Wednesday, July 30, 2008

and maybe miniskirts should default to old people sizes

I'm just going to go ahead and admit that I'm a bit of a girly runner. You're not going to catch me running around in a pair of men's shorts and an oversized tshirt. I've got a full drawer of matching running skirts and shirts which I think are keeping in business.

Today I was booting around their website, looking for anything new, when I came across this:

Here Runs the Bride.....All Dressed in White!

Introducing our new all white running skirts. Are you running to the alter [sic] in the near future? We've got you covered in our new running bride trousseau! Check out the new "Running Bride" running skirt, one of our new Specialty Skirts, the perfect "gown" for your marathon wedding.

We've combined our high performance fabrics and two pocket design into a beautiful all white running skirt. We've even designed a special mesh performance white "Veil" to complete the ensemble.

OK, so far it seems rather amusing. I mean, what kind of geek runs to her wedding? I would laugh my ass off. But then you get to the end and the drop-down menu from which you can choose a size for this skirt looks like this:


Does anyone else find it disturbing that the default size you can order for the "Running Bride" running skirt is teen 12-16?! I think I last wore that size when I was... umm... 16.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

care for a drink (or perhaps I'm manufacturing a candle)

I took a domestic flight today. I have the worst luck when it comes to seating on planes. On the last flight I took, the creepy man across the aisle (sitting next to his wife) stared at me for a full hour and fifteen minutes or so from take off to landing. On the flight before that, I sat next to humming woman, who hummed at such a fast clip I was a wee bit stressed out.

On my flight today, I set next to Guatemalan travellers. They seemed like nice people, that is until someone came to serve drinks. Strangely, no flight attendant on this flight spoke Spanish (was I in a parallel universe?) and my new Guatemalan friends apparently spoke not a word of English. When the attendant made a gesture of pouring a can of Coke into a glass, the couple looked at her as if she were a Martian. I translated "she's asking if you'd like a drink" into Spanish. Then I got to experience the joy of communicating the intricacies of their drink needs, from ice preferences to types of juice. Once the drinks were served, I also got to translate "thank you," because these Guatemalans were travelling in an English-speaking country and apparently hadn't yet figured out how to say that either.

OK, so if these Guatemalan people are travelling outside of their home country, methinks they're not exactly poor. Shouldn't relatively wealthy people in that part of the world have some grasp of the English language, however tenuous?

But even if they truly have no grasp (as seemed to be the case), how hard is it really to understand the gesture of a can of Coke being poured into a glass? I've travelled through some pretty far-off places where none of the languages through which I can stumble are spoken, and somehow I've always managed to make basic actions understood - and understand the basic actions of others in return. Context always helps, and methinks it's quite normal for a flight attendant to offer one a drink.

Did they think maybe that she was trying to sell them a deserted island, or teach them how to make a nuclear bomb? Guatemala has now dropped a country or two on my "must visit" list -- a good thing for my alarmist parents' ability to sleep, since it consistently ranks among the top 5 countries in the world for homicides.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

i swear some people have never heard of google

My workplace is a freakshow.

This week I was talking to a friend when another colleague walked up to chat. The friend is obsessed with weddings and the other colleague just got engaged, so the conversation switched rapidly from 'Look, it's Santa Claus - no, wait, it's a reviled perpetrator of genocide - arrest him' to a discussion about wedding planning. Oh joy.

The colleague getting married was explaining that they were having difficulties finding a reception hall next summer because only three dates all summer fit their schedule. Here is the conversation that ensued:

Friend: But I don't understand, you're only available to get married on three weekends all summer next year?

The Betrothed: Yeah, well, my fiancee is on the pill and she worked out when she's going to have her period next year, because she doesn't want to have it on our wedding day or during our honeymoon. So that really limits the possible dates.


Friend: Ummm... does your fiancee realize that that's the whole point of the pill, that she can just keep taking them for a while to change her schedule and have her period on whatever day she wants?

The Bethrothed: What? Really?

OK, so I know there are a lot of people in the world who are not what I would call curious, and who feel no need to understand how things work or why things are the way they are. But don't you think that if you were on the pill, you would ask some friends or maybe your doctor, or even do a google search to find out what the parameters are for the medication you're taking?

Perhaps more importantly, why do people feel the need to share this information with people at work? Way tmi.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


aaaaah. I love them. I always welcome them. But what's with the ones that come from a foreign country to visit for the first time, speak perfect English, and can't handle getting around and seeing stuff on their own? I live in a city full of great tourist attractions, many of which I can recommend and point out on a map. I don't get weeks and weeks of endless vacation, so I always tell people that they're welcome to stay and find stuff on their own, and that I'll join when I can. They always sound so excited, but then inevitably they get here, and they sit around and do nothing unless I take them places.

The evil part of me wants to invite myself over to their homes and do the same in return but I just can't bring myself to do it. Do I need to put up a rules board like all the hotels do?

Speaking of hotel rules boards, here's one I enjoyed immensely. Check out the red type. Thankfully, I at least don't have that problem.

strickly no prostitutes

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

trying not be hurt

Please tell me if I'm being unreasonable.

Most of my close friends are men. Not sure why, but there you go. One of my good friends is the guy who relieves constipation with his heated seats (sadly, a major source of search traffic for this blog), for whom I once drove to a restaurant to pay for a dinner date (he left his wallet at home).

Well, that dinner date was the beginning of something big. Friend called me last week, all excited, to tell me that he had proposed and she had said yes. I tried to be happy, but it was hard because I hadn't yet met his fiancee.

That's right, one of my good friends got engaged and didn't bother to introduce me to his significant other (who lives in the same city I do, I might add), whom he decided to marry.

I got upset, maybe more than I should have. After all, when someone calls to tell you that he or she is engaged, I think you're supposed to be all happy, or at least pretend to be all happy, or at least that's what I imagine my mother would tell me to do. I said, "You got engaged and I haven't even met her? When am I going to meet her?"

(To be very honest, I said this a la whiny voice, but it could have been a lot worse, right?)

His response: "Oh yeah, we're going to have an engagement party sometime this summer, so you can meet her there."

Well, today I got an evite to his engagement party and I have one word: crappy. The party's at a bar and a billion people are invited. Generally, that means we'll get about 5 minutes of innocuous conversation, yelled at each other over some ridiculous music. And I got invited 2 weeks in advance, to a party on a summer weekend. I treasure my summer weekends and maximize them by doing all kinds of outdoorsy stuff, and I hate hate hate getting stuck in the city for a stupid party. So wow, I can't wait to "meet" her.

OK, so I know you're hearing only my side of the story, but this all sucks, doesn't it? And it makes sense for me to be hurt, right? I'm trying not to be too hurt, since every indication is that my friend will be one of those people who gets married and doesn't have friends anymore. I find those people disturbing.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

why don't the lights work?

All right. I live in a condo building full of young professionals, yuppies, and Hong Kong kids (whose parents buy them a condo to live in while they go to university). It's not the cheapest place, so we don't exactly have refugees from countries without electricity living here. (And that's actually a relevant observation, I promise.)

That being said, I'd like to share an article from this month's condo newsletter. Word for word. Enjoy.

Why don't the lights work?

Many residents have been having trouble determining why a light or fan is not working in their suite. This usually happens for one of two reasons:

1. The light bulb has burned out. To check, replace the suspect bulb with a bulb that is known to be working. If the light works, your problem is solved.

2. If the light still doesn't work it is likely that a circuit breaker in your suite has been "tripped." .... [details on where to find a breaker] To reset a tripped breaker move the switch to "off" and then to "on."

These steps will solve the majority of "problems" associated with your in-suite electrical setup. If your problem cannot be solved by following these steps, or if you have additional questions, please contact the building operator.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

where do i get that mask?

On Thursday after work, I had coffee with a new guy I barely know. The conversation was good. However, I suspect I will never hear from him again.

You see, I live near my city's Church of Scientology. I'm not big on Scientology. In fact, I'm not big on religion generally, but I'm really not big on Scientology. At any rate, the Scientologists here are very industrious in their recruitment, and they're always out on the street, handing out flyers and trying to get people to take their stress tests. (And now that we're on the topic, has anyone actually taken the stress test? I wonder if anyone ever gets told he or she isn't stressed.) Since I pass their office so frequently, the regular recruitment people all recognize me.

So on Friday, as new guy was walking me home from coffee, as we passed Scientology (open at all hours, I swear), one of the flyer guys gave me a big smile and a "hey, nice to see you. How are you doing?" Buddy's head swung around quickly and he said, "You know that guy?"

I tried to explain that I pass by their office a lot, just because I live there. The pace of our walk picked up considerably. The goodbye was cursory at best.

Damn those Scientologists for screwing up my love life. You know how those Anonymous people protest in their masks and tell stories about their family members being brainwashed and mistreated by L. Ron Hubbard's followers? Well, maybe I should get a mask and tell the sad story of how Scientologists ruined my date.

I'm not sure that's the real point of the Anonymous group, but they must welcome all new members, no?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

am a losebag

All right, so I spent this whole weekend braving crazy rapids in a small kayak. I had some great moments and a few good rolls and came out unscathed. Last night, my friends and I drove back exhausted. When it was my turn to drive, everyone else fell asleep and I was left trying to stay awake by eating pretzels, the really big, fat ones. It was a wee bit unkind for everyone to fall asleep at once, but then, it was also stupid for me to eat pretzels, the world's saltiest food, while driving. At any rate, I popped one in my mouth that split into two. One piece went down my throat and the other lodged itself in the roof of my mouth. I tried to dislodge it with my tongue with no luck. Then I tried to use my fingers. Then I started to panic. All I could think was, this is how I'm going to die. I'm driving at high speeds on an interstate and I'm going to choke on a pretzel, lose control of the car and my friends are going to die, and man, is my obituary going to suck.

Then the pretzel came loose and I swallowed it. And I am a losebag.

The other stupid thing I did this weekend was read this book, alone, in a tent in the rain. I'm not sure the combo of solitude, darkness, wilderness and pouring rain is optimal for reading a book about someone's descent into madness. See above pronouncement that am losebag.