Monthly Archives: September 2009

Breaking: Canada Gets A Daily Paper And So Do I

I’m a complete and utter newspaper nerd. I read about 75 newspapers online every day — my favourite being the Old Gray Lady — because, apparently, I am a news junkie. Political news excepted, of course. I abhor reading political news articles — the ridiculous and ignorant comments from the howling monkey brigades always manage to make my blood pressure go up about 140 points and I don’t like it. Not one bit.

While I know it’s not really en vogue to read newspapers in print anymore, I must admit that I am still an old-fashioned kind of newspaper girl. I like holding the *actual* newspaper in my hand while I, say, eat my cereal in the morning or leisurely drink cafe au lait at my favourite T.O. coffeeshop. I like being able to scan the articles at a glance without having to squint on my iPhone and risk ruining my perfectly good botox injections^, and I also love when my fingertips get all smudgy from the ink.

The aforementioned reasons are why I recently began subscribing to the weekend edition of the Globe and Mail. It’s sort of like Canada’s version of USA Today and, while I don’t really know which way it leans — what with Canada’s three political parties — whichever way it is, I like it. Actually, the only thing I don’t like about Globe and Mail thus far is that, for some reason, it seems very unevenly weighted to news outside of Ontario. I mean, everyone knows that Toronto is the center of the (Canadian) universe, so I’m unsure what this is about. 🙂

Moving on. I recently went home to Houston for a long weekend, where my parents gave me the best present evar and phoned in a big giant heatwave for me. Thanks Mom and Dad! Before I left Toronto, I called the Globe and Mail to put a “vacation stop” on my paper. Yes, I know it was only for three days, but I live at the entrance door to my floor, so anyone who lives on my “wing” would totally have known I was gone and what’s it to you anyway?! So after about 79 repeats of the “we’ll be with you shortly” message, the representative finally came on. Mind you, this is the newspaper. The newspaper I get twice weekly. The newspaper for which I pay a mere $13 a month. First, she asks for my phone number. Then she asks me to verify my address.  Then I have to provide her my birthdate. Then she tells me my mobile number and asks me to confirm. Then she asks for my password, my social insurance number^^ , the secret doorknock and a note from my Grade Three teacher. K, just kidding about the latter, but everything else? True story. I actually giggled when she kept asking me to verify my info. I thought “I just called the Harris County Tax Appraiser to get some information about my taxes — you know, on the home I *own* and on which I pay a mortgage every month and on which I almost broke my hand signing my life away — and even *they* didn’t ask me to verify half the stuff that the Globe and Mail did! For the sake of Pete, people! 

One thing’s for sure — you can rest assured that nothing’s getting past the astute customer service representatives at Canada’s Globe and Mail. They are serious security ninjas, where everybody certainly does *not* know your name (or any of your other personal information for that matter)!

Related: When I am able, I like to be the first to deliver good news, so feast your eyes on the video below explaining how Canada just got their first daily paper (around the 2:40 mark). Also, they got a second area code, too. It’s like 1982 up in here!

 

 

^Well, I don’t have botox injections yet, so there’s nothing to ruin. Yet.

^^Social Insurance Numbers are Canada’s equivalent to American Social Security Numbers. I don’t know why Canada couldn’t have just played along and named them the same thing. I mean, we all know that they wish they were American anyway. 😉

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Filed under Canada, Rant

As If The Doll Wasn’t Bad Enough

iPhone 003I was recently strolling through the Bay, the venerable Canadian department store founded before the earth cooled^, and noticed a very stylish winter coat. It seemed to beckon me over with a wink and a smile and, being that Canada is on the cusp of becoming the frozen wasteland into which it turns for eight months a year, I stopped to lovingly gawk at it. However, what I noticed on the tag made me take two steps backwards. I spied (gasp!) a Barbie logo on the label. I did a double take — had I somehow wandered into the tween section? Was it just some designer trying to garner attention by changing her name to Barbie and using pink ink and puffy lettering?

Now, please prepare yourself for a true Texas girl rant.  Alas, no. It was neither me wandering off course in the department store nor an impersonating designer. Rather, what I spied was a Barbie clothing line created by David Dixon, who is surely the devil reincarnated. As if the standard by which women are judged isn’t stringent enough, now we have to deal with Barbie clothes for real stick people?  I mean, who comes up with these cockamamied ideas anyway? I can just imagine it: a boardroom is filled with highly paid executives trying their best to think up the next “it” thing that’s going to be featured on Oprah’s “Favourite Things” list and make everyone  a bazillion dollars. Exec A says to Exec B “hey, I’ve always thought Barbie was hot. And well-dressed. I used to steal my sister’s Barbies to play with them, but, of course, no one else needs to know that. Anyway, what about coming up with a Barbie clothing line?! You know, real life Barbie clothes. Average size 12 adult women would *kill* to be dressed like Barbie, and, I bet they’d even pay through the nose for the chance, too!” 

Am I the only one who believes that this kind of ridiculousness isn’t really some kind of patriarchical manifesto aimed at keeping wimmin down?!  I mean, doesn’t the very idea of a Barbie clothes line equal a serious revert to an era where Mad Men are running around chain-smoking and making untoward advances at their secretaries?  What will they think of next?  Some other thing requiring more de-programming of gender stereotypes, no doubt; a perfectionist fallacy, to be sure. Next thing you know, we’ll be getting dating tips from a 50 year-old plastic doll. 😉 

Phew! That is all. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a fierce winter coat to try on.  😉

 

 

^No kidding — it was seriously founded in 1669. I know this because I made the lengthy and concerted effort to click through the six (!) links it took me to get to their history. Actually, I didn’t even know there *was* a Canada in 1669. I guess I stand corrected.

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Filed under Fashion, Rant

Cheese Or Font?

Let us take pause for just one moment. I have been introduced (via @Twitter) to what may possibly be the best game ever invented. Better than Scrabble. Better than Cranium. Better than Taboo. Even better than Trivial Pursuit 80’s Edition, a game at which I excel and totally love.

This gem of a website is aptly entitled “Cheese or Font“. “Cheese or Font” provides a word  — a word you probably don’t know unless you are a true cheese geek or font geek like me — and you are to guess whether it is a cheese or a font. Duh, Captain Obvious. Anyway, it immediately tells you whether you are “Correct”, while telling you how many losers got it wrong, or it tells you that you are “Incorrect”, although I don’t know what that page displays since I have, ahem, not yet been classified in that category. 😉  Finally, a game where I win (almost) every. single. time. This is truly like manna from heaven.  Oh, how I heart you, dear interwebs.

In other news, I may or may not have to marry my new pillow (minus, of course, the one that is as ridiculously tall as the bed of the Princess and the Pea, which is being promptly returned), as I may or may not have mercifully slept more than four hours last night for the first time in more than two weeks. Developing…..

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This IS Rated PG-13

iPhone 009So, remember that time when I was walking down Queen Street minding my own business and, lo and behold, saw crazy people on bikes? And then that other time when I was walking down Queen Street minding my own business and saw even crazier people on bikes, but completely naked?  Well, guess what? It happened to me again!  True story. Only this time, I wasn’t walking, but was on the streetcar and I wasn’t on Queen Street, but was on Spadina *near* Queen Street. Crazy, nón? And this time, they weren’t on bicycles, but were on skateboards. And, sadly, they weren’t naked, much to my chagrin.

I had been navigating the shark-infested waters  streetcars of the Toronto Transit Corporation after a very long day of walking, shopping, and free massage-getting (i heart you, universal healthcare!), when I finally found a place to sit on the eternally-crowded, I’m-going-to-grow-out-of-clothes-waiting-for-the-g******ed 510 streetcar. I had just purchased a new mattress topper and two new pillows, and for those of you thinking “why would you buy those things knowing you had to lug them all the way home?” — I’ll tell you, I asked myself the very same question with full knowledge that I’d have to tote them all the way home from Yonge and Bloor to my house near Front and Spadina.  Those kinds of ludicrous decisions are what happen when you haven’t slept a full night in, oh, about fourteen days and are desperate — DESPERATE — to get a full night’s sleep. But I digress.

So I was squashed into my tiny seat with my two pillows and my giant bag containing the mattress topper, when I heard a bunch of cars honking theiriPhone 010 horns on the other side of the street. When I looked up, I saw about 1,000 kids crazies skateboarding up Spadina through the cars and the traffic!  For the uninitiated who have never been on Spadina near Chinatown on a Saturday, take note and heed this advice — don’t do it. You will lament the days you owned a car because your car will overheat from the sheer amount of time you sit on Spadina waiting to move just an inch. Anyway. So all these horns were honking at all these kids skateboarding up the street and I thought “ooooh, if this was in Houston, there’d be some serious back-up grabbing right now! But alas, none of the drivers looked angry; rather, they were all smiling, rolling down their windows to W00T!, and laugh at the entire incident. Well, at least they were where I was. The mo-rons driving on the other end of Spadina on a Saturday afternoon were probably grabbing their back-ups due to their anger at the traffic in which they were trapped, but I just didn’t see them.

I think it’s funny that I randomly see all of these street goings-on all the time^.  Luckily, I always, always, always have my camera with me, and, now that I’ve welcomed myself to the 21st century by joining the iCult, I also have that electronic device with which I can capture all of this Toronto street goodness, too!  I do this all for you, my fair readers. All for you!

You’re welcome.

P.S. Because I know you are dying to know, my mattress topper is fab!  A little warm because it’s down, but lest ye forget, I live in Canada, so I just have to wait five minutes and it’ll be -375C. I think, though, that I’m going to return the pillows. They were so high and firm that I practically gave myself a broken neck due to my spine being in a 90 degree angle for eight four whole hours.  Can you even return pillows? I don’t understand how you’re supposed to test drive a pillow in the store since they refuse to let you lay down on the display beds? Quite the conundrum, if I do say so myself.

 

^ By which I mean thrice.

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Filed under Random Things, Toronto

This is NOT Rated PG-13

Warning: the photos contained herein are of a graphic nature. Of the human body. Sheild the eyes of those you love and whom you feel warrant protection. Should you object to this post, feel free to take it up with with the blog owner. I happen to know her and I think she’ll probably tell you to #shutit, but that’s just a guess. 😉

Remember that time when I was walking down Queen Street, minding my own business and I saw this?  Well, it happened again. Of course, it happened way back in June, but sometimes I like to go Back to the Future on my blog that way. Anyway. I was once again walking down Queen Street (which I do a lot, apparently), minding my own business (which I *also* do a lot, apparently), when I heard a commotion, looked up to see what was the matter and saw hundreds of people riding their bikes in what could only be described as organized chaos.  The chaos was, I’m guessing, likely because the riders were stark raving naked. Yes, that’s right — completely buck naked!  This is reason #4,281,369 why I love Toronto. I mean, where else can you walk down a city street while feasting your eyes on naked men and women with private parts flailing in the wind as they speed by? 

I’ll tell you where — apparently, in 24 other countries, that’s where. Yes, that’s right — you, too, can witness the World Naked Bike Ride in 24 countries, including, but not limited to, Latvia and Poland. According to the WNBR web site, they are a group of people, wacky Latvians included, who “face automobile traffic with [their] naked bodies as the best way of defending [their] dignity and exposing the unique dangers faced by cyclists and pedestrians as well as the negative consequences [they] all face due to dependence on oil, and other forms of non-renewable engergy.”  Yes, engergy. Snort!

WNBR

I’ve spent a fair amount of time trying to determine the significance of the added “g” (because what else do I have to do?), and here are a few guesses:

 Could it be a subtle dig at George Dubya, that evil, oil-hoarding, special-interest-group-harbouring, beat box-ing ex-president^? 

The same George Dubya who may cause us to lose life and limb just to line the greasy pockets of said oil-hoarding special-interest groups?!  😉

Mobil

Could WNBR be trying to educate the youth of the world and simultaneously promote Sesame Street?

Or could they be trying to imply that their fair readers are, in fact, gangsters, by subliminally asking “what up, g“? 

Whatever their reasoning, WNBR might want to spend a little more time proofing their frackin’ home page and less time riding around the world chafing up their privates.  Really, though, who am I to complain? I invite them to spend more time riding around the streets of Toronto. Because what single girl in the city *wouldn’t* want to feast her eyes upon this goodness?  Who, I ask…WHO?!

 June 13 018

Don’t you wish you lived in my head, too?

P.S. Apparently, I use the word apparently far too much when I’m tired and haven’t slept in fourteen nights. Apparently.

 

^ I am actually very fond of GWB. He is from Texas, after all. So before y’all fire up your Ford F-350 extended cabs and race off to the message boards, do me a favour and save it!

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