Thursday, April 30, 2009

Nuggets

It’s almost the weekend in Doha and I’m terribly distracted because last night was amazing. I had the best conversation over drinks and I can't tell you about it until September. Let’s just say I have a girl crush in the worst possible way. And that I hope she doesn’t read this. Awkward.

Here are a few things to make you similarly distracted....

Awww, would you look at that? My favourite Globe & Mail columnist, Russell Smith, likes mocking hipsters too. He’s the best.

Read the article and tell me if you feel the same delight and confusion on reading. I feel this way every week after reading Mr. Smith. Look: “The twist on hipster mockery, of course, is that (like all vicious satire), it comes from inside. That is, you have to recognize the subtle hipster tropes, which means that you are probably pretty much a hipster already.” Duhh…..
***

Hey, here’s a fun bit of nothingness. It’s a website called Look at this Lovely Hamster.
God, who would even waste their time looking at this collection of tiny, adorable hamsters? …… Don’t answer that.
***

SJP and Matthew Broderick are having twins, via a surrogate mother. That’s not going to clear up the rumours that she’s a raging cokehead.
***
Remember Julie Couillard? If you don't, you're not alone. That attention grabbing dress she wore to Rideau Hall fetched $1,000 at a recent auction. She was expecting more. I guess she didn't realize that NOBODY CARES about Julie Couillard anymore!
***
Apparently Akon is coming to Doha. File this under concerts I would never fucking see in Toronto, but will be all over in Qatar. Maybe he can bring Bone Thugs and I can fulfill my dream of singing The Weed Song with Crazy Bone.

***

I miss Conrad Black. Someone find me something hilarious he wrote. I’m tired from googling pictures of hamsters.
***

Finally, here are some photos my Dad sent me. He knew I would enjoy. So thoughtful and hilarious. The last one is my favourite.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wooooo

Alex Ovechkin (Russian dreamboat), is facing Sidney Crosby (boring Canadian flounder), in round two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I’ve only been waiting for this matchup, for like, four years. I’m not excited at all. Hardcore hockey fans will be watching the Oveckhin / Malkin matchup closely, as they’re frontrunners for the Hart trophy. Exciting? Yes. But definitely not as exciting as the chance to watch much the hotter/cooler/better Alex Ovechkin potentially beat Sid the Kid. Call me unpatriotic, but next week, I’m on Team Russia.

Oh...and here's a video of a bulldog enjoying his new pool. You're welcome.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dune Bashing

We went dune bashing this past weekend. Here's a video of our car from an outsider's perspective. Two Cape Bretoners and two Torontonians, in the desert, scared shitless. Good times.

video

Camel. Snoozing.
It's a lot scarier than it looks. I swear.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Lady Power

I’ve spent the morning thinking about my favourite ladies in the public eye, and realized how little play they get on this site. Unfortunately, success and smarts aren't nearly as entertaining and easy to write about as Heidi Montag. Far too much column space is wasted on my hatred towards Paris Hilton and frankly, all that negativity makes me sleepy. Sure Paris Hilton knows she's a dirty skank and manipulates her image as such, but that's not the
kind of image-shaping I'm trying to appreciate here.

Today I'll honour female media manipulators – women with a keenly developed sense of self, who use their powers of influence for good.

Up first is Michelle Obama, who I be referring to as Mobama (thank you NYMag), because it sounds unreal.The reigning First Lady has a hawk-like grip on her public image, and likely wouldn’t appreciate plebians taking such wild liberties with her name, but a girl’s got to relinquish control somewhere.

This great NYTimes piece (read it) on Michelle Obama and her calculated public image reminds us how straight up badass she is. Ten months ago, Michelle Obama was viewed as a cold, overly passionate wife *shudder* and to some, “a liability to her husband.” She was too intellectuall-y, and not nearly as house wife-y as, say Laura Bush.

Now, with the help of a gifted communications team, Michelle is loved the world over. Her popularity rating surpasses her husband’s. That NYTimes article tells us how Mobama warps public opinion by selecting her own clothes for photo shoots, and always stands firm on how she appears in public. She is fully willing to sit for interviews with domestic publications, like O Magazine and People, but declines interviews with more respected papers, like the Times, for instance. She is working very hard to make sure we know she is a mother and wife first, and an ass kicking intellectual second.

This tactic is absolutely brilliant. We all know Mobama is a smarty pants (as opposed to a cranky pants), but it's important to know she's got her family's shit together. Cranky pants! God, I’ve been waiting a long time to use that photo.

Mobama is slowly getting the world to love and trust her. After a series of interviews and photo shoots with carefully selected publications, her image is downright soft and cuddly-- Well, mostly soft, as her arms are clearly made of steel beams.

Here's what I've read about Mobama lately: she tends a garden in the White House, she supports undiscovered American fashion designers, and in her free time, visits military families. She’s a good mother and wife and is generally a better human than you or I will ever be.

But you know she’s just getting started. The time will come when Mobama reminds us she was formerly an ass-kicking lawyer and is one of the smarter ladies in America. Mobama will garner our intense, unyielding support and ask the world to do something remarkable. I know it.

Hopefully, when she does call her adoring public to action, it will go something like this: Michelle holds a press conference in the White House garden. She stands in front of reporters, rake firmly in hand, Bo the Portugese Water Dog resting obediently at her feet, and announces a controversial, but brilliant plan that has the world reeling. And we will support her. Mobama’s approval ratings rival that of even Oprah, and you know people would do anything for Oprah.

Whatever Mobama has planned, you know it’s going to be stragetic and intelligent and she’s going to look fucking amazing while doing it. What a fantastic woman to look up to.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Commentary on commentary

Sustaining long-distance relationships with my girlfriends is tricky, but rewarding. The Interwebs help us stay in touch plenty.

Most of my friends send updates via Facebook. They *usually* write mini essays on their life, send me hilarious drunken gossip (thank you for keeping me updated on who makes out with who at keggers, and telling me which Facebook profile picture has a new and embarrassing couple on it, because sometimes I miss these things) and most end their notes with short commentary on some random popular culture bullshit. They know I appreciate this stuff.

Personal life updates, gossip, and pop culture—the trifecta of successful communication.

Most reading this blog don’t care which of my friends got so drunk they got a ride home in a cop car last month, or who is in need of an intervention BUT will be interested in their opinions on all things vacuous. After scanning old wall posts and inbox messages, I think I’ve got a nice array of pop culture commentary from my friends. And I'm going to tell you what I think about said commentary. Without further ado, here’s the first edition of…..

Meredith comments on what people think about stuff

Needs a catchier title.

Up first, my friend Danielle from Toronto.

Danielley comments on the Hills...
On a completely separate note, I started watching season 1 of the Hills on rogers on demand, and I have completely forgotten what old Heidi was like. She is the same as Spencer! Completely inconsiderate to others' feelings, does whatever she wants. Its kind of funny how she's completely different with Spencer. She was a wild party girl, always flirty and no work ethic. Anyways, not really important but I feel that you could enjoy that random observation.

Meredith comments on Danielley’s comments...
I hear you Danielley. So glad you sent me your thoughts on this very serious subject. Allow me to opine. Last year, to properly determine whether I was on team Heidi or team Lauren, I watched all of Laguna Beach AND season one + two of the Hills. My verdict? They are both goons, but I kind of love Heidi and Spencer's staged paparazzi photo shoots.Brilliant.

Lauren Conrad is the least likable person on television. Her mustache has more personality. It is decided that I am neither on team Heidi nor Team Lauren, but firmly on team Justin Bobby and shall remain there until the end of time.

truth and time tells all

Pat comments on a Leafs game…
So I went to the game last night vs. the Caps! Ovechkin scored in regualtion, the caps tied it up with a minute left to force Ot, Gerber got tossed so theyy brought in Cujo, then game went to shootout and Cujo stopped Ovechkin for the win!!!They building waws going nuts chanting Cujo! Cujo!It was like our stanley cup game of the year!

Meredith comments on Pat’s comments...
Stop trying to make me jelly. Ovechkin is a sexy beast and if he takes down Sidney Crosby in the playoffs I can die a happy woman. Cujo is a sweetheart. I want to be his personal eyebrow groomer. Also, thank you Pat, for giving me an opportunity to post this photo of Ovechkin in a topical, non-creepy way.

YUM. Oh shoot. I made it creepy.


DKM comments on…
Gossip girl – their unrealistic standard of living and wealth surpasses even the OC’s unrealisticness

The Hills – the ONLY way that show could be any worse is if all of them were butt-fuck ugly.

Drunk jays fans – quality entertainment. Fulfills recommended daily intake levels of vulgarity, sports commentary and literature

The Simpsons – the best cartoon ever made

Meredith comments on DKM’s comments...
Gossip Girl
– You’ve never even watched Gossip Girl! I know this because I have asked you to watch with me many times and you always say no. Just like when you say no when I ask if I can curl your eyelashes. They are so long and beautiful, I just want to see what you would look like with mascara! Is that so wrong?
Anyway, Gossip Girl is awesome and I will make you take back what you said…later. Plus, I don’t even think unrealisticness is a word. Invenitoried words aren’t useamable on Hack the Bone.

The Hills – I thought they were all butt-fuck ugly. Which one do you think is hot…exactly? Ceiling eyes or mustache face? Confused (disregard my cattiness and obvious jealousy).

DJF – I bet those guys make a mean sandwich

The Simpsons – I love you

Well, that's it for the first installment. If you’d like to be included in the next edition of this new blog feature, send me your thoughts on the most inane topics possible. The dimmer the better. I’m not much for thinking these days.

Don't go in the water!

This is, by far, the greatest thing I have seen in any newspaper….ever. From the Gulf Times:
The picture of the strange-looking creature (courtesy: Al Watan)
Mysterious figure ‘spotted’
Publish Date: Thursday,23 April, 2009, at 12:21 PM Doha Time

A mysterious figure resembling a human being was sighted on the Doha Corniche’s parking lot, according to a report published in a local Arabic daily.The report is based on the statement of an Arab expatriate lady who said she had seen the strange figure near the Oryx statue while walking in the area.Quoting the woman, the daily said she took a picture of it in spite of being terribly frightened. “She was very soon surrounded by a large number of people who also attested to the fact of what she had seen . But it suddenly disappeared out of their sight when they tried to go near it,” the report added.
Well.
Holy fuck I have nothing. This is too good.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cute break

My head is dangerously closing to exploding from toxic levels of work but I just had to post this. Please take a minute of your time and enjoy. It certainly brightened my day.



I WANT.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Is anyone else worried for Susan Boyle?

By now, you're probably one of the 47 million people to view Susan Boyle's unreal performance from Britain's Got Talent.

Susan Boyle's appearance is one of those videos that quickly goes viral, because it's so surprising and heartwarming. You think she's going to totally suck, and feel bad because the audience is going to be merciless, but you're going to watch anyway. Then she opens her mouth and rainbows, butterflies and panda bears with starry eyes come cascading out.
Magic.

The video hasn't been out a full week and it's already got 30 million accumulated YouTube views. Susan has appears on Larry King, Good Morning America and countless "Entertainment News shows." A Google search of her name draws 3.5 million hits. Five of my Facebook friends have signed up for her fan page. She is everywhere.

Susan Boyle is the perfect example of instant, life-changing effect of the Internet. Her video has gone viral overnight, and it's for a wholly positive reason. People have rallied around this woman and are earnestly rooting for her. It is a beautiful story. I haven't seen anyone become this famous overnight since well, Sanjaya from American Idol, and that was effectively an exercise where the entire world mocked one little boy for an entire summer. Sad. Obviously, I made fun of Sanjaya too. I'm only human.

Susan Boyle is a happy story, but it's only just the beginning. Fame is going to sweep this woman up in its dirty vacuum of sex and drugs and fetishism, and quite possibly, ruin her. For fucks sake, the woman has never kissed a man. Can you imagine what kind of bender she's going to go on once she discovers sex? I don't think her celibacy was religious-- she was just a lonely cat lady.

I just hope that Susan Boyle stays grounded in the throws of this whirlwind. She seems so lovely, but Hollywood is a terrible, terrible place. After her inevitable makeover and plastic surgery, who's going to feed Susan's cats while she's partying with the scum of the earth -- Diddy and Ashton Kutcher? Diddy's not going to be there for you when you're down, Susan! Don't forget your cats.
Let's all hope instant fame doesn't destroy this sweet, unassuming lady from Scotland. The world better not tear Susan Boyle down as fast as they built her up. She could be in for a rough ride.
Just ask him.

Hey, who invited Debbie fucking Downer to this party? Take five minutes and watch this, you'll feel better.

They tell me to write what I know

This weekend, I watched equal parts Blue Jays games and Cheers -- season two.
As such, there are two directions in which this post can go:

1) A treatise on Cliff Clavin from Cheers, who is only the most complicated, nuanced and hilarious sitcom character or all time .
Don't know what he's saying, but it's undoubtedly clever AND hilarious.

OR

2) My experience thus far with international broadcasts of MLB.tv.

This calls for some thinking music.

George Jones makes things clear....we talk baseball!

Regular readers of this blog know, I recently moved to the Middle East, tearing myself away from Toronto and all the wonderful things that stew in that city.

This was a choice I made, and I'm happy here, but that doesn't stop my asshole friends from updating me on what I'm missing while I'm gone.

Since the Jays season began a few weeks ago, I've received "friendly" messages from home saying that it's a shame I'm missing all the of Jays games and that it's too bad my season passes to TFC are going to waste this summer (they're my dad's, which all but means they belong to me, right Dad?). My friends say they wish I was here, but shoot-- that home opener was really, really fun.

For the record, *friends,* I don't like your tone.

Funny thing though. I've watched every single Jays game so far. How many of you punks have done the same? I know y'all went to the home opener and have all but forgotten the boys in blue since.

I used to go to a lot of Jays games. This year, I've spent a lot of time with MLB.tv, where I've appreciated anew the Blue Jays broadcasting team of Jamie Campbell and Pat Tabler. Crazy, I know.

It's all but universally accepted that Rogers employs shitty announcers for Jays games. They're just not that...how do I put this....good. I love Pat Tabler, but he shares a booth with Jamie Campbell. He can talk about ponies and look smart next to Hambell. Tabler isn't being challenged.Pat Tabler doesn't have to be clever. Just look at that shock of blonde hair. Life is easier for blondies. Pat is going to be fine. Gingers have a rougher go around.
So after years of hearing how crappy the Blue Jays' guys are, I was interested to check out the opposing teams' coverage via MLB.tv.

I know what you're thinking, Jays fans. The chance to opt out of any Jamie Campbell broadcast is a given. It shouldn't even be a choice. However, after a few weeks of listening to the same bullshit from the opposing teams' announcers, I'm ready to switch back.
Right on. Someone likes me!!

Here's why. Most of the announcers know fuck all about the Jays. They share the same six tidbits about my team every game. Tidbits are as folows:

1) The Blue Jays had the strongest bullpen in the majors last year. They were good. (yet no mention of Scott Downs. WHY)
2) Cito Gaston has World Series rings (O RLY?)
3) Jesse Litsch used to be a bat boy (you must mean FAT boy. HAHAHA. No?)
4) Watch yourselves out there kids, you don't want to have a scare like the affable Aaron Hill, he hit his head super hard, dontchaknow.
5) A.J. Burnett used to pitch for this team and seems to be doing well with the Yankees (shutttt upppppppp).6) That Roy Hallday sure can pitch. George W. Bush certainly likes him too (this part of the commentary never gets old).

This is about as in depth as they go. Any Jays fans worth their snuff gets a little tired of hearing the same fun facts read over every game. One starts craving a little Jays fan boy action. Cue Jamie Campbell.
Campbell might be a knob, but he's a TOTAL Jays fan boy. I appreciate this. Campbell gets excited when the Jays hit a home run. He passionately talks about Brian Tallet's facial hair (who is totally channelling Kenny Powers). He talks about what the Jays are like off the field-- this I especially love.

Sure, I roll my eyes every time a fan catches a foul ball and Campbell stops mid-sentence to exclaim, "and that person's got a great souvenir." He also speaks on behalf of the players, who haven't actually said anything. For example, Halladay will throw an out and Campbell will go, "and Hallday says ' that's enough of that!'" He's a nerd. It's funny.

And yes, absolutely I have to justify my choosing Jamie Campbell or any other broadcaster, ever. That's what blogs are for.

For my readers in Qatar, I promise to stop writing about regional Toronto BS soon.

Just one more thing. I really really really want to drink beer with Kevin Millar. Rly.

I Microsoft Painted the shit out of that photo.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

BEE DOGS BEE DOGS BEE DOGS!!

The photo that started it all.

Ladies and gentlemen. Presenting my latest Internet obsession: Bee Dogs.
Bee Dogs is the Internet’s premiere repository of dogs in bee outfits. There are almost 40 pages of bee dogs for your perusal. 40 pages of dogs in bee costumes. That's all there is to it, folks.

Bee Dogs was brought to my attention by the Twitter-sphere yesterday and it has quickly consumed me. I haven't been this excited about a website since Fuck You, Penguin. I just can't stop thinking about Bee Dogs. I am using every resource I have to make this thing go viral.
By the way, Tarek, this is your third prong. Have you visited yet?

Anyone who makes it to the end of the Bee Dogs site gets a prize. Clear your schedule, people. You'll need an hour or so.Trust me; it gets funnier as you go.

Once I made it to the end, I e-mailed the author and professed my love (thanked her for brightening my life). Bee Dogs has been active since 2005, so the owner may have since retired from the Bee Dogs business, but I’ll let you know if she ever writes back. Anyone who dedicates that much time and effort into creating such a hilarious little slice of the Interwebz deserves recognition. You can pay it forward to Gina of Bee Dogs here.
I hope you enjoy this site. Share it with a friend or four. Bee Dogs deserves it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Reading in Doha

Those of you who have been with Hack the Bone since the beginning know how much I love books. Around the time I started this blog, I went into graphic detail about my reading habits. After digesting that particular post, DKM made me see that I often paint too strong a mental picture. I deleted the post.

What you, dear reader, need to take away from that story of censorship, is that I live to read. I’ve always been this way. I was that girl in grade two, who started a Babysitter’s Club and demanded to be Kristy. At age eight, I refused to read Sweet Valley High, because it was too low brow. I was a pretentious kid. Now I’m older and embarrassingly enough, the hours I used to spend pouring over novels are gone. With a full-time job and a fiancé to entertain, I can’t find any time for me (said in whiny, fat lady voice)!

My reading time is precious these days, and I can’t afford to sit down with any old book. One must be selective. If I can only read fiction for a few hours a week, I’m sure as hell not going to spend it with a Danielle Steele. Snob!

Since I moved to Doha, I’ve had trouble finding new books.

In Toronto, my favourite place is a used bookstore on Ossington called Frantic City. On initially entering the store, I was so intimidated by the mean-looking hipster girl scowling at me from behind the counter that I almost ran out. On my pathetic dash to leave, I spotted a spooge-stained well-loved copy of Naked Lunch and knew I was in the right place. I turned around, adjusted my headband and asked the clerk to recommend something inspired.
She went straight to a copy of John Fante’s The Road to Los Angeles and I fell in love.

Fante and I quickly became besties. He’s the perfect amount of twisted. More twisted.
Not that twisted, sister.

One scene in The Road to Los Angeles, describes the manic lead character, as he stumbles on a cache of live crabs. The kid is armed with a pellet gun and spends an afternoon killing off a bevy of crabs, one by one. The slaughter takes up an entire chapter. It is truly gruesome, uncomfortable and for some reason that I can’t explain, totally fucking hot.

Anyway.

The bookstores in Doha are…sparse. In a conservative, Muslim country, where a fraction of the residents speak English as a first language, it’s a gift to find any fiction whatsoever. Some of the stores stock a few classics (the Odyssey, Dickens, and selected Shakespeare) but my laborious years as an English major demanded I read these works long ago.

My tastes are too perverted sophisticated to be satisfied by what’s currently available. My book stores experiences are limited to the Virgin Megastore, where I can spend $75 on a paper back that would cost 10 bucks in Toronto OR a trip to the Arabic bookstore to scour the English shelf, hoping to find something other than Twilight.

Yes, Twilight. Again. I’m sorry to keep offending the Twi-hards but it’s only because this gaping hole in popular culture is fucking everywhere. Twilight and Akon-- Qatar’s favourite imports. It’s bad enough that my other favourite gossip columnist, Elaine Lui from Laineygossip writes about the Twilight stars every day. She’s based in Vancouver, where the Twilight movie sequel is currently filming, and has the inside scoop on all things Robert Pattinson.

I met Lainey a few times while working at CTV, so I figured it wouldn’t be inappropriate to e-mail her, as a personal favour, and beg her to stop writing about Twilight. She says Robert Pattinson risks becoming “that Twilight boy,” while I said that she was quickly becoming “that Twilight columnist.” Lainey fans: you know it’s true. She wrote back and basically told me she has no other choice but to cover this shit. The Twilight movement is so large, and she's so very close to it. She has to write. Poor woman. I’m happy to forward the e-mail to those of you who care (cough…Tamara) but I doubt many of you do. Since I’ve been in Qatar, I’ve read the books I brought over with me, plus In Cold Blood and a series of crime novels set in Zimbabwe, that came highly recommended by Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

I’m also reading Damp Squid: The English Language Laid Bare. It’s a linguistic wonder, but hardly a page turner. One can only deliberately pronounce the schwa sound so many times before your head explodes.

So here’s my plea to readers in Doha—especially residents with an extensive book collection. Have you read something magical of late? Would you be willing to share your favourite reads with me? I’ll trade you for um….the travel books I can steal from DKM’s parents. Fair deal? Whatever, just help a girl out.

Monday, April 13, 2009

When real life is more important than making fun of homely golfers

The Al Jazeera film festival is on this week in Doha. Must give credit to the team at AJ for promoting the fest so well. I can’t log on to Twitter or Facebook for more than 10 seconds before I see a reference to the film fest. Normally this would annoy me, but I'm totally pumped for the event. The AJ guys can saturate the Interwebz as much as they please.

The film I’m especially interested to see is called Ya Ummi: The Interrogation of Omar Khadr. Omar Khadr's years-long imprisonment at Guantanamo Bay, without trial, represents one of Canada’s biggest international fuck ups. The whole situation is pretty sickening. The doc will be hard to watch, but there comes a point one has to break from watching animal videos on YouTube and take in something real.

If you’re not familiar with Omar Khadr’s story, take your head out of your arse and get educated. Unfortunately, there’s more to life than sports and celebrities and booze, and as responsible citizens we must know about them. Tragic, I know.

On a semi-related note (semi-related because it’s newsworthy), how many of you fist-pumped your way through Captain Richard Phillips' dramatic rescue from the Somalian pirates yesterday? Maybe it’s too early to say this, as human lives were lost in the fray, but how badly do you want to see this in movie form!?

Pirates + the Navy being bad ass + a hero’s rescue = Michael Bay’s ultimate wet dream.
He likes to blow stuff up.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Are you certain I volunteered to cook tonight?

I'm supposed to prepare Easter dinner for the family tonight. I knew there was a delicious, albeit frozen, slab of high quality beef in the kitchen, which would be decadent and delicious, had I remembered to defrost it. Now dinner is four hours away and I.have.nothing. FUCK.
Don't know how I'm going to scam my way out of this one. I hardly think everyone will get excited for pizza when they were expecting special meat deliciousness. Probably shouldn't have spend the last hour bragging about my rendezvous with Mr. Dressup and hauled ass to the grocery store instead. I could cry. Wish me luck.

No matter what happens, I'll never be as desperate as this old fool.

Weekend Highlights

Happy Easter y'all! Bigup to my Catholic peeps (family)...you're in Nova Scotia being all holy and what not. WHATUP!!

Easter in the Middle East is a non-event, but I work for a Canadian company, so I'm enjoying a day off. Score one for the good guys (me).

I didn't have an eventful weekend or anything, but that's not going to stop me from sharing the inane details with you. For your enjoyment, I present Meredith's totally vapid and forgettable Weekend Highlights.

1) Highlight: A trip to the Four Seasons for highlights. Highlights for your hair...not highlights...like this weekend highlight reel....stopping now.

At the salon, I was this close to dying my hair brown. I watched Walk the Line and was inspired by Reese Witherspoon because she looked so damned pretty as a brunette. I wanted to be daring and country just like her. Then I remembered that I do not, in fact, possess a set of balls, so I stayed blonde. It's cool, brown doesn't really go with my hot as balls suntan anyway.

Obligatory blonde joke: What do you call a blonde with pigtails?

Wait for it....

A blowjob with handlebars!

Ugh. That was tasteless. And on the day the Lord rose from the dead (or was that Easter Monday? Shoot)! My apologies.

2) Highlight: Driving to seven different establishments to find a bar—any bar -- that was broadcasting the masters in Doha. DKM was jacked to watch his man crush Tiger Woods. Alas, in a country full of Brits and Americans, we were turned away from each bar, becoming more dejected and less golf-y by the minute.

We didn't watch the Masters, but were probably better off, seeing as Tiger sucked ass and that horrible looking kid Rory McIlroy was playing. Call me cruel but that young, talented kid is super fugggg. If I had to sleep with either him or Michael Phelps, it would definitely be Phelps because Phelps' body is obscene and you could put a bag over his head, while McIlroy is unattractive through and through. All together now – ewwwwwwwwwwwww.
**Ed Note. I almost didn't write about Rory and his unfortunate face, because, well, look at him. He's awful. It's just too easy. But then I reminded myself that he travels around the world, playing golf for a living, and that his girlfriend is still in high school and I said, fuck it, piggy is fair game.

ANYWAY. I’m surprised we couldn’t find one place that was broadcasting golf, only because we wanted it sooo badly. I truly believe that if you want something bad enough, things will find a way of working out. Maybe I think this way because life has a funny way of making awesome things happen to me. Here are examples of things I really, really wanted to happen, that did.

a). Day drinks with Daryn Jones. Check.

b.) My internship at CTV and a chance to meet Oscar the Grouch. Check and Check.

c.) I was obsessed with Evil Dead last summer. One night out, my friend and I were approached by the writer. An hour later, we were onstage at the Diesel Playhouse, spotlights on, acting out scenes in the theatre I worshiped all summer.
Check.

e.) My interview with Mr. Dressup – it was for a class project in grade 5, but man did I ever research the shit out of that thing. Ernie Coombs was impressed, trust. Thanks Dad! In case you're wondering, the man is an angel. Check.

d.) Every time I met one of the Blue Jays. Check. Special mention goes to the time I met my favourite player and convinced him to share his deepest secrets with me. I’m the Diane Sawyer of drunken girls – I can get people to say anything.
Except unlike Diane Sawyer, I talk to people you actually want to hear from.

f) Days like this:
Call me a dork, but that was all kinds of thrilling.

So the point is mayyybe DKM didn’t really want to watch the Masters at all. If he had, it would have happened.
.
.
.
.
He’s going to kill me. I probably just ruined his Easter. Anyhoo. On with the weekend highlights.

3) Highlight: watching every Jays game this weekend. To preempt DKM's moaning about missing baseball, we bought mlb.tv. This deal is precisely what the Interwebs were invented for!
With mlb.tv you can watch any baseball game live, or archive them for viewing later. It's perfect for a couple of homesick Canadians on a seven hour time difference.

To ensure the best viewing experience (read, no spoilers), I have to avoid Drunk Jays Fans and Tao of Steib until I get home from work. This is tough, but not impossible. However, before we got around to watching the first three games, I read the blogs anyway, because I just can't help myself. When DKM and I put them on, I pretended to not know the final score. DKM saw through my facade because of the way I squirmed through the Jesse Litsch match. I just wanted to see how fat he grew and then peace out.

4) Highlight: purchasing the sexiest, yet totally profesh dress pants evar. What? I'm still a girl.
***
I told you that would be uneventful. A trip to the salon, the mall, and a lot of sports streamed online. But you read it anyway -- sucker! For the soldiers still around, here's a link to a bonus post I wrote about celebrity sex tapes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

An example of really good PR

I wanted to share this with you. It’s an article I copy and pasted from the weekend edition of the newspaper – a press release from Burger King introducing its latest hamburger product. If you’re a burger superfan (one word), read on.

Burger King rolls out premium-quality Steakhouse Burger Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Doha: Burger King has rolled out its new range of lip-smacking burgers - the premium-quality Steakhouse Burger. A big-sized, flame-grilled burger, Steakhouse Burger is designed to appeal to the tastes of burger fans by offering within a sandwich the indulgence of an entire premium dinner.

The burger comprises of a juicy, flame-grilled one-hundred percent halal, beef patty, topped with American cheese, veal bacon, crispy onions and fresh lettuce and tomatoes — all smothered in BBQ sauce — on a corn dusted bun. All the ingredients of the Steakhouse Burger are designed to complement the unique flavour of the meat.

“With the launch of Steakhouse Burger, we once again underscore our superior positioning - that when it comes to burgers, there simply is no better place than Burger King,” said Pierre Mekary, Marketing Coordinator for Premier Food Services, the Burger King franchisee in Qatar. “Our basic objective here is to drive a new group of burger superfans and regular customers to our restaurants and thus reinforce Burger King’s product superiority and market leadership.”

I almost threw up because the release reads like it was written by a cow, but DKM latched on to the burger superfans part (because they wrote the release directly! to! him!) and was truly impressed. It took him all of 15 minutes to get off the couch and speed over to BK. He has since eaten the steakhouse burger three times.

Burger King’s objective? Met. Score one for the whopper makers and burger superfans everywhere.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Opening Day Whining

This evening, the Toronto Blue Jays will play their first game of the 2009 season at home, versus the Detroit Tigers.

My beloved Jays open their season to a wealth of low expectations. Our bullpen might be awesome, (Um, Scott Downs is in it) and Travis Snider could do some damage but it’s too early to say. Our starting pitchers who aren't Roy Hallday, are either untested or are Jesse Litsch. These putzes surround one shining beacon of hope and superstardom who will be asked to carry our team all year. I can't wait.

But why listen to me talk about baseball when you can visit Drunk Jays Fans? I don’t actually know what I’m talking about. This is why, when I met Downs last year, I asked him about his wife and babies, rather than the soreness in his elbow or wherever.

I’m absolutely devastated to miss opening day. There is no solace in the fact that it’s snowing in Toronto and it’s 30+ degrees here. None! I want to sit in the dirty, dirty 500 level for 3.5 innings before sneaking down behind the bullpen to scream at Brandon League, or whoever’s hair offends me most that day. I want to get really drunk off the $9.50 crack beers. I want to get in a fight with a girl from Detroit. Okay, maybe I don’t. Still, there is nothing like the Blue Jays’ opening day.
**Note on which Blue Jay offends me most. When he plays, it is always Brandon League. He has a tattoo of his name across his back, just like on his jersey. It’s like he is permanently wearing a jersey. This is either super awesome or the LAMEST THING EVER.

At last year’s home opener I was in London, visiting people at Western. I was in London for approximately 18 hours before getting thrown onto a bus, to head to Toronto with a ticket to the home opener. It was great.

The trip was a mess. The guy next to me on the bus threw up on his seat. Two of the people on our bus ride didn’t make it for the trip home because they had been arrested for streaking on the field. Sinister deals went down. Happy memories.

So yea, I won't be there, but I can certainly complain about it.
To all my friends attending tonight’s game-- enjoy the baseball , but please make note of this item, and report back to me:

1) Exactly how fat did Jesse Litsch get?
That’s all. Have fun, aholes.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Musings from CONRAD

Remember last week, when I proclaimed how great it would be if CONRAD Black were to write a regular column in the Post? My prayers have been answered, to an extent.

Here are CONRAD’s thoughts on the bankruptcy of Sun-Times Media Group (formerly Hollinger International, the company which launched the National Post, also the company CONRAD was running when found guilty of mail wiring and fraud). I hadn’t heard that Sun-Times Media declared bankruptcy, but I’m not surprised. In my last month in Toronto, I actively followed the layoffs and company cuts.... and while all the Canadian media outlets were suffering, Sun-Times always seemed the worst off. This was only a matter of time.

Bankruptcy sucks. The important thing is that CONRAD is back to make us feel small through verbosity and his superior grasp of the English language. Please, try and ignore his extreme arrogance. Instead, focus on the constant delivery of linguistic gems. This is just one guest column. Imagine the delight if he wrote on a weekly basis! I feel it happening, he's got a taste for it, hopefully he won't stop now. CONRAD'S weekly diatribes would surely put Russell Smith and his Globe columns to shame.

I kid, Russell, I'll love you forever.

From CONRAD:

“Nevertheless, Hollinger Inc. ultimately became a tethered, fatted calf awaiting Breeden's pleasure in a U. S. court-sponsored slaughter.”

“As in so many other areas, what Canada emulated of U. S. securities regulation was the worst on the American menu. Indeed, Canada's senior securities regulator rolled over like a poodle. The long-great Hollinger, an authentic Canadian institution, was killed and plundered at the behest of the lowest mutation of the Ugly American, the allegory of extraterritorial arrogance.”

On life after prison:
“Once my present annoying but quite bearable Babylonian Captivity is over, my life will resume more or less where it was.”

I worship your wicked tongue, CONRAD.

But I'm too old to be a promo girl

Here’s a comical development. This morning, I received a message from one of the girls here, asking me to join her next weekend at the clubs to moonlight as a Jack Daniels promo girl. Yes, one of those cheesy, sleazy cocktailers who wear matching clingy dresses that are almost always accessorized with a cowboy hat.

I’m thinking about it. Here’s why…

In Toronto, I worked at a dumpy sports bar next to some of the city’s premiere sports destinations – the Air Canada Centre (LEAFS! raptors) and the Skydome (JAYS! argos). We’ll call this place The Goose (not its real name).
The Goose. Not a real name. This is a real photograph. Oopsie!

While I loved working at The Goose, I won’t deny that the place is a total shithole. It’s in a basement, has no windows and often smells like feet. It’s a biiiig bar too. I’ll never forget the time I was working (sitting around and gossiping) when the place started to reek of sewage. All of a sudden, the drain near our feet was spewing dirty water. Then the kitchen flooded, the grease trap overflowed, and the toilets burst. Within two minutes, our massive bar was coated in a foot of sewage-greasy-toilet water. We closed for a month. The term shit hole has never been so apt.

For the most part, the clientele was reflective of the bar’s décor – tacky and offensive. We didn’t exactly attract a high-brow crowd with our “bra hall of fame,” and the t-shirts reading, “If you can read this, you have pretty good eyesight. Now, while you’re down there, how ‘bout a BJ?”
Seriously.

Sure it’s a dive, but it was one of the only places in Toronto that was unapologetically skanky. I’d rather hang out there than at Lobby any day. At least people have fun at the Goose. At a pretentious joint like Lobby, it’s all bottle service and people scowling at you. Beautiful, unhappy people? Didn’t know they existed until I went to Lobby. My boyfriend Daryn Jones will sum up this awful phenomenon here.

The Goose owns up to its cheap image and in my educated boozehound opinion, is all the better for it.

I can honestly say I learned a lot from working at a crap place like the Goose. For instance...

*I’m an expert at detecting when a really fat guy is 15 seconds away from puking, and whether he will make it to the bathroom in time. 80% of the time…he will not.

**If a trio of girls run back and forth from the bathroom every 15 minutes, while drinking their faces off and *somehow* becoming increasingly sober – okay, it doesn’t take a server to figure out what they’re doing.

***I know exactly how many shots one can down and continue to wait tables successfully. I learned this after going over that limit on one occasion and being sent home by my manager who sadly shook his head at me while I “went home” to the bar next door.

****I also have plenty of experience at wearing revealing outfits while being nice to repulsive men. The club scene in Doha can’t possibly be worse than the crowd that streams into our bar after a CFL game on a Saturday afternoon. Yuck.

All this talk of drunks and vomit is making me nostalgic. I’ve made up my mind. Next weekend, I will put on a stupid outfit and serve drinks to Doha club kids. I’ll be sure to document the hilarity for your enjoyment-- Anything for my loyal readers.

This is going to be bad.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Klassy with a K

The weekend is winding down. DKM is already back at work while I'm loafing on the sofa at my leisure. I have the apartment to myself. This rarely happens. To celebrate, I'm drinking coffee and listening to really loud music. I've been up for four hours now. Haven't had breakfast but HAVE enjoyed two carafes of coffee. I'm doing the caffeine dance...fingers shakin, eyeballs buggin, mouth dryin. This state of bliss will last another hour or so before I have to get my ass up and do some work.

We started our weekend at the Four Seasons' Library Bar. The Four Seasons is a beautiful and classy place to get drunkenly brutalized. You know the type -- beautiful dark wood, big leather chairs, and olives stuffed with blue cheese on the table. It's always full of flush, red-faced businessmen, drinking wine and leering at the statuesque piano player who wears a ballgown every night. I just love it.

At the library bar, I've taken to ordering dirty martinis because they are sophisticated looking. I then spend 45 minutes choking them down, pretending to reallllyyyyy like it, all the while hoping it will be over soon. Poser.

This tactic is unquestionably lame, but it's how I beat my palette into enjoying tastes that I don't like now, but plan to someday. Someone once told me it takes your tongue 12 times to get used to a new/unpleasant taste and after you try it a dozen times, you will likely enjoy it. This has worked for things like Guinness beer, dark coffee and olives.

Sure, I've tasted straight vodka more than 12 times, but it still makes my face screw up in an unattractive ball of horror. I am determined to become a dirty martini girl. It's fun to order and looks good in photographs. Hating myself again and again.

We went to a bbq lat night, hosted by one of DKM's work buddies. It was unreal...plates upon plates of traditional Arabic food...hummus, fattoush, kofta, kebabs, moutabel. Fucking ay. PLUS, there was a pooch there. A real live one! It was small and hilarious, with a wonky leg. In other words, everything I could have hoped for. It's like God heard me whining about the lack of dogs in Doha and sent a little ball of fuzz my way. Happy.


Speaking of dogs, here's a video of a trio of pugs doing what they do best -- being hilarious and adorable. I recommend watching this video as is, then re-watching it on mute. Put some country bumpkin music on and proceed. YouTube magic.
****

Personal favour? Click on this New York Times piece about Toronto BeeJays pitcher Roy Halladay. We should direct as much traffic there as possible to let the NYTimes people know that he issss the bestest. Can't believe I'll miss opening day this year. Will have to wait until July to watch the Jays play. And yes, I will be organizing my trip home around an extended homestand. Obvs. See you there friends.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Nuggets

It’s 45 minutes until the weekend starts and all of my work is finished. This is my attempt to throw a weak ass post together before I drink myself into oblivion.
*****
What in the bloody hell…. I saw this yesterday on NYMag. Yep, Still funny today. Try not laughing, I dare you.

Don't be fooled by that baby's smile. He is NOT having a good time. Photoshop can work wonders. You know he's pissed his mother would publicly shame him like that.

*****
Nuggets from the G20 Summit.

What’s better?
Harper missing the family photo because he was allegedly in the bathroom? Dumbass.

Or the eight second embrace between Michelle Obama and the Queen that left the world mesmerized? Protocol and curtsies be damned!

Both are pretty good.

Jamie Oliver aka British Dreamboat the First is cooking a grand meal for the world leaders. Wonder if he’ll use this as a platform to get kids to stop BEING SO FAT. If so, good on him.

You know you love the fat babies

*****
What else? OH! I think I got my first hate comment on Hack the Bone. I was waiting for this day. It’s on the Lil Wayne in Doha post and someone called me gay. Actually they might have called the other commenter gay. It’s cloudy. No official celebrations will be held until a definite hate comment is left, but we’re close. I can taste it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Three Months in Doha

Big News of the Day

Tomorrow marks my three month anniversary with Qatar. It’s getting serious. Today, my visa came through so I’m now an official resident. My passport has a page with my work visa and I have a Qatari ID. I’m here to stay. AHHHHHHH.

Unsightly Quirk of the Day


I have a pair of really sharp scissors on my desk. Sometimes, when I’m struggling with a turn of phrase or a particularly frustrating release, I start cutting my hair. I take the ends in my hand and just snip here and there. It’s stupid. Someone needs to take these scissors away. I wonder if our tea girl has noticed the scattered blonde hairs at the foot of my desk. She must think I’m balding. That's gross.

Weird Sign of Homesickness of the Day


Last night, DKM and I were sitting around all domestic like, when I turned to him and said, “you know, I haven’t so much as pet a dog in three months?” He was all, “aww sure you have.” But I haven’t!! Definitely have not even pet or cuddled or played with one single dog. That's not right. The next thing I knew, big, uninvited tears streamed down my face. I was in a fine mood, my eyes were just being crazy.

To distract myself, I went to YouTube, did a search for “cute puppies” and spent half an hour watching videos. I wanted to stop, but it was sooo hard. One cute puppy video leads you to another…and another, anddd another.

I stopped watching after this video. We didn't want things getting too out of control. Crazy puppy party! WooooOooOoot. This heartwarming minute and a half of awesomeness features a border collie puppy, too afraid to go down the stairs, so this older dog helps him out. Behold.

Not enough animal hilarity for you? There’s always time for BOX CAT!