Monday, January 15, 2007

I won! Oh, wait, maybe not.

I got a call the other day from a place called Healthtek Enterprises (according to my call display) asking me to participate in a survey. The woman I spoke to wasn't clear about what it was about, so I asked her to clarify, and she simply stated, "it's about products in your home that clarify the air and your environment." Um, okay, shoot.

After the five-question survey (that were not at all the type of questions I expected with regard to the topic,) the representative happily informed me that to thank me for participating, I would be entered into a draw to win a prize. They'd be calling me back if I won. I thought, "I'll probably be hearing back from them, then."

Sure enough, this afternoon I got another call:

Me: Hello?
HT: Hi, is this Rebecca?
Me: Yes it is.
HT: Rebecca, I'm calling from Healthtek and you participated in a phone survey for us the other day. Do you recall doing that?
Me: Yes, I think so.
HT: Well, I'm
calling to let you know that you have won our daily draw for your choice between
two prizes - an all-expenses paid weekend trip for two, or a set of high-quality
knives. Which would you like to choose?

By now this just smacks of some weird scheme, and I wanted out. But on the slim chance that it could be for real, and to see what would happen if I went along with it, I decided I'd go for the knives, (since I never did get any for Christmas.)

Me: Um, okay, I'll go for the knives.
HT: Okay, we'll send them right out to you. In the meantime, we'll have someone come and explain to you about our air-filter system and it's benefits.
Me: Hold on, someone's coming here to
do some kind of demonstration?
HT: Yes, that's how we get our business, is through word-of-mouth.
Me: Yeah, I don't think so. I just...
HT: Thank you - *click*
Me: ?!

So I'm guessing I don't get my knives then, you bastards??

I did a little preliminary research and found that not only do they apparently not have a website, but I found these comments on a message board:

HealthTek Enterprises is a legit company that is in the air purification business (check out the TSE). Yes, they have telemarketers calling at all times of the day, but what company doesn't these days??? If you take a 30 second survey your name is entered in a draw that will take place in September.
Then they call back to say you were chosen as the winner of either a portable BBQ, a set of steak knives (incl. the wood block) or a 3 night stay at one of 80 hotels located across Canada. Only catch is you need to sit through a 1 hour presentation when they deliver the prize you have chosen.
We didn't think 1 hour was too much time to spend, considering we will now be spending 3 nights at the Grand Okanagan Resort in Kelowna over the July long weekend, courtesy of HealthTek Ent. And we didn't even have to make a purchase. This is no different than sitting through a 1-1/2 hour timeshare presentation to get a free rental car while you're in Mexico.
Work the system - it gives you a few free perks here and there and makes life more exciting.

I did check the TSE, or TSX as it's better known, and there is no listing for this company at all. (I did find listings under "Vacuum systems - home sales.") My suspicion is that that particular post was by someone from the company itself, or someone who did not end up getting their trip in the end. What benefit does the company have to demonstrate their product to someone who does not buy, then pay for them to go on a weekend trip at a nice hotel?

The healthtek prize is your choice of a portable bbq, steak knoves, or hotel gift certificates. The catch is that they have to hand deliver the "prize" and demonstrate their "indoor air quality system." I don't know how legit this is, but I would check with the BBB before allowing them into your home.

Healthtek Enterprises NEVER gives away the trip - they always say they are OUT of trip packages - and offer the block of knives instead. My daughter lasted six hours as a telemarketer for this bogus company and they never paid her. They will try to sell you a $10,000 vaccuum with some slick salesperson.

Maybe they are legit, but their poor marketing "techniques" turned me right off. If your product is of any quality, there is no way you should have to be offering bogus vacations and crap prizes just to get yourself in people's houses to sit through a demo about your product. And you DEFINITELY don't offer someone a prize and then don't follow through because they don't want your product information!

If that's how you have to do it, I would question the validity and quality of your product.

So here's my "word-of-mouth" for them: Avoid this ridiculous company!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The man not in the mirror

I read this article on (virutally the only place I get my news) and was fascinated by Francois Brunelle's project of photographing look-alikes. It took me a minute to realize that these were people who not only looked very much alike, but they are not even related!

The more I read, the more interesting I found the whole idea of this project. It was interesting to read his comments about how the look-alikes were toward each other during the photo shoot. Some were apprehensive and were not comfortable touching each other, where others seemed close:

In many cases, Brunelle has learned, look-alike men resist his invitation to touch one another: "These guys are two Parisians, so they know everything. The guy in back, when I asked him to be in close contact with the other man — who he already knew — he was really reluctant to do so. He put his hands the way they are in the shot. Some of his fingers were up in the air. I didn't say anything. I just shot the pictures as he was. After a while, I asked him, 'Why do you have your fingers up?' He said, 'Oh, oh, sorry!' And then he put them down.

And more interesting still, was his observation that many of the look-alikes did not think they looked much like their mirror-image.

...he says, 'you know, François, I don't think we look the same at all. Between friends, I have to tell you the truth.' Paul is the most visual person I know in the world. He couldn't see that he looked like the other guy. Coming from him, that was the best."

I enjoyed the photos so much that it almost made me wish I had a look-alike. (People used to tell me I looked like Shania Twain, but I think that ship has sailed. I haven't had that comment since before I had kids.)

Check out Francois' website on the project here.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Breast IS best - what side are you on?

My opinion - brace yourself
At the risk of making myself seem really crunchy granola, I have been thinking a lot lately about breastfeeding and my true feelings about it. I am quite aware that this topic can be a touchy one, so if you have strong feelings one way or the other, you will either be nodding in agreement to this post or you might be pretty offended. But I'm laying my true opinion out now.

My neighbour (let's call her Neighbour #1) was telling me recently about another neighbour (#2) of ours who recently gave birth to a baby girl. #2 had told #1 that she had no intention of breastfeeding because it was "creepy." "Especially," she added, "because I'm having a girl. It's just too weird having a girl sucking on my boob." Um, okay.

First of all, major boob issues aside, no one can argue that breastmilk is far superior than formula feeding a newborn infant. Fact. But women still have the choice whether to breastfeed or not. Especially in our industrialized society where we don't have to worry about malnutrition or contaminated water or other basics that we take for granted.

So I was particularly irritated to read this article in last week's Georgia Strait magazine:

The Nestlé booth was abuzz with pregnant women and new parents at the Baby and Family Fair on September 16 and 17. The attraction was free Baby Einstein and Disney DVDs, free rice-cereal samples, free infant formula samples, and a send-away card for a free diaper bag, a baby-magazine subscription, and more formula. It was one of the juiciest giveaways at the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre event.
Meanwhile, Douglas College’s perinatal program manager, Kathleen Lindstrom, was trying to entice the thousands of orb-bellied women to come to her breast-feeding workshop.
“I said, ‘Come find out how to save thousands of dollars a year and feed your baby free,’” Lindstrom recounted to the Georgia Straight. “But I couldn’t tear them away from the formula booths. I felt like getting on the loudspeaker and saying, ‘Do you not care about what’s going into your baby?’”

Read the rest of the story here.

I didn't realize how big of a breastfeeding advocate I was until I had my own children. I support a woman's right to "choose" how to feed her baby. Of course I do. But let me let you in on a little secret: I don't respect the ones who don't breastfeed.

Yup, I said it. When I hear the new mom say, "Oh, I tried it, but I just couldn't do it, so I quit at about three weeks." I'll nod compassionately, but inside my head I'm fuming. Why the hell didn't she stick it out longer? I know I'm not in her shoes, but for the love of god, how is feeding your baby formula better than breastfeeding? It's free, it's natural, and it's proven to be healthier and BETTER! Besides, doesn't the word "FORMULA" itself gross you out?

Excuses, Excuses
Some of the reasons parents give for not breastfeeding are:

1. Dad wants to be part of the feeding process/give mom a break during night feedings. Why? What for? How is giving a bath or changing a diaper or playtime any less important? Breastfeeding mothers are usually not working outside the home (especially not in Canada where they enjoy a year's maternity leave) so what benefit is it to both parents for mom to sleep while dad (who is likely working) wakes up to feed? Especially if sleep is the issue, there are safe ways to have your baby sleep in bed with you and you don't even have to be awake while your baby feeds in the middle of the night. (I LOVED co-sleeping, I never went through that "exhausted new parent" phase. People would say to Hubby and I, "You must be exhausted with a new baby!" and we'd look at each other, puzzled, and say no, we were pretty well-rested.)

2. Not enough milk. Not usually likely. I read a statistic somewhere that said only a small percentage of failed breastfeeding attempts are true lack of supply issues. If this is a concern, a lactation consultant or breastfeeding counsellor is the best person to ask. There are ways of telling if your baby is getting enough than looking at the number of ounces on the side of a bottle.

3. Uncomfortable with breastfeeding. I really have nothing to say to this. If you are so uncomfortable with your own body that you can't nourish your child - that's a whole other ball of wax. I am also annoyed when I hear about breastfeeding women who were asked to leave a mall or other public place. People seriously need to get over the sexualization of female breasts. There are discreet ways of feeding your baby without showing everyone some boob. I used to go to another room or the washroom to feed Devon when he was first born, but after a while I realized I was being stupid. And I fed him (and subsequently Camryn) in malls, in restaurants, friends' houses and wherever else I happened to be. I kept a blanket over my shoulder and usually no one ever noticed.

4. Too hard/tried it and it "didn't work out". This is the reason I have the least amount of sympathy or patience for. It often takes up to 6 weeks for mother and baby to establish a routine and learn how to do it. Sore, cracked nipples can be avoided if you are taught how to breastfeed properly. This is what breastfeeding counsellors and lactation consultants are for. Breastfeeding is NOT innate. It has to be learned, and it's worth learning.

5. Have to work/can't be with baby to feed. This is a very real situation for many families, especially in the States where maternity leave is only 6 weeks, or less if your job doesn't guarantee it. This is antoher area where I'm a little more understanding as well, but this is also where learning to use a good breastpump comes in handy. Many companies are supportive of allowing lactating mothers time to pump privately while at work, in order to keep a supply of breastmilk going for their babies.

Formula companies and marketing
And the formula companies and their marketing tactics - don't get me started! There are regulations on how formula companies can market formula, (see the actual document on the World Health Organization website here) but there are always infractions and companies pushing the boundaries. There are people who boycott Nestle because of their marketing tactics, particularly their marketing efforts in developing countries - they marketed formula to mothers of infants, but because of lack of funds to keep buying the product, and lack of clean water to mix the formula with, babies were actually being malnourished and starved!! Now this is no longer the case, as they have a stricter marketing policy in Third World countries now, but how does a coroporation justify marketing their product to these countries who obviously don't benefit from it?

Not to mention how in North America and industrialized areas they and other formula producers are offering free samples and toys, DVDs and other baby items just to get their product into your home. They know that if you have it in the house, there's the chance you might find it easier to give up on breastfeeding and never look back. I got so sick of getting mailouts and other crap sent to me when I signed up on pregnancy/parenting websites, entered contests in maternity stores (I hate Thyme Maternity!!) or went to baby-related events (although I never went to baby fairs.) Corporations have the money to bombard you, and they will, in the hopes that you will feed your child in a way that will benefit them.

It's not the milk, it's you!
Both sides of the breastfeeding/bottlefeeding debate have their "studies" to back up their reasoning, but this article today on caught my eye. I'm waiting to see what kind of furor this is going to create:

Breastfeeding is important for healthy growth and development but it does not help a child's intelligence, researchers say.

Breastfed children score higher on IQ tests, but the effect is likely because mothers who breastfeed tend to be more intelligent, better educated, wealthier and provide a more stimulating environment at home, the British team concluded.

I think it is an interesting conclusion to say the least, almost more potentially "offensive" than the original theory that it was the breastmilk itself that was contributing to the intelligence of the child, not the parent's parenting. Yikes. At least then there was no one to blame either way. I know that a lot of working parents can't make breastfeeding logistically work, and I think this is why the study came to this conclusion. And with all the perceived guilt and judgement that goes on between working and at-home parents, I'm sure this study will draw a few lines.

Now I'm not getting on my high horse about how I fed my children, (Devon was breastfed for 10 months, Camryn for 13 months,) or about the fact that I am fortunate enough to be able to stay home with my kids while Hubby works (I do it out of choice, and trust me, I'll be going back to work when they are in school all day!) All I'm saying is that I personally believe that babies deserve the best that their parents can give them, and I belive being fed a natural and healthy substance is BETTER than a chemically reproduced substitute. Not to mention that breastfeeding is an intimate and personal time between mother and child that makes such a difference in the parent-child bond.

Don't hate me
So there you have it - my REAL opinion. Keep in mind I'm not so militant that I condemn all mothers who don't breastfeed, I know that there are TRUE lack of supply issues, work situations, or situations where for the mother's own mental/emotional stability breastfeeding is not a good option. But I always wonder in the back of my head how things could have worked out if the parents had given it an honest and dedicated shot. you're either cheering me on or seething with fury at me. I understand (and I really mean it this time!) This is never going to be an issue where everyone will agree. I just had to get this opinion out (and what better place than my own blog?)

Fortunately for me, (and everyone who disagrees with me,) my kids are way past the breastfeeding stage and it's not a direct issue anymore. But heaven help my kids when they have babies!

Edited to add: If you are still reading (and still interested,) an article about breastfeeding in Canada and what the issues are came out in Today's Parent magazine. It had some very interesting information. You can read it here.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

It's all about choices

I've been surfing blogs and found The Grubby Halo. As I perused, I found this fantastic post about hotel porn. He could not have summed up my feelings on the subject more perfectly:

I came across this article on yesterday: Conservative activists take aim at hotel porn.
"These are places that you take your family — these are respectable institutions," said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. "Anything that brings porn into the mainstream is a concern. It just desensitizes people."
Basically these activists are pressuring the lodging industry to stop offering pay-per-view adult movies in hotels on the grounds that it may violate federal and state obscenity laws. I seriously doubt that it violates any laws as porn itself is not illegal and the whole thing is pay-per-view and voluntary to the end user. What it really boils down to is this group wants to impose their values on the rest of us, and that irks me. It's great that you don't like porn, but don't take choices away from other people who don't share your world-view. To make matters worse they're wasting the DOJ and FBI's time on this "investigation". I'm sure both departments have better things to do.

Read the rest here.

The comments on this post were interesting too, no matter what side of the argument you are on.

But I think the main reason I like this post is because it articulates my feelings on pretty much everything. Abortion, same sex-marriage, childcare/universal daycare, and tons of other issues. Why restrict people's choices because you don't agree with it?

I have the same view when it comes to this "universal daycare" bull-crap the Liberals were trying to shovel at us. Why should my tax dollars go toward paying for someone else's daycare costs when I choose to stay home with my kids, or hire a live-out nanny to care for my children? Why should I be financially penalized because Mr. and Ms. X decide to use daycare and don't feel they should have to bear that cost?

When the Conservatives came out with the $1200 annual childcare benefit, people squawked because "$100 a month doesn't go very far toward daycare costs." You're damn right it doesn't! That wasn't the point! You chose to have your kids, you can pay the costs! You are free, of course, to send it back, but I have yet to hear of anyone doing so. Everyone gets this money - even stay-at-home parents, and the money can be used as you see fit - put toward daycare, sports programs, preschool, or whatever your choice might be.

Besides, the last thing we need in this country is more unionized workers. What happens when the daycare workers (who will finally be making what they are worth, I concede,) decide they need more? What would a national daycare strike mean for families? For businesses where working parents are employed? For the economy? I just think this is an area where the government needs to stay out.

And so it is with many issues, this being just one. Choice, folks. You have it, whether you know it or not. Life isn't about the government taking care of you, the inherent structure of it precludes its ability to meet every individual's needs. If something's not working for you, do something about it, don't expect someone else to take care of it for you.

My feet are getting tired up here on this soapbox, so I'll step down now.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Please hold

I'm on vacation again. Hubby is on Vancouver Island on business, and the kids and I are tagging along. Right now I'm sitting on his laptop in the dark in a hotel room in Nanaimo, BC while the kids are trying to sleep and Hub's out at the gym. I think Devon is out cold, but Camryn isn't giving up so easily.

Hubby is working all day every day, so we've been left to find things to do within walking distance since he has the car. Today we watched Treehouse (which is exciting to the kids because we don't have cable at home) at the hotel, then went across the street to the mall. We hit paydirt there because right in the mall there is a Canadian Military Museum, and we spent a good hour looking around in there, and still didn't even see everything.

They had tons of stuff, and since I've recently realized I have a deep interest in military/war history, I found it all very fascinating. I was explaining to Devon about what these people had to do for us to be able to have a free country, and I got a lump in my throat thinking of it all. Reading all the plaques on the wall, one of a young signalman who was lost aboard a huge military ship, the Hermes, really hit home for me. He was very young, but was awarded several medals. I also read an amazing story about the elderly veteran you see pictured on the Canadian ten-dollar bill. I saw the two old veterans who were minding the place in a different light when I left than when I came in. Of course they commented on how cute they thought Camryn was, playing peek-a-boo with them behind some of the artifacts. Figures.

We wandered around the mall for a while then came back to the hotel and had some lunch. The kids enjoyed more Treehouse while Mommy crashed and had a nap. Next thing I knew Devon was shaking me awake and said, "Can we go out now? TV is boring." So I got up and we walked over to the lake near the hotel.

Long Lake is literally a five-minute walk, especially since we found a path that comes off the sidewalk from the hotel. We found a little clearing right on the water and spent part of the afternoon playing there. The water was really clear and the kids had fun playing while I sat on the beach towels and painted my toenails (they were much overdue for a new shade!!)

We came back to the hotel and Daddy was back - and he wasn't hungry for dinner so we went out to Kelsey's for the second night in a row (at the kids' request, and I was too hungry to keep searching for somewhere else). I've decided that while last night's dinner was good, (The "Trio" - half a wrap with a soup and salad) their food overall sucks (tonight's was "balsamic chicken cavatappi - waaaay too sweet, although I liked the whole wheat pasta.) Then back to the hotel for a game of Junior Scrabble and then kids to bed.

Tomorrow we are going to take the bus downtown and check out the Old City Quarter, to check out the shops. There's a store called Lobelia's Lair that I want to check out, and possibly get my palm read, then if there's time when we get back we'll go to the lake again, this time to the part that has a better beach.

We're having a pretty good time so far. Devon keeps telling me that the hotel is "way better than our house." I have to agree, when you have housekeeping coming in everyday to clean up your slovenly ass!

I might be online again during the rest of our trip, but then again, maybe not. So I hope all the links I've provided in this post will interest you in the meantime!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Happy Canada Day!

Well I'm off to celebrate Canada today at a barbeque (is there really any other way to do it?). But here's a neat little tidbit I found on - Canadian music suggestions for your Canada Day celebration! I have to admit I only know about two-thirds of this list, but there were some interesting picks. Is this truly a sampling of what Canadian artists have to offer?

1. Wicked and Weird, Buck 65
Halifax’s Rich Terfry, a.k.a. Buck 65, is filed under hip hop in your local record store, but only because there’s no section for modern troubadours. Wicked and Weird is his Kerouac moment, a lament from the road lots travelled: “Don’t bother looking, you’ll never find me / I’m starting from scratch and leaving trouble behind me ...”

2. Dandelion, Boards of Canada
The electronic duo Boards of Canada isn’t actually homegrown (they’re Scottish), but they show much Canuck love. They’re named after the National Film Board of Canada and this woozy track features a sample of Saskatchewan native Leslie Nielsen, narrating a documentary on volcanoes.

3. All the Things I Wasn’t, Grapes of Wrath
It’s hard to conceive of another Canadian pop song as perfect as this folk ballad from the forgotten Kelowna, B.C., duo. All the Things I Wasn’t features a gorgeous verse and a richly harmonic chorus — and after its 2:17 running time, it begs to be replayed again and again and again.

4. Astounded, Bran Van 3000
Montreal beatsmith Jamie Di Salvio, leader of Bran Van’s 20-member alt-pop collective, spent years calling Curtis Mayfield, begging for a collaboration. By the time the soul-funk master agreed, he was too ill to record new music. Instead, Mayfield dug up an unused a capella track from his younger days. Those vocals became the centrepiece of Astounded — inarguably the greatest disco anthem of the young 21st century.

5. Steal My Sunshine, LEN
Members of the band Len. (CP Photo/Kevin Frayer)
“One-hit wonder” is a dubious compliment, so let’s try a different perspective: in 1999, LEN, a Toronto quartet that was called Canada’s answer to the Beastie Boys, caught lightning in a recording booth and cut Steal My Sunshine. It’s an absolute smash of a summer anthem, built on a head-nodding sample from former porn star Andrea True’s decadent More, More, More (1976).

6. Northern Touch, Rascalz featuring Kardinal Offishall, Choclair, Thrust and Checkmate
Many Canucks recall Maestro Fresh-Wes’s Let Your Backbone Slide as this country’s seminal hip hop hit, but 1998’s Northern Touch was the posse banger that proved our domestic rap game’s growing maturity. Homegrown hip hop has been a serious business ever since.

7. Who Is It (Carry My Joy on the Left, Carry My Pain on the Right), Bjork
Full of ghostly voices and skittering beats, Who Is It is taken from Bjork’s 2004 album, Medulla. The Canadian connection? It features the otherworldly vocals of Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq, a native of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.

8. Promiscuous, Nelly Furtado
After years of producing anodyne up-with-people pop, Vancouver’s Nelly Furtado re-emerges as a savvy seductress. Featuring the inimitable beats and raunchy call-and-response of producer/rapper Timbaland, Promiscuous is hot and hedonistic.

9. Count Souvenirs, Junior Boys
Hamilton’s Jeremy Greenspan and Matt Didemus create intricate electro-pop that gratifies both music snobs and simple fans of melody. This haunting track, from their upcoming second album, So This Is Goodbye, channels both the Pet Shop Boys and the Miami Vice soundtrack.

10. Pate Filo, Malajube
Malajube. Courtesy Outside Music
Montreal’s Malajube cultivate punk-pop that’s alternately thrashing and melodic, but never less than thrilling. This track opens like a music-box hymn before swelling into Arcade Fire-like drama.

11. Eyes of a Stranger, Payola$
Paul Hyde is no hipster icon, but this 1982 single, recorded with his then-band the Payola$, makes a case for retroactive cool. With its dub-like pulse, echoey guitars and generally paranoid mood, Eyes of a Stranger is eerie, foreboding — and eternal.

12. Slave, Michie Mee featuring Esthero
By 2000, Canada’s first lady of hip hop was perhaps better known as an actress (she had a prominent role on CBC-TV’s Drop the Beat) than rapper, but she reaffirmed her microphone control with this boombastic reimagining of the Rolling Stones’ Slave. Trip-hop chanteuse Esthero does good work on the hook, but make no mistake: this is Michie’s moment in the sun.

13. My Way, Sid Vicious
Paul Anka would surely prefer that we big up his Way — i.e., the original English-language version — but, well, it’s Sid freakin’ Vicious. The infamously inept Sex Pistols bassist was plunging towards rock bottom when he arrived in Paris to perform My Way for Julien Temple’s The Great Rock ’n’ Roll Swindle (1980); he wound up creating a premature eulogy for the death that he must have known was coming soon.

14. Underwhelmed, Sloan
For male Canadians of a certain age, Underwhelmed — the best song by the East Coast’s best band of the ’90s — is a cruel reminder of long moments passed in dark closets, struggling to solve the timeless challenge of the brassiere clasp: “She was underwhelmed / If that’s a word / I know it’s not / ’Cause I looked it up.” So of course we love it.

15. Gore Veil, Deadly Snakes
Toronto’s Deadly Snakes are a first-rate, bare-knuckles rock ’n’ roll band. Gore Veil — a play on Gore Vale Avenue, a charming sidestreet that borders downtown Toronto's Trinity Bellwoods Park — is the band’s most melodic pop song. It’s a minor departure from the Snakes’ standard fare, but a delightful addition to their canon. All together now: “Bap-ba-dap-ba, bap-ba-dap-ba...”

16. Dis-Moi, Mitsou
Although the Quebecois singer is best known for the frothy single Bye-Bye Mon Cowboy, this 1991 track captures Mitsou’s pouty, bad-girl allure. The beat sounds like it was factory-produced, but the chorus is dead sexy.

17. Work on You, MSTRKRFT
No doubt influenced by French disco mavens Daft Punk, this Toronto electronic duo releases its debut album, The Looks, later this month; this, the leadoff track, should augur lascivious dancing in finer clubs and rooftop patios.

18. All We Are, Kim Mitchell
Most of this Toronto native’s oeuvre is characterized by self-deprecating silliness and allusions to ale; what this song has, however, is gravitas. From the iconic opening synth line to the soaring chorus to Mitchell’s feverish guitar solo, All We Are was built to last.

19. One Evening, Feist
Even if you didn’t enjoy the ’70s — the era Calgary-born singer Leslie Feist seems most enamoured of — this slinky ode to the one-night stand is sure to burrow into your cortex.

20. A Case of You, Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell (CP)
And to finish, an elegiac, patriotic tune from the Grand Dame of Canadian folk. The tone of the lyrics is enough to bring your hand to your heart: “On the back of a cartoon coaster / In the blue TV screen light / I drew a map of Canada / Oh Canada / And your face sketched on it twice.”

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Getting connected

I lost my cell phone about three weeks ago. The battery was dead, so I couldn't call it and see if I could hear it ringing. (Not that it would have made a difference.) So I have trudged through the last few weeks feeling slightly nude, even went to Sasquatch and back, and still no phone, no text messages, no phone camera.

Finally I called Telus yesterday and told them I had looked everywhere, and asked what my options were. The guy said I would have to buy a new phone at the non-discounted price, and there was a $35 fee to connect the new phone to my account. (Screw you, Telus!) He also offered to suspend my phone so no calls could be made or received from it, if anyone found it. Then I went to a Telus store to see what a new phone was going to cost me. After looking at the display, and finding one that had similar features as my last one, I found that it was going to cost nearly $200. I told the guy at the store I was going to take one last look, and if I still couldn't find it, I'd have to suck it up and just get a new one.

This morning we were on our way out to a parade, and Camryn insisted on bringing her doll. I pulled the doll stroller out of the garage and opened it up, and there was my phone in the bottom of the stroller basket.

I seriously nearly had tears in my eyes.

Friends - call me, text message me, leave me voicemails! I'm back!