"And like that…[they're] gone"

The Brits have been seen off back to London. We dropped them at the airport this afternoon after spending the day enjoying Ontario. We wandered around Elora for a while, checking out the gorge and a few shops (including Stÿll, which I think is worth making the trip back for) before jumping in the car and heading to a nearby lake. It wasn’t as impressive as we’d hoped; we just drove along it until we found a spot where we could walk down to the shore. It wasn’t the nicest lake, so we just jumped back in the car (but not before I snagged a chocolate milkshake from a walk-up snack bar) and made for a town. We passed through a little rain — as it turned out, the only rain we encountered; pretty lucky as the forecast had been calling for storms — before reaching Orangeville. We poked our heads into an art gallery, a chocolate shop and a restaurant for lunch (it used to be a pub, or so my pub guide said, but it had been replaced by a restaurant…which I think may have made me sick…anyhoo) before getting back in the car and heading south. We arrived at Pearson in good time, got our guests checked in and on their way, looking for a pub on which to watch the footie match (which Germany lost after Italy scored very late in extra time).

We jumped back into the car once more (after I searched frantically for my Blackberry, which I — whew! — found on the floor) and I fought back post-lunch nausea long enough to return the car to a downtown Hertz, squish onto a subway and get home in time for some prime-time chilling. By the way, I like Toronto a lot less when I have to drive in it.

TimmyD blogged the whole affair on The Plummet Onions. It was great to have them here, great to show them a little more of Toronto, and great to know that it wouldn’t be too much longer before we see them again.

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Recent tidbits:

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Finally, I’m sad to say that Ash, the tiny-but-fierce cat and companion to our friends CBGB passed away this weekend. She was ancient and storied, like all great legends. I’ll miss her padding around CBGB’s place, I’ll always smile when I think about how she fell asleep on my lap on the way to Collingwood, and I’ll always laugh when I think about poor Ed having to pick her up with hockey gloves. Hopefully the smiles & laughter will come as easily to CBGB as missing her will.

R.I.P., Ash.

[tags]elora, styll, orangeville, indietits, philosopher’s walk. polaris prize, tornado, ash cat[/tags]

Breakin' shit down

From Cinematical: Mara Leveritt’s book Devil’s Knot about the West Memphis Three has been optioned, and could be made into a feature film. Regardless of how well (or how poorly) the film is made, it can only help draw attention to their cause. Here’s hoping it gets made and more people become interested in finding the person who really killed those three kids.

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The head of Homeland Security in the US has declared that the media will henceforth be embedded with government agencies during natural disasters. Presumably this will be to keep the public from seeing and hearing the, you know, facts about what’s actually going on. [from Antonia Zerbisias]

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It’s been a nervous couple of days for us pet-owners. One of our cats — Michael, the smaller/stupider one — ate some string on Sunday night. About eight or ten inches worth, which can be fatal to cats (as it gets bunched up in their intestines). A couple of phone calls and a visit to the vet later, he seems to be ok, but they told us to keep a very close eye on him as things can turn very quickly. As such, we’ve been practically in the litter box with him for the last couple of days, and have found ourselves doing unpleasant things like breaking up his shit to see if there’s string inside (there is). This, I have decided, is a sad state of affairs. The things we do for our kids…even the furry ones.

Anyway, he seems to be ok for now. Fingers crossed.

[picture from QuestionableContent]

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[tags]west memphis three, wm3, devil’s knot, homeland security, chertoff, cats[/tags]

How I plan to deal with selfish, dimwitted assholes

Let it be known: if ever I see some fuckwit throw a puppy out of a moving car and into a river — like this mouth-breathing shitbag did — I’ll make it my life’s work to track him down, spit in his face and piss on his foot. If I were a more violent man I’d bring along a softball bat and break his dog-throwing arm.

I wonder if he did it because he’s so incredibly cruel that he doesn’t mind throwing a dog into a river to drown, or if he’s just so stupendously ignorant that he doesn’t know what else to do with an animal he doesn’t want or can’t care for. Either way, he deserves to wear some of my piss.

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[tags]assholes, puppies[/tags]

Clinch already

Montreal beat Boston tonight, so they’re that much closer to the playoffs. Atlanta and Toronto both won as well, though, so a playoff berth isn’t assured quite yet. We were at The Rebel House when the Leafs scored in OT to win the game, and some yahoo yelled, “Bring on the cup!” Uh, make the playoffs first, pal, then win a playoff round or two. Then we’ll talk.

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Speaking of The Rebel House, je suis tres full.

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Je suis tres sleepy aussi. I couldn’t sleep last night , what with the cats doing the Lindy Hop on my head. Gonna try to watch the latest Sopranos episode before I crash. So early on a (pseudo) Friday night, but I just can’t stay awake.

"Only people who'll remember this is us."

We just finished watching Gunner Palace (imdb | rotten tomatoes), a documentary about an American field artillery unit who took over Uday Hussein’s old palace in Baghdad. It was a bit uneven and slow at times, but overall a pretty informative slice of (shitty) life for these guys and the Iraqis they deal with. The soldiers have to duck rocks, worry about IEDs and deal with the fact that no one back home will every understand what their time in Iraq was like. The Iraqi people get held at gunpoint, woken up in the middle of the night by soldiers and sent to prisons like Abu Ghraib without much evidence against them.

“I don’t think … anywhere in history has someone killed someone else and something better has come out of it. It’s just … not possible.”

Whatever you think about the war, you have to respect the soldiers for the work they have to do, and feel sorry for them when the situation sometimes pushes them over the line. Gunner Palace was a good look at a bunch of soldiers standing at the edge of it.

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I also watched Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior (imdb | rotten tomatoes) this week. Dopey martial arts movie, but holy smokin’ Joe Kubek, that Tony Jaa is one bad-assed squeaky-voiced mofo. No effects, no digital tricks, no “bullet time”, just a little dude kicking and elbowing and jumping and kneeing his way through a whole raft of baddies, including one creepy voiceboxed chief. If you appreciate martial arts movies for the action and don’t mind the thin plot or dippy dialogue, pick this up.

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The Canadiens all but eliminated the Leafs tonight, winning 6-2 after beating them 5-1 two nights ago. Atlanta lost, so Montreal moves back into the 8th playoff spot. The way things are going, the Montreal-New Jersey game we have tickets for in two weeks could be big indeed.

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Clubbed today: protestors in Minsk, baby seals.

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My old friend from university, Farm Boy (ironic that he got the name, since I grew up on a farm and he did not) visited today. He, his wife, Nellie and I had lunch downtown at the Irish Embassy and then caught up for a bit before they left to have dinner with his brother. They were enamored with the cats; who wouldn’t be?

A touch of the rheumatids rheumatiz flu

You can buy all the expensive cat toys you want. Nothing will ever entertain them as much as a piece of string with some folded-up paper on the end.

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This chest congestion that started after the flight back from New York has developed into a full-blown cold or something. Whatever it is, I feel like ass. I’ve managed to avoid being sick the whole winter but I guess it’s finally caught up with me.

False alarm

Fire alarms when you’re trying to relax on a Friday night are a pain in the butt. Especially when you have to carry the cats up and down flights of stairs (can’t wait for that cat diet to kick in). There was no fire, obviously, but the boys were plenty annoyed at being stuffed in their carriers.

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The new Google Talk for the Blackberry is pretty sweet. It uses the same contact list as the full web version of Gmail, and works almost exactly the same way. I was pretty impressed.

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The two songs that Ted Leo posted on his site are both really, really good. I’m looking forward to the new disc. Speaking of music, the new Neko Case is, indeed, excellent. The new Mogwai is also good, but we all knew that already. Their May concert is looking like it’s fo sho now: M2 is in.

Be here to feed me, and possibly clean up my vomit

After many aborted attempts, I finally managed to finish Be Here To Love Me (imdb | rotten tomatoes), a documentary about Townes Van Zandt. You’ve probably heard his songs, but didn’t realize it. I’ve noticed his name over the years, in liner notes and during concert chit-chat. I knew he was a great song writer, but I didn’t realize just how…messed up and tortured and drug-addled he was. It’s an interesting profile, whether or not you like his music.

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We have a vet appointment for the boys in a couple of hours. What with it being -612 degrees out there and the eventual dreaded thermometer ass attack, I don’t think they’re gonna much like us.