Friday, February 23, 2007

:: The Office Shit ::

I have worked in my current office for nearly three years. The building has hundreds of advantages over my previous office - which of course was in the mighty burg of Peace River, Alberta.

For starters, my current office is not in Peace River, Alberta.

Among it's many charms, this office is five minutes from the beach, has a machine that pumps out quality hot chocolate for a mere 25 cents, and was built within the last 40 years, as opposed to the Peace River office, which was 85 years old, and drafty as hell. The back entrance was a double-door, and even when closed, you could've slipped a loonie length-wise through the opening. In -40 weather, that's not fucking cool.

My current building also earns points because it also used to be a bank, so there's a vault with one of those really thick, heavy doors, which my friend Steve once got locked in, adding to the office's awesomeness.

But the thing I hate about the place, aside from the fact that once through its doors I'm expected to work, is the bathroom. Now, as far as public facilities go, it's alright. Always clean, if not a little bit cramped.

It has it's problems though. For starters, due to the cramped space, it's tough to, uh, 'air out.' But, by far, the biggest problemis the bathroom's extremely close proximity to people. It is about four steps away from my department's little war room, with a door in between that is - unfortunately - always kept open, because otherwise it was cut us off from the rest of the office. It's close enough - and the office is quite enough - that every flush, every tug of papertowel from the dispenser, every turn of the tap, is heard by the rest of the people in our department.

That is a problem if you gotta take a shit. Especially a violent one, as is often the case after lunch if you've chosen to hit up the little Malaysian restaurant down the block. Let's face it - nobody wants to hear that.

There's one guy in our office that clearly has no problem with the situation, he heads in there, newspaper tucked under his arm, at any and all times. He just doesn't care - and to be honest, he's somehow as quiet as can be. But I just can't do it.

The only times I've ever taken a shit there was during a rare moment when everyone was out of the office for a few minutes, and a few times on Sundays or early mornings when the office is still empty. In three years working there, I estimate I've only dropped a deuce at the office four times. Six times maximum.

How do I do it, you're probably wondering. Well, it's simple. If it's near the end of the day, and it's not an urgent situation, you just wait. But in three years I've managed to scout out some prime spots throughout the community. The No. 1 option is the hockey rink. It's about a 5-minute drive away, so if there's an emergency situation it doesn't do the job, but usually it's fine. I picked this spot as much for it's emptiness as it's lovely facilities (Which are top shelf). Being in the line of work I'm in, I always have a fairly good idea of what goes on at the rink and various times of the day. Usually, from about 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. - when the junior team arrives for practice - it's damn near empty. And in the summer it's even better - even emptier - because the ice is taken out, and nobody's around. It's still open however, because the city has a Rec office in the building, thus keeping it open through the summer months.

It is option A by a landslide.

If the rink isn't an option for any reason, other choices the bathroom/storage/concession booth at the local athletic park. The bathrooms are public, and usually unlocked during the day. However, it's not as prime a spot as the rink due to the fact that, on occasion, it is locked. Also, the walk from the parking lot to the bathrooms is lengthy, and hilly. If you're in a hurry, it's trouble.

Other options I've tested are the public bathrooms at the beach (which lose serious points for grossness), and the curling rink. The curling rink is often closed, however, and even when it is open, I ALWAYS end up being roped into a 20+ minute conversation with the people there, so a quick 15-minute shit turns into a 40 minute affair. And even though I consider myself an A-1 slacker, I just don't have that kind of time.

So as you can see, I have a serious problem here. In fact, it's the shits (pun intended).

It actually makes me yearn for the days of Peace River, where the men's washroom was tucked way down in the basement, in the dark, where nobody ever went unless they need a copy of a newspaper from 1936. It may have been -30 down there and dark, with a door that you had to body-check to close, and then still wouldn't lock, but good god was it peaceful.

The kind of place where you could eat all the Malaysian food you wanted to at lunch.

I know I'm not the only one dealing with this same issue. When I moved into my place last July, Chris' No. 1 reason for wanting a key was because my house is only a 2-minute drive from his office, and he wanted to be able to come here at lunch to take a dump. Understanding his predicament, I gave him a key.

Life would just be so much easier if the architects of these buildings would realize the obvious difficulties of droppin' the Cosbys off at the pool when co-workers are so close by.

Not everybody's got a hockey rink nearby, after all.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

"I've scooped up much worse shit than poop." - Sean

So that's how it's done. I remember now.

I'm a few days behind schedule, but I wanted to write a little bit about last weekend, if I may. (and I may, since it's my blog). Let me begin by saying that I did not have high hopes for this weekend, for a couple reasons. First of all, I've sort of been taking it easy in the partying department for the better part of a month or two..sometimes on purpose because I've just felt like it, and other times where I've tried my best to get blitzed, but was unsuccessful for whatever reason, thus leaving me to spend $100 at the pub, only to return remarkably sober to sit alone in my townhouse at 1 a.m. with a Diet Pepsi, a sandwich and unfulfilled dreams of drunkeness and debauchery.

I figured this weekend would be much the same, which leads me to point No. 2 - I had to work Friday night for a few hours, beginning at 7:30, which left me absent during prime drinking hours. It also meant I wouldn't be able to pound back a few pre-drinks in the dinner-time hour. So it wasn't looking good. Advantage: Liver.

Normally I wouldn't have been too devastated because, like I said, I haven't always felt like drinking lately, and I was actuallyl looking forward (slightly) to the hoops game I would be attending. However, on this particular Friday I was in a drinking mood the likes of which my body hadn't felt since New Year's, and possibly even before that.

I felt like getting pisssssssssssssed.

So I did what pre-2007 Nick would've done. I skipped out of half the game, bought a hot dog on the way out the gym door, picked up 3 energy drinks and a bottle of vodka, and went to my parent's house, where everyone was. It felt like ages since we'd all gathered in somebody's house for a legitimate 'stay-there-all-night-with-no-other-plans' house party.

Being that I was a few hours behind the other drinkers (Looking at you, Amanda), I started off making some pretty strong drinks, and soon was as tanked as the rest of the team. Then it was drunken charades ("It's all gone, Pete Tong"? Seriously Scott?), darts, drinking games, and poker until the wee hours. Advantage: Nick.

After poker wrapped up, I stuck my near-gone 26 of vodka back in the freezer, and poked my head out the front door, only to have the paper delivery guy hand me the Saturday morning edition.

It was 5 a.m. For some, that's a fairly regular occurence, but since I rarely stay up for late night poker (usually on account of me not living super close anymore), it was a accomplishment for me.

And I was pretty damn happy with myself, as I cleaned up a bit, turned the lights off and went to bed. Pretty damn happy, indeed.

Like a boxer stepping back into the ring despite being - arguably - past his prime, for one night it was good to be back in fighting shape.

(Click the link. See how I managed to tie current events into a post about getting blurry-eyed drunk? That's just how awesome I am.)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

:: "Do you have anything in a four-door sedan?" ::

I stole the below clip from this guy, who in turn stole it from this guy here. Watch. Laugh. Be sure the sound is on (Warning: Probably not safe for most offices. Feel free to show it to little kids though. Preferably stranger's kids).

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

:: Something for the lovers ::

Well folks, you knew this was coming. My annual "Valentine's Day is a load of crap" post. Rather than write 1,500 words extolling the sucktitude of this Hallmark holiday that forces people to spend excessive money to prove their love to somebody else, I'll just leave you with a couple quotes.

"Love has been done to death." - Tragically Hip's Gord Downie, on why he refused, for years, to write songs about love.

"I got Bre flowers and all that shit. Stupid girls - flowers die anyway. I should get her a fence, that'd last a lot longer." - Ian, this time last year.

Also, go on over to (link at left) for a Valentine's Day story that is sure to warm the cockles of your heart (or maybe the sub-cockle area, I'm not sure). I'd link directly to it, but I'm on a crappy Mac at work, and it's making life difficult for me. I'll link it when I get home.

Mid-day edit: Go read this. It sums up my feelings on Valentine's Day nearly to a T. I doubt very much that I'm alone on this either.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Upon hearing the unfortunately-named Mooseknuckles were on a 14-game win streak...
Me: So Ian, I guess you guys are in first-place then eh?
Sean: They're in double-first place!!!

(I guess they're good)

So, it was another typical weekend, where I basically stayed busy while simultaneously doing absolutely nothing at all. I don't know how I do it, really -I kept myself mostly busy, yet I didn't do anything of note - didn't get drunk, didn't do anything crazy, and I have no real exciting stories to regale you with. If I ever write a book, I think I'll call it "How to waste your life without anyone noticing."

Thursday night I went out for drinks with Melissa, to some Burnaby joint named Marine Pub. It was an alright place, despite the world's stupidest waitress. (Coors Light? Sure, here's a Kokanee. Uhh...thanks.)

Friday was more drinks, this time with my buddy Steve, who I used to work with. Heard tales of life as a police recruit, complete with reasons past recruits were booted from the program (Getting badge stolen by a hooker who's giving you a hummer, and stealing muffins from the J.I. cafeteria tie for first place, in case you were wondering.)

The rest of Friday was spent, mostly, at Sean and Rachel's place, just hanging out drinking Bowen Island Lager. The best tasting $10.62/6-pack beer on the market, I'd guess.

Then Saturday, for one day and one day only, the sun came out, as if from nowhere. So we took the opportunity to wear shorts, drink beer at the park, and chuck a ball around. Good thing too, since the weather didn't last. It's rainy and overcast again.

So, like I said, not a whole lot of interesting tales to speak of, which is really starting to aggravate me since I, again, spent $100 or more dollars on beer and food throughout the weekend. How it's possible that I can't get drunk like I used to is baffling to me. Ah well, one of these weekends I'll figure 'er out.

And I'm sure you'll all be sorry when it happens.

In completely unrelated news, I can suggest a number of songs you should all download. Beware the wildly differing styles and tastes.

Tripping Daisy - "Piranhas"
Mid-90s grunge era tune, that I've heard on a CFOX's '90s Brunch quite often on Sunday morning drives into work. Great song.

Screaming Trees - "Nearly Lost You"
Another staple of the 90's Brunch. I believe it's on the Singles Soundtrack - the early '90s Cameron Crowe movie that was centred on the Seattle/grunge scene.

Pink Floyd - "Speak to Me/Breath the Air"
Just a good song. From Dark Side of the Moon.

Justin Timberlake - "What Goes Around (Comes back around)"
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. It's JT, so feel free to begin the mockery (Mike, looking in your direction). I have no information about this song at all, but I just heard it played on the Grammy Awards, and I liked it. It's catchy, what can I say.

And if anyone can, for the love of God, ever find the song "What to do" by Thrush Hermit, please download it with your P2P program of choicel, and send it to me. I'll give you a beer for it. Or a high-five. (Probably the latter).

I heard in one afternoon on the Fox, but it's early 90s and indie, so finding it anywhere is a lost cause so far.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

:: Wedding, etc...::

"At that point it's not a tux, it's a monkey suit." - Meghan's thoughts on wearing a tux to get girls, and then failing miserably at said task.

And then there's this, Super Bowl fallout...

Fuck you, it's a god-damned robot

You can watch the commercial yourself, right here. Easily the SB's best ad. I haven't felt that much emotion over the plight of a robot since Short Circuit.

Friday, February 02, 2007

"You see, marriage is a lot like an orange. First, you have the skin... then the sweet, sweet innards."

"And if all else fails, just walk up to one of the hot ones and stick a finger in her ass. She'll never even see it coming!" - Ian, with whom I was discussing my potential ability (but likely, ultimate failure) to score with a bridesmaid, or other reasonably hot woman at this shindig.

As for the above quote, well, yes, there was failure. Obviously. However, it was through no fault of my own (for once). There simply were no opportunities. Reasons for this are twofold, and possibly threefold, if we wanna get into specifics.

Firstly, despite the fact that some of the women there were absolutely unbelievable (Seriously, like 12 out of 10), many of the thought-to-be-single ones were, in fact, not single at all. This is to be expected, really, because if they're so hot, why wouldn't they be snapped up already? (Likely by some greaseball guido wearing a leather jacket and too many rings, who owns a small construction company...just, uh, for hypothetical example)

So, there was barrier numero uno. However, that shouldn't have been the end of things, since there were still *some* reasonably attractive single girls there, but this leads me to my second point:

The reception lacked the two things needed to hook up at a wedding: dancing, and alcohol. The reception started around 6:00, although the bar did not open until after all the formal stuff was finished - dinner, speeches from Doug, Carmen, Chad the best man, all six parents (Doug's wife, Carmen, has two sets of parents) etc...By this time, I don't know exactly but I'd guess it was about 8:30-ish, and still all we had to drink was wine, as the bar didn't open until just after 9:00.

Why didn't the bar open until then, you ask? Well, it didn't open early for the same reason that over 60% of the people at the reception left as soon as the dance floor opened: many people on the bride's side of the family are staunch Mennonites, who disagree with both drinking and dancing.

Rather than detail the situation any further, I've chosen to compose a haiku about Doug's wedding.

Doug marries Carmen
Just wine, no bar til 9
Mennonites don't dance

So the party died fairly quickly, despite the fact that me, Chad, and a few others did our best to keep the bartender busy. However, when the single girls and even the bridesmaids disappear for hours at a time, what's a lonely groomsman to do? Drink a few more beers, then go home defeated, drink a few vodkas, then pass out on the couch until 3:30 in the morning, that's what.

Oh, and that third reason? I'm kind of fat, so getting some was likely out of the question from the get-go, regardless of how awesome I looked in my rented tux.

But we don't need to dwell on that fact, do we? Oh, we do? Well shutup. Jerk.

Other than the lack of gettin' some, however, it was a very fun few days, beginning with the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner Friday night out in Abbotsford. Saturday morning I headed over to Doug's to get ready, with Chad and the other groomsmen. All was going fine - we had coffee with extra expresso shots, solid breakfast foods in abundance, tunes cranked and some red bulls flowing, until about 11:30 when my pants broke.

Yes, my pants broke.

For those of you not familar with rental tuxedo pants, let me explain quick-like how they work. Basically, you're given a pair of pants that are capable of being worn by someone with about a 22-inch rockstar-on-heroin waist, to someone who appears to have ate a small child for brunch. There are these thin metal "sliders, where you slide the waists to your desired girth, and then snap a lock into place.

Well, after wearing the pants for about 20 minutes, the slider came off-track. It appeared a lost cause for the longest time, and I spent a good deal of the morning wandering the house in a tuxedo shirt, tie, and boxers. Classy, I know.

I was prepared to just wear my giant MC Hammer-esque pants with suspenders to keep 'em up, until Chad finally fixed them with the help of a pin, a knife, and God knows what else. He earned the best man title right there.

So I went to the wedding with properly-fitting pants, and the whole thing, basically, went off without a hitch. And I gotta tell you, the whole wedding experience had more of an effect on me than I thought it would.

One of my favourite moments was talking with Doug's dad. Now, his dad has never been a super-positive person, and since retiring he's largely become a hermit in his own home, with not a lot to do. But Saturday he smiled, bought people drinks, and was as happy and proud of his son as I've ever seen. It was just kind of a touching moment, knowing both Doug and his dad as well as I do.

His dad also told me, while buying me a drink near the end of then night, that "Chad's done a great job as Doug's best man, but as far as I'm concerned, he has two of them tonight. You are too."

I've known Doug since we were 13 years-old, and he was engaged for 10 months before Saturday, but it wasn't until moments after the wedding where I actually realized "Whoa, Doug's married." (and to a pretty stunning blonde, by the way). And right then, I realized how incredibly happy I was for him, considering the rough ride he's been on for 2 years before he met Carmen. I was happy for him, maybe a little jealous that he'd found somebody, and proud of him too.

Which, in and of itself made it one of the best weekends I've had in ages and ages. Even if I didn't score a bridesmaid.