April 30, 2009

Finally, the whining comes to an end

I have a job!!

And since it's bad juju to blog about work, that's about all I can say about that. It's not painting, so no climbing a 3 story ladder and scrapping old paint off for me. Can't say I'm super bummed about that, but it may have been nice to spend the summer outside for once. Hence the archaeology degree, yes? Once I get that, I have a feeling I'll be working outside all I want.

And now, lunch. Gord is making bacon superfries, and after that, we're going to have a little cardiac arrest. Yum!

April 29, 2009


I got it! Muahahaha. I have been secretly coveting a new camera for a while - the Colorsplash, and I finally broke down and bought it on Monday. We went to Photo Service down in Old Montreal on Monday to see if they had any in stock, but they didn't. They offered to order it in for me, but it would have taken about 10 days, and we're leaving for Calgary on Sunday, and I really wanted it for the visit home.

So I searched the internet to see if there were any in stock at any camera shop in Montreal - no luck. None in Calgary or Ottawa - I would have driven 2 hours if it were available. But I did find it on Adorama for $60 + shipping, which brought it to $95, but for immediate gratification, I didn't mind. And it came this afternoon, just before we were leaving to go to the Botanical Gardens. You know how you have all those annoying little things happen just before you leave? You can't find your keys, or the phone rings or whatever, and you hate that it's holding you up? If I hadn't stopped to open my mail and respond right away, I would have missed my camera delivery. Serendipitous.

Anyhoo...I love this little camera. It's incredibly low tech, and I know that everyone but me has gone digital, but it looks like it will be a lot of fun. It's got a colored flash wheel with 4 slots, and it comes with 12 different colored flash thingies to tint your photos. As for going digital, that's why I bought the film scanner. The best of both worlds right here, Miley. I'm excited about taking photos again, which is good, because DAMN. My Etsy shop needs some new goods.

The 10 Rules of Lomography
1. Take your camera everywhere you go.
2. Use it anytime - day and night.
3. Lomography is not an interference in your life, but part of it.
4. Try the shot from the hip.
5. Approach the objects of your lomographic desire as close as possible.
6. Don't think.
7. Be fast.
8. You don't have to know beforehand what you captured on film.
9. Afterwards either.
10. Don't worry about any rules.

Here's a Flickr slideshow of Colorsplash photos, enjoy!

April 26, 2009

My Hometown

In 7 short days, I will be on a plane headed home, and it's got me reminiscing about all the people & places I've missed over the last year. What to do first, where to go...

Like, do I want to stop by my old office and see which illiterate alcoholics are still there? It really galled, taking orders from people who didn't know their there's from their they'res. Two, too, to irritating. Your illiterate, yes you're.

Do I want to check out my old C-train stop, which was the site of a bloody rape & murder the fall before I left? Do I want to go crack-spotting or perhaps play another round of Crazy Hobo Bingo? If I'm downtown, I can do both! It's awesome in my hometown.

Like this one time, I was on the bus, innocently reading Winnie the Pooh while Gord watched a crack deal go down. Like the time we were going to paint pottery, and the well dressed man pulled out his crack pipe, and gave us the stink eye. Crackheads - they're not always homeless! Yet.

Or that beautiful summer day, we went downtown in the evening for a stroll and an ice cream, and shared our bench with a guy who smoked his crack and had a little argument with a homeless woman. (Under the I - crackhead. Under the G - angry homeless woman.) Good times. Awkward times.

There's the sweet hungry homeless guy that Gord gave $5 to once, who thanked him profusely and said
"You watch, man. I'm gonna take this money and go right across the street and buy a slice of pizza. I'm so hungry, man, you saved my life, thank you, thank you...I'm gonna get a pizza right now."
So Gord watched, and the hungry man whose life he just saved did walk across the street, stop beside the door of the pizza parlor...and walked past it, to meet the crack dealer in the alley behind it. Isn't it great when you can really help someone?

There are places that have a special meaning, too. Like my little brother's first apartment in the city. It was on good old 16th Ave, home of Peters Drive-In and the meth lab next door that could have blown up at any time and killed him. And then I would have had to hunt those bastards down, wreak bloody vengence on them and wear their bleached skulls around my neck as a warning. I'm just glad Kelly moved out of that place, because I don't have the physique to pull off a necklace of skulls. I think you have to be 6 feet tall, thin and exotic looking - Iman could pull it off. But not a chubby quiet girl with glasses, who looks like a slightly stunned librarian. So, thanks, operators of the meth lab next door, for getting busted and shut down before you blew up my brother. Your card is in the mail.

And there's our old apartment, where I slept through my first walk by shooting. I remember it well. I was napping on the couch one Monday afternoon in September and I heard 4 shots. Woke me up. And I thought to myself, "That can't be gunshots, this is Calgary, for Christs sake". I thought it must have been...some other loud bang, four times in succession. But then the neighbors were yelling about gunshots, and so I thought, "OK, gunshots. But certainly not that close..." Turns out it was the apartment across the courtyard. Someone had walked up the path, fired 4 shots at the third floor balcony and run away. Since it was right across from us, we got to watch the police check out 'the scene' all night, and they even came over to ask if we'd seen anything. It was just like Law & Order, which always sucks since Briscoe left.

So when people wonder why we left Calgary, what do we say? It's not that Montreal is perfect, but the homeless are bilingual which gives it a certain 'je ne sais quoi', the family next door has an elderly weiner dog with a mean underbite instead of a meth lab, and the only drug use I've encountered on the street has been pot. I'll take a pothead over a crackhead any day.

But, you know. It's gonna be awesome to see friends and family. We're looking forward to it, really we are.

April 23, 2009


Sorry for the radio silence. The last few days have been stressing me out. I'm surprised I still have hair. I wrote 2 finals this week. Mythology was relatively easy. French was a quagmire of confusion and self-doubt, as always. I kind of hate that language. But it's over, and I don't have to worry about passe compose, future proche, imparfait, etc etc etc, until septembre. Je suis libre!

The Flames won the last 2 games, which means the series is tied, and I'm back on the "I heart hockey" bus. I just hope Iggy's still mad when Saturday rolls around. It would be super awesome if the Flames are still in the playoffs when we're back in Calgary. There's no high like being in town when the Flames are winning. I think even the gangs and the crack whores take a break when the playoffs are on.

I've just realized that there is about a 2 week response time to job applications, and I have 2 job interviews tomorrow for jobs I'd forgotten I applied for. Cross your fingers for me. Once I get employment, I'll stop complaining about it, and be able to blog something interesting for a change.

And...have you seen the previews for the 6th Harry Potter? It looks pretty intense, I got goosebumps. So I'm rereading the whole series for the first time since I finished book 7, and we've been watching the movies as well. I don't know how people can be satisfied just watching the movies, because they have to leave out so very much. They do their best with the movies, but I'll take the slow exposition and intricacy of the books over the watered down, rocket-through-everything pace of the movies any day. Although the movies are a nice accompaniment, and I can't picture Mad-Eye any other way now. I keep remembering who dies in the upcoming books and it's making me tear up at odd places when I read the books.

And now, it's off for groceries. The playoffs have given us stress munchies and we've eaten everything in the house, even that stale box of Corn Flakes.

April 20, 2009

Pucks in the heart

Oh office work. How did I miss thee? Let me count the ways.



Yep. Nothing like volunteering to hold down office chairs for 3 hours a week. Somebody's got to do it. Perhaps gravity doesn't work properly above the 5th floor. If nothing else, it makes studying seem so much more interesting by comparison.

First final tomorrow, so I'm spending this evening rereading all the myths we discussed in class and watching hockey. There are few things as emotionally damaging as having a favorite sports team. Watching your beloved child devolve into a homeless crack addict might be the closest thing I can think of. Did I say I enjoyed playoff season? I take it back. Wake me when it's over.

Lucky Gord gets to miss the 2nd half of the game, he'll be on the air at 11PM EST.

April 16, 2009


Chicago won the first game in overtime. Which is easy enough to do when you have someone sitting on our goalie. Havlat's on my list now. I really hate sudden death overtimes. They bring nothing but bad.

On the good news front - we got the apartment we applied for yesterday! We just have to go down tomorrow to sign the lease. In the future, when the wrong team scores in overtime, the sweet, greasy consolation of a quarter pounder will only be 2 blocks away. So that's something.

And if you can't get paid to work, give it away! I got a call back about volunteering downtown at a non-profit foundation, and am going in on Monday for a few hours.

So besides the fact that I have to go arrange a hit on Havlat, things are looking up.

April 15, 2009

Your city's on fire

We applied for an apartment today, and I really hope we get approved, and not just because it's only 2 blocks from the 24 hour MacDonalds. It's a bit cheaper than our current place, has laundry, better layout, 2 closed bedrooms, counters in the kitchen, and the bathroom is easily twice the size of our current shoebox. That, and it's close enough to Loyola that we can take the free shuttle to the downtown campus instead of buying metro passes every month. Fingers crossed and all that. The very word 'credit' gives me ulcers, and I'm trying not to think about it. Thank god it's playoff time :)

I'm starting to get playoff fever again, which is a debilitating but FANTASTIC disease. For as long as your team (GO FLAMES GO!) is still in it, you don't care about anything else. I love it, and I'm so looking forward to game 3, when those poor young boys from Chicago step into the Saddledome for the first time in the playoffs. Cause Calgary isn't just a hockey city. The second playoffs start, the entire populace is mentally right back in game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals of '04, rabid, manic, obsessed, desperate. We've had 4 years of foreplay with no O, and we're losing our minds. The fact that Gord and I are in Montreal instead of Calgary is a minor detail, of no consequence. You don't switch teams just because you moved. Where's your loyalty?

And another thing to note - real fans have their own jerseys. The Saddledome is the sea of red because we all think we're on the team, not because some marketing dick passed out free t-shirts in the team colors at the door.

Another stupid marketing ploy - waving the white flag. You do know that's the sign of surrender, right? And anyway, it looks kind of sissy. Hockey fans scream, get drunk, high five, posture and punch things. Grandmothers wave hankies. Get your game face on, people.

April 14, 2009

Babysitting, no spanking.

Apartment hunt - 4 appointments tomorrow.

Job - 0.5! We are half employed. Gord got a call back from one of the student painting companies, and he'll be starting when we get back from our trip home. That takes a little pressure off.

And the weird job situation keeps on rolling for me. I applied to a babysitting company, and they want me to send in photos before they will set up a phone interview. You know what would be less creepy, guy? If you did in person interviews and didn't ask for photos. You'd see what you wanted to see, and I wouldn't think you've got something other than babysitting on your mind. But thanks for the heads up on the creep-o-meter, and don't be surprised when I don't call you back. I repeat, I am not yet that desperate.

Best news - ice cream sale at Loblaws, 2 for $6. We got mint chocolate chip and creamsicle.

April 13, 2009


Cat sitter - Check

New apartment - not yet. Didn't want to bother anyone over Easter weekend. Starting again tomorrow.

Job - Just....no. No, no, no, no, no.

I went on a futile mass interview for one of those student painter jobs, and Holy Hell, people. It's PAINTING. Why do you need to know what my greatest achievement to date is? Unless my answer is "Painting every day and distributing flyers all night", how is anything I might say relevant to whether or not I get the job? I can paint. I'm willing to work. That's pretty much it, isn't it?

The nanny 'placement agency' sounded like a scam, in that they wanted me to pay $15 to be 'registered'. Fuck that, sorry for swearing, but FUCK THAT. They would have registered a mangy, rabid dog on that nanny list if he'd had $15 clenched in his teeth.

And my old friend Primerica. They call every couple of months, because I have a resume on Monster, and they leave really jazzed emails about exciting opportunities, but when I google Primerica, all I get are warnings. If I won't pay $15 to get my name on a list, why the hell would I pay $220 to be trained in the fine art of robbing ones friends and family of their savings?

Other exciting 'no french required' job opportunities - I could try to get work as a porn emailer. Yep. At home data entry jobs, ad says 'must be comfortable with adult content'. I am not yet that desperate. Not yet. Plus, can you imagine the spiraling depression if I got turned down by the porn email industry? I can too spell penis 15 different ways, just give me a chance!

April 11, 2009

Happy Easter

We're not doing anything Easter-y, no church, no egg hunt, but I just watched the Ten Commandments on Google. It was that or Ben-Hur, and I'm not sure what leprosy and chariots have to do with Easter, so Moses won. Either way, I'm chock full o' Heston, and would have preferred Cadbury's Cream Eggs. I have to believe that the '56 Heston version is superior in every way to the 2007 remake with Christian "Grab-ass" Slater as Moses. What the hell were they thinking?

We roasted a chicken for dinner and got the skin super crispy and delicious, thanks butter! And last night we tried Bofingers, not knowing it was full rack Friday, or exactly how much meat a full rack was...we're both going to die of heart attacks, I think. And spend our afterlife plagued by all the animals we ate. Mournful cows with sad eyes will follow us, and vengeful chickens will peck at our ankles for eternity. Perhaps I should rethink this 'not going to church' thing, but I have no respect for people who only go to hedge their bets. Believe, don't believe, it's all good, but fakers be damned. I'll take my chances with the army of chickens.

April 08, 2009

Hell no

It was cold and snowy today, and when I got home from class, all I wanted was a hot hot bath. Which I had, and I was happily rereading A Complicated Kindness when I noticed a spider dangling about 3 inches above my knee.

I froze. I watched the spider climb all the way back up his thread to the shower head before I could breathe again. But then the bastard started coming down again. I'm not about to play bathtub chicken with a spider. So I got out and made Gord come get the intruder. I'm not afraid of spiders under normal circumstances, but the idea of one joining me in the tub, crawling on me while I'm naked, that's just too much.

April 06, 2009

All that jazz

Gord is on the radio right this minute, guest hosting The Vault on CJLO. You can listen online, and in 2 weeks, he'll have his own show every Monday from 11 - midnight. I'm not sure what he's going to call his show, he was joking (?) about calling it The G-Spot...

And since he has to play a certain amount of Can-con he can use that time to pimp his friends from Calgary. Hello Zoe! And Loni! And Gavin, if we ever hear from you again...And his sisters boyfriends band from Edmonton, whose name/music I don't know, but I'm sure they're great. Success is imminent now you're being played on college radio. :) It's all about who you know.

He's playing the fabulous Miss Zoe right now.
Isn't she beautiful?

The lead in show is Sound on Sight, with our good friend Simon (Ok, we worked with him for 3 weeks at the university bookstore, and have him on facebook, and thus our contact has ended, but still....these days, that's a friend.) Where was I? Oh yeah. He's got a 2 hour movie review show with 2 other guys on Monday nights, 9 - 11. And a website, soundonsight.org. They watch the crap so you don't have to. It's a recession, who has money to waste on sub par movies?

Tonight they were talking about some really terrible horror movies, but the ones that are soooo bad you kind of want to watch them...Like, who DOESN'T want to watch a movie that discusses ghost ejaculate, and involves an elaborate entrapment set up using a fake house and liquid nitrogen? I know what I'm doing Friday night.

April 05, 2009


are my Google ads for Cat Constipation and psychiatric counseling?

Do I really sound like a mentally disturbed feline with a lack of fiber in her diet?

Why is all my email spam for MLB, Viagra and Russian brides?

Am I a lonely middle aged white guy?

If I post this, what new mockery will the internet devise for me next?

Trying to find Woodstock

Break out the celebratory alcohol, people. There are no tests for 3 weeks. I'm currently studying Judd Apatow's early work, as I'm sure the early adolescence of Dr Sweets will be relevant on one of my exams. Or maybe it's just that the soundtrack on Freaks and Geeks is kick ass, and I'm burnt out from conjugating all those french verbs. My English is really suffering. Gord said something to me today, and I replied "I are?" I'm turning into a lolcat.

It rained all day yesterday, and all we did was laundry. If there's one good thing about having to trek to the laundromat every 2 weeks, it's that you can get every piece of dirty laundry done in 2 hours, using 3 double load washers and 6 dryers. We still always manage to end up with unpaired socks, but at least we've got clean sheets and undies for another 14 days.

We're in the midst of finding jobs, a new apartment and a cat sitter for the 2 weeks that we're going home to Calgary, and frankly it is exhausting. I hate phoning strangers and having to be manically cheerful. Thank god for Gord, because he's been picking up all my stranger phoning slack. While I'm not a lesbian, and I'd rather eat my own eyeballs than get married again, it would be nice to have someone here to do all those crappy jobs. The laundry, the phone calls and the paperwork, maybe some vaccuming...

What Gord and I need is a good little 1950's wife. She'd make us drinks before dinner, and iron our socks, and listen to all our problems. But I guess after 10 years or so, she'd hit the 60's, stop shaving and rant all the time about us being oppressive fascists. She'd be right, and when she packed all her newly tie-dyed shirts into a duffel bag, I'd be right there with her, trying to find Woodstock.

April 04, 2009

Do over

I'm going to redo the book giveaway, as I haven't heard from Cassandra. It's a really fun book and a great escape from reality, should you be suffering from recession blues, or 'it's rained all week' blues, or 'why the heck am I not making any Etsy sales' blues - the book won't stop the rain, fix the recession or jump start your business, but it will give you a few hours of enjoyment that will make it easier to handle all that crap. It's called "Eating the Cheshire Cat" but there is no eating of cats in the book, in case you're squeamish about that. Here's the publisher's note:

Eating the Cheshire Cat lures us into a world of perfectly planned parties and steep social ladders, where traditional rites of passage take unpredictable and horrifying turns as three girls and their overbearing mothers collide. In Tuscaloosa, Alabama, beauty is as beauty does, with axes and knives and killer smiles.

Sarina Summers and her mother will stop at nothing to have it all. Nicole Hicks harbors a fierce obsession with Sarina, which repeatedly undermines Mrs. Hicks''s ambitious goals. Bitty Jack Carlson, a nice girl from the wrong side of the tracks, is caught in the crossfire but struggles to succeed outside the confines of this outrageous yet eerily familiar Southern community. It''s survival of the fittest. Which girl will come out on top?

Covering everything from summer camp to the University of Alabama''s Homecoming game, this fast-paced and unforgettable novel will keep readers guessing until the bitter end.

So, again, leave a comment and a way to contact you, and I will pick a winner on Thursday. And whoever wins gets to give it away again and keep it moving. Need an extra incentive to enter? Tell me what your favorite chocolate bar is and I'll try to include it. Just don't pick Junior Mints, because I couldn't find them anywhere in Montreal when I wanted to make brownies. We used 4 Peps, and they turned out fine, but sometimes you just want a Junior Mint.

April 02, 2009

Re: Dumb Things

Most of the time, stupidity makes you want to strike out in strange and violent ways. Like when I used to imagine slapping customers across the face with a stapler when I worked at that place that time...those places, those times. Or just whenever I encountered stupidity and staplers in the same room. But sometimes, you get the Golden Ticket of Stupidity. So in response to Pickles On Pizza's most recent post, here's my all time favorite run in with stupidity.

About 2 years ago, Gord and I had a 2 for 1 movie pass. We went to the Westhills cinema near our old apartment, and handed the girl at the ticket counter our 2 for 1 pass, and we had our debit card out and ready to pay. She hands us two tickets and looks at us like we're stupid. We say...

"Shouldn't we have to pay something?"

She studies the pass for a moment with a furrowed brow. I imagine her brain has been feasting on pop music, text messages and entertainment news for so long that this task does indeed require 2 full minutes.

"Nope," she says, "Cause it says 2 for 1, so you're good."


Yes. Yes, it does. We bought extra snacks with the money we didn't pay to watch the movie.

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