Thursday, November 24, 2005

Spaced Out

We moved into our new place this weekend and so far, so good. I have been working non-stop on painting, scrubbing and general fix-ups. The person who lived in the house before us must have been color blind and cross-eyed because everything clashes and is crooked. The electrical outlets are installed upside down, the bathtub had never been cleaned and the shelves aren't actually attached to the wall...just sort of wedged in there.

The only bad thing is that we haven't go our internet hooked up at the new house yet and so I'm at my Mum's writing this. I apologize in advance for all the unchecked blogs and unanswered email, both past and future. Blame Telus. When I get my internet up and running and I can converse again in the cyber realm, you will hear from me.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Oompas Loompas Dissapoint

When my "real life" starts next week and I've moved in to my own place things will be better. Right now I can't write. I can't think properly and my writing has taken a serious nose dive. I have all these blog blog...fiction contests and actually sending things away to be read, rejected, rejected, rejected and eventually published. As I sit writing this I am in our office/bedroom/closet/living room that has served as our "area" for the past few months. It's been so generous of my parents to let us stay here but our lives are so unsettled and I can't get the words on the page any more organized than the room I'm sitting in.

I have been wanting to see the new "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (with Johnny Depp) for ages now and last night we finally sat down and watched it. I was bitterly disappointed. I read and loved the books as a child (Roald Dahl is wonderful...I swear, if you haven't yet read "Fantastic Mr. Fox" you should do so quickly) and of course, loved the original film with Gene Wilder. Although Depp did a good job I can't help but feel he was mis-directed by Burton. The original Willy Wonka was kooky but warm and he loved children and the magical world only they could live in. He was a candy-making romantic. Depp was just dark, crazy and a little mean. They cut some important parts out of the film and it all sort of lost its charm. And the oompa loompas sucked. There was no bouncy little diddy following each child's disappearance...nope, they modernized that part. At one point all the oompa loompas (who, incidentally were carbon copies of a little Indian man) broke out into a disco/rap thing. Highly unimpressive.

Monday, November 14, 2005

The TV Lies

Despite what you may have seen on television and on the commercials, couples cannot walk hand in hand in their matching fleece jackets, down the aisles of Home Depot and not get into a fist fight by the time they hit plumbing supplies. In fact, what will happen is this:

W: Look at this nice carpet...I wonder how much it is? Maybe I should go and ask.
M: Well, are you going to buy it today?
W: No...I just thought it might be a good idea to ask so we have an idea of what kind of price we're looking at.
M: Humph.
W: Fine. Forget it.
M: Well, no, seriously...what are we even doing here? We've been here an hour.
W: An hour? That's nothing. I still haven't seen half the store. We have a lot of things to buy you know and so far (voice rises a pitch) I've been doing it all alone. I thought you might want to help.
M: What have you done all by yourself?
W: Everything! I've picked out the sheets, the paint colours, the duvets, the appliances...
M: That's because I don't care about that stuff.
W: (Jaw drops...followed closely by tears of injustice. She grabs the cart, swivels and stomps away to the lighting department where she proceeds to wipe her eyes under the glow of a thousand lightbulbs.)
M: (Gets angry that W just walked away...he heads to the screwdriver department. Not to think...just to look at screwdrivers.)

A reunion is conducted by cell phone and text messages. The reunion doesn't go so well because W is still upset and M is still thinking about screwdrivers.

M: I have told you a hundred times...I don't like shopping.
W: But this is Home-freakin-Depot. I thought it would be different!
M: It's not. I hate shopping.
W: How can you hate shopping...isn't this "manly stuff" (obviously still struggling with the concept)
M: I hate shopping for everything.
W: Oh. (Thinking..."Did you hate shopping for my wedding ring? jerk)

The couple leaves Home Depot never to return least not together. The music and white Home Depot sign appears. The end.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

My Brilliant Little Man

I know I'm a left leaning liberal bordering on communist (according to some) but I have something to say about this whole AdScam thing and about the Gomery report in general. I'm glad the report was done and of course it spared Paul Martin but what nobody is saying is this...I didn't think AdScam was that big a deal. I thought it was sneaky and financially misleading but I also thought it was quite smart. I feel like nobody is taking into account the context of the times. The country was being pulled apart at the seams. Quebec was teetering on the edge of Canada and Jean Chretien was responsible for hauling them back over to solid ground. Not an easy job. So the ingenious little guy from Shawinigan finds a way to funnel money to Quebec (thus helping his party maintain it's position in the province), appear to help Quebec-Federal relations and get the money back at the end of the day. Jeez.

I think Chretien is a good man and I think he made an important comment during his "screw you all" speech following the release of the report. Because of his government we aren't counting body bags or struggling to find enough soldiers to send to Iraq. We are talking about the Ad scandal. I'm not saying that AdScam was okay, it wasn't. It was Canada's money and we should have known about it....BUT...most people don't ever know what their money is being spent on and for the most part they don't care. It's only when Joe Blow tells him to care that he's up in arms about his tax dollars. The Chretien Liberal government made a mistake. Show me a leadership that hasn't.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Bring on the Boxes

Giving my notice at the Bay was harder than it should have been. Man do I hate confrontation...that's why I make such a crappy journalist. I would rather avoid putting someone in an awkward position than ask them a though question. I never feel like it's my business even though I understand the idea of public life, the role of the media in democracy etc. Quitting was similar in that I felt guilty for leaving and afraid of what they would say. So I lied and told them I had a sick relative who needed me to take care of them. It's true in a sense, we are all related in an ethereal way to freedom and I need to take care of mine.

My last day of work is November 17th (next Thursday) and then it's all about the big move. I have been packing boxes and buying supplies like a crazy woman. I am trying not to get too excited because I still have a while to go and when I reach a certain level of anticipation I cease being reasonable and I start to get agitated. I want my new house and all the things that will come with it. Lots of space...time alone with Brian...baking in my own parties...all my books on a shelf.

My plan is to work full time on the house for the first few weeks after I quit. We are re-flooring and painting the entire house and of course it will need to be cleaned from top to bottom. That sounds like a full-time work to me. In a fun kind of way.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Gimme Some Credit...

Today I was told that I belonged to The Bay. They are annoyed that I need an hour on Sunday's to go to hip hop (don't they understand, that's my church?) and an hour on Wednesday nights to skate. Apparently having a life, even a life that is only two hours long, outside of work is unacceptable. Oh, and they want me to work Christmas and New Years. Something tells me that I won't be there very long.

Which leads me to divulge the following insider information, free to anyone who chooses to use it:

1. They don't want your money, they just want you to sign up for the credit card. That's how they make their money. You can use this to your advantage; sign up for the card, get the discount and then pay it off immediately at the till. Yes, you can do that. Then you get the money off and they never get a red cent in interest. (Which sits at a criminal 23% I might add)

2. The Bay will adjust your price for two weeks. If you buy something and it goes on sale within two weeks, you can take your receipt in and get the difference back. And guess what? That applies to Boxing Day too...go in, get your pick of styles, colours and sizes and then spend your boxing day having your sales associate work for you.

3. It's illegal to adjust prices up but the Bay does it. They cut the old price ticket out and print up a new one. If you see a gaping hole where a price should be, pretend to call your MLA or lawyer and see what happens.

So there you go...use it as you will. And tell them associate # 14351464 sent you.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Hostile Takeover Sours Lunch Break

What can I say about life in the retail industry? It's a little mind numbing (not in a smoke a joint and play some video games kind of a way) but it passes the time. The people I work with are very nice and have actually told me I should leave and get a better job. The woman who told me that has been working at The Bay for nine years...maybe she should follow her own advice.

I'm feeling a little demoralized lately, despite all the "When I graduated I had to make falafel pitas for 12 hours a day to make money" pep talks. They aren't really working. I think it's because I know that deep down, I'm too lazy to do what it takes to get a better job. I could go knocking door to door, volunteer for shifts at CBC radio and pitch freelance stories to the newspapers. But I don't. I just put on my black Bay vest and name tag and head off for work. Where I smile all day and have a laugh with the girls and don't have to think about anything. It's Valium for the working girl.

The Gomery report came out today and didn't tell us anything we didn't already know. It was Halloween yesterday and I don't think I saw a single home made sad. What else? I started my ice skating class last week and I'm a SUPERSTAR. At least mediocrity hasn't followed me on to the ice.