Sunday, September 30, 2007

i'm sure she's glad she married this guy

We all know my feelings about children. I was a little taken aback when I read this article about a woman who has just given birth to her 9th. I have three things to say about this.

  1. Nine children is excessive. This poor woman. Who needs 9 children? Doesn't say what religion they are but I'll put my house on the fact that they are religious freaks.
  2. I would be filing divorce papers. You would think that after 8 babies, the woman would be pretty accurate with her prediction that the baby was on the way. The idiot she is married to wasn't quite convinced and sat down to enjoy his morning coffee. What a catch. She must be so proud
  3. After 8 children, he doesn't know what to do when the water breaks? Really? Was he absent for the others?
I hope I'm lucky enough to find a guy like him.

SunnyShine

Saturday, September 29, 2007

what would you like to do?

My birthday is fast approaching and I normally go away for the weekend so I can avoid my family. Terrible, I know. This year, for a variety of reasons, I will be around this weekend.

My father insists on taking me out for dinner every year and always asks where I want to go. When I give him a suggestion, it is always met with some sort of objection. 'I don't feel like going there, what about this place?' It's much easier not to argue, believe me. Why ask me where I would like to go if that's not where we are going to go? I have no idea.

The other annoyance is that he asks me every single year what kind of cake I want and every single year I say the exact same thing. I bet you know where this is going. Every single year, I get some sort of cake I didn't ask for. Most of the time, it's a kind I don't like. The important thing is that someone likes it. One year, it was ice cream cake (hate) because my niece likes it. One year it was black forest (double yuck) because my step-brother likes it. One year it was chocolate fudge because my father loves it. Whether I like or don't like the cake is irrelevant to this conversation. Again, why ask me?

I used to really let this bother me but now I treat it like a game of guess the restaurant/cake. When I think about it this way, it ends up being quite amusing.

Now, I just go out and buy my own cake and bring it home. The cake ladies are amused when I tell them it's for me and no writing needed. Happy birthday to me.

SunnyShine

Friday, September 28, 2007

5 things that terrify me about my weekend

This weekend I'm travelling quite a distance to spend a couple of days at a colleague's country home. It should be lovely; she has a school house converted into a country home and the leaves are in the prime of fall colours at this time of year. And another colleague, who I like immensely, will be there.

But there are a number of things wrong with this situation:

1. My colleague is extremely odd. Sunny can attest to this. She is one of those people you never find yourself viewing head-on, since whenever she speaks, you always end up cocking your head to one side in disbelief. I find her hysterical. But then I've never spent two full days with her, yet.

2. We are driving from the same city and yet she has not once offered to drive with me. She gave me some very appalling directions, which I then had to verify with others. The other colleague got six--count'em, six--versions of the directions, none of which was the same as the others. A bit troubling.

3. There is an outhouse, which is not in itself an issue, but the colleague has alluded to an "indoor night solution." I do not want to know what this solution is and I hope against hope that nobody partakes in it.

4. The colleague has joked that if one of us snores, we'll be kicked out of the "communal sleeping area" and relegated to the couch. What kind of communal sleeping area are we talking about? I have visions of the three of us sleeping in one bed and they aren't good visions (especially for you guys out there who thought this post was just heating up--trust me, it's not).

5. Apparently we will be out of cellular coverage. So much will happen that will need to be shared by phone and/or blog post. I will be typing into thin air. Or maybe I'll be walking long distances, trying desperately to get a bar. Can you hear me now?

Those are 5 pretty big things. I have a hunch much typing will be happening on Monday.


RainyBow

Thursday, September 27, 2007

complainaway's birthday: we're 100! yay!

To celebrate our 100th post, here's some more about us:

RainyBow: I enjoy Hello Kitty-themed weddings and spelling my name with a heart above the I. Especially when I try out my name with different boys' last names. I do like RainyBow Pitt. But I don't think RainyBow Clooney works so well. RainyBow DiCaprio sounds too much like a song.

SunnyShine: I've spent long hours during these one hundred posts, looking longingly down my street for the mailman to arrive, hoping that today will be the day that my purple bracelet finally arrives. Alas, I have only been met with disappointment. A complaint-free world has yet to be mine. I long for the day when I am no longer chained to the shackles of this blog of complaints. Manumit me from these bonds.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

duh, where'd my car go

How stupid does this guy feel? I hope he's the laughingstock of border guards everywhere. Idiot.

SunnyShine

here's a fee for your convenience

I had to renew my license plates today and went to the actual office instead of using one of the handy kiosks that are sprinkled around town. I generally prefer to do electronic transactions whenever I can, but the office was close to work so I went there instead.

While dealing with an incompetent human (yes, I'm generalizing, but the incompetent far outweigh the competent in my experience) instead of a machine is normally a painful experience, I am irked by the 'convenience fee' that is charged when I use the machine.

Yes, it is convenient not to have to stand in line and deal with an idiot. I get that.

It's pretty convenient for the government as well though. There's no biweekly salary; no pension to pay until the end of time; no vacation or sick days; no long term disability; no office to rent etc. I'd say they make out pretty well not having to staff an office.

I tend to think that I should be paying LESS when I purchase or do something online. After all, I have done all of the work and the overhead for the company is much less. Why should I be paying $2 for the convenience? Don't write saying that I should suck it up and pay the $2. The amount is not the point.

Interestingly enough, just after I had finished discussing this issue with Rainy, I went online to pay a parking ticket and found myself paying a 'user fee' in addition to the parking fine. Ridiculous.

SunnyShine

maybe it's easier with only one p

Why use spellcheck when you're designing your store's sign?


RainyBow

________________________

SunnyShine note: It doesn't look like there's enough room for the other p. They could have gone in another direction and put 'easy shoppin'. It must be a style choice.

does this dog look happy?

Photo taken by a friend of her pug, dressed up in advance of Hallowe'en. I've shown this around and a lot of people think it's stinkin' cute.

I'm not sure I'm with that crowd. But considering the fact that this dog has managed to get out of a sweater in approximately one minute, it's highly doubtful this costume will survive the night anyway.


RainyBow

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

everyone's favourite pick up joint: the grocery store

There's a grocery store near my house that's a renowned pick-up joint, especially for gay men, but just generally for the yuppy crowd. You wouldn't believe the number of times I (or a woman next to me) have been the target of a pick-up attempt over organic tomatoes. I remember once I tried desperately but couldn't lose this guy who was following me around the aisles. Eventually I told him that I was going through a really messy divorce; that seemed to do the trick.

A couple of months ago, when I was checking out at a different grocery store, this guy behind me leaned over and said, "You're a really healthy eater. That's rare and nice to see for a change." Creeped out, I made a quick escape.

So after all this creepy grocery shopping experience, today was a bit of a shocker. I was standing in line at the check-out, getting more than my fill of such controversial world issues as Angelina's weight problems and Britney's drinking, when I noticed a guy two people in front of me checking out. You have to understand that I didn't even see his face. I did, however, get fixated on his food, and I started to get excited about what he had and what I thought it meant:

- cloth bags, swung over his shoulder - caring; concerned about the environment
- whole wheat bread - a real man; no silly obsession with low carb diets
- vegetables galore - healthy lifestyle; the kind of guy who doesn't actually eat out of a box, and who might actually cook for me
- coconut milk - likes Thai food - no, wait, even knows how to cook Thai food (!!)
- egg replacer - could he be a vegan? (heart palpitations)

Fantasies of myself and this faceless tree-hugging, healthy eating, no-fad diet, home cooking, Thai food-loving vegan having all kind of food and non-food experiences were dancing in my head when I realised....

- 1% milk - damnit, he likes dairy.

My perfect man, whom I had spotted about one minute earlier and to whom I had never spoken, was no more. And I, I quickly realised, had turned into creepy grocery store person. The kind of person people like me used to run away from. Let's hope it's only temporary.


RainyBow
-

Monday, September 24, 2007

this fustrates me

It drives me up the wall when people say 'fustrate' instead of 'fRustrate'. There's an r in there dammit.

Inhale. Exhale. Zen.

SunnyShine

___________

RainyBow note: And how about FebRuary? There's a stupid R in there too.

I hate The Killers for their song about "Somebody Told Me" where they continually say "Febuary." When pop culture icons massacre a word it tends to catch on. Crappy Killers.


divide or multiply by 1.6?

Dear friends at Nautilus Inc.,

I frequent the treadmills at my gym on days when inclement weather makes it difficult to enjoy running outside. For the last year or so they've provided a less than desirable experience; either the mainframe was vibrating, providing the experience of running on the back of a flat bed truck, or the walk belt was not so cushioning, providing the experience of running on a concrete block.

And so, when I walked into my gym last week and saw a row of gleaming, new Nautilus(R) T916 machines I was thrilled. Now, in the early mornings when I'm alone in the gym and don't feel like turning on the lights because I'm in denial, the huge backlit LCD display provides a soothing glow. And the 16-year old boy in me drools over the flashy silver frame. On days when I have a hard time finding inner motivation, the 14 training programs are there to give me that nudge. Indoor running doesn't get much cooler than this.

But here's the problem: your company is so ridiculously American-centric that you weren't able to build a treadmill that works in the real world of running. The T916 allows for measurement only in miles, not kilometres. As you may have heard, the metric system is used in like every country in the world other than the US. It's also used in 95% of all races in the world of running--all those things that the people who actually use your treadmills train for.

Now, use of one of our treadmills requires engaging in an exercise in mathematics to ensure a desirable speed or distance. Given that I usually run early in the morning, this math exercise feels more like a painful exam, one that I'm always about to fail.

So, thanks to all of you at Nautilus, I get a refreshing start to my day, feeling like a complete idiot. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.


RainyBow

Sunday, September 23, 2007

the opportunist strikes again

Today I had the pleasure (ahem) of looking after my 7 year old niece for the day. My sister roped me into this by saying that it would be 2 hours. After I said yes, the story changed and she said it might be longer because she was going to a baby shower and she had to help set up. Uh huh. Then, after she dropped her off, she said she would have to help clean up too. Uh huh. So, 2 hours turned into 7.

When she arrived to pick her up and saw that her daughter was smiling and still had all appendages in tact, she then asked if I would be willing to take her for a week. A week??!!! She must have smoked something at that shower. I normally max out at 3 hours so what I would do for 7 whole days is beyond me. I cannot even imagine having to take care of both Jethro and my niece for longer than I did today.

My sister says she's exhausted and wants a relaxing vacation so she can go to the beach whenever she wants and not have to entertain a child. So do I!!!! If I had to take care of a child for a week, I would need a month off. Scratch that, I would need two.

Let's recap. I do not have nor do I want any children. She wanted a child and had a child. She has spent nearly all of her time since trying to rope different people into taking care of her daughter for extended periods of time. Her excuse is that she's a single mother. How is this my problem? She designed it that way. Don't go thinking she's hard done by. This year alone, my niece has spent:

  • 3 weeks with her father in another city
  • 2 weeks in the Caribbean with my father
  • 1 week at the cottage with my father and step-mother
  • 1 week with my mother
So, if you add this up, my sister has had 7 weeks of freedom this year - 4 of which were this summer. (I haven't even added in the various nights and weekends she spends with my father and step-mother.) Would it not have been possible to take her relaxing vacation during these time periods?

Here's a suggestion. Why doesn't she take care of my dogs while I go on a much-needed vacation? She would say no before I finished the sentence.

SunnyShine

i need another degree to decipher road signs

Taken on a recent road trip.

get sign
Does anyone understand what the driver is supposed to do?


RainyBow

Saturday, September 22, 2007

this is way worse than discussing where else you might get your next haircut with your hair stylist of 10 years

I spent this afternoon at the park with a friend from out-of-town and another friend who brought his wife and two kids. The friend from out-of-town was pleasant, and the kids fought for my attention, which made me briefly feel like a B-list celebrity (at least one for children, like Mr. Rogers or one of those fun and crazy people from Sesame Street).

However, on to the friend and his wife. I recently learned that the wife has filed for divorce. The friend is not-so-heartbroken over this; he actually told me, when this happened, that he had considered filing for divorce before they had kids, so her move was hardly a surprise. (But don't get me started on people who have kids because they will "fix" their relationship. Argh.) As you can guess, I was a tad surprised to see her.

Over lunch the conversation went horribly wrong. We all sat down to have lunch on a picnic table. The wife was eating a messy piece of pizza and some of it spilled on her shirt. "Well, I guess this isn't good first date food, is it?" I laughed and told her it was generally wise to avoid tomato sauce and red wine too. "Really?" she said, "I guess that's good advice." Then she turned to my friend (as in her husband) and said, in front of the kids, "Hey, you should listen to this, since you're going to be back in the dating scene soon too. We could probably both learn stuff from her that will help us out."

Does anyone else find this troubling?


RainyBow

__________________________

SunnyShine note: Nightmare.

it isn't working

At the airport here, you pay for your parking at a machine before you get to your car to leave. Once you have paid, the machine imprints your parking ticket and then you take that ticket to insert it into the machine at the exit of the parking lot. This seems like a fairly simple process and it is - when it works. When it doesn't work, it becomes ridiculously difficult as there is no one at the exit to help.

Of course, when I had to get out of the parking lot on Wednesday, it didn't work. I inserted my paid ticket into the machine and heard some processing and churning and then it promptly spit my ticket back out without opening the gate. Ok. Perhaps I put the ticket in the wrong way. I turned the ticket around and tried again only to have it spit out once more. Now, I was in no mood for this as it was around 7:30 pm and I had been up since 5 am. By this time, an impressive line up of cars had formed behind me and I can only imagine how happy they must have been.

The machine had a handy help button on it which was supposed to summon someone for assistance. Where this someone was coming from was a mystery but he showed up after about 2 minutes. This is a long period of time to wait when there are irate people lined up behind you.
My expectation of this person was that he would take a look at my paid ticket and promptly open the gate to let me out. Wrong again. He asked me if I had paid. Look at the ticket, Einstein, of course I have paid. He then proceeded to insert the ticket into the machine. What??!!! I put this ticket in every possible way and the gate didn't open. Why he thought the gate would magically open because he tried was beyond my comprehension. Then, he tried again. At this point, I calmly (which was a miracle) asked him to open the gate. He looked at me and tried again. I just about lost my mind. He opened the gate.

SunnyShine

__________________

RainyBow note: And I'll bet you paid a whopping sum for that parking too. Glad to see the money's going towards hiring brain surgeons.

__________________

SunnyShine note: Oh yes. $24 for the day. I knew I should have valet parked. lol. The extra $20 would have been well worth to 1) not have to spend 15 minutes looking for a parking spot @ 6:30 am 2) not have to walk 10 minutes to get to the terminal 3) not have to spend 15 minutes looking for my car when I got back 4) avoid the hassle of the post.


thanks for the tip

Every week in my company, a computer "tip of the week" is sent out to all employees. These tips are touted as time savers to make the employees more efficent. Sounds good, right?

Well, the language of business in my company is English, but the language of the person who wrote this recent tip is definitely not English. Have a read of the excerpt below, and note that I didn't change a thing. If anyone can prove he or she actually learned something--anything--about NetMeeting from this tip, I'll send out a prize. I don't know what that prize will be, but then I'm quite certain I'll never have to hit the post office....

One of the most recurring issues is concerning the Directory server, and this is usually due of a missing address. It can be fixed by adding the Directory address for Netmeeting.

In some cases, the User will not be able to change him self settings because the Options will be grayed out. This can be fixed by connecting as an administrator and to follow the previous steps.

Another issue coming out usually is the Directory isn’t opening*, but a window on the task bar seems to reflect that the Directory is open, but it’s not opening it self.

*This little incident was created by closing the Netmeeting with the Directory in minimized size.

Another issue can come, the User is not able to share his desktop to get some remote help with whatever technical support. What you will have to do is to activate the Remote Desktop Sharing in Options menu of the application, but to activate that you need administrative rights on the computer.

In some cases, you will receive a message telling you that you have a service of Netmeeting running already in background, just click on the Ok button and this will force the installation of the asked service.

Another issue is beginning to show up, the Netmeeting Directory is long to open. The fix for this type of incident is to modify some Windows Registry Keys, but you have to be administrator of the computer to do those modifications.

Be careful also to select the proper version of the application in function of the Operating System in the computer.

RainyBow

Friday, September 21, 2007

and the nominees for couple of the year are.....

I'm laughing so hard, I can barely type.






SunnyShine

Thursday, September 20, 2007

way t.m.i.

Today I had a conversation with a female colleague I barely know that started with a story about her son being sick. Physically ill, I mean, with a flu or something.

Me: Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. I hope he gets better soon.

Colleague: Well, he's he only one I've got. I tried to have more, but I just couldn't.

Me [backing away]: Oh, I'm sorry to hear that.

Colleague: Yeah, the next two after him I miscarried, and the one after that turned out to be dead inside me. I just went in one day when I was 8 1/2 months pregnant and there was no more heartbeat. You know when you just know something's wrong when the ultrasound operator and the doctor look at each other in that way? But I guess I was older so there was more risk of it or something. So at that point they can't do anything but wait for you to give birth to the dead baby. So even though I had a C-section when I had my son, I had to go through real labour and childbirth for my dead baby. It was really awful.

Me [backing away much faster]: Oh my. I'm so sorry.

Why do people I barely know feel the need to share this much information?!


RainyBow

movie classics

Yesterday, I flew to another city for the day to attend a meeting. On the plane, each seat had a personal touch screen with the normal menu of music, movies, tv, games etc. I was interested in the UI of the system because of something I am doing at work (geeky, I know), so I started playing around with all of the options.

In the movie section, there were a few genres, one of which was 'classics'. I love classic movies so I touched the screen expecting to see something like Gone With the Wind, Casablanca, or perhaps, Bridge Over the River Kwai.

The system presented me with the following two (and only two) classics:

I am not making that up. I cannot, in any way, imagine how either one of these movies could be considered classics. It's possible I am stupid but I'm open to suggestions.

SunnyShine

_____________

RainyBow note: Forget The Bells of St Mary's and It's a Wonderful Life; I can't wait to curl up under a blanket and eat Christmas treats with my family this year over this great new selection of classics. Thanks for the tip!


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

"i had to have it"

Has anyone else seen the craptastic new ad for Sarah Jessica Parker's new fragrance, Covet? I saw the trailer on the big screen at the movies tonight (yes, another movie; I know I have a problem) and I don't know if it gets much worse. Parker is in Paris, wearing a big white dress, black gloves, red shoes, and some horrific raccoon make-up. She sees a bottle--yes, a bottle--in a window that she just can't resist--which, naturally, happens to me all the time--and kicks in the window to get it. Thankfully, the police save the helpless bottle by dragging Parker away, and she begs the officer, in ridiculously bad, breathless French, "can I have a little spritz?" Then she's suddenly looking pitiful from behind bars (that's also the print, I think).

The whole movie theatre erupted into laughter. Not the good kind.

All of this leads me to ask: after a whack of Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild awards and Emmys, a previous (successful) fragrance, a long list of movies, the title of UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and a lot of Best Dressed titles under her belt, does Parker really need to do crap like this? My misguided purchase last year of bright red corduroy pants seems like a much smaller bad decision now.....


RainyBow

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

worst of the worst

I hope there's a special kind of hell for this guy.

SunnyShine

kids really are slower growing up now

This morning, a colleague came in gushing about putting her daughter on the bus for the first day of JK. She put her on the bus, followed the bus to the school, and watched her getting off of the bus. (Yes, I thought I was hearing things too.) This craziness was proven by a show and tell of pics of the event.

When I asked why her daughter was starting school so late (in the year), she told me that kids are now eased into school. The first day, they go for an hour. By the second week, they stay a few hours. This must be the third week and now they are finally ready for a full day. What??!!!

When I went to school back in the dark ages, we just went. I was deposited at school and may or may not have been told to have a good day. There were no pictures. There was no following the bus. There were no tears. There were no notes in my lunch.

Coincidentally, an hour later, I stumbled across an article that cites a study suggesting that kids are taking longer to grow up. Is it any wonder? All of this hand holding and coddling is a little much.

Don't get me started on the sense of entitlement that kids seem to have these days. This post could be never ending.

SunnyShine


well, i feel ignorant

I just finished watching a throughly depressing film called The Charcoal People, about the migrant workers producing charcoal in Brazil. Brazilian pig iron, made by combining iron ore with charcoal, is used in the automotive and construction industries in the developed world. The migrant workers (paid ridiculously little, of course) are hired to roam through Brazil, tearing down trees, building kilns, and creating charcoal. The Atlantic Forrest and much of the scrub savannas of central Brazil have already been deforrested, amounting to an area the size of France completely devoid of trees. Since the supply of wood there is dwindling, the charcoal people are migrating to the Amazon Forrest to find work. Since this segment of the population currently totals around 60,000, the Amazon could go fast. A frightening thought, no?

Although I had a vague idea this was happening, why did I never know these details? Why are we so obsessed with vacuous celebrity gossip when these horrible things are happening around us? Argh. I'm feeling like quite a fat cat this evening. And not a cute one whose belly touches the ground when she walks. Just an ugly, mean one.


RainyBow

you need to get a pen

I ordered in tonight 'cause I'm tired and too lazy to cook. I had an early morning yesterday (story for another time), a long day today, and an insanely long drive home. Tomorrow morning, I have to get up at 5 so I can fly to another city for an all day meeting and then fly home again tomorrow night. I don't know why I feel the need to justify this. Whatever.

Whenever someone knocks on my door, all hell breaks loose here. The dogs start barking and freaking out and I have to open the door the least amount possible so I can slide through and go outside. It's annoying and difficult.

The delivery guy arrived tonight and I did my whole dance of trying to get out the door while holding back the dogs so they don't run out to attack him. (Princess would have no interest in attacking someone because it would require effort but Jethro would take a bite out of someone if he felt he needed to. Of course, he might have been distracted by the chicken but I am digressing.)

Anyway, I manage to get outside so I can sign the credit card slip and the guy tells me that I need to get a pen because he doesn't have one. FRAK.

When you know someone is going to pay with a credit card, why don't you have a pen? This drives me nuts. The last time it happened, I told the driver I didn't have a pen either. Honestly, this would make me stop ordering from this establishment permanently.

Conveniently, they have one of those 'tell us about our service' online surveys. I told them all right.

SunnyShine

______________
RainyBow note: You've just touched on one of my biggest pet peeves: people who steal my pens. They come to my desk for a meeting, they bring their book to take notes, but they don't bring anything to write with. The next thing I know they're "borrowing" one of mine. Then I can never find it again and when I'm looking to write something down, I'm screwed.

Now it's not like my pens are worth $2B each or anything, but they're a tool I kinda need to do my job. Pen stealers suck.

Monday, September 17, 2007

god loves me, he loves you not

I remember after September 11 feeling disgusted by many things beyond the act of terrorism. One of most troublesome things for me was the reaction of some of the people who worked in the building but hadn't been there when the tragedy occurred. They talked about how God had decided to spare them. Oh yeah, I thought, because God--if he exists--has nothing better to do than to pick and choose who should sleep in and therefore not die in a burning inferno. That's not in the least bit offensive to those who actually did die in the madness, since these kinds of statements implied that God felt they were worthy of a horrible death.

And so I'm bothered again, this time with the crash of a plane in Thailand this past weekend. Canadian Millie Furlong was one of the lucky people who managed to escape from the burning plane, along with her Thai boyfriend. Her sister told a Canadian newspaper, "God was definitely watching out for her," and Millie herself said their respective gods were looking out for her and her Buddhist boyfriend. Meanwhile, news emerged of another Canadian, Larisa Fayad, who was not so lucky and perished in the crash.

So is anyone really going to tell me that God looked down upon the earth on Sunday and chose to spare Millie and her boyfriend, but decided that Larisa just wasn't worth it? Really? And what are the bigger implications of this? Why would God have chosen me (for example) to live in a prosperous, developed Western country while so many people are doomed to suffer in another country plagued by natural disaster, civil war, poverty and illness?

RainyBow

_______________________

SunnyShine note: Millie doesn't know much about god because Buddhists don't believe in god. People always want you to think you're less of a person if you don't believe. Such crap. I also love how murderers (and bad people in general) always 'find god' like that somehow clears the slate. They are better than I am because they have been saved. Michael Vick has suddenly found god. Sure.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

so global warming doesn't exist huh

When are people going to wake up and start making changes? The Northwest Passage is now open for business. You should be frightened by this. Can't wait to hear the Bush spin on this one.

SunnyShine

c-o-n-t-r-a-c-t-i-o-n

Sorry for the quality of this picture but I was going through the car wash at the time. I just know that some day 'your' will be entered alongside 'you're' in the dictionary since everyone uses it incorrectly now. sigh.



car wash sign

SunnyShine

____________________

RainyBow note: When I was a kid, there was a sign up for years on our route home from the family cottage that made me insane. The image was of a police officer and the speech bubble beside him said "Drink, that's fine. Drink and drive, your mine." Argh. There's a missing word in here, which requires an apostrophe, people! When I was eight I knew enough to be angry about the misspelling, and yet apparently nobody in the local police force did. Psychiatrists everyone are thankful for my sake that the sign has since be replaced by something more innocuous.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

the end of a 50 plus year friendship

Today I said goodbye to my mom's best friend, Lucie, who I've known ever since I was born.

Lucie was always the strongest and most stubborn person I'd ever met, and she was a bit of a role model for me growing up. She became a dentist at a time when no women actually did that. She was single for most of her life in a time when that was unheard of too, only marrying when she was in her 40s (in her words, before she met her husband, "all of the men were stupid"). She travelled all over the world, sending postcards relaying the strangest tales of adventure and fun. And she loved to tell stories about taking her incapacitated father to strip shows, knowing it was the only time he was happy. It was hard to see someone who never compromised on anything throughout all of her life finally give in for the last time, to cancer.

My mother and Lucie shared an incredible friendship for over 50 years. This makes me sad for my mom, since I know it has to be very hard to say goodbye. But it also makes me strangely sentimental. I wonder if I'll ever be able to look back on my life and remember friendships like theirs, ones that seem to last forever.

A sentimental post, I know. Perhaps I'll get my edge back in the morning.


RainyBows

theatre roaming

Yesterday my colleague Matt invited me to a party and movie premiere put on by a partner he works with from a credit card company. The person who invited him (who was the only person he knew at this company) told him he would be on the guest list, plus one. He told me that the party was from 7-9pm, with the movie beginning at 9pm. It seemed to be a dressy event, so we braved some ridiculous rain in our finest. My feet were unhappy as I'm trying to make the transition from summer to fall shoes.

Matt and I met at 7:30 at the front doors of the theatre, which is a theatre for plays, not a movie theatre. Immediately the night seemed sketchy; Matt didn't have tickets or even a piece of paper that indicated we were supposed to be there and there was a huge line of people at the door. We told the person working the door that we were on the guest list; no guest list seemed to exist. The woman told us to go right in.

We stopped and spoke to the next person who was checking tickets. When we told her that we were there for the premiere party, she waved us in with a distracted look. Wandering around the lobby somewhat aimlessly, we noticed that there were very few people around. Finally, an usher at the very end of the hallway waved us over. Before we could tell her why we were there, she indicated we were to get into the elevator.

The elevator attendant was a bit dishevelled and slurred her words, as if she had had a bit of fun before her shift. I was briefly concerned that she was unfit to man the equipment until I remembered that she was tasked only with pushing the button of our destination floor. "Are you guys part of the something something something society?" she asked. In those words. I laughed. "Although that sounds appealing," I said, "we're here for the credit card company party." The doors opened and she gestured toward a room full of people.

The room of people wasn't exactly what I expected. Most people were wearing the kind of clothes I throw on the morning after a very long night. We fought our way through crowds of people to the bar. When we got there, around 7:45, the bartender told us she had to close. "Close?" my colleague said to me, "But this party is supposed to go til 9:00!" This all had the air of not so much exclusivity.

We wandered some more in confusion. At the other side of the room we found two tables with troughs (yes, troughs!) of candy. Endless supplies of gummy worms, M&Ms, Glossettes (the yummy peanut kind), and SweeTarts led me to believe I had found my Elysium. It crossed my mind, briefly, that the theatre we were going to was run by crazy people who didn't allow patrons to enter with anything other than water. But then the animal need for candy took over, and the two of us elbowed anyone in the way to fill handfuls of baggies with the sweet, tasty treats.

At 7:55 we were asked to head into the theatre. We looked at each other, a bit puzzled, since this seemed a bit early, given that our movie was due to start at 9:00. But, believing in the wisdom of crowds, we and our candy followed everyone in.

Well, the wisdom of crowds was not immediately apparent to me. Instead of going into the theatre we expected, we ended up at a secondary theatre in the complex. A bit confused, we decided nonetheless to see this through, and found seats at the side.

The room went dark and, without any announcement, the movie began. At the opening credits I started to giggle. This movie was the farthest thing from the movie we were supposed to be at. Matt started to giggle too. We sat and ate candy, giggling, for several minutes. Then, realising this was going to be painful for the people around us who had actually come to see this movie, we got up and walked to the back of the theatre. I had bags of candy in hand. I wasn't about to abandon candy goodness because of a party fiasco. Please.

"Ummm... " I whispered to the first usher I could find. "I think there's been a bit of a mistake." After we explained where we were supposed to be, she said "Oh, that's why you're dressed up," and led us out of the door and down the hall. "There," she said, pointing up another staircase. "I think that's your party."

This room had white tablecloths, huge spreads of food, people in suits, and, best of all, room to breathe. Matt immediately spotted the person who had invited him. We'd found our party, and I was standing in the doorway with bags and bags of candy. Embarrassed, my first move was to the bar. "We'd like some wine," I said to the bartender, "and could you take away all of this?" He looked, somewhat confused, at the candy I put on the counter.

The rest of the night was somewhat less eventful. I ran into someone I had met almost a year before at a fundraiser. When I first met him, he had annoyed me so greatly that I had vowed never to entertain a conversation with him again. This time I considered trying to escape but then came to the conclusion that we had roamed the building quite enough for the evening. I sucked it up. We ate some food, drank some wine, then we watched the premiere of a poorly written film where everyone dies and we giggled some more. This last part was much to the enjoyment of our fellow movie-goers, I'm sure.

While this evening was quite enjoyable for us, I can't help but wonder why all four (count 'em, four) people we encountered in the lobby managed to misdirect us to the point where all of this happened. Don't these people get paid to direct visitors to their proper place in the building? Is this job really so hard?


RainyBow

Friday, September 14, 2007

so, so sad

I am totally obsessed with PostSecret. It's completely fascinating and the biggest problem with it is that he posts only on Sunday. It's not enough. I feel I will soon order the PostSecret books from Amazon.

A few weeks ago, this was posted:

postsecret photo
It's 2007. Is this the worst thing that could happen? Really? Would you prefer a sociopath or a serial killer? Maybe an offspring who beats his wife would be preferable.

Can we get over the homophobia already?

Does Rainy need to remind you of the boys selling their bodies to survive?

SunnyShine

________________

RainyBow note: Word. I understand that having a gay kid would require a bit of time to shift one's mindset. Most parents have this vision of their kid's future: graduate, get a good job, get married, buy the house with the white picket fence and have 2.5 children. Finding out your kid is gay is probably a bit of a shock for most. But, really, it's not like you're suddenly going to trade your kid in for another, so you need to work through it and get over that.

But then my family is way more screwed up than this. I have cousins who haven't spoken in 20 years because one swears the other owes him $20. Figuring out the seating plan for my sister's wedding was harder than learning differential equations.

Life is so damn short. I hope I never lose perspective and turn into one of these crazy people.

___________________________

SunnyShine note: Well my parents were sorely disappointed by their vision of what I would become too and I'm not gay. The thing parents need to remember is that being gay does not preclude the marriage, white picket fence and 2.5 kids. Life is too short.


remember when rainy joked about the raw food diet....

Jethro (the Dog) has had health problems since I got him from the pound last Sept 19. On his first visit to the vet, he was 59 lbs, had giardia, clostridium, infected ears and his hair was falling out. He was so emaciated that you could see every rib and bump on his spine and his hip bones stood up like fingers. Basically, he was a skeleton with a little bit of fur. Plus, he smelled and had a penchant for eating poo.

To put it mildly, the last year has been trying. Don't forget that I have two dogs. The other one - let's call her Princess - has never been sick in the 5 years I have had her (she's seriously the perfect dog; calm, quiet, relatively obedient). She's gone to the vet for her regular visit once a year and not much more than that. I haven't added it up but Jethro has easily been to the vet more in last year than Princess has in the last five. Consequently, the cash outlay for him has been significantly more as well.

The two parasites, giardia & clostridium, produce the most disgusting liquid diarrhea and are treated with very strong drugs - antibiotics etc. Giardia goes away fairly quickly but the clostridium can and did last for months. I would say he had it until March/April or so. Yes, that's 7 months in case you are counting.

Of course, I was thinking I was in the clear. He started gaining more weight and was generally healthier or so I thought. He's had some nervous habits like trying to eat his feet. I don't mean licking his feet, I mean that he puts his feet into his mouth and chews. Definitely not normal behaviour. He also has doggie ADD and has been getting increasingly destructive (the list is long). He drinks a lot. He drops a lot of hair. He can't keep still. Never. Ever.

I've been at my wits end and decided to take him to a homeopathic vet to see if there was anything else I could do. I was at the point where I was actually considering drugging him to calm him down (bad bad). Basically the vet said that his system has been completely destroyed by the drugs he was on and it is manifesting itself in the chewing and destruction etc. In a word, he is toxic. He also felt that he had some food sensitivity that should be tested and confirmed. We had the tests two days ago. Turns out he was right. Here is the full list of the things my dog is not allergic and/or sensitive to:

  • chicken & turkey
  • salmon
  • venison
  • most vegetables
  • apples
  • eggs
That's it. They tested over 100 things and those are the ones that are ok. The absolute worst food for him is lamb and guess what flavour his food has been. Yup, lamb. I buy them high end specialty food mind you, but still, the lamb is producing all of these symptoms. This explains a lot.

Please note the following things that are not on that list: beef, liver, cheese, grains

I am also need to scratch apples from the list. The vet gave him a piece after the tests were done and he promptly spit it out onto the floor. He may be able to eat it, but he doesn't like it.

Oh, almost forgot that the tests show he still has parasites. Goodie. He now has some holistic remedies for those.

Of course, they have recommended that he goes onto a raw food diet. I am completely on board with the idea of a raw food diet for the dogs. Obviously, it's better for them to be eating fresh food all the time instead of packaged food. The implementation of the raw food diet is another matter entirely. It is time consuming and I don't have a lot of extra time. I barely manage to make food for myself most nights and I don't know that I can get organized enough to make food for two dogs to eat twice a day. Trust me, it's not that I don't want to, it just seems completely daunting. Perhaps if I didn't work full time and spend 2 hours on the road every day, there would be time.

The good news is that Jethro now weighs 85 lbs and is much healthier than he ever has been. I've been googling different prepared foods are there are a few high end manufacturers that make high protein, no grain foods that would suit his diet. I picked one up today and gave him his first try this evening. He loved it.

I guess time will tell how the new food works. Hopefully we are over the hump and are moving on to greener pastures. It's possible I was bad to dogs in another life and am now paying the price. Cross your fingers the food works out.

SunnyShine

u - yoo - you - hoo?!

Conversation with a colleague today who works in retail design. You know, a job for which you need to have some basic understanding of trends and pop culture....

colleague: do you know if I can get on youtube on my BlackBerry?

me: not sure how it will look as I haven't tried, but I would think you just type youtube.com.

colleague: every time I do that I end up on this weird site. This isn't it, is it? [shows me a site called utube.com]

me: no, it's youtube, like Y-O-U-tube.com

colleague: oh, thanks. Look, it's working!


RainyBow

bonus stuff sucks

Last week I went to a movie at the theatre I hate most in my city. Yes, another movie. I paid for this movie. Not that I usually sneak in (although I have done this, rebel without a cause that I am), but I feel the need to tell you about the payment in case you wonder if I'm a creep whining about a free event.

The movie itself was a misguided choice, I'll admit. I'm a big fan of Will Arnett in Arrested Development--who can resist the magic shows and the chicken dance, really--and I get suckered into seeing everything he does. The movies are never good, but, like all normal human beings, I never learn from my mistakes. This time I went to see The Brothers Solomon. Never, ever, see this movie.

But that's not why I felt the need to rant. You see, my friend and I had the expectation that the theatre would show the usual ads and previews and then would show the actual film. Well, someone somewhere had the bright idea that we needed a bonus element to our movie-going experience.

I should admit here that I'm generally biased against bonuses. Cracker Jack surprises, bubblegum cartoons, Cadbury Easter Creme eggs or whatever those things are with the crappy plastic toy that you have to assemble yourself with the attached Ikea-like instructions, really all of this stuff sucks. So when the Kevin Bacon look-alike came out with the mic before the movie, I knew I was going to hate whatever was going to ensue before he even opened his mouth.

And it was AMATEUR STAND UP COMEDY. Particularly bad amateur stand up comedy. I don't think a single person in the theatre laughed once. No, that's not true, the guy behind us guffawed when his friend tripped on the steps and sent his popcorn flying all over someone he didn't know. But the comedy we were subjected to as our bonus was horrific.

This has never happened to me before and must never happen again.


RainyBow

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

the busy signal will drive me to drink

When was the last time you heard a busy signal? In this age of voice mail and call waiting, you would think the busy signal was a relic of the past. Not so much.

A good friend of mine refuses to get either call waiting or voice mail. Couple this with the fact that she can gab for hours a time, and you get the permanent busy signal. It holds a special place on my list of pet peeves, believe me.

The problem with the busy signal is that it feels so final and you have no recourse. Voice mail allows you to leave a message and then go about your business. Even if the person you're calling is on the phone, you can leave a message. Lines with call waiting but no voice mail at least give you the illusion that someone may answer or that voice mail may kick in. Still feels much better than the busy signal.

The busy signal could be used to torture me. When I call and get the busy signal, I go a little crazy. I think I might have busy signal ocd. I find myself calling back regularly like one of those crazy stalker people you see on tv. It's quite unsettling. Just when I think I'm bigger than the busy signal ocd, I realize I'm not and I just have to try one more time. It's not even like I have anything important to talk about. I just want to get through. I have a problem. I can admit it.

SunnyShine

________________

RainyBow note: Oh oh OH. You have no idea how crazy this stuff makes me. My parents refuse to get call waiting and I try to call them for hours some nights (and I'm not exaggerating). And then they wonder why I "never" call and my mom leaves me messages that say only "It's your mother and I love you" to try to shame me into starting the whole cycle again. I love parental guilt trips. Fantastic.

They won't buy a cell phone either. They have a cottage in the middle of nowhere and they go to it for weeks at a time. This cottage has no landline and neither one of them will get a cell phone, so there is no way to reach these people in case of an emergency. And then they freak out and don't sleep when I drive somewhere on my own at night. Hey, at least I have some way of reaching people in case of an emergency.

I swear this isn't normal.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

perhaps someone is saying this size out loud?

I can't think of any other explanation why 4x6 would need to be in quotation marks here. Quotation marks are meant to indicate a direct quote from a person, not emphasis. Go with bold and/ or italics, people!



Spotted at a camera store near my house on the way home from a movie (yes, another one - are you sensing a pattern?) in the pouring rain. Of course, the rain didn't stop me from pausing to take this photo. I wish the reflection of my wet rat self were clearer....


RainyBow

can we call a spade a spade?

I just finished watching the second part of When the Levees Broke. It should really be required viewing, but be warned that watching all four hours straight will require a bottle of anti-depressants. You need to break it up.

Anyway, can we just agree now that the non-response by the government was all about racism? Put the same disaster in Palm Springs or Silicon Valley or Beverley Hills and the result would have been completely different. Poor black people aren't worth helping or saving. It's true, admit it.

This brings me to the real purpose of this post. This whole brouhaha happening with Elections Canada and Harper right now is pretty much the same thing. It's racism plain and simple. Harper may want to call it something else but the fact remains that he is xenophobic. (Racist and xenophobic have two distinct and different definitions but I'm pretty sure he is both.) That people are buying his whole crock of shite is frightening. Kudos to the head of Elections Canada for sticking to his guns. I find it interesting that the Muslim community didn't complain about the voting rules but suddenly it's a big deal. Harper is wagging the dog and the sheep will wag along with him.

SunnyShine

how I love rainy days

I'm writing this post from the highway. I'm not moving. Why? It rained earlier. It's not raining now, but the roads are damp. Doesn't seem like a big deal but no one in this city can drive unless it is dry and overcast. Dry and sunny? No. Overcast and rainy? No. Snow? Definitely not. It has to be overcast and dry and even then traffic doesn't move that well.

I love it when my day starts like this. Sigh.

SunnyShine

Monday, September 10, 2007

a poster child for treating the symptoms

A Russian mayor has banned his staff from making excuses for not getting the job done. This enlightened individual apparently believes that banning 27 excuse-laden phrases will boost productivity. One has to wonder if these phrases include "You seriously want me to make it through the Siberian winter without complaining," "Our mayor is a dimwit," or "I quit."


RainyBow

only one gift but lots of gems with extra Ls

gift and jewells

Spotted near my home. I love that there isn't just the plural/ singular issue, but also that curious overabundance of Ls. This place has four gigantic signs with the same spelling error--and maybe more inside (I can't bear to go in!). Thousands of dollars were clearly spent on signage with no proofreading. But, hey, it's "international." Fantastic.


RainyBow

Sunday, September 9, 2007

please respect our privacy

I am having trouble feeling sympathy for the McCann family. Actually, I feel sympathy for the children, but not the parents. Let me first say that my womb is closed for business and I have no use for children whatsoever. However, I find it hard to fathom that parents would leave a 3 year old and two year old twins alone in a hotel while they went out for dinner. There was childcare available but they didn't take advantage. It's not like they couldn't afford it. Who does this? Notwithstanding the fact that their child is 'missing', what about all the other things that could have happened? What if there had been a fire or one of them had fallen or burned themselves or suffocated in the blankets? The list goes on and on. Kidnapping is probably the least likely of the things that could have happened.

Since this incident, they have spent their time taking audiences with the pope and flying around to meet different celebrities to raise awareness. To date, they have raised over ₤2.5M as a reward for her return. Now that they have been named as suspects, they are suddenly pleading for privacy - on camera no less. Is it just me or does something seem really wrong about this? There's something not quite right. Maybe there was Munchhausen Syndrome at play here; the results would certainly fit.

I also need to note that there are countless children who disappear as slaves, soldiers, sex trade victims etc. every single day. Funny how there is no awareness or reward available to save them. Unfortunately, by virtue of the colour of their skin and their social standing in the world, no one cares. If these same children were white and middle class, it would be a different story. You know it's true.

SunnyShine

i'm one year old and i would like the following presents...

A good friend of mine has a child who is on the cusp of turning one year old. Since my friend was part of an inevitable pre-birthing group (whatever one calls those things, please excuse my ignorance), she knows lots of other moms with a kid turning one. So the birthday parties begin....

My friend and her husband, as reasonable people, have assessed that their kid has an excessive amount of toys (growing weekly because of overindulgent grandparents), and that their kid appreciates boxes and keys more than most of her toys. So they have decided to have a small party with family and a couple of friends to celebrate the milestone. There will be cake and a few small gifts.

However, some of her mommy friends have gone a different route: registering for their kid's birthday.

Now, I've seen one of these registries, and we're not talking "I'd like this $10 book for my kid." We're talking full-on-gifts with a price tag of $50 and up. For real?! The kid is one and will have no idea what this party is even for.

Can you imagine what the party at 8 and 10 years will be like? I'm already cringing at the upcoming stories.

RainyBow

Saturday, September 8, 2007

i just need some water

This week, I seem to have a problem adequately hydrating myself. I was parched on Thursday when I went to the book reading, so I went to a vending machine to buy a bottle of water. I put my $1.75 (!!!!) into the machine and grabbed my bottle of water. Imagine my surprise when I found myself drinking some sort of artificially sweet fizzy grape watery substance. It seems that I had chosen a fancy new 'FlavorSplash'. How would I have known this? The bottles are identical except for the colour of the cap and a thin purple line at the top of the label. grrr. Had someone taken a picture of my face when I took the first gulp, they would be able to blackmail me forever. It was disgusting. I then had to spend another $1.75 to get some actual water because the other was undrinkable. Would it be so difficult to put some food colouring in the fake water so we can distinguish? There should be a law. Maybe I should start to lobby for this. I'm sure people have lobbied for less.

SunnyShine

_____________

RainyBow note: Aspartame. Ugh. I too prefer regular water. And it's crazy how much water costs. But in the vein of your last post, I'd like to say that I find it crazy that more than 40% of the world's water delivery systems have been privatized. I know that a lot of government services are mismanaged--I used to work for local government and I have lots of stories--but the idea of private companies trying to maximize their profit from water delivery also leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Water is the basis of all life and access to some clean water supply should be a basic human right. Isn't that statement obvious? I've seen lots of stories about terrible things that happen when water supplies are privatized. So upsetting.

we have it so easy

Let's revisit the last three evenings.

Thursday - I attended a book reading of The Shock Doctrine.
Friday - I saw a documentary called The Dictator Hunter which outlined the attempt to bring the former dictator of Chad to justice.
Saturday (tonight) - I watched the first two hours of When the Levees Broke.

In case you think your life is tough, any one of those three things would bring you back to reality. For the last three days, I have been constantly reminded of how much suffering there is in the world. Actually, I am always aware but it has been more acute this week. It's hard to believe what people go through and how they survive. I cannot even comprehend what the victims of vicious dictators or the tsunami or the levees breaking or war or famine or drought or torture or ....... go through. The list could go on forever.

Hard to believe that with all the wealth existing in the world, people still have to suffer the way they do. It's deplorable. We all have a responsibility to make things better.

SunnyShine

______________

RainyBow note: Word. As a woman, I'm particularly lucky to live where and when I do, because life sucks for so many, many women around the world. I'm just finishing up Ayaan Hirsi Ali's Infidel, which is an incredibly sad account of what it's like to be a Muslim woman in sub-Saharan Africa. A choice quote: "... because I was born a woman, I could never become an adult. I would always be a minor, my decisions made for me.... I might have a decent life, but I would be dependent--always--on someone treating me well. " (Free Press, 2007, p.187) Bloody hell.

I agree; we all have a responsibility to make things better. However, we generally don't. Is that because we don't know where to start, or because most of us are ignorant and don't care to educate ourselves? I'd like to think it's the former, because at least then action is possible.

Btw, I also saw The Dictator Hunter and highly recommend it--if you can find it. Stories like that of the human rights lawyer it follows give me some kind of hope. If one guy who could have a really cushy life chooses instead to spend more than six years trying to bring a dictator who killed 40,000 people (to whom he has no real connection) to justice, then there must still be good people in the world.

_______________

Another RainyBow note: I just finished reading Trailing Technology's post about acid attacks on women in India, which are not as uncommon as one would hope. The women are doused in or are forced to drink acid. Those who manage to survive often lose their mouth, nose and ears. How does anyone make sense of this?

let's not elect him; he has an annoying voice

Where I live there's a regional election brewing. For the sake of those who don't live here, we'll call the candidates Jones and Smith. Their platforms are quite different, especially on key questions.

Today while out for a walk, I stopped at a red light and overheard this conversation:

man: So who're ya gonna vote for?

woman: Well, I would vote for Jones because I agree with what he stands for, but I find his voice so annoying. I'm REALLY tired of hearing him on the news, so I'm going to vote for Smith.

man: [not sounding surprised or shocked] hmmm... yeah, his voice IS annoying.

I was somewhat horrified by this conversation--people choosing their elected leader because of the way he sounds!!!--until I thought about these two things:

1. the infamous Nixon-Kennedy presidential debate. Those who listened on the radio believed both candidates had done well; those who watched it on TV believed overwhelmingly that Kennedy had won. Appearance and other superficial factors have mattered more than substance ever since the media enabled the public to see them.

2. Oprah's foray into the political world. Today's she's holding her first ever presidential fundraiser, for Barack Obama. So all those millions of housewives (sorry, no offense, but it seems that 99% of the people who watch Oprah are housewives) may just follow her like lemmings, as they do with all of her book choices. Who cares what the candidate stands for? Oprah says he's great.

Boo. I used to work in politics but left it for these kinds of reasons. This is why our elected leaders are so bad.


RainyBow

___________________________

SunnyShine note: At the very least she knows what the issues are. Incomprehensible that she would vote for a voice even though she likes the other guy. I actually have more problems with people who don't bother to vote in the first place and then complain about the government. Everyone goes on about how great democracy is but how many people actually take the time to vote. The US is not a democracy. Trust. Oprah choosing to support Obama is not surprising either. Perhaps the millions who watch her will start to take more interest in the election and make an informed decision about who to vote for. Perhaps they will actually vote. George Bush is on his second term - I can believe anything now. In Australia and Belgium, voting is mandatory. Discuss amongst yourselves.

___________________________
RainyBow note: We live in a city of immigrants and I love hearing stories from the people I meet from all over the world. This is partly because my own parents have great immigrant stories, but also because people who come here for a better life and don't take all of the great bits of this country for granted fascinate me. So many immigrants think of voting as an enormous responsibility, and I think they make up a huge proportion of our voting population. This raises two big questions for me: first, what does that say about all of the fifth and fourteenth generation citizens who leave the important decisions about their country to people who just arrived, and second, does legislated mandatory voting do more harm that good, since so many of us don't properly inform ourselves on the issues?

I can't answer either one of these questions definitively, but I do enjoy the debate.

Friday, September 7, 2007

i hate buskers

You're probably saying to yourself "but Christmas carollers are buskers, and nobody hates Christmas carollers." Except that I do.

Unless you have some amazing musical talent that hasn't been truly recognized yet (I've heard that the Violent Femmes were discovered when they were busking, if you can call them an amazing musical talent), I really feel there should be no need to stand on a corner, doing stupid things for money. How nice for you that you can swallow swords, charm snakes, recite frightening poetry, or ride a unicycle without causing any serious structural damage to yourself. Maybe you should do such things at kids' parties, where virtually everyone within the immediate vicinity will be fascinated by your every move. Why are you on my sidewalk?

But the one that takes the cake is when I walk by a busker who is pretending to be statue. Oooooh, OK, so you painted yourself up some metallic colour, and now you're going to stand still for a very long time. Wow. I don't know about the rest of you, but my city already has a bunch of really cool statues that were actually sculpted by real artists, most of which have some actual significance beyond scaring up a few coins. And yet, all these people gather round and WATCH the "statue" do nothing. What do you think they're looking at? If this busker is really doing his or her job, there should be absolutely nothing to see after the first five seconds.

Btw, this rant is because the mariachi band buskers (who I swear are the same guys in every city I visit) have moved closer to my house. I feel there is now no convenient route around them. Now almost every time I go out, I resign myself to yet another sighting of the sombreros and charro jackets....


RainyBow

Thursday, September 6, 2007

what the eff is a yorkiehuahua?

I really miss the days when dog crosses were called mutts. Whatever happened to that? Is it now suddenly un-PC to say mutt? No one told me.

Here's an ad I found today advertising a yorkiehuahua. How do you say that? Is it like yorkiewawa? Can you say that and keep a straight face? I didn't think so. Wouldn't Chorkie have been better? How about Chirkie? lmao. I'm cracking myself up.

The name is bigger than the damn dog. Look at the first picture in the link. His bug eyes seem to indicate that he is not impressed with that name himself.

Also, what use is an 8lb dog? OMG, an 8lb dog that costs $750!!!! That's $93.75/lb. At that rate, my dogs would be worth 15K. Actually, Jethro would probably be in the bargain bin so maybe not that much.

Rainy, feel free to rant about the apostrophe issue; I'm not going to bother.

SunnyShine
________________

RainyBow note: I wonder sometimes if people believe they might have a better chance of winning the lottery if they just use apostrophes as frequently as possible. Or maybe that they'll become a better person.

I have no other possible explanation for rampant apostrophe misuse.

and people here complain when their neighbours won't lend them sugar...

The people of Zimbabwe's neighbouring countries have let them down yet again. Most have turned a blind eye to the horrible mismanagement that's causing a mass exodus from the country. Others have been more overtly detrimental in their actions. When President Mugabe and his supporters beat, intimidated and defrauded the citizens of the country in order to win in national elections, South African President Mbeki proclaimed to the world that the elections were fair and just. And now I've just read that Zambia's president has said that Zimbabwe's problems (severe food shortages, an estimated one-third of children not in school, 10,000% inflation and 80% unemployment) have been "exaggerated."

All I can surmise is that Mugabe must be writing a lot of big, fat cheques. How sad for the people of Zimbabwe.

RainyBow


__________________________

SunnyShine note: It's always astounding to me how the African leaders seem to make excuses for him. Of course, the rest of the world either doesn't know or doesn't care. Perhaps if they were sitting on a bunch of oil and had lighter skin, the problems would get more attention.

should people in their 30s really be afraid their parents will think they touched a member of the opposite sex?

I have a colleague at work in her 30s who's a pretty devout Christian, but certainly not a crazy Bible thumper. She recently bought a house on her own and has roped a male friend into doing some work on it (the inevitable renovations, which I am all-too-familiar with these days). Convo today at work:

me: So how did you get him to all this work?

colleague: Well, I helped him out by looking at apartments with him when he needed a new place.

me: Oh, that was nice of you.

colleague: Especially because I was always worried when we met the landlord. Maybe he or she would think we were looking for a place together and the word would get around and my mom would hear it from someone. She really wouldn't be happy with that, you know?

me: Oh, OK.


RainyBow

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SunnyShine note:

1. Does her mother have every landlord in the city spying on her in case she looks at apartments with random men?
2. Didn't she just buy a house? Would her mother think this is a front and that her real goal is to move into a tiny apartment with a man?
3. I think she might be a crazy bible thumper who is toning down the crazy at work. She is amusing though.
4. Would it be impossible to explain this situation to her mother? Is she not allowed to speak to men or be seen with them at any time?

So many questions.


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

understatement of the night

I am always amazed at the inane comments made by sportscasters. For the most part, I find their commentary craptastic. (Yes, I made that word up, what's your point?) My favourite sound bite of the night is this:

The numbers are not with Andy Roddick tonight.

lmao. No shit, Sherlock. He's playing FEDERER. Federer has won 13 out of their 14 matches. Federer is probably the best tennis player ever to have played the game. The only way Roddick is going to win this match is if Federer breaks an ankle or a wrist. Sorry, but it's the truth. He doesn't lose. Well, he loses to Nadal (hot hot hot) but that's not what we're talking about here.

OMG, Federer just said the funniest thing in the pre-game interview: I've had some tough ones the last two (matches). I lost a set both times .

Pobrecito. Clearly, losing a set is tough times for him cause he's not used to playing more than three. Perspective is everything.

While I'm on the subject of tennis, why does Oracene Williams wear her sunglasses for a night game? In fact, why do any of these rich and useless people wear sunglasses in the evening? Drives me crazy.


SunnyShine

denial is a river in egypt

Remember when I posted about the now ex-Senator Craig? Well, here's an interview with his kids. I'm trying to bite my tongue, (so unlike me, I know) so the only thing I'll say is that the gay apple doesn't fall far from the gay tree.

SunnyShine

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RainyBow note: There is so much obviously funny stuff about that interview. My favourite thing though is that his daughter appears to be the product of an affair Mrs. Senator Craig had with a ROBOT. Seriously, does she know how to do anything other than stare at her brother, nod, smile and say "absolutely?" The family must be so proud.

does she think that vegetables are much colder than meat, or that vegetarians are too stupid to work a microwave?

The food at my work cafeteria bites. Today was one of the rare days when I was actually organized enough to bring in a yummy lunch. Actual convo in the kitchen:

me: Sorry this is taking so long; I find this new microwave doesn't heat up food as quickly as the old one did.

colleague: That's OK, I know you're a vegetarian. Heating up stuff must be harder.


RainyBow


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SunnyShine note: lmao.


Tuesday, September 4, 2007

i just need an iced tea

Yesterday I was driving around with the dogs when all of a sudden I was hit with the thirst to end all thirsts. As I happened to be passing by a McDonald's, I pulled into the drive through to order an iced tea. There was a VW Bug in front of me at the speaker and the occupants took forever to order. When I say forever, I actually mean a full 7 minutes. How does it take 7 minutes to order something at McDonald's? There weren't 6 screaming kids in the car, just two adults. Were they unclear as to what is offered at this particular establishment? Were they vegetarians who were searching aimlessly for something to eat? Newsflash...not so vegetarian friendly.

Seriously, why so long? All I wanted was an iced tea and I was stuck. Couldn't go forward, couldn't go back. After I ordered, I pulled up to the first window to pay and the guy asked me to move to the other window to get my iced tea. I just about had a meltdown. Clearly, if the peeps in front took so long to order, whatever they had ordered was going to take just as long or longer to come out. I actually had to ask the guy to give me my iced tea at the first window. I'm sure this broke some cardinal rule or something cause he wasn't looking like he felt comfortable getting me an iced tea. That'll teach me to get thirsty when I'm not at home.

SunnyShine

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RainyBow note: Perhaps these people weren't just vegetarians, but were environmentally-active vegetarians trying to turn you off drive-through fast food for life. I've often considered harrassing people who idle their engine in a crazy long line to get a coffee when they can just park the car, walk for about a minute to the counter to order in person and walk back out with their coffee. And drive through banking?! Not to mention the gym near my house that's on the second floor, accessible by escalator. Yes, escalator. Natural exercise (the stairs) must pale in comparison to the artificial kind inside. Seriously, people, do North Americans still know how to walk? And are there still people in the world who aren't sure why there's a big obesity crisis?!

connecting over a complaint

My doctor, who otherwise rocks (really, I owe my friend who referred me LARGE), seems to have a serious issue with scheduling her appointments. Unless you get there first thing in the morning (and she will take patients at 7:30am, so I have to give her serious points for that in my world where I get up at 6am on weeekends!), you're doomed to wait for over an hour. Ninety minutes isn't unheard of.

I had to go in recently as I've encountered some new, fantastic allergies. (They just popped up this year and wow, have they ever come with a vengeance. But I'll save that for another time.) Well, the only time her receptionist would give me was 5pm. You know how at the passport office they show some times of the day on a chart as green because they're the least busy times and then they show others as red because they're crazy busy? Five o'clock would be flashing, neon, dripping red time. I walked into her waiting room at 5:10 (really, why be on time?!) expecting the worst.

There were six people waiting ahead of me. Some had clearly been there for the requisite hour and beyond, since my nostrils were assaulted by the scent of stress. I sat down and started playing with my PDA, as I tend to do to block out such annoyances. (This has become much more fulfilling now that I've discovered dailylit.com, which will send pieces of a book to my PDA every day, at a time I choose. I love those people.) Some people were reading the seven year old magazines on the sidetables; others were staring at the ceiling with a scrunched up, tired look on their face.

I was stunned out of part 21 of Chekhov's The Seagull by the realization that there was actual discussion happening around me. A somewhat dishevelled-looking woman sitting to my left had caught the eye of another woman in a three-piece suit sitting to my right and broke the ice, bitching about the delay. "I just can't do this," she said, "not anymore." The lawyerly-looking woman replied, "Is it always like this? I have things to do." A full-on 15 minute conversation ensued, with a hippie-looking guy joining in, until Madam Dishevelled was called for her appointment.

This seems noteworthy to me, since I've grown up in and lived in a big city all of my life. People from totally different walks of life who would never speak otherwise connecting in a heart-to-heart over a common complaint-?! How cool. We've all seen it, especially in ridiculous queues at the bank, sporting events, for driver's license renewals, or waiting for an appointment.

And so for all of you out there (especially the guy I found last night who recommends we all take the H-elplessness and the E-ntitlement out of W-H-I-N-E to W-I-N) who advocate a complaint-free world: do you really want to take away one of the few ways perfect strangers manage to connect in this cold and often crappy world?

RainyBow


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SunnyShine note: I think the greatest example of this was during the blackout. Also, your experience could be worse. If you lived in the US, you would have to wait AND be hit with an exorbitant bill for your trouble. That would really give you something to complain about.


a query

Andy at Zimbabwe Absurdity has just posted about how we as humans complain in our daily life. He says:

"It’s a curious phenomenon; we grumble to the same people about the same things, day in and day out. I suppose that if we had a huge variety of things to grumble about we would not be able to grumble."

Now, most ordinary complainers love to whine about the weather... and the weather. I hear it constantly and it grows tiresome. Andy's gripings are way more interesting. And I'd like to think that my first month of complaint blogging with SunnyShine has broader appeal that just the same old, same old. (Our blog would grow tiresome quite quickly--and I guess time will tell on that one.) Still, I'm interested to hear other perspectives.

Do we (the broader we, not the incredibly annoying royal we) in essence complain about the same things constantly? And if we had more to grumble about, would we be stricken with what Barry Schwartz calls The Paradox of Choice, unable to choose where to start?


RainyBow

Monday, September 3, 2007

i hate creepy men in big white cars

Walking home from the movies tonight, I passed an older man in a big white Camry, negotiating a price out the window with a teenaged kid clad in baggy jeans. The kid couldn't have been more than 15. This wasn't the first time I'd seen such a disgusting image as there are two kids who normally work the block.

And I live in a "good" area of downtown. What does one do with this (other than trying not to puke...)?!


RainyBow

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SunnyShine note: I still think you should have taken down the license plate and posted it here. The amazing thing is that this street is a mere two blocks or so from police headquarters and this kind of thing goes on all the time. Parents, take note. When you don't accept your children for whatever stupid reason, this is what happens. When you make an environment so toxic with abuse - verbal or physical or sexual - that the only recourse a child has is to leave, this is what happens. They are forced onto the street and they have to sell themselves to survive. That's right, sell themselves to survive. Think about that for a minute.

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RainyBow note: Update two days later: I walked by on the way home from the movies again (yes, I have a movie problem, and I do like to walk) and took my usual route down that street. Tonight the other teenaged boy hooker was there (I don't like to think about what one of them is doing when he's not there at night. Ugh.), hanging out in his super baggy jeans. An older gay man walked by with his small dog and suddenly erupted at the kid, unprovoked. "So, what, you're gonna be a hustler forever? THAT'S goddamn cool!" he yelled, and then proceeded to yank his pants down and moon the kid. Yanking his pants back up, he walked quickly away with a super smug look, as if he had made the most amazing point ever. I was across the street, watching the kid get up, following the older man. Bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. But the kid did give up and resume his wait for man in big white car. Still crazy.




so pissed

I was writing a long and witty post about the US Open from my blackberry and suddenly it froze and took my post along with it. %$@%@^$$%^%&*#@%#@. I'm so pissed.

I have bad blackberry mojo...you can't even begin to know how bad. I'll go into that another time.

I'm not rewriting the post now; you'll have to wait.

SunnyShine

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RainyBow note: Ummm.... I just looked up "mojo" in Urban Dictionary and methinks it wasn't meant to be used with an establishment word like "blackberry." Note these examples of the correct usage of "mojo":
"Man, that girl has MOJO!"
"God help me, I think I've lost my mojo!"
and my personal favourite
"You got some large mojo friend"
I'm pretty sure Urban Dictionary would give your example a thumb down. Sorry, SunnyShine.

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SunnyShine note: It's like that, is it? How you play me like dat? hmmph. Here are some facts: 1. The term mojo originates from Africa during the time of slavery. 2) One of us can trace our origins back through slavery to Africa. 3) That person is not you. Ergo, I can use that word any damn way I please! lmao. This is similar to how black people are allowed to say the n-word while white people are not. I completely disagree of course and think the word should be stricken but I'm happy to use the example here anyway.

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RainyBow note: OK, two things:

1. you actually went to WIKIPEDIA to dispute my urban dictionary claim. Ouch. You're old.

2. just wait and see the places to which I start tracing back my origins. Soon I will be a child of the world! Purely for the sake of my arguments on this blog, of course....


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SunnyShine note: You're pointing fingers when you had to look it up in the urban dictionary??? Newsflash: if you have to look something up in the urban dictionary, you ain't so young yourself. Word.


inane chatter is never interesting

Well, I've left SunnyShine alone, holding down the fort for the last couple of days (sorry, SunnyShine!). I was off at my parents' cottage for the long weekend, spending some quality time with the folks. This was perhaps overkill after the last weekend with my sister.

But I'll get to my point. I made one really interesting observation over the last two weekends: people who live with other people can drive someone who lives alone insane. Really. I've lived alone for so long that I've forgotten what it's like to have someone else in your space beyond a quick visit.

Forget the wrongly-squeezed toothpaste, toast sweat on the counter, and someone else's hair stuck in the drain. What's most annoying about people who live with other people is the endless chatter. When I come home to the place I live in by myself, I can safely say that there will be no spoken running commentary about the mundane bits of my life. However, put someone who lives with someone else in the picture and suddenly there's a lot of "Well, I think I'll have these crackers with peanut butter" and "This floss is really getting stuck in my teeth tonight" and "My nose sure is running today."

Please stop talking. Stop.


RainyBow

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SunnyShine note: So so annoying. I especially hate the non-stop talk just after I have woken up. SHUT UP. Don't ask me how I slept or what I want to do each hour of the day. I'm sure if I slept badly, it will come out in conversation later. Also, don't talk to me when I'm reading, listening to music, watching a movie, meditating etc. People must just feel uncomfortable with quiet. I think it's one the of the greatest pleasures around. Give me silence any time.

perhaps he is a smurfaholic?

Man in front of me on the street today. No filter on my camera phone, he is purple.

purple man

RainyBow

Sunday, September 2, 2007

the penalty of singledom(hood,ness)

I'm trying to find a nice b&b/inn for a long weekend so I can relax and unwind. Every single place I look at has several packages for two but I can never find a package for one. Some of them grudgingly accept single occupancy but charge a single 'supplement' which is really a tax as far as I'm concerned.

The place I used to go to now has rates of $1000 for two or $895 for one. They increased their single rates in the last year by over 75%. How is that fair really? Does everything I do have to be more expensive because I am single with no kids? Don't get me started on the fact that I have to pay school tax for the kids I'll never have.

SunnyShine

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RainyBow note: Ah, so much to complain about here. My fave is when people at work expect me to finish their crap because they have to rush out to pick up their kid(s). That's right, because I haven't spawned I have absolutely nothing to do after 5pm.


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SunnyShine note: Also good is the 100 extra days off they get when the offspring get sick. I am sick of your child, doesn't that mean I deserve a day off? My sister thinks that mothers should get more vacation days than people with no children. Unbelievable.