Tuesday, August 24, 2010

:: Disneyland, passports, quotes ::

So we are back from our week in California, and needless to say, it was pretty awesome. Weather was nice and warm - too hot on some days, actually - and the lines at Disneyland weren't too bad, for the most part. It was one of our best vacations yet, even with a few bumps in the road.

Well, one bump, really - I lost my passport about one hour after landing in Los Angeles. I won't go into all my complaints about that - about the piss poor customer service from everyone from multiple people at the airline to the airport to the lost and found people... because I don't want to make it sound like I was miserable the whole week. Truthfully, I was only miserable for about one day, and for me, that's not bad.

In the end, I made it home without a passport somehow and that's the important thing. (sidenote: So much for that upgraded security, US and Canadian border services people. Nobody even asked me about my lack of a passport)

Anyways, here are some quotes (some old), anecdotes and other things from the past 2-3 weeks.

At the Fox n Fiddle, Chris is quietly trying to point out something to Ian (they were making fun of some random person, I think)
Sean: WHO WE LOOKING AT?!!!!!!!!

"Organic baby toys? Only the French would think of something like that. Babies these days are gonna be so weak - give 'em some nails to chew on." - Bucholtz, future father of the year.

"It's like Bluetooth for my nuts!" - Sean, during a round of golf, defending his way of peeing, which includes pulling his balls right out of his shorts, too. (Because the stability allows him to go hands free).

While discussing an infamous New Year's part years ago at Sean's dad's house...
"I've been trying to forget that night for seven years.... come to think of it, two days later wasn't so great either." - Chris

"It was dark, I was drunk, and I stuck my finger down her pants." - Sean, defending his actions during that same NYE party.

"I don't need to be reminded to laugh. I make fun of stuff every day." - Christene, on why she hates laugh tracks on TV shows.

"You bought camping groceries? What the hell for? All you need is a bag of salt, a box of beef jerky and beer. Either that, or a big box of Kentucky Fried Chicken." - Mo (Christene's dad) on camping necessities.

"I've been doing this thing now where I think before I say things." - Christene

"People like different things. You know, Nick likes sports and folding his laundry, and I don't like those things." - Christene, on differences.

Oh, and feel free to ask Christene about her initial reaction to Disneyland, upon walking through the gates for the very first time. (hint: she almost started crying, she was so overwhelmed). She hates it when I bring it up, but then again, she posted this so fair is fair.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

:: Shadenfreude ::

Shadenfreude is described as, to the best of my knowledge without actually looking it up, taking pleasure in other people's misery. You might be surprised to know that I do this a lot.

I bring this up now because at the moment I am sitting in the boarding area of the Bellingham Airport, waiting for my flight, in an hour or so. We got here early - go figure - and as we walked into the terminal, it was the last boarding call for a flight to Vegas. And there is not much funnier than watching people scramble to make their flight.

We saw, in a matter of just a few minutes, three guys race through the doors yelling "last three for Vegas! Last three for Vegas!" and also two older women get chastised by the employee at the counter for being late. They blamed the border lineups. They were awful this morning - we waited an hour; Peace Arch border was apparently a 3 hour wait.

But still, I have no sympathy for em, really. They knew they had a border to deal with, they knew - or should have known - it'd be busy on a Saturday morning. Leave early, like we did.

In the end, everyone made the flight, it seemed. Except about 10 minutes after the plane left, we saw two couples come in, late. They looked stressed, angry, frazzled and unhappy.

They missed the flight, and despite my jerky ways, I felt bad for them. I mean, I feel bad for anybody who gets Vegas taken away from them like that, whether it was their own fault or not.

As they frantically tried to rebook flights for later in the day, I heard the airline woman say the following:

"OK, there's four of you and we have four flights. I can get one of you on every one..... oh, and two of them are tomorrow. That'll be an extra $291.09."

That's when it became funny again.

(See you in a week. Disneyland awaits!)

Friday, August 13, 2010

:: Silent Agreement ::

Seth: What are you doing? 
Evan: Drilling holes.... there's two weeks left of school, fuck it.
- Superbad

Today is my last day of work before two weeks of vacation. Tomorrow, I leave for Disneyland. Needless to say, I am not working very hard today. I mean, I don't really have to – I did a bunch of work ahead of time to help out those filling my shoes in my absence, and there is no point in starting anything new because, well, there is less than two hours left in the workday, so what's the point? If I start something new and it doesn't get done by 5 p.m., then what? 

I realize this, and so does, I think, my boss. He often has a bad habit of assigning us tasks – even menial, quick ones - at like 4:52 p.m. I don't even think he does it on purpose, but today, for me, there has been none of these type of assignments since lunch. Instead, other colleagues are getting them put on their desks instead.

Because let's face it, if he gave it to me, it's not going to get done. Nobody even has to say anything.

He knows it. I know it. 

Now, let's just sit silently at our desks until the clock runs out.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

:: Kill 'em with kindness... or cancer ::

I've been dealing with a lot of banks, lately. Too many, in fact. 

I'm currently in the process of switching banks from Coast Capital to TD, and then a third, RBC, is handling our upcoming mortgage. So, that's three banks with the ability to piss me off at once. And as everyone knows, banks have a way of pissing people off.

Also, and perhaps this is the most important point, anybody who knows me is well aware that it does not take much to get on my last nerve (See previous post, titled 'The Complaint Department, for further proof).

Anyways, the reason I'm leaving Coast – my main bank since I was eight or nine years old – is because they kept screwing me around and giving me the round-around when I tried to get the loan for my truck a year and a half ago. But secondly – and most importantly – they really jerked us around with the mortgage we almost had with them. I may have written about this before – it's probable, actually – but here's the Cole's notes of it: 

They approved our mortgage without problems about six weeks before the closing date of the deal. Then, four days before the deal was set to close, they said, "Oh, sorry, we finally got around to actually checking out the details, and we can't do it (for one pretty lame reason, but a reason nonetheless). I was furious not because they rejected it – there's lots of banks out there, after all – but because they waited 'til the last second and left us scrambling like idiots. 

So today, as I attempt to move my accounts, I went to Coast Capital – albeit a different branch than the one I'm mad at – to get some void cheques/banking info, which are necessary to make the transfer. 

The teller asked me, out of curiosity more than anything else, why I needed the forms. I said it was because I was closing all my accounts. 

"Oh, do you mind if I ask why?" she asked.

Oh boy, this was the moment I was waiting for. The chance for me to tell the bank – loudly – just how badly they had fucked me around, and that they could all go to hell. I didn't even care that it was a different branch, I was gonna let 'er rip.

I explained my reasons (politely, I may add. I was working up to the anger). And then, the real piss-off: the overly-polite teller agreed with me. 

"I don't have much dealings with the mortgage end of things, but you're right – they should've told you way sooner than that. I don't blame you for being upset," she said.

"No! You're supposed to disagree! I need ammo here! I want a fight!!!!" my angry brain screamed.

But I got nothing but pleasantries – a "sorry to see you leave" and a "have a nice day." Talk about taking the wind from my sails.

Anyways, with that out of the way – and more bottled-up rage than ever – I focused my attention on RBC. We need to finalize the mortgage and sign papers in a week or so, and my mortgage specialist – who had already previously disappeared for three months due to some type of medical leave – was, again, nowhere to be found.

I emailed. I called and left a message on her cell. I emailed again - this time a little more tersely, explaining that I couldn't wait forever, and that her lack of a response was unnerving, to say the least. Then I called again. And then one more time for good measure.

But still nothing. To quote noted philosopher Homer Simpson: "Urge to kill rising."

Finally, exasperated, I called the branch itself and complained. The woman on the phone apologized and said she'd get right on it. She said not to worry about it – she'd do all the legwork, get me an appointment and call me back when I had one. 

Not even 10 minutes later, I had an email from the formerly MIA mortgage woman. (What a coincidence.)

Again, I was ready to be angry. I opened the email.

"Hi there, sorry for the delay in getting back to you...." it read.

Damn right you should be sorry! 

"... but I just found out that my dad has been diagnosed with a very serious form of cancer, so I had to take a few days off in the last week."

God dammit. So much for being angry. I mean, I was still within my rights to wonder where the hell she'd been, but how can you possibly stay pissed off when that's the reason given? 

Now, the worst part – aside from the fact that some poor guy out there has a serious medical issue to deal with – is that I've still got all this pent-up anger and nowhere to unleash it.

Thankfully, we've got the first two games of our fall slo-pitch season tonight. The umpire at diamond 4 is probably gonna get an earful.

Monday, August 09, 2010

:: Best dream ever ::

I didn't sleep well last night, for whatever reason. I went to be really early, like 9-something, and then tossed and turned for hours. But when I did finally fall asleep for good, I had a pretty awesome dream. And the fact that I can remember it – I usually don't remember dreams – makes it even better. 

Here's what happened.

A bunch of us were all camping somewhere out in the woods. In bear country. There were, in fact, bears sightings all over the place. At some point in our camping adventure, Christene needed to get something from Sean's tent, and when she left, she forgot to zip the door back up.

And soon after, a bear got into Sean's tent and tore shit up. Pretty awesome so far.

Sean, of course, went nuts, and got really mad at Christene for leaving the door open (because, as everyone knows, zipping up a thin nylon door keeps bears out). Basically, he blamed her for the bear attack. Then I, of course, got mad at Sean, and we started arguing/fighting.

And here's where the dream gets really good. I won the fight when I, wait for it..... picked up a grizzly bear and threw it at Sean.

Yes, I hit Sean in the face with a bear. 

Take that, asshole. 

Friday, August 06, 2010

:: The Complaint Department ::

Last night, while sitting around making idle chatter with Christene, I rattled off – in the course of about 15 seconds - four consecutive complaints about completely different, random things. Christene stopped me before I could say anything else – which, let's face it, was probably about to be complaint number five – and marveled at the speed of which my complaints came. 

Not to mention the fact that I didn't even realize I'd complained at all. After awhile, it just becomes so common you don't pay attention. You know, like the Boy Who Cried Wolf but more angry.

"You should get a tattoo of a suggestion-box looking thing, and get the words 'The Complaint Dept.' written over top," Christen suggested. 

And while I probably won't get that tattoo, here's a list of things that've been pissing me off lately. 

1. The perma-garage sale on our street

Our next door neighbour is well, a li'l trashy. She is a single mom and lives in this house with her couple young kids – and despite the fact that she has no money, she refuses to get a job. Instead, she mooches off the system because, and I quote, "I just feel like it's more important to be here for my kids."

Commendable? Perhaps. But, newsflash, lady: Most of the day, your kids are in school. It's probably more important that they, you know, eat.

But anyways, rather than work like the rest of productive society, she spends her hours – hours which could be spent at a real job, remember – collecting free shit from road sides, driveways, and wherever else Craigslist tells her somebody is giving something away for free. She then takes the free garbage back to her driveway, where she has a garage sale.

Now, I've got no issue with garage sales - people have them all the time. But this woman has had garage sales EVERY SINGLE FRIDAY AND SATURDAY FOR FIVE CONSECUTIVE WEEKS. And this weekend will be six. Personally, I hate this mainly because a) I park on the street, and the never-ending sale means a never-ending stream of cars coming next door, thus making parking hard to come by; and b) get a freaking job.

I think by Week 3, it ceases to become a garage sale and becomes a business. If it wasn't for the fact that her kids would go hungry, I'd love to call the city and complain about an unlicensed business.

2. Whiny Facebook whiners

First off, I know that complaining on a blog about people who complain on Facebook is hypocritical on the surface, but here's the thing: When I complain, it's straightforward, angry, and often full of curse words. 

Fuck. Shit.  See? I can't help myself. 

Point is, when I complain – by whichever medium I choose – there is no ambiguity, no vagueness, and therefore, no reason for hundreds of people to ask "Ooooh, no, what's wrong?" just because your camera broke or think the world is against you or you "need a change."

Here's a change for ya: Shut up!

The difference, you see, is that I'm not complaining as a way to garner attention. I'm complaining because I'm an asshole and it's what I do.

Not everyone is like me, however. There are plenty of these attention-seekers. And while this is not exactly news to anyone with a Facebook account – friends lists are littered with over-the-top emo assholes, after all – it's gotten worse on my list of late. In fact, the next time I log in, I'm culling the herd of these people. (Note to friend's ex-wife: This means you. See the word 'ex'? This means I no longer have to pretend to tolerate you.)

Hmm, you know what? I guess there's really only those two complaints. Funny, I thought there was more. Oh well, I'm sure I'll come up some some more later. Either way, felt good to get those off my chest.

Have a good weekend, boys and girls.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

:: Open bars are dangerous, dangerous things ::

For those of you who weren't there, either because a) you live far away, b) you apparently had better things to do, or c) weren't invited because you are a random reader of this blog and don't actually know me (Hi, random person! Thanks for stopping by) I am going to recount, quickly, the mayhem that was Derrick and Angela's wedding on Saturday night.

The reception, for starters, was an open bar. This meant, unlike most gatherings among our friends where maybe a few people get drunk, others don't, some people don't show up, etc..., this one consisted of everyone but the two pregnant women getting on-their-face smashed. Just obliterated.

To recap:

- Kyle made fun of a guy who was wearing both suspenders and a belt. Guy got angry with Kyle. Kyle told him he was going to throw him down some stairs. Derrick makes Kyle apologize. Apology consists of "Yeah, I'm sorry man, but still, you're lucky I don't chuck you don't the stairs." Nice.

- Jeremy drinks approximately 13 bottles of red wine.

- Jenna and Kyle crash the (lame looking) wedding next door, just to dance. Jenna is approached by a bridesmaid who says, "Get out. The bridge doesn't want you here." Jenna calls her a bitch and invites her over to our fun wedding.

- At very end of night, Tara catches aforementioned bitchy bridesmaid trying to take advantage of our open bar. Bridesmaid is promptly given the boot.

- Jeremy temporarily passes out outside at a patio table.

- Chris, shitfaced, tells Jeremy and Katie - who were leaving and found Chris in the parking lot - that he's just gonna lie down for a second. Proceeds to lie down in a parking stall for a quick nap.

- Because Christene was too reluctant to dance with Kyle - or anybody at the time - Kyle decides to just dance on her, lapdance style.

- On the way home, at McDonald's drive-thru, Jeremy refuses to give Kate his wallet (Katie had no bank card) because that's "his money!" Despite repeated angry efforts, Kate is forced to pay for $8 of McDonalds with her Visa.

- After midnight, Jeremy discovers more red wine on our table. This conversation then ensues:

Me: Hey man, you sure you wanna more of that? I mean, you're already hammered. You're gonna be so hungover tomorrow.
Jeremy: Who cares?! Tomorrow's tomorrow, Nick - LIVE IN THE NOW!!!!!

- The next morning, I asked Jer if he wanted to meet us for breakfast/lunch. He'd already went for breakfast much earlier. "What in the hell were you doing up so early?" I asked him.

"Living, Nick. I was living."

That is my favourite quote of the whole thing.

Oh, and Jenna puked at Ricky's the next morning.