Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Must I always be 'The Other Woman'?

Avid readers may remember that one year less two days to this very date I had what I originally believed to be a brush with identity theft.  Thankfully the misunderstanding was a result of someone with the same name having a very similar email address to mine.

It seems that some people didn't take a minute to update their contacts list, as today I received the following email from the very same real estate agent who had emailed me almost a year ago today:
How is everything going?  Have you found another rental yet?  If you didn't let me know right away please.
[name redacted]
Excellent customer service, if I was indeed a customer.  I figured it deserved some sort of response.
Hi Maria,

We've spoken previously, almost a year to the day, in fact.  I am not the Andrea whom you seek. You're looking for another Andrea who I will assume has an email address very similar to my own.  I've never lived, owned or rented in the Toronto area, although seeing this kind of customer service, if I was considering a move to the GTA, I might consider using you as a rep.  However, a deep, abiding love for small town life, and a rather inflexible custodial agreement renders the possibility of my relocation as a highly unlikely scenario.  

Have a lovely afternoon.

Best Regards,

The Other Andrea.
 Maybe I've made a new friend.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

a little bit o' twisted nostalgia

When I first started my job, I had the pleasure of working with my sister.  At that time I was doing a lot of internet research and data entry, so I'd pop my headphones on and well.. my mind had some time to wander.

Nicky was the lucky person that got to be subjected to whatever happened to cross my mind.  I just found these emails yesterday.

Remember way back when on the Y & R and either Cricket and Danny, or Cricket and Paul had their honeymoon (or some random ‘romantic getaway’) in Newark?  Did they ever clarify which Newark it was?  Because apparently there is a Newark Delaware, and a Newark, New Jersey.   Which begs the question… How effin' lame do you have to be to honeymoon in Delaware or New Jersey?  I mean if your heart is absolutely set on Jersey, at least go to Atlantic city, so you can gamble and junk.

Just my .02
I totally stand by that sentiment.

The Business development manager for M2M Imaging is HAWT. - Cameron Barnard.
P,S.  The depths of my idiocy knows no limit.  I've been driving around without a health card or drivers licence for the last week.  Why, you ask?  Because they have been in a safe at Staples, where some good Staples employee placed them after I LEFT THEM IN THE PHOTOCOPIER.  Gah, me=moron.
I checked that link.  Sadly it appears that hottie Cameron Barnard no longer works for M2M imaging.  Sad.
I wanna make dirty monkey love to my own hair today… it looks THAT good.
Well, it DID.
I think I’m in love with Mike Ness. I also think I’m becoming a country fan.  Of the old school, not the new.  Should I be disturbed?
 A lot of thoughts came to me via the hours I spent on my iPod:
I’ve tried and tried, for years to like Rage Against the Machine.  But I just don’t.
Nicky got to be privy to some of my geological discoveries as well:

Arkansas… Copycat? 

Let’s see, first there is the spelling.  If you pronounce it how it looks, it could say “Our (pronounced ‘are’) Kansas”  It’s like they wanted to be Kansas, but it was already taken, so they decided that parcel of land would be “Our Kansas”

Now I come across a site for the Ouachita Baptist college.  Doesn’t that look like it could be pronounced like a bastardization of Wichita?  And where is Wichita? 


That’s right.


Buncha plagiarists, I say.
 Not to mention my observations about the lovely building where we work:
I found myself in the washroom on this end of the building, and avoiding the larger stall in much the same way I avoid parking in handicapped spots.  And it occurred to me:  How odd is it to have a wheelchair stall on the upper floor of a building that is clearly not wheelchair accessible?  And I said ‘AHA! I must email Nicky…”  But once I came out of the washroom, I looked at the so-called ‘wheelchair stall’ and realizing that the door on the stall was not nearly large enough for a wheelchair to pass through.  This is not a wheelchair stall, just a case of lousy designing resulting in two average size stalls and one freakishly large one.  Curses, foiled again.

 Nicky doesn't work there anymore, so I don't have her to send my random musings too.  Thank God for Twitter.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

In spite of my best efforts.

Yesterday as the girls and I were making dinner, Reegs told me she didn't ever want to get married.  This is not the first time she's made this declaration.  She once told me that when she grows up she's not going to get married, not going to have kids, not going to have a car, and is going to be a hairdresser.

I can totally envision this, by the way.

An artist's rendering of my youngest daughter in about 10 years. Source
I decided to ask her why she didn't want to ever get married.  Keep in mind, I also don't want her to grow up feeling like she is under any obligation to marry, either.  However, I was curious so I asked.

"I don't want to get married because I don't ever want to have a divorce."

Cue massive parental guilt.

What do you say? Between the ex, the new wife and myself, we've tried to do what we can to make sure the kids aren't negatively affected by our situation.  It's taken a lot of compromise and a lot of putting our (okay, MY) own  hurt feelings aside in order to give the kids as stable an upbringing as that.

Still, it broke my heart to hear her say that and I couldn't help but wonder how much of it was some deep-rooted fear of emotional pain that was subconciously implanted (even within the womb) into her psyche, or if maybe I'm taking too much guilt on myself and that this is a more global fear that she's picked up from television, books and movies.

So what could I do.  I did some fast-on-my-feet parental thinking and told her that not everyone gets divorced and even if it happens, although it genuinely does suck, it's not the end of the world and people move on and get through it.   Had I been quicker I could have pointed out her Grammy and Grandpa who have been happily married for nearly 35 years now.

Still my heart broke a little.  I hope neither of my babies ever have to go through it.  I guess they are lucky enough that they were both too little to remember the really rough post-split aftermath, as Tierney was just a toddler and Reagan was a newborn baby.

*sigh*  I guess we all just do what we can, right?  Right.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Conversations with my Kid: Pop Culture > Canadian Politics

A couple weeks ago, at my sisters place, we caught the energetic yet vaguely horrifying Iggy Pop performance on American Idol. (I say horrifying because put a shirt on already, Mr. Pop.)

This morning, the radio discusses the upcoming Canadian election and Michael Ignatieff's visit to Montreal.

T:  Mom! Iggy's coming to Montreal!
Me: Huh?
T: On the radio... they said Iggy's coming to Montreal!!
Me:  Not Iggy Pop, honey.  Michael Ignatieff.


T:  Oh.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Conversations with my kid: You're lucky you've got looks, kid.

Tucking the girls into bed tonight I had this exchange with my almost ten-year-old daughter.

T (reading off my shirt):  "Karaoke Contest Summer two thousand seven. "  Mom, when did you get this?
T: What? 
Me:  Seriously?
T:  What? When did you get it?
Me: SUMMER 2007!!!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ugh, excuse me whilst I rant a moment...

I was just going through emails for work, so I don't have a metric fuckton to go through tomorrow morning, and I gotta say, sometimes people disgust me.

Whatever happened to professionalism?  Seriously?

I'm not even talking about bad spelling and worse grammar.

I'm talking about swearing in supposedly professional correspondence.   When did this become acceptable?  Oh wait, that's right.. IT DIDN'T.

Okay, so the site I work for has a number of newsletters that go out.  When someone signs up, they have the option of opting out of them.  It's right there on the registration page, and frankly, if you're too damn lazy to make sure all your boxes are unchecked, than you deserve to have your shit spammed.

Occasionally we get an an email requesting to be manually unsubscribed, if the unsubscribe function is not working.  Mostly they are polite, some have an air of desperation ("Please, sir, make the emails stop!").

Tonight I received an email from the CEO of what I can assume is some kind of fish processing company that simply stated:
Stop sending fucking emails , you are wasting my time.

I have a filthy mouth with the best of them, but really?  You're sending this out into cyberspace, to others in your industry, with your name and your company name?

That's just not good business sense.

I have a file I keep at work for dealing with really difficult customers.  Basically I write out the things I'd really like to say, so I can then move on and write the nice, professional, non-snarky, non-sarcastic response.  I make sure to write my imaginary responses in Word so I don't ever accidentally send one off to the customer.  Pretty S.M.R.T, no?
Dear Sir,

We have removed you from the mailing list.  Please accept our apologies for assuming that when you signed up for fifteen different newsletters that you might actually want to receive the newsletters.  In retrospect, I guess that's pretty darn silly.  We'll stop sending you fucking emails now.  Good luck in the fish business, by the way.
The Helpdesk.

This is one of the more pleasant ones.  I'd almost consider sending this, minus the second last sentence, because then I'd just be a hypocrite.  But I probably won't.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Stop touching your crotch, sir, and an update on the vehicular situation.

Last night I went to a show/cancer benefit down in Toronto at the El Mocambo with some friends.  The venue was pretty cool, I'm told it was quite the rockin' place in its time.  Since my friend worked until 9, we ended up getting into the Tdot around 11ish, in the middle of one of the bands sets.  I don't know what they were called, but they were fronted by a very small woman with a very big voice and they ended with a pretty kick-ass cover of the Beastie Boys' 'Sabotage'.

Second band was a group called BlindRace, and hell, I didn't know what to make of these guys.  I wanted to like them, but they couldn't seem to make up their mind as to whether they wanted to be Creed or Sepultura.  I'd like them for a bit, then get a distinctive Creed vibe and I could see that although I may enjoy them now, they were probably destined for Creed-esque future suckitude.  And the singer came across like a rather mysogynist douche of Scott Stapp/Chad Kroeger proportions. 

And he kept touching his crotch while he was singing.  All.  The Fucking.  Time.  It's distracting as hell.  After the show I went up to him and told him "Good set, but you need to stop touching your crotch when you sing."  He laughed at this and said he couldn't help it and without considering the awesome double entendre I said "Yeah, I imagine it's probably hard."  He then proceeded to try chatting up T. and I we were just like 'Eep, okay let's get out of here.'

The headliners, Goldie Luxx I found fairly unimpressive.  I think the singers vocals threw me off.  They weren't laughably bad like the previous band, just kind of didn't do anything for me.  Maybe I'm just getting old, who knows.

On the way home we stopped at the King Road truck stop for gas and coffee and some guy in a Corvette came up to us and was trying to sell my friends car parts (They're both Neon Racing enthusiasts and do a lot of customization to their respective vehicles).  Out of nowhere, at a gas station at 3:30 in the morning.  Totally random.

Then between the south end of Barrie (you know the place, where all things good and pure go to die) and roughly Horseshoe Valley road we were being tailed by a douchebag in a giant pick up truck who was, I don't know, trying to goad E. into racing or something?  Slow down until we pass him, then zoom past us, then hit the brakes and slow down until he was beside us again, riding along side.  At one point I wondered if the jackass was going to try and run us off.  It was pretty scary.  A couple of times he pulled over until we passed him, then would speed up to pass us again.

Finally we got up right behind him to take down the licence and call the cops.  I guess he figured it out because soon after that he got off at Horseshoe Valley Road.  Some people.

So with that segue, a quick update on the car buying situation.  I put a deposit down on a 2007 PT Cruiser, after much deliberation and meeting with more car sales people than I could ever possibly want to.  I plan on having a giant bonfire with all the business cards and brochures that I've amassed over the last couple of weeks.

New wheels-to-be.  Tentatively named Petey.
I still stand to be vehicle-less for a few days, since I haven't gotten the insurance money back yet and the rental is due back on Monday.  I'm waiting on a check, which I then have to send to my loan people so they can take their chunk, then they put the remainder in my account.

Then i am motherlovin' CAR-LOAN FREE!!

So, I tend to anthropomorphize my cars (previous vehicles being Bessie, Lurch, Betty and Mabel the Sable) and my friend suggested the name Petey, relating it as a tribute to another friends late rabbit.  I didn't quite get what that had to do with anything.  Being the quick one I am, it took me a full 24 hours to make the connection


Friday, April 15, 2011

For D'artagnan...

...Since you asked.

Emily Haines and Aaron Lewis make a disconcertingly happy baby.

Or is she snarling?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Metric's sound appropriated for right-wing asswad - music fan is confused.

So I stumbled across an interesting bit of story today, via The Twitter.  Seems a fan by the name of Thomas Horn sent a letter to Metric (awesome band fronted by the gorgeous and talented yet perpetually sad/dull-eyed Emily Haines) to let them know that a riff from one of their songs was being co-opted by a radio station in Pittsburgh for use in the intro to right-wing extremist looney-tune Glenn Beck's radio program.

Turns out Emily and the boys didn't have a clue their tune was being used.  Aghast and all full of 'Why-I-a-Outrage' they contacted their publisher "with a mortified WTF?" who informed them that the station was covered under a blanket license which let's them use the music how they want, albeit in small doses.

Even so, the publisher contacted the radio station and asked them to pretty pretty please not to use Metric's music because they love all things fair and just and Beck is a douche.  This is how I imagined the conversation might go*:

Sad Emily Is Sad.  Source
"Hello,  Philadelphia 104.7, this is the legal department.  How may I help you?"
"Hi, I represent the band Metric.  We heard that you're using one of their songs to open for the Glenn Beck Insanity Hour, and we'd like you pretty pretty please to stop, thanks."
"Well, legally we're allowed to do what we want with it, in small doses.  It's blanket license."
"Yeah, I know, but I thought you could, you know, just stop anyway.  See.. we don't much care for Beck, being Beck and all.  The situation is making Emily all sad and dull-eyed, more so than usual."
"Ahh, I see.  Hmm. Since we're good guys, and secretly we all think Glenn's a douche as well, we'll take it off for you."
"Sweet thanks."

Clearly, I have no idea how entertainment law works.

So happily ever after.  Here's what bugs me:

Is it that, as pondered in Em's letter back to Thomas, that it seems that the teabag-assbag is trying to co-opt the lefties for his show.  Canadian Lefties, even?  (as my dear friend UncleJubb likes to refer to us... communists to the north).


Throughout the correspondence, they refer to the use of Metric's song Rock Me Now, from the 2007 release, Grow Up and Blow Away.  But listen to the sample** of Beck's show provided with Thomas' letter. (I'll just mention here that I hate when people refer to Glenn Beck as Beck, because I always think people are referring to Beck Hansen and I want to fight them.  Because I LOVE Beck.  Hansen.)

Beck.  ❤  Source
Uhm.  Not so much.  Source
Creepin' crap, where was I?  Yeah.  Listen to the clip.

That's not "Rock Me Now", it's "Too Little, Too Late" off of 2007's other release Live It Out.  I should know, I played that riff non-stop when I first learned it.  How has nobody noticed this.. NOT EVEN THE BAND THEMSELVES?

I don't why this bothers me.  Maybe because I'm just anal-retentive in my desire for accurate music trivia.  Maybe it's because when I pointed the mistake out in a reply to the tweet on Metric's Twitter feed I was hoping for some kind of response like "Hey! Good ear!" or "Way to pay attention to detail!" or "Actually Buffy St. Marie smells like vanilla and cookies, if you're wondering."

But nothing.  *sigh*

At least I know I'm right.

*you may want to read the letters in the article for the actual legaleeze.
**Note:  Weird.  They've taken the sound clip out, for reasons unknown.  Well, take my word for it, it was not Rock Me Now.

Because F*** Random Generators.

I feel ripped off.

Two other bloggers, The Bloggess and Today Is My Birthday have recently posted about the 'That can be my next Tweet' generator and it looked like fun so I decided to try it.  The generator is under the impression that I am some kind of disorganized schizophrenic*  unable to form a complete, cohesive sentence.

I know these things just basically take words I've already used and make them into new things, but seriously?  This?
For Zombie Jesus references? didn't actually go to feed an honor! Safety tip: before I like lazy man.
My Motivation is to do both and Nickelback. I said the insurance money and hope people lauding Harper for!

*snicker* I'm cosplaying as all you the little sick of those, right? car I'll just tell you know, I just.

Bring me on outside our number so I hate award shows. Jim Cuddy could probably wear a car I'll just get!

Seriously though.. this way. Jordanian fellow on me. Nothing like my younger self had lousy taste if?

... and should write something anyway blog) I kind of coffee. want to hear mommy blogger and this Fight.
 In other news though, Feministe posted a link to an article called "Five Things You Should Know About New York," and asked everyone to contribute five things about their geographical location.  Here's my contribution:
Five things to know about living in the Midland/Pentanguishene, (aka lower cottage country aka Huronia) area, Ontario.
1) Every year at least one jackass will go through the ice on a snowmobile. Usually in October, or March.
2) Locals swim in Georgian Bay. Tourists swim in Little Lake Park, then go back to Toronto and die of dysentery. Don’t swim in Little Lake Park.
3) Balm Beach is always freezing cold. 365 days a year. But it’s still more advisable than Little Lake Park.
4) In the winter, the town plows the snow into the middle of the road. No one knows why they do this, and no one ever will.
5) For nightlife, you pretty much have Bleachers or the Legion. It’s a toss-up between Barely-Legals and Barely-Breathing**.. if you’re between the age of 25 and 40, we suggest heading to Barrie for nightlife.
 What about where you are from?

*For those confused, "Disorganized Schizophrenia" is actually a diagnosis characterized by incohesive thoughts, sentences that don't make sense etc... I'm not just referring to a schizophrenic who has misplaced her day planner.

**Fellow Legion goers, I kid because I love. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It's a wonder I'm still walking around...

This is a post written for Studio30Plus's weekly challenge.  This week's prompt is 'Risk'.  I've tried to convey a sense of suspense in this piece.  This is a true, if anticlimactic, story


I don't always err on the side of caution.

I've gotten in cars with strangers.  I've met men through the interwebs.  Quite a few.  I've walked through the park, by myself, late at night.  Why?  Just because I could.  Because the park at night is peaceful, and quiet, and you can hear crickets chirp.  Of you can hum dirges to yourself and scare the bejesus out of yourself. 

Get the heart rate going.  Feel that adrenaline.

One day, mid-afternoon on a brisk, sunny fall day, I find myself walking through the bushes.  The main foot and bike trail veers off and a small dirt path runs along the water, behind some overgrown fields and into a deeper brush.  The sun beats overhead, and I walk along the retaining wall which plunges deep into the dark blue Georgian Bay.  I have my iPod buds in my ears and I walk briskly along the dirt path, enjoying the music, enjoying the day, enjoying the solitude and sunshine.

Where the retaining wall comes to an end in a twist of broken concrete and corrugated iron, the dirt path veers into the bushes.  I've walked this trail a thousand times before.  It's low-traffic, and isolated.

Voices.  Over the music I can hear them.  Slipping my hand into my coat pocket, I turn the volume way down.  There's about four of them.  Male voices.  Laughing boisterously.

Aw shit.

From this vantage point, I know I'm not visible from the road.  Out here, they wouldn't find my body for days.  I slow my pace and consider my position.  Keeping to the trail will bring me right into their line of vision. 

I could cut through the brush.

No good.  I risk drawing more attention to myself by snapping twigs.  Besides, I have a better chance on the trail if I have to make a run for it.

Keep moving.

My heartbeat echoes in my ears as blood pumps faster and faster.  I'm getting closer to where they sit on the half-broken picnic table, moved to the water months previous. 

Walking by, I pretend like my iPod is still on.  I sense them gazing in my direction, and I make eye contact for the briefest moment. 

"Hello!"  I nod my head slightly, in the slightest gesture of assent.  My feet want to break into a run, but I force them to maintain their steady pace.

"I said 'hello!"

Look again.  "uh.... hi."   Keep walking, keep moving.  My stomach is clenching, and flashes of grotesque images start to flash in my brain.  The trail has curved, I've passed them now.  My back is to the group.  I can hear muttering and chuckles.  My ears, half-functioning at the best of times, are now acutely aware of the sounds around me.  I listen for footsteps approaching behind me.  I don't dare look back.

The trail takes another turn, and I know, from having walked this dirt path numerous times before never having met a soul along the way, that I'm out of their line of sight.  It's now that I allow myself to break into a full-run, feet slamming the dirt path, dodging rocks and roots, slipping on leaves, until I find myself back on the paved bicycle trail, the one that follows along the main road, safely visible to the cars that whizz by.

Bent double, I struggle to catch my breath.  Did I over-react or did I just escape a potentially life-threatening situation?  I'll never know. 

That was last fall.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Today, I questioned a cartoon's manhood.

I received a text from the Danno today.  He likes to send me the occasional brain teaser, like the one below.  I am convinced he's absolutely batshit insane sometimes think he might have some issues (you know I'm just kidding, right?).

Danno: Question: Which one of the looney tunes do you suspect had the biggest penis?

Me: Well, Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam are out.  The violent temper and affinity for firearms indicate insecurity and a need to over-compensate.

Me:  Based sheerly on the laws of proportion, I'd say the abominable snowman.  Biggest character=biggest penis.

Me:  Incidentally, my phone forces me to spell out penis.

Danno: Yeah, I was in the same boat, combining Pen and Is, but my phone learned it after the first time I used it. :-)

Danno: Your insights into this sensitive matter are much appreciated.

Me: Hey, I'm here to help.

This is a man with some masculinity issues to work out.  Source

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Glitter and Sunshine and Music and Wine

This is a post I recently submitted to Band Back Together, but I wanted to share it here as well.


Winter in Canada generally sucks the big one.

But spring is here.  And you know what?  It's pretty awesome.

I have an old futon that sits on my front porch.  It's covered with what is possibly the ugliest blanket known to man. Seriously, it's orange, and brown and is ripped to shit by the cats and I love it.  The warm weather means I get to sit on my front porch, enjoying the sunshine.

I have a beat-up guitar.  When humanity has been wiped from Earth and even Cockroaches have become extinct, this guitar will still be around.  He's not pretty but he sings me lovely songs when I hold him just right.  The warm weather means that I can sit on my ugly old futon and play my beat-up guitar in the sunshine.

I have two little girls.  They're both badly in need of a haircut.  They fight with each other.  They leave messes all around the house.   But they are always ready for a hug and their giggles are infectious. Spring means I get to sit on my ugly futon, playing pretty songs on my beat-up guitar and watch my beautiful little girls play in the yard with each other, and ride their bikes and pick flowers in the sunshine.

And at night, I will light fires in my backyard for friends to sit and sing songs and have a drink and maybe a hot dog on a stick.  My friends, they're an odd bunch, but they suit me so well.

Oh, springtime, and sunshine. 

This is my handful of glitter.  This is my happy place.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Two Rape Apology Tropes that Just Need to Stop Now.

April at Ethecofem posted a great article this week on victim-blaming in society for everything from rape, to poverty, to obesity.

I made a couple of comments that I wanted to expand into a blog post, regarding common tropes used in rape apologism.

Trope #1  - Rape =/= Being hit on.

Being raped or assaulted is not the same as being hit on. I cannot stress this enough. But it seems that every time brings up the topic of victim blaming, especially in regards to someone's manner of dress, some jackass always brings up the "Why do women get all dressed up if they don't want to get hit on?"

I'll say it again.. being raped or assaulted is NOT the same as being hit on.  It's not a compliment.  Don't try to equate them.  Ever.

If I get all gussied up and head out on the town looking like a million bucks, then no, I shouldn't be surprised if someone offers to buy me a drink, or asks me to dance, or asks for my number.


However, if I go out all tarted up and someone asks to buy me a drink, and then puts drugs in it, or gets belligerent and abusive if I decline a dance, or corners me in the parking lot after I leave, well that is NOT okay. No matter HOW hot/slutty/provocative (because the semantics are objective, you know) I am dressed.


This was the point that was being made by the Toronto Slut Walk last week.  It wasn't about whether or not it's cool to dress 'slutty' or whether it should be socially acceptable to do so - especially when the definition of what is considered 'slutty' is subjective, as is the perception of what the term actually means.  Personally, I think a lot of women could stand to show a little more class in how they dress.  But I do not ever think that manner of dress should be justification for being assaulted.  And that's why there was such an uproar over the OPP officers comments.

Trope #2 - Rape =/= Having your car Stolen.

Another common argument is the 'if you leave your car unlocked you shouldn't complain when it gets stolen'.  I'm just going to repost my response to the guy who made this comment on April's post:
So if a person leaves his car parked on the street with the keys in the ignition and the windows rolled down and the car gets stolen, would it be victim-blaming to say, "Hey, maybe you shouldn't have made it so easy to steal your car"?
Here is my response.  I don't really feel a need to add anything.
When you leave your car running on the street unlocked with the keys in the ignition, and someone steals it, no one argues whether the car was actually stolen or not. No one denies the validity of the claim of theft, regardless of how easy it was. No one ever says "Well, do you think they really stole the car? The car owner must have wanted them to have the car. I mean, they gave away their last car, so they must have wanted the the so-called car thief to have this one. Now they're just saying it was stolen so they don't look like fools who give their cars away."

And ultimately, yes, it's still victim-blaming, because even being dumb enough to leave a car running with the keys in the ignition doesn't let someone off the hook for saying "Hey, this isn't mine, but I'm taking it anyway."

Oh, there's that whole pesky issue of women's bodies not being the equivalent to personal property or an inanimate object such as a friggin' CAR. But I'm sure you knew that already.
So folks, can we please stop with these two incredibly lame arguments already?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Car shopping is bullshit.

I have a confession to make.  My close friends and family will already know this about me.

I am cheap as all hell.  Stingy.  It's sad.  I could give you all the reasons why, but here's the long and the short of it:  I just don't like putting down large sums of money for anything.  I don't like being in debt, so I try to live well within my means.

My means, meanwhile, are not fabulously abundant. 

There's food on the table, my rent is paid, my bills are (mostly) caught up.  There's not a lot left over, but it's not dire.  But it has been.  So now I'm extra careful not to get to that point.

I have to buy a car. 

*cue massive coronary*

I got the call back last week in regards to Betty's ultimate fate and the insurance company's final decision was to put the poor girl out to pasture.

Now, it's not all bad.  On some levels this helps me, financially (when you put aside the potential to get screwed on my next insurance renewal).

You see, I have a cunning plan.

"You wouldn't know a cunning plan if it painted itself purple and danced naked on top of a harpsichord, singing "Cunning plans are here again!"
I've looked it up and since I have full-replacement coverage, and my loan is half-way paid off, I should be able to pay it right off, thus ridding me of a $300+ monthly car payment (which can then go towards my downpayment fund and paying down student debt) and have a decent amount left over to buy a good used car. 

... did I just say 'Used' car?  As in.. driven by others?  As in, potentially unknown maintenance records?



Thing is.. me with cars?  They're not my strong subject.  People know this, friends and family know this and God Bless 'Em.. they seem to like me and have concern for my safety and even want to help me.

Thing with cars and buying cars is, everyone seems to have differing opinions.  Where to buy; where not to buy; what make to go with (and NO ONE will have the same answer for this, TRUST ME ON THIS ONE); which one's not to go with; Private sellers are a rip-off; used-car dealers are a rip-off; get an extended warranty; no don't they're a waste of money.

Sensory motherfucking overload. 

And I start worrying that I'm going to make the wrong decision and pick a car that will:
  • Rust out within a month
  • Spew flames upon ignition
  • Refuse to start at any temperature lower than -5 celcius
  • Randomly shoot lugnuts at my children when my back is turned
  • Secretly change all my radio presets to Country, Talk Radio and Contemporary Christian stations.   
 And I'll discover that it's the car rated most likely to spontaneously drive itself off a cliff so my insurance premiums will be 500 dollars a month, and all the parts will need to be ordered in from Kazahkstan.
"Dammit Thelma, I told you that wasn't the I-95 exit!"

You know what happens then?  My brain, the car-buying portion of my brain SHUTS DOWN, and the only thought I can process is "Ooooooh.. pretty.  Is it certified?  E-tested? Within budget?  Let's just drive this fucker home NOW, thankyouverymuch."

"But it's PINK! and it's great on gas!"

I do want to point out to all the people who have offered to help, I DO appreciate it greatly and I love yas for it and I will definitely be taking some of you up on your offers of assistance (because God knows, I'm probably going to need it).  All I'm saying is, I'm not good with large purchases, so if we're talking cars and my eyes start to glaze and my bottom lip starts to tremble and I keep glancing at the door like I'm going to make a run for it.. well, don't take it personally. 

Just change the subject.  Trust me.  We'll both be better off.

Photo Sources:
Living Stingy
Bin Bin

The upside is I've been having fun with my 'Car-Shopping Music'.


Ahh, Blind Melon. Still so under-rated, in my humble opinion.

Monday, April 4, 2011

What did Nicholas Cage Ever Do To You?

The following is a piece of short fiction written for the weekly writing challenge at Studio 30 Plus.  This week's writing prompt is "Las Vegas"


The moon is full this evening.  A faint glow shines through the window, lighting the room enough to create a vague silhouette of a man and a woman, laying back in bed.  An ashtray lay balanced on his chest and he smokes a cigarette.  She's nestled in the crook of his arm and curled up against his chest in what is only partly a gesture of affection.  Truthfully, the smell of the smoke bothers her, and she finds she prefers to breathe in his own scent of post-coital sweat and department store body spray.  She never used to be bothered by it, but after quitting herself, she finds it mildly irritating.  She's considered saying something and sometimes wonders why exactly she doesn't.

Meanwhile, as he pulls a drag from his cigarette and blows it towards the cracked open window, he wonders if it bothers her that he still enjoys the occasional smoke.  Feeling mildly guilty, he thinks about stubbing it out, but reconsiders.  If it bothered her, she'd have said something by now.

Laying in silence, the tiny orange beacon pulses as he finishes his smoke.  Stubbing the tail end in the tiny glass ashtray, he places it on the night table and waves the lingering remains away.  She adjusts her position, and breaks the silence.

"Have you ever seen Leaving Las Vegas?"  She had heard the song playing on the radio earlier that day and  wondered about the connection, if any, between the song and the film.

"Nope, never seen it," he replies sleepily.

"I've heard it's good.  It won awards, you know."
"Ehhh.  I don't really like Nicholas Cage."

Propping herself on her elbows she stares at him, momentarily, as though he's suddenly grown a third head. "What?  Why?"

"Just don't.  He bugs me.  Good night."  With that, he rolls onto his stomach and faces the wall, closing his eyes.

"Hold on a minute!" she exclaims indignantly, flipping on the light.  She's sitting upright now, and he cries out in dismay at the shock of the seemingly blinding light and slams the pillow over his head. "What do you mean, you 'just don't'?  That makes no sense!"

From under the pillow comes his muffled response "I dunno.  Why do I need a reason not to like him?  Can I sleep, please?"

"What about Adaptation?"

He emerges from under the pillow. "What about Adaptation?"

"We watched that.  Didn't you like it?  I thought you said you liked it."
"It was okay, I guess.  I don't remember it much.  Why does it matter to you if I like Nicholas Cage?"
"Well, I just don't get how you can just 'not like' someone.  Do you think he's a bad actor?  Is it because he's not conventionally handsome?"  She's crossing her arms across her chest and looking vaguely annoyed.

Sighing dramatically, he sits up. "I wasn't going to tell you this, but here goes. Once, I was in New York on business.  I was trying to hail a cab.  It was raining that day and all the taxis kept passing me by.  Finally a Yellowcab stopped and I was just about to get in when out of nowhere, Nicholas Cage shoved me aside, into a giant puddle, and took my cab that I had waited 15 minutes in the rain for.  I missed my job interview, and the opportunity of a lifetime.  Ever since then, I have hated Nicholas Cage and everything he stands for."

She pauses and eyes him, eyebrows raised. "Is that true?"

"Not a word of it.  Can we go to sleep now?"

She whacks him with the pillow. "Ass."  Flopping back onto the bed she gives him evil eye.

"You love it," he says, kissing her on the forehead and flipping off the light.  She sighs and rolls over.

A few moments later, she rolls back over.  "By the way, I hate it when you smoke in bed."

No reply.  He's already sleeping.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

I have an axe to grind..

.. okay, so it's more of a hatchet.

Started on my yard work today after a miscommunication resulted in my afternoon opening up.  A whack of smaller trees on the back of the property fell down so Reegs and I spent an hour or so dragging the broken limbs over to the fire pit.  Unfortunately, some of the fallen branches are too thick for me to break down into smaller chunks by hand, so I'll need to chop them.  Right now my rusty little hatchet is about as threatening as a Nerf bat.

I also managed to fashion a working leaf rake out of the two leaf rakes that got broken last fall, due to neglect.  So I'm a handy-freakin' woman.  I've also managed to make banana muffins, a big batch of spaghetti sauce and completed a backdrop for Tee's play for school.  They're doing 50 Below Zero, based on the book by Robert Munsch and needed a background for the outdoor scene.  Since I'm pretty sucky on that whole 'volunteer-parent' thing, I thought "Hey, this is somewhere I can contribute!"

I don't mind saying, I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.
So the moral of the story, I should let the kids have friends over more often, because when they're occupied, I get shit DONE.

I welcomed back clothesline season by doing about six thousand loads of laundry.  Two weeks worth of clothes, plus two loads of sheets and a couple of comforters.  I've even got lunches ready to go for tomorrow.  I have to call the insurance company tomorrow to see what the freakin' deal is with my car, because it's been over two weeks and I'm still driving the rental around.

Unexpected visit from the most recent ex, who was in the area visiting friends.  It was.. pleasant.  I dunno, for the first time since everything really went to shit, I felt like we might actually be able to maintain a friendship.. one that doesn't fuck with me emotionally but rather one where we really are just friends, nothing else.

I've been blogwarded by Bruce at Just Another Day In Paradise

I recently came to the conclusion that my blog suffers a bit of an identity crisis as it does not know whether it wants to be a humour blog, a feminist blog, a mommy blog, a music blog, a creative writing/poetry blog or what.  I'm pretty all over the place.  But if others want to call that 'versatile' well who am I to correct them, right?  So thanks Bruce!

The Rules:

7 randoms about me.  These get harder to come up with.  I've also found this in conversation.. being prevalent on the interwebs means I have no material for face-to-face conversations and small talk.

"Did I tell you I...?"  "Yeah, you blogged/posted on Facebook/tweeted about it last week."

Hoo boy.  Random facts.
  1. I think Crocs are great for kids but grown-ups who wear them should be throat-punched.
  2. I will use a men's washroom (single-occupancy) if no women's washroom is available, because I refuse to let my bladder be a slave to social condition.
  3. About 85% of the women on my mothers side look exactly alike or with variations on the same theme.  You could make a template out of us.
  4. My favourite book is Hugh MacLennan's The Watch That Ends the Night.  I read it after seeing an interview with The Tragically Hip where they said that the third verse for the song Courage was basically ripped from that book.
  5. I once named a cat Chino Moreno, after the singer for the Deftones
Sorry folks, five is all you get. I'm going to hold off on passing this on too, because I'm tired and I get all worried that A) I'm going to insult someone by leaving them out or B) I may pass this on to someone who is not prepared to take on the awesome responsibility of blog award recipiency.

Taking a page from Lance over at My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog, I'll leave all y'all with a little tune.  This is a live version of Courage, because I can only get the official video through that stupid Vevo thing that tacks a friggin' 40 second commercial at the beginning.  Besides, watching Gord Downie perform live is usually a thing of beauty.

"You look like a wallet in the street.  You look that good."