Wednesday, October 31, 2007

i never tire of these stories

I sure love me some after-dinner hypocrisy. Well, it seems that yet another straight, married gay Republican has fallen out of the closet. It must be pretty crowded in there. At first, he claimed that he was being extorted while trying to 'help somebody out'. Yeah, ok. Help him out of his pants perhaps. (aside: Did you look at his picture? Don't tell me you can't picture him in a pair of chaps and a leather vest with a few chains around his neck. You can, can't you? hee.)

Anyhoo....imagine my surprise (cough) when it turned out that he was having sex with this guy after all. He, of course, voted down any gay rights bill that passed by him. This self-hatred is really astounding to me.

I think we need to have a PSA for gay republicans. It's OK. Feel free to live life how you want. You don't have to marry a woman and parade around like Mr. Straightguy. Embrace your real self and start using words like fabulous and chartreuse. Think of the all the fun you'll have buying manbags and going for a mani/pedi. Come on, you know you want to. Work it girl.


call me a curmudgeon, but....

I just walked by a meeting at my place of work (an office building) with the following people in attendance:
- Bob Marley
- a 1980s rocker
- a geisha
- a cat (walking into room on two legs)
- two other people in normal clothes who did not look amused.

OK, people, I know it's Hallowe'en, and I enjoy seeing children dressed up as much as the next person. Plus I love candy. But is it really necessary when you're an adult to come to the office to perform your regular work duties in this kind of attire?

As a side note, I haven't been able to think about 911 the same way since a friend of mine, who was briefly in charge of one 911 shift, told me that the night shift regularly has costume contests to keep the employees awake. Think about it. When you call 911 to get help because someone in your life appears to be dying, the person answering your call may be dressed as Dracula or a pirate or a genie. Good to know, isn't it?



SunnyShine note: I'm surprised you didn't have any pics of the over-decorated desks to go along with this post. Who has time for this stuff?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

your guess is as good as mine

It's hard to see what this is, but even if you could, it probably wouldn't help. I have no idea if this vehicle has an engine or if is some sort of bike with a plastic shell. Perhaps it is the vehicle that the alien in the last post arrived in. All I know is that it zipped past me quickly and I thought I was seeing things. I wonder where you park such a thing. I wonder if the guy built this thing himself in his spare time. I wonder why. I wonder how long it has been since he's had a girlfriend.


RainyBow note: Now this guy is in desperate need of emory's fettuccine recipe.

the aliens have landed

I took this picture in the middle of the summer, so this is not a Halloween special.

I'm not sure if a ufo landed and the creatures decided to disguise themselves as mannequins to blend in, but it's not working. Kinda hard to picture yourself in that outfit, non?

$20 Deals

this tasted way better than straight ice cream

Gaylord ice creamI took this a couple of years ago in Nepal, shortly before I got parasites. One thing I learned: ice cream, gay or straight, is definitely preferable to parasites.


Monday, October 29, 2007

one helluva night

This is a great little piece from Florida....

Two months ago a 24-year old went to a strip club. He says he told the club’s employees that he could only spend $600. Because that’s what I normally do when I go to a bar: I tell the employees what my spending limit is. Genius.

Well, the Amex account he shares with his dad was charged not $600 for that night, but $53,000. That’s right, $53,000.

Amex says the receipts are legit. Dad says 24 of the 30 receipts were printed after 4am, and he’s incensed, because he says that at that point “the club should have been asking patrons to leave.” His kid didn’t just stay past 4am, he stayed until 8am. Hey, it takes more than a couple of hours to spend $53,000. I think.

But here’s the best part: dad says his kid came home with bruises on his neck. “He believes they came from club employees yanking [his son] awake throughout the expensive morning.”

Newsflash for dad: maybe this was a ripoff scam or maybe it wasn’t. Either way, your kid’s a dumbass.



SunnyShine note: This is a tax on the stupid.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

make the noise stop

This weekend, Rainy and I attended both a book reading and a play. We're geeks. We admit it.

The reading event had five award-winning authors, who are up for a national prize, reading passages from their nominated books. We arrived fairly early and were close to the front of the line. This was good planning as the line up behind us was quite long and snaked around several times. As you would expect, the age of crowd at this event was skewed older - 50s, 60s. This would lead you to conclude that the people were orderly and polite when the doors opened and it was time to find a seat. You would be wrong. We practically got stampeded to death by seniors trying to decide between this seat and that seat. It was a little crazy. We settled into our seats and watched the scene around us - lady wearing a carpet blouse, girl with long red hair tied back with three or four scrunchies of different colours and a head band of yet another colour and crazy nike shoes with holes in the soles, author with thinning hair combed in an odd manner, people fighting for seats. Good times. People watching is always enjoyable.

Then, the noise started. The guy directly behind us decided he needed to tap out a tune on the book he was holding. This was not soft, barely audible tapping, this was LOUD, thundering tapping. It was so loud and annoying, I could hear it over the seat mayhem and loud overhead music. I was hoping he'd tap for only a few seconds and then stop. Nope. The tapping went on and on. Mercifully, it stopped when his friends showed up or the event started....can't remember which.

Then came the intermission. This time, the instrument of choice was an empty water bottle. I thought the book tapping was annoying but the bottle tapping was worse. I was starting to feel homicidal. He must have heard us complaining about it and moved down the row to annoy other people.

As annoying as that was, at least he didn't make noise during the actual event. This brings me to the play this afternoon. We saw a fantastic play that was enhanced by the running commentary of the two teenagers behind us. When they weren't laughing, they were talking or shouting out. At the beginning of the play, the woman beside me shushed them. It didn't work. I resigned myself to the noise cause there's no talking to teenagers. You might as well talk to a brick wall.

Of course, they weren't the only ones enhancing the experience. The woman behind us started eating a chocolate bar - or some sort of food in a noisy package - right when the second act began. She could have eaten it during the 15 minute intermission but she decided to save it for the action. She put it away for a while and then brought it back out during the climax of the play.

I think I need to be a royal or Bill Gates or someone who can go to private readings/screenings/openings etc. I bet they don't have to put up with the noise of the riff raff.


do i live with the amish?

Sunday mornings are long run mornings. I'm not training for anything right now, but I still submit myself to the pain and exhaustion. Because Sunday runs are slow, and because I'm trying to follow John Stanton's 10:1 training, I get to see a lot of early morning city life. I love that.

I'm not one of those runners who can polish off 15 kms and look like it was a walk around the block. I sweat. My high school cross country coach used to say that women don't sweat, they glow. Well, I glow a lot.

Toward the end of a long run, my wrist sweat bands give out and I end up with sweat streaming down my face and nothing to mop it up. Today this was particularly bad and at one point I stopped and mopped my brow with the bottom of my shirt (which had not quite reached full sweat submersion). I think my stomach was uncovered for about three seconds.

Well, this woman yelled after me, "There's no need to be naked in public, you know." I turned around to see if she was joking and there was a look of disgust on her face.

OK. The uncovering did not go beyond my stomach and even if it had, I was wearing a full-on sports bra. I don't have any strange deformities. I don't have any flashy piercings (at least not on my stomach). I also don't have any crazy tattoos. Three seconds, people.

Are people really this prudish?



SunnyShine note: She obviously doesn't know that it is legal for women to walk around topless here. You should try that next time.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

carbs make me a more tolerant person

I had dinner at my parents' house on Thursday, just because I hadn't seen them in a while. My mom's a great cook but dinner with them has changed a lot since my dad discovered he's a diabetic. He is a tiny bit of a crazy person (I'm trying to be nice here; please go with it) and is now on a crusade to "beat" his diabetes. Apparently diabetes is not really a disease, it's some made-up thing that the world has created as part of a conspiracy against him. But he's going to show them. This means he eats about five things. (Please note: I cannot explain this away by telling you that my dad is in his 70s, even though he is. He was always like this).

Dinner conversation began with the usual political debate, which always amuses me. My dad and I agree on absolutely nothing and if I didn't look like an exact replica of him, I would demand a Maury paternity test ("you are NOT the father!"). But I was a bit on edge from the beginning because dinner was composed of about 30% protein and 70% vegetables. My father has turned their house into a carb-free zone. This is apparently step 1 of the diabetes-slaying program. I am an active human being; I need carbs to survive.

After the political discussion subsided, my dad pulled out a stack of articles he'd pulled from magazines and papers. I kid you not when I use the word stack. He wanted me to read these articles so that I would be fully aware of all of the dangers of modern life. As I mentioned earlier, my parents are alarmists. Since my dad's been retired for years, he has more than enough time to get up in arms about everything. Here's how the pile started:

- Mattel toy recalls: which toys and why (I have no children and no longer play with children's toys myself)
- sitting-next-to-an-office-printer-is-like-sitting-next-to-a-smoker warnings (I already lied to them about this one)
- counterfeit hockey helmets stories: apparently some are so poorly made that a hockey stick can fit through the cage and injure the wearer (I do not play hockey now nor have I ever played hockey in the past)
- story of some tourist who was travelling in Buenos Aires with a friend and took a cab on her own and ended up getting kidnapped (as you may remember, the cab warnings began years ago, so, while I feel sorry for this woman, I also despise her for giving my dad more fodder)

These random warnings were too much to bear without carbs in my system. Next time I visit I'm going to bring my own bread.



SunnyShine note: OMG. I love Maury. I need help. It's my guilty pleasure. There is nothing more fromage than an hour of Maury paternity tests. I can't decide if I prefer it when the guy is the father or when he isn't. The trash talk and jumping around is so fantastic. Good times.

italy, not puking (maybe) - update

Our Italy or puke colleague actually did fly to Italy last Friday. I've been following his chronicles quite avidly. Our little friend took a laptop and much camera equipment with him on his backpacking trip and every night he goes in search of an insecure Wi-Fi hotspot and downloads photos to his computer, then uploads the photos and some long commentary to his blog. Yes, he's an engineer.

The photos are beautiful, but the commentary is why I keep going back. Here are just a few choice tidbits from his posts:

- (my fave, the first line from his day 1 post) "There is a moment of abject fear when one travels usually on the first day of a trip." Abject fear?! Dude is in ITALY, not exactly a war-torn region or a complete break from his Western world reality, and he's on a TOUR. Honestly, I could read this a billion times and it would still crack me up.

- The ATM saga: Before he left, he came by to ask whether he should get Euros before leaving. Sunny and I told him emphatically that that was stupid, and that he should just make sure his bank card would work in Europe so that he could use the ATMs. Well, our little friend followed our advice, but then couldn't figure out that the Union Jack on screen means English. A huge chunk of his first day was spent trying to figure out how to make the ATM speak to him in a language he'd be able to understand. In his words: "So I find myself trying to navigate the ATM in Italian while fearing pickpockets and gypsies about to nab my 24-70mm." Thank goodness he eventually figured it out.

- "I apparently scared the tour leader when I hopped off the train for a minute to grab a shot of the incoming locomotive." Only an engineer, really.

- And apparently a brief encounter with a member of the opposite sex (oooh): "At the Duomo, I spotted a girl shooting with a familiar lens: A 24-70mm f2.8L just like mine. I thanked her for making me feel less stupid carrying it around the world, because she'd gone up the 464 steps lugging it too. She said it was her favourite lens, which makes sense when mounted on 5D full frame camera body." Sadly, there is no mention of this girl after this.

One week is done and he's got another week to go. I'm expecting more good stuff. Somehow I think he'll oblige.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

office convo trilogy #3: come watch me give birth

This one's among my faves because it also features Fraulein SunnyShine. "Colleague" is the same one as in trilogy #1 and 2. Please keep in mind that we don't know her well, or even at all.

Colleague [to me and another colleague, not Sunny]: I'm really in awe of the wonder of pregnancy and childbirth. It's just amazing.

Me: Ever since I was shown an East German birthing manual that featured hundreds of photos of a 1970s East German woman with a seeming aversion to razors giving birth while wearing only tubesocks, I just haven't been so keen on it.

Colleague: Well, I'm totally jealous of men who get to see everything. I wish I could have seen the birth of my children live. I had a girlfriend film my first kid's birth so that I could see it afterwards. She even got the afterbirth on film. I watched it right afterwards. It's so great.

Me: Wow, I'm not sure I'd want to see a video like that of myself.

Colleague [beaming]: Well, you can come over and see mine if you'd like. Why don't you guys come over one day and we'll eat popcorn and watch it?

Me: Ummmm....

[SunnyShine strolls up to chat, unaware of invitation that has just been extended]

Me: Hey, we're getting invited to watch her childbirth video over popcorn.

Sunny [stricken look taking over her face]: I think I'm busy that day.

Colleague: What day?

Sunny: Any day. Everyday. The day you show that video. I'm busy.



SunnyShine note: Worst. Thing. Ever.

office convo trilogy #2: flowers make everything better

Yesterday the colleague from my last post had another relationship moment.

Colleague [gesturing to another colleague walking away with a big bouquet of roses]: Isn't that so romantic? Her boyfriend sent her flowers. [Googoo noises all over the place]

Me: Is there a special occasion?

Colleague: Well, he did something bad that she didn't even know about [emphasis hers] and he felt so badly anyway that he wrote her a note to apologize and sent the flowers. Is that just the most romantic thing?

Me: To me that depends on what the bad thing he did actually was.

Colleague: What do you mean?

Me: Well, I'm not really sure that flowers make up for your boyfriend murdering someone or running off and sleeping with someone else.

Colleague: Oh, really?


office convo trilogy #1: relationship advice

The colleague who can't spell youtube and follows her kid's bus to school has recently moved in beside me at work. This is certain to provide much fodder for two reasons: first, I am not exactly busy at work these days so I overhear all of her conversations; and second, she has a habit of jumping into any conversation she manages to locate with her own supersonic hearing. (This last bit also means that I'm getting better and better at whispering. A new skill for the resume.)

Last week she brought me into a conversation with another colleague about male-female relationship dynamics. Here is the ensuing discussion:

Me: Well, I've grown really uncomfortable with big romantic gestures. I'm always the guy in the relationship and I'm looking at this guy who's crying and pouring his heart out and I just don't know what to do with it.

Colleague: You should watch that. If you don't get better at that, your boyfriends might turn gay.

Me: Ummm... what do you mean by that?

Colleague [comments edited for length]: Well, my brother-in-law was married with two kids and his wife drove him crazy. He woke up one day and told his wife he was leaving because he wanted to be with men. But then he was abused by nuns when he was two so that might explain some of it. And then I know this other woman who was married for 30 some odd years and then woke up one day and just decided she had had enough of her husband. So she left him for another woman.

Me: But do you think that maybe those two people were always gay and just didn't want to admit it and deal with it?

Colleague: I don't really believe in all that genetics stuff.

Me [muttering to self, realizing there is too much to say, unwilling to get into long argument I have no hope of winning]: Oh, OK.


and here's where you poke a severed foot

I went back to acupuncture today. The good news: although they seemed to have no idea I was supposed to be there, I still got to see my guy. The bad news: despite all of my not-so-secret prayers, I didn't get any more needles than last time.

I got put in a different room this time and this one had a poster of the human body on the wall. Check out the severed foot in the bottom right.

I feel reassured that if my foot should ever get detached from the rest of my body, my acupuncturist will still know what to do with the needles.



SunnyShine note: Do they make you strike that pose before you get stuck?

remember the hook?

So I blogged about the lack of hooks in female bathrooms the other day. Rainy followed that up with a comment about the germ count on bathroom floors. Now, here's proof. See #7 at the bottom of the page and then move onto the 2nd page. WE NEED HOOKS.


ps. Rainy, try to keep this article away from your parents.

RainyBow note: No worries, my dad's already on the printers might kill you bandwagon. I told him I barely even use the office printer because it's such a long way away (otherwise known as me leaning over and reaching across a low barrier).

now i have to schedule the time it takes to park

Our office complex has 3 buildings (or is it 4?) and barely enough parking to handle the people who work there. A few months ago, they started work on another building (or 2?) for the complex. The area that will house the new building(s) is the area that used to be a parking lot. As well, since they are digging and doing other construction-type activities, they have had to prop up the underground parking areas of the other buildings with braces. These braces are conveniently taking up a bunch of other parking spaces. They did open an overflow area but I don't think it has as much parking as what used to be there.

work parking lot
This pretty much means that there is no parking. I would guesstimate - and Rainy can weigh in - that a quarter to a third of the parking spaces are gone. I'm probably completely wrong and it's something like 5% but it feels like much more.

If you don't get to the office before 9, you are pretty much in trouble as far as the parking goes. If you get there afterwards, you might as well go back home.

Today, I had a meeting at a different office and got back to my office at 11:10 and was scheduled for another meeting at 11:30. I drove around for 20 minutes and couldn't find a space. There wasn't even anything in visitor parking. I considered parking illegally but am tired of paying tickets because I can't park legally. You would think that they would be lax on the ticketing since there is no parking but you would be wrong.

I decided I would take the meeting over the phone and I drove down the road to get some lunch before I had a meltdown. (I didn't end up making the meeting but that's another story.) I got back around 11:45 and still drove around for 10 minutes before I found someone who was leaving and took their spot. That is the only way to find parking - by stalking.

Is it reasonable to have to spend 30 minutes looking for a parking spot?? It is so frustrating. My calendar is impenetrable as it is, and my inbox is multiplying at an alarming rate; I do not have the time to drive around aimlessly looking for parking.

That sound you're hearing is the sound of me screaming.


RainyBow note:
Although I am often in this situation at work so can't help but empathize, today Sunny's parking troubles actually made my life better. The 11:30 meeting she missed was also one of mine, and I deflected all of the questions I couldn't answer in her direction. I used the phrase "well, if she were here, she'd be able to answer that" enough times to render the whole meeting useless. Thank you, evil parking gods.

colon hyphen right parenthesis

On my ridiculously long drive home this afternoon, an advertisement for a diamond store came on the radio. I was listening to the all-news AM station to hear what was going on with the traffic. I generally listen to a station that is mostly commercial-free so I wasn't paying attention to the beginning of the ad but towards the end, the uber annoying voice said:

'colon hyphen right parenthesis'

Colon hyphen right parenthesis? Colon hyphen right parenthesis? I must have said it 20 times in my head before I realized what it meant.

Perhaps you are quicker than I am (and trust me, I'm not stupid) and got it right away. This is the verbal equivalent of a smiley :-).

Do they think they're cool because they verbalized the emoticon in a radio commercial for diamonds??? I don't get it.

Perhaps I am not cool and this is the wave of the future. sigh.


RainyBow note: Colon left parenthesis.

it's fun to make up the time for your appointments

Today I'm going to my second acupuncture appointment. I booked it over the phone with an older-sounding man who had a tenuous grasp of the English language. I wanted to switch to Cantonese to help him out (I'm all about helping out these days) but then I remembered that I don't have any grasp of that language.

The man I spoke to seemed far more interested in spelling my name than in agreeing on the time of the appointment, and spelling my name did not go well. Each letter was repeated several times and many corrections were made. I am quite curious to see what his version looks like.

I ended up just telling him the time at which I would be coming, and then repeating it several times. I couldn't get him to repeat that part back to me, so I'm going to just go at that time and hope for the best.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

don't look for me, interpol

Years ago, I left my wallet on the subway and a kind soul returned it completely intact. I vowed to pay it forward when I had the chance.

Last week I stopped for gas and found a credit card and an ATM card on the ground by my car. They were from the same bank but in different names. Frightened that I had hit the bank card Bermuda triangle, I picked up both cards and carefully placed my own credit card back in its place. That night, at home, I cut up both cards and called the bank. I figured the card owners would be happy to know that the person who had found their card wasn't a fraudmeister.

I learned that it's difficult to report someone else's card missing. The woman on the phone couldn't believe I was calling in to report someone else's card lost. She seemed to believe that I had an ulterior motive, maybe that I thought I could verify that the cards were active so that I could use them. Perhaps my phone voice sounds like I've just stepped out of a police line-up. When she asked for my name and information I politely declined, imagining that I might appear on some Interpol-type report in a faroff place.

This leads me to another story about my mother. She's an academic-artist type and is not good with technology or things that appear technology-related. A couple of years back she called me in a panic because the ATM had "eaten" her card. I advised her to go into the bank and ask that someone take the front off the machine to get her card back. The guy who did that discovered she'd put her card in the slot where the bank statements come out. He also found five other cards from people who had done the same thing and clearly not bothered to go into the bank to get their cards back.

All of this leads me to one question: is there some kind of world epidemic of bank card loss and abandonment of which I've only recently become aware?



SunnyShine note: I have a friend that is a bank teller and he told me that there are people who come in and don't even have a bank card. I find this very difficult to comprehend. I would be completely lost without mine.

Monday, October 22, 2007

an eventful run

The weather's been so great here that I've been running a lot lately. I actually need to lay off because I'm scared of having another nasty bout of runner's knee, but that's easier said than done. I'm told I have a bit of an addictive personality.

Tonight's run was an odd one. Before you all turn into my mother and berate me for running in the dark, I should say that I live in a very safe area of the core (although you may not believe that by the end of this post) where there are always tonnes of people around. I'm also a very alert runner (no MP3 player). Still, three notable things happened this evening:

First, another runner honked at me. He was trying to cut between me and some walkers and he actually gave me a spoken "beep beep." Is this some kind of new runner's etiquette of which I'm not yet aware or was he just a crazy person? Must research.

Second, I was also surprised by a sudden non-human-generated urgent beeping. Did some nutbar get a new ring tone? There was not a soul around me and the beeping continued. After a bit of time (the blood had long left my brain so thought processes were slow), I realized that it was actually my Polar heart monitor. It goes crazy when you surpass a pre-set maximum heart rate but I hadn't set a limit. Was it freaking out nonetheless because my heart rate was off the charts? Did I have the fastest heart rate in the world? I panicked a bit and stopped in my tracks to check. It was just telling me that my battery was low and dying. Dumb.

Finally, I ran by the teenaged-boy hooker street near my house. That street is like a train wreck for me; I hate knowing what's going on there, and yet I can't stop going by to find out. This evening the two usual kids were there but no john. Instead, there was a third kid who perhaps had invaded their territory. Tensions were high and one of the two original kids was pushing the third one away, yelling expletives. The new kid had his fists in the air and was looking to fight back. I didn't want to get in the middle of a teenaged boy fight but had only keys so couldn't call anyone else to help. I crossed the street and begged the first person I could see to call 911. I think he was a bit scared off by the sweat pouring out of every part of my body and my fast breathing; I hope he made the call nonetheless.

Now I'm sweaty and have eaten about 3,000 grapes, but man, am I glad to be home.



SunnyShine note: Are you really running without your phone? Bad.

RainyBow note: I have special wrist sweatbands (that cost a fortune, btw) that hold my key. They haven't made one yet that holds a phone.

who cares that there's no water to least we have sports

Have you heard about the water shortage in North Carolina? There's a drought and the water supply is very low. As a matter of fact, all outdoor watering has been banned and there are a mere 69 days days left in the water supply.

Imagine how you would feel, then, if you drove by the astroturf field at Duke University and saw it being watered. Just so we're all on the same page, astroturf is fake/synthetic/not real.

The best line of the whole article is the subhead:

Hockey fields need soaking, officials say; Duke coach: We conserve at home

I wonder how he conserves at home. Has he installed low-flow shower heads or a water efficient toilet? Perhaps he bought a front loading washing machine? hmmph. I'm willing to bet his back yard has a pool.


here's one for fellow grammarian

Check out this shining specimen of signage, from a parking lot I frequented this weekend.

There is no other way I can explain the superfluous question mark on the second bullet other than: Definitely take your ticket with you, and maybe pay before returning to your car. Or maybe not.

Or do you think maybe the sign maker was trying to be polite by adding the question mark?


jesus in a towel

Didn't I just blog about something like this? Keep a look out for that special towel in Bed, Bath & Beyond. It might just save you.


RainyBow note: Given the volume lately, methinks we need to create a new label for all of this stuff. Maybe we should use something like "Jesus, Mary and Joseph in our homes, food, garden implements and everyday crap." Suggestions are welcome.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

noose epidemic

Surprise, surprise. Here's another story. Enough already.


i hope never to utter this sentence

After hot yoga on Friday (three times this week - yay), a woman was discussing which package of classes she should buy. (During your intro week, you can buy a package at 25% off the regular price.) She was explaining that she was suffering from back problems ever since carrying triplets and that this yoga was the only thing that made her feel better. She also had another child for good measure. She went on to say that it was difficult for her to get to a class because her husband had to be home to stay with the kids and he was always tired after work. Pobrecito. I'm sure that taking care of 4 kids all day every day is tiring too.

The instructor explained that she should get the package before Sunday so she could take advantage of the discount. At this point, she said the following:
'I have to ask my husband for money'.

Kill me now. I hate the thought that some women have to ask their husbands for money. I would be humiliated. That's probably the idea.

There are women I work with who have no clue about finances or bills or bank account balances. What happens when there is a divorce, death, or serious injury? One even listens to her husband who says not to put money into a tax-sheltered retirement fund. I want to give her an intervention.

My mother (who is crazy) always told us to never be financially dependent on a man. I never will be. It's unfortunate that not everyone can say that. Sigh.


RainyBow note: I'm reading Girls of Riyadh right now and I had to put the book down today when I hit the part where one of the main characters (a Saudi girl) agrees to a marriage contract but is unable to actually sign her name "because the Sheikh doesn't want it that way." While her husband signs his name, as a woman, she has to put just her fingerprint in the register.

In a part of the world where women actually get to sign their name, it seems terribly wrong that they don't. Sigh indeed.

the simple hook

Women are forever complaining about the wait for the bathroom, cleanliness of the bathroom, lack of bathrooms, etc. I have a new complaint to add.

Why can't people install hooks in the bathroom stalls? How much can a hook cost? I hate going into a stall with a bag or coat and having to put them on the floor. Sometimes it's possible to throw a coat over the stall door or balance your bag on the toilet paper holder but more often than not, the floor is the only thing available. Any guesses as to how clean the floor of a public bathroom is?


RainyBow note: I don't know if I've mentioned this, but my parents are alarmists. They're the kind of people who see something on TV or read it in a magazine and immediately think it will happen to them or their family and friends. And so they always call me to warn me of the evils of everyday life. My favourite was the day they called to tell me that I should always call the cab company and get them to send me a cab because 60 Minutes said that sometimes the cabs you get off the street aren't legit and might rip you off and leave you by the side of the road, naked and crying. Or something like that.

But back to the point of my story... one of the calls I got a couple of years back was regarding a 20/20 show about germs. The fact that I actually remember this (there have been a large volume of alarmist calls) means it actually was quite alarming. The 20/20 people did a floor test in a regular bathroom and found two million bacteria per square inch, about 200 times higher than a clean surface. Ugh.

Then they did a test of the bottom of women's purses and found fecal bacteria on 30% of them.

Talk to my mom and dad. We need the hooks.

16 days til someone i don't know will ovulate?

I'm all for getting excited about the due date of your new baby or remembering someone who was amazing who was part of your life for a while. And I get the importance of counting the days until you ovulate if you're trying to conceive (and sometimes when you're trying not to conceive....).

But do people really need to post the days related to these private events on their blog (which, btw, is not marked private)?


Saturday, October 20, 2007

and now a shameless plea

Sunny and I will be walking the GuluWalk today. Neither of us has been to Uganda, nor do we know people in Uganda, but what's happening in the Northern part of the country right now is criminal.

Over the last 21 years, Northern Ugandan villages have been attacked and destroyed, families have been driven away or killed, medical services have been pillaged and harvests have been decimated by the conflict between the Lord's Revolutionary Army and the government troops. Over one million people have been displaced, many to camps where people are dying from a lack of clean water, food and medical care.

The LRA is led by Joseph Kony, a former altar boy turned ruthless leader who calls himself a spirit medium. He and his followers have robbed many children (estimates run from 30,000 to 60,000) of their childhood, turning them into ruthless killers to fight for their cause. In case you can't imagine what it's like to be a child soldier, I recommend you read A Long Way Gone--different place and different army, but still the chilling experience of a child.

The walk started two years ago to raise awareness for the children of the area, who would walk up to 20 kms to larger towns every night from school to avoid abduction and sleep in relative safety. In North America, we're obsessed with Amber alerts and massive hunts for abducted children, but rarely do we hear about children dying far from home. Yes, it's far away and no, it probably doesn't affect most of us directly, but an emergency is happening in Northern Uganda right now.

And, because I hate when people tell me about horrible things that are happening in the world but then don't offer a course of action, here's what you can do:
- Get educated. Watch Invisible Children or War/Dance or read about the conflict from sources like Human Rights Watch.
- Get out and support a GuluWalk today wherever you are, or give to the GuluWalk organization or one of the other great organizations that operate in the area, such as Athletes for Africa.
- Write to your local member of government. Heck, write to Museveni in Uganda and urge him/her/them to support the peace talks in Juba. 21 years is too long.

Phew. OK, enough of my political propaganda.


Friday, October 19, 2007

i blame my parents for my disdain

My sister and I grew up as the kids of academics, and our parents weren't the sort of people who changed the way they did things just because a couple of little people shared their living space. So while our friends were going to the Ice Capades, T-ball and live Sesame Street performances, my parents took us to the ballet, art galleries and medical open houses. I learned the rules of when to shut up and when to clap at a very young age, and I was looking at dissected cadavers at the age of six or seven.

My sister, positively impacted by the medical open houses in particular, became a doctor. I just became an intellectual snob.

Since I never did much "kid" stuff when I was little, I've only had two experiences with the circus:
1. watching Brooke Shields walk across hot coals in her bare feet on Circus of the Stars (Brooke was so brave), and
2. watching poor, beat-up-looking animals stumble around the stage at the Shanghai Acrobats when I was in China (strangely, just before I became a vegetarian).
After those two experiences, I wasn't sure what to expect when I agreed to go to the circus with a friend this evening.

Some of it blew me away. The contortionists, the acrobats, the balancing acts and the guys who ran around in spinning hamster wheels with much bravado: all of this was quite amazing. I lost marks in grade eight gym because I couldn't turn my cartwheel into a proper round-off.

But the fillers between acts made me wish I were reliving all those painful round-off tears. I understand why the troupe needs fillers and how the members need to keep the audience occupied. But these fillers?

I ducked during the inevitable humiliating audience participation sections, silently cursing my friend for getting us second-row seats. Then there was a man who played the trumpet out of his ass and there were more than a few fart and sex jokes. And there was a man roaming around the stage dressed as a dog who "peed" on one of the audience members, much to the delight of the people behind me. But more puzzling than this was the fact that there was more than one point at which various people, including audience members, were smacked with a fake steak. While I'm not really sure why people were being smacked, I'm even less sure why it was with a fake steak.

But clearly it's just me; there was laughter coming from all directions but my seat. Perhaps if I had gone to this stuff as a child I would have been properly trained to enjoy it.

Perhaps, but I'm still not convinced.


now it's hitting a bit too close to home

director office'sThis one was posted on the wall just down the hall from me at the office.

Please, for my sake: the plural of "office" is never "office's." Ever.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

i've had a day

I'm tired. I'm grumpy. I had a crappy day. I ate nutella for dinner. I have a bellyache. I think I'm getting a cold. It's rainy and gray. I hate today.


can i have more needles, please?

I developed these crazy allergies this year and, after having no luck with traditional doctors, yesterday I got acupuncture for the first time. I hadn’t taken my meds that morning and when the needles went in, my eyes started hyper watering and my arms experienced a crazy increased circulation thing. When my guy came back in the room after leaving me with the needles I think he was a bit worried I’d been bawling.

So it may have worked. But I’m still bitter.

The problem with the acupuncture I got is that it didn’t really go the way I wanted. My only exposure before this was through TV. Remember the episode of Cheers where Frasier has several hundred needles sticking out of his body? Or perhaps the episode of Sex and the City where Charlotte is lying in a noisy room with needles popping out of everywhere?

Well, I wanted the excitement of becoming a pin cushion. Instead I got only 18 needles: 3 in each leg, 3 in each arm, and 6 on my face. Apparently those are the only spots you need to hit to help with allergies. I feel ripped off.

Next time I’m going to demand more. Maybe I should invent some new ailment so that I can up the number of needles legitimately. I don’t know what bursitis is but I can pronounce it and I bet it'll take more than 18 needles to cure.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

i'd rather not know

Poor Barack. Can you imagine finding out that you're related to Dick Cheney? What a nightmare. Dick must be devastated now that he has both gays and blacks in his family. Hopefully he won't shoot someone over it.

Cheney is a criminal and should be tried. Yeah, I said it. I don't live in the US, so I'm free to speak my mind.


black and white circa 2007

It's funny how a bunch of unrelated, but related things just appear from time to time. I am purposely going to keep this post as light as I can or I will descend into anger, followed by fury, and frighten you all away from reading again.

1. Yesterday, I was reading PostSecret (two days late for some reason, bad on me) and found this:

post secret
Aren't we past this yet? The seemingly perfect guy who treats you like a princess and yet, you can't date him because he's black and your grandparents would disown you? Here's a thought - grow a pair. It's 2007!!! Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King fought the fight over 40 years ago and we still need to worry about this? This brings me to the second thing....

2. Am I the only one disturbed by the noose incidents that are happening these days? This is just pure, unfiltered hate. It frightens me. It's not a joke. The word lynch makes me squirm every time I hear it. I'm not even going to utter a word about the Jena case. I can't.

3. This leads me to the subprime market problem in the US. I wasn't surprised to read that black and hispanic borrowers were more likely to be given subprime loans than anyone else. Racism is everywhere.

I stumbled upon all three of these things in the last 24 hours and I find it crushing.

How is a young black male supposed to feel these days? They're defeated before they start and are set up for failure. What hope does someone living in the projects or ghetto have? None. They are expected to be criminals and go to jail. They are assumed to be stupid. They have to pay more for homes and cars than white people. They have to ask to sit under a tree. They get stopped and taken away for walking down the street. (I actually watched this happen on my own street a few months ago.) They get shot and killed - solely based on the colour of their skin - by those meant to serve and protect. They are discriminated against at every turn.

I heard a radio documentary last spring about a high school in some southern state - Georgia? South Carolina? Tennessee? - that was having their FIRST unsegregated prom this year. Do I have to say it again? It's 2007. sigh.

Don't even bother commenting about how it probably seems to be worse than it is. It is worse than it seems. Trust.

I think it's Chris Rock who has a joke something to the effect that no white man would want to be him - and he's rich.

Are the shackles really gone? I have a dream....



RainyBow note: I can't start writing on this because I won't stop. All I'm going to say is that here, in an extremely multicultural and relatively tolerant city, I'll walk down the street with one of my best friends, who looks East Indian (and is only about 5'6" tall and a very slight man) and people will actually cross the street to avoid us. This happens a lot, and it never happens with my other guy friends.

It's a joke between us now, but kind of a sad one.

my arteries have elected a union rep and are making picket signs

I just ate a large Dairy Queen Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Blizzard.

Afterwards, I looked at the nutrition facts. 1,080 calories and 46 grams of fat.

I weigh 115 pounds. I need to lie down and hope for the best.



RainyBow update (hours later): Went for a long run. Arteries clearly made alliance with stomach and esophagus as I tasted the blizzard a second time.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

i learned how to use a polaroid camera today

I went to a graphic design event this evening. Stefan Sagmeister was there. He's the smart-ass who carved information about a talk he was giving into his own skin with an X-acto knife and then shot a photo of it for the event poster. He's a bit of a celebrity in the design community and you know how people get around celebrities.

Well, this one woman wanted a picture of herself and X-acto boy and she asked me to take it with her Polaroid camera. But she didn't just hand me the camera; she actually set up the shot, told me where to stand, handed me the camera and told me to hold it in exactly the same spot, and then mimed pushing the button, presumably so there could be no possible confusion over what I was supposed to do.

The best part is that after I endured this lesson, I pressed the button and nothing happened. The chick who treated me like a newbie to the world of point-and-shoot photography had actually loaded the film improperly.

She reloaded the film and went through the whole rigamarole again. it was, after all, about 30 seconds after she first explained it and I guess she assumed I had forgotten all the complicated steps. It took all of my restraint to let her finish, push the button again and walk away. My mother would be proud.


I haven't eaten rice in 25 days

No, I am not on some crazy diet. The title is the last sentence of an article that discusses the welfare system in Japan. (Warning, not easy reading.) To sum up, a man died of starvation after his welfare benefits had been cut off. He kept a diary of how hungry he was and how much weight he was losing. He wasn't the first to die of starvation, just the first to write it all down in black and white.

Japan prides itself on making it extremely difficult to get welfare and on how many people they can get off the welfare roll each year. This is shameful. Japan is one of the richest countries in the world. They hold the #1 spot in the list of best economies in the G7. How are their citizens dying of starvation?

There is so much money in the world and people die of starvation and cold and mosquito bites and diseases we have vaccinations for and and and.....

This story might appear to be worse because the man lived in a rich country but, in reality, men die of starvation in every country. There is no difference between a man dying of starvation in Japan or a man dying of starvation in Angola. It just shouldn't happen, period.



RainyBow note: I hate you for reminding me of this story since it will probably keep me up tonight. (Hey, if I'm developing sleep issues, I need to find someone else to blame!)

I've heard estimates that about 30 million people die of starvation in the world every year. The sad part of this is that so much of it can be attributed not to food shortages but to politics. I'm currently reading Surrender or Starve, in which the author puts forward the famines in Ethiopia as an illustration of this argument.

I highly recommend the book, if you can get past the fact that the author and editor believe that the plural of "bucketful" is "bucketfuls."

things i think about when i'm not sleeping

Still not sleeping. Sunny's trainer told her never to eat past 7pm. I wonder if that rule gets cancelled out if you're up past midnight. I've eaten more in the last two hours than I think I ate all day yesterday.

Scrounging for more snacks, I found an old gum pack that I was saving from my trip to South Africa earlier this year. I'm fascinated by what other cultures consider good snack food, both in taste and in packaging. I took some photos of this guy so now I can finally throw out the pack.

This gum claims to be "sugarfree" on the front.

dirol frontBut then you look at the back....

dirol backIn case you can't read this, the seventh ingredient is hydrogenated glucose syrup. The last time I checked, glucose was just another word for sugar. Hmmm.

Also see the warning at the end of the ingredient list: "Excessive consumption may produce laxative effects." This gum just gets better and better.

I bought another pack of gum in S.A. that was "musk" flavoured. I always thought musk was a smell; I think my dad wore some kind of musk cologne when I was a kid. But apparently in another part of the world musk looks pinky orange and tastes like soap.

I'm hoping to fall asleep soon.



RainyBow update: I woke up this morning somewhat groggy and dragged myself into the kitchen. The fridge door was wide open. Blog action day indeed.

fortune cookies update (2)

Can't sleep. Watching Premonition (which is a terrible movie, btw) and eating random snacks. I just had a yummy fortune cookie. Fortune: An inheritance in the future.

Well, I think for once I've actually hit on a fortune. Hallelujah.

Of course, I'm still not happy. Not only is this fortune not a sentence (it's lacking a verb!) but, more importantly, it's not exactly a happy fortune. Sure, it says I'm going to get some money, but only because someone's going to die. And since I'm getting an inheritance, presumably this person who's about to croak is a family member or a close friend.

What the hell kinda fortune is that?


Monday, October 15, 2007

blog action day

Today is blog action day. I've just spent a good half hour reading earnest posts about the topic, the environment. (I get so many feeds, I could spend all of my life reading feeds.) I feel that I should be a good blogger and post in this vein but it's not that easy.

I'm a very optimistic person when it comes to my own life. I wake up every morning with the realization that I'm extremely lucky to have been born in this place and time. I'm in good health and lead a very active lifestyle in a great city. I have more than enough money for one person. I've travelled extensively and regularly attend the symphony, the opera and the theatre. I have an amazing circle of friends. And although complaining is one of my favourite pastimes, I'm willing to admit that my problems are ridiculous stacked up against those of others. Here are some things that made me crazy today:

- I couldn't give a doctor my family history because most of my family died in various wars. It would be nice to have more family (BUT if I did, I probably wouldn't like most of them anyway).

- I went to get an allergy I've had since May diagnosed. Itchy, watery eyes, sneezing and post-nasal drip be damned! The allergist found nothing (BUT I'll go to some naturopathic quack and he or she will make me injest something frightening and all will be well).

- My job is not exactly brain surgery and at times I feel I am slipping into a coma during business hours (BUT then I didn't sign up for brain surgery and someday I'll just quit and get it over with).

Hardly life or death matters, right? So it should be easy for me to post some drivel about how everyone should recycle, eat less meat, wear only organic bamboo and hold hands and sing a crappy Coke song about teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony. (I think I just dated myself.)

But, much as I'd like to be, I'm not so optimistic about the world. I made a conscious decision a long while ago to not have biological children. This is not only because I've seen too many kids in the world who have nobody, but also because I'm not sure the next generation is actually going to have an earth. I'm not trying to be super dramatic here, but there are so many factors that are contributing to Armageddon. Massive deforestation and shark-finning, among other horrible things, are happening because people in poor countries are just trying to keep their family alive. Corporations are causing massive environmental damage all over the world with nobody to police them. And we all know about global warming now and the role each of us has played in that. There's so much more but I won't go on; it's all just too depressing.

To me the future looks a lot like the frightening scenes of Children of Men (the movie, not the book, which is an excellent read, but is about something totally different).

So maybe now that it's blog action day, I won't try to post something hopeful and happy. I'll just post this and hope that someone will turn what I've just written on its side. I can dream, can't I?


the crazies get crazier

I inadvertently lit some paper towel on fire yesterday and nearly set my house on fire. The fire took on the shape of, well, fire. I'm saddened by this because it seems that fire in Poland is appearing like the late pope. I feel like I have missed out.

pope fire
How do they know this is the pope? It really could be anyone waving hello or goodbye. Actually, it looks a little like the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz. Do the crazies spend all day looking out for stuff like this cause they seem to find this imagery in the weirdest places. They're probably upset they can't frame the fire and auction it to the highest bidder. I will have to start inspecting random clouds, fires, puddles, food etc more closely. Maybe I could find the Easter Bunny or even the Tooth Fairy. I think the Tooth Fairy might be better cause she gives out money.



RainyBow note: Might I remind you that you should also keep your eyes open for the word GOD in a halved eggplant?

i'm sorry, i don't know what "gum chewing" means

A friend of mine went to gospel roller skating last week (yes, as in they play gospel music and you skate). She was surprised to find that the rink had a large number of rules posted, including "no swearing." Even though I wasn't there, I had to steal this image.

no gum chewing permitted
Does anyone really need the illustration? Perhaps their research shows that gospel roller skating attracts a recent-immigrant-or-tourist-who-doesn't-speak-any-English kind of crowd?



SunnyShine note: Can I get that on a flash card so I can pull it out at any time? I hate gum. I hate gum snapping. I hate gum chewing; it's so undignified. I was even at a wedding recently where a bridesmaid walked down the aisle chewing gum. We're all going to hell.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

hot yoga is hot

Today I attended my first hot yoga class. I have done plenty of yoga before, but never hot yoga. Let me tell you something, hot yoga is definitely hot. I have never sweat so much in my entire life. The room is supposed to be heated to minimum 38C but today the instructor was feeling adventurous and made it 42C. Just being in the room without trying to get through the poses would be challenging. Adding 26 poses and doing them each twice is quite a feat and I feel I deserve a medal for making it through. It was hotter than Hades in there.

One tiny girl did the entire class in her panties and bra. This was disturbing enough but then she walked by at the beginning of the class and my nose was assaulted by BO. I would expect that people would be smelly at the end of the class but going in that way was a little much. I made sure to stay far far away.

One gentleman had such an interesting breathing technique that he sounded like he was having an orgasm every time he exhaled. I was completely distracted by this at the beginning but the sex noises just added to the experience.

It took me a good 2 hours post-class to stop sweating and I now have a huge headache. Good news is that I should have no trouble sleeping tonight. I think I'll go back on Wednesday. lol.


RainyBow note: I too went to yoga last night. Mine wasn't even hot yoga and it just about killed me. The instructor went to end the class and I was thinking, this is great, I'm not even about to die yet. But then some chick informed him that it had only been 60 minutes instead of the 90 it was supposed to be, so another half hour of torture ensued.

And today my groins are burning. I will not be going back Wednesday.

our company rules just because we're online

Why is it that companies think the standard is lower for advertising online? It's like they think the idea of putting something on the web is just so cool in itself that they don't need to worry about whether it's any good.

My latest example is Volvo's launch of the C30. They created a whole world on that's so shoddy it actually pains me to post the link. Mr. Robinson's Driving School currently consists of 10 episodes in a series about a driving school instructor, his day-to-day life and his rivals. I don't begrudge Volvo the idea--it's cool to create a microsite where people can come back and watch new episodes in a series--but it's so poorly done I want to call up some hacker friends and take the whole thing down.

The plot is ridiculous, the acting is shoddy, the direction is painful, and the production value is so low I have a hard time believing professionals put it together. And the interactive section (take your own driving lesson) consists of one of the lamest simulation exercises everywhere. The first course I drove included an animated chicken holding a sign as one of the distractions. Gee, that's funny.

There are credits at the end, which makes me believe that Volvo may have gotten the whole thing at a cut rate. A word to the people at Volvo: it's better to do nothing at all than to subject people to this drivel.

Perhaps it's time for another complaint letter.


Saturday, October 13, 2007

things that have been said to me in an elevator

I live in a downtown condo building with a mishmash of characters, ranging from university students from Hong Kong whose parents have bought them a condo, to retirees who walk around the building with a parrot on their shoulder, to young singles always looking to pick up.

In the category of singles looking to pick up, one in particular comes to mind. He's a 42-year old buyer for a few upscale clothing stores in the city and he's dating a beautiful 26-year old. He has oodles of cash and owns several ridiculous cars. Over the five or so years that he's lived down the hall from me, he's shown a penchant for ridiculous lines he believes will make me want him. As of yet, not one has had the desired result, but I feel the need to share some of my faves:

- Your car needs to go into the shop? Well, do you drive standard? Why don't you just take my Porsche keys now and drive it when you need to? I have the other cars so I don't really need it.

- On anyone else, those jeans would be too short, but you know you can pretty much pull off anything.

- I knocked on your door last night but you didn't answer. How late is it OK for me to knock?

[To my neighbour Joe, who I love, who is trying to set me up with a friend - in front of me, of course] - Don't set her up with that guy. Does he know that this girl isn't someone you just date, she's the girl you get a house with?

- Joe's coming over later to smoke some pot. Why don't you come? If you can't make it down the hall after, you can just wake up at my house tomorrow.

[Today, after I had inches of my hair cut off, and got a new piercing] - You're a different kind of chick, huh? I like that.

[and my personal favourite - because this is what you say to a girl to impress her] - I think it's going to end with the girlfriend soon. She wants to have sex all the time and you know, I'm just not that into sex.


Friday, October 12, 2007

death by meeting

Today, we had one of those meetings that is excruciatingly painful. What does that mean? It means that poking something through my eye or banging my head against concrete would have been better. I would almost have preferred doing anything else. I would have preferred being at the animal blessing or perhaps the funeral wedding. This is how bad it was.

I won't bother going into detail but it involved people debating the wording of questions on a survey. I'm not kidding. We discussed what the word 'we' meant in a sentence. We discussed the word 'bureaucracy'. We discussed the stupidest things ever. Basically, we all lost several years of our lives in all of 45 minutes. It was truly awful. There was one person in particular I wanted to strangle but she was - luckily for her - on the phone.

To add insult to injury, this meeting was held during lunch and was delaying the yummy Vietnamese food I had been dreaming of all day; it's surprising I didn't have a meltdown. It's also surprising Rainy didn't have a meltdown given she needs to eat just about every hour.


RainyBow note: Meeting of death indeed. There were several people who were poised for strangulation.

But you neglect to mention the aftermath, after the long lunch delay, when we went to our place, the Vietnamese restaurant down the street from our stripmall heaven office that serves a yummy lunch for $5.50. For the first time ever, there were more than two other people there and I think we waited 40 minutes to get food (this compared to the usual 5 minutes). The meltdown was fast approaching. I actually tried to read a Vietnamese magazine to get my mind off of the rumbling stomach.

In case you're wondering how that went, my Vietnamese reading level appears to be that of a one-and-a-half year-old. Every few pages I would recognize a photo, point at it and comment to Sunny, "look, Bill Clinton" or "look, electrolysis." Note to self: I think Sunny-on-the-brink-of-a-meltdown enjoyed this immensely.

fortune cookies update

As you may know from a previous post, I'm currently experiencing a fortune cookie crisis. You see, I love fortune cookies. I find them crunchy and tasty and delightful--three things that many foods aren't. And the fortunes are a pleasant little surprise, like a cherry on top, but one for your brain and your funny bone.

But it really, really gets my goat when the fortunes aren't a foretelling of one's destiny, as a fortune is supposed to be. I blogged earlier about fortunes I received that were more like a statement or even an incitement to violence. They disturbed me so greatly that I even wrote a heartfelt letter to the manufacturer to complain. In case you were wondering, btw, it has gone surprisingly unanswered.

Well, after this week, I'm trying not to write a follow-up letter, simply because I'm pretty certain a corresponding restraining order would be delivered to me a few days later. Here are the three fortune cookie fortunes I received this week:

- Others look up to you. Don't let them down.

- You have a wonderful sense of humour.

- You have spoken words that will be regretted.

OK, so the first one's a warning. The second's a compliment. But the third? It sounds to me like some kind of doom and gloom proclamation.

Seriously, how did the person who writes these fortunes get his or her job? Did anyone think of asking him or her to define the word 'fortune' before pushing the employment contract across the table? Or does my nemesis want to push me over the edge so badly that he or she is playing a cruel and very elaborate joke on me?


Thursday, October 11, 2007

funeral to be held as a wedding - never beautiful

OK, here's an embarrassing revelation: one of my favourite sources of entertainment these days is laptop bride. I never tire of the masthead with her in that shiny dress with the dead flowers and the creepy lace-o-rama veil. I don't know what this says about my sense of humour, but I think it's some fantastic stuff. Especially when it's far, far away.

But recently she posted some unfunny stuff with this title: Funeral to be held as a wedding -- beautiful. For those of you who are too terrified to view her blog based on my description above (and I imagine that's most of you), the ADD summary is that this 19-year old was dying of cancer in Australia and she met a 20-year old who was also dying of cancer. When the 19-year old took a turn for the worse, they got married in the hospital. Then she died.

OK, so far just a sad story, right? Take a deep breath.... the funeral is going to be held as the proper wedding ceremony she never had. She's going to be taken to her grave in her wedding dress, barefoot (since apparently she wanted to be married barefoot). And the
funeral wedding celebration will have six bridesmaids, six groomsmen and a dog carrying wedding rings. Is the dog going to chuck one of the rings into the ground with her?

I really don't know what to say other than thank god for all of this, because really, no woman should be buried without being properly married off. I think I will re-write my will now and leave proper instructions on how my
funeral wedding should go. Suggestions are welcome.



SunnyShine note: I'm speechless.


RainyBow note: .... because you're crying so hard from the emotion of this story. I know your mushy kind.


SunnyShine note: I dream of such a wedding. sniff sniff.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

technology hates me

I don't know if I have blogged about my bad luck with technology. Let's just say that anything electronic I come into contact with is bound to have some kind of problem. I'm not kidding. I think I'm becoming somewhat of a legend.

Anyway, this morning I was happily trying to get through some email at work when my computer froze. It's been a little cranky lately so I waited a little to see if it would unfreeze and since it didn't, I decided to turn it off and reboot. Big mistake. After I turned it back on again, my computer seemed incapable of locating my hard drive. Oh dear. I thought perhaps I turned it on too quickly so I tried it again. Same thing. It also emitted a few beeps and noises I have never heard before. This caused the guy that works for me - who builds computers in his spare time - to look up and inform me that he has never heard another computer make that kind of noise. Great.

Of course, I keep everything on my hard drive and not on the shared drive so I'm fairly screwed. No amount of coaxing was going to get this thing to work. Even better, I was at a different office today and their tech people are incapable of diagnosing any problems for my non-native computer. Sigh.

At least I still have my BlackBerry - which was not working most of the weekend btw. I really have no luck.



RainyBow note: Madame Sunny actually neglects to mention the number of BlackBerrys she's gone through over the past six months. I believe the toll now is three. Or maybe it's four. They're all dead. And BlackBerrys are notoriously indestructible. Her grubby fingers won't be touching any of my semi-technological (or even marginally technological) items any time soon.


SunnyShine note: I believe the number is five. Also, I do not have grubby fingers. You have implied that I actually did something to these devices when, in fact, I did not (ok, one blackberry fell into the dog bowl but the others just didn't work). Things just simply have to be in my possession to suddenly stop working or have some one-of-a-kind problem. It's possible I have one of those weird electrical impulses that throws everything off.


RainyBow note: Well, I ridicule SunnyShine, but I should mention that it's Saturday morning and in the process of commenting on one of her posts, I actually managed to change the font size of every post in our blog. Since there is no rhyme or reason for the font size changes, the contrast between small and large on the page is quite delightful. I hope we've magically increased our traffic to fifty billion this morning, because complainaway deserves to be seen now in its full glory.

I've given up and just texted her (yes, the one I tease as being technologically challenged) to fix the problem. So if you're seeing this blog in a state of normalcy again, I owe her one.

burning up

Here's one for you global warming naysayers. It was 31C here on Oct 8 (that's about 90F for you yanks). The temperature here was higher than the temperature in Kingston, Jamaica. Hot. Crazy. Average temperature here in Oct is 9C (48F). Am I the only person who is worried?


RainyBow note: I can't help but refer back to a poll from earlier this year. Here's the oh-so-shocking news: only 13 percent of congressional Republicans say they believe that human activity is causing global warming, compared to 95 percent of congressional Democrats. Talk amongst yourselves.

RainyBow again: I forgot to mention that the Chicago marathon was cancelled Sunday mid-run because of the heat wave that sent over 350 people to hospital. In October. Crappy for all those people who trained for so long, but maybe that's what you get for being all ambitious and stuff. I hope they went home and ate ridiculous amounts of junk food.

another reason to be single

In the news today: an incident between a Washington couple who live together but are in the process of divorcing. The man allegedly enticed his wife into the garage by telling her he put together a surprise haunted house for their kids. He then blindfolded her, handcuffed her, got her up a ladder, and put a rope around her neck. At this point, she apparently became scared (I have to ask here if this timeline is correct--should she not have not been worried before?), and asked him to let her down, but instead he just tried to hang her because "hanging her was better than getting a divorce."

Here's my favourite part: When he eventually let her down and she was unconscious, he told her to put aloe vera on the rope burn on her neck and cover it with a neck brace. She called the police two days later.



SunnyShine note: I want to know how that family dynamic was for the two days after the hanging and before the 911 call. Why did she wait so long? Also, it's very amusing that the article gives the full address of the WalMart - clearly a pertinent piece of information.

italy or puke

So here's your background: Sunny and I have this colleague who's 30 years old and lives at his parents' house. He's had quite a sheltered life, is a very technically-focussed engineer, and is extremely bright. He is obsessed with cameras and owns a ridiculous amount of very expensive equipment (the most recent purchase was yet another lens for $1,600). And he tells us long stories about the way that he bakes pies, from an engineer's perspective. Said colleague has $150K in the bank for a downpayment on a house which, for various reasons, he has not bought as of yet. For these and other equally fascinating reasons, many posts on this colleague will likely ensue. And for some reason (probably because we are both scintillating and brilliant), he comes to us frequently for advice on various life issues.

But back to the story: a few weeks ago this guy decided he wanted to go to Italy for a vacation. He didn't have anyone to go with, and we heard about this in great detail. Finally, Sunny suggested he look into a GAP adventure tour. This seemed like an excellent idea because of the loose structure of these tours, and our colleague got excited about the possibilities. He started researching and found a tour he liked that would take him around Italy for two weeks. He would have to fly out on October 19. Yes, that's nine days from now.

But despite all the excitement and research and apparently much discussion with the tour reservations guy (the poor, poor man), weeks went by and the tour didn't get booked. Sunny and I began to get exasperated at the indecision and pressured our colleague to seal the deal.

Last Friday he decided to explain his difficulties. When he calculated all of the costs--airfare, basic tour costs, extra meals, "ancillaries" (his word, not mine) and tips--all in all the tour was going to cost $4,500. I explained that Italy is not cheap and that this seemed like a great deal to me--that he would spend much more if he were travelling on his own.

Then the craziness began. The colleague told me that he had actually spent the same amount on a trip to Japan last year, so it wasn't the actual hard cost that was bothering him. The trouble was instead that the costs in Japan (because he travelled on his own, with a friend) were spread out, as he booked his airfare beforehand, paid for meals and stuff along the way, and then got the visa bill for his accommodations afterward. He compared this to a prepaid phone plan, where you never see all of the costs as a whole, so they don't seem quite as big. This Italy trip, he said, was more like a postpaid phone plan, where you see the costs all upfront and it just seems like so much.


Again, I'd like to remind you that this person is extremely intelligent and has $150K in the bank.

Yesterday he came by to tell us that he had actually bitten the bullet and booked the whole trip. This was apparently a life-changing decision as he looked as though he were about to puke.



SunnyShine note: It's probably keeping him up at night. He should really be studied.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


church sign
In case you can't read what this says, here it is:

Animal Blessings
Sunday, October 14
On the lawn
Bring your pets
All are welcome

I wonder if the animals need to be blessed before Halloween? I can't come up with anything else. Can people bring snakes? What would the priest do if someone showed up with a deadly viper? I am completely against snake blessing. I hate snakes.

No, I'm not bringing Jethro. Yes, I am going to drive by and take pictures.



RainyBow note: I'll come by with a random assortment of pets and pick you up. I wonder if my neighbour would lend me his parrot that has an obsession with the phrase "up yours."


RainyBow update: He won't.

Monday, October 8, 2007

these website people told me to become Oedipus

Next Blogging today (yes, I have a problem, and I figure there's no better way to deal with it than to make it into a verb), I found a blog with a button indicating that the blogger was "good enough to go to Heaven." Wtf? When I clicked through, I discovered

The site promises that an eight question quiz will answer two questions:
1. Am I a good person according to God's standards?
2. If so, am I good enough to go to Heaven?

The eight questions include such deep thoughts as:
- Have you given money to charity?
- Have you ever looked at someone and had lustful thoughts?

Hmmm... question one is easy and gets me one step closer to Heaven. But question two is a bit more tricky because I am not an amoeba. Sadly, there are more questions like #2 than like #1. Who is this quiz for, rocks?!

I finish my eight questions, feeling most un-rock-like, and click through. Oooh, surprise, I am not a good person according to this crappy website's standards. And the site tells me, "Our straightforwardness is motivated by a genuine concern for your soul." Wow. People have only faked concern for my soul in the past; finally I've found genuine concern in an anonymous survey online.

Then I click to find out if I'm good enough (I am not adding all these random italics; perhaps they help one become a better person according to God's standards) to go to Heaven. Sadly, I'm guilty of breaking His commandments, and apparently I'm going to hell, which I'm told should concern me. And this is why it should concern me (direct quote, I swear):

Would you sell one of your eyes for a million dollars? How about both eyes for ten million? No one in their right mind would! Your eyes are precious to you... but they are only a "window" for your soul. Your soul (your inner being, your life, your personality) looks out through those eyes. Consider how precious your eyes are... then realize that Jesus said that Hell is so horrible that you would be better off tearing out your own eyes than ending up there for all eternity.



SunnyShine note: I couldn't resist and took the test myself. I am also going to hell - direct flight in coach. Did you get this too:

Perhaps you feel safe because you don't believe in Hell. This can be likened to standing in the middle of a busy highway and shouting, "I don't believe in trucks!" Your belief or disbelief in trucks will not change reality. The same applies in this situation. Your disbelief in Hell will not cause it to cease to exist. God has given us HIS WORD on the existence and purpose of Hell... LOOK HERE to see what God says in the Bible about Hell.

I wonder if hell is going to go the way of limbo?