Friday, May 29, 2009

CSI: Carp -- "Mask of Death"-- episode one recap

XUP made this comment in response to my last post, CSI: Carp --

"Does Alex brush the lint dirt out of the corpse's eyes and then gaze lustily at him like she wants to climb on top of him then and there and do the nasty? Does Callie find some reason to shoot a gun and compare bullets? Does Horatio find some reason to shoot a gun and kill at least one person? Does the hot latino guy stand around looking hot and latino making the gorgeous blond suspect swoon and give up all her secrets which he will then use against her? I need closure here."

Who am I to deny my few legions of fans? (This is where I wait while you go back and read part one of this post if you missed it. No, go on, I've got a drink and a comfy chair, I'll be fine.)

Well, the rest of the episode goes something like this. Alexx, despite the wholly unnecessary extra 'x' in her name and all it implies, does draw the line at beastiality, and merely caresses the little furry head before tenderly closing up the body bag and wistfully trailing the back of her hand along the zipper while the paramedics cart it off across the dandelion-infested lawn.

Calleigh does not need to shoot a gun and compare bullets, but does drop by the Canadian Tire in Kanata to pick up an assortment of rakes and then spends some time bashing a raccoon-shaped homicide dummy and comparing the resulting tine marks to the marks on the raccoon's body (the amazingly detailed CSI remote rake database being down due a tractor with a load of hay taking out a hydro pole on Carp Road).

She eventually comes up with a match to (collective gasp from audience) the same brand of rake missing from Alison's garage. When asked by Horatio where the rake is, Alison stammers (gorgeously) and answers that it was right there next to the shovel.

Meanwhile, hot latin guy (aka Eric) spends much time dusting things for fingerprints while wearing a tank top and glistening in the sun.

A nameless uniform guy shouts from further down the road. They've found a rake in the bushes on a neighbour's property. There is fur caught in the tines.

Horatio: "I think we have... [puts on sunglasses] ...our murder weapon." [he then pauses for Roger Daltrey's signature scream, but realizes that it isn't the beginning of the show anymore, and walks away]

Eric dusts the rake for fingerprints (in slow motion, muscles rippling) and announces that the only prints on the rake are Alison's, but there are suspicious blank patches where the rake has been wiped clean. Then he and Calleigh decide that it's a long shot, but during a short musical interlude with jumpy photography, they dust the shovel that was next to the rake in the garage. Bingo! Prints that don't match Alison's.

Using the computer in the hummer parked in the driveway, they manage to patch into the CSI ultracool Database of Everyone in the Whole Wide World (complete with flattering head shots) and the prints from the shovel match up with.... Mr. Chalmers, Alison's retired neighbour behind her house.

Horatio pays him a visit, surprising him in his garage. While Horatio takes off his sunglasses and gazes out over Chalmers' weed-free emerald lawn, Chalmers surreptitiously hides a dandelion removal tool and a box labelled 'GrubsBGone'. The others arrive at the open garage door.

Horatio has figured it out. "You were angry, weren't you... [puts on sunglasses, realizes he's in a garage, takes them off again] the raccoon digging up your lawn. [H reaches past Chalmers and pulls out the dandelion tool and the insecticide]. You came home last night to find it digging up your lawn looking for grubs. You chased it into Alison's yard, and noticed how many dandelions she has. Dandelions that might just colonize your pristine grass. [stands sideways and puts hands on hips] You decided to kill two birds with one stone -- get rid of the raccoon that's been ruining your lawn, and frame Alison for it. Payback for letting so many dandelions grow in her lawn that your lawn was threatened. You broke into her garage and stole her rake, using it to kill the raccoon and leaving her...[puts sunglasses on anyway, garage be damned]... to take the heat.

Nameless uniform cuffs Chalmers and leads him away. Horatio and Calleigh smile reassuringly at Alison, who looks even more gorgeous in her relief. Eric glistens.

End credits.

Stay tuned for scenes from next week's exciting episode of CSI: Carp. Horatio and Calleigh investigate the body of a squirrel found in the middle of Donald B. Munro Drive. Suicide.....or murder?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

CSI: Carp

WARNING: This blog post may be disturbing to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.

I saw a familiar figure skulking in the hedge that separates the front yard from the back yard tonight when we drove home from soccer practice. A raccoon. You don't usually see raccoons out when it's still daylight, but maybe this guy was getting a jump on all the other raccoons by heading out early to find some grub. Or grubs. (Note to critter: Dig up my lawn again, and you're toast. I don't care how cute and fuzzy you are.)

It reminded me of the last time I'd seen a raccoon up and about in the daytime -- it was a couple of years ago, during the summer....

[Cue wavy scene dissolving to signify going back in time]

There are some things you shouldn't have to deal with before you've had your first coffee in the morning. Like dead raccoons.

The previous night, Rae was in bed but Leah was still up. The sliding glass door in the kitchen was open but the screen was closed. Elvis [Max's predecessor] was hissing at something through the screen so I went and looked and there was a raccoon on the deck. I called to Leah and she got a glimpse of it before it ran off. I figured it could smell Elvis's cat food (I feed him next to the back door) so I closed the glass door. Leah was all excited -- "A raccoon! We can call him Ricky!"

I got up late the next morning -- summer vacation -- and I opened the curtain over the sliding door to check the temp on the thermometer outside, and there, right on the doormat on the deck outside the door is the raccoon. And it's dead. Paws-in-the-air, no-longer-breathing. Dead. (We can call him Stiffy!)

Oh crap, I hadn't even had coffee yet, and I had to get rid of the body before the girls woke up, I didn't want them to see it. Oh the drama if they saw the cute little forest creature tits-up on the back deck. (Yuck.) And the clock was ticking. The girls don't usually sleep in that late. So I put on some rubber gloves and went outside. It was a lot heavier than it looked. Stiffer, too. I couldn't see any signs of trauma, maybe it had been poisoned or just decided to have a garbage-overdose coronary at my back door. I bagged it up in a couple of garbage bags and an IKEA bag (Dear IKEA, thanks for making such strong plastic bags. Did you know that they are exactly the right size to hold a dead raccoon? I didn't think so. They are truly a superior product. Sincerely, a grateful customer.) and then I threw out the gloves and the mat and washed my hands about 18 times.

Luckily it was garbage pick-up day, so I was spared the awfulness of a raccoon festering in the garbage can in the garage for a week. The day got better from then on...well, really it would have to, wouldn't it?

As I drank my post-raccoon-disposal coffee, I started thinking about the fact that I had found an actual dead body. Sure, it was an animal, but it made me think about all those detective novels that open with some poor peripheral character stumbling over a body. Not to mention the crime dramas on TV. The place I live in is a pretty sleepy little village, so a dead raccoon is about the extent of the excitement we get around here (not that I'm complaining). My freshly caffeinated thoughts started wandering and imagining, yes, you guessed it -- CSI: Carp.

[Cue another wavy dissolve with harp arpeggios to signify imaginary sequence]

From Jerry Bruckheimer, the producer of CSI, CSI: New York, and CSI: Miami, comes an exciting new show, CSI: Carp.

[Show opens with a pounding drum beat accompanying a montage of arial shots of Carp -- the fairgrounds with the iconic red rotunda of the farmer's market building, the soccer field, the cows grazing on the field on top of the Diefenbunker -- ending with Alison's back deck.]

Horatio Caine stands there with Eric Delko and Calleigh Duquesne. Alexx Woods is kneeling down about to lift a dead raccoon onto a gurney. Alison, a tall, willowy, blonde knockout (Shut up. It's my imaginary show, I can look however I want) is leaning against the deck railing, looking distraught. Gorgeous, but distraught.

Horatio [taking off his shades, polishing them, putting them back on, brooding a bit while staring at the body, then turning to Eric and Calleigh]: What do we have here?

Eric: Hi 'H'. Not sure yet. Not a lot of blood at the scene, we think it's a dump job.

Calleigh: The homeowner, Alison, found it this morning when she woke up. [Alison nods wanly, but gorgeously, in response] We're canvassing the neighbours, but the raccoon could have been here overnight.

Horatio [standing sideways and taking off his sunglasses]: Alexx, any ideas on cause of death?

Alexx: Well, there's soil on his paws and a half-eaten grub in his mouth. And there are some marks on his head that look like the tines of a rake. It looks like this poor baby was eating some grubs he'd dug up from the lawn, when someone chased him up on the deck and hit him with a rake. Horatio, who could do this to a poor, sweet raccoon? [Camera pans to Alison, who looks shifty. Gorgeous, but shifty]

Horatio: Well, we'll just have to dig up an answer... [puts on sunglasses] ...the killer won't like.

[Horatio broods for a second and then theme music starts: The Who singing Pinball Wizard -- all the other good and possibly relevant Who songs having already been taken by the other CSI franchises]

I don't know. I think it could be must-see TV.

UPDATED: Full episode storyline posted due to one person asking popular demand. Click here for CSI: Carp -- "Mask of Death".

Friday, May 22, 2009


Yesterday did not start out well. The girls were tired when I got them up -- my fault really. I'd let them stay late at the park the evening before, which pushed back bath and bedtime routines. Rae had been whiny and obtructionist, fighting me every step of the way through bath and bed. I had hoped that the morning would be better, that sleep would solve some of the behaviour. But no. Tired and cranky, Leah was in tears, and nothing could fix Rachel's bad mood. We argued all through breakfast, she refused to wear the clothes I'd put out for her, and bitched about what I was putting in her lunchbox. I was distracted, trying to keep mental hold of the million things at work and home that I have to keep track of. Leah reminded me about soccer practice, and the fact that she needed new cleats, which I'd forgotten.

So, I was in a bad mood, the girls were in bad moods, and no one was behaving well. Then the girls started in on each other, and I snapped. I was slamming cupboard doors and yelling, and generally not behaving like a calm, rational adult. Everything was just too much. The house was a mess, we were running late, the gas tank on the car was almost empty, we were out of cat food, the clothes dryer was still broken, I had a meeting at work that I wasn't prepared for, everything was just terrible and overwhelming and just. too. much.

I took a deep breath in preparation for continuing to argue (a pointless, stupid argument) with Leah, when a thought crept in past all the tumult -- I bet Tori Stafford's mother would give anything to be having an argument with her daughter right now in a messy house with a broken dryer.

I stopped yelling and apologised. We waited while Rae went and chose a new outfit for school. And when I dropped them at daycare to catch the school bus, we parted with the usual hugs and kisses. All you need is some perspective to see what's really important, and what isn't. It's heartbreaking that sometimes that perspective comes at such a great cost.

(8-year-old Victoria Stafford disappeared on her way home from school in Woodstock, Ontario, on April 8. Surveillance camera footage showed her walking away with a young woman. Two days ago, a 28-year-old man and an 18-year-old woman were charged with her abduction and murder. Police are still looking for her remains.)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Awesome. Cheesy. Craptastic. Yes, 80s excess at its best/worst.

The dancing! The emoting! The Desperately Seeking Susan spokes-singer! The blond Duran Duran wannabe guy! The flaming torches! The fake snowfall! The new-wave mullets! The parachute pants! The cartwheels! The bending upside-down and singing between the legs while wearing red stilettos!

Yes, it's all here. All that and much, much more. Treat yourself.

(I totally stole this from Bill's Facebook page. Thanks, Bill. And Happy Birthday too, my friend! I think you'll find that your forties rock.)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I bet even Peter Gabriel never saw this coming

On my way to work today, I passed the new headquarters of the Taoist Tai Chi Society of Canada. The building it's housed in used to be a Swiss Chalet restaurant -- a chain famous for rotisserie chicken and distinctive chalet-style architecture.

Does the juxtaposition of tai chi and rotisserie chicken make anyone else think of this:

Or is it just me?

The relevant part starts at around 3:21 of the video. And I do that every time I'm making a roast chicken or turkey. When I'm rinsing it in the sink before putting it in the roasting pan, I make it dance, and bow, and gesture with its little wings, for my own amusement, while I sing Sledgehammer (badly). I like to think that it would make Peter Gabriel smile.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Barbie does the National Capital Region

This showed up in my inbox and was too good not to share. Of course it'll be funnier for the locals who read it.

Mattel recently announced the release of limited-edition Barbie Dolls for the Greater Ottawa market

Orleans Barbie

This princess Barbie is sold only at the St. Laurent Centre . She comes with an assortment of Kate Spade Handbags, a Lexus SUV, a long-haired foreign dog named Mignon and a designer kitchen. Available with or without boob job, tummy tuck and face-lift. Workaholic Ken sold only in conjunction with the boob job version.
Barrhaven Barbie

The modern-day homemaker Barbie is available with Dodge Caravan minivan and matching Lululemon yoga outfit. She gets lost easily and has no full-time occupation. Traffic-jamming cell phone sold separately.

Arnprior Barbie

This recently-paroled Barbie comes with a 9mm handgun, a Ray Lewis knife, a lo-rider Chevy with dark tinted windows, and a Meth Lab Kit. This model is only available after dark and must be paid for in cash (preferably small, untraceable bills) ... unless you are a cop, then we don't know what you're talking about.
Westboro Barbie

This yuppie Barbie comes with your choice of BMW convertible or Hummer H2. Included are her own Starbucks cup, credit card and country club membership. Also available for this set are Shallow Ken and Private School Skipper. You won't be able to afford any of them.

Stittsville Barbie

This pale model comes dressed in her own Old Navy jeans two sizes too small, a NASCAR t-shirt and tweety bird tattoo on her shoulder. She has a six-pack of Coors light and a Hank Williams Jr. CD set. She can spit over 5 feet and kick mullet-haired Ken's butt when she is drunk. Purchase her pickup truck separately and get a confederate flag bumper sticker absolutely free.
Rockcliffe Barbie

This collagen-injected, rhinoplastic Barbie wears a leopard print outfit and drinks cosmopolitans while entertaining friends. Percocet prescription available as well as warehouse conversion condo.

Kemptville Barbie

This tobacco-chewing, brassy-haired Barbie has a pair of her own high-heeled sandals with one broken heel from the time she chased beer-gutted Ken out of Cougar Barbie's house. Her ensemble includes low-rise acid-washed jeans, fake fingernails and a see-through halter-top. Also available with a mobile home and a Skidoo.

Glebe Barbie

This doll is made of actual tofu. She has long straight brown hair, archless feet, hairy armpits, no makeup and Birkenstocks with white socks. She prefers that you call her Willow . She does not want or need a Ken doll, but if you purchase two Barbies and the optional Subaru wagon, you get a rainbow flag bumper sticker for free.

Vanier Barbie

This Barbie now comes with a stroller and infant doll. Optional accessories include a bus pass. Gangsta Ken and his 1979 Caddy were available, but are now very difficult to find since the addition of the infant.

Mount Tremblant Barbie

She's perfect in every way. Ken has a condo in downtown Ottawa and visits on the weekends.

I'm still waiting for Byward Market Barbie, who comes with a sleazy clubbing microdress, a handstamp from Helsinki Lounge, a tequila shooter, and a 3 a.m. shawarma.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Laundry Wars Part I: Alison vs. playground sand

There seems to be a high percentage of clay in the sand at the playground. Rich clay, saturated with highly coloured particulate matter, hides amongst the sand grains and binds with foot sweat to create an instant and indelible brown stain on the bottoms of socks. It insinuates itself into small shoes and rainboots during play, and no sock is safe from its foul malevolence.

I have tried presoaking. I have tried stain-removing spray. I have tried bleach. Oh, how I have tried bleach. I've used enough bleach that the chlorine-y scent of those socks causes flashbacks to ogling jailbait at the community swimming pool. But I have failed.

(I would like to state at this point that I was going to take pictures of the socks, I had even posed them artfully against my white kitchen tiles, and then I realized that really, as interested as you all are in the minutiae of my life, no one wants to see pictures of my childrens' stained socks. If you are disappointed at this, please seek help. But I digress....)

First Battle of the Bleach - a mere skirmish

Add one cup of bleach to water in washer, set washer to warm, put stain-sprayed socks in washer, cross fingers. Stains laughed, flipped me the bird, and drove their jeeps back behind their own lines.

Second Battle of the Bleach - covert maneuvers

Add one and a half cups of bleach to water, set washer to hot, put stain-sprayed socks in washer, cross fingers. Stains took heavy losses, but regrouped, called in air support, and held onto their territory.

Third Battle of the Bleach - going nuclear

Put socks in bathroom wash basin. Add hot water and 2 cups of bleach. Leave soak for an entire afternoon. Stains have apparently mastered duck-and-cover and/or time travel to avoid giant bleach nuke. Although the blast force of the bleach totally faded out the colours of the socks, as soon as the fallout had cleared it was evident that the stains, like cockroaches, had survived the attack.


Why it didn't occur to me that lovely pastel pink, green, and pink-and-yellow-striped socks would be, I don't know, bleached out to sad, pale, blotchy versions of themselves, as if you'd tie-dyed ghosts, I'll never know. I was just so determined to get the stains out. So now my children are walking around in two-toned socks: whitish tops with brown bottoms.

I still love the smell of bleach in the morning, even if it doesn't smell like victory.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Screaming adult snake valium

This is a fairly sleepy little blog. On an average day, about 50 people visit here and leave between 10 and 15 comments. Most visitors are in the friends (both real-life and blog friends) and family category. Others stumble across Party of 3 in a variety of ways. A few days ago, I posted about Colin Firth, and the stats exploded. (Well for me it was an explosion, proportionally, visits to my site tripled.)

I did a little research and found out that these hits, which were coming from all over the world (Japan, UK, Belgium, Germany, Romania, Portugal, Australia, China, France, Canada, USA), could all be traced back to 2 Colin Firth chat sites that had linked my blog. There are A LOT of women who seriously like some Colin apparently. More than I ever imagined. They didn't leave any comments, but that's OK, I like seeing all the new dots appearing on my map of the world widget that tracks visitor locations.

Over the last little while, I've been interested in how people find my blog. I've been keeping track of Google search strings that have sent people here. There are two search strings that appear over and over. "How to remove a squirrel from your fireplace" and variations on that theme send 2 to 3 people per day to this blog post. Think of it. Squirrels are falling down chimneys all over North America and Europe at a rate of 2 or 3 a day, sometimes as many as 5! This is verging on being an epidemic of squirrel falls. Perhaps the World Wildlife Fund should get involved.

And then there are those who Google "I'm too sexy for my shoes" (1 or 2 per week) and get sent here. A large percentage of those hits come from India. Curious. Maybe Right Said Fred should mount a comeback tour in Mumbai.

But it's the weird search strings that bring people to your blog that are the most fun. Ones that make you shake your head. Ones like these:

Can you light a fire in your chimney to chase a squirrel out?
Technically, yes, but it's a really bad idea. Seriously.

Kermit crack
I don't even want to know if that is some new kind of illicit drug or a frog in plumber pants.

Tampax crafts
Eeew, stick with the foam shapes and glitter glue. Please.

i want to send a sorry mail to my manager that i have done wrong stuffs in the party
Getting drunk at an office party is nearly always a career-limiting move. Except maybe in Japan.

Alison Detroit nude
While I have been in Detroit on more than one occasion, and I have been nude from time to time, I can honestly say I've never been nude in Detroit. Not even that one time...

Male cow penises
Um, what other kind of cow penises are there?

screaming adult snake valium
Sorry, I only have the screaming children's snake valium on hand. Wish I could help you though.

What's the weirdest search that ever brought someone to your blog?

Friday, May 01, 2009

Colin Firth is not always brooding

I've been having a Facebook conversation with Jen. You know, Jen, who's having a significant birthday tomorrow? Well, I know that a milestone should be properly celebrated, and so I gave her Colin Firth to have as Husband #2:

And out of the goodness of my heart, too, NOT just to keep her away from my fiancé:

(And I would like to note that she was very gracious in her gratitude.) Now, what was I saying? Yes, Facebook. Well, Jen was saying that Colin seems to be brooding a lot. I've set out to prove her wrong. Humour me and check out the following evidence:

Not brooding at all. Quite content, actually, like he's just finished a lovely meal, and the waitress that just served that lovely meal had a low-cut top and a nice rack.

Definitely not brooding. Definitely happy, verging on giddy. (The extra head growing out of his shoulder is a bit disturbing though.)

Sort of brooding, but if you squint a bit you can convince yourself he's merely undressing you with his eyes.

Not brooding. But exceedingly damp. And prone to leave stains.

Not brooding, merely concentrating on holding a sword to someone's neck while simultaneously looking down her blouse.

Not brooding. Pensive. That's it, pensive. Or thoughtful, abstracted, and preoccupied. (A thesaurus -- best investment I ever made.)

Not brooding. His eyes are closed because he is overcome with love. Or he has a migraine. Or Bridget has just accidentally hit him in the sensitive bits with her purse. But he's not brooding.

So not brooding.

Not brooding. Merely solemn and meditative, and a bit contemplative.

Positively gleeful.

OK. I'll agree this is a full-on brood. No matter. I'm sure that Jen could soon put a smile on his face.

Happy 40th anniversary of National Jen Day!