Friday, August 27, 2010

The Boys V

One night at the pub after soccer, instead of the usual sports, all the TVs in the room simultaneously start showing Factory Girl, the movie with Sienna Miller about Andy Warhol. It’s pretty artsy and there’s lots of nudity, and it also inexplicably stars Jimmy Fallon. (Thankfully he is clothed.) There’s a scene where they’re in The Factory, and suddenly there are topless women on every screen, everywhere in the pub.

“Oh,” says one fellow. “Boobs.”

And Jimmy Fallon,” I point out.

Jimmy Fallon?” One guy says with mock excitement, dramatically turning around to catch a glimpse of a TV. We laugh.

They start to debate the quality of the boobs on the other side of the table. “Hey,” says Chris, after a minute. “There are ladies present.”

We all look around to find the ladies. Even I look around.

“And Cathy,” says Steve.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Soccer Nerd

The Facebook ads have us all figured out, don’t they? Before my 40th birthday, I was getting suggestions for yummy mummy product samples for women 35-39. Now the ads say “Over 40?” and promise to make me look like Jennifer Aniston. Today my Facebook ads are suggesting microbrewed beer (good), cupcakes (what a tremendous idea!) a personal trainer (mildly insulting) and a manicure (is there a camera in my computer or something? How do they know I need a manicure, and that I have needed one since about 1984? Do I now need to type with my knuckles to hide my shame?) Like you, I never click on these ads. But then there was the one that said “Think you know soccer?” Well, that one had me. Yes, I do, Facebook. And since there was a chance to win some money, I clicked on it. Big mistake.

It was a short quiz and I failed it miserably. Turns out I don’t know how many metres are between the goalposts and the penalty kick spot (although I could whomp a decent penalty kick, with either my left or right foot, before I got hurt). I have no clue who the USA’s coach was during the 2006 FIFA World Cup. I knew that Zinedine Zidane was the French player who head butted someone and got sent off in that same World Cup, and that that was the end of his career, but that was such big news I bet my mom knows that. (Full disclosure: after writing this, I actually called my mom to ask her if she knew that, and she did not. She knew there was an incident where someone head-butted someone else in soccer, but she couldn’t remember who it was. When I told her his name, she howled. “What a name!” But bear in mind my mom is 69, not a sports fan, and never watches ‘the TeeVee’, unless it is Antiques Roadshow.)

Worse still is that I had to enter my cell phone number to take part in the quiz, and then the company started constantly texting me with new quizzes to take-- quizzes about who was on Letterman last week and all sorts of things that have nothing to do with soccer-- and using up all my pay-as-you-go minutes. Jerks. Just what I needed: a constant reminder that I don’t know what I’m talking about, and a bigger cell-phone bill.

But now that I am hurt and can’t actually play, and because I may have this slightly competitive nature, I got to thinking about this soccer quiz and wondered if I could perhaps do better than I had done before. I did watch a lot of the World Cup. So, I googled ‘soccer quiz’ and I found about a million hits. One website I checked,, features only soccer quizzes and challenges you to ‘find out if you are a bigger soccer nerd than your friends.’ (No need to take the quiz to discern that. Of course I am.)

I took one quiz and instantly regretted it. When you score incorrectly, it says “Wrong” in big bold letters at the top of the page, and since that happened a lot, it wasn’t great for my fragile ego. Granted, I did get some answers right (sample correctly answered question: Where will the 2010 World Cup be held? Maybe you should update some of the questions, there, soccernerd.) And I felt somewhat superior when I saw the poor grammar used in some of the questions (Which English team plays there games at Anfield stadium?) I decided to rally and play a few more rounds but I did not really improve, and then was told I couldn’t keep playing and move up to the next level unless I got a higher score. How much higher? I checked and today’s top scorer has amassed over 282,000 points. Granted, he played for longer than I did (I am going to go ahead and assume he was a he), but you know how many points I had? Four. And at least two of those points were from flukey, multiple choice answers.

So I can’t play soccer and I can’t win a soccer quiz. Obviously I am a different kind of soccer nerd. I know it is morning, but I think I’ve earned the right to eat a cupcake and wash it down with a microbeer, just as long as I hide my hideous fingernails and use my knuckles to open the bottle. The personal trainer will have to wait. I’m injured, you know.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Dog Days of Summer

My friend Geeta told me her dog has had knee problems and had both of her ACLs repaired. Her dog! Did you even know dogs had knees? It makes me think of that Seinfeld episode when Kramer stopped trusting doctors and got dog medicine instead...

So I decided to do a little research into this for myself. I know I’ll be waiting at least 4 more months for human knee surgery, and really, shouldn’t I explore all my options? Do dogs have to wait for surgery like we do? Since they often don’t have health insurance, how much does it cost? And most importantly, would I have to have my butt shaved, like Geeta’s dog did, if I had the vet do the surgery?

What I discovered is that there are two different dog ACL surgeries….one is called TPLO and it is a lot like the human version in some ways in that it involves using screws and drilling into the bone. The cost: only $2600. The other one replaces the torn ligament with fishing wire, and it is considered less invasive. One vet interviewed says he has been doing 3 or 4 of these surgeries a week for decades. The cost of this one: $500! There does not appear to be any significant wait time for either surgery. Dang! Dogs have it good.

There appear to be some compromises one must make in choosing the veterinary option, however. One’s butt, indeed, must be shaved for the surgery to take place. It appears to be quite embarrassing for the dog in the photos I’ve seen, but then again, my butt isn’t quite as hairy, or openly on display as a dogs’ is, and could probably be covered up by clothing. I might have to also endure a neck cone, although perhaps this would be negotiable as I can be fairly certain I wouldn’t be tempted to bite my stitches. Another letdown: my walking would be restricted to leash walking only for 4 – 6 weeks. Although dog collars and leashes on people aren’t really my thing, if it meant getting back to playing soccer sooner, I might be able to endure it. Stairs are usually a problem for dogs as well, during their recovery period. Vets recommend that you roll up a towel into a long rope, loop it around the dog’s stomach, and then lift their butt in the air while they use their ‘hands’ to go up stairs. This one might be the trickiest of all, especially when I’m at the Skytrain station on my way to work downtown. I’m not sure I could find anyone to help me, but then again, I haven’t checked Craigslist.

Of course, some naturopathic vets suggest surgery could be avoided by changing your diet and using more natural therapies to assist with repair and blood flow to the injured knee. Licorice, rhubarb, and pineapple are said to be helpful. I think they were talking about the herbal version of licorice, but I doubt I’d like that so I’m thinking of riding my bike down to 7-11 to get some twizzlers as soon as I finish writing this. I could whip them into a smoothie with the other stuff, throw in some doggie kibble, and maybe avoid the whole thing altogether. What do you think?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Cluster Cuss

No, this is not an eye test. We really tried to make this image large enough...sorry. Put on your glasses, or else click on this a few times to make the image larger.