Monday, July 31, 2006

Asthma and ATCs

Interesting experience this morning. The Jazzer had an asthma test. It lasted 2 and a half freaking hours.

It must be hell to really be asthmatic. Turns out I’m borderline. You have to lose 20% of your breathing capacity to be considered asthmatic. Me? 19%. Cause me? It would be just too damn easy if the diagnosis for this cough and wheezing was straightforward.

So they make you inhale this mixture containing water and some crap that will provoke and asthma attack if you are, in fact asthmatic. There are nine levels of this stuff and I made it to the very top level – enough to induce asthma in a horse said the tech. Course the Jazzer? Healthy as a horse…

Every level of the stuff, my capacity would go down but I’d recuperate really quickly. It became a joke in the lab, betting on what would finally get me. Last dose though? Jesus Murphy. Wasn’t funny anymore. The gasping for breath, the coughing, the shaking and hyperventilating. Not good at all. Which is where I figured it must be hell to really be asthmatic – cause I was at 19% by that point…

But I guess it’s enough that I’ll be on the Ventolin for a long time to come… All I want is to be able to get my ass back into the gym and onto the elliptical trainer without collapsing from coughing as soon as I start breathing a bit heavy. I’m sick of feeling like a lump, I’m sick of being totally out of shape and exhausted all the time because of it. Bleh…

On another note, I have made and sent out my first batch of ATCs ever. Today was the deadline, today I sent them, after months of pulling my hair out in a total panic. And I actually scanned them so I’ll most probably post them here in a couple of days. Or not...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Rain storms and construction hols.

Have you ever been awakened by rain? Just the sound of rain. No thunder, no lightening, just rain falling so damn hard it actually wakes you up?

Happened to me last night up at the cottage – I’ve rarely ever heard anything like it. It seems as if I had just let the rain lull me back to sleep when the thunder started. I must’ve jumped a foot into the air. I hate, no, I loathe waking up like that, heart racing, adrenaline pumping, in a total panic ready to defend myself to the death… But Mr. Jazz was there, rubbing my back, whispering that it was ok, soothing me like he does so well. I lurves my Mr. J.

Mr. Jazz and I have been spending our nights at the cottage for the past week and coming to work in the morning because there’s no traffic since it’s construction holidays in Quebec.

Yes, in Quebec, land of snow and slush, the construction industry (and pretty much any other industy more or less attached to it) shuts down for the last two weeks of July. Two weeks of a very short summer. Two weeks where you’d figure a lot of construction work get be done if vacations were staggered over the summer.

But no. The construction industry shuts down in Quebec for two weeks because, well because that's the way it is. So everyone can zoom on down to Ogunquit and Wildwood for two weeks of an intense all Quebecer invasion of New England beaches*. Gotta love the logic of that.

Course, because of it, I get to spend nights at the cottage for two weeks being wakened by rain storms. S'all good.

*Ogunquit and Wildwood are the perfect places to observe the Homo Quebecensus in all its paunchy, sunburned summer glory.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Photo ops galore

Our PM, Harper went to Cyprus in his government plane to pick up a load of Canadians and bring them home. So now, plastered across the front pages, we have pics of him and Mrs. Harper smiling broadly at the Canadians getting on the plane, very much like flight attendants greeting a load of touists. Damage control for the way he handled (or didn't in many Canadians' opinion) the whole repatriation crisis.

As for the Quebec government, they've set up a greeting system at the Montreal airport for arriving repats. They whisk them to the Hilton for TLC and psychological counselling, with ambulances on hand for any who might need them. More back patting and aren't we wonderful, don't forget this at the next election.

Call me a cynic, but in my opinion all these public relations and photo ops are a load of crap. Out of the goodness of their hearts? Nope, out of the need to grab more votes when election time rolls around.

Give me a fuckin' break.

Jazz doesn't feel like smiling at these "feel good" bullshit fests vomited up by the spin doctors. I can just see their minds spinning when came the time to evacuate our citizens from Lebanon! What a golden opportunity make the politicos look good - they must've been licking their chops with joy.

Jazz is getting older and more cynical by the day.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Repatriation from Lebanon

The Canadian government just announced that it will repatriate Canadian citizens from Lebanon, but not permanent residents. These are people who have immigrated to Canada and are simply awaiting their citizenship. If a permanent resident is travelling with family who are Canadian citizens, ok, but if the person is on their own, well, fuck 'em.

I'm embarassed to be Canadian.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Another tsunami

The earthquake a couple of months ago, another tsunami yesterday. Indonesia just keeps getting hit...


Re: Toast and Paula's comments

Funny Paula, your comment about asking "How do you know there's a god" reminded me of an incident early in high school. Actually, I think that sealed it for me regarding Catholicism.

A nun in regligion class told us that anyone who wasn't catholic was venerating false gods. To which I replied, but aren't protestants pretty much just a spin off of catholicism, Henry VIII and his need for heirs and all. She admitted that Protestants might perhaps, just perhaps, be saved if we prayed enough for them and they changed their wicked ways. I mean WTF???

Then I said, "So buddhist, hindus, muslims, they're all bound straight for hell?"

To which she answered, not even a question in her mind: "Of course, they worship false gods, they worship graven images".

Me: "But what about us? What about that christ on the cross?"

Her: "Not the same thing, that is just a reminder"

Me: "That's total bullshit"

Her: "How dare you blaspheme here? Get out of this class! Now!"

No discussion possible. But I did get some handclaps while I left the class. And I was happy I told her off - though it was perhaps a cruel thing to do. I think that's the day I decided that Catholicism was most definitely out for me. LOL.

As for animals being purposely cruel (the chimps, the dogs), ok, granted. But it seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

And true, unlike them, we have the choice, we can make a decision on how we want to act. The fact that we can actually decide what we want to do that "it's understanding, we have a choice of what kind of person to be and how to react or act" makes our cruelty that much more, well, cruel. And so many times humans have perpetuated so much cruelty in the name of a god - it boggles the mind. I think we invented god to a) make things easier to accept and b) have a "scapegoat" (for want of a better word right now) - "Gotta do that, it's god's word". The Jazzer has lots of problems with that attitude, and there seems to be a lot of it going around right now. And of course, most people I know who are christian are not like that at all though.

Edited to add: Actually, what annoys me to death is not christianity as such, I have no problem with funamentalist christians even. Believe what you want. What really makes me angry though, is using "God" as an excuse for bigotry, hatred and exclusion (i.e. the whole "god says homosexuality is wrong, they've gotta change their lifestyle" springs to mind as it was quite an issue in a forum I frequent). That just pisses me off to no end. If there was a god, this god of good everyone talks about, I really don't think he'd be sending people off to hell because of something that is part of their genetic makeup.

As an aside which has nothing to do with anything, I find it hilarious how so many men can be totally homophobic, but the idea of lesbian sex just turns them on to no end. Apparently it's the number one male fantasy. How ridiculous is that?

Guys, you gotta stop making me think!!! It's real interesting, but it has to stop!* I've just started an evil cold on top of an evil ass cough from hell** I've been hauling around for over 2 months... This is too much for me. I might just spontaneously combust.

* Naw, not really.
** Ironic that I, of all people would use that expression...

Monday, July 17, 2006

God? or not?

My friend T contacted me recently about a previous entry, asking why I didn't believe in god. I figured since I was on the subject, so to speak, I would answer her here.

I guess I could answer by asking why those people who believe in god do so. Just because I don't I guess.

I was born a catholic and I've always thought there was a HUGE gulf between what the church preaches and what it does. For instance, the vow of poverty - but the Catholic church is one of the richest institutions there is - to name just one thing. It was a long drawn out process, years of questions and thinking (yes I DO think once in a while - or I did many many years ago).

I remember the first time the church really fucked with my head was at first confession (before you do your first communion). As a 7 year old (or thereabouts) you have to confess your sins to the guy in black. Now, I ask you, what sins does a 7 year old have to confess? I made some up and then said "I told lies" figuring that would put me in the clear 'cause there was no way the priest would accept my going in and saying - I ain't got nothing to confess dude. And I felt guilty for the longest time, until I realized just how fucked up it is to force a child to do something like that (and I later found out, that most people I know did the same). For the record, I like the protestant way where your sins are between you and God. It makes so much more sense - why would you need an intermediary to talk to the big guy if he's all-knowing and all seeing....

Forced to lie to the respresentative of God on earth to make him happy.... That was the first big dent. And of course there's more, much more.

Of course, I could simply have left the church and still believed.

I think lots of people believe in God because it's a comfort. You know whatever you do, you can be forgiven by someone bigger than yourself, that when you die you'll continue to live on. It makes life easier, I think, to believe there is a higher power taking care. That if you're a good person, you'll eventually get your reward.

I don't believe that. For some reason I find myself incapable of believing it - maybe I'm too rational and it smacks of fairy tales to me. I really couldn't say exactly why it doesn't work for me though (maybe I should do some more thinking on that - or not).

The way I see it, I have a finite number of years on this planet and that's all I get so I better make good use of it. Bugs die, dogs die, fish die and no one thinks they go to heaven, why would it be any different for us? What do we have that they don't that would give us the merit? If you go on goodness - animals are much "gooder" than humans. Animals don't make war on each other, they don't murder. They don't go around devising new and interesting ways to hurt their fellows just for the hell of it (and no, the cat playing with the mouse example doesn't cut it; in the wide realm of animal behaviour it's not much to go on). They do what they have to do to survive, period. That is so not the case for humans.

So yeah, I figure when I die I'll die. End of story. I have X years and I better make them as good as they can be for me and others around me. The reward is just being allowed to live. Obviously, I also do not believe (as I have been told before) that I have no morality if I don't believe in god. I mean, what the fuck is with that attitude? Being told that was just so offensive. I have a strong moral code and I stick to it. Lots of it has a big judeo-christian component (Do unto others... and that kind of stuff) - but I'm not sure if that's so much judeo-christian as it is just plain human, because you find it in most great religions.

Not much of an answer huh?

Of course I could be totally wrong and a vengeful god will send me to hell because of my lack of belief. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Welcome to my world.

This entry contains material which is draped in self pity and assorted pathetic idiocy. View discretion is advised.

First thing Mr. Jazz says to me this morning when he came to the bedroom to say bye before leaving for the gym : "Are you going to start going to the gym again next week?"

I know I have to get my fat ass back to the gym, but being told so first thing in the morning is not something I want to hear.

Haul said fat ass out of bed. Change the sheets so I can wash them at the cottage this weekend. Plus my niece is staying over this weekend, I wouldn’t want her sleeping in dirty sheets.

Get stuff ready so departure to cottage will be speeded up.

Stand bleary eyed in front of kitchen counter wondering whether it is worthwhile to make a smoothie and have to wash the blender or simply have a glass of OJ. Decide to make smoothie as it will probably be one of the high points of the day. *le sigh*

Catch bus. Full bus. Bus with 63,256,748 people on it. Bleh.

Get to work. Respond to multiple emails; find out that I have to print all the documents on a CD. Hundreds of documents to print and file in binders. Proceed to bang head against wall.

Start the &?*%/$ printing. Can you spell B-O-A-R-D-O-M?

This is where I’m at. This afternoon will be more of the same, as will Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and the rest of next week, and the week after that, and the months after that and the years after that. * le double sigh*

Had I know when I was younger that adult life was this fuckin’ boring… My mother tried to tell me, but did I listen? Nope, my life was going to be different. Well so much for that plan. My life and I are just as boring and predictable as everyone else.

For the record, I know I have it good. I know my life is easy compared to so many other people. I know, alright!?! Just let me get on with my pity party so I can annoy the hell out of me and get the fuck over myself already, ok. Gimme a couple of hours and I’ll be my usual bright and chipper self. *le triple sigh*

Friday, July 07, 2006

No doubt offensive and in very bad taste….

Disclaimer: This will no doubt offend some people, so don't hold it against me, you've be warned.

Today is the anniversary of the London bombings.

The whole religion thing from the last entry is still sitting in my head, and I can’t help but wonder what might convince people to die in order to get back at (?) the "infidel".

Ok, for all those young men, perhaps the promise of 72 virgins could do it – testosterone being what it is. ‘Cept where do all these virgins come from? Even they have to wonder. Who the hell has a limitless stash of virgins? And what happens when they no longer are virgins? Are they somehow recycled back into virginity and passed on to the next martyr?

And is it heaven for them too? Or are they in hell losing their cherry to a probably inexperienced kid who’s idea is to get through those 72 virgins as quickly as possible? Besides, who wants a virgin. If I were a martyr I’d much prefer an experienced woman who knows what she’s doing…

But then I’m neither a male nor a martyr, so what do I know.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


A huge kerfuffle and much drama occurred recently at a forum I visit. Someone posted a text describing signs that the second coming was near. There are lots of signs (over 40) that the rapture is coming, including this part about homosexuality:

35. Homosexuality will be flaunted:

Leviticus 20:13: "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."

This is also spoken of in Luke 17:28- 30: "Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed."

Although homosexuality is an abomination in the eyes of God, all sin is! I bring up this point because many Christians treat homosexuality as if it is the most unforgivable sin of all. When I told that lie about stealing a candy cane, that is still just as bad as any other sin. Jesus Christ forgives all sins and we, His followers, should be reaching out to all people with love in our hearts that they might be saved! Homosexuality is not an unpardonable sin any more than any other sin is! There is no one alive today that does not have some consistent sin in their life, so why do we pick just one to harp on? Makes no sense.

Needless to say, it didn’t go over too well. The debate was extremely polarized, with the “liberals” on one side completely offended at calling homosexuality a sin, and the Christians stating that its being in the bible was proof enough for them.

Mind you, they weren’t saying they disliked these people, and as the text says, there are other sins. They were simply saying that homosexuals would not be “saved” unless they changed their evil ways. Um, yeah. Alrighty then...

Now personally I wouldn’t want to go to that sort of heaven myself. Happily I believe in neither heaven nor hell nor god so it isn’t an issue with me, but my agnosticism is another story altogether.

One person (a lesbian) was told not to take it personally (how can you not?); another decided to leave the forum, which, I admit sort of annoys me because it’s one less open minded person in there. But I completely understand her position.

The whole incident made me think though. I’ve always thought I was very open minded and tolerant. I realize now that I’m no more tolerant than the “christians” are.

I have zero tolerance for bigotry

I have zero tolerance for closed minds

I have zero tolerance for zealots

I have zero tolerance for people who decide that something genetic is a sin

I have zero tolerance for people who claim anything “bad” in the world is the result of the original sin. Yep, it’s all Eve’s fault.

I have zero tolerance for people who will take a book at face value and base their life on it to the detriment of common sense.

I’m intolerant - and it was quite a wake up to realize it. Of course in this society, it's not seen as intolerance, it's seen as open-mindedness, but it's simply a question of semantics really, and perhaps the society you live in.

Guess that means I’m on the highway to hell as far as they’re concerned. I have only one thing to say to that:

It’s YOUR hell YOU burn in it.

Just sayin’