Celebrating the 1000th Dispatches from the Swamp Post

To celebrate this huge milestone, I thought I would give you the top 10 posts from the blog. I can hardly believe that I have been blogging since August 8, 2007.

#10 Mobile Me: Back to my Mac Views: 338 Published: April 14, 2010

It is amazing to me how quickly tech moves. Apple is retiring Mobile Me at the end of June in favour of iCloud. I am still not a huge fan of iCloud in that I don’t use it for documents or files I need/use on a daily basis. iCloud is not as straightforward as Dropbox. It only automatically syncs iWork documents. Since I move back and forth between Word and Pages and hate Numbers  this does not work for me. Dropbox on the other hand is easy to save any file. Plus they recently doubled all the storage space you have earned through referrals!

#9 Extreme Begging and Other Dog Stories Views: 364 Published: June 9, 2008

Begging for food is a theme in our house. However, I have to say, no one does it better than Zoe!

#8 How do you solve a problem like Maria? Views: 397 Published: July 7, 2008

Well, I did continue to watch the show to the end. What can I say? I like a good train-wreck.

#7 Raw Feeding 101 Views: 444 Published: August 19, 2008

I have been accused of being a raw-feeding evangelist. I’ll own that.

#6 How do you solve a problem like Maria part 2 Views: 477 Published July 29, 2008

It was such a train-wreck.

#5 ICBC Hit and Run Coverage Views: 679 Published: October 4, 2010

I never did get the damage fixed. It was too minor to spend $300. I still hate ICBC.

#4 Living with a Dying Dog Views: 732 Published: January 5, 2010

We lost Gemma a couple of months later. She was such a great dog.

#3 The Inmates have taken over the Asylum Part 2 Views: 1673 Published: May 10, 2009

We have been so blessed to have known so many great dogs.

#2 My Mr. Lube Experience Views: 2557 Published: August 27, 2007

This post is still generating comments! I should blog more about cars!

#1 Dropbox vs iDisk Views: 2697 Published: April 12, 2010

As I mentioned above tech moves so quickly these days. Dropbox has certainly held up for me. I cannot imagine moving to another file system at this point. Plus given the recent doubling of space, I have 13.75 GBs of space and I am not using half of that at this point.

Thank you to everyone who has been reading my ramblings over the last 1000 posts. I look forward to the next 1000 posts!



How do you Solve a Problem like Maria? Part 2

Well, it is over. The role of Maria VonTrapp has been cast. Elicia Mackenzie from Vancouver has won the role. It was an upset as most people thought that Janna Polzin was going to win. You could see the shock visible in the judges  when the result was announced. Many people, including me, thought that the judges had already decided on Janna. It seemed that way through out the competition when she could do no wrong in their eyes.

In other Maria news, one of the judges, Simon Lee was arrested on Sunday for assault and forcible confinement. Allegedly, he would not let his 20 year old boyfriend out of the hotel room and he had to jump out of the window. Quite a surprising end to the Maria saga!

More Maria frustration…

I mentioned in my last post about how the women on the show are referred to as girls. Well this carries over into the facebook group and all the posts there. Well I finally took a stand and said what I thought of this practice. Not suprisingly, many of the women posting there say that they take it as a ‘compliment’ when they are called a ‘girl’ or ‘girly’ or the really offensive ‘chick’. The are all wondering why I care about this so much.

it is evident by their comments that they have little no underdstanding of discourse theory. They do not seem to understand that language has power, it shapes how we perceive people and things. When a woman is referred to as a ‘girl’ one immediately things of the qualities of a pre-pubescent female: giddy, silly, uneducated etc. They do not think of strong, talented women who know their own minds. The more we as women accept this terminology and allow ourselves to be referred to as girls the more we undermine our own position in society. How can we ever hope to achieve equality (and no, we have not achieved equality yet) if we allow ourselves to be demeaned in this fashion?

I fail to understand why I am fighting women on this issue. It frustrates me to no end that as a feminist quite often it is other women who don’t get it. How on earth can we expect men to treat as equals when some of us relish being treated as less?

How do you solve a problem like Maria?

The latest in reality fare in Canada is the ill-conceived show called “How do you solve a problem like Maria?” Apparently it is based on similar shows, done by Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, to cast major roles in new live shows. On the surface this seems like a good idea – get the people who are ultimately going to pay to see the show help to select the leading woman for the role.

The format works like most of these kind of shows. Singers compete for votes and the bottom two (or three depending on the week) have to engage in a ‘sing-off’ and then Simon Lee, the Lord’s music supervisor, can ‘save’ one of the Marias.  He appears to find this task very difficult and last week he even said he was ‘gobsmacked’ by the results of the vote.

As time goes on it appears that they have already decided who they want to be Maria. For all intents and purposes they seem to have chosen Janna. Now, this poses a problem – how do they make sure that they are able to get rid of all the competition. Donna is a good example of how we are being manipulated. She is a bit heavier than the other Marias but she has an amazing voice, she connects with the audience and she can act. Clearly, she gets enough votes, week after week, to stay in the competition. So last night they dressed her in a god awful peasant dress and gave her a slow song to sing. It seemed that all of the women who sang slow songs got panned. But Donna nailed it. She has a beautiful soprano voice and she had all the emotion and vulnerability they are looking for. So, how do you solve a problem like Donna? Well, if you are Elaine Overholt you decide to dress her down, on national tv, telling her that her ‘diva’ like behaviour and blaming others will not be tolerated. Usually on these shows when something like this happens there has been footage of the offending behaviour – not in this case. It came out of nowhere. I am left to conclude that they do not want Donna as their Maria (likely because she is not a wisp of a thing) and they are trying to affect her votes.

Even the sing-offs don’t make sense. Last week Allie and Jayme participated in a sing-off of “Another Suitcase” from Evita. Hands down Allie was better than Jayme but Allie went home. If this continues the show will lose even more credibility.

Perhaps the worst thing for me as a feminist is that they constantly refer to the Marias as girls. Given that the youngest is 19, most of them left their girlhood a long time ago. I am not sure why almost all of these shows have this in common. They do it on Canadian Idol and on So you think you can dance. They don’t do it to the men who are often referred to as guys. It is monotonous to say the least.

Then there is the host – Gavin Crawford. He makes me mental. He is not in the least bit funny and he dresses funny. You think given that the Lord is involved that they of gotten somebody good like Rick Mercer. At this point I am not even sure that someone like him could save this mess show.

So the real question is why do I continue to watch? It is kind of like a train wreck – I seem to be unable to avert my eyes.