Wednesday, 30 March 2011

You WILL Bow To My Statue!

In the future, all bouquets will be made out of wires...and I will rule the world!!!

So if I ruled the world...

-  Everyone would have a government-issued alarm clock in their home that would wake them up with "It's A Beautiful Life" by Ace of Base.

-  Drip coffee would be free in coffee shops.

-  Listening to Ke$ha would be illegal.

-  If you are male and you want to wear tight pants, you have to get a permit for that.

-  Scratch that.  I shouldn't be so discriminatory.  If you are anyone and you have the desire to wear tight pants, you have to get a permit for that.  If you exercise your right to wear tight pants incorrectly, you may find yourself at the mercy of The Muffin Top Police.

-  I don't mean to be narcissitic, but if I'm gonna rule the world...there really needs to be a statue of me somewhere. 

-  You can get a ticket if you're caught not dancing in your car at a stoplight.

-  If you are vegan, you have to sew a red "V" onto your clothing.

-  Chocolate would be issued to everyone for free by the government (like in Allison's world).

I feel like if I keep going, I'm going to end up creating a communist state in which I am the derranged dictator...

I think I'll stop while I'm ahead.

Happy Wednesday!  See you on Friday, Major Tom!  This is ground control, signing off!

Monday, 28 March 2011

The World is Mine!

Obey my dog! (*my parent's dog)

Did you know if you play The White Album backwards it says “Tom isn’t Dead?” True story (*not actually).

Tom isn’t dead, but he’s been quite busy at work and now he’s on a business trip in Italy. I know, Lauren and I kinda scratch our heads at this one. “Business trip?” It’s a foreign word for us. So this week there will be a bit of a switcheroo and Lauren will post on Wednesday (I think, she never actually agreed to this) and Tom will post TWICE on Friday - yep he’s agreed to make up for his lack of posting last week by writing his Pet Peeves post as well as this week’s. He’s a good sport that Tom. I feel like a bit of a control freak when it comes to this blog. While I embrace some of Lauren’s Boho qualities, I am also a bit of an organization junky. Not when it comes to say, cleaning my room, but I like to live on a schedule. Especially now - as it keeps me sane. So I just wanted to explain what’s going down this week on The TASG!

Okay, so I asked Tom for a topic this week - and he said he wanted us to write about a completely made-up situation where we are magically the leader of our respective countries (Queen, King, Prime Minister, President) and we have to write about the perfect world we would create, but in a silly way - non-political. This will be hard for me because my country just called an election for May. I’d love to talk about how I’d banish Stephen Harper as my first order of business, but that just wouldn’t be very “Canadian” of me. We are supposed to be nice, right? (Um, attack ads anyone?).

Okay, enough about politics!

My Perfect World (Or Canada)

In my perfect world everyone would automatically have a career in whatever it is that they’re good at. No one would end up in a job they truly hate and everyone would be happy to go to work for the most part.

Television shows such as Teen Mom and Jersey Shore and whatever other crap MTV produces would be banned. Only clever shows with talented people would be permitted.

I would make it mandatory for everyone to go outside for a walk for at least 15 minutes everyday. This would take people away from their computers, give them fresh air and force them to get some exercise.

This is pretty hard...all my ideas have some sort of social or political slant... Hmm...silly ideas...Oh! Chocolate would be added to the government issued food guide.

I would create a national “Read a Book Day” where everyone would be given the day off to read and relax and avoid technology for once.

While these ideas are far fetched and not possible, it’s fun to dream, right?

See you (hopefully) on Wednesday lalalalauren!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

The Mighty Rantasaurus

This is my disgruntled face

So I'm not really sure what happened to Tom.  I think the Internet ate him.  Hopefully, he'll spring back from the dead and tell us about his pet peeves.  In the meantime, it's already Saturday (which comes after Friday, Friday...), so I guess I'll go ahead and tell you guys about the things that irk me. 

Things That Annoy The @#$% Out Of The Yank (in no particular order):

-  When you offer to do someone a favor and then they get all demanding.  The prime example of this is the time I let a guy use my printer/copier one time.  He kept coming by to use the printer, which was okay except he was starting to use all of my ink and my paper with no intention of reimbursing me.  One morning, he woke me up at 9am to copy a whole stack of documents.  "I didn't want to go to Kinkos," he said.  If you expect me to be nice to you, you better not knock on my door before 11.  Noon to be safe. 

-  People who naturally assume that my truck exists for hauling around their crap.  I don't mind helping friends move, but when people that never talk to me are only nice to me when they need to pick up a couch, it gets a little irritating. 

-  People who don't understand my relationship with cell phones.  My stance on cell phones is simple:  If I am hanging out with someone, driving, dancing, playing music, or am just not in the mood to talk, I will not answer my phone.  This does not mean I don't like you.  This just means you should leave a message and I will call you back on my own time line.  It might not be in fifteen minutes.  It might not even be that same day.  Do not call me multiple times and leave me multiple messages unless it's really important.  This will just make me put my phone in my wall safe (next to my diamond necklaces and cocaine, naturally) and go hide in a tea shop.

-  Serious conversations/arguments over text messaging.  I have gotten sucked into way too many of these over the years and they are bad news every time.  Most arguments I've had over text messaging turn out to be miscommunications anyway because words can be interpreted a million different ways when there is no body language or vocal inflections to go with them. 

-  People that answer their cell phones in the middle of a face-to-face conversation.   Unless it's your mother or an emergency, you better boot that call over to your voicemail and keep talking to me.  As you can see, I have a lot of gripes about cell phone etiquette (or lack thereof). 

-  Vegans.  Okay, I don't care if you choose not to eat meat, cheese, and everything else that's interesting.  If you want to confine yourself to a life of eating creepy-looking meat substitutes, go for it.  What annoys me is the whole attitude that tends to go along with a vegan diet.  I accidentally found myself at a vegan potluck one time and was amazed at how annoying the whole experience was.  Not only did everyone have to go around and list off the ingredients in the food they brought (just in case somebody was allergic), but none of the food was even really recognizable.  And people were acting like eating polenta cakes drizzled in the essence of bean curd made them more intelligent than the rest of the world.  Newsflash:  Eating tofudles (noodles make out of tofu) does not make you superior, it just makes you weird. 

-  When I wake up in the morning and discover I'm out of coffee creamer.  I don't let this happen very often and I've definitely gotten better at handling it, but there's nothing worse than pouring coffee into your cup and thinking "Crap...I was supposed to go to the store yesterday..."  It happened this morning.  Luckily, there's a grocery store nearby.

-  Conversations with people I haven't seen in awhile in which I feel like I have to justify my "irresponsible" lifestyle.  Most of my friends from college now have jobs, practical life plans, significant others, etc.  It's gotten to the point where I avoid a lot of my old college friends because I can't deal with the raised eyebrows when I talk about my bohemian adventures.  I feel like I'm quickly becoming "the weird friend" or "the comic relief" for a lot of people and that doesn't make me feel that great. 

-  The song "Wonderwall" by Oasis.  Everybody has that song that grates on them and they can't even really explain why.  That song for me is "Wonderwall."  I don't really have a problem with the rest of the Oasis catalog, but that song just doesn't work for me.  Plus I have a lame boy-related memory attached to it.  So that doesn't help.

-  The way Facebook makes it impossible to just naturally lose track of people.  Facebook can be a great communication tool, but sometimes I'm nostalgic for the days where you could just meet somebody, enjoy their presence for a short period of time, and naturally part ways without having to subscribe to a lifetime of reading their status updates. 

-  Fabreeze.  It generally does not help a smelly situation.  It usually just makes it worse.  Example:  The staircase outside of Tweaked Out Elvis Costello's room.  It smells always smells like Fabreeze and drugs.  So, so gross. 

-  The fact that I can never make a grilled cheese sandwich without burning the bread before the cheese melts.  Then I eat it anyway and tell myself that a carcinogenic meal is good every once in a while.  And since I share a kitchen with a million people, someone is always around to witness said burning of the bread.  Dammit. 

Okay, ranting about pet peeves is fun, but I should probably stop before I become too incredibly bitchy. 

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!  And Tom - you better not be dead.

Monday, 21 March 2011

What the $%&#? (A Rant from The Canuck)

I got an email from the lovely lalalalauren yesterday with the topic for this week. Pet peeves! So while it’s fun to write posts about silly things, sometimes it’s good to get back to the nitty gritty of this blog and address things that seem more 20-something centric. Yes, everyone has pet peeves - all ages - but I feel like I can really talk about pet peeves that pertain to my particular station in life with this week’s post. Actually, this post will probably end up being pretty silly still.

So here we go!

One of my biggest annoyances is when people say they’ll do something but bail at the last second. Again, yes - I know this is a universal problem. But for me I feel like I wait around a lot for people. Maybe it’s just my personality, but I tend to believe people when they say they’ll do something at a certain time and most of the time I end up all dressed up with no where to go. What’s worse is that by the time you find out the plans are off it’s too late to do anything else. It’s super annoying. Just because I don’t have children or a boyfriend, husband or dog doesn’t mean my time isn’t valuable. Think about that next time you keep someone waiting only to cancel on them.

Another pet peeve of mine is ignorant drivers. I have a license...I’ve had a license for almost 10 years now - I know how to drive. I don’t, however, own a car. Because I don’t own a car I end up walking most places. I am a very law-abiding pedestrian and I very rarely jaywalk. I have almost been hit by cars at least ten times while I was making safe and legal crosses. Yes, I have headphones in my ears - but I’m not blind. Stop trying to run me down bitches!

This next annoyance is more job specific. I hate it when customers make stupid remarks to me when I’m behind the counter. “Oh, it’s a beautiful day, I bet you wish you didn’t have to work?”

No, I really wanted to work. I don’t enjoy sunshine...Ever.

Also, I hate it when customers take napkins and stuff them into mugs with liquid still in them. I know they think they’re helping, but it would have been more helpful if they just threw the napkins in the garbage. Now I have to reach in and pull the soggy napkin out or find a spoon or fork to get it out with. Thanks for making my job more disgusting.

While I’m ranting, I’ll just add anyone and everyone who treats me like I’m stupid because of my job. I have a four-year degree, but circumstances have not allowed me to better my situation right now. So just drink your coffee and bugger off.

People who blow smoke in my face. Just rude.

Job ads that say they are looking for someone with 2-5 years experience in a field. Can someone tell me how to get two years experience in a job when none of the job ads seem to ever say “entry level”?

Loud and ignorant people ranting loudly (and ignorantly) about how loud an ignorant someone else is. Look in the damn mirror!

Oh, and every celebrity who’s become famous for being a crazy asshole. I’m not even going to say his name because I don’t want people Googling him to stumble upon this. Also, the people who follow this “news” and think it’s great. We need to stop worshiping horrible people!

Another pet peeve of mine is girls who spend too much time thinking about guys. They dress for them, they do their hair for them, and just talk about how hot they are all the time. There is more to life than just boys and whether or not they want to bang you. Read a book sweetheart! (Sorry, that was mean).

I have some Facebook pet peeves. I hate it when people with babies or small children make their kid their profile picture. You are not your baby! Also, I don’t need to know that your baby has explosive diarrhea.

And attention “newly” weds...Your wedding was six months ago, change your picture.

I could go on and on...

I’m trying not to be an angry person, there’s just so many little things in my life that irk me!

Help, I need somebody. No, not just anybody...but Tom! I look forward to reading about your Pet Peeves on Wednesday (or Thursday...or Friday...or Saturday...)

P.S. If you're on 20-Something Bloggers and you love Tom, I nominated him for April's Blogger of the Month. He's currently trailing - so if you haven't voted maybe you should go over there and do so. Team Tom!

Also, if you're an artist/cartoonist I may have something I'm interested in having drawn in relation to this blog.

Lauren's Lucky Charms!

I'm not superstitious but...

- Whenever I enter a contest/drawing/raffle, I rub the ticket on my red hair first when no one is watching.  This trick has been known to help me win things.
Scarf that's traveled the world

- I always have to have my lucky lip gloss in my keyboard bag when I perform.  You think I'm kidding, don't you?

- I have a scarf that's travelled all over the world and I refuse to wash it.  It's seen a lot of different things and I feel that washing it would make it less cool somehow.

Pretending to be Moses in my lucky scarf on Mt. Sinai
- I have another scarf that I wore when I climbed to the top of Mount Sinai.  I refuse to wash that one as well.

- I still have the socks I wore to my first real rock concert.  Some stranger spilled wine on my arm and I wiped it on my sock.  I christened these socks "the wine-y socks of rock" and refuse to throw them away (regardless of the fact they are no longer wearable).

That is all.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

In Search of a Pot of Gold

Oops. I'm honestly not arrogant enough to believe that a picture of myself drunkenly celebrating St Patrick's Day is a post in itself. I'm just struggling to come to terms with a new app.

So, lucky charms. Unlike Allison I am slightly superstitious; I avoid walking under ladders and always throw salt over my left shoulder if I spill any. And I never put new shoes on the table. Mostly because I rarely have enough money to buy new shoes. But even if I did there would be no new footwear on tables.

And despite leaving religion behind me a fair while ago, I still sport a St Christopher whenever I travel abroad, though I think this is largely due to the knowledge that I know it will put my mother's mind at rest.

Aside from the above, I also subscribe to a selection of quirks and rituals that are mine alone.

Take socks for example. For Christmas I was given seven pairs of socks, each one with a day of the week on them. Now, I'm no fan of novelty garments such as these, but if I know I'm going somewhere where my shoes will stay on my feet, I see no harm in wearing them. One thing I will never do, however, is wear Monday's socks on the day for which they are intended. It's the same for the other days - if I do wear a pair of these socks, I'll make sure they don't display the correct day of the week. For some reason, it feels luckier this way.

I'll leave you with a bizarre superstition my mother grew up practicing: every time she saw an ambulance, she had to 'touch [her] collar, never swallow, until [she saw] a dog. Forgive the teeny abbreviation, but WTF? I should add that when spoken with a true Essex accent, 'collar' rhymes with 'swallow'. Not that thy explains anything, of course. But hey, whatever makes you feel better, and luckier, can't be that bad can it?

Monday, 14 March 2011

Charmed, I'm Sure.

Top O' the Marnin' to ya!

Picture from a St. Paddy's Day Celebration with
friends in university - 2006. I made some sort
of green vodka drink.
This week our topic is “Lucky Charms” in honour of St. Patrick’s Day (which is on Thursday for those of you who think it’s just not easy being green). Funny enough I suggested this topic (thinking I was being super clever) and I don’t actually have any good luck charms...wait, maybe I do.

I wrote a post about this on my main blog called Sharpening Knives and Picking Up Chestnuts. It’s about how every fall I pick chestnuts up off the ground and put them in my pocket. I do this because my grandfather did it - for luck - but I don’t really know the story behind it. I’m not even sure if my reasons for doing this have anything to do with luck, but more me wanting to hold onto a memory.

Another “good luck” ritual I tend to adhere to is the whole “find a penny, pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck” thing. When I see a penny on the ground I always want to pick it up, even if I’m with people who will judge me for being weird and gross.

I’m not superstitious though - I have a black cat (though she has a tiny patch of white on her belly, so she’s not entirely black), I frequently tell people “good luck” instead of “break a leg,” and I’ve probably broken a mirror before and not freaked out over being cursed with seven years of bad luck.

When my brother was in university studying chemistry he moved home one summer and my mom did some of his laundry. He was a bit distraught when he noticed she’d washed his lab coat. “It’s bad luck to wash your lab coat.” My thought was that it’s probably only bad luck because they probably spill poisonous materials on those things that might react badly when washed. Who knows.

Some athletes won’t play a game without their lucky socks. Some people need trinkets and charms with them when they’re about to do something important. I really don’t have any of these things. Since I can’t grow a playoff beard, and pollution has made it difficult for me to see, let alone wish on shooting stars - I will have to settle for making my own luck. I’ve always been one to stare luck down and challenge her. When I used to play soccer I picked, on purpose, #13. I like to live dangerously like that.

Although, one night at work I was adding up the debit and credit card transactions and one added up to $88.11 and the other $11.88. I showed my co-worker and she said, “that’s going to be a good sign.” I’ve also had some prices add up to $6.66 and thought “yikes.” I’m not religious - but I notice these things.

So I wish you all (the Irish and non-Irish alike) a very Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Wear some green, drink some green beer, eat some potatoes and feel lucky to be alive.


There are many good reasons for drinking,
One has just entered my head.
If a man doesn't drink when he's living,
How in the hell can he drink when he's dead?
- Irish Saying. 

See ya on Wednesday Tom!

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Did You Ever Knooooow That You're My Heroooooo?

I was going to publish a long list of random celebrities and amusing characters that I admire, but after Tom's wonderful post I would feel a little silly and superficial doing that.  So that leaves me with two options for this post:

1.  Write about how Gandhi is my hero.
2.  Write about my undying admiration for Tom himself.

On second thought, I'm just going to forge with my original plan.  Forgive me, Gandhi.

The Yank's List of Heroes (Now Available In Technicolor!)

1.  Amanda Palmer.  She sings her mind and plays the piano like it's a percussion instrument.  She's bold, unafraid, and totally inspirational to me.

2.  Woody Allen.  Though I don't agree with a lot of his lifestyle choices (the adopted step-daughter thing is awkward) and his later work is mediocre at best, I can't deny the influence that this man's movies have had on my sense of humor over the years.

3.  The Profound Barrista Who Wears A Bucket Hat And Works At The Cafe Across The Street From The Wonder Ballroom.  My interactions with this individual have been few and far between, but they have all been memorable.  He has a poetic way with words ("Do you want me to, like, do something to your bagel???") as well as profound insight on the world around him ("See that guy out there crossing the street?  He crosses that street every day and always waits a long time for walk signal to come on because he never presses a button.  You know, sometimes, you have to press the button if you want to cross the street.").  Plus, he makes a mean latte.

4.  My Ancient World Literature Professor In College.  This guy is well into his seventies and writes some of the most twisted, bizarre, and offensive poetry I've ever read.  I took a fiction class from him and he was always complaining that my stories weren't dark enough.  I would get assignments back from him with swear words written into the dialog.  I think I took just about every class he taught.  He was incredibly encouraging when it came to writing.  And one time, when my life got hectic because of band stuff, he let me film one of my rock shows and turn it in for my final project.

5.  Sabrina The Teenage Witch.  Fourth grade wouldn't have been the same without her.

That's a significantly stupid list, but I feel the need to stop after five. 

This people-that-are-my-heroes thing is harder than I thought it would be.

Truth is, I'm inspired by people everyday.  I'm inspired by (most of) my neighbors in the commune.  I have great respect for everyone that takes time to read and comment on my silly blog posts.  I look up to the people in my family who love and support me throughout my ongoing quest to avoid reality.

And of course, there is Gandhi.  And Tom.
(And don't forget Allison!  That crazy Canadian who is trying to steal my hipster title...)

Okay, Lauren is rambling.  Time for bed. 

It's still Friday in my time zone!  This post is not late!  

I am borrowing my mom's computer tonight - here is a scary old picture I found on the desktop...

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

I...I Will Be King

Harry Potter: My Literary Hero

This is not an easy post to write. Like Allison, I find heroes hard to find in a culture that celebrates fame for fame's sake, and catapults so many barely talented people into stardom when they've hardly had to lift a finger. I couldn't think of anyone who I really look up to,
every pro had a con.

My mind kept wandering to biblical passages about worshipping false idols, or the heroes of classical civilisation, ancient definitions of heroism and out-dated reasons to respect.

So in a world with no Spartans, where vacuous, talentless individuals are placed on pedestals, where is the heroism? Who is there to respect? Politicians lie, footballers behave like children and celebrities fall apart in spectacular fashion, right in front of your eyes.

But I didn't lose hope, for once, because there are people I respect and look up to. There are people who display traits I'd love to have. They're just not famous. It's the people who have the guts to split up fights they're not involved in. Or who buy homeless people a cuppa rather than awkwardly avoiding their gaze or throwing them some loose change. Journalists who quit their jobs - despite the skin chances of finding a new one - because they disagree with the messages they are paid to put across.

So I've decided to give up trying to find a celeb worthy of my admiration. I'll save it for people who go out of their way for others, or those who face hardship and difficulty but still won't compromise when doing what's right. These are the traits I'd want in a hero, and sadly (or so it seems) traits that are lacking in today's legions of celebrities.

I totally have Bonnie Tyler stuck in my head now.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Pale is the New Tan

My cat is my hero.
As I lay on my bed typing my Macbook is glowing it's little apple symbol into my dimly lit room. Broken Social Scene band shirt on, comfortable blue jeans, hair still damp from the shower...a lingering cough from last week's illness. I'm here to write my Transatlantic Support Group post...I feel so uninspired. Who inspires me? Who do I look up to? It's so hard being a 20-something these days. All these plastic pop stars and stupid girls on Teen Mom are famous and we're left to wonder who we're supposed to look up to.

I came up with this idea late last night...that this week we should write about who our idols are. Who inspires us.

Some of my choices are so, so very white and Hipster-ish. A lot of them are authors.

1) Dave Eggers - When I read A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius in High School I knew I wanted to write, but also knew I would never be able to write as well as that. I really took to creative writing after reading his second book, You Shall Know Our Velocity. He changed my perception of what a book *should* be.

2) Douglas Coupland - Overtime Coupland became a bigger influence to me than Eggers - maybe just because he publishes more often. I feel like Coupland's novels do two things really well: 1) They speak to the experiences of young people and 2) They give a sense of what it's really like to be a modern Canadian in the city - it's not always about canoeing and moose.

3) David Sedaris - I am inspired by his humour and honesty as a writer. He writes about himself without being boastful - in fact his self-deprecating style is what makes him so special. He's the reason I've been more interested in personal narrative style writing lately. I strive for this type of writing sometimes in my blog.

4) Christina Hendricks - In the world of Mad Men, you're either a Jackie or a Marilyn...or a Joan. I want to be a Joan...or at least a Christina. She makes me proud to have curves. I want to wear a pencil skirt and bright lipstick and dye my hair red. I have a bit of a girl-crush on her. Whenever she's on the cover of a magazine I buy it.

5) Leslie Feist - I want to be Feist. I love her voice, her talent, her humble nature. Unfortunately the only thing we have in common is our hairstyle.

It's time to curl up in bed with a good book - maybe make some tea. Have a good one!

And Tom, there's really nothing I would rather do, I'm happy just to blog with you :) See you Wednesday (hopefully).

It's Official - The Yank Is A Tragically Bohemian Hipster

I wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy.

Except not. I think it might have something to do with the fact that I'm
a) not black
b) not a man

Anyway, I turn on my lamp and make coffee.

Think about working on "Goat Man."

Look - I am a true bohemian! Except not really, because the typewriter is mostly decorative.
This isn't decorative though:

I'm trying to start a new band (long story). Right now, I'm the only member. But at least we have a name and a logo.

This is all pathetic. Time to drown my sorrows in Chinese Food.

Read something inspiring.

Go back to bed and dream about being an actual rock star.

The end.

Friday, 4 March 2011

A Tale of Two Cities (Two Days Too Late)

1. I wake up. Late. Looking rough.
2. I miss the bus.

3. I don't get a seat on the train.

4. I'm swept along in a river of people, like Simba in the Lion King. The stampede scene.

5. I get the tube.6. While being swept along by another human tide, I pass Mufasa the lion's trampled corpse at Kings Cross Station.

7. I finally get to work.

8. And the rest of the day looks like this. Until half 5, at which point I repeat steps 1-7, in reverse.

Wednesday, however, did not look like this. On Wednesday, mes amies, I went to Paris! This goes some way to explaining why my post is somewhat en retard. Yes, it was a work trip, but Paris is beautiful and, thanks to Erin's incredibly patient other half, I got to see some of the sights (and to meet Erin herself making her the first real, live blogger I've ever met!).