Sunday, 15 November 2009

Not Clear On the Concept

Overheard last night at the monthly Texas Hold 'Em game at our place:
Noob (who is winning): I love cards. Euchre is my game.
B (patient and long-suffering): I like cribbage. I don't generally like playing for money, but Texas Hold 'Em is different.
Noob: We'll have to try Texas Hold 'Em sometime.
The Rest of the Table: *sigh*
The only sound louder than the collective sigh was the rolling of D.'s eyes.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Doctors and Douchebags

I don’t like people, it’s true. But the way I figure, it’s a lot like that old joke, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean you don’t have enemies.” In my case, it’s more like, “Just because you are filled with loathing and contempt for the human race doesn’t mean people aren’t really douchebags in a fundamental way.”

There’s nothing like spending a few hours in a medical clinic to bring on a fresh new wave of misanthropy. I admit, I was already pretty much in the mood to kick humankind in the jimmy bubbles after reading in the news online that the Calgary Flames and their families went to a private clinic to get the H1N1 shot, even though the public clinics have been closed to everyone—including first responders and persons considered high priority—since the weekend. My skull nearly shattered with outrage and I immediately commenced to writing angry letters.

My first letter I wrote directly to the Calgary Flames (, wherein I think I said something like, “Thank you for underscoring so poignantly the vast gulf in priority between a team of over-privileged, overpaid jocks with an enormous sense of entitlement and first responders like cops and firemen, and other people deemed high risk for H1N1. Wouldn’t want you to miss a game; lotta money riding on that. Have a shitty season, heroes.”

Then I wrote directly to the provincial government and in decidedly less vitriolic terms suggested that due to ongoing incompetence, the Premier should demand the resignation of his Health Minister and the Senior Health Consultant. Then I insisted that in view of the gross and appalling mismanagement of this province’s resources, the Premier himself should tender his resignation.

So it was in that kind of a mood that I set out to accompany J. to the mediclinic for what turned out to be dermatitis on her throat. We arrived at the clinic at 7:30. We didn’t get out until 10:40. And in that time, I was subjected to some of the kind of annoying behaviour I’ve come to expect from shitheaps and cretins trapped in a space together.

First of all, there’s nothing like a little pandemic to bring all the Drama Llamas out of the woodwork. If I saw one tool in a surgical mask last night, I saw three or four. And Health Canada advises people NOT to wear them because they are often worn incorrectly and, besides, we don’t even know if the virus is airborne. We don’t know how it is transmitted, but if there’s a chance to look like a douchebag in public, some jerkoff will jump at it.

One of these crisis monkeys was seated next to J. last night. He was simply unable to sit still, only you could tell it was excess energy, and not neuroses, that was putting the ants in his pants. I wanted to slip him a tranquilizer or something. But the thing that made me homicidal was that, behind his fucking mask, he was chewing gum WITH HIS MOUTH OPEN. I just frickin’ HATE that. Shut your friggin’ piehole, Zippy, I don’t wanna hear it! Learn some fucking manners.

Then there was the shitty little yard ape at the other end of the room who ran rampant all over the place. The supervision from his parents was theoretical at best. It was actually pretty fictional, as this little diaper pilot destroyed two boxes of tissues and used the hand sanitizer every fifteen minutes or so until his hands were foaming. And that’s on top of the usual screaming and whining and carrying on that can be expected from those individuals in society who still shit themselves, a qualification not necessarily restricted to children.

The most annoying of all, however, was the ditchpig with the cellphone. I’ve come to the conclusion that cellphones are, even more than communication devices, Asshole Indicators. If you have a cellphone and talk on it loudly in public or while you’re driving…CONGRATULATIONS! YOU’RE A FUCKING ASSHOLE!!! This woman was from one of those African countries that require their womenfolk to wear a hijab on their heads, which is handy for keeping that cellphone attached to your ear while your hands are free to do whatever you have to do with your wide-eyed, rude children who WON’T STOP STARING OPENLY AT ME WHILE I TRY TO EAT A BAG OF CHIPS, WHICH IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY IF I AM TO AVOID TELLING YOU TO SHUT THE FUCK UP AND SHOVE THAT PHONE UP YOUR GIGANTIC ASS. Honest to Christ, that woman talked on the phone for close to three hours, even though she had a companion with her! People were giving her the hairy eyeball and making it as clear as a group of passive aggressive pinheads could that she should hang up now please, but she was far too engrossed.

And that makes her--and the kid and the parents and the chewer--douchebags.

Monday, 2 November 2009

On Driving With Douchebags

In a word, it sucks big brass donkey balls.

I've driven the highway between Edmonton and Calgary a lot. There was a time several years ago, when I would do it twice weekly. My partner at the time worked there, and didn't like taking the bus, so I would drive down to get her and then drive all the way back. It was, I confess, kinda stupid, not to mention expensive (given that I did the trip in a 1976 Pontiac Firebird Esprit, which could pass everything except a gas station), boring and occasionally even dangerous. Winter storms on the QEII can be brutal: just last year, I had a show to do in Wetaskiwin, which is only 45 mins to an hour up the road. White-out conditions, however, meant that I did that trip in three hours, slightly longer than it would have taken me to drive to Calgary. It was white knuckle all the way, but the weather is far less frightening than the other drivers out there.

As a consequence of all those hours logged on the QEII, I've see some appalling examples of driving. I've seen jerk-offs on the phone (a personal and perennial pet peeve), not driving to conditions, tailgating...I've even seen one total dickhead reading the paper spread out on his steering wheel while he blasted down the highway at 130 kms/hr. Gives me chills, I tell ya. Seriously.

On Friday, J. and I went down to MooMooLand because I had a tarot gig in the evening. Long gone are my days of testosterone-fuelled mad dashes to Cowtown behind the wheel of a beautifully-sculptured, aerodynamic and mind-blowingly sexy classic muscle car with a crushed velvet interior and a 350 throbbing under the hood. No, now I buckle the dogs up in the back seat, set the cruise control for 120 kms/hr and set off in my little red Ford Focus. Anyone who drives slower than I do is an asshole, and anyone driving faster is a maniac.

South of Red Deer, but north of Airdrie, we caught up to a small white car with Quebec license plates who was driving like a fucking jerk-off. He was speeding, zipping in and out of traffic without signalling, cutting people off and just generally acting like a motorized dillhole. At one point, he (in the baseball cap, which is the telltale sign of a prick) and his three similarly-attired asshole buddies found themselves behind me as I was passing a large truck.

I did not increase my speed to do this. I left the cruise control on because I was already travelling faster than the truck and the procedure would only take a few seconds. But Monsieur Depechez-Vous behind me took this as some kind of personal affront, as I was delaying his arrival in Calgary by a good thirty seconds!!! Quel horreur!

So he got right up on my ass and tailgated me, so close that I could not see his headlight in my rearview mirror. I tapped my brakes. He did not back off. I tapped them again. He remained obdurately glued to my ass end. I was deeply resentful, but continued at the same speed. Before I could pull over in front of the truck, Jacques DipMerde zipped out in front of him and then--no doubt you can see this coming--he cut me off and tapped the brakes twice.

Well, because I was doing 120 (which is still 10 kms faster than the posted limit) and he was doing more, he soon pulled away from me. But then he came up alongside another 18-wheeler and slowed way down, so that I could not get past him. Very juvenile. I refused to engage him in this stupid game and just stayed well back, about three car lengths, never changing my speed. After all, with him in front and the truck next to me, there wasn't anywhere else I could go.

Unfortunately, that was also true for the traffic piling up behind me. And Dickhead did this twice, blocking me in behind a truck. The second time, I confess, I lost my temper, and actually passed him on the shoulder. As I did, he rolled down his window and whooped like the frat boy he was, giving me the index finger-pinkie finger and thumb raised gesture you see the losers punching in the air at heavy metal concerts.

Naturally, he got in front of me again, but then he sped off, thinking maybe he shouldn't mess around anymore with the traffic behind us. Sure enough, just a few seconds later, I saw a guy in a black truck cut him off and slam on the brakes, causing Shit-For-Brains to brake hard.

It would have been better to see him in the ditch, but I can only hope that karma caught up with him--or will catch up to him--sonner or later.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Dining With Douchebags

J. and I went to a sushi restaurant on Monday night, prior to going our separate ways for the evening, she to a bellydance class and I to a wine tasting.

About halfway through our meal, a couple was seated next to us, and I have to say, while my distaste for kids is well-known, I would have preferred children to these two fucking idiots. I have never sat next to two people of any age who were more badly behaved.

Firstly, what is it about Asian restaurants that turn people into retards? Why does the appearance of two tapered sticks next to a bowl suddenly make everyone think this is a good time to practice the drum parts for Rock Band: Aerosmith? All you can hear is *dingdingdingding*, disjointed and persistent, until you go mad and fantasize about the various ways the chopsticks AND bowls can be inserted into the human body so that only surgery can remove them. Listen, you fucking toolboxes, put them down.

The ditchpigs next to us didn't bang their chopsticks on their bowls, though. That just pisses me off generally. No, these two immediately set about sword-fighting across the table. And these were no tentaive jabs and feints, either; twice the Dillhole Male Douchebag had to get up and go to an unoccupied table to get another chopstick because Twatface Female Douchebag knocked it out of his hand.

And it went on for several minutes, too. At one point, J and I openly stared at them, but they were either oblivious or indifferent. I was on the verge of saying something rude to them (i.e. "Excuse me, Douchebags, but could we leave the audition for The Three Musketeers for later?") when they stopped.

Then she capped off the whole experience by reaching over, grabbing him by both ears and hauling him halfway across the table to plant a kiss (a big noisy one called a "smooch") squarely on his lips.

After this brazen and gratuitous display of heterosexuality, they seemed to settle down, but by that time, we were motioning wildly for the cheque, like Boy Scouts practicing semaphore in a windstorm. I tried to fart near their table as I left, but was unfortunately tapped out.


Friday, 8 May 2009

Sartorial Douchebaggery

I can always tell when spring has finally arrived. As perennial as the robin and lilacs, clueless tools in socks and sandals appear, proclaiming to the world exactly how little they care about their appearance.

Men are by far the worst offenders of this rule. Women have their own foibles, but lately, I have been confronted mostly with lazy-assed men who just can't be arsed.


I am on the Social Committee at work. Every year, the company throws a big bash for all of the employees that features incredible food, drinks and usually some form of entertainment. On top of all that, there are prizes. And it's all free. Employees don't pay a friggin' dime (which doesn't keep some of them from whining about something, which blows me away. It's free and it's excellent. Shut your fuckin' piehole).

Anyway, this year, our annual event is being held at a golf course with a strict "no denim" policy. The entertainment is a murder mystery set in Capone-era Chicago, and the golf course is so strict with this no denim policy that the entertainment can't wear jeans while they set up. In the past couple of days, however, I have been approached by two women here at work whose boyfriends are complaining that they don't like to wear slacks. One girl even asked me if it was okay for "Blair" to wear a nice western shirt and a pair of jeans?

Well, first off, honey, there's no such thing as a "nice Western shirt". They ALL look retarded, so don't even go there. Secondly, the "no jeans" policy has been advertised for weeks, so tell Blair to get his ass into some khakis or something. Frankly, if our company is paying $40.00 + to feed your lazy ass tonight, you can find something besides jeans to wear.

And thirdly, what kind of name is "Blair"? That's not really a boy's name. "Blair" is the name of the priviledged girl with the feathered hair on The Facts Of Life who had a deeply convoluted and subconscious lesbian thing going for Jo, the lower-class rebel with the bad Jersey accent.

But you can't be dating her, cuz she'd know how to dress.

So it's too bad you're not.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Drug Douchebaggery

Now that I am no longer a peon in the mail room, I am a data entry clerk. People may blanch at this, but seriously, no matter how tedious the task, I am consistently grateful and mindful that it's not mail. Or filing. Or wrestling with that satanic inserter machine.

One of my new responsibilities is going line-by-line through the pharmacy fee guides for the various provinces to make sure that the version we have is the most updated one, so that the retarded processors on the 4th floor know what to pay the providers when members (i.e. refugees) get medications prescribed to them.

Right now, I'm working on the Atlantic Fee Guide, so if you want to know how much Resperidone costs in Halifax, I'm your huckleberry. I can always tell when a medication has been designed specifically for use by women, because it always has the suffix "vag". It will look like this: "Apo-Reallylonglatinword Vag".

This pisses me off. I cannot, for the life of me, tell which drugs are designed for men and their weiners, because none of these medications have "wang" or "rod" in the title. You don't ever see "Novo-EquallylongLatinword Penis". The closest we get to male-specific medications are the ones with the "procto" prefix. However, given the fact that all women have assholes (with the possible exception of The Queen. On the ther hand, she is married to Philip), we can't really make a case for those being boy drugs. Yet for some reason, drug companies feel the need to single out the creams, ointments and douches we use on our fairy pockets.

So, WTF? Is this information really necessary? And for whose benefit is it? Not the patient's. Gawd knows, if I have a yeast infection bad enough that I want to either

a) use a bottle brush on my box, or
b) let the doctor stick the world's longest Q-Tip into my hoo-hoo, or
c) all of the above,

chances are, I know that the prescription handed to me concerns my vajayjay. So is this for the pharmacist's benefit? Do they need to know? Just hand over the prescription and I'll be on my way. And don't bother explaining how to use the applicator, or my "VAG" product will become a "PROCTO" one.

Also? Most medications designed for kids come as a syrup and have a suppository option. If you can't stuff it down their non-compliant throats, you can always shove it up their asses.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Censorship Douchebaggery

Okay, so I admit: my guilty little secret lately has been my obsession with Lady GaGa's "Poker Face". The video is utterly daft and lacking in any redeeming qualities whatsoever (except the first 32 seconds: that's hawt, yo. Whew.) Her blue bathing suit is really goofy, and the skinny jerk with the package in his tighty-whities at about 1:45 is just repulsive. GaGa should stick to (inexplicably) lounging next to the pool in skintight black latex with enormous dogs.

(And before I go any further, I just have to go on record as saying that I must be getting old or something, because as sexy as the opening of this video is, all I can think is that a latex cat suit is not exactly loungewear, if you're fortunate enough to live in a place where it is feasible to have an outdoor pool. I mean, wouldn't you sweat like a pig in an outfit like that? PEW!)

The song imminently danceable though, which I think is why I like it so much. (Also, I'm a dyke, which means I have a certain weakness for power tools, plaid jackets and fluffy dance music. I can't help it: I also liked "Blue" by Eiffel 65. I'm not proud, but it's a fact. I look back on it now and shudder. And to my credit, I do not like Britney Spears. A girl has to have some standards.)

What puzzles me specifically is how the censors arrive at the decision to leave out certain lyrics.

For example, in the second verse, Lady GaGa sings, "Russian Roulette is not the same without a gun/And, baby, when it's love, if it's not rough, it isn't fun."

In the official music video, The Powers That Be have chosen to eliminate the words "Russian" and "gun", but left the entire phrase "If it's not rough, it isn't fun" intact.

WTF? What's up with "Russian"? Have the earth's Russians suddenly been really outspoken about not being associated with a stupid boy trick? We don't want to offend them ever since they lost the Cold War? What's up with that?

And I get the gun thing (I guess, for those who lack the brain cells to grasp the concept of metaphor), but if you're going to leave out the potentially violent imagery, how do you justify leaving in the explicit S&M reference? Is one less offensive/objectionable than the other?

You could, I suppose, argue that the various expressions of human sexuality are beautiful and natural (unless you count cake farts), whereas guns are instruments of brutality and destruction.
And you'd have a good point, except in the case of the "Poker Face" video.

See, there's a part in the bridge where she says, "I'm bluffin' with my muffin" (Best. Line. Evar.), and the censors also left in the line, "I'm just stunnin' with my love glue-gunnin'"?

(Of course, that might be a simple case of, "We don't know what the fuck she's talking about: Love glue-gunnin': what is that? Do people really use glue guns in a sexual context?" To which I would say, "They are very popular with the Michael's set. Those scrapbookers are a wild bunch. In fact, there's a whole raft of people out there who get off on popping balloons between their knees," and if you think I'm making this up for comic effect, you need to check this out.)

Anyway, all of that aside, I think eliminating words from songs is bullshit anyway. In Canada, there is no actual law against broadcasting songs with explicit lyrics or even swearing on the radio (it might be different on tv, I dunno). It isn't generally done because the conservative majority feels we need to protect the children or some such shit. So, in order to avoid offending the delicate sensibilities of the general public (read: unwashed masses), artists who have the balls to tell it like it is in the first place have to censor their own works if they want their shit to make it on air during prime time.

In the case of a music video, though--especially this one--it's pointless and stupid. A gun does not ever appear in the video. And although they blank out the word "muffin", GaGa reaches for hers as she says it, so the kiddies are gonna get the idea, even if the slower among them think she is saying, "I'm bluffin' with my piss flaps" or whatever they're calling it on the playground these days. (Vajayjay? Beef curtains? Fairy pocket? I have no idea. S. at work, calls it a "yang". A while ago, she asked the assistant manager of the call centre if they shaved her yang when she gave birth. It's a very liberal office.)

Anyway, it's confusing and retarded. Kind of like the song itself.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Hi Ho, Silver! Awaaaaay!

People--and by that I mean folks who barely know me--have an unnerving and unfortunate tendency to confide in me. I don't know what it is: maybe because I'm gay (therefore a minority or "oppressed" and likely to be sympathetic) and outspoken (and relatively openminded), they mistakenly think that I am also a nice person.

This is a mistake. I am not a nice person. Oh, I am staunchly loyal and protective of my friends, but that just makes me loyal and protective to a group of people I have stamped with my approval. And I generally live by the "live and let live" maxim, but I don't like people as a rule, can't be arsed with them most of the time and would just as soon live as far removed from society in general as possible. I have utterly no investment in the continuation of my species whatsoever. I have more sympathy and tenderness towards "dumb" animals than children, and while I think that most people should be able to do whatever the hell they want most of the time (providing it does no harm to the nonconsenting, children or animals), I certainly don't want to hear about it. Most of human existence is either painfully dull or a train wreck.

And yet, people--essentially strangers who have the most tangential acquaintenceship with me--repeatedly and unfailingly disclose deeply personal information about themselves to me. This invariably alters any embryonic friendship we might have in such a way that, many times, I cannot pursue a relationship with them thereafter.

Take, for example, this woman at work. I'll call her Hip E. Dippy. She's older than I am and has clearly been around the block a few times in terms of general experience. You'd think her social skills would be more advanced, but apparently not. It's amazing how much people get away with.

Anyway, Hip inhabits the cubicle behind me, and one day last week, I noticed that she was in late. I teased her about getting a booty call. This was my mistake, I admit it fully. But most people laugh and say something like, "Yeah, right!" and move on.

Hip emphatically denied a booty call and said that she had instead been waiting for a delivery. She was very, very excited about this delivery, which had come all the way from New Zealand. I want you to know right now that I did not ask for details. I was obviously quite prepared to let this whole matter drop. I don't actually care for what other people get in the mail. I know from experience that it is usually really personal or really mundane. The only mail that concerns me is my own.

Hip, however, did not pick up on my subtle physical cues, like turning away, staring fixedly at my monitor and responding in vague monotones. Hip went on to tell me that it has always been her dream to own this object. She never had one as a child, you see, and the desire to have it is so great that she dreams about it.

There was just something too intense about the way Hip approached her subject: I felt all ooky about it. Trepidatious, even.

Hip told me that she had searched long and hard for someone who would make this object for her. She even ordered plans from the States, but couldn't find anyone locally to build it for her. "There are no craftsman, anymore," she said with a dismissive sneer. "Just carpenters." That's why she was forced to order it from New Zealand. And she spent thousands of dollars on it.

Gentle reader, I know what you're asking: what is all the excitement about? What the hell did Hip E. Dippy get in the mail all the way from New fucking Zealand?

An adult-sized rocking horse.

And then she said, "And I can hardly wait to get home and ride him!"

So, at that point, my skull exploded and I was stuck with a visual image of this lumpy, shapeless old hippy in thigh boots (white fat oozing over the tops) and a leather corset (more fat oozing over the top), crop in hand, riding this poor rocking horse to a furious and explosive orgasm, as all the while the Wm Tell Overture blared in the background.

Although I must have visibly blanched, Hip just kept waxing rhapsodic about her new acquisition ("I've even named him!"), detailing why she chose an English saddle over a Western one ("I was afraid I wouldn't fit a Western saddle"), how big it is (36 inches from nose to tail), and how she made her daughter promise that when she dies, her grand-daughter will inherit it.

The last part squicked me right out: I mean, is a child ever really old enough to get the keys to Grandma's tickle trunk? And, I've checked this with several of my friends--there's NO WAY this thing with the rocking horse isn't sexual. I'm not sure Hip E. Dippy understands that, but it is.

My friend, B., collects carousel horses. That's not weird. And I'm sure there are lots of people out there who have rocking horse collections, too. That's not weird either. But an adult-sized toy? That rocks?

That screams "FETISH!" to me.

And I'm afraid that, knowing that and being saddled (pardon the pun) with the visual of Hip astride her mount, we cannot be friends. That's just Too Much Information.


Thursday, 2 April 2009

Democracy Douchebaggery

So, the Canadian government has its panties in a twist about the new law passed in Afghanistan wich makes it illegal for Afghan women to refuse sex to their husbands or to leave the house without their husband's permission. It also grants custodial rights to fathers and grandfathers.

Everyone--politicians and average Canadians alike--are jumping up and down and foaming at the mouth about this barbaric outrage on behalf of Afghan women, and how this violates the sanctity of what our troops are supposed to be doing over there.

What a crock of shit.

Oh, don't get me wrong: the law is horrific and appalling. It pisses me right off.

But let's look at the facts here: the Afghan president, Ahmid Karzai, is facing an election coming up. This law that he has signed off on is part of his strategy to win the votes of conservative members of his nation that will allow him to stay in power. It's about votes, people. It's about democracy, the very democracy that we "civilized" Canadians are supposed to be bringing to that barbaric and backward country. The fact that the law is morally bankrupt and oppressive goes without saying, but to insist that they vote and make legislation as we do makes us equally as oppressive.

And let's not get carried away in our moral righteousness and rectitude: not all of our legislation guarantees the rights of minorities either. Harper's Conservatives have closed down all but two Status of Women offices and removed "equality" from that Ministry's mandate. The Conservative government has been subtly working to re-open the abortion debate again. You know what pisses Harper off about the Afghan rape law? That, as much as he'd like to, he couldn't get it passed here.

Canadians who think that we are in Afghanistn to bring democracy to them are either naive or misguided. Oh, we're fighting the Taliban alright, but not out of any sense of chivalry or altruism: we're there to protect the poppies and the pipeline. Before the events of September 11, we didn't give a rat's ass about the Afghans or their uncivilized ways or how oppressed their women were. We were content to let them live amidst their tribal warfare and let their women trot around the dusty desert in thier burkas, uneducated and ignorant. And if money wasn't involved, we still wouldn't care. Do we give a shit about Darfur? No, you don't see Canadian troops being sent there.

To think that we have any right to invade a nation--because let's remember, we weren't invited into Afghanistan--in order to impose democracy on a people that have no historical or cultural tradition of it is arrogant. It smacks of colonialism. Harper has recently said publically that this war in Afghanistan cannot be won, and he's right for once: no-one has been able to successfully invade and control that region, not the British in the 1800s, not the Russians in the 1980s and not the British, Canadians and Americans of 2009. To say that we are providing security for the very women the Karzai government is oppressing is pure, unadulterated bullshit: the only thing our government gives a shit about is keeping filthy Taliban hands off of the opium and oil revenues.

And now that we've "brought democracy to Afghanistan", we have no right whatsoever to bitch and complain that they're doing it wrong. We have no right to these expectations that 111 Canadian lives has bought us the right to tell these people how to run their country: we cannot simoultaneously give them freedom from their tribal past and insist that they exercise that freedom with our values and priorities.

Is the rape law wrong? Yes. Unequivocally.

But so is our being there to start with.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Get Outta My Fuckin' House, Douchebags!

As any of you who have ever moved even once in your life know, there's a lot involved in packing the joint up and getting the fuck out. You've gotta transfer all your utilities over to the new place. You've gotta arrange for a moving van and friends to help you transfer all of your belongings from one locale to the next. There's a shit-ton of crap to do, and that's on top of all the packing and cleaning and going to work and otherwise maintaining your life and sanity through it all.

When you move into a house that you've just purchased, it's helpful to have a second walk-thru to determine practical little details like, "Will we need more phone jacks?" or "Will our sofa fit this space? And if not, where is it more likely to fit?"

We asked our realtor, the dynamic Helen Ross O'Donoghue, to request a second walk-thru from the people currently living in our new house. Initially, they said yes and scheduled it for today, around 1:00 p.m. Then about a week ago or so, they all of a sudden said "No!" and, to make it even more inconvenient, informed their realtor (who, to her credit, seemed kind of embarrassed) that we couldn't get in until after they had vacated the joint around April 28th.

They didn't give any reason, just "No". J. thinks maybe they caught wind that we're Friends of Dorothy's and decided to be difficult because they can. I prefer to think that they're just douchebags, but the end result is the same. We don't get to see the inside of our house again until a few days before closing, which I think is bullshit.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Outta Here!

It's official: my replacement has been hired and starts on Monday. I start my new position on Wednesday!


That means that as of Tuesday, I don't ever need to deal with that piece of shit inserter machine from Satan ever again.

No more endless hours counting and date stamping shit tons of stupid mail.

No more taping EOBs to the insides of envelopes so that the address lines up properly with the envelope window.

No more grunt work, hauling all the heavy crap that the SSM can't be arsed to do because she's SSM.

No more making dozens of stupid member packages (doesn't that sound dirty?), and all of the attendant photocopying, etc.

No more hours doing Eligible letters, using a broken letter opener to fold the thick booklet, because SSM is too cheap to put them in larger envelopes that don't require folding.

No more filing. Of any description.

I might still have to pull claims occasionally, but I don't mind that: it'll help to keep me in shape.

But for the most part, the drudgery is finally finished. Onward and upwards, as they say.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Reason Number 47...

...why I need to get the hell out of the mailroom.

So we're sitting in the mailroom today, doing our usual thing opening, sorting and ditributing tons of stupid mail, when a woman we've never seen before appears in the doorway.

She says, "Hi. I was told to come here for supplies. I need some sticky notes."

So S. gets up and gives her some sticky notes from the locked cupboard.

When the woman was gone, I said, "Who the hell was that?"

It's not uncommon to see unfamiliar faces in the office, since the company has hired a lot of temps to help us catch up on the backlog of claims.

S. replied, "I dunno."

Then the Senior Staff Member, who is a bit of a control freak, said to Sandy in a reproving tone, "You gave her supplies and you don't know her?"

It was on the tip of my tongue to say, "It was sticky notes, not a handjob, fer Chrissakes", but wisely kept my mouth shut.

When the SSM left the room, I said to S., "Jeez, S., what were you thinking? Giving office supplies to strangers? Don't you know a stapler in the wrong hands can lead to fatal tasering?"

(This joke will only be meaningful to Canadians, I'm afraid).

Anyway, it's just that kind of weirdness tha makes me glad I am out of the mailroom in 12 days, come hell or high water.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

All's I'm Sayin'...

So last week, the CEO of the company I work for got a vasectomy. It's no big deal, he's very open about it: in fact, when I went in to congratulate him on severing his vas deferens, he said he was now "sunkist--all juice and no seeds".

On Monday following the operation, he came into work with a bag of frozen peas to apply to his crevice tool. As two other VPs and the executive assistant looked on, I walked into his office shaking my imaginary tambourine and dancing.

And to the tune of John Lennon's "Give Peace A Chance", I sang

"All we are saying...
"Put peas in your pants!

He loved it.

And I kept my job!

Friday, 13 February 2009

A Whirlwind Week of Wonders

So it's been a week, and in those seven days, I have...

a) lost two pounds
b) qualified for a mortgage and
c) received a promotion and wage increase at work.

It will be a few weeks before I can leave the mailroom for good, since a new person needs to be trained and there is much work to catch up on, but my days of that particular drudgery are numbered. The timing of this promotion is perfect, since the Senior Staff Member has been exhibiting behaviours that could otherwise earn her a boot in the box.

So I'm sitting back and treating myself to a wee dram of single malt to celebrate what has been a pretty stellar week.

As for the houses...we qualified for a much larger mortgage than I had believed possible, given our credit history and the current economic environment. We are very excited to be looking at homes, and have the world's best realtor to guide us. We met her several years ago when some crazy little East Indian man offered to buy J. a house and then wasted all of our time by underbidding on houses we liked. Eventually, we just told him to piss off and got into a townhouse in the north end, but Helen (our realtor) was just excellent. We really bonded with her and we are very pleased to be working with her again.

We're meeting with her this Sunday to discuss what we're looking for and to look at homes we've found on-line. So far, we have three that we're quite intrigued by, and here are the links:

There's this one.

And this one.

And this one as well.

Now, my personal preference is the first one, so I'm especially excited to see it. If memory serves, this is the house Helen first showed us when we met her, so it would be kismet if it turned out to be our new home. When we saw it the first time, the loft wasn't finished and the stairs up to it had only been roughed in, so the new owners have done some lovely things with it. The only qualms we have with the house is its location. It's really close to Rectal (Rexall) Place, so on the plus side, we'd be within walking distance to concerts, home and garden shows and Klondyke Days. On the downside, we'd be within walking distance to Oiler's games, concerts, the rodeo and Klondyke Days.

Anyway, I'll keep you posted.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Here's Hoping!

The other job finally got posted at work and I have an interview with the other manager on Tuesday morning at 10:00. With any luck at all, I will be out of the mail room in about two weeks, and let me tell you, it can't happen too quickly at this point.

It makes me think, though: how much does my job SUCK if Data Entry Clerk is a promotion?!

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Food! Glorious Food!

So, although I am loathe to admit defeat, I'm afraid I'm off the liquid diet.

I just couldn't do it anymore. Props to anyone who can keep it up and be successful, but I couldn't get past the fact that two out of my three meals tasted like the contents of a colostomy bag. Not to mention the fact that my blood sugar took a hit and I was a raving fucking douchebag whose co-workers wanted to shoot her in the face the whole time I was on it.

The day I decided to go back on the Weight Watcher's plan, I couldn't believe the change in my outlook and mood. I was bopping around the office, telling jokes and singing. S. looked at me and said, "It's good to have you back, A. You scared me yesterday."

So, I'm going for walks and stuff, and hopefully that will make more of a difference. Life's too short to starve to death.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Starvin' Marvin

What do you call an Ethiopian with two dogs? A rancher.
That's me today. I've started a new diet. It's called Isagenics (I think), and essentially what happens is that I replace two of my meals with these shakes and once a week, I fast. On my fast days, I drink this "cleanse" formula four times a day. It tastes like shit, but it's forcing me to drink a lot more water than I generally do.

I don't intend to be on this diet forever. My thought is that I will do this until I lose a certain amount of weight and then get back on to Weight Watchers. I tried WW last year, but even though I was fanatical about keeping track of everything that I ate, I just kept losing and gaining the same five friggin' pounds, usually around the time my period was to start. It was really discouraging.

I did some research on the internet and discovered that the medicine I'm on for fibromyalgia, amitryiptilene, makes it difficult to lose weight. So I'm hoping the Isagenics is drastic enough to have some kind of effect.

Things at work haven't gotten a whole lot better either. The day after my last post, I was upset enough that I actually cried at work. This is unheard of behaviour from me, I can tell you that. I won't bother to recount the details, since ultimately they are trivial and boring to anyone not actually involved, but let's just say that I have a healthy reserve of resentment for Senior Member, who is not back until the 9th.

Last week, we learned that Senior Member has indicated to The Boss that if she doesn't get the time off that she wants when she wants it, she will quit. To which I say, "Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out." Senior Member has been with the company for 14 years, and is looking at retirement in the next five or six years anyway. And while she has become something of an institution, I have consistently stated in my performance reviews that I would be willing to step into her position when that time comes. (That was before the last debacle with the Lazy Douchebag). I understand that the Powers That Be don't want Senior Member to bugger off and leave them in a tight spot, but c'mon; no-one is indispensible. I am frankly appalled that this company would allow any of their staff members to hold them hostage, especially when they have someone with half a brain who is willing and able to fill the position for less money than they are currently paying Senior Member.

Senior Member still has five weeks of vacation owed to her, and we know for certain that she is going on a cruise in the first two weeks of August, which is traditionally when my co-worker, S., visits her sister in B.C. But Senior Member didn't consult or even check with S. when she booked her holidays, so we are Not Happy Campers.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

I Snapped!

I lost my shit at work today.

I actually got so frustrated that I went into another room and started rehearsing my "I-Can't-Do-This-Shit-Today-So-I'm-Going-Home" speech. I even imagined my Boss's response and rehearsed my rebuttal. It was gonna be a tough sell, after two weeks away. So, eventually, I sucked it up and went back to the grind.

But I still snapped. Twice.

Part of the frustration is that we are still not caught up on all the work that is backlogged from when the senior member of our department went away for four weeks, the same four weeks that resulted in us dealing with Lazy Douchebag. And that same senior member has requested--and received--another two weeks off starting on Thursday. Neither my co-worker nor I are best pleased.

It's not that we begrudge her the time, as she's earned it. It's the timing we mind. Not only are we still backlogged, especially in filling, but we've been getting more mail than usual and The Powers That Be have altered how we do it, so it takes twice as long to process. Also, it's coming up on tax season and we have to get several thousand T4s and T4A slips into the mail before the end of February. And that's in addition to all of our regular tasks.

Today was especially challenging because the machine we use to stuff the T4s into envelopes is notoriously sensitive and was being an asshole. I couldn't stuff more than ten envelopes at a time before it jammed up, and when it jams, that's three envelopes I have to do by hand. Add to that the fact that the sealer wasn't working properly and I was starting to really resent being in that room doing that stupid work.

I blew a hype just to vent some steam at my co-worker, who doesn't handle conflict well. She understood that I wasn't displeased with her, but still isn't comfortable around large displays of negative emotion. J. took me downstairs for lunch, which helped, but only temporarily, because the moment I entered the office, the senior member (the one who is leaving the day after tomorrow) told me that I needed to go through every single envelope that I had stuffed that morning and pick out all the ones that weren't sufficiently sealed.

That's when I went off the second time.

"I know you want to swear," said the senior member.

"I want to go home!" I informed her. "This is crap! Why do we have the machine if it doesn't do the work we need it to do? (It's always being serviced, out of commision, etc). It doesn't save us work, it makes work..." I indicated the large pile of envelopes that needed sealing. "Just like this!"

It had taken me hours, literally hours, to do what should have been a quick and easy job of 45 - 60 minutes, and I couldn't get to any of my other tasks for the day until the T4s were done because the senior member wanted to post them before she left at 3:00. And then to come back, thinking I was all finally all finished, to learn that I had to pick through every single one?

Yes, I was very displeased and needed to leave the room to calm down.

I'm hoping that other job gets posted soon, because I'm not going to last much longer where I am.