Wednesday, June 28, 2006

fighting injustice one line at a time

i've been meaning to write about this for a while. canada's wonderland. i have so so many wonderful childhood memories of this place. the rides, the funnel cake, the characters, the hustle and bustle, the funnel cake...but this time was different. jeff, jarrod, kim and i went (and, because of this company, nothing can be that bad) and it was packed. to the point that i have never seen it so packed. it was hot, so we booted it to the water park. which was still packed. but we made the best of it, doing a few slides and relaxing in the lazy river.

our fun was slightly marred, however, when we came face to face with a few who seemed determined to wreck it for the rest of us. we all noticed (and yes, laughed) at the four adults who went down the waterslide fully clothed. and then, still waiting, we noticed them go down again. see, what you had to do was wait for a raft, and then you took the raft to the top of the slide and raced down. but these four people decided that they did not have to wait, they just could stand at the front and take rafts from those who had waited legitimately. we watched them try it again, only to be stopped by another adult. this got my blood boiling...because if there is one thing i hate, it is following the rules only to have others flaunt them. three of them walked off, but one adult tried again. again! he was told there was a line! he budded again! and then, jarrod stalks towards him, and literally took the raft from the man. not in a particularily violent way, but certainly in a forceful one. the three of us started cheering, and other people clapped too. of course, it doesn't end there.

when we get to the top of the slide, right after jarrod mentions, "if i see them up a head of us, i am going to lose it," we notice that people are coming back down, through the line. yep! its our friends! who had somehow decided that if they couldn't get rafts, they'd just...break more rules and head down the water slide without mats! of course! that makes sense! they marched down rather shamefully and i felt happy that they were caught out. i have no idea what they did the rest of the day. i hope they got kicked out, but i doubt it. who are these people that think that they are free of the rules? that they should get to go twice before the rest of us, before a bunch of kids, get to go once? i did not know what to do about it. the lifeguard's didn't care. not even many other people seemed to care. should we not have said anything? i am just so sick of constantly letting people get away with things. stupid things. i just hate it. i have a big mouth. and i suppose i think of myself as fairly intimidating. i mean, really, look at me? what girl would try anything? heck, i'd even take on a guy. (this from someone who has never been in a fight in her life...except for a little brother who mostly, i'd just hit and then run and lock myself in the bathroom.)

we went of that slide again, you know, gluttons for punishment that we are (we were also trying to not let the earlier altarcation ruin a) the slide or b) our day). this is where the highlight of the day came from. a daughter and a father were debating whether or not to do this one. they decided to, and the dad kinda cut the line. and then the daughter just lost it! she yelled that there was a line, that they had to wait...and the dad shamefully walked back to the end. i don't know where she got it, but it seems like at least some of our youth have a sense of right and wrong.

after the water park, we headed back out to do some rides...and got waylaid by giant giant hot dogs. seriously. they were huge. i know, i know, stree meat, street meat...they have nothing on the dogs at wonderland. so, we ate, we had fun, we had a bit of hostility. pretty much, just a regular day at wonderland.

**a quick proviso for this photo. i had just gotten dressed. clothes over the bathing suit. i wasn't waiting in any lines, not even bathroom lines, that didn't involved a pay off like a roller coaster at the end.

***i wore those pants when i rode on a camel in morrocco. (sometimes i have to plug myself because i don't feel like my posts are good enough.)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

committed by credit card

oh, its on. i have officially signed up for the Toronto Half Marathon. i know i mentionned earlier on that i had decided to do it, but, now, now i am really going to do it. i want another t-shirt and another medal. (speaking of which, has anyone seen an ottawa half-marathon medal? i seem to have lost mine.) i have spent the last couple weeks (whew, so far into my training) building up my mileage, which really translates into blistered toes. i am going to need some new running shoes soon...if only my mom was coming into town soon. oh wait! she is! (i'll keep praying to the running gods...and keep on hoping that no one notices that i am turning 25 in july, which makes me officially certainly completely an adult who should be able to purchase her own running shoes). Annetta and i have made a plan to both run it (perhaps together, perhaps not, depending on how fast each of us is taking it) and its nice to know someone else is undertaking the challenge. (that was certainly a guilt trip to plague her should she decide not to run).

in sadder news, jarrod's bike was not the easy fix we expected. turns out, the cranks they were going to replace cannot be replaced without replacing (can i say that anymore?) the whole undercarriage. which would cost more than the bike. much more. i was a bit troubled, seeing as how my finances do not really allow for wasted purchases, but then...i found the golden ticket (the receipt) that mentions that the bikes contain a two week warranty. i did not expect this, seeing as how we bought the bike from a pawn shop from a man who i would descibe as a "bike hustler." i am hoping for cash back, but i will take store credit. jarrod can just pick out another one. hopefully we can find one that evokes the same sense of "awesome!' that this one did...though i have to admit that i fear that just won't be possible. we shall see.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

the curse of the dopplegangers

okay, my cousin told jarrod about this website called fuzzy squid. basically, its some feed that displays the latest images posted to the very popular public journal site Livejournal. since he found out about it, he's noted some very odd things. like someone cleaning up a toilet seat covered in what appears to be human excretment. like a chubby little man imitating the pose of a pin up girl. and personal family shots and friends shots and funny images and everything you could possibly think of. from all around the world. so, while i don't recommend viewing this site at work, i do recommend viewing from the comfort of your own home when you want a rather diverse glimpse into what makes human beings tick. because some of it is more than mildly unsuitable for work. like the vintage porn shots. seriously. you know how everything has that favourite photo of great aunt beatrice? exactly. but add genitalia. somehow, maybe with the time elapsed factor, it just looks like art. very odd, pornographic art. i would not even have guessed this existed. and it makes me think of that costume booth at canada's wonderland in a whole new (rather dirty) way.

just keep in mind that what you find is very very bizarre. like these photobooth shots. please note, despite the uncanniness, these are not of jarrod and i. i repeat: not. not even that third one is a ringer for me. nor that last one, which, i swear, is not jarrod.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

death and i have one thing in common

once, in high school, a teacher caught me reading the last page of a book i was reading. i have no memory of the book, or the ending, but i do remember the look of horror that i would "ruin" the ending for myself. i didn't even know that it was deviant reader behaviour. little did she know that this was chronic behaviour for me. to this day, often before i even buy a book, i will read the last page, perhaps even the last chapter, first.

so, dear teacher, and all others who have questionned why i allow this little behaviour to persist, i direct you to this quote:

of course, i'm being rude. i'm spoiling the ending, not only of the entire book, but of this particular piece of it. i have given you two events in advance, because i don't have much interest in building mystery. mystery bores me. it chores me. i know what happens and so do you. it's the machinations that wheel us there that aggravate, perplex, interest and astound me.

there are many things to think of. there is so much story.

--p. 243
The Book Thief
Marcu Zusak

the narrator, Death, has it exactly right. i care very little for a suspense novel (though, of course, i will read them, as well as romance, fantasy, cereal boxes, whatever i can get my hands on). i care very very much for the characters about whom i am reading and about their lives: their loves and hurts and fears and dreams and whatever else it is that makes a human being. i have certainly gone so far as to laugh out loud hysterically, or, more often, to cry a good hard cry. i'll cry even if its the fourth or fifth or tenth time (lions of al-rassan i am thinking of you!). but even when a book evokes such a response in me, it very rarely has to do with the ending of the book and more to do with the present.

so, i will continue my nasty little habit. and i will rest easy, knowing that there are others, even if that other is a fictional entity in one novel, that knows a little bit about what i am talking about.

did i say thank you kristen? thank you. what a wonderful book.

Monday, June 19, 2006

please score edmonton, please score!

its 2-0 carolina. i hate that this is the score. usually, i watch hockey all season. whether its my brother or room mates or friends or myself, i end up catching a decent amount of leafs games. it didn't happen this year. julia d. and i caught one game (actually i think i still owe her some money for that evening), but that was pretty much the extent of fanship. until game 5 of the stanley cup when the oilers' managed to score short handed in overtime. holy mother, that was exciting. so i watched the trouncing of the 'canes that occurred in game six. and now, now, i am watching game seven. and i find myself getting very very angry with the oilers. and that makes me realize why i had to stop watching hockey: i hate that i care. and if i don't watch, i don't care.

they just blew a five on three power play. and then took a weak hooking penalty. (for the record, if i was a coach and my player took an ass head penalty, i'd bench him. but both my father and my brother, who know so much more of the game than i do, have told me that this makes me a terrible coach.)

in brighter news, i got that job today. i start friday, its twenty five hours a week, and i work from home. it ends just before i go to scotland, it doesn't conflict with either my helpdesk job nor my course...all in all, i am pretty happy with it.

the king of bikes

i had an interview this morning. usually they ask nine million questions, from "what would you do in this situation" to "what are your strengths/weaknesses" to "why are you qualified for this position." you know, the standard, stupid, interview questions. i always thought that they were terrible but necessary. however, this morning, the interview was revolutionized. the woman, very friendly, young, pretty, smart, basically just declared that she had no idea logistically of what i would be doing, just that she had this general view of what the project was. (image sounds great.) seriously, it lasted fifteen minutes. now, i just have to send her references and a letter of reference from a prof (uh oh) and she'll go from there. i have no idea how it went, if they'll call, whether it will come together...but i do know she said that i could work from home. and i am liking that very much.

this afternoon, jarrod and i headed to the bike repair shop. because you know, after you buy a bike, of course you need to get it repaired. damn it. actually, when i was in belgium, i rented a bike. and i rode it home. in the rain. and my pedal fell off. so, it was some kind of cosmic coincidence that jarrod and i rode our bikes all the way to canadian tire (but not in the rain, in the humidity) and on the way home, his pedal fell off. of course, also, we need to get his "cranks" replaced. i put it in quotes because i have no real idea what cranks are. however, i do believe, three days from now, our biking adventures will begin.

here's jarrod on his bike:

i think he's a happy boy. we're both on the job search, but whereas he's a little more antsy about finding work, i am happily settling into the routine of watching oprah everyday. i have the sneaky suspicion that this little vacation is coming to an end, so i am trying to appreciate it while its here.

OH! the best news: my grammy has officially booked our tickets to scotland! from august 03-14, my cousin sarah, my mom, my grandma and i will be gallavanting around scotland, visiting the places that i missed last time, but also visiting places that are sentimental for my grandma (being born and raised in glasgow). its one thing to visit a country that you know you come from: its completely another to visit it with a person whom you love and who can open the country in so many new ways. i am excited to travel, yes, but i am also excited to talk and to listen and to learn.

Friday, June 16, 2006


there are several things that are going really well for me right now. my grammy just booked a trip to scotland for my cousin sarah, me, and her. my boyfriend just moved in and things are going so well that it makes me wonder how i could ever have hesitated. i have started running again, and though i am not nearly in the shape i once was, i am beginning to feel proud of myself. the weather is hot and sunny, but not humid. i am reading several books, i spend a lot of time drinking coffee, i am taking a summer course, like i said, things are looking swell.

except for one thing. my job. i have a job. technically. you wouldn't know it from the hours i work. actually, i am not even being paid anymore for the hours i go in, because i've used up all my training. and yet, i am still not on the schedule. there is no rush to put us on the schedule.

it is endlessly frustrating. i don't want to push, because, really i am liking this job, and the people, a whole heck of a lot. but at the same time, its been over a month, and well, i am getting ancy. i need to be doing something, putting some money in the bank. i was given the impression in the interview that i would be given weekly hours. and i'm not.

i have an interview on monday for a job that pays ten bucks an hour. and i am excited about it.


you'll have to forgive me for not posting so often. i've done something stupid. i broke my f'n keyboard. now, you may be thinking to yourself, if the keyboard is broken, how is she typing? well. its not completely broken. indeed, its barely broken.

let me tell you the story. my "r" key was giving me a bit of trouble. so, as usual, i pried it off to clean out the dust. (once, i was having the same problem and did the same thing, to find a finger nail clipping underneath. how's that for gross?) but, this time, i broke this miniscule little plastic square that caused the spring motion of the key. so, i called Gateway. i figured they'd just tell me where i could get a new little plastic square. but no. i have to buy a whole new keyboard.

i figured i could avoid the whole mess by heading to the computer district (college and spadina). but, alas, all the vendors were disinclined to break the manufacturer's mandate.

i was stuck.

so i decided to fix it myself. you know, throw a lesser used key on the "r" button. i mean, i would know its really an r. but of course, this experiment just led me to breaking another key. and then another, when i tried it for the third time. i figured if i was going to be forced into buying a new keyboard, i was going to make it worth my while.

so, right now, my keyboard is missing three keys. technically, they still work if i wedge my fingernail onto the little sensitive thingy. but its a pain in the ass.

i ordered the new keyboard. and its going to cost me $90.00. all for the want of a little teeny tiny platic square.

Monday, June 12, 2006

i heart buildings decorated like books

i wish i had some context to add to this rather bizarrely decorated building. but i don't. my aunt beth sent it to me...and i thought it was great, so i am sharing it. and i know, you librarians and archivists you, that you're liking it too.

one half vinegar, one half honey

this is what happened to me today. i went for a run. and then, when i had about forty five minutes to go, a man came in. he wanted to use the tread mill. of which there are two, but one is out of order. (and has been so for over two weeks. don't even get me started.) he informed me that he was waiting and that i had another fifteen minutes. i was pissed. so i told him that i would be off in half an hour (half an hour being the time i would have been on the treadmill since he had been in the room, waiting and which is the amount of time that i have to limit my workout to "officially" when someone else is waiting to use the equipement.) okay, i get that this is how the rules of the gym work. but as people who work out are likely to know, it takes a certain amount of mental prep to complete a work out. when you know you are going to work out, you kinda of prepare for it. i had prepared to do an hour run. i wanted to do an hour run. if i am going to get all sweaty, i am going to go as hard as i can. and i recognize this about other people. several times i have gone to the work out room to find that it is occupied. and so i leave. and i come back. i would never dream of telling someone else to stop using their machine, regardless of the rules. people work out for longer than half an hour. its just the way it is.

but then i felt like an ass. and i apologized and said i would be off at the thirty minute mark, which would mean that i had only been on the machine for half an hour. he just put his water bottle by the machine and said that he would be back in a few minutes. i ended up doing fifty minutes on the tread. which, unfortunately, just goes to show that you get more flies with honey than with vinegar. i hate when that happens.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

i am divided into two halves. one half likes surveys. the other half does not.

you can see which side won today.

i apologize. well, half of me does.

i can't promise that it won't happen again, but if it does, it won't be for a while. and by a while, i mean at least until i am bored again.

Monday, June 05, 2006

did i mention that i love summer?

1. So, what did you do all day?
woke up laaaate. i hate not working a lot of hours. it means that i often sleep the morning away. however, jarrod, julia and i managed to get out butt's to Mel's Montreal Delicatessen for a very late breakfast. to celebrate her last day in the tdot, we brought julia to honest ed's, which really, is a unique experience. our purchases were boring: porridge, brown sugar, some cookies. but jarrod promised me a big stew pot with his first pay check. i'm a luck lady!

2. What is the most expensive thing you've bought recently?
i have been practicing my frugality. unfortunately, the most expensive thing i have bought was groceries. (that must be a lie and yet i can think of nothing else. i have a terrible habit of being frugal and then doing something such as purchasing $100 jeans. its been known to happen.)

3. Last concert (or show) you attended.
last week jarrod and i attended the sean ward show. to say show is perhaps to overestimate it, however, i have no doubt that one day you will all recognize the name sean ward as part of toronto's culture. he's high energy, lots of fun, and he can produce a lot of material. you know, putting his money where his mouth is.

4. Coolest thing you've gotten in the mail lately.
i think it goes back to easter candy. or perhaps randomly spontaneous books from my favourite internet friend. i love both chocolate and books.

5. Describe your favorite article of clothing.
i am not sure i have one. the shirt that popped immediatly into my head is an embroidered peasant style shirt. but, unfortunately, i never wear it because the threads are coming loose. so i always try to save it for "special" occasions, and nothing ever seems special enough.

6. Last video game played.
some z-men game that has currently caught jarrod's fancy. although, he won't let me play anymore because in two player mode, i always refuse to follow him. and i punch a lot of walls.

7. How many CDs do you have by any ONE artist or group?
on actual cd, it would probably be a tough competition between neil young, ron sexsmith and, yes, bon jovi

8. What's for dinner?
hamburger helper!

9. Do you have any collections?
i collect books. however, i prefer to call it a library.

10. What was the last board game you played?

11. Who won?
not me, so it doesn't matter.

12. Do you subscribe to any magazines?
I used to subscribe to popular science. i was such a nerdy kid. then i subscribed to Utne, because i wanted to be alternative. now, i read cosmo, us weekly, and people while waiting to buy my groceries.

13. Last movie you saw at a theater.
The Da Vinci code. i don't care what anyone says. i enjoyed it.

14. Last movie you watched at home.

15. Do you have any special traditions only you or your family does?
i am sure we do. however, i can't think of anything off of the top of my head. i know we have a bunch...i remember missing them in belgium.

16. What was the last thing you created.
potato salad. the spices were a work of art.

17. Are you reading any books right now?
of course. a book about malazon by ian cameron esselmont. dry by augusten burrows. another memoir.

18. Do you remember your favorite book from childhood?
absolutely madeleine l'engel. but also terry brooks.

19. What do you do when you can't fall asleep?
lay in bed and dwell over whatever is keeping me from sleeping. sometimes i'll write about it. but mostly, i am a tosser and turner.

20. Have you ever randomly bumped into a actor/actress/or other generally famous person on the street?
i think i might be the only person alive who has never seen someone famous.

21. Are you more likely to read a book you've never read before if it's been made into a movie?

22. Have you discovered what podcasts are yet?
i know what they are. but i don't listen to them.

23. What is your favorite kind of food that you only get to have once a year?
once a year? what? the nice thing about being an adult (kinda) is that you don't have to live with these kind of dietary restrictions.

24. What's that noise?
Jarrod playing tiger woods and mocking his opponent...using his rather good scottish accent. i think he's losing.

25. Last dvd box set you bought?
bought? whaaat? julia and reebs gave me one for christmas. three years ago.

26. Are there any musical artists that you used to like but don't anymore because their style of music changed too much?
radiohead. maybe i shouldn't have admitted that.

27. Are there any covers you think are better than the original?
absolutely. johnny cage, covering NIN's Hurt. but that's just my opinion. and i like the original too.

28. What food(s) do you go to the store for ASAP when you run out?
rice pudding. milk. eggs. bread. yogurt.

29. Isn't there another appropriate response for "I love you" besides "I love you, too."?
right back at ya, baby!

30. Last new artist that you listened to and really liked.
i really really liked (and still like) the boy least likely to, from the very first time i heard them.

31. Last new one you hated.
hated? nothing off the top of my head.

32. In which country do you wish you'd been born?
anywhere in europe! damn you european union!

33. When was the last time you were scared shitless?
after realizing i didn't bring a key to get in the gate at the cottage, julia and i had to lug two coolers up in the pitch black. while walking, and chatting, a giant monster of unknown origin jumped out of the woods. jarrod got us good. but that's the fun kind of scared. i plan on seeing an inconvinient truth, sooner rather than later, and perhaps that'll do the trick.

34. Do you like it when old ladies refer to you as "Dear", or "Hon", or "Sugar"?

35. What is your favorite physical flaw.
my flat butt!

36. Share a random fact about yourself.
i still sleep with a baby blanket. his name is blankie. i dare you to tease me about it.

37. What's the best field trip you ever went on?
washington, band trip, grade twelve.

38. Have you ever dressed up for Halloween at work?
i worked at a day camp during although it wasn't hallowe'en, i certainly dressed up.

39. Do you have any clothes that you pilfered or inherited from your parents?
my mother and i are not the same body type. that's the politically correct way for saying that she was very petite and that i'm an amazon.

40. How old is "old" to you?

41. What was the last free thing you've gotten?
free t-shirts, thrown out into the stands at the st. mike's game.

42. What's your favorite black and white movie?
its a wonderful world. or something shirley temple.

43. What color would you like to bleed?
red is fine. who cares?

44. Do you know any Furries?

45. If you have a wall calender, what kind is it?
two: one is a vintage arty movie posters and one is a spiderman calendar.

46. Have you ever been to a convention?
actually, i don't think so. unless flea markets count. kind of a used good convention.

47. If you were to dress up as a musician, which one would you be?
cher. god, that's so obvious.

48. Do you have a thing about ruining new stuff by personalizing?
absolutely. the best thing is when someone asks you where you got something and you get to say, "oh, actually, i made this."

49. Ever have those moments when you realize that you somehow just cheated death?
sometimes. once, jeff and i were climbing on this cliff. and we must have had some kind of temporary perception disorder because we were pretty sure that the drop was only about six feet. it was about twenty five. and then jeff got stuck. looking back, its still pretty scary.

50. Does it boggle your mind?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

what? no break?

i have this thing that i do. in three hour lectures, we always get a break halfway. usually this lasts about ten minutes. (though in belgium it was known to go on for half an hour. hmm. and our classes were only two hours long there. did i mention that i love belgium?) so, sometimes, i skip the first half, show up at break, and then attend the second half of class. sometimes, i do the opposite. i leave at the break. however, this is not my preferred method. my reasoning is that a professor is pretty likely to notice when ten students leave at break. and subconciously, they probably look around and think, okay, these students still here, putting up with me, these are the students that i will be a little bit more lenient on. so, i plan on being in that lecture hall whenever this could possibly happen. because, quite frankly, i need all the breaks that i could possibly get. sometimes i wish i was a better student. but most times, i am okay with being average.

now, though, every once in a while, a hitch happens. like today. somehow, i couldn't make myself get out of bed. and then, while running, i only did half my work out, which rarely happens. (i figure once i am there, i might as well go all out.) everything seemed to take me longer today. so, i missed the first half of class. and i am in the inforum waiting for the break. which doesn't seem to be happening. well, at least i am not in the class. my attention span certainly does not last longer than two hours.