SARcasm











{September 29, 2009}   Book 2 Down!

Off my 101 books in 1001 days list, I’ve knocked off another – Sex, Lies and Headlocks by Shaun Assael and Mike Mooneyham.

1. Dead and Gone – Charlaine Harris
2. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
3. Reading Lolita in Iran – Azar Nafisi
4. The Year of Living Biblically – A.J. Jacobs
5. A History of God – Karen Armstrong
6. Dreams of My Father – Barack Obama
7. Beloved – Toni Morrison
8. ‘Tis – Frank McCourt
9. The Host – Stephenie Meyers
10. The Constant Princess – Phillipa Gregory
11. Wicked – Gregory Maguire
12. The Six Wives of Henry the 8th – Alison Weir
13. Eleanor of Aquitaine – Alison Weir
14. Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch Albom
15. The Fellowship of the Ring – J.R.R. Tolkien
16. The Two Towers – J.R.R. TOlkien
17. The Return of the King – J.R.R. Tolkien
18. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling
19. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J.K. Rowling
20. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – J.K. Rowling
21. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – J.K. Rowling
22. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling
23. Dracula – Bram Stoker
24. Paradise Lost – John Milton
25. The Inferno – Dante
26. Towelhead – Alicia Erian
27. Sex, Lies, and Headlocks – Shaun Assael and Mike Mooneyham
28. The Way the Crow Flies – Ann-Marie MacDonald
29. The Robber Bride – Margaret Atwood
30. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
31. This United Church of Ours – Ralph Milton
32. Anansi Boys – Neil Gaiman
33. American Gods – Neil Gaiman
34. Stardust – Neil Gaiman
35. Tess of the d’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
36. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
37. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
38. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
39. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
40. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
41. Deception Point – Dan Brown
42. Digital Fortress – Dan Brown
43. The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown
44. Lolita – Vladimir Nobokov
45. Atonement – Ian McEwan
46. All the King’s Men – Robert Penn Warren
47. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
48. Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
49. The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
50. Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Harriet Beecher Stowe
51. A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
52. Scarlett – Alexandra Ripley
53. White Noise – Don De Litto
54. Their Eyes were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
55. Primary Colours – Anonymous
56. Revolutionary Road – Richard Yates
57. Ragtime – E.L. Doctorow
58. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – Muriel Spark
59. Play it as it Lays – Joan Didion
60. Fast Food Nation – Eric Schlasser
61. My Years as Prime Minister – Jean Chretien
62. Memoirs – Pierre Trudeau
63. Shake Hands with the Devil – Romeo d’Allaire
64. Team of Rivals – Doris Kearns Goodwin
65. The Secret Mulroney Tapes – Peter C. Newman
66. Why I Hate Canadians – Will Ferguson
67. I was a Teenage Katima-Victim – Will Ferguson
68. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
69. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe – Douglas Adams
70. Life, the Universe and Everything – Douglas Adams
71. So Long and Thanks for All the Fish – Douglas Adams
72. Mostly Harmless – Douglas Adams
73. Fifth Business – Robertson Davies
74. The Manticore – Robertson Davies
75. World of Wonders – Robertson Davies
76. The Donnellys – James Reaney
77. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
78. Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand
79. Farenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
80. Not Wanted on the Voyage – Timothy Findlay
81. A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
82. Coraline – Neil Gaiman
83. The Crucible – Arthur Miller
84. Mirror Mirror – Gregory Maguire
85. Snarky Responses to Yahoo! Answers – Matthew Cory
86. Sorbonne Confidential – Laurel Zuckerman
87. What Happened to Anna K – Irina Reyn
88. The Silver Linings Playbook – Matthew Quick
89. Hey Nostradamus! – Douglas Coupland
90. Girlfriend in a Coma – Douglas Coupland
91. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
92. The 5 People You Meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom
93. The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
94. Interview with the Vampire – Ann Rice
95. The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank
96. The Bonfire of the Vanities – Tom Wolfe
97. Guys and Dolls – Damon Runyon
98. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Robert M. Pirsig
99. He’s Just Not that Into You – Greg Behrendt, Liz Tuccillo, Lauren Monchik
100. The Ultimate Weight Solution – Dr. Phil McGraw
101. Real Life: Preparing for the 7 Most Challenging Days of Your Life – Dr. Phil McGraw

This book is a really interesting read, as it covers a lot of ground that is familiar to the knowledgeable wrestling fan (the transition from territories to national promotions; the gamble that was Wrestlemania; the Monday Night Wars; Vince McMahon’s federal steroid trial; Owen Hart’s death; WWE going public), but from new angles and with a lot more depth than many others. Full of interviews from those who were there, former WCW and WWE employees as well as Turner and USA executives, agents, bookers and the like. And yet while covering some complicated ground on the legal and ‘television industry’ front, it is emanently readable and easy-to-follow. Not a long read clocking in at 250 or so pages, I downed it in about 36 hours (and that’s with a baby and housekeeping and job searching on the go). It’s a must read for fans who think they know the score from wrestling’s behind the scenes scandals and screwjobs, the history of Vince McMahon and other colourful wrestling characters, etc.

My only complaint about this book is, while it tries to cover a lot of ground and gets the broad contours right, if you are looking for dead-on accuracy in terms of chronology, dates, etc. there are several notable errors in this book. For example, it states that Lex Luger slammed the 500-plus pound world champion Yokozuna on July 4, 1995, and after an aborted push as a result of that feat of strength, left WWE for WCW in the fall of the same year. Untrue; while Lex Luger did make his debut on Nitro’s inaugural episode on the fall of 1995, his slam of Yokozuna had occured on Independence Day 1993; while he did indeed never live up to the expectations of Vince McMahon and the WWE, it took them longer than 6 months to give up on their pet project.

Having said that, I don’t want to take away from the book because they got a few facts and figures mixed up; here the often-joked-about phrase of not letting the facts get in the way of the truth applies; the fundamental story is a true and important one to be told, and if a few dates on the timeline were fudged for smoothness’s sake, it doesn’t take away from the overarching story of wrestling as a business that had lost its innocence … or perhaps, much like Britney Spears, it was more a case of fans becoming aware it had never been that innocent to begin with. For major wrestling fans, a must-read; for casual fans, one I’d encourage you to read, but to learn about the industry as a whole, not for specific dates and figures; non-fans? This will confirm your worst suspicions about wrestling, and as such is a must-read for fodder against your idiot, wrestling fan friends (just don’t use it against me! lol).



{September 29, 2009}   Happy Birthday!

So I haven’t blogged much this weekend as it’s been a quiet one; we’ve been in the process of finding Little Tyke a babysitter, me work, and all that jazz (some progress made on those fronts; we found LT a sitter through an agency, but she then quit with the agency; we’re in the process at this point of deciding whether to stick with the sitter we liked so much, or the agency which does all the drop-ins and background checks etc.; as for work, I’m paperwork away from being on the Ottawa substitute teaching list). But today is an important day I didn’t want to let go by without blogging. 22 years ago today, my wee baby brother (who now has about a foot in height on me lol) was born. We’re both grownup, living in different towns, starting new jobs, busy in our lives, but I still consider us close and though I can’t share it with him this year, I wish him a lovely, lovely day.

Tomorrow is also my mother-in-law’s birthday … she’s spending it, as far as I know, travelling home from a weekend in Washington state with her mother and sister. I wish her a fun flight and safe trip for her birthday! 🙂

I also wish the birthday boy and girl better health than is going around this particular Daigen house at the moment; LT and I both have awful colds and I think Ari has *just* avoided it, although had a sore throat today. Wishing you guys good health, and us all a good night’s sleep for better health tomorrow … when I should be able to update my 101 books list as I’ll be knocking another one off my list before bed tonight.



{September 24, 2009}   Baby Beyonce

Not OUR Little Tyke … but if you know him, it so could be. Hilarious.



I didn’t post much, if anything, on Patrick Swayze’s passing 10 or 12 days ago because I’m not especially familiar with his work; the only Patrick Swayze move I’ve seen is Dirty Dancing, and I saw his legendary Chippendales skit on Saturday Night Live with the late Chris Farley. However I did consider him to be a particularly talented dancer, singer and choreographer, and a very good actor – apparently, if I’d see him in Ghost, I’d be even more impressed with his acting. Perhaps one to see in short order.

Given his conributions to the song and dance community, it was fitting Dancing with the Stars choreographed a tribute to him for yesterday’s show:



{September 23, 2009}   Plug plug shameless plug

Check out ‘The Good Wife’, CBS’ new primetime politico-legal series. GOOD stuff, starring Julianne Margolies and Christopher Noth (Mr. Big of Sex in the City fame). 🙂 It’s good stuff.

On a side note – thanks for a lovely visit this evening Bill! We loved hanging out with you. Wow … first Alex, then my mom and step-dad, my cousin Bill tonight, and my brother next weekend … you’d think we were popular or something, almost sort of. 😉



{September 21, 2009}   Beyonce

By the way – if R&B singer Beyonce Knowles didn’t earn your respect by giving Taylor Swift an opportunity to retry her acceptance speech after Kanye West’s rude interruption, this video demonstrates the lovely soul that I believe lies behind this Diva’s exterior.

The little girl onstage with Beyonce is named Chelsea, and she suffers from Leukemia, obviously in an advanced stage. The song Beyonce is singing to her is called ‘Halo’. The real story in this video of course is Chelsea, and all of our prayers for her recovery. But for such a big star as Beyonce to go out of her way to embrace this little girl, as opposed to her A-list compatriots … no one deserves more respect than both of these fine young women.

I have for the most part been a Beyonce fan since Destiny’s Child from a musical point of view, without knowing a whole lot about her as a person (and that which I did know seemed to indicate a bit of a prima donna who wanted her stage); but in the last week I think we’ve had a true peek into who she is, and from someone who I respected as a talent, she is fast becoming someone I respect as a person. Big respect. And of course, again, our prayers for Chelsea’s health and recovery, and for her family as they go through what must be a difficult time.



{September 21, 2009}   Thanks Mommy

Well it’s been a quiet one this weekend, but I thought I’d share we had some visitors. First, I want to shout out to my mom – she and my step-dad came to visit and have dinner with Little Tyke (oh, and us too) today, and we had a lovely afternoon and evening together. I’m not sure I realized how very much I missed her until I saw her for the first time in almost a month, so it was really nice. So thanks Mom and Doug!

I also got to see my friend Alex on Friday, which was nice to; I know how hard it can be on weekends out of town to fit everyone in and I appreciate you making time for us to catch up doll! 🙂 We’ll have to do it again sometime soon – say Thanksgiving weekend. 🙂

As quiet a weekend as this has been generally, I had an enjoyable one and I hope everyone else did too. I hope the week ahead is as great as well for all of you! 🙂 Starting off well on this end tomorrow anyway, as we’re going for a walk and picnic on Parliament Hill after Ari’s workday, and I have a job interview in the afternoon … and we know we have visitors coming over the week as well by way of my cousin Billy and my brother next weekend … which will be here before you know it! 🙂 Have a good one all.



Recall my earlier post about reading 101 books in 1001 days? Well, one book off my list!

1. Dead and Gone – Charlaine Harris
2. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
3. Reading Lolita in Iran – Azar Nafisi
4. The Year of Living Biblically – A.J. Jacobs
5. A History of God – Karen Armstrong
6. Dreams of My Father – Barack Obama
7. Beloved – Toni Morrison
8. ‘Tis – Frank McCourt
9. The Host – Stephenie Meyers
10. The Constant Princess – Phillipa Gregory
11. Wicked – Gregory Maguire
12. The Six Wives of Henry the 8th – Alison Weir
13. Eleanor of Aquitaine – Alison Weir
14. Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch Albom
15. The Fellowship of the Ring – J.R.R. Tolkien
16. The Two Towers – J.R.R. TOlkien
17. The Return of the King – J.R.R. Tolkien
18. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling
19. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J.K. Rowling
20. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – J.K. Rowling
21. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – J.K. Rowling
22. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling
23. Dracula – Bram Stoker
24. Paradise Lost – John Milton
25. The Inferno – Dante
26. Towelhead – Alicia Erian
27. Sex, Lies, and Headlocks – Shaun Assael and Mike Mooneyham
28. The Way the Crow Flies – Ann-Marie MacDonald
29. The Robber Bride – Margaret Atwood
30. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
31. This United Church of Ours – Ralph Milton
32. Anansi Boys – Neil Gaiman
33. American Gods – Neil Gaiman
34. Stardust – Neil Gaiman
35. Tess of the d’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
36. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
37. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
38. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
39. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
40. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
41. Deception Point – Dan Brown
42. Digital Fortress – Dan Brown
43. The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown
44. Lolita – Vladimir Nobokov
45. Atonement – Ian McEwan
46. All the King’s Men – Robert Penn Warren
47. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
48. Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
49. The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
50. Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Harriet Beecher Stowe
51. A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
52. Scarlett – Alexandra Ripley
53. White Noise – Don De Litto
54. Their Eyes were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
55. Primary Colours – Anonymous
56. Revolutionary Road – Richard Yates
57. Ragtime – E.L. Doctorow
58. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – Muriel Spark
59. Play it as it Lays – Joan Didion
60. Fast Food Nation – Eric Schlasser
61. My Years as Prime Minister – Jean Chretien
62. Memoirs – Pierre Trudeau
63. Shake Hands with the Devil – Romeo d’Allaire
64. Team of Rivals – Doris Kearns Goodwin
65. The Secret Mulroney Tapes – Peter C. Newman
66. Why I Hate Canadians – Will Ferguson
67. I was a Teenage Katima-Victim – Will Ferguson
68. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
69. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe – Douglas Adams
70. Life, the Universe and Everything – Douglas Adams
71. So Long and Thanks for All the Fish – Douglas Adams
72. Mostly Harmless – Douglas Adams
73. Fifth Business – Robertson Davies
74. The Manticore – Robertson Davies
75. World of Wonders – Robertson Davies
76. The Donnellys – James Reaney
77. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
78. Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand
79. Farenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
80. Not Wanted on the Voyage – Timothy Findlay
81. A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
82. Coraline – Neil Gaiman
83. The Crucible – Arthur Miller
84. Mirror Mirror – Gregory Maguire
85. Snarky Responses to Yahoo! Answers – Matthew Cory
86. Sorbonne Confidential – Laurel Zuckerman
87. What Happened to Anna K – Irina Reyn
88. The Silver Linings Playbook – Matthew Quick
89. Hey Nostradamus! – Douglas Coupland
90. Girlfriend in a Coma – Douglas Coupland
91. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
92. The 5 People You Meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom
93. The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
94. Interview with the Vampire – Ann Rice
95. The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank
96. The Bonfire of the Vanities – Tom Wolfe
97. Guys and Dolls – Damon Runyon
98. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Robert M. Pirsig
99. He’s Just Not that Into You – Greg Behrendt, Liz Tuccillo, Lauren Monchik
100. The Ultimate Weight Solution – Dr. Phil McGraw
101. Real Life: Preparing for the 7 Most Challenging Days of Your Life – Dr. Phil McGraw

That’s right I read “This United Church of Ours” by Ralph Milton. A review follows:

For those wondering why I’ve been on a church kick the last few posts, it’s simple. On the plainest level, I’ve always considered myself a faithful Christian, but I’ve also always cosidered it a personal thing; I still do and as I said yesterday I’m not on a ‘kick’ to proseletyze particularly (although if interested I’m always more than happy to discuss my faith provided it can be a respectful dialogue on both ends). More particularly though, having now moved to Ottawa, I’ve been seeking a new church, and in doing so, reconnecting with my decision to be a member of the United Church of Canada (not that this choice was ever in doubt – just thought it was a good gut check time since I was uprooting myself anyway).

This book is – besides the bible itself – the bible of the United Church. Milton really does a great job of outlining the nuts and bolts rituals and sacraments, governmental structure, most basic beliefs etc. found in the United Church. He does a good job of encapsulating how all-encompassing a church we can be, how progressive and open-minded, and yet how varied (perfect example being his illustration of several different sample congregations, in very different buildings using very different language and methods of worship). At the same time he doesn’t shy away, as many of us more progressive Christians can, from owning our Christianity, naming it, and calling on us to be as devoted to our church, with all its open-mindedness, as anyone else might be. Being thoughtful, considerate and progressive does not mean being undedicated, and as well as explaining the United Church as plainly and thoroughly as anyone can, he brings that point home as well.

My only complaint has nothing to do with Milton but my own circumstances: the edition of This United Church of Ours that I managed to get my hands on from my local library was the second edition, published in 1991; there have been many changes in our church since then, the adoption of a new Sunday School curriculum, the legalization of gay marriage in Canada, etc. A third edition had been written in 2003, but was not available to me on my current timeframe and budget. As such, the material was slightly dated, but still highly informative and useful, affirming my respect both for the United Church’s most core set of beliefs, and its structure. Recommended reading to any UCCers, or anyone considering a progressive, ‘big-tent’ Christian church.



{September 18, 2009}   Church

I am a member of the United Church of Canada. I’ve been thinking a lot about church in recent weeks as we’ve moved and I’ve been looking for a new spiritual home in our new city. I’m not big on evangelizing or proseletyzing; living in a multicultural society, and particularly in a mixed-faith family, it’s neither appropriate nor fair a lot of the time. But it’s also not something I would ever want to hide, and since with my blog you have the choice of reading or not, watching the videos I post or not, checking out the photos I post or not, I figure this isn’t a bad place to put up this link to a Youtube video (click here).

It is nothing special, in a way; no fancy graphics or production values. It’s a handheld cam video at a multicultural conference where they recite our church’s ‘New Creed’ (now going on 20 years in action lol). And that creed is special; people sometimes accuse the United Church (and by extension myself) of sort of half-hearted Christianity; we hesitate to wholeheartedly endorse the literal concepts of Christianity (the ressurection etc.); but I think this creed embodies what the church is trying to do; we DO believe in Christian precepts. But as people, we will always stumble in that belief; we will always question. Our job as a community is to help one another on that journey of faith. The language is not narrow and exclusionary so that perhaps more open-minded or questioning Christians will feel threatened by it; nor is it so wishy-washy that those more certain in their faith will feel it ‘doesn’t count’ somehow.

When someone asks me what it means to be a Christian and a churchgoer, I usually point to this creed. I hope and think it has something for every Christian to believe in. 🙂

A NEW CREED:

We are not alone.

We live in God’s world.

We believe in God:

who has created and is creating,

who has come in Jesus,

the Word made flesh,

to reconcile and make new,

who works in us and others

by the Spirit.

We trust in God.

We are called to be the Church:

to celebrate God’s presence,

to live with respect in Creation,

to love and serve others,

to seek justice and resist evil,

to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen,

our judge and our hope,

In life, in death, in life beyond death,

God is with us. We are not alone.

Thanks be to God.



{September 16, 2009}   The Debaters – CBC Radio 1

Driving around today I was listening to a really fun show on the CBC Radio 1 called ‘The Debaters’, where they effectively have comedians debate, in parliamentary (Be It Resolved That …) style over various public figures (today, the two debates I caught were Pierre Trudeau vs. Brian Mulroney as the better Prime Minister, and Mr. Dressup vs. The Friendly Giant as the better children’s entertainer). Funny, informative, and smart I recommend this show to anyone, whether you’re into deep intellectual stuff, or just a good fluffy laugh. Highly entertaining.



et cetera