Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Well, something has finally knocked the death of Anna Nicole Smith off the nauseating stuff on TV that passes as news. And who could do such a thing? Jesus Christ. But not really anything less sordid than the Anna Nicole Smith thing. This one is about the supposed proof that Jesus's bones have been found. Now, you'd think that such information would make the heart of one like me, a holder of a BA in Religious Studies with a concentration in Christian History, beat rapidly with adrenaline. You'd think I'd be drooling right about now and watching the news all the time to find out more. But I watched a bit, just enough to see what they are talking about and see that the holes in their theories are big enough to stroll through.

Let's start with the names on the ossuaries (where the bones were held): "Jesus, son of Joseph"; "Mary"; and "Judah, son of Jesus". Gasp! Why, that's like, like...like finding children in a school today whose names are Matthew, Emma and Sarah. These names were very popular back then so this means nothing. Even less so, since no one knows if Jesus had a son and if he was named Judah.

The documentary people used DNA to prove that two of the sets of remains in the tomb were unrelated, namely Jesus and Mary Magdalene. So, they presume, they must be married. Okey dokey, so they're not related. Now this is where it gets good right? This is where they test Judah's bones to prove that he is the son of Jesus and Mary, right? Oh, no they didn't do that, at least they don't reveal that they did. And wouldn't you think that would be the big revelation these documentary producers would lay on us if they had it--Perfect DNA proof that a Judah was the child of a Mary and a Jesus. And even if they did, is that proof that Jesus Christ married and had a child? Proof?

Then there are the "experts". One "expert", a statistician, said that the odds of all six names (Jesus, Mary, Joseph. Mary Magdalene, Matthew and Judah) being in the one tomb are 1 in 600 to one in a million. Okay, but first you have to get more "experts" to say that the names inscribed on the individual ossuaries are, in fact, these names. For instance, in order to say that one was inscribed with the name Mary Magdalene, it involved getting "experts" to say that the Greek inscriptions (the only Greek inscription in the tomb) “Mariamene e Mara” can be translated as “Mary, known as the master”. Then you need another "expert", namely Harvard professor Francois Bovon to interpret a fourth or fifth century text, the "Acts of Phillip", which apparently reveals that Mariamene is Mary Magdalene’s real name.

I mean I can find "experts" who will swear that almost every product in every infomercial will help you lose weight or look twenty years younger; will tell you that global warming is a hoax and that the Holocaust never happened. Experts sell these days and for every one that says this latest James Cameron film reveals the truth, there will be one or two more who says the opposite. And even more who'll say the only thing I can respect: "We're not sure. Could be, might not be. Not enough evidence right now."

I'm not a skeptic at heart. I believe in things that lots of other people don't believe in and doubt some that many people are certain of. I see connections where others may not. But this latest publicity stunt of James Cameron and his crowd, this latest attempt to create a buzz a la The Da Vince Code, is pathetic. At least Dan Brown just revealed it as a fictional theory, not as a documentary. The bottom line is that none of this is provable anyway. But even to make me think it might be, even to make me sit up and look on with rapt interest, the evidence would have to be a lot more persuasive than what I've seen so far.

And if it is, I'll let you know. I will be watching PBS on Sunday night when the film airs.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Marjorie Holmes

A guy from Victoria, BC, who calls himself lord marmalade, bought a suitcase at an auction. Contained in that suitcase was a reflection of the life of a woman, of her vacations, her friends, people and places she cared about. They were the photos and newspaper clippings collected by one woman over her life. That woman's name was Marjorie Holmes, a widow with no children. For 30 dollars, lord marmalade tells us, he became "the caretaker of all her memories". Lord marmalade has put some of these photos up on Flickr and you can see the story of her life, both in words and in pictures as he has posted what little he knows about her there as well.

Even though it seems sad that all the photos she took ended up in a suitcase being bought by a stranger for 30 dollars, I love that we can remember the life of this woman we never had a chance to meet and that she will not be forgotten. People all over the world can now see her photos and, being the world traveller that she was, I think maybe Marjorie Holmes would have been pleased by that.

(Did you think I was going to post about the Oscars? Up until nearly 2 in the morning our time to watch a movie I strongly disliked, win both Best Director and Best Movie. Blech.)

Friday, February 23, 2007

Short Personality Tests

What can I say? It's Friday and I have nothing else. At least they're short.

Your Personality Profile

You are dignified, spiritual, and wise.
Always unsatisfied, you constantly try to better yourself.
You are also a seeker of knowledge and often buried in books.

You tend to be philosophical, looking for the big picture in life.
You dream of inner peace for yourself, your friends, and the world.
A good friend, you always give of yourself first.

And then there's:

Your Personality Is

Idealist (NF)

You are a passionate, caring, and unique person.
You are good at expressing yourself and sharing your ideals.

You are the most compassionate of all types and connect with others easily.
Your heart tends to rule you. You can't make decisions without considering feelings.

You seek out other empathetic people to befriend.
Truth and authenticity matters in your friendships.

In love, you give everything you have to relationships. You fall in love easily.

At work, you crave personal expression and meaning in your career.

With others, you communicate well. You can spend all night talking with someone.

As far as your looks go, you've likely taken the time to develop your own personal style.

On weekends, you like to be with others. Charity work is also a favorite pastime of yours.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Talking to Toys

I find myself talking to toys a lot. My son does the voices for them and I talk back. I even do the voices myself sometimes. Most of the time, though, I am responding to the words my son puts in the inanimate objects. They tell me where they are going or ask me questions and I respond in great detail, in a happy voice. I hug them and even kiss them when they need it. I think that's all great. It encourages my son's imagination, vocabulary and social skills (talking airplanes always say "please" and "thank you" and share with others).

It's the other times I talk to the toys that worry me. The times when my son is not in the room and I speak to toy robots or cars.

"If he can't keep you off the floor, I'm going to throw you away," I say to a truck that has nearly killed me by being under my feet.

"I hate you," I growl to a flashlight that makes loud train noises when I touch it.

"For the love of God, shut up," I tell the talking robot.

"I won't do this forever," I whisper to the firetruck whose ladder I have once again affixed to its proper place. "Eventually you'll be called broken and we'll all get past the boy's weeping and wailing in mourning for you and move on."

As you can tell, these conversations are often angry and threatening. It's not the fault of the toys really. They can't help getting broken or how noisy they are or where my son places them in an attempt to break my neck. But they take the brunt of my anger about these situations and it's not really fair to them.

I am very kind to the stuffed animals. All the animals, in fact. I am quite fond of Lulu and Luke, the plastic salamanders, and even "ssssss", the cleverly named plastic snake. It's the cars and trucks and robots and noisy things that get my ire. And, since my son feels that only toys with wheels are real playthings, they account for most of the toys in the house. The animals live in a very small basket and the stuffed toys are in the closet since there's no room for them and the wheely toys (I tell them to come out of the closet, that I'm fine with them and will not judge them nor send them off to some Ted Haggard-type retraining school, but in the closet they remain).

I hope that all this is not indicative of some disorder I may have. Is there such a thing as ATTS (Anger Towards Toys Syndrome)? I think there should be. And I think the prescribed treatment should be a weekend alone in a toy-free hotel with a large jacuzzi, a bunch of scented candles, and a vat of wine. I wonder if that is covered by my health insurance insurance plan?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Learning to say no

My three-year-old has it right. If I ask him if he wants to do something or if he could help me with something, he will think about if for a second, then say yes if he wants to and no if he does not. Brilliant! He is not worrying about putting me out, only about putting himself out and if he wants to do it. The thought does not cross his mind that I will think less of him for saying no, or that anyone could think less of him. For anything. He's Sam. It's Sam's world so why should he do anything he doesn't want to? He is assertive and confident. He is a Sam-pleaser, not a people-pleaser.

If you are a people-pleaser, as I am, then you'll understand the difficulty of saying no. You want to make people happy, to do the right thing, to help out when someone asks but, let's face it, most of all you want people to like you and think you are nice. So, you say yes when you want to say no or, as I do, say you will think about it and then, only after finding a good excuse or a legitimate reason, you say no. If you can't think of a good excuse or find a legitimate reason, you say yes, even if you hate it. I do this. I am terrible with this.

But that is not my biggest problem. No, I always, always go above and beyond. My husband and I were talking about this last night and he said "if someone asked you 'could you hold this cup of coffee for me while I blow my nose', you would hold the coffee then offer to make them some soup for their cold." (Weird example because when has he ever known me to make soup? I suppose I might offer to heat up a can of chicken noodle.) And I know he is right. I do this. I just don't say yes to people, I volunteer for extra duties. I always go above and beyond what is asked of me.

Part of it is that I am super-empathetic. I try to avoid hearing sad stories of people or animals because I dwell on them and find myself wondering how I can help out and what I would do in a similar situation. I take the 'do unto others' thing farther and try to do unto them more than what I would expect for myself. I try to make everything bad go away for people, whether it be their stress, anxiety, pain, or illness, I try to make everything right. And you know that's a task doomed to fail.

The good news is I am getting better. I have recently said no a few times and even answered quickly on a couple of occasions, only giving it a moment of thought before saying it. And I have stopped myself several times from the above and beyond thing. I consciously do it because I will later tell my husband that I almost offered to do something extra but did not. Maybe it is because I am a lot busier and have to maximize my time. Maybe it is because more people are asking more of me and I have to say no or, as my mom says, I will have too much on my plate. Maybe it is because I am getting older and I realize how much time I am wasting on this whole process or how much stress I put myself under by thinking about it too long and too hard, analyzing all the possibilities and the after-effects. Or maybe I have come to accept that, more than likely, saying no won't make someone who likes you stop liking you and saying yes will not make someone who does not like you think any better of you (except that you are a sucker just as they suspected all along).

I think saying no is the sign of a healthy person. It shows you have enough respect for yourself to know what you are capable of, what your limitations are and how important your time is. So, I am going to keep doing it because the truth is that it kind of feels good to say no, move on and let go. Sure, I may apologize for it and may over explain my reasons, but I can say the word. I can. And I will. But if someone really needs me, I will be there if I can at all. That's just the way I am.

Next step, learning not to apologize so much—for supposed slights I fear others may have felt from something innocent I said, for asking something of someone else, and even for saying no.

So, no, and I am not sorry about it. There.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Entertainment Tonight is turning my stomach

Honest to God! My ritual used to be to turn to NTV at 7:00 and watch Entertainment Tonight. It was a pretty good show and seemed somehow above the tabloid type entertainment shows and magazines around. True, they went overboard with the Tomkat wedding thing and the Jolie-Pitt baby thing and lately they have been getting on my nerves with Dr. Phil's 400 pound babies and 1200 pound man shows, oh and the Ugly Vanessa series was truly annoying (maybe people in the public laughed at Vanessa Minnillo in a prosthetic face and a "fat suit" because she looked like she had rubber slathered on her face and it was melting off). But, it was a fun, mindless half an hour a night where I could catch up on Britney's most recent hoohoo exposure and the latest celebrity arrests/rehab visits.

Then on February 7th of this year, I decided that I was sick of night after night of Anna Nicole Smith slurring, crying and growling into the camera and would not watch ET anymore. This is not entertainment, I thought. Why am I watching this person who does not entertain me and has no discernable talent other than being tabloid fodder? Well, the next day the poor woman died and I felt bad, very sorry for her and hoped she would find some peace in death.

Maybe she did, but we sure didn't. The show that I once thought of as different than the tabloids, is sinking to new lows in television (and that is hard to do in the world of Jerry Springer and Flavor of Love). Since Anna Nicole Smith died, almost every single minute of Entertainment Tonight, and it's sister show (AKA copy of ET with different co-hosts and the same stories) The Insider, has been about her, her baby, the alleged pain of her alleged partner, Howard K. Stern, Stern's siblings, potential daddies for Anna Nicole's baby and rehashes of Anna's last interviews with ET. I know this not because I watched it but because I watched the previews of the shows at the beginning, always with the hope that they could return to the good old ET I knew and loved. I cannot stomach to actually watch the show.

I mean it's disgusting. They had cameras on Howard K Stern when he was reunited with his alleged child because you know that a) if you were being reunited with your child after her mother just died, a camera capturing it all for the world to see would be a big necessity and b) an entertainment show must say "whoa, that kid just lost her mother, let's suck up all the pain we can and throw it out in the world. Yeah, now that's entertainment tonight!"

Maybe nothing else has happened in the entertainment world since Anna Nicole died. Oh, wait, there was something called The Grammys. It is true that ET did do a story on that. They interrupted Anna Nicole Smith is Dead and All Her Scummy Friends and Relatives are Degrading Themselves and Her Memory on TV Tonight to show us a two minute recap of the awards (I watched that night until the Grammy recap was over because I wanted to see more about the Dixie Chicks and their win).

One night I watched the previews of The Insider and I swear to God that host Pat O'Brien was standing in a cemetery next to a freshly dug open grave saying something like "will this be Anna Nicole Smith's final resting place? Tune in and find out." (My husband said "someone is watching TV now and saying 'no, that's Uncle John's grave. What are they doing next to Uncle John's grave?'")

So, ET is done for me. I don't know how I can ever go back to watching it again. Maybe if they announce that they were temporarily insane and forgot what the word "entertainment" meant and profusely apologize for making a sad situation into something loathsome. Other than that, bye, bye ET.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Been a busy week but now deadlines have been met, new writing is out in the universe and things are settling down a bit. Of course, met deadlines don't mean I can do nothing. No, the whole point of deadlines is to get things out there so you can work on new things. For me, that means I can now focus on the novel in progress.

It's been hard not working on the current novel for the last couple of weeks while I met these deadlines, like good friends I haven't been able to see in a bit. I dropped off the completed novel at Jesperson yesterday and then went straight to Starbucks where I had a Cinammon Dolce Latte and got right back into the swing of things with the characters in A Few Kinds of Wrong. You know a book is going well when you find it hard to stay away from the writing, when the characters call out to you while you're taking the dishes out of the dishwasher, or you hear their songs on the radio and a part of you gets excited, anxious to get back to them and see what they're going to do.

And there are still more deadlines—freelance technical writing to get done, another writing contest deadline on Monday, and stuff to edit for WORD, the newsletter of the Writers' Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador. But the big ones are out of the way, the ones that have been looming over my head. and today all I have to do is go sliding with my family and then out for a late Valentine's Day supper this evening. But I have a feeling I'll be doing some writing as well, just to see what those old friends are up to.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Names from the Ocean Ranger Disaster

Valentine's Day is never just Valentine's Day for me, and I am sure it is true for many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, especially those who were around 25 years ago. It is the day before the anniversary of the Ocean Ranger Disaster. For many of us, February 15th is as recognizable a date as the 14th. Today is the 25th anniversary of the disaster, of the morning when the province woke up to hear the unthinkable, that so many men were lost in one fell swoop. An island used to painful losses at sea or on the ice, suddenly had this new, unprecedented horror. Men lost en masse with no survivors.

I did not know anyone on the Ocean Ranger. My surprise and sadness that day was about the enormity of it while others experienced it on a very singular level, no doubt aware of the hugeness of it all but enveloped in their own personal grief. So how to remember these men 25 years later? Men I did not know.

Well, I took some time to read each name and remember them not as just names or numbers or a part of a famous disaster we remember every year, but as fathers, sons, husbands, brothers, boyfriends, grandsons, uncles, cousins and friends; in terms of missed birthday parties, anniversaries, graduations, and wedding days; as children that would never be born and loves never found; as jokes not told and songs not sung; and as a goodnight kiss missed forever. Maybe you'd like to do the same and take a few minutes to read the names and remember someone you may not have known and the families and friends he left behind.

I am so very sorry for your loss, every one.

Jim Dodd
Derek Escott
Cyril Greene
Derek Holden
Rick Sheppard
Frank Smit
Daniel Conway
Terrance Dwyer
Fred Harnum
Randy Noseworthy
John Pinhorn
Dennis Ryan
William Smith
Woodrow Warford
Tom Hatfield
Arthur Dagg
Kenneth Chafe
Gerald Clarke
Douglas Putt
Gary Crawford
Norman Halliday
Wayne Miller
Gord Mitchell
Perry Morrison
Greg Caines
Wayne Drake
Cliff Kuhl
Robert Wilson
David Chalmers
Robert Howell
Robert Fenez
Jack Jacobson
Robert Madden
George Augot
Nicholas Baldwin
Kenneth Blackmore
Thomas Blevins
David Boutcher
Wade Brinston
Paul Bursey
Norman Dawe

Thomas Donlon
Joseph Burry
Leon Droddy
William Dugas
Domenic Dyke
Andrew Evoy
Randell Ferguson
Ronald Foley
Melvin Freid
Carl Fry
George Grandy
Guy Garbeau
Regineld Gorum
Capt. Clarence Hauss
Ron Heffernan
Gregory Hickey
Robert Hicks
Albert Howell
Harold LeDrew
Robert LeDrew
Michael Maurice
Ralph Melendy
Ken O'Brien
Paschal Joesph O'Neill
George Palmer
Clyde Parsons
Donald Pieroway
Willie Powell
Gerald Power
Donald Rathbun
William Smith
Ted Staplton
Benjamin Kent Thompson
Craig Tilley
Gerald Vaughn
Michael Watkin
Robert Winsor
Stephen Winsor
Robert Arsenault
Darryl Reid
Greg Tiller

Names provided by Memorials Online.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Five grammys is the best revenge

Oh, I can't help it. I love a good 'living well is the best revenge' story and when the Dixie Chicks won five Grammys last night that was sweeeet.

Everyone knows the story. In 2003 The Dixie Chicks said something bad about US President George Bush at a concert (these fifteen words: "Just so you know, we're ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas") and America and much of the world hit them with a vengeance. Country music dumped them, death threats were made, people boycotted buying their albums or concert tickets, and things were just generally rotten for them.

Now, in 2007, the Dixie Chicks win five Grammy Awards including Record of the Year and Album of the Year, and this for the CD that basically threw it back in the faces of the people who attacked them. The Chicks' music told us that they were not ready to make nice about the whole affair and addressed their critics with lines like:

"It's a sad sad story
That a mother will teach her daughter
that she ought to hate a perfect stranger.
And how in the world
Can the words that I said
Send somebody so over the edge
That they'd write me a letter
Saying that I better shut up and sing
Or my life will be over".

Finally, they get rewarded for speaking (or singing) the truth. You just have to love a story as satisfying as that.

Friday, February 09, 2007

AAMP Frosty Film Festival

If you like great films then you owe it to yourself to attend the 2nd Annual Frosty Film Festival this Sunday, February 11. It is presented by The Association for the Arts in Mount Pearl in partnership with The City of Mount Pearl and The Mount Pearl Frosty Festival Committee. The film festival will feature Gerry Rogers' Pleasant Street, Roger Maunder's The White Balloon, Matt Tucker's Building Faythe, Noel Harris' Two or More, Jordan Canning's Thick and Thin
and the premiere of Philip David Hogan's Nightingale's Last Song. And the admission price for such a group of wonderful films? You won't believe it. $2.00, that's all. It's at Mount Pearl Square from 5-9pm.

For more information you can contact chris@aamp.ca.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Recut movie trailers

YouTube users have been creating movie trailers that make a well known movie look like it is a movie of a completely different genre. With the use of the right clips, music, and fonts, you will be amazed how different a movie can seem. Makes you think hard about the whole idea of movie trailers and how deceiving they can be. Some of these recut trailers are better than others (some people tend to make them way too long--3:00 is too long for a trailer), but I get a great kick out of some of them. Examples are:

Office Space as a thriller

When Harry Met Sally as a thriller

The Matrix as a romance

Sleepless in Seattle as a horror movie

Misery as a love story

Mary Poppins as a horror movie

And my absolute favourite, The Shining as a romantic comedy

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

God Love Him

Few things on the news can make me laugh out loud but news that Rev. Ted Haggard has been 'cured' and is no longer gay (yup, he is a raging heterosexual now) made me laugh out loud when I first heard it and I've been chuckling about it whenever I think of it. I'm wondering if the same crowd who helped him with this can help me stop blinking or maybe stop that annoying thing where hair grows on my legs. Really, I could use not having to shave them all the time.

Apparently because Haggard alleges that the only homosexual sex he ever had was with male prostitute Mike Jones (over a three-year period), this means that he was heterosexual all along. And you know we should believe him because he was always 100% honest with his flock. Well, except after first denying the allegations and then saying that Jones had just given him a massage and that yes, he bought methamphetamine from the guy but he just threw it away. But then, once taped conversations between Jones and Haggard came out, well, Haggard was totally truthful. Yeah, so I believe him. It was only, at the very least, sex with a male prostitute during a three year period. I mean, how can that be seen as anything but heterosexual?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I am going to see how long I can go without blinking.

Damn. Okay, I'll try again. I can do it, you know. It's all mind over matter. If I just tell myself that I don't need to blink, that I am not a blinker, I can do it. I just have...to...not...close...my


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

J.K. Rowling signs statue

Or should it read "J.K. Rowling defaces statue"? The author of the Harry Potter books finished the final novel in the series at Balmoral Hotel in Scotland. Before leaving the hotel she wrote, in black marker, on a statue in the hotel: "JK Rowling finished writing Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows in this room on 11 Jan 2007". I think it is pretty cool because I am a Harry Potter fan and a J. K. Rowling fan as well, so the idea of her happily scrawling a message on a statue after completing this amazing journey she has been on with the boy wizard appeals to me. I don't think it was anything malicious but I can't help wondering if they knew she was going to do this or did she just decide, on the spur of the moment, to write on a statue in a hotel.

Now, the hotel won't say anything against it, for sure, because of the publicity. Besides, I am sure that someone with way too much money would pay oodles for the statue if the Balmoral ever wants to sell it and they could probably get thousands of Harry Potter fans to pay top dollar just to step into the room, let alone stay there all night. Who would complain about that?

A spokeswoman for the hotel said "We have many different antique artefacts within the hotel". So did Rowling write on an antique artifact? That wouldn't be good. Why not scribble on something that's not an antique statue? Maybe the mini-bar or the room service menu. Maybe the desk in the room. Or, if she was going for something more dramatic, why not carve the words into the desk? Black marker on a marble statue just seems a little curious to me.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Ambrose Price in the Design Superstar Challenge

Newfoundlander Ambrose Price is a contestant on HGTV's Design Superstar Challenge. Ambrose grew up in Fortune and makes his home in St. John's now. I first heard about his appearance on the designing challenge when Anne Budgell interviewed him after he had been picked for the show, then again after the taping of his show had wrapped. I loved listening to him talk about his adventures on the show. He seemed so proud of his accomplishments and kind of surprised about it, yet he had a real confidence that came through. You can hear the interviews on Radio Noon's archive site. The first one is here (11 minutes in) and the follow-up here (23 minutes in).

Ambrose said the judges thought he was a breath of fresh air and, based on what I have heard, I have to agree. The show airs on HGTV on Mondays and can be seen tonight at 11:30PM (and February 6 at 2:30AM and 5:30AM, February 10 at 10:30PM, and February 11 at 3:30PM--I think they are all repeats of the same show but HGTV's website is not very forthcoming about it all--all times are Newfoundland Standard Time). I believe that later on the audience will get to vote online so maybe you might want to watch so we can start a new NL voting craze. From the interview, it sounds like he went far with the judges.

Go Ambrose!

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Eating Vegetables

Neil Gaiman had the best quote: "If writing fiction is dessert, then copy-editing is eating all your vegetables. Blogging is snacking between meals."

I am trying to be a good girl and eat my vegetables, I really am. Commas=brussel sprouts; periods=potatoes (they're pretty easy to get down); dialogue="carrots"; em dashes="turnips"; quotation marks=peppers of any colour; and italics/underlining=asparagus.

Just a little blog snack now and I'll get right back to it. Honestly.

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

In On It Recap

I got "In On It" last night. I saw the play In On It, written by Daniel MacIvor, directed by Mark White, and starring Philip Goodridge and Jason Card. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was fast paced and kept me completely entertained for the hour or so of the play. It is brilliantly written with never a moment where you know what is going to happen and very well acted by Card and Goodridge. There was a good crowd for what was a pretty snowy and greasy night on the roads and, as always, I was impressed with the number of people who showed up for theatre at the Hall. And, as usual, I was impressed with the staging of the show. Minimal props are on stage (two chairs and a jacket) but the lighting and the sounds are a big part of the performance and had to be flawless, particularly in a scene where there is a game of catch and at the pivotal moments at the end. I won't give anything away. There is one more performance tonight and if you're thinking about going, you should.

Friday, February 02, 2007


As I recently told you, I have given up designing web pages as a way to make money. When I made that decision I was in the middle of creating a new page for Michelle Butler Hallett, author of The shadow side of grace. She was great to deal with, had good ideas about what she wanted, and was very clear about what she did not want. All in all, a very pleasant experience. I think the end result works well and have had some positive feedback about it, as I hope Michelle has, since RJ kindly pointed people to it. To those of you who may not have seen it yet, it is the aptly named michellebutlerhallett.com. Very interesting stuff but, in particular, I think the Grab Bag will grab you and the random facts will randomly please you as you learn more and more things with each visit to the site and on every different page.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Rant Like Rick

By the time you read this post, Memorial University of Newfoundland will have probably already launched their "Rant Like Rick" recruitment campaign (it officially launches at 1 pm today). The "Like Rick" part of the name refers, of course, to our own Rick Mercer and his always spot-on rants. MUN's campaign includes a contest encouraging students across Canada to send in their own videotaped rants. The prize is a voucher for two free semesters at MUN. But if you're a SOTA (Student Older Than Average), don't bother. MUN's press release says that the contest is open to "students who are currently enrolled in high school and who will have graduated and be eligible to attend Memorial University in September 2007". Ads for the campaign will play on television, movie theatres and the advertising medium of choice for youth: YouTube. This is something pretty different for MUN and they admit it.

It seems that everyone is trying to advertise in different ways these days. I'm all for it unless it is something stupid like the electronic devices placed around Boston yesterday that caused pandemonium in the city. Highways were closed as bomb squads, police and fire departments worked to find and even explode what they called "suspicious devices"—made up of wires, a circuit board and batteries—from areas such as bridges. Turns out they were for a publicity campaign for a new cartoon and the devices would have shown up in the dark as an angry cartoon character giving passersby the finger. Uh oh. Someone at Turner Broadcasting, owner of the Cartoon Network which will show the new series, is in a heap of trouble today.

I don't think MUN's advertising campaign will cause mass panic in our streets but I think it is an idea that will probably get a lot of attention and plenty of submissions, if for no other reason than Rick Mercer's name is attached to it and who doesn't love Rick? What do you think of the new campaign?

*Update: Here is MUN's ad (with Mark O'Brien) as seen on YouTube .