Last Post of the Year!

Hey kids!

Before I go out with my friends and paint the town red this evening, I just wanted to wish all of you and your families a fantastic New Year!

May you all stay safe, healthy and happy, wherever you are, and may all your endeavours be fruitful.

Auld Lang Syne, y’all! See you on the other side.

The Colour of the Year …

 … Was apparently chili pepper red.

chili-pepper-2.jpgNo, I am not kidding. 

Unbeknownst to the majority of us plebes, this declaration (most likely made around this time last year) was handed down by the Pantone Color Institute (their spelling, not mine). Yes, these people are in charge of declaring colours for each year.

The colour for 2008 will apparently be the one in this New York Times article, according to Pantone.  I won’t spoil it too much, other than saying, “Well, duh!” since I am biased and like any shade from this particular colour family anyway.

And there’s a little sidebar with the article, which shows you all of Pantone’s picks from the previous 7 years.

But my real question is: when is someone going to give periwinkle a go? That, my friends, is one colour that needs some long overdue respect. It’s a pretty shade, in my honest opinion.

Team Periwinkle for 2009, kids. Think about it.

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year

As you know, it’s that time of year, when stories come out about best films, pictures, news stories, etc. of the year.

I haven’t had a chance to post this, but a couple of weeks ago, I came across this article about Merriam-Webster declaring its “Word of the Year” :

Expect cheers among hardcore online game enthusiasts when they learn Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year. Or, more accurately, expect them to “w00t.”

“W00t,” a hybrid of letters and numbers used by gamers as an exclamation of happiness or triumph, topped all other terms in the Springfield-based dictionary publisher’s online poll for the word that best sums up 2007.

Merriam-Webster’s president, John Morse, said “w00t” was an ideal choice because it blends whimsy and new technology.

“It shows a really interesting thing that’s going on in language. It’s a term that’s arrived only because we’re now communicating electronically with each other,” Morse said.

Gamers commonly substitute numbers and symbols for the letters they resemble, Morse says, creating what they call “l33t speak” — that’s “leet” when spoken, short for “elite” to the rest of the world.

For technophobes, the word also is familiar from the 1990 movie “Pretty Woman,” in which Julia Roberts startles her date’s upper-crust friends with a hearty “Woot, woot, woot!” at a polo match.

Purists of “l33t speak” often substitute a “7” for the final “t,” expressing a “w007” of victory — an “in your face” of sorts — when they defeat an online gaming opponent.

“W00t” was among 20 nominees in a list of the most-searched words in Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary and most frequently submitted terms from users of its “open dictionary.”

The choice did not make Allan Metcalf, executive secretary of the American Dialect Society, say “w00t.”

“It’s amusing, but it’s limited to a small community and unlikely to spread and unlikely to last,” said Metcalf, an English professor at MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Ill.

Okay, wait a minute. These guys are kidding, right? I’ve been using this word since 2006 – nay, earlier than that – and sparingly, I might add. Where was Merriam-Webster LAST year?

I think this is why I prefer Oxford dictionaries.

Another Post About Nothing…

Sorry I haven’t posted as of late.

I’ve been working.

In fact, that’s where I am right now.

More specifically, everyone else has left for the day and I’m still here because I’m waiting on someone to finish a couple interviews they’re helping me out with …

And I have another 30 minutes to kill. This, on my last work day of the year.

The agony.

But don’t you worry. With any luck, I’ll spit out another couple of posts before I end this year’s social calendar in a huge, fiery blaze of glory.

Stay tuned.

D’s Grand Holiday Tally

So Christmas Eve is upon us once again. Man – who knew?

Some of my friends have already started the festivities early with dinner and gift exchanges, and others like myself will wait until tomorrow.

I think I managed to survive the pre-season leading up to the big event, but just barely (as is my normal fashion).

Here, for the last time, is a recap of the last three weeks, by the numbers:

22: number of Christmas cards successfully written and mailed

5: number of presents bought (as of 9 a.m. this morning)

(somewhere around) $100: approximate amount of money spent on alcohol

7: number of parties attended

5: number of those parties being Christmas-related

1: number of times ill and hungover as a result of said parties

1: number of backsides I’ve grabbed, on behalf of other people, in the name of Christmas

1: number of times I’ve been bitten on my face by one of my drunk friends (luckily, no broken skin)

$97: amount of money spent on cab rides home from aforementioned parties.

And just think – this is probably the warm-up for New Year’s  … eeesh.

I’ll probably be around somewhere on the World Wide Interweb over the next couple of days.

But if I don’t talk to you before then, happy holidays, everybody! Eat lots of t(of)urkey and get lots of sleep!

FOUND – The Website!

couldyapickupsomeammodarlin2.jpg

I have to thank my co-worker, Colin, for this one.

He put up this wallpaper of what I thought was the weirdest-but-funniest grocery list ever. (Not the one pictured above.) And I was like, “This is awesome. Where did you find this?”

And that’s when he introduced me to probably the funniest site I’ve been to all week …

FOUND Magazine.

Yes, I know, I’m about 6 years late to the party, but better late than never, right?

It’s basically this site where people submit these random notes or pictures they may have found on the street, in loaned library books, mistakenly placed in their car windshields – whatever.

And on their front page they have their “Find of The Day”.

They have even published books full of the stuff contributors find.

There’s even a category for the people who find the stuff they lost, on the Web site!

Hilarious … sometimes thought-provoking … and brilliant, I say.

So if you’re bored at work – or at home over the holidays and need something random to surf – try FOUND for starters.

Shoes On? Or Off? The Party Etiquette Debate. (Kind Of.)

What’s Christmas party season without an etiquette-related post? 

So as I was rousing myself into consciousness late yesterday morning, I was listening to CBC Radio’s show GO!

In one segment, they sent comedienne Sabrina Jalees out on the street to find out from people how they felt about going to parties where the host or hostess might ask them to take their shoes off.

Perhaps I’m just crazy or not “cool”, but I was a bit surprised how many people say they keep their shoes on.

There were people in the other camp, who do take their shoes off. But for some reason, they didn’t seem as large a number.

Coming from a household where you pretty much take your shoes off when you step inside the door – and, I guess, I’ve just been used to taking off my shoes at other people’s houses – it’s kinda weird for me not to do.

Although I find as I get older and go to parties and various functions held by different people, I’ve adopted a bit of a modified strategy:

I assess the situation. If I go to a house party, only the floors of the house are concrete, or whatever – and everyone else is wearing shoes, then I would consider keeping them on.

But in a house with carpet (that’s probably going to be hard to clean after everyone’s left)? Shoes off. Although I’m still more likely at a house party to doff the shoes – old habits die hard. I just make sure the socks I wear don’t have holes in them 🙂 .

So how do you handle the shoe etiquette at parties?  Just curious.

“THIRD”? Word??

I know that at age 30, I’m still young and, I’d like to think, “with it”.

But I think I’ve begun the journey down the old-fogey-I-don’t-get-it-what’s-with-kids-these-days tunnel.  (Or at least am standing near the top of the escalator that takes me to said tunnel.)

So as I informed by a colleague earlier this week – or was it late last week? – apparently “third” isn’t just another word in the dictionary. 

In the kiddie set, it’s right in there with IMHO, LOL, ROTFL and LMFAO. 

“Third” (or is it THIRD?) is acronym-slang for “this (is) how i roll, dude”.

I don’t care if I’m late to the made-up-word party. Are you kidding? Who was the dude responsible for this?

I can’t wait to see what’s next.

D’s Holiday Tally, Take Two

This one’s in honour of my friend who just returned from a week in the balmy Dominican Republic to the cold North American misery we’re dealing with right now.

Here’s what happened last week in my Christmas-season-related life, in numbers: 

16: number of Christmas cards written and mailed (yours is in the mail)

2: number of Christmas cards already received

0: number of presents bought

1: number of possible ideas for family-related gifts

$51: approximate amount of money spent on alcohol

3: number of parties attended

1: number of those parties being Christmas-related

1: number of times ill and hungover as a result of said parties

1: number of backsides I’ve grabbed, on behalf of other people, in the name of Christmas

$77: amount of money spent on cab fare home from aforementioned parties.

And I’m just getting warmed up for this week’s onslaught, which starts later on today.

Hoo boy. That’s scary.

Candy Machine Shakedown

So I go to this huge gym not far from where I work.

The funny thing is, it’s got a fair-sized weight room, cardio room, squash courts, a pool, a boxing gym … all these posters trying to encourage good workout and fitness habits …

And two huge vending machines sitting in the main lobby, one of them stocked with protein bars … and M & Ms, Nibs, potato chips and other candies.

Some gym, hey?

This morning, as I was finishing up at the physio clinic I go to – located inside the gym – I was speaking with the receptionist when I hear this scraping sound against the floor.

I round the corner to see one of the staff members – a sales guy, no doubt, in his suit and tie – bear-hugging one of the machines, trying to shimmy and shake the thing.

At first I thought he was just doing it to get a laugh, ’cause the receptionists were all kinda snickering at him.

But then he said, “See? It’s still in there. But I got a protein bar, though.”

I watch what he’s doing, and then after about 10 seconds … 

“Are you shaking down the machine?” I ask.

“Yeah, man!” he said. “The machine totally took my money!” And he shook the machine again.

I go right up to the machine and he points to the object of his desire: a package of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, lodged in the coil.

“Dude!” I said. “This is a fitness (facility). THAT’s what you’re trying to get?”

He said, “Yeah!”

I just looked at him and said, “See? That’s a sign you’re not meant to have it.”

“Yeah,” said one of the receptionists, laughing in agreement. “Especially at 11 o’clock in the morning.”

Apparently he decided to be persistent in his quest, ’cause as I was leaving, I found out he eventually got his peanut butter cups.

The receptionist mentioned he managed to almost dislodge a package of gum.

The thought flitted across my mind to shake the machine myself …

And I immediately talked myself out of it and left as fast as I could.