Tuesday, September 29, 2009

:: Breakfast of champions ::

In life, there are only a handful of non-breakfast foods (for lack of a better term) which can acceptably be eaten for breakfast. For example, any type of dessert – pie, cake, whatever – are usually delicious if eaten before 10 a.m. Also, traditional leftovers such as cold pizza or cold KFC are staples of the It's-Saturday-morning-and-I'm-hungover-as-fuck diet.

But, as I alluded to, most of these foods are consumed for breakfast when one is in a hangover state, usually on a weekend. It's a desperation breakfast borne out of laziness, essentially.

Which is why I had to look twice this morning when I arrived at work, walked into the lunchroom, and saw a colleague of mine – a woman in her late 50s – sitting at the table, scarfing down cold, rubbery-looking tempura prawns out of a Chinese take-out box, along with her morning coffee.

At 8:15 a.m. on a Tuesday.

I mean, find a bagel or something for Christ's sake.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

:: I'm too lazy for a real post, so here's a bunch of links ::

I'm too tired and lazy right now to write anything of substance, but rather than disappoint you with no post at all, I figured I'd liven up your lazy Sunday afternoon with some stuff I've found on the Interweb of late which amused me.

1. A guy - clearly a genius - is unhappy with the service at his local bank, so he has decided to sue them for... wait for it... more than a "trillion billion dollars." This is so fucking rad I don't even know where to begin. I mean, you're unhappy with customer service? Welcome to the club buddy, it's called Everyone.

But on the other hand, if you're fucking crazy or angry (likely both) to sue for something like bad service, then why not go completely batshit, balls-out fucking wacked and request that much money - which of course, is so much that it's essentially a fictional number, even for the biggest bank in the United States. I mean, those Nigerian Kings in those e-mail scams don't even have that much scratch.

The sad thing is, there's a lawyer out there who will likely take this case - hopefully though, it's because said lawyer wants to make a few bucks in fees, and not because he actually believes he'll win. I mean, Gordon Bombay couldn't even win this one.

2. Another one from Yahoo!'s main splash page - some science guys found hundreds of new species of animals, many of which are near extinction.

I don't have anything witty or hilarious to say here, I just like the fact that, hundreds of years after people started scouring the earth for signs of life, and cataloguing the world's millions (maybe even trillion billions!) of species, they are still finding more. It just sort of amazes me, because by now you just assume that every single inch of the planet has been explored (and likely has a Starbucks on it, too). I mean, where are they finding that cool frog with the fangs - did they just flip over one last rock on their way out of the jungle?

And, while on the subject, I wonder how the scientists even know they've found a new species? I mean, there's millions - how do they know it's new? Do they have every possible type of critter stored in their brains? Makes me wonder if I've ever discovered a new kind of insect without even knowing it.

If I have, I probably stepped on it, so I guess it's a moot point.

And, on a similar topic, some other sciency expert has decided that Panda bears should just be left alone until they become extinct. This is bound to piss people off, mainly because people like panda bears. If somebody said the three-toed sloth should be killed off, or the Pittsburgh Pirates, I don't think people would be nearly as upset.

I don't have much of an opinion here either, except it makes me wonder why so many scientists spend their lives - and lots of money, too, I'm sure - discovering new creatures like the fanged frog, when there's some other douchebag scientist on another continent essentially saying, "Pffft, that's not that important. Let's kill it."

I wonder if there are ever any backroom scientist rumbles over things like the longterm fate of panda bears or frogs with fangs, that's all.

I like to think that there is.

And lastly, I'll leave you with this video of a French Bulldog puppy who can't rollover, no matter how hard he tries. My favourite part is at about the 13 second-mark, when he just appears to give up, resigned to the fact that he'll spend the rest of his life upside down.

Friday, September 25, 2009

:: Odd, odd couple ::

Yesterday after work, Christene and I drove to the Quizno's in Murrayville, so we could grab something to eat quickly before I had to go play softball.

As we waited at a red light at an intersection, two people crossed the street who could not have been a stranger match. Individually, they were each bizarre-looking enough to warrant a second (or third) look (or laugh), but together, well, they were a tandem on par with that time Macho Man Randy Savage teamed up with Hulk Hogan.

Now, I tried to take a picture with my cell phone, but couldn't get a clear shot - and when a clear shot did finally present itself, we were moving, so it was impossible. As a result, I will have to describe them to you, as best I can.

The man looked to be in his late 40s or early 50s. He had a very large potbelly, on which hung a very ill-fitting shirt which may or may not have had sleeves. On his head he wore a cowboy hat that appeared to be made of, if not plastic, then some other kind of shiny material (Authentic, it was not). Below the waist, he wore some cut-off jean shorts which looked to be a do-it-yourself job – the bottoms of them were quite frayed.

Oh, I forgot to mention – he was holding these designer shorts up with suspenders. Honest to God, suspenders.

And, in a move he obviously cribbed from those cute kids who wear gumboots and shorts (and sometimes capes too, just because it's awesome), this fine middle-aged gentleman was wearing big brown boots – possibly of the steel toed variety.

It was like a perfect storm of fashion mistakes – all that was missing was the aforementioned cape, or possibly some kind of scarf.

The woman he was with was not dressed quite so oddly, but she, uh, stood out in a place like Langley. She was a large black woman, wearing capri-type pants which appeared to be far too tight; she had a short, afro-like hair, and walked with a pronounced limp  – slowly, and awkwardly.

What a team they made. I expect they were just coming back from a trip to the post office, where they went to pick up their complimentary "Best of Maury Povich" DVD box set, which they received as a gift after appearing on the show. 

Either that, or they were mailing an angry letter to the creators of Cops, in which they demanded residuals be paid to them since they'd made so many appearances on the show.

Maybe they were doing both.

Monday, September 21, 2009

:: House hunting ::

Lately, and with increasing regularity, I've been browsing MLS.ca for houses, and Christene has since become as addicted to doing it as I have. Today, she found a nice rancher in Walnut Grove, and messaged me to tell me about it. After I checked it out, we compared notes.

Christene: It's a nice little house, and there's even a big wall for your TV.
Me: Yeah, it looks pretty nice.
Christene: Backyard is a pretty big, too.
Me: Yep. You could build a nice deck back there.
Christene: Or even a wrestling ring!

This is why I keep her around, folks. For brilliance like that.
:: Memo to middle-aged contractor I saw this morning ::

Assuming that you are not somehow stuck in 2006, you probably shouldn't rock a faux-hawk. Secondly, you should further be discouraged from said hair style if you are in your mid- to late-40s, which clearly you are.

And you should definitely not dye it blonde, while keeping the rest of your hair its natural brown colour.

However, if you do insist on this particular style – I mean, if you absolutely must – I would strongly suggest that you actually "spike" the whole faux-hawk, instead of simply concentrating the gel on the first few inches of it, and leaving the rest to fall flat against your scalp, thus making you look like a rooster with bed-head.

Trust me, it's for the best.

Friday, September 18, 2009

:: So, it's come to this ::

With increasing frequency lately, I have been detailing the inane-but-hilarious (in a sad way) goings on at my office. Most notably, I've detailed the hijinks of the middle-aged marketing and sales ladies. 

Today must be especially slow, because I just walked through that department to find four of them standing together, trying to see who among them could touch their toes from an upright position. Now, I have no clue as to how this came about – like I said, I was just passing through – but this is where their careers have taken them.

Stretching contests on Friday afternoons. 

For the record, not one of them could do it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

:: The ironing is delicious ::

One of my co-workers in on vacation the next two weeks. As such, other employees are monitoring his e-mail in case anything important/time sensitive arrives while he is away (also because the "out of office" reply function on our company e-mail addresses has been broken for some time).

Last week, a woman e-mailed my absentee co-worker with something quasi-important, and another employee here responded to the e-mail, explaining that the employee was away, and that one of us would be able to help her instead.

Rather than thinking of this as a logical solution, the woman flew off the handle and complained that her e-mail was private and intended for absentee-employee's eyes only and how dare we read somebody else's "private" e-mail. My boss then explained to her that, in an office, with a work account, there is no such thing as "private" e-mail and that even if we here in the office aren't checking, the IT guys in the big building miles away could be checking it remotely if they so chose.

Once she calmed down and realized she was in the wrong, she attempted to send an apology e-mail to the employee here whom she originally lambasted. 

But instead she accidently sent it to our direct competitors because she clicked on the wrong address in her e-mail program.

I swear to God, sometimes I don't even have to come up with witty endings to these stories. Sometimes they just write themselves.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

:: "Did you try the linguini? Oh, by the way, I'm doing your wife" ::

Last night, Christene and I decided to go out for dinner with Kristyl, Jason and Molly. Originally the plan was to go for Greek food, but in the end we switched it up and went to Pasta Polo - a really small little place in Langley, near the old movie theatre. I'd never been, but had heard it was delicious.

Christene and I got there first, and were immediately ushered into a booth near the back of the restaurant - the only section further back was a larger, open space for bigger groups. I should also mention that we were right in the sightlines from the main aisle through the restuarant.

We sat there for a few minutes, enjoying some drinks and eating the complimentary bread, when Christene got a frantic call from our dinner companions, who had just pulled into the parking lot.

Turns out, as they pulled into the lot, they saw Christene's ex-husband - who is, by all accounts, a pretty big douche - enter the restaurant with his new girlfriend. We resisted the urge to bolt (barely) and watched from behind our menus as they walked right past line of sight - down that damn aisle - and into the back area.

The same back area meant for large groups. This is when Christene realized it was her ex-mother-in-law's birthday. Sure enough, the back table was soon filled with the whole ex-family, which couldn't have been more awkward if it tried to be - or so I thought. We managed to ignore them for the most part, although both tables saw each other - I happened to accidently glance over there at one point and saw more than a eyes quickly dart away.

To some of you, this may not seem like that bad a situation - people break up all the time. It happens. But there are numerous reasons it was more awkward than usual, and I won't bother getting into them here. But rest assured, it sucked. It was pretty hard to relax, even after a couple drinks, and I've never wanted to leave a restaurant so bad in my life.

Finally, as we finished our dinner, we saw Ex and his lady friend go outside. They didn't return for quite some time. Phewww, we thought. They left. So Jason and I went up to the front to pay the bill, while Kristyl and Christene collected the boxes of leftovers and gathered up the baby and baby accessories. And as I waited my turn at the Interac machine, I glanced out the window.

Guess who I saw? Yep, the Ex, his girlfriend and the ex-mother-in-law, out for a post-dinner smoke.

Finally, we all got ready to leave, and Kristyl and Jason avoided contact by slipping through the parked cars on the way to their own vehicle, and they were home free.

We were not so lucky.

Christene went out the door first, and took a hard right - directly into the eye of the storm. That's when it got even worse. As much as I wanted to just bolt through some parked cars and run away, I didn't want to look like I was running away, so I followed Christene, who decided it was necessary to say Happy Birthday to her ex-mother-in-law.

I would've just booked it if I was her, but fair enough - she always liked her, and wanted to say hi. But that left five of us standing there awkwardly, and two of us - guess which two? - eyeing each other up.

And then we actually had to make the world's-most-awkward-introductions, which basically went something like this:

"Hi, I'm Nick. I'm the guy banging your wife. Nice to meet you."

It was terrible. So terrible in fact that I - a man of many words - cannot even properly explain it in print.

The only amusing part was, after the initial "Hello" - when it was suddenly clear that this trainwreck was progressing to a full-blown conversation - both the Ex and me looked at each other with the same sense of "are-you-fucking-kidding-me?"

"So, this is actually going to happen."

(It instantly reminded me of that scene in Forgetting Sarah Marshall when Jason Segel's character invites his ex and Russell Brand to dinner, she accepts, and Brand says, "So, we're actually going to let this happen.")

The moment couldn't have lasted more than 45 seconds, but it felt like 20 years. And after it was done, all I could think about was how easy it would have been to avoid the whole situation. If it had been me leading the way out of the restaurant door, it never would have happened.

To properly illustrate my point, I created this handy diagram in photoshop. My proposed escape route is in green; Christene's chosen route is in pink.

This end-of-the-evening situation was essentially the equivalent of driving down the road in your car - minding your own business - and then seeing a car crash on the side of the road. However, instead of just zipping by the car crash, which is already bad enough, you decide to yank the wheel hard to the right and smash your perfectly good car into the other two already-damaged vehicles, thus making a regular car crash into a horrific multi-car affair.

To her credit, Christene felt really bad afterwards - and I know I made her feel worse by constantly bugging her about it, which wasn't necessarily my intent. But I just couldn't help it, even if popular opinion is that it was the polite, adult thing to do (Which, to be fair, is probably true. More mature than my plan of running away quickly, anyway).

But that said, I still don't think it ever had to happen. I'm sure such a meeting could have likely been avoided forever, since we don't exactly run in the same social circles (I for example, like slo-pitch, barbecues, and writing far-too-lengthly blogs, and I imagine the Ex is more of a monster truck rally, hang-out-in-dank-basements kind of guy).

But what's done is done, and one thing is for sure: I'm never going back to Pasta Polo again.

Can't take that chance.

Friday, September 11, 2009

:: Things people said ::

As often is the case, the "Quotes" memo in my BlackBerry has been getting pretty full lately – with a few getting pretty stale – so I figured a slow Friday afternoon was as good a time as any to unload 'em:

Christene's dad, on the Rules of Life...
Mo (Christene's Dad): You can't have fun your whole life – it's not allowed. You can have fun for the first 20-25 years, then you have to have a kid. Then when your kid grows up, you can have fun again.
Christene: I'm 28 and I'm still having fun.
Mo: Oh, that'll end.

"Smell your hands. It smells like you gave a homeless guy a handjob." - Kristyl, after eating crab.

Chris: What kinda tea you drinkin', camel toe?
Jenna: Uhh, you mean camomile. But no, it's pomegranate.

"It's a salad bar of laughter!" - Kristyl

"If there was an odometer on my cock...nevermind." - T.O., on life experience.

"Jason's not allowed to drink rum anymore. Last time he came home and he smelled like half of Surrey." - Kristyl

"If I could lick my own asshole, I'd suck my own dick." - Jeremy, on flexibility.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

:: Done with numbers ::

I've always been a bit of a numbers guy – not in a math way, mind you, because I'm awful at math – but more in a statistics kind of way. I love sports pools, always read box scores and when I was a kid I used to like helping my dad keep the stats for Chris's hockey team. 

And, just for kicks (and to prove scientifically that I am not the worst hitter on the Cannons) I decided to keep track of my batting stats for the current fall slo-pitch season. (For the record, I'm 13-for-17, good for a .765 batting average from the No. 2 spot in the order, my new home).

So, I'm a big dork. That said, I cannot stand some people's obsession with numbers that have absolutely zero meaning. Take today, for example.

Today, Sept. 9, 2009. Which of course, if written in abbreviated fashion, is 09/09/09.

Yep, the same number in all three columns! Mind blowing, no? Over the past few days, I've read a couple different things online about how amazing this apparently is. 

"It'll never happen again!" people say.

Wonderful. News flash, geniuses – you know what else will never happen again? 

08/09/09. And I didn't see anybody getting all riled up about that. 

Then, what finally set me off on this rant... A few minutes ago, a co-worker came up to me, all excited, and started a conversation. It went poorly, as you might have predicted.

"Hey - guess what special day it is today?!"
"I dunno, is it Christmas? Easter? Arbour Day?"
"No - it's 09/09/09!"
"Yeah, so what?"
"It's all nines! You didn't know that?!"
"I get it, but who cares? Come talk to me when it's Christmas."

This is what passes for excitement 'round these parts these days? Blue shoes and mean-nothing dates on a calendar?

I am far from the world's most interesting person, but seriously, people. Get a fucking hobby.

Friday, September 04, 2009

:: New name, same great taste ::

As personal public relations rep for Christene (I was originally hired to soothe the media backlash after she allegedly killed a drifter in 1993... it was later blamed on Eddie Furlong), I would like to announce that she has dropped "Christene Sucks" as the title of her blog. 

The title change was considered primarily for legal reasons, and to conform to business and marketing laws that prohibit misleading advertising – because for the most part, she does not suck. (On a related note, blog titles such as "Nick is a Douchebag" and "Kyle's an asshole" are still acceptable).

So effective this morning, her blog has been officially McCallistered.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

:: The problem with pancakes ::

"Seriously people, it's pancakes, not rocket science."
- Christene, complaining about a meeting she has to attend today at IHOP (which involves her having to leave early from her day job), in which nothing of use will be discussed and all that will apparently happen is people will bitch about each other, make simple problems more confusing, and generally waste time.

(editor's note: This meeting sounds a lot like something that would happen in my office.)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

:: What's blue, annoying and lame all over? ::

About an hour ago, someone in our office – the resident "handy man" – was asked to repaint an old cabinet with blue spray paint, so it would match a bunch of other bins we had outside. About a half hour later, he returned, having successfully completed his task.

However, he had also managed to accidently get copious amounts of blue paint on his brown hiking-boot style shoes. So much, in fact, that they're basically ruined. He wasn't too upset though, because they were old shoes, and only cost $30 in the first place.

Despite his nonchalance towards his new-blue kicks, one department here – exclusively made up of middle-aged women, for what its' worth – absolutely cannot get enough of this situation. First, they laughed, and made sure everyone else in the department knew what had happened, which resulted in a cacophony of cackles and 'Oh my God!'s.

Somebody even rounded up a digital camera and took a picture, to make sure this glorious moment was captured for eternity.

Then, once the din had died down, the cackles were replaced by all kinds of solutions – go to Wal-Mart across the street and buy new ones for cheap, use some paint thinner/solvent to try and take the paint off, etc etc etc....

Needless to say, the blue-shoes talk has now been dominating the office for nearly half an hour – the conversation, of course, still being led by an army of middle-aged marketing women.

This is the kind of "event" that excites them. Makes their day, even.

Sad, really.

*post-script: In the time it took me to write this post – about 20 minutes between other tasks – the conversation finally, finally died. Just as I was about to click "publish" however, somebody else brought it up. Again. And so it goes...