Monday, December 29, 2003

I'm just a man. A salesman
So, a couple nights ago, I'm in this bar in Ottawa, meeting some of the milliner's old friends. Most of them have gone the computer route, either having become programmers or whatever. The times being what they are, most of them were now unemployed. Time for them to get out of Ottawa, thinks I. Anyhow, being a stranger to them all, I'm staying kinda quiet. One chick is handing out business cards for her new career, that of finishing quilts. I have no idea what that entails, but she does it. In Calgary. Finish quilts. Which? I have no idea what it is. At one point, she asks me what I do. "Um, I'm a writer..."
"Really!" (I swear to gawd, she left a wet spot on the seat when I said "writer.")
"Um, a tech writer," I clarify. And, no joke, this incredible look of utter disappointment befell her mug: "Oh. Never mind. I guess that's okay."
Okay? Bite me. Right there. Oh yeah. I swear, the next time I'm asked, I'm answering "Fireman!" Or Viking. But only when I sleep. Or communicator. After which I won't say a word. But I'm leaning toward fireman.

They might have gotten it right this time
Going through airports, I've often had to explain what all the shiny metal things in my baggage was for.
Moi: "Have you seen Vertical Limit? Well, remember when that family is hanging on the rope? At the beginning of the movie? They're hanging on these things."
Airport peon: "What, you do that stuff? You're crazy."
Yeah, it's great when the only reference they have is for god-awful, over-the-top movies like Cliffhanger. But, to tell the truth, I sure am looking for to Touching the Void, Joe Simpsons tale of being stuck high up some mountain, both legs shattered from a fall, his partner gone for help. Yeah, I think I'll stick to rock myself. Anyhow, the trailer is here.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Having a karma christmas
Wee hee. As a follow up to yesterday's blog, it turns out that Parmalat, in fact, has been fucked, requesting bankruptcy protection. The only downside is that Saputo is placed to buy them out.
BTW, could there be any better place to eat than Parma, Italy, home of parmesan and prosciutto?

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Pure as milk?
So, it seems that the major milk distributors in Quebec have decided to not collect milk from dairy farmers for the next while, what with this being the holidays and all. Now, since cows will continue to produce milk, this means that the dairy farmers have no choice but to toss the milk, to the tune of 4 500 000 liters, away. Since they're taking the loss anyway, the farmers have offered to give the milk away, as long as the distributors pick up the produce.
Imagine what 4.5 million liters of milk could do for food banks at this time of year. But, no, the distributors can't be bothered. Fuck 'em. Fuck Agropur, fuck Parmalat and fuck Saputo, your godawful cheese and your shady, good-fella business deals.
I'm going back to goat's milk.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Another way to look at all this snow
I've been watching all this snow come down in the past few weeks, I've read all the hair-pulling about how all this snow is an inconvenience to them and their ability to park their cars, and I can't help to look at all this snowy weather as a life saver. Here's how:
-Some folks will drive in this weather,
-Some folks will get into accidents in this weather,
-Some folks will die in these accidents,
-Some of these folks, having reached a higher state of consciousness, will have signed their donor cards,
-The victims' families will allow doctors to harvest the organs,
-Which will then be transplanted to someone (up to 11 someones, actually, per donor) who desperately need the organs.
-One family mourns at Christmas, eleven either rejoice or have greater hope.
Oh, and it makes for great skiing.

Friday, December 19, 2003

Rednecks, meet karma. Karma? Please kick rednecks' asses. Thank you
"Hey, Pa! Brutus here don't warna fight no more. Whatta we gonesa do?"
"Well, boy, let's drown the mutt. What's the worse can happen?"
Hee, the dog survived.

Chocolate salty balls
A co-worker brought in homemade truffles today, and is passing them out freely. Popped a couple in my mouth, my eyes rolling back in ecstasy.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Why I don't go to clubs more often
So, Friday night, as mentioned before, I was floating on the fumes of waaay too many Cosmos. After a while, we moved the festivities from the apartment to Jello. Hey everyone, look: even six years after my last visit, it's still populated by the same fuckwads who were always there. Regardless, I'm beyond caring, the cold and alcohol have rendered my brain useless. I mean, I even accepted waiting 5 minutes in the cold to get in.
We struggle through the crowd, sweating in our winter jackets because, even though the club doesn't mind packing in as many people as it can, as long as there's a way to make a buck, they can't spend a few dollars for extra hangers. I don't know, maybe they're hoping that the pheromones in our sweat will make us just that little more attractive. Yeah, good luck. Get to the bar, where we all pitch in to help keep it up. The bar. Keeping it up. Never mind.
A few more drinks and the pixie in me comes out. There's some dude next to me who, in my altered state, I swear looks exactly like Angel from Buffy, right down to the top two buttons of his pale-blue rayon shirt undone. Mind you, not fat, present-day David Boreanaz Angel, but the thinner one from a few years ago. I'm dragging all the girls over to check him out, and pretty much making fun of him. Why I didn't get my ass handed to me, I'll never know.
But, what really made me laugh during the course of the evening was seeing all the geeky, male-pattern-baldness, approaching-30-and-never-was-cool-in-any-way guys who, in their sad way, not only had a cell phone clipped to their belts, but a pager as well. Now, who in the fuck needs a pager and a cell phone?! And, if they really do, what in the name of all that is good are they doing in a club where they'll never hear the ring or feel the vibration anyhow?
Damn, no wonder they all have the sexual prospects of a eunuch in a petting zoo.

Tips for watching LOTR, Return of the King
Just received this, don't know where it's from, but it sure is funny.
1. Stand up halfway through the movie and yell loudly, "Wait... where the hell is Harry Potter?"
2. Block the entrance to the theater while screaming: "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!" - After the movie, say "Lucas could have done it better."
3. At some point during the movie, stand up and shout: "I must go! Middle Earth needs me!" and run and try to jump into the screen. After bouncing off, return quietly to your seat.
4. Play a drinking game where you have to take a sip every time someone says: "The Ring."
5. Point and laugh whenever someone dies.
6. Ask the nearest ring-nut if he thinks Gandalf went to Hogwarts
7. Finish off every one of Elrond's lines with "Mr. Anderson."
8. When Aragorn is crowned king, stand up and at the top of your lungs sing, "And I did it.... MY way...!"
9. At the end, complain that Gollum was offensive to Ethiopians
10. Talk like Gollum all through the movie. At the end, bite off someone's finger and fall down the stairs.
11. When Shelob appears, pinch the guy in front of you on the back of the neck.
12. Dress up as old ladies and reenact "The Battle of Helms Deep" Monty Python style.
13. When Denethor lights the fire, shout "Barbecue!"
14. Ask people around you who they think is the next "Terminator" sent from the Middle Earth of the future to assassinate Frodo Baggins
15. In TTT when the Ents decide to march to war, stand up and shout "RUN FOREST, RUN!"
16. Every time someone kills an Orc, yell: "That's what I'm Tolkien about!" See how long it takes before you get kicked out of the theatre.
17. During a wide shot of a battle, inquire, "Where's Waldo?"
18. Talk loudly about how you heard that there is a single frame of a nude Elf hidden somewhere in the movie.
19. Start an Orc sing-a-long.
20. Come to the premiere dressed as Frankenfurter and wander around looking terribly confused.
21. When you see Sauron's eye, stand up and yell, "It looks like a flaming vagina. I hear penecillin is good for that".

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Yeah, yeah, it's snow
Get over it. It happens every year. BFD.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

A hard lesson learned
Indulging in many, many Cosmos on a Friday leaves you with a horrible, horrible hangover on a Saturday. My head, my head.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Strange, I always considered myself a new romantic
Besides that, it's pretty spot on. Thanks to Shatnerian.
You're a Post-Punk. You know 70s punk was cool, but
it was mostly just a stepping stone for the
greater intellectualism of what would come
after. The 80s were amazing. You quite possibly
have huge hair, and may wear lots of black.
Snare drums need reverb. Lots and lots of
You Know Yer Indie. Let's Sub-Categorize.
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Stronger, higher, faster, more exposed
You know, you have to feel for post-Olympic athletes. Here are folks who have dedicated their lives to become the best they can be and, hopefully, the best in the world. They've trained several hours a day, 6 days a week, for years and years to achieve their goals. Of course, the use of performance-enhancing drugs sure do help: Ask any American or Eastern European athlete, along with our own sprinters, who we're quick to declare are originally from other countries if ever they're caught.
Regardless, once the competitions are over, what is left for these fine, upstanding folks to do? Sure, Sylvie Frechette got a lovely gig at the Cirque's O in Vegas, Caroline Waldo has (had?) a sportscaster gig in Ottawa, but what of the rest? I'm thinking particularly about figure skaters. These are folks who have spent countless dollars on coaches, choreographers and, most importantly, costume makers. Their success rests heavily on judges' benevolence. They have lost gallons, gallons! of tears over the years, waiting for their scores, smiling and waving to the cameras. They have to rent extra storage for all those plush toys that are thrown at them after their performance.
And, for what? What's left for them after the accolades? If they're lucky, they might get second or third billing on some tacky touring ice show, with stops at every manky backwater town from coast to coast. If they're not so lucky, they probably have to don some ridiculous Disney-inspired mascot costume and skate around, second-fiddle, to the stars of the show. So, it warms my heart, and other parts of my anatomy, to see that Jamie Salé has, um, expanded her horizons, exploring new possibilities.
You know, I still think she's a dog.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Riding in a two-horse open sleigh
Well, actually, a cart. I'll get to that.
Getting into the Xmas spirit here. Saturday, the milliner & I headed out to Ile-Perrot, to Quinn farms. S had this notion that it would be fun to cut down our own Xmas tree. "What, you want to go into the woods and cut down some tree? That's illegal, you know," says I. But no, apparently, and I've never heard of this in all my time, you can actually pay someone to cut down their tree. Yes, you the client do the work. So, we looked around on the Internet (another thing I learned: not only can you download a lot of free porn from the 'Net, you can actually find things too. Who knew?), found a place near Montreal, and drove out Saturday afty.
So, the deal is, it comes to $35 to tree, with $5 for the sleigh ride. Being the perspicacious couple that we are, we assumed that if you paid the $35, the sleigh ride was included. Not quite. So, $50 later—$45 for the tree & ride, an extra $5 for the lovely fudge at the cash (can you say impulse buying?)—we wait around inside, outside, wherever, just to spend the time when the cart (no snow, no sleigh) picks us up. Huge horses. Freezing. Windy. Just brutal. The snow hadn't started yet, it was really bitter out. Anyhow, the cart comes along, and we all pile in. Everyone's completely bundled up against the wind. The milliner and I look around, admiring all the lovely little children who are there with their folks. Man, why didn't we have such colourful winter clothes when we were younger, instead of those Model-T one-piece snowsuits that were impossible to move in and remove when nature called? Everyone's freezing, the kids are having fun nonetheless, when the milliner and I suddenly realised that, hey, we're the only couple here without a brood. "Ah, honey," says I in one of my more supremely sympathetic and diplomatic moments, "we're barren." Silent treatment. Preceded by a punch to my shoulder. Hard.
We arrive to the tree plot, find a nice red spruce (picea rubra don't ya know), about 6 feet high, takes about 20 seconds to saw down. Thank Loki, 'cause it was still fucking cold out. Head back to the cart. Wait another 30 minutes, while everyone else is finding and cutting down their own tree. Huge trees. I mean, 20-foot trees, 15-foot trees, every tree at least twice the size of ours. "Wow," I remarked, "I wonder how much they'll have to pay for those trees." I, of course, was having one of my blond moments, because I had forgotten that the $35 paid for any sized tree.
All said and done, we shove the tree in the milliner's tiny, 13-year-old Civic, and head back to town, this time through blinding snow. With summer tires. Get to her place, and then I'm sent out into the storm to pick up food, having to pay for the afternoon's transgressions. But hey, at least we have a tree. Which I'm going to decorate with hundreds of Kinder toys.

Friday, December 05, 2003

Um, no thanks
Has anyone seen that Visa commercial, those two guys lying back, discussing why they won't participate in certain sports? And then the camera pulls away to show them in a portaledge? BTW, for the sake on ongoing goodwill when big-wall climbing, partners sleep head to foot. Just saying.
I digress. Anyhow, at some point in the commercial, one guy is asked whether he would ever surf, to which is answered a big fat no. After seeing this picture, I have to agree.

Gollum in da house
I guess, after the irrational hoopla over this whole Lord of the Rings trilogy thingy is over, Gollum can have a career in rap.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

You'll poke an eye out with those things
Anyone here need some glazier work done? I tell you, it's so cold out that my nipples are hard enough to cut glass.
Thought you would like to know.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Wake up in the morning...
The milliner was off on vacation last week, so she spent half that time cleaning up the detritus that is her apartment, after which she went to Toronto to catch up with her friends and family. Acquiescing to her request, I took Friday off and rode the train to join up with her. (Am I the only one who enjoys the nostalgia that comes when taking a train?) Anyhow, I get to the station, step out into pouring rain. Some guy is selling flowers, and offers me a dozen roses for a ten spot. Being a hopeless romantic and cheap to boot, I figure I'll score some brownie points. The milliner picks me up and we drive to her aunt's. I get introduced, the milliner points out that she has roses, at which point the aunt concludes that I got them for her. Hey, double brownie points!
Anyhow, I'm told that we're going out that evening for her cousin's 30th b-day, and that, oh, Spike will be there. What?!, James Marsters?, that hunka-hunka burning living-dead hunk? Score! I could get tips on improving my six-pack. Um, no, Amanda Stepto, the other Spike, the one from Degrassi High. Oh. OH! One of the main characters in my early pubescent fantasies. ("Oooo, I am sooo blogging this.") Were I Callum Keith Rennie in Last Night, I would have tried to get another notch on my list, IYKWIM.
The next night, we join up with a long-time friend of mine at a working-class dive for a night of... karaoke. (Un)fortunately, I didn't drink enough to obtain the liquid courage necessary to make an even bigger fool of my usual self. Granted, being with a cast member of the Broadway production of Mamma Mia didn't help either.
Anyhow, ate a lot on the weekend, drank a lot on the weekend, spent way too much on the weekend.