Tuesday, February 28, 2006

First they go after the right to choose... what's next? A woman's right to vote?

Ok... so what are they trying to do in South Dakota? Roll us all the way back to the stone age, slowly but surely? I'm sure most of you have heard the scary news of the newly anointed abortion law that was recently passed there, but due to my shock and horror, I've decided to present the details here:

I had heard rumblings for some time that a major anti-abortion bill was in the works, and on Friday, February 24, 2006 (a dark day for women everywhere- whether you're anti- or pro-choice), the South Dakota State Legislature passed a law (which apparently the Governor is disinclined to veto...) which outlaws all abortion, even in cases of rape and incest UNLESS the life of the woman is in direct medical jeopardy (ie- threats of suicide ain't gonna sway the government of South Dakota.) On top of this, doctors who flout this new law could be sentenced to up to five years in prison for performing an abortion.

This law, once it is signed, will be a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, which, most of you will know, was the 1973 US Supreme Court ruling that struck down anti-abortion laws in the US. Thus, it will be challenged in court. Good.

The problem here is that the law has been crafted in such a way as to allow it to stay in place whilst said challenge is underway... dammit. What's more, and this is really, truly scary for women of the US, when this case does make it to the Supreme Court, what if the now-higher-content-Republican Court (given Bush's TWO appointments) finds in favour of South Dakota? Wow, that's a dangerous precedent to set. I'm not even sure of the mechanics of how or if that could happen, but I'm sure the possibility is there.

Perhaps this was the purpose all along... find one of the most socially conservative states in the country (with a low abortion rate taboot- ~800 per year are performed and there is only ONE legal abortion clinic in the whole damn state), get the Legislature to pass a massive anti-abortion law (knowing full well that it will be challenged under Roe v. Wade), and then let the judicial system do its work in the hopes that the courts will find in favour of the anti-choice lobby and the State of South Dakota...

True-this does not have a direct affect on those of us that don't live in the US, but (I say again) it does set a dangerous precedent. Canadians can take comfort in the fact that an anti-abortion law here would have to get through the Canada Health Act as well as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms before it could be enacted... and that's not a very likely scenario right now, given the composition of our government and the Supreme Court. Thank goodness.

That said, the very existence of the South Dakota law sends shivers up my spine. Some women just cannot afford to have a baby, whether financially or socially (and unfortunately, this is a responsibility that is ultimately borne by women). Why should a woman be forced to carry to term and give birth to a child that she knows, from day one, she can't support? Never mind the intense social stigma of being a single or unwed mother- you know it's still there. And don't even try to quote the birth control argument to me- accidents DO happen, and what if you can't afford birth control? Should you just never have sex? Right.

Don't they know that no matter what the state says, women are still gonna have abortions??? They always have... but when it's not state sanctioned, women are forced to get creative, and that's when abortions become truly dangerous. Conjure images of bent clothes-hangers, dirty knives, lye (LYE!!), and women throwing themselves down stairs in an effort to self-abort.


See a very informative post here for more information on this, and also, for fiction-based-on-fact tales of pre-legal abortion situations, The Cider House Rules by John Irving (the book, not the movie), and the movie Vera Drake are good representations of what I'm talking about. (Vera Drake also does a fantastic job of highlighting the class divide when it comes to abortion.) We have to take action here! This is our past, but if we don't speak up, it may also be our future. And that's a truly horrifying thought.


Monday, February 27, 2006

Ahhhhh... that's better!

I have no coherent vision for what this post should encompass, so be prepared for a scatterbrained account of the last couple of days!

It was a good weekend! Tobin and I broke in our new apartment properly with not one, but TWO nights of parties (ok, ok... one was not planned, but does that really matter? Really?) All I can say are the following things:

- enchiladas really are the food of the gods.
- impromptu house-parties rock;
- red wine and Mezcal DO NOT mix. period. (no really- take my word, and blood-red eye, for it...);
- futons are the most comfy pieces of furniture going;
- potlucks are definitely the way to go for house-warmings;
- 3am scarfing of trifle should become a time-honoured tradiation (Laura- YUM!!! It was seriously ALL gone in ~4 minutes. Seriously.);
- morning-after brunches and running into another group of morning-after friends should likewise become tradition;
- magnetic poetry is awesome (and incredibly hilarious when alcohol is involved in the composition);
- never trust a drunk man to clean up a broken glass, no matter how much he insists he can do it... (many people will get cut, and we like to minimize the cutting);
- daffodils are very pretty and make EXCELLENT house-warming presents! (thanks, Sarah!)
- having your own washer and dryer cannot be over-valued. There are no words for how much I love my washer and dryer.

AND THEN, in addition to this ALREADY stellar weekend, I attended a meeting of the Fredericton Social Network yesterday. It was very exciting to see people from different organizations and ideological backgrounds willing to work together within their commonalities. I'm so sick and tired of groups complaining about and bad-mouthing other organizations that are working towards the SAME GOAL because they differ on one or two points, rather than working with them. This was just SO refreshing. Could this be the beginning of a UNITED FRONT ?!?!?!

Really things are just getting off the ground with the FSN, but the idea of having organized links between all of the social groups in Freddy makes me think that we may finally be moving somewhere. We're organizing a weekend of workshops for late April. I'll keep you all posted on the details as decisions are made. Even if you don't want to give a workshop, maybe you'll want to attend them!!!

So really, the weekend was the perfect mix of social and political; of running around and down-time. Yup... it's -26 outside, but I definitely smell spring in the air. Happy Monday everyone!

ps- keep up the discussion on my last post- this is good!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Catch 22... with kids.

The problem of being able to find and pay for adequate childcare in this day and age is one that most people seem to accept as one of those things in life that just has to be worked through... and always will do, but my thinking is that we shouldn't have to choose between a reasonable quality of life for our families and taking care of our children.

It should be a given... shouldn't it??

The Setting: the 16 South bus at 7:45am. Crowded. Two dads, seated with their respective daughters (~6 years old each) are chatting while their children introduce their dollies to one another.

The Scene: The topic of conversation (which was impossible not to overhear as I was seated approximately 0.5 feet away from it) was not Canada's abysmal loss to Russia in Olympic hockey, but childcare- the availability and the cost thereof (both daddies were escorting their little darlins' to daycare on their way to their respective places of employment).

The Problem: As I observed the discussion, it became more and more disturbing to me. The overall theme of the discussion was how lucky each had been to find a place for their kids in daycare. As the dollies danced together and farted in one anothers' face (awwww, aren't they cute?) both parents confided that the price of daycare was prohibitive, but what could they do? The kids had to be taken care of, and both Mom and Dad had to work.

... the dollies were now tap-dancing on thin air... it's amazing how dollies can do that...

The Rant: This is a theme that is very familiar to most people, even if they don't have kids. The cost of childcare is astronomical. Many families just can't afford it, so they end up relying on a relative or two, or the kids end up raising themselves (except for the fact that it is illegal to leave a child under the age of twelve unattended... or is it ten? Either way, the point is the same, if you can't afford daycare, don't have any able family or friends nearby, and you have to work, you're essentially screwed, or at the very least, forced to become insanely creative). In fact, for many young, dual income families, once you've factored in childcare and transportation costs, it's actually cheaper for one partner NOT to work- ie: these costs not only absorb one person's income, but actually start eating into the second (and you JUST KNOW that nine times out of ten, it is Mom who's expected to be the one to give up her 'day job'). What's wrong with these pictures?? Or worse yet, what the hell are single parents supposed to do?

And on top of all this, even if you have enough income to actually pay for someone to look after your kids, you still have to worry about actually getting them a place in a daycare facility. And you'd better believe that the competition for these coveted spots in our sleepy little town has become cut-throat. I ask again: What's wrong with this picture??

...at this point in my thought process, I notice that the dollies have morphed into light-sabres and that their owners are now locked in a do-or-die battle...

Now don't get me wrong: I'm not suggesting that care-givers be paid less. Quite the contrary, in fact: Most care-givers are extremely underpaid, and this is something that should also be addressed. So what's the solution? Should the government pay?

The Solution(?): As most of you probably know, the recent federal election brought forward promises of a $100/month childcare subsidy from the party that actually won. Upon discussing this with my one friend who actually has a child, I discovered that the average monthly cost of childcare per month is actually in the neighbourhood of $900- $1000 (~$6/hr, ~8 hours/day, 5 days/week)- and that's CHEAP childcare. What the hell is $100 going to do to defray that kind of cost?? And now, on top of that, for those of us that live in New Brunswick, our glorious leaders are considering scrapping the childcare program altogether. Great idea, guys!

It seems to me that if the federal government put even a fraction of their military budget into social programs, including childcare, we could come up with something a hell of a lot more feasible for the majority of parents than the extremely creative solutions that people are currently forced to come up with... the mythical creature that is a national childcare program, perhaps... And that's just to start. But alas and alack, our current governmental structure is simply not up to the task of dealing with the social issues that have arisen as a result of said structure (among other things). Thus, I fear that the people of this country will continue to grapple with the Catch 22 that is trying to earn enough money to provide basic care for their children whilst attempting to ensure that there is actually someone there to provide said care.

Even though I know most of you don't currently have kids, and are in fact eons away from even considering a little bundle of joy, I'm interested to hear everyone's thoughts on this...

... by the time we reached my stop on the line, the dollies were locked in a vicious wrestling match... accompanied by ear-splitting giggles...

Ah to be six and worry-free again.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

tomato sauce is evil

Well wouldn't it happen that the one day I've worn white in the last two months is the one day that I'm seriously jonesing for spaghetti?? You know it would. That's right. And what better to go with my nice off-white tank-top but a nice spot of tomato sauce?? (Strategically placed, of course, front and centre on the bustline... where else?) Even my trusty little Tide pen is not equal to the task. I fear for the well being of my tank. Evil, Evil spaghetti! Why did you make me want you so? Why did I give in? I am weak. WEAK!

The old addage really is true: you CAN dress me up, but you can't take me anywhere... unless you follow me around with a bib, a dustpan, a washcloth, and a Tide pen...

** please note that this is NOT an advertisement for Tide pens... the damn thing let me down. I still have a little orange spot, front and centre. *grumble grumble grumble*

Good day to you all.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

the TEST.

You all know of what I speak. The BEST FRIEND TEST. It is the test that all new dating potentials must pass if they ever hope to get past 'go'. This is even more scary than the sibling/parental test. If you fail those tests, depending on the family, you may still have a fighting chance... afterall, we don't choose our family. But flunk the BEST FRIEND TEST, and you've just constructed serious obstacles in your relationship, if not killed it altogether.

I mean, we all know that NO ONE is ever going to be good enough for our best friends, but there are some that we can learn to live with...

I've recently been reminded of a highly amusing methodology that a very dear friend of mine used to employ (and perhaps still does) in administering the BEST FRIEND TEST. He would ask the new guy/gal one simple question:

Which, in your opinion, is the best Eagles song/album?

The correct answer being (of course) NONE! Double de-merit points if said guy/gal even admits to knowing the titles of the albums.

This, of course, was a question designed to be specific to that particular group of friends, and apparently indicated enough to them about the person being questioned to allow the group to make a sound judgement ;)

I'm curious to know if you all think this is an acceptable methodology, and if not, what would you suggest as an alternate means of administering the TEST? Do we go for the tried and true standbys of 20 questions or the quiet observation of every move made and syllable uttered? Or do we get more creative? Do tell. I'm dying to know.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

And now for something completely different...

I've finally succeeded in changing my template.

I didn't like any of the standard offerings, so I decided to take my existing template, rip it apart, and put it back together in a new and mysterious fashion. (learning html is fun!)

Please validate my existence by leaving a comment to let me know what you think of the new look.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Ahhh, to be from the Maritimes...

Ok, so this morning, while waiting for various bureaucratic decisions to be made, I amused myself by playing a mental slideshow of my memories of time spent abroad. In the process, I stumbled upon the here-to-fore forgotten episode of the Great Dessert Mix-Up. Tears of mirth sprang to my eyes at the mere memory...
In the Fall of 2000, I spent four months at the Queen's University International Study Centre in East Sussex, UK. This is an incredible spot- the school is actually based in a medieval castle and the student body is composed of people from all over the planet, but mainly from Canada and the US.
One evening, a large group of upper-years was chowing down before some lecture or another. And by large group, I mean there was a whole table of us... prolly 20-25 students.
Dessert that night was the famed creation of Brighton origin, Banoffee Pie. For those of you who don't *shock* know what this is, think graham-cracker crust, a layer of ooey-gooey toffee, a layer of sliced bananas, and topped with whipped cream... YUM! As it was still fairly early in the semester, most of us had never tried this concotion before. Somebody asked if I liked it. I did... a lot. So I said:
"Yes! This is better than Sex In A Pan!"
The ENTIRE table (save one, sister Maritimer) erupted into gales of laughter. I mean, people were choking on their pie, milk was streaming from noses... a few actually slid from their chairs onto the floor- it was a mess. I looked at my sister Maritimer, and she looked at me- we both shrugged our shoulders... what's so funny?? Then I clued in- the rest of the table had no idea that Sex In A Pan is actually a very yummy dessert, which apparently ONLY exists in the Maritimes. (You all know what it is, don't you???) So I quickly tried to explain myself. Then performed the Heimlich on a couple of my classmates (no worries- lives were indeed saved...).
In hindsight, once I stop laughing and wipe the tears from my eyes, I realize that I should have just let them laugh. It would have secured my reputation as the funny, slightly crass, and therefore daring and cool woman on campus. Ah well. I don't mind being the wacky Maritimer... In fact, I quite enjoy the wackiness.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

all hail to the gods of spring!

It smells like spring today. And by smells like spring, I don't mean the thawing-dog-shit stench that hits in mid-April... I mean the smell of new beginnings, or renewal. I don't know how else to describe it, but it's a good smell. The day is gorgeous, and even though I am relegated to watching it from my office window, it is really quite enjoyable.

I'm hoping that this feeling of renewal will continue, both outside and within me. Upon re-reading my posts for the last few weeks, I realize that I have been one CRABBY individual (again, apologies to all who have been forced to endure my crabbiness. Tobin, you are a saint- I would have put my head through a wall by now). This has got to stop. I don't even know where the last two months have gone. I've done nothing, really: my research, which I love, has ground to a halt; I've completely lost the desire to socialize in groups of more than four people; I haven't finished a book in over a month; my anal retentiveness/obsessive compulsivness has reached a previously-thought-unobtainable new high; and I just can't seem to get my bedroom fully unpacked. For those of you who don't know me, these are all extremely odd/disturbing signs.

I have, however, noticed similar signs in many of the people around me, so I've decided to chalk it all up to 'Winter Blues' (I know we haven't really had a winter, but everything is still dead as a doornail, and that's got to count for something, doesn't it?) and be done with it. I can feel spring in the air... so the time has come to reintroduce myself to myself and get out of this less-than-enjoyable funk. I miss me. Me is fun. Let the rejuvenation begin!!!

And in the spirit of rejuvenation, you must all go and read the Hungarian Phrasebook sketch, because it is a classic, and because laughter is an important component of growth.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I get by with a little help from my friends...

I, and most of my single friends, have happily survived yet another V-day relatively unscathed, although not without some small amount of bitterness on the parts of a few- thus dubbing the day "VD" or "Suck My Ass Day". Some have asked me how we managed to do this without having to take out an emergency perscription in little purple pills.

I propose to answer this here and now. So the question is this: How do you redeem a seemingly un-redeemable Valentine's Day?

I have come up with a formula:

First, you take one incredibly sympathetic roommate. Add one funny stuffed rose, a card, and some chocolate. This gets the day off on the right foot.

Next, add one awesome Father. Combine with a gorgeous tea rose, one funny and extremely useful gift, and more chocolate. Delivered at the office, so everyone knows you got a pretty flower. This puts a grin on your face and makes the morning.

To this add a Valentine's Day "date" with the bestest lunch buddy ever (and winner of my Valnetine's Day quiz as it turns out). Mix in two or three hot chocolates laced with ample amounts of Bailey's Irish Cream and some stellarly funny conversation. This leads to an afternoon of the two of you rediscovering how to type through the mist of Bailey's... and sharing the ordeal via MSN.

While still navigating through said mists, go to Kill the Goat and read about The Pineapple Princess. This will remind you that there are people in the world who REALLY do love and appreciate their significant others, and are not afraid to tell the world. This will hopefully, at least temporarily, banish all thoughts of dying alone and miserable to the other side of the Bailey's mist and renew hope.

Almost done!

Next, combine the entire mixture with at least half a bottle of wine, a pair of extremely comfortable pyjamas, previously mentioned roommate, Men's Figure Skating, and a futon covered in pillows and blankets.

Let the entire mixture marinate for an hour or so.

Garnish with contact from an incredibly sweet friend who takes the time to call all of his friends (well at least the females) just to wish them a happy Valentine's Day. This will end the day with a warm fuzzy that you can even feel through the warm winey haze.

Finally, go to bed while winey haze is still firmly in place. Drink a glass of water before drifting off and you will wake up headache free on a day that, thankfully, IS NOT Valentine's Day.

So you see, it is possible to have a relatively decent Valentine's Day even without a Valentine. You just need a little help from the people who really matter- your friends and family (DO NOT forget to reciprocate!!! They need to have a good Valentine's Day too!!!). Life will go on, and it will hopefully be another 364 days before any of us again have to pretend we don't care that we're single.

ps- I would like to send a tribute out to the folks at Godiva, savers of shitty Valentine's Days everywhere. We, the terminally single and chocoholics alike, would like to say THANK YOU!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

*sigh* Greeting-Card Day is here again...

In honour (or dishonour) of the Day, here is some random musing:

I know that, given my chocolate-loving tendencies, this will be viewed as sacriledge, but why do people tend to give their significant others chocolate on Valentine's Day? This is something I've never understood. Chocolate is a low-level anti-depressant... thus if you are in a happy relationship, I like to think there is no need for such gifts (unless there are extenuating circumstances, of course). Why not something fun? Something less cliche... Unless your significant other is completely chemically dependent on chocolate, in which case, go nuts!

Either way, it's a stupid excuse for a day. Why should there only be one day a year to tell your sweetie that you love him/her?? The whole occassion is essentially an overblown marketing ploy by greeting card companies. The person who came up with that one must have shrines built to him or her in the advertising world...

But I digress... down to business. There has been no small amount of pressure from certain parties for me to post a V-Day quiz... This was a difficult task as, believe it or not, I have never actually had a Valentine (thus my severe dislike of the annual reminder...) Unless you count Frankie Johnson. But that was the 4th grade, so I don't. Then again, he did give me a teddy bear... hmmmmm...

Anyway, here is what I've, somewhat feebly, managed to come up with:

In order to qualify to be Jenn's Valentine, you must:

1. Be articulate. Nothing is worse than going on a date and talking to yourself. (10 points)
2. Be self-assured enough to be truly comfortable with highly intelligent and assertive women. (30 points)
3. Be open to discussing politics. (Please note that I said discussing- not yelling about) (15 points)
4. Be able to discuss more than just politics. ('cause there is oh so much more to life) (10 points)
5. Enjoy movies- all kinds of movies. (5 points)
6. Not make the mistake of thinking I'm actually interested in discussing the finer points of Need for Speed or Doom. (5 points)
7. Enjoy music. Ten bonus points if you actually play an instrument of some form. (10 points)
8. Chew with your mouth closed. No smacking please. Ew. (10 points)
9. Like having a good time, but know your limits. If you are regularly smashed more than two nights a week, I'm not interested. (10 points)
10. Be able to take a hint. Two-by-fours need not apply. (10 points)
11. Have your own opinions. I enjoy a little opposition ;) (15 points)
12. Be passionate about something. I'm not picky as to the subject of said passion... so long as it's not creepy... (10 points)
13. Have showered in the last 24 hours. I don't care how great you are, smelliness on a date is NOT good. (10 points)

Ok- so there it is. The quiz is out of 150 points... high score wins. Mind you, this is just to qualify. I will be conducting interviews of the high scorers later this afternoon ;)

Monday, February 13, 2006

Ok... who gave the incompetent moron a gun?!?

No sum of money, no promise of security (financial or otherwise), in other words, no bargain could ever be struck that would entice me to work PR for the White House. How can you possibly hope to convince the American public that their highest elected officials aren't complete dumbasses when all you've got to work with are a couple of COMPLETE DUMBASSES??

In case you haven't already heard, the inspiration for this post is as follows:

Dick Cheney accidentally shot someone while on a hunting trip. The guy was wearing a bright orange hunting vest, and was standing a matter of meters in front of Cheney in a field.

It's just plain funny.

I can't wait to see how they spin this one.

ps- the victim of this latest bout of stupidity is allegedly fine and recovering in hospital.

teehee... oops

In the interest of helping those I care about (and those I don't even know) to learn from my mistakes, please take into consideration the following advice:

Unless you desire a late, late, LATE dinner, please note that the cooking instructions on the roast (or turkey, or whatever form of meat...) usually give the cooking time in minutes PER POUND, not cooking time for the whole thing. Thus, you must mutliply the cooking time stated by the weight of said cut of meat.

ps- I'll have you all know that the dinner turned out fabulously and that my family greatly enjoyed it. So what if they were too hungry to taste the food?! It was ONLY two hours later than planned. Shut up. You know you've all done something just as dumb, if not more so. Fine. Laugh all you want. I'm leaving.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Breaking legs all over the place...


Not that either of you need it. You'll be devastatingly fantabulous.
They'll love you!

Oh! and don't forget to buy lots of fabulous you-can-only-find-it-in-a-relatively-big-city stuff to make all us small-towners-who-had-dumb-meetings-and-had-to-stay-home insanely jealous.

See you soon. Drive safely.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Because I just don't care that much...

I got a call this morning from one of my committee members.

CM: Some of the applications you've sent me are out of order. Should I be taking this into consideration?

Jenn: to self - you've GOT to be fucking kidding me
to CM- No, please don't- there is no specified order for the pages- it really has no bearing on the merit of the application.
(*Note- the applications in question are three pages long and have no page numbers...)

CM: Ok. I won't take it into consideration. This time. Why were these permitted to leave your office in the wrong order?

Jenn: to self- This time? Oh, there will be no next time, my friend... you will NEVER sit on one of my committees again, you uptight, anal retentive, arrogant, out of touch moron...
to CM- Because there is no specified order, and I didn't have time to remove the staples, rearrange one page, and restaple 50 odd applications. It has no bearing on the application itself.
to self- It doesn't matter, you idiot!! Why do you insist that it does? Does reading one page before another make one applicant look better than another? And if so, can't you just turn the page??? Was this really worth a phone call??

CM: I really don't think those are valid reasons. In future you need to pay more attention to these things.

Jenn: to self: I hate CM. I hate CM. I hate CM. I hate CM. I hate CM.
to CM: *sigh* Understood. I'll be more careful in the future. Let me know if you have any more questions.
to self: Is this REALLY a valid use of my time? Really?

CM: See that you do. Good day.

Jenn: to self: WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?!?!? "See that you do"??????
to CM: Goodbye.

This job should come with anger management training.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Ever notice how people who have experienced little strife in their lives don't seem to appreciate how great they have it? One of my fav quotes (as seen at the bottom of this page) speaks to this: it is a German proverb that goes something along the lines "without the bitter, one cannot appreciate the sweet." I think it's so true. See the following lists for proof.

Reasons why yesterday sucked:

- Lack of sleep. Never a good thing for me. I get really grumpy. Sorry to all who were forced to experience me yesterday.
- Worried about my roomie- she had been hacking up lungs for three days at that point and was also sleep deprived. Not good.
- It was gray and yucky outside.
- Took me 10 minutes to get into the damn car. It's really not that complicated- I'm just a spaz.
- Arrived at work to find my chair and keyboard buried in new 'top priority' things to do.
- Boss decided I needed more things to do, so commissioned me to do her 'top priority' grunt work.
- People who I, for some unknown and unquantifiable reason, care for, were once again being boneheads and unintentionally saying/doing things that cut me to the quick. Ouch.
- Stupid goddamned security ticketed the car TWICE! One for parking without a pass, and one for parking in 'visitor' parking. Forty-five fucking dollars. Wouldn't it stand to reason that I would park there if I didn't have a pass?? Jerks.
- My student told me that I looked tired. Code for- you look like crap. She meant well, but I just didn't need to hear it.

In vast contrast, here are the reasons why today is sooooooooooo much better than yesterday (once again suggesting that life might just be a zero-sum game...):

- Got something ridiculous like six, count them- SIX, hours of sleep last night.
- Woke up to the radio announcing that Bryan Adams AND Kathleen Edwards are playing the AUC in April, and that tickets are affordable!! (ok... more affordable than most concerts these days... has anyone else noticed that the price for live entertainment has become exorbitant??)
- Good cup o' coffee this am.
- Roomie has all but stopped coughing. This is a good sign!
- The sun is actually shining.
- Found a stellar 'general' parking spot just a stone's throw from my building. (Ha! Try ticketing me now, assholes!!!)
- Tickets are being contested.
- Completely lost it and bit my bosses head off, which means I've scared her, and she'll now leave me alone for a day or two. (what? She was treating me like a retarded three-year-old... you would have done it too... you know you would have.)
- Had the pleasure of striking a BIG item off of my 'top priority To Do' list. (the work one, not the life one.)
- About to go have lunchy mcluncherton with Therese and visit SF all in one shot... (hopefully SB will be there and the opportunity to trip him or spit in his hair will present itself... yes- I've resorted to petty means of satisfying my need for retribution for SF.)
- Have, for some unknown but not unwelcome reason, adopted a complete and total 'fuck you' attitude towards those people who are too stupid to realize when and why their actions are hurtful to me. I really don't have time to explain, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist, so just go away.

Ahhhhh. Equilibrium has returned. But see? Without all the crap from yesterday, today's events would just seem like mundane nothingness. The moral of the story? Never wish your life away. Even the bad stuff leads you to things that can end up being better than good.

Monday, February 06, 2006

stone cottage day

I'm having one of those I-would-pay-good-money-to-be-anywhere-but-here days. They are what I refer to as "stone cottage" days- ie- you think of your happy place to distract you from the day. It's actually a reference from the movie "French Kiss". Those of you who've seen it are with me. Those of you who haven't, should see it immediately... it's hilarious... especially the references to a collapsable model of the Eiffel Tower and ass-twitching...

But I digress. Why is today a stone cottage day? Hard to say really. Work sucks, but that's nothing new: I am slowly proving that you can, in fact, drown in paperwork... or I suppose that's suffocation, isn't it? Needless to say, I have plenty to do. I've got my tunes going, so that's good, and the sun is trying to come out. Maybe it's just 'cause it's Monday and I'm tired due to lack of sleep this weekend. Regardless, I don't want to be here, but have to be (either that or lose my job... so here I sit), and therefore I am amusing myself by picturing my stone cottage.

The stone cottage is more than just a place: it represents a life that I think would be pretty damn cool. And of course, since it's a fantasy, it seems wonderful and problem free. Don't burst my bubble, people. Everyone's gotta have a dream.

This dream is a little stone house situated either in the Lake District or on the Southern Coast of the UK (it varies depending on the day- today I'm on the coast- Cornwall), near a little village, but apart from it and within an hour's drive of a good-sized town. The yard is enclosed by an ancient stone fence, and there is a fairly large patch of vegetable garden out back- I grow all my own veggies, you see. There is also an apple and a cherry tree (the house sheilds the trees from the sea winds) that produce copious amounts of fruit. In front, there are a few rose bushes that I pretty much let go wild and a holly tree or two.

In the back, there is a weathered-but-strong-as-all-get-out oak dutch-door that leads into the kitchen, which has a grey slate-tile floor, walnut cabinets, state-of-the-art brushed stainless steel appliances, a big ol'hearth, and a huge old mock-butcher-block table, sanded down. There is a swinging door, directly across from the dutch-door, that leads into the front room. Here there is a huge picture window that looks out over the landscape to the sea, which is less than a kilometer away. I've got my computer and desk (a big, old antique wooden affair) set up in front of this window, and my books line the walls of the room. There is a couch and an extremely comfy-looking armchair arranged on a cozy rug, near the hearth (oh yeah- there's another hearth in here).

On the extreme left hand side of the room, there is a wooden staircase that will lead you up to the Master bedroom (the only bedroom), which has a fabulous view of the sea, and a huge bathroom- complete with jacuzzi tub (with a window overlooking the garden and the landscape beyond) and a separate shower.

Now you will say: That's all well and good, but how could you possibly afford such an Eden? I've thought of that too. I will make my living by writing books and articles from the comfort of my little cottage, and by working/consulting on women's issues, clinics, and programs all over the place. It would be a full, but well-paced life. Oh! And I almost forgot about Samson (Sammie for short)- he'll be my labrador.

Ok- I shown you all mine. Now I wanna know what everybody else's 'stone cottage' is!!! Do tell!!! I'm waiting!!!!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

wow! that shirley temple went straight to my head.

This post is REALLY two posts. You are all so lucky! Today you get TWO posts for the price of one! yay!

Post #1:

I hate asshole bosses.

Ok... so I needed to call a friend at work today. This is something that I normally avoid doing, since it tends to breed problems for my friend, but the situation was such that I made a snap decision to risk it.

Wouldn't you know, my friend's boss answers the phone. Dammit. I go ahead and ask said boss (SB) if said friend (SF) is available. SB informs me that SF is busy. This is fine. I'm about to say something along the lines of "ok- sorry to call during business hours" or some equally ass-kissing line, but just as I open my mouth, SB informs me that SF is coming to the phone, because SF doesn't like to work, SF likes to talk on the phone.


First of all, SF is one of the hardest workers I know, so SB can kiss my, and SF's ass. Secondly, what an unneccessary thing to say, especially considering the phone call took less than 30 seconds.

SB's behaviour makes me want to call back and yell about labour codes and labour boards and other official documents/bodies that scare jerky bosses into submission from time to time. But I don't want to get SF into trouble. So I will just simmer... apologize to SF after work for damage already done, and wait for the cosmos to kick SB in the ass.

Post #2

Canada: The Land Winter Forgot.

Or so yahoonews tells me. I must say, I don't disagree with this assessment, as I gaze out of my office window onto the sunny hills of the Valley. It really is ridiculously warm. Even all you winter-haters out there (of which I, most certainly, am not one) don't have much to complain about. They're calling for snow tonight. The whopping 2-4cm. I'll have my heavy-duty-deluxe snowblower on standby. If it hasn't disintegrated from lack of use by now...

Not that I WANT the -40 degrees-with-wind-chill temperatures. I just kind of miss the intense coziness and contentment that comes from sitting by a window with a good book, a mug of hot chocolate, wearing my favorite big-woolly-oh-so-warm sweater, and watching a blizzard unfold outside. I also miss the inevitable snowball fight that accompanies the digging-out. *sigh* Ah well. What can a girl do? Not much... and for the time being, I'm gonna go work on my tan.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

THIS JUST IN: sucking on an orange-flavoured tootsie pop will NOT prevent scurvy...

Today is a day of randomly random randomness.

People at work are freaking out all over the place because it's budget time, and they're not ready. I love how they always end up in this situation- it's like they're shocked by the fact that they have to have a budget done, even though it is due at the same time every year, and it is more or less the same process... it causes me to shake my head and smile at them. Which they do not like. Which makes me chuckle. Which they REALLY do not like. Which makes me laugh. Which they REALLY REALLY do not like... hmmmm... it has just occurred to me that I may be looking for a new job soon... Anyone have any suggestions??

But I digress. In honour of this randomly random day, I have decided to abscond with a page from Grum's book and post one of my favourite funny sketches. It is Monty Python. It is absolutely hilarious. No... seriously- the imagery brings tears to my eyes everytime. Here it is:

Old Lady Snoopers
As featured in the Flying Circus TV Show - Episode 33)

The cast:
ENID - Eric Idle
GLADYS - John Cleese

The sketch:
(Sketch continues from the Lifeboat Sketch. We still hear the shouts. Close up on an elderly spinster (Gladys) holding the net curtain discreetly ajar.)

Enid: (ERIC) Who's that shouting?

(We pull out to reveal a sitting room full of high-powered eavesdropping equipment, i.e. an enormous telescope on wheels with a controller's chair attached to it, several subsidiary telescopes pointing out of the window, radar scanners going round and round, two computers with flashing lights, large and complex tape and video recorders, several TV monitors, oscilloscopes, aerials, etc. All these have been squeezed in amongst the furniture of two retired middle-class old ladies. Enid, a dear old lady with a bun, sits at the control seat of an impressive-looking console, pressing buttons. She also has some knitting.)

Gladys: (JOHN) It's a man outside Number 24.

Enid: Try it on the five inch, Gladys.

Gladys: (looking at the array of telescopes) I can't. I've got that fixed on the Baileys at Number 13. Their new lodger moves in today.

Enid: All fight, hold 13 on the five-inch and transfer the Cartwrights to the digital scanner.

(Gladys leaps over to the tape recorder presses levers and switches. Sound of tape reversing. There is a hum and lights flash on and off. A blurred image of a lady in the street comes up on one of the monitors.)

Enid: Hold on, Mrs Pettigrew's coming back from the doctor's.

Gladys: All right, bring her up on two. What's the duration reading on the oscillator?

Enid: 48.47.

Gladys: Well that's a long time for someone who's just had a routine checkup.

Enid: (reading a graph on a computer) Yes, her pulse rate's 146!

Gladys: Zoom in on the 16mm and hold her, Enid.

Enid: Roger, Gladys.

Gladys: I'll try and get her on the twelve-inch.

(she climbs into the control seat of the huge mobile telescope; we cut to the view through Gladys's telescope - out of focus at first, but then sharper as she zooms in towards the side door of Number 24)

Enid: Move the curtain,

Enid: (the curtain is opened a little) Thank you, love.

(Cut to the interior of Mrs Neves's kitchen once again. It is absolutely full of lifeboatmen. They are all talking happily and drinking cups of tea. We pick up the conversation between two them.)

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! * wipes tears from eyes * Can't you just see it??? It's brilliant. BRILLIANT! Anyway, for more of these incredible, gut-splittingly funny sketches, see the Monty Python link on my side-bar.

And now for something completely different.