Thursday 20 June 2013

Smelly armpits and junk-punching protocol

Today's Theme Thursday topic is concerts, something I have limited experience with, outside of my kid's school concerts, which up until this year weren't really concerts as much as loud noises and an exercise in auditory pain tolerance. My conundrum with concerts is this: while I enjoy the musical thrashy stylings of bands such as Korn, Saliva and Motley Crue, I do not enjoy mosh pits, getting elbowed in the face or having my ass grabbed by a random. Unless we are currently having intimate relations or we're good friends, do not grab my ass unless you enjoy being punched in the junk. And since I think junk-punching is a violation of mosh-pit protocol, this is part of why I avoid any situation that requires moshing. That, and my idea of a good time does not involve my face in someone's unwashed, smelly armpit or having my hair accidentally set on fire with a lighter during an epic rendition of "Home Sweet Home".

The last concert I went to was an Elton John show in Las Vegas. I'm not a huge EJ fan, but I ended up enjoying the hell out of it because 1) everyone stayed sitting in their seats instead of standing in them and  spending 2 hours getting knocked over by some asshat running up and down the aisle was nice, 2) there was a bar and after 5 large cocktails I decided I loved Elton John, as well as everyone sitting in the vicinity, which I think I proclaimed rather loudly every 5 minutes, 3) the whole audience got free feather boas to wear, and 4) the people sitting next to us won their tickets from a "what's the most embarrassing thing you've ever done" radio contest and I laughed so hard at her story about how she attacked some guy in a parking garage elevator because she thought he was a rapist but as it turns out he was only trying to push the button for the floor he was going to, and got kicked in the nuts and stabbed with her car keys for his efforts. After the paramedics came and stitched up his face, she apologized profusely and felt so bad she insisted on calling his wife to explain why her husband was coming home with 6 stitches and bruised testicles. Hands down, the best story I ever heard and totally worth of winning a radio contest.

That experience was completely different from the Metallic concert I attended in the early 90's, which made me swear off concerts altogether. To start with, the floor area was seated, which was fucking stupid, because NO ONE at a Metallica concert is going to sit calmly in their assigned seats. We were 10th row center, which was awesome until the concert started and it turned into a fucking free-for-all. I was forced to punch at least 3 guys in the junk, the smell of armpits hung in the air like a toxic cloud and I was deaf for a week after. While it was cool to see my beloved Metallica rock the shit out of that stadium, all the pummeling and chaos was too much for me and I decided the only way to see a concert was from a VIP box that served top-shelf booze and snacks, where boob-grabbing was kept to a minimum and only done by invitation, and the only chance of getting a concussion was from a drunken wipeout due to all that fine, fine top-shelf booze.

So until I can afford to avoid the unwashed masses and smugly perch high in my tower that provides bottle service, the only concerts I will be attending are Spielberg's, where I can listen to high schoolers murder the theme to Mission Impossible and not worry about having to punch anyone in the junk

Tuesday 18 June 2013

It's not the hard way as much as the completely stupid way

Most of the time I'm a fairy logical person who looks for the most reasonable solution to a problem. I'm a firm believer in simplicity, because life is already full of difficult shit you can't avoid, so given a choice between simple and easy vs complex and stupidly hard, I tend to go with the former.

The key phrase here is "most of the time" Because the rest of the time I choose the more difficult path for no other reason than stubbornness and some weird compulsion that I can't explain. Every time I get to the end of whatever ridiculousness my brain decided was a really good idea but in fact was probably the worst idea in the history of ever, I wonder what the fuck I was thinking and swear to myself I will never attempt to operate at that level of dumbassery again. The problem is all the dumbassery comes with a form of amnesia, that causes me to forget what a bad idea something was in the first place and I am doomed to make certain mistakes over and over again, possibly because I think this time will be different, even though it never ever is.

You would think I'd learn. You'd most certainly be wrong.

Example:  DIY redneck projects

While I'm in love with the whole idea of redneck solutions to everyday problems, and think rednecks are the unsung heros of ingenuity, my problem has less to do with the creativity part and more (ok, everything) to do with the actual engineering of DIY projects. I cannot build, renovate or jerry-rig anything without it being a huge production that takes far more time than it's worth and more often than not it becomes a shitshow rife with swearing, injuries and regret for ever thinking whatever I tried to do was a good idea in the first place. Also the end result is never is pleasing to the eye and has the distinct possibility of falling apart if you even look at it wrong.

I finally bought an air conditioner for my living room because my apartment gets hotter than satan's asshole in the summer. The building I live in has a strata council that frowns upon such things as using plywood to block the area above the air conditioner because it looks tacky (note: the strata council also does not approve of putting tinfoil window treatments as an attempt to block out the summer heat and light, giving your apartment a pleasant cave-like quality, plus the added bonus of your bedroom having a futuristic/disco-ball-like decor. Something about it looking like a marijuana growshow from the outside) My long term solution to this problem is to have a piece of plexiglass cut to fit in the space between the AC and the sliding glass door frame.

 However, I needed a short term solution because I haven't got the plexiglass yet and I don't want to wait to turn my living room into the Arctic Circle. So yesterday I spent 3 hours trying to construct a temporary barrier and it did not go well. First I was going to use the cardboard box the AC came in but discovered 1) I was out of duct tape 2) I can't find the stapler 3) eyeballing and measuring are not the same thing 4) a dull steak knife is not a good replacement for a boxcutter, and 5) the cardboard idea was a waste of time once I remembered cardboard is not waterproof, so unless I wrapped the whole thing in duct tape (which I didn't have) or tinfoil (and suffer the wrath of the strata council), I just spent an hour of my life I will never get back on something that was totally pointless.

Attempt #2 was better. Marginally. I went to the hardware store and bought a big sheet of foamcore (that stuff that is kind of like cardboard but made out of plastic), duct tape (white, to match the board) and a box cutter. The first issue was the piece of foamcore would not fit in my car, so I took it back in and they cut it in half, after which it still would not fit until I jammed it in the back and bent the shit out of it. Much swearing ensured on the car ride home. And after another 2 hours of cutting (without measuring), duct taping, more swearing and only one time of getting duct tape stuck in my hair plus 3 near accidental self-stabbings with the box cutter, my masterpiece was finished and working. Or so I thought until this morning when I came out and saw the stupid foam core was bowing inward and needed to be reinforced. Which I did with a hurley stick (gift from an Irish friend that's like a field hockey stick but way more badass) and a stack of hardcover books

It looks much better and way less ghetto from the outside because you can't see the hurley stick, books or the half a roll of duct tape I used. And in case any of the strata people see this, it's TEMPORARY, dammit
Right about now you are probably asking yourself "why the hell would she not have just ordered a piece of plexiglass instead of spending hours constructing whatever the fuck this thing is supposed to be??"

Trust me. I'm asking myself the same thing right now.

Sunday 16 June 2013

Your vagina renders you ineligible for Father Of The Year Award. Who knew?

You would think that a day that celebrates parenting would be pretty straight-forward and non-controversial. Apparently, you'd be wrong. When the hell did Father's Day turn into a catalyst for debate over gender roles, and an opportunity to suggest single mothers are egotistical and selfish, and the lack of a good male role model in their kid's lives rests solely on her shoulders? Sorry, I must have missed that memo.

I was scrolling through fb this morning, reading all the nice Father's Day statuses and then came upon this link which is one woman's rather bitter-sounding opinion that suggests single moms who fulfill the role of both mother and father have no right to celebrate Father's Day because they are not men. The article goes on to further suggest that single moms are egotistical whiny bitches who made the bad decision to allow herself to get knocked up by some fuckwit that never wanted her in the first place (I'm summarizing the article here, but this is exactly what I took away from reading it).

After several re-reads all while choking on my own outrage, I calmed the fuck down and decided voice my 2 cents, which, as we all know, is actually worth about .000004371 cents on the internet when you factor in the whole "internet opinions are like assholes...everyone has one. Or several. Especially if you're an alien from the planet Rectum, a yet-to-be-discovered, far-flung planet where the lifeforms have multiple anuses and use all the poop as a power source" thing.

First of all, the only part of the article I agree with is the fact that women are not men. Mostly because of the obvious penis/vagina difference. I do understand and agree that children need a strong, positive male role model in their lives. But that is where my agreement with this writer ends. In a perfect world, children would have a whole tribe of positive role models and influences in their lives to love, nurture and teach them to grow up to be responsible, caring adults. Unfortunately we do not live in a perfect world and we have to do the very best we can with what we have to work with, and often that means single parents of BOTH genders end up doing double-duty, not because they're a bunch of self-absorbed asshats that deliberately made bad life-choices, but because of circumstance and the fact that some things are beyond our control. I certainly never planned on getting divorced and having my son live with me only 50% of the time, but should I have stayed in an unhappy marriage and have the consequence of that be to have my son grow up thinking that  marriage equals living in seperate parts of the house and barely speaking to each other? How the hell is he going to learn what a happy and healthy relationship is if his parent's broken relationship is setting the standard? Divorce is never ideal, but it's a hell of a lot better than letting your kid see you and your ex being miserable together and thinking that's what marriage and relationships are.

Secondly, while I am fortunate to now have an very amicable relationship with my ex, not everyone is that lucky. I have several friends who are single parents with an ex that has sweet-fuck-all to do with their kids, so they have to be mother and father because their ex is an irresponsible fuckwad. To lay the blame at the feet of the person who is the only parent their kid has is utter bullshit. It takes two people to make a baby and to suggest that women are "too blinded by their own ego to make decisions in the best interest of her children" is stunningly judgmental and asserts that all single moms deliberately made shitty choices and are raising a generation of children who are doomed to be fucked up because their moms are idiots. I'm not sure what parallel universe this writer is living in, but it must be nice to be so fucking self-righteous to declare that single mothers who enjoy being acknowledged on Father's Day for doing the job of both parents are in the position they're in due to "lacking basic intelligence".

Finally, I think a good role model for your kid transcends gender. My son is lucky to have a small village of both genders raising him, but not everyone is fortunate enough to have that. We do the best we can, with what we have to work with and for me, the bottom line is my son grows up knowing he is surrounded by people who love him. We've all made shitty choices in life and we can't travel back in time to undo them, nor can we dwell on the past. We can learn from our mistakes and try to do better. But this idea that all children who are suffering from a lack of strong father-figures solely because their mothers are stupid and egotistical. is not only wrong, it's a fucking slap in the face to so many women who did not choose to raise their children alone, but are doing the best they can given the situation they have found themselves in. Yes, there are women out their who are terrible parents and don't deserve the kids they have, just like there are men out there who are wearing both mom and dad caps because their kids have a deadbeat mom. I think any parent doing double-duty would suggest to this writer she is full of shit, and to spend a week walking in their parenting shoes before she starts flinging that kind of self-righteous bullshit around.

Happy Fathers Day to all dads, regardless of your gender :)

Friday 14 June 2013

Academic excellence and sounding like a broken record

Last night I attended an awards ceremony at my son's school... it's for all the kids who made the honour roll and they gave out a ton of academic/arts/trades awards and $27000 of district scholarships. Some things I observed:

1) There are a LOT of smart and hard-working kids at Spielberg's school because there must have been close to 500 kids that got on the honour roll (including mine...excuse me while my head explodes with pride because when I was in 8th grade I was too busy smoking in the girl's room,  pretending I had a never-ending period to get out of PE and getting kicked out of typing class for inciting everyone to wear those stupid cloth typewriter covers as a burka to worry about academics much)

2) I'm convinced the kid who was sitting in front of us with his family will probably be the person who finds a cure for cancer or discovers time-travel, because he must have received at least 12 academic awards, a scholarship, a citizenship award, plus he was on the Principal's Honour Roll, which requires straight A's for the entire school year. I tried to scootch Spielberg's chair closer to that kid's because if all that brilliance is even remotely contagious, I'd be thrilled if Spielberg was infected with it. Kudos to that kid for kicking hardcore academic ass!

3) This awards thing was excellent incentive for Spielberg, who declared he intends to stay on the honour roll next year, plus he's salivating at the possibility of an award from the music, creative writing or film and tv program. Those plaques they were giving out were like academic crack to him and I will fully support that addiction

In other news, I've spent the last two weeks sick with the fucking plague (maybe not the actual plague, but I forced myself to avoid WebMD because according to that site, I've had the plague twice already, and anthrax. That place is a hypochondriac's nightmare) and working extra at the hair school. I dearly love my job there, and the students, but this is what I posted on my fb yesterday:

Things I would really like to NOT have to say to my students tomorrow:
1) Did you do your job?
2) Put that stuff in your bag or your not leave it on the shelf
3) Whose crap is in The Basket Of Doom?
4) Do you seriously have your cel phone out right now??
5) No, you cannot eat while you write your test
6) Is that toilet clean enough to drink out of? ARE YOU SURE??? I'm gonna be checking that, you know. No, I am not going to literally drink out of the toilet to check
7) If you don't drink enough water, you will end up in emerg on an IV. I don't care if water tastes gross, DRINK IT 

8 ) Everyone hates doing fingerwaves. You have to know how to do one anyway. Yes, you do. Because I said so is why
9) Are you sure you did your job? I'm checking right now
10) Go. Do. Your. Job.

FYI: The Basket Of Doom is where all the unclaimed brushes, combs and clips go to die. Anytime I ask whose stuff is in there, all the students swear that none of it is theirs. Until I make them go through the basket and suddenly, somehow some of it belongs to them. My theory is there is a magical wormhole somewhere in the school that sucks hair implements into it, where they float around time and space for a while, and then get regurgitated into the Basket Of Doom. I'm surprised the Discovery Channel and NASA have not come to investigate this phenomenon yet

I imagine this is what having 9 teenage daughter all at the same time must feel like. Also, I'm starting to channel my mother and every teacher I ever had. Thanks, karma. Yes, you are a bitch

Thursday 6 June 2013

This was supposed to be about inventions, but it turned into a post about my 80's hair. I got sidetracked, ok?

This week's Theme Thursday topics is: Things I wish someone would invent

What I should be wishing for is something that would benefit all of mankind, like a cure for cancer or dinosaur home-cloning kits. Seeing how I'm probably in the top 100 of the Laziest People On The Planet and a bit of an asshole, I'm gonna go with wishing for inventions that would benefit me directly and simplify my life. Also because pet dinosaurs may be a really awesome idea in theory, but I think we all know how Jurassic Park ended. Plus your neighbours would probably hate you when your velociraptor ate their toddler or your brontosaurus left Poop Mountain on their front lawn.

 Why has no one invented professional-grade cordless hairstyling tools? You would think an industry that generates billions of dollars a year and is constantly refining/replacing/reworking all forms of hair products would throw a little money towards fixing one of the banes of my professional existence, which is the snakes nest of elevently gajillion cords I am forced to manuver around every day. Between blowdryers, curling/flat irons, clippers and trimmers, the area around my powerbar that all my tools are plugged into is a hazard, not to mention all the cords are ugly as fuck and keep getting tangled up on my tool trolley.

This pretty much sums up my cord situation at work, except picture blowdryers and curling irons in place of the lights
Technology is almost to the point of being able to implant your cel phone in your hand, but they haven't figured out how to make a cordless blowdryer?? I do have cordless trimmers, but the recharger has to be plugged in, which does not solve the cord conundrum. Apparently the rechargeable battery required to power a professional-grade blowdryer would large and heavy and it wouldn't hold a charge long enough (I know this because I ask every single sales rep, every time I see them). Back in the 80's there were butane curling irons, which were AWESOME and I cooked my wicked mall-bangs around mine at least 7 times a day ( Brush. Curl. Wait until bangs start to smoke a little. Leave iron in just a couple more seconds. Pull off the singed bits. Backcomb. Hairspray. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.)

Neither of these pictures are me. But mash-up the 2 hairstyles together and you will get my hair, circa 1986-1989. Trust me, my hair was fucking glorious

Anyways, those butane curling irons seem to have disappeared off the market. Probably because some dumbass was smoking while curling and ignited the butane (I guarantee that happened because everyone smoked while doing their hair because in the 80's we did not fear death by hair-mishap. It was a fact of life and every woman I know in her 40's has at least one burn scar on their forehead from her curling iron to prove it), so they had to take it off the market. And all the 80's girls cried and hugged their Aqua Net close to their chests, fearing their ozone-murdering hairspray would be the next victim (We were not environmentally aware back then. Only dirty hippies recycled, and being able to braid your armpit hair was like committing social suicide, unless you lived on Denman or Hornby Island...then your armpit hair and BO was overlooked because you had the best pot. Did I mention we were also a tad self involved?)

Back on topic: Someone needs to invent cordless styling tools, preferably with an alternate green energy source, because it's about time we started making up for that giant hole in the ozone layer (sorry Aqua Net, but that is decidedly all your fucking fault).

Tuesday 4 June 2013

The shush heard round the world

In case you were not aware, I am Canadian. The name of my blog might have been a dead giveaway. Unless you thought I was a maple syrup conspiracy theorist expounding my views on maple syrup heists and bootlegged syrup for the black market , which I'm not but why the hell has no one made this into a reality tv series??? It's all about the the sticky battle over who controls the maple syrup industry and has all the right elements that makes for good tv, greed, power and sex. Ok, maybe not sex, but I'm sure they could figure out a way to throw some of that in there. And FYI, if anyone steal this idea from me, I expect compensation. I'll take cash or the equivalent in maple syrup.

All right, I completely veered off-topic. I can't help it. Maple syrup is just that awesome.

Anyhoo, I am Canadian and despite all the stereotypes that we live in igloos and ride polar bears to work (which is not true. Except maybe in Nunavut), the one thing that is generally true is Canadians are polite (except when it involves hockey or Rob Ford after the crack-smoking scandal ...then we are ruthless assholes). However, apparently some rabid soccer fans are making Canadians look like a bunch of douchebags that just ate an entire caselot of sour grapes for breakfast and it's a fucking embarassment.

From what I've gathered, Canadian-born soccer player Sydney Leroux has endured tauntings of "Judas" and "traitor", as well as racial slurs from Canadian soccer fans ever since she decided to play for the Americans. She scored a late goal on Sunday during a game against Canada and her subsequent on-field celebration sent hardcore Canadian fans into a pissed-off frenzy. And what horrible thing did she do to invoke all this wrath?


Yes, because displaying your team pride and shushing your taunters who have behaved like hateful dumbasses is such a terrible thing.

First off, racial slurs are despicable. I enjoy a good insult, especially when it's warranted but insulting someone based on the colour of their skin tells me you're so mentally incompetent and cleverly-challenged, all your tiny brain can come up with is slagging on someone's skin colour. How pathetic, unimaginative and blatantly hurtful.

Second, I call bullshit on the "traitor" accusations. This isn't a war, it's soccer, for fucks sake. Did Ms Leroux suddenly become a double agent and run to the enemy to share Canada's highly classified soccer secrets, to be used against them? Will The Canadian Soccer Association be performing a black-ops extraction and hustling her off to a Guantanemo Bay-type prison, where she will be forced to reveal American soccer secrets, such as defensive tactics and whether next season's team shorts will feature red with blue stripes or blue with red stripes? Will all Canadian athletes, actors and musicians who have flown south to build their careers be declared traitors as well, and the minute they step back on to Canadian soil get sent to internment camps where they will be subjected to various tortures, such as being forced to watch episodes of "The Littlest Hobo", "King Of Kensington" and anything with Mike Bullard in it on an endless loop? Force-fed a combination of poutine and Screech until they vomit? Have them renounce America and prove their Canadian-ness by sending them off to the Yukon in January for a Hunger Games-type battle to the death (note to participants: take out Bieber first. He may look innocuous but I'm pretty sure he's secretly cunning and capable of creating an minion army of rabid beavers to do his bidding), where the victor is proclaimed Canadian Citizen of The Year, which includes prizes such a lifetime supply of maple syrup (the legal kind, NOT the black market shit), a spot on the RCMP Musical Ride team (byo horse) and the hockey team of your choice (except any team in Quebec. Because we don't want to give the separatists anything else to scream about).

I'm sorry, but since we do not live in some kind of Orwellian/dystopian world where soccer players are the enemy and stale bread is currency, perhaps we can be be logical and remember Canada is a free country and our citizens are allowed to move to other countries to pursue their careers without a bunch of blubbering asshats with their panties in a wad inciting a verbal riot against them. Personally, I applaud Ms Leroux for having the self-restraint to stop at shushing the crowd...had that been me, I would most certainly not been at all graceful about it and that shushing gesture would have been replaced with 2 decisive middle fingers pointing skyward.

The greatest irony of this story? Sydney Leroux is being derided as a traitor to her country, yet she's the one personifying Canadian behaviour, by keeping it polite and restrained. It's her haters who are behaving in a manner that is distinctly un-Canadian. Despite the overall ridiculous tone of this post, I think the whole situation honestly sucks and it makes me embarrassed to be Canadian when I hear shit like this

Oh and Sydney, if you ever read this? I will be petitioning Stephen Harper for an official apology to you on behalf of all Canadians who are assholes and have forgotten their manners. I'm pretty sure you could negotiate some maple syrup in with that apology too. Ask Justin Bieber for a hand with negotiations...I'm convinced he's cunning as hell and there might be some truth to the rabid beaver minion army thing. Do not underestimate The Biebs. Ever.