Monday, November 26, 2007

Who is this stranger stoking our fire? Chan.nel - noun - a place for a domestic fire to be aired repeatedly on television during the Christmas season; is often set to music (read: Christmas carols) and brings hours of endless pleasure to its viewers

You know it's winter in Edmonton when local TV starts airing the Fireplace Channel, which has developed a cult-like following of sorts. Everybody watches it, and everybody has a story to tell as it relates to the annual Yule logs.

A few years ago I even heard, secondhand, that one of my cousins tuned in for so long that he actually saw someone add another log to the fire. But I wasn't buying it. His story reminded me of the tall tales I used to hear from children when I took them out on nature hikes during one of my summer jobs. ("...And this one time... in my backyard... I saw this pterodactyl..."). You get my drift.

But then it happened. Late Saturday night my husband and I sat mesmerized, staring into the brilliant flames as though they were actually in our home, when all of a sudden a plaid-laden arm reached in with a poker stick and adjusted the logs. And then he even tossed on another for good measure.

So yes, he really does exist... unlike that pterodactyl.


** UPDATE **

December 12, 2007

The following was an excerpt in today's Culture Venting of the Edmonton Journal:

- I knew the writers strike was taking its toll on TV programming when my wife got excited watching the Yule fire log on Channel 11 and called out, "Honey, come and see, he's putting a log on the fire!"

So you see, my husband and I aren't the only couple in the city obsessed with this guy!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Potsdam's five minutes of fame

You know how giddy Canadians can get whenever Canada is mentioned on American television or in movies? Well that was how my husband felt last night when his humble hometown of Potsdam, New York, got a plug during CBC's Hockey Night In Canada broadcast.

Following a disappointing loss by the Edmonton Oilers to the Calgary Flames, Ron MacLean and friends interviewed Flames player Craig Conroy, who just happens to share the same hometown as my husband. 

"See, it's not just a little town in the middle of nowhere -- it made it on Hockey Night In Canada. Even Sergie's restaurant in Little Italy got a plug!"

Yes, we had a pretty excited household last night. And if it hadn't been almost 1 a.m. EST, my husband would have called his family back home to tell them the news. They made it on the CBC.

If you're interested, Jo Ann Lawery's article is a couple years old and filled with some typographical errors (read: Pottsdam), but you can learn more in here about "Craig Conroy - Pride of Potsdam, New York." 

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

This is all Craig MacTavish's fault

His glasses say it all.

When I see the Edmonton Oilers' head coach, Craig MacTavish, on television, I become mesmerized by his eye glasses. They're so simple, and yet they add sophistication to his look. I love them. Even if I didn't know who he was when passing him on the street, I would still think to myself, "Wow, now that is a sharp-looking man. He's got it together."

Now let's rewind today's clock to about three hours ago when I accompanied my husband to his first eye exam in nearly five years. In under two years' time, once his university education is complete, my husband will embark on a new profession and, like it or not, how he looks and how he carries himself will affect his level of success. And I basically decided for him that it was time for some new eye glasses.

Naturally, an argument ensued.

Okay, so maybe it wasn't fair of me to go into this with a preconceived image of what perfection should look like. And maybe it wasn't fair of me to impose on him my opinion of what it means to look sophisticated. But I maintain that my argument is sound.

There is nothing wrong with the glasses my husband is currently wearing, and there is nothing wrong with the pair he ended up choosing today. They're fine. They're adequate. They're ordinary. But if you're going to invest that kind of money on a new pair of eye glasses that you will be wearing for every waking hour of every day, why would you settle for ordinary when you could have sophisticated?

"But those sophisticated-looking frames are too tight at my temples."

(You'll be fine once you break them in. It'll be like having a new pair of boots.)

"I'll end up suffering with headaches everyday."

(We have aspirin at home, dear.)

"If I have to wear them everyday, my first priority is that the frames at least be comfortable."

(Yes, but what about me? I'm the one who has to look at them everyday, dear.)

Okay, okay. So maybe my argument isn't entirely sound afterall. Comfort and safety really should be my husband's first concern. But if Clinton and Stacy from TLC's What Not To Wear were here, they would agree that it's not always necessary to sacrifice image for comfort; the two should actually go hand-in-hand.

But I digress. What's done is done, and my husband opted for comfort over image. Again, the new glasses aren't totally bad; they're just a little too big for my liking. Not like 1980s-big, but big nonetheless.

And not that it matters, but I don't think Craig MacTavish's wife would approve of them either.


*** UPDATE ***

November 18, 2007

How timely that in today's Edmonton Journal appeared a commentary from another woman facing similar obstacles. I sympathize with her, and, naturally, my husband feels sorry for her other half.

I don't want to get into any gender wars here, but I can almost guarantee that if her husband said to her, "That dress really doesn't flatter your figure at all," she would probably never wear that dress again. And yet he, like my husband, sees nothing wrong with ignoring the opinion of his wife.

I guess some men just don't mind being stuck in previous decades.

(Oooohhhh.... hitting them where it hurts....). Haha.

Okay, that's all I'm going to say on this issue. You can decide for yourself by checking out Debby Waldman's article, "Applying 20-20 vision to a husband's fashion image: How to get her guy to change his frames."