Friday, February 29, 2008

What does Leap Year mean to you?

Leap Year; it's a magical time of year, right up there with RRSP and Income Tax deadlines. And not too coincidently it IS the RRSP deadline today (party on, eh?) But like so many special days, holidays and observances, Leap Year means something different to each and every one of us...

For some, Leap Year means that FINALLY they are one year older... Just think about that for a moment... for these chosen people they are only able to vote when they are 72 years old, or 18 dog years (as they call it) And depending on where they live, can only, finally taste the sweet sweet tickle of {legal} alcohol pass their lips at ages 72, 76, 80 or 84 (18, 19, 20 or 21 dog years) And can you imagine only losing your virginity in your mid-60s to mid-70s... FRIGHTENING!

For some, Leap Year is yet another slap in the face from the Man... A whole extra day of work. An extra Nine to Five, and what do you have to show for it? The SAME amount of pay at year end.

For others, It's an extra day to realize they are single and alone. Destined to live the rest of their lives, lonesome travellers on life's ever winding, seemingly never-ending road.

For me, Leap Year means a whole extra day of WINTER! Awwww Yea! An extra day of frigid, bone chilling temperatures, cold winds, and best of all... SNOW.

So, at this time of year, let's all take a moment why don't we and share what Leap Year means to us and give thanks that we can look forward to this most magical of days in another 4 years.


HAPPY LEAP YEAR TO ONE AND ALL!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

In poor taste...

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month (yea, I didn't know either) and the Oncology Department of the company where I work sent the following invitation out to everyone here at Head Office:

"We would like to sensitize you on this terrible disease which claimed the life of more than 8,500 Canadians in 2007.

Meet us at lunch at the cafeteria for the official activities launching."


Now, maybe it's just me, but I'm thinking that the CAFETERIA is probably not the best place to have activities* for the launch of COLORECTAL CANCER Awareness Month... lest we forget that people EAT in the Cafeteria.

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* My sphincter just slams shut at the sheer vagueness of the term 'activities' in relation to Colorectal Cancer Awareness...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Bless myself.

Well it's decided; going forward, when I sneeze, I'll bless myself, and to hell with everyone else!

It's a bit strange, but in my office people are always sneezing and one in particular always starts sneezing, everyday,like clock work at 3:30 pm. I swear, you could set your watch to her. Besides her of course many others sneeze, including on occasion even myself.

Now, I was brought up with manners and when someone sneezes near me I say "Bless you." or "Gesundheit!", or "À tes souhaits". And I do this each and every time. I even bless sneezers on the street, in the Métro and so on.

Others too, bless the Sneezer here in the office, that is unless it's me.

I swear to god, no one blesses me when I sneeze! What's up with that?!

No word of a lie - I've been keeping notes at the office. Since January 3rd of this year there have been over 100 sneezes, (103 as of 5 pm today) by others, ALL of which I've politely blessed. Whereas, I have sneezed 14 times and not in one instance was I blessed. So in the last 4 instances I've audibly 'Bless myself'ed, thinking that someone might comment on my one blessing, picked up on their dromming the blessing ball... but not even!

What gives?
Am I tainted?
Am I evil?
Am I beyond the blessing?
Am I unworthy of a bless you?

Seriously, I have to say I'm more than a little bemused by this.

I work with 7 people directly in the same room. All I consider more than simply 'co-workers'. We all get along and we all share about our lives, are interested and enquire about others.

Well that's it! As of tomorrow, they can sneeze all they want, I will bless them no more. Sneeze heathens!

I will however continue to bless myself.

---

Tomorrow my boss is bringing a Lasagna, someone else is bringing some fruit, and I am baking a cheesecake... I think I just might sneeze on that cheesecake when I'm done baking it.

Just because.

Is this all that's left?

It would seems it's all been done, or at the very least we're really starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel... but a Musical by Stephen King and John Mellencamp?! Really?

---

Jerome, you best be working on something good right now! How's "Come Hell or High Water" coming along? ;-)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

woohoo

SNOW!


...that is all.

Monday, February 25, 2008

oh yea...

10 months to Christmas!


Grrrr Baby, yeah!

LOVE HER!
Say no more!


Academy Award winner Diablo Cody:
best original screenplay Oscar for in 'Juno'

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Vive la France

Well it's done. Me and the Man booked our flight to La République française. (Sounds more tropical that way, non?) We ship out on Friday June 13th (doomsdayers keep your peanut gallery comments to yourselves)

We're there just two weeks so won't be getting to see all the family and friends we'd like to... if we did, we'd spend more time travelling cross-cross the countryside rather than visiting... which while not bad for sight-seeing, if by 'sight-seeing' you mean just seeing things through the window of a car or train, bad if you want to spend time in the cities, towns and villages you pass, not to mention time with your friends.

Where we'll be going for sure is: Paris, Nantes, Pornic, Rennes, St-Malo and Mont-St-Michel. There will undoubtedly be many other stops along the way, certainly high on my list to see are some of the magnificent Châteaux of the Loire Valley, Versailles, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre and pastries, pastries, pastries...

And the best news of all... while in Paris, staying with our friend Lionel, we'll not only have access to some incredible Cafés, but also, just around the corner from his apt, the newest BEN & JERRY'S Ice Cream Shop in France... So Didier and I need not fret about our Ice Cream addiction...

Croissants, champagne, vrai café, champagne, cheese, champagne, frogs legs, champagne, coquille-st-jacques, champagne, decadent pastries, champagne, wine, champagne and ICE CREAM!


Vive La République!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hickory Smoked Métro?

I'm not sure if you're familiar with the Montréal Métro System, but there are a lot of smells in it...

...of course there's your standard smelly people, B-O, B-O-My-GOD, urine, generic cheap-ass drug-store counter perfume, eau-de-toilet (and I'm NOT talking the perfume variety here people) burning rubber and doritos.

There's one other smell you get allot as well and for some unknown reason that's the smell of a fire. Not a "run for your life, the metro train is on fire" type smell, but the "crackling, chalet, marshmallow toasty, chestnuts roasting over an open fire" type smell. And there's NEVER any smoke to explain and show the way.

To me at least, it's one of life's great mysteries, more compelling than the Caramilk Secret. And this morning on the commute to the office I could smell it all the way from Berri to Cremazie...

What the hell people? Are there C.H.U.D. living down there, in some long forgotten Métro tunnels roasting unaware Métro travellers for their dinner?

And why is there never any smoke? I know they say "Where there's smoke, there's fire", but what about when there's no smoke? Is it accepted that I can say "Where's there's the smell of smoke, there's fire"?!

I'm open to suggestions and explanations to the burning wood smell... it remains a mystery to me...

Anyone?
Anyone?
Bueller?

Monday, February 18, 2008

The weekend in review - Québec Winter Carnaval 2008 (Sunday)

Sunday Feb 17th.

Morning comes fast and furious and we're on a mission... a quick breakfast and we're on the road to Valcartier to spend the day on the slopes. Not Skiiing... but tobogganing, snow rafting and ice sliding.

We picked up one of Jeff and Stef's friends, Shawn, and then met up with two others Stephane and Daniel and the seven of us were on our way.

From 11 am to 5 pm we were like 7 little boys... frisking and frolicking in a winter wonderland of slides and snow paths. I swear it was just about the most fun I've ever experiences with a group of gay men - where we were completely clothed! heh

Here's Didier as we headed up one of the slopes. Its a very laid back, relaxed trip up the hill... very hakuna matata...


And this is me heading on up to the first ride... affectionately called EVEREST!...

OH MY FREAKING LORD was that amazing! The ride goes up to speeds of 80 km per hour... with nothing between your ass and ice and death but an inner tube and one heaping pile of adrenaline!

And conveniently at the top of the tower before you are hurtled off on said inner-tubes of death you have thew opportunity to be one with God, one last time before your face to face up above...

...THIS is your view as you look out over beyond the Park...


Didier and I were the first of our group down... I in front, Didier behind.

After us were Stephane and Daniel, followed by Shawn, Jeff and Stef. To get some idea of the speed and intense freak-ass fun, here's a vid of Shawn, Jeff and Stef... 15 seconds and it's over!

video


We spent close to 6 hours our on the slopes and to be quite honest we could have easily stayed another 6. The weather was PERFECTION. It was only minus 3 or 4, there was not an ounce of wind, and the sun was out the whole day. NEXT year when we head up to QC for Carnaval.. Saturday will be at Valcartier... I want more time here. It was a total BLAST! the best $25 I've ever spent at an amusement park. Admittedly we were all well worn out, but it was fun.

Back to Québec City, a quick bite to eat and off the the bus terminal... We got the last two seats at the back of the bus, next to the toilet... I hastily prayed that there's be no toxic fumes on the trip home as three hours is a bit much to be subjected to bus fumes... if you know what I mean... Our only annoyance thankfully, was a baby that apparently had a diaper full of galls, cause he DID NOT stop screaming the full trip. All I can say is god bless you iPod!

And there ya have it folks... The Weekend in Review. I hope y'all enjoyed... I know we did!

Until next February at Carnaval...
Toodles!

The weekend in review - Québec Winter Carnaval 2008 (Saturday)

Saturday Feb 16th.

Saturday started with a quick breakfast of waffles and coffee. We then soon departed to the Musée de la Civilisation (conveniently located directly across the street from Jeff and Stef's! It was free admission so we HAD to go. There were two exhibits we went to see; Dragons: between Science and Fiction and Urbanopolis.


The Urbanopolis was a little too sci-fi / space agey for me, but I did, enjoy the Dragon exhibit, enough to take some illegal photos for you all to see. :-)

This was an impressive instellation... a chandilier...


This was in the main lobby... the boys (Didier, Stef and Jeff) are underneath...


A wonderful marble statue of St Michael and the Dragon...

After the Musée we made our way slowly up through the old city. Snow snow wherever you looked!...



This was a car in a parking lot... you can just make out the rear bumper and top of the tire...


And ice... cascading down the cliff face like a frozen river... I love this...


After brunch, we made our way back to the Carnaval, and passed Bonhomme's Palace again...

Then made our way to the plains to see the snow sculptures..


-----

At this point I have to unfortunately report that this year, over all, both the snow and ice sculptures were greatly lacking, both in creativity and number. Last year I must have taken almost 150 pics alone of the sculptures, this year not even 50. What snow sculptures there were were a bit to 'conceptual' for my liking - hence I've only shown you the two that I actually really liked - and the Ice Sculptures.... well generally you can't spit in the old City without hitting one... they're in front of every bar and resto and store... this year I don't think I saw 30. Disappointing to say the least...

-----

And now back to Carnaval fun...

Here's a pic of a bunch of of retards out for the annual "Bain de Neige". Yup, 'mature' grown adults stripped down to their skivvies playing in the snow... it was MINUS 18 plus windchill at this point in the day... and each team had to stay outside for a minimum 15 minutes at a time in their competition... to win what we don't know... my guess was double pneumonia.


Please notice now how Civilized people dress on a day such as this...




...please notice the sheer lack of exposed flesh... It's not that we're prudes, we'd simply rather live past the weekend...

While on the Plains of Abraham we were passed by a few of the local Public Transit vehicles... seems that little has changed in 400 years on this front...


From about 3pm to 5 pm Didier and I explored the city some more, window shopping, sight seeing, and on occasion sampling hot cocoa and delicious pastries. We returned to the boy's place around 5:50pm had a wonderful Raclette dinner and then made our way back out into the frost and snow to see the Grand Parade... It was short and sweet, maybe 30-35 minutes. Just the right amount of time to entertain, amaze you with their visual splendour, without causing any un-due hypothermia.. And here was my money shot of the parade... Bonhomme Carnaval...


As soon as the parade was over, we scurried our butts back to the condo for, yup, you guessed it hot cocoa and bailies... and then off to bed... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

The weekend in review - Québec Winter Carnaval 2008 (Friday)

Friday Feb 15th.

We took our time to get there, after all Thursday night was LOST and Valentines Day. ;-) We left Montréal at noon and arrived in Québec City around 3:00 pm

We checked our luggage at the bus terminal and took a walk toward le petit Champlain and the lower part of the old city. We took our first tourista photos in front of the Marché du Vieux-Port. They always have a horse and buggy, but this year only a horse... nonetheless it was well done as always... (It's one of the things we love most about the Carnaval; all the ice and snow sculptures.)

Didier 'twixt the horse's legs...



Shawn twixt the horses legs...



In front of one of the multitude of small restos in the old part of the city...


Yet in front of another petit resto...


And talk about your Postcard, Perfect Photos... this was just near Place Royal...



Le petit Champlain...



And the Château Frontenac. (I just can't get tired of taking pics of this place...)




There's no shortage of Snow in Qhkeep up with it, and to alleviate it's great weight on buildings it's not uncommon to see people shovelling the snow from the roof. Here there are three people at work removing the snow from the Main Tourist Information building in the old city...




And now back to Place Royal. This one was a total cutie, of course me and the man are a sucker for anything with a bear motif...


...and so could not escape the opportunity for a few more pics...




We walked around and around, up and down the Old City. Just taking it easy, enjoying the beauty of the architecture, the snow and the people. At 5 PM we headed on over to our friends Jeff and Stef's condo. We took a few minutes to warm up, catch up and then we were off to Pick up our luggage at the bus station then returning to their condo for a little apero before heading out for the evening...


It's extremely difficult for me to visit Québec City without going to le Cochon Dingue... I have on occasion NOT gone there while in the city, but I can assure you ALWAYS against my will. This trip was to be a success however, as the boys made reservations at 6:30 pm. (can't be too safe when it's carnaval... places in the old city fill up before you know it!. Within 45 mins of our arriving the place was full and people were lined up to get it)


Group Shot (l-r): Jeff (Jean-Francois), Me, Didier, and Stef...



A delicious meal was had by all, and oh too soon we were back out in the cold of the night, walking around, taking in more views. Honestly I could so live there in the winter... even when it's not Christmas, there are trees and buildings lit up so wonderfully, as this pic will testify... Restaurant aux Anciens Canadiens.


Within time we reached the epicentre of Carnaval Life and the Ice Palace of Bonhomme Carnaval. This year modelled after the palace of Henri II...

Inside the Palace were many sculptures, (but the camera was acting funny in the -25' weather - go figure, so I didn't got many)...


Here's a quick vid of how trippy it looked inside the Palace with all the lighting at night...

video


Les Francais... Samuel de Champlain et Didier Buisine...


And La Crémière... closed down for the winter due to avalanche! heh This was on the Grande Allée... and we thought the image of an Ice Cream shop practically obliterated from view by an astounding amount of snow was too good to pass up! ...


We walked around the Upper city for about an hour, popping in to this ice bar and that, and of course having some hot Caribou... YUM! and by the time we got back to the boy's condo we were sufficiently chilled to the bone...

Proof of the truly bone chilling weather of the evening I present you this pic... Please ignore the 'glazed look' as I had not yet thawed out... Please DO notice the ICE in my beard! (that was covered by a scarf nonetheless while outside) ...

After re-heating with a hot cocoa and Bailys we called it a night... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Friday, February 15, 2008

sNOw time to blog...

Snow time to blog... we're headed to Québec City for our annual Winter Carnaval Weekend.

Time for Snow and Ice and Caribou! hehe

(and yes Maria... it's true! I'm not working today... and even better, slept in til 9:30 am. heh)

Lots of pics and stuff to tell... on Monday.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

VD

It's not just an STD,
It's a day of Love.


HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Au revoir M. Salvador

I just learned that Henri Salvador has passed away.

Sad sad news.

I was introduced to the musical genius that IS Henri Salvador a couple of years ago by Didier, and I've had the joy of intrroducing many to his music since, including many in my office, friends and my parents. Mom and Dad especially enjoyed his music, even though they didn't really understand any of the lyric since he sings predominatly in french. He had a magically hynotic so-soothing voice.

While I do not know all his music, I can highly recommend the following CD: Chambre Avec Vue.


If you want a CD you can listen to over and over and over again, play while entertaining guests, while relaxing on your balcony or terrasse or at the beach, on the sofa reading a book or on front of the fireplace, or for an intimate evening alone with that someone special...

...as a matter of fact, if you are still looking for something for your loved one for Valentines Day... go out and buy this CD you'll very happy, and so will the recipient... and you'll have also made Henri smile up above.

Au revoir M. Salvador

Premature Jubilation

So the latest season of DwtS is not even started, and in fact there is no initial air-date but rumoured to be among the next season's competitors are:
-Marlee Matlin,
-Pricilla Presley,
-Sharon Osbourne
and
-Sean Hayes

Marlee Matlin would be interesting... since she's hearing impaired it would be intriguingly to see how her dance partner would work around that since she'd be unable to hear the rhythm of the music to which they danced. No doubt she's be better than half the schmoes that get on the show (can you say Billy Ray Cyrus?)

Pricilla Presley... My only concern would be just how much Elvis would be used... otherwise I think she's do well.

Sharon Osbourne... that'd be too much fun! Can you see Ozzy in the studio audience every episode... Hell I can already see him stumbling out onto the dance floor interrupting one of the dance couples... and possibly attacking Bruno. Heh.

Sean Hayes... can I just say if Sean "Just Jack" Hayes (Will and Grace) is on the show, he's got my vote already... my only wish would that he would get to dance with Maksim ... heh

Anyway, no matter who's on the show, I cannot wait.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Clear-cut the airwaves

I may well be in the minority on this, but then again I may not be, but jeeze-louise am I sick of Timbaland. It seems that every second song on the radio is either Timbaland, or 'featuring' Timbaland... I'm sick of it. Well, in fact much of the music the past couple of months is giving me hives... but Timbaland in particular... aren't his 15 minutes just about up? In place of "Featuring Timbaland..." how I'd love to just hear TIMBER!!! ... which leads me to ask... if Timbaland falls in the forest, would there be a song about it? More importantly who'd be "featured"?

And while I'm on it; what the hell happened these last couple of years when now everything is featuring somebody or other. What happened to the good old days when Song X was sung by Singer Y or Z and that was it. Now it's all Song A, sung by Singer X, with Y and featuring Z ...

...When did BACK-UP SINGING become a FEATURE?!?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Dear Amy...

Dear Amy Winehouse...

Ok yes, I think you look is a little on the frightening side... really what is with your eye make up? Really.

And yes, I love, to watch your antics and inevitable train-wreck personal life. Second only to B.S., you make the entertainment section worth reading.

And yes, I've never really given your music much of a chance before....

...but last night you gave an incredible performance at the Grammys. No less impressive because it was something like 4 am in the morning when you were preforming. You impressed me last night.

BRA-VA!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Just your average Saturday night

NOT!

Ask yourselves this... how often are you, your partner and a half dozen or so friends, all fully clothed in leather, in a dimly lit basement leather bar, AND you run into your boss...

...Yea well it was a first for me too! lol

We had a great time too. It was Mr Leather Montreal 2008 and an acquaintance of ours won.)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sunday Double Feature

We headed over to the "Theatre formally known as Paramount", to catch a Sunday afternoon flick... I chose something with absolutely no substance, other than a few beefy men in next to no clothing... "Meet the Spartans" a spoof of the even more delicious flick "The 300". Would have been just as fine to see on the smalls screen but then, sometimes you just gotta go for the fluff, ya know?

---

After that was over we thought we'd go see something extra... a little treat to us... and the timing was just right to catch "The Golden Compass". Very happy to say we caught this one while still in theatre. It was interesting, and certainly open to a sequel or two... although I've not heard whether that will indeed happen. Shame if it didn't. I enjoyed it far more than the "Rings" trilogy or any of the Harry Potters... And loved preferred the message of" Questioning, not following. Believe, but not blindly. And while I thought all the brouhaha from the tight wadded, ill fitting underwear wearing, closed minded religious right was over the top when this film first came out, I have to say, they were justifiably upset. (Justifiable in a GUILTY as a kid with his hand in the proverbial cookie jar) The allusion of the "Magisterium" as an organized religion is pretty clear... and even more clear is, even with a pretty face (and Nicole Kidman is indeed that), ultimately behind that face is a far uglier, self serving face.

Plus, I really liked the whole concept of our soul being outside our body and being, for lack of a better term a 'familiar' ...much more user friendly than the term 'Dæmon'... but to each his own. And who knew... hunky Daniel Craig's character's Dæmon was Snow Leopard. Sexy and fashionable... need I say more.

---

Misster Kitty gives "Meet the Spartans" 3 hairballs outta 10 (wait for the video... or better yet... TV)
... and "The Golden Compass" 10 furballs outta 10. (go see it while it's still in theatres)

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Happy Groundhog's Day


My guess, uneducated as it is, in the ways of the Groundhog, but basing my prediction on the Winter thus far is that we are sooooo gonna have 6 more weeks of serious, kick-ass snowy winter weather... and I say... WOO HOO!

Happy Groundhog's Day!

Friday, February 1, 2008

le lapin blanc


Le lapin blanc.
Le lapin blanc.
Le lapin blanc.