Nostrils Behaving Badly

I didn’t sleep well last night. And I blame my nose. Apparently, breathing in and out, producing snot, and providing a home for my freckles is not enough excitement for my mischievous proboscis. It has now decided to take up whistling.

If you have ever had a squeaky toy jammed up your nostril, you may know exactly what I am talking about. If you, however, are like most people and you’ve had nothing larger than your index finger rammed up your snotlocker, I will now do my best to describe the experience.

Jim Carrey fans have a bit of an edge as the rubber-faced comedian is no stranger to the perils of the squeaky snout. This clip from Me, Myself, and Irene adeptly illustrates the exact register in which my left nostril chose to perform. (Advance to the 5 min 38 second mark).

I’m not sure what exactly caused my situation last night, but I suspect an errant booger. And, no matter what I tried, it refused to dislodge. I blew my nose as hard as I could without rupturing an ear drum–although if I had, my nose whistle would no longer have been a problem. And, yes, I even embarked on my own archaeological dig.

There. I said it. “I picked my nose. And I liked it.” This confession is most effective when sung to the tune of I Kissed a Girl. Go ahead and try it out loud. “I picked my nose and I liked it…..” 

Everyone picks their nose. Hell, I bet the Queen of England has enjoyed a poke or two in her royal nasal cavity. It probably explains all the green dresses. And, I am fairly certain that George Costanza was right about Moses being a picker too.

Seriously. Desert air will do that to you. Forget worrying about bed bugs in your Vegas hotel room. Watch out for boogers, instead.

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When it comes to picking one’s schnoz, it is only acceptable to do it in private. And, no, driving in one’s vehicle does not constitute privacy. Windows are see-through and no one wants to witness you pulling a giant oyster from your left nostril. I think that the car immediately behind anyone who is caught elbow-deep in their honker should be allowed to rear-end said vehicle without fear of recrimination. “Officer, he seemed to be having difficulty getting his finger far enough up his nose, so I gave him a little nudge.”

It would probably generate the same result as this fancy manoeuvre…

I cannot leave you in good conscience without giving you one word of caution. Over-picking your nose can be hazardous to your health.  According to an article in the Daily Mail, 63-year old, Ian Bothwell, “died from a nose-bleed consistent with picking his nose.” Perhaps, he had a &*%$# nose whistle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Canada Day, eh? Part II

We Canadians know what the rest of the world thinks of us–mostly thanks to the way we are depicted in American television shows.  According to these depictions, we use monopoly money, drink a lot of beer, apologize constantly, and end every sentence with “eh.”  We’re not offended by these portrayals.  In fact, we are renowned for our great sense of humours–and spelling “humour” with a “u”, by the way.  Only in Canada, would you find currency named Loonies and Toonies.  One of our biggest exports to our southern neighbour is  comedians.  And there is an art to using “eh” correctly–and only we “Canucks” seem to have this gift. But today our gigantic nation–second in size only to Russia–with the teeny tiny population of roughly 34 million people is celebrating its 146th birthday.  Yes, we are a young nation devoid of ancient man-made wonders, but filled with many wonders created with God’s hands.  The Rockies, Niagara Falls, the Cabot Trail, the icy Arctic, and the golden prairies.

Canada's equivalent to "huh."

Canada’s equivalent to “huh.”

We love "u"'s.  We add them to everything.

We love “u”‘s. We add them to everything.

Tuques, Beer, and Bob & Doug

Tuques, Beer, and Bob & Doug

Timmy's.  Every town has at least one.

Timmy’s. Every town has at least one.

Mm.  Fries, Gravy, and cheese curds=poutine.

Mm. Fries, Gravy, and cheese curds=poutine.

Beaver Tails.  Footnote: These have never been attached to a beaver.

Beaver Tails. Footnote: These have never been attached to a beaver.

Yes, we Canadians are known for some pretty strange things.  But, then again, our nickels bear the likeness of a rodent–the beloved Canadian beaver.  Our flag boasts a big red leaf.  And we have adopted a bilingual version of our national anthem, which means that most of us haven’t got a clue what we are singing anymore.  Like I said, we don’t take many things seriously.  Except our hockey.

 
And we, Canadians, can be found everywhere–in your movies, on your TV sets, and in your iPods.  ryan-gosling-300James cameronchristopher plummersandra ohmichael bubleleslien.jpgmary pickfordPhil hartmandave thomasfay wraylorne michaelsjason priestleyeric maccormacknia vardalosrachelle lafevrebrendan-fraser-20070503-249440_largealex trebekellen pagetommy chong
Keanu Reeves, Howie Mandel, Pamela Anderson, Dan Aykroyd, Ryan Reynolds, Rachel McAdams, Jim Carrey, Avril Lavigne, Neve Campbell, John Candy, Justin Bieber, Nelly Furtado, Seth Rogen, Willima Shatner, Shania Twain, Alan Thicke, Donald Sutherland, Alanis Morissette, Eugene Levy, Martin Short, Jill Hennessy, Phil Hartman, Paul Anka, Kim Cattrall, Nathan Fillion, Michael J. Fox, Ryan Gosling, Monty Hall, Sarah Chalke, Kiefer Sutherland, Peter Jennings, Celine Dion, Bryan Adams, Sarah McLachlan, Ryan Gosling, James Cameron, Christopher Plummer, Sandra Oh, Michael Buble, Leslie Nielsen, Mary Pickford, Phil Hartman, Dave Thomas, Fay Wray, Lorne Michaels, Jason Priestley, Eric McCormack, Nia Vardalos, Rachelle Lefevre, Brendan Fraser, Alex Trebek, Ellen Page, Tommy Chong, Catherine O’Hara.
Happy Canada Day to all my fellow Canadians!  Raise a cold brew and wish the best country in the world a Happy 146th! 

Photo Credits:  eh (https://twitter.com/filmeh), “U (http://www.takepart.com/photos/everything-you-need-know-you-learned-sesame-street), Bob & Doug (http://www.cbc.ca/75/2011/08/image-of-the-day-canadian-content-eh.html), Tim Hortons (http://screamingbeltloop.com/?tag=tim-hortons), Poutine (http://calgarypoutinecrawl2013.eventbrite.com/), beaver tails (http://www.niagarafallstourism.com/eat/fast-food/beavertails-niagara-falls-canada/).

It’s Canada Day, eh?

Today is Canada Day and my “home and native land” is officially 145 years old–a youngster as far as nations go, eh?  I hope you will indulge me as I dedicate today’s blog to the land of beavers, maple trees, and hockey pucks.

We Canadians know what the rest of the world thinks of us–mostly thanks to the way we are depicted in American television shows.  According to these depictions, we use monopoly money, drink a lot of beer, apologize constantly, and end every sentence with “eh.”  We’re not offended by these portrayals.  In fact, we are renowned for our great sense of humours–and spelling “humour” with a “u”, by the way.  Only in Canada, would you find currency named Loonies and Toonies.  One of our biggest exports to our southern neighbour is  comedians.  And there is an art to using “eh” correctly–and only we “Canucks” seem to have this gift.

Although it is very un-Canadian to brag, I must apologize and ask for you to humour (again with the “u”) me as I share a few Canadian facts:

-Canada is the second largest nation in the world.  But our population density is very low at 3.7 people per square kilometre.  Yes, we operate in metric.  This may explain why our American neighbours think we live in igloos and commute to work via sled dog.  When our weather forecasts say it is 32 degreesin July, this does not equate to your 32 degrees–the temperature at which water freezes.  It actually means we are enjoying a balmy 90 degrees.  Yes, it does get hot here.  We own barbecues, swimming pools, and bikinis–not just toques, parkas, and mukluks.
-We are home to the longest coastline in the world, the world’s highest tide, and the largest island in a freshwater lake.  In Canada, we do things big.  Just look at those fuzzy Mountie hats.   How much guarding can these guys do when they’ve got hat fur in their eyes?  This must have been our Queen’s idea (yes, we are part of the British Commonwealth and, on occasion, sing “God Save the Queen”)–have you seen her hats?

-We ranked 5th on the World Happiness Report–massive beer consumption and several pucks to the head will do that.

-And only 40% of us have a favourable opinion of Don Cherry. It’s gotta be the clothes.  I’d be crusty if I had a starchy collar that went up to my ears.

-We have two official languages, although the province of Quebec only recognizes one.

-54% of our nation is made up of forests and woodlands.  Yes, we have lots of lumber.  And moose.  And bears.  And maple syrup.  Yum.

This is what our flag looks like.  We have beavers on our nickels, but our Parliament has actually considered removing the giant rodent from this coin.  Apparently, it is not considered a “noble” creature.  I, personally, am fond of our buck-toothed little friend.

And Canadians can be found everywhere–on your movie screens, your TV sets, and your concert stages.  Here is a sampling of famous Canadians:

Keanu Reeves, Howie Mandel, Pamela Anderson, Dan Aykroyd, Ryan Reynolds, Rachel McAdams, Jim Carrey, Avril Lavigne, Neve Campbell, John Candy, Justin Bieber, Nelly Furtado, Seth Rogen, Willima Shatner, Shania Twain, Alan Thicke, Donald Sutherland, Alanis Morissette, Eugene Levy, Martin Short, Jill Hennessy, Phil Hartman, Paul Anka, Kim Cattrall, Nathan Fillion, Michael J. Fox, Ryan Gosling, Marty Hall, Sarah Chalke, Kiefer Sutherland, Peter Jennings, Celine Dion, Bryan Adams, Sarah McLachlan, Catherine O’Hara.

Photos:  Mounties (Wayne Cuddington, The Ottawa Citizen), Don Cherry (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images),  

My Phone: I Can Throw It, Smoke It, and Put It In a Song

Two guys walk into a bar. You’d think one of them would have seen it.”  Daniel Lybra

I am not a fan of the cell phone as many of you know.  I realize that it does have its uses.  It has allowed distraught husbands to call home and check that they are picking up the right brand of  tampons.  It has allowed for the creation of many viral and highly embarrassing videos.  And, according to CSI Miami, you should always have one in case you wind up being kidnapped in the trunk of a car.  (Sorry, had to click to CSI Miami link and ogle David Caruso for a minute).  Damn.  In typing last sentence, discovered that I now had the opportunity to create David Caruso link, so had to do some more ogling!)  Must focus.

For the most part, cell phones (and, apparently David Caruso sites) have made us rude.  We ignore the “present-in-the-flesh” people around us, while we text and twitter with everyone else.  We turn the highways and bi-ways into death traps as we text, talk, and drive.  And we light up movie theatres with our little telephone screens–who has time to watch a movie with so many texts to text?

Rather than rant and annoy the snot out of myself, I have decided to dedicate today’s blog to the telephone in all its glory–most of it being former glory.

1)  This woman appears to be quite annoyed with her cell phone.  Perhaps when she asked “can you hear me now?,” no one replied.  I have to admit, I’ve often felt like doing this to my phone.  It’s one of those runaway touch screens that never seems to stop on  the contact that you want and always seems to dial someone that you don’t want–and they are always long distance–and it’s always during prime time.  And it never gets any reception in Walmart.  What the hell do they make those walls with anyway?  Plutonium?  But no matter how irked my phone may make me, and no matter how often I entertain thoughts of backing over it with my car, I would never actually “hurt” it.  At least, not until my contract is up.

This woman pictured here, however, makes it her business to hurl mobiles.  She is a participant in the Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships, a Scandinavian tradition that is growing in popularity.  I knew we all secretly hated these intrusive devices.  The World Record for the longest throw is 95.83 meters and is held by Brit, Chris Hughff.  There are four different categories in which to compete, but I think the most interesting would be the freestyle category.  This allows contestants to choreograph interesting manoeuvres for their mobile devices.  Yes, some phone-tosses can be more esthetically pleasing than others.  Apparently.

For a phone introduction to phone throwing, watch this video:  

2)  Okay…this is the coolest thing ever.  At least, I think it is.  Bare in mind, my life is boring.

This is a little tidbit that I learned at mashable.com and I had fun verifying its accuracy.  So, here are the rules.  Take any regular seven-digit phone number.  Multiply the first three digits by 80. Add one. Multiply that by 250. Then, add the last four digits of the original phone number. Add the last four digits again. Subtract 250.  Divide by two.  And presto!!!

Seriously, try it with all of your friends’ numbers too.  It will work every time.

And this picture makes me miss rotary dial phones.  But I don’t miss dialling (that word looks like it isn’t spelled properly, but spell-check claims it is) numbers with lots of nines and zeroes.  They always kept the tips of your nails smooth though.

3)  The 80s were a blast.  Big hair gelled into crunchy, immovable heights, then further solidified with a blast of French Formula or Final Net hairspray.  We thought we were cool.  Men wore gem-tones without shame.  Women wore ties.  And innocent people were unceasingly harassed–their lives made unbearable by the never-ending ringing of their phones.

All across the country, people with different area codes were united by one common bond–the ill fortune of having the phone number “867-5309.”  And Heaven forbid, they were also named “Jenny.”

If you want to hear the song that created this communications mess, go here:  

Other phone numbers have proven troublesome over the years thanks to film or song.  In “Bruce Almighty,” God contacted Jim Carrey from the phone number 776-2323…again with no area code.    Ironically, in one area code this phone number belonged to a church that had a pastor named Bruce.  The DVD version of the film was edited to contain the number 555-0123 instead.

Why do TV shows and movies use phone numbers that start with 555?  Officially, the numbers 555-0100 to 555-0199 are reserved for fictional use.  There is only one toll-free number reserved for fictional purposes–1-800-555-0199.  Other 555 numbers are intended for Directory Assistance applications.

3)  I know that it’s the “in” thing to have your phone number convert into a catchy mnemonic.  To me, that would make sense if regular phones had QWERTY keypads as diallers.  Now we have to remember the letters, convert them one-at-a-time back into numbers, and I’m sorry, but that’s just way too much work.  The number 9 belongs to four letters.  And I hate it when businesses list their phone numbers mnemonically in the yellow pages.  I am looking for a phone number.  Not another advertising message encrypted into their phone number.  If I am calling you, I already know what product you are selling–and odds are, I am already sold.  But if you tick me off by making the phonecall, itself, too complicated, I might dial the other guy.  The one that lists his phone number as seven simple digits.

But, just for kicks, I had to put my phone number, my mobile number, my husband’s mobile number, and my parents’ number into this neat “convert your digits to words” service called Phone Spell.  None of these numbers, by the way, turned into anything that I would actually use.  Some references to kiwis (which I am allergic to), someone named Liz, and a spa (I wish).   You can give it a try at:   http://www.phonespell.org/

4) Years ago, I bought my father what I thought would be the coolest Father’s Day present ever–a phone that looked like a duck decoy.  It even quacked.  Unfortunately, a few years later, we heard that land-line phones that had the receiver in the earpiece caused brain cancer.  Bye duck.

Let’s face it.  Humans love to turn everyday objects into something else.  Egg timers that look like eggs with eyes.  I admit to owning one of these.  Kleenex box covers that look like the Easter Island rocks–I have one.  The Kleenex comes out of his nose.  Pot holders that look like beaks.  Got those.  And a gnome that is actually a watering can.  Don’t have one, but have been eyeing one at Canadian Tire.   Hmmm.  Maybe I’m the only one that loves everyday objects that look like something else.

And now, humans have the option of purchasing a cell phone that looks like a pack of Marlboros.  And if you smoke, while you’re on the phone, you can get brain cancer and lung cancer simultaneously.  Now that’s cool.

Photo Credits:  Phone Thrower (flickr husin.sani),  Retro Phone (remodelista.com), Jenny (tweentribune.com). Phone Spell logo (phonespell.org), cigarette phone (newlaunches.com), Life in the Future (DryBonesBlog.com).