Canadian Prime Minister “Stephen Harper praised Canada's environmental record Wednesday during a speech at a UN biodiversity conference in Bonn, Germany.”

Time to give ourselves a big pat on the back, huh? I'm relieved to know that we're doing so fabulously when it comes to our green efforts because some of us may have gotten the wrong idea when Canada squashed the concept that water was a basic human right under its heel, took the teeth out of a Commonwealth climate plan by getting any references to binding targets removed and watched some of its citizens bludgeon baby seals to death.

But hey, you're not allowed to hunt seals until they're 25 days old and who cares that you can see Alberta oil sands excavation sites from space and that “every day as much water is taken from the Athabasca river as would serve a city of a million people”? The world needs our oil and pelts damn it!

Anyhoo, despite all this environmental carnage we're apparently doing just fine. According to Harper, “As the heirs to this natural endowment, we understand that it is merely on loan, passed onto us from previous generations to safeguard for the generations yet to come.”

Yep. We sure are ace up here. We really are. Thanks for the pep talk, Stephen. I feel ever so reassured!

Pinocchio Harper gives the thumbs up
Not too hot. Definitely not too cold. And sunny, sunny, sunny. Will July or August be able to live up to this perfect Saturday in May?

Meanwhile my June and July are fast filling up with allergy and dental appointments (four of each to be exact). Fun times ahead. Maybe I should just stick with May. After all, May is a perfectly good month (unlike August, say, party season for the diabolical Ragweed plant!). If I had to pick a date to be stuck in Groundhog Day style I would definitely pick a day in May, probably last Saturday.

If Ben on Lost can move the island I don't see why I shouldn't be able to enter into an eternal May 24th existence. So I guess I'm hoping it works out for him this week. That might mean there's some hope for me yet.

Sunny Ontario, May 24, 2008
Sunny Ontario, May 24, 2008
Sunny Ontario, May 24, 2008
Sunny Ontario, May 24, 2008
Sunny Ontario, May 24, 2008

Sunny Ontario, May 24, 2008
Sunny Ontario, May 24, 2008
Major kudos to Ellen DeGeneres for broaching the topic of homosexual marriage with John McCain when he was on her show this week.

“...there's this old way of thinking that we are not all the same. We are all the same people, all of us, you're no different than I am, our love is the same.”

Watch the whole glorious clip:

I just want to send out a big CONGRATS to Courtney Summers for her most excellent Cracked Up To Be blurbs. You can read them yourself here. I'm looking forward to picking up my copy of Cracked Up To Be when it comes out in January 09!
I'm still in Irish mode, not that I need that kind of excuse to listen to Gemma Hayes. I've had This Is What You Do as my profile song on MySpace since before we left for Ireland so I guess it's about time I put it up here. I picked up her new CD, The Hollow of Morning, while I was away and it's very good indeed. I would've loved to have caught her instore appearance at Tower Records in Dublin on the 9th but unfortunately couldn't fit it in with previous plans.

This is the problem with visiting somewhere you used to live. I feel like I'd need months to really get my fill of Ireland—not weeks. Every minute needs to be spent doing something (to maximize time back in town!) which means that moment is no longer available to be spent doing something (no doubt equally enjoyable) else.

The Deep Blue Sea, The  Gate theatreHappily, one thing I did get to do while in Dublin was hit the theatre. The Gate's putting on an incredible production of The Deep Blue Sea at the moment—a Terrence Rattigan classic about a woman who has left her wealthy, influential husband for an ex-RAF pilot who doesn't love her with anywhere near the same passion she loves him. The performances are hugely affecting and anyone in Dublin before the end of the month would do well to pick up tickets. In fact, I'd see it again in a heartbeat if I had the chance but don't take my word for it, read The Guardian review.

Now that I'm thinking about it, one of the lines from This Is What You Do aptly describe Hester's feelings about the love of her life, Freddie, for the majority of the play:

“You never fully leave me but you, you never fully stay.”

Oh, the ache.
I actually found out about this before we headed off to Ireland but in the rush of packing and finishing One Lonely Degree revisions didn't have time to post the news. I'm thrilled to say that I Know It's Over has been nominated for the 2009 ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers list.

You can read a bit about the criteria used for evaluating potential Quick Pick books here on the ALA site along with info about the procedure. The final list is announced at the American Library Association's Midwinter Meeting in January and includes books receiving 7 or more "yes" votes from committee members. Fingers crossed!

This is unbelievably exciting as the 2008 Quick Picks list included some extremely cool books like Sara Zarr's Story of a Girl, Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why and S.A. Harazin's Blood Brothers.
Improbably, it didn't rain our entire time in Ireland. In fact, most days it was downright sunny, which didn't make it easy to leave.

There's nothing like that ol' Bagatelle tune Summer in Dublin to make you long for the streets of Dublin and I swear to God as I was walking along Lower Baggot Street earlier this week two guys (not buskers) were singing it as they sauntered along together—not just a line or two, I mean entire verses. Ack! Talk about piling on the nostalgia.

So I guess it's pretty obvious, I'm still not over Dublin. Maybe that's never actually going to happen.

Bray Head, Ireland, May 2008
Grafton Street Buskers, May, 2008
Walking Through Trinity,  Dublin, May 2008
Swimmers at Sandycove, Dublin, May, 2008
Wicklow Street, May, 2008

Powerscourt, Wicklow,  May, 2008: Paging Mr. Darcy
Powerscourt, Wicklow,  May, 2008
Powerscourt, Wicklow,  May, 2008
Dublin Quays, May, 2008

Glendalough, Wicklow, May, 2008
Glendalough, Wicklow, May, 2008
Temple Bar, Dublin, May 2008

Eamonn Doran's sign, Dublin, May 2008
Italian Quarter, Dublin, May 2008
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