Thursday, July 30, 2009

:: Two frustrating conversations ::

Episode No. 1 – Me vs. Christene
Christene: Who's that old guy who's really tanned?
Me: What? What guy?
Christene: You know, the really tanned guy? Is it George Hamilton?
Me: What are you talking about? The really tanned guy from where - TV? A movie? Your work? A guy from the mall? You're gonna have to be more specific.
Christene: Oh. Well he's that tanned guy – from TV.
Me: What show is he on?
Christene: He's not on a show. He's just on TV.
Me (frustration brewing): What, so he's just on every channel? What the hell are you talking about?

(Editor's note: After all that nonsense, turns out that Christene was friggin' right: It was George Hamilton. Bonus points if you actually recognize him from something, because his profile isn't exactly what I'd call impressive.)

Episode No. 2 – Bobby calls the office
Me: Hello?
Bobby: French?
Me: Uh, hello?
Bobby: French?
Me: Hey Bob, what's up?
Bobby: Po-ta-to boats!
Me: You're an idiot.
Bobby: Scuba Diving!
Me: OK....
Bobby: Want to call me back when you're off work?
Me: Yeah, I think that'd be good.
:: It's so damn hot. Milk was a bad choice! ::

So you may have heard this already – either from the millions of news reports, or the incessant wailing from the red, sunburned masses – but it turns out we're in the middle of a lil' bit of a heat wave.

And with that in mind, here are a bunch of heat-related observations I have made in the last few days:

- People love to walk into a room and ask, to no one in particular, "Whew, is it hot enough for ya?!" and then they giggle in delight like they're the next Richard Fucking Pryor.

So since you asked, no, it's not hot enough for me. I'd actually prefer if the mercury rose a few more degrees – that way, even though I can't sleep at night, there exists a greater probability that you will spontaneous combust in a puff of flame and smoke.

- I have a portable air conditioner in my living room that does not work very well. However, at least I have one. Most of my co-workers do not, and have resorted to the following in order to get some sleep at night: Borrowing the four electric fans we have in the office (taking them home at 5 p.m., and bringing them back at 7:30 a.m.), filling a popcorn bowl with ice cubes and setting said cubes in front of a bedside fan, in the hope that the air will be cooled as it blows toward the bed (Failed), sleeping on the deck (Succeeded, even if it means sleeping like an animal), and my personal favourite – putting pillow cases in the freezer. (Failed, but still funny).

- Yesterday, the temperature gauge in my truck read 37 degrees. At 6:15 p.m.

- Someone told me yesterday that this was the first prolonged heatwave (which I assume means a couple of days) in the Lower Mainland since the 1880s. I, of course, immediately called shenanigans. Yes, it's hot. And yes, three to four days of 29-degrees-plus is pretty rare here, but c'mon – you're telling me that there hasn't been a warm week in 125 years?

Bullshit. Not that I can remember specifics, but I'm fairly sure we have had entire months (August) where it's roasting hot and sunny. Or if not an entire month, at least longer than this current half-week wave. I mean, yeah it's hot and uncomfortable and it's all anybody talks about, but for chrissakes stop over-reacting. It's been 3 friggin days, people.

And now, for a non-heat-related note:

- Every time a new Wal-Mart is built in a city – especially if, God forbid, it's built in a small town – the entire business community and the town stalwarts who've lived there since 1942 go crazy.

"It's a terrible, international conglomerate!" they scream.

"They're prices are so low it will ruin local business!" they holler in protest.

And usually, not being a frequent Wal-Mart shopper, I've always felt a tinge of sympathy for them, while also wondering if it's actually going to be as bad as they predict.

But yesterday, I ventured into the new, massive SuperCentre across the street from my office. I needed to get some camping groceries, plus a few other things.

And now I don't care what Wal-Mart ruins, so long as I can still buy me some toaster waffles for $1.50, and a huge bag of French fries for $1.99.

It truly was glorious – I bought more groceries than I usually do, plus some meat for my freezer, all for the low, low price of $55. So amazed was I with the savings – $1 for 6 glazed doughnuts! – that I actually found myself wandering around the grocery section looking for more incredible deals on food I didn't really need.

And for those of you who know me well, you know I hate shopping of any sort – especially groceries. But 12 mini-cinnamon buns for $1.25 eased my pain considerably.

So, sorry small-business owners, you're hooped. The reason people shop at Wal-Mart is not because they're horrible people who've turned their backs on the community, and they aren't people who don't care about the plight of the local economy.

They're just regular people who like their big bags of Zesty Doritos for $2 each.

Friday, July 24, 2009

:: You never know ::

Yesterday, light-throwing pitcher Mark Buehrle – whose fastball sits at about 85 mph – threw a perfect game for the Chicago White Sox. It was only the 18th perfect game in MLB history, and this one was preserved in the ninth-inning because of a ridiculous at-the-fence leaping catch/bobble/barehand grab by outfielder Dewayne Wise.

In 2007, Buehrle also pitched a no-hitter – marred only by a walk he gave up to Sammy Sosa (who he promptly picked off first base, anyhow).

"I don't know how to explain it," Buerhle said. "I never thought I'd throw a no-hitter. I never thought I'd throw a perfect game. I never thought I'd hit a home run. That's why I've said never say never in this game. Because crazy stuff can happen." (

Now, why am I writing about Mark Buerhle? Because he's right – crazy stuff can happen.

Crazy stuff like the Cannons – despite a terrible year in which we forgot how to hit and went 9-12-1 – beating the first-place team in our first playoff game yesterday, the same day Mark Buerhle pitched the best game of his life.

Bodes well for us this weekend, I think.

You never know, after all.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

:: Christene's Dream ::

This morning, Christene sent me a text message detailing the dream she had last night about this very website.

"I dreamed that I checked your blog and you had moved the link to my blog down to the very bottom of the list," she said.

"Then I woke up sad."

Well, just so we're clear, Christene's blog - wonderfully named "Christene Sucks" - is still linked in the very same spot it's always been. Of course, if you can't find it on the left, it can be found here. That name again is Christene Sucks. She also has another blog here with a friend, but her main blog, in case you missed it, is right here.

Yep, that oughta do the trick.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

:: Loud Noises! ::

Right now, a co-worker is talking on the phone. She is approximately 75-80 feet away from me, and also around a corner in our L-shaped office. She is also in a semi-enclosed room (the door is open). The printer near me is printing, and two phones are also ringing. One other person in the office is talking quietly on their cell phone (Or so I assume. She might be talking to herself... I can't actually see her), and one person is laughing at something. Despite all this, I can hear every word this co-worker speaks. Every. Single. Word.

To suggest that she's a little loud would not be out of line. I mean, c'mon, this is a place of business – tone down the volume a 'lil.

Some of us are trying to browse Facebook.

Friday, July 17, 2009

:: Drunks say the darndest things ::

"Everybody's first child is an accident." - Christene, doing some serious generalizing.

"So, what are the rules against tickling?" - Rachel, finding a loophole in the UFC handbook.

"Whenever you can stick a beer can up a chicken's butt, you might as well." - Ian, barbecuing.

"Hi, I'm Ian Forbes and I have sour keys." - Ian, making new friends at Funtastic.

"I love being drunk on a Sunday. It's like you're drinking for Jesus." - Bucholtz, at Funtastic.

"I can't relate to anybody in Kamloops. In my program, all the girls are married and have kids. There's this one girl who is 26 and is pregnant with her third kid. I'm 26, and I'm pregnant with my Master's." - Ashleigh, summing up her post-baccalaureate university experience.

"If I'd known life was going to be this fucking hard, I would've drank more." - Melissa, going through a rough patch.

"I will decide when you can die." - Christene, after I joked I'd have a heart attack at 35.

"Before I was pregnant, if a friend suggested on a Friday night that we should just go for coffee, that was it - we're done. I could never be friends with someone like that." - Kristyl, who is no doubt yearning for a boozy night now that little Molly has been born.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

:: Thou shalt not leave Twitter ::

Just tried to log out of Twitter, and got this message:

"403 Forbidden: The server understood the request, but is refusing to fulfill it."

Much more ominous than the usual 404. Threatening, almost.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

:: Bad Publicity ::

There are days in this business where all you can do is shake your head.

This is one of those days.

A polite but disappointed woman calls my desk to complain that her daughter's sporting achievement – now nearly three weeks old – was never publicized in the newspaper. Even worse, when she achieved something even better last summer, that was not written about either.

Me: Well, we would've loved to have known about that, but how could we? Did you ever think to call us and let us know?
Caller: Well, no... the last thing you probably want is people calling you constantly and telling you stuff like this.
Me: Uhhh, actually, no, We're a newspaper – I'd love it if you called and told me some news. How else are we supposed to know about these things?
Caller: Oh.

Somewhere along the way – probably about the same time people started seeing news updated on the fly, 24/7 online and elsewhere – the general public began to assume that we somehow instinctively know of every event, big and small, that occurs. We know a lot, sure, but how do you think we know?

Because people tell us. Not because we're mind readers.

I don't begrudge this woman too much, really. Though she seemed quite confused, she was polite and otherwise just a lovely person.

Wouldn't want her as my publicist, though.

Monday, July 06, 2009

:: Not helping ::

It turns out that, despite being a writer who is paid (modestly) to accurately and vividly depict scenes, events and people, I am not very good at it.

I was informed of this today.

BACKGROUND: Early on Sunday morning, Kristyl had her baby - a little girl named Molly. Christene and I went and visited them at the hospital last night, and therefore, when I arrived at work today, everyone wanted to know a) that everything was OK health-wise, and b) did you take any pictures?! Did ya? C'MON WHERE ARE THE PICTURES?!?!?!?! GOD DAMMIT NICK PICTURES!!!"

No, I did not take any pictures. This apparently was a big mistake. I probably could've stolen a baby from the hospital, and that would have been deemed less terrible than forgetting to bring my digital camera.

Apparently the next best option when somebody (an obvious idiot) has forgotten to take a picture, is to describe the baby instead.

"What does she look like?" a co-worker asked, excitedly.

"Umm...she's small...she's a girl... looks like a baby."

This was not deemed an appropriate description. Can't imagine why.