Monday, 27 July 2009

A Lament From a Blue Jays Fan

Toronto is finally on the media radar of our sports reporter cousins from south of the border. It is impossible to access a blog, magazine, website, sport round table TV show, or newspaper column these days without some mention of the proposed trade of Blue Jay star pitcher Roy Halladay to _________. (insert favourite team here!) The twitter universe is all atwitter, hardly able to contain themselves at the prospect of Doc fronting their rotations for the next 18 months at least. If one were to believe the fans in Philly, he is the missing piece that could singlehandedly guarantee back-to-back-to (dare I say it) back championships. The morons of ESPNs Sports Reporters show yesterday actually dedicated an entire segment to the phantom deal, and speculated on the fact that Halladay has proven absolutely nothing in his career because he has been toiling away in the tundra of Toronto for lo these past 12 seasons and has never even sniffed the post season. These are the same idiots who seem to believe that the entire baseball universe revolves around Boston and New York and God help the teams that dethrones the sainted Yankees or Red Sox. (are you listening Tampa Bay fans!) The supposed guys (they are always guys, aren't they?) in the know have been continually chastising Jays management for a perceived greediness in the negotiations and are stunned that the boys in blue might actually hang onto the good doctor when there seems to be no hope of the playoffs once again. As a dedicated Jays fan since inception and a proud citizen of Canada's only major league city, I feel a moral obligation to correct some misconceptions about the best pitcher in baseball (yes, I am including Johann Santana and Tim Lincecum in that bold statement!) and to defend my hometown.

Roy Halladay is simply the finest homegrown player to ever wear a Jays uniform, and the best pitcher this town has ever had. (Please don't send me e-mail about Joe Carter or Robbie Alomar. They arrived in trades and did not come up through the Jays system.) I say this with all deference to Dave Stieb, who was a joy and pleasure to watch every fifth day, but Halladay is simply better and is still not finished. As of July 20th of this year, he has a career record of 142-69, (a .673 winning percentage) an career ERA of 3.46, 1400 strikeouts, and an amazing 44 complete games. He is horse. He is dedicated to his craft, is never unprepared for any start and has had only 2 stints on the DL. He is a 6 time all-star, the 2003 Cy Young Award winner and has finished in the top five in the voting three other times. Just for good measure, he has 12 career shutouts. Not only that, he has winning records against both the Red Sox and the Yankees, teams that the poor Jays have to face 18 times a season each due to the ridiculous schedule. So, please don't tell me that he isn't the elite pitcher in the game today simply because you parochial yanks haven't taken the time or effort to watch him throw. Halladay is also a solid citizen. He has never once been caught up in scandal, has twice foregone free agency to sign extensions because he actually likes our city and has been a huge philanthropist in giving back to the community. He is the face of the Blue Jays, so please forgive Riccardi (I am no fan, believe me!) and company for setting the trade bar a tad high.

Is Halladay worth what the Jays are asking? Hard to tell from a baseball perspective because prospects are all about the future and many don't pan out. But, can the Jays reasonably deal the best player to arguably ever to wear their uniform without being able to say to their fans, "We got the other guys best players?" Absolutely not. Baseball in Toronto is already on life support. Fan interest is dwindling and another lost season is upon us. The unbalanced money situation in baseball means that we up here cannot compete with the big boys even though we play in their division. The proposed dealing of Doc is as much a Blue Jays survival deal as it is a pure baseball one. Fans here would rather see the Jays lose with Doc than build without him and attendance is sure to plummet further in the aftermath of such a trade. Signs around the ballpark over the last couple of weeks have been all about firing management and keeping Roy. If the Jays blow this deal, the repercussions will be lengthy and deep. It could very well be the beginning of the end for baseball in Toronto. I don't think that that is too strong a statement. Players are always using the Jays to build or resurrect their careers, and then off to greener pastures down south. In Doc, Torontonians have found a sports idol who really wants to be here and we cynical Canadians have embraced him.

If Doc is dealt, I as a fan will mourn his loss but accept this part of the game I truly loathe. I understand the economics of the situation, but this is more than your average baseball deal. This is the Blue Jays "Babe Ruth" moment. It may haunt them for years to come.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Milestones are Meant to be Celebrated not Ignored!

My Mother and my Other Mother are about to observe a milestone birthday. Due to a quirk in a strange twin birth, Other Mother gets to feel the pain 24 hours earlier than my mom. The two of them have been hoping against hope that these next two days would slide by without observation from friends and family. We who can be classified as near and dear, have all been threatened with pain to limbs and bodily functions if we so much as suggest a mass celebration of the events. No parties, no gifts, and no fun seemingly allowed as my two favourite women enter into the next great chapter of their lives. How tremendously unfortunate.

Now I am fully aware of the propensity to ignore these birthdays in the mistaken hope that if it isn't acknowledged it therefore cannot exist. But I would like to suggest that this is a terribly flawed notion of the events and just the opposite should be observed. We should be flat out, balls to the walls, celebrating every occasion that life presents us. We have earned it and frankly, life presents too few opportunities for partying. Bemoaning birthdays or anniversaries as a frightening race against time demeans and belittles the accomplishments we have worked so furiously to attain. Nobody enjoys the prospect of getting older, but it is an inevitability that cannot be avoided so we may as well embrace it.

I realize that every day that passes brings a new challenge, a new ache or pain, another grey hair, another laugh line, another medical challenge or another potentially scary prospect. But I also realize that every day that passes brings a new joy, a new experience, an increased wisdom, a new food to try or a new sight in the world to see. My two Moms are fortunate women. They have traveled the world and have seen visions that I can only hope to view. They have talents that I truly envy and they have never been afraid to try something new. They have been blessed with husbands, children and grandchildren who love and adore them both, and look to each of them as role models. They have survived trouble and adversity and have come through stronger on the other side. They have been fortunate enough to have had each other as lifelong best friends (the word sister is not intense enough for what they are to each other!) who have seen it all and done it all together. How can we as their family not want to celebrate that?

So today and tomorrow I plan to celebrate. I plan to sing at them, take lots of pictures, eat fattening foods (as they should as well!) with them and enjoy the moments, because milestones need to be celebrated. I urge any of you who know them and are reading this to join in the celebration. Send them emails or cards. Call and sing Happy Birthday and embarrass the hell out of them. Do anything except ignore the days. I love you Moms. It is time you started loving yourselves. Happy Birthdays!!!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

An Update on Our Cell Phone Trials

It is unbelievable to think that this story could get any more convoluted, but in this age of mega-company bullshit I suppose that I shouldn't be surprised. If you are new to the story, I direct your attention to my post of May 28th of this year and that of the following day. In those writings I tell of the mess that a family plan has made of our cell phone bill and how when we tried to upgrade and improve upon our deficiencies we were met with outrageous costs, crazy wait times, nickel and dime text plans, and long distance charges that could honestly pay for a mortgage on a small home. We solved a lot of these problems for the Younger Son when he purchased an American pre-paid cell phone for his time south of the border. By signing on with Uncle Sam, he now has unlimited texting, unlimited minutes after 7:00 pm and on weekends, and 400 minutes of talk time per month. This is the kind of voice/data plan that is unheard of here in the Great White North where our telecommunication companies prefer to operate by a "complain loudly and profanely and see what you can get" kind of policy. We figured that we would re-evaluate our options at the end of the summer when Younger Son returns and our phones were closer to being freed of the contract bondage of Bell. (Or is that Hell?) In the meantime, we would put it all on the back-burner and attempt to enjoy the summer. How naive we were!

Last week, The Husband opened the latest bill to discover a $326.00 text charge, all on Younger Son's phone. When he examined the dates more closely, he discovered that most of these texts were made in a span of a week before he left for the States, and Ma Bell had failed to inform us of their new $0.15 charge for all texts incoming and outgoing to and from the United States. Not only that, we spoke to Bell that very week to change our plan so that we could avoid huge overages such as these, and nobody at the corporate dungeon saw fit to inform us of the new policy nor did they offer to grandfather our new plan. After peeling himself off of the ceiling and after the windows ceased rattling, The Husband got on the phone to Bell to argue the bill and the underhandedness of the entire exercise. He sat on the phone with "Emily the Bitch" (Bell has named their automated system Emily. The bitch is The Husband's colourful description.) for almost 20 minutes before he was able to speak with a live human being. At least we think she was live. She disappeared after a few minutes to discuss the case with her supervisors. 55 minutes after he began his customer service call to Bell Cellular, they cut him off. I heard the cussing here 10 kilometres away from the distillery. The litany of profanity that escaped from his mouth would make Al Swearengen on Deadwood blush with embarrassment. Once again, he called Emily the Bitch, swore continually and profanely at her, until she connected him to a person without a mechanical voice. Again, and not so calmly, he voiced his displeasure until Bell agreed that they were slightly slimy in their handling of the matter and assented to removing all but latest charges from the bill, over $200.00 in total. The exercise took another 50 minutes until all seemed right with the world-for now!

Yesterday, we received our bill from Bell. It arrived in an 8 1/2 x 11 manila envelope and was as thick as a university acceptance letter. The bill totaled 42 pages!! 42!!! When I examined the itemized accounting, I first noted the $200.00 credit coming our way. Good enough, but I was a bit freaked out by Younger Son's 22 page bill all his own, especially since he hasn't been here for 8 weeks and has been using his other cell phone. The reason? Bell felt it necessary to itemize each and every single one of the credited text messages that they had previously billed us for. We had a 22 page bill filled with $0.15 credits, each one accounted for by day and time. 22 pages??? It is the most ridiculous thing you ever saw, not to mention one of the most wasteful. I believe that they need to charge the stupid fees in order to pay for the stupid billing.

We here in Canada are about to welcome three new cell platforms this fall. As a result of the impending competition Bell, Rogers, and Telus are falling all over themselves to lock in customers. Take some advice from an old friend-DON'T DO IT!! Wait and see. Never again will we bundle, family plan or engage in a cell contract. Everybody's needs are just too diverse and the costs are just too great. In the meantime we deal with Curly, Larry, Moe and Emily the Bitch.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

The Death of the Anchorman

As news of Walter Cronkite's death spread last evening, he was appropriately eulogized as a pillar of journalistic integrity; the purveyor of news for a generation. In a pre-Internet, 500 channel, satellite radio universe, it was through Mr. Cronkite's eyes and verbiage that we learned of events of the day. As anybody of a certain age can attest, Walter Cronkite was the embodiment of all that was trustworthy and decent in television news. When he signed off for a final time in 1981, an age of broadcast news disappeared with him never to be seen again.

As a child growing up in Canada in the 60s and 70s, it was impossible not to know of Walter Cronkite. I have distinct, albeit fuzzy memories (I am not that old!) of Apollo 11's historic landing 40 years ago this weekend, and my parents waking me up in order to share in world history with Mr. Cronkite. Whenever my brother and I would visit our grandparents, dinner and all activity would automatically cease at 6:30 so that my grandfather could watch the CBS Evening News. My immigrant Polish/Jewish grandfather who spoke first in Yiddish and only in English when needed; who read the Forvitz (The Forward-a Yiddish language paper) like gospel, got his world news not from the CBC, but from his main man Walter. I remember sitting with him for that half an hour in silence while he took in the latest in current events. It was as if Walter Cronkite was the only person he trusted to tell him what was really truth and what was fiction, and nothing could disturb that relationship.

In the aftermath of Mr. Cronkite's death, the question has been posed if we will ever again see a singular person who so dominates television news and the answer has to be, sadly no. As FoxNews has so aptly demonstrated, there isn't a news organization that doesn't in some way display its predilections. Left wingers will always see the press as agents of the right and conservatives will always see a liberal media bias. Columnists and newspapers strive for impartiality, but are continually undone by an increasingly polarized and politicized public. Media organizations are conglomerates that suck into their vortexes newspapers, magazines, radio stations, television networks, on-line sites and 24/7 news networks that all seem to spew the attitudes and opinions dictated by their corporate hierarchy. It is difficult to know where news reporting ends and opinion begins. Instead of true impartiality, we are forced to endure pundits. Instead of Walter Cronkite we have Rush Limbore.

When Mr. Cronkite saw fit to criticize the Tet offensive and, in turn the direction of the Viet Nam war, President Lyndon Johnson remarked "If I have lost Cronkite, then I have lost Middle America." A year later, Johnson announced that he would not seek re-election. It was the only time in his storied career, that Cronkite broke his code of impartiality and, as a result its impact resonated. Talking heads today are more concerned with being first rather than being right. Right can come later in the next hour. They are more concerned with their hair and make-up than they are in preparation. Who needs to prepare when repetition is first and foremost? No, I think that my grandfather understood what many of us are lamenting today. There will never be another Walter Cronkite.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Some Itinerant Leftovers From New York

I am home. Three words that can either be interpreted as comforting or discouraging. In this particular case, I will side with the latter. The last few days have been a beautiful blur of theatrical magic mixed with a cacophony of street sounds, odours from unidentifiable street meats mixed with those of delicacies from local bakeries, and frankly, just a whole lot of fun. I will attempt to put an exclamation mark on this trip with a few leftover tidbits.

My post of two days ago in which I extolled the niceness of the citizens of NYC, was a bit premature. It didn't allow me to relay the following anecdotes that put the whole "we are trying to grind the rude New Yorker reputation into the dust" into clear perspective. On Friday, The Husband and I decided to play tourist in a new way for us. We hopped on the A train (I just love the Duke Ellington feel of that sentence!) and made our way to the outskirts of Brooklyn. Our mission? To cross the Brooklyn Bridge via the footpath and make our way back into Manhattan. The weather was glorious as we ventured across this 130 year old engineering marvel with the familiar New York skyline before us. City workers were busy across the entire span of the bridge, cleaning and repainting worn out sidewalk signs. As we approached the Manhattan side of the bridge, we came across this scene.

The little girl was obviously enthralled with the gentleman's task, and he graciously allowed her to participate in the painting. I heard squeals of delight that I thought were long forgotten memories. Loved this.

Later that day, we were walking through the West Village, taking in the scenery, when a major fire alarm brought 6 or 7 engines to the area. While a few of the firefighters were busy searching out the cause of the emergency, several others were hanging out-in full equipment mind you-on the street chatting with the locals and the tourists. A few even stopped to pose for photographs and good-natured ribbing. (As we headed north from the Village, we happened to pass by the Village Vanguard. This little hole of a club was the breeding and meeting place of folk music royalty of the beatnik 50s and hippie 60s. Peter Paul and Mary, Tom Paxton, Phil Ochs, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Eric Anderson and many many more started there. It switched to an all jazz policy in the late 50s and artists like John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon and Woody Shaw performed regularly. Unfortunately, my camera battery died just as I was snapping the picture, so imagine a bright red awning coming out of a wall on 7th Avenue and a little wooden doorway marking the way through music history.)

Finally, as we made our way back up to midtown, we found ourselves walking past Rockefeller Centre. We spied a cop on horseback and a woman who tentatively approached the duo in a shy attempt to snap a picture. The officer graciously positioned his equine friend for the photo and then encouraged the girl to come up and pat the animal. They chatted about horses and the day, until finally, both made their ways elsewhere. Nothing like New York.

Have I ever mentioned The Husband's secret crush? No, it is not me. I am long past being a crush and no, it isn't Catherine Zeta-Jones who is far from being a secret. My husband has a private longing for Bernadette Peters. He has had this infatuation ever since I have known him. (And that has been decades!!) It doesn't matter if she is on award shows, a horrible movie-of-the-week, a Broadway revival on PBS, or guesting on Law and Order, the channel surfing automatically ceases when Bernadette Peters is on. So it was somewhat fortuitous that we had about an hour to kill last evening before venturing to the theatre to see Tony Soprano tread the boards. Late yesterday afternoon and early evening, Broadway held Broadway Barks. This annual event located in Shubert Alley between 44th and 45th Streets brings together a collection of Broadway's finest and the various ASPCAs of the Greater New York area, in an attempt to find homes for lost or abandoned dogs. There were hundreds of people and dogs milling about the area listening to presentations hosted by--Bernadette Peters!!! Ok! Mary Tyler Moore was also hosting, but that was completely lost on The Husband. MY GOD!!! There she was in the flesh. It matters not one whit that she probably has about 20 years on the man, he was as lost as some of the puppies hoping for homes. In his defense, the whole event was kind of cool, with many of my personal acting idols up on the dais and a few that I had just seen perform days before. Not only that, it combined two of my all-time favourite things-Broadway and dogs. It was a wonderful way to kill an hour.

A quick review of God of Carnage, our final theatrical experience. Outstanding! James Gandolfini is terrific live, although he will always be Tony Soprano to me. Marcia Gay Harden is her usual brilliant and award-winning self, and Jeff Daniels and Hope Davis provide stellar support. Written by two-time Tony award winner Yasmina Reza, (she also penned the sharp-witted Art, a personal favourite of mine) it is the story of two uptown couples convening to discuss the playground brawl of their sons. The resulting action is both telling and hilarious. A tough ticket to come by, but well worth the price.

Here's to you New York. See you again next year.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Random NYC Musings.

A few random thoughts on Shabbas in Manhattan.

* It does seem as though there is a Canadian invasion. Aside from young David Alvarez in Billy Elliot, there are TD banks on every street corner from midtown north to the park, and we just read in the morning paper that a couple of dozen Dunkin' Donuts are being converted to Timmy Hos within the next few months. Finally, our American cousins will understand the true meaning of a "double double".
* The Husband has become a true afficionado of the premium M&Ms. The problem is that they are still only available in the States. No issues, right? We are in New York! The biggest M&Ms store in the world is right in the heart of Times Square. The bloody place is three levels of all things candy and it is jammed at all hours of the day and night. (Anybody looking for the answers to America's weight problem need look no further than this store!) We managed to squeeze our way to the top floor, where we spy a pristine display of the premium junk, for a buck more than at Target or Walmart! We left empty-handed.
* A young New York girl was slightly injured yesterday when she fell into an open manhole. The thing is that she was texting at the and not paying attention to where she was stepping. Of course, her parents are suing the city. It is a wonder to me how this is not a daily occurance. Everyone is on the phone or blackberry all the time. It is a true sign of the century we live in. Interestingly enough, we haven't had a single phone ring in the theatre. I think I need to recruit Broadway ushers for High Holidays.

A quick note or review, if you will, of Next to Normal, last evening's Broadway destination. This wonderful new musical looks odd at first glance. It is the story of a dysfunctional family attempting to cope with the ravages of bi-polar disorder. 2009 Tony winner Alice Ripley is a wonder and the supporting cast is stellar. The score is thumping and brilliant. It had to be to beat out Sir Elton and Billy Elliot. I was totally captivated from the first notes, as was the rest of the audience who refused to leave without a curtain call. Older Son-if you are reading this, this show is right up your alley. My only concern is how this material might be handled with lesser talent. The actors are everything to this show and they can't hide behind flashy sets or gaudy costumes! Without a doubt, a true gem! We are two for two!

Shabbat Shalom all!

Friday, 10 July 2009

The Ugly American-I Think Not!

I love New York. I realize that this is a cliché of the highest order, but it is so true and so relevant for me. I love the energy on the streets. Where else in the world would you find somebody giving away free Hershey bars to the masses without inciting a riot? I love the cultural choices. There is so much to do one hardly knows where to begin. I love that you don't have to spend a fortune or you can if you want to. I could absolutely live on Broadway!(Seriously! I could pitch a tent, see every show up and down the street, and then start all over again. Billy Elliot is simply stunning, by the way. We saw young David Alvarez from Montreal in the role and he was glorious.) I love the galleries and, yes I even love the shopping. Toronto is New York with an inferiority complex and a garbage strike. The Husband and I try to sojourn here at least once a year for a fix. But, as much as I love all of these things, the best part of New York is the people.

Forget everything that you have heard or read about the rude New Yorker. It is simply untrue. The citizens of this magnificent city range from idiosyncratic, to solicitous to just plain nice. We are staying at this lovely little boutique hotel called the Casablanca at 43rd and Broadway, the heart of Times Square. Imagine Bogie and Bergman and you have a sense of this charming little gem. While the decor is beautiful, it is the service that is truly remarkable. Before we left TO, they sent us an email and followed up with a personal phone call asking if we required anything from tickets to restaurant reservations. This is 2009! Where does that kind of service exist anymore? NYC! Not only that, the manager provided us with a personal cell number in case of issues while in the city. Yesterday we played trivia with a Phillie-obsessed waitress who seemed to hold me personally responsible for Joe Carter's homerun in the '93 series. She was a delight. We mingle with the masses and question the locals for directions and we are met with nothing but niceness. Yes it is true that there is a no bullshit attitude to New Yorker's, but I find it refreshing. The only issue so far was the man sitting beside me in the theatre last evening who seemed to think that he was entitled to his seat and half of mine. Not only that, but he kept coughing and sneezing on me! There wasn't enough Purell in my purse to make me feel clean. I gently nudged him part way through the first act, but he didn't take the hint. Ah, such is life.

Americans have taken it on the chin lately for their supposed parochial world view and their elitist status. I am certain that those rude individuals exist, but we haven't yet encountered them in NYC. Miami? Now that is another story.

Since I am new to this mobile blogging, I haven't yet figured out how to respond to comments posted. A word to my plane maven. I can't discern one from another. I am just happy it has wings and engines. I did however spy the Japanese emperor's planes yesterday at Pearson. Very cool.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Some More Travel Thoughts

Once again I find myself in the Toronto airport playing the inevitable waiting game that all travelers are forced to entertain. The fact that I am engaging in this writing exercise at all at this particular moment, should alone attest to the lack of time wasting entertainment available at Pearson International! A few short hits while I try to alleviate the boredom.

1. It is extraordinarily Canadian that an airport should have a terminal 1 and a terminal 3, but not a terminal 2. The odd thing is that none of us locals question the omission. When the airport was being redone, the overcrowded and miserable terminal 2 became a happy casualty of the wrecking ball. Instead of worrying about re-labelling all of the signs, the powers that be chose to pretend that 3 was the logical progression after 1. I assume that someday we will again have a terminal 2, although this being Canada anything is possible.

2. The airline industry seems to love any passenger traveling without the albatross of checked bags. The Husband and I have made a concerted effort to try and travel only with carry on bags for short trips or Florida. The rewards are substantial. No irritating lines to check or retrieve luggage, an easier walk through customs and security, and a realization that we all have way too much stuff! Of course it also means recycling outfits, washing underwear, and (horror or horrors!) no shopping! One cannot shop if it is impossible to shlep home. I have often wondered how people manage this lifestyle for trips longer than a week or two. That odd smell coming from the seat in front of you is probably some shnook who forgot to change his drawers!

3. Hey Torontonians! Did you know that your airport had a monorail? Ask me about it!

So, this little post has managed to block my ADD for a few minutes. This is the first time that I have tried to post from a mobile device, so please forgive spelling and grammatical errors that are probably abundant. I will try to write next from the city so nice they named it twice. I have a special synergy with Broadway and I am truly psyched.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

As if F#*%ing Squirrels Weren't Enough!

The wildlife situation in our backyard is very rapidly careening out of control. It isn't like we live on a ravine or anything. We reside in an extraordinarily residential area that masquerades as a tree line. I have continually and colourfully detailed my ongoing battle with the f#*%ing squirrels and their families, and the mess they make of my property. Well today, we discovered that an adolescent raccoon has made a home for himself in a neighbour's tree that overlooks our roof. He seems to have set up his bachelor pad (thank God there doesn't appear to be a mate or little ones!) in a small hollow at the top of the branches, and from all appearances has settled in for the season. The Husband spied the masked bandit today while we were lounging poolside. He was an instant hit with my young nephews who kept hoping for a full on face view. We had to explain to the boys that the unsavoury rodent was just fine where he was and that he seemed so docile because daytime is prime nap time for raccoons. The Lil Bro and The Ying to his Yang were also visiting today and they made the not-so-welcome observation that the tree was most likely his summer cottage and that he might make my attic his winter retreat. We will have to keep an eye on the little bastard so that this fantasy does not become reality. Honestly, I cannot understand why he would make his home in the North Jewish Ghetto. Toronto is into its third week of a garbage strike and the city has become a veritable smorgasbord for the rodent community. Some of his Toronto relatives should advise the little creature that the good eats can be found in the city. Enjoy the photos.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

I Love Canada, but I Hate the Weather!

Happy 142nd to my beloved country. Last year, I wrote of the many things that we Canadians can look to with both amusement and pride. This year, I was hoping not to blog at all. I had planned to spend the day with good friends funning and sunning around the pool, and barbecuing and beering the evening away. Maybe we might even catch some fireworks to help celebrate our country's birthday. Instead, as is truly Canadian, we are being held hostage to the fickle Canuck climate. The sun is straining to emerge, but the temperatures are less than seasonal, and there is the promise of massive showers. So while our plans remain in limbo, there is little else to do except spend some time with the blogosphere. I was greeted this morning by an email from a friend also lamenting the crappy weather. With her permission, and with profound apologies to Calixa Lavallee and Robert Stanley Weir, (the composer and English lyricist of our national anthem) she and I offer you our take on Canadian weather on this our country's day of celebration. I just want it understood that SHE STARTED IT!!!

In honour of our country's 142nd birthday and the crappy weather this summer, I offer this new anthem... (sung to the tune of O Canada!)

O Canada!
Our home and soggy land,
Why can't the rain
Fall down when WE command?
Instead it pours on holidays
And dampens all our fun;
Extinguishing the fireworks
And forcing us to run.
God make our land
Sunny and bright,
O Canada
This weather just ain't right!
O Canada
Make it rain just at night!

Here was my response.

Is this a challenge? A re-write throw down?? You are on!

Oh Canada!
This weather really sucks,
We'd like the rain
If we were born as ducks!
On our holidays
When the weather's crap
There's nothing much to do
'Cause in Canada all the stores stay closed
Leftover from the laws of blue!
God give this land
Summers hot and clear
Oh Canada
We loathe this wet and drear
Oh Canada
We all just want some beer!!

She countered!

Verse 2...

O Canada!
The land of snow and ice;
Hot summer sun
Would be so very nice!
As I sit inside
And look at the clouds,
I softly shed a tear
For the summer days
That so quickly pass
Much faster every year!
50 SPF
On my shelf sits,
O Canada
This weather is the pits,
O Canada
It truly is the shits!

Never the shrinking violet, I responded in kind.

You are good!

Verse next...

O Canada!
We love to moan and bitch
Of climes that seem surreal
And throw our plans a hitch
When we hope for heat
We get cold and wet
It all seems so unfair
Summer seems to last
But one week a year
It fades away into the air
I need the sun
How my tan abates
O Canada
I'll travel to the States
O Canada
It's time to book the dates

If she serves and volleys, I will post it or if any of you would like to try your hand, I will post those as well. Try and enjoy the day Canada, in spite of the weather. 142 and counting!


The woman plays for keeps

Here is her latest salvo.

This is getting serious

Okay, in the interest of bilingualism, je vous offre la suivante... (please excuse the atrocious grammar & lack of's been longtemps since I have composed en francais)

O Canada!
Je vous aime beaucoup, oui oui
Mais je vous dis
Je n'aime pas la pluie!
Je prefere le beau soleil,
C'est vrai...
Mais il n'y en a pas assez!
Je prefere rester toujours dehors,
Dans le beau mois de juillet!
Zut, mes chers amis
Il fait mauvais aujourdhui
O Canada,
Il fait pas beau ici.
O Canada...
Mais vous etes notre pays!

Can anybody top it?

***UPDATE #2

Since I can't compete in French and Hebrew is difficult to rhyme, I thought that I would take a different tack. Notice each Canadian hockey team is mentioned!

O Canada!
Canadiens have range
Spending our time
On that which cannot change
So we bellyache
Like a Senator
We hate the atmosphere
Like a Flame that's doused
In the Oiler sands
Our viewpoint's rarely ever clear
O Canada
Give Canucks relief
Please let the summer sun
Come wilt the Maple Leaf
O Canada
I want to end this grief!