Taking on the transit trolls

Check out my op-ed in the Ottawa Citizen, Taking on the transit trolls.


You thought wrong

From the J&W archives, because I just Googled “fall cleaning” and it led back to my own website. HA HA HA HA HA.

If you’re on the internet as much as I am, you’ve doubtless encountered websites with end-of-article features like this:

This one is by Outbrain, which bills itself as “the leading content discovery solution.”  I used to do PR for technology clients, so let me apologize — once again — for ever having used language like that.

I thought about doing a HuffPo Spoilers-style post where I would, in their words, “give in to (the) click-bait so you don’t have to,” but I really don’t want to give in to the click-bait.  Instead, in the spirit of “how to dress for your shape,” I’m just going to go ahead and guess what these Teasy Teasersons — found on TLC.com — might be all about:

10 Things Your Kid Should NOT Be for Halloween
1 through 9: Adolf Hitler.
10: Sexy nurse.

5 Fall Green Cleaning Tips
Oh, I am sorry, but are we cleaning TWICE a year now?  That is OPPRESSIVE.  And we’re supposed to be environmentally sensitive all at the same time?  What load of PATRIARCHAL BULLSHINE.

HowStuffWorks “Costumes 101 Pictures”
Ha ha ha … what?

How to Pick a Paint Color
Do you like it? YES / NO
If YES, pick it.

10 Hairstyles That Make You Look Thinner
1. Inflatable dreads.
2. The Skunk (black on sides, white up the middle).
3. Over-sized sombrero.
4. Over-sized sombrero that is made out of corn (optional: cheese dip in crown).
5. The van Goghtee.
6. Beehive (made with actual bees; everyone is thinner when viewed at a distance).
7. Pigtails (made with actual pigs).
8. The Tennessee Wall.
9. Asymmetrical blob.
10. Pielights.

Ultimate Guide to Recycled Milk Jug Crafts
You guys, do NOT read this article.  They ask you for your mailing address and two weeks later they mail you eight mimeographed pages of bedazzled bird feeders.

Ultimate Guide to Green Building
I asked my three-year-old what this might be about.   He said, “you do a Lego but you only use the green ones.”  Yeah, that sounds about right.

Painting Siding
This looks complicated.  I think I’m just going to hang up another bird feeder and play with Lego instead.

5 Tips for Cleaning Glass Without Streaks
Pretty sure this list consists of vinegar, vinegar, vinegar, vinegar, newspapers.

Hardcore decor

From the J&W archives … I originally posted this last October, but I keep getting requests for the “recipe” so thought I’d repost.

Because I believe that people who refer to instructions — cooking, knitting, IKEA, home rocketry — as “recipes” deserve our respect and possibly also a restraining order.

I love Christmas.  Love, love, love it.

I love that there is a radio station that starts playing Christmas music on December 1.

I love that the day after the Hallowe’en crap at the dollar store comes down — ho ho ho, the advantage of a properly timed Thanksgiving — the Christmas crap goes up.

I’ve always loved Christmas, but throw in two little kids, even two kids who have pre-Santa levels of understanding of how the whole season works?  That’s gold, Jerry!  Gold!

Disclosure: I am also about as Christian as Seinfeld, at least in practice.  So my love is a total secular co-opting of a Christian celebration, which is in turn an overwriting of a pagan one, if we’re going to be intellectually honest about it.  P once wrote a fantastic song about this; I can’t remember all the lyrics but my favourite lines go something like:

Jesus the Nazarean
Was born on a bed of hay
The shepherds in the fields were feeding their flocks
So we know it was probably May

We appreciate narrative and parable but are largely an evidence-based family, you could say.

Still!  I love sweet-smelling trees and cookie exchanges and holiday cards and window displays and all that pepperminty B.S.

And so it was that I found myself making these on a relatively balmy late fall day in Toronto:

I should probably give them some swanky name like “Holiday Sparklers” or “Twinkle Bits” or “Disco Diamonds” but then I wouldn’t have any names left for my boobs.

What they are are small (1 cm square) mirrored pieces of glass, glued together with a ribbon betwixt (I’ll stop talking about my boobs ANY DAY NOW).

To make your own, you’ll need these mirrored bits, (very) thin ribbon and a strong adhesive.  I started off with Weldbond, which did work but the consistency was like white glue and required a lot of painting and waiting.  When I switched over to the Goop that P recommended, the process was more smearing and squishing, which I found infinitely more satisfying.  I suppose you could use a hot glue gun, too, if you’re special enough to own one that isn’t at this precise moment in time filled with once-lava-hot, now-rock-solid glue.

Then, when the time comes, fill your tree with lights, then these little puppies (ha ha, boobs!) and it’s like you filled your tree with about a billion more lights than you did, you cheap bastard.

Merry Christmas!

Out, damned spot! Out, I say!

If you think I’m talking about you here, yeah, you’re probably right.

If you think I’m talking about you here, yeah, you’re probably right.