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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Where's the Bloody Sun????

First of all, Merry Christmas to all. Hope you had a wonderful day, wonderful meals, surrounded by wonderful friends and family. May it all have been wonderful. We had a nice quiet day, spent on the phone with friends and family across the Pond. Wonderful to hear their voices, albeit once a year or so.

Second of all - does Ontario get any sunshine in winter at all, ever??? I left Alberta (read, God's Country) on Dec. 23 and the sun was shining, the wind was chinookin' ... it was all good. Arrived at Toronto late late that evening, so I'll forgive there was no sun then. But since then, I haven't seen the sun once! This is not good for one's soul, not to mention one's Vitamin D levels.

This is why I left England, and why I left Ontario too for that matter. I carefully chose Alberta due to the high number of days of sunshine available to me annually. I suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder, for those who think I'm just weepy all the time) and sunshine hours are important. I'm beginning to get a bit tetchy over here. I need to see the sun soon - or the Son, given the season. Pretty sure either would lift my spirits.

So if you find either one, send them my way, ok? Cheers, thanks very much.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

OCS (Only Child Syndrome)

In this festive season of giving, it has become all too apparent to me that I lean towards certain selfish tendencies. And as we live in a society that enjoys psychological verbiage, I have coined a term for this tendency - Only Child Syndrome. You see, as an only child, and one that has lived alone most of her adult life, I see things quite differently. For example, it's 10:00 am - I need a coffee. I go running out the door of the office to the quaint corner coffee shop run by Communists (yes, real, live Communists!! How exciting ... don't ask me why they are running a capitalistic enterprise like a coffee shop...) - and I completely fail to ask anyone else in my office if they would like a coffee too. No, I don't even just fail to ask - it doesn't even go through my mind to ask!! That's OCS.

You see, for an only child, it's all about me, all of the time. It always has been and it always will be. And when I do think of other people, it's usually in terms of how I can get them to like me. Only children have a desperate need to be liked. For the most part, our parents have liked us to distraction. Therefore, that should also be the way it is out in the big, wide world. So we tend to be people pleasers, only in order to please people enough to like us. Get it?

This has its upside for others around us. Sometimes, we're awful nice to you. See above. Also, because it is always all about us, if something goes wrong, well then, that would be our fault too. You see, as kids, if a vase ended up mysteriously broken, there was no one else to blame (well, I tried to blame my grandmother who lived with us, but that backfired ...). So we're often the ones to step up, put our hand up and take the blame. Even if we had nothing to do with the project. So you see, we can really be very useful.

Beginning to like me yet?

You see the cycle here.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Ah, the Irony!

A quick follow-up to the previous hippo post. I actually watched the Telus ad today (in other words, concentrated on something other than the hippo and the song) and the tagline that came after the hippo was priceless:

Not everyone wants a hippopotamus for Christmas.

Apparently, they do, as stores across Western Canada cannot keep enough hippo stock in this season.

The ad is actually pitching that you'll get an iPod if you order something or other. Tee hee. I love it when corporate ad-dom backfires in such an outrageous way. Although, you never know - maybe iPod sales will go up too. Just thinking that whatever Telus is selling probably won't.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

I Want a Hippopotomus for Christmas ...

Anyone else love that new ad by the nasty phone company that shall remain nameless? I can't get that 1953 novelty song outof my head. And you know what's worse? I'm actually beginning to believe I want a hippopotomus for Christmas. Damn you, Telus! (Ooops - quickly put both hands over mouth for blurting out previously nameless corp...) Apparently, hippos have become a hot item for Christmas because of this. Kids all over Canada are beleaguering their poor parents, not for XBoxes or iPods or other gadgetry, but just for a little ol' hippo. Warms the cockles of my heart. If you want to hear the full, original song, go to:

And reminds me of that other classic hippo ad, about the house hippos who live in closets and make nests out of dryer lint and lost mittens. It goes on to say that house hippos are friendly, but will defend their territory if necessary (hippo bares fangs at a cat that is probably hundreds of times larger than itself); house hippos live in bedroom closets, where they make nests from lost mittens, dryer lint, and bits of string; the nests have to be soft, because house hippos sleep about 16 hours a day (profile of a big yawn from the hippo) ; house hippos come out at night when they search for food and water (hippo swimming around in pet's water dish); house hippos like to eat chips (house hippo in potato chip bag, chewing; cat looking at the bag as if it is very interested), raisins, and the crumbs from peanut butter on toast. It's by the Concerned Children's Advertisers, and is designed to show how the media can wag the dog - or the hippo, in this case. Again, see for yourself at: (note to self: must learn how to imbed hyperlinks...)

So there you have it - and now I want one too, which is dangerous, because the last exotic animal I wanted was a llama. You've met my boys Shaman and Cherokee, no? 'Nuff said.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Why the Liberals Will Win....Again

Has anyone seen the new Conservative and Liberal TV ads? For those of you outside Canada, we're in the middle of (another) election, which will no doubt return a Parliament that bears a striking resemblance to the one that just fell. All this for the low, low price of approximately $300 million to the Canadian taxpayers. We must be mad.

I'm not really that political - yet - but I am interested in the election. And I was more than a little interested by the stark difference in the styles of two TV ads run by the two main parties - Conservative and Liberal. Both tried to appeal to "normal" Canadians (like there are any!). But the Conservative ad came across as staged and goofy, while the Liberal ad was slick and, most importantly, did not have one Liberal politician - not even Martin (our PM) - in it. The Conservative ad had their leader (and I use that term very loosely) front and centre, and he played to his strength, which is looking nerdy and condescending at the same time. They were trying to do a mock interview and kept cutting back and forth between a fake media person, Harper (arguably a fake leader) and a fake normal Canadian. Do you get the picture? Fake, fake, fake! And they wonder why everyone thinks they have a hidden agenda.

The Liberal ad on the other hand was no doubt made by some Quebec ad agency who had a hand in the sponsorship scandal, has been dissolved and is now reconstituted under another name. No matter, they get value for their dirty money. The ad focused on normal Canadians (from every different region and ethnicity) talking about how wonderful the economy is under the Libs and how well everyone is doing - and that even Saskatchewan is now a "have" province! The production was professional, without being over the top, and the tone was upbeat. No Paul Martin whining on about how much he loves Canada. These guys are good. They know exactly what message to use and when to use it, and so I grudgingly have to respect them for being so damn media savvy.

And that, Virginia, is why the Stephen Harper Conservatives will never, ever form even a minority government. Ontario voters like well-produced ads. It's just that simple.