Hawaiian pizza

I heard on the radio yesterday morning that Hawaiian pizza is a Canadian invention. And Wikipedia supports that. Apparently invented in a Chatham, ON pizzeria in 1962.

What troubled me was the knee-jerk reaction of the dude on the radio, who said “Obviously not Canada’s finest hour”. And everybody laughed, ha ha ha.

Really? It’s not my go-to order, but every now and then, I love a simple ham and pineapple pizza. I didn’t even know ordering it was patriotic.

Wikipedia also says that the Hawaiian pizza is the most popular pizza in Australia, accounting for 15% of pizza sales! 15% of Australians (an entire continent!) cannot be wrong.

What do you think of Hawaiian pizza?

Worst app idea, ever

I saw an ad on the subway yesterday for a new app. It’s called “Frank: Your Social Mirror”, and here’s the pitch:

Find out what your friends really think about you, and tell them what you think about them, too – anonymously.

Frank claims that:

By answering your friend’s questions on Frank, you will be supporting them through their everyday decisions. Everything from what to wear to a party, to what qualities they can work on to improve their social relationships.

(I’m not even going to parse the grammar of that first sentence.)

Examples on the website include:

Should I purchase these pants?

What do you think I can improve about myself?

Dear freaking Jesus, no.

Let’s just create a vehicle to allow girls to bully and name-call each other anonymously. Because, that’s what it’s going to be. I’ve been a teen girl, I’ve gone to high school with teen girls, and I’ve watched Tina Fey’s documentary Mean Girls.

I don’t mean to demean my gender, but come on. Young girls easily and mercilessly break through the thin veneer of civilized society all the time. They are vicious. They do not need encouragement to do it over social media and without attribution.

We all know what the answers to those questions are going to be:

No, Brittany, you shouldn’t buy those pants, you fat cow. We all hate you and you have no friends.

Stop being a horrible skanky slut Marissa. You are a loser. And keep away from my boyfriend.

It’s never going to be:

Brittany, trust your own judgment. You know yourself best.

Marissa, just be yourself. You are perfect the way you are.

I’m traumatized at the very thought of anyone, especially a young girl, willingly using this app. Everyone I’ve mentioned this app to OVERWHELMINGLY thinks it is the WORST idea ever.

Or as hubby put it, I’m already full of self-loathing. I don’t need it validated by my so-called friends.

Screw off, Frank.


Hubby responds to taking the long view

I keep telling hubby he needs to start his own blog; he’s brilliant, articulate, and very opinionated. He disagrees with my post about the TO Star editorial being comforting. He thinks it encourages complacency. Which was not my intention – March! Protest! Fight! For sure! But please let’s not have the world end, please make me feel like it’s going to be OK.
So here is his take:

Re take the long view: allow me a polite riposte, not of course to my precious KOB, who is just trying to see the bright side (albeit one I don’t perceive), but to the Toronto Star, which I believe to be flabby and complacent in its editorial. Clearly, I should shut up and start my own blog, but just this once…

It is true that constitutionally, the American Presidency is designed to have limited powers, particularly when it comes to making war and raising and spending money. It’s also true that Congress can thwart many ambitions of the sitting President, as we saw only too well over the past eight years.

However, it bears remembering that we are nowadays in a murky constitutional grey zone of Presidents using military force without Congressional approval, executive orders supplanting legislation, and unconstitutional behaviour going without protest or even comment.

Here’s what President Trump has the unequivocal power to do, all by his lonesome:

  • he can emit a tweet that causes stock prices to crash, or foreign powers to become alarmed, signalling sea changes in US policy without the filter of Congress or even his own Cabinet – recall how much of geopolitics and the global economy runs on perception, giving his intemperate little 140 character rants appalling power;
  • he can tear up environmental regulations that Obama instituted by executive order;
  • he can allow his Cabinet cronies to gut the agencies he’s picking them to lead, with dire consequences for the EPA, Dept. of Labour, HUD and so on;
  • he can reverse course on Gitmo;
  • he can use his authority over institutions like the IRS and FBI, and the massive national security apparatus in general, to make life miserable for his countless perceived enemies, it being obvious from the Comey affair that elements of the federal bureaucracy are quite willing to ignore their own ethics and protocols – under Trump, who craves revenge against all perceived slights, civil liberties and freedom of the press may come under savage assault;
  • to which end he can boot the press corps out of the West Wing, and refuse to subject himself to media questioning, preferring instead to Tweet random gibberish at 3 AM;
  • he can sidle up to Putin and undermine NATO in a thousand ways, great and small, while generally wreaking geopolitical havoc, emboldening dictators and terrifying allies;
  • he can move, and indeed has moved, “the goalposts”, just as Reagan did, shifting political discourse such that the far end of the spectrum becomes the middle, ushering in a new era of crassness, vulgarity, and the shattering of norms, damage of a sort that tends not to get undone;
  • he can initiate an almost continuous period of constitutional crisis, as debate ensues over the breadth and meaning of the Emoluments Clause, whether his apparent collusion with Russia is something tantamount to treason, whether his close family exercises too much power within Cabinet, contrary to anti-nepotism laws, whether his limitless conflicts of interest are something the law needs to be changed to address, and so on;
  • he can inspire, and already has inspired, politicians at state and local levels to attempt to pass new laws that restrict voting and reproductive rights and attack the LGBT community, which only a soon-to-be-stacked judiciary can stop;
  • he can create, and already has created, an atmosphere of licence in which the gutter dwellers of America’s alt-right and white supremacist communities sense it’s now permitted to give vent to their darkest urges;
  • he can, of course, pick up the phone and kill every living thing that walks or crawls, and none of you should believe for one second that the military will do anything except salute smartly and execute an authenticated order to employ nuclear weapons;
  • and so much more, really.

Let’s also remember that the constitutional checks on the executive branch are supposed to be a vigilant and incorruptible judiciary, and a suspicious and uncooperative Congress. As to the judiciary, The Donald now gets to stack the Supreme Court, and fill literally hundreds of vacancies at the federal circuit court level that Congress prevented Obama from filling; as to Congress, be serious. This is the Congress of Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz and the Tea Party. True, these yahoos may quietly spike some of Donald’s plans, for example when it comes to international trade, but they’ve proven themselves thus far to be craven bootlickers, quavering in terror of Trump’s deranged base, which is also their base. In any case, they could ignore Trump altogether, and it wouldn’t do the world any good: this is a group of sour white men devoted to the denial of climate change, the ravishing of the environment, the disenfranchisement of the poor and non-white classes, the savage restriction of female reproductive rights, the cutting of taxes on the super-wealthy, the dismantling of the social safety net, the repealing of health care reform, and the list goes on. Does the Star think Trump will be exercising his veto when that legislation crosses his desk?  So long as the current Congress simply does what it says it wants to do, American society will enter what amounts to a privileged white man’s revanchist wet dream.

Let’s be clear: these grey men don’t just want to undo Obama. They want to undo LBJ, and FDR too.  They want to undo Roe v. Wade, Brown vs. Board of Education, and Miranda, and The Donald has just the Supreme Court nominees to make it happen.  They want to undo social security, medicaid and medicare, and they want to repeal the already anemic financial regulations like Dodd-Frank that were enacted to try to put a firebreak between the freebooting capitalist buccaneers of Wall Street and the global economy, as if it wasn’t just recently that Henry Paulson was wondering whether the lights would still be coming on when he got back to his office.

The best hope is that the American people resist, in droves, vehemently, and soon, once they figure out what’s going on. Maybe it isn’t too naive to hope that something can change with the midterms in a couple of years, despite the relentless gerrymandering of Project Red Map. Maybe undoing the 20th Century will be harder than the likes of Paul Ryan can possibly understand, as they snuggle into bed each night in their Ronnie Reagan Pajama Roos, clutching tight to their well-thumbed copies of Atlas Shrugged. Maybe. But now is no time to wait and see.

The long view? I’m with Keynes; in the long run, we’re all dead. Yes, we manage to live through bad Presidencies, but not without semi-permanent damage. The likes of Nixon and Reagan had lasting impact, and the world still rocks in the reverberations of the Bush years – just ask the people of Iraq and Syria about that.

That said, O’Leary is indeed an asshat.

Take the long view, and Kevin O’Leary is an asshat

Some comforting reads, on a day when we just want to bury our heads in the sand and keep them there for 4 years:

  • The TO Star has a helpful and clear-eyed op-ed. The new US President takes extreme positions to provoke and makes outrageous and offensive statements so he can feed off the anger. He’s a toddler, and he should not be taken at face value. Remember that the office of the President is actually pretty weak; his power is limited. So, perk up, we’ll most likely live through this.


  • Arlene Dickinson, who worked side-by-side with Conservative Party leader candidate Kevin O’Leary for seven years on CBC’s Dragon’s Den, offers a scathing assessment of his traits and abilities as a political leader. He only cares about money, and he has zero empathy for the common man or woman. In other words, he’s an asshat. Thank you Arlene for making this public statement. Canada does not need Trump-lite.


Super Burger vs. Champ Burger: my great novel-to-be

I drove up to Owen Sound this week for work. When it’s good weather, and it was for January, it’s not a bad drive. Highway 10 passes through lots of small southwestern Ontario towns, including one called Primrose just outside of Shelburne. Lots of churches, gas stations, and diners along the route. Fruit and vegetable stands at the side of the road in the summer, I imagine.

At the corner of Hwys. 10 and 89 (a “major” intersection on the route), an odd juxtaposition caught my eye. On the northwest corner, there’s a burger joint called “Super Burger”. And then right across the highway, on the northeast corner, there’s another burger joint called “Champ Burger”. They both look a bit neglected, at least from my vantage point. But they are clearly rivals. One’s ‘super’ (like Superman), one’s a ‘champ’ (like Rocky). (I’ll let the comic book nerds tell me who wins in a Superman vs. Rocky fight. I pick Superman.)


I just knew there had to be a story there. My imagination got working, and I envisioned a whole saga of friendship/love, ambition, and partnership. Building a business together, and then a misunderstanding, a fallout, a sordid break-up. Culminating in … a betrayal. A knife in the back; calculated revenge; cut-throat competition; and finally a burger joint rivalry right across the highway! Possibly theft of an old family BBQ sauce recipe in the mix.

Is this the foundation for the great Ontario novel? Local eccentrics, small town politics, big egos and bigger insecurities. It was writing itself in my head. Although the names of the burger joints would have to be changed, because, let’s face it, they are kinda lame.

I lazily googled this morning, and as it turns out, there is a feud. The small town of Primrose is divided! Families are torn apart! Dad’s loyal to Super Burger (the original, called “venerable”), the kids to Champ Burger (the “upstart”). It’s like the civil war, brother vs. brother. Although really not so much.

Burger war divides families and Ontario town

One review on Tripadvisor is pro-Champ, dismissively concluding: “Tourists go to Super Burger. Locals eat at Champs.”

Anyways, I think my version of the story is way more dramatic, and I may just write it. Think Waitress meets Dallas meets What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Although I like the tourist vs. locals angle. I think I’ll use it.

Feel free to option the film rights now, while they are still available!

Recurring dreams

I’ve always had recurring dreams. But they keep changing as I get older.

When I was a baby lawyer, I had four constantly recurring dreams (which were shared by hubby – I don’t know if that means we are soulmates or if all baby lawyers have the same stress dreams):

  • The exam dream. Pretty obvious. The exam is tomorrow, and I haven’t been to class all term. (I actually pretty much lived this in a couple of my undergrad classes.) But in my dreams, the class was always Grade 12 French.
  • The tooth dream. My tooth is loose, and then my tongue is playing with it, and then it falls out. Repeat.
  • The extra rooms dream. This was always a good dream, so of course I had it less often. You find a room in your apartment/house that you forgot was there. (The apartment house was never my actual apartment/house — it was always super modern or Victorian — usually many many levels.) The newly-discovered extra room is usually full of old furniture and crap, but it has great light and space, and with a ton of work, it will be a great new space. Such an optimistic dream – what an opportunity! Hubby discovered a lighthouse once (OH, he forgot his home had a lighthouse attached to it!).
  • The phone dream. I’m dialing the phone, and I make a mistake, and have to start again. Repeat 8000 times. (I blame my first law firm for this – for long distance client calls, you had to enter the billing code before the phone number in order to bill the client for the long distance charges. And I did a lot of work with Australian clients. Between billing codes and country codes, there were about 30 numbers to enter, and a mistake was not uncommon.)

I almost never have the exam dream anymore. I figure this is because I live the exam dream every day at the office. Here’s a new client, new problem – ready, set, go – solve their issue immediately. Every day is like writing an exam, and it doesn’t stress me as much as it used to.

Ditto the tooth dream, happily, and the extra rooms dream, which is a loss.

Recently I’m having dreams of living in a dormitory – communal living, multiple rumpled beds. And the communal space is full of my hoarded, piled up crap – for example, 200 empty dirty margarine containers in a drawer. There’s often clothing everywhere, and it’s old and ratty and needs to be thrown out. There are old notebooks and text books, and my stuff spills out of my space and into the space of my roommates (who are NEVER there).

Last night I had the dorm dream again, and this time I kept getting new deliveries at my dorm desk every few minutes – greeting cards, cheap jewelry, chocolate bars. I’d open them and throw them away (I don’t want this!), and a new delivery of new crap would arrive.

My googling tells me this means I need space in my life – probably personal space. My work may be taking up too much of my time.

That’s probably right.

What are your recurring dreams and what do you think they mean?

2017 happiness challenge

I saw this on Pinterest and thought I’d give it a try (it says it’s a “no-fail” happiness challenge, right?). Although, should happiness be challenging?

Day 1:  Name three new things you are grateful for when you wake up. Continue for 29 more days.


  1. I’ve woken up (will not always be the case)
  2. It’s a holiday today
  3. About 100 books are waiting for me on my Kindle