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.