Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Three Things

While standing naked next to the gym shower this morning, waiting for hot water to arrive from the third circle of hell where the old Forum* seems to keep its boiler (about 5 minutes if you’re the first to shower in the morning), I couldn’t help but wonder what the hell I was doing there. Still, somehow it seemed a little easier (just a tad, just a hair’s breadth) than yesterday. I’m not insane enough to believe that eventually I’ll actually like it (the getting up part, not the gym part since I’m probably one of the only people in the known universe who actually likes the gym), but maybe, just maybe getting up before six will go from absolute torture to relative torture. That would be good.

When I was a child, lo these many years ago I never, ever had a Mr. Potato Head. Did he not exist in my time, or were my parents just evil evil people bent on screwing up my childhood by depriving me of him?** Whatever it was, I developed a passion for the spud. Mr Jazz has given me a few, I have Mr. P and his car courtesy of the JazzSis, as well as assorted baby spuds. Today I would like you to meet the latest addition to my menagerie (vegetable stand?) given to my by a friend: Darth Tater. Here he is sitting on the TV at the cottage. How cool is that?

Saw a great movie last night. I had heard very good things about it. I had also heard that it was basically porn (because the actors don’t simulate sex in the movie, it’s the real thing). I guess it’s a matter of point of view. The movie is Shortbus and it’s wonderful and it’s nowhere near porn. Of course, if you have problems with watching real sex on the big screen, you might be better to abstain. I’d also advocate not going with your mom – but I guess that would depend on your relationship with your mom. Most people I know however, well, not so much with the mom.

* The gym is in what used to be the Montreal Forum, home of the Habs and various assorted ghosts. Not that I believe in ghosts, but hey, it’s Hallow’een. The hockey team has moved to the Bell Centre and either the ghosts went with the team or got lost somewhere along the 2-3 km move. The Forum is now the home of my gym, a Cineplex and various restaurants that seem to go under with stunning regularity, only to be replaced my more restos that will go under soon. You’d think they’d learn. Or maybe the ghosts don’t like restaurants.

**I was also deprived of the game Perfection which I wanted so bad. I wonder how my life would have turned out if I had had that game. I'd probably be less of a spazz or, on the contrary, I'd be a twitching slobbering mess, the explosion of Perfection pieces every 45 seconds having traumatized me forever.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Early morning gym sessions

I would like to be one of those fabled morning people. I would also like to be Jack Bauer, ‘cause damn, his life is never boring but that’s a whole other kettle of fish.

So, as wishes go, let’s get back to being a morning person. What brought this on? I went back to the gym this morning. To get back to the gym I had to get up at 5:45. Let me tell you, those extra 35 minutes I get when I don’t go to the gym make all the difference in the world. When I get up at 6:20, I’m only useless. At 5:45 I’m basically a zombie.

There’s also the problem of sleep deprivation. Mr. Jazz, he’s the type to manage quite well thank you very much on six hours of sleep. Seven is my bare minimum. At six I can’t even function. Meaning that if I’m to be up at that hour every morning of the week, theoretically I should be in bed – sleeping !!!! – at 10:00 pm. In bed at 10:00, not so much of a problem. Asleep? Much more of a problem.

I suppose one gets used to sleep deprivation. Look at all those bleary eyed parents wandering around. It can be done. I feel it necessary to point out here that I have no children, and the idea of habitual sleep deprivation might be part of the reason.

But I have to get back into shape. The whole asthma thing is apparently much less of a problem if you’re in decent shape. Right now I’m probably in the worst shape I have ever been... and liking it when faced with the alternative of a 5:45 wake up call.

After work at the gym is not an option. After work at the gym is the despised gym bunny hour. These women and their spandex and makeup scare the hell out of me. I’m not sure they’re human. And they descend on the gym in hoards at 5:00 pm. Plus a 5:00 pm gym call means I’m not home before 7:30 at the earliest. Bleh.

So early morning gym session it is. Is there any way to graft happy-early-morning-riser genes onto myself?

Friday, October 27, 2006

More stories of the fifth floor washroom...

The washrooms on our floor are bizarre. We’re talking office washrooms here. How can a lone sock end up on the counter? How can you lose a sock in an office bathroom in October of all months? Wouldn’t you notice it when you get outside?

Then there’s the mystery of the disappearing soap. The building supplies soap in the bathrooms, obviously, but it’s that fluorescent-pink-as-an-alternate-you-can-use-it-to-refinish-your-living-room-floor stuff. Plus it really doesn’t smell that good. So someone from our office brought in a bottle of hand soap. Your ordinary run of the mill Jergens Soft Soap. Nothing fancy. Not Aveda, not Crabtree and Evelyn, not Body Shop. Jergens soft soap at two bucks a bottle. Two days later it was gone. Stolen. Who the hell would steal a two buck bottle of soap? Plus, damn, we were being nice. We left it there so everyone could use it, even the nutjobs from the sixth floor who sneak down to our washroom.


I have rarely, if ever, talked directly about my job here, but today, I gotta tell you, I hate numbers. I hate working with numbers, I hate trying to puzzle out what they mean. They’re just squiggles on a page for me. Numbers make me feel stupid. More to the point numbers make me look stupid. Even more to the point, after a few hours, numbers actually make me stupid.

They don’t talk to me. They turn their backs on me. They are out to get me. Not the best when you work in an engineering firm.

Gimme a new language and I’ll absorb it pretty easily, give me numbers and they’ll wrestle me down, beat me over the head and make me bleed.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Well, here it is. The moment. Today is my first anniversary on Blogger. No bells and whistles. No fireworks. Wassup with that? I thought blogger would host a huge party or something.

No such luck. I guess I’m spoiled because my birthday coincides with a holiday here in Quebec, so at least I’m always off that day. So I expect something special…

Seriously though, I didn’t think I’d last this long. Really. I thought after a few months I’d get it out of my system and it would just fade away. To my surprise, it’s grown on me. Like all bad habits I suppose.

I also didn’t think I’d end up making such a totally dull entry for my “anniversary”. Geez. Coochoo’s guest blog below is much better. I love that I can nag her into doing stuff for me**.

I’ve been asked to write Jazz’s I’ve-been-on-blogger-for-a-year-post (although she does have a sordid past on Open Diary). I suppose we might also call it a this-is-what-Jazz-gets-paid-to-do-post.

I don’t really have the brainpower to write this right now, but I’m doing it anyway. This is partly because Jazz is my good friend (well, she might be more psychotic than she is good…), but mostly because she nagged me into it, and I’m afraid she’ll turn up on my doorstep if I don’t.

What can I say about Jazz, I wonder? Well, she likes knives. After having divulged all the juicy (gory, blood-splattered, sticky) details on how she almost took her finger off with one on Friday, she goes right onto telling us all about her cleaver on Tuesday, which she is obviously disturbingly proud off, since she’s contemplating bringing it when she visits her friends.

And now Jazz has been a blogger-blogger for a whole year. Who ever thought she’d live this long?

There. All done.

And now back to our regular programming.

Mr. Jazz and I have gotten our hands on seasons 3 and 4 of 24. Yay! So far, in season 3, Jack Bauer has not killed so many people, though he did start a riot in a prison. But I guess you can excuse the low numbers of dead and dying, the guy is, after all, trying to save the world while in heroine withdrawal. ‘Cause Jack? He's going cold turkey. Jack? He’s a mensch.

And on the way home from a cocktail yesterday (me and the Mr. at a cocktail – somehow that just doesn’t quite compute in my head), we passed by the Cinéma l'Amour, Montreal’s last porno movie house. Tuesdays are free for couples. There is definitely a Wednesday blog entry coming up soon on that one.

** After reading this she complained that I can only nag her into doing stuff if she's braindead at that particular moment. I stand corrected.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Cleavers and Beavers

Mr. Jazz and I had dinner with friends last week and at one point one of our hosts (lets call him M) was cutting through a chicken breast. I told him had I known I would have brought my cleaver, which would have made the job that much easier. Plus the thing would actually get some use. It was a gift and I’ve never actually used it, since I don’t often have chickens or rabbits to hack apart.

Actually maybe I should get a rabbit or other furry dead thing to try it on. Cause as it stands, it’s just there. Waiting. Waiting for that madman to break in, at which point I’ll take the cleaver and whack him with it, splitting open his head and the cops will arrest me and I’ll end up in jail and spend the rest my life as Big Bertha’s bitch. While there’s something to be said for being lodged, clothed and fed, being Big Bertha’s bitch… meh, not so much.

Who me? An overactive imagination???

Segue back to the cleaver conversation with M. Because me? I digress.

Once upon a time when television was a young and awesome medium with a bright future, someone invented the sitcom. One sitcom in particular interests us here: Leave It To Beaver.

A quintessential late fifties American family, the Cleavers (hence the tie-in with the knife – I seem obsessed with those lately, but again, I digress). Dad (Ward) goes to work every day doing who knows what. Mom (June) stays home and vacuums in full makeup, heels and pearls, coffee always on, smile plastered on her face, the woman was probably on Librium, or whatever happy pill used to be the norm back then. Then there’s the older brother, Wally, who’s just there for… well, no one knows too much why Wally is around, probably as a sidekick to , the show’s namesake, his little brother Theodore, aka Beaver.

Beaver. Beaver Cleaver. As M pointed out, either they were clueless or the show’s writers had an evil sense of humour putting a name like that on TV in the late 50s. I tend to go with the second possibility. Because Beaver Cleaver? That can't be accidental.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

It was a toss up...

... between Bert and Oscar. I was sure it would be one or the other, and Bert won out. For the record, I'm not extremely serious, far from a total neat freak, and more than a little evil.

You Are Bert

Extremely serious and a little eccentric, people find you loveable - even if you don't love them!

You are usually feeling: Logical - you rarely let your emotions rule you

You are famous for: Being smart, a total neat freak, and maybe just a little evil

How you life your life: With passion, even if your odd passions (like bottle caps and pigeons) are baffling to others

Just sayin'

It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor. - Neil Gaiman (whoever he is/was)

I found the pic at Elms Puzzles. They make custom wooden jigsaw puzzles. This is from a series by an artist called Gwen Connelly. Ain't it loverly?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Kinves and superstition

The whole knife thing got me wondering about knife superstitions since I knew there was something about how f you receive a gift of knives you have to pay the giver 0.01$ per knife so that the knife doesn’t “cut” your friendship.

Here’s what I found:

- The dropping of a knife foretells the visit of a man friend in the near future.

- And a variation on that one: Dropping silverwear will make company come. Drop a spoon and the company will be female, drop a fork and the company will be male. Dropping a knife will break the spell.

- A knife placed under the bed during childbirth will ease the pain of labor.

- Never give a knife as a housewarming present, or your new neighbor will become an enemy.

- It’s bad luck to make a present of a knife or any other sharp instrument unless you receive something in exchange.

- Never say thank you when handed a knife or you’ll cut yourself.

- Do not use knives or scissors on New Year's Day as this may cut off fortune

And finally:

- A knife as a gift from a lover means that the love will soon end.

That last one is a bit unfortunate since Mr. Jazz gave me the infamous Sanelli slicer. And as of yesterday we have been together 19 years. Good thing I’m not superstitious or I’d have to say, well, it was fun while it lasted.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Things I learned since the weekend

It’s hard to type when you don’t have use of your left index finger

A professionally done dressing on a wound makes it look much worse than it really is.

Six Band-Aids on a wound make it look much less worse than it actually is.

Band-Aids don’t soak up very much blood.

Blood and gore are actually fascinate me. I shoulda been a surgeon. Or a butcher.

It’s annoying to type when you don’t have use of your left index finger. (I think I mentioned that).

It's a good idea to keep your fingers out of harm's way when you're chopping vegetables. Which is why chefs do that fingers curled under thing when they're cutting. Well duh! (yes, go ahead y'all, roll your eyes...)

Sanelli knives are really very very sharp. They have no problem whatsoever slicing through misplaced fingers. Or at any rate slicing off 25% of the nail of an index finger along with assorted skin under and around said nail... is this TMI?

But they’re really great looking with their green and orange handles.

I love me my knives. And this one? It's brilliant, truly it is.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Bus drivers and denial

Something strange has been happening to Montreal bus drivers. It seems the toads with beer bellies have morphed into handsome princes. I’m not exactly sure when this happened, but damn, this morning on my way to work I ended up with two hot bus drivers. Hot young bus drivers. Seriously. Look, when a guy is hot enough to make me take a second look at 7:10 in the morning, he is definitely exceedingly sizzling.

Seems to me bus drivers were all the oldish guys with beer bellies, now they’re getting younger and younger. Hell, soon they’ll be plucking them right out of high school.

What? Whachoo sayin’ ? It’s not them getting younger it’s me getting older? I don’t think so… No, really, I’m not… Who, me? Denial?? Well, ok, um… Hot young bus drivers. OMG! Ewwww! Ewwww! Ewwww! I’ve turned into one of those dirty old men…um ladies… leering at the young ‘uns. Christ, someone shoot me now!

Speaking of denial…

DeNile, it has often been said, is not just a river in Egypt. I stand here before you and confirm that. Every year, towards the end of summer I’m struck by a huge dose of the stuff. Because me? I refuse to admit that summer has ended. It. Must. Go. On.


But today, finally, I snapped out of it. No more sandals, no more flirty little skirts. The summer, she is gone. Vamoosed. Off to better climes. It was 4 degrees this morning (that’s 39 for those of you who haven’t joined the rest of the universe in metric). Yesterday it snowed in London (Ontario of course).

And to think it’s gonna get a helluva lot worse before it gets any better… Idiot explorers, you’d think they’d have had the wits to veer South.

Actually I’m sure the first people they met told ‘em, “Um, guys, you might want to take your asses South. You’re not gonna appreciate it here in the next few months.”

Of course the explorers (in our case, Jacques Cartier, a French dude, an obviously very suspicious French dude) must have said, “Ah, zey want us to leave! Zey must have somesing wort stealing”.

So they stayed.

And the rest, as they say is history.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Two things…

How come now that we have all these “time saving” gadgets, cell phones, blackberries, and other such thingies, we have much less time than we used to?

Seems like the only people who actually have time on their hands are those who have eschewed those same gadgets.

Just a thought.

The Journal de Montréal, Montreal’s very own tabloid carried a series of articles yesterday on anorexia and the media’s role in “promoting” it. How young women develop anorexia because they see too many emaciated models in magazines, etc. etc. And no, I don’t want to get into that debate.

However, the Quebec Minister of Health has announced today that this obsession with thinness must stop. He will apparently be going to modeling agencies and such to speak to them about it.

Yep, you heard it here first. Anorexia will stop because Couillard is gonna take matters into his chubby capable hands. I can’t help but wonder what measures he can actually take? Anyone with a BMI under normal will be whisked away and force fed until they’re nice and curvy? Will he institute a ban on fashion magazines with skinny models? Will models have to go underground?

Don’t ya just love it when the government, because of an outcry over a few sensationalistic articles in a tabloid, jumps on the bandwagon, fists waving and hopping up and down in righteous indignation?

And we’re supposed to have total respect for these people. Media whores, all of ‘em.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Inane observations from a dumbed down brain

At least I have an excuse; I was on vacation all last week. Now my brain is numb from the misery of being back in the office. Not that I loathe my job mind you, it’s more a case of I’m “just not that into you” on the first day back. And now:

- The area where I work smells of poo today. The chi-chi area of town. It smells like poo. Go figure…

- The ladies who lunch, still lunch and are still annoying as hell.

- I can’t help but find it totally surreal that the nuclear powers of the world are screaming about the non-proliferation of nuclear arms now that Korea has it. “No more nuclear arms! You have no right to have them!” I don’t hear any of them saying they’ll get rid of their own though. Is it just me or is there a certain irony there?

Not that our friend Kimmy should actually have nuclear arms. The man is a fucking lunatic. But what are more sanctions gonna do? Simply make North Koreans’ lives even more difficult. Kimmy? He’s not gonna feel the pain. At. All.

- While we were gone, road tripping on those wonderful American roads, an overpass collapsed in Montreal, killing five. A few weeks earlier, the government was saying how Quebec roads were in great shape – obviously these people don’t drive from place to place, they fly. This is the second overpass to collapse in the past 5-7 years in the Montreal area. You’d think we live in a fuckin’ third world country. Roads disappear all the time in Nepal – but that’s because mountains sorta slip onto them… (OK, well blogger refuses to add a picture here - but I'm sure you can imagine what a collapsed overpass looks like)

- Montana is beautiful. I could live there. Lots of space, very few people. Huge sky, way more horses than people. Did I mention very few people? I’d have no trouble living in a place where six horses live in my neighbour’s yard. Look at this! I rest my case.

Of course, once I got a hankering for the city I'd no doubt be miserable, but there you go. I'm an idiot that way.

- For all those who think me a cynic, I recently read somewhere that a cynic is simply a disillusioned idealist. Just sayin’.