Wednesday, June 30, 2004
My mom
Today is my mom's birthday. Happy Birthday, Mom!!!

Right now she is up at Casino Rama seeing a concert. I got her tickets to her very favourite band in the whole wide world....Journey (she thinks Steve Perry is the sexiest singer alive. *shrug*). She has nearly given herself a stroke this past week, especially today, with her high level of excitement. She simply cannot *believe* her favourite band is playing in town ON her birthday. I tried surprising her with it but she heard about the concert on the radio last week and so she figured it out. So now she and my dad are off doing the old school rock thang tonight and having a great time I'm sure.

And yes, that's me in that picture. What little hair I had was blonde and my mom is wearing the most stunning of 70's fashions. How I grew up normal in the 70's is a mystery to me..... people were so fashioned impaired (and it's not like it got better in the 80's!). And dig the woodpanelled wall behind us! *sigh* Those were the good ole days.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Mazel Tov!!
Well, I finally got to see my friend's baby today. And at only 5 days old, he is teeny weeny! Wow.....such a tiny little miracle. I am just bubbling with joy for my friends... truly, they will make wonderful parents to Baby Isaac.

As a present to my friend and his wife I created a photoblog for Isaac and already put up several pictures for the family to see (sorry, I'm keeping it private for them). I figured it would be a great way to share, and let's face it, I will be taking a *million* pictures of this boy as he grows up. *grin* I just love it when my friends have kids!

Monday, June 28, 2004
Mideast Mayhem
See that? Give me two days off and you get two posts in one day.

Well, colour me surprised this morning when I saw the announcement that the US has handed over Iraq 2 days ahead of schedule. Then again, it's more ceremonial than anything else right now since it's not like the US Army is about to pull all it's troops out. Here's hoping some dumbass terrorist doesn't assassinate the new Prime Minister while Iraq struggles to get back on it's feet. And of course those terrorists have 2 more hostages they are poised to behead, including a Pakistani and an American (was only a matter of time, wasn't it?). Disgusting cowards who stand there terrorizing and murdering all the while with their faces covered. Cowards. My prayers go out to the hostages and their families....

Meanwhile, over in Israel things have been heating up again. 1 soldier killed, 5 wounded when a massive explosion went off underneath an Israeli military outpost. Hamas was more than happy to claim responsibility, of course. And as a bonus (the ole "one-two" punch) Hamas then turned around and fired a rocket from the Gaza Strip (you know, where is Israel is finally pulling out of like the Palestinians have always wanted) and killed a 4 year old boy and 49 year old man. Another rocket was fired after that but didn't manage to hit anyone. Tough luck.
Israel has had about enough of attacks on it's citizens.

This is shaping up to be a very newsworthy week....

fishing, parading and movie viewing
Well, I don't know about you guys but I had an action packed weekend.
I spent some time with my beloved friend (and neighbour across the hall), Princess Blondie, on Friday before heading up to my grandma's.

Once I got to grandma's it was pretty much non-stop eating for the rest of my time there. That's what grandma's are for, afterall. ;-) Saturday morning we got up at 6am and headed out onto the lake for some fishing. Sadly, it was a short lived trip as the weather became unpleasant rather quickly. There is a bizarre cold front moving through Ontario at the moment which has lead to unseasonably low temperatures. And since I was sick it seemed like a foolish idea to be sitting out in the wind and cold. So we packed it in only after an hour or two and never made it back out for the rest of the weekend. Grandma was sad and disappointed so I promised her I'd go back up next weekend. If you wanna see some pictures, click here to get to my photoblog (you'll have to scroll past the Pride Parade photos to get to grandma pics).

So after I had my fill of good food and cardplaying I came home and then met up with a friend of mine to go take in the Toronto Gay Pride Parade. As always I had a fantastic time though I must say the parade this year wasn't as impressive as past years. Still, it's always a blast to pack the downtown core with a MILLION people and just dance and have a great time. Here is a link if you want to see live footage and here again is the link to my photoblog.

After the parade my friend and I decided to take in the movie Fahrenheit 9/11. Now, I know lots and lots of people absolutely hate Michael Moore and think that he is full of shit. But you know what? For the most part people hate the man because he makes people uncomfortable. He makes people question what they believe to be the truth and makes them wonder if maybe their comfortable little bubble of a world isn't as it seems. And no one likes to be told they are living in a lie. Do I think the man's views should be taken as the gospel truth? Of course not. Do I think he sensationalizes things a bit? Sure! But you know what? So does the media.

There are two extremes; there's what the media portrayed throughout the war showing how America was liberating Iraq, and the coverage was a media frenzy showing what a wonderful job they were doing. It was the media's JOB to sell America on the war. To show that all those lives lost were not in vain. Stories were sensationalized all the time, just look at the Jessica Lynch fiasco. My god, the girl has a website now!! The other extreme in this is Michael Moore who's goal is to ferret out the dirty truth that people are reluctant to hear. And yes, he has to sensationalize it if he's going to get people to watch it. But make no mistake the man has all kinds of proof to back his claims, and he illustrates it in this movie.

So somewhere between these two extremes you will find the truth. And it is up to YOU to see it and make up your mind, but I STRONGLY urge everyone to see it and decide for themselves, just as I did with the controversial movie Passion of the Christ. I can't believe that a country like America that brags about freedom of speech has been trying to censor this movie by blocking it's release. I can't believe that in a country where people brag about the freedom of speech a person is put down, shut out, boycotted and hated for having an opinion that just might conflict with the president. Shame on those who would shun the Dixie Chicks or Michael Moore for being brave enough to say they don't agree with their president. That's DEMOCRACY and freedom of speech, folks. That's what it's all about. And if your president can't weather a few opinions or answer a few questions then you have bigger issues. I think it's shameful that a person is made to feel afraid for questioning the politics of his or her country. YOU elected these people and you pay their salaries. You have every right to ask for the truth. To question how things are run. I urge you to at least see the trailer for a glimpse. Yes this movie might anger you, and it damn well should. It's meant to. It angered me, scared me and many times made me laugh. But mostly I just worried about the next American election.

Speaking of elections, today Canada is voting in a new Prime Minister. ha! Bet those outside of Canada didn't even know that. That's coz unlike our American counterparts we don't make a 6 month campaign out of it and spend/waste millions of dollars. The election was called about a month ago and today is the day of reckoning. This is where fellow Toronto blogger Wayne and I do NOT see eye to eye. We will not be voting for the same party and that's ok. That's what a democracy is all about. I'm not going to delink Wayne for his choice, just as I'm pretty sure he won't delink me. No shunning here!

Anyway. Go see Fahrenheit 9/11. Please.

Friday, June 25, 2004
here fishy, fishy, fish! Oh where.....could the
See that? That's my ultracool (84 year old!) grandma. She loves fishing. LOVES it. And so today, like every last weekend in June for the last 15 years or more, I will head to my grandma's place. She lives right on a lake (aptly named Fish Lake) and it will be there that we will spend endless hours matching wits with the fish. Sure I am still barking like a dog with this cold, but my grandma would be heartbroken if I broke tradition and didn't come up. She called me yesterday and told me she'd make it worth my while if I would come up. That means lots of grandma's fine cooking. How can I resist? She'll make it worth me hacking up my lungs in the car for 2 hours. ;-)

And then I intend to race back to Toronto (as I do every year) on Sunday in time to catch the annual Gay Pride Parade. Such fun! (Israel is having one today in Tel Aviv!) A million people jam into the downtown core, blocking off the streets and marching the parade right through the heart of the city. It's such a wonderful warm day of celebrations and fun. (pics I took last year here and here)
Booths and floats and waterguns, oh my!

So I'm gonna down some cough syrup and get packing. I wish you all a happy and safe weekend (I probably won't be able to post again until Sunday night). Shabat shalom!

Thursday, June 24, 2004
the circle of life
Despite expecting it I cannot *believe* how crazy the world is getting, day by day.

Terror groups in the Gaza Strip are in an arms race as they get ready to try and take power when Israel pulls out. How frightening is that?

A bus bomb kills at least 5 in Turkey ahead of an upcoming NATO conference.

More than 80 killed and 233 injured in a round of attacks by terrorists in Iraq. And let us make no mistake. They are not insurgents. They are not militants. They are not activists. They are TERRORISTS. Do not let the media tell you otherwise. This, like in Israel, is a case of terrorists vying for power as a vacuum is created and opportunity is presenting itself. Arabs are killing Arabs. Muslims killing Muslims. No one is safe from terrorism.
Things are going to get a lot worse before they get better.

Meanwhile, I got a call a few minutes ago from a close friend of mine; he and his wife are in the hospital and she is about to be induced into labour. Today, as the world seems to be falling apart, they are going to be ushering in a beautiful, sweet baby into the world. Life has a way of fighting to carry on despite great odds and despite all that is going on around it. I cannot wait for this baby to be born...I am very excited for my friends. They are going to be fantastic parents. (UPDATE: My friend had his baby!! MAZAL TOV!!)

And life marches on for me as well. I am home sick for the 4th day now and have been trying mightily for the last 4 hours to cough up my lungs. My abs are killing me and my appetite is non-existent. Coughing is exhausting work. So this leaves me to find ways to occupy my time; the government found me at home yesterday and reminded me I owe several thousands of dollars in back taxes (shyeah, I'll get RIGHT on that! lol). That in turn has me flipping through a rental magazine to maybe find a cheaper place to live for a while. Saving money would be good. And I have been doing a little Hebrew homework, something that is VERY important now that my class has stopped until September. If I don't keep up with my work I will quickly fall behind and forget everything. And I am entertaining the idea of trying out, a company that lets you rent an unlimited number of dvds through the mail for $24.95 a month. You get 4 at a time, though you can send them back one at a time as soon as you are finished watching it, and they will send you the next one (all postage is paid by them and movies arrive within 1 -3 business days). I'm wondering if I would use it enough to warrant the monthly fee (though I know I would have this week!). Any thoughts on this matter are welcome.

I've also been stuck watching bad daytime television and I have come to the conclusion while watching her talkshow that Ellen Degeneres dances way better than I do, and she's only kinda joking around. Even when she's not trying too hard she dances better than me. I dance like a spastic monkey. It's not fair.

Last night there was an awards show for the Canadian Walk of Fame (where we give our famous folk a star on a sidewalk too) and Jim Carrey (yes, he IS Canadian) gave a surprisingly wonderful and moving speech. He almost made me cry. Here's a list of famous Canadians who have been honoured. (didja know that the Warner Brothers were Canadian? now you know. :-)

Wednesday, June 23, 2004
ain't too proud to beg
In the midst of a lung collapsing coughing fit this evening I have decided what I want for my 30th birthday. I'd like a plane ticket to Israel, please. Whattya say gang? You love me, right? Come on, that gives ya two+ months to drum up some funds! Plenty of time!

I'll let you think about it. :-)
(and no, I assure you my parents would NEVER pay for a ticket to Israel. it's the last place they want me to be, next to maybe Iraq)
Meanwhile, I'm gonna go choke down some cough syrup and blow my nose for the 1369th time today.

I'm feeling miserable so I'll keep this short
Do I really need to say anything about the beheading of the South Korean man in Iraq? I think my June 20th post about covers it. I said there'd be more to come....I wish I had been wrong. Dare I say there'll be more? :-(

AFI had a show on tv last night naming the top 100 movie songs of all time. Here is the list if you are interested.

....blah blah blah...Bill Clinton....blah blah blah......

Why oh WHY are there reports every damn year about stupid stupid STUPID people leaving their pets or children in a car in the summer heat, only to be simply *amazed* to find said child or dog to be dead when they return??? Some asshole left his puppy in a car yesterday here in Toronto (which died. DUH!) and earlier this week some moron left his 21 month old daughter in a car (for THREE hours!) in Haifa, Israel . Surprise, surprise! She died too. Come on people, terrorism is the least of our problems if you're gonna be this dumb.

Do I sound a little bitter today? Perhaps it's this godforsaken cold that has now moved into my ear canals causing great pressure and therefore immense pain. It's making me a bit disagreeable today. I didn't work Monday, I went home from work early yesterday and I will be leaving work shortly today. This cold is not conducive to working it would seem.
Oh, and a final tip regarding the cough syrup; if you are going to attempt to pour yourself a spoonful of that Buckley's goodness at 4am I would advise turning a light on. Helps reduce the chances of spilling. Hey I was in a haze, what can I say?!?

Tuesday, June 22, 2004
don't forget the spoonful of sugar!
Today I'm gonna talk about a fine Canadian product, Buckley's cough syrup. This is a product whose marketing (as you can see in the picture) relies on the tagline "It tastes awful. And it works.". Strangely, the admission that it tastes awful has intrigued many a people try it out instead of repelling them as it ought to (if someone came up to you and said the drink in their hand was the worst thing they have ever tasted, would you try it just to see?).

After I left the doctor's office yesterday I walked over to the pharmacy. It's at moments like these that I am willing to spend any money in order to achieve at least some level of wellness. I needed something to make this coughing stop before the effects of becoming a zombie from lack of sleep were irreversible.

And so I stood in a stuffed sinus haze in front of a wall of cough syrup options. I of course need to avoid ones with alcohol, so that reduces my options somewhat. I consider that a help. Next I can eliminate the children's stuff; though the flavour options are more appealing, I'd have to drink half the bottle. It just wasn't potent enough for my liking. Then I saw the Buckley's cough syrup. Every Canadian knows about Buckley's and it's super-vile taste (as the site says: "When it comes to being sick, there are two kinds of people in this world. Those who want comfort, and those who want to get better. We make medicine for the second kind."). How desperate am I?, I pondered. I picked it up, read a bit of it (it contains pine needle oil?? only in Canada...) and decided to go for it. How bad can it *really* taste? I bought it and took it home.

I developed my plan of attack as I opened the bottle. I would make it one big spoonful instead of two smaller ones and I would shove the spoon as far back into my mouth as I can without gagging so as to hopefully bypass my tastebuds. ^thumbs up!^
I poured the liquid onto the spoon, questioned my sanity for a fleeting moment and then knocked it back. For a millisecond I thought.... hey that wasn't too bad! And then a nanosecond later I was gripped by what is known as the 'Buckley's face'. (You think I jest, but there's a gallery of pictures devoted to it on the website. look there to get an idea of just how good it tastes by the looks on people's faces when taking it) To quote the website: "No one can keep a straight face when taking Buckley's.". And they don't lie.

For a moment it was locked at the back of my throat with my body trying to indicate to me that this was a bad idea. Negotiations began as I tried telling my constricted throat that holding it back was only going make it worse and if it would just let the syrup pass this would all be over in a minute. Eventually I swallowed it and was greeted by a brand new sensation. BURNING. I slammed the spoon down on the counter like I had just taken a rough shot of booze, and continued to slam my hand down on the counter a few times to express my agony. In a moment of panic I questioned just what the hell I had done; how on earth is this supposed to make my throat feel better when it is burning like the devil?? It was like drinking a vat of Vick's VapoRub; as it turns out it has a high menthol content. (don't know what VapoRub is? Ok, how about those super strong mint gums that burn your mouth? Yeah, now melt it down and drink it.)

I stood for a moment or two in shock as I took inventory of how my body was feeling. My throat was burning, but slowly subsiding as I felt the warming sensation now follow all the way down my throat and into my belly. It felt like I had just swallowed a really strong mint (without the delightful minty taste). Not long after that.....I felt better! I was amazed to find that within half an hour my coughing had all but stopped, and I didn't need to blow my nose nearly so often. It was a miracle!!
As so I was able to put a movie on, curl up on my couch and get a couple of hours of sleep.

thank you, Buckley's. I love you, even if you do taste like ass.

Monday, June 21, 2004
~cough hack wheeze~
I feel like utter garbage. Don't have much to say, my brain is in a fog. The doctor has assured me I'm not actually dying, it just feels a lot like it.
Perhaps I will be more entertaining tomorrow.

Sunday, June 20, 2004
all too familiar
"An al Qaeda cell in Saudi Arabia has issued a statement vowing revenge for the death of its leader Abdel Aziz al-Muqrin, who was killed along with three other al Qaeda operatives."

I don't know about the rest of you but this latest killing of American Paul Johnson Jr has me angry. The kidnappers gave impossible demands and then followed through with killing this innocent man when their demands were not met. This entire incident should be angering every single one of us. If you are not yet stirred to anger then maybe you need to see the pictures (they are *gruesome*. you have been warned). Maybe then you'll feel the appropriate rage and can begin to pull your head out of the sand. After Nick Berg I said that it was only a sign of things to come.... and so it seems to be.

Now let me ask my American readers..... how did you feel hearing about yet another fellow American being held and subsequently beheaded? And how did you feel when you heard it was done by Al Qaeda operatives, the same bastards who took 3,000 lives on Sept 11th? Now let me ask you this.... how did you feel when you heard that the man responsible for orchestrating the kidnapping and killing of Paul Johnson was killed (along with a few other Al Qaeda members)? Were you relieved? Did you feel that much safer, knowing that the threat of these "American killers" had been removed? You can admit it, you might have even felt a little bit happy that the kidnappers "got what they deserved".

Now then, how does it make you feel to hear that Al Qaeda is vowing revenge for their leader being killed? You may ask yourself, how can that be?? How can THEY be the ones feeling wronged when THEY were the ones who did the killings in the first place? THEY were the ones who took an American and mercilessly killed him! We killed that Al Qaeda leader because he was responsible for murder! Seems black and white, right?

And now, ladies and gentlemen, you know how Israel feels. Maybe NOW you get a glimpse into why Israel does "targeted killings" of leaders of terrorist groups. Just like the (Saudi Arabia) Al Qaeda leader was killed for being a terrorist, so too are those Israel removes from power by taking their lives. Taking lives to save lives is always a troubling ethical question, but Israel has been left with no choice. Again and again suicide bombers blow themselves up among men, women and children. Innocents. And again it is up to Israel to find a way of defending itself against those who would do her harm. What's the difference? Well, for one, I don't hear public outcry over the killing of these Al Qaeda members. Did you? Do you hear the world condemning the Saudi police force for killing them? Of course not, they were KILLERS, right? Then why is it Israel is condemned for taking the same steps against known killers? Why is it acceptable for the rest of the world and not for Israel?

Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. And it pains me to find that I am developing a fear and therefore prejudice against a group of people based on religion. I have always prided myself on not being a bigot or racist or harbouring any prejudice against a group of people. I hate that I am beginning to look at Muslims with a suspicious eye because it is not fair to those who just want to have a life, a family and a home like the rest of us. And it troubles me that the world is also developing a fear of Muslims, for it was a fear and hate that lead one man to target a particular group of people not so long ago... and caused the death of 6 million Jews. Six million died because of their religious beliefs (not to mention others, such as gays, who were killed for being who they were). I am conflicted as I try to resist categorizing all Muslims as evil when again and again in the news there are reports of violence, threats and attacks. And 90% of the time it seems to be from Muslim extremist groups.

Here is my real fear: there are an estimated....what?....2 billion Muslims in the world (and growing)? Now let's say that only 3% of that number subscribes to these "extremist" beliefs (and that's being pretty generous, I think). Afterall, many Muslims declare that it's only a small percentage that are extremists, so for the sake of this example, I'll say 3%. That's small, right? That means there are about 60 MILLION Muslims out there that feel that the Western world and all it's dwellers are infidels and should be struck down. 60 million who would like to behead an American (not to mention a Jew) if they could get their hands on one. 60 million is a huge number. Imagine when they finally get fully organized what they could do? Welcome to being an infidel, America. Be thankful that you are not surrounded on three borders by your enemies like the infidel Jews in Israel, though I wouldn't get too comfortable. Times, they are a changing....
We over here in our North American bubble (coz hey, Canada is just as guilty of feeling too safe) are going to be made to feel very UNcomfortable one day. And then we will truly know what it's like for Israel. You got a taste on Sept 11th, and you sure didn't like it. A war was caused because of it! And while I have never been a big supporter of Bush or the war, he has the right idea. He just needs a little work on how he executes his plans.

Mark my words, folks..... there will be more and more of this to come. And until the whole world wakes up to what's going on it's only going to get worse....

Maybe this cold of mine has made me pessimistic today. Then again, I have felt like this about the world for quite some time now. And I'm betting I'm not alone.

why is called a cold when it makes me feel HOT??
I am feeling better today thanks to a magical drug called codeine. By yesterday afternoon my head was splitting wide open with a migraine, my throat was raw and burning, my mouth was a running faucet and my nose was stuffed up and required constant blowing. I finally gave in and took the codeine because my headache had become unbearable. Who knew it would help with all of my symptoms?? My headache went away, my throat stopped hurting and because codeine tends to dry you out, my mouth dried up enough to stop the overproduction of saliva and my nose even felt less plugged. Yay!! So I managed to get a decent amount of sleep last night, and I'm feeling much better today. All I am left to contend with now is a stuffy nose, but it's manageable. I'm glad I stayed home yesterday and gave in to rest.

And today is Father's Day here so I am baking a cake for my dad and getting together with the family for dinner at my brother's home. Apparently my dad wants a whole shoe shining kit for Father's Day (??) so I gotta go out this afternoon to try and find one. Hey, whatever makes the man happy! I just don't quite know where one finds something like that.....

Saturday, June 19, 2004
deep throat
I have a rant brewing in me over the murder of Paul Johnson and consequent killing of a top Al Qaeda leader, but quite frankly I am not up to writing it right now. I woke up this morning feeling like I had been doing a fire breathing routine the night before, or perhaps gargling razor blades in my sleep. My throat is raw and *burning* like a sonofabitch. It really hurts and it causes a bizarre dry feeling in my throat which then leads my mouth to produce an inhuman amount of saliva in order to try and lubricate it. And with all this extra spit production I am now forced to either swallow it every two seconds (believe me, you can only drink so much before you throw it back up) or I spit it out with great frequency. I have resorted to spitting into a plastic container I have beside me at any given time rather than get up every other minute. Sounds disgusting to have a plastic bowl full of spit, I know, but what can I do. I feel like crap and I am low on energy; I am not getting up 50 times in an hour just to walk over to the sink to expel spit.

I didn't go to the tattoo convention like I so desperately wanted to today because I am feeling like crap. Perhaps it was meant to keep me from getting a tattoo, I dunno. I only left my house long enough to go to my parents house to feed the cats while they are away and then I stopped by Blockbuster to rent a few movies to keep my occupied while I am sick. I also stopped by the grocery store and picked up a few melons; I figured they'd be easy on the throat and good for me if this is all I end up eating today (I don't know know how people eat chicken soup when their throat is like this, it makes mine burn that much more). All I can say THIS the thanks my body gives me for taking care of it with healthy food and exercise??? Tsk. SO not fair.

And Oren has been the only one to write me to ask for a Gmail account; I guess no one else was interested? Oren got one coz he's pretty much the sweetest Israeli boy going, and we all know I have a soft spot for Israelis. *wink*

Hope everyone's weekend is going better than me...

Friday, June 18, 2004
Esther is a lovely name....if you're 80 years old
This whole fiasco with Madonna and her taking on the (Hebrew) name of Esther is just making me laugh. One report says she isn't really doing it, it's just her "dream name", and another report says she's totally doing it. It makes me laugh either way.

This reminds me, I was reading an article/interview in Vanity Fair last weekend about Bill Clinton. And he said (I can't remember the exact wording, so don't quote me) that if Israel were ever in a battle for it's very existence (as in a great war, not the usual day-to-day battle for it's existence, I guess) he would pick up a gun and be in the trenches fighting to save it. How odd is that?? I guess he likes Israel more than I knew, though the imagery amused me since I could only picture the Israeli Defense Forces telling him to get the hell out of the way. Lovely thought though, thanks Bill.

Moving right along....
Let me tell ya, I think I really AM getting old. This was proven when I came to the sudden realization that I get absolutely NO exercise in my life whatsoever. My PARENTS are in better shape than me! (though it helps that they have a treadmill in their house, in front of a tv) I was once a girl who loved her sports and various other activities, and now I am embarrassingly out of shape (skinny does not necessarily equal healthy, folks). I decided if I was going to inject some exercise in my life and maintain it, I would have to make it fun (see Rat's blog). And with that I dug out my old bike and went for my first ride yesterday, and it was fantastic! Sure my thighs burned like a sonofabitch and I thought my lungs were going to collapse, but I was feeling energized afterwards and had gained a small feeling of accomplishment. Maybe tonight I will ride a little farther, and the day after that even farther! Slowly, slowly. This makes me happy.

So after I got back from my bike ride I hopped in the shower and then headed over to the grocery store (it was 10pm by this time, long live the 24 hour grocery store!). And that's when I started to do my old person's shopping. What do I mean? Well, it all started a few months ago when I switched from white bread to whole wheat bread. Laugh if you will, but I was used to what I was raised with. I had fought eating brown bread for the longest time, but now it's my friend. I've even started eating whole wheat pasta and it's pretty darn good too! Then, most recently, it milk. And now I am in love.

Last night I found myself buying "grown up" food items. I actually bought LIGHT mayonnaise (something I would once *never* had done), flax seed (good for fighting bad hearts and cancer!), soy nuts (an awesome crunchy snack, better for you than most nuts), and god help me...I bought a BRAN cereal. And I'm not talking Raisin Bran here, I'm talking All-Bran (hey, William Shatner says bran is good for me!). Oh yes, I'm eating bran. Just picture me this morning as I was sprinkling a serving of All-Bran over my Spider-Man cereal (you can't really eat a lot of this stuff straight, y'know! you'll blow your colon!). I know, it's like having a diet Coke with a cheesy greasy burger, but I'm not gonna throw out perfectly good cereal just because I'm trying to get healthy. I'll finish the Spidey cereal and then it's on to Mini-Wheats and Corn Flakes (with the occasional Lucky Charms or something. come on, a girl's gotta live a little!). For a hilarious review of All-Bran (aka: "twigs and milk") go here. Just remember, kids...when you eat a lot of bran you have to drink a lot of water. Trust me on this one, very important.

Anyway, all this good eating and the start of what I hope will be regular exercise, has me feeling pretty pleased with myself today. Will I be able to keep all this up? I think if I change things a bit at a time, I can. Yes indeed.....I'm finally growing up.

In other news, I am going with a friend of mine tomorrow to a tattoo convention going on here in Toronto. I am doing my best to NOT get that tattoo I wanted (go look here if you don't remember what I'm talking about). I pretty much have myself talked out of it because the tatt would look terrible without the white, and white just doesn't look good when you use it in large quantities. We'll see. I really have wanted that tattoo for a while...(what?? three isn't enough??). In other words, I don't want this looking like this (pretend my flesh is actually that colour, as disturbing as the notion would be). See how bad it would look??

In a completely unrelated note, did anyone watch Extreme Makeover last night?? I wept like baby I was so happy for this one woman. She was nearly deaf and they gave her a new type of hearing aid not yet released in the US and she could hear almost perfectly!! Then they put her in a symphony hall and had an orchestra play for just her as she sad and cried because she could finally hear it as it was meant to be heard!! She cried, I cried. It was a beautiful thing. (here's her before and after gallery. you won't friggin' BELIEVE how much they change her)

Before I go I'd just like to open the invitation to those interested in a Gmail address; send me an e-mail pleading your case and if I likes it I'll send you an invite. Don't you wanna be trendy like all the other kids using Gmail??

Shabat Shalom.

Thursday, June 17, 2004
bunnies make me laugh
I have pointed this site out in the past and I'm going to do it again today because there is an update. Now you can watch The Titanic in 30 seconds (re-enacted by bunnies). My prior favourites The Exorcist and The Shining can be found in the left hand column. The Exorcist is my fav. Go love it like I do: Angry Alien. And once again I *highly* recommend Amy's Diary, also on that site. I have laughed until I cried. Eeek! Now they have STUFF to buy too!! (my birthday is in September in case anyone was wondering. *wink*).

I'm looking California and feeling Minnesota
Dear Radio Station DJ:

Please oh please stop playing that Evanescence song over and over and over again. It makes my ears bleed and in time will cause me to go on a homocidal rampage. Any chance I might have had at liking that song was long ago squashed by your incessent need to play it countless times a day.

While you're at it, stop playing the White Stripes to death. I might have liked them once upon a time, but now I will never know because you made me hate them. Thanks to hearing Seven Nation Army on the radio no less than 20 times a day I can only hope their 15 minutes of fame is nearly over so I may once again know peace.

Stop overplaying songs for the sake of humanity and all that is good in the world.
I beg you (and if that doesn't work I will hunt you down and pour lemon juice over the hundreds of papercuts I will deliver to your body with blinding speed and accuracy).

a jaded music listener

P.S. Same goes for "This Love" by Maroon 5. I am one listen away from taking a golf club and smashing all radios within a 5 mile radius. You're not doing this group any favours by overexposing them. Stop it. Stop it NOW.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004
back in the saddle
Well folks, I am back from my trip and feeling like a million bucks! For those interested in seeing pictures I have launched a new photoblog since TextAmerica has been a big letdown. Now you may see my pictures here: Dreaming in Blue. Thanks to si for pointing out that Blogger has started this, and to K-Dogg for his input on the matter (and for being the guinea pig). I still have some fine tuning to do, but the pics are ready for your viewing pleasure! Remember to click on the pictures to get the larger images; the pics are clearer and brighter.

What a trip.... it started off a little rocky but thankfully improved. Not 10 minutes after my arrival I got a call from my sponsee; she was having a crisis of monumental proportions and things were going very, very badly. I asked if she wanted me to fly home, she said no but I knew she wanted me to. I was worried and freaking out. Things were tense for the next 24 hours as I had to excuse myself from my hosts and friend (I travelled with my friend and stayed we stayed with her parents) to call my sponsee and check up on her. Finally, things calmed down a bit and I was able to relax.

From there things were just fantastic. The weather couldn't have been better as my friend and I explored Halifax. Halifax has a rich and long history, including having the notorious title of being the location of the largest explosion ever before the A-bomb (two ships collided in the harbour, one loaded with ammunitions, chemicals and TNT). 2,000 people were killed with another 9,000 injured (1917). It is also the spot where many of the rescues for the Titanic survivours were launched.

Needless to say it is a city that has an ongoing love affair with boats, fishing, the ocean and it's naval history. There are still old forts that can be seen from it's days of serving the allied forces in the wars, including the Citadel overlooking Halifax harbour.

I also got the chance to take in smaller towns along the way including Lunenburg, Mahone Bay, and Peggy's Cove (the most popular attraction of Nova Scotia). It was beautiful and relaxing to visit all these sleepy little towns tucked away in the trees and rocks.

My friend and I also took a boat tour of the Halifax Harbour which takes you through the area and out into the Atlantic Ocean a bit. We nearly froze our asses off. That there is a COLD wind coming off that ocean. And of course we caught a big wave up the side of our heads. That gave us a great laugh. :-) After that we moved to the lower deck of the boat to warm up.

I could drone on and on and bore you guys to death, but I won't. If you're interested you can look at the links and go see my pictures. One thing I did enjoy about the trip? Unplugging from the news. In fact it was nearly impossible to find out about anything that was going on in the world because the local newspaper doesn't much bother with larger world issues. It wasn't until my last morning there that I finally saw something in the paper about Israel. Felt good to get away from it all......

Thursday, June 10, 2004
bon voyage!
Well folks, I am off to Halifax, Nova Scotia (still in Canada, for those who are geographically challenged. we have provinces here instead of states and Nova Scotia is a province on the east coast. here, have a map). I will be gone until the middle of next week, and I'm not sure if I'll have a chance to post from there or not. We'll see if I go into blog withdrawal or if I am happy to break away from all news for a while. I *was* thinking of handing the keys over to someone to blog in my absence but the two kids I had in mind seem to have enough difficulty finding time to post on their own, and I didn't want to add to that stress. So you're all just going to have to get along without me for 4 - 5 days; I think we can all manage.

The weather for flying out of Toronto's airport tonight is supposed to be nasty thunderstorms and such. That will do wonders for my anxiety (I'm not a fan of flying). If you hear about a big plane crash in central/eastern Canada later in the day and I never return to post know what happened.

Before I go, a fan favourite: search engine hits.
I can only laugh that someone found my website looking up "Julia Roberts having twins" since when I mentioned it in a post not long ago I was basically making fun of people who care about that sort of thing in the news. Come on folks.. who cares if J.Lo's wedding is legit, if the Olsen Twins are eating or not, or if Julia is having twins. Try shifting your focus to some bigger issues, it's good for you.

I am amused by this search though... "storie of sharing cookies at the airport". Can't say I've hear that story, and just as a tip when it's in singular form, it's story not storie. However, if any of you DO have a story about sharing cookies at the airport do feel free to share it with the rest of us.

To the person who typed in "why do I dream that my body is actually flying" ...there are lots of reasons. Doubt this blog gave you any insight, but my other blog (Technicolour Dreams) has links.

Anyway, that's about it for me. Everyody take care while I'm gone and I'll see you next week.

Update: I just found out Ray Charles died. This makes me sad. I was just discussing him this past weekend with my friends.....

Wednesday, June 09, 2004
I Spy
There is a new enemy in the world, and is it spyware. Ok, so it's not "new" but it is a growing problem and the little bastards who have been feverishly developing it are getting quite clever about it. I'm telling you folks, it is going to become the #2 annoyance next to spam, which we all know and love oh-so-much.

You might recall me mentioning last week that my computer was being taken over by some mysterious spyware; pages were getting redirected, pop-ups were dodging my pop-up stopper and strange lines would appear on pages I was looking at in my browser (including my own blog). These lines would underline words and be links to other pages and/or products, and would hit on certain keywords on any given page. Sometimes they would even override existing links so you couldn't click on the original and intended link. That was when I had enough.

So let me all spare you the grief and panic if you run into this problem by providing the steps I took. First of all I ran THREE spyware removal programs: Ad-Aware, SpyBot and SpySweeper. I like each program for different reasons but I wouldn't say you need all of them, that would be overkill. Either Ad-Aware or SpyBot is good for daily checks of your system, but SpySweeper seems to be the most in-depth and thorough. However, SpySweeper can take quite a long time to run so I would use it for weekly maintenance and let it run through the night.

After running those I ran a program called CWShredder. What a wonderful program (you should bookmark that link for the CWShredder, it has a list for most of those other programs). It's a little program that does a lightening fast search of your computer for a few of the worst and better known spyware programs (like the one I was having trouble with, which is why I used it) and can be updated. It found the one that was troubling me and removed it! Presto! Like magic. After that I ran SpySweeper one more time just to make sure it was all gone, and mercifully it was. Yay!

So let this be a lesson, kids. These programs are nasty because they redirect your homepages and other links, and they run programs in the background that you can't see but are using up previous RAM and bandwidth. So if you think your connection is a little slow or suddenly there are mysterious green or yellow lines under random're being spied on. And just today at work I was on a co-workers computer and noticed those nasty little lines under some words when I was looking at my blog, and I knew that my co-worker was having spyware problems too. Took care of that, oh yes I did. And so can you, so keep your eye out for it.

As an added point, this little spyware scare also prompted me to finally update my Norton, which had expired a MONTH prior to this. I apparently had two viruses floating around on my computer, one of which steals passwords while you surf. Talk about scaring the pants off me! Update your virus software too, kiddies. Don't be cheap (like me).

Before I go, let's give a shout out to a few people who have found my blog via their search engines.
Most apt was someone who came on here by typing "message broadcaster spyware" in AltaVista; funny that you should type that into a search engine since those were the EXACT words I typed in when I caught on to my spyware problem last week (the pop-up windows were the first sign, and they all said "message broadcaster" on them). Sorry I didn't write this post last week, I was still fuming.

More notably, I'd like to say hi to whoever typed in "help! I'm getting old!" into an MSN search engine. I'm not sure if it's a good or bad thing that I was ranked number one in that result, though I am quite certain I was of no help to that person (not that I understand what s/he was looking for).

And just for Rat, here's a search in which someone typed "stickybeak" into MetaCrawler and got me. Yay! And for those of you who have missed prior conversations and are wondering what the hell "stickybeak" means....well perhaps you should try the link I provided. *wink*

And one last thing! Meryl is giving out the "Anti-Semite of the Week" award to an asshole carrying around a sign that says "Smash the Jewish State". Hmm...sounds a lot like "kill all the Jews" to me (coz come didn't say stop building the fence, stop oppressing the Palestinians or all the usual crap. it is asking that the JEWISH state be SMASHED. a lovely sentiment). Check out her page for the info and her take on it.

Monday, June 07, 2004
hateful cowards
I'd like to start this post off by sending out a big "fuck you!" to the punk ass kids who yelled anti-semitic remarks to me as I walked down the street yesterday. I was walking with my Hebrew teacher to her car with a few of the signs she had up at her booth for the Israel Day Festival, making us immediately identifiable, and so a pair of idiots felt it was important to share their views on Jews. Ignorant little shits, you don't scare me. Say it to my face. I double dawg dare ya.

But I will not let those little bastards ruin my good mood today. I had a great time at the festival yesterday, spending time in the company of other Jews (and Israelis! always have a soft spot for those Israelis), and hanging out with my Hebrew teacher and one of my classmates who had a booth set up next to hers. My classmate and I snuck away to go buy a few presents for our teacher for the end of the school year. :-) I had a really great time and bought myself a little necklace.

And today has been really good, and I can't figure out what set this day apart from most others. I woke up an hour early this morning and couldn't get back to sleep, so I decided to just get up and head into work early. And surprisingly I had a really good day at work, and actually ENJOYED my work, and the day went by in the blink of an eye! How awesome is that? I think that these college courses I'll be taking this summer are gonna be cool...I'm getting excited. It's nice to have a sense of direction again. Feels good, and certainly shifts my outlook on my job. Yay!

I'd also like to say that I have a new love in my life, and it is soymilk. Never in my LIFE did I think I would ever hear myself saying that, yet here I am sipping a soy chai latte and writing about it in my blog. I blame it on Princess Blondie. A month or so ago she made me a chai soy latte when I was having a bad day, and it was deeeeelicious! Before I was all, ew soy beverages are grody. And now I'm all, omigod, where can I get me some more?? I was walking through the grocery store the other day and saw a display set up. I stopped, I looked, and I thought....what the hell. So I bought some. And I'm a bit of a newbie to the soy world, so I had no idea what I was buying. I bought the regular 'natural' flavour to start with. And I made my chai latte, and it was good....but the real surprise came after I tried some cold soymilk. Again, I was bracing for the worst....and again I was surprised at how good it is. Will I be replacing my regular (cow's) milk? I doubt it, I have a long standing love affair with milk. Plus I think soymilk is a bit expensive considering how much milk I go through. But I think I'll be buying it regularly now. Anyone got some tips/suggestion/recipes? My god....first it was leaving white bread for whole wheat bread...and now soymilk?? What's next?!!?

Sunday, June 06, 2004
Reagan, Potter and Brown
First of all, I was sorry to hear that Ronald Reagan died yesterday. As a Canadian this often doesn't have much of an impact, but overall my impression of him was pretty good. He was a bit kooky sometimes, but he did some good. He's also the first American president I was aware of as a child (he came into power when I was 7). I think I mostly feel great sympathy for Nancy Reagan; the last few years for her were no doubt difficult as Ronald wrestled with Alzheimer's disease. My thoughts go out to the Reagan family.

Moving on, allow me to recap my weekend. Friday night my neighbour Princess Blondie and her darling boyfriend Bruno had a surprise dinner planned for me, and had been scheming with my parents to make it happen. It was a very sweet gesture to mark my 5 year celebration. I'll put up some amusing pictures tomorrow. After that I went with a couple of my friends to see the new Harry Potter movie. It was well made and very entertaining, though a bit scary. If I were a young kid it would have scared the crap out of me. Have I mentioned I love Alan Rickman? He's awesome.

What else.....oh, yesterday I returned the X-Box I had rented from Blockbuster. I have decided I really shouldn't buy one. Once I get playing games I become anti-social as I lock myself away for days on end, and I certainly don't get anything constructive done. The flag went up for me when I got absolutely ZERO Hebrew homework done for my class last week. That is SO not like me, since I'm usually the browner who always works ahead in the textbook. I need to remember what my priorities are, and not let anything get in the way of my studies. Tsk tsk. Bad X-Box, BAD!! lol

Last night I had a great time when I went to see the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, in concert with a few of my friends. It was a fun and energetic show, and I had a really great time with my friends. We danced, we sang, we had fun. :-) And it was nice when James Brown had a moment of silence in his show for Ronald Reagan. Overall, great show, a bit short, and NO ENCORE. wtf??

Anyway, I'm hopping in the shower now, and heading out to the Israel Day Festival here in Toronto. Gotta go show some support and buy some Israeli products and such. :-) Can't wait.

Before I go I want you all to know that I have declared "Float On" by Modest Mouse to be this year's summer anthem. It's the perfect summer song, filled with the feelings of friendship, bonding and fun. Go get it. Download it (ahem), buy it, whatever. Get it and tell me it's not catchy as all hell. Actually if you go to the Sony website you can get a preview of the song right there on the first page. Go have a peek.

Friday, June 04, 2004
Today I am feeling ten feet tall and bullet proof (nigh invulnerable, even!). This is what happens when you spend a week on your knees begging to be put out of your misery, only to wake up one morning and find that you are suddenly feeling better.

Yesterday I was ready to jump off a cliff I was in such agony and sheer misery.... and let me tell ya, things got a whole lot worse before they got better. After my last post I made and ate a sandwich and then crawled into bed. It was difficult to push past the pain to fall asleep, but I finally did. I woke up 2 hours later actually feeling WORSE than ever. I got up and made myself a little dinner, and I'll admit, I had myself a little cry. I just didn't know how much longer I could go on like that and wondered when I would be ready to give in and go to the hospital (something I have had to do a few times). I was feeling lousy with no sign of it letting up.

Over time I ate more and more food throughout the night and eventually got back to bed before midnight. And I woke up at 6am this morning (an hour before my alarm) feeling like a million bucks! So excited was I by feeling good that I was at work extra early this morning and have been obsessively cleaning up my office and desk (hell, I even took my car through the car wash this morning!). It's a beautiful day and I am SO grateful to be feeling this good heading into the weekend. And tonight I am off to see the new Harry Potter movie with my friends, and I cannot wait! Yeeha! (awww..and I just got a text message from my favourite neighbour, Princess Blondie. she's invited me over to her place for dinner tonight. what a sweetie!!!)

So there you go. I think I was made better by all my well wishers on here, thank you very much. You guys rock. Have a great weekend, I know I'm gonna get out there and enjoy it.
Shabat Shalom.

Thursday, June 03, 2004
oh the humanity!!
My brain is still splitting open. In fact, it feels like my brains, stomach and intestines were all yanked out of my body, tossed in a blender, and then poured back into me again. My body is rebelling against me in ways I won't describe to you in order to spare you, but let's just say I'm back at home again after showing up 2 hours late for work and then leaving an hour later. To say that I'm not feeling well is an understatement.

I stopped by the grocery store on the way home and did some quick shopping in order to grab some fresh food. I'm hoping that fruits and veggies will somehow be my salvation, or at least get me back on track to feeling better. So I'm gonna go make me a sandwich and a salad and then I'm going back to bed. I'm sure you can all entertain yourselves for another day.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004
splinter in my brain
Brain hurts. Migraine bad. Left work early. Went home and napped. Still feel like dirt. Hung out with the neighbour and commiserated. She's not feeling well either. Hopefully going back to bed soon if tired enough. Brain hurts. Brain hurts. Brain hurts.

Why must the birds wake up at exactly 4:58am every morning? WHY????

For those interested and living in Toronto there is an Israel Day Festival this Sunday at Mel Lastman Square, from 11am - 5pm (or 9am, depending on what sources you read). Come show some support. And don't worry there's usually security at these events. While you're at it check out this really cool interactive map of Israel (link via Imshin).

My brain hurts. Ow.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004
two posts in one day?? what is this world coming to??
gee, have you heard? Canada is having an election at the end of the month....we're getting a new Prime Minister! *snore* And have you heard? It looks like Julia Roberts is having twins!! *double snore* I'm hopelessly bored at work, and there isn't even anything in the news to keep me entertained.

I'll tell ya about one thing that DOES have me excited, though... the Vaughan Jewish Community Campus that is being built *right* in my neighbourhood. Ok, so this is likely not exciting to most of you, but it's a big deal to the Jewish community here. They say it'll take up something like 50 acres (I dunno what that is in Imperial measurements..BIG, ok?? lol) and will be like a mini city. It will have things such as community services, fitness, health and wellness, seniors, education (including a highschool), day care and day camps, theatre and arts facilities, Jewish history and heritage education and preservation, a 9-acre neighbourhood park and public square, etc..

It is expected to cost about $250 million, with $100 million already raised privately (hey, we gotta take care of our own, ya know? clearly no one is gonna do it for us). I can't wait for this, and it only makes me love my neighbourhood that much more. I hope I can afford to buy a place around here one day (but I live in an expensive area). For anyone interested there's more information available here, here and here, though disappointingly there doesn't seem to be a site for it yet (this site seems to be the closest to an official site including cool architectural drawings showing what it will look like. it looks friggin' awesome!!)

Anyway, enough about that. I think I need a new tattoo. Every few years I get the itch, and it feels like it needs to be scratched again (I have 3 other tattoos). What do you think about this combination of the Canadian and Israeli flag? Hm, I dunno. I like it very much but where would I put it? Not sure yet, so I'm gonna have to ponder it some more. And raise funds too, since tatts cost money. So for now, no buying an X-Box and no buying a tattoo.

*sigh* I'm bored (or bore head for those "in the know". I'd give a link so that you could all be in the know but si's webpage seems to lack permalinks for her posts so you'll have to scroll down to May 19th.
T - 45 mins until I can go home.

it's gonna be one of those days.....
My morning started out okay..... I woke up without the help of an alarm at 7am on the dot. I was amazed because I had managed to sleep a full 9 hours, a rather unheard of event for me (then again, I crawled into bed at 9:50pm last night with a migraine). But things went downhill from there...

When I got up I went to my computer like I do every morning; some people read newspapers, I read news sites and check my e-mail. Only when I got to my computer (which I leave on constantly because I'm impatient and can't handle the 2 minute boot-up time) I found that something odd had been taking place overnight. Firstly, my firewall had put up a message saying a program on my computer was trying to access the internet (I have a cable modem) and did I want to allow the connection? Hell no, said I as I tried to click the window closed. What's this? It's frozen? Grrrr....reboot. But as it began to reboot I noticed something else.... a new shortcut to a program on my computer that *I* did not put on there. Lycos Sidesearch?? What the hell is that?? (here is the answer, with more info here) Ugh...I started sensing a serious spyware problem.

After my computer rebooted I clicked on Internet Explorer to check the news...and what's this? A POP-UP?!!?!? two??? GAH!! THREE???? I'm telling you, folks, nothing makes me angrier, faster, than pop-up windows. And these little buggers were getting past my pop-up stopper (which indicates it's a program). Most of the pop-ups seemed to be for a product called Message Broadcaster (the rest were for porn. oh goodie!), which lead me to this forum where some geeks had gathered to discuss the very same problem and how to get rid of it. Having been through this before I immediately began running a couple of my spyware removal programs (Ad Aware and Spybot). They found about 140 bugs that shouldn't be in there, but I didn't have time to see if it successfully removed it all, I had to get ready for work. I have found some removal tools and tips on those forums so I'm gonna go home and tackle the issue later. Needless to say, I am SOME pissed off this morning. Anyone know how to back up registries on WinME? Sounds like it might be a good idea for me to do that before I get meddling in things..

So after all that frustration I found I was then running late in getting ready for work, as tends to happen when you get mucking around with computer instead of showering or eating breakfast. Already slightly behind by the time I got to the highway (that would be a FREEway to my Americans readers. :-P) I was greeted by an immediate traffic jam. To be expected, you say? Well not really, not on this highway. It's a toll highway and it's actually pretty fast for me in the morning because most of the traffic is usually going the other way. This was not looking good for me and my punctuality, so I turned on the traffic report on the radio to find out what was going on. Apparently the hold up was just 2 exits away from me where a van had flipped over in the left lane. I picked up my cell, called my boss to say I'd be late, and took the next exit to get off the highway and take an alternate route. Eventually (after missing my exit) I got to work, only half an hour late. Not too bad.

So here I am, grumbling because my computer at home is sick (my baby!!) and I am starving because I had no time for breakfast. On top of that I have decided that if I had a brain at all, I would NOT get the X-Box like I have been thinking to do. As you all know, I have rented a system and have been playing Deus Ex 2 on it to see if I like the system and it's controllers. Well, let's just say I spent WAY too much time playing it yesterday and now I have NO homework done for my Hebrew class tonight. That is a very very bad thing. I cannot have gaming interfere with my studies. Bad. Bad bad bad. Thank GOD Blockbuster didn't have the game in that I want that started this whole fiasco. If I get my paws on that I might never let it go. So should I get an X-Box or not? What to do, what to do...

On a good note (eeek! I'm so happy!!) the smoking ban went into effect at midnight last night, and now smoking is banned in bars, bingo halls and casinos in the greater Toronto area (it's been the law in restaurants for a while, but it's new to bars and clubs). Yeeha!! Now I can go to the bars and clubs and pool halls again without walking out of there with my clothes and hair smelling like an ashtray. My asthmatic lungs won't freak and my eyes won't be sore and dry and red! I'm so excited!! (yes, even an ex-smoker can be happy about a smoking ban. smoking is gross and you know it!) Hurray, it's about time!! I hope they keep up the enforcement, but I heard a DJ on the radio this morning mention he was in a bar last night and when some guy lit a cigarette at 12:15am an enforcement officer walked up and slapped him with the $255 fine. Woot woot!! Come on kids, if I can kick the habit (and I'm a girl who is ALL about bad habits) you can too.