Paradise found!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Despite the untimely arrival of a mammoth cruise ship filled with mammoth-sized tourists, Bermuda has once again welcomed DH and I with open arms and sunny skies. Spent the past two days walking, swimming and lazing about. Absolute bliss, I tell you. Have now acquired a scooter so we can tour all 21 miles of the island at our own pace. The pink and blue public transit vehicles are very nice though. ;)

DH spotted "Mobile Disco Services" in the phone book. We can choose between "Razzle Dazzle" or, my favourite, "King Arthur's Disco". I wonder if Sir Dancealot makes an appearance! Shake your armour-plated booty dude!

Our search for particular Marks and Spencers' treats has left us wanting. Have no fear, we spotted some shopping bags with the President's Choice logo on them. Go Canada!

Well, that's it for now. Must get back out into the sunshine and get ourselves to the nearest beach! Yahoo!

posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:42 AM 0 comments

So You Think You Can Write

Friday, May 26, 2006

Now that's a show that I would really like to see Simon Fuller and Nigel Lithcote (sp?) put on television. Then again, I think we all get enough of that already.

Here I go, blogging without a cooling off period - I'm living dangerously again. Of course, I can always delete this later after I die of embarrassment or the blogee discovers that this post is all about them. Dreams can come true people, just not for all of us.

I was asked by a good friend to edit some articles before they went up on a site. I agreed, knowing that most of the writers were excellent and would make the task easy for me. Then I received the article that almost killed me. Riddled with typos, tenses that travelled back and forth through time and punctuation that kind of came and went. Oh, and I love it when a writer can't decide if they want to leave one or two spaces after a period. Just peachy.

Then I read the article. And cried.

The beginning was missing in action, the middle sagged with a paragraph of monolithic proportions and the ending? Oh, maybe that would follow in another email. Random quotes appeared without any indication of who actually said them. Some words were used so often that I started keeping track.

It was all pretty exciting for an 800-word piece.

My concern was how far could I edit this piece and still retain its original story? I wiped off my glasses and looked again. Hang on, where was the story? I could have sworn I heard the screen door slam and a car speed off into the distance.

So I called the content manager of the website and voiced my concerns.

"Oh yeah," she agreed. "I was wondering when you were going to call about that one."

"This kind of goes beyond the scope of editing. He's used "fruition" instead of "fusion" throughout the piece."

"See what you can do. Want me to pull the article?"

I thought about it for a moment, then resisted the temptation.

"No, let me give it a try."

So I did. Reworked the opening paragraph, took some bulky bits out and created a sidebar. After a few hours, I was feeling pretty good about the article. There were some items I needed some clarification on, so I sent the revised article back to the writer.

And received an immediate request to pull it. At least he was polite as he told me I "totally destroyed his pride and joy, putting his efforts to waste".

Apparently I had totally screwed up and removed the overall vision of the piece. Of course, I think the vision was missing in the first place, but that's a case of he said/she said that could go on for days, weeks even.

I'm just mad that I didn't give up right away. If I had gone with my guts instead of my need to finish a project, I could have used those hours for something a lot more worthwhile. Downloading music, reading other people's blogs, looking for great photos of Lost cast members. Sigh.

At least I've learned from this experience. If I were a total cow, I'd post the original article and let you all bear witness to its unchecked glory. But I won't...for now. Bwa ha ha ha.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:53 AM 1 comments

Lost about Lost

Thursday, May 25, 2006

SPOILER ALERT! Lost season finale happenings will be mentioned, not that seeing them here before you check out your tape will make any bit of difference. Seriously.

So major crap took place on Whatdaf*ck Island. My beloved Sawyer is in trouble. Sayid is wondering why his cool smoke signals aren't working. And no one pushed the damn button. But let's get into some freaked-out storyline issues, shall we?

1. Who cleared all the pods from the tube's exit point to make room for more?

2. Why didn't Hurley kill Michael?

3. Why didn't Sawyer, Kate and Jack kill Michael?

4. Didn't those guys notice that they weren't heading towards any freaking beach?

5. When Hurley was released, why didn't he jump into the boat and kill Michael?

6. Who's crazier - Locke or Eko? Are either of them alive?

7. Didn't anyone think to go back to the hatch and check things out when the sky turned ultraviolet?

8. Will Charlie ever be able to play in a band again?

9. Can the French chick come out of the woodwork and kill off the creepy Other leader that they should have let Sayid beat to death?

10. Where are the evil black smoke beasties, the polar bears and the dinosaurs? Did they get caught driving under the influence too?

11. What the hell is going on?

There, that's better. Now I can get back to my WIP.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 1:02 AM 3 comments

The two of clubs

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

There's a song by Motorhead that sometimes gets into my own head without an invitation: The Ace of Spades. I really don't know why, since I'm definitely not a fan of metal. It could be that viewing the video while in a drunken stupor in my youth has resulted in some form of psychosis. Or it's just a catchy tune.

But why the ace of spades? Why not some other card in the deck? I really feel sorry for the two of clubs. Go to a tattoo parlour and you'll never see someone trying to decide between a ritual circle...or the two of clubs. Now there's a card that got a bum deal. Oh, that one hurt. Apologies.

So I tried to imagine how Motorhead's song would be if it were about this long-forgotten card. Feel free to sing along if you know the tune.

Original lyrics:
If you like to gamble, I tell you I'm your man
You win some, lose some, it's all the same to me
The pleasure is to play, it makes no difference what you say
I don't share your greed, the only card I need is
The Ace Of Spades

New version:
If you like to gamble, I think that's a bad plan
You win none, lose tons, it's all real lame to me
They measure cards you play, it makes no difference what you say
I don't share your need, the only card you'll see is
The Two of Clubs

Now there's a hit if I ever saw one. Bring on the air guitars!

WIP is closing in on 25K (I'll update the counter once I pass it, I promise) and only have two articles to complete before the vacay. Sweet!


posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:07 AM 0 comments

The prize winner of suburban Toronto

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Sorry I haven't posted lately, I needed time to recover from my HUGE win on Friday: a Volume Shocking Mascara from L'Oreal Paris! I'm sooo worth it!

Life doesn't get any better than this people. The fact that I don't even remember entering the contest (since I barely wear makeup) doesn't matter, because I can now say that I've won two contests during May 2006, and there's still a week and a bit left to go!

Of course, since Monday is a holiday, that only gives contest organizers and Canada Post seven more days to notify me of contest wins #3 and 4 (I'm an optimist). Then again, seven is a lucky number, so this could work in my favour.

And yes, the WIP has suffered due to the addition of two-step mascara to my worldly possessions. Because it had me thinking about taking simple, one-step activities (like typing at a computer) and turning them into super-cool, highly innovative two-step ones (shopping for the perfect pair of Bermuda shorts, then typing at a computer).

It worked for the shorts, but not the writing. Sigh. I guess that's what the rest of this long weekend is for. Time for a list:

Articles written this month: 7
New assignments (YAHOO!):2
Queries sent: 5
Pairs of shorts purchased: 1
Upcoming days at the spa: 1
Bills to pay: 2 many

posted by Bonnie Staring at 1:08 AM 0 comments

Way to go BJ and Tyler!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I have to say that there's nothing hotter than a hippie who can speak Japanese. Oh no, how about a hippie in a pair of women's purple track pants? Yummy!

My man and I were so happy that the hippies won the Amazing Race, they were the team that really did deserve it. Tahtow! Now, instead of asking myself "What would Madonna do?", it'll be: "What would BJ and Tyler do?"

As much as I delight in watching couples nag and freak on each other while awesome once-in-a-lifetime experiences pass them by, I will be using the hippies as my inspiration when the going gets tough. Not their fashion choices, just their attitude.

Things are a little overwhelming over here at the moment. Too many projects due, too many contacts to get in touch with, and too few shopping days left until I head to a tropical oasis!

Shoot, what was I worried about again? Mustn't have been that important. :)

posted by Bonnie Staring at 10:00 PM 0 comments

A grown-ass woman

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

There is one benefit to working from home: watching Starting Over as it airs instead of having to wait until I get home to watch the tape.

I know Rhonda Britten is probably tickled pink that I'm addicted to living vicariously through the lives of six women who don't have issues, they have multiple subscriptions.

So I watch them confess, resist change and eventually gain the skills they need to face the father who abandoned them, tell their two-timing boyfriend to get the hell out or discover that they really can love themselves for who they are.

Then there's Antonia, the latest lost cause. $40,000 in debt, this girl believes that she is learning how to be a "grown ass woman". Too bad that doesn't include treating people with respect an assignment?

And I know they have her on just for people like me. Because the show doesn't work if everyone is deserving of the full-time life coaching, therapy and cool LA digs. There has to be some drama. And now that Jodi has finally stopped being a total control freak, it's time for Antonia to shake things up.

You should check it out, even if it's just to learn a few tips on how to be a grown-ass woman.

Peace out

posted by Bonnie Staring at 10:41 PM 2 comments

Dancing on Michael's grave

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

It really was the best and worst of times at INXS on Sunday night. The crowd was moving, shaking and singing along. JD Fortune was spreading his love all over the stage...and Michael Hutchence rolled over a few times.

I won't lie: I was not a fan of JD during Rock Star INXS. I wanted Marty or Mig to win. Then Pretty Vegas happened, and I thought that maybe JD could be the right one for the band.

But during his time on earth and in those hot videos, Michael spoke to me. Here are a few things that he said:

"Hiya Bonnie, come over here, I won't tell your parents."

"I've made a thousand mistakes, learn from me."

"I'll give ya whatcha need."

How could I resist? So when INXS played Maple Leaf Gardens a very long time ago, I heeded Michael's call. For one night I was Hutchencified. Those who have experienced it will know what I'm talking about.

Then us. But I still had my vinyl albums, cassettes and relatively new CDs.

So when I heard that INXS was coming to town to promote their new album and JD Fortune, I let the first wave of the tour go on without me. I had my memories of Michael; I didn't need this scrawny attitude-laden Canadian boy.

Until a coworker told me about her Fortunification. It changed her life. She started wearing heels and mascara again, with the hopes of attracting someone with just a hint of JD in them. At first, I was concerned that she might OD on the JD, but all else seemed normal.

So I got tickets and dragged Michelle with me.

It was loud, it was awesome, but it wasn't the same. Then again, I was a lot older now, and had worked for Satan. That can change a person's perspective. Big time. The new songs were fabulous, but it hurt to see and hear someone else performing the old favourites.

Don't get me wrong, I still danced and sang along anyway. But the show made it official: Michael wasn't coming back. Ever. Sigh.

And it would have been nice if they played Beautiful Girl.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:59 AM 0 comments

20 years don't change a person that much

Saturday, May 13, 2006

After watching Duran Duran: Live in London, I became quite melancholy when it suddenly dawned on me that more than a couple years had passed since I purchased a 45 single of Planet Earth. CDs weren't even on our audio-purchasing wavelength yet.

That's when life was full of possibilities, opportunities, angst, acne, horrific hairstyles and other things I gloss over with Ray-ban sunglasses. Here are a few of my favourite things from the 80's:

Fave movie: Breakfast Club
Runners up: Fame, Desperately Seeking Susan
Fave band: The Police
Runners up: Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, INXS, Simple Minds, The Smiths
Fave word/expression: Like (as a verb, adjective or noun. like y'know?)
Runners up: As if, awesome
Inspiration: Madonna
Runners up: Jo on the Facts of Life, anyone on Fantasy Island
Dream career: Advertising copywriter
Runners up: Game show host, movie star, Stephen King

Like, being Stephen King would be totally awesome, y'know? At least now I know that dying my hair black is a really bad idea, even if Nice 'n Easy is on sale.

At least I'll be able to scream my lungs out like a teenager at INXS tomorrow night. Sweet.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 5:21 PM 0 comments

Posiedon + big drink = bad idea

Friday, May 12, 2006

By being a member in good standing of the Toronto chapter of Women in Film and Television, I received free passes for a preview screening of Posiedon at an IMAX theatre. How cool is that? Membership does have its privileges people.

An added bonus was that I had concession stand coupons that were good at the theatre too. Cheap popcorn and a free movie? All I needed now was a big prize win and my life would be complete!

Not being one to enjoy shipwreck movies, with the sole exception of Titanic
::sniff::, the only expectation I had was that this ship would indeed sink. Whether Fergie would survive or not was not a concern, since I didn't pay attention to any of the trailers or pre-screening buzz. Hang on, was there buzz about this movie?

Some lived, a bunch died. Add in an annoying child and a hunk-a-hunka burning hero, and you have yourself an okay movie. I'm not sure if I'll ever go on a cruise, but at least I know what to do if the luxury liner I'm on capsizes in the middle of nowhere. Head for the poker table; that's where the heroes tend to hang out.

Despite the agony of watching water rise to the top of most areas of the ship after finishing half of my drink, I think I did all right. Until I had to make it down a hundred steps to the bottom of the IMAX theatre.

Lesson learned: you do pay a price for good seats.

Time for a quick mid-ish May update!

Articles to write this month: 4
Articles written already: 3
Queries sent: 3
INXS concerts: 1
Holidays in Bermuda: 1
Prizes won this month: 1 (a cell phone - woo hoo!)

posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:59 AM 0 comments

Death by verification

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Does anyone have the home address of the guy who invented the online verification code? A man had to come up with something this annoying. (Remember, I enter a LOT of contests that have all versions of these freaky security codes.)

You might even live next door to him. He's the one who always has you look at a set of jumbled-up numbers and letters and then you have tell him what they are. Sometimes with the lights off.

Could you imagine if you had to have a verification code for offline things as well?

Here are a few examples that come to mind:

Getting the newspaper: you have to state the code that the paperboy wrote on his arm and then tried to rub off. With his own spit.

Parking: you have to spot the code in the pool of oil behind your right front tire, then tell it to the homeless guy on the left side of the bench. In French.

Getting help at a department store: check out the sales clerk's left eyelid - you have to state the code that's blended into her eyeshadow. In sign language.

Anyone else have some cool offline verification code ideas? Bring 'em on!

posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:38 PM 0 comments

24 is the crystal meth of television

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Why didn't I crack 20K on my WIP last night? I blame 24.

I couldn't help myself; I just had to watch. How Keifer has already survived the past 20 hours without stopping for a substantial meal or pee break, I'll never know. Heck, I wouldn't make it through the first three minutes.

My husband and I got into the 24 addiction late in the game, Season 3. So we decided to go to the local video store to pick up Season 1 so that we could catch up on everything. Sure, we knew we'd be in for an all-nighter, but we were ready for it.

Except they only let you rent the show 4 episodes at a time.

"Are you serious?" I asked the tattooed guy behind the counter.

"It's our policy, we don't want our customers o-ding."

"Come on, it's just a show."

"You haven't seen what I've seen lady. When we first got the DVDs in, people went nuts. Watched all 24 episodes in a row, maybe stopping once or twice to take a leak."

"Yeah, so?"

"These people have children, jobs, responsibilities...but they couldn't stop watching. They'd come back here, dazed, dehydrated and looking like they went to the wrong damn party...and beg us to rent them Season 2."

"Yeah, but we're not like that."

"Of course. But that's our store policy. One set of 4 episodes at a time. Hey, if you time it right, you can get about 12 episodes in before we close tonight."

"Or we could just buy it."

He pulled the unwrapped set of Season 1 out from under the counter.

"That's what I was hoping you'd say."

Aden and I looked at each other, scared. Did we have enough willpower to not succumb to the lure of 24? Would we be able to stop it?

Nah, didn't think so.

So we left the store empty handed. One day we'll be ready. Just not today; and tomorrow doesn't look good either.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:02 PM 0 comments

Enlarged to show detail

Monday, May 8, 2006

There are times in life when all you really need is a cookie. Like after spending three hours weeding the garden, and it doesn't really look any different. At least the robins and squirrels were entertained.

So I made a cup of tea and reached for the unopened package of cookies on the top shelf. Large text on the front of the package caught my attention. It wasn't the name of the cookie, it was a disclaimer. Right under the stunning image of the shortbread, it read: Cookie enlarged to show detail.

As if the average consumer couldn't figure that out. The cookie in the photo was about 6" in diameter. How would it fit into the skinny package? Better still, how could a serving size of two cookies only have 100 calories? The bag would only be able to hold four cookies. Man, that would be a bummer. Especially if you paid full price.

You know the legal stuff got on the package because someone out there actually complained or attempted a law suit. Yeah, they took the cookie man to court and sued for emotional distress. Over a shortbread. Maybe the plaintiff even referred to the company rep as the cookie monster. Now that would have been cool to watch.

C is for court case, that's good enough for me...

posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:14 AM 2 comments

Tired help

Saturday, May 6, 2006

I schlepped over to Old Navy in order to complete my summer wardrobe. Because I hate going out without pants on.

After scouring the malls and the local Winners (which I refer to as Whiners on bad days), I decided to finally see what all the fuss was about with this U.S. franchise. Then the husband wanted to come along...except he was headed for the Home Depot right next door. All of his shorts and pants fit for some reason. I still love him anyway. ;)

"I wonder why they called it Old Navy?" he asked as we eased our way into the crammed parking lot. "Why not Old Army or Old Marine?"

"Too bad they didn't go with Old Sailor," I commented before we parted ways. He to tooltime heaven; me, to the quest for double-digit sizes in a single-digit world.

I found the perfect pair of shorts, in a size 8. There was a girl refolding shirts at a table nearby. I approached her cautiously, not wanting to disturb her creaseless karma.

I held the garment out for her to see, "Excuse me, do you have any of these in a 14?"

She eyed the shorts, then me. "If it's not there, it's not there," she replied.

Overwhelmed by her helpful, endearing attitude, I hung my head in shame and returned the garment to its rightful place on the rack. Suddenly power tools and lighting fixtures seemed much more appealing than a pair of Bermuda shorts.

But first, I went over to another display and messed up a pile of t-shirts. That'll show her, for sure.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 1:37 PM 0 comments

You had me at "hell no"

Friday, May 5, 2006

The devil is in my rec room and I can't get him to leave.

I was wondering why I hadn't heard from the weasels lately, they scampered away as soon as Lucifer settled into the easy chair behind the computer desk.

"Hey darlin', whatcha got there?" (Odd that the devil sounds like Sawyer from Lost, isn't it?)

"Lucifer, this isn't a good time for me right now. I have an article due and my WIP--"

"The article will get done sugar, don't you worry your pretty little head about that. But you have to let the WIP go."

"Let it go?"

"Sweetheart, it's flatlining. There's no pulse. It's ready to cross to the other side."

There was a flash and a copy of my novel, with an awesome cover (it even had embossed text), appeared in his right hand. I reached for it.

"Not so fast writer girl."

"Please give me back my WIP."


"Isn't there someone else you should be tormenting right about now? How about that crazy lady across the street who picks through people's trash and holds garage sales every weekend?"

"Saw her last week. Nice woman, she makes a mean lemonade," Lucifer leaned in closer. "Wanna know how to get this back?"

I could feel his hot breath on my cheek. The hairs on the back of my neck started to dance.


"You've got to make a decision sugar."

Sure, and I had emails to reply to, dishes piled up in the sink and bills to pay. I really didn't need this guy steaming up my schedule, no matter how hot he was.

"Let's cut to the chase. Are you asking me to sell my soul?"

"Hell no!"

He eased back into the chair. I heard the imitation leather start to sizzle.

"It's more fun to have you right where you are. Discouraged, procrastinating, wondering if you're ever gonna finish this fine piece of...fiction."
The book vanished into thin air. "But you have to make it a priority, or you may just end up over here. Frustrated writers are famous for getting into trouble."

"So that's it? You just want me to keep on writing?"

"Nothing is a simple as it seems princess. You'll know what I mean sooner or later."

He disappeared with a burst of flames. My internet connection dropped. I wiped the sweat off of my forehead and opened up Word to get back to the WIP, having been inspired by the devil himself.

Shit, I should have asked him how one of my former bosses was doing.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 1:25 PM 2 comments

What's that smell?

Thursday, May 4, 2006

I had received a slow cooker for Christmas and decided to use it yesterday. Yes, I am fearful of trying new things. Sue me.

So I perused the accompanying recipe book and found a nice low fat beef stew recipe. Of course, I presented it to my husband as a regular beef stew recipe so he'd actually come home for dinner and not claim to be in a fatal car accident or a victim of a kidnapping. I learned my lesson with the whole "calorie wise" dressing fiasco of 1992.

So yesterday morning I put all the ingredients into said slow cooker and did the whole "set it and forget it" thing.

Except I couldn't forget it; the entire house reeked of onions by about 10:30 am. And this puppy still had about 8 hours to go before dinner. Let's just say I spent a good chunk of the day gardening, resulting in a not-so-good WIP day. Boo hoo.

Today, the house doesn't seem to stink quite as much until I go outside and come back in. I think I'll cook up something laden with garlic tomorrow to eliminate the onion smell.

Did I mention how fabulous the stew was?

posted by Bonnie Staring at 9:18 PM 1 comments

Get me a telezapper

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Okay, now that I've been working from home for over a month, I must confess something: I'm afraid of answering my own phone.

It's never an editor who wants to buy my article, a client needing new copy for a website or a friend checking in to see if I'm out of bed yet. No, it's some timeshare operator telling me I've won a fabulous prize that I need to attend a 90-minute presentation in order to receive. Or a charitable organization raising funds for three-legged hamsters with issues about sunflower seeds.

So I've started being one of those bitchy women who cuts them off before they finish the first scripted sentence with an
"I'm not interested, please take me off your call list."

It normally works, but then there's the occasional die-hard telemarketer who thinks that I just need to hear more about their organization so that I can make a more informed decision. That's when Bonequa, my inner biatch, comes onto the scene:

"Are you hearing me?"

"Mrs. Starling, we need your help to get these hamsters what they need--"

"You ain't axed me what I need. Do you know what I need?"

"Um, we'd appreciate anything you can give."

"I can give you three heaping cans of whoop-ass, how's dat?"

"Oh, we're really looking for monetary donations."

"You dissin' my whoop-ass?"

"No ma'am. Obviously your whoop-ass is very valuable--"

"Dat's right, uh huh. I'm gonna hang up now cuz we're done."

Now I do understand that pesky telemarketers are just trying to make a living, but some of them have to get a helping of attitude when they push me too far. Sure, it's my decision to answer the phone in the first place, but why should I have to suffer for it? And no, I don't want to spend my hard-earned cash on call display, thank you very much.

As soon as I sign up for that, you know I'll get more calls about other services I can add to my phone. Sigh.

Bonequa out. Represent.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:26 PM 2 comments

Hold the buns

Monday, May 1, 2006

I spent two meals this weekend with friends on diets. Make that friends who are sticking to their diets. Party poopers. It was enough to make me think about getting onto the diet bandwagon again, but I'm getting so much exercise from walking from the computer to the fridge, why bother?

During dinner at Dead Lobster, I peeked at the back cover of the menu where it lists the nutritional information for some items. Those glorious melt-in-your-mouth cheese biscuits are no longer my friends. Never again will I invite them to the table, even though they come free with the meal.

Of course, I can always change my mind. But I think I might have to wear a bathing suit on a beach in a very short period of time. ***gasps with horror***

posted by Bonnie Staring at 8:25 PM 0 comments