Monday 30 July 2012

Dispatch from London

I received another email from Her Royal Highness *LIVE* from the 2012 Cat Olympics in London:

Hello, human! The swimming and diving events were held today. Of course, these sports have been modified to more accurately reflect our feline sensibilities --

That's right -- no swimming pools for us! As you know, all cats have post traumatic stress disorder from past horrible experiences of *shudder* bafftime.

So far Olympic Glory has eluded me, alas, but I'll keep on trying my best!

Luv, hugz and purrz from your cat, HRH.

Saturday 28 July 2012

HRH versus HRH

Holy moly, is my cat Her Royal Highness ever pissed off! As she wrote me in her latest email:

Grrrrr, I could just claw that bloody Betty Windsor right now! Why can't she ever let someone else have a bit of glory? My Olympic Stadium entrance with the rest of the CATletes was COMPLETELY upstaged by that shameless attention hog and her spectacular entrance! And really, at her age, what is she thinking -- carrying on with James Bond like that? *tsk tsk*

Oh dear, I hope HRH calms down enough to compete in her events. My HRH, I mean, not the other HRH, of course. Damn, all these abbreviated honorifics are getting confusing!

[Hi everyone -- I've tried to embed the actual video twice now but that darn BBC keeps asserting copyright to remove it from YouTube and therefore by extension from my blog . . . the noive! So these mere photos will have to do, alas.]

Friday 27 July 2012

Cat Olympics Start Today!

I received an email this morning from my runaway cat, Her Royal Highness --

Hello, human! I made it safely to London, England and now I'm here at the Olympic CATletes Village, settling in and getting to know all the other cats representing their countries of origin. There are SO many of them! Russian Blues, Maine Coons, Siamese, Norwegian Forest Cats, Persians, Scottish Folds, Egyptian Mau, Bengals, etc. etc.

Don't you just love the 2012 Cat Olympics logo? The lion may be the symbol of Great Britain but it also means that ALL cats are lions at heart. I know I certainly am.

Watch for me on TV tonight at the Opening Ceremonies, okay? I'll try to claw a cameraman's leg as I go by so he'll look down at me with the camera.

Tootles for now! Your cat, HRH.

I wonder what event(s) HRH will be competing in? I've never seen her doing anything around here that was particularly athletic or even a little strenuous . . . hmmm.

Wednesday 25 July 2012

Adventure Calls!

My cat, Her Royal Highness, has done it again. She has deserted me once more for another one of her crazy adventures. Long-time readers of this blog will remember, I'm sure, the times HRH ran off with the gypsies, toured with Lady Gaga, attended the Royal Wedding, etc. She never does anything by halves, that cat.

I woke up this morning to find the following note strategically placed under her empty food dish --

Ta ta, human, I'm off! Did I forget to tell you that I'm representing Canada at the Summer Cat Olympics in London? Oops, my bad! Anyway, by the time you read this, I will have snuck aboard a departing airplane to England and will be well on my way to OLYMPIC GLORY!!! Don't wait up.

Well, guess I'd better tune into the Olympics' opening ceremonies this Friday to see if I can spot her and the other feline competitors making their grand entrance along with the two-legged athletes.

*sigh* Here we friggin' go again . . . .

Monday 23 July 2012

Dragons Teeth Point Labyrinth

One of my favourite labyrinths in Maui is found at Dragons Teeth Point, just north of Lahaina at Kapalua. This Chartres labyrinth is built on a black lava plain on the shore where the windward and leeward sides of the island meet.

Its location means that the winds and ocean spray can be ferocious. Sometimes the labyrinth is closed because it's simply too dangerous to walk there. But on the day we visited, everything was fine. You can see the ocean breakers hitting the sharp jagged rocks of the shore which give this spot its evocative name.

At the centre of the labyrinth, there was a little pile of stones and flowers left as offerings. It included some beautiful painted stones -- see the rainbow one? Some had Hawai'ian words painted on them, like wahine (woman) and kane (man).

Speaking of rainbows, there was a gorgeous one in the sky as we walked the labyrinth. Truly, this spot is a little piece of paradise!

[All photos by Debra She Who Seeks]

Friday 20 July 2012

Kreativ Blogger Award

That most creative of witchy writers, Magaly Guerrero of Pagan Culture, has honoured me with a Kreativ Blogger Award! Yowza, thank you, Magaly! It means a lot, coming from you!

Hmmm, now I must list 7 things about myself . . . so here are the last 7 movies I saw, whether at the theatre or on TV, Netflix or elsewhere:

1. Ted
The very best in foul-mouthed gutter humour -- LTIP! (laughed 'til I peed)

2. Donnie Darko
Love Jake Gyllenhaal! Love creepy rabbits!

3. Gunless
A recent Canadian movie starring Paul Gross, who also wrote and directed it. A few laughs, but nowhere near as good as his previous TV series Due South and Slings and Arrows.

4. Fantastic Four
Crappy comic book superhero fluff but I have a thing for Ioan Gruffudd, the Welsh actor who played Dr. Reed Richards / Mr. Fantastic. His talents were sorely wasted in this film but I'm sure it paid well.

5. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
A fun and touching movie about getting older, set in England and India. See it if you get a chance! Judi Dench -- swoon!

6. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Always a fave! George Clooney and old timey music -- what's not to love?

7. Legendary Amazons
I watched this stinker in the middle of the night on the plane coming home from Japan. It's a 2011 Chinese martial arts film bankrolled by Jackie Chan and written and directed by his no-talent brother. Meant to be a sweeping saga of the mythic Yang women warriors during the Song Dynasty, the film is an appalling mess. I'm probably one of the few people in the entire world who was stupid enough to watch it right to the end.

And finally, I must pay this Kreativ Blogger Award forward. I've chosen 7 new or new-to-me creative bloggers who I've just discovered in the past little while -- be sure to check out their excellent blogs by clicking on the links!

1. Ana at Introverted Art

2. Birdie at 40 and Loving It

3. Diane at Always Crave Cute

4. Kellie at Delightfully Ludicrous

5. Kay G at Georgia Girl With an English Heart

6. mrsduncanmahogany at October's November

7. Riot Kitty at Riot Kitty

Thursday 19 July 2012

Calling All Wizard of Oz Fans!

Follow the Yellow Brick Road over to Oma Linda's blog Olde Baggs 'n Stuffed Shirts, where today she's hosting her 2nd annual Celebrate Oz festival! On her sidebar you'll find a full list of all the other participating blogs too.

Have fun, my little Munchkins!

Wednesday 18 July 2012

Wagon Wheel Memories, Part 2

The Wagon Wheel Lunch first opened for business in 1951. After 61 years of operation, it closed its doors forever last week. The old building where the restaurant rents space has been sold and will shortly be torn down so a developer can build a $75 million hotel, office, residential and parkade complex. And so, just like that, another little piece of Winnipeg's soul is gone . . . .

The Wagon Wheel's unique charm really shines in this Winnipeg Free Press video report about the closure:

Despite the hopeful wishes expressed in the video, the Wagon Wheel cannot afford to relocate to a new spot. It will not reopen, its owner says.

Farewell, little hole-in-the-wall diner -- Winnipeg will miss you!

[Photo by Ruth Bonneville, Winnipeg Free Press]

Tuesday 17 July 2012

Wagon Wheel Memories, Part 1

When I first started this blog, I did a whole series of posts entitled "Nom Nom Nom in The Peg," reminiscing about some of my favourite restaurants back in Winnipeg. Here's a repeat of my January 2009 post concerning the Wagon Wheel Lunch --

Another Winnipeg eatery trapped in the past was the Wagon Wheel Lunch, just off Portage Avenue in the downtown. It was long and narrow, with a decor that favoured arborite, the colour orange and -- yes, you guessed it -- wooden wagon wheels. It had a lunch counter and an open grill where the short-order cooks worked their magic. And what magic it was! The Wagon Wheel Lunch might look to the uninitiated like a greasy spoon, but insiders knew that it served the best lunches in The Peg. I still dream of its clubhouse sandwiches. You had to get there early to eat, though, or you'd be stuck in the huge line-up that wound out the front door and down the street. Even in the winter!

This wonderful photo of the Wagon Wheel Lunch was taken by a photographer named Ikurnarsky. I found it posted on Flickr.

Tomorrow -- OMG, the Wagon Wheel has closed its doors forever!

Saturday 14 July 2012

Woody Guthrie Centennial

The great American folk singer/songwriter Woody Guthrie was born 100 years ago today. His labour, protest and folk songs have enriched us all since the 1930s. His most famous song is This Land is Your Land, a stirring anthem celebrating the rights of the working people who built America. Guthrie wrote it in 1940 as a response to Irving Berlin's song God Bless America, which he regarded as complacent patriotic schmaltz.

I think the most fitting tribute to Woody Guthrie is to post this wonderful video of This Land is Your Land, sung by Bruce Springsteen, Pete Seeger (Guthrie's long-lived contemporary) and Seeger's grandson, Tao Rodriguez-Seeger, in front of the Lincoln Memorial at Barack Obama's Inauguration Concert in January, 2009. The singers gleefully belt out all of Guthrie's verses, including his more radical ones which are often censored and omitted from public performances of this song.

How relevant this song remains today! Woody Guthrie would be appalled by the current state of America's economy and politics, I'm sure.

Monday 9 July 2012

Summer Plans

I need to do some de-cluttering, organizing, shredding, de-junkifying, etc. over the summer. I'm going to make myself a "to do" list and then do one or two items each evening until they are all accomplished. Yes, I am!

But alas, it means that I'll be blogging less frequently for the next couple of months because the time to do all those chores has to come from somewhere, doesn't it?

Man, I need to win the lottery so I can hire minions. But until that happy day comes, *rolls up sleeves* I got work to do!

Oh don't worry, Your Royal Highness. All your junk is safe.

[Captioned cat photo courtesy of Cal's Canadian Cave of Cool]

Friday 6 July 2012

Good Summer Reading!

Those of you who know Magaly Guerrero from her blog Pagan Culture know already that she is a talented writer of magical realism and dark fiction. She has just released her first e-publication, a short story called AlmaMia Cienfuegos which is a tremendous read!

It's the story of a nine-year-old tomboy with a rock in one hand and a mango in the other, always getting into scrapes and trouble. Her witchy grandmother Mamabuela protects her as best she can, but AlmaMia suffers from a troubled and dysfunctional family life. Her mother Vanesa and her big sister Soledad always seem to have it in for her for some mysterious reason. And why is everyone so focused on AlmaMia's silver charm bracelet?

Magaly is working on further stories about AlmaMia and a full-length novel about her too. She has created a wonderful, delightfully real character in AlmaMia and her story gripped me from beginning to end. I look forward to reading more of AlmaMia's spooky adventures!

And best of all, AlmaMia Cienfuegos is available for only 99 cents on (click on the link to go right to it)! If you don't have a Kindle, there's a free downloadable Kindle app at the same link. To borrow a phrase from Magaly: "Enjoy, my wicked darlings!"

[Images used with permission of Magaly Guerrero.]

Wednesday 4 July 2012

The Glorious Fourth!

Hello! Her Royal Highness the cat here. I just want to wish a Happy Independence Day to all my American feline friends. To you humans, we cats may appear to be aloof and lazy creatures but we are actually very patriotic. So remember, all you kitties in the U.S. of A. --

And always honour Lady Lib-purr-ty!

Sunday 1 July 2012

Happy Canada Day!

In honour of Canada Day, I've switched over to wearing my fingerless gloves in the colours of the Canadian flag. July 1st is the only day of the year when we Canadians indulge in a small show of patriotism in our modest, understated way.

So in the spirit of the day's celebration, here's a little musical interlude that I know you will all enjoy!

And always remember: