Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Lemon Law

blind date–noun
[blahynd deyt]
1. a social appointment or date arranged, usually by a third person, between two people who have not met

Lemon, by Jeff Hayes

Last night I was at a dinner party for a friend’s birthday, one of the gifts he received was a book called The Bro Code. I picked it up and read a couple of pages, hilarious, just laugh out loud funny. I was then told the whole book concept came from a show called How I Met Your Mother, I of course had to go to my favourite free streaming site and watch an episode, which led to two, three… ten. Well you get the picture; I now have a new Distraction (compulsion) to keep me occupied for the next few months.

One of the earlier episodes that I just watched for the first time involved the Lemon Law. Essentially this is your get out of jail free when meeting someone for the first time on a blind date. Such a great idea, especially for those of you who are involved in the whole Internet dating fiasco, you know who you are.

The Lemon Law may be invoked if, at any point during the initial five minutes (300 seconds) of a first date, either party deems the union hopeless and elects to abort said date in the interest of time and/or self-respect. Receipt of this card hereby absolves the Giver from any "Hard feelings" or "Questions" from the Lemon Lawyee relevant to the discontinuance of the date, which may be terminated for any reason including, but not limited to: tawdry attire, breath, homeliness, misplaced/excessive body hair, Long Island accent, public school education, bad credit, no credit, suspicious odor(s).

"Lemon Law" Cards

i) Giver may waive the Lemon Law should Lemon Lawyee immediately consent to a no-strings attached "Stand" duration of which shall be no longer that one (1) night.
(ii) The terms of this agreement are non exclusively transferable, in deference to the emergence of the Lemon Law as a "Thing."
(iii) In the unlikely event of a simultaneous invocation, parties shall exact one (1) "High Five" with neither party officially assuming credit for the Lemon Law issuance.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

“I wish I was an angel”

1. the intentional taking of one's own life
2. a person who intentionally takes his or her own life
I had a really bad sleep last night. I managed to get a solid three hours in, but from 12am to 6am I was lucky to average 20 minutes and hour. I think I am coming down with a cold, or some sort of flu bug. All my joints are achy and I have a slight headache.

In those semi-conscious hours between 12am and 6am, I wrote over 20 posts in my head. You know that delusional state between sleep and waking, where you sort of daydream with your eyes closed? Well ya, that’s where I wrote all those posts, and I guess that’s where they are going to stay too because now I forget most of them. However this one stayed with me, probably because it is so dark.

This is not a true memory, as I have no recollection of the event, other than what my Mother divulged to me one evening after she had been drinking wine. When I was just a little guy of three years old I became really morose and withdrawn. One December evening my Mom packed me in the car and drove all around Hometown so I could see the Christmas lights, living in an apartment we never really got to string up our Christmas lights. I guess she thought this would cheer me up. As we approached one house I asked her what was the thing on top of the house there all lit up, she responded by saying ‘Oh that’s an angel honey’. I don’t know if there was more to the conversation, where I asked what an angel was, but from what I gather I said with a sigh ‘I wish I was an angel’.

What a dark and disturbing thing for a kid to say. It totally freaked my Mom out. How could her three-year-old child be so depressed? How can a child be suicidal?

Of course I don’t have a memory of this conversation, but adults tend to blow things out of proportion sometimes, maybe I just really wanted to sit on the roof. At that point in my life I don’t think I knew anyone who had died, or could even understand the concept of death, but who knows?

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Stranger Than Fiction - The Novel

ac⋅quaint⋅ed –adjective
1. having personal knowledge as a result of study, experience, etc.
2. informed
3. made familiar
This afternoon I just finished Stranger Than Fiction, a book of nonfiction stories and essays written by Chuck Palahniuk. He would write these nonfiction stories in-between those dark fiction novels that always seem to have some strange twist to them.

The book begins with the following:

"If you haven't already noticed, all my books are about a lonely person looking for some way to connect with other people."

By reading these works of nonfiction, I feel I've gained a better understanding of Chuck Palahniuk, as if I almost know him personally. I'm a big fan of his work and writing style and take inspiration from it when I set out to write my own short stories. Stranger Than Fiction gives you a glimpse into Palahniuk's mind. Let's you see how he goes about his writing and where he gets his inspiration.

His first novel, Fight Club, never sold very well and it didn't become a cult classic until the movie of the same name was released. When it comes to Fight Club, for me this was a case where the movie was actually better than the book. Although I may have been tainted as I never read the book until after I saw the movie. In fact, my first Palahniuk novel was Survivor.

But I digress; I'm talking about Stranger Than Fiction. The writing style that I so enjoy, those short, choppy, one-sentence paragraphs, were actually inspired from author Amy Hempel. Her work The Harvest was one of the stories that Palahniuk would discuss in a writer's workshop he attended.

I know which book I will be reading soon.

Overall Stranger Than Fiction is a great read if you like Palahniuk and are familiar with his novels. If you have never read anything by the guy, and I suggest that you do - all of them, then you probably won't get much out of this book.

There was a quote that made me laugh out loud, a quote about writers, and for the life of me I cannot find it again. So I will leave you with one of my own:

"There are only two types of people in this world. The ones that ate the paste in grade school, and the ones that didn't"

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Free Things To Do In Ottawa This Winter

free –adjective
1. provided without, or not subject to, a charge or payment

As I mentioned in an earlier post, My Own Financial Crisis, I thought I would compile a list of FREE things to do in Ottawa. It looks like this is going to be an ongoing list as I am sure there are many more free things to do in Capital City then I have listed here.

So without further ado here is some free stuff to do this winter:

1) Skate The Rideau Canal Skateway
You know where it is. It’s the longest skateway in the World right? Something like that anyway...

2) Drink A Lil’ Vino
On January 23rd from 4 pm to 7 pm you can sample some wine at the LCBO located at 275 Rideau Street *hic

3) Improve Your Speaking Skills
Tuesday January 27th, 6:30 pm to 8:30 you can attend the Ottawa Toastmasters open house. You don’t have to participate, it’s free, and hey they serve refreshments.

4) Conquer Your Clutter
Join Professional Organizer, Angela Irvine for an informative workshop on the organizing basics. I'm already a bit OCD when it comes to organizing, so I'll probably skip this one.

5) Learn About Torture
No really, torture, right here in Ottawa, and it’s free! Octopus Books presents three perspectives on torture in our time.

6) Flip Through Some Photos
What's Right With This Picture, is a cross-country photo exhibit to help launch International Development Week. It’s free and they will give you refreshments and snacks, woo-hoo!

7) Get 420’d
Join Marc-Boris St-Maurice, Executive Director of NORML Canada (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and Octopus Books for the National Resolution for the Legalization of Marijuana. It’s free, and you know they are going to have to have snacks, so get there early.

8) Adopt A Puppy
Looks like my semi-impulsive plan to get a dog just might come to fruition. Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind needs some help from the public. It seems they have a whole bunch of new puppies on their hands and don’t know what to do with them. They are seeking foster families for the future guide dogs. There are a couple of stipulations:
- you must be home most of the day
- you must have a fenced yard or relief area
- you need access to a vehicle for veterinary appointments and training sessions
- and well, you have to give the dog back in 12-18 months

Don’t worry it still does qualify for the Free Things To Do In Ottawa This Winter post, as all the food and veterinary expenses are paid for. The next Information Session is on Friday, February 6, 2009.

9) Check out some of the sites at Winterlude
I've been in Capital City for about five years now and I have never done Winterlude. I think this year will be different... as long as it really is free of course, the whole broke thing you know.

10) Take a tour of one of the Capital’s many museums or galleries:

The National Gallery of Canada
Free admission Thursdays after 5 pm

The Ottawa Art Gallery
I’m not 100% sure, but I think it is free, and they have many workshops too

Bank Of Canada Currency Museum
Admission is always free. Open Tuesday to Saturday 10:30 am to 5 pm and Sunday 1 pm to 5 pm

Canada Agriculture Museum
Admission to the Animal Barns is free daily from 9 am to 5 pm

Canadian Museum of Civilization
Free general Museum admission on Thursdays after 4 pm

Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography
Free admission on Thursdays after 5 pm

Canadian Museum of Nature
Admission is free on Saturday mornings from 9 am to 12 pm

Canadian War Museum
Free admission on Thursdays after 4 pm

Canada Aviation Museum
Admission is free daily from 4 pm to 5 pm

Library and Archives Canada
From what I understand it is always free, but who knows what they will actually let you look at.

Well that's it for now, if you Dear Reader (if anyone actually reads this) have any suggestions, feel free to leave a comment and I'll periodically update this list.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Like Al

long⋅hair –noun
1. an intellectual
2. a person, often gifted, who is very interested in or devoted to the arts, esp. a performer, composer, or lover of classical music
3. a person having long hair, esp. a hippie

“Long hair minimizes the need for barbers; socks can be done without; one leather jacket solves the coat problem for many years; suspenders are superfluous.” Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

I've decided to take a little inspiration from good ole' Al here and not get my hair cut. My last trip to the barber was on my birthday, just two-weeks shy of it being four months now. I'm not sure why I originally decided to go without an appointment to go under the scissors, as we get deeper into My Own Financial Crisis it does save on the pocketbook, or should I say the grocery bill.

When it comes to the sock thing, I'm sorry Al, but I have to wear them. One leather jacket is taken care of, I purchased one for $5 nine years ago from a vintage clothing store. Beat that Einstein! Although in your time it probably didn't cost much more. And I'm not going to argue with you about suspenders being superfluous, mainly because I don't own a pair of suspenders.

The only problem thus far with my new locks: no longer can I roll out of bed and head out into the streets for some daily errands without donning a hat. Unless I want to sport the same 'do as Al there.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

4 8 15 16 23 42

lost –adjective
1. no longer possessed or retained
2. no longer to be found
3. distracted; distraught; desperate; hopeless

Becoming a recent fan (addict) of the television show Lost, I decided "Hey what's the harm in playing the numbers from Lost?" I never came close on my ticket, but I guess that is a good thing or I would have to share the prize with countless other Lost fans.

So I wondered, has anyone come close using the Lost numbers? Apparently many (298) have in Ireland's national lottery:

Lost Numbers Appear in Ireland Lottery... Mostly
Saturday, November 26, 2005

Everyone knows that Hurley won the lottery (and inherited quite a streak of bad luck) by using the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42, numbers which have since popped up quite often on the show. The numbers have become so popular that usage of that specific number combination has surged in lotteries around the USA and possibly the world. However, unluckily (or luckily if you believe in the power of the numbers), the numbers have yet to prove to be a winning combination. Until November 19, 2005. At the Irish National Lottery, the winning numbers for November 19 were 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 24 (Bonus: 19). Notice anything about the numbers? Yes, the first five are exactly the same as the Lost numbers, and the sixth - 24 - is 42 reversed. The official website for the Irish National Lottery indicates that 298 people matched 5 of the numbers correctly (and one reader reports that it's 4 times the average number of Match 5 winners). One wonders how many of these winners plugged in 4, 8, 15, 16, and 23.

For more information, check out The Irish National Lottery.

I guess it's back to quick picks for me.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

In Capital City You Learn...

re⋅al⋅i⋅zation –noun
1. the act of realizing or the state of being realized

...that there are two seasons, cold dry winters and hot humid summers. always drag your feet when navigating the icy roads and sidewalks.
...that no one in Capital City is expected to shovel their own sidewalks.
...that the only strangers that will talk to you usually are 'migrates' to Capital City.
...that there may be many employment opportunities, but if you are not bilingual, you may be left behind.
...that in a city of almost a million people, it is still easy to be lonely.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Marley & Me - The Novel

book re⋅view –noun
[book ri-vyoo]
1. a critical description, evaluation, or analysis of a book

I have recently lost my quasi-Book Club, that was not. So you, dear reader (if there is anyone actually reading this) will have to be part of my new solo Book Club. Since the abolishment of my Book Club That Was Not I have not had the time to read a book, or at least I didn't make the time to read one.

Upon leaving Hometown to make the journey back to Capital City, my Nana offered to lend me a book "Well actually it's your Mom's book," she said. The book was John Grogan's Marley & Me.

I decided to crack the book on Friday evening, spending the night in with a book is FREE* right?
*Note: see My Own Financial Crisis

I finished the book up on Sunday afternoon, and well it was a pretty good read. It made me laugh it made me cry and it made me want to get a dog of my own. Thankfully I'm not really the impulsive type, so here I bang away at the keyboard still sans Dog.

John Grogan set out to tell the story of Marley the Dog, but what he ended up with was the story of his life, his marriage and his children, as Marley the dog was an intricate part of their lives. One of the morals that comes through in the story is a feeling that life for all of us could be much better off if we just learned to find our inner dog.

I would recommend Marley & Me to any animal lover, especially those of you that have or had a dog. If you're not the book reading type, from what I understand they have recently made a movie of the same title, so enjoy.

While reading John Grogan's story of his very bad dog it brought back many memories of my Mother's dog, Delaney.

Delaney passed away almost a year ago, and when it happened my Mom was devastated. As I am slightly emotional deficient I could not really empathize with my Mom, until I read this story.

Marley & Me brought back memories of the quiet times I would spend with Delaney, where I was convinced that she could speak and was only pretending to be a dog. I remembered her clumsiness, how she would always bash her head into chairs. I remember every time I came to visit how Delaney would great me like I was a Rock Star the moment I walked in the door. I started to understand why her death effected my Mom so much, and I selfishly thanked fate that I was not around when she passed away.

Delaney is still part of my Mom's house, she now resides in a small urn that is adorned with her collar. It sits on the mantel above the big screen television in the family room. Just like the Grogan's, my Mom and Step-Father have gotten a new dog, well actually they got two, their sisters and they are Labs. Tessa and Roxy's first couple of months of existence could have been taken straight out of Marley & Me, and I think the rest of their life may just follow the same destructive and humourous storyline.

There is nothing I can do but to bid them good luck.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

My CBC Radio3 Biopic... Sorta

bi⋅o⋅pic –noun
1. a biographical movie or TV show

I got this suggestion from a girl who goes by the name Sobbee while reading her blog post about her biopic.
Although according to Webster this is not really a biopic*, the premise seemed fun and the rules seemed simple enough, so I decided to do my own:
*Update: After some thinking about this, it's probably supposed to be the soundtrack to my biopic...
1. Open your library (iTunes, Media Player, iPod, etc) - I used my CBC Radio3 Playlist
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button

I'm quite amused by some of the results, so much so that I may just update the playlist here on this blog to match it… someday anyway.

Without further ado, here we go:

Opening Credits
Bye Bye Bye
Plants and Animals

Waking Up
My Selecta

First Day At School
Two Sinister Genteman
Kill the Lights

Falling In Love

Fight Song
Looking to Fight
Hexes and Ohs

Breaking Up
Space Kidz
The Clips

The Poisoned Cup
Young and Sexy

Like I Give A Care
You Say Party! We Say Die!

Mental Breakdown
Penny For Your thoughts
The Joel Plaskett Emergency

The Golden Dogs

Sand Storms
Magic Weapon

Getting Back Together
The Devil In Our Bones

Losing Your Virginity
Stormy High
Black Mountain

Bottom Of The World
Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton

Birth Of A Child
Willow Tree
Chad VanGaalen

Final Battle
Born Ruffians

Death Scene
Disapointed Tourist Lost and Confused After Walking into a Free Trade Zone
Spymachine 16

Funeral Song
Curse Of The Currents
Said the Whale

End Credits
Cold Heart Breaker

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

My Own Financial Crisis

broke –adjective
1. without money; penniless

I am broke.

For the next ten weeks and beyond, that about sums it up for me.

I am broke, without money, penniless and po'.

I am so poor I can't even afford the last 'or' in the word.

I am just po'.

Calculating my budget, paying just under $2000 dollars a month into my savings account, which will be used in 10 weeks to pay my income taxes, minus my other bills - rent, credit card, cell phone - I have to survive on twenty-five dolalrs a week for the next 10 weeks (and beyond).

Twenty-five dollars a week! That is for food, toiletries, and going-out money. How am I going to survive?

Well I have started making the following preparations:

1) I hate to say it, but I looked up the location of the local Food Bank, just in case
2) I made an arrangement with my landlord, and am now paying $25 dollars less a month
3) I contacted Fido and without causing a fuss I somehow am now saving $50 a month and I got a $100 credit
4) I started selling some of my stuff on Craigslist

So if this all works out, I am now up to $42.50 a week for the next ten weeks. That’s doable right? I guess as long as I don’t go anywhere for ten more weeks (and beyond).

I’m going to have to start looking for some FREE stuff to do in Capital City – maybe that will be a good post.

Speaking of posts, I have decided to change the format. I like the quasi-dictionary title thing I have going on, but unfortunately it’s not really search worthy, so no one will ever read this blog. Not that it would be such a bad thing, if no one reads my ranting, but do you see that little ad over there, well anytime someone clicks it wink wink nudge nudge Google pays me a few pennies. I’m already up to three bucks!

Hey I am broke remember, a buck is a buck.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Dating Game

dat⋅ing –noun
1. a social engagement arranged beforehand with another person
2. a person with whom one has such a social engagement
3. to go out socially on dates
4. to make a date with; go out on dates with
The Chase

I find there is this cruel circle of fate(?) or karma(?) when it comes to dating, or just the very act of being interested in someone. It seems in life there is always a person being chased and that person is also chasing at the same time. If people just stopped and looked over their shoulder once in awhile they might find what they have always been looking for. But not everybody mind you (looking over their shoulder that is) or the chase would just end up going in the opposite direction. So maybe every other person should look over their shoulder. Ya that's it, every other person.

My advice: Strive to be that other person.

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