Thursday, July 31, 2003

I hope someone out there with better legal knowledge than I have is paying very close attention to this. I think it is getting very very close to hate speech if it hasn't crossed that line already, and someone should be ready to pounce when it does. I also hope someone with excellent legal knowledge is pondering ways to remove Canada's obligation to provide Catholic education under the BNA, because if one of these things isn't overthrown soon Canada is going to be in a very sticky constitutional position - we're going to be legally obligated to provide public education in a religion that has been deemed hate speech and, depending on how far they go, is subject to censorship.

Speaking of going to hell, I understand the example shown here with no difficulty whatsoever, if I encountered it while reading a newspaper I think I wouldn't even give it a second glance, and I think I know which committee produced it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

The only sign I saw that one of the biggest concerts in history is currently going down was these four scruffy guys on the subway this morning. Although they seemed to have perfect sight, hearing, and command of English, at every stop they would go "Is this Sheppard? How far to Sheppard?" At least they had the decency to entertain us in between by spontaneously breaking out into early Beatles hits in perfect four-part harmony.

I'm not going to the concert. Half a million people is too many. Instead I'm going to relax at home and play with food. I've decided, just for variety, that today I will eat nothing that could be considered a main course, but everything I eat must be wholesome. So I'm having triscuits dripping in melted Gouda, steamed veggies with lemon dill sauce, Italian bread, salad, nectarines, and whatever else I decide to buy.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Mad props to Sheila Copps for being the only person in Canada behaving like a candidate in the Liberal leadership race!
I don't get it. Why would a confirmed serial rapist be carrying a condom? And if he does, in fact, use condoms, why would he only be carrying one?

Monday, July 28, 2003

In the grocery store. I go into a self-bagging lane. Usually I hate self-bagging lanes, but this one had a much shorter line. I make the guy give me extra bags, and proceed to double bag all my purchases. This old lady at the other belt stares at me: "So THAT'S how you double bag!"

WTF? She's 80 and she couldn't figure out how to double-bag? That was my first time bagging other than at self-checkers which have their own bagging racks, and I was all alone. She was with a gentleman who I will judgementally call her husband. So they are two people with at least 150 years of life experience between them, and they couldn't figure out how to double bag? With two people?
I am feeling so much hatred and anger and frustration right now that I can't sleep.

Basic human respect, that's all I ask. Whether I'm wearing a suit or jeans. Smiling sweetly and treating me like you're SURE my intentions are good but, you're terribly sorry, you just CAN'T do anything to help me, is not that hard, and is infinitely preferable to treating me like I'm trying to rip you off by doing a normal business transaction, or that my money is worthless just because I'm younger than you.

I have full security clearance, my services has been billed for as high as $100 per hour, and my professional decisions could affect the course of people's lives. So don't fucking treat me like I'm an awkward bratty 12-year-old trying to scam free stuff just because I'm trying to purchase products and services.

Sunday, July 27, 2003

I'm tired. I crave croissants and don't have the stuff to make them with, and it's super humid outside so I don't know if going groceries is a good idea right now.

Five days of work, and then I get a nice long weekend. And I my current project is big enough to keep me occupied for at least three days and it's not nearly as annoying as it could be.

I think my father would be offended if he knew that I don't find work to be complete and utter hell. His analogy of work is "Do you eat to live, or do you live to eat?" He got confused when my answer was "neither". I mean, food isn't my life, but I'm not going to just wolf down bread and water when there are much more enjoyable foods out there. Same with work. It's not my purpose for living, but I'm certainly not going to pretend it doesn't exist and make no effort to adapt my life to it.

I made faux long island iced tea. Instead of adding LIIT mix and lemonade and lemon juice to coke, I just added LIIT mix to Pepsi Twist. It tastes about the same but looks different.

I am going to see Prisoner of Azkaban when it comes out next year, because, unlike the other Harry Potter books, it doesn't have any major spider scenes. Coincidently, it doesn't have any major Voldemort scenes.

This raises the question - how long before people are allowed to give spoilers for Order of the Phoenix?
I was treated like a teenager by a store today. I hate it when that happens. It ruined my day.

Why the fuck would a store allow an exchange but not store credit? Is store credit not just a slightly belated exchange? Exchange is when I give them one item and they give me another item. Store credit is when I give them one item, they give me a piece of paper, then another day I give them the piece of paper, and they give me another item.

It's so fucked up. They had a 2 for the price of 1 deal. I tried on many items, and bought two items for that were marked at $40 each. When I got home, I realized that I had accidently purchased a size medium in one of the items instead of a large, doubtless a mix-up from all my trying on. I took it back, but there were no larges left. And when I asked for store credit, they acted like I was trying to get them to give me a free item to which I'm not entitled. But they were the ones who were handing out free items in the first place! According to their signage and pricing system, I was entitled to 2 items of a value of $40 each. So why act like I'm trying to rip them off when I ask for store credit for a value of $40, but there would be no problem with exchaning it on the spot? I felt like throwing the shirt at them and saying "Here, take this, you obviously need this more than me."

Saturday, July 26, 2003

Last night, as I lay in bed, I felt safe. This had me worried. You see, I felt safe up for my entire life until the moment I met mi cielito. At least I thought I felt safe - the moment I first embraced mi cielito I really felt safe for the first time in my life. What I had been feeling up until then was unsafe, but I didn't recognize it because I felt that way all the time. This made it difficult for me to recognize risk, because I felt equally safe walking along a dark street at night and curled up in my little bed at my parents' house.

Then mi cielito came along, and I was safe for real. The only problem is, I only felt safe in his presence, so I felt unsafe the rest of the time, whether walking along a dark street at night or curled up in my little bed in res. However, this did make me extremely cautious when alone, and any potentially risk behaviour would be reserved for when I was with mi cielito and feeling safe (this, of course, had the added advantage that if I tried anything foolish, at least I'd be with an escort).

Then, last night, I felt safe. And I was alone. What could this mean? I hadn't felt "safe" alone since before mi cielito materialized into my life. And this "safe" had really been unsafe. Had I lost the ability to recognize safety again? What was wrong with me? I fretted about this for a bit, and then fell asleep.

I forgot all about it until just now. There's some kind of fratboyish party going on next door, and they had just started spilling out into the hall as I was about to take my garbage out. I saw all those loud drunk cleancut boys in their khakis, and felt that it wasn't safe to go into the hall. Unsafe.

That means that last night I felt safe. Alone. And safe.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. It has never happened before.
There's an interview with Erica Jong in today's Globe and Mail, in which she expresses distress over the fact that many young women today still identify with Isadora Wing.

I would be very interested to know if any of these young women are, and intend to remain, childfree.
I told myself that my treat for getting through the week would be a nice sleep-in this morning. I went to bed last night, snuggled up with my covers and stuffed animals, and closed my eyes with the intention of not opening them until they opened themselves.

I woke up at 8:47 a.m. All by myself. I must be getting old.

I've been doing some thinking and figuring stuff out, and I think I've figured out a rough financial strategy for my life. I've discovered that I will be retiring at age 55, so this has led me to decide to start working out. What's the connection between those two clauses? As I look up my family tree, I realize that I am most likely going to live at least to 100, maybe even 110. So since I've got 40-50 years of being an old retired person, and I want to spend as little of this time as possible being frail and hobbled. So I'm going to start doing some light cardio, a bit of yoga to stretch my already feeble limbs and joints, and hopefully eventually some weight training. Right now I think just doing push-ups is enough weight training, but I'm hoping to acquire some light hand weights (10-25 lbs, nothing serious). In the back of my mind I'd like arms like Serena Williams, but this is never going to happen for someone as sedentary as me. (Although there is a weight machine in the basement, but I hate going down there because it's a basement, and also there are too many frat boys and creepy old men in this building and they have as much right to walk into the weight room as I do.) Anyway, once I get in some sort of shape I might move up to distance running or biking and real weights, but I think the point right now is to get myself in reasonable cardiovasular shape and build some flexibility and muscle tone, as a long-term investment.

But enough about me! I have a question about child-rearing! Are kids who are out of diapers and can walk (as opposed to toddle) supposed to be in strollers? I've seen a few 4-year-olds in strollers lately, and this seems weird to me. I don't know anything about kids, but it looks funny to have a kid in a stroller whose legs are skinny (as opposed to baby-chubby) and who can talk in sentences. I'm trying to think back, but I can't remember at what age we stopped being in strollers. Although I know I was 3 when I started Montessori school, so I couldn't have been in a stroller then. You don't pick up your kid from school and put them in a stroller! Or maybe I'm reading the age of these kids wrong - maybe they're 2 or 3, but they are definitely not toddlers.

Friday, July 25, 2003

Qqch me manque et je ne sais exactement quoi. I don't mean overall, I just mean right now. I have my comfort food and Harry Potter and merlot and a warm flood of sunlight coming in my window, that should be able to cheer me up, right? But it isn't working.

It's weird how Harry Potter usually cheers me up though. Those books are so comfortable. The story arc is nice and formulaic - he starts out at the Dursleys', generally pops over to see the Weasleys, goes to Hogwarts on the train, new Defence Against Dark Arts teacher, some Quidditch, a hint of bad guys, xmas, more bad guys, more Quidditch, a battle against Voldemort or some incarnation thereof, usually a trip to the hospital and a nice chat with Dumbledore, then back home on the train to start all over again. But the plots are always full of nice twists and turns despite the formulaic pattern. It does comfort me though. Some days I'll just read every Quidditch match in his Hogwarts career. Sometimes I'll read every chat with Dumbledore. Every time I go back through an old book, I find new clues of what might happen next. When I need to clear my head at work, I wonder if Ron and Hermione might end up together (it seems like the tee-up to that is too obvious, but a Sidekick Gets the Girl plot would be a refreshing change), and whether Harry will end up with Ginny or with Luna (who must have been introduced, and made female, for a reason). Or maybe Luna will end up with Neville. Or Ginny with Neville! Of course, we'll probably never find out since Hogwarts only goes up to grade 12. Unless there's a second series following Harry to Auror school. Wouldn't it be something if J.K. Rowling threw us a twist and ended the series with Voldemort killing Harry? Then Ron and Hermione could get married and become Aurors and work on overthrowing Voldemort, with Hermione being the l33t one and Ron being the bumbling sidekick.
Some people are such fuckwits I marvel that they haven't died of stupidity of been killed out of frustration.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

I saw a homeless person with way too much luggage. She had two of those giant 80 lb. military backpacks, 3 or 4 duffel bags, and a couple of large laptop cases of all things. She was panhandling, asking for spare change. I wanted to say "I'll give you some change if you can lift all this stuff up at once."

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

I hate it when things have mandatory surcharges, and they don't include them in the price. It's just like sales tax - why don't they include sales tax on price tags instead of making you calculate 15% in your head (which sounds easy, but quick - what's 15% of $3.69?) and add it to the list price? The phone company says they charge $19.93 for a residential line, but there are mandatory Touch Tone and 911 fees on top of that, plus PST and GST. Wouldn't it be easier if they just gave you the final price? I know I tend to get really pissed off when in the back of my head I'm thinking "Okay, it's under $20" and it ends up being closer to $30. Same thing with a long-distance plan I was considering. ONLY $1 SERVICE CHARGE PER MONTH they trumpet, and then the fine print mentions that there's a $2.95 network fee. I'd much rather they be upfront and say that it's $4 including all fees and let me decide with that information!

Come to think of it, they should do the same thing with income taxes. You hear what your salary is, and your paycheque comes back with 2/3 of what you were expecting. Of course everyone expects this now, but I'd imagine everyone would be a lot less bitter about paying taxes if they just told you what your salary after tax would be and had the employer pay your income tax directly to the government without it passing through your expectations first.
I'm not sure about the word "hero" for Jessica Lynch. I mean sure, she went through shit and she deserves recognition for that, but she doesn't come across as a hero so much as someone who was pushed around by fate. She had the misfortune to be born into a situation where joining the military was the best available career option. She had the further misfortune to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and get captured. She had the good fortune to be a tiny little blond girl, which might have saved her life. (Despite the fact that this is disgusting stereotyping, I think being a tiny little blond girl might have made her look to the Iraqis more like a kid who just stumbled into a bad situation, and less like The Enemy. I doubt GI Joe would have gotten such good care). She didn't really do anything that makes her any more of a hero than anyone else who has been a POW, she just happened to be the most photogenic of the lot. (Some may say the most tragic, but I reserve that adjective for the guy who may never get to see his unborn child).

Even if she isn't a hero, she still deserves something. I think being able to live her life how she wants to and have opportunities so she can support herself without having to cash in on her 15 minutes of fame like some pathetic reality show contestant or former child actor would be appropriate. But the opportunities available to Ms. Lynch must also be available to her fellow former POWs and vets. If, for example, Jessica Lynch gets a full university scholarship because she's Jessica Lynch and no one else who had been through the same hell gets a full scholarship, that would be little better than her having to support herself with talk show appearances and Playboy pictorials.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Purely hypothetical question:

Suppose you lived with a roommate. Suppose your roommate said "I hate doing dishes, and I hate having dirty dishes around. I'll pay 60% of the rent if you do all the dishes, and make sure dishes are done at least once a day." Would you go for it? Would you do their 3 least favourite chores in exchange for them paying 60% of the rent? What if it were 75%? Would you do all the chores if they paid all the rent?
I was so grumpy this morning, because I felt a bit sick and my bank had put us through shit yesterday. I was all set to write a nice blog entry about how terribly grumpy I felt, but then my mood lifted. I've been trying to think about why my mood lifted, and I think it's because my last project of the day was a copy-paste text. It wasn't all copy-paste, but it cited a lot of laws, so those could be copy-pasted from legislation. Copy-pasting cheers me up for some reason. It makes me happy to see final copy materialize with minimal effort on my part, and I can let my mind wander while I do it. I think I would be a lot more efficient if I always had two projects on the go: one normal, and one copy-paste. Then when I'm in a bad mood I can systematically copy-paste, and when that gets boring or my mood gets more productive I can do some normal work.

I overheard some people talking about their jobs on the subway, and their jobs sounded like Generic Office. Like comic strip characters who "work in an office" but we don't know what their exact jobs are. I didn't think any real world jobs could be described that way, but either there are jobs that can be described that way, or I stumbled upon two performance artists

Sunday, July 20, 2003

GRAWR! The cable guy isn't here yet! I wanted to do a bit of shopping today - nothing major, just pick up a couple of things at the dollar store and a couple of tops at Fairweater's, it's just a block away and shouldn't take more than 1/2 hour. But I can't because the cable guy hasn't come yet and the mall closes at 5 on Sundays!

I want to call and say "Hello? Where's my cable guy?" but I can't do that because the buzzer is hooked up to my phone and if he comes while I'm on the phone I won't know and I won't be able to buzz him in.

I'm going to the bathroom to take a great big dump. That will probably guarantee that he comes while I'm on the toilet.
Q: How does a person find a job?

A: Send resumes and cover letters to companies you'd be interested in working for and companies that are advertising positions available, have an interview or a series of interviews, then get hired.

You know what? I don't think this is true. I mean, I have gotten a couple of jobs that way, but my current job (which is my first grownup job) didn't involve any resumes or interviews at all. (I did an internship which I got through my school, they were impressed, I did more internships, they continued to be impressed, they offered me a position way far away, I turned it down, they offered me a local position, I accepted). When I was looking for work, (through the usual resume and interview method), I found that very few people could give me good advice about interviews. "I don't really know, I haven't had very many interviews that led to something." "I didn't interview, I was hired based on my portfolio." "I was hired by the university straight out of university, and I already knew everyone in the department." "I just expressed interest in the position and I was hired based on my reputation." "I found the job through my professional organization, so it wasn't really the same dynamic as resumes and interviews."

Most of the grownups in my life with grownup jobs didn't get those jobs through resumes and interviews, but no one could say exactly how one gets a job. I can tell you how I got my job, but I feel that it's a bit of a fluke in that copying my approach wouldn't necessarily lead you to a job, and most of the people whom I have asked for job advice would say the same thing.

The problem with this is it's totally useless to the job seeker. I've seen this information in job seeking advice sources, usually disguised as something about networking, but it's not something a person can make happen.
In your opinion, what is the difference between a tape measure and a measuring tape?

Saturday, July 19, 2003

I need a project. I'm all settled, I've got my job, I've got everything I intended to get for my apartment, I'm all ready to start living my life.

Now I need to figure out what I want to do with my life. I need to be working towards something, and something achievable, not just "save up enough money for a down payment on a condo and vertical blinds and cream-coloured furniture for said condo." Up until now, my goals and projects have always been laid out for me. Now I need to make up my own. I need a five year plan. But if I made up a five year plan, it would be just for the sake of making up a plan. I have nothing that I really want to accomplish within the next five years. Marriage would be nice, but isn't necessary within the next five years. The same with a condo. The same with getting an MA, earning two promotions, achieving fluency in Spanish and Polish, running a six minute mile and bench-pressing my body weight, and being published. All of that would be nice, but if I don't accomplish it within five or ten or twenty years my life won't be any worse. I guess this means I'm content. But I do always need something to be working towards.

Friday, July 18, 2003

They should have a financial incentive program for older drivers to stop driving. Say if you're over 80 and, of your own accord, you go to the MTO office and turn in your licence, you get a thousand dollars/free bus passes for life/vouchers for 20 taxi rides. If you alter your lifestyle to eliminate driving - say you sell your farmhouse way out in the country and move into a nice condo on a bus route - there could be a subsidy to cover the additional expenses incurred. I have no idea where the money might come from (perhaps a PPP between the gov't and insurance companies?), and of course doctors could still get people who are medically unfit to stop driving, but it might be helpful to have incentives to get people to stop BEFORE they're medically unfit.

I am very impressed by the wording of the latest draft bill - it is perfect, exactly as I would have worded it. I heard the MPs are going to have an free vote on this issue, so I'd encourage you to remind your MP that you would like this bill passed.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Why do people not realize that the problem with the Stones concert is that it's too damn big??? Half a million people is an utterly ridiculous number. One hundred thousand would have been plenty. Every single problem related to this concert, everything that will make it unpleasant or inconvenient or uncomfortable for the concert-goers can be traced back to the fact that some idiot had the idea of having a concert for half a million people!

They should add this concert to the I Survived Toronto shirt

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

I saw a nine-year-old boy on the subway today, and it totally reinforced my desire not to have kids. He wasn't doing anything bad, he was just standing there, but he looked so likely to do something gross like bring home a cockroach that I think if I wanted to have kids I would have seriously reconsidered right then and there. It's almost as bad as twelve-year-olds.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

When I was ordering my TV service, the guy asked me "Are there any other grownups in the house?" He wanted to know this because he needed the names of people who are authorized to order pay-per-view. But I thought "Oh my god, he wants to talk to my parents because I'm not grownup enough!"
Attention unpleasant middle-aged men with mustaches on the subway: Shut up when the loudspeaker is announcing potential emergencies. Let people who are trying to stand up stand up. And you don't need a pager AND a cellphone, really you don't.

Attention terminologists: memory is not the same as disk space. Even if people frequently confuse them, that's no reason to standardize the incorrect usage!

Attention LCBO: don't advertise wines you don't have.

Attention Dominion: all I want is some lemon butter cookies, and some thai instant noodles while they're on sale. Is that too much to ask?

Attention Fairweather: why must all your good clothes be in the petites section? Would it be that hard to make them in regular sizes?

Attention Loblaw's: some of those taste Emmenthal and veggie sandwiches you used to have last year would be appreciated. Also, having someone behind the counter where that penne and asparagus salad is would be good too.

Attention guy on the escalator-ramp-thing: I'm sure you don't know this, but these escalator ramps are not very practical if you're wearing hard-soled women's shoes. If you stand still in such a way that I can't pass you, I have to stand still too. And when I stand still, the only thing keeping me from sliding backwards is the strength of my skinny little arms.

Attention Toronto Humane Society: yes, I like animals. No, I'm not going to give you money when you accost me while I'm waiting to cross the street. Especially not if you do it every day. I would, however, be happy to take any kind of puppy or cute furry animal that could live happily in a 500 square foot apartment with no one home for 9 hours out of the day. Seriously.

Attention over-suntanned guy outside of Starbucks every morning: if you have nothing to do except tan and sit outside of Starbucks, why bother to get up so early?
I need snacks to eat in the office. I have some terrible low-energy times and I'd like some munchies to get me through them, but I can't think of what would be suitable. It would have to be something that doesn't go bad and wouldn't mess up my hands. Ideally it should be something I could buy ahead of time and keep there instead of having to prepare it or acquire it when the urge strikes.

If I were in my own home when these low-energy times hit, I would likely eat some fruit, some cheese, perhaps an egg, a pastry of some sort, a peanut butter sandwich, or, if I was really grumpy, I'd cook up some pasta. Obviously none of this is suitable to the office.

If I think back to what I'd do in res, I'd have a pastry, some chips or peanuts, instant noodles perhaps. Instant noodles is possible, but it still requires some preparation, and eating it is more involved than reaching into a bag of something, grabbing one something, and popping it in my mouth. Popcorn is tempting, but unless I can find absolutely plain popcorn it soils my fingers.

I think what I'll do is put a can of Coke in my fridge right now to cool off, bring it to work with me, and drink it when I hit low energy. That may be helpful.

Monday, July 14, 2003

I am in The. Worst. Mood.

Today started out pretty well, but around 2:00 I just got grumpy for no good reason and never bounced back. So I'm going to eat a danish and read the globe and mail and play insaniquarium while singing along to cake at the top of my lungs. And if that doesn't make me feel better, I'm just going to curl up in bed with a book until I fall asleep.

Sunday, July 13, 2003

There were two guide dogs on the GO bus! One was yellow and one was black. Guide dogs are very cool. They would lie on the floor under their people's seats, so if you hadn't seen them get on the bus you wouldn't even know there were dogs there! When they were waiting for the bus, the dogs would lie down on the ground, and when the bus came they would indicate this to their people by standing up. They were beautiful and I wanted to pet them but I know you're not supposed to do that.

I'm also very excited because my living room is going to match. As I mentioned before, I'm getting a couch from Jimmy. This couch doesn't go with a thing I own. I also have a wicker chair, whose cushions are covered in the fabric from the curtains from my parents' original house (circa 1975). We were trying to figure out what to cover the couch with, and I said "Too bad we can't just cover it in the same fabric as the chair." Well, it turns out they still have a curtain left, so we're going to cover the couch with it. It has red in it so it matches my bright red curtains, and it's from the 70s so it matches all the other 70s furniture I have. (All my furniture is my parents' old furniture). My living room will match! YAY!

Friday, July 11, 2003

Here's something I wish I'd known four years ago. I'm posting it here so maybe someone who needs it will find it through Google. (People do tend to find this blog through Googling the weirdest things, so why not?)

If you are an anglophone who wants to study Translation at Glendon College (at York University in Toronto), these courses are the best way to make use of your first year. Translation starts in second year, so you can do these at Glendon, or at the university of your choice. (Sorry, I have no idea what the francophones need to do).

1. Intro to English Lit. (this is required for the translation degree, so you may as well get it out of the way in first year)
2. French as a second language. Not lit., just language training. Take the most advanced course you can get into. (Glendon requires you take all the FSL possible, so it's good to get ahead here)
3. Intro to Computers. (If you think it would be a bird course, it's an easy A that will fulfill some Gen. Ed. requirements and help you get a tech writing certificate if you need it. If you don't think it would be a bird course, you need to take it).
4. Linguistics (Not necessary, but it's a good background, and currently it will cancel out Specialized Translation into French).
5. a) If you think you might have the slightest interest in studying Spanish translation, take the most advanced Spanish course (language or lit) that you can get into. Even if you've never taken Spanish before you still might be able to pull off Spanish translation by the end of the 4 years, but you need to start ASAP.
   b) If you are certain you have no interest in Spanish, take a course that will fulfill a Gen. Ed. requirement. Something like Psychology, History, Sociology, Math, anything Sciencey.

If you're taking summer classes between first and second year, your priorities are, in order, advancing as far as you can in Spanish language and lit. (if applicable), advancing as far as you can in French language (never mind lit.), and fulfilling your Gen. Ed. requirements. A course that does none of these things is useless to you.

The most effective way to do your Gen Eds while staying close to the whole langling thing is to take Intro to Linguistics in 1st year (which will cancel out your specialized French translation requirement for some reason), then take Sociolinguistics as your Social Science requirement. It's a tough course and heavy on the reading, but it's the only advanced Gen. Ed. that's relevant. Then take Intro to Computers as your Modes of Reasoning requirement (which also goes towards a Tech Writing certificate if you're interested, and should be an easy A for anyone who has managed to find my blog) and then take something that interests you in either Humanities or Natural Science.
I'm walking through the subway station, when the PA system suddenly calls 506 on like half a dozen stations. "506 St. Clair West 506 Sheppard 506 Broadview 506 Dundas 506 Finch 506 Keele"

Anyone know what 506 means? Transit Toronto doesn't have it in their list (unless I totally missed it). A random list found on E2 says that it's Janitor (if so, wtf happened???), but I don't know why E2 would know it and Transit Toronto wouldn't.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Also, what's up with people who wear flipflops while otherwise dressed nicely? I'm not talking about decent shoes that happen to not have a heel strap, I'm talking about plastic, thong, walk-to-the-shower-in-res, go-to-the-beach flip flops! I've seen them with women's suits and nice skirts and clubbing tops, and all manner of otherwise well-dressed people. Today I saw a woman in a beautiful black pinstriped suit and white tailored blouse wearing BRIGHT ORANGE flipflops. WHY?
I'm in a weekendy mood even though it's Thursday. I had a good day at work, it's cool and rainy and my windows are open letting the nice fresh air in, and I have all kinds of food and reading material. Aaah.

And now for some Annoying Randomness:

- Email is my pensieve. Whenever I think of something at work that I need to remember at home and vice versa, I email it to my other address. If work is monitoring my email, they get a nice insight into the minutiae of my life.
- I saw a firetruck with a giant sign on it that said Toronto Fire Department. I mean a giant sign. Picture a billboard hanging from the ladder. Why do they need such a big sign? We can see it's a firetruck, so we assume it belongs to the fire department!
- There's a guy at Eg. station who panhandles by asking in a whiny voice "Do you have a loonie?" Inspired by a previous brilliant idea de mi cielito, I propose that everyone say to him "Sorry, I only have a toonie. Do you have change?"
- I'm entering the subway station. I show the booth guy my metropass. Right after he nods me through, a TTC cop stops me and asks to see my pass. I show him my pass, he inspects it, everything is in order, and he wishes me a nice day? WTF? Why pick on someone when you just saw the booth guy approve their pass?
- And speaking of TTC, I got this thing telling me how to get my metropass in event of a "postal interruption". Is there an impending Canada Post strike that I don't know about?
- The most important hyphen I've personally encountered is the one that differentiates the word "resign" from the word "re-sign". In some contexts, these words are complete opposites.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Now that I get two newspapers a day, I'm less inclined to read the comics online. I get most of my favourite comics in the newspapers, and it seems more pointless to go to the comics sites just for one or two strips.

I also find I don't know how to visit my parents as an adult. My mother's birthday is coming up so I should probably go visit. As a student, I would throw all my laundry in a bag, get on the GO bus, and call for a ride home from the GO when I arrived. When I got home I'd throw all my laundry in the washer, eat some home-cooked food and read newspapers, and enjoy such privileges as TV and a bathtub and use of a kitchen.

But now I have a bathtub and use of a kitchen every day. I don't have TV but I'm working on it (I have A TV, and I will have TV as soon as I can arrange for someone I trust to wait for the cable guy for me) and when I do have TV I will have a better selection of channels than my parents do. I have home-cooked food whenever I want, I get newspapers to my door every day (and, since I picked them myself, the newspapers I get are much better than the newspapers my parents get). I still have to pay to do laundry, but now that I'm earning a professional salary (albeit entry-level) it isn't worth lugging all my laundry home just to save six bucks.

So it looks like I'm going to visit for a day. How do I do that? Seriously, it's a whole different dynamic. When I would stay there overnight I could just do my thing, whatever, chat with people if I felt like it and go to my room if I didn't. But what do I do when I'm there for just one day? And how long do I stay, considering that my commute is probably 1.5 hours each way?

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

I had a horrible dream last night. It was indescribably horrible. I wasn't even sure what was happening, but there was something in my apartment and it was going to GET me. Next to my bed I saw a huge, ominous-looking shadow. I started screaming, and slowly got up to face the THING. My screams woke me up, and I woke up standing next to my bed in the dark. I had been staring at the THING, but it slowly vanished as I woke up. I turned on the light to find my stuffed aminals scattered around the room, and a picture had fallen off my wall and somehow landed in the hall, TURNING A CORNER to do so. This probably sounds hilarious, but when I woke up I was jumpy, sweaty, nervous, warm, heart racing - all the usual symptoms of a panic attack, but worse than I've ever experienced. I haven't the slightest idea what brought that on, but it was the freakiest experience of my life

Monday, July 07, 2003

I love having big projects with distant deadlines. My next deadline is in 11 days. The one after that is a week later. I can just sit in my office and work at my own pace. When I'm feeling productive I can tear through the text, producing rough draft as fast as I can type. When I'm feeling less productive, I can idly read related websites for research until the productivity kicks in. When I'm feeling tired, I can close my door, turn my back towards the window, position myself as though I was reading a paper on the desk, and close my eyes for a few minutes.

No one checks up on my progress because nothing is due for days, I don't have to check in with anyone, and my text benefits from several days worth of Second Cup Early Edition-induced morning freshness! (SENTENCE! and this coming from someone who was bitching about noun phrases earlier today!)

In the back of my mind it has sort of become a given that I will go to grad school and get my MA in a couple of years. I want to do my MA one course at a time over 2 or 3 years, but York has this stupid system whereby you pay a set rate per semester of graduate studies, regardless of the number of courses you are taking. So it would be better financially to do as many courses as possible for 1 or 2 years, but I certainly can't maintain that and work full-time. I don't NEED my MA so there's no point in wearing myself out taking all the courses offered, but it's such a shameful waste of money, and it simply isn't worth $1000 per term for just one course
There's a billboard ad for Coors Light.

"Colder than your landlord at 2 am."

So they're advertising the coldness of the beer? The coldness isn't even a function of the beer, it's a function of the beer's current environment!

Translation: "We think you think you have a good fridge. Buy our beer."

Sunday, July 06, 2003

I'm so tired for some reason. I thought I had slept enough, but my eyes are exhausted right now. I'm still having trouble adjusting to 2-day weekends (I had 3 day weekends for most of uni). I could seriously fall asleep right now, but it's only 6:30 and it's totally sunny out, so that wouldn't be a good idea. I'm working on Harry Potter, but it isn't sucking me in as much as the other books are. When I'm reading it I get transported into the world of Hogwart's, of course, but I can also put it down quite easily.

I think I'll blame this on PMS. I ate a whole jar of Bic Sandwich Saver pickles in two days. That sounds like a sign of PMS, doesn't it?
I find it interesting that people define US citizens as "rich" because of their per capita GDP. As some of you know, in high school we travelled around the states a lot for our band tours, and we always stayed in the homes of our American counterparts. During these trips, I noticed that more Americans in what is probably defined as the middle class have to worry about money. I wouldn't quite define this as poverty, although they certainly weren't well-off. They were in a situation where if they wanted something, they had to do some quick math in their heads first. If disaster struck, they could be ruined. And these were all people who were settled enough that they had a house and a family - they weren't immigrants, they weren't students, they were what I would define as grownups.

That's not to say there aren't people in the rest of the world in this position, but I find it occurs more rarely in Canada and in Europe. There is certainly poverty, especially among immigrants, but when you look at second-generation (or even first-and-a-half generation) or higher families who are settled enough to have started having kids, more of these households can afford to make impulse purchases, and can absorb an unexpected disaster (not that an unexpected disaster wouldn't affect them financially, but they wouldn't be ruined and they could recover).

A lot of this probably has to do with social programs - if I got pregnant or got cancer, I probably wouldn't have to pay a cent to get the medical facet of the problem dealt with. Perhaps, when trying to calculate a country's per-citizen wealth, they should somehow incorporate the social services to which citizens have access instead of straight GDP.

Saturday, July 05, 2003

Apparently a man in Arkansas awoke from a 19 year coma (I don't have a link - it was mentioned as fact on Fark in a link to a photoshop contest).

This raises the question of whether they have a time limit for letting keeping people in comas alive. I mean, this guy was taking up a hospital bed for 19 years! Are people in comas on life support, or are they just there, alive but unconscious. Does their hair grow?
They stopped making my bra in cotton! GAH!

Meanwhile the street festival is bringing out the rednecks, and carrying home $50 worth of groceries when it's 33 with a humidex of 37 is not a good idea.
I vote we get rid of the idea that a visible panty line is a fashion faux pas. First of all, you shouldn't be looking anyway, and secondly, who cares? Visible bra straps are perfectly acceptable, and a panty line is certainly less of a big deal

Friday, July 04, 2003

Two unrelated things:

1. I got the TV home all by myself with one of those carts you use to move boxes! And I only had to be rescued once!

2. The Globe and Mail has a huge-ass student discount on subscriptions. If you're a student and you're thinking "I'd like to subscribe to the Globe and Mail when I grow up and get a job", subscribe just before you finish school while you still have full-time student status. It's over 50% cheaper that way.

Thursday, July 03, 2003

I need bungee cords! (The kind for strapping things together, not the kind for bungee jumping). Someone out there must know where bungee cords come from! Please, where do I buy bungee cords?
Do you qualify to immigrate to Canada?

I took this test, and I got 76 points. You need 75 points to qualify. If I hadn't gotten a professional certificate along with my university degree, I wouldn't have qualified. Good thing I was born into citizenship!

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

I should learn how to read braille. Then I could read, and I'd have something to amuse me, when my eyes are tired and the rest of me isn't. Listening to music or the radio isn't enough to amuse be on its own, so when my eyes are tired I get grumpy and bored.

Today I was in the supers' apartment for 15 minutes to sort out some paperwork, and I got an allergic reaction to their cat and smoke. Just from being there for 15 minutes! GAH! So my eyes have been unhappy all day.

Otherwise, decent day. Enjoyed my day off, did some laundry and got some cleaning done, how exciting. It's July 1 and I don't have my metropass yet and my Toronto Star wasn't delivered today, so I'll have to make some phone calls tomorrow. Ick, phone calls. Maybe if my work tomorrow is as easy as my work yesterday was, I'll finish my work early and can make the phone calls from the office guilt-free.

Cool thing of the day: Jimmy is giving me a couch! How cool is that?