Thursday, February 25, 2010

My last day...

and it's odd, I feel kind of...sad. I guess that is to be expected when any era of your life ends. I've been at this job longer than I've ever been at any job, and I must admit that it has gotten real cozy. So cozy in fact that if I didn't shake myself and move on, I probably would have fallen into some kind of boredom induced coma.

The people that I work with are super and nice and have just been so very lovely for the whole time I've been here, but the work itself? I really need to do something that is not only more challenging, but something that I'm a little more passionate about.

I will not miss the mailman though. No person in the history of my entire life has ever annoyed me as much as that guy. He is seriously ridiculous, and I cannot handle him. Everytime I see him, I am left with a feeling of rage that doesn't go away for about 15 minutes. Even just writing about him makes me agitated. annnnd breathe.

So as much as this is needed, a little bit of fear is creeping in, because what if I fail miserably? I'm totally happy about this decision, but the looming future is a little stressful is all. That being said...I'm totally excited!!!

So I'm off to see my dog buds soon, then I'm going skiing tomorrow, then I'm leaving for Florida on Monday night. Florida will basically be a working vacation, and honestly, work will probably be necessary to fill the time. Because I'm not entirely sure what there is to do in Florida beside sit on the beach for extended periods of time. Which is fine...I'll just be doing that like a total nerd with my laptop. As long as there is no snow, I will be happy as can be.

Annnd, I will be able to start actually posting more regularly.'s a comin.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Crazy Dog Lady Strikes Again...

Hey, if anybody is interested in reading another article I wrote on Canine Profiling, specifically the issue that happened in Brampton with those two dogs being taken away, you can check it out here.

haha, I never get tired of talking about it! And honestly, it's because people still respond in such a ridiculous manner. In one discussion, a guy compared pitbulls to raccoons and was like, "if you think pitbulls can be trained not to be aggressive, let's see you train a raccoon!". And I was like, a) what the hell do raccoons have to do with anything? b) that doesn't even make sense, why would I ever want to train a raccoon, they are creepy and c) you're an idiot.

I think in a lot of cases I'm just preaching to the choir, but I always hope there is that one person out there reading it who just thinks, "huh, I never thought of it like that".

You just never know I suppose.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The things you find the basement...

Okay, so I've mentioned before that I'm selling a whole bunch of random stuff in order to make some money for a travel writing course. And I'm pretty much there...but I'm totally going to keep selling stuff as long as I can find it because it's hilarious, and the people that have been coming to buy my stuff are interesting, and there is nothing I like better than interesting people.

Anyway, I was in the basement and I came across a giant tote that I hadn't looked through yet. In addition to Beanie Babies, Berenstein Bear books, and a Rosie O'Donnell barbie doll, it also included this:

My Michelle Tanner doll. That talks. Creeped out yet? Do you like the dent in her forehead? Unfortunately, she doesn't speak anymore. I even changed the battery and was going to take a video of her speaking because it used to be so hilarious and robotic, but no such luck.

Phrases that I remember her saying include:
"Don't call me squirt!"
"My name is Michelle"
"No way Jose"
"You got it duuude"

I have no idea why I kept this doll. And now I have no idea what to do with it. I don't really want it, but I also don't really want to throw it out. I'm pretty sure if I put her in the garbage can she will come to life at night and stab me in my sleep.

"My name is Michelle, bitch!!"

Soo yeah, now she's just sitting on the couch staring at me.

Ummm anybody want a disturbing and mute doll?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Two more weeks, two more weeks...

Two more weeks of this, two more weeks. I cannot wait to be outta here.

I just took a walk to go grab something from the storage area and it is snowing like mad, but wet snow that blows diagonally, so it ends up directly in your face. I decided to stop and get a coffee on my way and a cute boy smiled at me and held the door at the store and it was pretty much the highlight of my day so far. Anyways...I eventually get back to the office and go to the washroom, and heidi ho, my makeup is running all over my face and I looked like I had been punched in both eyes, and I most certainly looked that way when I was in the coffee shop. FML. Anyone know of a good waterproof mascara? Clearly I need to stop cheaping out and buying the $5 stuff.

This weekend was so much fun.

We went to see the movie Valentine's Day and it was at this old school theatre that I loved. The people selling tickets were in actual booths and there was a "refreshment centre". And a preview for Sex and the City 2 came on before the movie...I cannot even wait. They appear to be in Egypt or something which seems odd, but I don't even care because I just miss that show. Valentine's Day was...meh. Way too many characters and different story lines for my liking. Plus, I had to pee so badly for the last half hour that I could not even concentrate. In retrospect, I probably should have just went to the washroom, but I have a thing about not missing any parts of movies. I hate being confused then having to ask people what I missed. I really don't want to be that person.

The drive home through the snowy steep mountains was hella scary, but I white knuckled my way through it. The roads are pitch black, and I couldn't turn on my brights because it just reflected the snow, so I couldn't see any potential deer eyes, and oh my god it was scary.

I found this game at Target called Quelf. I gotta say, it is the most hilarious board game I have ever played and was quite possibly the best $25 I have ever spent. It is seriously the most random thing in the world. And it is the best game ever to play when you are drunk. You basically pick up a card and have to do whatever it says or take the penalty. It's a little bit Girl Talk and a little bit Dweebs, Geeks and Weirdos (ummm was anyone else obsessed with that game??) We sang drunk renditions of kumbaya, take me out to the ball game and for one turn I had to make a halloween mask out of household materials and wear it for the entire game. And the cards always say, "you have to do this without laughing", which really, is kind of impossible. Stacey picked up a card at one point that said something like, "pretend you are a singing, rhyming prison guard, who has no lips, has his knees stuck together, and who is covered in maple syrup and feathers. You must make up a rhyming song about how you got that way". I almost peed my pants. Oh man.

Tubing was good times, and nobody broke themselves. It was flipping cold though. Apparently you are supposed to wear goggles while tubing? Who knew??

One night at around midnight, I got a sudden urge to go play in the snow, and two of my friends were like, 'ummm no", but luckily Sarah came out with me. We did some snow angels, and then made a pretty sweet snow carving. Well, as sweet as it can get when you've drank several bottles of rye/vodka.

All in all a great weekend! It made having to come back here even harder, but I just need to keep repeating-two more weeks, two more weeks.

Tonight, I'm off to the for a reading. Chuck Thompson, whom I have a huge crush on, and who is one of my favourite travel writers ever, will be reading along with some other authors. Here's hoping I can come up with a coherent sentence to say to him! And also that it stops snowing so we don't need to drive through a blizzard to get there!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ahhh Weekend Away

I don't know if it has come through in my blogs, but I"m a leeetle stressed at the moment. Stressed in a good way if that makes any sense at all.

I'm going away with the girls this weekend up to Ellicottville, New York. It's only like two hours away, but it feels like a million miles and I can't wait.

We go every year, and it essentially involves hanging out in our pajamas, a whole lot of drinking and ridiculous drinking games, watching random 80s movies such as The Karate Kid and that's about it. Actually, last year we tried snowboarding, which let me tell you, was interesting. And by interesting, I mean incredibly painful.

There is also a place to go tubing which is just the about the most fun thing ever. You get towed up the hill on a pulley, and then race your friends down a huge ice hill. The potential for injury is high, but the potential for awesomeness is even higher.

ALSO, also, right next to where we stay there is a pub. The grossest, most rednecky pub you can imagine. Like, there is no way in hell you would ever use the washroom there or god forbid eat anything from the kitchen. Even the mixed drinks are questionable. The pub parking lot is usually full of trucks with gun racks. There is a huge sign out front that says "Welcome Hunters".

We stick out like sore thumbs, despite the fact that we in no way look spectacular.

But you know what? The people are nice. Except that one time we almost got our asses kicked by a skanky girl and her huge boyfriend. Apparently we "looked" at her boyfriend wrong, and one of my friends almost got a high kick to the face. Seriously, the girls boot was literally an inch away. After that happened we had some other lady create a distraction by waving her arms all wildly and we hightailed it outta there. I only win hypothetical fights. I can jab, jab, upper, upper with the best of them, but if someone's actual face was on the recieving end I would likely cry.

K, I so need to see if I can find a picture of the pub now....

Classy right? I can't wait.

Happy Weekend!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ummm how cool is this?

Okay, I just randomly heard someone in the office mention the piano stairs, then I had to google it. And it is so cool!

Stuff like this makes me almost as happy as flash mobs.

I really, really like the idea of people engaging with their environment. And I really want to walk on that piano staircase.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

So...I've been having a week. It's basically been a ball of stress.

I gave my notice at my job the other day. I will no longer be employed here as of the end of February. I cannot do it anymore, I just, I can't.

Even the thought of staying until the end of February is enough to get me hyperventilating.

I don't even know how to explain this without sounding like a complete knob.

All I do all damn day is sit at the computer pretending to look busy. I would venture to say that about 1 hour or less of my work day is spent doing actual work. I can almost feel my brain melting. The thought of coming back here day after day after day makes me want to drive far, far away and never come back. It sucks my will to live. I'm not at all trying to be dramatic, that's just exactly what it feels like. I used to think it was the perfect arrangement because I could just write all day. Except that doesn't happen. I start to write and then someone comes up behind me, I have to minimize the screen, then lose my train of though. This happens like 50times a day due to the fact that my desk faces the entire office. It is just not a conducive situation to writing. As a result of this, I just zone out for 8 hours, then go home, then I hate myself because I am being such an unproductive member of society. And so the cycle goes. This job is going nowhere, and it is going there quickly. The last couple weeks, I can't even go home and write after work because the thought of sitting at the computer for any more time makes me want to go insane. As you would imagine, it's hard to try and be a writer when you spend minimal time writing.

Anyways. So yeah. I hate my job, but now I've quit, and the end of February can't come fast enough. I"m sure many people probably think this is a dumb decision, and maybe it is. But I'm okay with that. I've gone over this and over this in my head, and I'm done. I need to start working on some goals, and nothing is getting accomplished sitting here day after day wishing I was some place else.

So I've been blog absent because my brain is drained.

The highlight of my night last night was watching a documentary on TLC about Conjoined Twins: After the Separation. As interesting as it was, it clearly indicates that I need to get a life. Shake things up.

I'm going away with the girls this weekend, and I cannot even wait. I need to be out of this city, and with my friends and laugh and drink and crawl my way out of this ennui.


Oh, and for anybody who was wondering, those two dogs who were due to be euthanized on Feb 5th are still alive at the moment. The case has blown up, and has now gone to court. It's still not certain if the families are going to get their dogs back. Stupid Ontario government.

So! I am extremely excited about new beginnings at the end of February. I am SO excited to move on and just go for it. I'm sure the rest of this month will fly by (minus the actual daylight hours that just drag by. I can actually hear the minutes ticking one by one). Ahhhh.

Back to regular posting soon when I actually have something interesting to write about!! :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Travel Tuesday-Peace, Love and Paris

"Jim. Jim. Jim. We need to go see Jim now!!" It was becoming a chant, and the rest of us were starting to get a little annoyed. Jess would not give it a rest.

Six of us. Me, Jess, Laura, Lisa, Rob and Asmir. We were leaning against the cool stonework at the bottom of the Arc de Triomphe. It was a boiling hot day in Paris, and the 284 steps to the top of the Arc didn't help with the sweatiness of the situation. Not that the view wasn't worth it; it was.

"Can we go see Jim now?? We've been wandering around Paris all day, seeing nothing but dumb tourist stuff!!” Jess was verging on whiny.

"Okay, okay, we'll go!" I said. Anything to get her to stop talking. I kind of agreed, because as great as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre was, sometimes you just want to get down deep into a city and away from the masses. Okay, that's a lie; I thought the Louvre was boring. We ran through the museum like we were in the Da Vinci Code, and we were still in there too long. And the Mona Lisa? It's cool and all, but it’s not worth getting elbowed repeatedly in the ribs for as crowds of tourists jostle for the perfect photo. You know what? It looks exactly like it does in pictures, and I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the real and a copy. But hey, but I'm not an art connoisseur by any means, so take from that what you will.

"Asmir, you going to come with?" Lisa inquired. We all turned to look at the new friend we had made in front of Notre Dame that very morning.

"Oh. Of course!” He had wandered up to us as we all gathered in front of the giant church to stare, and he had stuck to us like glue ever since.

"Okay, we'll go. But first, I need to fix my pants somehow, they are driving me crazy." Laura gestured down to one leg of her khaki pants which now had a long flap of fabric dragging on the ground. "I have no idea how this even happened".

"Don't worry, I fix", Asmir crouched down and grabbed the hanging fabric in his hand. "Ready? One, two, riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip, oops!" Laura's pants now had a huge tear going from her ankle to just past her knee. We all started cracking up, as Asmir hurried to remedy the situation by tying a haphazard knot so the tear didn't get any bigger.

"Okay then. Thanks!” Laura chirped. Laura was the nicest person on the planet. Always eternally optimistic about anything and everything. "One, two, ooooops" would soon make our way into every conversation we had.

Rob whipped out his guide to the Metro, and we planned our route to our destination: Pere LaChaise in the East end of Paris. Jess was practically jumping up and down by the time we emerged from the Metro station across the street from the cemetery.

We entered from the main gate and didn't bother getting a map. At this point, I think we all thought Jess would be divinely led to Jim's grave. No. The moment you walk into the cemetery, Paris changes. Row upon row of flower covered graves, with row upon row of trees lining the paths, make it a beautiful albeit confusing place to find your way around in. The trees created a shady canopy, blocking us from the summertime heat. It was silent, it was still and it was eerie. We slowed down; heck, even Jess slowed down. We stopped and looked at all the different graves, venturing inside some of the large dark tombs. None of us really knew anything about the cemetery, beyond the fact that it held the body of Jim Morrison, Jess's idol. The cemetery is one of the most popular places to visit in Paris, but as we walked in and out and around the worn paths, we barely saw anyone. It was an environment that forced you to stop and reflect on where you were. We couldn't rush in any direction, because no matter what, we were going to get lost. Better to just wander.

We stumbled upon Jim's grave mostly by accident; we rounded a corner and saw a small group of people in the distance.

Jess let out a happy squeal, yelled, "that's Jim!!!", and took off running, her sandals slapping the ground as she went. The rest of us took our time wandering up to the group, none of us being overly concerned with seeing Jim's resting place. That was Jess's thing. We chatted about what we were going to do afterwards: I was planning on doing some window shopping and people watching, Laura and Asmir were heading to an art museum, and Lisa and Rob were going back to the hotel to rest. We caught up to Jess, who was standing just outside the black iron fence that encased Jim's grave. One group of people were singing, and another group of people were passing around a joint.

"I can't believe we are finally here!" Jess was beyond excited. How great does it feel to be with somebody when they cross something off their life goal list? Pretty damn great.

We all got to chatting with two hippie esque Australian boys. One had long dreads, and the other a long pony tail. They were lounging on the ground by the grave, passing a bottle of red wine back and forth.

"Drink?” one of them nodded at me. I grabbed the bottle and took a swig, passing it to Jess, who also took a big drink. The cheap red wine made its way around the circle, ending with Lisa who gave it back to the dreadlocked Australian. We all turned to stare in silence at the grave of the rocker. Jess slipped off a ring she had been wearing for the entire trip, and threw it over the fence. It landed on Jim's grave with a clink.

"I've been waiting to do that for so long!".

We were all silent for a couple moments longer, linked by wine, pot smoke, peace, love and rock and roll.

Soon after, we said our goodbyes to our Australian friends and made our way back through the winding lanes of the cemetery.

"Okay," Rob said as we walked, "that was cool!"

"I told you!” Jess replied, grinning. "This was way better than any dumb church or museum!!"

And she was right, it totally was.

We found the exit, and stepped out onto the sun scorched pavement, horns blaring, people jostling. With one glance back into the cemetery, we exchanged “byes” and “see ya laters”, then all went our separate ways.

This is one of my favourite days of travelling ever. I almost can't describe how it makes me feel without getting ridiculously sappy, but in that moment, I felt really connected to the people I was with, despite how different we all were. That is one of my favourite things about travelling, because in a moment like that the world shrinks a little bit, and makes you question why people just can't get along. There is almost always common ground somewhere, be it a love of red wine, a love of a dead stoner rocker, or just the knowledge that the moment you are in is special, and will never, ever happen to you again. I tried to make this story as non cheesy as I could, but seen as I feel cheesy and nostalgic about the whole day, it's hard. But, I just, I loved that day and I loved those people, and even though I'm 99% sure I'll never see any of them again, I still feel connected because we were all there living in that moment.
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