Thursday, August 25, 2005

Girls gone wild!

Okay, we’re not exactly going wild but we are going to Penticton for the weekend (that’s about as wild as it gets these days).

My friend Annelle and I are hitting the road tomorrow for three days of camping, swimming and cycling in the Okanagan. It’s going to be exactly like Thelma and Louise. Except we’re not going to shoot anyone or blow up a tanker truck or have sex with Brad Pitt. And we probably won’t drive off a cliff at the end of the trip either. Now that I think about it, it’s going to be nothing like Thelma and Louise.

But it’s still going to be fun. The only wrench in the plan is that everyone else in B.C. is heading to Penticton this weekend too. There will be at least 40,000 people in town to watch the Ironman on Sunday. Which is exactly what we'll be doing too. But it means every campsite, motel room and RV gravel pit within 20 miles of Penticton has been booked solid for about a year.

We have a reservation at a provincial park on Friday night but have nowhere to stay on Saturday night. However, we are not above using cleavage and tears to sweet talk our way into a campground (or into some Brad Pitt look-alike’s motel room).

And on that note, I’ve got to start packing.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

And I thought you read it for the articles…

This blog gets almost 200 hits a day. It’s not a lot of traffic but it’s enough to make me curious. Who are all these people and how did they find my blog in the first place?

Well, it turns out they stumbled onto this site while searching the Internet for pictures of big butts.

How do I know this? Because some German guy who likes big butts sent me an e-mail this week, which I have cut and pasted below:

hi sarah,

i’am thomas from germany. i was searching for "big butts" on the web and than i found your blogger-website.

i can see your gorgeous butt on a tiny image . . . i wish i can get a very BIG IMAGE OF YOUR GREAT BUTT. . .

please send me a message if u intressted to chat with me anywhere . . . ;)

and PLEASE . . . send me this gorgeous pic of your great butt in yeans . . . hmmmm . . .

thx . . . greez from germany


So I did what anyone would do* in this situation. I immediately laughed my ass off. Then I went to Google, did an image search and typed in "big butt." And there it was. My butt was the third image to pop up on the screen. Out of thousands! And my butt’s not even big.

Plus, the picture is totally G-rated. I’m wearing jeans and a black turtleneck. It’s more Amish than sexy.

I’m not sure if I should be insulted or flattered that my ass has such a high Google ranking in the "big butt" category.

In case you’re wondering how my butt ended up on the Internet, it’s all very innocent. I posted this picture to go along with this story about how I was packing some extra junk in the truck after I stopped exercising due to an injury. It was meant to be tongue-in-cheek (no pun intended).

Now it just feels dirty.

* I also sent Thomas a very BIG IMAGE OF MY GREAT BUTT because he asked so nicely.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Wedding Crashers - Review

So a few of us finally got around to seeing this movie last night. I haven’t laughed this hard since Stephen Harper turned up at the Calgary Stampede dressed like a gay cowboy.

There was one scene in particular -- a certain tryst under the dinner table -- which made me laugh until I had tears in my eyes and my abs hurt.

Wedding Crashers is not exactly high-minded comedy. One reviewer accurately described it as American Pie for grownups. There’s lots of nudity and raunchy humour. The plot is pretty formulaic too.

But it’s still very, very funny.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Mutton dressed as lamb

The Catholic church is trying to lure new sheep into the flock with a poster that spoofs the Matrix.

I actually like the poster. It’s clever and slightly irreverent (it’s rated R, for "restricted to those radically in love with Jesus"). Does it make me want to run out and join the priesthood? Oh, wait. I can’t. I’m female. Right, I knew there was a catch.

I have bigger problems with the Catholic church anyway. Like its Mesozoic stand against gay marriage, for example.

To its credit, the church recognizes it is losing relevance among young people. Hence the poster.

But the effort falls flat by failing to address the real reason the church is having trouble recruiting young priests. Catholicism is irrelevant not because it isn’t cool or hip. It’s irrelevant because it’s completely out of touch with reality.

Jonathan Meyer, the 28-year-old priest who dreamed up the poster, proves my point by saying, "If we can get kids to hang a picture of a priest in their room, we’ve done something huge for vocations."

What kind of whacked out teenager would hang a picture of a priest in his bedroom?

My buddy Bill sums it up best on his blog, where he writes:

"The poster is clever and well-done, but from my perspective as an agnostic, it doesn't address the fact that the Catholic Church remains an immensely hidebound, conservative institution -- and that many of its traditions make it somewhat anachronistic in the modern world.

Allowing priests to marry and ordaining women would be two steps that would provide much more substantial results with regard to solving the priest shortage, but the church doesn't want to change.

Fine, then continue to wither in North America and Europe.

Wrapping a pre-medieval institution in the cloak of pop culture will do nothing to reverse that trend."

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Car alarms, what are they good for?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating guns or violence or vigilante justice but I’ve finally met a criminal I can relate to.

According to Fox News (which is where all the really entertaining “news” comes from), a California man was arrested on Tuesday for firing three bullets into a Toyota Camry in order to stop an annoying car alarm.

His actions may seem a bit extreme but anyone who lives in downtown Vancouver will immediately relate. After being treated to a free car alarm symphony every night, I understand what drove the guy over the edge. I have to sleep with earplugs just to avoid being woken up by the idiot who parked illegally on Robson Street only to have his car towed away with its alarms and sirens and whistles howling in protest.

The thing is, I don’t get car alarms. What is the point? Do you actually look out the window when you hear a car alarm going off? Do you assume a car theft is in progress and call the cops? Of course not. Most people ignore the stupid things because they’re going off all the time. It’s like the car who cried wolf.

The Club is way more effective at preventing car thefts than car alarms. (Don’t quote me on that. That’s not an actual fact. I just made it up. But it seems logical, doesn’t it?)

Besides, the Club is a lot quieter. Why do we even need car alarms at all? This isn’t a rhetorical question. I’m serious. If anyone knows the answer, please leave a comment and let me know before I go crazy and start shooting cars in the middle of the night.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Blisters and bliss

A lot of people have been asking me how my hike on the West Coast Trail went. The short answer is that I’ve never been so warm, dry, clean and happy on a camping trip in my entire life.

The long answer is, well, longer. I’ve been back in Vancouver since Wednesday and I haven’t been able to write about the experience until now because I’m having a hard time accepting the fact that the trip is over. But then I’ve never been very good at letting go and moving on.

I don’t want to be here, in Vancouver, in my apartment, in front of my computer. I want to be back on the West Coast Trail.

I miss walking barefoot on the beach at sunset. I miss the sand squishing between my toes, the wind in my hair, the scratchy film of salt on my skin. I miss the smell of seaweed rotting in the sun at low tide. I miss sitting around the campfire completely disconnected from the rest of the world. I miss lying in my tent at night listening to the waves crash against the rocks.

The funny thing is most people come back from the West Coast Trail with horror stories about the knee-deep mud, the torrential rain, and the long, hard hiking over slippery roots and rocks. But I can’t think of one thing to complain about. The hiking was easy, the scenery spectacular and the weather hot and sunny.

It was more like Club Med than a true wilderness experience. The trail through the forest is paved with boardwalks, ladders, suspension bridges and cable cars. Walking along the beach is tiring but easy.

A lot of the trail is on First Nations land and a few enterprising locals have cashed in on the hikers passing through. Like Monique, who served up burgers and beer on the beach on our fourth day of hiking. Or the guys who hauled crab and salmon out of the water and threw it on the barbecue before they ferried us across a river. Like I said, Club Med.

Most people do the 77-kilometre hike in five to seven days. We decided to take our time and do the hike in seven days, which meant we only hiked about five hours a day. As soon as we arrived at our campsite, we set up our tents and then spent the rest of the afternoon frolicking on the beach. We bathed under waterfalls, swam in the ocean, read on the beach, napped in our tents, played cards, took long walks at sunset.

It might sound weird but one of my favourite things about the trip was meeting the other hikers. And because there’s not much else in the way of entertainment, we gave them secret nicknames. There was Hansel and Gretel (a young German couple), the Fragrant Bubbas (a divorced dad and his two teenage sons), the Von Trapps (a large family from Lethbridge) and the Hotties (two brothers and their parents from Calgary). We named ourselves Five Fags and a Hag.

I was especially fond of one member of the Hotties and would make up excuses to walk past his campsite. For example, I would dump out full bottles of water at our campsite in order to refill them at the creek near his campsite. Although the fourth time I walked past his campsite in the span of five minutes in order to "get water" his dad busted me by yelling out, "Thirsty?"

Eventually, the cute (and smart and interesting and funny) Alberta boy picked up on my lame attempts at seduction and we went on a couple of long walks together. Which strikes me as strange now. I mean, we had been hiking all day. Why didn’t we just go sit on the beach somewhere instead of walking for hours?

There’s not much else to add. I've probably said too much already. I'd be slightly embarrassed if he googled me and stumbled across this blog. I told him we nicknamed his family the Hotties but I didn't tell him why I was always filling up the water bottles. Unfortunately, they had to leave the trail on the fifth day due to a family emergency.

I’ve skipped a lot of the details of the trip but I don’t want to bore you. I have one more day off work tomorrow so I’m going to head down to the beach with a blanket and a book. If I close my eyes, I can pretend I’m back on the West Coast Trail.