Monday, May 31, 2010

A story of personal growth

I have a very special announcement to make.  I have GROWN as a PERSON in the past 10 minutes.  For reals.

I just got home this evening and went into the bathroom only to find I was about to be assaulted by another killer bug.  Not a giant killer bee this time.  No, this time it was a tiny spider that I thought was lint until it started moving.  I am very proud to announce, however, that upon realizing I was in the presence of an Arachnid (also known as Evil Death Monster), I totally did not freak out!  Seriously, I kept my cool COMPLETELY.  It was a very zen moment.

I even paused and thought about allowing this poor little bugger to live - who am I to kill it just because it is a spider?  It isn't its fault that it's an Evil Death Monster, it didn't ask to be born that way.  Who knows, maybe it asked to be a  unicorn and then fate was all "NO!  Unicorns are passe!  You shall be an Evil Death Monster!" and the spider-to-be was all "aw MAN!  I so wanted to be a unicorn, they're all mystical and awesome" and then it cried a little bit at its tragic fate.  And who am I to be judge, jury, and executioner in such a tragic tale as this?

Of course, then I realized that sadness turns to bitterness which turns to anger, and so this was an angry Evil Death Monster, and may also have leaping abilities.  This made it extremely dangerously.  So I calmly and cooly chose to kill it in a swift and humane manner.  Thank goodness my slippers have rubber soles.

The Definitive Clearing Up of Basic Psychology Terminology IV

Todays' term?  Psychopath.

DUDES!  People use this wrong all the time.  The confusion here is kind of understandable.  Psychopath sounds a lot like psychotic/psychosis.  They are different.  If someone's acting all crazy-like and seems to be a few guns short of an arsenal (note: please don't give psychotic people guns) then they are psychotic.  It's a sort of generic, blanket term for someone who's nutso.  Like how shoe is the generic, blanket term for something you stick on your feet before you leave the house.

Psychopathology is totes different, y'all.  It's specific.  Calling someone a psychopath when they're being psychotic is like calling all shoes lace-up ballet flats with sparkly trim or something.  A psychopath is a person who, essentially, has no empathy and no conscience.  They choose their behaviour based solely on the reward it will bring them and don't form any of those pesky human connections that make the rest of us do chump-like things that help others and not ourselves.  They are scary as all h-e-double-hockey-sticks because there is NO WAY to recognize them before they are murdering you, stealing your money, sleeping with your wife, or whatever else they decide to do.

For reals.  You know how people are always like "oh, he seemed like such a nice person!" when they find out their neighbour was storing body parts in their freezer?  It's because psychopaths, while being devoid of real human connection, are so effing good at faking it that people naturally like them.  They are super outgoing, friendly, smart, and interesting people.  So much so that they are often the kind of person that people love to be around, a person that people will naturally trust.  They are not all creepy, sitting off to the corner with dark eyes.  They are smiling and laughing with you while they wonder if your home is soundproof enough for murder.  Or whatever.

This is why, if you ever meet someone that seems really nice and that you naturally like right off the bat, run the other way.  Only make friends with people who seem really shifty, because while they might also be wondering if your home is soundproof enough for murder, at least you won't have that sense of foolish betrayal when they try to do it.  You'll be like "yes, I totally expected you to try to kill me because you were acting like you were a killer, this makes perfect sense" instead of "OH M G WHAT ARE YOU DOING I TRUSTED YOU!!!"  It would make being murdered really suck.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Some people are just pretentious and that's not okay

Some people think they are being very wise when they say things like "live each day like it's your last."  I am here to posit that they are not being wise, but pretentious and wrong.

Evidence: if everyone lived every day like it was their last all anyone would do is tell each other off, have sex, spend all their money traveling, and eat food that probably will make this proverbial day their last.  Is that the kind of world you want to live in?  Really?

Actually... maybe it is.  Think about it, it would be SO EASY to convince people to give you their life savings if they were living each day like it was their last.  Think about it: "you might die tomorrow, so you should give me all your money." "Okay."  Easy as pie.*  And then the next day everyone would be all like "oh MAN I totally am still alive and have NO MONEY and a whole bunch of STIs and everyone is mad at me because I told them what I really thought of them and I tried to fly to Paris but the pilot thought he might be dead today so instead of piloting the plane he totally spent the whole flight drinking in the cockpit (insert dirty joke here) and now we're all plummeting to our deaths - hey wait, that actually worked out just like we planned!"  And then everyone would be dead and I would be rich and all alone on the planet, making my wealth kind of pointless because why be rich if you can't buy expensive things in front of your poor friends while they drool from outside because the store is so fancy they aren't even allowed inside?

It would be like that apocalypse story I read in elementary school where one person survived some nuclear horror and then lives the rest of their life all alone eating left over groceries and trying to find creative ways to get their vitamins as the produce rots.  Then they entertain themselves by watching all the movies that have been released on video (because this book was written before DVDs existed and ruined everything by paving the way for BluRay) because they don't even have to pay late fees anymore.  But then they start to get lonely and find the one other person who is alive but they don't know if that person is a friend or foe, because that always happens with sole survivors so then things are really awkward and everyone can't decide if they should kill each other or procreate or what.  I think in the book I read of this it was a young girl and then an older man and I really hope it didn't include any creepy sexy stuff because that's just wrong.  Especially because this book was assigned reading.

So basically, what I'm saying is that it's not good to live every day as if it's your last because then you will all die and I will be all alone with a potentially creepy fellow-sole survivor and have nothing to do with my wealth but sit there and stare at it because I can get everything for free now anyways.

*FACT: pie is not actually very easy to make, but not as hard as most people think either.  So why is it that a saying referring to something being super easy is actually something most people think is really hard but is actually moderately difficult?  Answer me THAT universe.

Mouse in the house!

As usual, the creepiest and most wonderful things I find on the internet come from Boing Boing.  Here is a mouse made out of... an actual mouse?  Yikes.


Find the original post here.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Gary Coleman, RIP

Gary Coleman died today.  This is very sad news.  He is best known for his role on Different Strokes and for the line (I think) "Whatcha talkin' 'bout Willis?"  I, on the other hand, only really know him from Avenue Q.  I'm not sure if it's disrespectful to reference this now that he's dead, because the show made him out to be a has-been, scummy landlord.  Then again, I am clearly not all that concerned with being respectful on here.  So with that in mind, here's my favourite Gary Coleman solo from Avenue Q, from the song "It Sucks to be Me."


I'm Gary Coleman
From TV's
Diff'rent Strokes
I made a lotta money
That got stolen
By my folks!
Now I'm broke and
I'm the butt
Of everyone's jokes,
But I'm here -
The Superintendent!
On Avenue Q -


(Then everyone else sings things like "It sucks to be you!" and "You win!  Your life is the worst!" and Gary does the thing where people talk instead of sing in the middle of the song:)

Try having people
stopping you to ask you
"What you talkin' 'bout, Willis?"
It gets old.

You should listen to it here.

Gary Coleman, you will live on through your Avenue Q puppet.  A loving and respectful mocking that I'm sure you thought was hilarious too, because you were cool that way.  I assume.

Stuff Jesus Would Hate

I was trying to think of the next person I could write about the stuff they would hate, because I get absurd amounts of - WHOA.  Okay.  Post rerouted.  I was just typing and all of a sudden my ear did this weird tinny thing and it sounded like a bad guy was approaching in a scary movie that's done in the even more scary way where eery silence is punctuated with jarring noises and I got all freaked out and looked around but there's no bad guys approaching from what I can tell, and since I'm in a small box office right now there aren't many places to hide (unless it's outside the window in which case OH MY WORD I CAN'T SEE OUT OF THE WINDOW VERY WELL BECAUSE THERE'S A METAL SCREEN THINGY AND IT'S DARK OUT!) so I think I'm safe but seriously, what just happened with my ear?*  I got so distracted by it that I accidentally typed "intelligence" where I was going to type "enjoyment" - as in "absurd amounts of enjoyment", which really leads to the question of why, in times of panic my brain thinks of intelligence instead of enjoyment?  Maybe it just shows that my brain is really really smart.  Anyways, I deleted "intelligence" and then realized that this was a big deal and had a delayed "WHOA" reaction.

That's the end of my story.  I hope you liked it.  Maybe I will write about stuff Jesus would hate later?

*I think that may be my best run-on sentence yet.  I am so proud of myself.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

WHISTLERS OF THE WORLD I'M SORRY!

International Whistlers Week is almost over and I have yet to do a single THING to commemorate this occasion!  I am so so so so sorry... I just don't even know what to say.  This is huge.  Okay, so to make it up to all the whistlers of the world, I am going to talk about some songs that have whistling in them.

The first one that springs to mind is "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding.  Now, I don't know if this is true because I've heard that it's not (after I heard that it is, obviously) but apparently the whole verse of whistling got inserted into the song because OTIS REDDING DIED before they finished that song.  SERIOUSLY!  It's totally might be true!

Okay, I'm going to google it to find out.

Okay, I've googled it and am on Otis Redding's wikipedia page.

Why didn't I just look up the wikipedia first?

OH MY WORD!  It's actually true.  This is amazing.  Okay, well sort of true.  What happened was that Otis Redding tragically died in a horrible horrible plane crash that only one person survived from which really sucks (although maybe he was just stranded on Lost this whole time?  I don't know, I never watched that show, but I bet he was on it.  Maybe now that the show's canceled he'll be back?), but it was a mere three days after recording that song.  Old Otie totally meant to write lyrics to that verse later and then never got a chance to because he was dead/stuck on some weird tropical island where women are not fertile and so can have lots of sex with no repercussions (what about STI's y'all?  Did the island also kill STI's?) and I don't know anything else that happens in that storyline.

So pretty much what I'm saying here is that Otis Redding is Lost.  As in, he is the entire show.  This is HUGE.  And we never would have discovered it if it weren't for International Whistlers Week.

PS: Sorry for only talking about ONE song with whistling in it when I promised multiple songs with whistling, but don't you think figuring out that Otis Redding is not actually dead but is that stupid TV show that people get obsessed with, which I just don't understand because I refuse to watch it, is more of a big deal than listing multiple songs with whistling?  No?  Okay fine I will think of more songs with whistling except that I can't because that's the only one that matters.  I assume that Simon and Garfunkel whistled at one point though.  And also The Beatles because they did everything.  There.  Are you happy NOW?  No?  Well I'm not happy either, but I know how to deal with my deep and crippling sadness without taking it out on others.

PPS: Today is also cellophane tape day, but that's stupid and I refuse to recognize it because this is CANADA and we don't say cellophane tape, we say scotch tape, so STICK IT!  (Ha!  Get it?  Stick it?  With tape?  HA!)  Also, that really confused me the first time I read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets because Ron sticks his broken wand back together with cellotape and I was all like "WTF is cellotape, that's crazy!  Is it some special magical tape JK Rowling invented for Harry Potter's magical world?" and then my really wise friend was all "that's British for scotch tape" because she knows stuff, and then I was all embarrassed.  Then I was just angry because why would JK Rowling write a beautiful, perfect world where wizards and witches exist and everyone lives in harmony except for one stupid evil guy but that's okay because he dies in the end (spoiler alert!) and then force magical people to use something stupid like cellotape to fix their magic wand?  I mean, they have a juice that grows bones back, couldn't they have a juice that grows wands back?  Seriously JK - what were you thinking?

SATC 2

Just watched Sex and the City 2 - yes at a midnight preview.  Do I need to leave time for you to judge me again?  Alright, judge away.... I feel like I let myself get judged a lot on here.  I'm still kind of wired from all the girlie fun, despite the fact that it's 3am, so I'm going to write.  Here's my quick-and-dirty (there's got to be some kind of Samantha joke there) review:

Mostly hilarious, cheesy in all the expected ways, LIZA MINELLI PEOPLE!, a few bad puns, some camp, lots of great outfits, waaaaaay better than the first movie.

Okay, now I'll see if I can't go to sleep.  Ha!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

How To Have an Awkward High School Run-In

Walk into a used book store to get a book that you hope is still on the shelves from the last time you were there and got really excited to see it and almost bought it before looking at the price and thinking "$12 for a book from a used bookstore?  I can get this on paperback for $10 at the Book Warehouse" and then leaving with a mixture of victory and shame.

Notice, as you walk straight to the theatre section (where you know the book lives) that some tall man-shaped person seemed to notice you as you walked by.

Think that you must be looking particularly stunning today as you just got checked out in a used book store.

From the theatre section try to check out the tall man-shaped person who seemed to notice you, but their back is turned so you can't tell anything about their appearance except that they remain to be tall and man-shaped.

Remind yourself that it's not sexist to call someone man-shaped because there are general differences in body shape and size between the sexes, and this is definitely of the man-specific variety.

Turn back to the shelf to look for the pretentious theatre theory book you want to read for fun and notice movement at your side that is probably the man-shaped person approaching you.  Think that you must really be looking stunning because this man-shaped person seems to now be approaching you.

Feel really good about yourself and the fact that you have a new, open attitude towards dating and talking to people you don't know and everything.  Remember how much more confident and self-assured you have been lately and think of how well the pending conversation is likely to go.

Hear the man-shaped person say something probably along the lines of, "hey."

Turn to look at them.

See that they are a dude you went to high school with.

Have nothing to talk about because you already pretty much know what each other is up to because even though you haven't talked in years, you're both on facebook and facebook has removed the possibility for catching up with old acquaintances in person, so instead you end up saying things like "I saw on facebook that you...." and the other person can't say much more than "yep, that's what I'm doing - oh facebook!" and then you both laugh awkwardly and linger for a few moments before he finds an excuse to leave the conversation.

Realize that instead of getting checked out and chatted up by a potentially attractive used-book store patron, you have been a part of what might as well have been a scene in one of those awkward romantic comedies where the main character undergoes a drastic transformation and this is the establishing scene to show how much of a social pariah she was in the beginning, and highlight how significant her journey will be in the end.

Feel that dirty feeling that awkward run-ins bring, wander around used book store for 10 minutes to try to shake it off before leaving without buying the book you came in for.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I'm pretty sure I will have nightmares about this

The Handfish.  It's a fish that walks on hand-like fins.  Seriously.  This is a missing link that I can just imagine crawling along my floor at night and up the side of my bed.  Can you imagine waking up with this thing towering over you?  Can you imagine dying on the spot before it has a chance to any evil, murderous-fish type things to you?  I can.  And don't try to tell me I'm safe because I don't live under water.  If this is a fish that adapted to have feet, how do we know it doesn't also have lungs?  Exactly.


The handfish will eat you and your babies.  If you don't have any yet it will eat your future fertility.  Which is pretty much inevitable once it eats you, if you think about it.

Via, as always, Boing Boing.

Jessie Awards!

So many rad-tastic people make theatre in Vancouver, and the Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards help recognize... well, some of them.  Sadly much of the awesome work slips under the radar of the Jessies, but tons of work made it as well!

My highlights:

  • Ryan Beil being nominated for everything.  He is yummy and a good actor and I went to school with him.
  • Lauchlin Johnston for his AMAZING set and lighting design for Refuge of Lies at PT (and it's not just because I work there)
  • Sarah Rodgers for acting in The Project and directing Billy Bishop Goes to War.  She is amazing.  AMAZING!
  • Lucia Frangione for Paradise Garden.

A full list of the nominees can be found at The Province.

Prime Minister #2: Alexander Mackenzie

Name: Alexander Mackenzie
Alive: January 28, 1822 – April 17, 1892
Reign: November 7, 1873 - October 9, 1878
Born in: Logierait, Scotland
Party: Liberal
Known for: Being the first Liberal PM ever, overseeing the completion of the Parliament buildings, introducing the secret ballot, building a bunch of railroads.

Looked a lot like Abe Lincoln, no?  Pretty dreamy too, if you ask me.
Fun Facts:

A hopeless romantic, ol' Alex came to Canada because he was in love with a girl whose family was moving here!  He almost drowned after falling through frozen ice to see her once, but made it to her door, a shivering mouse of a man.  I bet she warmed him up that night, alright.  Someone needs to make a romantic comedy out of this, or one of those boring olden-times romance movies that people convince themselves is really good because of the corsets and petticoats and flowery language, but is really just full of violins telling you when to cry, and your eyes obey because they are stupid.

Another rags-to-riches story, Alex dropped out of school at 13 because his family was all poor and he was 3rd of 10 kids (talk about middle-child syndrome).  He was a stonemason and newspaper editor until someone said "Dude!  You should totally form a party and take down Sir Johnny!"  And he did.

He was the J-Lo of Prime Ministers - no matter how successful he was, he was still Alex from the Block, used to have a little, now he's got a lot, no matter where he goes, he knows where he came from (from Scotland!)  Seriously, he wouldn't even let them knight him.  That's for reals.  You could also liken him to Paul McCartney's Working Class Hero.

Was the first rider to have a dragon hatch for him, which is really the main reason why he defeated Sir John A. MacDonald.*

Hated being asked for money so much he had a secret second staircase (alliterative apologies) built out of the back of his office so he could escape anyone waiting to try to get some out of him.

Might be the reincarnated spirit of Alexander Mackenzie, the explorer.  I mean, I'm pretty sure most reincarnated spirits don't have the exact same name, but COME ON!  They were both Scottish!  And the PM-version was born two years after the explorer-version died.  Argue with that.

Argument: there were many other Scottish Alexander Mackenzies, including a violinist, architect, and an actor.  And those are just the ones listed as Scottish on Wikipedia.

*I probably stole that from Eragon.  There just aren't that many fun facts about his life.  Work with me.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Disney is Educational, y'all!

I came across both of these from Boing Boing, apparently the original source is unknown.  To be frank, I'm too lazy to look into it myself and am trusting the good folks of Boing Boing.  Good to have someone point out how Disney is equally oppressive/stereotypical/full-of-terrible-advice for guys and girls.  My favourites is the Beast (in his prince form, but I don't remember his name) "mmmmmmm, stockholm syndrom"

Best Product Name Ever.

This is real.  It's the #1 selling whole body vibration machine in the whole world!



Ahhahaha....

Happy Birthday Queen Vikki!

Today is Queen Victoria's birthday!  To commemorate this special occasion, I have unearthed a rare transcription of the exact dialogue that occurred between Queen Vikki and her mom, Princess Vikki after she became a queen.

Queen: Hey Mom!  I'm totally Queen now!

Princess: Congratulations sweetheart.  I'm totally not upset or jealous about this at all, that the name Queen Victoria will forever be in your honour and no one will even remember who I am, evidenced by the fact that in 100-some years when a girl writes a blog post about you on the internet she will have to look up my name and I will only be a footnote on your Wikipedia page.  That is so awesome.  I am totally okay with this situation and totally know what the internet, blogs, wikipedia, and girls who write for fun are.

Queen: Thanks Mom, you're the best!  Well, I guess I'll be moving out now.

Princess: No you won't.

Queen: But I'm the QUEEN now!  It will be so embarrassing to be a queen living in my Mom's house!  What will all the other queens think?

Princess: They'll think that this sad little girl shouldn't be queen yet and that we are totally sexist (even though we let women run the freaking country) because an unmarried queen can't live on her own.

Queen: But MO-OOOM!  That's not fair!

Princess: Too bad.  I may only be a princess but I'm still your Mom and I will cling to power in any way I can, including reinforcing oppression against women even though I am one.

Queen: But you're totally just making up for your own insecurities by being a tyrant in the only way you can!

Princess: That's exactly what I just said.

Queen: But you CAN'T!  I'm the freaking QUEEN!  Doesn't that mean ANYTHING???

Princess: Nope.  I'm totally vindictive.  What are you surprised by this?  I already have been raising you to be totally dependent on me and to not have relationships with anyone except for me, my creepy lover-man who is probably your biological father, and your tutor who I totally control.  You never did realize that it's not normal to always have someone with you when you go to the bathroom, did you?  Of course not because I never let you meet anyone else.

Queen: WHAT?  Then how did I know that as a queen I should move out of your house?

Princess: I don't know dear, I think your tutor must have let it slip.  You know I am actually writing a book based on my child-rearing method.  I think it will be very popular among tyrants.  I have even named it!

Queen: Wait a minute... You're always talking about The Kensington System - is THAT what that is?

Princess: But of course.  I knew you would be queen one day instead of me, so I had to ruin your life somehow, sweetpea.

Queen: (Whiney unintelligible sounds.)

*long awkward pause*

Queen: Well, if I'm QUEEN then at least I can move out of your bedroom right?

Princess: No.

Queen: YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN YES I CAN

Princess: FINE!  You can have your own room, just SHUT UP!

Queen: And your gross pseudo-lover is NOT allowed in my room anymore - and the fact that I am recorded as requesting this by history may or may not imply really really creepy things.

Princess: Ummm... Conroy went to your room?  Yeah, that's not happening anymore.  I may have to injure his man-parts now.

Queen: Then I will use this weakening in your placid exterior to also demand you give me ONE HOUR of free time every single day, during which time I will probably go to the bathroom by myself and whine about you.

Princess: IMPOSSIBLE!

Queen: I am getting ready to shout things over and over again.

Princess: Crap, that was really annoying.  Okay, you get an hour of free time every single day.

Queen: Yay!  You're the best, mumsy!  I am so sheltered that I won't even think to ask for anything else. Now where is my nearest male relation so I can marry and move out?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Looking for Plausibility in a Sandra Bullock Movie (aka- looking for an evil wizard that can defeat Harry Potter)

I passed this afternoon watching Miss Congeniality 2 on TV.  Okay, here is your moment to judge me.  ...  Are you done?  It was just on, okay?  And I didn't really feel like doing anything else because it's Sunday and I have had a very busy week and I just want to relax and I will probably be working tomorrow even though it's a long weekend so LAY OFF OKAY???

*ahem*

As I was saying, I was just watching Miss Congeniality 2 on TV and realized that it's really a very logically implausible movie.  Yes.  I realized this part way through.  Do you need more time to judge me, or can we move on?

A good example is that scene at the drag club when they are trying to find the Dolly impersonator (oh, and by the by, there is only ONE Dolly Parton impersonator in ALL OF LAS VEGAS?  Really?  This is plausibility error number 1 - or probably number gamazillion) and they can't get into her dressing room because they are pretending to be performers but no one gets into the dressing room until they actually perform.  So then what do they do?  They perform!  It's hilarious!  A reluctant and uptight FBI Agent has to let her hair down and rock out to Tina Turner and be a convincing drag queen.  What a great scene in a movie!

Here's the problem.  Don't you think that FBI agents could just walk into a dressing room?  I know they're trying to be be subtle (as subtle as a showgirl in a drag show) because they don't want to scare away their source, but as soon as they walk in they tell her that they're FBI agents anyways, so why not announce it a few minutes earlier?  Or at the very least they could just walk past the queen sitting by the door to the dressing room.  I mean, I'm pretty sure FBI agents are supposed to be assertive.

Also, can we talk about this performance?  They pull off a totally cohesive live song-and-dance including surprise back-up dancers with no rehearsal whatsoever.  I won't even begin on the plausibility issues there.  Instead, let's look at one isolated moment.  The no-nonsense agent (can't remember her name) who is being Tina wants the back-up dancers to lift her up for a big finish.  She turns so her back is to the audience, flashes her badge, and orders them to lift her up.  They do it and it's a very well-executed lift.  The fact that people actually need training to pull off a lift isn't even the major problem here.  It's the fact that any civilian who is given a surprise order by an FBI agent who looks like Tina Turner will probably take a second or two to react to this new information.  I mean really, if you were dancing on a stage in your favourite drag club and then a Tina Turner impersonator turned to you, flashed a badge at you (where was she hiding it, by the by?), and ordered you to pick her up, wouldn't you think twice?

Come ON Sandra!

Also, this gem of a lyric popped out at me from the song playing during the credits:

"I get so excited feeling her anatomy"

Yes.

Stuff Hitler Would Hate (besides the obvious)

  1. Whistling while you work. It is too distracting.  Plus no one ever whistles really good songs.  They never pick Lady Gaga or Sufjan Stevens*, but always whistle really repetitive songs that will get stuck in your head forever and ever and ever and ever and cause you to go insane and be really irrational and maybe violent - hey wait a second, has anyone ever looked into this to explain some of Hitler's behaviour?
  2. Variety in facial hair-stylings.  I'm pretty sure he would have a serious problem with his Arian Army sporting The Porno, The Western, The Chinstrap, or especially The Santa Clause.
  3. Come to think of it, Santa Clause.  First of all, Santa, as we all know is just Satan with the "N" moved around to trick you, and Hitler wouldn't want anyone else stepping on his Satanic vibe - no one was allowed to be more evil than him.  Secondly, Santa gave gifts to freaking everybody!  We all know the whole lump of coal thing is a crock because did you ever know anyone to get a lump of coal as a kid?  I mean, really, even the worst kids in your class got something from Santa.  Hitler wasn't a big fan of indiscriminate distribution of rewards.
  4. A safari in space - There are just too many variables when it comes to a space safari.  Plus, the fact that we need oxygen and any space-natives probably don't mean that humans are at a distinct disadvantage and would probably be totally not able to take over.
  5. Free downloading.  I don't think he would have been a fan of open-source-whatever-internet-stuff-I-don't-know-the-slang.  I'm pretty sure he would LOVE facebook though.  All that personal information to be held and harnessed for the powers of evil.
  6. The way most people these days spend 6 years getting a 4 year degree and then spend a few more years traveling and finding themselves before trying to find work and then realizing that there's no work in their field of study and degrees are meaningless now because everyone has them and not knowing what to do, and so they get crappy jobs and become hipsters so that a sense of irony and self-entitlement can keep away the crushing pain of their hopeless lives.  Okay, how can i put that into a few bold-able words?  Um - Indulged Crises of Laziness/Existentialism in Youth.
  7. Public libraries.  That's a pretty obvious one though, right?
  8. Irony.
  9. Hammer pants.  They are way too impractical and create a very unflattering shape.  I think Hitler was more about clean, simple lines when it came to clothes.
  10. The internet.  Oh man, this is the worst.  He would have HATED the internet so MUCH!  People would totally have been posting blog rants about his stupid ideas and starting memes with pictures of him without a mustache and instead of LOLcats it would be LOLadolfs and he would just have no authority or respect at all.  And no matter what he did he would NEVER be able to stop it because you can't stop a series of tubes!  Oh yes, he would have hated the internet the most.  Except for anything that holds and harnesses personal information for the powers of evil (facebook, everyone's looking at you - at least have the decency to hang your head in shame.)
*See what I did there?  I showed how AWESOME and WIDE-RANGIND my musical taste is by listing two of my favourite artists who are totally different in one fell swoop!  Take that hipsters!  Or wait, does that make me a hipster?  Is Lady Gaga one of the ones that's cool to like?  Crap.  I'm totally a hipster.  Speaking of hipsters, you should Look at this Effing Hipster.  (Note: they actually say the real eff word in the title but I feel bad doing it on here because I have not set precedents for the eff word on this blog and somehow the eff word in titles seems officially sanctioned by the internet and is actually somewhat shocking to my sensibilities.)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A defense for a non-zombie Jesus

I know Easter is already old news this year, but I was just reading old blog posts of The Blogess, because somehow I only JUST discovered her which is really insane because she is brilliant, and she made some joke about Easter and saying the eff word a lot on Easter (but she said the real word), and it reminded me of a bone I have to pick.  Not with saying the eff word on Easter.  I'm pretty sure Jesus doesn't care about the eff word because it didn't even exist yet.

I've noticed in recent Easters that people like to make zombie-Jesus jokes.  Stuff like "Happy Zombie Jesus Day!"  Which is supposed to be really cool and daring because it's taking a day that's all sacred for a whole bunch of people and making into a zombie movie.  Like this:


Hahaha, I get it, you think the idea of Jesus raising from the dead is just as realistic as zombies, hahaha... 

HERE'S THE PROBLEM WITH THIS LOGIC.

1. How sure are you that zombies aren't real?  So sure you would stake your Dawkins-level-pretentious atheism on it?

2. If you are an atheist, which you probably are if you're calling Jesus a zombie, you probably follow Science like it was Jesus.  Well I'm pretty sure the scientific method advocates actual RESEARCH right?  Well then maybe you want to do a little research here.  Because there are basically two schools of thought of where zombies come from.  The first is basically that zombies are dead people who have been put under the equivalent of the Imperius curse from Harry Potter by a sorcerer.  The reason why this is wrong is that it's stupid.  And I just found out that this is a possible explanation for zombies and can't currently think of a good argument against it, but if someone did raise Jesus from the dead to control his body, don't you think they would have done something way different with it than just make it fly away into the clouds?  I mean, if I were a sorcerer raising a seriously influential rabble-rouser from the dead, I would probably be doing so with a reason, like maybe to discredit him by making him jump out of his tomb and say "NOT!" and then fall down dead again or something.  Or to trick people into thinking he was still alive and then turning them to whatever evil-sorcerer plans I had, like giving me all their money, or ducats, or whatever they used back then.

The second school of thought, which is by far the most prevalent in current society and thus the only one this should be measured against because it's pop culture zombies and not voodoo zombies that people are referring to in these jokes, generally involves some kind of infection that a living person gets that destroys their nervous system (or something) and makes them into rabid dogs who bite other people and turn them into zombies.  They may or may not want to eat your brain.  THIS is where the faulty logic comes in.  First off, Jesus totes actually died according to the reports (and the reports are the only evidence we've got - SCIENCE), and no one says anything like "all of a sudden in the middle of the crowd flogging Jesus someone came up and injected him with an experimental psychotropic drug!" or anything that would indicate possible infection pre-death.  Also, there is nothing in the reports that after raising from the dead Jesus tried to bite all the disciples or lurched around moaning or anything.  He just said a bunch of nice and slightly confusing stuff, and then flew into the clouds.  Done.  He didn't even bite ANYONE.

3. Think about it: if Jesus was a zombie, why didn't he use his Jesus powers to make everyone else into zombies or get all their brains or whatever it is that zombies want to do?  He had mega-powers, y'all.  He could have made every zombie's dream come true.  And then there wouldn't even be any Bible or anything because nobody would be alive enough to write anything down after that, and I'm pretty sure all that healing of people would be pointless.

4. Speaking of healing, Jesus had mega-healing powers too, and was also probably a pretty serious Occlumencist (to refer back to the idea of Jesus being imperiused), so if he was infected or if someone was trying to control him, I'm pretty sure he could have taken care of that business.

Andrea's Advice

I am starting a new series where I take the questions people send in to other self help columns and then write my own answers to them.  I think it's going to be fun.  I will be some kind of guru.  This will not be joke advice either, it will be totes serious.  So serious I purposefully used a fake word to describe it.

I'm not sure about the ethics of this - should I credit the sites the questions actually came from or not?  Is it stealing?  I don't think it is because I am not stealing the answer written by the professional, but the question written by the person looking to have their questions published and answered.  I'm just providing an alternative, right?  And yes, for the time being I think I shall post where the questions came from.

Okay, well, enough foreplay.  Here we go!  This one's from Ask Dr. Tracy.  It's the first question I found in my search, and the answer Dr. Tracy gives, made me almost as depressed as this unfortunate girl.  Even more depressing was the bad spelling in Dr. Tracy's answer.  I expect bad spelling from a distressed person writing for help, not the professional writer/helper.

I dated my partner for 2 years when I was 18-20 years old. We broke up and after 8 years have got back together and since been seeing each other for 2 years this month. We have had a very rocky relationship over the past 2 years - upsets mostly fuelled by past relationships, especially his 2 ex girlfriends as I feel he was used and abused (so to speak).
But we do love each other and have a very deep connection and I miss him every minute im not with him and continued to miss him for years after we broke up the first time around.
I've been putting the pressure on him to make a committment to get married. The pressure being mostly tears, sadness, depression on the reasons why he won't propose. He says he loves me more then anything and we have bought a dog together and have been living together for the past 1year and half. He is 2 years younger then me and im considering that to be the reason why he won't committ though im concerned as we've been talking and fighting about this for 1 year and im tired of being sad and concerned and depressed about the same issue and have not been able to sleep in the same bed as him for the past 3 years out of my own depression.
What's holding him back from this committment when he says he loves me so much and we share so much love? I feel so heart broken.
Guess what, lady?  Being in love is often not enough.  I was in love once with someone who, had we gotten married, would have made me really unhappy and I would have done the same for him.  Them's just the breaks.  It sucks.  It took me a good 6 months to really get the guts up to confront this and start the conversations that would end our relationship, and guess what?  I am so much happier now!  Not because Former Boyfriend was a bad guy but because ultimately we were not right for each other and we both knew it but didn't want to face it because we still loved each other so much.  Also, I, like you, had some self-esteem problems.  I didn't know how awesome I was and thus felt all insecure all the time and was pretty darn needy and emotional.  Not as bad as you are, but pretty bad.  

DTMFA, as some would say.  Clearly he doesn't make you happy and you don't make him happy.  If he was happy with you he wouldn't be hedging around the idea of marriage at this point in your relationship.  Your love is based entirely on co-dependence, and this is nicht good, my lady.  Break up and focus on your life and how rad-tacular it is.  Then, if this dude's actually right for you, one day you'll both be like "hey, let's get together and share love in a healthy sort of way with respect and boundaries and all that crap!" and it will be awesome.  Or you will be a better, stronger person, who knows their life has meaning without a dude attached to it, and that will be that.  Also, find a counselor because your depression issues are pretty intense.

Final parting thought: imagine if he was to propose to you - could you really truly be happy on your wedding day knowing that he probably only did it because you were begging him to do it?  You want someone to propose to you because they can't imagine living live not married to you, not because they feel like they have to.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Do you want a window into the scary part of my brain? Here it is.

Last night I had a dream that some kind of spirit/ghost thing needed to sleep in my room.  I knew it was going to sleep in my room and I needed to give it a blanket of its own otherwise it would lie under my blanket with me.  I woke up and realized that I had to act fast before this ghosty/spirit/zombie thing came and slept in my bed.  Somewhere in my brain I knew it was a completely harmless ghost that just wanted somewhere to sleep, but the thought of seeing the blankets next to me form around a person that wasn't there was just too much.  My solution was to put my second blanket on the floor at the foot of my bed.  There!  Nice bed for the spirit/ghost/zombie/child thing and it's out of my sight.  I get to fall back asleep pretending it's not there!

So my question is, what on earth is wrong with my brain?  I mean, I know, I get scared easily.  I really really do.  Mostly because they are definitely real and if you tell me they are not I will point to the funny feeling I have at my back RIGHT NOW just THINKING about them and you will not be able to deny that because FEELINGS ARE FACTS.

I can't even watch PREVIEWS for movies like The Exorcist.  It's so bad that even the cartoon bunny version of The Exorcist* scared me a little bit.  So yes, even the slightest suggestion that some spirit, malevolent or not, is nearby will make me really really scared and I will do anything I can to keep it away.  Anything includes sleeping with a night-light at the age of 16, changing bedrooms with my little brother because his room is in front of the house and then streetlight will come into my window and I won't have to sleep with a night-light anymore and will not have to be so embarrassed all the time, and apparently making a bed for a ghost on the floor at the foot of my bed.

If this was just a funny story about a dream I had this would be one thing, but I actually woke up fully, and arranged a blanket at the foot of my bed so I wouldn't have to lie in bed next to a ghost.  This is no longer a funny story, but a picture of some kind of disorder.  Unfortunately, my undergraduate degree in psychology is failing me here.

I'm pretty sure at this point I am not a danger to myself or others, so no serious psychological help needs to be done, but this can't be healthy.  If I was the type of person to EVER the the letters "f" "m" and "l" in succession, I would do so.  Right now.

PS: As I was typing this either my landlord walked past my window or a ghost did or I am really freaking out and seeing things because I totally jumped.  YEESH!

*I totally tried looking up that video on youtube because I'm pretty sure the average person would find it cute and hilarious and I found it mostly funny and secretly pretty scary.  Unfortunately when I typed "the exorcist with bunnies" into youtube the first video that came up had a face that I'm pretty sure wasn't Linda Blair's but still looked like it was kind of possessed and I had to make it go away fast before I started getting nightmares.


Update: On my "edit posts" page that lists everything posted thus far this post title is truncated to "do you want a window into the scary part of my bra..." which to me is just hilarious.  I'm not sure which part is the scary part of my bra, but chances are you do NOT want a window there.

How to Get More Followers on your Blog

SEO = Search Engine Optimization

You want to do that.

Also... write stuff people will read.  And do things that help them find you.  Reddit?  Forchan?  Monetization?  Find more popular blogs and SPAM THEM WITH YOUR URL!

HOW TO MAKE MONEY BLOGGING!

Do's and don'ts:
Do write stuff.
Do draw pictures.
Do be awesome.
Don't stop writing.
Don't talk about your cat too much (except for every day is okay if your cat is really funny)
Don't be boring.

Sorry about that.  Apparently the key to getting more readers is to write "how to" articles about how to get more readers for your blog, so I thought I'd try it.  I have sort of heard of most of these things and I'm pretty sure it's really good advice.  I mean, I have 33 readers and I don't even do any of this stuff.

How To Be an Awesome Retailer

Retail is, as Anya says in that one episode in season 6 of Buffy where she's back from the dead (spoiler alert! Oh wait, that happens in the first season, so technically she's back from the dead the whole time) and trying to regain a hold on life through testing various forms of employment, one of which being working in the magic shop, a fast-paced and exciting world.*  A lot can happen in retail.  Sometimes you get 3 or 4 customers at once, and then what are you going to do?  Or they come in one at a time, just overlapping each other enough that you can't run upstairs to the bathroom in between even though you really really really need to go really bad and you wonder if it's really so bad to just leave them alone in the store for a minute, because you are a really fast peer (pee-er?) and would be back in a jiffy.

Regardless of the customer-flow situation, I have grown to realize over the years that many people just don't know how to give the customer a truly optimal experience.  A truly optimal experience will lead to such happy occurrences as goods exchanged for cash which is then divided into a percentage that goes directly into your pocket, as well as an increased likelihood of continual exchanges of this nature.  A non-optimal experience will lead to such unhappy occurrences as not getting any money in exchange for anything, merchandise-tossing, angry blog rants, and bludgeoning.  Lucky for you, dear lost-soul of a retail employee, I have 5 tested and true tips on how to be the best retail person you can be!

1. Hover just outside of someone's personal space while they're shopping.
This shows that you are available to them to help and puts you in the perfect range for tip #2, whilst maintaining a socially appropriate amount of space for them to move around.  They will feel stalked but not inhibited, which is exactly what you're going for with a customer.



2. Make the occasional comment about the things they look at.
Be sure to only say encouraging things that will make them feel confident in their choices, like "Ooooh, that's cute isn't it?" or "That's my favourite piece right now, isn't it just perfect?"


3. Try to make friendly conversation that will trick the person into buying more things from you because they'll like you because you learned about that in psychology class, even though you don't actually have anything real to say.


4. Don't worry too much about knowing where things are in the store, customers like it when they feel like they're discovering things with you!
Shopping is like a safari - it's way more fun if the guide only kind of knows where the lions might be.


5. Always forget to remove at least one security tag from an item.  
Especially if you're wrapping a gift for someone.  People love staying in the store longer after they've made their purchases, it makes them feel like they're a part of your retail family.


*Ed. Note: Was that a sentence, or was that a sentence?  I KNOW!

Dear Blogosphere

Dear bloggers/webcomic artists/other,

I have a google reader.  I love my google reader.  I only recently discovered how wonderful a  google reader can be when a Lady Friend explained it to me.  Yes, I needed to have it explained to me - don't judge.  Now I am hooked.  I am constantly adding new things to my google reader and removing the things I no longer find interesting or that update way too often for me to keep up with, thus causing me to feel inferior.  It is excellent.  It makes my life amazing.  I am a brand new person.

Here is my problem: some of you don't actually post anything to the feedburner or whatever the heck it is that makes things available to my google reader.  It will tell me when you've updated, but then I have to click the link to actually view the update.  This is inappropriate.  It defeats the whole purpose.  It makes me change websites and open a brand new tab and that feels like a lot of work.  My google reader is there to make my life easy, not to increase the amount of clicking I have to do!  Clicking is hard work!

I know it has something to do with your monetized blog or controlling the look and feel of what people read or what-crap-may-have-you.  I don't care.  Put ads in the body of your blog so it shows up in my feed if you have to.  I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO JUST MAKE SURE I DON'T HAVE TO CLICK ANYTHING EXTRA TO READ YOUR STUPID POST.

I have removed EVERYTHING from my reader that forces me to do this except for two sites: Cyanide and Happiness and Fart Party.  And that's only because I really like the comics.  And Fart Party almost never updates anymore so it's easier than checking back to the website and then being really disappointed when there's nothing there, because disappointment after extraneous clicking is WAY worse than mere extraneous clicking.

In conclusion, please stop making my life impossible by forcing me to click extra buttons to read your content.  I won't do it and then we both lose.

The end.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I hope I don't die

There is currently a giant spider crawling down my wall.  I just noticed it out of the corner of my eye.  I am terrified.  Literally.  I think this fear reaction is actually problematic.

Okay, it's stopped crawling now.  It's just sitting there.  What do I do?  Do I kill it?  Do I let it live?  Do I call my roomie over to deal with - CRAP IT'S MOVING AGAIN!  I CAN'T SEE IT ANYMORE!  OH NO OH NO OH NO OH NO OH NOOHNOOHNO!

(PS: it's really hard to type "oh no" over and over again - and it looks really funny without the spaces.  Has anyone else ever noticed that?  Okay, back to terror.)

SERIOUSLY WHAT THE EFF DO I DO??????  It could be crawling across the floor to my bed now and I can't see it and what if it's crawling up onto my bed now and why doesn't it just know that it should stay away from me because I am a giant-sized human with a severe fear reaction that is completely disproportionate to the situation and I am just really really TERRIFIED right now!

Okay, I'm opting for denial.  There is no spider.  There is no spider.  I am going to be very very zen about this.  I am breathing deeply.  Spiders are just a part of God's creation and as much as it seems like they were later invented by Satan to bring fear and death into our lives they were really just made to keep the ecosystem in balance.... ommmmmmmmmmmmmm......  breathe....

It's not working, but now I am starting to feel really silly, which I guess works too.

Update: now there's a moth flying around my room.  Sometimes I just hate my life so much.

Update 2.0: not there's another unidentified insect crawling on the wall and I'm so jumpy that a paper moved in my peripheral vision and I almost fell off my bed.  COULD LIFE GET ANY WORSE???  I'm pretty sure this is a "the moths are coming to get their revenge" situation.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Depuis que tu es parti, je peux respire pour le premier fois, je bouge encore (oui oui)...

Why is it that it always seems pretentious and like a vile form of douchebaggery when people unnecessarily use French words where English would do?  It's just not fair!  I like using French words where English would do!

I know, I know... it's pretentious because it seems to be flaunting the fact that I speak some French and showing that I am "cultured" or what have you.  But what if that's not what I'm trying to do?  What if I am just a realllly melodramatic person and I also have a touch of hipster in me (YES!  I admit it - you should too.  Denial is the worst trait of hipsterdom) forcing me to love irony.  It's just so darn fun to throw my hands up and cry "quelle dommage!" or "sacre bleu!" or to shrug and say "peut-etre" with an exaggerated franco-grimace.  Be honest, doesn't crawling on your hands and knees gasping "s'il .... vous .... plait!" feel much more satisfying than crying "pleasepleasepleaseplease!" like a five year old?  What? You don't crawl on your knees and beg regularly?  Oh, just me then.  Tres embarassante...  (That, my friends, is what we call a PRIME EXAMPLE!)

And so I official RECLAIM the use of the French language in daily conversation for the purposes of hilarity, exaggeration, and irony.  Starting... MAINTENANT!

(See?)

PS: If you speak French at all, please give yourself the intense joy of singing along with old pop songs loudly in a literal French translation.  It will make your life so much better.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

All the Right Type

Know what's great about the internet?

IF YOU WANT TO YELL AT SOMEONE ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS TYPE IN ALL-CAPS AND YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO ACTUALLY BE ALL THAT ANGRY.  IN FACT, I'M LYING IN BED AS I TYPE THIS, COMFY AS A CLAM, BUT I AM YELLING AT YOU!!!!!!!!!

*ahem*

For someone who almost never yells in real life, this is fun.

FUN FUN FUN!

I just found a WHOLE BUNCH of unpublished posts from back when I started this blog as a bored receptionist!  They are probably posts that I later changed up and posted properly (alliteration is fun!) but let's be honest, I'm not going to sift through these archives to find that out.  So now I'm trying to decide the best way to share these little gems with the 31 readers who have visited me this month (and theoretically might be back?)

Stay tuned as I figure out the best solution to this new and exciting problem - for now, here's the very first one, originally composed on April 3, 2008:

Okay, I know the workplace is no place for the God vs Science debate, but this I found too interesting to pass up. Featured on CBC.ca, a segment where readers get to ask questions to the expert, this expert being a scientist who studies DNA evolution and who also believes in God (Gasp! Shock! What?!?! Oh wait, that happens all the time...)
Anyways, I just found the tone of a lot of the questions to be very interesting. When it comes to these issues, even most level-headed scientifically minded-types seem to take to their corners with a religious fervor. The expert (on Dr. Fairbanks) answers all the questions however, with the same terse, abrupt tone, perhaps too often telling the person to read his book.
A favorite question:
"What are your thoughts on the different words God used in the Bible to uniquely separate how man and how animals were created? God formed man from the dust of the ground. He didn't do that with animals. The only common ancestry between man and monkey is God, not each other. To go beyond that is simply ludicrous and completely unproveable."
I can just hear this guy's inner monologue before he wrote the question:
"I know what I should do today!

.... And that's all there is.  I wonder what my musings on fair Dr. Fairbanks' theories would have been.  Now we'll never know.  Tragic!

More Adventures in Internet Dating

Here's my latest Plenty of Fish profile description for the social experiment (explanation and back-story):
I'm a fun loving, busy girl looking for someone to keep up!
I'm tall, active, and cute, am adventurous and like to keep busy. Into walks, dancing, parties, working hard and playing hard, shopping, going for dinner, pub nights, and the arts. I'm sarcastic and intelligent, and want someone who can carry a conversation and look good at the same time. You've got to keep up and keep me interested!
Personally, I think it makes me sound kind of generic and superficial, but I just got a message from a pretty cool seeming dude.  Why is it that when I write a profile that I think sounds awesome and totally like a person I'd want to date, I get nada, yet when I write a profile that's generic and superficial, I get cool dude.

Of course, that could just mean that he's not really a cool dude and is also generic and superficial but good at writing an interesting-sounding message.  Or maybe he actually is cool and saw that my pics still show me as having some personality because (alas and alack) I just couldn't find any truly generic pictures of myself to post on there, hard as I tried.  Seriously, I am weird or quirky or cutesy in every single picture ever taken of me.  I only look normal in group shots or pictures of me with the Former Boyfriend.  How is this possible?

Unfortunately, the possibility that this guy actually is a cool dude just makes me start to feel guilty about this whole social-experiment thing.  But then I noticed that he has a whole bunch of wrongly-spelled words in his profile, so the guilt faded a little.  Then I noticed that he is into forestry, which is pretty swell, so the guilt returned.  This is all moot anyways, because my Lady Friends and I are planning a really exciting online dating experiment for the summer that overshadows my meager experiment like a really big, cool mountain overshadows a small, lame hill.  More to come on that soon, this guy might be the first victim!  Although, again, the fact that he actually seems like a cool dude makes me feel unendingly guilty.  Until I look again at the bad spelling.  Oh the bad spelling!  At least he didn't use numbers and single letters to represent fully-sized words.  That would be the worst.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Know Your Social Biases!

Guess who just found their new desktop background?  Me!


Social biases are a super fascinating thing to remind us that our brains don't actually always knew best.  They actually take a lot of shortcuts in understanding the world, mostly to help us both survive, have "healthy" levels of self-esteem, and be able to use our brains for higher-level cognitive functions.  I love them almost as much as I love the placebo effect and cognitive dissonance.

Visual Study Guide to Cognitive Biases.  Via Boing Boing.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bridge Mix!

I saw Itsazoo Theatre's Bridge Mix last night.  For the uninformed, it was a collection of 9 theatre companies putting on short plays in a parkade, and it was amazing.  I want more theatre like this.  I want to make theatre like this.



The shows that worked the best were by far the ones that didn't try to get too deep or "artistic" in their storytelling.  The ones that just used the fact that they were in a parkade, created a situation, and went with it.  Itsazoo started off the night with a hilarious piece where a douchebag gets turned into some kind of evil clown/zombie lackey.  Genus Theatre also rocked the boat with their street hockey setup - a show that was literally a game of street hockey involving audience members.

I didn't have a program, so I don't know which company did the ongoing date/awkward run-in bit, but theirs was pretty great too.  Acting was a little on the shaky side at times, but I loved the concept of just having little snippets of scenes pop up throughout the night.

There was also a sword fight, and plenty o' song and dance numbers, which always make my heart a-flutter.

Thank you, theatre.  Thank you for existing.

Sleep?

Lately I have reverted to what you might call "University Andrea."  University Andrea stays awake completely unnecessarily.  Right now it is not what you might call obscenely late, but it is late and I have absolutely no reason for being up.  I should go to bed.  All I have to do is get myself out of this chair.  If I get out of this chair I will have no choice but to put my snack dishes in the sink and brush my teeth and wash my face and lie down in bed.  That's just the way it works.  All I have to do is stand up.

That's it.

Stand.

Up.

Up?

Well, let's be honest, I'm never going to stand up as long as I'm typing.  It's not like I can get up and get ready for bed and write about that while it's happening.  I would have to either write about it in advance and thus be lying about what I'm doing and possibly still not get up after I'm done, or do everything and then sit back down to write about it and thus be back exactly where I started.  There is absolutely no way for me to tell you about getting ready for bed as it happens.

This, by the by, is the fundamental problem that arises in any novel written in journal or letter form.  They always end up giving far too detailed accounts of events, written as if the person is experiencing them at the time.  It's just not POSSIBLE.  Real letters contain abridged descriptions of conversations with the occasional direct quote, but only if it was something particularly hilarious.  A letter of a few pages or more actually takes a pretty long time to write.  Same goes for journal entries.  THIS IS JUST THE WAY THE WORLD WORKS, AUTHORS OF THE WORLD!  Let's try for some realism.

YEESH.

Okay, maybe I'll go to bed now.  Or I'll look up Wind Mobile to see if their cell plans really are cheaper or not.

PS: Speaking of novels written in journal or letter form, when are there going to be novels written in blog form?  Oh wait, there probably are.  I bet they're YA novels.  And terrible.  Wait, I'm going to look it up...  Okay, I didn't find any novels written in blog-entry form, but I did find a blog that is posting all the journal entries that make up the story of Dracula on the day they actually happened in the story.  Dracula is also a perfect example of a novel that has this problem, although they try to explain it by saying that Mina is an expert at shorthand, I don't really think that's a good enough explanation.

Update: The Wind plans seem complicated and not so much cheaper.  Canadian cell phone plans continue to be sad shadows of their global counterparts.  Sad shadows that rip you off, probably to compensate for how sad they are.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Prime Minister #1: Sir John A. MacDonald

Here is the first in the series of however many Prime Ministers we've had in Canada.  Everything you ever needed to know about Sir John A. MacDonald.  History students, feel free to cite this and all subsequent posts in your research papers.

STATS

Name: Sir John A. MacDonald
Alive: January 11, 1815-June 6, 1891
Reign: July 1, 1867 – November 5, 1873 / October 17, 1878 – June 6, 1891
Born in: Glasgow
Party: Conservative
Known for: Being first PM ever of all time, having his face on the ten dollar bill, spending a lot of time and money building Canada's territory, being the first PM to have a scandal - it was called the Pacific Scandal.  He took bribes and then scared the country away from Conservatives for a long time.

Sir Johnny doing his best impersonation of a hipster.  He's got the ironic hair and lazy, indifferent gaze.  
I think it's the high-collared shirt that undoes it.

FUN FACTS

Rags to riches!  Sir Johnny was born to a life filled with poverty and failed business ventures, only to become a lawyer (even though he quit school at the age of 15) and the first Prime Minister!  People should talk about him more often when they tell disenfranchised children that they can be anything they want: "Look, Sally!  Our very first Prime Minister came from nothing, just like you!  Now if only you were a man like him you could be just as successful as he is..."

Married his first cousin (not uncommon in those days?) who was 6 years older than him - so probably not a sexist, or at least not in the sense of wanting a younger, hotter wife-accessory.

He was a Freemason, so, you know, lots of creepy rituals, right?

In an election debate he was so drunk he threw up on stage.  (PS: He was the first and not last drunkard, lecherous PM, although he did it to escape the heartbreak of his first cousin, 6-years-his-elder wife's tragic decline into death.)

Although he was a conservative, while being a lawyer pre-politics, he was like Mark from Empire Records.  And by that I mean that he would shout things like "DAMN THE MAN!" and "SAVE THE PEOPLES FROM THE EMPIRE!"  Or at least that's what I imagine him as having shouted while he protected all sorts of innocent people from British meanness.  Luckily he was much more competent at helping out than our friend Mark was, because let's be honest, a one-night kegger party is not going to raise the tens of thousands of dollars needed to save a record store from the evil big box record-o-rama.  If that was the case then theatre wouldn't be in the horrendous financial state it's in.

He actually physically attacked a fellow MP once, in Parliament, shouting (once restrained) "I'll lick him faster than hell can scorch a feather!"  Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

He named his private train car The Jamaica.  Whaaaaaaat?

He got knighted on the very first Canada Day ever - which if you think about it is probably why he then won the first election ever.  Everyone was just like "well, the Queen totes just knighted him, so, you know, it'll be sort of like having a monarch still and we're not really emotionally ready to give that up."

He died in office, just like Dwight from The Office has always dreamed of doing.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Website creates online community for your actual community

I know that the whole idea of replacing real-life friends with internet-friends isn't that new.  People are always criticizing social media platforms for doing just that.  Personally, I don't think most social media platforms actually replace real-life friends at all.  They aren't substitutes for having a life, but aids to having a life.  I am an avid user of facebook, because it's an easy way for me to keep in touch with my friends and make plans so that we can get together in real life.  I see people in real life just as often, if not more often, as I did pre-facebook, and I get to keep in touch with acquaintances, business contacts, and people who live far away.  I'm sold!


Enter Share Some Sugar, a site designed to help you find neighbours how have things you need for renting or borrowing.  The creator says:
3 years ago I moved out of an apartment into my fi rst home. Moving into your fi rst home is not only a big, scary deal, but once you move in, you realize that you don't have 'house things' like a set of tools, a lawnmower, a ladder. I thought it would be silly to go out and buy things like a seeder or rake when I knew that one of my neighbors had one. The problem was, I didn't know who had what.
I thought to myself, "what if there was a way to know who had what in your neighborhood?". A way for you to see your neighbor's inventory, and share and borrow things rather than buy them. In the meantime you would get to know and trust more of your neighbors. You'd feel like you actually live in a community. Like the good old days when you would knock on a neighbors door to see if they would Share Some Sugar with you.
And so the light bulb went o ff and I created Share Some Sugar, where you can knock online instead. We hope you enjoy your experience with Share Some Sugar. We would love to hear your feedback so we can improve the site to be a better experience for you and your neighbors.
Does this strike anyone else as hilarious?  Personally, I see two reasons for hilarity: first of all, an internet community for your actual, real-life, geographical community?  I'm pretty sure the term "internet community" was coined in the first place to make people feel like various websites were mimicking their actual neighbourhood community.  Now it's come full circle.  Come on, that's FUNNY!

Secondly, it's hilarious because he's RIGHT!  When I was a kid we knew all our neighbours.  Someone new would move in and their kids would play in the cul-de-sac with us, Moms would send over some foodstuffs, and parents would stand in the sidewalk chatting on warm evenings.  We even had block parties! It was so easy, so natural - we didn't wonder what kind of people our neighbours were or if they had things or how to meet them, we just did.  We didn't even think about it.  Now I don't know any of my neighbours and if I do need, say, a cup of sugar, I am more likely to give up on my baking project all together before I'd knock on a neighbour's door and ask for one.  When I used to do that all the time!  Literally! 

So this is what we've come to.  We can't even knock on our neighbour's doors for real anymore.  We need to use the internet as a platform to meet the people who live right next door.  Sad?  Awesome?  Meaningless?  I don't know.  Hilarious?  Yes.

(PS: On this note, I am trying to figure out a way I can meet the really attractive people who moved in next door... anyone have any suggestions?  Maybe they're on this site?  Probably not.  It's kind of lame. I bet their on Plenty of Fish though, if only I could figure out a way to narrow that down by geography.)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A brief history of Canadian Prime Ministers

(This might turn into a series profiling each PM.  I don't know why, but to me this seems like a brilliant idea right now.  If it gets lame I'll probably stop halfway through and then pretend it never happened.)

Okay, so first off there was John A. McDonald, and he was like, "DUDES!  I'm the first Prime Minister EVER!  Beat that."  And no one could for like, 6 years.  But then Alexander Mackenzie came along and just went "SCHWING!  Oh!  I totally stole the Prime Ministership from under your REAR END, Mackers!"  And then he stayed PM for 5 years, which is not 6 years, but is still pretty solid.  But then, out of nowhere, Sir John A. McDonald was all "remember Victoria?  That city way out WEST?  Well I just got elected THERE and now I'm Prime Minister again and I'm going to stay Prime Minister for... oh... I don't know... THIRTEEN YEARS!!???!!  Maybe, if I feel like it.  Whatever, NBD."

So then JAM (that's John A. McDonald, by the by) hung out for 12 years while John Abbott built up a solid pity vote that would make him PM for one year.  Then John Thompson rounded out the trio of Johns on Sussex Drive (some kind of dirty joke about Johns and prostitutes and the government?  Anyone?) with 2 years as PM representin' Antigonish.

After the Johns came Sir Charles Tupper but he only hung around for a few months before LAURIER totally SNITCH SLAPPED him and took the Prime Minister Belt for 15 years straight, defeating JAM's previous reign of longest-consecutive PM.  So this is 1911 now, and while Laurier is sitting pretty, this dude Borden's sitting on the sidelines, just waiting.  He is waiting until BAM!  He is PRIME MINISTERED!  He even switches parties halfway through his 9 years in power, but no one cares because they're all like "Borden, you're DA BOMB!"

Sadly, Borden's reign was cut tragically short by Arthur Meighn, who looked totally dorky and (probably because of his dorky appearance) was replaced in less than a year by the one, the only, the slightly unbalanced, seance-holding man himself, Mr. William Lyon Mackenzie KING!  A FOUR NAME PRIME MINISTER!  No one saw that coming.  An epic battle between King and Meighn broke out.  King held for 5 years, then Meighn came in for 4 months, then King stomped Meighn to the ground for 4 MORE YEARS (oh wait, that's an American reference, isn't it?)  Then Richard Bennett was all "Uh, hey guys?  Can I have a go at this?" and stole Meighn's spot for 5 years.  This whole time King was just rallying though, because when he came back, he came back for 13 YEARS bringing his total years as PM to TWENTY ONE!  That is so impressive I wrote the number out in full.  Seriously.

So then it's 1948 and King is all "you know what dudes? I took a walk in the snow* and I am tired of all your whining." and he handed the whole job over to Louis St. Laurent, who did it a solid for 9 years.  Then Diefenbaker tricked Canada by calling his party "Progressive Conservatives" and people were all like "you know, that doesn't sound so bad, it's not like, actually conservative, right?  It's progressive!" and it took them 6 years to figure out they were wrong and replace him with dreamboat Lester B. Pearson, who was replaced 5 years later by an even dreamier Pierre Trudeau, the PM who swept the nation with a mania surpassed only by that of The Beatles!  Minus a 9 month hiccup known as Joe Clark, Trudeaumania held strong for 13 years.

John Turner was next, but Trudeau was a hard act to follow and Turner wasn't dreamy at all.  The only mania he produced was that of a 3 month Prime Ministership that causes the nation to elect the Official Most Hated Prime Minister of Canadian history: Brian Mulroney.  (Don't worry Bri, I think you'll be replaced as Most Hated as soon as our current idiot-mc-I'm-a-big-jerk-face gets ousted.)  He spent 9 years teaching Canadians everywhere how to hate before being replaced by the first female Prime Minister EVER: Kim Campbell!!!  Sadly she was not actually elected, but was a mere replacement, and as soon as an election rolled around 5 months later the nation went "oh SNAP!  The Prime Minister has BOOBIES?  That ain't right!" and so they elected Jean Chretien instead.  Fun fact: Jean Chretien was the first PM who was elected when I was old enough to care about elections!  In my young mind he was pretty much the first real Prime Minister ever.

Now Jean Chretien reigned solid for 10 years and created a new territory for the first time in... a really long time.  This is pretty impressive if you ask me.  Since there is no new territory to explore, a creative and resourceful Prime Minister chopped one territory into two, increasing his overall amount of territories!  In 2003, the first election I ever got to vote in, Paul Martin was given the golden crown.  After only three years, however, tragedy struck and the country was taken over by Stephen Harper, or as I like to call him, Mini-Zombie-Bush-Mc-Jerk-I-Hate-the-Arts-and-Anyone-Who-Doesn't-Love-Oil-Face.  We still live under his dark cloud today.

The end.

*I don't know if King actually said that, I just know that one of the former PM's did, and it makes most sense that King would after that epic reign.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What once was lost now is found...

I was fading, and fading fast.  I have been working all day straight with barely any breaks and I swear human beings just weren't intended to do that.  Or maybe I'm just from a far too spoiled generation.  Either way, my brain hurts really bad.  To make matters worse, I don't have any music on my work computer anymore because of some stupid network synching problems and don't ask me what that means, I just do what computery people tell me and delete my iTunes library.  GONE.

All work and no music makes Andrea an insane girl.  Brain is disappearing.

UNTIL!  I discovered Grooveshark!  I'm sure everyone already knew about this because I'm really behind on the internet-times, but still.  Pretty effing cool.  It's like Lastfm used to be before it started charging.  Yay for free music online!  

My brain is BACK!

The Definitive Clearing Up of Basic Psychology Terminology III

Today's term: cognitive dissonance.

Cognitive dissonance is one of those terms that is taught in psych 101.  A lot of people take psych 101 because they think they should, but actually have no real interest in the divine field of psychology.  This causes them to wind up using this particular term WRONG.  Then they make me ANGRY.

The real meaning of cognitive dissonance: it is the uncomfortable feeling caused by holding to contradictory ideas simultaneously.

Examples of real cognitive dissonance:
-I believe that I am a good person, yet I sneak onto the bus occasionally, thus stealing and lying and cheating.  Good people don't steal, lie, and cheat.  These are contradictory ideas and I feel uncomfortable because of it.
-I believe that people are more intelligent and caring in general than we give them credit for, and then am forced to accept the fact that these same people keep electing conservatives.
-I believe that vegetables are good for me, yet I never eat them.
-I believe that the children are our future, but I don't really like hanging around them for very long.

All of these belief-parings cause me some kind of cognitive distress.  I believe one and I believe the other one in equal amounts.  What does it all MEAN?  What do I do with these conflicting beliefs?  How can my brain hold them both???!!?  It's like I don't know what the world means anymore.  This feeling is cognitive dissonance.

The FAKE meaning of cognitive dissonance: any kind of psychological discomfort.  If you are feeling confused, that is not cognitive dissonance.  If you have a tired brain, that is not cognitive dissonance.  If you are unhappy, that is not cognitive dissonance.  That is confusion, tired brain, and unhappiness.  These are feelings.  They are bad feelings, but on their own they are not cognitive dissonance.  Cognitive dissonance occurs only when these bad feelings are caused by holding two conflicting beliefs simultaneously.

Now I know what you're thinking: I get it!  Who cares?  Well, little grasshopper, this is who cares: everyone.  You know why?  Because cognitive dissonance causes people to do crazy things.  Take my first example into account.  I can't hold the belief that I'm a good person at the same time as knowing I do something good people don't do.  So what happens?  I either decide not to do that anymore (change my actions and become the person I believe myself to be - this is the hardest one to do), or I change my belief and decide that sneaking onto busses isn't that bad (change my beliefs - it's the easiest one to do but the most dangerous because then it's a slippery slope to drugs and murder.)

So what I've just said is that cognitive dissonance leads to drugs and murder.  It may sound like a ridiculous statement, but it's actually kind of true.  It also leads to people being imprisoned wrongly, to corporate thievery, and to mean lawyers.  So now you must understand that such a dangerous and powerful term should NOT be misused.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I LOVE BABY THINGS!!!!

Baby things are by far some of the best things ever.  Whether they be of the animal or human variety, they are the best.  Probably not baby plants though.  I'm pretty sure grown-up plants are better because they have all that fruit and flowers and the other things that you actually planted the plant to get.  Baby plants are just rife with the threat that you will forget to water them and they will die.

Do you not believe me that all baby things excepting plants are the best?  Let me convince you.

Reason #1: They are tiny and tiny automatically means cuter.
Picture a tiny thing.  It's cute, right?

Reason #2: They are tiny versions of otherwise large things, making the tiny-cuteness factor much more prominent.
Now picture a regular sized thing and then picture a tiny version of the same thing right beside it.  Even CUTER, right?

Reason #3: They FIT IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND SOMETIMES!!!!
This is really the best one ever.  It is the entire inspiration for this post.  Holding a kitten in your hand?  Or a puppy?  Or a HUMAN?  It's so amazing it's like the WTF of amazingness!!!  This is the first time I've ever typed "WTF" in my life so I must be serious.  Plus, did you know that there are some animals that are so small when they're babies that you could hold MORE THAN ONE of them in your hand?  I'm not even joking.  Go ahead and die right now, there's no way you can continue to live with even the concept of that much cuteness available.

Reason #4: They rub their ears and faces.
For some reason, grown-ups tend to stop doing this.  Or it just makes them look tired and haggard and twitchy.

Reason #5: Sometimes they look at stuff and then look at you and it's like they recognize you even though you know they don't have the cognitive capacity to actually recognize you yet it makes you feel like they do and then you feel all special because the baby thing recognized YOU!  This means you are special!
'Nuff said.

Reason #6: They try to do things they don't have the motor functioning to actually do yet.  
Have you seen a kitten try to pounce?  Or a baby human try to walk?  With the almost standing and the falling and the wobbling?  It's pretty much the best thing EVER.

Reason #7: They clean themselves.
Have you seen a baby animal clean itself?  HAVE YOU?  How much of you died from seeing that?  Did you even survive?  Are you sure that you're not dead right now?  (PS: human babies do not clean themselves, but are still very cute while being cleaned by others, but in a very different way.  So this one mostly only applies to baby animals.  Sorry baby humans, you have been one-upped.)

All these reasons, and more, turn me into a squealing ball of happiness.  My body doesn't know what to do with all the cuteness in front of its face, so it literally starts to curl in on itself.  It's amazing.  And kind of painful, but in that really good way.

Note: Roomie came up with #4 and #5.  Credit given.