Thursday, January 31, 2008

Chemicals, Chemicals Everywhere!

Apparently when sterilized baby bottles leach some sort of chemical.

Actually, for the record, so do reused water bottles, the type people fill and refill and refill numerous times.

And earlier this week in the news there was something about how TVs are dangerous. And apparently coffee pots. Though honestly I don't know how or why. I wasn't really listening.

A few years ago it was rays from cell phones penetrating users brains.

Or something. I don't much follow the scientific "studies" (there's sarcasm in them there quotation marks) regularly belched out and pounced on by the media.

The scientists need to publish results - any results - for funding and the media, well they just love to scare people.

Personally if I were a parent I'd be much more afraid of the sodium content of a fast food lunch (which is way over the amount a child should eat in a day) than an infinitesimal amount of some chemical leaching into the boiling water used to sterilize a baby bottle (which water is discarded anyway).

This being said, no doubt about it we lead toxic lives. We poison ourselves daily just by breathing. We surely inhale and eat and otherwise absorb many more dangerous chemicals than the average person did in the 18th century. With the possible exception of hatters. And maybe tanners.

We also have a life expectancy at least double that of your average 18th century person who was usually under ground at 35-40.

Everything is relative, ain't it?

As, I suppose is this picture I found while looking for my fast food lunch. Why would you brag about being the fast food capital of anywhere? My mind she is all boggleded.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Discrimination? I don't think so.

A hospital in Quebec (Hull I believe) decided to exclude a nurse from the operationg room where she worked for five months in 2003 (yeah, it's been a while). But last week the Quebec Labour ministry backed the hospital in its decision. They move quickly don't they? Ah, the joys of bureaucracy.

The nurse in question weighed 300 lbs and the hospital judged that in the context of an operating room she wasn’t efficient because of her excessive sweating. The argument was that the sweating could pose a bacterial risk for patients in what should be a sterile environment. She had been allowed to change several times during operations, but it wasn't enough it seems.

The fact that she weighed 300 lbs and that there’s only so much space to work around a prone patient also certainly entered into the equation.

And now, the “Aide aux obèses handicapées du Québec”, an association that helps obese people, is crying discrimination since her size is not her fault. (Let me play devil’s advocate and posit that at least 90% of people are obese simply because they eat too much. Not because of glandular problems. Those cases are few and far between. Now, I shall run and hide for being so un-PC.)

I’m as enlightened as the next guy. I am too! But at the same time, if your size renders you incapable of doing your job correctly, is it discrimination to move you from your job?

Space constraints prevent a 300 lb person from being a flight attendant. And I haven't seen any obese fire fighters recently*. Is that discrimination? Is it discrimination that there are no morbidly obese astronauts?

I'm sick of discrimination. Or rather of being accused of disrimination all the time. You move someone from their job because they're too fat to do it? Discrimination. You say that such and such is an asshole? You're a racist because such and such just happens to be black. Sorry, he's an asshole first and foremost. It's just so damn easy to blame the other guy.

Le sigh.

I’m all for ending discrimination, but for Pete’s sake (who was Pete by the way and why are we still talking about him?), when did we throw all logic out of the window?




* Actually I think firefighters are seriously hot. No pun intended. Is there a rule that says they have to be really good looking to be hired? Would that be discrimination?

Monday, January 28, 2008

My weekend.

Until Sunday at 2:00 it was the perfect weekend.

Mr. Jazz and I played hooky on Friday and after a few errands took off to the cottage.

Friday night he made salmon and we watched Josée Di Stasio. She has a food/cooking show - for the next five weeks she's wandering through Provence, meeting people, cooking, etc... It's our current obsession. How is it that I don't like to cook but am obsessed with cookbooks and cooking shows?

Saturday, I didn't even get out of my PJs. And Mr. Jazz cooked again for supper, pork tenderloin with a lovely wine....

Sunday we came home.

I mentioned in an earlier post that our furnace was acting sorta wonky. And that I had to clean it. Well, after the cleaning, it still was smelling strange and throwing out soot, so Sunday we cleaned the pipes between the furnace and the chimney.

The guy who cleans the chimney doesn't do it.
The guy who cleans the furnace doesn't do it.
Who knew?

Of course with gas heating we shouldn't have to clean the chimney, but we figured, hell maybe something's blocked.

So Mr. Jazz and I bravely went where we had never gone before, took the pipes apart and cleaned them up with a metal brush. They were filthy - and so were we once we had finished. Then we figured well, while we're at it, let's clean as much of the furnace as we can. We did. Then started it up again.

And the smell started up. And the soot started up. And me? I wouldn've just thrown up my arms and gone out for dinner. Or curled up in a corner and cried. Mr Jazz? He called the gaz company. Who said shut everything down and open a window, a tech is on his way.

Oops.

Guy arrives with his handy little carbon monoxide measuring machine. We were at 1000 ppm of CO (acceptable levels are in the range of 0-10 ppm). This would explain the headaches and possibly the fact that I'm having trouble getting my asthma under control this winter.

Oops again.

He says, forget opening a window, you need to open all the doors. Wide. Immediately. Which we did for 45 minutes while he proceeded to cap our furnace and render it useless.

Need I remind you this is Montreal at 6 pm on a January evening? Just sayin'. (Surprisingly though, the temperature didn't go below 15 degrees, which, while chilly is still quite livable with big wool socks and a wool sweater. Of course I'd prefer this happened to us in Florida where it's always warm, but had we been living in Florida our little adventure wouldn't have happened in any case.)

It seems the furnace has to basically be taken completely apart, thoroughly cleaned and tested. Taken apart. Cleaned. Rebuilt.

The guy who's been cleaning it for all these years was probably just doing what we did, vacuuming it. For this we paid good money.

Needless to say, he's not bloody cleaning my furnace again.

I should force him to come clean the soot off the walls, windows, floors and repaint the house, which definitely needs it now.

Bleh.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I Would Like to Thank the Academy

Despite the strikes paralyzing awards season, web awards continue to be distributed. Honestly, I really don't mind about the - hell, I don't even remember what the recently cancelled one was. And now you know why I don't mind, I never watch the things. Nevertheless, cyber awards keep making the rounds. And seeing as we're none of us unionized, it's all good.

Josie over at C'est la vie has chosen to give me The Wonderful Women of the Web award. I'm flattered. I'm always flattered when I'm offered an award, because it means "You like me! you really like me!!" (yeah, I know, but that was just SO damn easy!)

Anyway, this being said, I have to offer it to six others apparently, so here goes:

Rachel - because she's funny, she's wise, and though I only started reading her blog quite recently, I feel like I've known her forever.

Happy Downtowner - Because I have known her personally for what seems forever, and she is wonderful, web or otherwise. Besides, as XUP said, I just popped her meme cherry, I might as well pop her award cherry while I'm at it.

Jocelyn - Though she has probably recieved it a million times already. If you read her blog you'll know why. She has me in stitches most of the times I read her, she's a brilliant writer. And I will one day meet her. Yes I will.

Voyager - Although right now I almost hate her for putting up pictures of green things poking through the dirt in Vancouver while it's 17 below here in Montreal, I could never really dislike her. I found her when she was blogging about her trip to Africa and I basically have had a huge crush on her since.

Kwach and Ev - Ex aequo, as they write their blog together. I'm new to their blog too, and sometimes still have problems knowing who wrote which post, but I'm getting better at it. Their descriptions of life in "Nowhere, Illinois" almost (but not quite) make me want to move there.

Gnightgirl - Mom to a soldier in Iraq, collector of Beanie Babies for Iraqi children, her posts make me both laugh and cry. I love her blog. Read it.

And the ever entertaining Tangential Thinker CS, and Choochoo who's not around so much because she's busy splicing DNA and stuff. Then there are those who have already been nominated. Damn, I'm no good at keeping it down.

Getting this award reminded me that many moons ago, Ian gave me this award. I was down in Texas and totally forgot about it until now. The colours are horrendous, but the thought is nice.

All of you make me smile, or I wouldn't be reading you, so it goes out to you all.

Cheers!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Two

Just as I was desperately seeking, not Susan, but something to blog about, Furiousball did what is for me a lifesaving meme. I love how memes fit in the “blogging without having to wrack your brain for something to blog about category”.

This being said, there seem to be many less memes going around since the holidays – seems I used to see one every week or so…

Anyway, thank you Furiousball for metaphorically saving my ass.


Two names you go by – Jazz and Lil

Two things you are wearing right now – A red blazer and black pants

Two things you would want (or have) in a relationship – Humour and love

Two of your favorite things to do – Read and travel

Two things you want very badly at the moment – I want the furnace to work well and I want the Colleague from Hell (aka CFH) to shut the fuck up already!

Two pets you had/have – I’ve had five, at their peak at the same time: Achille, Virgule, Bianca, Mitaine and Charlot, all cats. Right now I’m petless except for the dust bunnies who are taking over the house.

Two people you think will fill this outIan because he does what I tell him to do and Happy Downtowner, because I think it’ll be her first meme so she’ll do it simply because it's new and different. Well not so different, but, whatever. And whoever needs something to blog about, feel free.

Two things that you did last night – Watched Steve Buscemi’s film Interview (damn I love him). Cleaned the above mentioned furnace.

Two things you ate today – Nature’s Path Heritage Bites and a grapefruit.

Two people you last talked to – Mr. Jazz and the CFH (insert horror movie music).

Two things you’re doing tomorrow – Working, taking public transport - honestly, I could do without both, but there you go.

Two longest car rides – Montreal-Tucson and back (that was when Mr. Jazz and I realized we really really liked road tripping together) and Montreal-Key West, which was nice but less cool because there were three of us. There was also the time we rented a car and wandered around the south of France for a week. Mileage wise I don’t know how long it was, but it was great fun. The Galamus gorges, Carcassonne, Colioure (sp?) and the Dali Museum in Figueras, Spain among other things.

Two favorite holidays – My birthday (which happens fall on a holiday in Quebec, St. Jean Baptiste day) and basically any day when I’m off work.

Two favorite beverages – Wine. I love me my wine. Tea, 'cause nothing is better than a hot cup of freshly brewed tea.

Two people no longer alive who you’d like to talk to – I guess I could get all historical and choose Ghandi and Elizabeth I, but like Furiousball, I’d much rather keep it closer to home. I’d love to talk with my father again – we had such great conversations – and my four (well five since granddad married twice) grandparents.

Monday, January 21, 2008

This Week's News

Baby Boomer : person born between 1945 and 1961

Generation X : person born between 1962 and 1976

Generation Y : person born between 1977 and 1989

This technically makes me a Boomer (1961) and Mr. Jazz a GenXer (1962). I’m living with a whole other generation!

Hell, who’m I kidding, I live with a man – I live with a whole different species!

Today, the Journal de Montréal came out with the results of a survey they sponsored along with a local FM radio station: The Generational Shock Survey (please insert your own ominous music here… dum dum da dumm). Though personally, I think shock is way too strong a word. 'Course shock sells.

Big surprise. Boomers think the younger generations are lazy and impolite.

C’mon, has there ever been a generation who didn’t think the “youngsters” were lazy and impolite? Our parents thought we were lazy, their parents no doubt thought the same…

For this we need a survey and all the attendant pseudo news (because this is the theme this week, and all the other new sources will obviously pick it up since there’s nothing much going on except the usual wars and mayhem and we’re all sick of war and mayhem, aren’t we? And we really shouldn't be subjected to it anymore, should we? *le sigh*).

So this is what masquerades as news?

And when did a generation become 12 to 14 years? Isn’t a generation supposed to be 25 years?

So what is the generation from 1989 to 2004 (rounded up to an astounding 15 years for the sake of convenience)? Generation Z?

And what will they call them after 2004? Generation XYZ? Generation Lets-Start-The-Alphabet-Again-Because-We-Were-Dumb-Enough-To-Start-At-X?

Mondays make me feel old and confused.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Britney & such..

If my brain has not totally deserted me, I seem to recall that a while back Ian touched on this subject. Today, standing in a magazine store, the Britney thing struck me like a tonne of bricks. We might have the same thoughts on some aspects, I was too lazy to actually search out his post.


We will return to our regular bitchiness and corpse storage options next week.


I’m not a Britney Spears fan. Not because I dislike her, simply because I have no clue. I know she’s a singer but I’d be incapable of naming any of her songs. The only things I know about this girl is what the gossip magazines covers scream out at me each week.

OK, so that’s quite a lot I suppose, too much for comfort - mine at least. Do I really need to know so much about a celebrity's life?

And, to my shame, I admit having jumped on the Britney bashing bandwagon, perhaps because everyone is doing it, perhaps because it’s just so easy. The girl is eminently bashable. And yet, by society’s standards, she, with all her money and celebrity, is the winner, and we all, with our 9 to 5 jobs and boring little lives are the losers (note that I didn't say by my standards - I wouldn't want her life).

She might be trailer trash, but she’s trailer trash who hit it big. She has (I suppose) talent, or at any rate a helluva lot of chutzpah to get to where she was. And if she has no talent, why were people so gung ho on her? She was the IT girl for a long while...

So, though I might have bashed her, who the hell was I to judge her? Who were any of us to judge? And lets be honest, we did indeed judge. And now, looking at the poor kid, I find my behaviour entirely distateful. But that's another post entirely.

Point is, today pretty much everyone considers Britney to be the loser. Capitalize that. Bold it. Loser.

It hit me at lunch when I was in a magazine stand. This week’s flavour is Britney and her meltdown. Those covers (and it seems she's on every damn cover except the New Yorker) are snarky and bitchy and oh so holier than thou.

Now, y’all know I’m no angel. I have snarked more than my share of people – I might even have snarked Britney on this blog if I remember correctly.

But damn, the girl is obviously in serious need of help. She seems to be in the throes of a major depression. And what happens? People laugh and make fun.

What kind of society are we that we revel so much in the fall of others? And if indeed it is only human nature, what repulsive beings we are. I can’t help but thinking a bit of compassion would be nice.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Baby You Can Drive My Car....

Ok, I'm not gonna be a star, but may a present Ely* the fourth. Our new Toyota Matrix (or it will be ours as soon as the papers are signed tonight):

I have loved this model ever since it came out. Plus there is an amazing amount of storage space. If ever I go on a serial killing spree, I'll be able to dump at least 5-6 bodies in there. Minimum.



* Ely - the first three letters on our license plate. Every car has been Ely since those plates. Anyone got a better alternative?
Go ahead people, name our car.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Hope Springs Eternal

I got myself a datebook/planner/agenda/whatever you call them at the end of last year. You know, to better keep track of appointments, things to do and all that stuff.

I do this every year, but in my defence, I didn't buy it this year, it was offered as a sample by one of those promotional companies so the company name could be printed on it, and it could be sent out to our clients who would promptly throw it away, thus adding to planetary pollution.

I kept it. Because, as mentioned in the title, hope springs eternal. This was going to be the year of the planner. The year everything was neatly jotted down in my book. (Can you jot neatly or is that a contradiction?)

Well.

I should know better actually. I've never managed to do it before, why would that change at the ripe old age of 46?

I've never been good at keeping those things. I tried a paper book, an electronic agenda (damn, I hate those they're just too damn organized) and I can never get past the first month.

Now, it's January 15, 2008. I'm already entering things "posthumously" in the book. It's pathetic.

I don't know whether I should be thrilled to not really need the book to keep track of what I have to do, or devastated that I have so little of a life that organizational tools are not required...

Monday, January 14, 2008

Rush Rush Rush Redux

Same old same old...

Ack! (again)

*sigh*

Friday, January 11, 2008

Rush Rush Rush Rush....

No time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time, no time.

ACK!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

One of those days


There are days.

Days when you wake up and know for a fact things will go wrong.

This wasn’t one of those days. This was the other kind when wrongness hits you over the head like a ton of bricks.

You get to the office and call the elevator. The doors open. You walk in, reading your book, punch your floor number and realize a minute or so later that you’re not moving. At. All. Ok, ok, so it took some time. In your defense, it’s a good book. And it's really early.

So you punch another button, and another. Stillness. Not quiet though, nope. Can’t get quiet because the damn fan keeps clunking away. And clunking. And clunking. This, for the record, is the elevator that's always breaking down. The only thing that works is that dam clunker of a fan…

So you use the emergency phone, sit on the floor and wait (and read – always good to have a book with you, but more on that in another post). Eventually the techs show up and get you out about a half hour later. You’re not even late for work. In fact, no one has even arrived yet. So much for your story… A "trapped in the elevator" story loses much of it's oomph an hour after the fact.

And you know, you just know that the elevator hates you. It’s always broken and you tell people regularly, "just watch someone will get stuck in here one day". And now you know that the elevator has it in for you, the way only inanimate objects can.

It will get you. And no you aren’t paranoid.

Later on you use boiling water to rinse out a thermos and the boiling water splashes all over your hand and you realize that the thermos is in on it with the elevator and you wonder if next time you touch your computer it will explode. Not that your computer has any reason to hate you, but you never know…

And it’s almost time to leave and you can’t help but wonder what perils await in the subway….

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

More dribs and drabs

Today's post is brought to you by
Google, stupid expressions, email and bad clothes


Google searches that brought people to my blog:

Unlike lots of people, mine aren't so wierd, but here are a few goodies:
  • Botched facelifts
  • Milking boobs like cow udders - (?!?!?) the mind boggles when faced with the things people google. And boggles more when wondering how this actually brought them to my blog...
  • 10 Christmas irritations - I never did anything on that, but it sounds like it could be mine
  • Peanut M&M Health - I can't believe anyone would actually do a search on this.
  • Reasons for sexual mercy - I'm 100% sure I never did a post on sexual mercy. No mercy. That's all.
  • Pamela Anderson's boobs - I did indeed speak of those mutant horrors

======================================================

On my email this morning: My Godness (sic) your PENIS is BELOW average size!

I should hope so. I'm sure Mr. Jazz is really happy this is the case.

======================================================

Does anyone know where the expression: "To get on like a house on fire" comes from? That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Sort of like: "You can't have your cake and eat it too" Why the hell not? I do it all the time. The meaning is clear, but who the hell thought that jewel up?

======================================================

Picture it: Pink and brown "snakeskin" (aka Polyester) jacket. I've been staring at this all day. It's fascinating in a horrible way. In a train wreck way. Jill knows what I mean on this one. Urban safari camouflage (or something - how many zebra striped snakes do you know?) Yesterday it was urban peasent. Tomorrow? Once again the mind boggles...

I know I'm mean, but.... damn, it's mesmerizing. It really is.

Friday, January 04, 2008

I got nuttin'

It's snowing. Again.

I thought I'd be able to say the sun was shining today, the sky was blue, but nope. It's snowing.

This morning I listened to the radio, hoping to hear some extreme moronities. I did, in spades.

Bus fares have gone up again, service refuses to improve.

I barely got any work done yesterday because of the constant interruptions.

And even the valentines day decorations I saw in several stores have yet to inspire a rant (though they no doubt will).

So I got nuttin' for you.

I'm in a great mood. I'm going back up to the cottage tonight, seeing a good friend for dinner. I'll be standing in the window drinking my tea and watching the birds tomorrow morning. And Red. Damn squirrel will no doubt be standing in the feeder chittering at me saying "Dude, where are my peanuts. Get your ass out here, I want my peanuts!" Telling him the peanuts are for the birds will not help.

So guys, I got nuttin'. I'm in such a great mood that I'm completely incapable of even improvising a rant.

It's starting to scare me. Is 2008 turning me into Pollyanna, sweet as 6 inches of fluffy frosting on a cake? Am I morphing into one of those gratitude journal (thanks Jocelyn) toting, Oprah loving... um, I have no nice noun to cover those adjectives so I guess, since I have nothing nice to say I'll say nothing. (Gag me!!)

Fer chrissake, I went out into the snow and made a snowman because a blogger asked for snowmen. Me... snow... it just doesn't compute! And Pop lives THOUSANDS. OF. MILES. AWAY!

Damn, I'm mutating into a saccharine shrew...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Well, it's 2008

And the holidays were good. What is a little less good is that they're over now, but waddaya gonna do. At least the weather is glorious. A tad frigid at -15 or so, but because of that the sun is shining and the sky is blue.

As of December 31, Montreal had recieved 150 cm of snow (not counting New Years day's 17 cm), as opposed to the 50 cm of snow we usually have at this time of year. And this concludes our weather report except...

Seeing as unlike Pop and Geewits I don't live in sunny climes, they had a couple of special requests:

Pop wanted a snowman

Geewits wanted "cottage in winter pics"

So, without further ado, here is my first picture post (of my very own, 21st century digital pics - how proud are y'all of me? This opens whole new - and for you possible frightening - horizons)

The "SnowPop" - what you can't really see is the tears behind his beady yellow eyes. It was raining and a half hour after I got him up, he collapsed. Poor dear. But at least the snow was wet enough to actually make a snowman.

For Geewits:

The drive in...

Ze cottage and the miraculous disappearing staircase up to it. The staircase, it was gone. Disappeared. Unseeable. Unknowable. Sorta like God I suppose.



The view from the balcony

Mr. Jazz shoveling snow off the roof. I did climb up and help, yes I did. I have no problem with going up. It's turning my ass around and stepping back onto the ladder that freaks me right out. So I just jumped off the roof with al the snow we shoveled off, there was only about 4 feet between the roof and the top of the snowbank.

And some of the lovely birdies:


A male Pine Grosbeak


More of them stuffing their faces

A Blue Jay

By the way, the expression "to eat like a bird" is really not accurate. I go through 40 lbs of seed every three weeks, and I'm only there weekends. The things just never ever stop...