Tuesday, May 31, 2005
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|My Penis Name is: Bavarian Beefstick|
Friday, May 27, 2005
Thoughts on Pink Hair
Shortly after I quit the casino,
I decided to dye the front part of my hair pink. See photo. I didn't think too much about it at the time, except that it would be nice to do something that wasn't able to do under my previous circumstances. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but the casino has really strict rules regarding hair and dress. I mean, you could get a yellow warning slip (three of these and you're fired) for having nails that are not painted either in a pink or a white shade. (Peach is technically orange, something that I didn't know prior to working for the casino. Neat how you learn things in places you never thought you would eh?) Pink hair to me was just a declaration of summer and an independence from a workplace that had treated me well, but that I had to leave. Besides, I was planning to go back and something like pink hair is nice and reversible.
That was all the thought I had put into dyeing my hair this colour (it's semi-permanent too so with each progressive hair washing a little of the garishness washes out. Right now it's a darker pink than the photograph, which was taken the morning after.) but now that I've worn it for about a month, here are some thoughts.
The first thing that I noticed about my hair is that it connects me with a culture I'm really not a part of. When I wear all black, goths make eye contact with me and give what I can only think is their version of a smile. Not only that, old people avoid me, middle-aged people stare at me and teenagers with skateboards and spiky hair give me a nod. In fact, I was approaching this guy for the time one day and he practically recoiled. Man, this hair thing is really categorizing. Then again, when I'm wearing more subdued colours, like a white sweater on khakis, I don't get people crossing the street to avoid me. I just get alot of disapproving stares from the parent's generation set.
You know, if someone told me that people would react the way they do to my appearance before I dyed my hair, I probably wouldn't have done it. Like I said, there wasn't that much thought put into the decision. I mean it's hair dye people! Probably the most temporary semi-permenent alteration you can do to yourself. With the possible exception of painting your nails. Which, oddly enough is more expensive to maintain than pink hair. Having said that though, there is no way I'm going to dye my hair black again any time soon.
Sure I get weird reactions from people, but who the hell cares? It's a bunch of strangers. I'm not looking for a job, I'm not looking to even make a good first impression. Why? Because I don't have to. I like that. My pink hair says that I am able to go about my life without having to care about what other people will think. It's incredibly liberating, even if it is a cheap thrill. I mean this is the first time I know that I have job security (even if it is just for the summer), and that I don't have to please anyone. Hell I'm even going to change my voicemail to something a little more whimsical than "Hi, this is Johanna, I'm sorry I can't come to the phone right now...". Why? Because no one that cares whether or not I have a professional sounding voicemail is going to call me. Damn, I like that.
Today I went for a walk in a black spaghetti strap top, pink hair and a black skirt that fell just above the knees. I resisted the black eyeliner thing just in case I ran into a few real goths. Then I just looked around and really enjoyed the fact that even though people were reacting to me, I didn't have to give a shit. Man did that feel good! I mean I'm usually sort of concious about others looking at me and forming an impression. Today, who the hell cares! They're not looking at anything other than my pink hair. Alllright. To put this into context a little, I've been job hunting due to a variety of circumstances for three years now. I've always had to make sure that my hair was nice, that my fingernails were neat, that I would make a good first impression, basically, because I never know when the next opportunity would turn up. The jobs I've held have also had dress codes that were upwards of "business casual". I don't have to care about that right now and I'm announcing it to the world with bright pink hair.
I still have more than two thirds of the pot of pink colour. I don't think I will refresh it though because my grandad gives me an anguished look every time he sees it. He also keeps asking when I'm going to restore it. Under the guise that I don't have much free time (which is partially true) I'm telling him that it will get done when I have the time. I mean, last night I noted that there are a great many things that I can't wear anymore from my wardrobe because it clashes with my hair and to be honest, the novelty is wearing off. For the time being though, it still thrills me to bits to think that I don't have to care what other people are thinking about me. For the record, the prof I'm working for as an RA explicitly said that he didn't care and then introduced me to a grad student in our dept. with purple hair. He spikes his purple hair too, which gives it more of a shock factor than mine, I think.
So that's that people. Pink hair. I love it, I like it and I certainly recommend it. Maybe for those of you who are leaving the army behind or something. Or that penultimate term at the university, just before you have to start job hunting and enter the real world. Join the movement!
posted by Joie! at
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Something about a Music Meme?
has invited me to do a music meme. I have no idea what that is, but I'm going to try my darndest, because that's just how I am. Also, I've been rooting around for a good reason to not be studying neurobiology. This might not be a good reason, but it's reason enough right now.Total volume of music files on my computer:
10.5GB. Wow, I had no idea I had that much music on my computer. I guess it doesn't really all count as music though, because I have a good many "spoken word" downloads. Like all five Harry Potters, which should take up quite a bit of room all by themselves. I also have BBC radio plays (Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Lord of the Rings, Brave New World, Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe...) and BBC documentaries. Jim downloads most of the music and I just listen to it. That is, when I'm not listening to one of the Harry Potters. Which means not often. I just don't have a music player program that I'm comfortable enough with to create playlists and the like, alright?The last CD I bought was:
A hell of a long time ago....I guess that isn't really an answer is it? The last CD I bought was as a gift to Jim, which was the Beatles Blue album. I'm pretty sure that I got it for his 19th birthday...and he just turned 22. The last CD I bought for myself was...damn. I can't even remember the name of the band. But basically I bought it at Canada day with Lisa (not on her last visit, but the one before that. Yeah a really long time ago). It was by one of the performing bands and they were Irishy and played songs that they wrote about Canada. Catchy and amusing, but I have no idea where the CD is now and can't even look them up because I can't remember what their name is. Maybe Lisa can help. Afterall, she started this. I guess to be fair, the last CD I would have bought/downloaded if I had gotten my act together would either be something by the Be Good Tanyas or one of the Savage Garden (yes, I still like them) albums. In fact, now you guys out there know what to get me for gifts. Ha.Song playing right now
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is what's playing right now. Jim Dale's reading just provides the right amount of background for what I'm doing. I don't have to pay attention to it and it's over 26 hours long, which means that I don't have to toggle with song lists or anything for a good 26 hours. If there was to be something playing right now though it'd either be by the Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel or the Barenaked Ladies. Maybe something by Leonard Cohen, but for some reason I always have a hard time locating his files on this computer.Five Songs I listen to alot or mean alot to me
1. Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening
I know this is a poem by Robert Frost, but it was arranged for a girl's choir. I used to have a poor recording of it on mp3, but I don't anymore. I wish I had some recording of this. This was the song that every generation of RGS choir learns. It's very soothing and sparkly. I like it.
2. Feeling Groovy by Simon and Garfunkel
It's upbeat, it's short and it medleys well with "Here comes the Sun" by the Beatles. Another uplifting song. I had to decide between listing one or the other because really, they are in the same category and I always play them together. Oh well, I guess I listed them both and cheated by putting them under one heading. Nice.
3. Love You Madly by Cake
This is the requisite "Jim and me" song. We used to dance to this song in his living room before we moved in together. This was when we didn't have a TV so we danced for entertainment. I keep saying that we should do this again, but we have no way to play music in our living room. Either way, it's not a sappy mushy song, and the beat is moderate, which means you're not exhausted after dancing to it. I like it and it sums up how Jim and I feel about each other rather nicely. :)
4. Time of Your Life by Greenday
Whenever I hear this song I think about my time in sec 3 and 4. Arguably one of the best times in my life. I say arguably because now that I'm out on my own and autonomous it feels great. But if I had to pick a time in my life to go back to, there would be no question that it would be this time period. The lyrics and everything seem to evoke such sentimental memories, but it's more the fact that this was the overplayed song at the time. I'm just thankful that the song I became attached to for this reason was not "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion. It was equally overplayed at the time...Then again, I have much better taste than that.
5. Where is the Love by Black Eyed Peas
Yeah don't worry. I'm surprised by this entry too. I like this one because it's comforting. Wait, just let me explain alright? To explain this you have to understand that there are two main ways of dealing with stress. (1)Emotion-based coping, (2)Situation based coping. Or something like that. The point is that the first method involves dealing with the stress response and the second involves dealing with whatever is causing the stress. The second method is the more effective method in all cases except those cases in which there is nothing the individual can do to affect the stressful situation. Like if you live near Chernobyl. In cases like this, then the first method is more effective, because you're not fighting a losing battle and you are dealing with the stress response. So back to "Where is the Love". This is the best "Emotion-based coping" song to today's biggest social problems. I can't do anything while I'm on the bus to school to affect hunger in Africa, the war in Iraq or the abuse of children in foster homes. But I can sing along to the chorus of "Father, father, father help us/with some guidance from above..." and it makes me feel a little better about the world.Five people to whom I'm passing the baton:
That's in alphabetical order right? Alphabetical order took me longer than it should've to figure out. Bloody, my brain cells are being fried. Oh wait, I really should be studying about brain cells. Alright guys, so that's my music meme. Knock yourselves out.
posted by Joie! at
Saturday, May 21, 2005
Not That Bad
So in answer to my last post, I got an email from my dad (no Joel, it was a coincidence, my immediate family still does not know I have a blog, save Jim, and no we're not married...but we are common-law, which means that having lived together for more than a year we can claim to be married under the law, for like, taxes and things. But we don't claim common-law because we get bigger tax refunds that way.) So I got an email from my dad inviting me to my grandad's 68th birthday party. I mean, if I'm invited, I might as well go because I really want to meet my grandparents.
So I go.
And it wasn't that bad.
Apart from the fact that I really want to kill my mother. I mean, Puja
even offered to represent me if I do anything and bring the charges down to self defense. The evening wasn't that bad.
My dad was aweseome. But then again, he's always either awesome or impossible depending on his mood. I'm glad he was awesome last night. Started talking again like there was no absence. As for the rest of my family, I was keeping in touch with them anyway, so it wasn't a big deal.
My mother. She's psycho. She was so stiff and cold when I was there. When I arrived, I must admit that I made it a point to hug everyone but her. Jim was sweet. Jim hugged everyone but my dad (which makes sense, my dad's not a realy huggy person and a hug from Jim would only make him uneasy). Well, she turned up asking for a hug. You can't refuse that pointblank so I gave her one. But the weirdest thing is that she didn't return it. It was like hugging a zombie, it was the creepiest thing! Then she spent the rest of the night making snippy comments at me. Sometimes just to me, but sometimes also with the people who live in their basement present. I don't like her much, that woman.
Isaac is tall. Like seriously. But that seems to have been the only difference. He still talks like he used to (quickly and rather incoherently). He still has about a head to go before he's Jonathan's height, but he's right on pace. He's only 13 this year after all.
So that was that. They invited Jim and I to drive up with them to Whistler today and have a Japanese meal, but I declined. I mean just because I consented to one birthday party doesn't mean everything's cool. It just means, well, that I'm going to get my passport and official documents. :D
At any rate, I'm starving and I'm going to go get a McDonald's breakfast. Keep in touch people!
posted by Joie! at
Saturday, May 14, 2005
My grandparents arrive in Vancouver today and I completely neglected to do what they asked me to do prior to their arrival. I didn't call my parents and try to make amends. In my defense, I faked a lost cell phone and I truly lost my voice for a while. Oy, what a mess this is going to be.
See, they wanted me to make amends with my parents mainly because the last time I visted on a regular basis was when they were here. My parents picked up on the fact that I only vist when they are here, and most frequently of all when my parents are gone and my grandparents are babysitting and got a little jealous. Which in turn put my grandparents in an understandably awkward position. It's not their fault I don't want to have much (if anything) to do with my parents. Yet their visits only serve to highlight that I am not excluding my entire family, but am selectively avoiding my parents. See, if the case were that I was ostracizing myself from my family, then it's a little less personal. But it's personal, and they know it.
So this time around, my grandparents want to see me. They also want to avoid all the strange sentiments that would be floating around as a result of that. In fact, I think they've been denying that they have been in touch with me. A lie that exploded rather spectacularly when I consented to their giving my paternal grandparents my contact number. So now both sets of grandparents call me on a regular basis and at least one set if not two is telling my parents about it.
Plus, my grandparents are coming laden with gifts for me from a great number of relatives, also whom I an obviously in touch with. Yah. The thing with my parents is personal, and it's about to get really obvious.
Then again, what the hell do you say after a year and a half of silence? Especially if in truth, you really want to have nothing to do with them again after your grandparents leave?
See. I had a little less than two weeks to come up with that answer, and I still don't have it. Can any of you do any better? I seriously doubt it, but I would like to invite everyone to try. :P
While on the topic of emoticons, does anyone know who the hell [: is? Left a stupid message on my tagboard. Bloody anonymous posters.
You know, I can come up with a host of good reasons not to ever have anything to do with my parents ever again. Since our estrangement, my grades have risen spectacularly, my confidence has reached new heights and my sense of self is more defined than ever before. I even have a working theory that my mother is a sociopath
. Charles Manson
was a sociopath. I've studied this condition in two classes (and soon will study it in a third) and while I'm not qualified to make a diagnosis, I am certainly qualified to suspect with greater accuracy than the average person is. Despite all these reasons though, I know that there will be people out there who tell me that the parent-child relationship should supercede all of this. I don't buy it. I think the self is more important than a single biological bond (especially if you're biologically bonded to a borderline psycho). I know that last statement wasn't very Chinese, but to bow to tradition for the sake of tradition? Well that's just bourgeoisie.
I still don't know how the events will play out. My grandparents are going to be here until mid-Sept, so I'm steeling myself for the drama that is undoubtedly going to ensue. One thing is clear though, I am not going to allow my parents to play the victim (their favourite strategy) in any of this.
posted by Joie! at
Friday, May 13, 2005
91 seconds. Check it out.
posted by Joie! at
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
posted by Joie! at
Sunday, May 08, 2005
Crazy, Crazy People
From stupid people
in the last post, to crazy people in this one. What is the world coming to?
Yesterday was my first Saturday all to myself without having to miss work/have a midterm/exam/essay to tackle/be sick. Jim and I had an amazing day which included breakfast on Granville Island, an hour-long walk along the sea wall and shopping for Jim's birthday presents (May 15th is the big day).
We ended the day at The Real Canadian Superstore
because we needed to pick up a few things for dinner. Our plan for the evening was to watch Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
(with never before seen scenes and a first look at the Goblet of Fire movie
) while eating a dinner of leftovers and potato salad. I make an awesome potato salad, see below for recipe.
A little background on Superstore is probably in order, just so that the following incidents have more context. Now Superstore is probably the best place to get value for your money. Due to the fact that everything is relatively cheaper at Superstore, you get the entire third world shopping there, and it certainly looks like it. The staff do not face/restock the shelves from the moment it opens to the time it closes. This means that by the time the day is halfway through some shelves are empty, most everything is misshelved, broken/open items are left in the aisles and the bulk items have been fondled by snotty-hand kids. The produce department is certainly deplorable, I doubt they employ the "first in first out" rule, or if they do, they don't get regular shipments of fresh produce. On Sundays, you'd be lucky if you can find milk/eggs. I still shop there though, because my bill is 10-20% smaller than if I shopped anywhere else. Besides, once you get used to those shopping conditions, it really isn't so bad.
The worst part about Superstore though, is undoubtedly the parking lot. It seems like this is where people whose previous experience with driving consists solely of fairground bumper cars come to learn to drive. With prices so low, you can probably appreciate the congestion in the parking lot. The parking lot itself is excessively spacious, but as things go, people jostle about the section that is closest to the doors, preferring to wait in the lanes for a space to open up than to have to lug their eventual purchases half a block further. It is prudent to drive at 1-5kmph when navigating the parking lot so to be able to react to people who back out of stalls without looking first, people who ignore posted stop signs and people who think that 40-50kmph is an appropriate speed at which to peruse the parking lot. Perhaps all this bad driving is just a result of a frustrating shopping experience and the knowledge that your budget will not stretch far enough for you to shop at a more civilized place. Either way, it's not a nice place to be.
Of course there is the inevitable accident. Which brings me to the inspiration for the title of this post. Jim and I didn't actually witness the accident but half of Western Canada was certainly privvy to the aftermath. There was this muscle-bound, tall black guy (the victim of the accident) yelling into his cellphone for this small, old Chinese guy's (the guy who ran the stop sign and consequently ran into this black guy) address, occupation, number of family members (I am not joking). Now I can appreciate being very pissed off at someone running stop sign and hitting me. But the verbal abuse and threats did not end there. He continued to harass the old guy, addressing him with excessive rudeness, treating him like a dog that had rolled in something nasty. This is a good time to note that neither car showed more damage than a few paint scratches.
Jim decided to stop and make sure that this was not going to end in the Chinese guy becoming a bloody pulp. I was petitioning for us to keep our heads down lest we become a bloody pulp. Nevertheless, we called the police and notified them of the situation. Once the black guy calmed down, Jim stepped out of the car (I protested that move too) and conveyed sympathy to the black guy, noting that I too was a victim of bad driving
. This helped center the guy, I think. I offered my translation services, but they were not needed. The Chinese guy could certainly speak English, he was just choosing to respond to the shouts with silence, which gave the black guy the impression that he did not understand English.
The Chinese guy demonstrated his proficiency in English when he called 911, requesting first aid and the police. Apparently, the second he was approached by the black guy after the bumping he received a punch in the mouth through his rolled-down window. That was the only time he was hit though, and to be fair to the black guy once he regained control of his emotions he agreed to stay around to allow the police to press charges for his actions. Still though, I can understand all this anger and fuss if this were an accident on a highway, or if the black guy had his daughter in the car. In fact, the black guy did mention to the Chinese guy that had his daughter been in the car, our presence would not have prevented him from turning the little old man into a bloody pulp. I wonder, had Jim and I not stopped, what exactly was he going to do?
I don't have the ending to this saga, we left as the paramedics arrived to look at the Chinese guy's swollen mouth. I still feel some sympathy for the victim of the accident, seeing as how he was due to pick his mother up from work, and how he himself had work in a couple of hours. To tell you the truth though, I don't ever think there is an excuse to treat another human being like that just because of a couple of scratches on the side of your car.Potato Salad5-6 small-medium red potatoes
3-4 med-large eggs
1-2 cups peas (frozen)
1 med-large red onion
salt & pepper
1. Put the peas (still frozen) into the bowl you are going to serve the salad in. Hard boil the eggs. Shell and slice the still warm eggs and place them on the peas.
2. Boil the potatoes in salted water. You can either boil them whole or cut them up first, depending on the amount of attention you are willing to devote to the pot. While the potatoes are on the boil, finely chop the red onion and add them to the serving bowl.
3. Cut the potatoes up if you haven't yet and toss them in the serving bowl. The heat from the eggs and the potatoes should be sufficient to warm up the peas. Potato salad is supposed to be served cold anyway and if you don't defrost the peas, you cut down on fridge time. (In fact, smaller preparations of potato salad done this way requires no fridge time)
4. To taste, add mayo, dill and salt and pepper. If still slightly warm, refridgerate until cool.
5. Eat and refuse to share it with people who are not nice to you.
posted by Joie! at
Friday, May 06, 2005
Stupid, Stupid People
There was a report in yesterday's news that one Tom Peters, owner of Pet Habitat
at Brentwood Mall
, is charged with cruelty to animals. The charge was filed by the SPCA
after they conducted an investigation following over 70 complaints over the last five years. The investigation turned up one bird with a broken leg and a sick puppy. If convicted, Tom faces a $2000 fine and a prohibition on keeping animals.
What a load of bullshit.
If you guys recall, I used to work for Tom in that nether period between my layoff from BC Hydro and my hiring at CallTrex. I worked Sundays there for a period of about four months, my last day of employment was Easter Sunday, 2004 (the mall wasn't open, but since that was when my 2 weeks notice culminated that's the official date). Not only was I an employee, I was also a loyal customer. I bought several fish from him, a cat, two fish tanks (complete systems), and more cat food than I'm willing to believe my cats consume.
So what's all this about animal cruelty? Bullshit.
First day on the job, the only thing I learnt was to be excessively attentive to the needs of the animals. Someone pooped? Drop everything you're doing and clean it up. Bird water looking dubious? Drop whatever you're doing (unless it's cleaning poop) and change it. Animal not acting like it usually does? Notify Tom and he'll get on it. I learnt how to attend to the specific needs of each animal. Like that stupid Bichon Frise
which needs its eyes cleaned.
First day on the job, I also learnt where all the complaints were coming from. These are the same people who complain that animals in cages at zoos are tragically penned in, but all the same, pay admission to see these animals. Customers will look at puppies sleeping in their cages and conclude that they are bored and listless. The truth being that each of our puppies (we mostly stock toy breeds) having tired themselves out being tethered outside are now taking a needed nap. They will look at a cage where the toys are hidden from view by the puppy itself and complain that the puppies have no toys. They will look at the bird water in which husks have been scattered and conclude that the birds are drinking dirty water (empty husks of seeds do not dirty water. Water is changed twice a day unless birds poop in it, then it's changed right away). Since all these complaints are really a result of ignorant people who need a cause to feel important, we went about our business, continuing to maintain the high standard of animal care that Tom regularly enforced. This is not to say that we ignored complaints. All complaints were filed and looked into. All I'm saying is that there hasn't yet been a valid complaint that wasn't addressed immediately.
Tom's commitment to animal care is not just evident in the procedures he makes his employees adhere to. It is also clear in the brands of food he chooses to stock and feed his animals. Tom researches the pet food he stocks to ensure that his customers are walking away with the best possible diet for their pets. In contrast to other pet stores I have been a patron of, he also feeds his animals this high quality feed as opposed to a cheaper brand which is not as beneficial for his animals. This behind-the-scenes footwork is admirable to say the least, especially when considering that he is running business after all.
Now let's address the specific instances quoted in the charge. The bird with the broken leg was not left alone in a cage with other birds, ignored. On the contrary, the bird was isolated and under observation. There is little you can do with a bird with a broken leg, and the bird was receiving special attention while the next course of action was being decided upon. The charge makes it sound alot worse, doesn't it?
How about the sick puppy?! Let's not forget the sick puppy! Oh fuck the sick puppy. Sure it was sick, but it was isolated and being treated with antibiotics as was appropriate for the symptoms it was demonstrating. It is only after this course of action is seen to be ineffective for two weeks that there is a need for the puppy to be brought to a vet. In fact, after the charges were levied, Tom brought the goddamn puppy to the vet and the vet said that Tom was taking the right course of action and to see him after that requisite two weeks if the antibiotics was not working.
Tom is looking to have these charges dropped in court and I believe he will have no problem. The only thing I'm concerned about is negative publicity. This was all over the radio and newspapers. Tom just bought a new house and is in the proccess of renovating it. Any dip in business and he's going to be hurting. I like Tom and these charges are ludicrous at best. Any of you in the GVRD area go to his store and go sign something saying that you disagree with the charges. The more signatures he can bring into court, the easier his case will be.
Go Tom Go!
posted by Joie! at