Life in Montreal: The Ugly

This is the final installment in my three-part series about life in Montreal: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. You can read the Good here and the Bad here. Today, it’s the Ugly.

The Ugly

I’d like to preface this post with a positive note, as what follows will be my observations of the ugliest aspects of life in Montreal. Though I will be kvetching in this article, life in Montreal is and has been wonderful. Listening to CBC radio every morning has helped to feel like I know the city, and overall I really like living here.

Healthcare

Life in Montreal: The Ugly
An illustration of the enormous problems Quebec has with care for the elderly (see translation below).

Quebec, like all of Canada, has a public health care system. Basic medical needs are covered and most employers offer additional coverage through private insurance companies.

While the idea of public health care sounds great, it has its drawbacks.

One estimate in 2010 was that across the province there was a shortage of more than 1,100 GPs. Family doctors in Quebec earn less than specialists and less than their colleagues in other provinces. So, logically, most medical students choose to specialize in a particular field or to leave the province.

Finding a family doctor is not as simple as picking up the phone and making an appointment. You have to call Santé Québec and leave your information in a voicemail message. That launches the process, but it can still take months for you to be assigned a doctor and more to get an appointment.

And don’t be fooled: “family” doctor doesn’t mean that the entire family will be treated by one doctor. That’s just a common phrase here for a GP.

Hospital Waiting Room
This is what the waiting room looks like at Hôpital Notre-Dame.

The worst thing that can happen to you in Montreal is a minor emergency (like a sprained ankle or a urinary tract infection). Unless you’re lucky enough to have a family doctor whose clinic accepts emergency cases on a day-to-day basis, you are guaranteed a wait of over 8 hours at an emergency room.

It makes you stop and ask yourself, “Does this sprain really need a brace or can I suck it up?” Not comforting.

Xenophobia

It might seem a bit strong to call it that, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Last month, it was leaked that the Parti Québecois (currently in power in a minority government and lead by Pauline Marois) would be unveiling a proposed Charter of Quebec Values.

This charter of values would essentially ban the wearing of overt and ostentatious religious symbols by public sector employees. Remember, Quebec has public health and education systems, so that means any hospital or daycare, school or university employee.

Quebec is also a destination for many immigrants from north Africa, and Montreal especially has a large population of muslim Quebecers who hail from Lebanon, Morocco, Algeria and other places.

Protesters in Montreal
Source: CBC.ca

In the proposed Charter, which has been officially unveiled (HA you’ll get what I did there in a minute), the Parti Québecois outlines what counts as overt and ostentatious. Small crosses (like the one I wear around my neck), earrings and rings showing religious symbols are acceptable. However, large crosses, yarmulkes, the hijab and turbans would all be banned. (Get it? Unveiled? LOL!)

Basically, this is a not-so-veiled (there I go again with the puns) ban on visible minority religious symbols. The crucifix that hangs in the National Assembly would stay, because it is apparently not a religious symbol, but part of Quebec’s heritage.

Since the basic tenants of the Charter were revealed, incidents of racist and xenophobic behavior have seemed to increase, according to the CBC. Now I may disagree with the principle of wearing the hijab, but that doesn’t mean that I want to deny your right to cover your head if you feel so inclined. Apparently, Pauline Marois disagrees. People like this guy, are with her (note: that link is in French).

Conclusion

I am lucky enough to be in good health and to belong to a majority religion here in Montreal. For people who don’t, though, life in Montreal is, or could be about to get, ugly. I can see the beautiful, fun and good sides of this city, but I could easily understand someone who struggles to.

***

A translation of the text in the image above (thanks to Facebook friend Stéphanie who posted the pic):

Let’s put old people in prisons. They’ll get one shower a day, video surveillance in case of problems, three meals a day, access to a library, computers, TVs, a gym, cable, satellite TV…

Let’s put criminals in retirement homes. They’ll get cold meals and lights out at 8pm, one bath a week, they’ll live in a smaller room and they’ll pay $2,000 per month!!

This is injustice, this message must be shared!

Life in Montreal: The Bad

This is Part Two in my three-part series about life in Montreal: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.  You can read the Good here.  Today, it’s the Bad.

Life in Montreal: The Bad
The Bad

The Cold

Everything you’ve heard is true: Winter in Montreal is rough.

Though we had a very mild cold season our first year here, the second year more than made up for that.  The winter of 2012-2013 was characterized by a lot of snowfall (including a mega snowstorm on the 28th of December, which we thankfully missed).

Wintery HellStarting in November, the cold sets in and that brings along with it several downers.  For one, lots of apartments are heated with electricity.  That means your skin will dry out and shrivel.

Secondly, Canadians like to compensate for the cold outside by cranking up the heat indoors.  I thought I was going to have a perfect opportunity to display my collection of  winter woolens.  But if you wear wool under your GIGANTIC winter coat (which yes, you do need), as soon as you get indoors (metro, supermarket…) you will suffocate.  You’ve practically got to wear a bikini under your parka.

Thirdly, the wind.  Oh, the wind.  Horizontal, rough, cold and brutal, the wind was the worst part of this past winter.  That, and the ten days of about -30°C (-22°F) during daylight hours.  There were days when the thought of going outside was almost terrifying.  It’s days like that when you understand why grocery stores offer home delivery service.

I do feel the need to add a positive here: despite the cold, winter in Montreal does bring a lot of sunshine. People put on their snowshoes, ice skates and cross-country skis and get outdoors.

The Roads

Are abysmal. It’s partly because of the cold, and partly because of political corruption (to learn more, do a Google search of the Charbonneau commission).

Montreal Sinkhole
This really happened.

During winter, the city scatters lots of salt and gravel on the ground. Come spring, as the snow melts and goes from white to gray, brown then black, all that snow and gravel get into tiny little cracks in the roads and the cracks grow.

And grow.

And turn into potholes. And finally… SINKHOLES! Sinkholes open up and swallow construction vehicles.

Enough said.

The Homeless

This is the saddest part of Montreal. It was one of the first things that struck me when I got here. There are people on most street corners, and in all seasons.

People of all ages and both genders can be seen in the streets. According to recent estimates, there are between 10,000 and 30,000 homeless people in Montreal. One report shows that homeless people represent about 1% of Montreal’s population yet account for between 20 and 30% of tickets issued (in 2004 and 2005).

There aren’t enough shelters to house the homeless and people are turned away even in the harshest weather conditions.

One explanation for these numbers are the holes in Quebec’s healthcare system (more on that in “The Ugly” chapter of this series) that allow drug abusers and mentally ill patients to slip between the cracks. Whatever the cause, it is heartbreaking to see.

Organizations working to improve the situation include Dans la Rue. If this is a cause that speaks to you, I recommend you look them up.

***

This article may seem like a real downer, but you should read The Good part of this series and remember that every place has its flaws.

Andy Murray Wins Wimbledon

Andy Murray: Totally NOT the First Brit to Win Wimbledon in 77 Years

I owe Andy Murray an apology.

Once, a while back (perhaps a couple of years ago) I called him “whiny”.  I did this publicly on Twitter.  I apologize, Andy.  You are not whiny.  You are AWESOME!  CONGRATULATIONS!!

Andy Murray has gotten a lot more kick-butt lately.  He’s matured as a human being and as a tennis player, and that is why Virginia Wade and #Wimbledon2013 are this week’s Twitter hashtag of the week!

“Huh?! Who is Virginia Wade and what does she have to do with Andy Murray” you ask?  Lemme ‘splain.

According to Passnotes (“a humorous Q&A about a news issue of the day”) on the Guardian’s website, the Times, the Telegraph and the Daily Mail (major periodicals in the UK) all published headlines about Murray being the first Brit to win at Wimbledon in 77 years, since Fred Perry won it back in 1936.

WRONG!

Virginia Wade Wimbledon
Virginia Wade holding the Wimbledon trophy on July 1st, 1977

Virginia Wade was the last Brit to win at Wimbledon!  That’s right!  She did it back in 1977!

Perhaps we could give these publications the benefit of the doubt and say that they confused “1977” with “77”, but then their lines about “77-year wait” and “after 77 years” wouldn’t make sense anymore.

Well this is awkward.

Wade is now almost 68 years old (her birthday is coming up on July 10th!), but back in 1977 she was a tennis champion who had previously won the US and Australian Opens.

Not only that, but before her, Britain’s Dorothy Round Little won the women’s title at Wimbledon (1937), so did Angela Mortimer (1961) and Ann Haydon-Jones (1969).

But let us be clear: Because the men’s singles bring in more viewers, sponsors and cash, and because men’s tennis is so much more, well, legit (they actually play 5 whole sets, as opposed to the ladies), the fact that Andy Murray is the first British man to win at Wimbledon in 77 years is more important than Wade’s victory in 1977.

Andy Murray Wins Wimbledon
This is cool. But he’s not the first Brit in 77 years to do it.

Right?

Sadly, so it would seem.

Now, I want to be clear: I do not, in any way, want to diminish Murray’s victory.  He beat Djokovic in an INCREDIBLE final match, and he deserves to revel in his achievement.

But it does not follow that Wade’s victory 36 years ago should be passed over or forgotten merely for the sake of a dramatic headline.  It’s still pretty awesome that Murray is the first Brit to win at Wimbledon in 36 years!  Don’t you think that 36 years is a long enough dry spell?

Okay, okay, call me a feminazi if you want to.  Call me a parade-rainer, a party pooper, or whatever.  Honestly, I didn’t know about Virginia Wade myself until today.  I had heard, like everyone else, that Britain had not had a Wimbledon champion in many long years.

That’s why I’m writing this article, and it’s why I hope you will share.  Because it’s important to remember Virginia Wade, and to celebrate the ladies like the Williams sisters, Sharapova, Bartoli and all the other amazing lady tennis players out there.

Cheers, ladies!

Life in Montreal Part 1: The Good

Because this post was getting to be long, I’ve decided to split my Life in Montreal article into three parts: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.  No copyright infringement is intended.  Uh, don’t I have to say that?

I probably can’t claim to be entirely new to Montreal now that I’ve spent more than one winter here.  But my arrival experience is recent enough to give a few pointers for newcomers to Montreal about what to expect when moving here.

I came to Montreal in January 2012 knowing very little about the city.  Friends of mine who had lived here told me it’s fun, but they also warned that it gets extremely cold.  Other than that, I had few expectations.  Chico had been here for about half a year before I arrived, but since he’s always jetting here, there and everywhere, he wasn’t a reliable source of information about the city (I love you, Chico!).

First, the Good!

Life in Montreal: The GoodThe Good

Montreal is surrounded by natural beauty.  If you are an outdoorsy person, this is the city for you.  Even on the island there are tons of parks, even a national park at Cap St-Jacques on the west end of the island and the famous Mount Royal that gives the city its name.

There are bike paths all over the city.  As soon as the weather turns warm, people kit up and cycle to and from work.  (Remind me that I need to come back to this point in the Bad section.)    There’s a public bike system called Bixi that is active from April through November which makes biking around the city so convenient and easy.  It’s been one of my favorite parts of Montreal!

Public transportation is pretty good (though a little pricey at a monthly pass rate of nearly $80), and though also a bit expensive, food shopping is decent with two large markets in the city at Jean Talon and Atwater.  There’s a lot of retail shopping options (I got my wedding dress up at Plaza St-Hubert!), but as the Canadian dollar is quite strong these days you are better off making a quick cross-border weekend trip and hitting up shops in Vermont, New Hampshire or New York state.

Jean Talon Market Montreal
Peppers for sale at Jean Talon market

Montreal is also an incredibly diverse city.  There’s of course the mix of English and French which makes the city unique.  But then there’s the huge “allophone” (as the non-English and non-French speakers are called) population that makes Montreal so vibrant.  My home is not far from the Portuguese neighborhood and there’s an Italian quarter, Jewish neighborhood, Greek area, and more.  The city has done a lot to bring international businesses here, so in the streets you hear all kinds of languages as you walk down Ste-Catherine street.

With all these diverse cultures comes a large variety of food.  A bad meal in a restaurant in Montreal is a crime, and sometimes you can feel overwhelmed with choice for dinner spots.  I use UrbanSpoon and Yelp, but there’s also RestoMontreal and of course individual recommendations.  The café culture here is great, and as soon as the weather turns nice, restaurant terraces pop up along the streets.  Ste-Catherine street is shut down to traffic most of the summer, and pretty much every weekend there’s some kind of festival or street party going on.

Perhaps my favorite part of Montreal so far has been the combination of European style and North American customer focus and friendliness.  People are polite and positive (for the most part) and if you come here speaking both English and French (or at least willing to try speaking both), that immediately ingratiates you with most people.

There’s more that’s good, but I’ll end it there.  Tune in at some later date (I’m not making any promises of regularity here) where I discuss the Bad parts of Montreal.

A Very Special Person

I’d like to take a quick minute to acknowledge a very special person.

Locket

He is my Chico, and today is his birthday.

And since I’m no poet, and since others have said it before and better than I could ever say it, here is James Taylor telling you exactly how I feel.

Everyone!  Quick!  Go tell the person you love that you love him/her!  It’s awesome!  DO IT!!

Oh, and by the way: Happy Friday!!!

 

Tiramisu Baby Blanket

I’ve just finished my latest project of which I am quite proud: Alicia Paulson’s Tiramisu baby blanket, available over at ravelry.com.  And now, some photos:

Tiramisu blanket 1
Brand: Cascade Yarns. Color: Natural. Ribbon: Offray brand in chocolate brown.

There is some unevenness and I’m not exactly sure why.  My stitch stayed pretty even throughout but I think there’s one row where it got tighter than the others.  Ah well, as my Chico said, “It shows it’s a work of art.”  Hehehehe, or something like that!

Tiramisu blanket 2
Hook size: 5.50mm.

The yarn is ecological wool, and it’s very soft.  The only problem is that it’s not machine washable.  It has to be hand washed in cold water with Woolite or something similar and dried flat.  Probably not the best for a baby blanket, but the quality of the yarn couldn’t be beat.

Tiramisu blanket 3
The ribbon threading was a bit tedious but worth it for the result. Look how cute!

I made the blanket a little bigger than the pattern called for, but I really found it way too small in the original.

Next up in my line of projects, an amazing chain link scarf from Knits for Life.

The Lady Does Love a Pun

I really do love a silly pun.  George Takei has got to be my favorite purveyor of puns in social media.  This weekend, Mr Takei was honored with a Shorty Award, an awards show which honors the best in social media. Here he is, delivering his acceptance speech:

Mr Takei joined Facebook in March 2011, and went from being that guy who played Mr Sulu on Star Trek to an internet superstar with 3,886,703 fans on Facebook, 616,661 followers on Twitter, and countless other fans in platforms like Pinterest and Tumblr.

On average, George Takei’s Facebook posts get up to 50,000 likes and roughly 30,000 shares, not to mention tens of thousands of comments (numbers from Mashable, and are probably outdated).  No one else comes close to getting that kind of engagement.

Why is he so popular?  As the Mashable article I linked to explains, it’s his humor.  George Takei posts visual and verbal puns (usually terrible) and regularly sets people giggling.  In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek in February 2012, Mr Takei said his philosophy for sharing is to use crowd sourcing and humor.  He likes to “share laughter as a community” on his pages, and does so to great effect.

It’s not just that Mr Takei posts humorous content, but it’s also the kind of humor he shares.  He’s all about nerdy humor that frequently references Star Trek, Star Wars and other supposedly “nerdy” franchises.  For some reason, this kind of humor has struck a chord with the internet population, and the result is that George Takei has a seriously dedicated fan base.  Like me, many of these fans aren’t even Star Trek fans (I’ve never seen an episode.  Yes, you can wipe that shocked look off your face now), but that doesn’t seem to matter for Mr Takei’s internet popularity.

George Takei Cologne
See? Terrible (yet hilarious) puns.

Occasionally, George Takei will post something about a project he’s working on, or share his activism for LGBT rights.  His response to the so-called “Don’t say gay” act sparked the now popular phrase: “It’s okay to be Takei!”  He will also often post about his quest to prevent the American public from forgetting the episode of interment of ethnic Japanese in camps during the Second World War.

As a professional who works in social media, I can tell you that for brands, frequently sharing things other than content that invites followers to comment can often lead to loss of fans.

Mr Takei hardly needs to worry about that.  He has established a healthy trend for maintaining fans: He overwhelmingly posts humorous plays on words and intersperses his funny posts with other content only occasionally.  The result is his impressive following.

As I said, I love silly puns.  I also completely agree with Mr Takei’s philosophy of creating community through humor.  I think that the causes he actively supports are important ones.  For these reasons, George Takei is my all-time favorite internet celebrity.

I look forward every day to his amusing posts, which hardly ever fail to make me smile.  It’s such a pleasant, simple way to brighten up your day.  So do yourself a favor and follow George Takei on your social media platform of choice.  You’ll be glad you did!

Movie Night: Ginger & Rosa

Yesterday, the girls and I were wondering what to do with our evening, as we were all three of us alone for the weekend.  We were browsing through the movies currently playing and weren’t too inspired, until I came across Ginger & Rosa, which got a promising 79% on Rotten Tomatoes (I do like to check the Tomatometer).  My curiosity was piqued and for lack of any other inspiration, we decided to make a movie night of Ginger & Rosa.

Ginger and Rosa

First, a brief synopsis: Ginger and Rosa are born on the same day in 1945 to mothers who are good friends.  Quick flashes forward show us that Rosa’s father soon abandons his family, and Ginger’s parents Natalie and Rolan, (played by Christina Hendricks and Alessandro Nivola) are not happy together.  Ginger and Rosa are inseparable, until Ginger’s interests begin to tend towards activism against the Cold War, and Rosa’s remain focused on boys, smoking, and more dangerously, Roland.  As Ginger becomes more and more convinced of the world’s imminent destruction, she becomes desperate to save the world and her broken family.  (Adapted from the Rotten Tomatoes synopsis.)

The whole movie is seen from Ginger’s (Elle Fanning) point of view.  She is in every single scene, and though she does not narrate, all events are presented from her perspective.  By shooting the film this way, director and writer Sally Potter successfully draws her audience into Ginger’s world and make her boredom, then curiosity, confusion, anger and sadness feel personal to the viewer.

Elle Fanning & Alice Englert
Ginger & Rosa are inseparable until their interests come between them.

The girls, especially Ginger as mentioned, are the focus of the story and the two young actresses deliver powerful performances.  They are also surrounded by an extraordinary cast of supporting characters, played by greats such as Oliver Platt, Annette Bening and Timothy Spall.  Not only do these three characters bring some small measure of stability and sanity to Ginger’s life, but the actors themselves help make Fanning’s acting shine by delivering excellent performances themselves.  The casting of this film is superb.

Ginger’s parents are, as parents would naturally be, a hugely important part of her life.  Though rebelling against her frustrated painter mother, and in awe of her free-thinking, romantic pacifist father, Ginger is in desperate need (as any teenager is) of their attention and support, which she simply isn’t getting.  Too engrossed in his selfish pursuit of independence and true love, Roland is blind to how his actions affect his family.  Miserable with her lot as a homemaker and the neglect of her husband, Natalie’s depression makes her incapable of being the mother Ginger needs.  The only stability and parental guidance Ginger gets is from Mark and Mark 2 (Timothy Spall and Oliver Platt), her two godfathers.  But even they know they cannot take the place of the mother and father.

Roland - Alessandro Nivola
Alessandro Nivola plays Roland, Ginger’s romantic, free-thinking pacifist father.

There isn’t much dialogue in the film, and it moves along slowly like a pot simmering over low heat, getting ready to boil so slowly that you hardly see it happening.  Throughout, there is a sense of tension and danger in each scene, leading towards a climax which you cannot predict how it will happen until it does.

While all this might sound horribly depressing (and yes, it’s true this film is not light and warm-hearted), the movie does not leave the audience entirely without hope.  Intelligent, observant and with a maturity which neither of her parents possesses, Ginger is able to draw conclusions from her experiences and make choices which prove her not entirely devoid of hope.

We are left at the end with uncertainty for her future, but assurance that Ginger understands the value of forgiveness, something which she has had to learn on her own.

This isn’t one of those powerful films which will send you home deep in thought or discussion, but it is an insightful film.  It shows us what it is to be a teenager again, and how much, though teens may deny it, we need guidance in our adolescent years.

200th Anniversary of Pride & Prejudice

Okay, so the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice was actually back on January 28th.  However, as it is such an important novel I’m going to make it okay to celebrate the book and its author all throughout 2013.  Yes, I can do that.  (They’re doing it in the UK so it’s allowed, okay??)

“Oh no, another chick who is crazy about Jane Austen,” you say?

Yes.  Yes, I am crazy about Jane Austen.  My most prized possession is a 1975 London Folio Society box set of her complete works.  I have read them all at least once, and most I have read more than once.  Persuasion is my very favorite, though of course Pride and Prejudice is the acknowledged masterpiece.

As anyone who loves costume dramas knows, there have been numerous dramatizations of Pride and Prejudice (some better than others, I suspect).  Who could forget Bridget Jones’ Diary?  (Yes, in case you didn’t know, that is based on Pride and Prejudice like Clueless is based on Emma.)  The most recent film adaptation stars Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen (not my favorite) and perhaps the most popular version (and what set off the latest Jane Austen craze) is the BBC’s 1995 TV adaptation starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle.

Hey Girl Mr. Darcy
If this confuses you, look up Ryan Gosling and “hey girl”.

Over the past year (since April 9, 2012), the classic has inspired the online YouTube series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.  I stumbled across this series via Facebook and spent almost an entire afternoon watching the 5-minute videos from the first episode.  The vlogging (that’s “video blogging”) setting gets old pretty quickly (especially when you watch them all in quick succession), but it’s a clever and fun way to bring Pride and Prejudice to life for a modern audience.

But what, you may ask, is it about this novel that makes it so enduringly popular?  Many like to say it’s the romance.  Even Henry James apparently complained at the end of the 19th century that people (read: women) were reading Austin for the romance.  I have to admit that I was disappointed to read the BBC’s emphasis on the romantic side of the story in their coverage of the 200th anniversary.

Austen’s novels, Pride and Prejudice especially, are more than romance novels or the origins of what naysayers call “chick lit”.  They are, in essence, comedies, which in the Shakespearian tradition end with a wedding.  They are far more subtle, though, than most comedies and chick lit.  They are written with an undercurrent of social commentary and with fabulous wit, intelligence and insight.

If you were to actually pick up Pride and Prejudice, you would immediately realize that Austen possessed an incredible understanding of human nature, and was blessed with the genius to convey her insights in engaging language.  Who cannot sympathize when Elizabeth Bennet says, “Till this moment, I never knew myself”?  Without being pedantic or preachy, Austen gives Elizabeth (and us) a lesson in self-understanding to which most readers can relate.

So if up to now you have rejected Pride and Prejudice as “chick lit” or a romance novel, I encourage you to try reading the first three chapters (they’re short).  Yes, the romantic story of love thwarted and then resolved is there, but it acts as a vehicle for so much more.  Read it for the wit (because it really is funny), and read it as a testament to the value of good, strong understanding of self and others.

 

And in case you were wondering, yes.  I am re-reading Pride and Prejudice right now.  Whee!

game-of-thrones-season-4

Game of Thrones is Taking Over My Life

Second Update, April 6 2014

game-of-thrones-season-4

Season 4 is starting tonight and Chico and I don’t get HBO here in Canada. So we’re patiently waiting to be able to watch it by some other (TOTALLY LEGAL) means.

Please, please, pretty pleeeeeeeease, say nothing!

First Update, May 9 2013

I feel it necessary to inform you that the madness has only intensified.

A colleague offered to put all of seasons 1 and 2 on my external hard drive.  Chico went away on a long business trip, but when he got back we delved back into the world of Game of Thrones and polished off season 2 in short order.

Now we’re catching up on season 3, though we’re experiencing less of a sense of urgency this time.  We’re just as hooked as ever, but I suppose we have managed to discipline ourselves enough not to rush our viewings.  Pretty soon we’ll have caught up and we’ll have to wait a whole week for a new episode, JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.

In other news, this morning I dreamed about Game of Thrones again.  This time it also involved the blonde chick and dragons, but I was the blonde chick and I was threatening everyone with my dragons.  Sounds like something I would do.

Game of Thrones is Taking Over My Life

I can’t do anything.  I cannot blog, I cannot read, I cannot SLEEP.

I must watch “Game of Thrones”.

I have been sucked into the vortex of addiction to this TV series.  Chico and I had never seen it.  Then, in anticipation of the new season, ShowCase started showing it from the beginning of season one.

We didn’t get ShowCase, and in a move that sealed my fate, I went online and switched it for some useless channel we never watched.  It was showing at 10:00pm on Fridays (way past my bedtime) so I set it to record.

What.  A.  Mistake.

Game of Thrones Has Taken Over My Life
Yes, I already know. DON’T YOU SAY A WORD!!!

I invited Chico to watch with me, and pretty soon we were hooked.  For a few weeks, we watched the episodes as they aired, enjoying it but not feeling sucked in.

But then, one fateful night, we finished an episode (I cannot even remember which one now) and Chico said, “Shall we see if we can watch another episode online?”

That question was what led to our downfall, and I blame my Chico entirely.  He started fiddling around on the iPad and located the next episode.  It was already late, and I said, “We can start watching it but I need to go to sleep” (I really do need my beauty rest).

Bah!  Fat chance!  We watched the whole episode, of course!  By the time we finished it was past midnight and I don’t know about you folks but I REQUIRE a good solid 8 hours of sleep.

 

Game of Thrones Khal Drogo
That there is some serious eye makeup.

Since then, we have watched one episode per evening (it’s been three days), but that’s only because the links take forever to load on the iPad.

The other night, I HAD A DREAM ABOUT GAME OF THRONES.  It featured men in eyeliner riding horses and blondes and swords and dragons and perhaps more but I can’t be sure.  It was like the story continued in my sleep and I woke up muddled between what had actually happened in the series and what had happened in my dream.

The madness will only stop when I have seen all of seasons one and two, and somehow caught up on season three (we don’t get HBO… Yet…).

In the meantime: IF YOU SPOIL ANYTHING, I WILL CURSE YOU TO AN ETERNITY OF DIAL-UP INTERNET CONNECTION.