Wednesday, August 31, 2005

To Trend or not to Trend

The latest global trend are those plastic stretchy rubber bracelets people wear to support certain causes. Lance Armstrong began this fad with the "livestrong" campaign which is the bright yellow bracelet sold for cancer research. The same colour of yellow that leader t-shirt is in the Tour de France. Every now and then you would catch a glimpse of a yellow band on people's wrists here and there. Then came more bracelets for more causes. Pink for breast cancer research, blue for some ecological society, green, red, another shade of pink, another hue of yellow. I saw this young girl with (no joke) 30 on her arm. Some contradicting each other, I'm dead sure. Like a green vegan bracelet right next to a brown I heart beef bracelet. Until recently, I only wore one. The white "make poverty history" bracelet. Which, I think is a great cause at no insult to the other causes out there. But this is one that I truly support. I say "until recently" b/c just the other day I was in Spencer's and found myself a perfect black plastic bracelet. It has one word on it and is certainly NOT a charity bracelet, but kinda makes me giggle @ People™ and the numerous charities that they seem to display proudly, if not advertise, on their wrists. Not that I think that any of the causes aren't worthy to support, but in my estimation, its almost some sick sense of narcissism some people have. "How many/Which causes/charity can I support today and does it come with a plastic bracelet??" And just by buying a bracelet, some people feel justified, or that they have done their duty. I say BUYING a bracelet b/c it truly isn't in support of a cause, more than an accessory for their wardrobe. I support the Make Poverty History campaign or also known as the One campaign. I also make monthly donations to local charities that are trying to eliminate poverty in the community and also particpate in volunteer work to help those less fortunate. Its something that I support, not just advertise. It just makes me wonder, ya know. It makes me think, how easy it is for someone to slap on a bracelet and think they're done the world a bit of service. I'm not saying all People™ are that callous, I just think that most are.

Anyway, back to the new bracelet. It's a perfect fit. And as I said it has one word: BITCH.

Monday, August 29, 2005


I was trying to think of something positive to blog about. I think sometimes I do get into ranting phases. Honestly, I am quite a good-spirited person. Maybe because I have been taught to say what is on my mind and leaves little room to second guess what I'm thinking. The question people usually walk away asking is not "what was she REALLY saying?", its more "was she, uhmm, joking?" Heh. Not sure there is much of a difference, but everything is open to interpretation... roight...

So, what do I think of that always makes me smile? My grandma.

She was an amazing woman. She was full of SO MUCH LOVE for everyone. Anyone that ever met her saw in her that incredible love she had for people. If I carry any shred of what she was, I will say that I accomplished something. She had this tremendous capacity to make people feel welcome and certainly loved. She touched everyone with her heart that must have been pained from being so full.

I am not saying she was perfect. She certainly could have a temper that my grandpa could certainly attest. But what happened in a flash of anger was gone minutes later with a smile. She never stayed angry, never harboured grudges, never said anything bad about anyone. She was a spirited woman that just had a passion for people.

Her and my grandpa were married in 1936. The met in a Catholic mission and were introduced to each other by one of the nuns. My grandpa worked in logging camps and my grandma cooked for the men. They raised a family of 3 adopted children. My grandma was an amazing cook! She could make something from just taste alone. And so together, my grandparents opened a restaurant that they operated for over 25 years. It was the best food anyone could get and was boasted about from town to town. Not only for the food, but for the welcoming atmosphere. Walking into the restaurant was like walking into your own grandmother's house. The smell of home-cooked meals... The welcoming smiles... The warm and friendly service... My grandmother's touch was in everything, including her staff. They knew that no matter what happened, my grandparents would always try to understand and be sympathetic and very helpful. They employed this deaf/mute man from the time I was a kid until they closed the restuarant. He was also a notorious drunk who managed to get himself into the local drunk-tank for a sleep-over on more than a few occasions (yearly!). My grandfather would pick him up from the police station, bring him food and make sure he got home alright. Always giving him a second (third, fourth, fifth) chance. He was a very poor man and they understood that he needed the money. A diligent worker who had a taste for the sauce every now and again. Anyway, they were just understanding people. My grandmother learned to communicate with him using some basic sign language he had and that's all they needed between them.

I remember so much about my grandmother. I remember the way she smelled. The scent of her slight perfume, pressed powder make-up and Rolaids ©. I remember how she sounded when she sang me this song she made up for her grandchildren. The way she cussed in her native language. How she was always trying to make everyone happy. I remember the shape of her feet. Playing dress up with her church clothes. Her letting me driver her car when I was 9 years old "just around the block".

I remember the way she looked the last time I saw her. The way she smiled at me and said "I love you, my girl, grandma's little girl" and how much I didn't want to let go of her hand.

It's been 10 years. And although the pain has been passed for some time now, I miss her. I'll always miss her.

The best thing I can say is that her memory makes me smile. And I tell this to all my friends, but she looked like Queen Elisabeth II. So every time I see a $20 CDN bill, I basically see my grandma. :) Aren't I lucky?

I don't know about this "afterlife" business... All I know is that in this life, I couldn't have been more blessed than I have been by just knowing her. Anyone that ever met her couldn't ever argue this statement: Veronique was absolutely beautiful.

Loo Ewww!

I was working @ this telecommunications company many years back. I went to lunch with this woman and came back to the office and we both went into the washroom together. She proceeded to tell me, whilst we were in our individual bathroom stalls, to not be disgusted with her if she didn't wash her hands after she did her business. I mean. Ewww! She said "Well, *I* am not one to touch myself *there* while I wipe!" Uhmm. Ewww! I mean, here's my thought. First. I am NEVER touching ANYTHING you touch ever again. Second, even if you can somehow avoid actual contact with yourself, which I admit can be possible, other People(tm) might not have the same gift as you do. And guess what??? They touch everything else in here, including the doorknobs, the stall doors, the place where you pull the toilet paper out, etc... I mean. Ewww!

Now, my current co-workers, although not blatant about their hygeine methods do confess a multitude of sins as they enter and exit the public facilities on my floor. My request would be for there to be alcohol soaked towelettes handy so that I can properly clean the drippings from the toilet seat. Ewww! Come On People(tm)!!! How old are you?? And why is it necessary to LEAVE your pee on the toilet seat? When did that become acceptable? Instead I am left to go to another stall whereupon I completely mummify the seat with layers upon layers of toilet paper as a barrier between myself and the unseen -but not unknown- drippings of previous seat-dwellers. *gag*

In addition. To the woman that RINSES the tips of her fingers under a sprinkle of water for less than, count them, TWO seconds. Ewww! Double Ewww! MmmK. Aside from the seat-pee'r, there is NOTHING more disgusting than the fake-washer. Who are you REALLY kidding? Are you doing that because you're in public and are expected to "wash" your hands? Please, don't stand on ceremony for me? I already protect myself from the likes of your kind. *Points to the mini-bottle of purell in her pocket* Uhmm, the soap is FREE. Hence the reason I lather my hands for a looooooong time and then rinse them, proceeding to dry my hands with the towels and with said towels, use them to open the door back out of the washroom.

I am not a complete germaphobe. Don't get me wrong. I believe in the necessity of germs in order to build our immune system and in some way, I thank those people that make me gag in the washrooms. But... c'mon!

Oh, and to the "lady" that keeps her nasty 2 year old toothbrush up on the counter with the tube of toothpaste, completely unguarded against the elements... Kudos! You're a martyr. *gag* Ewww!

Now. Inappropriate behaviour in washrooms is another thing that kinda pisses me off. No, I do NOT want to have an in depth conversation while I'm sitting on the loo peeing. No matter HOW important (you think) what you have to say is, honestly, at this particular moment in time, it isn't. My bladder vehemently disagrees with its importance. As well, I do not wish to stand in the facilities discussing our latest procedural issue or systems problem. As I exit to the door, please do not find what I am doing rude, I'm just trying to help you from being rude yourself. Also, if you happen to have some "wardrobe malfunction", Ewww!, please try to fix that out of view. There are reasons the company paid the money to have doors put on the stalls. Consider it a "luxury model" washroom. I have no desire to see the colour of your control top underoos or how high you can hike your skirt around your armpits. Really, its ok. I've managed my life this long NOT having that information, thankyouverymuch.

Basically, ANYTHING you would do at home, DO NOT do in the public loo. Am I the ONLY ONE that maintains some sort of consistent etiquette? Trust me when I say "the things I don't see WILL kill me!!" Ewww!


Monday, August 15, 2005

Random Thought #666

Imma kill that fookin' DeVry Guy!!

Part 2: Review of "Rainy Days and Mondays" by The Carpenters


Blergh! Although I am sure there are worse things than Mondays in the world, such as TUESDAYS for example, Mondays on the whole tend to suck uber much. Today is no exception. Today is Monday. Today sucks. And, by coincidence, it is also raining.

Aside: In previous blog I mentioned that I enjoyed/loved the rain. This still remains true today. However what I do not enjoy is humidity! I recall a Hallmark © card I saw years and years ago that had a picture of a new recruit to the bowels of Hell and the Devil(tm) saying: "It's not so much the heat, but the humidity". That is how I feel. Today is very humid. Today's weather report shows 100% humidity. Ewww! My hair is frizzing, my clothes are rather sticky, did I mention that my hair is frizzing? When you are used to a climate where, when it rains, the moisture is sucked away by some unseen force with such quickness that the ground is turned back into the dust bowl it once was, it is rather difficult to go to the other extreme. Oh and to explain the whole Tuesdays are worse comment: Tuesdays can be worse for the simple reason is that whatever it is that you avoid/screw up will not accept "Oh, don't worry, it's Monday" for an excuse. Alas, I digress.

Mondays. Sucking. Simple. No one wants to get up on the first day of the regular work week. Especially when getting up means waking up @ the crack of butt! Personally, anything BEFORE 06:00 is a completely ungoRdly hour anyway, however 05:00 (when my alarm FIRST RINGS) is the land where even Satan refuses to dwell. I bang on the alarm clock for 3 snoozes and crawl out of bed @ 05:30ish. Now on Mondays, this is a rather daunting task. I've usually just spent the weekend going to bed relatively late and sleeping in relatively late (when I was a teenage and you told me that I would think 08:00 was sleeping in I would have laughed in your face). So. Hauling arse out of bed. Indeed a bad thing for Mondays.

Now, commuting. Although I am one that is a firm supporter of public transit and recommend it to almost everyone, Mondays are a day which I wish I could just stay in my truck all the way to downtown and not have to "deal" with People(tm) in any way whatsoever. Par example: This morning. Crazy lady with the witchy hair (whom, on ANY other day of the week -except Tuesdays- would have probably have intrigued me) decided to plop herself next to me. Now, I understand but not readily accept, the idea that I must somehow TOUCH People(tm) of the public, however when someone plops themselves almost directly INTO my lap, I tend to get a bit growly. Which is what I managed to do, and to which she responded to with an annoyed twitch back to the left. Lady, its MY LAP if I wanted you in it, you would have seen some dollar bills waving in the air!! Now, as we proceeded at record speed down Centre Street (yes, an ingenius name for a street dividing the city between east and west, don't you think?) every time the "Gid Mirning" (say that out loud to yourself!! that is how she says GOOD MORNING!) bus driver SLAMMED on her brakes, Ooo Ooo Witchy-Woman lurched forward uncontrollably but in complete Zen with the bus' Yin Yang or Chi or WTFeverrrrr!!! Blergh.

Monday morning small-talk. This is enough for me to want to pour the scalding cup of cawfee into my eyes. People(tm) don't care about my weekends!! Do they actually think they are FOOLING ME by asking me about it?? No!! Hello!?! You're not! What you DO want me to care about is your weekend. Frankly my dears, it doesn't interest me that your son/daughter had a hockey camp weekend and you sat in the bleachers with your cowbell cheering them on or a dance recital and he/she performed a solo to "Twinkle Twinkle Little Brat"! Honestly, I don't care. Small talk. Bleh! Now, if you came to me and wanted to discuss something like photography or literature or history or something remotely interesting that doesn't deal with spawn or spawn-stuff, I'm so into that! My O-M-G-NOT-AGAIN(!!!)-face isn't a big enough hint for you? How about if I edge myself towards the window with a large and heavy object? Would that be a better signal? Hmmm?

Motivation. Zilch on Mondays. Trust me, I do NOT spend my weekends wondering "Oh gee wonkers! I wonder what project I shall tackle @ work on Monday!!!" Enough said.

If it were not for the fact that my office had a door on it, I am not certain I would (or other people would) survive Mondays!

Mondays don't get me down so much as they just really, really, REALLY piss me orf.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

more things to love...

granny smith apples; chewable vitamin C tablets; black eyeliner on men; mail that isn't a bill; finding the perfect angle for a shot; using a puppy for a pillow; mood music; mood music especially during a storm; dragonflies; foot massages; hail storms; cold winter days; uber bad jokes; flaming charcoaled marshmallows; peppermint foot cream; wunderbars; moments of wicked pleasure; movies that make me really think; first kisses; manual transmissions; drum beat sex music; comfy jeans; black t-shirts; birkenstocks; pottery; yoghurt; when my dogs dream

Part 1: Review of "Rainy Days and Mondays" by The Carpenters

Well... not really...

Ever since I can remember I've enjoyed rainy days. I have no certain reason why, I guess there are just a lot of things about them that appeal to me. I used to love driving out to the lake on rainy days. My senses overloading. Rain soaked sand, drenched trees, fresh breeze off the lake. Or camping out with my grandparents and sitting around a sizzling campfire, the smoke billowing into the air and the wood evaporating the raindrops as they hit. Quiet days walking around University campus with the large trees overhanging onto pathways, usually swelling with students now quiet with only the sounds of dripping leaves spilling their water onto the path. Torrential downpours and sitting at my front window watching a river of water flow down my street into the storm gutter. I sometimes feel like Forrest Gump and his letter to Jenny when he talks about the rain in Vietnam: little bitty stinging rain... big ole fat rain... rain that flew in the sides and sometimes... rain that seemed to come straight up from underneath". I'd have to say that my favourite is "big ole fat rain". On rainy days, when I leave the office tower where I work, I have a lovely 4 block walk to my express bus and on rainy days the streets are dead quiet. People(tm) are inside hiding or if they're walking they're crouched under umbrellas or hugging buildings in order to keep under the eaves. I walk deliberately in the open, under sopping trees, sans umbrella, stepping/splashing in puddles, head up to catch the rain on my face. I wait at my bus stop getting completely soaked while others congregate under the overhang of the office tower that is right there. I think I find comfort in it. Comfort in rainy days. There's something "cozy" about rainy and overcast days. Something that just makes you want to sit at home and cuddle to keep warm, even if you're not cold. Drink hot chocolate, coffee or tea. Spoil yourself with some comfort food and listen to the rain on the roof or outside the window. Stay in your jammers all day and listen to soul quenching music. Wiggle your toes and stretch your limbs. Not feel guilty about yawning or daydreaming. Rainy days never get me down...

(now MONDAYS on the other hand... Part 2: Coming Soon-ish)