integrity and use your finely tuned musical knowledge to identify the Britney Spears song, damnit.

Answers to be posted in the comment section tomorrow.



a)   a) Ambition makes you look pretty ugly
Kicking and squealing gucci little piggy
You don't remember
You don't remember
Why don't you remember my name?


c)   b) Your beauty is beyond compare
With flaming locks of auburn hair
With ivory skin and eyes of emerald green

c)
 The waiting drove me mad
you’re finally here and I'm a mess
I take your entrance back
can’t let you roam inside my head


e)   d)Well I hear you went up to Saratoga
And your horse naturally won
Then you flew your Lear jet up to Nova Scotia
To see the total eclipse of the sun


f)    e) they got the situation
they gotta be facing 
I can't live a normal life I was raised by the street
so I gotta be down with the hood team

too much television watching got me chasing dreams
I’m an educated fool with money on my mind 
got my ten in my hand and a gleam in my eye


g)   f) I wear bright red, like a girl toe.

g) 
And she said losing love
is like a window in your heart
Everybody sees you're blown apart
Everybody sees the wind blow


h)  If I ever get out of here

Thought of giving it all away
to a registered charity
All I need is a pint a day

i) Baby, don't you wanna, dance up on me, to another time and place?

Oh baby, don't you wanna, dance up on me, and leave behind my name and age?

j) From the family tree of old school hip-hop

Kick off your shoes and relax your socks
Your rhymes are spread just like a pox
Cause the music is loud like an electric shock
I am known to do the wop
Also known for the Flintstone Flop

k) And I need you more than want you

And I want you for all time

l) They pulled in just behind the bridge

He lays her down, he frowns
'Gee my life's a funny thing, am I still too young?'
He kissed her then and there
She took his ring, took his babies
It took him minutes, took her nowhere
Heaven knows, she'd have taken anything

Still playing? I LOVE YOU! Soldier on…..

m)  I would go out tonight

But I haven't got a stitch to wear
This man said "it's gruesome
That someone so handsome should care”

n) What you wanna ball with the kid

Watch your step you might fall
Trying to do what I did
Mama-unh mama-unh ima come closer
In the middle of the club with the rub-a-dub, unh
No love for the haters, the haters
Mad cause I got floor seats at the Lakers

o) Come on down to the Mermaid Cafe and I will buy you a bottle of wine

And we'll laugh and toast to nothing and smash our empty glasses down
Let's have a round for these freaks and these soldiers
A round for these friends of mine
Let's have another round for the bright red devil
Who keeps me in this tourist town

p)
Under the pale moon

For so many years I've wondered
Who you are
How can a person like you bring me joy
Under the pale moon
Where I see a lot of stars
Is enough enough

q) Maybe you'll get a replacement

There's plenty like me to be found
Mongrels who ain't got a penny
Sniffing for tidbits like you on the ground

r) You took me from the shelter of my mother

I had never known or loved any other
We kissed after taking vows
But that night on our honeymoon,
We stayed in separate rooms

s) There was a time in this fair land when the railroad did not run

when the wild, majestic mountains stood alone against the sun
Long before the white man and long before the wheel
When the green, dark forest was too silent to be real

t)
The first mate he got drunk

And broke in the Cap'n's trunk
The constable had to come and take him away
Sheriff John Stone
Why don't you leave me alone, yeah yeah

u) She keeps her Moet et Chandon

In her pretty cabinet
'Let them eat cake' she says
Just like Marie Antoinette
A built-in remedy
For Kruschev and Kennedy
At anytime an invitation
You can't decline

v) You have so many relationships in this life,
 

Only one or two will last,
You go through all the pain and strife, 
You turn your back and they're gone so fast,
Oh yeah, and they're gone so fast, yeah.
Oh, so hold onto ones that really care, 
In the end they'll be the only ones there,
When you get old start losing your hair,
Can you tell me who will still care?

w)
I woke up this morning and the sun was gone,

Turned on some music to start my day
I lost myself in a familiar song
I closed my eyes and I slipped away

x) Words like violence
 

Break the silence 
Come crashing in
Into my little world
Painful to me pierce right through me
Don't you understand oh my little girl

y) Every time I think of you

I feel shot right through with a bolt of blue
It's no problem of mine but it's a problem I find
Living a life that I can't leave behind
There's no sense in telling me
The wisdom of a fool won't set you free

z) Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall


Wow, you made it. Good work. You deserve to be happy. Watch "where the hell is Matt?" now. And if you've already seen it, go on and watch again.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlfKdbWwruY

Monday, October 19, 2009

Tribeca in Doha


Exciting thing of the day - The Doha Tribeca Film Festival launches October 29. Ten days. It’s the first time the festival has come to Doha. Needless to say, Qatar residents are kiiiind of looking forward to it.

Expectations are high. The city is ripe with anticipation. Interest on the Facebook group is surging. I’ve never seen so many “like” comments in my entire, fruitful online life. General media coverage has been excellent too. The local press has been saturated with all things DTFF for weeks. Amanda Palmer (Executive Director and unofficial Doha cinematic siren {not my words}) is presently on the cover of our most respectable magazine and is quoted in the papers pretty much daily.


And surprise, surprise – on top of all of the hype, the film list is actually worth checking out.

Since this is Qatar, loud whispers run rampant through our dusty city. The Doha rumour mill has been steadily churning for ages. People are talking about who’s coming, who’s not coming, who’s censoring what, and where the best parties are. My friend Brenda desperately wants to hit up a red carpet and wear a ball gown to something, ANYTHING. I hear that.

The organizers kept the celebrity guest list hush hush until recently. De Niro will definitely be in town, along with Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle. I have a feeling there are more “stars” coming but they haven’t confirmed yet. My buddy is the Tribeca new media guy and I can’t get any information out of him. I even got him drunk. Nothing. He’s like a stoic, spectacle-sporting vault.

It’s all just very exciting to have some action in Doha after the long and brutal summer. Maybe there’s even too much action - check this Doha planning fail – the film fest and Sony Ericsson Women’s tennis tournament (Williams sisters, holla) fall on the same days. What a crock. Doha holds four events per year that I actually want to attend and they stick two of them on the same week. Good thing I have a blog to complain on or I might have had to take this on the up and up. 


Where does the up and up lead to, anyway?

For the record, I choose Tribeca over women’s tennis. The men’s program would have been a lot tougher to miss.




Sunday, October 18, 2009

Can we talk about Balloon Boy for a second?

On Thursday (evening, Doha time) I, like the rest of you, was caught up in the real life drama of balloon boy. We watched enraptured, at what we all thought was a six year-old boy floating through the sky at a fantastic speed.We felt assured when we learned his name was Falcon, certain that everything was going to be all right. We listened to weather reports with an urgency never felt before. Our hearts raced when MSNBC cut away as the balloon descended to the moment of impact. It was scary and thrilling real-time entertainment too good to make up.

But we all spoke and tweeted and set our Facebook statuses too soon.

After landing, we quickly learned there was no one in the balloon. Then we found out the family was on Wife Swap and the boys record songs with filthy lyrics in their spare time. Then we learned Falcon was hiding in the attic, heard his parents yelling and didn’t come out because “they were doing it for the show.” THEN we found out his parents were shopping around Jon and Kate style reality shows to major networks. Now the father will likely face criminal charges for being a lying sack of famewhore.

This family played us for a bunch of fools. What the hell. I’m furious but shouldn't be surprised. If reality television has taught me anything, it’s that people are awful. This balloon boy mess is like the baby who fell in the well in the ‘80s, except it’s the new millennium, meaning the baby isn’t in the well and its parents faked the whole thing and I hate everyone.

Maybe I shouldn’t be so jaded. Let’s play the Pollyanna game here. Some people may be awful, but let’s not focus on the balloon boy family, that utter waste of space. Let’s focus on the innocent two hours we all experienced together, glued to the television and Interwebs. Those two hours when we let the unseen balloon boy into our hearts, no questions asked. Those glorious two hours when the world rallied around the safe landing of a makeshift hovercraft. We were one.

Turns out, we still can care for something. And maybe it takes a couple of dirty, rotten, lying parents to remind us of this very fact. 



Positivity is all around!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Reaching for new levels of inanity

This post brought to you by puppies.

I’ve subscribed to the Daily Puppy for some time now. If you’re not familiar with the site, you should think about getting up from under that rock, you dummy! The Daily Puppy is an Internet cornerstone. It’s the old, familiar place to go when you need an “awww” moment. Conveniently, it’s also the place to go when you need to laugh at crazy dog ladies who comment on photos of puppies all day.

Here’s how the Daily Puppy works - people send in pictures of their puppy. A new puppy photo is posted daily. Site visitors then rank the puppy, giving him virtual bones (every puppy gets a score of 10 out of 10 bones) and talk about how precious he is. Trust me, it’s a hoot.

I read the Daily Puppy daily. Sometimes I even give away virtual bones. Sounds dumb, but this sprawling level of lameness makes me an authority on the cuteness of every dog.

Don’t think reading the Daily Puppy is enough to make me an authority? Read on.


At nine years of age, I spent three weeks (an ETERNITY for a nine year-old) writing and illustrating what I thought was the world’s first Dog Breed Dictionary. I made it to the letter 'D.' Good thing we didn’t have the Internet back then because a simple Google search would have left me sorely disappointed.

Through my lifetime, I’ve owned ten different dogs, and held seven doggy funerals. How many tears have you shed standing over a shallow grave that holds your fluffy companion? HOW MANY?

Also, I’m just an excellent judge of beauty.

As such, I’ve decided to rank the five cutest puppy breeds, in descending order….with photos. And once my list is uncovered, I hope the discussion on world's cutest puppy can come to its adorable conclusion.


Presenting....

The Cutest Puppy Breeds

4. Basset Hound



3. Chow Chow


2. Beagle


1. Inbred

Wonky/Liza trumps those purebreds every time. Err time.

I guess you can debate who's the cutest, but leave the connatural (wonky one) out of it. 

Monday, October 12, 2009

DKM Posted!


Go look! He wrote about baseball! For some reasons comments are disabled on his post and I can’t figure out how to get them back, so if you have anything to say about the stupid, smelly Red Sox and DKM’s excellent post, you can leave them here.

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! I hope everyone back home ate and drank like royalty.  

The Greatest Baseball Game I've Ever Seen

So as is often recognized on this blog, living in Doha has it perks. However, watching live baseball games is not one of them. Heading into this year’s MLB postseason, I was excited. The thing I looked forward to most was seeing my least favorite team of any sport on the planet, the Boston Red Sox, lose in as humiliating a way as possible.

I geared up my excitement in the weeks leading up to the playoffs by going up to strangers wearing playoff-bound team merchandise to wish them luck, and to ask them simply to eliminate the Red Sox.

But before any viewing would take place, we needed to upgrade our satellite TV package at home. We went for the “shiny platinum exquisite diamond” package, or something like that. To my sincere disappointment, the one channel that broadcasts the MLB is the only network that we can’t pick up on the satellite. It doesn’t work. Mush mumkin.

I needed a back-up plan. I Bing’d it and found some very shady package where for only $40 a year I can watch all sports via the interwebs. “Deal!”, I thought.

So when I realized yesterday that a potential elimination game for the Red Sox would be an afternoon game in the U.S., I got my first opportunity to watch this year’s postseason live.

With God making up for the struggles I went through to enjoy this annual activity, I got blessed with the best game a Red Sox hater could ask for.

Here is the round-up…

Red Sox get an early lead off Angel’s starter Scott Kazmir and go ahead 5-1.

By the end of the 7th it’s looking like Boston may get to hang around for at least one more game. But with two outs in the top of the eighth the Angels make it interesting, putting 2 runners on base in a 5-2 game. The tying run comes to the plate.

Enter Jonathan Papelpon a.k.a. red sox nation posterboy/largest douche to ever wear a professional uniform. So this is Terry Franf***face’s “solution” to extending their season. Papelpon needs a 4 out save. With runners on, Papelbon gives up a 2-RBI single. It is now 5-4. As Red Sox fans begin shitting their pants, Papelbon ends the eighth with a lucky pick-off. The crowd finally exhales.

Due to their inflated payroll and Big Fati finally getting his 1st hit of the playoffs, the Red Sox get an insurance run. 6-4 Red Sox, heading into the 9th.

With Papelbon, who in his career of 27 postseason innings had never allowed an earned run, coming back on to do his 9th inning jig, losers (in hats they bought cause they saw other people wearing it) all over the world start playing with themselves like its all over. Disgusting Boston accents shout out “The Red Sox will win in 5” all over the pissholes of the rotten city known as "beantown".

Papelbon does as he does best and quickly retires the first two batters he faces. So with two outs in the top of the 9th, the Angels #9 hitter, Erick Aybar comes up. The skipper elects not to pinch hit for him. Seems like Scioscia suspects something spectacular. Like he was supposed to, Aybar backs up his manager’s plan with a textbook, line-drive single to center.

The crafty leadoff hitter, Chone Figgins, comes up trying to keep the two-out rally going. He does his part by reaching with a base on balls.

All of a sudden Papeldouche looks shaky.

With a stroke of brilliance, another Sox-killer, ex-yankee Bobby Abreu rings a shot off the green monster. Aybar scores, but Figgins, one of the speediest guys in the league, is held at 3rd!

The Angels still face a mighty task as they are still down by a run and need to keep this two out rally against Papelbon going. The Boston coaches and infield elect to have a chat with the hot-headed closer to re-focus him on his task. After all, the odds are with him and his defence that they’ll get the next out, and start fresh in Game 4, with a chance to tie the series up at 2.

At the coaches discretion, an intentional walk loads the bases.

What were they thinking? The intentionally walked to bring Vlad “the man” Guerrero up?!? Boy, he looks like he might hit a ball over 600 feet. However, his career playoff batting average and his career stats vs. Papelbon don’t inspire much confidence.

But in an act of redemption and leadership, Vlady hits a first-pitch, four-seam fastball weakly to straight-away center. Ellsbury can’t get there…It drops!

Figgins scores!!

Abreu scores!! Angels go ahead 7-6!



But, of course, the hometown Rednecks still get to bat for three more outs. Mike Scioscia has been warming up his closer in the top of the 9th just in case something like this occurred. Fuentes comes in to silence Fenway for at least another 6 months.

Jed Lowrie pops out like a punnani pansy. 1 out.

Jacoby Ellsbury tries to muster up a rally. The count quickly goes 0-2. Ellsbury is in a hole. In a last ditch attempt to get on base he pops up to the catcher in foul territory. Is there a worse thing you can do? Even striking out earns more respect. Two out.

But…before the corks start getting popped in LA LA land., the golden boy of the Boston franchise, winner of rookie of the year in his first year and AL MVP in only his second season, Dustin Pedroia comes up to save the day for Boston. Right? Right?!?!?
WRONG. Pedroia’s weak pop-up doesn’t leave the infield. ha ha ha ha ha ha

The Red Sox, led by Terry “butttttt I’ve never lost a World Series game” Francona are eliminated in the first round in 3 games.

It’s a SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP, and I gotz mah broom!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Nuggets

It’s time for a smattering of nuggets from around the webosphere. Because if there’s anything I like to do, it’s share my superior grasp of web sport (no softball jokes please) with you. Okay you’re on Google Reader. Give me some of that sweet, sweet pep….

First, let’s check in with Mashable (the female social media geek’s choice) who tells us:

There’s yet another reason Apple brand loyalists can feel superior to Windows users.
Mac owners are wealthier than PC owners. Does this mean hipsters are going to reject the Mac and revert back to a clunky Dell? Wait and see, friends.


Mac-loving hipster photo via Gawker

When celebrities die, people share sad feelings on Facebook. But don’t worry because Thanksgiving is a happy time.

If you have kids or plan on bringing small people into the world, do humankind a favour and keep them away from the computer. Yes, I see the irony in posting this article directly after my last entry but it’s serious. If CNN and a research facility predict the future correctly, the next generation of kids will suffer from
chronic internet addiction. I think I have that. According to the report, “
ADHD and hostility were linked to Internet addiction in all children, while social phobia and depression were linked to internet addiction in girls.


Wait a minute. ADHD started long before Al Gore invented the Internet, folks. But the social phobia and depression part isn’t surprising. Kids are mean! I’m so glad to have skipped the whole cyber-bullying thing. Think about it, fellow twenty-somethings. If kids in the playground can be mean, surely kids shrouded in
anonyminity on the Internet must be seven hundred times as awful. Shudder.


You see that? It's the hairy arm of corruption.



Well that was uplifting. What else, what else…

Are you sick of the Letterman story yet? Too bad, your opinion doesn’t matter. Last night, Dave’s employee Craig Ferguson defended his boss. While expected, Ferguson’s monologue was still infinitely funnier and classier than Jimmy Fallon’s response:

"There’s a new book out called
 Why Women Have Sex that has a list of the 237 reasons why women have sex, and Letterman knows the top ten.

I don't get it. Does that make any sense to you? I could totally be a Jimmy Fallon staff writer: Top Ten list! Ummmm….Stupid human tricks! Errr…..You got any gum?  Bleeeeecccch.

And who is Jimmy Fallon to call out Letterman? Show some respect, newbie.

Anyway,
Letterman hosted his first show after “the confession” and used it as a platform to apologize to pretty much everyone. Why can’t this just go away already? I guess I’m not helping the cause much. Hypocrisy abounds.

Next!

Do you know what a capybara is? Please, watch this
video of a popsicle-hungry cute face and educate yourself. That woman is totally me in 45 years.

And THEN watch a tiny cat
jump.

I feel better too. 

Somebody please get me out of this

The end of the MLB regular season brings a new wave of baseball fervor into my life. Last week, I joined a co-ed softball league for players over 16. DKM forwarded me the e-mail and his little boy excitement left me no choice but to enroll. I signed up immediately, thinking the league would be akin to Toronto beer leagues. You know the type - players who suck are good-naturedly laughed at and everyone celebrates with a couples of rounds at the local pub after games. I’ve never actually joined a beer league but have heard that these are the wonderful things that happen within.

After a few days, I changed my mind about the whole situation. Why the change of heart? I realized I’m actually going to have to play on Saturday and that I totally stink at softball.  At least, I think I do. I’ve never played. I love watching baseball and enjoy the occasional game of catch, but when it comes to actually playing the sport in a competitive environment, I choke. I’d rather spend time at the gym on a stationary treadmill where I
probably won’t hurt myself.

I’m a professional armchair athlete. Newly-minted Jays GM Alex Anthopolous  proves you can be successful in sports when you're not a total jock.  There’s no shame in sucking at softball (k
eep telling yourself that, blondie).

After creeping the e-mails/Facebook profiles (don’t look surprised) of my fellow players, it seems I’m in terrifying company. First, there’s a team made up of 25 South Americans (with a 14-man roster, they have ELEVEN alternates). Is it racist to be horrified at the thought of playing the South American team? Probably yes. Also, there are about 12 players whose e-mail addresses lead me to believe they’re in the Army. The trained killers are going to whiffle balls right at my face. While the broken nose look is kind of rugged and hot, it wouldn’t suit me. It seems like I’ve signed up for a competitive endeavor in which I could very likely fail.  This makes me sick to my stomach.


But, now we play the Pollyanna Glad Game, an exercise in positivity….. MAYBE I won’t be the worst player on the team. MAYBE I’ll make some new friends and have a few laughs and find out my inner jock has been screaming for a chance to beat up my outer computer nerd. MAYBE I will only be laughed at my very first at bat.


Maybe everyone will hate me.



Pollyanna can’t help me now. DKM, won’t you chime in and save me from this unattractive spiral of self-doubt? We’re talking softball here. WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO GET YOU TO WRITE A BLOG POST!? 

Saturday, October 3, 2009

David, David, David.


I hate this story.

Damn you, extortionist for making me think about David Letterman without his suit on.

But that's what you get for idolizing mere mortals, kids. Box Cat and Riverdancing Dog would never play you like that.

It's upsetting. I'm starting to think that monogamy is the hardest thing for people to do in the world. Harder than running marathons or tending to the sick and dying. Harder than giving away all of your money. Harder than giving up the Internet.

Governments should start doling out large sums of money to couples who actually make their relationship work without putting their hands in multiple cookie jars. Everyone's a damn cheater. From now on, these are the only ways to genuinely shock me:

1.) You are faithful to your husband/wife (doesn't count until you make it legal).
2.) You think Lindsay Lohan isn't on drugs. She's just an artist!
3.) You can get me tickets to game seven of the Stanely Cup playoffs in a game in which the Leafs are playing.

That's all. If I were a colour, it'd totally be jade.

Back to Dave. I'm certain Letterman will come out of this smelling of a classy, adulterizing hero (not unlike Bill Clinton), but I'm concerned his show is forever tainted for me. Why? One of the staff members Dave had an affair with is "Intern Vicky." She used to appear on the "know your current events" and "name that cut of meat" skits. She brought participants their dinner gift certificate, wore a Letterman jacket and acted snarky. Dave ate it up. I remember saying to my mother once, "this girl always makes Dave laugh. She must be hilarious." No doubt she's funny, but now we know there was something more salacious going on. And it tastes like barf. Dave sleeping with Intern Vicky is probably as unsettling as Rupert and Bif Henderson having an affair.

What's the opposite of right? I can't remember.

Tainted or not, whatever you do please don't start watching Leno.

Need a funny video to cheer you up? Well, tough luck. I have nothing to offer. Why don't you try offering ME something for once in your life? Jerks.