Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Are you enjoying a tranquil Holiday Season? I am.


Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.  I don't know about you folks but I am enjoying (hopefully) my first Christmas Vacation.  I am hoping that it is not in the same grand style of Chevy Chase's Christmas vacation or this picture is all wrong. However, as I have mentioned in a few previous blogs I will be enjoying myself, consuming copious amounts of food and beverages with two of my friends during the holidays in lovely warm frost and snow free New Orleans, Louisiana. I mean where else can you enjoy the reason for season while carrying an alcoholic beverage down the street to the next establishment of your choice? 

And the best part?  No family, no guilt no forced family time with scary aunts, uncles, cousins or spouses of relatives.  Ahh yes that's right it is really going to be a jolly holiday season for me.  I might even celebrate a few more various dominational holidays in the same way.  Anyways I hope you all survive your Holiday season (if you spending it with family).  I know you will if you are vacation!  

Food for Thought
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation: Clark W. Girswald: Where do you think you're going? Nobody's leaving. Nobody's walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We're all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny f**king Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

When did Carols become so uh interesting?


Greetings.  I have been parousing internet radio lately and loving the choices.  Especially the Christmas Carol stations... with a few exceptions.  What happened to the Bing Crosby carols of my youth?  I mean when did it become acceptable to hear we three kings as a rap song or do you hear what I hear as hip hop.  Not that I don't enjoy various forms of music.  I do. But I am rather a traditionalist when it comes to carols.

I like my Bing, come on who doesn't and really the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  Those folds can really belt out those carols despite their belief in Joseph Smith. When I was a kid I loved this time of year when we would pull out the old vinyl records.  I loved looking at the covers.  I have to admit though I was terrified of the Dickens Christmas Carol record it was kind of creepy and until I was older scared me.  I wouldn't listen to it alone.  But hey now maybe I can listen to some new fandango-ed Dickens version.


I guess as the years go by there is room for new traditions and classics like for instance Stuart McLean and his Vinyl Cafe Christmas stories.  If you don't know who I am or what I am talking about check out his website and podcasts.  Seriously Stuart's stories are hilarious and the characters are totally relate-able.  That being said about new Christmas things and traditions...

I am not yet ready to hear my favorite carols sung by El Divo or rapped sorry folks - I don't care how old Bing Crosby's versions get that's what I want to hear at Christmas. GO BING!


Food for Thought
"Bah!" said Scrooge. "Humbug!" ~ Charles Dickens

Friday, December 18, 2009

This time of year


Greetings.  I have been very lax about blogging lately I would like to say it is because I am gainfully employed and am raking in the dough however, that is not the case.  Though I have been working, taking government exams and going through the whole painful job search process.  I hope to have better luck in the New Year and as Christmas approaches
December pretty much becomes a write off to get anything done least of all getting a job offer. 


Focusing (or trying to) on this blog.  Yes it is that time of year when everyone talks of joy, cheer and love.  Oh wait no that's just the advertisers, most people I know associate this time of year with stress, crammed parking lots, angry people, lack of gift ideas, forced/obligated family time (followed by painful experiences and guilt for trying to avoid it) usually associated with  consuming copious alcoholic beverages and fattening food.  I usually like Christmas well the food at least and this year I am excited because I am heading to New Orleans with friends and am avoiding the whole madness of Christmas! Or at least part of it... no fears I have had my own share of Xmas madness and thought I would share...



A few days ago I was in a parking lot and upon returning to my vehicle, after waiting in a rather longer line than expected at the bank and almost being knocked down by an over zealous senior trying jumping the line from behind, found myself in an awkward situation.  By awkward I mean I was rather pissed but I am trying to add Christmas joy and cheer to my blog and life.  I know its not really my style so bear with me (the cheer and joy part).  Anyways I get back to my car and guess what? The person who parked next to me literally had left like maybe a foot for  me to 1) open my door (without scrapping the crap out of his truck) and 2) to get my body (meaning ass) in!  Seriously people have you looked at our population lately we are all not supermodels or have superpowers that allow us to squeeze into extremely tight spaces.  Even better the guy was still in his truck waiting for someone (I presume, it adds more drama to my story) plus it is absolutely pouring down with rain so I walk around my car because lets face it they only I am getting my ass in is through the passenger door.  


Oh what luck I forgot that I had a 20 pound bag of dog food in the front seat plus a very wet and mangled umbrella not to mention I had just spent X hundred plus dollars on my hair so I was trying to hurry and not ruin my hair.  SO I climbed in literally into my car over dog food, umbrellas and all the other random shite that I pile on my unused passenger seat (Cause that's what us singletowners do with all that extra space in our cars - we pile shite) I felt like a contortionist... in fact at one point I had my right leg up by the windshield because I couldn't quite squeeze into the drivers side with all the shite in the car.  I am sure I made a complete ass out of myself.  And yet the entire time buddy in his car just sat there watching me full of Christmas cheer! 


I mean really is this what our society has become at this time of year so focused on commercial aspirations and parking spots that we would let some person have to literally climb into their car at the risk of pulling some major muscle group because we couldn't possible spread some cheer and move ours a little so they could get into theirs?  I guess so.  Merry Christmas


Food for Thought
"Next to a circus there ain't nothing that packs up and tears out faster than the Christmas spirit"  ~ Kin Hubbard





Saturday, November 14, 2009

Aging...


Why is it that men seem to age gracefully?  As they age they become sexy with peppered gray hair and they seem aluring and women well gravity sets in and wierd hair starts to grow on your chin?  I mean hypothetically of course (the hair)! Its like some sort of cruel joke not to mention that we experience our sexual peak in our late thirties just about the time that our over 30 bodies start to show us that we are definatley not 20 something anymore and 40 something is closer than we hope.  

I have recently had this conversation with some friends and we did a survey (ok it include about 3 people so the stats aren't exactly robust) and it seems like women in our 30s - 40s who haven't had kids are experiencing all kinds of weird hormonal things like chin hairs and extra lovely painful cramps.  It this because we are consuming mass quantities of caffeine intravenously through chocolate bars and coffee! Or is it becuase we don't actually age gracefully?


Do we only get to grow old gracefully if we have hair laser removal, incubate a parasite for nine months (no offense) and have some sort of bo-tox or other sythetic toxic substance injected into our face, boobs and/or asses? Not to mention the plethora of "anit-aging" face cream, ass cream, thigh cream and everything else creams that we are meant to be applying to our withering bodies. I mean really...is this what I have to look forward to as I grow old.  I hope not. 

Both my mum and her mother grew old graciously and not to be biased but they aged and are aging pretty dam well.  I can only hope that I have also inherited these genes.  Or else me and some hair laser pseudo doctor are going to become very fast and tight friends....


What I want to know is do men also experience things like this?  I mean we all know about sagging balls and man-boobs thanks to the Bro (Seinfeld) and other sources but is there more to it that we don't hear about?  I want to know and so do many other women out there. 

I am aware and so is the world about erectile dysfunction and incontinuity thanks to depends and pfizer.  I mean where would the world be without drugs for enabling the male libidio at the age of 70?  But do men really worry about getting older as much as women do?  Do you see your body start to fall apart and hope others don't notice as well?  I hope so not because I think men should share our pain of aging but because then we would know that we are all on the same playing field.

Food For Thought 
"Thirty-five is when you finally get your head together and your body starts falling apart."  ~Caryn Leschen

Friday, November 13, 2009

What happened to my fun filled weekend nights?


Can my life really be this lame?  The answer is yes, yes my life is lame.  Ok I should clarify... my life really isn't lame but I don't know what happened to those days or I should say evening and weekends where I actually did things...anything.  Tonight is Friday night and do you know what I did?  Hopefully you can relate - otherwise my weekends are really becoming sad.  I went to Walmart to pick up a few things including dog cookies for the 4 dogs I live with, I came home made dinner for my roommate and her partner and then we watched re-runs of Criminal Minds, Law & Order and Law & Order SVU!  And everyone headed to bed at 10 pm! I mean what the hell is going on! Sadly this is not a chance occurrence  as most of my Friday and Saturday nights are spent at home with food and roommates, sometimes we get daring and we watch a movie! Ooh I know exciting - NOT!


I really don't know what happened to the days of going out even if it was just to the pub with friends, having a few drinks maybe shooting some pool or playing darts and generally having fun.  Its like I turned 30+ and all that went away.  Actually I think I turned into someone old and boring.  By 10 pm on a Friday night I want to be in bed or at least home in my fleecy pj's.  You know I remember during my twenties I would come home to visit my parents and I would go out at 10 pm becuase things were just getting started.  I remember my parents saying "you are goin out now? It's so late"  And I was like "Its really early and noone goes out before 10!"  Sadly now I am the one who is saying its 10 and it feels so late, I don't even had kids or a husband/partner to use as an exuse!  I can't even be like Miranda on Sex and the City and watch my tv shows I recorded all week becuase we don't have TIVO or digital recording cable of any kind! 


I shouldn't say its all bad.  Last year when I worked in an office a friend , and sometimes several friends and I would often go out for drinks on a Friday after work.  It was lots of fun.  I think the highlight was one night just her and I (you know who you are : ) went out to Earls, sat in the "lounge" had some drinks and appy's then we stumbled home.  I swore it was like 11 pm and I was so ready for bed.  I got home and looked at the clock 7:30 pm people!  7:30 pm  it was shocking I mean I know we had been drinking since 4:30 and I had apparently reached my limit but I swore it had to be really late, like 11 pm and I felt realy proud of myself when I left the "lounge" thinking oh yeah I can still handle a long night of drinking and socializing...not.  I was so sure I had been out all night but I am sure the alcohol I had consumed coupled with the early and very dark Canadian winter nights helped fuel my desire for it too be much later.  Also my ego could have used a few extra hours as well.  As I really felt like I was returning to my pre-30's where I actually did something exciting and fun after 7 pm!


I don't really know how to change this pattern...sadly I don't know if I even want it to change.  I mean I would like to go out and listen to some live music and hit the pub every once in a while but I don't really have a partner in crime.  I am hoping that will all change when I head to New Orleans with my friends over the Christmas holidays...sorry ladies but if you are reading this we will be enjoying music, beverages and food a plenty during our week in the south!  I need to trip back down memory lane and I need to be reminded that there is more to night life than fuzzy pj's and re-runs!  HAHA until then I will most likely continue my weekend evenings in the same old pattern....which honestly for now is totally fine.


Food For Thought
You moon the wrong person at an office party and suddenly you're not "professional" any more.  

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sex? What is that?


If your are like me and you have forgotten what sex is.  I am sending out positive sex wave thoughts to everyone going through a dry period you know a time in your life when sex is everywhere on tv, the movies, heck it seems like everything and everyone is enjoying it but you...well you are not alone my friend.  I myself am going through what I like to call a Sahara period you know like the desert...dry dry dry and exceptionally hot!  But nothing going on.  

My new years resolution for 2009 was to actually have sex, plenty of it in fact and  it was actually going to be with a real person not just in my imagination.  Well 2009 is quickly drawing to a close and I am no where near fulfilling my resolution so this is the year when I definitely decide to not make new years resolutions any more.... 

I don't know whats worse a) not getting any or b) not getting any and  having friends who get WAY  too much that they have to nap in the afternoons just to make it through the night. I think it might be b but the jury is still out on that one.  However, I know that I am not alone.  I know that there are singletons all over that feel the same way, that are also experiencing a sex desert as well. If you are reading this because you think I have an answer you will be sadly disappointed because I don't. I just thought I would let you know you are not alone.


That's the one major misconception about Singletown that Coupledom doesn't realize it's a total myth that Singletown is full of happy people having sex with everyone all the time.  Wrong....People in Coupledom just don't realize that many people in Singletown aren't out there romping or shagging everyone  in fact my own survey shows the complete opposite.  Lots of Singletowners would be happy to have A sex partner.  One of my friends had sex last year for a whole week - it was amazing and I was happy for her.  In fact I was hoping her luck would rub off on me... no such luck but we are still living vicariously through her memory anyways.... 


So here is to all you Singletowners out there praying and waiting for someone to come along and give you hopefully hours (but we'll take mins) of extremely satisfying and orgasmic sex.


Food For Thought
"If it wasn't for pick-pockets and frisking at airports I'd have no sex life at all."
Rodney Dangerfield

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rememberance Day


Today is Remembrance Day, November 11, 2009.  It is 82 years since the Armistice was signed in 1918 that ended the great war (World War I).  Sometimes I think we all forget that there are people soldiers and peace keepers from all over the world still stationed in far away places helping to rebuild, fighting and maintaining peace or at least trying to.  Which seems hard these days with what is going on in Afghanistan and Iraq since it is on the news every day.  But sometimes we get so used to seeing and hearing news about bombings, fighting insurgents, and people being shipped home in caskets we become used to it -  in a way it just becomes another daily part of our lives.  I know this is the one day that most of us stop, remember and pay our respects to those who have died in action, peace keeping and/or are still far away from home involved in conflict and peace keeping missions.  I always get a bit emotional on this day I guess because I am kind of sappy about it mostly because everything we don't want to think about or we forget about the rest of the year is all crammed into one day.

It's not that me or anyone else forgets the rest of the year about what is going on overseas because lets face it its rather hard when it is on the news daily but I think we just get so used to seeing it we don't really stop and think about it.  On Remembrance Day we do stop and think about it.  I personally think that most of us do think about our Canadian Forces throughout the year and not just today; that we appreciate and respect those fellow countrymen and women out there willing to put their lives on the line and whom do sacrifice their lives we just don't think about it out loud.  


I know it is hard to watch people come home in body bags especially if it is someone you know -  but I think my generation (Generation X) is pretty lucky.  We have never had to experience a major war like WWI, WWII, Korea, and/or Vietnam.  We have lived through the Gulf War, the Star Wars program, conflicts in the middle east and now the "War on Terror".  However, we are generation who has not as of yet experienced hundred of thousand of soldiers, especially young men, dying.  We haven't had to go to post offices and railway stations to read the daily or weekly list of dead, wounded or missing in action.  We haven't had to read Time magazine and see pictures and names of young men, brothers, friends, boyfriends, lovers and husbands, who are never coming home.  I count myself lucky that I haven't had to experience this and hope that I won't ever have to.  


Canada is a country where our national pride is not shown in the same ways of our closest neighbor.  We are a humble but strong and proud nation.  We have long memories and pride in our peace keeping and war efforts throughout the years.  Today is day where we come together as a nation to show our pride, to remember sacrifices, to pay our respects to those who didn't return home and to keep those who are still away from home in our minds and hearts. 

I am extremely grateful for those people who have given their lives or even small portions of their lives to the armed forces and our country, to help others , to defend  freedoms and liberty and  we in Canada get to enjoy everyday and I know that I am not alone.  I hope the men and women of our armed forces know that we as a nation are extremely grateful and proud of them for what they have done, what they are doing this very day, that we do think about them, (often) both those who have died and those who are still alive, that we wish them well, that we do remember their sacrifices and we hope they come home safe.


"In Flanders' fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row." 
~Canadian Officer, Lieut.-Colonel John McCrae, M.D. Died in WWI
 

Friday, November 6, 2009

Buttons and bad days


Hey have your every had one of those days where it just starts off bad and you hope it doesn't go down hill from there?  Well I just had one.  It started out at 5 am which could have added to the range of events.  I was up becuase I had meeting in Vancouver and was planning on catching the 7 am ferry to be at my meeting at 9am.  The first thing was as I took my last pee before I was leaving the button of my brand new never been worn pants fell off!  Buttons are important for you know holding up pants.  I struggled for a few mins trying to get it back on but I needed to leave to catch the ferry.  So one of my kind roommates gave me a needle and thread to go.  I raced to the ferry only to miss getting on the 7 by 10 cars! So I had to phone and postpone my meeting til 11am a great first impression.  But now I had 2 and half hours to wait for the next ferry.  So what did I do?  Well for starters I sewed my button back on hoping no one would walk by and wonder what I was doing with my pants undone in the driver side of my stickshift truck!  It worked and thank god no one saw.  When I finally got on the ferry and for those of you not used to BC mainland -Vancouver Island ferry travel these are huge 500 passenger 300 + car ferries, they are lovely  and as scenic as the crossing is,  all 1 hour and  35 mins of it, after 30+ years of traveling on the ferries they have lost their shine for me and I have to admit I rarely enjoy them now except occasionly when I see something cool like a pod of killer whales which I did this summer.  Anyways the weather was horendous and I wasn't sure if the wind would prenvet the ferries from runing ...it did not.  However in all my years of BC cruising I have never once had the captian ask passengers to remain seated, or wait until the ferry had docked before returning to your car.  The weather was that crazy.  My 9 am ferry was more like 9:15 am so I was already late for my 11 am meeting then I got lost on my way there ending up on some random farm road numbered 36A or something.  I finally made it to my meeting at 11:45 just in time for lunch HAHA. The rest of the day wasn't too bad no more button catastrophes and the ferry was still running on my home, but the rain was crazy and there is nothing I enjoy more than coming off the ferry ramp only to hydroplane at the bottom! (Not!) I made it home alive but I think I will have to re-think and re-do my emergency button sew job!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Babies here they come


Hey do you ever feel like everyone is having babies but you?  I am being to think its in the water (should I be worried?).  The last place I worked over the last two years has seen the production of something like 10+ babies! Yikes!  I guess that's what happens when thirty-somethings finally get full-time jobs with maternity and paternity benefits...they have a baby and cash in their family benefits.  

Sometimes I feel like I am one of the few people who isn't and perhaps does not want one...a baby that is because I am all for the job with benefits. I find it all a bit funny because even some people I swear a few years ago were like "oh no we aren't having kids, have had one."  It's fine and I am happy for them but I find myself trying to come up with excuses to not have to attend a plethora of baby showers.  Something men are lucky to not have to attend.  Count your lucky stars men because they can be scary.  

I recently with a friend attended a baby shower and having known the "new mum" since I was 5  but having never met any her friends after having reconnected recently myself and a mutual friend were slightly unsure what to expect at her baby shower.  Were they going to be scary diapers filled with melted chocolate bars simulating baby poo?  Were we going to have to guess what it was or even worse eat it? Was there going to be a huge swan made out of diapers?  If the truth be told we were a little worried....

However, we didn't need to be.  When we arrived the hostess greeted us with full arm tatoos on both arms and we both breathed a sigh a relief.  It was a good baby shower we basically ate really good food, didn't have to hold the baby and laughed lots.  It was fun and if all baby showers were like that one maybe I wouldn't mind them or babiess.  Kidding but not really.  I even at my approaching 36+ years do not feel the biological clock ticking or any sort of hankering for babies....I am definately ok with that but its just adds to the social pressures.  I remember when one of my friends had her first baby her husband immediately asked me like day two of the baby's life when I was going to have one.  I thought he was kidding turns out he wasn't.  My reply was "I think you a) need to have sex first and b) a steady income also helps." Whatever I am sure if it is meant to be sometime before I hit the guiness book of world records for oldest mum ever I will have a kid.  But I hope to have plenty of practise with copious amounts of organims and birth control first!

Food For Thought

"Now the thing about having a baby - and I can't be the first person to have noticed this - is that thereafter you have it." ~Jean Kerr

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Update on Urbane Beaver

Greetings,  Sorry I haven't had any posts recently.  I am currently stressing about writing exams and preparing for interviews with the federal government.  Its a bit stressful but I am hoping all my hardwork of apply for jobs over the past 10 or so months is going to pay off.  I will be back next week with some more blogs.
 

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Christ-mass Trip Udpate

I am happy to report that my friends and I have successfully booked our trip to New Orleans over Chirst-mass! And we were able to find a hotel where we each have a bed and we don't have to share.  However, we are only worthy of double beds.  I guess in order to get a Queen you have to be one?  I am not sure.

I am getting really excited to spend this years holiday season with friends in a new and exciting place.  I have spent 2 other Christ-masses away from the family but this is one that I am actually really excited about.  
 
The first Christ-mass I spent away from my family I was in Australia...we had curry and spent the day in the Sydney Royal Botanical Gardens....sleeping.  Because our hostel had been taken over by the many many rowdy Brits (no offense) who had cooked this huge turkey feast and took over the entire hostel and who had kindly (not) invited anyone who was not associated with the Union Jack to help them eat it. Plus our roommates had absconded and drank all the bottles of champagne the hostel had nicely provided to their guests as a nice Xmas treat.   

The second Christ-mass I spent in my one bedroom basement suite in Saskatoon because 1) I didn't really want to go home and 2) it would have cost me an entire months rent to fly home to BC.  So a good friend came from Calgary to spend it with me.  She endured the Greyhound bus trip for many hours so we could avoid BC and our families and spend Xmas the way we wanted to.  I cooked a turkey and invited another friend of mine, who was in town for the holidays.  And later we sat in my landlord's hot tub drunk on homemade spiced wine, my Swedish friend brought, watching the snow fall.  It was great!

This year though, I am really looking forward to spending my holidays on an actual holiday.  In a nice hotel with complimentary bathrobes, good food and a rooftop pool hopefully with a bar.  We will be dining on  some good chow not super cheap curry at Kings Cross surrounded by porn bars and shops. And will we be enjoying the spirits of holiday cheer with spirits!

Yes I am truly looking forward to this trip. Look out New Orleans here comes Singletown X's 3!

Food For Thought
"There is no moment of delight in any pilgrimage like the beginning of it" 
~ Charles Dudley Warner

Friday, October 16, 2009

Losing yourself in coupledom


Have you ever noticed that when some people get into relationships they tend to lose themselves?  It's like they get sucked into a void - the relationship void and they lose sight of who they are.  I have seen it happen many times and have to admit that in my early twenties I was guilty of doing it myself.  However, I vowed after that relationship it wasn't going to happen again and it hasn't maybe due to the fact that I have spent a significant amount of that time in Singletown. Or maybe because as I age my standards for relationships and partners increase.


I know it may seem unfair to judge others but I wonder why people put the other person in their relationship and their needs above their very own.  I have seen friends stop doing the things they love doing such as sports, attending concerts etc. because it didn't suit their partner. Well too damn bad is what I say you should do them anyways.  I mean there has to be some kind of compromise(s) in relationships but sometimes its seems that one person compromises all the way and the other person not at all.


I have to admit that I often find it hard to not voice my opinion about it.  If you know me you how incredibly hard that is for me.  I am not very good at censoring myself. 

Now that I am older and supposedly wiser I have set standards and expectations for myself one of which is not to lose myself in a relationship ever again.  I thought this would be an easy task for most people.  I mean as we age we become so entrenched in who we are that it is a) hard to change and b) why would you want to, you are you.  However, that is not the case. I  know plenty of people my age (thirty-something) and older who are still losing themselves in relationships and both men and women do it so I know its not gender specific.  



When you embark in a committed relationship is it a something wonderful....or at least I am told often by couples.  I agree it can be amazing but not so much if you let it cost the most important thing, yourself.  When did being a couple mean that you had to completely give up yourself.  Many people seem to do it.  I guess I was lucky to grow up with parents who did many things together but also respect and love each other to realize that they need their own time, friends and interests.  However, despite that I fell into the void anyways.  But I am older and wiser and I think it is important in relationships to be able to hold your own.  To not cater all the time to the other person and to make sure you are happy in your relationship with you.  Do people really want to be with someone who is happy for you leave yourself, the real you, at the gates of Singletown while you go running into Coupledom as someone else? Is being in a relationship that important? Personally I don't think so.  I am happy to have many friends who accept me and let me be who I am and if I can't find someone to share my life with that feels the same way - so be it. I will happily be found Singletown.   


So to all those of you in Singletown I say this is a really good point, one of many, to use as leverage against all those couples who wonder why we are still single and why it really isn't all that bad. 

Food For Thought
"First, all relationships are with yourself-and sometimes they involve other people. Second, the most important relationships in you life - the one you have, like it or not, until the day you die - is with yourself. ~ Peter McWilliams



Thanksgiving Move

Food For Thought

When our relatives are at home, we have to think of all their good points or it would be impossible to endure them.  ~George Bernard Shaw


I decided to put the food for thought at the beginning of this blog because I just spent Thanksgiving with my parents.  In Canada we celebrate Thanksgiving the second weekend in October unlike American Thanksgiving celebrated on the third Thursday of November.  Canadians celebrate thanks for the harvest where as Americans celebrate that the pilgrams were saved from starvation by the American Indians.  Whatever, however, and whenever you celebrate this holiday it is a feast of turkey, stuffing and the trimmings and it is great. The only hiccup, is it is usually spent with family.....This year I spent my entire weekend helping my parents move...actually it was more like cleaning their house, packing and re-arranging the one of two storage units they have as of today they are homeless... well not really they are renting until the house that has it all comes up for sale. And that friends is an entirely different story.  


Sixteen years ago when my parents last moved I missed out on all the fun and glory . I believe my brother helped with that move though the amount of help he gave is still unsubstantiated,  I was fortunately out of the country.  However, I really wonder if it was truly as painful as this move.  I think not!


This time around my parents are 16 years older and that equals 16 years more of stubbornness to my father's personal attributes.  I shouldn't complain after all they have helped me with many things over the years given my "singleness".  I really realized and at one point actually said out loud to my dad "oh what fun Matt gets to miss".  That's my brother whom these last few years has conveniently relocated off shore and out of the country I personally believe it is to avoid these precious family times together though he says its for the weather.



Like many fathers mine generally thinks he is right and will argue to the point where you are just wasting your breath.  I mean do they really need to keep and store the pup tent purchased in 1980? I mean seriously!  Even a thrift store would turn it away!  That and the 30 year old sports equipment that has accompanied them for so long I think its considered family.  I can imagine them saying "We have 2 kids and of course that doesn't include the extended family of tennis rackets! "



I have to say that my mum was really good about purging...unfortunately she is fighting a losing battle against my dad who will look through thrift store boxes and take things out.  She has succumbed to hiding and burying things at the bottom just so my dad won't find them in the boxes and remove them. After 4 days of packing, moving and cleaning I had had enough and they were done...for the most part.  I love my parents but seriously I wanted to gouge my eyes out many many days during the weekend.  If it wasn't for my mum.,my dad and I would likely have several more "spats".


It really makes me think that in order to "like" your family you have to spend significantly more time away from them than with them! Maybe its just me but really this is so true for me. 


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Another trip to coupledom





OK  I know I tend to rant on about the single versus couple thing but really some days it just pisses me off....so bear with me.  My latest adventure - traveling.  Myself and two friends are trying to book a trip to New Orleans over the "holiday season" to 1) avoid another pathetic holiday season spent with married siblings, parents and 2) avoid those pitiful looks from people at social gatherings commenting about how sad it is that you aren't spending the holidays with a loved one blab blab.  Whatever!  At least I will be spending it with people I like and not drinking myself into oblivion to avoid those "cheerful" family forced dinners.

We are three single professional gals who are independent and after spending almost every Christ-mass that's right I said Christ-mass you now the mass celebration where you spend most of the time thinking at least to yourself Christ how did I survive this last year?  Well the three of us have decided to venture out and actually spend it how we want to...enjoying copious amounts of food and liquor as per usual however, this year it will be with people we choose and whom we like and in a fun and exciting place, where I don't have to dress in my thermal underwear just to get to the car. 


So in my research to find us a decent place to stay in New Orleans I have come across a rather disturbing yet not too shocking discovery.  The plight of the singleton or singletons to find a decent hotel that doesn't cost me an ovary or first born child.  

I don't know what goes down there in Louisiana but it is really hard to find a decent hotel room for two or more people (friends) who do not wish to engage in close quarter sleeping arrangements in other words sex.  In Canada it seems rather easy to get a hotel room with 2 Queen beds, however in my search I have come across a plethora of rooms with either the choice of A meaning 1 King and/or  1 Queen bed, romantic and family vacation packages and even a "rock star" room.  What I have had a hard time finding is a room for us singles that isn't outrageously priced or forcing me to share a bed with a friend.  Something I find rather ironic in a country and state that doesn't recognize same sex marriages or unions! 

What I find incredibly frustrating is that my friends and I whom had decided on the reality of 2 adjoining rooms because of space and bathroom reasons are getting shafted.  And not in a good way.  It is almost impossible to find a decent room with 2 beds or a suite for 3 adults and guess what for that extra bed(s) not person(s) but the bed the rate is a lot more.  Like hundreds more! Depending on your length of stay! Which I think is incredibly insane I mean its like you pay more for being single and/or not wanting to sleep literally or figuratively with your friend(s). 


It's just another example of how couples get things for cheaper because they do.  I mean I think it's nuts that myself and my friends have to pay more money to occupy the same space as a "couple".  


That being said one of my friends seems to have found us a nice option a hotel with a suite that will probably work for us... though one of us will most likely be sleeping on a sofa bed because another extra bed adds like $100 a night!  Whatever.  We can handle it!   But I would be a lot happier if society would change its attitudes about singles.  I am getting really tired of living in Coupledom. Sometimes Singletown feels like a bad suburb where we pay extra taxes and get jack for it all while watching Coupledom recieved nice new curbing and safer lights at our expense.  Oh well.....maybe one day people will say "Oh your not single" That's really sad"


Food For Thought
"Being single is pretty good. It’s a nice sense of irresponsibility."~Michael Douglas

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Gen Xer waiting for the "mass" Retirement


I remember in the late nineties when it seemed as if everyone was spouting words of wisdom about how Generation X was going to take over the work force. With all the employment opportunities out there waiting for us as a result of the onset and much anticipated, mass baby boomer retirement.  Well it’s been 10 plus years and some of us Generation X’ers, a more educated and experienced work force than ever before, are still waiting for our moment.  Where is the mass retirement we have been hearing so much about?

A friend of mine works for a company that has a 72 year old employee.  This man is not someone who needs to work financially because his Canadian Pension Plan check is too small to live on; no this is a man who makes a decent five figure salary and has for 40 + years.  I recently attended an informational meeting for the Department of National Defence discussing the great career opportunities available for civilians in their department.  The presentation was excellent, and again telling the packed room that 60% of the civilian work force in DND and across the federal government is due to retire in the next few years.  When the presenter was asked if there was an age limit to working (i.e. a retirement age) at the Department of National Defence,  he said no, and he went on to add that he was eligible to retire two years ago, but he chose to continue working.   Is it just me, or have we been hearing the phrase “…will retire in the next five years” for a long time? 

Canadian labour laws do not include a mandatory retirement age.  In many provinces and territories mandatory ages of retirement are considered a human rights issue (Government of Canada).  This coupled with the recent economic slowdown; workers are remaining at their jobs longer than they may have in the past. It is as if a major case of “what if the markets crash again” has infected the nation.  There is a sense that some employees have been scared out of retirement and it is better to stay in the jobs they have a bit longer – just in case.  I understand that some people financially cannot afford to retire and others enjoy working and gain a sense of fulfillment from their jobs.  Therefore, not retiring is way of maintaining a purpose in life and is part many individuals’ identities.  However, for those people who are in the financial position to retire I ask the question why you are not retiring?  Please retire.  Allow the natural evolution of the workplace to take place.  For those who enjoy their jobs look at it as a challenge to find fulfillment elsewhere.  Retire and enjoy spending your days golfing, woodworking, or having coffee at Tim Horton’s complaining about how the younger generations are destroying the country.  Or even better, volunteer for organizations who appreciate the experience, knowledge and time retirees can bring to their organizations. Retire, so that a new generation can have access to the career opportunities that you once had. 

I ask the question how are Gen x, y, z, z+ to acquire our own retirement savings without the same opportunities of others before us.  Many companies have done away with pensions and given the past years headlines of pension mismanagement how are we to pay for our own retirement and pay to sustain these pension plans of the people continuing to work.  Right now, it looks and feels like Generations X, Y and beyond will have to be in the work force longer to have adequate savings, to be able to afford and hopefully enjoy our retirement.  From this side of the fence it feels like we will pass along the same problem to Generation Y that we are inheriting from our predecessors.  

I am still waiting for the 60% of projected retirees to actually retire so that I, friends and other Generation X’ers can have those much talked about and anticipated job and career opportunities we have been hearing about for much of our school and working years.  Instead, I spend my days working at the bottom of the salary range and searching for a new job, one with a higher salary or a career advancement opportunity so that I can actually increase my pathetic retirement savings and retire sooner.  Gone are the days of being a “company man/women” where employees such as our parents, worked for 30 years for the same company and received a gold watch in appreciation.  Do these jobs and career opportunities even exist? Will the public and private sectors actually fill those vacancies once people do retire or will those positions be deleted and companies downsized?  I ask again, where are these alleged opportunities? Right now, I fear they will not materialize in time for many of us Generation X’ers, but we will continue to wait patiently for this “mass exodus” from the workplace. 

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pizza Peddler


Have you ever had a really bad date experience?  I think we all have though usually it isn't with someone you've been dating for a while.  By a while I mean a few months at 18 a few months seems like a long time versus at 30 something!  First off I should say this is NOT a fictional story it really happened to me and the memory is as fresh now as it was all those years ago.

I had been "dating" this older guy, he was 21, for a couple of months during my first semester of university.  After Thanksgiving, American Thanksgiving because this story takes place in the States, my boyfriend insisted on taking me out for dinner one Saturday night.  I was rather opposed to it because I really didn't like to get all dressed up and go to some fancy place for dinner...however, I finally agreed to go.  You know sometimes there are signs that for some reason we just don't see or pay attention too or both.  My first sign was that he showed up at my room dressed in jeans, JEANS! while I was all nicely dressed, hair done, makeup and jewelry on.

He was pretty excited and had borrowed his roommates car because we were going to drive to Sioux City, Iowa for our big night.  Sioux City, Iowa was known for a long time as the meat packing city, livestock was shipped by train into the city to the stockyards, and well slaughtered and processed into various forms of meat products.  In fact to this day when you enter the city from the west there is still large meat packing plant by the highway and it stinks...badly! This is important and pertinent to the story.

OK back to the roommate's car, we get in and because it's November in South Dakota and freezing he cranks up the heat!  We were immediately blasted by huge puffs of dust or smoke or whatever nasty particles were coming out of the cars heating vents.  But we carried on  to Sioux City passing the meat plant and its huge plumes of toxic smells.  We exited off the highway at some random exit I had never been on and ended up in what I thought was a vacant gravel lot in the bad part of town only to discover it was the old stock yards area and a parking lot to our "restaurant". 

Seriously I was really starting to doubt this "great" date night he had hyped about.  We walked into an old red brick building and took an old freight elevator painted with huge clowns, seriously, up a few floors to the "Pizza Peddler".  Yes my big night out was a cheap pizza dinner at a place that was a converted stock yard restaurant/amusement park place or whatever.  We we going to dine on pizza from huge picnic tables and oh what joy we could drive bumper cars while we waited. I kid you not.  I really didn't think at this point the night could get worse....

We sat down at a table for 12 the only other table was a group of children and adults clearly out for a fun filled night of frivolity!  from out of nowhere comes a robotic coyote riding a tricycle to take our orders...again I am completely serious. It was rather ironic given our school mascot was also a coyote.  However, this one had seen better days and he was operated by a guy I could see behind the kitchen wall plus there was a large speaker in his mouth.  We ordered and they my "boyfriend" left to use the bathroom he was gone for what seemed like forever...again another sign I didn't see.

A few minutes after he returned to our table I saw the coyote coming out of the kitchen with a huge package wrapped in Christmas wrapping paper....I thought it was for the table of kids but no horrified I watched as it passed them and stopped at our table.  Basically it became a battle between me and the coyote who wanted me to open the present right then and there and my boyfriend was no help he actually had the entire place including himself chanting "open the present, open the present" and banging knives and forks on tables.  I can be rather a stubborn person when forced into certain situations and this was one of them.  I absolutely refused to open the present and every time the coyote passed by our table he tried rather pathetically to get me to open it.  I actually at one point told him to come on out and open it himself!  After dinner I was given the choice of either driving bumper cars or going to a movie. I chose the movie because the night had already proven to be much more fun filled than I could have imagined.

When we came out of the movie it was snowing heavily and had been for sometime.  Our 45 minute drive back to campus quickly turned into a 2 hour drive from hell and not just because of the road conditions, and dust blowing heating vents.  No this was when my boyfriend of 2 months decided to pronounce his love for me.  It was a really bad, uncomfortable drive back for some many reasons including that I didn't love him back, didn't know what to say and I was trapped trapped in that little shite box of a car with nowhere to go, no escape for 2 hours.  I have never been so happy to see my dorm in my life.  When I got back to my room, my roommate asked how the night was, I think I just gave her a look.  She said I told him you probably wouldn't like it.  Oh and I thanked her for letting me go out all dressed and make-uped up.  It turns out I could have worn jeans and a t-shirt and been just fine.  In fact I would have had more in common with the chanting children and coyote!  I also opened the present it was a lava lamp.  Oh the romance of it all.

A few months afterward a friend of mine set me up with this guy and as we drove to Sioux City he asked "Have you ever been to Pizza Peddler?"  I kid you not.  I replied "Yes, yes I have". We went and played mini-golf as apparently there was no end to the fun filled games packed into the old red brick stock yard buildings.  We really had a good time but we didn't have pizza.  Ahh the irony.  I actually told him my story and we both laughed really hard.


Looking back the whole experience makes me laugh I mean I could have been a little bit more excited about the Pizza Peddler! I guess the boyfriend really did go out on a limb and try to be exciting and I guess I didn't appreciate it at the time...though I don't know how someone who is horrified by those public displays could be.  Plus I mean really it kind of proved that he didn't know me at all or at least those where my feelings.  Our relationship only lasted a month longer I can't say that the forray into Pizza Peddler land was the reason but seriously it didn't help. 

Food For Thought
“A man on a date wonders if he'll get lucky.  The women already knows".  ~ Monica Piper







Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Is this a sign of a bad day?

 
Have you ever had one of those days....you know where there are signs everywhere that you should just go home or should never have left home to begin with?  Well I had one last week.  My day started out well, actually good in fact then it all went downhill from there.

I had uploaded some of my digital pictures to Lens & Shutter for development and I was headed downtown Victoria to pick them up.  I was pretty excited since in the 4 years or so I have owned my digital camera I have been incredibly bad about getting pictures developed...I always had some sort of excuse not to but I had finally bit the bullet and had chosen 3 "experimental" prints to be blown up.  I was able to find a good parking spot downtown with a meter a block away from where I needed to go this was a good sign or so I thought!

So perhaps it was that I was overcome with excitement of picking up those pictures and seeing how great they had turned out that I failed to realize that I had stepped in POO on the way back to my vehicle.  Trust me this in an intergal part of my story.  I didn't notice until I had pulled out into traffic on my way to do an errand for my mum.  There was this god awful smell coming from well me!  And it was Poo!  And it was horrible, horrible.  The smell was not made better by the heat of the day and the fact that my truck cab basically in the heat is like a small very hot greenhouse sans air conditioning!  I made my way to the book store my next errand.  I quickly found a small patch of grass and began to vigorously purge my shoe of the poo....or so I thought.

I went into the rather small book store only to find my self in line behind two older women 1 who was returning books for money and in no hurry to find a few more asking about this author and that author... the other lady was a Margret Atwood look alike who wanted to purchase a box set of DVD's only to discover that the store only took cash or debit card. This would have been fine except that she didn't know what a debit card was, even my 90 year old grampa used a friggin debit card, until the cashier explained what it wasto her and I quote her reply "oh the thing I put into the wall?"  Jesus who doesn't know what a debit card is or that Mastercard is in fact a credit card so that when someone says we don't take credit cards your answer isn't how about Mastercard, do you take that? 

This all seemed to take forever before I was served which really on any other day wouldn't have mattered except that all I could smell was POO! I felt like I was made of POO that it was eminating from me for everyone in the 10 by 20 foot store to smell so I was doing my best to get in and out as fast as I could...before it became obvious to everyone that it was I that smelled of poo, that I was eminating that hianous smell. 

I finally get out of the store and I figure with the windows down in my truck  maybe I don't smell POO, you know maybe it's my imagination.  NOPE!  I nearly died of the toxic  poo fumes on my way home seriously!  I was planning on one more errand but since I was near vomiting and passing out in my truck I decided to head home. 

On the way home a rock from a passing car on the highway came flying into my truck hitting my windshield and ricocheting into my passenger seat! Scaring the poo out of me, figuratively not literally!  That was it, the final sign that I was not meant to be out that day! I made it home alive where I took off my shoes immediately and took a rather long hot shower to rid myself of any poo smell.

The worst part of the poo was till this day I am unsure it it was dog or people poo.  In down town Victoria it really could have been either.  I think it may have been human poo because I have never smelled dog poo that was so heinous smelling.

Food For Thought
“ I don't want to be stinky poo poo girl, I want to be happy flower child." ~ Drew Barrymore

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Are you an "Internet stalker"?

Months ago I got an email from a good friend from 1st year saying she had found people on the internet from our dorm years whom we had lost contact with.  Ok these were people we didn't want to keep in touch with but we're curious about.  She felt a bit weird about delving into these peoples lives only to garnish gossip and then pass it on to the rest of us.  I replied that I often "internet stalked" people as I refer to it. 

Ok it's not stalking but you know what I mean.  I think we can all admit to "finding" people from our past whom we are curious about...haven't we?  I know I have.  Let's face it with social networking like Facebook and My Space its easier and easier to find people.  I have spent hours looking for ex-boyfriends and people mainly frenemys to see if they are married with children etc, to see what they are doing with their lives. Dont' get me wrong I have also searched for friends too.

The question is WHY?  Why do we do this.  Personally for me it depends really on what is going on in my life.  For instance if I had a recent bad breakup then I feel that somehow I missed out on some great opportunity with some guy I dated when I was 16!  Really, I totally do this and I am sure I am not alone.  Usually these guys are married with kids and it looks like they are very happily which doesn't make me feel better or does it.  I don't know maybe it does. It certainly fills the void of not knowing.

I of coarse would be horrified to learn that some one had "internet stalked" me.  But I am sure it has happened.  I would be horrifed because I feel that my life isn't exactly what I had planned and if you have read some of my previous blogs you know I still haven't achieved adulthood.  I don't want these "stalkers" to find out! But really in the grand scheme of my life it makes no difference. Chances are I won't ever see them again. 

I think we search out these people from our past because its human nature to be curious about them.  You know that 1st year roommate you hated because they went home every weekend to see their 17 year old boyfriend whom they spent hours tying up the phone talking to!  What are they doing now?  Did they marry that guy and have 10 kids?  Or what about the crazy person two doors down or next door?  What happened to them?  With the beauty of the internet you can find out! And then go back to your life saner....at least for a while anyways, than you were before.    
Food for Thought
"The value of a social network is defined not only by who's on it, but by who's excluded" ~ Paul Saffo
 

Friday, September 11, 2009

University = education about yourself

I recently read a Globe and Mail article about things people wished they had or had not done in first year university and it got me thinking...about my own university years.

University to me is more than just attending lectures, failing calculus, drinking and sexual escapades.  It's about becoming a better more informed human being both intelligently and socially and of coarse its about people.  The best education you receive at school is about yourself and others.  You are put into situations you never thought you would be or hoped you'd be in... you are forced to deal with them.  These are the best lessons I learned from school.

I sometimes get nostalgic about my University years....especially the undergrad ones.  I attended two universities lived on campus for 4 out of 5 of those years.  And I loved it.  I mean I wouldn't go back to bad or even the good cafeteria food or eating Kraft Dinner out of my hotpot but there were some pretty amazing things and people I got to meet and  experience.  I would definitely go back to those.  I really learned a lot about myself and life whether I wanted to or not.  It wasn't all bad but it wasn't all rosy posy either.

One of the more interesting and shocking things I learned was that all families are abnormal and full of dysfunction, including your own...the levels just vary...really its a sliding scale.   I learned that people will and do have sex with and at the most inappropriate times, places and people. If you have never had a roommate have sex in your room while you were there, count yourself lucky my friend, it is an extremely awkward and embarrassing moment  or moments, depending on the length,  usually for you.  People do weird things in their rooms, bathrooms and other common places on campus.  Football players eat a lot of food and have their own fan clubs, and at my school were forced to take etiquette classes! Seriously!

I also learned that true and great friendships are formed through adversity both yours and theirs.  You learn to read people all people friends, fellow classmates, roommates, floormates and professors included.  You learn that test results and grades don't really mean a lot in the grand scheme of your or others lives.  Its the person journey through the system, fun and often frustrating.  Basically university offers you life lessons, a time and a place to discover yourself along with others.

Plus it's fun you have no responsibilities, for the most part, there are always people around and someone is always up to doing something, you have crazy philosophical and not-so-philosophical conversations with people.  I once had a conversation with a friend regarding pickles, he actually considered the pickle the great rape of the cucumber (his words not mine!). He didn't know pickling cucumbers exist and pickle makers just don't go out and according to him rape cucumber fields for small and vulnerable cucumbers.  HAHA it was awesome.  I mean where and when else could you have this conversation but in a university cafeteria or dorm room?

There are lots of things I miss and love about my university years... I will probably continue to reminisce about these from time to time. I hope you don't get bored.  Oh well too bad it's my blog.  But I don't have any regrets about those years only fond memories, lots of laughter and some pretty funny stories.  


Food For Thought


"Freedom of inquiry, freedom of discussion, and freedom of teaching -without these a university cannot exist" ~ Robert Maynard Hutchins

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Men & Women Can Be & Are Friends


I never even asked this questioned that men and women can’t be friends or had it asked of me until a few years ago. Actually it was more of a statement “men and women can’t be friends” than a question at that time. It was followed by “there is always an ulterior motive”. I call Bullshite. I think and know men and women can be and are friends.

It is a total misconception that our genders can’t be friends without some ulterior motive or reason like uh I don’t know, sex. Men and women can be friends without wanting to jump each other person’s bones. I can only speak for myself and a few of my friends but honestly friendship is the number one reason behind these relationships not sex or the hope of a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship.

I think people who don’t think men and women can be friends miss out on some pretty amazing friendships. I mean when did friendships between the genders get so complicated? When we were kids I don’t ever remember choosing only girls as friends. We didn’t because we were still innocent and accepting of all people despite our differences such as gender, color or race. Too bad we still don’t see the world and the people in it the same way. Somewhere on the road to adulthood some of us lost the ability to see each other as just people and friends.

I am not arguing that Men and women aren’t different. We are. We see the world and experience things from completely different points of view and places physically, mentally and emotionally. However, this should be the reason why we ARE friends, not why we are NOT. We should embrace friends of the opposite sex to be just that, friends; to dispel stereotypes, to have friends who think differently and who challenge your own ideas. I believe it is to both sex’s benefit to embrace these differences. I think it’s good to know that you can be a good friend, able to celebrate successes such as job promotions and relationships and be there when they need you such as breakups or deaths of loved ones despite their sex. We are influenced by the people in our lives and we should celebrate them despite gender differences.

I know people think girls and guys can’t be friends because of ulterior motives and romantic feelings. I know that romantic feelings do and can occur between friends of opposite genders, but in my experience true friends look beyond your gender, they value you and your friendship over your boobs even if this sometimes takes a while to happen. I am not saying people aren’t attracted at times to their friends of the opposite sex; we wouldn’t be human if we weren’t at some point. We are friends with people because we like and respect them, because they are good people, they make us laugh and we enjoy their company. I believe that we are attracted to the same qualities in our friends as we are in our “mate”. But that doesn’t mean we view every friend as a potential mate.

I have always had guy friends. In fact one of my oldest and best friends is a guy. He has provided me through the years with practical and insightful advice not to mention abundant laughter with his story telling. He lets me ask him stupid questions, mainly about men. In fact he was my life line during high school and university many times over. Why? He understands guys, unlike my girlfriends, because he is one. Plus I like him, he is a good person who makes me laugh and whom I like spending time with. He is honest and will tell me if he thinks the guys in my life are jackasses or nice or if I am being a jackass. Though I have to admit I don’t always listen but he is and always has been there for me. I feel my life is and has been enriched by 20 year our friendship. I hope he feels the same way. If not it’s too late because I know where he lives, where his parents live, his email address and his phone number! True friendship is just that friendship, and we choose our friends for who they are not what gender they are.

Food For Thought
"What is a friend? I will tell you...it is someone with whom you dare to be yourself." ~ Frank Crane