Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Aunt Phyllis Don't Take No Shit From Nobody

So I’m at the holiday party for a fine up and coming high-tech company called March Networks (remember this name – buy some stocks – etc). And the DJ’s playing all sorts of tunes, from current Top 40 to...well, past Top 40. And, because I can’t just shut my mouth and have a good time, I found myself spending a good part of the night puzzling over the supreme randomness of whoever it is that censors music in Canada.

My guess? Somebody’s spinster aun. Seriously – is it somebody’s spinster aunt? Because I don’t understand why some words make it in, and others don’t. I mean, I understand why Kanye West's ridiculously awesome Golddigger has a radio version. But why can't The Black Eyed Peas tell people that they’re the shit, or Gwen Stefani say that her shit is bananas, when John Travolta can sing about getting his rocks off in his pussywagon that all the chicks cream for?


And that’s why I think it’s somebody’s reaaaaally old spinster aunt, old enough to think that John Travolta’s going to be rounding up stray cats in his cars, and really, what spinster doesn’t love a house full of cats? And the other stuff, she probably just can’t make out with her hearing cone, but she sure as heck knows that S-H-I-T spells “moral depravity of our youth!”

Anyway…this was a lot more thought-provoking after six glasses of wine. Hey, that’s not a bad idea…what? It’s almost noon here.

In other news – in case any of you were wondering, the madness last week was two-fold:

1)Planning and preparing for Dan’s surprise! birthday party. Which, in hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have held at the home we both share, because it makes it tricky to hide supplies for 20-odd people, as in “Hey, why do we have three cases of beer?” “Uh…because I’ve taken up drinking! I mean, more so!”

2)Being mistaken for a computer-savvy person, which I blame entirely on my Arts Student's ability to bullshit about anything. Or the fact that, apparently to the over-forty crowd, anyone under the age of twenty-five can do anything on the computer, up to and including designing professional-quality websites. Yes, the knowledge is downloaded into our brains through rap videos, or something. And since it just so happens that this is for a certain election campaign, I have to work on it outside of my full-time hours, which, boo! But it’s all for a good cause, and I think it’s way awesome, and even though I made DD stay up until 3am on the night of his surprise! party putting on the finishing touches, it was totally worth it. Right, birthday boy? Also, I don't mean to imply that I actually designed it, because, uh, no - that's what "hiring talented professionals" is for.

Speaking of the election, I came across an interesting site the other day called The Elections Prediction Project. I’d encourage you all to check it out, even if you’re not political, to see the kind of partisan blowhards I have to deal with all the time. Kidding! It’s a great site and it helps me keep track of what’s going on back home on the election front. BC is one of the big question marks this time around, so I’m curious about what you guys back in Vic City are seeing. Are their lots of signs? Any front-runners? Does anyone even care?

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Hey all,

So - as you can see from the title of this post, this week has been madness. Not angry madness, (well, okay, that too) but busy madness. If my head doesn't explode, then you can read all about it next week, on time, but for now try Scott Feschuk's Blog (Okay, it's Liberal propaganda, but it's also hilarious, which is how I like my propaganda) (and I mean hilarious-on-purpose, not "duck and cover" hilarious).

Floyd out! (See, there's so much madness I've actually gone back in time to 2003).

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Just when I thought I was out...

As some of you may recall, DD and I recently made the difficult decision (okay – it was only a difficult decision for me) to cut the cord. This decision resulted in the gaining of many extra hours which were previously filled with CSI (original series only), endless Simpsons reruns and whatever heavily edited blockbuster was currently playing on TBS (aside - anyone else remember the TBS "Monkeyed Movie Shorts?" 'Cause those were frackin' HILARIOUS).

So what, you may ask, have we done with all those extra hours? Well, for one thing – we watch a lot more movies.

Well, we signed up for Zip again. Remember that one, where you sign up online and they send you movies right to your mailbox? And then when you’re done, you send the movies back, and poof! More movies. Forget that 10 minute walk to the video store – that’s for suckers! We walk 10 feet to the mailbox – nay, skip giddily to the mailbox – and there they are, our little cinematic bundles of joy, waiting for us like adorable little flat, circular puppies, that just want to entertain us.

And entertain they do – so far my biggest find has been the freakin’ awesome Battlestar Galactica series. If you don’t watch it, you should, because it’s great. I never saw the original series, but I had the feeling it was kind of dorky – well not so with this version. It’s well-written with great actors and way-cool action scenes and the premise is intriguing and the storyline is captivating and – although he is, quite possibly, the homeliest man in all creation – I think I love Edward James Olmos, who plays Commander Adama. Actually, what I want is for him to be my new grandpa, and he and Gran’pa Floyd can form a gang and they would be the toughest, gruffest SOBs who ever cut someone down with a terse remark, stared them into submission, and then whupped them – for their own good (I mean for the individual’s own good, not for my grandpas’).

Zip is also a good way for me to broaden my movie-watching horizons – I mean, y’all know how I feel about good and bad movies. With Zip, I can finally pick out all those movies I keep meaning to watch, but don’t have enough pirate vs. zombie action to stand out in the video store. Now they show up, and I get around to watching them – eventually. Like Atarnarjuat, which is a really, really good movie, once we finally sat down and watched it, which took two rental cycles and three days. But so totally worth it!

It’s also nice because you don’t have to agree on a movie – I can watch The Philadelphia Story (which – awesome suggestion Payton) while DD talks on the phone; we both pick movies we want and watch what we want. Although we do have similar tastes in movies (like how the day after we met we stayed in to watch Army of Darkness – now that’s true romance. Oh, also a good movie!).

We still manage to find time to do other things though – like go to the theatre! Actually, we do that a lot less now, but we did catch a couple of flics this weekend: Aeon Flux (which - bonus - is one of those rare movies that is actually directed by a woman - so go see it and support the cause of doubling the percentage of women-helmed films to 2%!) and Harry Potter (A-Mac – we’ll have to see the next one together to relive the old tradition – try not to be getting more ivy league education then, mmmkay?).

I have to say I really enjoyed both, because I like sci-fi/fantasy and cool action sequences and Charlize Theron is waaay hot whether or not you swing that way. So I recommend both, although one is PG fluff with both cartoony sequences and some surprisingly dark elements, while the other has wizards.

Well, that's all for me as of late - although we did find time to put up our holiday lights, mostly because everyone else in our section had done it already and damn those Joneses if they think we're not going to keep up!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I Pity the Fool

Dudes...sorry for anyone who's been checking the site...I know I am waaaay late. It's been a crazy couple of days, as you can imagine!

Anyway, in my odd spare moments, I've been trying to come up with things to write about. All day today at work I was thinking "Gee, I hope I come up with something to write about!"- that is, I was working very very hard and was not distracted at all. And I stumbled across a way awesome article, but I'm saving that for later, because first: just as I was leaving the office today, CBC Newsnet was covering a story on the New Hampshire abortion law currently before the Supreme Court. The older news guy who reminds me of that guy who always plays mobsters and whose name I just looked up only to find out he died was explaining the story and the very last thing I heard as I turned off the TV was:

"So if a minor wants to have an abortion, at least one of their parents must be notified..."

NO NO NO! I object, morally and gramatically!

Let's deal with the latter issue first: this is one of my own grammar dilemmas. I was taught that "they" is, first and foremost, a plural pronoun. However, social shifts threw a monkey wrench into that when people started to realize that writing everything with man-specific pronouns (eg. "If someone wants to be a teacher, he should get his B. Ed" or "If someone wants a sandwich, he should make it his own goddamn self, asshole") was pretty effin' sexist. However, as one of my professors told me, the "he/she" thing is just UGLY. Seriously, it's not pretty. So using "they" instead of he or she or he/she or he and/or she became acceptable (also acceptable - as same prof said "Pick a pronoun and run with it"; all of my essays thus used "she". Take that, Taliban!).

However - and this is a BIG "however"- in this particular case, not-Joe-Vitrella-anchordude - seeing as the action in question cannot apply to men, ya really could have been both accurate and gramatically correct using a simple "she".

Also - grammar aside now - WTF? That is a scary, scary law. If a kid doesn't want to tell her parents about her abortion, MAYBE THERE'S A GOOD REASON. Sheeeesus. Heh! I like that. Shesus! Like Jesus, but with ovaries.

Heh heh heh...

Anyway! I'm not going to go about abortion right now, because I really really really want to share this super awesome article with you guys because A) it's super awesome b) it's about one of the coolest people E-VAH, Mr. T and c) it almost made me cry and if you get to the part where the little boy writes Mr. T not to be afraid of a little old cancer and don't tear up a little? then you are not human. Just so you know.

Here it is, in all its glory.

This story made me happy because I normally can't stand these "And then I found God/Allah/Buddha/a shiny nickel" because they seem so preachy and disengenious. But the part where Mr. T talks about how he doesn't wear his big gold chains because after seeing the face of desperate poverty was just like, hell yeah!

So, Mr. T, thanks for making me smile. Although now I do regret, just the teensiest bit, my decision to cancel cable.

PS. Thanks for the awesome comments- they make me laugh all throughout the day.
Payton - I would have guessed you were the leader too! But there goes my "Cafetorium is an Ontario word" theory.
Nathan - I am so proud of you. Take that, sucky TV. Although I bet Mr. T's show is awesome.
Courtney - No, that's always how I wear my hair! Haha, just kidding...I use mousse, not gel.
Erica - oh no - if you've been taking two years of dance lessons, I'd better get much much better before we swap - maybe I can practice with some of those 37-year-olds who live in their parents' basements
Mo: We'll be performing at the hotdog lobbyists' AGM
Megan: Why does that not surprise me? Let me guess: "bad carbs" = "all carbs".

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Fair Weather Not-Friends

I remember when I used to love the first snow of the season. Or, as it’s called in Victoria, the only snow of the season. Oh, but wasn’t it magical? Those soft white flakes drifting to earth, blanketing everything as far as the eye could see, ready to be formed into snowmen or snow angels or snowballs or ice balls which are just like snowballs but with a chunk of ice at the middle so that you can finally test the old adage about the fun, the games, and the putting out of eyes.

And even when I moved out East (and yes, I’ve looked at a map, and yes, I know where I live isn’t technically East, and yes, I’m not going to change despite how ridiculous and inaccurate my statement, like how folks from PEI say “When’d you get home?” when they really mean “Hey, first-time visitor, when did you arrive in our fine province?”) snow still had that element of fantasy. The first snow of first year, a group of us went out in our totally-unsuitable-for-winter winter clothes and stood around gaping and then frolicked and giggled like children and threw handfuls of snow at each other and generally acted like doofuses who had never seen snow before; which, in all fairness, was actually true for my playmates as they happened to be from Mexico City. Also, in all fairness to me, I come by my dorkiness honestly.

So – we had our first snow last week and it was beautiful and magical and blah blah blah but today was the second snow of the season and I have already reached my saturation level for snow and the dumb things it makes people do in Ottawa which impact me personally, namely:

1) Drive like mentally-impaired chimps, almost doubling my commute time; OR
2) Get so scared of driving in the snow that they decide to take the bus, so I get to STAND during my twice-as-long-commute;
3) Use umbrellas when it snows – and I’m sure I’ve ranted about this before, but what is it with people who use freakin’ golf umbrellas ON THE SIDEWALK? ASSHOLES. And yes, you are going to have to go around me because I’m not going to WALK ON THE STREET because you’ve decided that you don’t want snow landing on or within a three-foot-radius of you. Also? ASSHOLES;
4) Crank up the heat to 28 degrees so that you nearly have a cardiac event by entering a building which is more than 50 degrees warmer than the outside;
6) Wear miniskirts and nylons after the temperature drops below freezing because looking good is more important than feeling good or even feeling anything – look, if you wanted to embody unrealistic female stereotypes, why not just stay home and darn somebody’s socks and talk about how you don’t always feel fresh, you know, down there? because just looking at you drops my body temperature by at least 10 degrees.
5) Say “Well at least it isn’t rain!” which…okay, freezing rain is worse than snow, so you got me there. Nevermind.

Aw…I know I’m being pretty negative and all (WHAT@#$!@$#??) but I guess it’s not all that bad. The lights are pretty, especially with snow, and the Canal will be open in a couple of months, and it’s fun seeing all the pretentious suits wearing dorky toques, and whatnot.

Plus – winter election? Ice balls? Need I say more?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


So, here I was, wracking my poor little mind, trying to think of a hott topic for today's post…the first snow (also in MTL, for darling Banana…welcome to winter!) of the season; the fact that DD and I are continuing our never-ending quest to fulfill the suburban yuppie dream by taking (don't laugh) ballroom dancing classes (fuckers…I told you not to laugh); the likelihood that this upcoming season will feature my two all-time super duper favourite sounds that I totally love and that in no way make me want to job flaming hot pokers into my eardrums, namely a)Christmas carols; and b)bloated partisan acting "talents" of various federal politicians.

But lo and behold – as I log-on to ramble my way coarsely and incoherently through another post (speaking of which – if you want to see something coarse and incoherent – check this movie out. Unless you are my Nana, in which case, I didn't see it, or even hear about it, or even know what you're talking about because I was busy been reading Psalms. Er, for 6 years) when I noticed a little something:

Happy 100th post! To me. Or you. To everybody!

This kind of took me by surprise, so I haven't really prepared anything. Of course, maybe it was my plan all along to go for broke on my 138th Post Blogtacular! Yeeeeeesssssss….that's it.
Anway...back to our regularly scheduled rant:


Uh...no. That's why we took lessons. In DD's old high school cafetorium. And yes, that's a real word, although god knows why they couldn't just call it a multi-purpose room like everyone else. Apparently it's an Ontario thing, like calling the game where you play a miniature version of golf "mini-putt" despite the fact that you're putting normal distances, and that it is the field of play itself that is miniature, so that it's like calling a shoot-out "mini-hockey". Anyway, we just had our last class the other night, and let me just say that while we still constantly look at our feet and I occasionally forget to not lead (what can I say? As anyone who took dance in middle school knows, there are always way more girls than boys, and so some of those girls have to be boys, but certain girls absolutely refuse to be boys because nice girls don't want to cross the lines of arbitrary gender roles, so then girls like me are like WTF? I'll be the fucking boy, bitch, and so now we find ourselves 10 years later subconsciously trying to lead, and see where boy/girl sex role crossover leads to? MADNESS!) and we also address each other in phony accents depending on which dance we're currently attempting ("Oh Viscount Charles David Winchester-Smythe, Marquess of Bumbleberry, theThird, you foxtrot divinely" "Quite") we are above and beyond the best of the class, if you are judging on things like being able to do the steps in time to the music.

Now, not to downplay my time as a pupil of a certain middle school dance teacher, but most of it has to do with the fact that DD, unlike the other guys in the class, has rhythm. And if you want to see pain, you should see the look on a woman's face who's trying to do the cha-cha (one-two-three, cha-cha, four-five-six) while her partner is stomping around, as if in time to his own irregular heartbeat (one...twothree...chacha!...fourfivesix...), and she's trying to patiently guide him without leading, because nice girls don't lead, but she's also trying to get him to hear the music "one-two-three-four" and he's staring at the floor and stomping around and it's like some In Living Color sketch with Jim Carrey about how white guys even suck at white guy dances.

Anyway - it's been pretty fun, and we're going to keep it up, but it's not like we're going to the Olympics anytime soon. Unless some sort of mysterious tragedy befalls the Uzbekistan team...MWAHAHAHAHA....ahem...


If the insipid, blatantly commercial and mind-numbingly uncreative holiday commercials don't get me, then the fine thespian skills of Peter "Keanu" MacKay explaining patient wait times will. Thank God we cancelled cable ("You're welcome" - God).


Yes...we cancelled cable.
Yes...it was my idea.
Yes...I was watching four hours of CSI every day.
Yes...we still have plenty of beer.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Just the Facts, Ma'am

So I’m doing some research (work-related, for real!) and I stumble across a little interesting tidbit. Here it is, presented in a charming multiple-choice question format:

Q) What rank does Canada hold in terms of women elected to its highest legislative body?

a) 43rd
b) 1st
c) 5th
d) 24th

Hint - it’s the one that makes you cringe. And, as a follow-up question:

Q) Which countries are currently outperforming Canada in this regard?

a) Sweden
b) Wales
c) Rwanda
d) All of the above

Hint – see the hint above.

Yup – at a measly 21%, Canada is currently behind Sweden’s 45% (no surprise), Wales’ 50% (You go, land of my ancestors before being brought to Ireland, likely through slavery, centuries ago!) and Rwanda’s 48.8% (“Rebuilding from a horrendous genocide and promoting equitable gender practices – Ask me how!”).

Now, it may not always be clear from my ranting, but I actually really like Canada quite a whole freakin’ lot, and I really think that of all the times and places to be a woman, this is pretty much number one on my list (with Denmark a close second, although if I was a little more skilled in learning foreign languages…well, that’s neither here nor there. Whatev. Canada rocks yeeeeeaaaah!!!)

But, for all our awesomeness, we still lag behind countries like Pakistan and Portugal which, no offence to their ancient and rich cultures, but “equality between the sexes” isn’t really the first thing that comes to mind when I think of those two countries (incidentally – the first things that do come to mind when I think of those two countries are “Grade school report with lots of cut-out National Geographic pictures” and “foreign over-fishing/blatant disregard of NAFO quotas” respectively. And the second thing for the latter is “What the hell? Herb Dhaliwal!”, which is only funny if you remember Brian Tobin, the Turbot Wars, and are one of three people).

So if we’re so awesome in so many ways, why not this one? I’ve wracked my brains for the last five minutes and can’t come up with anything, so I’ve decided to blame the States.

Seriously though – Canada is pretty heavily influenced by our neighbour to the south (ooh – burn, Alaska), where the third-wave feminist backlash is well underway (“Girls Gone Wild”, anyone? No, I’m not linking to it. The thought that it even exists is painful to me…like, a century and a half of the contemporary women’s movement, and now there’s girls running around with shirts that say “I SHOWED MY BREASTS TO A MISOGYNISTIC CAPITALIST WHO VIDEOTAPED ME AND COUNTLESS OTHERS, THEN GOT RICH WHEN HE PACKAGED AND SOLD THE FOOTAGE TO HORDES OF LEERING PERVERTS WHO NEED CONSTANT REINFORCEMENT OF THEIR INSECURE NOTION THAT WOMEN JUST WANT TO BE OBJECTIFIED, AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY T-SHIRT WHICH, INCIDENTALLY, I’LL TOTALLY TAKE OFF IN EXCHANGE FOR SOMETHING SHINY”).

Anyway – the long and the short of it is that it doesn’t seem like we’ve come that long a way from the “nice women don’t want the vote days” and honestly? We XXers have no one to blame but ourselves. ‘Cause we’re 51% of this country, bitches – and if we haven’t gotten our way by now, we’d better wake up and smell the arithmetic because better policies are ours for the making.

So – if you or someone who love are/is a woman, then check out this site and check up on when the next elections are coming to a town near you.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Prevent cancer? God forbid!

So...I've been hemming and hawing all morning about what the subject of this weeks rant...er, well-written social commentary. It's been a couple of frustrating week. Auditors found that David Dingwall's expense were completely legitimate, and yet not one of the randos have apologized who wrote angry, ill-punctuated letters based entirely on a headline which they read and assumed was the gospel truth because in our country we don't have, like, a system which balances facts and evidence and arrives at an accurate conclusion; no, we have the Ottawa Sun "pork-barrelling" headlines and that is our judge and jury and if it's in print it must be true therefore let's all write reactionary shithead e-mails or make bitchface phone calls to anonymous staffers demanding to know the amount of Dingwall's severance, and then speak to said staffer like they are intellectually-challenged infant when said staffer tries to explain the actual situation to you, because you saw 10 seconds of a news story on cable 6 and therefore you are the expert and said staffer is an illiterate ass-monkey who isn't going to fool clever you, no sirree, and then when it turns out that said staffer was actually right, you're totally going to phone back and apologize, because you are an educated and informed and reasonable person, who may jump to conclusions but certainly accepts responsibility for your actions and can admit when you were totally, undeniably wrong, right? Right?

Still waiting for my apology. Bitchface.

Also - David Pallister? Now that it turns out you were just being a misleading shit-disturber, are you going to change your tune? Where's the catchy apology song? Here's a freebie from The Culture of Life:

Mother, didn't think that I was wrong,
Mother, didn't write a "sorry" song,
Mother, guess they're going to try to break my balls,
Oooh, mother, I should have stuck with being tall.

But honestly? As frutstrating as it is that politicians can say almost anything without fear of reprisal (did somebody say Parliamentary Privilege?), it's not the most frustrating thing of this past week.

No, the dubious distinction of the single most unreasonable, dim-witted and pessimism-about-the-fate-of-humanity-provoking thing this week is that a 100% effective vaccination for HPV-caused cervical cancer has been discovered (hooray!) but certain groups don't want it to be used, because then those little whores wouldn't get the punishment they deserve. Or something. Somehow, curing cancer is bad. Somehow, talking about abstinence is a "a better, healthier alternative than the vaccine". Uh huh. Like, this one time, I almost had polio, but then , like, my mom gave my immune system a good, long talking to, and that totally cleared all that up. Anyway, read about it here, and rant about it here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Random Awesome Things Day

Hey all,

There's nothing gnawing at my insides today - well, nothing interesting anyway - but I have stumbled across a couple random awesome things, so I'm just going to keep putting up the shit that's making me laugh today. So let's get started:

1)Go to Google. Type in "failure". Hit "I'm feeling lucky". Enjoy!

2)There's a bill going through Parliament right now on product labelling, among other things, and one specific clause in there (65.1, for those of you who want to look it up) which would make it unlawful to put a dairy term on a non-dairy item. Today,the Dairy Farmers of Canada sent out this little fact sheet explaining this clause's effects (and yes, they were implicated in the writing of this particular amendment). For example, you can't call your instant potatoes "Butter and Herb" flavoured if there's no butter in the ingredients. Same thing - can't say your popcorn is "Butter Lovers" if it doesn't contain any butter. And - AWESOMELY - you can't put the word "butter" on a margarine container - NOT EVEN IF YOUR PRODUCT IS CALLED "I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S NOT BUTTER". How freakin' awesome is that? You have a product called "Definitely not a Dairy Product" and the dairy farmers are all, you can't put the word "dairy" on there, and you're all, but the word dairy is preceded by "not", and the dairy farmers are all,whatever, take it off, and you're all, but the name of my product clearly states that it's not a dairy product, and how I am I supposed to tell consumers my product isn't dairy without actually using the word dairy, and the dairy farmers are all lalalalalala we can't heeeeeeear you, and you're all, damn, bitches.

3)Check out this link (courtesy of la Kot) for one of the most awesomest things ever broadcast on television, ever...it's even more fun now that you know that these chumps have their days numbered when they recorded this..."I'm not saying you're not a smart guy, 'cause those things are hard to tie...". Aw yeah.

4)And thanks to Mo for this link which makes me wonder about a possible career change...sure, the pay's non-existent and the danger is life-threatening...maybe I can just start shouting COBRA! at work randomly...like when I'm collating, or sorting the mail, or whatnot. COBRAAAAAA!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Well, that’s it. I’m on the lam. I shouldn’t be writing this, wasting precious time that could be spent deciding whether I want my new identity to be Francesca La Maradonna, Esq, flamboyant countess and lover of fine linens, or Jo-Mary Hoddwag, down-to-earth mobile home inhabitant and lover of fine collectible plates featuring the cast of Seventh Heaven.

See, yesterday I…ignored a security guard and snuck an unauthorized visitor into the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Now, in fairness to me, said visitor was the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and his photo is on file and all, like, six security guards are supposed to recognize him, and he’s been the PS for TWO YEARS, and the security guard on duty that day is about 800 years old and can barely see or speak and really was completely at fault.

And in his defence – um…he’s really, really old.

Now, I don’t want to come off as ageist here, because that’s not the issue. I mean, Gran’pa Floyd is 76 and he’s still the one I’d want watching my back in a zombie fight because a) he’s freaking tough and b) he owns many, many rifles.

But this guy? Is just…feeble. He is a feeble old man. If they replaced him with a sign that said “mumble mumble” they would achieve the same level of security. His job consists of two things – checking security passes (which he CANNOT SEE from ONE FOOT AWAY even with GLASSES as I found out yesterday) and making sure people without them go to the desk.

Which brings me to yesterday. My boss has no pass. He needs no pass. Dude does not understand this. So when he mumbles after us to check in at the desk, a low mumble which my boss does not hear, I made a split decision to IGNORE HIM. Because, dude? It is not my job to secure myself. It is your freakin’ job. And if you can’t do it, then too bad. I’m sure you’re a great grandfather, (and probably a great-grandfather too) and a wonderful person and a pillar of the community but you sure as hell aren’t making me feel any safer.

And you know what? That’s what security guards are for – to make things safer. They are the guardians of security – the place of business, the employees, the customers and visitors. This is a real actual job that requires a real actual skill set. My crazy obnoxious roommate from second year worked night security and, yes, she was crazy and obnoxious, but at least she’d be capable of a quick reaction to an emergency situation, even if that emergency situation is just stopping someone from getting in the elevator.

Hey, as long as I’m going down this road, I’m gonna make a pit-stop at How-do-they-decide-what-to-confiscate-ville. I’m talking about when you have to walk through the little scanner and put your shit through the x-ray machine, and then they single you out and thoroughly inspect your collection of wind chimes as if you’re planning on...shit, I don't even know what you could do with wind chimes... "Now turn this plane around, or I will fill the cabin with the sound of metal pieces hitting each other!" "Oh no! We'd better do as she says...she has miniature bejewlled dolphins on a string!!!"

Seriously, do they like, throw a bunch of shit into a bucket, and then the intern sticks his hand in and the first 20 things he pulls out are banned objects? Back when I was a tour guide, it really seemed like it. After September 11th, the staff who worked the scanners really cranked up their protection of our capitol building by neutralizing such threats as:

A )Elderly women with nail clippers
B) Girl Scouts with whistles
C) Elementary school kids with hand-held Canadian flags

I guess I wouldn’t be a very good security guard, because I fail to see how any of those pose a threat to the safety and/or decorum of Parliament. But a real security guard could tell you that a) DANGEROUS OBJECTS! b) LOUD NOISES! and c) SYMBOLS OF CANADA! are very, very bad things to have in Parliament (aside – if an old lady manages to kill you with NAIL CLIPPERS - survival of the fittest, that’s all I’m saying).

In all fairness, I guess you could make an argument for A) and B). But if you bring a whistle into Parliament for the sole purpose of making a scene, then you probably aren’t above, say, yelling really loudly. And god knows if your nail clippers get taken away, then you might have to use your hands, and I’d rather be attacked with someone’s nail clippers than someone’s fists.

Same thing for planes: I can’t bring my knitting needles, but some black belt gets to bring her hands? If we’re serious about safety, than martial arts experts, covert operatives and vampire and/or demon slayers should be forced to declare themselves as lethal weapons and then wear some sort of Hannibal Lecter-type full-body cage. And it should be sparkly, for the amusement of other passengers. I mean, knitting needles? Yes, some are sharp and pointy. But others are basically two dull sticks; the only way I could kill someone with a pair of those would be if I tossed the needles to them and then strangled them while their hands were full. (Editor's Note -Okay, I just did I little fact-checking, and it turns out that kniiting needles are A-OK. So...sorry, airplane guys. And thanks for allowing my fellow passengers to be armed with whips!)

I’m not trying to say that we shouldn’t have security policies and people to uphold them. I’m not saying said policies and people aren’t important. They absolutely freakin’ are. And because they’re important, the policies should be reasonable and sound, and the people should be capable of enforcing them. But when you get dumb-ass policies thrown together without reflection, and dumb-asses incapable either a) critical thought or b) doing two push-ups without a break in between, then there’s really no freakin’ point is there?

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Hey y'all...

Not much of a post this week. I've been experiencing a weird version of a cold/flu wherein I get all the symptons on different days. I already had a cough/sore throat day, a headache day, a nausea day, and a fever day, and now I'm back to square one. Yes yes, I know, my life is so hard. Since there's no post this week, why don't you go check out the most recent Strongbad e-mail. That's what I'm going to do.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

October Rocks!

(Aside – that title reminds me of one of my favourite lines from one of my favourite episodes of my favourite show – the scene from the Band Candy episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where the kids show up at school and see that someone has spray-painted “Kiss Rocks!” on the lockers, and Willow asks “Why would anyone want to kiss rocks?”) (BWA HAHAHAHA!) (Haahaha) (heh) (cough)…anyway…on with our regularly scheduled programming).

This is my favorite month. Sorry, January – go cry to mommy. July? Take a hike. March? You suck. October has it all.

First, October is, generally, a pretty decent month, weather-wise. I’m a jeans and sweater-type gal, so growing up in BC, October generally had my back with the 10-20 degree weather. Here in Ontario – well, y’all know how I feel about fall in Ottawa.

Second, October is non-transition month. What I mean is that October doesn’t signify a big lifestyle change - September is back to school month; so is January to some extent; and then there’s either May (university) or July (everyone else) that’s the WHEEE HOME FREE LET’S ALL HANG AROUND THE MALLS AND IRRITATE FLOYD WHEN SHE’S TRYING TO GET SOME QUICK SHOPPING DONE, LIKE OMIGOD THAT SHIRT TOTALLY MAKES YOU LOOK HOTT MAYBE BRETT BRETTERSON WILL FINALLY ASK YOU OUT, HE’S SO FUCKING COOL month.

But not October – no, October is straightforward and dependable. It’s not here to shake you up, but to help you settle into that new routine comfortably. September rearranges all the furniture – October’s there with a pillow and a martini to help you get used to it.

Of course, the main reason that October Rocks is…well, it’s actually two reasons: Thanksgiving and Hallowe’en. These are and have always been my two favourite holidays/festive events because: dude. First you stuff yourself on home-cooked goodness, and then you stuff yourself on artificially manufactured goodness.

Thanksgiving is probably the last of the non-commercialized holidays – partly because a decapitated fowl makes a lousing marketing mascot (“Hi kids! Henry the Headless turkey here! Make sure your parents buy you my special brand of cranberry sauce! It’s almost as delicious as my roasted flesh!”), and partly because there’s no gift giving involved, unless, of course, you count basic human kindness and generosity, which I do, but most major retailers don’t, because it’s hard to put in a box with a garish ribbon and a cartoony mascot and sell it for $19.99 plus applicable taxes.

And then there’s Hallowe’en, which, much like Christmas, is the bastardized version of an ancient Celtic seasonal celebration, but with more zombies (insert inappropriate “Jesus rising from his tomb” joke here) (insert apology here). Both holidays are commercialized beyond belief, with Christmas being slightly more so because they are actually trying to sell you human kindness and generosity in a box with a garish ribbon and a cartoony mascot, only they charge twice as much and won’t let you return it on Boxing Day.

But Hallowe’en – all they are trying to sell you is candy (And various novelty decorations. And those Playboy bunny outfits that you only wear if you are a) looking for tail, or b) saving it for marriage). Not love, not compassion, not the key to a happier, more harmonious world. Just candy covered in chocolate coated in sugar rolled in sprinkled sealed with spoooookiness.

So, needless to say, I am very much looking forward to this month. The sun is shining, the leaves are brilliant, the feasting and gorging still lie ahead – and so does winter, but thanks to the warm feeling in my heart and the extra 10 pounds, who even notices?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

It's a Gas

You know you’ve been working in politics too long (yes, a whole year – what a mighty and distinguished career I’ve had) when a big news story always makes you think “How are people going to blame the federal government for this in masses of lengthy e-mails?”

And so it was with the rising, then falling, then rising, then rising, then peaking, then falling, then rising, then falling, and then rising again, price of gas.

And I knew right away what it was going to be – the EVIL EVIL FEDERAL GAS TAX (hiss!).

And lo and behold – so it has been.

Now let me just say that I believe that everyone has a right to an opinion – but that doesn’t make an opinion right. Especially when it’s, well, wrong.

Like the dude writing to ask that the EVIL EVIL FEDERAL GAS TAX (hiss!) be reduced by 10 cents per litre. Which, as he fails to mention, would make it 0. Because it is only 10 cents per litre. This excise tax is consistent, regardless of the price of gas. So if you’re filling up your 40L tank twice a week, you’re paying $8 in federal excise tax whether gas is 15 cents or a dollar fifty.

Also – just a side note – every province also adds their own tax, and only in Alberta and two of the territories is that less than the federal amount. I only mention that because when the tough questions come out (“Hey mister premier, why is my gas so expensive?”) the provinces have a pretty standard response (“Err…why…um…look over there! It’s the EVIL EVIL FEDERAL GAS TAX (hiss!)”).

“BUT the Conservatives/Fraser Institute say that I’m getting taxed on tax waa waa the GST waa waa waa…”

Yes – you pay GST too. Yes, on top of the gas tax. You are taxed twice on that $8. So that’s – 56 cents.

Or – and this is a pretty crazy idea – people could drive half as much and cut their costs in half. With gas at a dollar a litre (for the sake of easy arithmetic) you save not 56 cents, but $40.

But that’s the problem, isn’t it? The problem is that people don’t want to drive less. They want to drive the same amount, if not more, in a bigger car, on better roads, with less traffic, and they want it to be cheaper than last week, and they want their air to be cleaner and their water more pure and the rivers to flow with Molson Ex and unicorns to prance around joyfully, tra-la-la, ta-tra-la, la-dee-dah, tra-la-la, tra-laaaaaa!!!!!!

Oops…sorry. I was just swept away into the fantasy world where the people who think that the government should be encouraging the increased use of fossil fuel vehicles live.

Because, seriously? It shouldn’t. Cars are bad. Yes, yes, and pretty and shiny and terribly convenient and god knows it’s nice that DD has one when I’m playing rugby out at Twin Elm aka Corn Field Central (motto “for all your rugby and corn field needs!”). But they’re a significant source of pollution, the infrastructure required for them takes valuable land and money and they run on a limited resource which cannot be replenished – simply put, they are unsustainable. Even more simply put – cars as we know them cannot be used forever, or even for much longer.

So yes – the gov makes a mint off gas taxes. But you know what? Roads aren’t cheap. Policing isn’t cheap. Health care isn’t cheap. I mean, we could all try to pool our $8.56 and fund the infrastructure needed for a fossil-fuel-car-based society but – um, that’s why we have a government. And right now they’re saying that that money is better spent on initiatives for public transit, more efficient cars, and alternative energy sources.

And I agree. And I think a lot of Canadians do too. There’s very few people out there who cannot reduce the amount of gas they use, whether in their car or in their home. It’s good for the pocket book, it’s good for the environment, and it’s good for my sanity when they stop writing me insane e-mails about the EEFGT(h!).

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Blast from the Past?

Hey all! Hope this post finds you well and happy. First, let me assure you that I have not suffered some sort of brain damage that causes me to mix up the days of the week – I’m trying to get back on the Tuesday schedule. So next week’s will be on time. For real! Really! Uh huh…anyway.

And now, on to our regularly scheduled event:

You ever think about what you thought you’d be like 10 years ago, and what you actually turned out to be? What I mean is, do you ever think about what 15-year-old you would think about you today? Or 19-year-old you? I remember being a teenager and thinking how if only I could make it to my early twenties I’d be alright - turns out, teenaged-Floyd was totally bang-on about that…huh.

Or how when you were a kid all you wanted was to eat dessert for dinner and set your own bedtime and sleep in all you wanted, and then you move away for school and you can do all those things and you finally realize that they are not as awesome as you thought they’d be; in fact, they are EVEN AWESOMER.

Of course, there are some things that our past selves probably wouldn’t appreciate. Like how we think that teenagers are loud and dumb. Or that a lot of the shows we used to watch really kind of sucked all along. Or that our parents really do know a hell of a lot more than us, damn them.

But what would it be like if you could ask previous incarnations of ourselves just what they think of us/themselves now? What if the me from five years ago could chat with the me from now? I think it’d be something like this…

Floyd-5: Hey.
Floyd: Hey back.
F-5: So, you're, like, me. In five years.
F: Yeah...I guess so.
F-5: Huh. You don't...you don't look any different. Well, the acne's really cleared up. Does that happen soon?
F: Yeah! Yeah. Um, when you're 23.
F-5: Fuck.
F: Oh, but then you're going to grow these girls [sticks out b-cup chest] in, like, 6 months.
F-5: For real? AWESOME.
(F-10: What? I'm going to have to wait until I'm TWENTY?!!!?!@!@?!@)
F: But then you'll learn that it sucks to wear bras.
F-5: Whatever. I'm going to buy me some more skanky tops. So, like, do we have a boyfriend? F: Oh yeah! He's super hot. That happens around age 22. And we move in together a couple years later. He has a house
F-5: Wow!
F: And a car.
F-5: Sweet!
F: And a fully stocked liquor cabinet.
F-5: OMIGOD [faints, hits head, dies].

Um…so maybe that’s not such a good idea. But it is kind of fun to think back to what mattered to us in the past, and where our lives fit in with that now. I know that high school Floyd would be totally unsurprised that her future self is a blogger – although she’d probably hella pissed that she writes so much about composting.

So, query – any thoughts as to what your past selves might think of the present you?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

You Wanna Start Somethin’?

Actually – I think I have. I don’t want to blow my own horn, what with my awe-inspiring humility and all, but I may have planted a seed of change that could potentially grow into the vine of quiet revolution, while blossoming with the flower of environmental awareness in a quasi-socialist setting, unless the weeds of resistance choke it in its vulnerable budding stages, in the form of whoever in our neighbourhood is a stinky, rotten, by-law rat.

So, yeah – I bought a composter [On a terrible note – MS Word does not believe me that “composter” is a word. Right – “Schwarzenegger” is a word, but not composter – that pretty much sums up everything that is wrong with the world today].

It’s something I’ve wanted to do basically since I moved to Ottawa, but I’d never had the one requisite item – a yard. I started composting about grade 4, when we moved into our new house and got our shiny new composter and also because in BC we learn how to recycle before we can spell “recycle” and we’re all hippies in touch with Mother Earth anyway, so it just makes sense.

So, when I moved out to the ‘burbs, I decided, to DD’s mild alarm, that I wanted one. I want it, I want it, I want it whaaaaaaaah!!!!

Ahem. Or something like that.

Actually, he took it pretty well. We picked a model out together, I put it together while he made the stairs for the patio (no longer home to the drop-off of doom!) and sometime this week we’ll have enough “green” material to do a first layer, plus I scavenged some grass clippings and dry leaves for “brown” material, so we’re well on our way. It’s those fancy technical terms that I sued to calm DD’s fears of a gross, smelly rodent restaurant festering in our backyard.

Okay, there’s still a SMALL TINY INSIGNIFICANT risk of that, but in my mind, it is far outweighed by the benefits. Especially since we’ve been a healthier diet centered around lots and lots of fresh produce. I imagine it’ll take about 1/3 off our garbage output, and a hell of a weight off of my mind.

I’m fairly certain ours is the only composter on the block – but it already has the couple next door talking. And if the word gets around, and I can do what I can to spread the gospel, then you could soon see the rare sight of suburban Ontarians happily shuffling through two feet of snow with a pail of banana peels. And the stupid ass monkey on our street will be helpless to rat us out in face of our overwhelming compliance with local by-laws, and the thought alone of that buttface twisting in madness as his or her neighbours engage in a little good old-fashioned environmental-friendliness makes the whole thing worthwhile.

PS. We are on the lookout for the perfect compost pails – back in BC, we used the 4L Island Farms ice cream tubs, because they’re the right size, have have handles and tight-sealing lids, and come filled with sweet, delicious ice cream. However, Ontario seems to prefer to sell its ice cream without handles – I don’t know why, perhaps because they don’t compost. Anyway, if anyone in O-town spots such a pail, please let me know. Or if you’re coming up from Victoria and want to know what the perfect gift is for your gracious hostess, well, there you go.

PPS. I just followed my own link and it appears that Island Farms no longer sells 4L ice cream pails. Say it isn't so! For the love of all that is good and pure, say it isn't so!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


So - after my post last week, I went home to find that some guys had, indeed, dropped off four billion tonnes (approximately) of supplies onto the driveway and lawn. You ever sat in class and had a professor describe expectations for an assignment, all "20-25 pages", "at least 40 academic sources", "outline by next Monday", only to have it slowly sink in to you how much work you have ahead? Yeah...it was kind of like that walking home. I was heading down the street and I first saw our pallette and a half of patio slabs, all 192 square feet of it, and then our 60-odd square feet of pavers. And I was all, eh, that's not too bad. Then I saw, behind it, our cubic yard (27 cubic feet) of river rock and a yard and a half of screening sand. And I inhaled kind of sharply, but kept going until it sunk in that behind all those things was a pile of 5.5 cubic yards of gravel and then I curled into the fetal position and cried for mommy.

But, goddammit - we got it done! The walkway was pretty fun, mostly because the materials were lighter and close by - ie, we shovelled directly from the pile on the driveway into the hole next to the driveway. However, because we live in a row house, everything for the patio had to be loaded into wheelbarrows and taken down to houses and through gates in their backyards. I think it was around trip eight of carrying patio slabs that I began intermittently losing my ability to grip the wheelbarrow handles - I was all, lalalala, wheeling my wheelbarrow...and then my hands would be like, "1-2-3 let go!". Not that I'm whining...okay, not now I'm not. But before - anyway, that's another story.

It was also a very social event - it's funny how our neighbours we didn't really know would stop and talk and admire and whatnot - it was nice to meet them! Except for the one lady who lives across the street who came out Thursday night all "blahblahblah stop shovelling it's too late I can't sleep I have a newborn baby I have no air conditioning my windows are open stop shovelling" and we did only to find out it was 10:30pm and we could have been working for another 30 minutes and needless to say that particular lady, though we saw her over the weekend, did not come over to admire our handiwork.

We also managed to make just one trip to the dump, with the old stairs from the back, because I used the freecycle Ottawa site and found some guy who came and picked up all the old gravel and patio stones and dirt we dug up. Which ROCKED.

So yeah - we have a patio, and we're planning on adding, like, some stairs and maybe, you know, a table and we hope some friends who will come by and enjoy BBQed foodstuffs. Consider yourself invited. Just don't show up after 10:30pm, or you will get told.

Also - this weekend was a rare opportunity for me to reconnect with the "music" of today's youth. We had the radio on basically 14 hours a day and realized that there appears to be a shortage of artists in the Top 40 genre, as the local station only had about two dozen records to choose from. The darkest hour was the one wherein I heard three different Shawn Desmond songs. THREE!

IN A COMPLETELY UNRELATED STORY I finally got my library card. I can't believe I didn't do this before. When I was still in school, I had two good excuses: 1) I already had library privileges at the university and 2) "I read for pleasure" was a cruel joke that Arts students told each other between chapters of Chomsky. Two years later, I'm all, gee, I don't have any books to read. I should go buy some! Wait! Wait a minute...something's coming back to me...there's a...a magical place filled with thousands of books and...and you can look through them and BORROW them and then return them and get more...sigh. Paradise lost, and found again.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Week in Review

Hey there. Sorry I'm late. It's been an exciting week. Well, to me, anyway - I guess it all depends on how exciting your week was. Huh? Was it exciting huh? Were you Mr. or Ms. Exciting McExcitealot with a return ticket on the SuperFunHappyLandThrillRide Express?


Top 7 exciting things I did this week (in chronological order, not order of excitocity)

#7) A foursome of friends for Friday lunch to wish Payton Bon Voyage as she plunges back into the world of academic awesomeness. Go kick some journalistic ass. I recommend this one. Sorry, I meant "journalistic".

#6) I bought a new bike. Isn't it way awesome? This is the second new bike that I bought, and I'm trying to break my new-bike-ownership record of one-week, previously set by the cheap-ass but pretty hybrid I bought from Sportmart that was stolen the very first night I locked it outside.

#5) 80s night rock and bowl with the rugby girls. Well, it was 80s night for us, but 2005 night for everyone else there, and Rolling Stones night for the DJ. I bowled pretty well, considering I was dressed like this, which looked pretty faaabulous in the blacklight, or so I was told through uproarious laughter.

#4) I tested out the new bike on a 50km trip to Parliament Hill and back. A little rough right at the end, but it was all worthwhile when we got to the neigborhood water playground and joined the small children running through the fountains, much to the amusement of their mothers and babysitters. WHATEVER - I PAY MY TAXES. I reserve the right to frolic in the spray.

#3) An awesome Tuesday night with Momo and TheMack for some Wendy's and then DD joined us for The Brothers Grimm. Great friends, good food, and a movie with kitten-eating. Aw, sometimes you just can't ask for anything more.

#2) Yesterday - I can't even believe I'm saying this - I paid off my student loan. GAH! Man, I don't think I'll ever get tired of saying that. Although I might get tired of everybody I know staying the hell away from the girl who can't shut up about her freaking loan. Whatever. For the time being I actually have more money than I owe. I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts, which is until I go back to school, or buy a house, or get my bill for my new bike. Um, whichever of those comes first.

#1) Okay, this technically hasn't happened yet, but at some point today a bunch of guys with dumptrucks are going to be unloading a driveway-full of landscaping supplies at home, and then DD and I will be putting in a new walkway and a patio. Oh man...that's grown-up right there! "What are you doing this long weekend?" "Why, we're contributing to the resale value of our primary residence!" So, anybody in the Ottawa area who wants to get into the true spirit of Labour Day and sling some dirt and gravel this weekend, drop me a line - there's shovels and cold beer and extra strength painkillers for all! (Not at the same time). (Well, not for guests - liability issues and all).

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

A Conspiracy of Two

The VERY DAY that Ms. Jean gets the royal nod, I knew it was coming - the flood of e-mails about how nowadays you have to be a leftist feminazi refugee journalista to be GG.

Okay, I admit - back to back appointments of two people with very similar backgrounds? Sure, it's going to raise a few eyebrows - AMONG PEOPLE WHO HAVE THE ATTENTION SPAN OF MAYONNAISE.

I mean, for the love of Jebus, people, YES, they are very similar on paper. But you know what? That's the story of our GGs. For fuck's sake, the first 17 of our friggin' Governors-General were Dukes or Marquesses or Lords or whatnot - not until good ol' Vincent Massey in 1952 does one of them actually have a real name (aside - you ever think how the British Aristocracy is totally the Diddy of the Industrial Age? All, "Now I want to be called Lord Smith-Bottoms." "No, now I'm to be called His Lordship, the Duke of Yabbersmythe." "Now I'm to be called His Princely Waistcoastness, Sir Viscount the Elder, Earl of Puddingshire. The Third!").

80 years of British nobles followed by several more decades of well-to-do white guys, and then, gasp! A woman! And it only took 117 years! I don't know if people thought that one every century or so would be good enough, but there was a certain amount of backlash when the second woman, first non-white GG was announced, even though, God knows, it was about freakin' time. [God: "Tell me about it..."]

Racism aside (wouldn't that be nice?) the gender issue alone bugs the living shit out of me. "Oh no, two women back to back! That must mean that they're planning to overthrow Canadian society as we know it! Soon there will be women participating in every segment of society and behaving like equal citizens under a democratic government AIEEEEE!!!"

So seriously? Shut up your face. Oh no, two women back to back, that makes...er...three women. Out of 27. So, at this rate, if every single appointee to come was female, we'd reach gender balance in...oh, 110 years. Oy, the revolution moves slowly! But one day our great-great-great-grandchildren will thank us for raising a big stink about a ceremonial appointment, instead of, say, combatting pollution so that they wouldn't be stuck living in rocky caves subsisting on a meager diet of bugs and dirt and longing for the day when the poisoned Earth heals herself and receives her horrifically mutated children back with loving arms.

Aw...kinda gives you a warm feeling inside, just thinking about it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A Tale of Two Concerts

This last week was musical one - I attended double the number of concerts in four days than I did in all of last year . . . that is to say, two. Don't get me wrong: I love music; real unabashed love, comparable to the love I feel for the cheese section in French supermarkets (as opposed to dirty, shameful love, like my love for reality television). For whatever reasons, (one of which rhymes with smothertruckin' wicketmaster pervice tees), I just hardly ever made it out to see live shows.

Cue last Wednesday - the first of the two concerts was a culmination of a musical oddyssey which began back in 2002 when some wonderfully demented soul unnaturally merged my pure love of music and my perverted love of reality TV and called it American Idol. A young brunette from Texas rocked her audition and then tripped and slid under the judges table and my never-ending girl crush on Kelly Clarkson began. So when I heard she was coming, and A-Mac was all, let's go!, I was all, yeaaaaah! and when the big night came I was so excited that the only thing that could dampen my enthusiasm was the absolutely ass-clownish incompetency of the Corel Centre management, which is a post all in itself but to give you the lowlights, involved us trying to spend our money to purchase services and being thwarted at every turn by their policy of, apparently, taking a succesful venue and running it into the ground through idiocy.

Idiocy of the "Let's close the kitchen right before the 30 minute intermission begins" kind. Idiocy of the "Let's scan people's tickets religiously during the opening act, including when the exit and enter the on-premises restaurant, but when Kelly’s about to start an earnest “Gee, I can’t seem to find my ticket” will suffice”.

Of course, this was almost totally redeemed by the awesomeness of a 50-something usher who openly mocked the Backstreet Boys by snarkily recapping their first performance as having an opening, closing and encore song, filling the rest of their hour with “We love you guys, we love you so much, we know you love us”.

And as asinine as that sounds – that’s really all that mattered to their pre-teen fans.

And, that’s, apparently, who Kelly Clarkson’s fans are too. Pre-Teen Girls (And The Fathers Who Love Them (Or At Least Couldn’t Stand One More Minute of “Dad, Can I Go to Kelly Clarkson? Canicanicanicani?”). These girls bought glow sticks and glow lanyards and glow-faux-backstage passes and wielded them with pride. They wore $40 concert tees and shouted “We love you Kelly!” in their loudest pre-pubescent voices, and knew all the words to her songs and sat patiently during her heartfelt performance of Annie Lennox’s “Why” which caused their parents to, for one brief fleeting moment, actually identify with the music while their daughters mostly waved their glow sticks and chatted with each other and wondered when she would get on to “Breakaway” already. They danced and sang and cursed the adolescent relationship they might one day have that would undoubtedly end in their being mistreated, but all the stronger for it (see “Low”), (oh, and “Since U Been Gone”) (oh, and “Behind These Hazel Eyes”) (oh, Kelly, you work that niche, girl!).

I expected her to rock the house, and she did - no surprise, as she has already proven herself as a live performer with a killer voice – but what she really needed was to take a page out of the Backstreet Boys’ book (How to Success in Pop Music for Ugly Dummies With No Talent) (sorry, boys, but the 11th grade love-affair is over - button up those shirts already) and engage in a little bold-faced currying of favour – even a “Hello Ottawa!” would have sufficed, but it was not to be. Girl can sing the hell out of arguably-catchy-yet-hardly-original pop, but for the love Pete, Kelly, learn how to banter. It’s not hard – you love us, we love you. “Hello Ottawa! I was driving down route 417…” “Hey, that’s right by my house!”

But she’s young, and she’ll get there, and I look forward to seeing her again as long as she abandons the totally unappealing washed-out blond look (pay attention Avril Lavigne/Lindsay Lohan/Brad Pitt) and returns to her former glorious hair colour.

If on Wednesday the dutiful dads and moms of Ottawa trucked out to the Corel Centre with their tweens, then Saturday was their chance to call up the sitter, dust off their concert shirts, double-fist the $6 cups of beer and mold their hand permanently into the devil horn’s/rock-on sign while one of this rockingest bands ever performed.

Oh yeah – we’re talking Def Leppard, baby.

Now as part of my complete immersion in classic rock growing up, I was pretty familiar with Def Leppard – their back to back 10-million plus selling albums, the drummer with one arm, the union jack shirts – but I certainly underestimated their ability to make grown men and women go completely apeshit with one riff. I saw grown women who probably wear baggy shirts and shorts at the beach shake of their awesome curves with pride in vintage AC/DC tops. I witnessed grown men who wouldn’t normally do more than shake hands engage in full body bear hugs repeatedly. I watched hardware engineers, accountants, managers, teachers, and god only knows who else engage some of the most passionate air guitar performances I have ever seen.

As for the band - well, they may have been old, they may have engaged in stereotypical classic rock grandstanding, and at least two of them were apparently, and unfortunately, allergic to their shirts – but goddamn, they knew how to rock. And by they end, when10,000 middle-aged suburbanites were screaming out the words to “Pour Some Sugar On Me”, you knew that every that everyone was back in their glory days before kids and mortgages, and that that feeling would last all the way until the next morning, when their $150 hangovers kicked in.

But boy, would it ever be worth it.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Why You Do Me So Wrong, Oliver Stone?

I like bad movies.

I don't mean exclusively - I also like good movies too. But I've always had this strange reluctance to invest time in certain movies, no matter how critically acclaimed or publicly-loved, when something with a zombie or a rocket launcher is an option. Or a zombie with a rocket launcher...yeeeeeeah. It happens at home in front of the TV, or in the video store, or at the theatre. And it's almost always "This is supposed to be really good" vs. "This is supposed to have ninjas". It's usually not even close.

But every once in a while I sit my ass down to a Citizen Kane, or a Sideways, or a Midnight Cowboy, or some other film which has things like "engrossing plot" or "character development" and whatnot, and truly enjoy myself, and think "I should really rent good movies more often". And yet somehow I wind up actually paying real money to see crap like "Bloodthirst: Legend of the Chupacabras", which turns out to have been shot by some guy in his backyard with less production value than my 11th Grade video on Sir Isaac Newton's Three Laws of Physics, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger (aside – OMG, the Word dictionary actually contains the correct spelling of Schwarzenegger).

So what’s the point? Well, I’m trying to justify as to how, in a store field with literally thousands of choices, DD and I wound up taking home the three hour suckfest that is Alexander.

Look, I’ll put it right out in the open. I loved Gladiator. I even enjoyed Troy, although I watched it in a theatre full of drunken Germans which I highly recommend. I'm a master at supsension of disbelief, enough so to watch Big Trouble in Little China - repeatedly. And I enjoy big productions enough to cut them some slack on nitpicky little things like glaring historical inaccuracies - (cough)King Arthur(cough). If there’s lots of fighting, maybe some hot consensual sex, with plenty of suspense and a bit of humour, well, I’m entertained. I’m here for the epic battles, and if you want to throw in some pretentious and ego-stroking scenes here and there, just make sure Brad Pitt has a nice tan.

But, damn you, Oliver Stone – you expect too much!

I can handle Colin Farrell’s Irish brogue on a Macedonian conqueror, thrown in with a mishmash of British, American and the Angelina Jolie Random Foreigner #7 (Boris and Natasha Model) accents. I can handle the ancient, desert-dwelling peoples dressed in whites so bright it’s like a commercial for Tide With Bleach. I can handle the now-popular “Guys Who Wear Dark Eye-Liner Are Evil (and Effeminate)" motif, popularized in the Lord of the Rings movies. I can even handle the fact that you directed Jolie and Farrell in a scene where he’s supposed to be 18 and she’s supposed to be his mother, yet it’s painfully obvious that they are THE SAME AGE and Farrell really just wants to make out with her.

But what I can’t forgive is the writing. Oh, the terrible, terrible writing, that turned this man you obviously idolize into a moody, whining, self-aggrandizing prick. Remember the last season of Buffy, where she was all distant and removed and basically talked in dramatic speeches, which got really boring and irritating and anti-climactic after a while, and then eventually the writers clued in and made fun of how Buffy just gave dramatic speeches all the time, when, like, it was their fault anyway? Well, halfway through the film I started expecting – hoping, praying – that Cleitus would turn to Cassander in the middle of one Alexander’s big moments of blah blah glory, blah blah conquer your fear and you conquer death, blah blah we are what we do I’m rubber you’re glue, and do the “This is so painful I’m stabbing myself in the eye” motion, and then Cassander would follow up by pantomiming slitting his wrists, and then someone would like, fart, really really really loudly, and everyone would start snickering and gagging and run out of the room and then over some wine they’d bitch about how Alexander always has that bright light streaming through his golden mullet like, we get it, Oliver, he’s divine.

It was honestly painful – painful! – to watch Farrell as Alexander. Now, he’s not the greatest actor of our time, but he’s hardly the worst, and judging by his performance I can only imagine that his only direction from Mr. Stone was: “Okay, bug out your eyes. Raise your fists in the air. Buggier eyes! Now make your mouth twitch. Yell. Yell louder! Louder! Okay, you’re fighting back tears…fighting those tears…and now you’re crying. Make a constipated face. Scream. Cry more. More constipated! Okay, great.”

I’m not kidding – dude threw a tantrum in almost EVERY SINGLE SCENE, because almost every single scene involved someone insulting his mom or his dad, and Oliver Stone had already set up that complex situation by showing us that he hated his dad and loved his mom, and then having the narrator tell us that he hated his mom and loved his dad, and if I was as mixed up as that I’d probably throw hissyfits all the time, too.

Which brings me to the point of the narration. This is one of my finicky spots – I don’t generally like narrators, because they’re often used as a lazy way to provide exposition and reinforce key messages when the writers run out of ideas of how to subtly show us these things, and have to resort to banging us over the head with a mallet inscribed with “ALEXANDER WAS A GREAT AND MISUNDERSTAND MAN WHO WAS NOT AS BAD AS EVERYONE SAID, HE WAS JUST AHEAD OF HIS TIME” in the form of Anthony Hopkins as Ptolemy 40 years later, or as I like to call him, the Oliver Stone Propaganda Spout 3000 (Now With White-House Level Truth-Altering Capabilities!).

However – while I cringingly expect a narrator to provide historical context and character motivation - I was absolutely speechless when this one glossed over what should have been major and compelling parts of the plot in two sentences, as in (spoiler) how we watch a scene where Alexander’s father remarries, drunkenly banishes his old wife and son to exile, and all but gives power to his new family.

Cue the narrator – “Two years later, his father was murdered. Alexander became the king, conquered [a bunch of places I don’t remember, because he basically read a list instead of showing us], became pharaoh of Egypt, and now let’s cut to a scene where he’s in the middle of a desert chasing a king that hasn’t been introduced yet who maybe had something to do with his father’s murder but is anyway much more important than showing you his father’s murder or how he came back from exile, or what happened to his mother, or his first years as a general, because we ran out of money to film any of those things.” Or maybe I’m guessing about that last part.

Alright. I guess I’ve wasted enough of my life on this movie. But I could go on. Oh yes, I could. And if I did, I would start with Alexander’s war helmet, which is supposed to look all noble and intimidating, but really makes him look like Marvin the Martian grew feathery antennae. But I’m not going to, since I’ve learned my lesson, and I can only hope that you learned yours, Ollie.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to pre-order tickets for The Transporter 2.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The Culture of Life: We Will Rock You and Your Yet Unconceived Offspring

After the overwhelming success of The Culture of Life's first single "Organic Vegetable Medley #7 (Cucumbers)", I am pleased to release the follow-up tune. It's an ode to the rotating shifts of old guys who stand as close as possible to the abortion clinics downtown and wear sandwich boards with catchy sayings, of which the only one I know is "Why must the child die?" because the rest are in smaller font and I always walk on the other side of the road, lest I infect the poor man with my slut germs or whatever it is us trollops have nowadays.

Anyway, the song is entitled "...But I'm Off to Have Sex!"

Dude with the sign, yeah
Got a question on his mind, yeah
Kinda deep, I guess,
Pondering a social mess,
Wish I could help, I'd give my best
But I'm off to have sex!

If only I knew, yeah,
Just what I could do, yeah,
To keep pregnancy away,
They might invent someday,
A pill, a shot, I should check my RX,
But I'm off to have sex!

Didn't teach us in school, no,
Learning isn't cool, no,
It's for Godless Communists,
Who fill their brain with lists,
Of things called "facts", what's next?
Oh right, I'm off to have sex!

If only I were gay, yeah
I bet that'd make his day, yeah
No accidental kid,
For surgery to rid,
I should apologize for all hetero-sex
But I'm off to have...some of that.

Mmm, yeah, sex, yeah
I'm off to have some, mmm, yeah
(Repeat and fade)

There you go, Random Old Guy on Streetcorner with Sandwich Board. Not only have you inspired what is sure to be a timeless song by The Culture of Life, but you've also influenced the thinking of at least one impressionable young woman, who now wants a sandwich.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Sum of All Things

I'm baaaa-ack! Sorry about the two week hiatus...hope nobody threw themselves out a window or such in their overwhelming despair.

Last time I was yakking about my impending WCT trip, which was...memorable, to say the least. It started out as one might expect - with vomit. Because it was early and I was dehydrated and it's a long and curvy road from Victoria to Port Renfrew and dammit, maybe I just felt like throwing up on Langford. Oops, pardon me, that's the "West Shore" now. Man, I go away for a few years, and everyone develops illusion of grandeur. Next I'll come home and Victoria will have renamed itself Rosehip Villa Estates, Esq., or some yuppie shit like that.

Anyway - got up to the Gordon River trailhead and waited for the bus to Pachena. I don't remember what happened on the bus (I was asleep, thankfully) although I do remember that a father and son from Calgary were there, and the son had had a morning similar to mine, which made me want to give him an encouraging hug, except it probably make him throw up on me. And then I would throw up on him. And then we'd both be walking home.

So we get to the trailhead, we sign in, we get our permits and sit for the 90-minute orientation wherein a park employee tells you all the different ways you're going to die. Falling off a cliff! Crushed in a surge channel! Drowned in a river crossing! Swept out to sea! Wolf, cougar and/or bear attack! Tsunamiiiiiii!!!!

And then we left. 3pm, with about 6 hours of hiking to get to the first campsite. Now, those of you familiar with the trail might be thinking, "But you're starting at the easiest end! It's just a long, dry, flat 12km stretch to Michigan Beach!" BUT YOU WOULD BE WRONG.

See, there was so much rain (did I mention the WCT is situated in a coastal rainforest?) that about 3km of the nice long dry flat stretch was impassable. So they built ladders. A MILLION OF THEM. Okay, more like a dozen. But we didn't find this out until right before we left, thereby blowing our whole "We'll do the tough end with all the ladders last, when our packs are lighter!" strategy. But we made it up the first three ladders - all 80-odd rungs of them. And then it was level for a bit, and then what goes up must come down - 60ft. Anyway, Papa Smurf went first, and about 2/3 of the way down we hear a yelp and look over the edge to see him hanging by his foot. WHOA.

But he manages to get his pack off and get down the rest of the ladder, and is all, "I'm fine, I'm fine!" So we keep going, BECAUSE WE ARE IDIOTS.

We make our way through about 9km of mudholes (and this is the part where I unabashedly plug The Expedition Shoppe in Ottawa where I bought a $300 pair of boots for half-price and let me just say that they were the most expensive shoes I've ever bought and it hurt at the time but they were worth EVERY SINGLE FREAKING PENNY because I went shin deep in mud and my socks were still dry when we got to the campsite, BOO-YAH) at a fairly slow rate, but we eventually get to the beach. We set up camp, ate dinner, cleaned up, and slept the sleep of the damned.

And the next morning, DD and I are up and fiddling about with breakfast and such, when I notice a figure hobbling its way towards our site with a pronounced limp. Hobble hobble hobble, until I finally notice that it is none other than - my father. Yes, Papa Smurf is not, in fact, fine. Papa Smurf cannot, in fact, go any faster than a slow hobble. So he and DD rig up what is possibly the awesomest crutch ever out of two old downhill poles (also worth their weight in gold), duct tape, twine, driftwood and a fleece blanket. And DD and I take what we can from his pack, and we go to make our way to the Pachena Lighthouse, about 2km back from where we are.

About halfway there, DD heads off to let the lighthouse know we're coming, drops off the world's heaviest pack which he has been carrying, and heads back to meet us. Shortly after, the lighthouse-keeper appears on the trail and examines Papa Smurf's grotesquely swollen ankle. He accompanies us back to the lighthouse, stopping only when the helicopter carrying buckets of cement (much-needed construction on the lighthouse site) passes overhead - safety first!

So we're there, and it's beautiful and sunny, and we wait while the keep contacts the wardens to send the boat for my dad, so that us two can get back on with the 10km of hiking we have left. Then, bad news - the rangers don't think they can get the boat to us that day. We're offered a spot on the lawn to camp. DD and I are mulling over heading back tonight and camping at Pachena, or waiting until tomorrow, when the keep hits on another solution - the helicopter might be able to take an extra passenger. He goes to check with the pilot, and Dan and I rearrange the backpacks - hell, if Dad's getting flown out then HE can take the world's heaviest pack.

And just as we're doing that, the keep comes back, shouting "Everyone who doesn't want to walk back, come get a ride!"

And the next thing I knew, I was getting belted into a Fisheries and Oceans 4-seater helicopter.

I'd been on one once before - when I was two. It was so AWESOME. Kinda scary, though, 'cause choppers are a pretty bumpy ride, and also my seatbelt was really loose ("That's as tight as it goes, huh? Don't worry, Glen's a good pilot," said the lighthouse-keeper) and also? The pilot HAD NO DOOR. As in, my door was closed, and DD's, and Papa Smurf's, but the pilot's had been completely removed for maneuverability reasons. So we're taking off and I'm all, oh, he hasn't closed his door yet. Oh, we're lifting off, um, shouldn't he have his door closed? Wait a minute, shouldn't he HAVE A DOOR?

But all is well, and we get to Bamfield quickly - 6 hours to get in, 5 minutes to get out. And we stayed at this fun little fishing resort called the Seabeam where middle-aged men fed us fresh-cooked oysters and prawns and we shared our falafel, which was surprisingly well-received. And then we took the bus back to Gordor River, and then we drove down to Victoria, and then we aired out all the gear that we had packed three days earlier.

I imagine there's a lesson in there somewhere, but I'm a little jet-lagged to figure it out. Unless it has to do with how hurting yourself brings awesome consequences...maybe I'll test that one again sometime.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Wuss Coast Trail

So, as of today, I think that I've spent more days preparing for this hike than I'm going to spend actually doing the hike. C'est la vie. Or, c'est la vie d'une personne anal-retentif. It might shock some of yous out there to know that despite my absent-minded, disorganized appearance, I'm actually a list-making, -checking, and -doublechecking FREAK. A super-freak, you might even say. The kind you don't take home to mother (I'm Rick James, BITCH!).

Anyway, if you broke it all down Mastercard-style, it would look like this:

Reservation fee: $25
Trail Use Permit: $90
Ferry fees: $28
Fancy organic dehydrated food made by hippies: $50
Regular, non-hippy food: $100
Seven different trips to MEC (pronounced "meck" in Ontario and "M-E-C" in BC) - easily the GDP of a small breakaway Soviet republic
Amount spent at 20-odd other stores located around the three different MEC locations visited, which we went to but wound up going back to MEC anyway, because of a)better selection; b)better prices; and c)we are powerless before the almighty MEC and its irresistible appeal to stylish outdoorsy people, or people who want to be stylish and outdoorsy: $47.12
Completing the WCT without being eaten by a wild creature, or getting into a deathmatch with Hans and Olga over the last remaining campsite (during which we will surely be bested by their incomperable efficiency) or being abandoned in a flood plain by travelling companions who are tired of participating in the eternal debate of "Last Woman Standing: Buffy the Vampire Slayer vs. Xena: WarriorPrincess", and how that depends on Xena's weapons and which season of Buffy you're talking, 'cause like, season one Buffy would get her ass KICKED: priceless. Unlikely, but priceless.

I'll prolly be on the trail next Tuesday, so if I don't post on time, don't break out the sack cloths and ashes quite yet - give me until Wednesday at least.

Monday, July 04, 2005

West Side, Bee-yotches!

Hey all,

I am in BC now. Specifically, Westbridge. If you have a spare few minutes, try looking it up on a map. Ooooweee that's good times. My internet access is slim to none, so I can't really prepare another spectacularicious entry, so, instead, why don't we all pretend that I wrote this?

Later skaters,
Travellin' Floyd

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

It’s the end of the world as we know it…

I hope you’re all packed for Armageddon. I have to admit, I’m not – I’ve been so busy getting ready for a July in Beautiful British Columbia including a week on the West Coast Trail that I forgot all about how our country only has about 8 hours left before it becomes a fiery hell on earth. If not for the phone calls and e-mails from dozens of upright prophetic citizens, I might have been caught totally unprepared for this evening when absolutely nothing changes . . . I mean, when the floodgates of Hades open and the Devil’s hench-demons spill out into the streets amidst evil acts to sinful to be described.

Oh, you Judas of a Parliament – how could you vote on such an infernal bill as C-38 and doom all of us (either all Canadians, or the entire world, the upright prophetic citizens seem to be in some disagreement on that point, but, regardless) to a fate worth than death by poked in the eye by a hench-demon with a flaming hot Hell-Poker 3000© ("For all your infernal eye-poking needs"), which we will likely suffer anyway.

Anyway, as you can imagine, it was a little upsetting when I got into work this morning only to be told of this imminent disaster. I had no idea that God was so upset over C-38. How could I have been so blind? All the signs are there – um, apparently. I don’t actually see them, but these upright prophetic citizens do, and if you can’t trust random people you’ve never met who send out mass e-mails, than who can you trust? Oh, that reminds me, I need to contact that Nigerian oil heir right away – I’ve been selected as a partner for a pretty lucrative business transaction and . . . oh, right, the world’s ending. Nevermind.

Where was I? Right, the signs. Well, first of all, there was that tsunami last year. I thought it was a result of a shift in the earth’s crust, which caused a earthquake which in turn displaced a massive amount of water. Nuh uh! That? Was God. Yeah, I didn’t think so either, but I guess if you look at it in a special way, an unbelievably destructive natural disaster occurring thousands of kilometres away is clearly a sign to Canadian lawmakers that He is very upset with them over this whole same-sex marriage thing. It was pretty nice of Him to warn us by killing hundreds of thousands of Southeast Asians instead of, say, hitting Vancouver with a meteor. Or striking down Paul Martin with a lightening bolt, as was predicted a few months ago by other upright prophetic citizens, who, I suppose, have their off-days like anyone else.

And there have been other signs too – like how all the provinces and the territory which already have same-sex marriage are in complete anarchy, with roving groups of homosexuals and their friends performing shotgun marriages in the street, forcing women to marry women and men to marry men and farmers to marry livestock and children to marry their imaginary friends of both sexes and gardeners to marry plants and oh, the humanity! I myself was forced to marry the a spoon last week. Oh well, I suppose I could have done worse.

So, maybe it’s for the best that the Canada and possibly the world are ending tonight. I don’t think I can live in this hellhole any longer! There were absolutely NO PROBLEMS in Canada two years ago when Ontario first tugged at the loose thread that is same-sex marriage, and since then, the entire Canadian social fabric has completely unraveled. What? Proof? You want me to back up a completely unsubstantiated statement of sweeping generalization with proof? Heathen! Look, Canada sucks right now, okay? It’s a simmering cesspool of sin and despair, with tortured inhabitants praying for the sweet embrace of death, and if you can’t see that, well, you’re obviously getting left behind. Have fun being poked in the eye.

Sorry, sorry . . . just got a little swept up in the moment there. Who am I kidding, anyway? I’ll be seeing you all in Hell, as a nice little reward for our “tolerance” and “inclusiveness” and “not judging others” and “loving our fellow humans” and “wanting to live peacefully with all of His marvelous creations” and all that other shit that God just hates.

I guess I should be more upset, what with the His impeding wrath and all, but what can I say? It’s been a good run. Save me a seat next to the lake of fire. It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Another One Bites the Dust

New Brunswick rules in favour of same-sex marriage. That leaves Alberta, PEI, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. The latter two I forgive, mostly the North has waaaay bigger problems to deal with than either of those two provinces. So get cracking, Oily McCowboy and Potatoey McAnneofGreenGables!

Also - a propos of nothing - this is procrastiriffic!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Everything’s Relative

If there’s one thing I took away from Physics 11 in high school, it’s that statement. Oh, and also Newton’s three laws of physics, which I explored in a short film entitled Newton’s Three Laws of Physics, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as Sir Isaac Newton. Oh, and also that one time when the teacher put a slab of wood on his stomach and let this guy hit it with a sledgehammer. That was pretty awesome . . .

Huh? Right – everything’s relative.

In physics, this meant that when you were measuring motion, you had to keep your frame of reference in mind. Like, if the frame of reference is the room where you are right now, then you aren’t moving. Expand that frame of reference to the solar system, and suddenly you’re a spot on a basketball that some Harlem Globetrotter is spinning on one finger and circling around his baffled opponent’s head. Um, and that spot on the basketball is simultaneously spinning and circling through space, and if we expand our frame of reference to the galaxy, well, there’s another level of axial rotation and orbiting and then up it again to the university and that spot is rotating on its own axis and the Earth’s axis and a galactic axis around the centre of the universe and then there’s the layers of relative orbits and shit, where’s Stephen Hawking when you need him, no, not just him but Johnnie Walker too?

It’s not just in physics, though – everything’s relative. I never felt like a tree-hugging hippie until I moved to bureaucracy central, where smoking pot is a political statement against the establishment, like, that’s right, The Man, we’re sticking it (inhale . . . hold it! . . . exhale . . . ) to ya! As opposed to the coast, where it’s what you do with The Man, and then you split a pizza.

Seriously, though, when Easterners (and this means everything past Manitoba, because that shit’s all east relative to Victoria which is practically falling off the edge of this country) get all up in my face, yo, about how they don’t agree with the “marijuana lifestyle” (smoke a joint, eat a baby?) or how they could never do that to their bodies (this said by someone who had just consumed the majority of a two-four of Blue), I like to tell the story of New Year’s 2000 wherein a bunch of us went down to the BC Legislature lawn to watch fire works and what not, and behind us a group of fortysomethings in tweeds and plaids were passing around a couple of joints, and then the cops came over, and were all “Excuse me, could you move off the grass? Because it’s starting to rain, and we don’t want the lawn to get ruined” and the group were all, sure officers, and went and toked up on the sidewalk and boy, I bet those were the best fireworks EVER.

So Ontario’s a little more conservative than the coast - it sure makes for amusing moments when someone who’s a die-hard Ontario big L Liberal thinks that means they’re a little l liberal too. Like that time when I worked summer camps and a fellow counselor, some football player from Toronto, tries to tell me that his high school was so left-wing and politically active, because they had, like, food drives, and I’m all, man, when I was in grade seven, two girls from my class volunteered to participate during a school assembly featuring two guys from Quebec dressed up as bĂ»cherons who were presenting French Canadian culture and used that moment to protest against clear-cutting; maybe you were left-wing for a suburban Toronto school, but don’t think that means you can compete in the Big Leagues, son, ‘cause you’d get your Nike-wearing, SUV-driving, fiscally-conservative-policy-endorsing ass torn apart.

Relativity’s getting more and more important in this self-obsessed century, too. Talk shows, books, magazines, they’re all going to “make you a better person”, “make you happier”, “make you buy this crap we’re selling in the vain hope that it will fill the gaping hole in your being that’s a result of our shallow, materialistic society that devalues human relationships in favor of the unsustainable production of consumer goods, all the while telling you that the latter can be as meaningful and fulfilling as the former”, and so on.

But there is some truth in there – we’re always changing, relative to ourselves. I’m not the person I was 20, 10 or two years ago. I’m not even the person I was five minutes ago, ‘cause that person was much, much hungrier and had a granola bar in her purse.

For real, though, as recently as grade 10, I was a staunch believer in the death penalty, only to have my carefully-crafted and life-experience-based belief turned upside down by a particularly compelling episode of The X-Files, back when that show rocked, which was through even the Mulder/Doggett switch of the eighth season, which should have been a show killer except for Mulder’s increasing weirdness/annoyingness and the subtle and effective “Scully as believer” motif, and which point it seems the creative staff went, hey, let’s try replacing the other one too!, and brought in Agent Whatsherface who was a terrible, terrible character, even if you don’t compare her to the divine Miss Scully.

One last time then – everything’s relative. It’s a little something I try to keep in mind; it helps me keep my sanity when the Conservatives go up in the polls, and I can tell myself, well, at least it’s not these guys. Or [shudder ] this guy.