Friday, December 31, 2010

A Love Story Between Animal and Machine

In the late June 2008, my darling husband and I decided we wanted to spend our anniversary amongst the animals.  For most couples, this would involve renting a cottage for a romantic weekend out in a secluded area.  For us, it meant a trip to African Lion Safari (ALS) in an 18 year old car without air conditioning.  ALS is one of those zoos that you get to drive your car through, should you choose to do so.  Since my car was painfully old I wasn't concerned about driving it through the zoo, despite the tales of caution from people who had their cars ripped apart by monkeys and baboons.  We discovered that the monkeys and baboons were not the animals to be feared since they seemed to enjoy being perched on a higher vehicle - and fortunately for us we were surrounded by vans.
I knew we wouldn't get off scott-free after driving through a 'safari' of "wild" animals, which included lions, tigers, rhino's, giraffe's and some horny zebras.  We did our best to avoid an unintentional invitation to the wild creatures - we didn't keep any food in the car, and kept the windows rolled up even though  it was a sweltering 32 degrees celsius (90 degrees ferenheit) not including humidity.
It was around the time that the swamp-ass really started to kick in that it happened.   It was like a scene out of some awkward comedy that abuses the laugh-track.  Imagine our car as some beautiful woman at a bar...
It all started with:
A Look From Across The Room...(note: all quotations should be read with Barry White's voice in mind)
"You're funny - I like that in a woman.  You must be a Cancer..." Wait a minute - who is that dashing creature ahead of me?
The Approach...
Just remember man, be cool - be confident.  You can get this one.
 Making Contact...
"Well hello there..."
 After some time spent laying the groundwork,
Getting Physical....
"Oh yeah baby - Daddy knows what you like."
 Then finally,
The Morning After...
"Oh baby - that was so good.  I think I love you.  What's that?  You've got an early meeting tomorrow?  Oh.  Uh, that's cool baby...that's cool.  Call me sometime."
 He never got the phone call.  That not-so-little fucker scratched the shit out of the hood of my car with his prickly body just writhing all over it like a pig in its own shit.  Not to mention the fact that he kept throwing his gloriously long eye-lashes in my face.  Jerk.  It was a sweet love story for the car and the ostrich - but like all good things, it came to an end - much like 2010.   Here's hoping if you haven't yet found your ostrich, you will in the new year - if your ostrich is a prick, may the new year give you the strength drop him like a bad habit (you know who you are...).  Happy New Year everyone!!


Monday, December 13, 2010

My Toby, My Hero

Last week he was saving us from the zombies.  This week he's saving us from the evil Christmas decorations. 
My hero.

NOTE:  The window treatment is skewed because the cat previously tried getting in on the action.  Also?  This is Toby after about 10-15 minutes of barking.  When he first noticed the deco's his hackles went up and I'm sure everyone in a two block radius heard his vicious bark.  Stay tuned for Christmas 2011 when we introduce the animals to a real life fake Christmas tree!                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse

A few consecutive nights of poor sleep prompted the following e-mail exchange between myself and Jenny Lawson - The Bloggess.  I felt it important to share so you too can prepare appropriately.

Hi Jenny!
This morning I inadvertently did a "zombie" walk* as I approached my 9 month old German Shepherd puppy (who's a GIANT, I might add).  Needless to say, it royally freaked him out and his response sparked a discussion between my husband and I about the best way to prepare him for the impending Zombie Apocalypse.  I know you no longer have the "Ask The Bloggess" site, but I knew we needed to consult an expert and so I'm in desperate need of your advice.  Do we train him to decapitate zombie's by biting their heads off, or will this put him at risk of becoming a zombie dog?  Should we teach him to run away?  Are there other things we could be teaching him to ensure the survival of the family when the zombies inevitably come to try and eat our brains?
*NOTE:  I am not a zombie.  The zombie walk in question was merely a result of my sleep deprivation and a sore arch in my left foot.
Jenny's response:

You need to teach him to use a samurai sword.  This is the only viable

You see why we needed to consult her.  Needless to say, the Shepherd Samurai Training had to start immediately if we were to be adequately prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse...

Toby losing his Samurai virginity - wielding the sword with pride and enthusiasm.  I'm pretty sure the sword also gives him the power to shoot lasers from his eyes.  Our chances of survival are looking good, indeed.   

But after some time spent practicing his new Samurai skills...

The Samurai life appears to be emotionally and physically draining.  My confidence in our survival is lacking a little now.  

Also?  The cat is none too impressed with the new plan.  Trying to include her in the training was unsuccessful and a little dangerous.  Lesson learned.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm Pretty Sure My Mouth Is Filled With Little Calcium-Packed SuperHeroes

SUPERTOOTH - no plaque buildup too big to handle!
Growing up my parents didn't have dental coverage, so my memories of the dentist are faint given I wasn't there too often.  Once I hit about 9 years old, the dentist couldn't deny that braces were imminent.  If my parents were finding it challenging to afford regular dentist visits, the orthodontist only presented a larger financial burden - one they met with great sacrifice for themselves, I'm sure.  During my years of braces (twice), countless retainers (they seemed to find their way to the garbage a lot.), and some weird contraption that involved a lock and key to space my jaw, the dentist was something that was long forgotten.  I'm not sure if my parents thought the orthodontist did everything the dentist did, or if they just couldn't swing both - either way, the dentist's office was like a foreign country to me.  It wasn't until I was about 15 or 16 that I went back again.  No cavities were discovered, but the wisdom teeth were coming in and were a threat to the years of orthodontic work, so they had to go.  6 months later I'm in a chair for oral surgery at almost $300 a tooth for removal.  I struggled with this since life experience taught me that when you lose a tooth, you're the one who gets paid.  I never had to pay the tooth fairy to come rip the teeth out of my head - something was seriously wrong with this picture. 
It wasn't until just last week that I went back to the dentists office.  Now, after 10 years since my last visit, I lost track of my original dentist and had to start from scratch with a new guy - so I borrowed Ryan's.  I was a little nervous.  I'm not a flosser (despite a cautionary tale from my father-in-law last Christmas), and if I fall asleep on the couch, I'm not inclined to brush my teeth before going and crawling into bed for the night.  Since the last time in the chair, my soda and junk-food consumption has increased - all things which don't bode well for my cavity-free reputation.  When I get to the dentist's office, I'm asked to fill out a medical history document, which included questions such as:
Have you ever been told not to take drugs? "As a child I was often warned by parents and teachers "don't do drugs!".  I'm pretty sure they were high at the time, and just didn't want to have to share...  (This is what happens when you don't specify medical or recreational drugs)"
Does the dentist make you nervous? "When I wake up with my clothes undone Only when he finds out it's been 10 years since my last visit."

Dr. Dentist failed test #1-  upon reviewing my medical history I didn't hear a chuckle, nor did I get any kind of sarcastic remark about my antics, therefore no appreciation for my kind of humour.  Part of me felt a little bad about it since this guy was almost painfully nice.  He continuously apologized to me if he had to take a moment to make a note about his 'findings' (NOTE: I'm pretty sure these notes included something like "New patient would be better advised seeking mental health care as opposed to oral health care", and "Do not stick fingers past the tooth line - she looks like a biter."), he also apologized when cleaning my teeth for merely doing his job.  See?   Painfully nice.

Dr. Dentist then failed test #2 when he complimented me on my flossing habits - to which I informed him that I don't have any such thing (after which he apologized...).  Okay, so this wasn't actually a fail - you can't fail someone for giving you a compliment on your lazy oral hygiene...that's just bad manners. 

So I get in the chair and he starts taking a look around at all my teeth, making nice little comments here and there about what great shape they were in.  At this point I'm kind of loving this guy because I was a little worried that after 10 years of plaque buildup, I was going to be in trouble.  I envisioned my teeth were looking something like this:

After about 30 minutes of pick-axing my teeth with his little tooth-hammer, he pulled out the fluoride and the little tooth-sander.  This was the part I remembered liking about the dentists' as a kid - getting to choose my fluoride flavour!  Dr. Dentist failed test #3 when he used some generic fluoride without consulting me.  It was not pleasant.  About 15 seconds in I was so eager to spit this stuff out that I took the reigns on the little spit-sucker they use and started vacuuming my mouth until I was allowed to go spit.  But when all was said and done, I left with a mouth that looked like this:

I walked away maintaining my cavity-free status.  My plaque free superteeth were rejuvenated and ready to start another battle.  Maybe I'll let this one last a little less than 10 years though....

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Karma Loves Me, Loves Me Not, Loves Me...

It took a little while, but after what seemed like a month of searching at least an hour or two a day, we finally found some suitable window treatments for our new home.  It was getting to the point where I was sure our only options would be to plaster tissue paper on the windows or risk finding some video images of our asses on Youtube.  We had initially thought we were going to get these but once we discovered it was going to be about $600 for one of 9 windows that needed dressings, a cheap more economical choice seemed to be more appropriate for us.  We then discovered cellular shades- again, the ones we initially saw were going to run us about $400/shade.  We're not exactly ghetto people here, but at $400/shade we'd be having to make a choice between hiding our shame or eating (I may have some 'reserves' stored up, but Ryan would be royally screwed).  That is until we found exactly what we were looking for for a mere fraction of the price - about 1/8th...

...we give them the measurements of the windows to find that the kind we were looking at do not come in the sizes we need.

There's essentially the exact same thing in a different brand just further down the aisle!
The price has just gone up another 50%.  Still much more reasonable than the initial pricing we found, but let's face it - in my economical wisdom, I was attached to the extra-low pricing.

We get to the check out and things get rung through.  We pay for our purchase and go.  I start thinking "hmmm...that seemed cheaper than I was expecting" (NOTE:  I tend to mentally tab things up on the way to the checkout all.the.time.).  I take a look at the receipt, then at the products we've purchased, and then at the receipt again.  The girl at the checkout forgot to ring through one of the window treatments, one of the duplicates for a set of our livingroom windows.  I distinctly remember showing where the bar code was on the product and saying "there are two of these".  Ryan and I decide not to trek back to the store to point out their error.

Neither of us feel good about our choice not to alert the multi-million dollar store to their error, and apparently fate agrees because when we go to hang the window treatments a day or two later, we discover that for these identical window treatments, we bought the wrong size.  Fuck.

We go to the store where it is promptly identified that an error was made in our first visit.  Away we go to the aisle to find the appropriate size and have it cut down to fit our window.

When we go to pay for our new window treatments, we explain to the cashier what happened (why we had to do that is a long and irrelevant story).  The supervisor was close-by and listening to every word we said, and decided to sell us our second shade for a whole penny.

The shades are up, and they're beautiful.

What's not beautiful??  This commercial.  It makes me want to throw up in my mouth, after which I'm sure someone from Axe will come along and sniff it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rinse, Soap, Rinse - Repeat if necessary

I'm often amazed at the choices people make when they're equipped with knowledge.  At more extreme examples, people who continue to illegally text while driving despite knowing that they are increasing their chances of a car accident, or a typo.  Pregnant momma's who continue to smoke/drink/do drugs all the while having the knowledge that it's going to generate birth defects in the little people growing in their bodies, not to mention the added expenditures for having a kid addicted to smoking/drinking/drugs from such a young age.  That shit ain't cheap.
On a less extreme scale we have the people who fail to practice even the minimal standards of personal hygiene.  At one point or another we've all been guilty of missing a shower, a face washing or a tooth brushing.  It's rare (for a good number of us), but it happens.  What baffles me is when people miss the beat on hand-washing after using the washroom.  WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?!  I'll tell you what I'm thinking when I see someone walk from the stall to the bathroom door:  Fecal bacteria spreading everywhere.  I'm thinking that I have a pretty good idea of where your hand was just a moment ago, and now you're touching all the same surfaces I'll need to touch to get out of here.  Fantastic.
I've caught one woman at work not washing her hands at all, and another woman today doing the obligatory 2 second rinse under the running faucet.  This?  Does not a clean hand make.  And every time I see a woman failing to wash their hands in the bathroom, I am reminded of the day I called out a classmate after determining she was a dirty bird.
Every Wednesday I had "coincidentally" found myself in the bathroom at the same time she was there, and every single time had I witnessed her leaving the bathroom without washing. Hell, I'd have even accepted the courtesy "swoosh your hands under water but not use the soap" kinda half-assed 'washed, but she couldn't even give me that  (NOTE:  I do not accept this standard today.  This is called "growth".)'. One day I thought I'd give her the benefit of the doubt and thought that maybe once she left the bathroom she whipped out the waterless antibacterial hand soap that everyone seems to have these days. To test this theory I brought a snack to class and asked out load to everyone for the antibacterial waterless soap, but I made sure to look specifically at her to see whether or not she had any (Notice that this was weeks in the making.  I'd make an awesome spy!). Of course she didn't. She's a dirty, dirty woman. Well I had had about enough of this. Then one Wednesday I was in the bathroom, again "coincidentally" at the same time as "Potty hands" and the following conversation took place...
Me: Um, Potty-Hands, can I ask you a question?
PH: Yes?
Me: Why don't you wash your hands after going to the bathroom?
PH: Um, I don't know. I guess I've never really thought about it.
Me: Seriously? We just spent time talking about it in Toxicology class last know, that whole personal hygiene concept? It's really popular these's a way to prevent the spread of bacteria and disease. Is this ringing any bells for you?
PH: Well I don't have any diseases.
Me: Yeah, well when your hand was just being used to help wipe your ass, I'm more concerned about the bacteria. Then some poor unsuspecting woman is going to come along and wash her hands because that's what normal people do, then she's going to touch the same door handle you just touched with your ass-bacteria covered hands, and she's going to go back to her desk and inevitably touch her face or food or something and ingest your ass-bacteria!  She might as well be literally kissing your ass.
PH: Do you want me to wash my hands?
Me: Yes. Yes I do.

Yes I do, indeed.  I'm curious as to how many people would do the same (although maybe a little more delicately - this woman drove me CRAZY for reasons beyond her poor hygiene, so my patience with her was a little lacking). 
HOMEWORK:  Have you, or would you call someone out for poor hygiene if you witnessed them leaving the bathroom without washing?  Would you be more likely to do so if it was a stranger or someone you knew (or more specifically, someone whom you knew would be touching some of the same work surfaces you would be touching)?  Would it take a drink or two before you'd have the courage to generate such an awkward moment?  Leave your input in the comments section below - let's have you all help me figure out how socially awkward I really am.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

WARNING: This post is weak.

Because my creativity has left me but I've been a very negligent blogger: some interesting advertisements I've come across recently....

1.  On the radio station I listen to each morning on the way to work, they regularly give jewelry away as prizes for listeners who call in and jump through the appropriate hoops.  Normally it's your birthstone in the form of a necklace or earrings or something.  More recently however, they've kicked it up (or down?) a notch.  Their current advertisement:
"...want to once again give two BFFs a great gift; a pair of pearl necklaces to celebrate their friendship."
If this doesn't sound weird to you, you don't know what kind of pearl necklace I giggle about whenever I hear this commercial.  (NOTE:  Maybe my in-laws shouldn't click on that link, nor should you if you're at work - your IT department will think you to be a pretty kinky (or exciting?) individual.  Your call.)   Also?  I'm 100%  95%  90% sure I'm not the only one who thinks of this when I hear this commercial.

2.  On this same radio station they run advertisements for a local plastic surgeon at "Bluewater Surgeries".  They're targeting young mom's who are missing their pre-baby body and are willing to take time away from mommy-hood to undergo some cosmetic procedures that will turn them into that "yummy mummy they knew they could be".  The ad campaign ends with a little tune that says "Fall in love with yourself, Bluewater Surgeries".  Not meaning to go all feminist on you, dear reader, but it saddens me that cosmetic companies are focusing their marketing campaigns on young women who should quite frankly have better things to worry about than fitting in their "skinny jeans" having just had a child.  I think this company may be in cohoots with The Gap.

...So far, it's looking like the ad companies want you (and your BFF) to be skinny and taut so that you can attract men who will give you pearl necklaces!  There's got to be something better out there, right?  Let's continue...

A sign that I used to drive past on the way home from work:

So what we have here is a billboard for a karaoke spot for kids, which is licensed by the Liquor Board of Ontario...the place that controls all the booze for our Province.  They really want to start them on the booze at a young age, eh? I suppose it's only fitting though.  If they find joy in drinking, they'll be more likely to pair up with their best friend and meet up with a guy who will give them pearl necklaces, and then knock-them-up, after which they'll need to go to Bluewater Surgeries to get their pre-baby bodies back!  Oh, the circle of life.

On a completely unrelated note to all-things-advertising, did you guys know that apparently you need to have a pumpkin on your porch or in a window in order for the little halloween people to know that you're giving away free candy?  Sadly, we dropped the ball on the pumpkin boat, and have had about 16 little rug-rats in the last hour and a half.  We've watched people walk past our house, looking in at us, but coaxing their kids to go to the house next door.  Maybe it's because of our reputation as the naked house.  Once again, home ownership will lead to plumper home-owners as we eat the candy we couldn't give away....*sigh*

Monday, October 25, 2010

Living the Exposed Life - May Contain Pornographic Images of Sorts...NSFW

Contrary to what the title of today's blog may indicate, I have not turned into a nudist since my last post.  Instead, being the bad, bad blogger that I am (having not updated in nearly two months), I've been so enthralled with the process of finding a home, buying a home, and then moving into said home, that the art of blogging has been lost on me.  Let me destroy your hopeful dreams right now by promising you that this update will in no way compensate for my lengthy absence.  Instead I shall regale you with observations about first-time home ownership and why I'm pretty sure buying a house equates with a ten pound weight gain which leads to friends suggesting you read books about compulsive eating. 

A short list of my personal observations regarding our home acquisition and home ownership (in the whole 9 days we've lived here):
1.  During our time living in rental units, I lived in a relatively constant state of fear that something expensive was going to be ruined and we'd end up having to pay for it.  As a prime example, less than 2 weeks before moving out of our apartment, Toby decided to become a carpet muncher (no, not this kind of carpet muncher), when he decided to chew the carpet right down to the underpad in a small area of our bedroom.  Upon looking up the breakdown of general repairs as supplied to us by our property management company, we were potentially looking at $1400 to replace the carpet in that one room.  That's more than we paid for the dog and all of his associated vet bills.  Something about this did not seem right.  But now it's a whole new ball game.  Now I live in a constant state of fear that something expensive is going to break and we're going to end up having to pay for it, which when you think about it seems like it's the same ball game, but I guess we're just in a different field now.  I feel as if any potential problem we have is magnified a hundred (thousand) times knowing that we are the only ones responsible for handling whatever situations may arise.  I do believe our neighbourhood's property values may reflect this point over time.

2.  Buying things is fun!  And addictive!  Also?  It's incredibly hard finding that special balance between "I don't want to be broke", and "I want to replace everything we own!  Would it be too obvious if the moving truck with all of our insured belongings accidentally ended up in the river?".  This is increasingly more difficult when you realize that you're still using the same furniture you moved out with 4 years ago, or the $15 end-table that is a byproduct of Swedish child-labour.

3.  I'm a little disappointed that our house isn't haunted.  I think I've watched too many episodes of Ghost Whisperer and had convinced myself that moving into this house would be like some magical gateway into the world of communicating with ghosts.  (Although I continue to consider the fact that maybe they're just shy...) 

4.  I'm worried that we're going to establish a reputation for ourselves in our new neighbourhood as the "naked ones".  The original intent with this phrasing was because all of our windows are naked (finding acceptable window treatments is hard, y'all!), but the more I think about this, the more I realize that people are quite probably actually seeing us naked since the only room in the house without a window is the bathroom.  I'm increasingly suspicious of the neighbours peeping-tom habits since several people walked past our house this evening while I was sitting in the car out front - they made direct eye contact with me but did not return my polite smile...instead, I caught them rubber-necking to look into our house as they walked along.  If they're trying to get a good glance in now, they won't for long....

Moving is incredibly fattening.  First, there's the fact that you're trying to "eat down" the reserves of food you have in your fridge, freezer and pantry so that it's less for you to move come the big day.  Of course the closer you get to moving day, the fewer options you have, and the chances increase dramatically that you'll opt for pizza, or something with equal artery-clogging powers.  Then comes moving day where you reward the help of your movers with yet more pizza for lunch!  And beer!  Lots and lots of beer!  Then come dinner time you're tired of pizza, so you decide to get chinese food instead, only this time you're not hungry again an hour later because the yeast from all the beer you've been drinking makes you feel like this.  Since you have no eggs, no bread, no anything really your husband suggests McDonald's for breakfast the next morning.  A couple days later, you realize that one of your movers missed out on the reward of pizza and beer because she had to leave for a family function, so you decide you'll make her a cake.  Only instead of making her a cake using all of the batter, you decide to play "some for you, some for me", and end up making one small cake for her and a dozen cupcakes which are promptly devoured by you and your husband. Of course you're out running errands and shopping all the time (see observation # above), and by the time you get home it's too late to actually cook anything, so you end up picking food up on the way home.  It's a vicious cycle that ultimately leads to this:
Also?  I apparently had no arms when we were living in the apartment.

So anyways - moving = you get fatter.  So much fatter that in the once-a-month-get-together where you meet up with a few friends and discuss a book you all read for about 15 minutes but then continue to yak about all things not-book-related, one of your friends decides to suggest you all read a book about overcoming compulsive eating.  Number of girls in this small little group? Five.  Number of girls with a BMI greater than 18%?  One.  Hmm.  Come to think of it...this book was recommended before the move.  Awesome. 

Truth be told, we may be a few pounds heavier in the new house, but we'll take those added pounds over the potentially fatal injuries that could have been incurred had we stayed in our Toronto neighbourhood.  I think this one is an easy call.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

No Kudos for Almost Wetting the Bed

Life has been really stressful for the past couple weeks and despite the pending ulcer I can feel forging in to the lining of my stomach, I continue to feel that causing undue stress for the customer relations departments of large corporations is an excellent idea.  If this simple act doesn't cheer me up, then what will?
Today's 'target' is the Mars Corporation - you know, the chocolate bar manufacturers?  I was offered a "Kudos" granola bar from a co-worker today of which she exclaimed "and they're only 100 calories!".  It didn't take long for me to discover that she had fallen victim to (and was thus also perpetuating) false advertisement.  The bar she handed me was not in fact 100 calories - it was 130.  The problem with this is that the product packaging clearly states on the label "100 Calories Per Bar!"  (see image below).  Needless to say, Mars got a letter:

As a first-time consumer of your product, I figured it was my responsibility to let you know that there is a conflict of information on your product packaging.  The box that the bars come in clearly states 130 calories per bar on the front (for the Peanut Butter flavour) - as seen here:

However, the individual wrappers advertise 100 calories per bar:
  What's up with that?  I feel like maybe you just got lazy with the individual wrapper packaging and kept the same slogan for the peanut butter as you do for all your other flavours.  No kudos for you on this one kudos for misrepresentation.

Naturally you'll all be informed when I hear back from Mars with their action plan for the obviously-needed recall on this product.  They'll either have to change the formula to ensure that the bars meet the 100 calorie proclamation, or change the wrappers on all the bars.  Of course they won't be able to resell the recalled bars - that would be unhygienic.  They should feed them to the homeless.  They need the extra calories anyways.

In completely unrelated news, remember when you were a kid (or maybe even an adolescent for some?), and you had a bedtime accident?  If you were asleep when it happened, weren't you always dreaming that you were peeing when you'd suddenly wake up to this warm, wet sensation?  These dreams have been haunting me for the last week and a half.  Alarmingly, they are these intensely graphic dreams where I make it a point to find a bathroom and then proceed to have the longest, most gratifying pee of my life.  Two nights ago, my dream consisted of quite literally, a bathroom marathon.  It was like a combination of  a layup drill in basketball practice, and what the ladies washroom looks like after a movie has just let out.  There were a large number of ladies all lined up facing a stall in the bathroom, we were all wearing white shirts and gym shorts, and we were hustling into the stall one at a time to relieve ourselves, and then back out to the back of the line we went to do it all over again.  Aside from the disturbing fact that there was no handwashing in my dream (ew!!), it got to the point where in my subconscious state I was all peed out!  By the time my 5th or 6th rotation came around, there were no bodily fluids left to excrete out this particular area of my body and I was actually trying to force out some urine.  I always wake up from these dreams thinking "oh dear god, no!", and am for once in my life relieved to wake up cold, thanks to my blanket-hog husband and my badass bladder control.  According to the Dream Dictionary:

"To dream that you are urinating, symbolizes a cleansing and a release of negative or repressed emotions.  Depending on your dream context, urination is symbolic of having or lacking basic control of your life.  You are literally "pissed off" and not expressing yourself in a positive or constructive manner."  (NOTE:  This totally makes sense when one factors in the things going on in my life right now - but we'll save those details for another entry)

This is such simple math:

Catalyst for pissing Loony off  +  No outlet for expressing herself (ie: letters to companies who commit faux pas)  =  Loony possibly wetting her bed, grossing out her husband and getting divorced

Catalyst for pissing Loony off  + Loony expressing her angst through unrelated yet eloquently phrased letters to companies who deserve a little kick in the butt for maleficence  =  A dry bed for Loony (and Ryan!), a long and happy marriage and lots of babies

So essentially, these letters that I write to companies like Mars, Crest, Mazda, Ministry's, etc?  They're potentially saving my marriage.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

UPDATED: The Night I Got Kicked In The Side Of The Head By A Stripper, and Response Letter From The Gap

I`ve noticed that as I`ve gotten older my desire to spend time in the bar-scene has decreased substantially.  There are of course, exceptions to this - more specifically, when it`s time to celebrate.  Last night was one of these exceptions.  Out celebrating my friend K`s birthday, we went to a bar that I hadn`t been to in a couple of years.  It`s never been my favourite place, and in my experience the quality of the customer base that frequents this particular location leaves much to be desired...but alas, it wasn`t my call.  We walk into the bar after coming from a comedy club and I`m disappointed to see that we are the first ones there.  I`m even more disappointed to see that since the last time I was at this particular bar, they have installed two stages and 5 stripper poles.  I can already see where the night is going to go.
Fast forward to a couple hours later in the evening (and a few tequilla shots), when the bar is now packed.  Unlike what you`d see in most bars though, nearly everyone`s eyes were simultaneously aimed in the same direction.  It appears as though either off-duty or wannabe strippers came to this particular bar to practice.  At one point in the corner of the stage there was a dry-humping orgy of 5 people who legitimately seemed oblivious to the other people in the bar; all of whom were staring at them like some god-awful car accident.  The guys of the orgy eventually convinced some of this girls to start gyrating on the poles instead of on them - because that was so much classier.  This was when a few of the girls kicked it up a notch and started doing fanciful work on the poles nearly going upside down and showing us what was barely-hidden under their short little skirts.  Unfortunately, because the dance floor was so full, there were limited options available and so K and I found ourselves right up by the stage.  On the pole to my left were two girls who decided they`d give the orgy-clan some competition.   While flinging herself around the pole, one of the girls happened to kick me in the arm and the side.  This?  Did not please me.  (Now might be a good time to highlight the fact that when I'm in a public setting such as a bar, my patience for people drops significantly.  I tend to get a little feisty.)  I poke the girl in the thigh (because it was around eye-level), to which she doesn't even notice (I assume having her legs groped is just second-nature and she doesn't even realize it) a little pinch to the arm got her attention.  I indicated that what she does for work or recreation is none of my business, but I'd appreciate it if she could keep her legs to herself and refrain from kicking me during her pole antics.  She seemed to be agreeable to this, so I keep rockin' out on the dance floor - that is until I suddenly feel a foot in the side of my head.  This?  Pleases me even less.  Although I'm behaving, the pole dancer and I exchange a few choice words until her pimp-equivalent steps in and breaks it up.  Having had her pole-dancing adventures ruined for the night, she moves onto bigger and better things - her pole-dancing friend.  It's not long after our little interaction that I see these two girls sandwiched up against each other, making out with a guy behind each of them rubbing up on them like a pig in it's own shit (From a bacteria-ridden standpoint, I think this analogy is perfect).  Needless to say, there were girls kissing, dry humping everywhere I turned, and mens boxers flying through the bar like confetti.
Additionally, on the tv screens were a series of models swimming through a pool infront of a camera.  Sharing my theory on this with a guy waiting at the bar scored me and K some free drinks.  My belief was that the bar wanted to be like something you'd find in LA or Vegas - having a full-size aquarium with models swimming around in it for an added touch of eye-candy.  Since this town is certainly not LA or Vegas, the feasibility of finding the finances, real estate and model-material to do this made it an impossibility.  Not to be denied the ability to create a "high-end" ambience, the owner of the bar got a few of his friends together, asked them to go swimming in his pool and planted an underwater camera.   Naturally the girls all had gas which explained the continuous bubbles underwater.  The guy insisted on buying our drinks because apparently it's a rarity to find a funny girl - and that was when I realized he bought us the drinks because of my personality.  I was disheartened to realize that since my bar-going days, I have become that girl - the one who gets by on her personality and not her looks.  It was at this point that I realized I won't be frequenting a bar again in my near future (although I've already agreed to go again in about 3 weeks from now), and when I also realized I've never been happier to be a married woman, because let's face it - my personality is an acquired taste. I'd totally be screwed.

Speaking of screwed...  (not really, but I didn't really have another transition lined up here):  The response to my e-mail to The Gap:

Dear L.,

Thank you for your email about our current store window marketing
campaign.  We are sorry to hear that you are unhappy with our new
?Pants? campaign. We appreciate knowing how our advertising is being
received and comments from loyal customers like you are valuable.  We
have several different campaigns a year and each is designed to target
various segments of our consumer base. We regularly evaluate our ads for
effectiveness and reach to ensure our advertising is appropriate for our
customers and our brand. We have forwarded your valuable comments to the
marketing manager responsible for these decisions.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact us.


Customer Service Consultant


Honestly, this has left me somewhat speechless.  Feel free to leave your own whitty or serious comments on this response (or anything really - just not herpes.  We don't need to hear about your herpes.) below to make my job easier for tonight since the hangover is seriously cramping my creativity.
I promise my next entry won't be so lame.

**UPDATE:  Who am I kidding?  I'm never entirely speechless.  Below is the response I sent back to The Gap.

Hi Stephanie,

Did anyone over there even read my original e-mail? I'm curious as to who your target consumer base is with this pants campaign? I'd legitimately like to know what group you decided to target to intentionally make them feel self-conscious about their body. Was it the impressionable teens? The "want to stay with it" younger moms? What comes next - Turtlenecks to hide the pack of hot dogs holding your head? Shapeless garments to hide those child-bearing hips? Because god forbid anyone strays from the drone-like body type of the Gap's ideal customer! The horror!!

For future reference I strongly suggest implementing marketing campaigns that make your potential customers feel good about themselves instead of preying on their insecurities.


Friday, August 6, 2010

Because Not Everything Is Funny...

The following is an e-mail I sent to the Customer Service department of The Gap this afternoon.  If you too feel the need to demonstrate your disapproval for their recent choices, you can write to them at
To The Attention Of The GAP Marketing Department And The Suits Who Back Their Ideas:
It's been recently brought to my attention that your most recent ad campaign to promote your fall line (more specifically, pants) appeals to the inner self-consciousness of women everywhere by stating that pants are the way to go because you "...just don't look good in shorts".  Since you have taken it upon yourself to judge those who's legs are maybe too white, too jiggly, too riddled with cellulite, or just not-toned enough to appeal to your (or the general public's) desire for eye candy, I have decided to send you an e-mail of thanks.

Thanks for generating a slogan that perpetuates the decreasing feelings of self-worth that people place on themselves based on their appearance.

I am confident that with ads like this you are securing employment and potentially even generating more jobs for those who work with individuals suffering from various eating disorders .  For that, I guess thanks for helping to maintain or possibly even decrease North America's unemployment rate.

Thanks for enforcing my belief that people should have to pass a test or achieve some sort of certification in order to be able to procreate.  Individuals with alarmingly low-standing moral qualities such as the people who created and supported such a campaign should have no hand in raising and instilling any sort of values in the future of our society.

And finally, thank you for reminding me why I'm not nor will I ever be your customer.


Saturday, July 31, 2010

Foiled Assassination #1

This past week was a little rough. I've certainly had worse, but one annoyance after another seemed to sprout out at me like moths to a flame, and the only thing I could do was sigh and wonder "is it over?". Wednesday morning was particularly irritating, but by the end of the workday there was a light at the end of the tunnel. The sweet taste of a victory was consuming my senses which for one reason or another, made me feel a little parched. I had already shut down my computer and had my purse and lunch bag thrown over my shoulder when I decided that one last swig of my water bottle would be satisfying. I pick up the aluminum bottle, brought the small opening to my lips and threw my head back, guiding the water bottle along the same path so that water could flow freely into my mouth. Hmmm. What is this solid I feel amidst the cool, refreshing water? I quickly reviewed the last five minutes of my life to see if I had eaten something, anything that would have maybe left a little piece of itself in a tooth. Nothing. Knowing that I wasn't going to be swallowing anything in my mouth until I knew what that solid was, I cupped my hand infront of my face and spat everything I had into it, to discover this:

Which, at the time of course, looked like this:
This thing was IN MY MOUTH you guys.  For real.  

So of course my initial reaction was to scream - this high-pitched short-lived scream which was mistaken for a sneeze by one of my coworkers.  I corrected her while continuously horking and spitting into the garbage, trying to rid myself of the fly's vomit which I was sure was infecting my mouth as we spoke.  When I felt like anymore spitting would result in the release of my own bile, I called it quits and moved on to tactic #2 - gum.  Piece after piece after piece of gum was devoured until I had a wad of it so big it put a jawbreaker to shame.  I figured this would tide me over until I could get home and brush my teeth, but even then, I was sure that unless I used a strong bleach mixture, my mouth was never going to feel clean again. 
Unfortunately, I was right.  This fly has scarred me from water which I think was it's master-plan all along.  The fly must've been perched somewhere around my workspace, plotting how he was going to take me out.  He knew that even if he were to vomit and defecate his little heart out all over my taste-buds, he alone may not be enough to make me violently ill and ultimately cause my demise.  On his own little kamikaze mission he plunged himself into the shadows of my water bottle, knowing that as soon as I discovered a fly in my water, I would never want to drink water again and would die of dehydration.  Either that or he was hoping to survive and lay eggs in my stomach for his little maggoty larvae to eat me from the inside out.  Either way, he has successfully managed to alter my drinking habits, and I'm sure that if he were alive today, he would tell you that this pleases him.  (Now would be the time that I would point out that he's not alive today because I drank the little fucker!).  Was it worth it Mr. Fly?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Toto, We're Not In Kansas Anymore

The Setting: Our golf course, last Sunday.
The Players: Myself, Ryan, and my Father-in-Law.

We were making a weak attempt at a round of golf the day after Ryan and I had spent a family-fun day at the zoo. The zoo-day was hot, sunny and also included embarrassing rounds of tether-ball and several games of volley-ball (in which yours-truly was an undefeated volleyball champion. Naturally.). Translation? Exhausting. (*Note: no Tapir's. Too bad.)
So the next morning we're out on the course - it's mostly sunny with a few non-threatening clouds appearing here and there to block the sun. Initially, these were a wonderful reprieve from the UV rays that were just screaming "Skin Cancer for everyone!" as they beat down on us. Around the 8th fairway I hear the guys a couple holes ahead say "I'm getting the hell out of here!". My first assumption was that they saw my exhausted awesome skills and thought "Man, that chick is making me feel bad about my game"- and so they were going to high-tail it out of there to salvage their 'manly dignity'. That was when I realized the sun-overdose from the day before had officially made me delusional and when I checked back into reality I noticed they were looking up. I followed their gaze to find this:

I realize for some people, the funnel cloud is just part in parcel with your everyday storm. These are a considered a rarity 'round these parts, and thus, camera worthy.

Now, the funnel didn't get much bigger than you see in this photo here, and so it certainly didn't make it to the ground. Not so exciting, right? So why post it you ask? I found it interesting that the potential for a tornado above our heads didn't cause any sort of physiological or emotional reaction for me. I didn't feel afraid or panicked, and I didn't envision us being scooped up by a twister and violently thrown down on the spikes of a white picket fence 3km away (honest.). I do however start sweating instantly when I know I have to go down the stairs (since I seem to fall down them. A lot.), I panic when I'm in the elevator and keep a finger hovered over the stop button. I also refuse to stand and strongly discourage Ryan from standing under the fan in the ceiling of the elevator. I've been on that ride "Tower of Terror" - and so I know that the second the elevator starts to plummet, the 'inhabitants' of said elevator are instantly going up due to the absence of gravity. Would you want to be standing under a fan when that happens? If you would have otherwise survived the fall, your head going through a rotating fan would be pretty disappointing. Finally, a new fear that has recently sprouted that I realize seems completely unwarranted is air conditioners. I am horrified walking to the back door of my building or driving under the balconies for fear of having an air conditioner fall out of a window just to land on me or on my car and come crashing through the roof, killing whoever happens to be underneath it. These are the things I worry about. A twister? Seems like small beans to me in comparison.

Also? I'm pretty sure the KGB is after me - or rather, trying to communicate with me under the guise of spam-mail. I've received several e-mails to my work address that resemble the following:

This is what I get from this e-mail: (Note: I never actually open the e-mail. I mean this is the KGB people, they're not going to send an everyday e-mail. Everything I need to know is coded in the e-mail address. This is why I'm the chosen one, y'all.)

"KGB" = is not what you think it is - it is how they address me, and it stands for "Kind, Gentle Beauty" (those Russians may seem hardcore, but they're romantics at heart ya know).
"Koock" - I assume "Koock" to be the codename of one of the KGB enemies located in my area.
"Diphiced" = Since these Russians are technically ESL students, this is kind of their dyslexic way of writing "deciphered". So they're starting to tell me that this "Koock" character is onto the correspondence method of choice. Oh shit.
"KGB" = "KGB". Duh.
"hiincnlld" = "Hi! Intel cancelled." Basically, this means they wanted to drop me a line to let me know they're still interested (hence the "Hi!"), but that because of this "Koock" guy's antics, they're going to have to withhold communications from me for a while.
To be honest with you? This is fine by me.
Loony Out.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

When getting dressed for work this morning, I could not have foreseen the following conversation taking place between myself and my friend K via text message this afternoon:

(BACK STORY: I discovered a shirt in my closet that I forgot I had and decided that today would be the day I'd take it out for a spin to see if we still agreed with each other. While at work I happened to look down once and noticed that there was an exceptional amount of cleavage/boobage showing, but desperately needed a second opinion. Hence the following...)

I apologize for the poor quality photo, but it was taken with the camera on my phone, and given the fact that I was trying to take a picture of my scantily clad chest while in the middle of the office, I wasn't going for quality. I was looking simply to get the photo before some of my co-workers came by and saw what I was doing. I'm technically still on probation you know.

So I send her the picture asking her opinion on the professionalism (or lack thereof) of the wardrobe selection for the day.

K: OMG no you did not?!?! It's kinda hard to tell...might be on the cusp.

ME: 'No I didn't' what?

K: Take a pic of your cleave and send it to me...but obviously you did.

Me: Yes I can share it with friends around the office if you'd like. (Don't judge - those people have no idea who I am. I was kidding, but I mean c'mon...if I'm posting the picture on the internet, then I'm pretty sure that already qualifies me for amateur cyber-pornstar status.)

K: I'm sure Jared* would love me to send this to him! (*Some names have been changed to protect identities and sexual conquests)

Me: Well you don't want to show the boobs of another girl to the guy you were just with last night. C'mon K!

K: I know...especially because they're nice ones!

Me: Awww...thanks! I'm flattered that you like my boobies!

K: Although when I look at that pic quickly it kinda looks like something else...

Me: Don't say a butt....

K: Nope....vajayjay.

Me: (horrified!) MY BOOBS LOOK LIKE A CROTCH TO YOU?! No one thinks a crotch looks good! Oh, this is horrible!

K: (scrambling to cram her foot in her mouth) Just when I looked at it fast!!! They don't normally look like that!

Me: OMG, what if people around the office think the same thing?! What if I'm known as the girl with the "Crotch chest" and don't even know it? People might be calling me "Vagina Boobs" and lord help me if I ever grow an errant hair in the area! Oh my god this is terrible!

K: Hahaha omg you're making me laugh out loud!!!!
(Ed Note: can I please mention how even though at this moment I'm wanting to beat this girl senseless, I'm secretly loving her because she actually wrote out "laugh out loud" in a text instead of the ever-so-popular "Lol"?)

Me: This is no laughing matter! Did you set this all up so you could laugh at your crotchy-chested friend?

K: Yup!! It's been planned for a while now. 'Cause I knew you were going to send me that pic...
(I think I detected a hint of sarcasm behind that text...)

Me: You're a twisted individual wonder we're friends. But hey - silver lining? At least it's my chest that looks like a cooch and not my face, right?

Me: Right??....??

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I'll Huff and I'll Puff and I'll just watch your house fall down because it's a piece of crap...

As our frustrations about apartment living continue to build momentum, we've been spending our weekends for the last month or two looking at houses. Overall, we haven't been having much success (obviously, since we're still here). There have been three houses that have caught our attention (okay, I lied - there have been more than that, but only three that counted because the rest were the 'fun' open houses we went to of houses well beyond our price range).

House 1 of 3: We eventually ruled out because of the following (today is all about the listing apparently...)
1. Lack of a front closet. This sounds so stupid, but in our place in Toronto we didn't have a front closet and it got pretty annoying - especially in a Canadian winter.
2. The fact that there's no door leading directly to the backyard. This will prove to be an issue when it comes to Toby. While it's not a far walk, it would be an ongoing pain in the ass to have to walk him out to the backyard everytime he needed to do some business. Most humans with pups tend to have a door that goes right into the backyard which they use to let the pooch out and in. This is the kind of convenience we're looking for here.
3. It's kind of an illegal duplex. There's a full apartment in the basement, but it's not zoned as a property that is legal to have such a thing. The current owners rent to some pot-smoking college students. So to live there we'd either continue with the trend of the illegal tenants or look into getting the house all up-to-legal-standard - and I looked into it? It's a pain in the ass. I'd rather carry on with the illegal activity and be all super-badass.

House 2 of 3: Is awesome - so awesome that it sold right out from under us. So sad.

House 3 of 3: Is one of those houses that we knew would not be with us for too long. It's not an exceptionally large place, but it had just been flipped and was located halfway between the university and the college - meaning we'd live there for 3 or 4 years and then use it as a rental property for students. So we went back to look at this place for a second time. It was at this point we got a copy of the prelisting home inspection arranged for by the seller. The realtor who was showing us the house decided to be helpful and show us the two small things that the inspection references. I took a copy of this inspection for myself so that I could comb it through, and these are the alarming things I found, no thanks to the realtor. - (Yay! Another list!)
1. The first page does a lot of talking about how "the water and runoff drain should be aimed away from the foundation to reduce the risk of water infiltration".
Off to a good start....
2. "The finishing trim on several of the windows are poor". This is one of the things the realtor decided to point out to us. This? Is an understatement. In some spots there was about an inch of space between the trim and the window. The realtor was trying to justify it by explaining that there was plenty of materials under the siding to have the water just slick right down to the base of the house (where, apparently it's aimed INTO the foundation and likely to result in water filtration). He was also helpful in pointing out that the house next door was close enough that we'd need some pretty vicious wind and rain to affect these windows at all. Nice try, Mark.
3. The level of insulation in the attic is substandard - get an insulation contractor in to quote you asap. It's always a good sign when by page two of the half-assed inspection they advise you to start consulting contractors.
4. Under the heading for the foundation wall - "Mortar joints are deteriorating". This is another thing that realtor Mark decided to show us - Ryan went along for the trek to the back part of the basement where as he put it "The wall was crumbing". Can we say $$$??
5. My personal favourite: (also? one that Mark was not inclined to point out to us upon our visit) "Basement floor joists and beams are not standard style of construction...repairs have been undertaken by different owners over the years and workmanship appears substandard...reinstall proper posts or bearing walls on some of the stress points." While it's typical to form for me to have some smartass comment in response to this, I truly have no words this time. All I can say is good luck selling this house.

There were other smaller things identified in the prelisting inspection, but the inspector had identified right in the start that it was only a 2-3hr inspection and was not inclusive of building code standards - so I can only imagine what else would come up with a proper inspection. It's unfortunate that the real estate world is now inundated with people who are looking to make a quick buck by flipping houses without having the expertise to do it properly. Window trim we would've been able to deal with - and the fact that the furnace is likely to die out in the next 2-5 years we could handle as well...but mortar and joists are a little more than we're looking to handle at this point in time.

Back to the MLS listings.....

Monday, June 28, 2010

Oh, Oops!

Y'all remember my two consecutive rants about apartment living, right? Imagine my distaste when I'm on my way to take Toby outside this morning in my getting-ready-for-work haste, and there's a never-ending puddle of pee on the floor infront of the elevators. Needless to say, this little scenario resulted in a letter. (Surprised?)

Nothing's worse than when you write a letter in a rush and have a typo that you don't notice until you're looking at a picture of said letter. Blurg.

What this letter SHOULD have said was:

Correction: Nothing's worse than making yourself look like a jackass by posting a letter to your neighbours that unknowingly should be addressed to yourself.

Speaking of letters - I finally got something in the mail from Crest! And then a week and a half later, I got the same thing again! Oops! That's what I get for writing Crest this e-mail:

Hi Amy & the rest of the Crest Team,

If you will recall, about a month ago we were engaged in a dialogue about your product packaging after I wrote in regarding concerns about having repeatedly had your product in an orifice it was not meant to be in - my eye.
Granted, I was a little insulted when I went through mild pains to provide you with photos of the packaging in question, as well as editing those photos to include my commentary and ideas, only to find out that your company treats consumer attachments like biowarfare, and thus you weren't aloud to open them. But I digress.
More recently however it was brought to my attention when discussing the grocery list with my husband that we are due for a new back-up tube of toothpaste (if you believe it, I was never a Girl Scout - but I'm always prepared! I think it's because I'm a virgo - I'm betting your a cancer?)...anyways, since we buy Crest products, it made me think of your company, and I realized I have yet to receive anything in the mail from you. When I looked back at our correspondance, I notice it said 2 to 3 weeks, and yet it's now been 4. I'm curious as to what went wrong here as well as the progress on my issue??? I am an active problem solver and would like to be kept abreast on the matter at hand.
Looking forward to your response,

Although when I found out what they sent? Well....

"Dear Loony,

Thank you for contacting P&G about Crest.
I'm sorry you experienced a problem while using this product and I'm forwarding your unusual report to our Health and Safety Consultants. We appreciate your bringing this matter to our attention.
I want to assure you, all of our products are evaluated to ensure they're safe when used as directed. If you have questions or comments in the future, please call the toll-free number on our poduct package. I hope you enjoy using the enclosed coupon the next time you shop. Thanks again for getting in touch with us.
Crest Team"

Attachment: One coupon for a free tube of Crest toothpaste.

So needless to say I was a little relieved when a second envelope came in the mail. I was thinking "okay, so here's the real gift". False alarm. Just more of the same.
Fully planning on cashing in both coupons (I mean, I did take pictures with elaborate commentary that they didn't even look at) I figured I should ask first to make sure this wasn't some sort of test.

Hi Amy,
Either the second coupon came quick, or the first coupon was just slow because I find myself with two coupons now. If I use them both, is Crest going to come after me for theft or fraud or something?

Looking forward to your response,

To which I got the following response:

Hi Loony,

Thanks for writing back to let us know you received both Crest coupons. Please feel free to redeem both coupons - we would be pleased for you to do so.

Thanks again for following up with us!

Crest Team

Amy is so over me. Either that or she's off on a mental health leave after having to deal with my correspondence.

Also? Mazda has not yet responded to my grand-slam marketing strategy. Ryan seems to think that Mazda and P&G talk. I'm starting to think he may be right.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Naturally in the course of the dog fight, it's the bitch who gets hurt

Last week I was trying to take Toby for a walk, but he was incredibly hyper and behaving in a way that earns him the occasional title of "Devil Dog". Upon giving up my efforts, we turn around to head back home when some punk teenager from across the street walking some little terror/terrier thing (see below) crosses over towards us. Since we can now socialize Toby with some of his canine friends (or foes), I told the kid that my dog was a little too hyper to listen properly, so this was going to be a quick hello for the pups and then we'd be on our way. So about three seconds of nose-to-nose action happens and I decide that now's the time to leave...except little-black-terror-on-the-retractable-leash decides he hasn't had enough of Toby yet. Before I know it this thing is all over my puppy (who's about 4 times his size, but a complete wimp*), and I hear one dog barking and one dog crying and neither noise sounds like my dog. At one point The Terror finally shuts up for a second so I can discover it's my dog crying. Of course by this point I've been trying to get the dogs separated (with no help from the teenager, thankyouverymuch), but their leashes are all caught up with each other, and now that I realize it's my dog crying, I'm in a near-panic trying to get him away from this black ball of teeth. I reach into the chaos to grab Toby's leash as close to the collar as I can get it, and that's when it happens. The Terror strikes, and I get bitten. Fortunately it was a cooler night and I was wearing a jacket which I thought had acted as suitable protection from the rambunctious, vicious beast....however, I was a little wrong. He didn't break the skin, but one of these:

...managed to do this:

That would be a bruise about the size of the palm of my hand. I didn't even think the dogs mouth was that big.

Of course by the time I got them separated (again, no thanks to the other human involved in this little scenario), I got Toby the hell away from The Terror - not thinking twice about the dog bite since it didn't hurt and I thought I had been 'protected'. Naturally Toby was okay and promptly resumed his Devil-dog ways, as my arm started to throb. By the time I got in the apartment the beginnings of a bruise had formed, but it wasn't until the next day that I discovered the true wrath of The Terror.
Now that I've taken one bite for him, I think my dear Toby has the impression that I am his protector. When we take him to the off-leash dog park and a dog chases him, his ears flatten out, his tail tucks between his legs, and he bolts for cover behind my legs.

**I'm not exaggerating when I say my dog is a wimp. It's hard to tell if it's his nature or if it's just because he's still so young. I just took him out to the front of the building to do his nightly business-before-bed, and he got so freaked out by some shadows that he started crying (which echos off the building and seems to magnify), and practically dragging me towards the door in the pursuit of safety.

Leave it to me to bring home a dog that is quite literally afraid of his own shadow.

Jesus and Mary May Be After Me...UPDATED

On my drive to work this morning as per my usual custom I looked in my review mirror when approaching a red light (I like to have advanced knowledge if someone's about to plow into the back of my car). What I didn't expect to see was a modern day Jesus in the passenger seat of a Mazda...and I'm pretty sure Mary was behind the wheel. Below is an artists (see: "my") rendition of what this looked like:

Right away I found myself wondering where Joseph was, 'cause really, when do you hear of Jesus and Mary, but not Joseph? This was around the time I figured they had probably stuffed ole' Joe in the trunk. It makes perfect sense - technically he was Jesus' stepdad - and honestly, how often do you find a kid who actually likes their step-parents? And let's face it...Mary got knocked up when she was engaged to Joseph, leaving him to raise a kid that wasn't even his. If you ask me, that would leave a bit of a sore spot in that relationship which I'm sure came up on more than one occasion:

Joseph: Mary, can you please rub my feet? My donkey died of heat exhaustion and I had to spend the last 8 hours walking home.
Mary: I'm really not a foot person Joseph...
Joseph: Yeah, well I'm not really into raising my fiance's illegitimate children, but I did it just for you. All I'm asking is for you to rub my feet. That's small beans if you ask me.

A couple thousand years of having that thrown in your face would grow pretty old I would imagine. I'm thinking they both got sick of him and finally decided to do something about it. The problem is, I had these thoughts when they were driving right behind me, and I'm not sure if Jesus can read minds or not, but they looked a little on edge after my theory was mentally worked through. If I was in fact right, they may come after me once they dispose of Joseph. Yet again, if I happen to disappear, you all know what happened to me (either Jesus and Mary got me, the elevator crashed, or the guy in my building with the handcuffs finally caught up with me.)

FYI? I'm not the only one who's seen Jesus!

After reading this post one of my coworkers sent the link to a friend of hers who owns a Mazda dealership. She then joked about me submitting artwork for their advertising. Since I've only been working here for 5-6 months, she hasn't yet learned that she needs to be cautious with her playful suggestions as some of us are crazy ambitious and will take it to the next level. Naturally, once she suggested me working with Mazda on their advertising, I came out with the following (which will promptly be sent to Mazda headquarters):

"Jesus drives a Mazda - why don't you?"
"Mazda - the Messiah's choice"
"Save your money and your soul when you buy Mazda!"

Mazda should totally hire me.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

This Post May Seem Sappy....But It's Mostly About Balls and Vampires - UPDATED

Just a few ways I know my husband loves me (without getting too embarrassing for him):

1. When golfing last weekend, I felt a sensation that can best be described as having had a bug fly up and splatter on my face like a car windshield. When I turned to Ryan I asked "Do I have anything on my face?", without hesitation he responded "A whole lot of pretty."

2. Breakfast in bed on a fairly regular basis (and we're not talking a bowl of cereal here people...). On the morning's when it's not breakfast in bed he offers to make me something while I scramble to get ready for work on time.

3. When I have the occasional stressful dream where he is an ass or he cheats on me or something and I wake up in the morning with a chip on my shoulder, he apologizes for how the nightmare-version of him behaved instead of calling the men in the white jackets to come and take me away.

4. He's found a way to find the humour in the way my mind operates (as opposed to calling the men in the white jackets - which really? I'm still a little baffled about.)

5. He's still with me even though I sometimes have the maturity level of a 5 year old - especially when it comes to his mistress: golf. Observe.

On the box that my golf balls come in. It also says "Long and Soft" on each individual golf ball, so everytime I go to tee up I subtly giggle. I think this is why I choke so often on my tee shots. Thanks a lot Noodle.

On the cover of his golf magazine. I mean seriously - how does one not interpret this as testicular? Also - why do they just want to find you one? Aren't they kind of a matching set??

He has the golf channel on every chance he gets - and so in the background I'm constantly listening to shaft, head, balls, long and stroke (I apologize to my in-laws should they be reading this). I find it interesting that the sport containing the greatest volume of terminology that can be interpreted in the context of male anatomy, seems to be the one that is more popular among the women of just about any age bracket when compared to other sports. What does that say about us?!

**UPDATE: I have determined that women need to rally together and create a sport that revolves around terms applicable to the female anatomy or anything we as females deem appropriate. I personally feel "iffy" about some of the terms used to describe our anatomy, but feel that these would be better suited for capturing the male 'audience'/participants. If we used sterotypical words like 'purse', 'shoes', 'make up', 'nursing bra', 'flowers', etc etc...(random, I know), I feel the male population would be less likely to roll with it. Put on your thinking Santa Barbara caps ladies!!

6. Finally, he's still with me even though one day soon I'm likely to bite his neck and suck his blood since I'm pretty sure I'm turning into a vampire after discovering this:

I have to say that I'm impressed at how sly this vamp must have been because I didn't feel a thing...except maybe a little itching afterwards. Wait, kind of a lot of itching. Just a minute you guys - did I just get a vampiric equivalent to an STD??? I am so going to kill that blood sucking Huh. Touché you disease ridden vampire. Touché.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Apartment Apparition - Part 2

Last week I started a running list of the things I despise about apartment-living. The delay in the sequel to that posting can be attributed to the fact that my free time has been largely consumed with house-hunting (and Toby). Let us resume the list, shall we?

5. About a week or so after bringing Toby home, it was late on a Wednesday night and Ryan and I were just about to head off to bed when I noticed a small wet spot in carpet of our bedroom doorway. Knowing full well that neither of us dared take our eyes off the puppy and his 1 oz bladder the whole night, I knew it likely wasn't Toby pee, but it appeared to be about his usual size. So, grudgingly we cleaned it up as if it were dog pee and went on our merry way off to slumberville. In the morning as I sleepily left the bedroom to start my day, I stepped in something wet and squishy. When I looked down, I discovered that the wet spot from only 7 hours before had effectively tripled in size while we slept. Feeling a little curious and concerned but not having much time to investigate I left for work, only to return home and discover that the spot had more than tripled in size yet again. At this point, the 'wet spot' as we'll call it was about the size of a livingroom end table, and showing no signs of slowing down. So off we go to the Superintendent's office to let him know that something is obviously going on - since the carpet was so saturated it had actually lifted (a discovery that our little Toby was quick to make). He tells us that he'll have someone take a look at it the next day. This made me nervous because the next day was a Friday, and based on my experience with property management, "tomorrow" = next week. So Friday afternoon when I'm getting home from work I get into the elevator and lo and behold the superintendent is in the elevator with me! I ask him how it went in our unit and he seems to have no idea what I'm talking about (Surprised? I'm not.) After I refresh his memory he says that no one had a chance to make it by today, so he'll come take a look a little later on. I respond with "Well I'm on my way there right now, why don't you just come along with me so you can see what we're working with. It won't take but a minute." - feeling the pressure he comes along. After seeing the damage that's happening he confirms we need a plumber (no! really?) - but says that it probably won't be until Monday. So early the next week the plumber comes by, cuts a few holes in our bedroom wall and leaves saying he'll be back "later" to fix the pinhole leak in the pipe. "Later" is a subjective term however, and he did not identify that in his mind it meant a couple days. Awesome. So eventually he comes back to fix the leak and then says again that he (or someone) will be back "later" to repair the holes in the wall. (NOTE: I am not home when they are doing these things or I would have blocked him in a corner until he gave us a definitive date with a time range extending no more than a 2 hour window). So someone comes back a day or two later when no one is home to mud and sand and paint this wall. Notice I said sand. When they sanded this wall in our bedroom, they didn't put any sheets down to protect anything.

These holes? They were cut in the wall right next to my vanity with all my make up and hair products which went unprotected when the dust from the sanding was flying about. Fantastic.

Even better is the fact that this happened a month ago and yet they still haven't secured the carpet down again. So now we've got an oversized piece of tupperware filled with crap sitting on the loose carpet in our bedroom doorway to keep the dog from grabbing a piece of it and running away in the opposite direction, effectively pulling up the carpet of the entire walkway.

6. The people (again). Not just because of their dirtiness, but because they're there (or rather here) all the time. Now that we've got little Toby I find we get stopped a lot so people can ohhh and ahhh over him, which is cute and all and that part I don't mind - but I find it opens up the doors for them to tell us all about the dogs they have or had in the past and to give advice on how to train him, etc etc. I don't really like unsolicited 'parenting' advice especially from a stranger who's dog is trying to ravage my dog's butt, or who has to wear a muzzle because who-knows-why.
Also? If we go into the elevator at the same time and I ask you what floor you're on so I can press the button for you, please don't act insulted when I don't already know that you live on the same floor as me. If we haven't formally met or had some kind of shared near-death experience in one of the elevators, you just blend in with the rest of the people I see coming and going through this building. Sorry!

7. One of the items in last week's list revolved around the laziness of people who can't be bothered to dispose of their garbage appropriately. I wonder if someone on my floor reads this blog and decided to take things to an all new level because since that posting the following things were discovered in my hallway:

This would be poop. I assume canine, but who can really tell? Someone left this hairy little nugget about 2 feet away from our apartment door. Needless to say, I was not impressed given the fact that our puppy is like a Dyson vacuum and picks up EVERYTHING - poop included.

Someone actually PUKED right infront of the elevators and left it for who-knows-how-long. All I know is that it was there in the morning when I left for work (and I leave fairly early - so it may have even been from the night before), and it was still there an hour or so later when Ryan took the dog out for a walk. This is what I'm living with, people.

In addition to these two mysterious wonders, I have found dirty undergarments as well as more poop and even urine in the stairwells. Which brings me to item #8...

8. The stairwells. As much as I hate/fear the elevators, the stairwells horrify me in completely different ways. I am a clumsy person - accident-prone if-you-will. Stairs and I? We just don't get along, mostly because my legs/feet and I don't really get along - we tend not to agree on where we're going and when to go there, and so as you can imagine, this leads to a lot of falls. Falling down on an even surface is one thing. Embarrassing? Sure - but not as dangerous or horrifying as falling down stairs where I instantly invision rolled ankles or broken femurs. So normally when going down (and up, because yes - I do also fall UP stairs) I hang onto that railing for dear life. In this building though? After the things I've seen in there? I don't know that there's enough hand sanitizer in the world to protect me from whatever bacteria thrives on the stairwell surfaces. I prefer to take my chances with the elevator. I figured free-falling 6 flights is a quicker way to go than contracting some disease that will slowly eat away at my liver or something. No thanks.

Ending on a not-so-relevant note, I find it incredibly annoying when artists sing their own names at the beginning of their song - like our friend Jason derulo who sings it as if he's fantasizing about himself. In your head indeed, Jason - in your head, indeed.