Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Note to self: You don't like Lindeman's Bin 65 Chardonnay. Yes it's highly-rated and reasonably priced and keeps turning up on lists and has a yummy-sounding description on the label. But you don't like it, so stop buying it!

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

My local Blockbuster does not have The Princess Bride! INCONCEIVABLE!

Monday, December 29, 2003

I need the following:

1. A hairdresser who has long hair herself (long means at LEAST past the shoulder blades, preferably past the waist).

2. Machine-washable black or charcoal pants with pockets, size 14, that can handle a 12-inch difference between waist and hip circumferences without gaping in the back and look more appropriate on a 23-year-old than on a 63-year-old.

3. Someone to explain to me how necessary it is to take Introductory Harmony before Grade 3 Harmony if you already have Grade 2 Rudiments.

Saturday, December 27, 2003

An analogy, for the reference of anyone who might be able to use it:

Secularism is a religion to the same extent that abstinence is a sex act.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Speaking from personal experience, this story is not so much indicative of the Canadian experience as it is indicative of the Dundas experience.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

I have made a decision. Until I tire of doing so, I will eat dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner. The inspiration for this came this morning as I sipped my coffee, persued the Star, and pondered what to eat for breakfast. I came upon this article about a guy who eats pasta for breakfast every day. "Oooh, pasta! That sounds good!" my stomach said. Since it's the weekend and I already had some cooked pasta in the fridge, I figured why not? So I put some cooked pasta in a bowl and smothered it with cheese and tomato sauce as is my custom, and ate it for breakfast.

My digestive system handled it just fine even though it was the first thing I'd eaten that day (my digestive system is very picky about my first meal of the day), and it was quick and filling and yummy. Plus pasta has this strange talent for making me happy, so pasta for breakfast makes me much happier than my habitual breakfast. Perhaps I should do this more often?

Then I was reminded of a school of thought that it is preferable to eat your largest meal first thing in the morning and your smallest meal for dinner. I've never been able to do this because of morning time restraints and my digestive system's sensitivity to breakfast foods in the morning. But I habitually have a big bowl of pasta for dinner. So, I thought, what if I have my big bowl of pasta for brekkie (which gives me all day to metabolize it), my habitual lunch of two of soup, salad, and sandwich, and for dinner graze on fruit, eggs, and bread, which is my typical breakfast food?

Best case I might lose weight under this scenario. No heavy meal before bed, and fruit, eggs and bread are quick so I won't end up snacking while I make dinner because dinner will be right there, snack style. The only drawback is that I'll have to have cooked pasta prepared at all times, but that shouldn't be too difficult. Worst case I hate it and go back to eating like a normal person. We'll see what happens.
A favour? From anyone? Next time you go to see ROTK, glance at your watch when the spider scene is over. How long into the movie when it's over? 30 minutes? 1 hour? As accurately as possible please. Also, are there any other key plot points that happen before the spider?

Friday, December 19, 2003

I just remembered possibly the most bizarre thing I did in childhood:

In kindergarten, we had a sandbox. And in the sandbox we had this game we made up. I forget how the game went, but I distinctly remember that it was called "We're Making Food for the Robber."
I'm bored! Seriously! BORED! WTF is wrong with me?

Thursday, December 18, 2003

As a public service, the Rules For Very Crowded Public Transit.

1. If you are not getting off at this exact stop, MOVE AWAY from the doors. If you are in the process of getting on, your mission the instant you set foot in the vehicle is to move as far away from the doors as possible.

2. Never, ever, ever EVER stop right in front of the subway doors. There's always someone who wants to get on behind you.

3. If you are standing near an empty seat, sit down in it. If someone who needs it more than you do is nearby let them sit down, but if they're on the other side of the bus take the seat yourself. Standing in front of an empty seat = taking up enough room for two.

4. After people from the stop before yours finish loading, you may stand up and move towards the doors. This is the earliest possible moment you are permitted to move towards the doors.

5. If you see more people getting on after you, start sardining. Fill in every possible space. If there's room after they've finished boarding you can move away from your neighbours.

6. Try to let people whose hands are full stand near walls and poles.

7. Sit your preschool child on your lap.

8. If you see a parent with more than one child, and neither of those children is within reach of a pole, let the poor kid sit down! The parent needs one hand to hold on to something and therefore can only hold one kid's hand, and children can't reach the plentiful ceiling rail thingies.

9. Sit with your legs together. No one actually believes your dick is that big.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

A lot have things have been invented lately, but for some reason we tend not to call them "inventions".
An inappropriate combination of three totally random thoughts, in the order in which I thought of them:

1. Apparently Peter Jackson claims to be an arachnophobic. An arachnophobic would NOT have come up with what is apparently the single worst spider in cinematic history. A real arachnophobic would not even have been able to read that chapter of the book! Memo to Peter Jackson: when you make the DVD, make sure Shelob is in its own chapter with at least 30 seconds of forewarning, so we can just skip to the next chapter and avoid nightmares. Same for if you feel the need to put images of Shelob in the documentaries.

2. Poverty, true poverty, epitomized. (Because it seems to constantly change, cycle through until you get to the Afghan picture)


Tuesday, December 16, 2003

There's sexual harrassment in early MASH episodes. It ruins the whole thing.
Way early star trek has better incidental music
I did laundry. Then I put my pjs on straight out of the dryer. There are few things in the world as perfect as warm jammies.
Things that really really do not need to be decorated for xmas:

- Television and radio station IDs
- Take-out food
- Everyday consumer products like pop and toilet paper
- Muzak
- Print media, with the possible exception of the single issue of any publication that is printed on or closest to xmas.

Speaking of print media, when did the maple leaf disappear from the Globe and Mail's masthead? (If this is appropriate use of the word masthead - the big title on the front page). I only noticed it yesterday and a quick prowl through the recycle box showed that it has been gone all week, but when did it disappear?

Monday, December 15, 2003

I'm home sick today, so if you feel inclined to bring a welcome interruption to my 3:00 ennui, don't bother today. :)

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Saddam Hussein now bears a striking resemblance to my father. So do Osama bin Laden and new cabinet minister David Anderson.
I'm watching the documentaries on my LOTR DVD, and they're discussing how they wrote vocal operatic pieces in Tolkien languages for various parts of the soundtrack. I'm watching this and I'm like "Singing? Where's he singing?" Then they show final examples from the final cut, and it turns out there is vocal there, it just goes so well with the movie I never even noticed the music!

Friday, December 12, 2003

I am boycotting Subway because I find their policies on religious headgear unacceptable. It is not only an issue of religion, it is an issue personal modesty. Forbidding Sikhs to wear their turbans is like forbidding any of your employees to wear shirts.

If you happen to agree with me on this position, I encourage you to contact Subway and let them know. If you decide to boycott, be sure to mention it to them.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

This is just to disseminate this idea to a further audience.

150402840 indeed!
So why do women think men are stupid? Because men become stupid when women are around!

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

If I could reorder the entire mindset of the human race and undo millenia of social conditioning, I would change the "rules" so that a person's life partner and their sexual partner are in no way expected to be the same person.

Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with marriage and monogamy - this is the direction in which I choose to lead my own life. But when you think about it, a spouse fulfills two very different functions, and when looked at detachedly they don't necessarily seem complementary.

One is the life partner - a person with whom you share your household and finances and families and the trials and tribulations of day to day life. The life partner is practically a business contract.

The other function is the lover, which is self-explanatory.

Now I know in many many cases couples manage to successfully amalgamate these two functions, but if you think about it from a detached, purely logical perspective, it's a bit extreme to expect a person who can fulfill your needs as a life partner to also be able to fulfill your needs as a lover, and vice versa. There is a certain degree of love required to trust someone enough to be your life partner, of course, but a platonic life-partner relationship could carry on quite well without the kind of love generally associated with a sexual relationship. For example, I can think of about five people I know personally with whom I could plausibly be life partners for as much of eternity as I can conceptualize at age 22. But I can only think of one person whom I would choose as a permanent sexual partner. A life partner requires so much more that has nothing to do with romance - agreeing on managing money, compatible standards of cleanliness, buying furniture, dealing with insurance, even sleeping (by which I mean sleeping) in the same bed - that it's practically unreasonable that the pool of people who can meet these requirements has to be narrowed down to people who would also make compatible lovers. Promiscuity wouldn't need to be a necessary characteristic of this society, a pair of lovers could be monogamous if they wanted and monogamy could even be mainstream. Your perma-lover simply wouldn't have to also be your life partners.

The other problem here would be what to do about children, since they originate from sex but are part of a family and household. Since we're reordering the universe anyway, I think the simplest solution would be to make society matrilineal and matriarchical. And because the concept of sexual fidelity to one's life partner wouldn't exist, the fathers wouldn't be as bothered by the fact that they're sharing the household with another man's child. Of course, there would be more people involved in the decision of whether to have a child, but we'll deal with that when we come to it.

And no, I'm not condoning adultery (unless, of course, it's by mutual consent of all parties involved, and even then I still find it distasteful). I'm talking about a hypothetical reordered society. In our current society spouses, by definition, are expected to fulfill both these functions for their partners, and anyone who doesn't want to do so shouldn't enter into that sort of relationship. In the reordered society the concept of adultery wouldn't exist for the same reason that in our society there is no word for consensual sex within a maritial relationship that has the "sinful" connotation.
I thought of a game, but I don't have a catchy name for it. It's like six degrees of separation, but you take someone you already know directly, and find a secondary route linking you and that person. The rule is that there has to be at least one person in the chain that neither of the two people at the end knows.

For example: Bob is a former co-worker. So I know Bob directly. So to find a secondary chain:

1. Bob used to go to high school with George.
2. George is friends with Mike.
3. Mike used to be in a band with Dan.
4. Dan used to go to high school with me.

Bob doesn't know Mike or Dan, and I don't know George or Mike, so this route is valid.

You have to take the shortest possible secondary route, so no inserting extra people just to have someone you don't know in there. For instance, in the example above, if I knew George directly, Mike and Dan would have to be removed, and this route wouldn't be valid because the two ends (me and Bob) would know everyone in the middle (George).

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Two unanswerable questions:

1. Did previous wars undergo as much media spin as this Iraq debacle?

2. Since Star Trek characters seem to get possessed by various alien beings fairly frequently, do they teach them how to handle this situation at Starfleet Academy?
Question for people who are not afraid of bugs at all: what do you do when there's a bug in your home? (Or, if you are afraid of some, but not all, bugs, if there's a bug that you aren't afraid of in your home) For argument's sake, let's say there's no one else in the household who is afraid of bugs. Do you kill it? Do you let it outside? Do you just let it wander around and mind its own business?

Monday, December 08, 2003

Why isn't Platform 9 3/4 hooked up to the Floo Network? I know that having to get there the Muggle way often provides a nice plot device, but it's illogical and also encourages that oh-so-annoying "Cars in fanfic" phenomenon.

In other news, I have FUZZY RED PANTS!

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Anyone remember those pants they had in the 80s with an elastic at the back half of the waist and no elastic at the front half? What was the point of those? I know that personally the front part of my waist expands and contracts as I eat and breathe (sometime I think I would be a lot more comfortable in my clothes if I hadn't done five years of intensive music stuff in high school, which drilled diaphragm breathing into me so much that I have to make a conscious effort to breathe from my chest), but I can't think of any factor that would cause the back of my waist to expand.
It occurs to me that I should want to write. But I don't want to write. Generally someone in my position would write as a hobby - it's a characteristic of my profession - and with my long bohemian hair pulled up in a bun with a pencil my intellectual glasses perched on my nose, sipping inexpensive red wine in my tiny shabby urban flat, the aesthetics of the situation are simply begging me to be a frustrated author. I should have the Great Twenty-First Century Novel kicking around in my head. I should have a short story and a screenplay on the go. I should have been doing NaNoWriMo. I should at the very least be taking out my frustrations with by writing fic and erotica and posting them on pathetic sites for amateur writers. But I'm not. I have no desire to write. Occasionally I come up with stuff - a scene, a plotline, a snippet of dialogue, a movie trailer - but just coming up with it makes me happy. I have no desire to flesh it out, get to know the characters, map out the plot arc, I don't even need to write it down. I think of stuff, it lives in my head, I'm happy.

So much for being an intellectual.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

I feel better days when I exercise in the morning. I can think better, my joints are less stiff, the day goes by quicker. Unfortunately, I hate hate HATE loathe and detest exercising! It's annoying and bothersome and I'd much rather be asleep.

On that note, goodnight.
Happy news of the day: Enza finally got her breasts! YAY for her!

Stupidity of the day: The Ontario tories suggesting that raising the minimum wage is a bad thing because the minimum wage earners whose wages will increase will then have to pay taxes on their increased wages.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

I am the most talented sleepwalker in the world - I changed my underwear in my sleep last night!

I sleep in a sweatsuit, so last night, while I was asleep, I managed to remove my pants, remove my underwear, open the correct drawer of my dresser, select a pair of underwear, put the new underwear on, and put my pants back on. When I woke up, the underwear drawer was open, the discarded underwear were on the floor, my pants were on the right way, but the new underwear was on inside out, although I did get my legs through the leg holes and the waist through the waist hole.

Upon inspection, I couldn't figure out what was wrong with the old underwear that made me discard it, but at any rate it's the most interesting sleepwalk I've ever done.

Sunday, November 30, 2003

This is a poll, please answer in the comment section.

Picture a spreadsheet that's intended to be a timesheet for an employee. On one axis, you have the days of the month. On the other axis, you have the various tasks you did that day. For each task, you enter the amount of time you spent on it that day. Every row and every column totals itself at the end, so you can quickly see how much time was spent on each task in a month, and how many hours were worked in a day.

Do the days go down the side and the tasks across the top, or vice versa?

Friday, November 28, 2003

It occurs to me that if it weren't for my arachnophobia I would probably be living off the grid. The vast majority of my lifestyle choices are, directly or indirectly, made either to avoid spiders or to help cope when I do encounter one.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

I'm looking for a jpg or gif of Strongbad's "Eating One Battery...Eating Five Batteries" diagram. Both diagrams in the same image. Preferably small - it's for my LJ icon. Just posting this in case anyone happens upon one before I get my lazy ass into Photoshop.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

With Advent almost upon us, I'd like to remind the world of the One True Plan for Improving the Universe:

IF you are in charge of a non-religious-affiliated public space, institution, or facility, or involved in the public relations of such an organization, AND

IF your public space, institution, or facility has decided to put up seasonal decorations on its physical plant and/or use seasonal themes in its public relations material, AND

IF someone, anyone, even one person complains that the seasonal theme in your decorations and/or public relations material is not religious enough,

THEN the proper course of action is not to have any seasonal themes whatsoever in anything having to do with your organization ever again in the future.

Thank you for your time and attention.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Ugh, bad bad bad reporting in the Toronto Star today. Even for a fluff section. In ID, the issue is "to have kids or not to have kids". They address people who have kids. They address people who don't have kids yet. They address people who don't want kids yet. They don't address people who can't have kids, or people who don't want kids ever! They make the whole thing out to be "Do you want kids when you're very young, or when you're a bit older?"

Then there's this crap. They start with the premise that women in their 20s, especially young 20s, are having fewer kids than they did in the past. Decent premise, backed up with statistical data. But the rest of the article is sloppy and lazy. "Talk to people in their 20s..." they begin, and proceed to interview a bunch of people who are 20, with the exception of one who's 21. Nothing wrong with being 20 or 21, but it's certainly not representative of "people in their 20s". Plus everyone they interview is a student. That's the reason for not having kids right there - it's not the people's age, it's the fact that they're students. They haven't had their first grownup job, their "permanent address" is likely still the parental home. Functionally, they haven't completely finished being children themselves. It has nothing to do with a paradigm shift or a cultural revolution, it's the fact that the U of T student who wrote this probably didn't even leave campus to do his interview (reflecting poorly on student journalists who can at least do decent research).

To further the poor impression of student journalists that this article must be giving the world, he makes statements like the following:

- "The break-up, get-together relationships that twentysomethings love, aren't really conducive to child-bearing, either". People LOVE serial monogamy and constant break-ups?

- "Now that women are rountinely able to have children into their 30s..." Women have always been able to have children into their 30s in modern history! I know doctors often encouraged people to stop at 35, but that's certainly "into their 30s"

Finally, after mentioning that in the 1950s women between 20 and 24 had babies at four times the current rate, they neglect to mention the two real causes of this!

1. In the 1950s, it was much easier to support a family on the money you could earn with a high school education! Now it is much harder to do that, so when people are finally able to support a family they are older.

2. Family planning is much easier and more widely available now. In the 1950s, people had more kids just because they likely had no mechanism in place to prevent them from producing a baby when they had intercourse. Now people have more choice.

Overall, as the target audience of this section, I'm disappointed and rather insulted. Do better next time!

Monday, November 24, 2003

A pet peeve: people who say you should learn Latin in order to understand basic grammatical theory and make it easier to learn other languages.

If you want to learn Latin for geek value, for fun, to be elite, for vaster academic purposes, that's fine. But if you want to understand basic verb tense theory in order to learn European languages, just studying any European language will do just fine! Latin does have the advantage of Romantic word origins (because I always forget if that's entymology or etymology, and the other one is very icky) in combination with Germanic/Slavic cases, but neither is that difficult to learn on its own, and if you're never going to speak a language that doesn't have cases and declension there's no point in learning one that does just to help you with your verb tenses.

The worst instance of this I've ever seen was someone asking a web community whether they should learn French or Latin. So many people advised them to study Latin, because then it would be much easier to learn other Romantic languages. Um hello, the same thing happens if you study French, plus you'll end up speaking a viable, living, European and world language!

This over-enthusiasm for Latin is akin to encouraging someone study Harmony and Counterpoint before even picking up an instrument. Or learning how to balance chemical equations before mixing baking soda and vinegar to watch them explode.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

People talk about whether the arts or the sciences are harder (as subjects studied in uni), but I think the fine arts, particularly the performing arts, are hardest. Fine arts majors have to study academic subjects, AND rehearse for performances. You can bullshit an essay, you can even bullshit a lab writeup with a bit of research and ingenuity, but you can't bullshit a performance. If you haven't studied for an exam you can usually still squeeze out a passing grade with some logic and ingenuity, but you can't fake a performance you haven't rehearsed for.

I took everything in high school - english, maths, sciences, languages, social sciences, and music - and it was music that required the most effort and the most consistent effort on my part. I could usually do okay on a physics test by quickly memorizing the key formulae on someone else's study sheet in the last 10 minutes of lunch time, I could usually do okay on a French test by conjugating the verbs like similar verbs and going with the "it sounds right" rule for prepositions, but I simply could not get through a performance test in music without spending at least half an hour a day working on the sixteen notes and the tricky part and training myself not to have to breathe for twelve bars.
Monty Python randomness

John Cleese: "So in three years, you've spotted no camels."
Eric Idle: "That's right, in only three years!"

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Jimmy can tech support toilets over ICQ! Ten points!

Friday, November 21, 2003

I've heard a lot of people bitching about the fact that TTC drivers get paid $20-25 per hour. Don't the realize that, in the grand scheme of things, that isn't a lot of money? It's certainly not NOT a lot of money, but if you do the math and see what that comes out to per year, it's a reasonable income, especially considering Toronto housing costs. I earn on the low end of that scale and I have no financial problems with just myself alone, but if I had a child I'd have to be on a tight budget. This isn't unskilled labour they're doing - if you take transit or drive on a street where transit vehicles run, these people are responsible for your safety. They certainly deserve a reasonable salary for that responsibility. I know that salaries are currently the TTC's biggest operating expense, but I don't think that punishing the employees would improve the situation.

Just for laughs, the stupidest proposal I've heard to address the situation: "The TTC is inefficient. The drivers make way too much money! What they should do is hire a CEO, pay him a few million dollars, and have him run it like a business!"

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

So I get a flu shot for the first time since I was young enough that my mother could force me to, and what happens? It turns out this year's flu shot is for the wrong strain of flu! GAH!

On the brighter side, I managed to get my health card renewed on the first try and with only 30 minutes out of my life. They say it take 4 weeks to arrive, so I might even get it before the old one expires!

Hopefully this bureaucratic good fortune will extend to Friday when I try yet again to get my G1.

Monday, November 17, 2003

It just occurred to me that there's a serious logical flaw in Secret Keeper theory in the Harry Potter world. Why don't people just keep their Secret Keeper secret?

For example, James didn't want Voldemort to find his family so, before everything went to shit, he made Sirius his Secret Keeper. Now no one could find James or his family unless Sirius told them. Now a sensible precaution would have been for James to then be Secret Keeper to the Sirius. So no one could find Sirius unless James told them, and no one could find James unless Sirius told them. (Yes, it would be impractical to go about life without anyone being able to find you at all, but since both families in question were independently wealthy and talented wizards, this shouldn't pose too much of a problem in this case.)

Quelle geek suis-je.
I was at Radio Shack looking at some gizmos. I decided I wanted to purchase one of the gizmos. However, the gizmo I was looking at was a display model, taken out of the package and tied to the shelf with a security cable. I looked around, and I couldn't see these gizmos in packages available for purchasing anywhere. So I went home.

The moral of the story: If you want me to buy things in your store, make sure they are actually there.
They should invent sleeping pills that last for only 2-4 hours. For when you're closer to wake-up time than bedtime, still can't sleep, and are getting desperate.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

My LJ is now here. I'm in the process of switching over friends lists and shit.

Friday, November 14, 2003

If anyone reading this is interested in inventing chemicals that alter the way the human brain works, I've got an idea: an anti-rape drug.

Some rapes are triggered by lust/horniness, and others are triggered by anger or hatred. This drug targets the latter.

There is a part of the brain that behaves a certain way when a person feels anger or hatred. There is also a part of the brain that behaves a certain way when a man gets an erection. So what the anti-rape drug would do is prevent the erection part of the brain from working when the anger/hatred part of the brain is active.

How to get people to take this drug?

1. Require sex offenders to take it on a regular basis as a condition of parole.
2. If you don't want your army raping people, require your army to take it. (Plausible for some armies, not for others)
3. Put a sniffable version in pepper spray.
4. Require it to be added to viagra.
5. Require it to be added to steroids.
6. When a version is perfected without side effects, dump it in the world's drinking water!

This doesn't address lust-related rape, but it could at least cut down on rape as hate crime.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

So I went to get a flu shot like a good girl. I was prepared: I knew that they gave you the shot in the upper arm, so I wore a blouse whose sleeves could roll up past my bicep and tricep, and I wore a strappy tank-top underneath just in case.

So I get to the flu shot place. I was surprised to see that they were giving people shots out in the open. I'd thought it you would at least behind a screen! But I bravely sat down in the chair and started rolling up my sleeve.

The nurse looked dubiously at my long-sleeved blouse, but I said "Don't worry, it will roll up far enough" as I worked the sleeve up my arm. "How high up do you need to be able to reach?" I asked as my French cuff passed my elbow. "I need to get your deltoid" she said.

Deltoid. Oh. My cuffs can't get past the bottom of my deltoid. Damn weight training!

I look around. Behind me in line there are three frat-boy asshole types and a gaggle of 12-year-old boys. I'm in plain view of all of them.

It's one thing to unbutton three buttons of your blouse and slip your shoulder out revealing a spaghetti strap, the satiny trim of your bra, and perhaps a glimpse of cleavage when you're behind a screen with a medical professional. It's quite another thing to do this in front of that three frat-boy-asshole types and a gaggle of 12-year-old boys.

I quickly pulled down my sleeve, gathered my things, and scurried off, apologizing for having waster her time.

Moral of the story: wear a fucking t-shirt!

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Cecilia Zhang is still missing. The last time she was in the news was one week ago.

This probably means they have no reason to believe that she isn't still alive, but it's tragic that she's no longer in the forefront of everyone's minds.
In the second-last paragraph, it says that Lee Boyd Malvo told a judge that he could read and write.

Interesting, very telling, that either an 18 year old felt it necessary to elaborate that he can, in fact, read and write, or that a judge felt it necessary to specifically ask an 18 year old if he can read and write. You'd think that tous les intervenants would assume that an 18 year old can read and write, and assume that everyone else thinks and 18 year old can read and write. I realize that some people don't have a lot of education, but reading and writing are taught rather early on, no?
Reasons why I am not opposed to the Minto towers:

1. I like living in this neighbourhood, and I want to buy a condo when I have the money. Therefore more condos in this neighbourhood = good thing.
2. This is a transit hub. It is good urban planning to focus development around transit hubs.
3. For me, what makes this neighbourhood a neighbourhood is the fact that it is highly developed and not just a collection of houses. I feel safe on the streets because there are always people walking around, at all hours of the day and night. More residents will only make it better.
People always give Paul Martin credit for getting rid of the federal deficit, but I wonder how much of that he actually did?

It is possible that Mr. Martin sat up all night with a calculator and did it all himself, but it's also possible that he just walked into a room full of accountants and said "Okay people, we need to get rid of this deficit", and then read the results in the House. It's possible that he came up with this "let's reduce the deficit!" idea all by himself, but it's also possible that he was simply told that that's his job for the moment.

Since they're always having "cabinet shuffles", I find it hard to believe that all cabinet ministers are necessarily specialists in the areas in which they are ministers. There can't be THAT many rennaissance men and women! And yet the ministers always seem to get all the credit.

Monday, November 10, 2003

There's this whole thing in the Globe and Mail, starting in Facts & Arguments and spilling over into Letters to the Editor, where women are angsting (or their husbands are angsting on their behalf) about the first time they were ever called Ma'am.

The first time I was ever called Ma'am was when I was 15. Get over yourselves!

Seriously though, I like Ma'am better than Miss. Miss gets carded, and gets her perfectly legal ID over-scrutinized because her hairstyle and makeup have changed slightly since she turned 16. Miss gets followed around by store employees who think she's going to steal something, and then they swoop in for the kill when she has the audacity to pick out a greeting card and carry it with her as she purchases some wrapping paper instead of promptly taking it to the cash register, because Miss OBVIOUSLY wouldn't have enough money for anything more than a simple greeting card. Miss is denied apartments unless her parents sign for her, because the fact that Miss is currently a student means she's OBVIOUSLY going to blow all her money and not make rent. Being Miss is not fun.

Ma'am, on the other hand, is treated with basic adult respect. No one questions her right to browse as she pleases, conduct business transactions, and if someone does card her the pretense is that they are terribly sorry, but Ma'am surely understands that there these bothersome card under 30 laws and we do have to go through certain motions and yes this all looks in order.

Perhaps the true sign of age is not being called Ma'am, but rather forgetting how unpleasant it is to be Miss.

Saturday, November 08, 2003

I just read this article that said that pulling up your socks, fixing your hair, and touching your neck and arms are all signs of flirting.

Those are also all my nervous tics! GAH! After working curing my more unpleasant nervous tics like squeezing my zits and fiddling with my necklace (broke a LOT of necklaces), I though I was left with more respectable nervous tics, but it turns out I'm left with signs of flirting!

Attention world: I AM NOT flirting with you! At all! Ever!

Thursday, November 06, 2003

From the Cool Ideas that would be Impossible to Implement file:

Let's have no sex industry in Toronto. We won't outlaw it, we'll just be too cool for it and stop using the existing sex industry until there's no demand. Then when tourists come looking for the sex industry, our collective pretense is that WE don't need a sex industry because WE can get laid whenever we want without paying for it. "So what do I do now?" says the tourist, aghast and agog. We briefly look at them like they're stupid, and then, as though it's the most obvious thing in the world, say "Go seduce someone, of course!" We'll become internationally known as the city that's Too Cool for Stripclubs.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Attention world: If you ever need to send a document to a translator, make sure it's written in complete sentences. If it isn't written in complete sentences, make the person who wrote it originally rewrite it in complete sentences.

This has been a public service announcement.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

I now have an LJ Nothing there yet though.
Nyquil made me sleep for seven hours, wake up to go pee, and then sleep for another five hours. Which almost completely cured my cold, but made me late for work. All that's left is a headache - I feel like my head is going to fall off! I'm pondering going to bed early, but the second half of that documentary on string theory is on tonight and I've been looking forward to it, and I don't have a VCR so I can't just tape it.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Adventures in drugs!

DayQuil is interesting. It blasts almost all the symptoms (although my right nostril persisted a bit) and leaves the part of my brain that I need for my work at about 90% of its normal function (which is more than I'd have with this cold uncontrolled) but it sends most of the rest of my brain floating off somewhere. The positive side is that the part of my brain that usually whines about being bored while I'm working was contentedly floating around in happyland, but the negative side is that the part of my brain that allows me to quickly identify what language a person is speaking to me in was also off in happyland. So while I was surprisingly productive for having such a brutal code, whenever someone talked to me I'd just stare at them stupidly.

I took Tylenol Cold&Flu Night last night because it usually gets me to sleep quickly. I think it did get me to sleep, but I'm pretty sure that I was lying in bed asleep dreaming that I was lying in bed awake, tossing and turning, unable to fall asleep. I think it was a dream because in th dream I decided to get out of bed and pay my phone bill, and IRL I haven't received my phone bill for the month yet and I would never pay a phone bill on the 3rd anyway. Then I dreamed that the camp from M*A*S*H was set up in the little park near my parents' house (it's basically a playground, smaller than a soccer field) and I was trying to sneak off with Radar (who was up to my armpit) to go make out somewhere, but we kept being interrupted by nurses with gift certificates.

This morning I noticed that the Tylenol I took last night had expired. Maybe that's why I had such funky dreams. But I got some nice new NyQuil to take tonight, and my plan is to take it at 7:30 so I'll get plenty of sleep, which hopefully means I'll end up taking it by 8:30.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Blerg, still sick. No infection I don't think, but one mother of a cold just out of nowhere. I think I've mastered drugging it into submission though, so I should be able to go to work tomorrow. Reminds me of high school. A perpetual cold for almost the entire year. Five days a week, getting through the week by staring at the weekends. Fantasizing about sleep. So far work hasn't been quite that bad, but I'll confirm or deny that once I've managed work with a cold.

It occured to me in the shower this morning that I want to do grad school for all the wrong reasons. It also occured to me that it would be more responsible put grad school off until I've managed to save up enough money for a down payment on a condo. Then it occured to me that maybe that's just an excuse. Now it occurs to me that maybe it would be better to logic this out when I'm in full control of my faculties.

Saturday, November 01, 2003

Feeling better today. It's amazing what two nights of As Much Sleep As You Want will do! I know I have an ear/throat infection though, but it seems to be going away by itself (these things sometimes do if I tough them out). So I won't be accomplishing anything wonderful today, I'll just be staying home and taking care of me, but hopefully I'll get over this without having to go on antibiotics. Antibiotics really fuck me up.

Friday, October 31, 2003

Why I don't like living alone:

I'm home sick today. I really want to watch a movie. But I don't have any movies, so I'll have to go get one myself.

I'm also going to run out of juice soon, and I'll have to go get that myself too.
Okay, here's the plan: If they can't audit the outgoing government before the election, if they find non-transparent accounting in the post-election audit, the outgoing party has to pay a fine. The fine should be significant enough to be punitive and the amount of the fine should be geared towards the dollar amount of the accounting deception.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

I have a Sylvania microwave. After seven months, it suddenly stopped heating one day. However, it was still under warranty, so Canadian Tire was willing to exchange it for a new one.

I know this is of no concern to anyone reading this, I'm just putting it in the public domain for people who happen to be googling to learn about the quality and performance of Sylvania microwaves.
WARNING: Gator is changing its name! Constant vigilance!

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

I was watching this really cool documentary on string theory. I didn't understand string theory when they taught it to us in OAC, but I understood what was going on in this doc and I haven't had any further physics training since (and that was five years ago) so they could explain things well. It turns out that I can believe in photons under string theory (I can't believe in them under quantum or general relativity), but I'm not sure if I can actually believe in string theory as it stands now. It's a lot more plausible to me with 11 dimensions than with 10 though. Ten is far too neat for a theory of everything.
Yeah, the article and the work it's reviewing are both stupid and over simplistic. But I can't help but wonder what they'd think about me. I'm 22 and childless. I don't ever want to have children. I don't want to advance too far in my career. I don't want to be in management at any point, never mind be an executive. I don't want to add more stress to my life to earn six figures when I can easily get by on less than half of that. I don't want to have to think about my work out side of 9-5 M-F. I feel no need to change the world myself, although I will spend time pressuring my elected representatives to do so. And when I die only those who knew me personally might remember me.

Analyse that!
I am so depressed. I so have SAD! I wanted to blog about a couple of articles I read, but I'm just too grumpy to go find them. I wanted to buy coffee and a flashlight, but I was feeling too antisocial to carry out the transactions. I need to write my grandmother a thank-you note, but I can't summon the appropriate enthusiasm for three lines of profuse thanks. I had my spaghetti, I had my Harry Potter fic, and the grumpiness hasn't gone away! It's only 6:30 but it feels so much later. All I want is for it to be light out when I leave work! I could really use some good phone time, but there's no one around to call right now.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Whenever I see a car commercial, it makes me wonder how bad a new car could possibly be. They all talk about how great they handle and stuff, but do new cars ever handle badly? I know that some last longer than others and some have better safety ratings than others, but is there any difference when they are brand new?
Anyone out there know what truffle essence is? Is it animal or vegetable?

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Either my hands got fat or my rubber gloves shrank. Can rubber gloves shrink?
It is so dark so early! On nights before I go to work, my habit is to have a glass of wine around 8. So when I noticed that it was pitch black outside, I turned on the TV to watch the Simpsons and was about to pour myself some wine, when I realized that it was only 6:20! GAH! I am not going to get used to this! I shudder to think of that point in the bleak midwinter when the sun will set before I even leave work.

The extra hour of sleep you get at the end of daylight savings time was of more value to me as a student. As a student, I'd catch up on as much sleep as I needed to, and I'd still have plenty of time to do my chores and catch up on homework before the end of the weekend. Now that I don't have homework that needs doing, this extra hour was nice but not nearly as necessary. However, it did result in my "sleeping in" until 8 am, so hopefully that will give me the push I need to get through the week.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Either my current mental age is 9 years old, or my mental age has been 22 ever since I was 9 years old. Since the age of 9 I have developed various skills, ranging from effectively communicating complex technical concepts to clothing and grooming a female body that fits no template, I have not grown mentally or emotionally in any way whatsoever. Either I was very precocious, or it's surprising I can get on in the adult world. Or maybe both
Why I love living alone: right now my bathtub is full of various items of clothing hanging up to dry. And no one is going to complain about them!
I have become One of Those People Who Don't Vote. In the upcoming municipal election, I will not be voting for a city councillor to represent my ward.

Why? Well, in my ward, there are two candidates for city councillor: the incumbent and a challenger. The incumbent has a website on which he sets out his platform. None of his platform issues are of any particular concern to me, and he has stated no position on issues that I care about. I honestly don't care either way whether the actions in his platform get done or not. It doesn't affect my life at all. I have only been living in this ward for six months, so I have yet to see the results of the incumbent's work.

The challenger does not have a website. She is ungooglable. I have not yet received any literature from her campaign, so she is a completely unknown quantity.

I obviously can't vote for the challenger because I know nothing about her, and the fact that the incumbent is the incumbent and has a website is not enough to make him earn my vote. The incumbent has done nothing to make me actively vote against him. and the challenger is so unlikely to win that I have no reason to go to the effort to find out if I should be voting against her.

Therefore, I am leaving the decision up to the rest of my ward. If my ward has reason to hate the incumbent, the challenger will win. If they have no problems with the incumbent's work, he will win. Those who have been here longer than I can decide.

And you know what? Even though I'm not voting for a city councillor, I still might complain about the work of whomever wins! I don't know the challenger's platform, and none of the issues in the incumbent's platform affect me. After the election when an issue that does affect me comes up, I will promptly contact my councillor and let them know what I think. If they act contrary to what I think, I will complain.

If anyone out there thinks that I still don't have the right to complain because I'm not voting, I would really like to know what you'd do in my position.

PS: I am voting for mayor, I do have opinions on the mayoral candidates.
I've been thinking about financial planning lately (what an exciting person I am!) and it occurs to me that the current financial planning industry might not be prepared for my future situation.

Taking into consideration my retirement date as per my pension plan and the longetivity of my ancestors, it is not unreasonable to assume that my retirement will be 50 years long. I have a pension that, initially, will be able to provide quite a comfortable annual income, but this is not adjusted for inflation. If inflation over the next 50 years works out like inflation over the last 50 years (a broad assumption, but I don't know how to predict economic trends), on the day I die my pension will be providing me with the equivalent of $5,000 per year. Of course, I need to save up some money myself, and over 30 years of work it should be easy to save up a nest egg which, if prudently invested, will be able to return enough interest on which to live in a year, but again I doubt I can save up enough to stand up to 50 years of inflation. I won't be getting any inheritance because my parents will have a similarly long retirement so I must assume they will spend all their money, and even if I do end up with an inheritance I will be retired for at least 20 years before that comes to pass. This also means that I might be caring for elderly parents in my retirement. I realize that this is what OAS is for, to keep older people from sinking into poverty like this, but we can't assume that all our social safety nets will be able to survive the baby boomers.

I certainly hope the financial planner people figure out a workaround sometime within the next 30 years!

Friday, October 24, 2003

This is a survey:

Suppose you decide to go sit down in the stall of a public bathroom for reasons other than to use the facilities (ie. to cry, hide, freak out, squeeze your zits, pick your nose, read secret documents, sleep, or otherwise decompress). Do you take down your pants before sitting on the toilet?

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Just found a silverfish. I was walking towards the bedroom (for reasons which I now forget) without my glasses on, when I looked at the wall and saw a shadow. "Strange", I thought to myself, "There isn't usually a shadow there." Then the shadow started walking along the wall. I screamed, and by the way it moved I could tell that it heard me. I always find it weird that they can hear. Then I found my glasses and was relieved to see that it was only a silverfish. I don't like them, but they don't freak me out nearly as much as some other unspeakable things. Now my apartment smells of raid, which is gross. And because they're attracted to humidity, I'm now hesitant do various laundry stuff in the bathroom, which I would have to do to prepare the clothes I was planning to wear to work tomorrow. Luckily tomorrow is Friday and I can wear jeans. Well, technically I can wear jeans any time because officially there is no dress code, but the building we're in has an unspoken dress code, and anyway if I wear jeans I'm more likely to be mistaken for a student and I hate when that happens.

Time to vacuum up the corpse! SENTENCE!
So my mommy came here and exchanged my microwave for me and now I have a functional microwave. And she brought me the scarf that my grandmother made for me and it's so perfect! It's big and warm and perfect! The style is inspired by Harry Potter, but it's red, black, and charcoal to match my winter clothes and no one else in the world has a scarf exactly like it! I'm so happy! I'll post a pic if I can convince my barbie digital camera to do it justice.

I'm so glad tomorrow's Friday though. I spent 2.5 days so far this week doing urgent work and that is so mentally exhausting. Blah. Time for a nice cup of tea, or perhaps hot chocolate now that I have a micro
For some reason I can't sleep, but for some reason I'm not bothered by this. Even though intellectually I know how gross I'm going to feel tomorrow, I just don't care, I'm contentedly awake.

This might be why the Canadian dollar is doing so well lately. This is also why I don't trust any politicians who say that they can have any effect upon the economy.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

My microwave doesn't work. I think the universe hates me :(

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Much better day today! Mi cielito brought me wine and pizza so we had a yummy dinner, and tomorrow he's going to buy a small stash of wine for me to tide me over until I get this ID thing sorted out. YAY!

I'm pondering just getting a driver's licence, but I don't have my little book and I can't remember how many of the questions on the test involve numbers. I certainly know the rules of the road, but I don't necessarily remember how many metres away from a fire hydrant you have to park.

Also, today I saw a dog that was walking itself! It was wearing a leash and carrying the leash in its mouth! So cute!

Monday, October 20, 2003

I go to the LCBO to pick up some wine, and they card me. So I show my health card as usual, and they say they can't take it. Apparently they aren't supposed to be able to see me health card number. Never mind that I'm fully aware of the implications of someone seeing my health card number and have deemed it an acceptable risk, they can't accept that. So not only did they not sell me my wine - that would have been okay - but they give me an application for the LCBO id and then ESCORT ME OUT OF THE STORE! Like a fucking criminal! I'm 22 years old - I know that's young enough to get carded, but it is old enough to by some wine and they don't have to treat me like a fucking criminal for trying to conduct a perfectly normal legal business transaction just because they don't like my ID!

And to make matters worse, for an LCBO ID you need a passport photo and a fucking certified cheque or money order and a fucking GUARANTOR, like for a passport or a lost birth certificate! I don't have any guarantors in Toronto because I've only lived here as a student and I've always gone to clinics and stuff so I don't have a doctor. I'd have to go to my parents' and find someone there who could be a guarantor and I have no idea where to get a passport photo from and I'd need to take at a day off work to get all this together - it's just as much trouble as getting a passport or as the time my wallet was stolen and I had to replace EVERYTHING!

And now I need a drink even more!
Just heard on the radio that in France there's a tobacconists strike. That doesn't sound like a good idea from the tobacconists perspective. After a few days of cigarettes being unavailable, everyone's addictions will be broken and no one will need cigarettes any more.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

It sounds strange, but living here makes me feel more in touch with the past. Maybe it's the lack of cars in my life. There are cars everywhere of course, but I get around by walking and taking trains. Maybe it's because I actually cook on a daily basis. Maybe it's because I'm more in tune with the weather, being able to see every cold or warm front come in and feel the winds batter the windows of 14th storey west-facing apartment. Maybe it's because I do a lot of shopping from small local merchants who are getting to recognize my face and buying habits, creating a small-town feeling in two blocks of the longest street in the world. Strange to be having this feeling as I spend my days with the internet at my fingertips, but there you go.
Now, for your amusement, my weekday morning routine in nouns only:

Alarm, pill, vitamin, toilet, toothbrush, water, aerobics, yoga, water, shower, razor, nailpolish, tweezers, toner, zit cream, moisturizer, coffee, newspaper, fruit, bagel, egg, news, makeup, hairbrush, toilet, toothbrush, clothes, thermostat, water bottle, purse, boots, scarf, jacket, mittens, keys, elevator, sidewalk, subway.
This is an experiment:

I want an LJ code

Now that I've posted that, let's see how long it takes before someone gives me an LJ code

Saturday, October 18, 2003

why why why why why why why why why why why WHY WHY WHY????????

Unspeakable. Simply unspeakable. The fact that these people exist make me want to never leave the house again. I know they're half a world away, but they EXIST! I pause, move empty glass bottles and sprayers full of bleaches or pesticides into strategic locations around the apartment. Someone breaks in, they're getting chemically blinded and shards of glass lodged in their face.

I think what scares me the most is that they are motivated by anger and hatred and somehow can get an erection in this situation.

So the other day I was sitting on the subway on the way home, daydreaming and enjoying a bottle of Pepsi Twist, when this random guy sitting near me asks me "Do you have a sister?"

For a moment I don't realize he's talking to me. You see, I do have a sister, but she and I look absolutely nothing alike, so it would be weird for a stranger to be asking me about my sister.

So I suddenly realize he might be talking to me. I look over and see this 40-something guy with a mullet. "Did you just ask me if I have a sister?" I asked him, terribly confused. "Yeah," he said, "It's not often you see a woman drinking regular pop instead of diet." I was too flummoxed to do my usual cold deadly cut, so I babbled something about how my sister doesn't drink pop and got off at the next station.
Last night I had a dream where I was vomiting up copious quantities of animal fat. Then this morning I went to the bathroom and it was obvious that I had accidently eaten something with meat in it. That's the last time I get "vegetarian" soup from that place!

Friday, October 17, 2003

A while ago I had a theory that words like Al-Qaeda and Iqaluit are spelled with Q and no U to make the words look more foreign. Perhaps, I hypothesized, this was a subtle racism on the part of the transliteraters.

Today I was reading Terminology Update, and it turns out that many Canadian Aboriginal peoples chose to spell their names and words in a more exotic way. Most of us know that MicMac is now spelled Mi'kmaq (and the pronunciation has changed, but I can't explain it here). Now the Nanaimo have changed their name to Xne Nal Mewx, and there are at least three more similarly exotic changes that have recently taken place but I didn't write them down. Interesting

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

The United Way irritates me. Everywhere I turn they're asking me for money. There's a campaign going at work, they send me propoganda at home, they've got their own column in the newspaper, there are announcements on the TTC - they're everywhere! I've never liked them, although I can't place my finger on why. It might be the way they set a "goal" and then announce to the world "We need to raise $10 million! Give us money!" as though they're entitled. I realize they're a charity, but why this amount and why is it so urgent that they have to show up in every sphere of my life? They're much too aggressive, like annoying panhandlers.

On a completely unrelated note, look, you can see the pope's shoes! I always wondered what kind of shoes he wore!

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

I was a good girl today. I was exhausted so I didn't get up early and work out, but I did have brekkie and I stayed at work all day instead of sneaking out early and I finished 2 projects despite my exhaustion (I should have also made progress on a 3rd, but to the outside world I'm right where I need to be). Then I bought groceries at Loblaws so I could donate money to a foodbank even though that means carrying groceries for longer and now I'm home and tired.

This is fun, addictive, and hard
I can't sleep! Every time I lie in bed I just start thinking evil thoughts and can't get to sleep. Times like this I wish I were still a student. Then, a) I wouldn't have to be in bed already, or b) if I did have to wake up for a class tomorrow, I could just skip class, or c) if I had to wake up for work, it wouldn't require as much minute concentration in a quiet room with white noise. I'm thinking lustfully about the days when I'd set the alarm for 10 am so I could hear BBC news and then roll over and go back to sleep. I'm going to be grumpy tomorrow, not be able to pry myself out of bed, skip brekkie, be running late, nod off in my office, kill my productivity times by staring at the same sentence all day...ugh, I hate this.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Fuck, grownups annoy me sometimes. When confronted with teenagers trying to plan their futures, they have really weird ways of "helping". They try to frighten them into responsibility by telling them that the decisions you make NOW will last THE REST OF YOUR LIFE as if changing careers isn't a possibility and even a reality as if stress will help instead of just stress them out! For reasons I cannot fathom they say that you'll hate every job you ever have no matter what so you may as well go for the money as if an extra 50 grand a year will ward off a heart attack and a nervous breakdown as if training towards what you love and thinking about what you wouldn't mind doing is pointless. Why smother all hope for your future being less than a living hell in 16 and 17 year olds whose only sin is the uncertainty and second-guessing that comes with that age? Why why why? WTF?

Sunday, October 12, 2003

I have a suggestion for anyone planning to donate to this month's food bank drive: include among your cans one or two personal care items or household that are, strictly speaking, considered luxuries, but can greatly improve a person's quality of life and self-esteem.

For example: women's razors, acne medication, a really good pair of tweezers. A can of Raid, spray-on disinfectant, duct tape. A small toy, a bag of Halloween candy, a box of teabags. These are not strictly in the food bank's mandate, but they will distribute them to appropriate people, and then someone's life will be made a touch nicer for a little while.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Remember all those times I said I was logey? Now I really am. I can't concentrate on anything enough to read or game, TV is stupid, and I close my eyes but I can't fall asleep to take a nap. Basically I'm bored but nothing is worth the effort of doing it.
The Vatican's recent statement on condoms certainly isn't the first time this flawed logic has been used. I have heard other people say that you shouldn't teach kids about birth control, or you shouldn't call it safe sex, simply because no method is 100% effective. This logic even spun "Statistics show no correlation between teaching women how to do breast self-exams and [it was either surviving breast cancer or finding malignant tumours]" into "Breast self-exams are BAD!" But it's still a huge-ass logical fallacy, as can be proven by applying it to other areas of life.

Have you ever had your computer crash? You shouldn't use computers! They don't work!

Has your car ever stalled? Don't use cars, they're unreliable!

Remember that blackout a couple of months ago? We should stop using electricity!

Has you ever had to plunger your toilet? See, indoor plumbing doesn't work! Do away with it!

Has a vending machine ever refused your quarters? Has a debit machine ever refused to swipe your card? Better do away with the exchange of money for goods and services!

Have you ever eaten something that doesn't agree with you? Better stop eating!

Friday, October 10, 2003

I wonder if it's illegal for stores to put the price including sales tax on the pricetag (perhaps even alongside the pre-tax price: "$1 before tax, $1.15 after tax") or if they don't do it out of laziness and conformity.
Have you ever noticed that homeless people's dogs are surprisingly well-trained? They never run away or chase people or even bark. I wonder if they train them themselves or if they get them pre-trained.

Bad signage of the day: in Sheppard subway station, pointing to "Yonge trains and Sheppard subway". Yonge and Sheppard are both subway lines on which trains run, so they should either both be called trains or subway. STANDARDIZE STANDARDIZE STANDARDIZE!!!

Best headline of the day

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Most people won't agree with me, but I'm very happy with the precedent this sets. The world would be a lot better if parents had to be responsible for doing everything possible to prevent their kids from being bullied

Sunday, October 05, 2003

A week or two ago I got these kick-ass socks from Winners. They were plain black cotton, Alfred Sung, comfortable and tall enough to wear with boots, and only $2 per pair! I bought two pairs to try them out and they were perfect. So today I went back with the plan of buying about 10 more pairs. They had NONE! They didn't even have any plain black cotten socks at all, of any brand, of any price! WTF???

And to add insult to injury, or perhaps vice versa, I lost one of those socks in the dryer!

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Someone once told me that there's a thing in Islam that says that once a certain area of land belongs to Muslims, it must always belong to Muslims. I don't know if this is true because I don't know where to look to confirm it. But if it is true, I wonder if they knew about this when they decided to put Israel where it is.
I had a dream that I was checking my mailbox in res. In this dream, I still had my apartment, but I had a mailbox in res that I checked regularly. In my mailbox there were three copies of Newsweek. It seems I had once gotten a copy of Newsweek, so I called to cancel my subscription, and then the next week they sent me two copies, so I called again, etc. One of these copies had handwritten notes from my mother instructing me on how to fill out the form so I could get more copies. So I asked everyone else in the mail room if they wanted a copy of Newsweek, but they all looked at me like I was stupid. So I asked them in French, but they didn't understand. So I just put them down on the ledge for anyone to take, wondering why I didn't think of this before. (IRL, there's a ledge in my apartment mailroom, but not in the res mailroom) There was also a note in my mailbox saying that I'd have to give up my mailbox at the end of fall term, and when I gave up my mailbox I'd have to move out of my IRL apartment. So I pondered other buildings in the neighbourhood where I could move to, and then I woke up. When I woke up I was quite happy to realize that I won't have to move until I choose to.

Friday, October 03, 2003

I have a conspiracy theory: right-wing governments tend to leave behind huge deficits to prevent their more liberal successors from making all the policy changes they want to.
I haven't read the newspaper yet today so I can't give you hard numbers yet, but I noticed there's remarkably low voter turnout in many riding. In my own riding, I'm ashamed to say, voter turnout was only about 45%!

Voting is not the only way to participate in the democratic process, but not voting if often interpreted as a sign of apathy. We can't have our new Liberal government thinking that we're apathetic, and, I admit, I have a vested interest in ensuring that my own demographic does not appear apathetic.

Therefore, if you did not vote, your homework is to either send a letter or email to your new MPP sharing with them your opinion on any issue within provincial jurisdiction, or to send a letter to the editor of any daily newspaper regarding any issue within provincial jurisdiction. I particularly encourage you to take this action if you and I share any demographic characteristics.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Polls closed at 8:00. At 8:25 the CBC called it as a Liberal majority victory. Fastest election I've ever seen.
I was having audio problems with my TV and it was getting really annoying. I messed with settings and tightened all my connections, and it didn't help. So I emailed tech support, and they said to call and schedule an appointment for someone to come look at my receiver. I didn't really want a tech to come to my house, so I just ignored it and turned on the closed captions. But today the channel I wanted to watch didn't have closed captions. I stared at the TV pondering how to fix it, when it occured to me to reset the receiver. That seemed odd - how would that fix audio problems? - but I really didn't want to call a tech. So I unplugged and replugged the receiver and turned everything back on. Reception was up from 65% to 72%, and there were no noticeable sound problems! I'm very happy that I fixed it myself, but I can't believe that, after working in tech support for almost three years, it took me DAYS to think of doing what is essentially a hard reboot!

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

I want a hand-knitted scarf and I want my grandmother to make it for me, but I can't ask her because that would be rather an imposition. Especially since I want a scarf that's six feet long and in a very particular pattern and colour scheme. Maybe I should ask her to teach me how to knit, but it would take me all winter to make the scarf I want, and if I mess up there's no one around to help me, and tech supporting knitting over a long distance phone call and a language barrier isn't exactly feasible.

There was one of those obnoxious middle-aged ladies in front of me in the grocery store today. She was aggressive and demanding and terrorizing the poor cashier. She bought a terrifying quantity of food, and then when it's all in bags she says "So how am I supposed to get this out to my car?" and freaks out on the cashier because she can't carry all this food she bought, so the cashier calls a carry-out guy, and this obnoxious lady starts demanding the cashier tell her where to move her car to, and the cashier says that the carry-out guy will tell her, and the lady says "No, I want YOU to tell me!" and keeps insisting this cashier tell her where to move her car to even though the cashier has no idea where the carry-out guy wants the car and the carry-out guy is RIGHT THERE! How do people get this way????

When I lived in res, we had your typical school sand-toilet paper in the bathrooms. For a bit I lived in res and worked in the building where I work now, and I quickly noticed that the toilet paper in the office building was much nicer than in res - so much so that I adjusted my bathroom schedule so that more toilet paper-intensive activities would take place while I was at work. Time passed and I moved into my own apartment where I can buy whatever kind of toilet paper I want. I found that Charmin is really nice, so now I always have soft quilted toilet paper at home. But I've become spoiled by my taste for luxury toilet paper (SENTENCE!) and now I find the toilet paper at work rough and irritating.

Monday, September 29, 2003

Someone called me during the day today and left a hang-up on my voicemail. That's weird. Everyone IRL knows my work hours and my office phone number, and telemarketer machines always hang up before voicemail kicks in, or leave one of those stupid recorded messages

Sunday, September 28, 2003

FYI: If you're looking for short-term employment into November Toronto Election Services is also hiring. I assume the same thing might be true for other cities and municipalities that are having elections in November, but you'll have to search for those yourself.
I don't usually comment on this sort of thing but here it seems that all parties involved are missing the point. First of all, calling someone a disgrace, is not libel, and it isn't slander either which, unless I'm missing some subtle legal distinction, is what this case should be. Secondly, the issue SHOULD be that Mr. Derringer invoked the judge's child. He did so in a roundabout way "As much as I would like to see it, I could not bring myself to..." but he did invoke the judge's child. This is totally inappropriate, not only because the child is a child, but also because the child is an autonomous individual who has nothing to do with their father. The kid had nothing to do with the judge's ruling, but Mr. Derringer is basically saying to the kid (while remaining just barely hypothetical) "Someone should do unspeakable things to you because your father made a bad decision." This offends me simply because I am someone's kid and I don't want to be viewed as an extension of my parents, and no one is acting like there's anything wrong with the assumption that a kid is not an autonomous human being but merely an extension or even a chattel of their parents who could, even if in the hypothetical, rightfully be harmed to punish their parents. The lawsuit even seems to assume that since it's for damages to the judge and not to the kid. Mr. Derringer seemed to be trying to ask "How would you feel if this were your kid?" but the question he should have been asking is "How would you feel if this were you?" Kids have feelings too.
I dress girly out of rebellion. I wear a skirt and prissy blouse to work because when I was a kid my parents would rarely let me wear skirts because they were impractical, putting me in sweatpants instead. I wear heels because my parents would only buy me running shoes. My attention to hair removal comes from being a ten-year-old with hairy armpits and no idea that this was a natural part of puberty, and no idea how to go about rectifiying the situation. I maintain a fastidious manicure because I was always told it was a waste of time to do so. I've developed an intricate system of concealer and foundation to alter my skintone, because when I was younger I hated the dark skin around my eyes and when I complained about it I was told "You don't have dark skin around your eyes" (and then heard the grownups saying to each other in the background "Yep, she has that darkness around her eyes like insert relative here]"). I wear black eyeliner, curl my eyelashes, and wear heavy black mascara because I was forbidden from wearing mascara "because it will get in your eyes. Besides, you don't need it, you have long eyelashes already." I wear intricate-looking hairstyles because for the longest time I had to keep my hair in a braid if I wanted it long "so it doesn't get in the way".

They don't seem to mind that I dress this way. In fact, my mother helps me comparison shop for makeup and actually bought me my tall high-heeled boots. But dressing like a girl was prevented for so long, and then frowned upon when they couldn't actually stop me, that I strongly feel the need to do so now.

Makes me wonder if they did that on purpose so I'd turn out this way.

Saturday, September 27, 2003

Why is being dull and boring considered a liability for a politician? Don't things get unpleasant whenever a politico gets TOO interesting?

Of course I might be biased because I'm boring and I LOVE it! Being boring is much better than having to be cool all the time.
My political policy wishlist:

1. Expand the scope of universal health care to include everything - dental, drugs, corrective lenses, wigs for chemo patients...
2. End the culture of student debt by making a year's full time tuition less than the earning's of a summer's full-time work at minimum wage, and provide a subsidy for students who do not live within a reasonable commute of any post-secondary institution.
3. Take economic measures to encourage businesses to create full-time permanent positions in favour of contract and on-call positions.
Mmmmm...rain! I love rainy weekends! There's nothing quite as cozy as watching and listening to the cold wet weather while being safe and dry inside. I've got two big newspapers and all the food in the world, and I think I'm going to stay indoors all weekend.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Suddenly I feel like I don't have enough clothes. I just bought a bunch of clothes, but they aren't enough. You see, for the last three years I lived in an overheated res room and worked in an overheated office. I wore t-shirts to work in the dead of winter and long sleeve tops (not sweaters) for just hanging around. Now I work in a very cold office. I've been wearing long-sleeved blouses, but I'm still cold even with that. I own one wear-alone sweater and a series of very light throw-on sweaters. I have a couple of turtlenecks but I'd been hoping to retire them because they aren't flattering. So it seems I'll have to buy some sweaters. I vaguely remember feeling like I had all the sweaters in the world at one point in high school, so maybe they're still lurking in some closet somewhere in my parents' house. If not, I'll have to go shopping, which is a pity because after that last credit card bill I felt like I had all the clothes in the world.
You know how countries and stuff have debts? Who lends them the money? Why do they continue to lend them money when every political jurisdiction is billions if not trillions of dollars in debt? What would happen if they just didn't repay their debt? - you can't foreclose a country, can you? Are there any countries that are actually debt-free?
What's up with tiny little streets whose houses have huge numbers? I can think of at least three instances of a one-block dead-end street whose houses have four-digit numbers. What is up with that?
This is a picture of my DVD player sitting on top of the box that it came in.

This isn't a good quality picture (that's what happens when you have a Barbie digital camera), but the little square thing on top is my DVD player, and the big square thing on the bottom is the box that it was shipped in.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

I was having this dream last night. It was a lucid dream. In the dream I was at my parents' house holding my new schedule for my next year of school at Parkside. It my classes were Music, OAC Super-Math, Religion, and Self-Esteem. I was grumpy because I'd have to bring a clarinet AND a calculator to school every day, not to mention that Self-Esteem was scheduled way early in the morning and the Religion teacher was a bitch. Then I thought for a bit: "I think I already have enough courses to graduate from high school" Then I thought some more: "Also, I think I have a degree." Then I thought some more: "Yeah, now that you mention it, I'm pretty sure I have a job and an apartment in Toronto." So I decided Screw IT! and dropped out of high school and woke up.
Two issues in the news today of Muslim women having to fight to wear headscarfs in schools. One was of a Pakistani teacher somewhere in Britain who finally gained this right, and another was of a student at a private school in Montreal, who transferred after they wouldn't let her wear her scarf.

I just wish some people would consider that these women might not be wearing the scarves as religious symbols, or as head coverings in the western sense (which tends to imply "outdoor clothes"), but rather out of personal modesty. If they had gone their entire lives covering their heads, or perhaps were raised to believe that hair can function as a secondary sexual feature, they might not be comfortable exposing their hair in public. There is no rule against wearing short skirts in any of the circles I frequent, but I don't wear skirts that are above the knee simply because I feel exposed showing so much leg. It doesn't mean I'm Orthodox Jewish, it just means I'm not comfortable showing that much leg. It is legal here for women to go topless in public, but most women don't because breasts are still considered a secondary sexual feature and we don't necessarily want any random person to be able to see our breasts. If I went to some school as a student or a teacher and they required me to wear a short skirt or forbade me to wear a shirt, we'd all think there's something really creepy about that school. It's quite likely that these women who were raised to cover their heads feel the same way about their headscarves.
There was an article in the newspaper saying that, with the retiring baby boomers, companies are now at a loss as to how to attract and retain young workers, who believe that they will never have job security.

Um, how about giving them job security.


If you can offer your new recruit a job for life (barring unforseen circumstances) with the possibility of advancement and a modest raise on a regular basis, you will have a huge advantage over most other employers.

And make the employee feel valued, right from the start of the hiring process. They'll be more likely to stick with a place where they are considered an asset instead of a liability.

More hints for employers, from the point of view of a recent job searcher who is now loyal to her employer:

- Do your own hiring. Agencies might be more convenient, but they are very annoying and tricky and employees are more likely to trust a company they can deal with directly.
- When interviewing a potential employee, act like you want to hire them and you think they'll be a great asset to the company. If they feel like you think the interview is a waste of time, and then you do end up hiring them, they probably won't take their resume off Workopolis. Besides, if you don't want to hire them and you don't think they'd be a great asset to the company, why did they get as far as the interview?
- Pay a reasonable salary - reasonable from the employee's perspective! Performance incentives are a great motivator, but the base salary before performance incentives should be perfectly reasonable itself.
- Provide enough benefits that they'll never have to worry. Drug, dental, disability, life insurance, pension, parental. This should be the minimum - anything above and beyond that is a true benefit.
- Team up new employees with a mentor who has been with the organization for a long time and can be their go-to person. The mentor-protege relationship should be confidential enough that the mentor can honestly answer questions such as "You know that thing where you get 3 hours off to vote? Do they really mean 3 hours or do they mean only as much time as you need?"
- "Fun" events like company picnics are cool, but the workplace environment should be such that no one's career would suffer if they never attended the company picnic.
- Only create contract positions if you truly foresee no possible need for someone in this position after the end of the contract term. If you will need someone in the position for the foreseeable future, make it a permanent position.
FYI: If anyone is looking to make a few bucks in the short term, I hear Elections Ontario is hiring

Monday, September 22, 2003

1. I saw this makeup advertised on TV and the thing about it was that it goes on like airbrushing. Anyone remember what it's called and who makes it?

2. Older men who do the "ladies first" thing are weird. Especially when we're all in an elevator - just everyone get out of the small confined space and then we can classify ourselves into a suitable hierarchy! Today an older man went way out of his way to hold the door open for me - like I was 6 paces away from the door! I don't like that - it obligates me to smile at him and say thank you, and I don't want any social obligations, no matter how small, to a creepy old man.

3. Walking home today was worse than in the hurricane. Go figure.

4. This is definitely a fall rain, by which I mean an autumn rain. Do you call it fall or autumn?

Sunday, September 21, 2003

I have to go all the way to Jane & Steeles tomorrow after work during rush hour. Not looking forward to it.
Do be careful if you get any emails claiming to be from Microsoft or claiming to be undelivered mail. I've received 2 messages infected with this already and I very rarely receive any attempts at viruses.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Anyone know a really good cover of Build Me Up Buttercup? I'm looking for something that rocks as much as possible while eliminating as much of the pastel cheesiness of the original as possible. But feel free to suggest really good covers that don't fit this description
An open letter to all Canadian newspapers and to a certain Government of Canada department or agency:

Fear of insects is one of the most common phobias. Some people, like myself, suffer from a rather severe version of this phobia, where even a picture or graphic description of insects can trigger a panic attack.

Lately I've noticed several newspaper articles, as well as an advertisement from a Government of Canada department or agency, that were illustrated with very large pictures of a very grotesque insect. These pictures were enough to bring me near a panic attack. My heart rate increased, I started hyperventilating, fight-or-flight instincts started kicking in, and I had to slam the paper shut and throw it away to keep from completely freaking out. Sometimes I get nightmares the night following one of these incidents, every time I have needed to have a drink to calm down, and it always has a severe negative effect on the rest of my day.

Obviously it is somehow important that the general public be able to identify this insect. At first I had thought that the newspapers were only printing sensational pictures to attract the reader's attention, but I know that a large illustration would not appear in a government ad unless it were important. However, these extremely large illustrations are not helping. I am unable to read the information in question, learn what action I need to take, and take said action because I am too busy having a panic attack. I don't even know what this bug is called or which government department or agency is responsible for these ads because I have to slam the newspaper closed as soon as I see the picture.

If it is really important that I be able to identify this bug, please print only a life-size illustration. That might freak me out less so I will be able to read the necessary information, plus it will assist the general public in identifying the bug because then we'll know how big it's supposed to be. If it is not important that I be able to identify the bug, please stop putting pictures of it in the newspaper. I'm sure that even some non-phobics don't enjoy big icky bugs with their morning coffee.
The great luxury of living alone is that you can be fixing the bathroom caulking with no pants on while singing along to Aerosmith at the top of your lungs, and no one can do a damn thing about it. Or even know about it, unless you're stupid enough to blog about it.
I had a busy week this week. Half our team was away, so work was coming fast and furious. At one point I had 6 different projects on my desk, which is quite a lot considering I usually have no more than 2. But I just stacked them all on my desk in order of due date and worked through steadily, and I finished them all before they were due. For some reason it gives me a lot of satisfaction to come up with a system, work steadily, and keep all the due dates at bay. I've been doing this ever since high school, when I'd take all my due dates for the year, write them in my planner, and spend a designated amount of time every day on whatever assignment was next. This system worked in uni too. Sometimes I'd be a month ahead in my projects, sometimes I'd be working on what was due the next day, but it always worked as long as I stuck with the system. What a geek I am.

Friday, September 19, 2003

I know I talk about Harry Potter too much, but it's my blog dammit, so here are some things that irk me when I find them in Harry Potter fanfic:

- Witches and wizards invoking a xian god and showing overt xianity.
- Love -> marriage -> baby in rapid succession, no matter how inconvenient and unrealistic. A nice love story is enough, we'll believe they're in love even if they don't get married and breed within the fic.
- Attitudes towards traditional gender roles that are significantly more old-fashioned than anythig that appears in canon.
That was a boring hurricane. If I hadn't known it was a hurricane, I wouldn't have noticed anything strange about it. It was a slightly windier than usual rainy day.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

This is supposed to be my mindset

2. I remember being aware of the fact that Reagan was president.
3. Not true, but I was an early bloomer
4. Had never heard of Black Monday 1987 until much later, still not entirely sure I can explain what it is.
5. I remember Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush.
6. I remember being aware of the Cold War.
7. I briefly feared a nuclear war for a few weeks in grade 5.
8. I don't remember, but my best friend from grade 6 did because she knew the teacher who was on it.
10. I've never had a polio shot, but my mother has a scar from hers so I know what it is.
12, 13, 14. We had an Atari, and I listened to Sharon, Lois & Bram and Raffi on vinyl.
15. I played Pacman, and I have heard of and played Pong, although not as a child.
17. I remember beige M&Ms, and I might remember the blue ones being new, or that might be Smarties.
18. Heard of, never seen, never knowingly heard
19. I vaguely remember our first CD
21. I was in middle school when we got our first answering machine
22, 23. I was like 8 when we got our first colour TV and cable.
24. We had Betas at school.
25. We didn't have a remote until our first colour TV.
27. I remember rollerblades being new, and I have skated on old-style roller skates.
28. I was too young to watch the Tonight Show, but I remember a Cosby Show reference to Johnny Carson hosting the Tonight Show.
29. I once had a t-shirt that said Jordache
30. We used to cook popcorn on the stove, then we got an air-popper.
31. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a football player???
34. I knew that, but I learned it from Doonesbury and SNL.
35. I've heard of hard contacts, but I don't know enough about contacts in general.
36. I have watched Mork & Mindy, but in reruns
38. I had heard of who shot JR, but I don't know who did it.
42. I remember I once had this environmentalist book that told you how to protest if your local McDonalds had styrofoam containers.

This is the mindset of this year's froshies

#12: I remember when they got rid of leaded gas
#19: Our first comp had a "return" key
#28: I vaguely remember checkout scanners being special
#32: I remember debit cards being new
#41: I have never been able to make photocopies at home and it didn't really occur to me that that was a standard thing to do
#46: I just learned there was a Strawberry Fields in NY a couple of years ago
There's the most gorgeous sunset ever right now. bluepurplepinkorange glowing morphing. You wouldn't guess by watching it that a hurricane is coming, but you can feel it when you're outside. I've never been in a hurricane before so I'm very excited, even though this is just the tail end. Happy hurricane everyone!

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Check here to see how your MP voted and then email them appropriately.

This list will only be up for like a week. There's also a copy somewhere in the A section of today's Star.
If Muggles can't get into Diagon Alley, how did Hermione and all the other Muggle-born first-years get their books and stuff before first year?

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

That was much too close. If you haven't contacted your MP yet, now would be a really really really good time to do so! I'm looking into how to find voting records so we'll know whom to thank and whom to scold, but for now a quick email stating your position on the issue should be sufficient.
On the front page of the Globe and Mail: "Debating Class Size"

Why is there even a debate? If you don't know that smaller classes are better, you don't remember being a kid. Yes, there are university lectures with hundreds of people in them, but a) those students still aren't learning as well as the students in senior seminar of 20, and b) by the time they hit university, they should have the skills to read and analyze the textbook, look stuff up online, find a TA, start a study group. In elementary and secondary, they are in that classroom to learn those skills, so by definition it would be less effective with a larger group.

And to those frightening people who argue that tax dollars are, on paper, more efficiently spend on larger classrooms, do you think the kids in the classroom understand that when the teacher doesn't have time to answer their questions? If they do, what does this make them think of you? And do you really think the fact that the money look more efficient on paper is going to make them learn better?

Monday, September 15, 2003

A group of nine people. Some members of this group are going off on harsh, crude, judgemental rants against women, immigrants, single mothers, poor people.

This group of nine people include 6 women, 1 immigrant, 3 single mothers, and at least 6 people who have lived in poverty at some point in their life.

No one seems to see anything at all wrong with this and when I point out that perhaps these aren't the best topics of conversation they act like I'm crazy.

I so don't get it.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Once upon a time in high school there was this boy. I had a bit of a crush on him. In retrospect he wasn't my type - a bit too much religion and not quite enough of a twisted sense of humour, among other things - but he was harmless and cute, which makes for a good crush when you're 16.

One day this boy and I were sitting together on a long bus ride. We both fell asleep. I woke up to find his head asleep on my shoulder. (How anyone can sleep on my bony little shoulders is a mystery to me, but there he was). Groggy and with an over-full bladder, I reacted instinctively, visercally, without realizing who was next to me. I knocked him off my shoulder and shrieked "Get off of me!" Everyone turned around and stared. I came to my senses and apologized right away, but we were both terribly embarrassed and it probably ruined any possibility of our becoming real friends, crush or no crush.

Sometimes I'm still sorry about that.
For my entire adult life, I've been able to circle my thumb and middle finger around my ankle. That's more commentary on how long my fingers are than on how skinny my ankles are, but it's just been something I've always been able to do.

I'd thought I might be gaining weight for a while, but I wasn't sure. I honestly couldn't tell if I had gained weight or if my jeans had shrunk because the dryers here are rather finicky. Then one day I happened to wrap my hand around my ankle, and my thumb and middle finger didn't touch. They were about 1 cm apart. I know that isn't a lot, but it was the first tangible sign that I had gained weight. Visions of thick-ankled old ladies floated in my head, and on August 1 I started working out and watching what I eat. I didn't manage to work out every day, but I did most days. I wasn't terribly cautious about what I ate, but I tried to avoid potato chips and have a salad every day. But I wasn't noticing any differences so I didn't know if it was actually working.

Then today I happened to wrap my hand around my ankle. My thumb and middle finger were only half a centimetre apart. Then I realized some other differences - I can do a full set of pushups if I do them fast enough to have momentum, I can touch my toes with straight legs, I can get into full lotus even though it feels like I'm going to sprain my feet, I can flex my tricep and you can see signs of actual muscle. They're little things, but they make me feel good.
So the Globe and Mail has printed the text of the Evil Reptilian Kitten-Eater from Another Planet memo. I do see what they are trying to do here and it makes some sense in context, but the memo was still a stupid idea because:

a) It breaks with the tone of the Tory campaign, which makes it much less effective.
b) There is a difference between using this sort of criticism of another party's leader when talking and actually producing TV commercials and press releases that do nothing but criticize another party's leader.
c) I don't know if the average voter is following things closely enough to get it.
d) It doesn't say anything about policy at all. I'm not sure if the Tories see this as a problem, but the fact remains that here we have a press release that contains absolutely nothing newsworthy except the "evil reptilian kitten-eater from another planet" line.

With these thoughts in mind, I think they produced it on purpose, not as an inside joke, and either this was a draft accidently released before it was finalized, or it was released on purpose with remarkably poor judgement.