Thursday, December 20, 2007

A last little post before Christmas...

...ooops. The Holidays isn't it? Cause it's all wrong and shit to say Christmas, because someone who doesn't actually celebrate Christmas might be insulted that we mention it. Which is a load of crap. I'm sure it's not the buddhists and hindus and muslims who are find Christmas insulting (other than as the orgy of consumerism it has become and which I find pretty damn distastful myself), it's the do gooder idjits who, in the spirit of not insulting anyone about anything evah are willing to wipe out all cultural differences and render the planet a horrible and boring place... But, this wasn't to be a rant. Besides, I'm not big on Christmas anyway so what the hell is my problem.

Aw what the hell, let's rant a little. After all this is probably my last post of the year seeing as I'll be on vacation until the new year... OMG, can we call it the new year? It's not the new year for the Chinese! Nor will it be 2008 for those of the jewish or islamic faiths. I won't be back until the day after the day before.... or something.

So. How's about a bit of correspondence?


Dear Lotto Quebec,

You have definitely risen to new heights in stupidty this time. Putting out a press release or something along those lines telling people not to give children lottery tickets for Christmas because it might make turn them into gamblers because of their impressionable young minds.

Well Duh!

Why would you give a kid a lottery ticket anyway? Children are simple beings. Their greedy little eyes do not light up at the sight of a lottery ticket. They'll be thrilled with nothing less than a Wii (whatever the hell that is - though apparently people like Wiis, but I'm a dinosaur so what do I know).

Actually I guess I'm not so much annoyed at you guys as at this whole societal thing we have going on now, where everyone is telling people how to raise their children.

"Don't give children lottery tickets."
"Even though it's the holidays put them to bed early, they still need to sleep."
"Don't let them drink enough that they won't be able to drive you home, especially if they're almost too short to reach the pedals." (ok, I made up that last one, but the two first were for real)

For good or ill, parents do still exist. Parenting is their job. Not yours. Shut up.




Dear Quebec Government,

Cigarettes. The evil evil cigarettes. According to the new law, cigarettes will have to be hidden under the counter in convenience stores and wherever else they are sold. People will not be allowed to point out the ciggies they want, they'll have to ask for them by name. And when the counter guy/girl/drone opens said drawer, the contents will have to be hidden from the consumer.

Now tell me, which brainiac civil servant had this bright idea? Seriously, I want to know which idiot is behind this.

I'm not a smoker but c'mon now, how stupid is that? Do you really think people will stop smoking if they can't see the cigarettes? If you do, you're stupider than even I, from the lofty heights of my utter cyncism, thought.

But what do I know. I'm just the idiot who pays you (speaking of stupidity).




Dear People who decorate their yards,

Those blow up lighted snowmen and Santas and other assorted nitwittitudes? So lame. As ornaments go, they were stupid at Halloween, they are still stupid now.

I shouldn't have to be subjected to that. Really. I'm thinking I might have to wander around with a knife.

Undecoratedly and grinchily,



Dear Vegetarians,

Veggie smoked meat. SMOKED! MEAT! Ferchrissake!!!!

I need you to help me out here. If you are a vegetarian, it seems to me that you would want to steer (stupid pun intended) clear of meat products. No?

Then why in the name of every bit of food that has ever had parents are you (or at any rate enough of you to sustain a whole industry) pretending to eat meat? Why are you looking for food that tastes like meat? Veggie sausage, Tofurkey, etc*...

Could it be because secretly, somewhere deep inside you actually miss the evil old carnivorousness (I know it's not a word but it should be) the rest of us know and love?

Get over yourselves. I'll buy you a steak.



Text reads: And tell your friends it isn't mad cow disease anymore. It's Beyond-Pissed-Off-Make-A-Fucking-Salad-And-Leave-Us-The-Fuck-Alone Disease! Got it?


Dear Rush Limbaugh

You are an idiot. You have raised idiocy to a whole art form. You are the idiot to end all idiots. You make the most stupid yahoo in the world look like Einstein. You make Cletus the Slack- Jawed Yokel** look good.

Thank you for making me feel perhaps more intelligent than I actually am.



* Though I will grant you veggie burgers. I love me a good veggie burger. My life is a search for the perfect veggie burger - but they don't try to taste like meat so that's ok.

** Thank you Matt Groening.


Picture Meme

Rachel over at Lessons Learned posted this meme and since I'm needing blog food right now, I thought I'd do it... Join in, it's lots of fun. You'll be amazed by the photos you find (For the record, it has to be a pic on the first page of google pics - or so saith Jocelyn, who also did it, but with different questions).

How old will you be on your next birthday?

(I particularly like the image of the number on a trash can... sort of appeals to my innate sense of cynicism)

What is the name of a place you would like to visit?

One day I'll make it there. I've been to Oz before, I'm going again in April if all goes well. Maybe this time is the right time. Even if it's not, I know I'll be there one day. Because this definitely isn't my last time in Oz.

What is your favorite place?


It's a toss up. A comfortable bed. The cottage. Probably the former in the latter would be the best of all worlds.

What are your favorite things?

Well, duh!

What is your favorite food?

In case you don't recognize it, it's Vietnamese. I love Vietnamse food with a passion. I could eat pho (sorry, I don't have all the accents for the "o" - no vietnamese keyboard) every day of the week.

What is your favorite color?

That pretty much covers it. And everything with a tint of red in it. From peach and salmon to orange and wine and strawberry to deep purples... Red attracts me to no end - and i just realized most of those colours are foods... strange. And I had the best salmon yesterday for dinner. Mr. Jazz so rocks in the kitchen. But I digress.

What is your nickname?

Any others are not to be posted for public consumption.

Where were you born?

Yep, despite hating winter, I was born north of the north. Go figure... Actually I left there when I was two months old. I've never been there again and truth be told, I wouldn't be able to find North Bay, Ontario on a map if my life depended on it. Is that sort of pathetic?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Cool 360...

This "bubble" picture appeared on CyberPresse (the electronic version of La Presse, a newspaper in Montreal).

Once the picture is loaded click on it and move your mouse to see Gilford Street in Montreal yesterday, sky to ground, 36o degrees....

Ok, I've been playing with yesterday's number game and I've pretty much understood how it works. Basically you isolate your number for them. You pick your number. Then, in another question you pick the colour of the number and later the "house" in which the number is found. Of course, there is only one number of each colour in any given house, so you give them your number quite openly. Then of course they throw in a couple of questions that are not at all related. However, I still haven't figured out the last thing. The number behind the door. Anyone have any idea how that works?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Dribs and drabs

I forgot another good thing about winter. A real one no less: Sunsets. For some reason, around here we don't get great sunsets. Except in winter. Dunno why, no doubt there is a perfectly scientific reason, but damn, we've had some spectactular sunsets up at the cottage this winter.


Oh, and speaking of winter.... Montreal has had 110 cm (43 inches) of snow since November 28, and it isnt' even technically winter. This obviously isn't so unusual. We are, after all in Montreal, land of ice and snow. Funny enough we seem to forget about winter once it's over. Wipe it from the slate of our collective minds. Every year it's a surprise. And yes, I admit that's totally moronic.

I'm the first to rant about winter. I know I live in Montreal. I know winter if a fact of life here. I know I should build a bridge and get the hell over it. However, I will point out that at least I never ever bitch about summer. I figure you can be annoyed with one season or the other, but you have no right to bitch about both.

Besides, I am beginning to adapt. I am being dragged kicking and screaming into winter, but I'm sorta, maybe getting there. Hope springs eternal and all that.


This guy has been taking pictures of himself every day for the past eight years. It's an awesome video. Watch it. It would be cool if he kept doing it until he was 70 or so...


And then there's this. I'm sure you simply isolate the number for them by your choices, but it's still way cool when you're looking for easy amusement.


Breaking news: Pamela Anderson, she of the boobs who arrive 10 minutes before she does (Note to the NBA, she's the one who stole those balls), is divorcing from whoever her current husband is. After a couple of months of marriage. Why do these people even bother? And more to the point, why was I told this on the news this morning?
Those boobs are mesemerizing... Damn, cow udders overflowing with milk are smaller ferchrissake.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Winter Wonderland - Redux

Well. Hmmm. Montreal just got another celestial dump. Another 30+ cm of the white crap. Yep. With another 5 to 10 to come on Wednesday. Um-hm...

But I have decided to be resolutely Pollyanna-ish about this one. I will be chipper. I will be Little Miss Sunshine. Winter Wonderland. Yay (and no, BB, I will not go skiing with you. Don't even contemplate the thought. Besides, you're probably having a snow day, eh? I hate you... oops. OK now. Chipper, happy, positive).

Yes. So. The good side of another 30 cm. There are good sides. Somewhere. No doubt...

Let's see. (note to self: Smile Jazz, smile! Don't grimace...)

1) Dogs. It's really quite a hoot to watch dogs in the snow. The way they run around in excitment, snuffling around in there like drug dogs around luggage. I don't quite see where running around with your head buried in the snow is fun, but judging from the copious tail wagging from dogs with no visible heads I've been seeing, snowstorms are canine heaven. Go figure.

2) Exercise. Shoveling snow that has drifted and packed itself thigh high. And then doing it again a few hours later. Rinse, repeat and all that. Good aerobic workout. As is digging out a car that has been 3/4 plowed under at 7:00 in the morning. Yep, good workout. Workouts are fun. Provided you don't dig out the wrong car. That would just be annoying. Good thing Mr. Jazz and I (ok, mostly Mr. J, we had only one shovel) were digging in the right place. Exercise is good for... Mr. Jazz. Yay exercise. Fun winter exercise!!!

3) Looking forward to the "winter wonderland" at the cottage. Knowing that there will be thigh high drifted snow on each and every one of the 42 stairs up to the cottage door. And knowing that the trees will wait until you're shoveling the stairs right under them to teasingly dump a load of snow on your head. Because they can. And do. It's always good to have things to look forward to.

4) Sitting in front of the fire, drinking one of Mr. Jazz's evil margaritas while thawing out frostbitten extremities. The margaritas are good for killing the pain of the thawing. Pain itself is good because it builds character and all that.

5) Contributing tons of money to the coffers of Hydro-Quebec to heat the appartment. Making a contribution to the well being of the governement always makes me cry um... positively gleeful.

6) White Festivus. People dream about white for chistmas. This I blame on Bing Crosby and his "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" ditty. Before him, people were no doubt dreaming of sunshine and palm trees for Christmas, and... positve Jazz, positive..... And I'm simply thrilled that so many here in Canada and the northeastern US will have their white christmas.

Well, there, I managed over five positive things about more winter. Toldya I could do it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Winter Wonderland...

I want to know which moron came up with that particular phrase?

I mean seriously, winter wonderland?Perhaps in Tahiti or Arizona, but Montreal? Not so much...

I could understand spring wonderland with all those leaves popping out, or summer wonderland with the heat and the greenery and long evenings on the patio. I can even get fall wonderland, with the leaves turning and all.

But winter wonderland? Nope.

What is so wondelandish about winter? It's all brown and grey and white, not to mention slushy. OK, granted there are those blue shadows mixed into the snow drifts and the sky, when it's sunny (and thus really cold, another point against it), is quite an amazing blue, but blue shadows and sky do not a wonderland make.

It's cold, it's frigid. There's no moisture in the air and you dry out like an old husk of corn (ok, wonderland maybe for moisturizer companies). Your fingers freeze, your toes freeze, your damn brain freezes when you stand on the corner of St. Catherine and Greene waiting for the light.

Dressing to go outside is a pain, what with the boots and the hats and the coats and the gloves and the numerous layers.

And to add insult to injury, don't ask me why, but washrooms in most Montreal restaurants are glacial. For some reason they don't seem to be heated. Baring one's ass in there is scary. How do you explain a frostbitten ass?

The only good thing I can see about it is that the birds are much easier to see.

Jack Frost nipping at my nose doesn't do much for me.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Friday afternoon. 4:30. I stumbled out of Excel class, my brain reduced to a dry husk rattling around in the bottom of my skull. Thank god for weekends and the rehydrating powers of good wine. Yep....

After lots of hard work on the wine, I managed reboot the cerebrum and was finally able to recapture the correspondence I had stored in my head.


Dear Bus Division of the STM*,

Thursday I waited 45 minutes for a bus that should pass every six minutes or less. And when the bus finally did come, it was so packed it didn't stop. I know you'll tell me that it's all the fault of snow removal, but that doesn't fly because a) the storm was Monday and b) René-Lévesque Blvd. was already cleared of snow.

So, rather than wait another 40 minutes and risk death from exposure - cause dudes, it was frigid on Thursday, I figured I'd take the subway and get closer to home and take another bus from there. Did that work? Well, the subway did, but we waited another 20+ minutes for a bus. Three busses arrived and just stayed there, dark and dead. Out of service. THREE. FUCKIN'. BUSSES!!!!

Were bus drivers on pseudo strike? 'Cause we do know they're gearing up for yet another strike. Again. I mean what's a year in Montreal without at least one transit strike? When it's not the drivers it's the mechanics, or the cleaning staff or guy who washes checks to see how worn out the tires are. Fix the damn problem already!

We are getting no service to speak of from you people and yet you have the gall to increase fares again in January! We're getting no service and yet you try to convince us that public transport is the way to go. The ecological way. Well, you're right on that point anyway, busses that aren't running can't pollute.

All bussed outedly,



Dear People in Excel Class,

Several of you should not be doing advanced excel. The fact that you've made totals in an Excel spreadsheet does not qualify as being advanced. You need to be in a beginners or at the very most intermediate class. Because you have no idea what it is you're doing and you're slowing down those of us who have at least a vague notion what's going on. You are irritating me to no end. I dislike being irrtated by idiots who simply want to be able to say they did advanced Excel, though they'll hardly be able to use what they learned because they don't have any of the intermediate notions.

You have just wasted a helluva lot of money by coming here.

Just sayin'



Dear Subway Division of the STM,

Art in the subway is a cool idea I think. But there is such a thing as taking it too far.

Friday morning I wandered into surreality with you guys. The subway car was papered with deep blue faux wood panelling. The ceiling of the car was black. The only thing missing was orange shag carpet (Jocelyn has something on her basement stairs you might be able to borrow) for the perfect 70s basement look.

The windows of the car had pictures stuck to them of the waterfall-with-several-legs-sticking-out variety.

I would venture to say that the idea of pale coloured walls and ceilings in a subway car makes eminent sense to me now, because entering a dark cave at 7:30 in the morning is pretty much highly overrated as experiences go. Can you spell depressing?

What really pushed the experience over the top was the soundtrack. 'Cause, yep there was a soundtrack. At irregular intervals the speakers belched inane conversations or monologues - probably stuff overheard and recorded in the subways. But ya know? Sound quality on subway speakers? Not so good. So we were having conversations about how to best paint a room screeched down at us at a deafening volume.

It was surreal. Which I suppose was the point. But surreal performance art at 7:30 in the morning in the subway? Not so much thanks.

And I'm guessing, from the eye rolling and the "can't they shut that thing up"s I overheard, that I wasn't the only one feeling aggressive when I left that car. It's only a matter of time before someone goes postal in that car.

What were you thinking? How 'bout next time you plant a couple of statues near the turnstiles or something?

* Société de Transport de Montréal, our transit commission

Friday, December 07, 2007

Excel classes

I've been taking an excel class since yesterday. Advanced excel.

My brain hurts.

There is a rant coming, but unfortunately, I have no time to write it...

Next week I suppose.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The thing about global warming

I remember last year when winter arrived in mid-January. That had me believing that global warming was an immediate danger - like, this is my winters from here on... YAY.... oops... Damn that is horrendous!!!.

In my defense, it's hard to think of global warming as a disaster when you spend six months out of the year freezing*. This year we had our first snowstorm Monday, and it's been snowing non-stop ever since. So much for global warming. It was nice while it lasted.

This being said we all know the real reasons for global warming have nothing to do with humans. It's all about cow farts. If cows didn't fart we could pollute as much as we damn well please and there would be no consequences at all.

And yet...

That was, if not a downright lie, at least a subtle twisting of the truth. Because there are two human activities which cause global warming: refrigerating beer and divorce .

So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, your tax dollars at work. Global warming is not about the limitless pollution created by heavy industry. It's all about beer guzzling divorcés who go into fields and picnic while watching the cows fart.

*Please don't throw rocks at me for valuing my comfort over the wellbeing of millions, I'm not really that clueless. At least most of the time.

PS - Speaking of global warming, Big Brother has an interesting post up on the carbon footprint of the Bali conference. I guess cynicism runs in the family.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Puppy dogs and snow

I rarely speak of my job here. Because, I figure, what can be less intersting to the blogosphere than the petty world of my job.

But now something must be said.

I have inherited a puppy dog at work. Not a cute little lab pup. A new colleague. The one replacing the one who replaced my long time companion colleague who retired. She's a nice enough woman I suppose but she has this "a puppy so enthusiastic it keeps peeing on the floor" thing going. Metaphorically of course. I hope.

This is a good place, a really good place to work. I've been here 14 years and 90% of the time I really like it. So yeah, she's right about it's nice. But hell, it's nice, it's not the most extraordinary locale in the universe! That would be Paris or Bali.

So, 50 times a day I get : It's so great here, I love it, I'm never gonna leave...

Stay! fine, stay! But shut the fuck up about it already!!!

We know you love it now. A million times you've told us! Chill fer chrissake!

And yes, we know you're wonderful at organizing things. And you want to reorganize the whole place. The filing system, the library, the archives. Um. Dude, it's been organized for well on 35 years now. It works fine. If it ain't broke don't freaking fix it!

If she keeps this up, I just might have to shoot her.

Or thow her in front of the snow plows that are starting to pick up those 30+ cm of snow* we're getting today.

It finally dawned on me as I struggled through snowbanks that, um... nope, winter is not gonna just disappear this year. It never does. Le sigh

* To you Americans, you need only know 30 cm is a whole damn lot. I'm not gonna convert it for you.