Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Protect Marriage

I Protect Marriage

California is on the cusp of doing something really, really remarkable. Oh wait, it has already done something truly remarkable – it’s letting the gays get married. Awesome possum. A civil marriage can be done in as little as five minutes with an officiate and a few witnesses so that couples who have been together for 15, 20, 30 years can just “get it over with” because well, they’re approaching the age where their partner may need them to be their power of attorney and make difficult decisions for them if they are not in the right mind to do so. Think about that for a second, loving someone so much you’ll let them decide whether or not you should be kept on life support or if a radical new procedure should be tried on you in the hopes to save your life. Straight people get this right the second they are married (legally), gay people have to beg, plead, hope their partner’s family is accepting of them, and pray they are not in an anti-gay state or city so that a hospital will have some compassion on them and allow them to see their dying partner in the last minutes of their life. This is not fair.

So I thought I was done my ranting and raving about how it’s completely idiotic to deny marriage to two people because they are the same gender after my beautiful country said “yeah Darek, you’re right, my bad” and allowed me to get hitched. But with our own federal election coming up, talks that the conservative government may bring back the same-sex marriage debate (again!) and fears that we may get a majority conservative government – it’s time, once again to slap idiots in the face via my blog and show them they are wrong for thinking the way they do – and awaaaaaaay we go! is the latest initiative by the religious-right pretending to simply be conservative minded people to get young people to vote yes on Prop 8 – the legislation that would ban same-sex marriage in California. The site is completely full of shit but I found great joy in their “decide for yourself” quiz which asks eight questions about whether or not gays should be allowed to get married. If your answer agrees with the nonsense they spew, you get a pop up of a young person telling you “good for you” and a scary “fact” to hit the point home that gays will eat your babies and dance in the river of blood that will flood your suburban streets when you allow a gardener and an interior designer the right to file a tax return together. If your answer has common sense then you are berated and asked stupid questions that don’t really relate to the issue at hand.

Here are the questions:

1. Should two people who love each other have the right to get married?

If you answer yes, ugly dude and girl with weird nose comes and asks if they have the right to marry their mothers or sisters or fathers because they love them. As soap operas have shown us for decades, there is a difference between being in love with someone and loving someone. Also gay-marriage isn’t about polygamy, incest, pedophilia, bestiality, necrophilia, it’s about gay-marriage, allowing two consenting adults to conduct their lives as they wish in a legal manner.
The funny thing is, if you answer no, you essentially get the same response from ugly dude and girl with weird nose, but with a different word here and there. Instead of “I love my mom, but does that mean I can marry her if I wish?” you get “Right. I love my mom, but that doesn’t mean I can marry her if I wish”
It’s also the sneaky tactic of the questioning – the question itself doesn’t address the issue at hand – can any two people get married if they wish? Of course not, what if one is dead and the other a child? What if they both have the same parents? These situations (which have nothing to do with homosexuality and gay rights) are illegal and wrong. Being gay and wanting the country you pay taxes to, to recognize that, isn’t wrong.

2. Is it fair that judges can overturn the majority vote of the people?

Short hand answers – if you say no, you can get a thumbs up from brown dude, if you say yes, he asks “what’s the point of voting then?”
But this question holds A LOT more weight then some would think. There is loads of difference between legal and unjust. Something that is “legal” (voted in by the majority in a democratic society) can still be unjust. Case in point, interracial marriages – people voted that legislation into law but they are still wrong for doing so; not misguided, not conservative, not racist (well ok, yes they were/are racist) they are wrong to have done that. Issues that are unjust will always be unjust regardless of their legality. An unjust issue is unjust because of its nature; a legal (or illegal) issue is legal (or illegal) because of the will of the people. People are flawed by design, by upbringing, by chance, and by many more factors.
The issue of gay-marriage is an issue of justice, not law. It’s is wholly unjust to tell a couple of adults they do not have the same rights as another couple of adults because the majority will back them up on the issue (especially when back-up is provided by hateful, religious rhetoric). Again for those set up to start about incest and pedophilia and bestiality, refer to question 1.

3. Do you think it’s fair to teach a first grader the alternative lifestyle?

Short answer – if you say yes, sorrowful Chinese lady comes with sorrowful Chinese voice and warns about the dangers of telling first graders there are gays amongst us; if you answer no, she tells you you’re right and then uses another scare-fact-tactic telling you of the horrors that some first graders ARE told that there are gays among us.
What sorrowful Chinese lady doesn’t realize (well actually I’m sure she does, she’s a sneaky cog in their religious-right’s fear-tactic machine) is that a first grader’s education about homosexuality will not involve an in-depth discussion including dental dam regarding my lesbian sisters or douching regarding my gay brothers. It will involve one or two story books about a couple of male penguins rescuing an egg and raising it together or about a King that prefers princes to princesses followed by a 5 minute talk by the teacher that “while most men like women and women like men, there are some men who like men and some women who like women – and there’s nothing wrong with that”.
But again it’s the fear and banking on that young people are stupid that this website is trying to strike it rich with. Prove them wrong young people of Cali, prove them wrong!

4. Do you think its discrimination for a church to refuse to marry a gay couple?

If you answer no, preacher brown man comes up and says “absolutely right, we’re just practicing our religious right to blah blah blah” and if you answer yes he essentially calls you a hypocrite and blah blah blah.
Gay people want LEGAL recognition of marriage. Not religious-recognized marriage. We never have. If a church won’t marry us, we most likely won’t be part of that church or push to get married in that church. It’s entirely different if the church itself brings up the issue because it’s doing so from questions being thrown its way en masse.
I always think of this argument like one of those awful sitcoms sketches where the gay character says he’s not interested in the straight character and then the straight character is kinda offended because he thinks he’s the shit so what’s wrong with him that a gay dude doesn’t wanna perform a Spanish lawnmower on him? Really churches, it’s not you, it’s us, you’re just not our type…*awkward silence*

5. Is it fair for schools to teach the consequences of the heterosexual way of life but not the alternative lifestyle?

I can’t really give you a short hand answer to picking yes or no because I can’t tell what the political-right answer is. But the contradictions present in this question are outstanding. So we shouldn’t be teaching kids about gay people but we should be teaching them about the STD’s gay people can catch? How will kids know what diseases/infections gay people can catch if they don’t know what gay people are?
Anyways slightly attractive guy pops up and informs everyone that men ages 16-25 have the greater risk of contracting HIV (false – also look at his eyes, he’s clearly reading from a cue card) and that 53% of patients that acquired HIV are gay or bisexual men. So in other words 47% of patients that contracted HIV are not gay or bisexual men. Can I then assume it’s pretty much a 50/50 chance of catching HIV regardless of your gender or orientation? What’s the point then?
HIV is primarily a male-disease, specifically men who engage in unsafe sex practices (this does not mean homosexual practices). Men who are on the “downlow” (typically black men who are too ashamed of their orientation, they put up the front of heterosexuality but yearn for dong and cheat on their women with men and contract something), closeted men, stupid gay/bisexual men and men who have been cheated on by their partner and caught something from them.
But why do these men do what they do? Maybe because society is telling them they are different and something is wrong with them and if they don’t change or at least hide who they are, then rights will be taken away from, child custody will be awarded to the state, and their families will shun them? Wouldn’t it then therefore make sense that children (yes first graders) should be educated that there is nothing wrong with being gay and something very wrong with cheating and engaging in unsafe sex practices (the sex talk can be had a later age, obviously)?
It’s the implied correctness of the question that is so goddamn sneaky it makes me sick! The “consequences” of the “alternative” lifestyle are essentially the same as the consequences of the heterosexual lifestyle – the answer to both is education and acceptance and not forcing religious doctrine down the throats of students in the guise of political discussion and/or science.

6. Do you think its “okay” to say that same-sex marriage is wrong?

If you say yes, Asian looking girl pops up really quickly and says “you’re awesome, neither do I; we’re all entitled to our own opinion”. If you say no, you would think that the exact same response would pop up, but instead you get Asian looking girl asking if it was “love” when a GLBT director of an AIDS organization referred to AIDS as a gay disease and that loving someone means to warn them.
I’m not exactly sure why she’s a) talking about love (the question asks if it’s “okay”) and b) warn me against what? I don’t think I have ever had one of my friends say, after I came out to them, “Well Darek, watch out, gays like to stalk along trees and fall on you when you walk underneath, always walk with an umbrella”.
HIV/AIDS is a disease that has afflicted many, many people and is particularly close to the gay community (especially in the states) because the Reagan administration took EIGHT YEARS before finally acknowledging that HIV/AIDS was something to worry about. Just like breast cancer is primarily a woman’s disease, just like prostate cancer is a man’s disease, HIV/AIDS is a gay person’s disease. We associate with the pain it’s caused and the pain caused to us because of certain peoples lack of response to an epidemic.
By the way Asian looking girl, you’re a cunt.

7. Some Prop 8 supporters preach about Jesus and God’s love isn’t it hypocritical to be against two people in love getting married?

If you say yes, Filipina pops up and says, very sorrowfully, “if you’re going to bring Jesus into this…” – OH NO HO’! I didn’t bring Jesus into anything, YOU asked ME. Anyways she continues on to say that Jesus told people to love God, which means to tell people to obey God (the Christian God of course, that silly Vishnu or Allah nonsense doesn’t mean a thing) and by bringing someone into your life, it’s your job (according to Jeebus) to help them obey God. She ends with saying Jesus says marriage was meant for one man and one woman and thats how we can obey God. But the thing is…he never said that. I’m going by the King James version, you know, the first version to be translated into English. Now I think the Bible is full of crap and due to it’s many, many re-translations, you can’t really trust what it says (but it’s cool that it tells people to just chill and love each other and God, I guess) but Jesus, according to the King James version (in the New Testament), never ONCE mentions a word about homosexuality.
He mentions a lot of sexual deviants, perverts, necrophiliacs, incest, bestiality and molesters but never one word about homosexuals. If was the puritans and their forefathers that added the word “homosexual” to this list because they assumed that’s what God meant (and I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt here, I personally think they just added the word in to be hateful cunt rags). I should know I spent weeks in my chapel (before coming out), holding back tears, hoping I wouldn’t find a negative word about homosexuals said by Jesus, when I was in high school and I didn’t. Sorry Christians, I’m going to have to trump your interpretation of the Bible with mine, since my upbringing’s older :p
If you say no, Filipina pops up and equates that since her parents may love her completely, they don’t approve of her completely and same thing with Jesus. But um, that’s a cop-out no? ESPECIALLY when the thing which is being sought for approval is something you were BORN WITH, something Jesus made you born with? Oh wait, Christians don’t believe that, so with that, we’re onto question 8…

8. Do you think the struggle for interracial marriages in the 50’s and 60’s are equal to the struggle of same-sex marriage today?
If you answer no, white-washed black girl, whom I’ll call, oh let’s use, Tiffany, says “great answer”. She’s wearing pink and glasses and her hair is straight, so hey, as a white dude, it’s hip that she agrees me, yaaaaaaaaaay acceptance by the black community!
If you answer yes, Tiffany and other black girl pop up and whine and sulk about how they were born black and other black girl says how she can’t be counseled out of her “blackness” (she’s really black everyone, she has a white tank top on and her hair is in a short ponytail). She also claims that gays go into therapy and achieve “results”. Then Tiffany comes up and says how it’s offensive to compare our identical struggles for acceptance because, well, they aren’t identical and I chose my lifestyle while she didn’t choose that ugly that top…I mean her ethnicity.
So here we go – guess what bitches, our struggles are they same, why? Because your grandfather would have been lynched or had bricks thrown at him or denied the right to sit in cafĂ© (regardless if it were designated for “coloreds” or “whites”) if he loved a white woman. Guess what would happen to gay people, if they wanted to publically express their love, at the time of your grandfathers? And I don’t mean butt-sex in front of kindergarteners or snow balling in front of a church – I mean holding hands while window shopping or a kiss goodbye at the airport.
It is absolutely infuriating when straight conservative religious people tell me and thousands upon thousands of other gay people that I chose my orientation. I usually shoot back with “then give me the date you chose your heterosexual orientation” and the thing is, they can’t. Because they never chose this. Ergo, they were born that way, ergo I was born this way, ergo your faith is telling you a lie (You’re not born a gay, you’re born again) ergo you have to make the decision to rethink your faith. That’s the underlying issue, a cowardice in holding to an incorrect faith because of what it’ll mean or embracing the fact that hey "John likes Larry and Christina likes Mary and George likes Cheryl" and everyone of those combinations plus many more are fine and I don’t really need to stress about this issue because well my country is going bankrupt fighting an illegal war.

So American Californian youth, sit back and look, really, really look at the state of the world, at Massachusetts, at Vermont, at Canada, at the Netherlands, at Spain and see if their societies have been destroyed or if up is down or if God has destroyed them and think, really think, that perhaps what two consenting adults do in the privacy of their own homes is their business and none of yours and how utterly offensive it is for them to now have to ask (read: beg) you to let them go about their lives. Be part of a history that makes positive change in the society you will only be a part of for 80 years; it’s the only way to ensure your immortality.

Oh. My. Gawd...

So I can't believe I was right!
Thanks Clay Aiken now all we have to do is wait for Ricky Martin to come around and I'm 2 for 2!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I really loathe bad drivers. And this is by no way an attack at new drivers. Worlds of difference between bad drivers and new drivers. New drivers are essentially not-the-best drivers by default; since you haven’t driven that much before you can’t possibly be expected to be the best behind the wheel the second you get your license (or as my mother would call it li-sness). Hence you drive to become a better driver; there’s an unwritten rule that you get out of the way of people on the road that are new drivers (driving with an instructor) because you’ve been there and you remember how nervous you were behind the wheel. We’ve all been new drivers at one point in our lives, we all have to learn to become adjusted to the ways of the road, the unwritten rules that drivers go by, and well practice really does make perfect – the more a new driver drives, the better that driver becomes at driving.
But I’m not talking about these brave warriors that are out to mold themselves in the ways of the road. I’m talking about bad drivers. Drivers that do not know how to drive and cannot place themselves in other driver’s shoes. This is key to learning how to drive; before one makes the judgment call to honk his/her horn or yell at someone, you have to see if that other driver is in a predicament. Oddly enough this happens really quickly because an experienced driver can scan the scene and see the other events that are occurring causing someone to not follow the laws and rules of the road.
Take for instance what happened to me this morning on my way to work, as illustrated below (click to enlarge image):

Now I was in the left turn lane (which I forgot to draw in) waiting to turn left to get to work. The man who I’ve called driver that made a mistake tried to make it past the intersection (green light, he had the right of way to make it through) and he had to have guessed incorrectly as to how much space he or the car in front of him had to pass the intersection safely and ended up in the middle of the intersection (big no-no, automatic fail on a driving exam). Fine, this happens all the time and DTMAM saw I was waiting for him to get out of my way and inched up as much as he could to give me as much space as I needed to try and make my left turn. Typically what happens at this intersection is that the oncoming traffic stops at the green lights (because they can’t safely pass the intersection due to the traffic being stopped at the red light of the oncoming intersection, which is what you’re suppose to do – in other words, if you’ve found yourself stopped in the middle of an intersection, you’re in the wrong).

Now I still can’t make my left turn because the right lane of oncoming traffic still has room to move and safely pass this congested intersection and are whipping down the road at around 70 km/h. So I’m stuck with DTMAM in the middle of the intersection, me wanting to make my left turn and cars still whipping by the next lane over.

Suddenly I hear a honk. I thought it was an accident but then I hear it again. It’s the person I’ve designated as idiot. Now even though Idiot may not be able to see everything that is going on, she continues to honk and then gives me “ugly-driver-what-are-you-doing-slash-whats-wrong-with-you?” face. I ignore idiot with her ugly face and wait until I can safely make the turn. I do so and when I check my rearview mirror as I’ve made the turn I see that Idiot Ugly Face had to slam on her stupid brakes to avoid getting hit by oncoming cars and got honked at herself. And one of those long HoooOOOOOOOOONK's.

This put a smile on my face and hopefully IUF learned her lesson. Making mistakes while driving is so common is doesn’t even have to be said but sometimes those mistakes result in horrible accidents (I saw three on my way to work this morning), so relax when driving, give the person in front of you the benefit of the doubt, you might learn something* and try not to stress out so much hockey-moms, your latte frappucinos that you must have after you drop off your unloved children at school will still be there a few minutes later.

*I’m well aware I sound pretentious and I fully admit to making mistakes whilst driving and I can even admit that maybe IUF was a new driver but new drivers are reluctant to honk their horns as most are still a little nervous to be on the road on their own, hence, IUF was a dumb-dumb.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Horrible Highways

I hate driving on Highway 401. I hate it, hate it, hate it a thousand fold. To me it was always the different highway, the highway I avoided at all costs and am always thankful for any chance I get to not drive on it. I never really had a great reasoning behind it besides "It's just busier" until Jamie in all his great driving wisdom said "All highways have a personality and Highway 401's is the worst of the bunch" and he was absolutely right!
Highway 401 is the "Me first" highway. It's not so much "Me first and then we worry about you" it's just "Me first". Someone is entering on an on-ramp and they always speed up, stayin the on-ramp lane until the last second and merge in to pass as many cars as possible. No one lets you in, no one gives you extra space to make your lane change, if you wait that one second too long to do something on the road, it's too late - it's just a horrible experience each and everytime I go on. I remember once I offered to drive to Whirley Ball and I told Bren and Jamie that someone needs to be in the passenger seat to tell me EXACTLY which way to go and how to do it because otherwise I will freak. They didn't believe me until they heard me having a mini-panic attack on the way back home because it was snowing and none of the cars seemed to care! The car was filled with me breathing very heavily out of my nose because I had to keep a clear head to navigate through this murder maze of death that is Canada's Busiest Highway.

Highway 427 - still a "Me first" highway and horribly paved and full of mean Etobicoke bitches and assholes that think they are Toronto drivers and since they are not, they have to overcompensate and be even bigger assholes! But if you out-asshole them in your driving abilities, they chicken out and just honk. Good thing it will be repaved in a few years because it's not so bad.

Gardiner Expressway/Don Valley Parkway - another "Me first" highway but to a lesser degree. I think it's the lack of the Express Lanes that the 401 has but still full of Toronto drivers. The only good thing is that it's also full of suburbanites and we're generally a nicer bunch of drivers.

QEW - A "nice" highway because it's usually jammed with traffic and full of suburbanite drivers. It's only downfall is that this highway isn't very straight, it's curves are HUGE and when driving you always feel it and it is full of trucks which can be pretty terrifying.

Highway 400/403/404/410 - the lesser highways and therefore the very easiest to drive on. Three lanes in either direction, slow, normal and fast and plenty of time to make any changes you want and just nice and relaxing to drive on. Almost fun even!

The moral of this story? Suburbanites rock because we're polite - Urbanites can suck an egg and die for their rudeness and scaring me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Oh Canadiana!

Look what I found! Ah sweet nostalgia!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Back Off! Get Your Own Sandwich!

So I’m sitting here, printing off a bunch of reports for work that are taking an enormous amount of time (color copies) and one of the pages is a picture of this:

The report that I’m printing relates to a project that is a proposal and study determining if an extension of Hwy 407 to the Municipality of Clarington (east of Oshawa) is feasible. It’s quite an undertaking as the project is about 60km of highway and when built there will now be two connections to Hwy 35/115 which aide people commuting to Peterborough, Cottage Country as well as the many cities in between Toronto and Clarington.

As a preparatory course of action, the Ministry of Transportation is going to start expropriating peoples land left, right, and centre in preparation for the future construction. Meaning the guvment is buying people out of their land not at unfair prices but at appraised prices in which the land’s use is determined; land in which houses can be build on will get you the highest value where as land bought just so a road can be built through it will get you market value. Most people are eager to get rid of their land seeing as a highway will be going through it or near enough that it will become a nuisance to live there but some are holding on to their land with every fiber of their being.

The problem with holding onto land bought in Canada is that it’s not really your land. You may have purchased the lot, started a business that thrived and passed it down the generations but all land purchases in Canada come with a “buyer beware” clause – the guvment has every right to take your land because it is there land. You pay taxes to the government so that they can have the monies they need to run the country and it’s encompassing provinces smoothly and efficiently (say we’re living in a dream world where this always happens for arguments sake).

So if a highway needs to be built to take on the build-up of cars and transports on the road (that need is determined through months of studies and the executions of many, many models that calculate the expected build up of populations), you needs to leave! If a hospital is sorely needed and needs to be placed in the centre of a budding Municipality, you needs to leave.

I think my biggest beef with people that tell the guvment to back off is that most of these people are white people. Truly Canadian of course (I’ve never bought that excuse that we are ALL immigrants, children of immigrants are usually acclimated to the country they are raised in not in the household they are raised in) but there’s something somewhat ironic about white people telling the guvment to back off their land when not 200 years ago white people were telling the earliest habitants of that land – “you needs to leave!”

Monday, September 08, 2008

Ask Me!

Anyone that knows me will tell you I have an unhealthy obesession with advice columnists - whether they are your Dear Abby's of the world or your kinky Dan Savage's - I can't get enough of them. They have the perfect job, if you compile a history of giving grade-A advice you really can't go wrong.

Dear Abby has answered every type of question there is relating to sex-advice (well mild forms) to etiquette to just queries people have about everyday situations. Dan Savage takes the wilder forum and answers questions regarding if it's okay to drink pee or whether or not a beastiphiliac should go into therapy or just move to a very small town with a house that has a big backyard and really tall fences.

I usually agree most of the time with both of these fine, fine people in the advice they give to the thousands of people that write them because I think most problems fall under the mind your own fucking business umbrella except in situations involving family and very close friends. And even then, these two remarkable people know what's appropiate and what's not when trying to discuss sensitive topics involving the family.
Recently Mr. Savage gave some advice to a young a woman in her 20's catching her uncle at a bar with a woman who was not her aunt and hearing her uncle give some lame excuse as to why he was out with another woman. The 20 something year old asked Dan "Do I tell someone? What should I do?" and Mr. Savage gave the very generic answer of "Mind your own fucking business" which I completely disagree with.

But the thing is, I think I am in the minority of people who think this way - every advice columnist I've read that comes across this problem talks about people minding their own business if this situation arises and that sooner or later the truth will come out. But why wait? If I saw my uncle cheating on my aunt, I think it would take all of 5 seconds before I was on the phone with my cousin telling her how her father is a cheating sack of shit.

The reasoning behind most advice columnists is that a) the aunt may know already b) she may not believe you causing a rift in the family c) the uncle may be innocent.

I see problems with any of those reasonings; a) if she does, no harm no foul, she may want you to keep it under wraps, they may have an open relationship they don't want the family to know about, they could be seperating b) that's her problem but at least you've informed her of what's going on, she can do what she wants with that information and c) if he's innocent, he's innocent but in the end he knows he has a niece who will look out for the well being of her family.

The other big problem I have with this is the risk to the aunt's health this causes - she could be at risk of a slew of STD's and scarred for the rest of her life if she knew her family was keeping this from her.
Most advice columnists also follow a simple rule "if that were me, I would most certainly like to know/hear about it/be told" (regarding most situations) and in a situation like the cheating scenario I most definately would want to be told if my partner/husband/boyfriend was cheating on me. In fact I think I would be more hurt by the scenario if I knew my friends/family knew and didn't tell me, putting me at risk at all of the above.
I don't know if I would make a good advice columnist, I know I have a big yap but I like to think I also have a big heart that likes to help those in dire need of common sense or just a shoulder to cry on. So let's hear it, did I give some good advice here or should I stick to what I know, paper folding and creating alignments? I am hereby opening my blog to queries and questions (submit anonymously) for some kick ass advice that I hope helps someone out there :)

Movie Night! Yay!

Fun times!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Boys Will Be...Girls?

I heart my friends very much - especially those bunny-hug wearing Saskatchewanians that are MASTERS of Photoshop

Stop and stare everyone!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Another Thing I Like

Ok, so I know I said goodbye to Big Bacon Classic but I had a slip today - luckily it wasn't BBC, if I have just a taste of that tasty burger all is lost, instead I had Harvey's. But you see I had to do it. My mom called and asked me to pick something up after work - I was going to pick up pho but then all those warnings about Listeriosis got me paranoid and pho places are usually shotty (not that I mind eating from shotty places, I did go to U of T, we'd have eaten anything so long as it were free or cheap) but my mom is 56 and they say listeria usually harms the elderly and I'm not saying she's old but you know...

Anyways, the point is, I'm a hero because I saved my mom from potential harm. So I went to Harvey's , ordered two hamburgers (NO CHEESE!) and got sugar-free drinks; the only real harm in my meal was from the onion rings but considering what a hero I am, I figure I deserve it. Here's where another thing I like comes into play:

Whilst at Harvey's, I was served by the nicest cashier EVER! I don't mean super-duper bubbly or tried to make small talk with me or anything like that - I arrived, he said "Hey man, what can I get you?" I told him my order, a snafu with the Interac machine occurred, he apologized, told me to get my drinks and he'll prepare the food while the system reboots. He started making the food even though I didn't pay for it! This blew my mind because I was so put off cashiers from the Timmy's story.

Ahh, the Timmy's story. So I was with the then-bf at a movie theatre and we got something at the Timmy's there, our total came to $2.90 - we had $2.89 (!) and a $20 bill. We asked the cashier if she would mind taking the $2.89 so we wouldn't have to break the $20 resulting in needless change. Yes I know, the tills must match up at the end of the night/week whenever they are checked but I had enough faith in humanity that someone, somewhere, would throw in a measely penny just so I could keep my wallet from hitting George Castanza proportions for the rest of the night. Her response was "oh but the total is $2.90". So I handed the $20 bill and took all my craptastic change and grumbled away. I know, it's not the most horrific story and my European side is screaming (PAY YOUR BILL IN FULL!!) and my Canadian side is saying (IT WAS ONLY ONE PENNY!) so I grasp the conflict but as a man, nothing sucks more than a huge wallet. Side note: that's pretty much the only thing that sucks being a man, suck it women!

Another "makes you go hmmmmmm" story about cashiers I remember was at the Pita Pit on College in front of school. At this particular establishment, the cook and cashier had a system - when the order was placed, the cook would begin, almost immediately preparing the food to be cooked, so say you order a Chicken Souvlaki Pita, the cook would hear this and taken out the pre-cooked chicken. Here's the weird part, he would put the meat on his spatula, hold it above the searing hot grill and wait until you paid in full for the meal. He'd literally stand there, staring at the cashier until the cashier would turn around and nood and then the cook would go at it with super-human speed. I understand that students in university are dumb-dumbs (pretty much anyone younger than me is considered a dumb-dumb) and I'm sure they've must've had the problem of a student ordering something and not being able to pay for it while the food already started getting ready but why not just wait until the transaction is over before cooking? How much time could you possibly save? 1 minute?

Needless to say when I saw this fine young man (he was probably 21) was awesome and not just for preparing my burger, topping it off the way I like it, and letting me fill up my drinks all before paying he was also incredibly polite! There was an elderly gentleman who ordered before me and stood by waiting for his burgers while I went to go fill up my drink cups. When his burgers were cooked, the awesome cashier referred to him as "Sir" - "Alrite Sir, sorry about the wait, what would you like on the burgers?" followed by (after he was done topping off the burger) "Would you like me to throw some ketchup in the bag for you Sir?"

Think about it, how often do you use the words Sir or Ma'am when talking to someone elderly?

So awesome Harvey's cashier located at the Home Depot on Mavis Road - this is for you, you're awesome, polite, and professional. It shows you take pride in your work and give your Mom & Dad a hug for me because they did one hell of a job!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A Thing I Like

I was really negative in my last post, so to counter-balance all that negativeness I put out in the world (which was totally deserved, fucking james blunt, nelly furtado's new voice, PETA, cell phone companies, celebrity names and sarah palin) here's a little something to make the world smile:

(Click on the image to enlarge it)

Things I Hate

I know, I know. “I’m going to stop complaining” it’s something I’ve said and something I like to think I’m working on. But I need to vent a little, maybe it’s the complete and utter stupidity occurring down south or maybe it’s because I was inside all day yesterday and not creaming my pants at the new 90210 – some of those guys those, Jesus, I hope they are legal age, really, really hope they are legal – or maybe I can’t change who I am. But here is a list of things I kinda hate:

Any song sung by James Blunt. All my friends know that all it takes to irk me is to sing “You’re beautiful! You’re beautiful, it’s true” in that painful, annoying and high squeaky voice of his. Does anyone like him? Anyone? I know he’s not “in” right now or making headlines but I hate him nonetheless.

Following the trend of musicians that aren’t really “in” right now – Nelly Furtado’s new voice from her recent album with Timbaland. It’s so scratchy! It’s not raspy like Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart or Janis Joplin. It sounds untrained, sore and it’s rather painful to listen to. This hurts me to say because she’s Canadian, she’s a single mother (but at a normal age, not like some people) and hasn’t done anything hypocritical in her career. I dunno, drink some chamomile tea with honey or something?

Celebrity kids. I know I complain all the time about how much I don’t like children in general. But I suppose I’m complaining more about how it’s so painful to see a child boss his or her mother around in a store or tell his or her father they want a Double Big Mac at McDonalds, super sized with a Fruitopia and then EAT IT; but celebrity kids, I hate you. Does your celebrity child have a stupid name? I probably hate it.
Does your celebrity child own a credit card and isn’t yet in college or have a job of his or her own? I probably hate it.
Is your celebrity child famous for being famous? I probably hate it.
Does your celebrity child have an MTV show? I probably hate it.
Now I may get some flak that I’m jealous or only wishing I can live that kind of life but the truth of the matter is, I’m really not. Sure it would be fun for a month, say a summer anywhere warm where everything is taken care of, but then I would have to stop worrying about my everyday life and guess what I LIKE to worry about my everyday life. I like knowing I have RRSP’s and that my car needs gas and I’ll have to pay my insurance. Why? Because it builds character, matures me and helps me realize that if I want something I have to work for it – there’s no shame in working hard for your rewards. *Star flies over my head* The More You Know :)

PETA – stop killing 97% of the animals you “rescue” and stop lambasting people/clothing lines/normal celebrities (they do exist!) that don’t give you millions of dollars in promotions or donations. Just stop. No, there isn’t a “then we can be friends” add on to that statement. I don’t want to be your friend. I don’t like bullies, I don’t like stupidity and I certainly don’t like stupid bullies. So, just, stop. Go away. Die. Whatever you need to do - just stop.

Bell Mobility/TELUS Mobility – stop charging me for incoming text messages. Stop trying to force this line of thinking of as the norm that soon all cell phone companies will follow and stop with all the bullshit. I saw an ad recently for TELUS Mobility, promoting some deal and in it was listed “Unlimited incoming text messages” – THAT’S NOT A PROMOTION, THAT’S A NORMAL FACT IN CELL-PHONING! I hope and I pray that the Conservative Government of my great country stops you from doing this; that the Minister of Industry stops this from going ahead because I’m awesome, Canada is awesome, therefore its Cell Phone Providers should be awesome too – guess what Bell/TELUS? You are NOT awesome right now.

Sarah Palin – My God woman, go back to Alaska already! You’re anti-choice (to the max) and yet you spout your garbage about how proud you are of your daugther, choosing to have her baby at 17, meaning you are supporting her choice, meaning you are not anti-choice, meaning you’re a dumb bitch. You’re not only for abstinence-only education but against sex-education, the same important, severely needed education your daughter and soon to be hick son-in-law SORELY needed – again, this makes you a dumb bitch. You denied funding to programs like Passage House which (must get this all out without screaming) help teenage mothers acquire the skills the need to care for their children (ah. Ah. AH. AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!). You’re husband hates America (was a member of the Alaskan Independence Party as of 6 years ago), you believe in creationism and you eat babies. Okay, that last one I made up, but with the amount of hypocritical nonsense coming from this woman’s, her party’s and her supporter’s mouths you never know. In conclusion, you’re a dumb bitch. Please stop being a dumb bitch. Thank you.

Oh, if people want links that support the claims in my rants:

PETA douchebaggery can be found here (ignore the first story that pops up, I think it's a glitch on the site)
Sarah Palin douchebaggery can be found here (here you need to do a bit of scrolling, not every story is about the dumb bitch)
Hope you all have a pleasant morning because I most definitely feel A LOT better :)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

...But Someone's Gotta Do It

One of my favourite books is Christopher Moore's "A Dirty Job" - in it, the protagonist, Charlie Asher, finds himself a grim reaper after a traumatic experience. A week later he gets a book in the mail explaining to him that he is now an agent of death and as such he has certain responsibilities. Responsibilities that if he chooses to ignore will result in unforeseen horrors and blah blah blah which will lead to an awesome climax shrouded with copious amounts of hilarity.

Anyways, as a grim reaper (not the Grim Reaper) he must collect the souls of the dearly departed. The thing is, souls leave the body once their vessels (our sexy, sexy bodies) go kaput and enter into inanimate objects. Figurines, paintings, pens, CD's, always something very near and dear to the person who just passed away (even if that person didn't realize it when they were alive).

He knows the objects contain the person's soul because they glow red. His job isn't just to collect them but to watch over them until the time where the new reincarnation of that person arrives to reclaim their soul (really trippy philosophical part - sometimes the new vessel has already been born after the old vessel meaning the new vessel wanders around without a soul until the old vessel dies); he owns a thrift store, so he just keeps the souls there until the new reincarnation, by chance, wanders in and picks up it's soul. Once that person touches the glowing object (they can't see the glow) their soul returns to their body and the object stops glowing. Now I'm pretty sure that soul can go into different objects after the new body passes away but the object it goes into is just temporary storage until it finds it's new reincarnation.

This awesome book got me thinking - where would my soul go, once I die (is it weird I first thought should I die?)? I never knew the answer while I was reading the book but it just hit me recently when my Dad asked if I would like the old lamp fixture for my ceiling from their room since they were redecorating and going to throw it away. Before thinking I said "No, don't even think about touching my Sesame Street Lamp" followed by my Dad laughing away because I'll be 25 soon and still the ceiling lamp fixture in my room as been the same since I moved into thise house (when I was 3) and will most likely follow me wherever I go.

It's been the constant in this house - everything has changed, relationships with my family, my brothers moving out, the colour of the walls, the wooden flooring, the gardens outside, the driveway, our basement getting remodeled - everything that's in my house now, is different since the first time I took my first step into it 22 years ago - everything except my ceiling lamp.

It's weird but I've just realized it's one of the first things I see when I wake up and one of the last things I see before I go to bed. It has the best of Sesame Street's characters on it - Big Bird and Cookie Monster and they're roller skating whilst holding hands! Hell if I have children this is going to be one of those things I pass down to them and if anyone would want to end a friendship with me all they would have to do is smash it to a brillion pieces. I have no idea where my parents got it and I really don't care - all I know is that it's mine and will be here after I'm gone.