Saturday, October 31, 2009

Scary flags.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned to my friend Simon that my Mom was in Hawaii. That sparked a piece of trivia out of his head... 'did you know that the Union Flag/Jack is on Hawaii's state flag?'

'Really?' and I googled cos I wasn't convinced and yep it is. And yep, that's one eyeball boggling flag ain't it?

From the page I was on, I could go see the other US state flags. A few US state flags were familiar to me (Arizona has a groovy flag) but most were not. So I thought I'd go to the page and have a look and this is where it gets really scary.

I've nothing against the US state of Maryland and I hope no one from Maryland reads my blog ;-) but their state flag is the ugliest flag that I think I've ever seen. Just look at it! No, don't! Run away! Run away!

If you know of an uglier flag, please let me know!


Enough bitching about flags. How about some laughs about them?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Originals vs Covers - Smells Like Teen Spirit

As I wrote in a previous post, this 'comparing originals and their covers,' might be a recurring theme on my blog. Here's post two!

In the autumn of '91, Nirvana released Nevermind. I listened to it nonstop for weeks. That likely forged the association I have between that album and the changing colour of trees. Every autumn, I seem to go on a Nevermind bender and this year I got to thinking about cover versions of Smells Like Teen Spirit.

But first, the original:

Fucking brilliant. Can't really say much else.

Now, on to the covers.

I was aware of a few before starting this post. Some I couldn't find videos for so they're being ignored. Just as well, as there are many I could find.

First up, one by Tori Amos:

How far did you make it through that? I got to 1.14. I am not a Tori Amos fan; in fact I find her music irritating. This included.

Next, one by Patti Smith:

I like Patti Smith and I like this version... but I wouldn't go out of my way for it.

Another one, by the Scala & Kolacny Brothers and a Belgian girls' choir:

Nice and haunting, epecially if you just listen and don't watch the video. Is it just me or is the conductor dude on the pretentious side?

And the nifty Paul Anka version:

Call me weird, but I think this is great. It's my favourite cover and I actually really like it but then... I actually like Paul Anka and have the album it's on... and there goes any credibility I might have had, lol.

When I plunked 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' into YouTube searchy thing, I found other cover versions that I'd never come across before!


This 'Turkish Britney Spears' version by someone called Safiye:

And only Britney herself could have butchered it worse.

Next, a cover by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain:

A fun clip! Imagine that band in a drunken pub?! I like it; fun stuff!

And finally, the 'talented little shit' version:

Fucking hell! An excellent talent, fer shure. I hate talented little shits, lol.

My verdict: I love the original. Nothing else even comes close... ok, well maybe Paul Anka's version when I'm feeling cheesie (and that happens).

How about you?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cool and Uncool

A few days ago, I went grocery shopping. Exciting, eh?

I don't mind the actually food shopping bit but having to negotiate parking lots or car parks as I had to say in Britain (which still, after five years of saying it, conjured up images of pick-up trucks sliding down playground slides with big smiles on their grills) is less than fun. Yet, I'm strangely fascinated by them... they are great places to sit and people watch and sometimes I see neato cars.

I thought this one was kinda groovy.

I have no idea what it is but it made a gorgeous rumble went it left.

Returning with a load of groceries, I find this boat parked beside me. Nice parking job. I was surprised that my car remained unscathed!

That decal that the red arrow is pointing to a C.A.T. combat auto theft thingy... telling cops that this car is not driven at night. It's deterrent to thieves apparently. I would have thought that it being an ugly, mid-80's, polluting old Buick was deterrent enough. ;-)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A More Uplifting Post.

Sort of.

A comfortable, properly fitting bra that does its job is the Holy Grail for many women, especially for women with large breasts, ample bosoms, copious cleavages, however you want to put it.

Most shops simply don't stock larger sizes and if they do the selection is dire; matronly and available in lovely colours like industrial strength beige. Ugh!

In a local shop, I once tried on a bra and though it fit, when I looked sideways into the mirror, it looked like I was attempting to smuggle out a pair of traffic cones. I would have punctured lungs with a simple hug.

Fortunately, there are a few companies that specialize in good bras in larger sizes, even nice looking bras and for the last few years I've been going to Bravissimo's website where I click a few clicks, press 'ok' and voila! A couple of weeks later, a package would arrive and all would be well in my bosomy world.

This morning this all came crashing down.

'#39520 has been discontinued.'

WHAT!? Nooooo!!!

So, I've just spent the morning on t'internet trying to hunt this bra down. I can not find it anywhere...

This is an impending natural disaster of epic proportions. I can almost hear the strain of spandex and polyurethane polyamide as I type. It's only a matter of time before a clasp gives way and all pandemonium breaks loose.

This calls for serious, emergency bra shopping. Ugh. Is there any woman on the planet who enjoys this form of torture? And how do you do it when the bra shop you like is on one continent and your breasts are on another?

People who decide to discontinue comfortable, well-fitting, high performance bras without sufficient warning should be forever cursed with an itch on their back that they just... can't... quite... reach.

I'm so frustrated and not looking forward to finding a new boulder holder. I'm fantasizing about bypassing the whole bra making industry and have my bras custom made.

I can just see it now...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Skywatch Friday... silver linings.

To see more skies from around the globe, click the pic.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


This weekend is Thanksgiving in Canadaland.

A common tradition, at least at Thanksgiving meals that I've been to over my years, is that once everyone has sat down and loaded their plates up to maximum capacity, is to go around the table and each person expresses what they are thankful for. It's never been a religious thing and people are usually 'digging in' at this point and the wine is a-flowing.

This Thanksgiving, I'm alone. I made a sort of rice jambalaya thing: rice, veggies and ground turkey breast cooked up sort of Cajun-like and moments ago sat there eating it wondering what I'm thankful for. This year, it's difficult because I'm not well, I'm not in a happy place and that's clouding everything. But I am thankful for some very basic, bottom rung of 'Maslow's hierarchy of needs' sorts of things.

- I am alive. A few times throughout this past year I have had some very dark moments, somehow I'm still here.

- I have finally found a psychologist who kicks ass. Ms Shrinkychick has her work cut out for her and she's not let me down.

- I have a roof over my head, money in the bank and food in my belly.

- Although my health is not what it could be, I feel ok at this moment.

- There are 365 days to make next year's Thanksgiving blog post into something much better.

Oh, wait! Three cheers for pumpkin pie!

Happy Thanksgiving... or not.

Scenery to die for.

These photos were taken last year at about this time in the Elmwood Cemetery in the town of Perth, Ontario where I lived for about a month. Where I live now, Vancouver Island BC, with its rain forest mix of evergreen trees, simply can not match the unique gorgeousness of these fall colours:

To see more Scenic Sundays, click the pic:

Scenic Sunday

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

More Baby Bothering... and help!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, a friend of mine recently dropped a sprog.

I want to get her a pressie but I am so out of my element. I have no idea.

I went to a shop around the corner and I'm still suffering the trauma of seeing a display of what I thought was a portable baby bottle warmer...

Portable baby bottle warmer, my arse!

For active mothers on the go...

Freestyle™ Breastpump

Introducing our newest breakthrough — Freestyle is our first hands-free, double-electric breast pump. It’s the performance you expect from Medela in an innovative pump that fits in the palm of your hand and includes thoughtful features that provide true mobility, freedom and flexibility. Inspired by pumping moms… freedom is born.
- Customized pumping with adjustable speed and vacuum control.
- Stylish bag contains everything you need to pump.
- Battery Pak for pumping anywhere, anytime.
- LCD screen, digital display — lit screen provides a digital display that can also be used as a nightlight for those late pumping sessions

WTF? It's a breastpump, not a Blackberry, ffs!

Anyways... I feel more at ease in the electrical section at my local hardware store and this is my first friend to have a pup. I have NO idea. I'm lost. Please help... ideas?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Originals vs Covers - I Love Rock n Roll

Like anyone else, the more years I'm on this planet, the more songs I've stored in my head. I suppose that translates into an increased likelihood of hearing a new rendition of a song that I already know.

I know some people look down on cover versions simply because they're cover versions. I'm not one of these people. IMO, it just depends on the song and the musicians involved. Some covers are opportunistic money grabs, others seem to rework the original in a way that gives a song new life. I Love Rock n Roll is one song that shows how it can go either way (imo).

Here's a recent cover version of the song, that I just heard the other day. Yeah, ok, recent to me as this cover is about seven years old but it's not like I go out of my way to listen to Britney Spears, ffs.

I can't even listen to the whole song. To be honest to listeners, Britney Spears should have renamed the song 'I Love Bastardising Rock N Roll' cos that's what she's done. And the video, ugh! Watching a woman fellate a microphone with such forced obviousness has as much visual appeal to me as builder's bum.

Here's the version that I think people are most familiar with; Joan Jett and the Blackhearts' mid-80s version (the actual song starts about 30 seconds into the video). It's loud, thumping and basic and it's hard to listen to it without at least tapping your foot.

For the longest time I thought that Joan Jett's version was the original but it's actually a tune originally done in the mid-70s by a British band called The Arrows. Here's their very tidy and very properly enunciated version:

So, there's the original and two cover versions. Which one do you like best and why?

I think the original is pretty good but does. he. have. to. sing. ev. er. ry. syl. la. ble. like. that?

My personal preference is the Joan Jett's version. I think I was about 15 when I first heard this song and wow did I think Joan Jett was cool. She fuckin' rocked with her guitar, black hair and leathers. I loved her prowling sexuality when she sang:

Said can I take you home
where we can be alone

Always gives me goosebumps.

In fact, I think the reversal of the conventional gender roles is what makes Joan Jett's version a much better, more interesting song than The Arrow's version.

Of course, that reversal of roles doesn't work for Britney Spears cos she sluts-it-up in such a choreographed, conventional and contrived manner that she butchers that interesting effect completely.

So, over to you... which do you like best?