Saturday, March 18, 2006

Gotta love Rick Mercer

Great videos for you to watch - go to the Mercer Report website, then click on the links (see left) for "Hand in My Pocket Spoof Ad" and "Rick's Rant for March 14, 2006".

Pink's rocking video - "Stupid Girls"

This video totally makes me want to go out and buy Pink's album, just to support a mainstream artist with this message. And it's pretty funny too!

Kevin's Photos

One of my most delightful co-workers is Kevin. He's smart and funny and caring - just a really great person. (I blogged about him almost a year ago here.) It's a busy environment, but usually we have time for a giggle or two. Something about Kevin makes me feel free to be silly and goofy - and isn't it your most amazing friends who make you feel accepted in all your ways and facets?

I was doing a bit of web-surfing this morning (procrastinating going to the gym, if you must know), and stumbled upon his online photography collection. Last summer, Kevin bought a seriously kick-a$$ digital camera and since then has indulged his hobby of nature and architectural photography. I love the sensitivity, balance, beauty, and detail in his photos, and expect that you will too. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Find 11 Faces

Courtesy of my amazing and lovely friend Leslie-Ann:


I’ve been sitting at home all day, nursing a sore throat and not really having much energy to do anything, so I finally finished reading the remarkable book, Pierre, edited by Nancy Southam. It is a memorable, entertaining, and moving compilation of memories of Canada’s most intriguing and charismatic prime minister. Southam, a close personal friend of Trudeau, asked former colleagues, staff, lovers, friends, and fellow heads of state to write about the man that they knew. The result is a portrait of an amazingly gifted, shy, feisty, complex man with an insatiable love and curiosity for the world, and a deep love and closeness with his children.

Some examples:

There is an amusing story of a dinner hosted by Trudeau as Prime Minister. His guests were all of the provincial premiers, with some of whom he had testy relationships. One of the premiers at that dinner recalled:

Mr. Trudeau taunted Mr. Levesque [premier of Quebec] … Mr. Levesque replied in kind. They began insulting each other in ever-more-rapid French. And then they looked about the table and realized the rest of us were not able to fully appreciate their verbal sallies. So they kindly switched to English, thereby allowing us to more fully comprehend the barbs being tossed.

There are wonderful stories of Trudeau’s devotion to his children, and how his world truly centered around them. Also accounts of his kindness to other children, and his ability to relate to them. One of his son’s childhood friends wrote:

Time spent in the company of Justin’s dad was almost always defined by physical and mental challenges: show me what you have learned. Show me what you can do. Show me how you live.

One hot summer day up at Harrington Lake, he came out to the floating dock and challenged six cocky preteens to a very simple exercise (or so it seemed). We were to push out from the dock and see how long we could stand on a thin Styrofoam surfboard. We all failed miserably. But when I close my eyes, I still see Justin’s dad balanced between earth and sky on that slowly sinking piece of Styrofoam, his face a mixture orf steely-eyed concentration and unabashed mirth. The air punctuated by the excited voices of children counting off second after unbelievable second. There was always an incredible intensity of feeling that he directed toward his sons, toward children in general. It radiated from him. It was what I loved most about him.

There are many references to the devastation Trudeau experienced when his youngest son was killed while skiing in British Columbia when an avalanche swept him and a friend into an icy lake. There is a profoundly moving account of how Trudeau comforted his son's friend who had managed to escape alive and was burdened by terrible guilt that he had survived when Michel had not.

There are all sorts of tributes to Trudeau. I find the one from the actor Christopher Plummer to uniquely sum up Trudeau’s greatness:

What [Canadian pianist and virtuoso] Glenn Gould was to Bach, Trudeau was to Canada. He interpreted it with a freshness that was bold and utterly original. Few could match him in intellect or sophistication. Few had the political savvy, or wisdom and timing, to use it sparingly and to great effect. Very few came close to his knowledge and understanding of the two cultures, and none possessed his mystique or his curious glamour. There was also enough old-fashioned gossip hovering around him to add spice to any cause he undertook. Suddenly, for the first time perhaps, Canada was in fashion. And Pierre Elliott had firmly placed it on the map.

Whether you’re Canadian or not, I promise you that you will enjoy reading this fascinating compilation of stories and thoughts about one of the most accomplished and intriguing people of the 20th century.

Sunday, March 05, 2006



She raises an excellent point.

Autistic boy breaks through his own "Berlin Wall"

Check out the video - it's an amazing story.

Maya Angelou's eulogy to CSK on video!

Not very long ago, I blogged about seeing Maya Angelou's eulogy to Coretta Scott King on TV. Well, I finally found the video (where else but on The Hour's website?)! You can watch it too! I just did (for about the 3rd or 4th time), and I still got goosebumps!

There's something about this eulogy that revitalizes words like "freedom" and "peace" and "justice" for me. It's as though they've been worn and overused for tawdry things, or sullied by our hip cynicism, and by simply uttering them with a kind of spiritual authority and idealism, Angelou has made them fresh and pure again.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Amazing ads re. Meth

Did you know that the UN recently called methamphetamine use a "major drug problem pandemic"?

This past week I watched a piece on The Hour that showed several very powerful, gritty ads commissioned by a Montana millionaire in an effort to curb the use of meth in his state. They are extremely effective. You can check them out here.

Update: Also check out the before and after "game" on the website where you try to match the photo of a person before s/he became hooked on meth and afterward. It's chilling.

Brokeback Mountain

Wow. Finally went to see Brokeback Mountain tonight (just in time for the Oscars!). What a fantastic movie. I wasn’t completely engaged until the last half-hour of the movie, and then boom! The actors and the emotions were so compelling that I was in tears.

The acting was so much more than I expected. Heath Ledger gave an amazing portrayal of a man of few words and a granite expression – amazing because he was able to convey the intense conflict and emotion simmering under the surface. The women in this film (Michelle Williams in particular, but also Anne Hathaway and Kate Mara) also deliver expressive performances.

The cinematography is beautiful (with a location like the Albertan Rockies I guess you can’t go wrong) and so many scenes were beautifully framed by the camera. (I found the scene with the firecrackers to be very cool.)

There are some people (like Paul, my hairdresser of all people) who refuse to see the “gay cowboy movie”. Yes, it is about two men who fall in love. But more than that, it’s about two people who are passionately in love and cannot be together. It is a love story that transcends gay/straight. It’s about a love that is bigger than yourself, that brings you to your knees. And believe me, if you’ve ever been in love and in a doomed relationship, you will be able to relate to this.

In the past few weeks, I have also seen the movies Transamerica and Crash, and both are amazing films as well. They also moved me to tears and their themes resonated with me. But "Brokeback Mountain" will linger with me.