Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The Great Uniter, after all.

Goddamm...I had written an awesome, several-paragraph long entry, and then the server failed. No, I didn't save it. Maybe I'll try to re-create it tonight. It was about the protests on the Hill. Also it had an awesome link to the last Bush protest I was at. Sorry, that's all you're getting for now...don't cry for too long.

Friday, November 26, 2004

So Very Spoiled

It's a pretty good thing I've had a couple of really shitty (read: average student) jobs before I started this one. Otherwise I would have a pretty warped idea of what a real job is like. We get pretty spoiled here ON THE HILL compared to THE REAL WORLD
A few examples:

Sending Mail:
Buy stamps, run to the closest post office, try to figure out complicated postal system VS
Put in appropriate size envelope - no postage necessary. Put in "Out" box by door. Magical mail fairies do the rest.

Ordering Supplies:
Get supervisor's approval. Fill out requisition forms in triplicate. Shop around for cheapest prices. Arrange pick-up or delivery VS Go to the "One Stop Shop" in the basement. Choose from catalogue. Free metallic gold pens for everyone!!!

Computer Maintenance:
None. Or else you have to arrange and budget for it VS Nice lady shows up with kit one day and says "May I clean your computer for you?"

Boss buys you a drink at Christmas party VS Constant partying with various lobby groups that want to buy influence your boss, but he's not there so instead you get his share of free booze, food, gifts and entertainment.

I know it all sounds pretty good, but there is a downside - a lot of the people I work with are raging assholes.

A good example of this was the other night when I was attending a lobby group event and pretending to be important when really I just wanted my free stuff. This particular event was being hosted at the Capitol Music Hall by the CCMIC (Canadian Coalition for Music in Canada? I think). Our whole office went, and we were pretty stoked when we got there to find out that, in addition to the free booze, food and CDs, there would be live performances. My first twinge of excitement came when I saw Jully Black over by the shrimp cocktail - and was she ever working the "white jacket - silver bra" look. No seriously, she's hottt.

Turns out, she was hosting the event with Jim Cuddy (he of Blue Rodeo) and this guy...oh, whatshisname...you know...TOM COCHRANE. So yeah, it was pretty awesome, and Shaye was there, and Bruce Cockburn was there, and there were other awesome acts from Saskatchewan and Quebec and Nunavut and Keshia Chante (AIEEE!!! - is what I'd say if I was 14 and/or a boy) was there and they all rocked the stage.

So all of us from the office were up by the front, singing along and doing that kinda dancing thing people do at concerts or parties when they're feeling the music but not yet drunk enough to dance for real. But everyone else? OH.MY.GOD. People were standing around NETWORKING. Talking, trading cards, checking their freaking Blackberrys...it got to the point where TOM COCHRANE HAD TO ASK THEM TO LISTEN. I was, holy shit, we got free food, free drinks, a free CD, and now you have to be asked politely to listen to some of the best music in the world?

Like I said - a lot of the people I work with are raging assholes.

Despite this, Jully still got Tom to play "Life is a Highway" and it was just a big jam session with all the artists coming out and it was just so freakin' awesome that even the most pretentious snot heads from the second level turned off their cellphones and kinda danced.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Now that my mandatory two-week wait period is up:

I can finally pick up my handgun! Juuuuust kidding. Like I want to shoot myself in the foot. Or the face. Or anywhere at all, for that matter.

Actually, what I was waiting for was two weeks of cool-down time after the U.S. election. I'm not going to dwell on the fact that the results mean four more years of this (and also this, which is awesome but not quite enough to make a Bush mandate worthwhile) but I think I've calmed down enough to talk about reactions to this recent Bushwhack.

There seems to be lots of coverage of disenfranchised American liberals looking north for greener pastures. And on the one hand, I feel for them. I mean, Bush robbed Gore last time around, but this time he actually won based on a majority of Americans being - and I hate to generalize, but, c'mon - total bitchfaced asshats. And I know that if I suddenly found out that the majority of my country were basically angry conservatives, I'd sure as hell want out too. So I completely understand why some U.S. citizens are desperately looking for a way out. And, considering the gains that the Conservative Party made here last election, I'm definitely willing to greet my peace-lovin', tree-huggin', same-sex smoochin', civil rights respectin' compatriots from the south to help tip the balance back.

HOWEVER (and you know this must be important because it's all caps, and normally I hate all caps because IT'S LIKE BEING SHOUTED AT SERIOUSLY DID YOU FLUNK KINDERGARTEN WHEN THEY TEACH YOU WHEN TO USE THE BIG LETTER AND WHEN TO USE THE SMALL ONES???!!!) while the liberal Americans are certainly welcome here, they're really much more needed right where they are. Actually, not so much where they are (San Francisco, New York City) but more where they're not (Florida, Ohio, Texas). Instead of fleeing to Canada, we should be fleeing to them!

See, when roommie Mo and I went to see "Farenheit 9-11" and, we came out thinking "What can we do to stop Bush?" And what we came up with was liberal Canadians marrying Americans and taking Yankee citizenship to vote against the rapid conservatization of the U.S., which is a country that, while much lamer, is also much more influential than our own. To paraphrase the great philospher Denis Leary: "The rest of the world, they can have all the democracy they want...they can have a democracy cakewalk right through the middle of Tiananmen Square and it won't make a lick of fuckin' difference, because we got the bomb, OK? "

So - who wants to marry an Mississippian?

Friday, November 05, 2004

My country 'tis of thee

So, I was walking down Wellington Street the other day, and I looked down the road a bit to Langevin building - the Prime Minister's Office. A funny little thought struck me - what other country in the world has the office of the head of government plunked right on a busy street corner? Maybe, like, Fiji or something.

I mean, think of the White House, all fenced off and guarded by snipers and anti-aircraft missiles, and dogs, or bees, or dogs with bees in their mouths so that when they bark, they shoot bees. Meanwhile, our Prime Minister issues a press release about when he will be greeting trick or treaters at 24 Sussex. No, really. He did.

So how come we can do this? How can we be so sure that no one's going to park a car filled with explosives at Elgin and Wellington, or hide a gun under their Harry Potter cloak, or break-off from their public tour of Parliament and judo chop the PM as he walks down the hall?

I'm thinking because even if there's people out there who hate - HATE! - P.M. the PM, it's a "my taxes are too high" kind of hate. Which is markedly different from the "my son died in a war started under false pretences to guarantee the President's re-election" kind of hate. Or, as is the case in many countries "my life and the life of my loved ones are in constant threat of brutal murder at the hands of his death squad" kind of hate.

I mean, really? We have it pretty good here. I'm not saying we're a perfect country, 'cause we're not - c'mon, this is kind of a sham - but all in all we have very few legitimate complaints about our country. Like, yesterday I forgot to bring an umbrella and it started hailing as I walked home and then I walked too close to the curb and this bus drove by and splashed me twice as it drove through a big puddle...that was a bad day for me. I mean, I was soaked right up to my scarf! And people saw and SMIRKED! It was HORRIBLE!!!

ahem...Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I appreciate a country where people can make a point without resorting to violence. Not that we're violence-free (although there's certainly less violence now ) - but at least our violence is creamy and delicious!