New Year’s Eve, once again

In case you haven’t read them before, I chronicled fourteen New Year’s Eves last year, from 1988 to 2001. It’s got a little bit of everything — sneaking into clubs, drinking and dashing, getting ethnic on someone’s ass, running into old flames, raves and even an attempted mugging, spanning the globe from good old Accordion City to Manhattan to San Francisco to Manila to Prague.

My financial situation still prevents me from globe-hopping this year, so it’s New Year’s Eve in Accordion City tonight. First it’s dinner at an as-yet-unknown location, followed by a Moulin Rouge theme party at Peter Timofjew’s colossal warehouse loft (where he held a big Hallowe’en party), which is a short walk from my house. The party is a fundraiser for the Free Flow Dance Company, and yes, they’ll be performing the can-can tonight. Perhaps I’ll bring the good accordion with the French-souding reeds.

Have a safe and happy New Year, whether you’re going out or taking it easy at home!


At long last, my episode!

The episode of the HGTV show Love By Design in which I appear will air on Monday, January 13th at 10:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and re-air later that evening at 1:30 p.m.. If I’m not mistaken, this will apply for HGTV in both Canada and the States. It’s your chance to see my swanky pad and very, very grown-up and suave cream-coloured couches.

I’ve never seen any episode of Love By Design in which I’ve appeared (I appeared in both a regular episode and the never-aired pilot). My episode has actually aired at least three times, but I’ve always missed it. I may have to throw some kind of viewing party.


Leftover links

There’s a good chance you have some leftover turkey from the holidays, so here are some leftover links from my backlog to go with it.

My big-ass Spanish boat is full of eels

Back in October, Washington State University’s campus newspaper, The Evergreen, somehow lost something in the translation:

The Daily Evergreen would like to sincerely apologize for an injustice served to the Filipino-American, Spanish-speaking and Catholic communities on the front page of Thursday’s Evergreen.

The story “Filipino-American history recognized” stated that the “Nuestra Senora de Buena Esperanza,” the galleon on which the first Filipinos landed at Morro, Bay, Calif., loosely translates to “The Big Ass Spanish Boat.” It actually translates to “Our Lady of Good Hope.”

Parts of the story, including the translation above, were plagiarized from an inaccurate Web site.

Actually. the Web site from which they plagiarized wasn’t inaccurate, it was a joke. C’mon folks, “big ass Spanish boat”?!

Well, it’s supposed to be a bad thing to have too much friction in your marriage…

This sentence says it all:

“The K-Y® Brand Married for Life Challenge could put you directly in the spotlight for your 15 minutes of fame.”

But wow, you’d want to have that 15 minutes very, very badly.

Maybe they could starting giving out Girl Scout merit badges for stuff like this

The CBC (that’s Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to my non-Canuck readers) reports:

MONTREAL – A teen magazine in Quebec has raised eyebrows with its latest issue, which includes an explicit guide for keeping a boyfriend.

The magazine has a sex guide with what it calls “99 Naughty Tricks,” including instructions on French kissing and oral sex.

Marie-Claude Magnan bought her 12-year-old daughter a subscription to Adorable because it’s one of the only magazines in French for teenage girls in Quebec.

Ah. A French magazine. The culture that brought us the terms laissez-faire and menage a trois.

Let me tell you — speaking from a purely Macchiavellian perspective — my adolescence would’ve been considerably more interesting had they run this sort of article in Sassy or Seventeen back then. Thanks, guys. Thanks for nothing.

(I speak in jest. Well, sort of.)

Adorable’s editor defended the article:

“It’s girl talk,” she said. “It’s what you talk about with your girlfriend. It’s the same thing with this guide.

“We are just saying ‘tricks,’ and if you don’t want to do them you don’t, and it’s not degrading to women because women do that all the time.”

I’ve witnessed this girl talk and have to concur that many girls do talk this way. It’s the second part of her defense — “We are just saying ‘tricks,’ and if you don’t want to do them you don’t” — that rings a little false. After all, the article is a “how to keep your boyfriend” guide and the implication is that failure to perform these “tricks” will have your boyfriend saying “Welcome to Dumpsville. Population: you!

Perhaps she should’ve said something a little more truthful: that this sort of article is written with tongue firmly planted in…erm, cheek, by smartasses brainstorming over beer and pizza and not by social scientists, psychologists or counselors.

The problem is that until recently, Adorable was aimed at a much younger crowd: the 11- to 17-year-old set. They changed their focus to the presumably more profitable (and randy!) 16- to 24-year old demographic, but kept the name. It must’ve caused all kinds of confusion for parents who wanted to buy a nice magazine for their young teen daughters in their mother tongue. The end result will probably be that a few readers from their former demographic will grow up a little too quickly. That’s a pity, because while some people who leave childhood earlier than scheduled turn out all right, many don’t.

I should know; I’ve dated a couple of them.


Beware of this little e-mail trick

Some virus pranksters are sending out email containing the following message:

Klez.H is the most common world-wide spreading worm.It’s very dangerous by corrupting your files.

Because of its very smart stealth and anti-anti-virus technic,most common AV software can’t detect or clean it.

We developed this free immunity tool to defeat the malicious virus.

You only need to run this tool once,and then Klez will never come into your PC

These messages have an attachment that supposedly removes the Klez or ElKern virus. To give the message some extra credibility, the senders have forged the mail headers so that they appear to come from a legitimate-sounding email address such as or

If you get email like this, delete it immediately. You should not — under any circumstances — run the attached file. It does not contain any anti-virus software; it probably contains the virus that you are told it protects against.


Work, work, work

…which means no blog entry today. There will be an entry tomorrow.


Notify Hell — they can start bidding on the winter olympics

At last night’s family Christmas party, the relatives whom I haven’t seen since the summer noticed, and the scale has confirmed it — since joining the gym this spring and going on the Atkins “carbs-be-gone” food plan just over a month ago, I’ve dropped twenty pounds. I wasn’t really aware of it until people started pointing it out recently.

Check out these photos — the goofy grin is still there, but it’s a little less Laughing Buddha and a little more Jackie Chan.

Photo: Close-up of me in February 2002.

Me in February 2002.
Photo: Close-up of me in December 2002.

Me in December 2002.

Soon I’ll be kicking these guys’ asses.


Not my typical Christmas Eve

Both my sister and my father ended up in the hospital on Christmas Eve. Eileen had to go in for emergency eye surgery while Dad had to go the emergency room for diabetes-related complications. While they gave us a bit of a scare, both are okay — Eileen’s already been sent home and Dad’s already looking much better and may get to go home this weekend.

Order and harmony have been mostly restored, and our annual extended family Christmas get-together will go on tonight as scheduled.