Archive | March, 2010

The Peekers

30 Mar

My neighbours are really weird.

Sometimes it sounds like they’re throwing marbles about. They smell uncommonly bad due to what I suspect is a propensity toward smoking the cheapest and most illegal of black market cigarettes. Granted, these facts don’t make them weird, necessarily… just annoying. No, the thing that makes them weird, beyond a shadow of a doubt, weird, is the way they’re always peeking around the corner when they hear the elevator door open.

The first time I noticed it, I figured they were just waiting for a friend who knew what floor they lived on but didn’t know which apartment number was theirs. Stranger things have happened, right? Their apartment is set back somewhat from the main hallway, so I can see how even if you did know the correct apartment number, it could still be a bit difficult to find for someone not totally familiar with the building. The second time, I noticed it, I thought it was a bit peculiar. The third time, I started laughing as I walked toward my apartment and consequently, the peeker. He seemed unfazed.

Tonight, I staged an ambush. We did not catch the peeker peeking, but we did hear the definitive click of the lock sliding into place (a sound heard in 100% of peeking instances). I figure we missed spotting the peeker (rather, the top of the peeker’s head, and the peeker’s eyes, because that is all you ever see of a peeker) because we turned to investigate a sign that I hadn’t noticed before. Wanting to know once and for all what they are peeking for, but feeling too silly to confront them directly, I marched down to the elevator and called it up. Then I ran back to my apartment door and waited for a peeker to appear so that I could demand to know what they are peeking for.

OH MY GOD YOU GUYS AS I LIVE AND BREATHE THERE GO THE MARBLES RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND.

Anyway, unfortunately no peeker appeared – this time – but don’t think for a second I won’t be staging another ambush in the future. I need to know what they’re peeking for! Should I just write them a note? “Dear Peekers: To what end are you peeking for? Sincerely, your befuddled neighbour.”

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A Confession of my Eco-Sins and Earth Hour

27 Mar

Every day, I take really long, really hot showers… and sometimes a bath, too.

I don’t always turn off the water when I brush my teeth.

Sometimes I don’t recycle things, if it’s more convenient to just throw them away.

I drive virtually everywhere. Sometimes just for fun.

All of this to say, I’m in no position to judge anyone else’s attempts to pick up my slack. But this Earth Hour stuff? It just doesn’t sit well with me. I like the spirit of it: One short hour to remind us, the Citizens of Earth, of the small things we should be doing to help protect our planet. Admittedly, I will be somewhat more cognizant of my environmental actions for the next little while, because Earth Hour has come along to make me think. But we’re what now, four or five years in to this annual reminder? Why have we not gone further yet?

Not to mention, I find it irritating, the sheer number of people who not only burn candles during Earth Hour, but promote it to others as something environmentally friendly to do when it’s not. If you google “earth hour” along with “candles,” you will be greeted with page after page of information regarding how candles are as bad or worse for the environment as lightbulbs. I’ll never forget the first go ’round of Earth Hour when a friend asked me if I participated. Quite frankly, I had not done anything out of the ordinary, having forgotten entirely that Earth Hour was even occurring. She, on the other hand, took a bubble bath by candlelight. A bubble bath by candlelight.

This, I suppose, is my inherent problem with Earth Hour… or not even with Earth Hour itself, I appreciate the spirit in which it’s intended. It’s the participants that bother me. One thing that Earth Hour makes me realize is that if we want to stand any chance of slowing down the damage we’ve been doing, we need to make sacrifices, not compromises. If you’re going to get on board with the idea of turning off all your lights and appliances for one hour tonight, you have to really get on board. You’ve said you think it’s a great idea to go without light for one hour this evening, well, sorry, but that means you have to go without light for one hour this evening. You don’t get to light up six candles and feel self-righteous, because if that’s what you’re doing, you’ve effectively done nothing at all.

Microfibre Towels and Books.

26 Mar

Yesterday I went on a quest to find fabric for new bedroom curtains. I failed to find fabric for new bedroom curtains, but I did find a microfibre towel for my hair. I know that doesn’t sound very exciting, but allow me to present you the evidence: It usually takes me upwards of 15 minutes to blow dry my hair, and it must be blow dried because if I don’t, my hair will be cold and clammy on the back of my neck for the entire day. So the fact that blow drying only took me three minutes today? I’m sorry, that’s exciting news that must be shared with the world!

The other hot story of the day is this: I finally finished reading Downtown Owl by Chuck Klosterman! After two false starts, I finally made it to the end yesterday! I’m a little ashamed of myself that it took me so very long to finish a book by one of my favourite authors, especially given the fact that the book itself was less than three hundred pages long. Having finally finished though, I think I’ve figured out exactly why it took me so long: It wasn’t a particularly good book.

As a general rule, I love Chuck Klosterman’s writing. Like I said, he’s one of my favourite authors. Actually, perhaps I should amend that statement: He’s one of my favourite essayists. Downtown Owl was his first novel and, quite frankly, nothing much happened. The story was exactly the same on page 250 as it was on page 10. He spent lots of time creating and describing characters, but then he never actually had them do anything. Even now, I’m left wondering what happened to Vance Druid, and if The Dog Lover ever got his comeuppance for what he (allegedly) did to that cat. And (SPOILER ALERT IF YOU HAVE ANY INTENTION OF EVER READING THIS BOOK THEN SKIP THE REST OF THIS PARAGRAPH YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED IN ALL CAPS) where the hell did that blizzard come from, anyway? Does the crazy kid who screamed also have supernatural powers, thus he summoned it with the aforementioned scream? Or was he screaming because he saw it coming? Or was it just a coincidence that the scream precluded the blizzard? I don’t know, because Chuck Klosterman never bothered to explain it to me. Plus, in the end, several characters died, but I saw absolutely no significance to their deaths whatsoever. There was no “moral of the story.” I don’t feel like I’ve learned anything or gained anything from reading this book. It’s like he was literally telling the story just to tell the story, nothing more and nothing less.  I guess that’s fine, but for me, it’s not very satisfying to finish a book with a “well, that’s that” feeling.

Regardless, I’m still looking forward to reading Eating The Dinosaur, which is Chuck Klosterman’s most recent work. It looks like a return to form (i.e. a return to non-fiction), so it’s sitting rather near the top of my To Read Next pile. Also near the top of that pile are Christopher Moore’s newest book, Bite Me, which I want to have finished before the reading I’m attending in April. Bite Me is part of a triology that I have weirdly only read the second book from, and so I’ll need to read Bloodsucking Fiends first and maybe give myself a refresher in You Suck before moving on to Bite Me (yes, it’s a vampire series; no, it’s nothing like Twilight). Also I want to get around to Generation A by Douglas Coupland. He was my favourite author in high school but I have to admit, his books don’t resonate with me the way that they used to. I don’t know if that’s because his writing has changed or because I have.

I can’t wait for my vacation time in April. All I want to do is sit on my balcony and read. But for now, it’s laundry time. Bye!

Analyse, Doctor Freud

24 Mar

So I had this really fun, really bizarre dream a couple of nights ago that I feel simply must be recorded for posterity and shared with the world

In this dream, I was at an Our Lady Peace concert and for some reason, I was up on stage along with a few other audience members. We weren’t singing or playing instruments or doing anything, we were just there. I looked out into the massive audience and saw this girl who was a friend of mine in high school (but with whom I have long since had a falling out with) in the floor section, about two or three rows back, wearing a look on her face that clearly showed she wished she was up on stage with us. I felt a sick sort of happiness at seeing her jealousy, and a little disappointment when one of the other people on stage reached out an arm and hoisted her up with us, but she smiled and I got over it. The band was playing this incredible song that I have never heard ever in my life, and when they finished up the show was over and the lead singer and drummer came over to talk with me. They were very fun and funny and personable and a good time was had by all.

The weirdest bit, to me, is the fact that it was Our Lady Peace. I’ve barely thought of Our Lady Peace since high school. And the best bit is the fact that I wrote this awesome song in my head while I was sleeping. I can’t write songs. I used to try and try and try but nothing good ever came from it. This is not the first time I’ve dreamed a song up while sleeping, and it’s irritating as heck that I can never remember any of the song details upon waking. I can remember the make, model, and license plate number of my grade 8 gym teacher’s car (although I could not for the life of me explain why that information is in my brain to begin with), and yet I cannot recall a simple chord progression that came from inside my own head.

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll dream the plot for an awesome novel and remember every detail.

How’d I Miss That??!

23 Mar

You guys! Corey Haim died??!? Two weeks ago???!!?!

Why didn’t anybody tell me?

Poor Corey Haim. He’s getting no love right now. I feel kind of bad because I only just now realized that I’ve been mixing up my Coreys all day long… I was picturing Corey Feldman upon hearing Corey Haim’s name.

I have to admit, in recent years, Corey Feldman has grown on me, and if you had asked me a month ago, “Hey, which Corey is your preferred Corey?,” I probably would have said Feldman. But when I was growing up, I definitely thought Corey Haim was cuter and I had a big crush on him.

Goodbye, Corey Haim!

Hooray for Health Care!

22 Mar

Just a little disclaimer: You’ll have to just bear with me if my assessment of the facts is full of inaccuracies. It is really late right now. I stayed up all night playing Plants vs. Zombies. Three cheers for insomnia! Speaking of which, hey, you know something one might do if one were suffering from persistent insomnia? Why, one might visit a doctor! I’ve done it a couple of times myself. Guess how much it cost me? Zero dollars. Guess how long I waited to see said doctor? Zero days.

I just learned that the United States government has taken the first steps toward a universal health care system. Being that it’s quite late and I’m quite sleep deprived at the moment, I can’t really absorb all (um, or any) of the finer points. The gist seems to be that you shouldn’t be denied health care just because you can’t afford insurance.

No, universal health care doesn’t make you a communist. If that’s your major concern, I suggest you read up on the differences between socialism and communism, to start with. Personally, I’m not inclined to think the notion of universal health care is “communist” so much as it is “fair” and “just,” but hey… if it means I can get me some free stitches at the hospital when I need them, well, nice to meet you. You can call me Pinko.

No, you will not have to go on a waiting list just to see your family doctor. My family doctor operates out of a walk-in clinic. When I got sick (badly sick) with the flu (possibly of the piggy variety) in November, I travelled out to her office, not knowing that walk-in hours had changed to after five p.m. It was probably noon when I showed up and asked for a walk-in appointment. She squeezed me in. Don’t worry. You probably won’t be waitlisted ten years for a new liver, and if you are, you’ll be well taken care of during that time.

I guess I think of America sort of like Canada’s older, prudish sister or matronly aunt. On the whole, I think Canadians are waaaay more laid back… just by way of example, can anyone reading this imagine a character like Pierre Trudeau serving as Commander in Chief? We don’t police gay people’s sex lives. I once read that Canadians are more inclined to identify themselves as “spiritual” whereas Americans are more likely to identify themselves as “religious.” And while I don’t have any data to back me up on this, I’m pretty certain we have waaaaaay more sex than you guys do. C’mon, have you seen the people in Montreal? In any event, seeing the States take these first steps toward an improved health care system makes me feel like I’m hearing Aunt Madge say a curse word for the first time. I know it’s not like the citizens of America got to vote on this issue or anything, but they did elect the guy who made it a major part of his campaign platform. Could it be that you guys are finally loosening up? Next thing you know you’ll be measuring things in centimetres and spelling colour with a u! (p.s. I lol’d when I discovered just now that you spell “centimetre” differently as well. You don’t even use the metric system, why are you messing with the terminology?)

Aw, America, I hope you know I’m only teasing. I love you just the way you are. I could do without your Bible Belt population, pretty much anyone who owns a gun, and people who refer to conversing in the English language as “speaking American,” but I do like the principles your country is founded on. I think your execution, up to this point has been, well, a little shaky… but this is a good sign, guys. It’s progress.

p.s. I do enjoy the fact that I’m so tired right now that I found it appropriate to address an entire nation as “you guys.” Now goodnight, blogeroos!

Howdy

21 Mar

You know what’s awful? Being forced to wear all black on the first day of Spring! Sigh. Dress codes.

I was generally grumpy today, and guess what? I still am! Grrrr!

Daylight Savings Time and Vacation Anticipation

17 Mar

I’m not faring so well with daylight savings time this year. Actually, I never fare well with daylight savings time. I love “falling back” in the autumn… I really appreciate that extra hour of sleep (or play, whatever), but “springing forward” always kills me. I always feel tired, and at the same time surprised at how late it is. It’s 4:22 in the afternoon as I write this. My body isn’t on board with that yet. My body says it’s three.

I got myself a new purse today, and I’m pretty psyched about it. Why? Before I tell you why, you should know that I have a somewhat peculiar habit of googling things after I’ve bought them. I couldn’t tell you why I do this. In any event, I just learned that the lovely new purse for which I paid $50 typically retails for $200. I consider that a score, my friends.

You know what I can’t wait for? April 10th. I booked the week off work, and words cannot express how deeply I am looking forward to the break. In the year and a half that I’ve been back at the shop, I’ve taken two breaks. One was right before my wedding, when I booked time off so I could finish up all the last minute details. It wasn’t exactly a stress-free pleasure cruise. My second break came somewhat unexpectedly when I got punched in the face by the flu. Personally, I don’t think either case really constitutes a “vacation,” so I am deeply, deeply anticipating some time away. I intend to ride my bike a lot, clean up my apartment, and read and read and read and read and read. There’s a new Christopher Moore book coming out on the 23rd of March, which is the same day that the new She & Him album is officially released. That should be a good day.

Wow, that paragraph was all over the place!

Bye for now, blogeroos!

Wants.

16 Mar

Consider it a bucket list, because I’m fairly certain this is bronchitis and I am dyyyyyyiiiiiing. So, first and foremost, I want to get better. But also…

I want to read more books.

I want to learn a million things, including all the subjects I blew off in high school, and more.

I want to listen to more music.

I want to find a job that doesn’t make me feel like my soul is dying bit by bit.
In the meantime, I want to figure out what’s good about the job I already have, because let’s face it, with what I have planned, I’m probably going to be stuck there for a little while yet.

Which is to say, I want to go back to school starting this summer so that I can finally apply to teacher’s college.

I want to make more time to practice sewing, because let’s face it, I’m not getting any better by not doing it it.

And in the short term, I want to paint my nails pastel yellow and spend my day downtown tomorrow. Hopefully I will wake up with fully functional lungs (ha! doubtful) and the weather will be gorgeous and the buses will be running on time and it will be a glorious day.

Happy daylight savings time! I’ve missed you, sunshine!

State of the Union, and A Wedding Recap

14 Mar

The Union being me. You guys, whatever bacteria or viruses are currently taking up residence in my body, they are trying to kill me! It would probably help if I would just rest for a bit, but no! No! There’s life to be lived! Speaking of which…

Rob and Kate are married! It was a lovely wedding (although I’ll admit to giggling a bit when that bit of Corinthians was read… ha!). I danced like a total fool whenever they played a song I liked. I think I’ve forgotten how to dance any other way. Steve and I requested our song from the dj, but he didn’t have it… which I thought was weird, because in my opinion it’s the Ultimate Love Song, and while The Luckiest certainly never achieved the heights of mainstream popularity that sayyy, Everything I Do by Bryan Adams or Still The One by Shania Twain happened to achieve, it’s not like Ben Folds Five was some under the radar indie band. As such, we forced it upon everyone in attendance and provided the dj with a cd. So in the end, Steve and I danced to our song for the first time since our own wedding 6 months ago and that alone was enough to make my night.

The only slight downside was the fact that I got a bit tipsier than I’d intended. One of the parent’s speeches was really, really, really, really long, so our table created a drinking game from it. Hey, I never claimed to be classy. Thankfully all I had to drink was white wine, and for some reason white wine never leaves me with much of a hangover. I am, however, arguably more ill than I was yesterday, so all things considered, I still learned my lesson.

Oh, and the blue dress garnered me my fair share of compliments! There’s something to be said for stepping outside of your comfort zone, clothing-wise, every once in awhile.

Just for fun, I leave you with the playlist from Steve’s and my wedding. Because quite frankly, our music selections kicked ass:

Processional: I’ll Be There by The Jackson 5 (bridal party) and To Make You Feel My Love by Adele (for me)
Interlude: First Day of My Life by Bright Eyes
Recessional: Do You Realize by The Flaming Lips
Introduction of the bridal party: The Final Countdown by Europe
Introduction of the couple: All You Need Is Love by The Beatles
Cake-cutting song: Love You Madly by Cake
First dance: The Luckiest by Ben Folds Five
Parents’ dance: You Make Me Feel So Young by Frank Sinatra
Bouquet toss: Marry Me by Dolly Parton
Garter toss: Business Time by Flight of the Conchords

Go make a playlist of it!