Pet Peeves: Sarah McLachlan

So, news flash, Sarah McLachlan has put out yet another compilation re-hash of old material. Her latest disc, Closer, boasts 2 new tracks. I don’t know about the rest of you but I am tired of being worked by the Sarah McLachlan machine. She has 18 discs out yet only 5, a mere 27%, are completely new material. We have had at least 2 discs of “B-sides and Rarities”* there have been discs of re-makes, live albums, Lilith Fair etc. This latest ‘album’ is a serious slap in the face to her fans. She expects us to pony up another $10-$15 for music we already have just so we can get 2 new songs? Are we that desperate? Apparently, Sarah McLachlan is banking on it. She is also hoping that we going to be so titillated by her new single status that we will be scanning her new song lyrics for any hint of personal information. Well, I have to say that I am completely done buying Sarah McLachlan’s music. It all sounds the same, because it is the same stuff hashed over and over and over again.

*Sarah McLachlan’s career has mostly spanned the post-45 record era. There are no B-sides to cds.

Week 2: So You Think You Can Dance Canada

Apparently someone has criticized Jean-Marc Generaux’s English speaking abilities. One of the judges, Tre Armstrong, correctly pointed out that it is seriously bad form to criticize someone who is speaking in a language that is not their mother tongue. To drive the point home (unnecessarily, in my opinon) she went on to add that she would challenge that person to come and do the same thing as Jean Marc en Francais.

Last week I blogged about the content of Jean-Marc Generaux’s comments. It seemed he basically repeated what other judges said and then threw in a sexist comment. I must say that he was way better this week. There were only a couple of minor sexist remarks and his level of respect towards the women (take a note, not ‘girls’ SYTYCD Canada) competitors. I am hoping this will continue.

I think the judge of the night though was Luther Brown after Tamina and Joey’s silly ‘jailhouse sleepover’ routine. Luther definately gets the ‘keeping it real’ award. He was hysterical. I am sure it will be up on youtube soon. Definitely worth a look. I will link it as soon as I find it.

Is something in the wings?

Ok, I am seriously wondering what the Liberal Party of Canada is going to do in reaction to the election results. I think it is seriously telling that Stephane Dion had a press conference scheduled for today and he cancelled it. The Liberal Party are mercenaries when it comes to having power and they are currently sitting in the political wilderness with a leader who can’t connect to people and no chances of resurrection and no heirs apparent in the wings. Justin Trudeau is too young and too untested to get the leadership and do it justice. This does not sit will for the ‘natural governing party’ of Canada.

My point, because I do have one, is I think they are going to do some bold. I am hoping they are engaged in talks to bring back Jean Chretien as an interim leader until the party can be rebuilt and a new leader can be crowned. This scenario is not outside the realm of possibility. Pierre Trudeau retired and came back. Jean Chretien is very similar to him in terms of leadership style – after all he served with him for many years. As far as I know, Chretien has no pressing reason not to do this for his party. I would love to see Jean Chretien mop up the floor with little Stevie Harper and his sweater vests.

Federal Election 2008: Thank you Quebec

Thank you Quebec. We have you to thank for preventing a Conservative majority government. Thank you for saving us from 4 (or perhaps more depending on whether Stevie decides to follow his own law) years of an arrogant, right-wing dickwad running roughshod over our rights. Stephen Harper has proven that he has the ability to control his candidates – no one really said anything too nutty. This time the gaffes were left to his Highness and his staff.

So, what did we learn? Well, we confirmed that Stephen Harper really is a control freak. How else do you keep the rabid right-wing nutbars from saying something stupid other than keeping them under your thumb? The CBC was reporting earlier that many of the Cons candidates were very hard to talk to at anytime. They singled out Dona Cadman as one of the most elusive candidates. Clearly the Conservative candidates were kept on tight leashes and party ‘stalwarts’ were trotted out to spew the doctrine according to Stephen. Lucky for us he made some key mistakes in Quebec particularly around funding for the arts.

What did we learn about Stephane Dion? Sadly, nothing. He can’t lead. He is a policy wonk who cannot speak perfect English. Someone pundit pointed out that it is acceptable in Canadian politics for English speaking leaders to get away with bad French but not the other way around. It is too bad that Stephane cannot express himself better in English and that we English speakers are not patient enough to listen. I suspect he has great things to say but his message is lost in the delivery. The backroom henchpeople are no doubt sharpening the knives to a very fine point even as we speak.

If there is one bright spot it is Jack Layton. The man is charismatic and he has something to say. He is passionate about Canada returning to a peace-keeping role, strengthening families, medicare and pharmacare. The NDP has increased their number of seats and are now within striking distance of the 43 won by Ed Broadbent at the NDP’s height. This is the best showing for the NDP in many, many years. I am buoyed by this result.

So, at the end of this very costly election what has changed? Not much. Just as I predicted we still have a Conservative minority government (I bow down to Quebec in gratitude) and the NDP made gains. The Cons made some gains too but not enough to put them in majority land. Merci bien Province de Quebec!

PS: Thank you Vancouver Central for re-electing Hedy Fry and sending Lorne Mayencourt packing back to his hell hole. Plus, to make Hedy’s victory even sweeter, Mayencourt had to resign his provincial seat to run!!

Federal Election 2008: Don’t forget to Vote

Tomorrow is the election. I hope everyone remembers to vote. I suspect when all is said and done there will be little difference in the make up of the new Parliament. If there are gains made, I suspect they will be for the NDP and not the Liberals or Conservatives. At the end of the day, this was an election we did not need nor want and in fact it was against the law passed by the Harper Cons fixing election dates. I guess he figures he can ignore laws as well as Canadians.

I also think that once the US election is over a lot of this financial turmoil will die down. It seems somewhat contrived to me.

So You Think You Can Dance Canada

I am a recent convert to SYTYCD. It helped to get me through my summer of unemployment and gave me something to look forward to every week. I was rooting for Joshua and Katee since the first routine they did to “No Air.” We were all thrilled here when he eventually won.

Now, I am watching SYTYCD Canada and I have to say the talent is easily as good as or better than the American version. I have not learned all of the contestants’ names but Lisa and Tamina are early stand outs for me. The one thing I am annoyed about with this version of SYTYCD is one of the judges Jean-Marc Generaux. He seems incapable of commenting on performances of dancers without saying something horribly sexist. I just want to skip through him every single time he is on the screen. I am not sure why the network thinks this is ok. At one point, last week, he was actually encouraging a male dancer to grope his partner saying something along the lines of “if I had three hands I would have them all over her.” It was disgusting and demeaning and completely unnecessary. Given that he is a ballroom expert you would think he would have something new to add when he is judging those routines but he doesn’t. His style seems to be to reiterate what other judges have said and throw in a sexist comment. I certainly hope he is not going to be on every single episode.

Nigel Lythgoe has his own quirks from the American version. He seems to target male dancers who do not seem ‘masculine’ enough for him. To me, these comments appear rooted in homophobia and are just as bad as Jean-Marc Generaux’s sexist comments. I say bring Mary on – she is loud and she screams but at least she is not sexist or homophobic adn she always has something new to add to the comments.

I am Mabel and I Approve this Message

As all the regular readers will know, Mabel is our 17 year old shihtzu who lives in the laundry room (her choice) and who sleeps most of time. When she is awake she is generally barking for one of two things: she wants out or she wants food. Usually in that order and Lord help you if you are not quick enough to please her Highness. Lately Deb has taken to trying to reason with her to get her to stop barking. She thinks it is working, I am not so sure. My strategy with our Dear Despot is to respond quickly. When she starts I let her out, get her food ready, let her back in and give her the food, hopefully without a bark.

Now, on to the food. Whenever you give Mabel food she looks at it, looks at you and then goes back to it. The look seems to be saying: “couldn’t you do better than this?” or “the service here really sucks” or “I had this an hour a go couldn’t you have gone shopping.” You get the idea, she is a despot with high standards. Now, keep in mind this dog is not eating old roy. She is eating freshly cooked chicken, ground beef, her beloved ‘Cesar’ (although we balk at this, life without Cesar for Mabel is way too difficult for us). She loves her chicken and beef and adores her Cesar.

Recently Deb made a trip to Surrey Meat Packers to check out what they had as the prices seemed reasonable. Yesterday she got her first taste of their ground chicken with bone and she loved it. Later Deb gave her some Cesar because we didn’t have any more thawed and she was not impressed. She didn’t even eat it all!

This morning she was up early barking, which is not normal for her Highness – she usually sleeps until at least the crack of 4 pm. I tried to let her out – she wouldn’t go. I went and got her some food. Lucky for me there was ground chicken with bone thawed so I gave her some. I put it on the floor and she raced over to it and didn’t even give me a condescending look. I think Mabel likes the new food…

Change and other things…

Well, it has been a week of change for me! Things have gone very well at the new job and I like it. The commute is way better than when I was trudging all the way downtown everyday – it is only taking 40 minutes one way on most days. Way better than the minimum hour and 15 minutes I used to do one way.

The job is very interesting. I am the Executive Director of a small not for profit. This job will really challenge me and allow me to grow and gain new experiences. I must remember to pace myself though as I do not want to get sick again. I have negotiated to have every other Monday off (a routine I have been used to in the past) which allows me to rest a little bit more. My hours are flexible and I am working non-standard hours so I can miss most of the traffic.

Other than that there is not much to report. Once I am no longer consumed with the new job I am sure I will be back to semi-regular blogging!