Monday, July 28, 2008

Once in a while when I'm bored

Maybe I'm the only one who does this, but once in a while I randomly Google people from my past. I'm not that old, so "past" often refers to elementary school friends, since I didn't go to the same high school as any of them. (And yes, I have Googled myself with both last names... with nothing shocking as a result. Phew!) On other occasions I've Googled people I vaguely knew in high school.

It's a bit voyeuristic to do this, I know... but I've often wondered what happened to so-and-so and what they are up to these days. Here's what I've discovered:

I looked up a girl who was a really good friend of mine all through elementary school. As it turns out, she owns her own talent agency now and she manages some famous folk. At least, I think they are famous, I only known a few of them. I always thought she would be a model, actually... she's beautiful. As it turns out, her sister is a model (and a PhD candidate!)

Another girl is actually famous - she's a comedian. Websites describe her as a 28-year-old Jewish lesbian living in the US.. and she was featured in TIME (magazine or .com, I'm not sure.) At the end of one of her shows, she strips naked. This sounds really odd, I'm sure, since I am only pulling out bits and pieces of information from the great internets... but anyway. I'm not surprised that she is a comedian since I always thought she was hilarious. Oh, and she won a comedy festival award - how awesome. Unfortunately my only other memory of her is going to her Bat Mitzvah. There was a lot of Hebrew. I understood nothing.

One guy from elementary school is now the executive chef of a local Asian fusion restaurant. At least I think it's him, it's been a long time since I was in grade 7. I have to say, that's a pretty cool job to have. I've never been to this restaurant, so I could be wrong that it's Asian fusion. It's definitely some sort of Asian food. I don't remember much about this guy at all, except that he had fairly dark skin for a Chinese guy. What a weird feature to remember.

On high school folk... I always remembered this one guy's name since it was unique. (As an aside, it is almost impossible to accurately Google Chinese people as our names are so darn common.) He was in grade 11 or 12 when I was in grade 8. Probably grade 12. Anyway as it turns out he works for the Canucks now in some sort of security or administrative role. Very cool. I wonder if he'll get me free tickets if I mention that I went to the same high school as him.

So... now I feel like a total stalker...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

HGTV isn't always good

So, I'm watching Flipping Out right now, which is a show about a guy named Jeff Lewis who is some sort of realtor/house flipper. He's extremely wealthy, as evidenced by the fact that he has four staff who cater to his needs. They cook and clean, manage his life, do his banking, act as personal secretaries, clean his pool, wash the driveway, so on and so on.... oh, and they take care of his pets. In this episode, he is flipping out (ha!) at every opportunity because he feels that his staff are not doing what they are supposed to do. In particular, one of his dogs was injured and he's mad that someone let it happen.... so he's out buying a nanny cam to spy on his employees. (Instead of working on his houses, he's working on this... and calling it a sting operation.)

This guy has three very energetic dogs and he purports to love them tremendously. In fact, he says he is so committed to them, he makes sure they are taken care of by his employees. So far, I have seen one employee take the dogs outside to go potty... when the dogs start to growl and gang up on each other, he claims they are just playing. I can't help but be a little judgey. What point is there in having dogs if a) you don't have the time to walk them or play with them or take care of them yourself and b) if the people who are taking care of them can't even tell when the dogs are fighting? Now that the dog has been injured, someone needs to take the dog to the vet. He asked the housekeeper to delay her eye doctor appointment so she could go, and when she couldn't, he told another employee that he needed to stop everything to prioritize the dog. HELLO! It's YOUR dog! My oh my.

Oh! House Hunters is on. Honestly, HGTV is one of my favourite channels. It should be everyone's. Hmm... this episode of House Hunters is about a 25 year old who lives at home... or in the words of the host... "You might wonder why this 25 year old with a career STILL lives at home." If she were Chinese, this wouldn't be odd in the least. But that's another post for another time.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A little weird

The hubby's away this weekend celebrating T's last single outing ever.... or something like that. Anyway, today I decided to do some shopping. We recently bought a dining room set, my first real foray into the world of grownup furniture. It's so nice that I almost don't want people to eat on it... and I certainly wouldn't want them to spill something. I was about to go to Ikea, only my second favourite store ever, but then I remembered that it's Saturday, and hello, only crazy people, or people who love crowds and long lineups go to Ikea on Saturdays. (Did you know that Ikea reserves two spots for hybrid vehicles? They are even closer than the "family" parking spots. Take that, parents with three small children! Too bad there are no hybrid minivans! Bahaha!) So instead, I went to Jysk.

I first heard of Jysk when I was in the Hat, but I never actually went inside. It's somewhat Ikea-like in that they sell furniture and household items for good prices. I wandered around aimlessly for several minutes and finally chose a tablecloth and placemats. I made my way over to the checkout line and was privy to the following conversation:

Cashier (to family in front of me): Oh, just to let you know, you can't return this duvet once it's opened so if you need to return it, don't open it. And this pillow - if you need to return it, um, it's best to return it within 2-3 days.

Wife: What do you mean you can't open the duvet?

Cashier: Well, we can't accept a return if the duvet is opened.

Wife: But the package just has a zipper, how can you tell if it's been opened by someone else?

Cashier: Oh, well, we just look at the packaging and how it's folded... umm... yes.

Wife (after paying): So should we just check it right now by opening it?

Cashier: Um, well, we can't accept a return if it's been opened... I mean if it has a tear then maybe a return will be okay, maybe, after you open it, maybe...

Wife: But you can't tell if it's been opened... maybe someone else, not me, opened it first, then I can't return it.

Cashier: Well, okay, if you have to return it, make sure you fold it back neatly.


Cashier: But return it as soon as possible...

Wife: Can I exchange it right now for one from the inside?

Cashier: .....

Wife: I'll just exchange it, thanks.

I think their return policy needs a little work - maybe their customer service needs some work too.

On a customer service note, I feel like our move has been one giant complaint. Here are the things that weren't quite right:
  • seller failed to disclose/inspector failed to find out that the master ensuite shower leaked... all the way into the drywall below
  • seller put a "quick fix" on several things, including hooking up the toilet flusher in the tank to a yogurt container filled with rocks
  • Telus overcharged us on two consecutive bills; the customer service rep forced me to say I would cancel before he could help me
  • Terasen charged us a random fee because we moved, despite the account number not changing and Terasen having to do no work other than to change our billing address
  • Alarm company overcharging us and alarm being overly sensitive to the panic button being pressed
  • Appliance company overcharging us
  • Bank not taking out the right amount on our mortgage
  • Roofing company being slack on everything except demanding payment
  • Furniture place saying they would deliver between 1 and 5pm, arriving at 5:45pm instead
Sigh. Although you might not believe it, I really dislike having to get on the phone to complain about some billing or other issue. It's just so exhausting... why can't things just be right the first time? Anyway. None of these things are serious, and we are still thrilled with the move - and believe me, I know these complaints are trivial. I just like to remember them.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Rich Bride, Poor Bride

Who's seen this show? More importantly - who's been disgusted by this show?

I'm currently watching a delightful episode of Rich Bride, Poor Bride. They are investigating centerpiece prices and the one they really like is $125.00 per centerpiece. The one they might go with is $79.00 per centerpiece. This isn't a small wedding either, they have about 25 tables. My word! That is ridiculous.

The groom wants to wear a white tux. Ummmmm.... hideous. Perhaps he could throw on a big hat and carry a cane, and wear a knuckle ring set that says "Groom".

The bride picked the wedding cake without talking to her fiance and essentially told him that all he could do was help pick the flavours. Nice. Also, the cake was hideous. Oh, and she wants fireworks for their entrance. FIREWORKS.

Uh oh. He just said it was his money paying for the wedding when she said it was their money. He said, "it isn't our money until we're married." Ouch.

I think I've got train wreck syndrome, I can't turn away.

Their limobus costs $1199! Ours was half that! What a ripoff.

We spent about $5 on each centerpiece at our wedding. This consisted of vases from Michaels (a store I have barely set foot in since the wedding, but dragged the hubby to at least 20 times when we were engaged) and roses. The centerpieces would have looked a lot nicer if I had remembered to put water in the vases on the Friday we brought them to the hall. Oops.

We picked the wedding cake together, but that is mostly because I did the research and hubby went along with the ideas. I recall that it was tasty, but that is all I remember about the food, since I didn't eat anything else that night except a bite of wedding cake.

Oh my. The arguing on this show continues. And the women are squealing. And cackling. Oh my.

What show are you all watching these days?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Not good

  • Nine city workers "working" on one small stretch of road. Three are holding signs or directing traffic to follow the traffic lights. One is smoking on the side of the road. Two are drinking coffee. Two are standing around pretending to be busy. Only one is doing any actual work. Creating jobs for Canadians!
  • Guy who almost hits me with his pickup truck because he runs a stop sign - then gives ME the finger. I love this city.
  • Pedestrians who think that because power is out and traffic signals are down, they can cross without even looking.
  • People I used to respect and admire acting way younger than they should, and acting icky to boot. Yuck.
  • Bubble tea that costs more than $2.99.
  • Our home alarm company.
  • Having to tell Telus that I'd cancel if they didn't waive a charge that was ridiculous to begin with... and having that threat of cancellation be the only way the charge could be waived. What a waste of time.
  • My mood. Stressful times make for stressful... times. I can't even think of the words I need.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Unsolicited advice

The other day, hubs took the dog out for a walk and was gone much longer than I had anticipated. As it turns out, he was in the little park near our house when one of the neighbours came out to talk to him about our dog. Background: we have a small park near our house with no school or playground attached, just a green space with a little path around it, and houses that back onto the park. Most evenings, we take the dog for a walk and when there are no dogs in the park and no people in the park, we will take her off leash and throw the ball around for about 5-10 minutes (she tires fast!) On one occasion, we met a nice fellow with his golden retriever and he asked if our dog might like to play. Which, if you've met our dog, is a silly question, of course she wants to play. So the dogs ran around off leash together for about 15-20 minutes and they had a great time. When a little dog came into the park with her owners, we put the dogs back on leash but those owners said it wasn't necessary. And true to retriever form, the two big dogs ignored the little one.

Anyway, said neighbour came out of her yard specifically to talk to the hubby. She told hubs that the dog shouldn't ever be off leash and that she had 35 years of experience training dogs, and that even her own dog (a Rottweiler) wasn't good enough to be off leash. She said a bunch of stuff and he relayed it to me. First of all, let me just say that yes, our 8 month old dog is not perfect off-leash. She is good almost all of the time, but there are times when she won't respond to "come!".... and there are also times when she is super friendly with people who give her attention. However, I took this lady's advice to be bordering on offensive. She talked about how we would have a lawsuit on our hands if our dog charged at a kid on a bike, and how she had years and years of experience, and she could tell that our dog wasn't ready to be off leash, after all, even her Rottie can't be off leash. (Her Rottie often barks at our dog from his backyard; our dog just ignores him. He instigates!)

I think I've talked about unsolicited advice before, so this is probably old. But what am I supposed to do with this advice from a person who supposedly has experience training dogs, but cannot train her own dog to be off leash? I'm sure I'm overreacting, but it would be like me stopping a mother at the grocery store and telling her how her kids should behave, and that she shouldn't let her kids run up and down the aisles. Even if I had children, and well-behaved children to boot, I don't think it would be my place to say anything to another mom. So why does this neighbour feel the need to step in and talk to us about our dog? I just don't know.

If I'm doling out unsolicited advice, just let me know and I'll stop... cuz wow.... how irritating!

Friday, July 04, 2008

What's in a name?

I happened to be reading a blog today where the discussion was on baby names. I always find these discussions entertaining. You wouldn't believe some of the names people think are neat. I get that parents want unique names for their children, but sometimes, maybe it just doesn't pay to be too unique. There's always someone who has to suggest a weird spelling, like "Allysyn" or "Johnothin". And then there are the names that would inspire a world of upsetting comments for the child.

Behold! A list of names I will never name my child, but which were suggested by many on the site/forum I was reading. Note - some of these are actual names of actual children!

Tuesday - would you not be tempted to shout, "IT'S TUESDAY" every time it was actually Tuesday? Wouldn't you be tired of questions like, "Why not Wednesday?" And must the child have to answer multiple times, "Were you born on a Tuesday?"

Puck - yes, Midsummer Night's Dream was a lovely play, but I can't see the wisdom in naming your child something so similar to a swear word.

Bastian - yet another similarity to an unfortunate word.

Fountain - um, no. What if the child happened to spit while talking? S/he would never live it down!

Pepper - first, everyone would snicker if the kid was asked if she wanted pepper on her food. Second, no. Just no.

Jem, as a middle name for a boy - are the Holograms coming???

Lulu - while the child is small and cute, this is a nice name. But imagine introducing yourself as an adult: "Hello, my name is Lulu" - it's just so hard to be taken seriously when you have a babyish name.

Casper - the Friendly Ghost? No, no, and no.

Oval - well, I suppose it's one step above Triangle or Circle...

Prosper and Zebben, or Abram and Skandar for twin boys - again, perfectly nice to have unique names, but Zebben?? Skandar? I just don't know.

Emberly - is it Emily or Kimberly? Why, it's both! Maybe Kimily would be next?

Babylon - I'm not a fan of place names as people names, but if you're going to use a geographical location, surely you could find a nation that opposed God a little less.

Faxon - sounds a little like an invisible gas that could kill you. Also, too close to a swear word.

Kason, Kedric, or Ethaniel - ah, the twisted spelling names! Not quite Jason, not quite Cedric, not quite Ethan or Nathaniel. Kason and Kedric are just bad names. Ethaniel is... weird.

Lzay, because it's similar to Lazy and Lizzie - why would you want your name to be similar to Lazy?

Modest or Patience - I suppose it's better than Lazy, but it would be rough to have to live up to your name all the time.

Granite, Onyx, or Lava for a "dark" name - all of those are horrible names. How sad. I would consider Lava for a dog, but not a human.

Sullen - might as well go with Bitter, Unhappy, or Miserable.

Karma Amelia - just try and stop yourself from singing the song.

Durian - boy oh boy. Not just a fruit, but a disgusting, smelly fruit. (Sorry, Em.)

I love my name - don't you love yours now too?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

1096 days

It seems to be taking us quite a while to get fully settled into our new place. I chalk this up to two factors: a) lack of motivation and b) other, more fun things to do. It's pretty difficult to come home after a long work day and pick up a paint roller, even though I'm the one who suggested painting over the very 1990's peachy-pink walls. Not to mention that I'm not really feeling that great lately... although you won't catch me blogging about that kind of thing...

Of course, the painting prevents us from doing other stuff, like unloading all of the boxes or setting up furniture or even buying the appropriate furniture. The domino effect of household chores. We're trying to give ourselves a deadline, but wow, painting an entire house takes a long, long time. Should have just hired someone.

Anyway. 1096 days - that is how long we have been married. Yes, it's true, we've made it three entire years. Actually, it's 1097 days since I'm not writing this on our anniversary. I was just thinking how it's nice that we bring such different qualities to the table. The hubs is relatively easygoing, plus he cooks so I don't have to. I am not that easygoing, but I do clean up after dinner so he doesn't have to. The dynamic works well. Through these few years, I think (or hope) I've learned to be more patient and compromising. I haven't learned to cook, but I've learned not to interfere with a good thing. I've learned that being part of another person's big crazy family is pretty darn fun. I've also realized that having a dog trumps having a kid. Haha! What has hubs learned? I suppose you'll have to ask him, but what I hope he's learned? NOT TO DO MY LAUNDRY. Yes, I am a little bit of a laundry stickler.

Here are some great things I've discovered about the hubby:

- he isn't a trained handyman, but he can fix almost anything that goes wrong in the house, and if he can't fix it, chances are he has a friend who can!
- he's much better at painting than I am
- he's pretty good at training the dog to do tricks
- he likes chocolate cake
- he still likes to bring me flowers

Happy 3 years! May love fill all of your lives.