Friday, August 31, 2007

it pays to be a dog

This world never ceases to amaze me. It seems that the 'queen of mean', Leona Helmsley left $12M to her dog, Trouble. That's 12 000 000 to you and me. In what universe does a dog need $12M? I have two dogs and have definitely made arrangements for them in case something random removes me from this earth before my time (aside: Jethro will probably be the random thing to remove me from this earth....if I can survive him, I can survive anything) but they won't be getting a wad of cash.

According to the article, the $12M will generate $600K in income each year. Hopefully this dog has a good financial advisor or he may find himself destitute before the end of his days. Also, what happens to all of this money when Trouble kicks the can? I wonder who he will will it to.

Interestingly enough - not that this isn't already interesting - she only left $2M each to 2 of her 4 grandchildren. The other two got nothing. They might be irate about now. Granny had $2.5B when she died. That's far too much money for one person to have.

I think Trouble was misnamed. Clearly he should be called Lucky Bastard.



RainyBow note: Isn't that $84M in dog money?! I know, bad joke, but really what else is there to say? Approximately 30 million people in the world die of starvation every year because they can't afford to buy the basics. Apparently it doesn't pay to be human in some parts of the world. If I were Buddhist, maybe I could make this right in my mind with the theory that Trouble is the reincarnation of a starving child...


SunnyShine note: So true. Imagine the good her money could have done in Africa or India or anywhere else. Why are the very rich always so greedy? Is that how they got rich? Bill Gates & Warren Buffett could teach them a thing or two.

someone hurt my car, again

I'm a bit more bitter than usual this evening. You see, this afternoon, on my way home from work, someone rear-ended me, causing quite a bit of buckling in the back of my car.

I'm OK but my car kinda isn't. I've had my poor little guy for just over three years and in that time I've been rearended FOUR times. Yes, four. Actually, one of them was more of a front-ending, since the crazy woman actually backed into me while stopped at a light in the midst of rush hour traffic. (I'm not really sure what to call that, so I group it in with the rearending.)

On top of that, I also had my side bashed in by a guy who clearly couldn't read street signs. So all in all, with this, my poor car will have been reconstructed in the shop five times in three years, all because of other's people's errors.

Four words: Learn to drive, people.



SunnyShine note: This totally bites.

this up-do's bitchin'

... that's really the only sentence in which the use of the word below is acceptable.


Although, now that I think about it, that sentence should probably read "This up-do's mildy stylin'"....

OK, world, please stop using the apostrophe to indicate a word is plural. Really. If this rule is a surprise to you, please see my friendly letter to Ponyknit.



SunnyShine note: This up-do's a sign that the world supply of hair spray has been depleted. It appears we may be out of botox as well.

RainyBow note: True. And I never got to experience one of the rights of passage in teenagehood: graffiti and general defacement of public property (did lots of other bad stuff, but somehow that never appealed). Anyone want to pick up some spraypaint with me and change that sign to UP-DON'T?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

urgent warning to all tree lovers

this tree scheduled to be removed Seen on a recent hiking trip in the Finger Lakes. Do you think the City of Ithaca posted in this to avoid the nasty possibility of someone getting too attached to the tree and collapsing in grief when it was suddenly gone?



SunnyShine note: Perhaps this is a sign for the tree itself so it can come to terms with an impending date with the chipper. Think of it as death-row for trees. Could be more of a scarlet letter as well. Perhaps it was canoodling with an Oak from the other side of the tracks and now has to wear the sign in shame until doomsday. Perhaps I am tired and am blogging stupidity.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

newsflash: the word you're questioning is something you're not...

colleague (in mid rant about a sales person who works in our company): ... and then he said, "Do you consider yourself a learned person?" Whatever. I mean, I don't even think that guy uses real words. Learn-ED? That sounds like a stupid, made-up word to me.

me: Oh, OK.



SunnyShine note: Why, oh why do I always miss these fun times??

shame shame shame

When is the US going to start giving their citizens health care? Isn't this a human rights violation? Can you imagine being scared stiff that you might break a limb or get a disease of some kind that you can't afford to treat? Aren't they the only western country not to offer free health care? (I will double check this fact...too tired now.)

Well, as always, Americans are happy to capitalize on the misfortune of others. Health care providers are starting to offer interest free loans for 12 months. Of course, if you default in any way, your interest goes up to some exorbitant amount. People shouldn't have to live their lives paying off their broken leg.

Welcome to America, the land of the free.


ps...I haven't seen Sicko yet in case you're wondering.

i'm more abrasive than assertive

So Fitness Magazine tells me. I just took their highly scientific "Do you complain too much?" quiz.

My complaints "can come across as whiny, harsh, or irritating..."and I should limit my "use of words such as always, never, and should." Methinks that would make me sound less opinionated and more spineless, which I guess they think will make me fitter... ?

Another helpful suggestion: I should express my "outrage by writing to the offender, then destroy the letter rather than send it." I wonder what they would say about my letter to Wing's regarding their fortune cookie fortunes. Which reminds me, those poor people at Wing's still haven't written back....


next time, hopefully she'll know better...

In the news, a woman in Georgia bought a piece of crack cocaine for $20. She broke the rock into three pieces, tried to smoke one, and realized it was "fake." So she did what anyone would have done and CALLED THE POLICE. That's right, the police.

Please, officer, can you help me with a problem related to the illegal drugs which are currently in my possession?

She was promptly arrested.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

i love the finns

Last year I climbed Kilimanjaro with a Finnish couple who rocked. Over the six days it took to climb up and down the mountain, we complained to each other about the altitude, the food, the climb, the equipment and every little bit about life as we knew it. My favourite complaint from my new friends was about Americans. As friendly people, the Finns always asked other travellers they happened upon where they were from. Inevitably, the Americans would always answer "Milwaukee" or some other random city, assuming the Finns would know exactly where that was. So my new friends started telling Americans they were from Tapulikaupunki. Period.

(In case you're wondering, it's a suburb of Helsinki. That still makes me howl.)

Well, the Finns have made me howl again. Two Finnish artists have spent the last couple of years creating complaints choirs in various cities. They started in Birmingham, spending two weeks recruiting volunteers through ads, canvassing for general complaints, writing a song, and then performing and recording it in public.

From there they went on to create the Complaints Choir of Helsinki, the Complaints Choir of St. Petersburg and the Complaints Choir of Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg. And then other people sought their help creating new complaints choirs in Pittsburg and Juneau (see, now I'm listing random American cites--I can't help myself!), among other cities. Canada's national broadcaster, the CBC, also got in on the game.

Common themes carry through most or all of the performances, regardless of the place of origin of the choir. Most complain about public transit, the weather in their respective country, not having enough money, laundry turning out badly, men who are afraid to commit, limited career opportunities for women, and crappy tv.

However, what's more interesting about the complaints choirs is how the complaints differ.

The Birmingham choir's best moments are complaints about a peg leg "gone all weird," slugs eating lettuce (?) and, my favourite "Sometimes you get bananas that don’t ripen. They just kind of go pale and whiten. I think they are dead bananas."

The Canadians complain about manners (somewhat predictably, methinks), Conrad Black, hidden cell phone fees and spam.

The Russians fluctuate from the mundane to the existential, complaining about a lack of money for acne cream and how crappy whiskas is, and then lamenting that "life is a permanent artistic crisis." And my favourite: "A bear stepped on my ear." Huh?

Finally, the Finns. They complain about losing to Sweden in hockey, lots of stuff about saunas, how dreams are boring, and how all ring tones suck. But the best: "When you buy furniture all you get is a pile of boards."

Now the Finnish artists are planning a performance in Chicago, and the artists are inviting locals to submit their complaints and share their voices in belting them out. For all of you complainers in Chicago, submit your complaints or register by October 1. I for one can't wait.

And when can I get myself to Finland? Need to plan immediately.


the rules of engagement

The other morning, I went to the bank machine (translation: ATM) to take out some cash to pay the %#@$# trainer. Oddly (it was Sunday @ 7am), there was a guy there already using it so I had to wait. He finished his transaction and then stood there blocking the machine so he could read his receipt. I'm waiting. Still reading. I'm waiting. Finally, I opened the door and gave him a look and he grudgingly started to move. You're done? MOVE.

He is obviously not versed in the SunnyShine rules of bank machine etiquette. I'll enlighten you in case you see me waiting behind you.

  1. The second you're finished, move. Don't linger to fiddle with your wallet. Don't read your receipt. You should know how much money is there in the first place. It shouldn't be a surprise.
  2. Don't update your passbook if you haven't updated it for the better part of ever. I don't have 30 minutes to wait for each one of your 1000 transactions to be printed in a little book. Get a statement. Better yet, use online banking so you can see all of your transactions whenever you want. You can even print them in the privacy of your own home and no one will have to wait.
  3. Getting your 2 year old to press the buttons is not cute. He/She can neither count nor read and taking 15 minutes to withdraw $20 is unacceptable. There are people waiting. Just do it yourself and move on. I don't care if there is whining and complaining. You are the parent, grow a pair and put your foot down. Also, if there is whining and complaining, you had better get that transaction done even faster cause I'm not interested in hearing your brat cry.
  4. If you are depositing cheques, add them up, enter the total, and put them in the same envelope. Do not make 58 separate transactions. We're waiting.
  5. Ditto for paying your bills. As a matter of fact, pay your bills online or over the phone. There is no need for you to take up time at a bank machine for this.
  6. Don't eat, drink, talk on the phone, juggle, or do anything else that will distract you or slow you down from the task at hand.
  7. If the machine tells you there are insufficient funds one time, you can assume it will tell you that EVERY time. There is no need to try the exact same withdrawal over and over again. Money is not going to magically appear in your account if it wasn't there a minute ago.
Your cooperation is appreciated.


RainyBow note: Ah yes, the ATM experience. Does it ever suck. The one I frequent most (near my house) is in the vestibule of a bank. It's also frequented by a delightful security guard. A few months back this guard was a guy who danced around while listening to his MP3 player so loudly that I couldn't even hear myself think while withdrawing cash (what? I asked for $1,000 in cash??!). Not surprisingly, I wrote a complaint letter. A few days after I sent it, he was replaced by an equally delightful woman. She reads books quite intently with her shoes off. Let me tell you, I feel oh so safe knowing that if an incident should occur at the ATM, she'll only have to mark her page, put down the book, put her shoes back on and tie them up. Then she'll whip into hot pursuit of the perpetrator. Oh yeah.

Monday, August 27, 2007

newsflash: craigslist is now a magnet for stupidity

Last week two stories hit the news about people who didn't think and craigslist.

In Milwaukee, a woman was arrested for prostitution when she offered sexual services in exchange for money on the local craigslist. OK, so she posted a semi-nude photo of herself with suggestive comments in a city that prohibits the operation of an escort service without a license. Not so bright. But then she did it a second time.

And in Toronto, a woman was actually scammed into sending $2,300 for an apartment that seemed too good to be true. Not only did she never meet the agent (who, shockingly, turned out to be a fake), she also never saw the apartment. Yes, she sent $2,300 because she saw a couple of pretty photos on craigslist.

This may sound harsh, but that $2,300 (and whatever the woman in Milwaukee will pay) seems like a bit of a stupidity tax, no?



SunnyShine note: The tax isn't high enough.

this is why boys stay in a relationship-?

Me: So do you think she's "the one?"
["she" refers to friend's current girlfriend]

Friend [boy, of course]: Well, it's kind of like we're on this train and we're heading to the end of the line together, and I know that it's a good place. Along the way, I can't stop looking at all the other stops because each one of them is somehow interesting. But I know that if I get off to check out any of these earlier stops, there won't be an end of the line for the girlfriend and me. So I just stay on that train.

For real, this is why boys stay in a relationship-?



SunnyShine note: Well, I have to say that this is probably one of the more thought out responses. Most are happy to admit that the reason they stay is either 1) she's hot 2) she's loaded 3) she's great in bed or at the very least provides regular service 4) cooks, cleans, does laundry. Poor girl probably doesn't have a clue.

now i've heard everything

Remember the lovely Ted Haggart? You know - evangelical, bible thumper, homosexual, hypocrite, (ex)-gay. Well, it seems that he is in dire straights and needs you, gentle reader, to help him out financially. This guy has cojones the size of Brazil. I'm not even going to bother with the tirade.

In other evangelical news, a republican senator from Idaho was busted for trying to solicit sex in a men's room. Funny how that happens. I love karma.

I'm sure there will be a press release telling us how he is now closer than ever to Jesus and how he is entering reprogramming so he can live out his days as a homoeterosexual. blah blah blah. Here's his voting record for the record:

* Voted YES on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. (Jun 2006)
* Voted NO on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes. (Jun 2002)
* Voted NO on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation. (Jun 2000)
* Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage. (Sep 1996)
* Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation. (Sep 1996)

Is there anything worse than a self-hater?

It's 2007. Isn't it time that people were free to live their lives in or out of the closet without being judged?



RainyBow note: I wish this were everything. Sadly, my cynical side (i.e. all of me) thinks we'll be posting with a similar title in the near future.

napping and eating and eating and napping?!

After a weekend of canoeing and entertaining my sister, I was pretty beat tonight. But I was also hungry, and after five long weeks of having no kitchen (finally functional at the end of last week!) it's a pretty safe bet to assume that when I'm hungry, I go out for food. So I went out to the neighbourhood sketchy Ethiopian restaurant (with the interesting smells emerging from the second floor, as always) for dinner.

My friend and I sat next to a group of four fascinating Asian kids. Like most Asian kids their age, they were dressed in all kind of strange clothing combinations. But that's not the part that got me interested. You see, when I was so tired I thought I might drift off while waiting for our food, one of the four actually did. Yes, after ordering, while the group was in the midst of animated conversation, one put her head against the wall and fell asleep. The other three continued talking, as if nothing had happened. Then, when their food came, she woke up and ate with the others and their conversation continued.

I lost interest for a while (I generally don't have a lot of staying power to start with, but then our food came and my stomach commandeered my brain) and the next time I looked back, the situation had become even more interesting. A different one of the four had put his head against the wall and also fallen asleep. The other three continued talking and eating as if nothing had happened, yet again.

Who are these people who go out for food with friends and take random naps? And while we're on the topic, did you know that one to three percent of the population supposedly suffers from Nocturnal Sleep-Related Eating Disorder (NS-RED), which means they roam around and eat while seeming to be sound asleep? Perhaps the next time I'm both hungry and exhausted, I should consider my options more carefully....



SunnyShine note: I normally wait until I've eaten to fall asleep; I find it much more practical. I generally refer to this as 'ethnic eating disorder'.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

my arms don't work

I'm not kidding. I worked out with the trainer today for an hour and I can't lift my arms past my waist. I even sweat. Yuck. I swore at him in English, Spanish, and French - a lot. This didn't bother him at all. I can't walk either in case you care. Also, he can't count. It would seem easy to count down from 8 but I'm sure I did 15 whatevers each time. I had homicidal thoughts throughout, believe me. Tomorrow, I imagine I will be immobile.

This would explain the lack of posts from me today. Miss Rainy has been out bonding with her sister all weekend so this might be all you get.



RainyBow note: I hear you. After solo canoeing this afternoon, my knees and feet no longer work. It feels like carpet burn. I'm lying on my couch under a blanket, in a very delicate position, since the blanket can't touch some parts unless I disconnect a few nerve endings. This is the reward when you try to exercise and stay fit. I think we should all just lie on our couch under a fuzzie blankie, drinking soy hot chocolate with mini marshmallows and eating a selection of sour candy. But then I think I already blogged about that.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

vindication. I love the sound of that word.

I don't have a lot of time to post today as my time is being monopolized by my sister who is visiting from out of town. I'll save comments on that for after she leaves tomorrow--wait for it. In the meantime, I have to gloat a little bit with a new quote from my book, Complaining, Teasing, and Other Annoying Behaviors.

The author writes:

"... [The] Type C or Type D personality style [are] both characterized by the inhibition of emotional expression. The Type C personality is the cancer-prone personality. People with a Type C personality are perceived as very nice because they seldom complain and try to avoid conflict.... The result, however, is a decline in the functioning of the immune system, which increases the likelihood of physical health problems. People with a Type D personality are at increased risk for coronary artery disease.... The hormones that are released in response to the stress of inhibiting emotional expression have negative effects on the coronary artery system. People who seldom complain are also at increased risk for depression.... Failure to complain is no indication that such people are quite satisfied. Indeed, they may be very dissatisfied. Ruminating about their dissatisfaction until it assumes gigantic proportions can easily lead to depression."
(2003: Library of Congress, p29-30)

So there, all of you people who think the world just needs to stop complaining. Especially our friends in Missouri. And now that we're talking about them, where are our crappy bracelets? Really.


is this such a surprise?

Doesn't anyone think past the present?


is this the best way to honour the fallen

Highway of Heroes? Couldn't they have come up with a better name? So fromage. I'm not sure how I feel about this whole subject. I think I'm against. Wouldn't time be better spent trying to get these people out of the situation in the first place? Here are some fatality stats about Afghanistan and Iraq. Enjoy. Funny no one ever mentions the number of Afghan or Iraqi dead. I bet Bush can't count that high.



RainyBow note: There is so much to say on this topic, but I'm going to limit myself to one rant, which is on the use of the word "heroes" these days. Remember after September 11th when everyone lamented the horrible fate of the people who were trapped inside the World Trade Centre? Clearly I'm not going to begrudge the American people their right to mourn the victims of that terrible day. However, it makes me crazy that so many Americans keep referring to the victims as "heroes." The last time I checked, "hero" meant a person notable for feats of courage. While these people died a tragic death, it's not like they chose to. I doubt any one of them said to him or herself, "hey, I think some terrorists might fly into these buildings today and make them burn and collapse, and just because I'm brave, I'm going to go inside of them and die if I have to."


SunnyShine note: Your comment is further evidence that we may have been separated at birth. I was going to write a post about the exact same thing. The word 'hero' is so diluted that is practically has no meaning any more. When was the last time you heard about a true hero? These days, you just have to show up and you're a hero. sigh.

this is the transplant unit, your new organ has arrived

So yesterday, I'm in the bathroom at the office and I hear a phone ring in a stall. This is not really unusual but the person actually answered and started talking. Is this really necessary?? Unless you are expecting a call from the transplant unit to tell you that your new lung has arrived or your loved one is making the one allowable call from a satellite phone in Antartica, there is NO reason to answer your phone in the stall. None. The aforementioned call did not fall into one of these two categories. It was the 'Hi, how are you. I'm good. Yeah, I'd love to see a movie, what time' kinda phone call.

dear bathroom-stall-phone-answerer: I'd like to introduce you to something called voice mail. It's this handy new thing that lets people leave you a message. I know, crazy. Use it. Love it. Own it. Plus, don't tell me you don't have caller ID, 'cause I know you do. I'm sure you could have waited 3 minutes to call this person back.

It gets worse. Just after these niceties, I heard this: 'I'm in the bathroom and I'm just going to flush the toilet so if you hear some noise, that's what it is'.


So it's not enough that she answered the phone in the stall in the first place, but she actually had to tell the other person that she did. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe cell phones have mute functions. If it was necessary to answer the phone in the stall (and it wasn't), couldn't she at least have muted the call when she was flushing? Does the caller really need to know? Is this so difficult? Clearly, it is.



RainyBow note: We've got these wireless headsets at work that allow everyone to roam quite freely around our floor. This is a great thing when you're stuck on a long and painful conference call far away from the water cooler. But it's also a great thing for people who like to paypee and talk, which is not so good for the rest of us. For two years there, every time we had a full team conference call, I would brace myself for the inevitable flush.

I'm no Miss Manners, but if I really had to go and my call was showing no signs of an imminent end, I would just put the headset down, run to the bathroom, run back, then put the headset back on. Other people I know undertake a similar sequence in a less radical way; they substitute the removal and replacement of the headset with muting and unmuting. I still find this odd but at least some effort is being made to spare others from having to listen. Still, apparently someone on the team continually felt no need to complete two crucial steps in that sequence, both involving the headset. I spent two years ensuring that every member of the team knew how to use the mute function on his or her headset.

Just when I was beginning to wonder if my instructions sucked big time, strangely, one week the flushing just stopped. Coincidentally, one member of the team switched positions internally to take on a totally different role. I haven't actually checked in with anyone on that team, but I'm willing to bet that some mysterious flushing began on their calls...


SunnyShine note: OMG, you totally have to tell me who this is.

how would you like to live beside this?

I took this picture earlier this morning. I'm not even going to say anything about it. Shocking, I know. Enjoy.


Friday, August 24, 2007

glaring grammatical error’s in important thing’s

I travel a lot and find that in many of the places I visit, people who learn English as their second, third or fourth language often speak it better than native English speakers. When in Denmark, I was actually corrected by a Norwegian on the incorrect use of the word “less” (in the place of “fewer”). I hear the mistake so frequently that it has become normal to my ears and I now make the same mistake myself. It’s embarrassing, really, that native English speakers don’t take pride in their language the way that many others do (e.g. the French).

I understand that mistakes are sometimes made purely because of haste. However, I see glaring errors in important documents such as resumes. Don’t you think that if you’re applying for a job, you should have someone proofread the one document you’re submitting to strangers in order to be considered? Other horrible examples are street signs, restaurant and store names, and blog titles—not posts, actual blog names. And so, today, I have to write my sad note to Ponyknit.

Dear Ponyknit,

You’re a molecular biologist, an avid knitter, and a horseback riding instructor. You sound like a pretty cool person. I think it’s hilarious that you’ve made felted clogs, I feel your pain on your break up with the boyfriend and I’ve tried all your quizzes (and discovered that if I were knitting needles, I’d be turbo charged, if I were a flower I’d be a snapdragon, and if I were a finger, I’d be the pinky). I love that you blog about this stuff. And, really, you’re a contributor to the Christmas around the world knitters swap blog, which sort of defies description.

But it really makes me sad that you’ve headlined your blog “If Pony’s could knit.” I would have thought that someone as interesting as you, who even rides horses, would know that the plural of “pony” is “ponies”—or at least, that one of your blog visitors would have politely pointed that out by now.

I don’t want to belabour the point, but so you know for next time, nouns are never made plural with the inclusion of an apostrophe. Apostrophes are only used for one of two things: to mark that a word has been abbreviated or to indicate possession, in that order. (I say “in that order” because in the case of “it’s,” the apostrophe indicates abbreviation and “its” is for possession. But I don’t want to mess you up with that just yet.) So go make some more clog's clogs, indulge in retail therapy to rid yourself of the ex boyfriends boyfriend’s bad aura, and keep sharing those quizz’s quizzes!



SunnyShine note: I cannot even look at the subject line of this post without feeling anxiety. Rampant apostrophe misuse drives me crazy. Speling errers do as well. I took a look at her blog and had to avert my eyes for the most part. I do, however, feel badly about her breakup and that the boyfriend took the dog. Sad. I am also concerned about this: 'I had picked up a Kenny Chesney Flip Flop Summer Tour key chain'. Ahh, she makes it too easy. I would pay money to see a pic of this key chain. The description makes me howl and I want one for myself. lmao.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

lesson learned

So, as you may have read, I'm in the midst of some renovations on my house. They're almost done (woohoo!), although I hesitate in writing that as renos seem to never be done. They really don't make me happy.

At any rate, some of my walls are concrete, so I asked my contractor to hang a few pictures for me. I figured I didn't need to be there when my mother (an interior design guru--she and my interior designer friend are actually scary when in the same room) told me she would give him height guidelines from the floor. I trust my mother on this kind of stuff.

So I'm not sure whether the instructions weren't clear or whether my guy just wasn't listening, but I came home to a quite horrifying sight. I'm so upset that I don't even think I can handle taking a photo to share with all of you. Just imagine: some of the pictures are so high they actually almost touch my ceiling. wtf?

After I stopped hyperventilating, I spoke to my mom and the fatal error became clear: my guy measured my mom's distance to the bottom of the frame, not to the middle of the whole piece, as she'd asked. @%^$.

To top it off, I don't even have any paint or any sense for what the paint colour may be for the room in which the biggest error occurred. My rentors painted when I was out of the country. I may even have to repaint the entire room to try to fix this.

OK, I need to end this post and learn to be zen. Maybe I'll laugh about this tomorrow.



SunnyShine note: I am dying to see the pics. Pretty please?

is it a coincidence that two women write for this blog?

Years ago, I had a brief fling with tai chi. I didn't really enjoying DOING the tai chi so much as what I learned about East vs. West while doing it. Those in the class raised in the Asian culture (what I call the East) were content to just learn tai chi by following the moves and letting their body learn on its own. Those of us who were raised in the West all needed more. We wanted some reading, diagrams, or written thought to take away. Our teacher kept insisting that we try to learn with our body and not with our brain. Yeah, right.

So now, instead of just complaining away (as we're encouraging you to do), I'm embarking on a (small) journey of reading about complaining. I've started by reading Complaining, Teasing, and Other Annoying Behaviors. And here is my first tidbit:

The author and his students conducted a study and discovered that "Men expressed significantly fewer pet peeves than women.... In all categories women expressed almost twice as many pet peeves as men and in some, such as disrespect and unconscious annoyances, four times as many. We might suspect that women are more willing to voice their dissatisfaction or that men have a tendency to behave in ways that annoy women, but we don't believe either of those explanations. We believe rather that women are more sensitive than men to other people's behaviors. Because women are more oriented to relationships than men are, they are more likely to pick up on both positive and negative features of those relationships."
( 2003: Library of Congress, p. 35-38)

According to the author, "unconscious annoyances" include not replacing the toilet paper roll, leaving tags sticking out of one's shirt, smacking lips while chewing gum, biting nails, jiggling legs, and grabbing himself.

Wait, GRABBING HIMSELF??!! Women are four times as likely as men to complain about men grabbing their private parts?!

Perhaps my tai chi teacher was on to something....



SunnyShine note: I have many, many pet peeves. I have no problem admitting this.

was outlook not working?

I took this picture at the office today. Is this really necessary? People generally get the idea you're not around when your screen is off and there are no personal effects around. There's also this handy feature in Outlook that you can set up to let people know that you're gone and that you'll be back at some point. I can't believe that someone would even think to do this. Hilarious.

out of office message



RainyBow note: LMAO. I think this person might be quite attached to this piece of paper. You need to steal it and then film the reaction when he or she gets back from vacation. That should be some good stuff.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

7pm panic

Lately I have been trying to eat healthier and to exercise more. I had a trainer come in last weekend to give me a routine I can do at home. Between the dogs and work and my commute, I don't have a lot of extra time in my day to go to the gym. To be honest, even if I did have extra time in my day, I wouldn't go. blech.

So trainer guy comes over and gives me a routine (if I must) and we talk about food (ditto) and then he drops the bomb. 'You can't eat after 7pm'. What???? Never? Never.

To grasp how difficult this request is, here is a little view of my day. I wake up between 5:30 and 6 every day - including weekends. I'm an early bird, what can I say. After I get up, I feed the dogs and then take them out for about 40 minutes. Then I shower and get ready for work. Commute is approx 40-60 minutes depending on the day. Work. Leave work any time between 5:30 and 6 which (I'm sure you can do the math here) puts me home at the very earliest at 6:30 pm. So, in 30 minutes, I am supposed to be able to:

  1. feed the dogs
  2. walk the dogs
  3. cook
  4. eat
I am not superwoman. This is impossible. Monday night I ate at 7:15 and only because a friend of mine came over and cooked while I was out with the dogs. Tuesday, it was 7:45. Today I managed 6:30 only because I came home early. So, to add to all of the stress I already have at work, I now have to add eating before 7 to the list. And, before you tell me to prepare my meals ahead and use the microwave, the crazy nutritionist (a whole other story) I see as well, has convinced me I will die a slow and painful death from the radiation. I can't win.



RainyBow note: Two words, SunnyShine: raw foodism. Raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains. All the time. Bet you could make 7pm, and no microwave. As for the satisfying meal part, well....


SunnyShine note: Raw food???!!! Have you lost your mind? Can you imagine how irate I would be if I ate raw food all the time. I am not a squirrel. I cannot exist on seeds and nuts in the summer, much less the winter. I am grumpy enough as it is. Hell, it dipped a few degrees this week and I was already craving pasta and other carbolicious food. hmmph.


RainyBow note: And bad news for both of us on the exercise front from The New York Times. For you, because scientists claim exercise makes your brain faster and stronger (and if it's a choice between the gym and a weak brain...). And for me, because apparently rats that have access to a running wheel and live alone don't do as well as those with access to a running wheel who live in group housing. Here's the terrifying line from the Times... "So go ahead and join that singles running club you've been avoiding." Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

dear biker guy

Judging by your get-up, it seems you taking riding your bike quite seriously. Helmet - check. Gloves - check. Reflectors - check. Disgustingly tight and unattractive bike shorts - check. Tour de France jersey that makes you think you're cool when you're really not - check. Loser bike goggles - check. (Ok, try typing goggle and tell me you don't type google every time. hee)

So why is it, biker guy, that you can't follow the rules of the road. More specifically, when you are approaching a stop sign, you have to stop. Evidently, you don't know what one of these signs looks like so I have included the picture below in order to help you recognize it next time.

Look familiar? A word of advice. Next time you see this sign, please stop. I don't need to spend the rest of my life in therapy because you didn't feel like stopping. You can't have it both ways. You can't complain about drivers (and swear at us at the top of your lungs) when you're not obeying the laws. Drivers don't actively look for bikes to hit. The fact that I came within 1/2 ft of hitting you was YOUR FAULT. I stopped at the 4-way stop, looked both ways and proceeded. You came to the stop sign to my right after I did but did not stop as I assumed you would (yes, I know what they say about assuming). So had I not been paying attention and slammed on my brakes, you would now be dead and I would be heading to therapy.

Thank you,


RainyBow note: Methinks you need to drive in the suburbs more, perhaps.

if hell is customized...

Mine is Home Depot. I've been renovating and every time I go there I create a new tagline for them.

Here's a photo from today....

home depot aisle

You can do it. We can help. block the aisle so you can't get the stuff you need and want to cry.


wrongdoing may be virtuous-?!

Today I was a crazy old person and sent a letter to Wing's Food Products complaining about their fortune cookies (which, by the way, I get for free). I do this now and then when I feel like ranting. I'm sure the person on the other end appreciates the sentiment! Have a read...

Dear Sir/ Madam,

The cafeteria at my workplace has begun serving your fortune cookies along with Asian-style meals at lunch. I’m always excited to get one because I find your cookies quite tasty and, like most people, I generally find the fortunes quite amusing.

However, of late, while the quality of the cookies has remained the same, I have been distressed by the fortunes I have been receiving. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, “fortune” means a foretelling of one’s destiny. As such, I believe a fortune should read something like:

- A financial investment will yield returns beyond your wildest hopes.


- An influential figure will make mention of you in a positive light.

The last two fortunes I have received Monday and today have been of a quite different nature. They are:

- A smile is the universal communication between two people.


- For a good cause, wrongdoing may be virtuous.

The first of these is merely a statement (which, by the way, I believe to be factually incorrect. Perhaps you should read Angus Trumble’s
A Brief History of the Smile. But that is a whole other story.). The second seems to be an incitement to violence. Both of these, although particularly the second, left me not giggling, as fortunes should, but mildly disturbed.

I am writing to suggest that you reassess the fortunes in Wing’s cookies. It shouldn’t be hard to return to the “tall, dark, handsome stranger” variety, and away from “please go hurt other people and it will be OK” messages.

Thank you for your consideration.



SunnyShine note: Ummmm. Did you really write them a letter? Clearly you don't have enough to do. I would, however, keep that last fortune to use as evidence when the time comes.


RainyBow note: Yup. Can you imagine the poor, confused people at Wing's? Can't wait to see if they write back. If I'm feeling a bit frisky tomorrow, I may start sending them a daily fortune suggestion. Just for fun....

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

don't kids have the right to make up their own mind?

Recently I read Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion. One of Dawkins' biggest complaints within the book is about people who call kids "Christian children" or "muslim children," etc. He argues that kids raised to believe in something by their parents haven't yet formed their own opinion. Therefore we can't truly call them something they haven't yet chosen to call themselves. I completely agree.

Today was a rainy and cold day where we are. All day I dreamed of lying under my fuzzy blankie on my couch, drinking a cup of soy hot chocolate with mini marshmallows while munching on a selection of sour candies. Yes, I know that probably sounds completely disgusting to you with your hoity-toity taste, but comfort food is a very personal thing, n'est-ce pas?

OK, so on to the meat of the story. I took a different route home than usual (because of huge traffic problems on a highway that's in the midst of reconstruction, which the local government refuses to admit is under construction. Don't get me started. And this is not the meat of the story.). On my way home, while inside my car, dry, but still dreaming of aforementioned blankie, hot drink and snacks, I noted eight people standing by the side of the road, shivering. Each was carrying a large anti-abortion protest sign. The photo on each sign was the typical bizarre-looking close-up of a foetus at 10 weeks. My camera phone photos cannot rival those taken by SunnyShine in a recent post but I'm going to go with the "I was driving" excuse. Here is one shot anyway, to give you at least a sense of what I saw. Pretend you're doing a driveby and only have a quick second to look.
roadside abortion protestors

Now, what you can't see in this photo is that the majority of the people standing by the side of the road were children. The youngest looked about 12 years old.

Now I'm all for freedom of speech. It didn't matter to me which side of the issue these people were on--they just happened to be right-to-lifers. I would have felt the same way if they had been right-to-choosers. If you want to stand on the street corner in the cold and rain so you can hold up some crappy sign that people will probably ignore, that's your business.

But I feel like it's no longer your business if you force a child to join in that activity. I don't care if you're that kid's parent or not; to me, this borders on child abuse. Really, what does a kid of 12 really know about what he or she would do, or would want others to do, if faced with a pregnancy? And why subject him or her to conflict with others over such a heated issue, when there are so many other great things he or she could be doing? Like real, tangible volunteer work where he or she could learn what it's like to do good deeds for others.

Freedom of speech should also mean freedom of thought, especially for kids. Some of us were lucky enough to have parents who let us grow up and make our own opinions about this stuff. My heart aches for those who aren't so lucky.



SunnyShine note: Sigh. I am going to have to force myself not to go on ad nauseam about this issue. I'm sure these parents had their kids at Jesus Camp all summer and thought they needed something to do in the two weeks before school starts. Actually, come to think of it, they are probably home schooled. I hate the fact that these people scare their kids to death and make them grow up with a completely skewed view of the world. What is going to happen when they grow up and have to face the real world? Side note: I went to Catholic school (shocking, I know) and our school had the highest rate of pregnancy in the city. I know more than a few people who came from strict Catholic families and ended up having abortions. If only the nuns knew.

stupid is as stupid does

I have had an extraordinarily bad day today. I'll spare you the details but suffice it to say that it involves the Dog and my Shoes. I'm sure you can connect the dots.

My mood was lightened somewhat when I came across two articles involving equally stupid people.

The first, which you can read here, is a story of guy who robbed his bookmaker with (and I hope you're sitting down for this) his girlfriend's vibrator. The Rampant Rabbit vibrator to be exact - which just so happens to be the #1 best seller last year at a particular shop. He got more than £600 for his effort and now has been jailed for five years. In his remarks, the judge said...

'It's right to record that you did not have a firearm but you pretended you had and intended that those you confronted believed that you did, and it must have been truly terrifying for them at the time.'

Quite frankly, I would be terrified too if someone tried to rob me with a vibrator. Imagine. Talk about a multifunction tool! Also, I can only assume this guy was not a germaphobe.

I do have a few questions about this whole thing though.
  1. Did the girlfriend break up with him upon learning of the theft of the vibrator or the theft of the money? Did she break up with him at all?
  2. Are bananas too expensive in England that they can't be used as a pretend gun?
  3. Has this started a wave of other vibrator crimes?
  4. Did the jury get to 'examine' the evidence? Was this evidence returned to the owner or did she have to buy a new one?
I really could go on and on.

OK, second news item on the docket, which you can read here, tells the tale of a dwarf (their un-PC word, not mine) whose penis got stuck to a vacuum cleaner. Yes, I read it all folks and no, I don't make this stuff up.

As the story goes, he is a performer in the fringe festival and is supposed to come out with the vacuum attached to his penis by a special apparatus. Well, it seems this extra piece broke and had to be glued back together. Instead of letting it dry for 20 min as instructed, he let it dry for 20 sec. I'm sure I don't have to tell you what happened next.

I only have one question about this one. Why? Ok, I lied, I have another one. What is his job description on his CV?

Coincidentally, both of these news items are from the UK. I don't know what that means.


please don't protect me

In case you don't know - and you don't – I am petite, small, tiny, small-boned, possessing an Asian build, and any other word or phrase you can think of to describe a female body that men feel needs protection.

Now, this might be great for most women. Especially for those who’ve dreamed of their white knight or walking down the aisle with big hair in a white poofy dress. However, I have never been accused of being like most women, much less some women (or even a few women, as my mother would lament to you if you’d just let her. Advice to you: don’t let her. Well, unless you just want to eat her cooking, which is kind of understandable, since it can be pretty darn yummy.).

Walking on the street, standing in queues, sitting in the park, heck, pretty much anywhere, anytime I’m minding my own business, I get accosted by men who sense I may need rescuing. From stuff, I guess. General average daily stuff.

Last December, on a Saturday night, I was standing in a queue at Ikea, suffering from a terrible case of the flu. I was sniffling, I was sneezing, I was pasty, I was definitely contagious. I was determined to return a cheapie rug that I had bought for my front hallway that just didn’t do it for me, and the rug was physically propping me up in my state of weakness. Holding my paper number ticket in one hand and a mangy box of Kleenex in the other, I prayed that my number would be called at some point before the employees went to lock the doors (who knew it would be that busy at 9pm on a Saturday night in the winter?! Sadly, we don’t have the sleep-over Ikea of Oslo, Norway. I envy the Norweigans more than anyone in the world right now.).

Well, the first guy tried to get his way in by empathizing with me about being sick. Then he asked me, rapid fire, first if I came here often on a Saturday night, and then if I wanted to go to some New Year’s party with him. I half-feigned a coughing fit in his direction, and I think he suddenly envisioned a rather different New Year’s for himself. He left rather abruptly. The second guy (yes, the second one!) tried to get in by empathizing with me over my bad purchase. After a long story about his quest for just the right bedside lamp, he said, “you really should try looking for a rug at The Brick.” After this indication of impeccable design taste (The Brick??!! For real??!!) , when he asked for my phone number, I feigned hearing my ticket number and hobbled away. Sadly, my number was so far from the one in question that when I approached the Ikea employee I had to feign a lack of English skills in order to maintain any semblance of self respect. And, of course, this made no sense since we’re talking about numbers, which are pretty darn recognizable to English and non-English speakers alike across the globe.

Tonight I experienced a similar incident. I was minding my business, walking home along a major street just after dark. The street was busy as always with people walking home from shopping or going out downtown to a bar. I heard someone yelling behind me, “excuse me, excuse me.” Since it wasn’t a voice I recognized, I kept walking. The yelling continued, and then suddenly a strange man was walking along beside me. “Excuse me,” he said, and then asked if this was the street everyone else knew it was. We were smack dab at a street corner, so I looked up and pointed at the sign. Silence. Since he seemed to have nothing further to say, I resumed walking. “Do you know this area well?” he asked, following. I said yes, and slowed down, thinking that he wanted further directions. “I’m new here,” he said. “Maybe you’ll have a drink with me?” I politely declined and then recommenced walking yet again. He then ran after me again and asked why not.

WHY NOT??!! So freaky guy yells at me in the dark, then, when I show absolutely zero interest, walks along beside me and asks questions to which he already knows the answer, and then actually feels the need to ask me why I don’t care to sit alone with him over a drink.

Does this kind of stuff work on other women who are also petite, small, tiny, small-boned, possessing an Asian build? If so, I feel that I should never meet these women.



SunnyShine note: Since most men are gamblers, they are probably playing the odds. If they ask 100 women, 1 is bound to say yes. I believe this must be built into their DNA. The real question though is not whether this works on petite women, it's whether it works on any women. The answer to that question has to be yes. Who are these women? Also, I find it amusing that everyone now thinks you are Asian - you may or may not be but I'm not telling.

Monday, August 20, 2007

i shake my head every time

I don't even know where to begin....


i hate facebook

A few weeks ago, I got an email with the subject line...

I've added you as a friend on Facebook...

....which immediately sent me into a tizzy. How is it possible that you, unnamed friend, have added me as a friend on facebook when I have never visited the site? Never. Jamais. Nunca. I then jumped to the conclusion that someone - my main 'mo (ok, stealing this term from Lainey @ LaineyGossip....have to give props where props are due) - must have put up a fake profile pour moi since he knows I despise it so much. One accusatory phone call later - which involved threats, searches and hard evidence - it turns out I was wrong (rare occurrence of course). It seems this is the standard facebook line whether you do or do not belong. Very presumptuous of them, isn't it?

Since that first facebook email, I have gotten at least 6 more formal requests and countless verbal ones! WTF? These same requests have now prompted me to reevaluate the relationship I have with each sender. Some may be off the island shortly. And no, I don't think this is too harsh.

[aside: hmmm. Maybe I have tipped and have now become popular? Must ponder and rectify immediately.]

Because I'm feeling charitable today, I'll spare you all the diatribe. Let's just say that aforementioned 'mo and I have not had one conversation about facebook that doesn't end in an argument and a huff. The huff is never mine.

Anyway, just so we're clear, I am not now and nor will I ever be, on facebook. Don't ask me. Don't send me requests. Don't tell me about your best friend in grade 8 who poked you, or the kindergarten friend you poked. OK? ok. If I wanted to speak to the people I played dodgeball with in grade 6, I would be speaking to them.

For the record, I am also not on myspace, twitter,, friendster, orkut, or any other social networking site. Feel free to waste your time as you must. I have other things to do.



RainyBow comment: Well, I think my hatred of social networking sites may just rival yours. A few months ago, in a moment of weakness, I responded to one of the emails you speak of and ended up creating a profile on LinkedIn.

Yes, I'm aware that it's facebook for old people. Such a mistake. Ever since that fateful day, I've been barraged with invitation emails of three kinds:

1. From people I've actually met at some point but don't care to see or speak to ever again. These people inevitably want to ressurect the fantastic bond they feel we once shared. My latest example of this is of this chick from high school (btw, a very long time ago) who sounded so pumped to be sending me a note. Just seeing her name in my inbox dredged up all kinds of delightful memories about the horrible things she did to hurt my best friend in high school. As you say above, if I wanted your email address, I would have figured out a way to get it by now. Don't write.

2. From people I have never met before in my life, who happened at some point to work at the same company I did. That company employed thousands of people. Inevitably, I look at this person's profile out of sheer curiosity and discover that he or she has about 2.6 billion "contacts." I'll bet he or she actually knows about 5 of them.

3. From people I swear I have never met before in my life who seem to feel strongly that they know me. These people always send me their invitation with a personalised story from the past. The only problem is that I was never part of that drunken, naked frolic around the football field in the snow. Really. Or maybe I have amnesia. Fair enough.

So I ignore all of the requests I get, which kind of defeats the purpose of social networking. But then I'm all proud of myself because I feel like I'm making a big stand or something.

Yeah, that's it.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

the best funeral comment ever

relative (speaking about long-dead mother of guy who just died at very young age): I guess she just couldn’t be without him so she took him to heaven.

Yeah, that’s right, his spiteful mother didn’t want him to have his own long and happy life. Selfish bitch wanted him to just die already so that he could go amuse her instead.

Are people braindead?!



SunnyShine note: Yes.

don't blame me, dumbass

In case you don't know - and you don't - I have two big dogs. One is a dream; quiet, serene, generally well behaved, meticulous. The other is like satan, if satan were a redneck; the human version of him would be a neanderthal. I cannot begin to go into the destruction and general badness that emanates from him. Let's call him Jethro. Anyway.....

I took them to the off leash park today so Jethro could get rid of some energy and run around like he has just escaped from prison. This is the only place I can take him to run as the fences are 15ft and he doesn't seem to be able to jump that high. He can, however, jump (from standing) onto the first branch of the tree into my back yard - 6ft. I'm digressing.

So I'm in the park and there are a few other people there with their dogs. All dogs are playing nicely and then I see my Jethro run over and investigate something on the ground. Some guy had put down his man-bag cause he was tired of carrying it. Jethro proceeds to sniff and slobber all over this bag cause well, it's on the ground. Jethro is very slobbery.

The owner of the man-bag starts yelling at me because man-bag is now covered in slobber. How is this my problem?

If you are stupid enough to come into a dog off-leash park - where btw, dogs pee, poo, throw up, have diarrhea over every square inch - and put your bag on the ground, you deserve more than just a little slobber. Quite frankly, I was impressed Jethro or some other dog didn't pee on it. Slobber was the least of the things that could have happened to his precious man-bag I think.

He even had the nerve to ask me if I had a wipe. No, I do not have a wipe, idiot. Why aren't you carrying those in your man-bag? I doubt he'll be back.



RainyBow note: are you talking, by chance, about this guy? Note the THIRD EDITION of his buyer's guide to man-bags. I have to wonder why the first and second editions just didn't cut it. Did the "cool" man-bag styles change significantly between editions? 'Cause, really, none of these actually have any semblance of style, even in Eastern Europe. But several have compartments where the wipes would fit quite snugly....

last time i checked, it was august

Today, my cousin and I made the pilgrimage the land of the big box store. While fighting my way through Costco, I saw something that horrified me. (note: there is a lot about Costco and big box stores in general that horrifies me but I will try to concentrate on one offense at a time for the purposes of this post.) The photographic evidence is below and yes, I took these pictures TODAY.stepping santaOk, clearly this picture didn't turn out too well but this is Santa climbing up a ladder. Of course, there was annoying music to go along with the climbing as well. This item is called Stepping Santa. Obviously this company has some geniuses working for it.

xmas trees in augustIn case you don't recognize the above since it's August and everything, those are Christmas trees.

Christmas!!!???? It's August. I get offended when I have to see Christmas stuff in November. It's August. Do I need to say that again? It's A-U-G-U-S-T.

I am going far, far away on Dec 24 and I'm not coming back until well into January. I'm serious.

Bah Humbug to you all.


ps...could someone remind me what we did before camera phones?

teachings about porn from God lovers

I for one am so thankful for the new site and all of its incredible teachings. Now I know the Christian way to react the next time porn randomly pops up on my computer (a situation that occurs almost daily, of course, since I can’t seem to reform my computer from its love for lewd material). I also got sucked in by the scintillating title of Christian Porn (7:45 I’ll never get back).

Seriously, people have too much time on their hands, n’est-ce pas?



SunnyShine note: Please. These same Christians are the ones keeping the porn industry going. Does anyone really think this porn is accidentally downloading itself onto computers everywhere? Honey, I really don't know how these offensive images landed on my hard drive. Oops. Ted Haggart really isn't gay, he just sleeps with prostitutes. Oops. There are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Oops. I rest my case.


RainyBow note: And these same Christians are the ones keeping the look-where-I-found-the-image-of-this-dead-holy-person industry going too. Remember when everyone flocked to that grocery store where the image of Mary appeared in the dirt on a wall? Well, now there’s this chiquita in Pennsylvania who cut into an eggplant only to discover that the seeds spelled out “GOD.”

holy GOD eggplant

Clearly this was a sign from heaven. Thankfully, as she writes, “the item has been preserved in a food saver plastic bag and is frozen in a safe place.” Because now all the rest of us have the opportunity to purchase said piece of eggplant on ebay for the low price of just US$1,000.

So far no takers, but all of you look-where-I-found-the-image-of-this-dead-holy-person freaks out there had better get your bid in soon.

I, for one, make a point of only purchasing atheist eggplant.

late night tv

Last night in a state of insomnia, two big mistakes occurred:
1. late night pizza, of which the toppings included garlic
2. some watching of the show Blind Date.

Even in my sleep-deprived, pizza-overdosed haze, I was still incapable of believing the following:
- There are guys who will propose to a girl on a first date (and a blind one, at that!)
- There are guys who will wear an outfit completely comprised of colourful balloon animals
- There are people who find redneck joke-y thought bubbles truly delightful
- 3,996 people have spent at least a few seconds on Roger Lodge’s official website

Perhaps the next time I feel the need to endure bad late-night tv, I'll choose the pork rinds....



SunnyShine note: Well, if the equally stupid woman (i'm assuming here) ends up marrying him, that leaves one less loser you need to worry about. Though, your consumption of pizza with garlic at the wee hours in the morning would have probably prevented you from same marriage proposal. Either way, you're safe.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

pepsi for idiots

pepsi machine close up

Seriously?! Was this added in reponse to endless feedback of "I don't know where to choose?"


the best lunch invite ever

friend: What are you doing for lunch? I'm going for waxing, wanna come?



more about us

SunnyShine: I like the scent of ambrosia in the morning and monster trucks.

RainyBow: I like frolicking in open meadows and the NRA.